Recurring dreams or nightmares are a phenomena that hasn’t plagued this daydreamer in quite some time.

Recently, the norm shifted. I’ve been having a string of nightmares that would make some psychiatrist’s mouth water.

They take place in some dolled-up version of what used to be the dining room in my old home. I’m sitting at a dinner table with (for lack of better terms) —a bunch of dead people.

Some of the people sitting there are relatives; some friends. All of them are people that have passed on. Yet there I am, sitting amongst them, trying to start a conversation.

At first, no one sees me. No one hears me. Then a few make kind, but robotic remarks. As I sit there, trying to make sense of it, everyone’s faces and bodies start to deteriorate. Their flesh starts to decay. Everything sort of falls off, bits and pieces of them falling onto the table, into the food.

I back away from the table slowly, stumbling in shock and terror and run away screaming. As I bolt through the doorway, I enter a hall that wasn’t there before. The walls and area surrounding are dirty, dank, dreary, rusty and dripping. In the corner is a thinly set man, curled up. I gently tap him to see what’s wrong and he jumps up revealing scars and tattered clothes. He appears tortured and beaten. He is frightened beyond consolation. He screams, and I wake up.

I don’t know what it all means.

Perhaps death is weighing heavy on my mind due to loss and my own physical health decline.

Whatever it all means, I drew the man I see there last night.

Terror (original sketch)
Terror (original sketch)
Terror_color render
Terror (Digital art render. Color variation.)

Maybe if I get it all out they can rest. Maybe my mind can rest. I’d like to dig a grave for all of this inner stress. I want to sing it a requiem and be done with it. Though nightmares often aid in my work, this particular set causes me upset in my waking life.

Hopefully my pouring of emotions into the paper can aid my restless psyche. Even if it’s only a teensy bit I’ll be satisfied. Anything’s better than being haunted.

31 Nightmares: The 23rd

31 Nightmares

If you follow CardCastles on social media, you may know it’s my birthday today.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for me to roll out a series of greeting cards/stationery concept I’ve been working on. I call it:

The Hallow’s Eve Divas® series

(Click any image to view slideshow carousel.)

I plan on adding more characters to it before the season ends. I’m gearing towards making my designs available for purchase again some time soon. Only time will tell what the future holds…

Thank you all for making this an amazing year. There have certainly been some ups and downs, but some truly remarkable things have taken place behind the scenes as well. You are seeing some of the effects all over the place. I promise it will only get better.

Thanks for riding with CardCastles for three beauteous years! & Thank you for your loving responses outside of the site about #31Nightmares so far. Your voices matter so much. You have truly made some magical dreams become reality.

I hope you enjoy these new characters. They will be added to my gallery shortly.

Happy Haunts!

This has been Day 23


31 Nightmares

Intro: 31 Nightmares

31 Nightmares
Shadow Woman
Shadow Woman

(Click image to view larger)

Welcome one and all to the first of 31 days of nightmarish wonder. If you read my tribute to Wes Craven a short while back, then you’ll know this series has been in the works for a bit. —And what a way to kick it off, ’cause there’s a great story behind this one.

Shadow Woman, being an appropriate start to the series, has quite the eerie legend behind her. You see, she is not from the fictional-driven part of my mind at all, but based on a true account of some old friends of mine from back in my middle school era.

The Shadow Woman was said to be a ghost that haunted a stretch of woods way back behind a friend’s property line. There were many neighborhood teens that had stories about her and soon, it became an ongoing rumor that later floated around our school.

She was said to come out only at night and seemed to dwell in a specific area. People that saw her said she seemed to glide and was fast. You would hear something on one end of the path in front of you and then feel something behind you, and then you’d spot her. In every story I heard someone always described feeling “threatened” and like they had to instantly get out of there.

I never had a run-in with this particular being, whatever she was, but I have been close by that area and remember getting an unsettling feeling like something was telling me to stay away.

This artwork is based completely off of one of my friend’s best descriptions. My ol’ pal says it looks exactly like her.

Happy Haunts!

& Don’t forget to stay tuned through the month of October for all 31 Nightmares in the series.

31 Nightmares





~In Loving Memory of Horror Master, Wes Craven~