31 Nightmares 2018: The 31st

“Your beloved Daydreams isn’t here right now. She appears to be…all tied up. I just may get cozy here. Yes, yes…I could get used to this.”

– Nightmares

“When I came to my head was throbbing. Didn’t quite know what to make of it all. I was frightened—and cold. She was no longer here. Maybe that protection spell I cast on the gates finally took. I’m sure it won’t ward her off for long, though.”

-Daydreams


•••

Well my horror-loving lovelies,

Another #31Nightmares has come to a close.

We were not so sure about doing this whole thing again this year. There is a whole fresh hell of a lot going on behind the scenes. These circumstances have made it difficult on this trip. I apologize for not keeping up our tradition of ending this thing with a video. Some personal matters kept that footage from ever being shot & uploaded.

Despite those somber notes, we hope you had fun through each of the 31 days and nights. Will we do this again next year? Well, you’ve managed to talk me into it each year again since we started back in 2015. We shall just have to wait and see.

Special Thanks

On behalf of Snapping Turtle Arts, I would like to thank Dean Kealy, Michael Patrick, and Bill Friday for joining us and lending their magnificent talents.

To the horror lovers here and overseas

We are so appreciative of all of you. Thank you for stopping in on each day! None of this would have gone down this year without your loving support and encouragement!

To my mentors

I saw you here lurking about. 😉 It means the world to me and my little family that some of you still care. We’ll try to put on a bigger show if we go at this thing again next year.

To our friends and family

Thank you for holding our hands when times get rough.

We love you ALL!


This has been

Day 31

of

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

~In Loving Memory of~

Wes Craven, Grayson Queen, and Scott Wilson

-and so many more

31 Nightmares 2017: The 31st

Well, horror lovers,

We’ve reached another end to our nightmares. Will they be back again? We’ll just have to wait and see. We’ve had some hurdles but it’s all been worth it.

Enjoy this short video message as a token of my appreciation.

Special Thanks

First and foremost we would like to thank our very supportive family members that helped make some of this possible. To our friends, thank you for rooting for this event even when our hearts weren’t in it at certain points this year.

To the horror lovers:

None of this would be possible without you!! You clammered for this event’s return until we gave in.

To our Twitter Family and #TWDFamily members – we appreciate your overwhelming kindness & interaction with us. You’ve helped drive some horror fans our way and we are forever grateful to all of you for that!!

To our guests Michael Patrick and Bill Friday – We thank you for your courage to share and your wonderful contributions to the event this year.

To our mentors, your advice has been priceless at times when we desperately needed it.

& Last but most certainly not least, thank all of you reading that have shared these on social media, cheered us on, and just generally made this event more fun for us to host.

We love all of you.

Snapping Turtle Arts


This has been Day 31

of


Happy Halloween!

~In Loving Memory of~

Wes Craven, Grayson Queen, John Bernecker, George Romero, and Tobe Hooper.

-And all the rest that helped pave the way.

31 Nightmares 2017: The 3rd

Today we are heading directly up my alley toward the genre of psychological horror. To say I’ve been a fan of this vast sub-genre of horror would be a drastic understatement. It’s fueled my passion like not much else in life. I took up writing at an early age because of it, and later, my artwork in the genre helped cement a career for me.

Dreamscape
Dreamscape

Poltergeist (1982) was one of the movies that, at a young age, got the wheels turning. The blaring visuals were like nothing I had seen before. I used to gravitate more toward movies like this after, and still to this day. I owe this passion to men like Tobe Hooper, and many others that helped style this type of horror.

Psychological horror has had a way of seeping into my veins. Growing up, I was often consumed by something belonging to Stephen King, or Dean Koontz. I’m still fascinated by both of them, along with David Lynch and a few others.

The Watcher
The Watcher

When I became friends with Grayson Queen, this was our favorite conversation.

“What makes you scared?”

“What makes the human brain tick?”

“What turns on the fear-receptor?”

—and so on, and so forth.
There is a glaring space with some of these men gone.

But I made a promise to someone.

My generation will carry this on.Flame


This has been Day 3 of

31 Nightmares 2017: The 1st

A message from Daydreams:

Before you know it October is here. CardCastles has morphed and changed a lot in the last five years. What was once just my little wonderland come-to-life is now a team, a community, and a growing company’s merge. You will see some of those changes in the near future, but for now on this glorious fall first day of October, let’s kick off this celebratory tradition.

I am proud to say this is the third year of #31Nightmares. This is solely due to reader demand. We get messages year ‘round now looking forward to this event so we aim to dream up each year better than the last.

This year we will be talking about horror in video games, movies, television, and its influence on some music. We will also be exploring horror in sound, both in special effects, and soundtracks. There will be art, there will be writing. There will be tributes to many we lost in recent years that helped pave the way and even create new lanes for this genre.

We are glad to be doing it all with you for another year this 2017 and we hope you will stick around for all 31 days/nights.

Welcome to 31Nightmares 2017!

Introduction

For those of you new to the site or just plain new to this series,

here’s a little about how it got its start.

~>Dare to Dream.

This week during our opener, we will be diving into recent creations in the horror genre that have been stirring buzz in both video games and television.

One game this year that has stood out to us during my work with many different levels and mediums of the genre was The Evil Within 2.

We own the first installment in our collection here at home. My other half has beaten it to shreds. I’ve yet to go far in the campaign myself due to a busy schedule this year, but I certainly liked what I saw so far. This sequel looks promising and I have to admit I thought it was a genius marketing idea to drop the game on Friday the 13th this year in October. The bits of imagery in the story trailer featured below could remind you of something straight out of your nightmares.

The Evil Within 2 : Story Trailer

This has been Day 1 of

only here at cardcastlesinthesky.com

 

Guest Spots for #31Nightmares 2017 Open Today!


If you follow CardCastles and/or Snapping Turtle Arts on social media then you know we are yet again resurrecting the October tradition here of #31Nightmares.

Since we are already planning for October’s events now in August, it’s only right we picked today to launch the guest slot openings and guest submission forms. (& What a marvelous day to do it on a this strange and otherworldly Solar Eclipse Day 2017.)

If you are interested in being one of our guests during this year’s 31Nightmares,

Send in your submission form below.

31 Nightmares Tips & Guidelines

  • Anything horror-related
  • Presentations can be in written, photo, art, video, or music/audio format
  • *Extra points if it’s inspired by a nightmare!
  • CardCastles Terms in effect and apply during this event
  • Send in any & all links you would like to be featured like your personal website, blog, or social media accounts.
  • 31Nightmares posts automatically get shared out to CardCastles social accounts so your submission may get increased traffic, meaning free promotion for you!
  • Tributes to horror legends and horror creators also very welcome.
  • Most importantly, have fun with it.
  • There are a limited number of slots & they fill up quickly so try to get these in soon!

 

Look forward to this event later this October with you all and much more this 2017.

  • Daydreams

31 Nightmares 2016: The 31st

Once again it seems like we traveled here at light speed, and I’ve loved every passing moment of it with you.

Today is the final nightmare of our

31nightmares-logo

Intro

So there you have it, friends. I am working on a little side-project web cartoon that I will be featuring here on CardCastles. Some friends of mine have showed interest in chiming in on this. I’ve already been working on storyboard concepts and comic-style sketches of this for months.

Recently, little Alicia took a breather since I just took on some important clients but she is still being stitched together behind the scenes.


Bittersweet Conclusion

With all that said, I would like to thank all of you for your support during these last few months and during all 31Nightmares.

All of your kind words, enthusiam, emails, social sharing, and referrals have not gone unnoticed. There are some wonderful people watching here and you all have me so proud to call this series my brainchild. That being stated, you all know we are here for one reason, and this year another special reason—to pay tribute to Master of Horror, one of my greatest inspirations, Mr. Wes Craven—and a masterfully gifted Sorcerer of Horror himself, Mr. Grayson Queen.

Before Grayson passed on, one of the last conversations I had with him was a nerdy exchange (often our preferred, favorite and only type of conversation) about The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

I joked to him after he posted about zodiac, tarot, and his beautiful Ra. I said “You seem more like a mystic than an agnostic.”

Anyone that knew Grayson as Dave knew he was a stark atheist, but his mind had a way of needing to know every which and possible possibility. I always knew Dave had read something I wrote because he had a way of letting me know. The “horror” tag would always be clicked on & one or two pieces in the genre had also been read. It was his stealth-like way of saying “Hey friend. I’ve been here. I hear you.”

When October began and I set things in motion to be dedicated in our friend’s memory also, I remembered back to that conversation that went on for months that we never got to finish. Always two sentences at a time.

Then the final quote from the movie popped into my head and I thought of Dave.

I had a fear of going as far as I could once.

It was a fear that gripped me and kept me from my dreams.

Now I am no longer afraid.

“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

– The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Vines

~For Dave and Wes~


This has been Day 31, The Final Nightmare.

31nightmares-logo_invertMissed any? Catch up here.

31 Nightmares 2016: The 12th

My fusion with the horror genre began long ago. The start of it all was the first time taking in A Nightmare On Elm Street. After that, it fast became a passion; one I took with me through all of my schooling. I started writing short stories in grade school. This continued through middle school until I started onto longer compositions.

It was within these years of writing horror, I fell in love with another Master of Horror, Mr. Stephen King.

Aside from Wes, King is probably one of my largest influences.

I guess you could say, Wes inspired me to write and King kept me at it.

small-maple.png

Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep is one of King’s more recent novels—one I was most certainly gripped by. This novel certainly has a place here during 31 Nightmares for its unique approach to psychological horror.

This story is the follow-up for King’s other well-known masterpiece, The Shining. The stories flow together nicely, and yet this one takes on a direction all its own by touching on the occult. I highly recommend this novel to horror lovers. I am without a doubt surprised this has not been made into a full-length movie sequel as well.

Pick this up online or anywhere books are sold. You won’t regret it, unless you need sleep…

This has been Day 12 of

31nightmares-logo_invert

31 Nightmares 2016: The 1st

Today is October 1st and that can only mean one thing here at CardCastles.

31 Nightmares is here!

[For those new to the site you can read about its origins in Dare to Dream: A Tribute to Wes Craven]

Due to reader demand and all of the lovely, kind-hearted words received afterward, it became clear that the series would return this year. Wes was one of the main forces that inspired me to write at a young age. He was also one of the reasons I began specializing in the horror genre at times.

This year, with those thoughts in mind, we will also be dedicating the series to another gifted horror writer and artist and sharing these projects in their collective memory. That writer just so happened to be a good friend of mine. He was driven by the pen as Grayson Queen, but a lucky number of people knew him as Dave. Some of you that read here had the pleasure of knowing his undeniable gift for horror writing. We wanted to honor Grayson last year as well, although the wounds from losing such a profound piece of what has become a family in many ways—were still withered raw.

We will honor these masters of horror and carry on what we all do best. They live on through this art.

Blessed be.

~Daydreams


Happy October, everyone and welcome to Day 1!

This piece was designed as wall art and inspired by one of my most terrifying of recent nightmares. Have you ever traveled to a place in reality only to return to a warped version of it in your sleep? This is exactly the inspiration behind this surrealistic twist on the strange figure that showed up along the side of a road lined by woods close by a place I actually visited.

nightcrawl
Nightcrawl

There was a dense mist that waltzed around with the cold air that made my bones ache. There was a sensation of the cold in the dream itself. That figure drew closer. I awoke before getting a clear look at its face. Whatever it was, it definitely wasn’t human since it appeared about ten feet tall and thinner than any living human I’d ever seen.

This has been Day 1

of

31nightmares-logo

31 Nightmares: The 31st

31 Nightmares

Well, it’s strange that we got here so fast, but I loved every minute of this ride with you.

Today is the final nightmare of the

31 Nightmares

 

 

and I’d like to kick it off with a little something special:

Intro

 

With all that’s discussed in there (and I hope you view it, because it’s not easy for me to be the one on this side of the lens. I can be a pretty shy and private person. So you know if I’m getting up here and speaking about something it’s for a specific reason.)

I want to keep horror living on. Right now, it’s not one of the most popular written-about or searched topics on the internet. I’d like to change that. I’d discuss with some of my friends here how there wasn’t much horror written about amongst bloggers either, and there’s quite a bit of fiction out there.

People like me that have worked within this genre most of their lives don’t want to see it merely fade off and die. We don’t want to see it replaced by some big budget bang box office BS that’s barren-dry of content and just aimed solely at making money. You’ve heard me speak about this here many times before, like in Why Greed Breeds Bad Writing.

Wes was someone who revived this genre again and again. He was a true writer at his core, even before a director, but he was magnificent at both. He had a heavy hand and mind in special effects and how they worked. His genius is going to be sorely, achingly missed by so many.

Scream (Fan Art by Daydreams)
Scream (Fan Art by Daydreams)
I only hope we can carry on his legacy. Those of us that create and write and film; we need to do it. Now is the time. Those of us that love this genre and don’t want to see it die off only to be replaced by watered down nonsense leakage; we need to act now.

That is why I’ve shared my most intimate nightmares with you.

Flame
Flame
That is why I’m sharing something even more intimate with you—a chat. A little piece, albeit imperfect, a tiny sliver of my world.

I’d like to thank everyone that read, participated, commented, liked, shared on here and on social media. Special thanks to my guests, the very talented KilledByKangaroo, and [7/9/2017 : other former guest author name & content removed for violation of CardCastles Terms]


 

I give you…

My final nightmare.

The Mother
The Mother
(Click image to view larger version at the gallery.)
…and (of course) there’s a story behind this one too, but I’ll leave that one up to you.

Happy Haunts!
Thank you for joining me during this event, for all of your support both inside and outside of CardCastles, and for being such a wonderful group of people that I am thankful I get to share some of the largest inspirations behind my work with.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

 

This has been Day 31, the conclusion of 31 Nightmares.

Missed any?

To view all 31, click the banner below!

31 Nightmares