Darkness into Light for Pieta House – Blarney 2017 #DIL2017

   Darkness into Light

This was my fourth year doing the Darkness Into Light Walk for Pieta House. The event gets bigger and better ever year!

The Darkness Into Light  walk was held in Blarney for the first time this year.  It was an intimate and friendly walk, with a spectacular finish in the environs of Blarney Castle (where my husband and I also took our wedding photos last October). As we walked along the Castle grounds in Blarney, a snake of yellow people were ahead of us and behind us as far as the eye could see. The message behind the walk is strong and powerful.

There is always light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dark things may seem. 

Pieta House are a charity organisation that help people and their families cope with depression, suicide and self harm. Their services are free and the organisation was founded by Joan Freeman. Joan spoke in my workplace a couple of years ago and she is an inspirational woman.

Would you give up a few hours of their sleep to do the walk if it could save a family months of lost sleep?  If the walk could save your brother, Mother, father, sister, daughter, aunt, son or uncle, would you do it?

The symbolism of the walk is beautiful. It’s a magical and emotional experience. Walking into the dawn is a treasured event and the reason behind it resonates through everyone who partakes. If you missed the walk this year and would like to donate to the charity click here. I’ve never lost someone to suicide, I’m lucky.  Suicide and depression affect EVERYONE in some way.

Darkness into Light

Darkness into Light sheds a light on mental health. It’s OK to ask for help, it’s OK to not be OK, it’s OK to share your feelings. Watch out for others, you never know the effects you have on them.

Contact Pieta House at any hour of the day by phoning Freecall 1800 247 247 or simply texting HELP to 51444. To find out more about Pieta House click here.

If doing Darkness into Light saves just one life or gets people talking, then it’s important. If you still need further convincing watch the video below!

Deadly t-shirts for horror lovers on Serialkillershop.com!

I recently came across a fantastic site called Serialkillershop.com. With a name like that, I was immediately drawn to it!


They sell an array of themed clothes and other knick knacks. The themes are horror, humour and true crime. Their speciality is Horror t-shirts (AKA KILLERS). All t-shirts are hand drawn, limited edition, and printed on the highest quality garments. International shipping is free if you spend over $49.



I thought it would be interesting to see what types of t-shirts appealed to the various members of my family – each one (including me)  is unique and weird in their own wonderful way! They loved the t-shirts too and these were there choices.

The crazy sporty girly girl (AKA  the sister!)

Sarah’s pick didn’t surprise me and I’m sure it wouldn’t surprise anyone else. I doubt she has ever seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but this quote is typical Sarah! She’s a rare one!




The Little Brother with a Dark Sense of Humour

James loves anything dark and funny. This pick suits his personality perfectly. No words needed to describe this one!

The Daddy, the one who made me a horror freak!


My Father inspired a love of horror in me from a young age. His pick was from the horror classic Hellraiser. Who doesn’t love a bit of Pinhead?!

The Batman Fanatic, my husband


Despite my best attempts, my husband is not into horror AT ALL!! But he loves Batman movies and his favourite is Batman: The Dark Knight. I have to agree, Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker is just epic.

Me, Noelle – the lover of the weird, horrific and beautiful


I love horror movies of all kinds, but I also love the weird and beautiful. Pan’s Labyrinth is my favourite film of all time. It’s heartbreaking, horrific and the special effects are unbelievable. I can watch it over and over again and never tire of it.

To conclude, there is something on Serialkillershop.com for everyone in the family. I have some products winging their way to me from the States and I can’t wait to get my hands on them! I’ll keep you posted!

Which of these t-shirts is your favourite? 🙂



The Third Twin by Darren Seegle: Book Review

The Third Twin from Darren Speegle is another original horror novel from Crystal Lake Publishing and I was lucky enough to receive a launch day free copy.

Best Read: While planning an Alaskan or Brazilian adventure!!

The Third Twin

The Third Twin is clever, dark and scary. Not things go bump in the night scary, but scary like someone hurting all your nearest and dearest. There are some truly horrible moments in the book, but all are portrayed beautifully. Like all the other Crystal Lake Publishing books I’ve read, this is original and edgy.

The travel scenes are unbelievable – I want to visit Spider festival in Brazil and the Vampire Ball in Germany! I could see and smell each unique landscape in my head. The cover art is also beautiful and evocative.

A trip to the Spider Festival in Brazil for Barry and his daughter Kristin,  a couple of years after Kristin’s twin’s death,  sparks a horrific and surreal nightmare for the entire family. This is thrilling and mysterious book, with twists and turns throughout.

My only criticism is that the end was maybe a bit too clever? I had re-read the last chapter a few times to try and understand it. Eloquent and well paced, I will definitely be reading more from this author.

To purchase the book: click here.

To find out more about the book click here: click here.

Yay, a Book Prize from Karl Drinkwater!

My luck has been in the last few months. I won a jewellery voucher for The Hidden Gem, makeup from Joanne at Lipsticknleopardprint and a night away to the beautiful Inchydoney Island. My luck continues with a book prize from Karl Drinkwater!

Karl DrinkwaterKarl Drinkwater’s Horror Collection

Karl Drinkwater gifted me an audio copy of his novella Harvest Festival last year. If this is anything to judge by, They Move Below and Turner should both be excellent reads.

Here is my review of Harvest Festival.

I received a gift of the audio version of Harvest Festival. This was my second time listening to an audio book and I enjoyed every single minute of it. Audio books are a great way to keep me busy on the car journey home from work!

The book is excellently written, every word is there for a reason. The tension builds from the end of an average day on the farm for Callum and his family. The ordinary strains on family relationships is very evident in the first few chapters. I loved the realism of those scenes.

The normality of those scenes allows for tension to build rapidly when the family ends up facing a horrific invasion of an alien kind! Harvest Festival is dramatic and terrifying.  The scenes move speedily along to an ending which stayed in my head for some while.

Though it was a novella, I loved the changing dynamic in the family’s relationships from start to finish.

To conclude, I look forward to reading my gorgeous newly printed copies of They Move Below and Turner!

Karl Drinkwater's Horror Collection
Karl Drinkwater’s Horror Collection

To purchase Karl Drinkwater’s Horror Collection click here.

Karl Drinkwater

To find out more about the author click here.

Two New Horror Gems on Netflix UK

There are two new horror gems on Netflix UK this month – Viral and The Neon Demon.


Viral is a story of two teenage sisters struggling to survive a deadly virus outbreak. This genre is a bit overdone, but this is a fresh take on it. The acting is realistic and not overly dramatic, while the gore is bloody and  beautifully disgusting! My favourite element of this was the dynamic between the two sisters – the horror genre’s Anna and Elsa. I loved this.

The Neon Demon

I’d been waiting for this movie to make it to Neflix for ages! So I was delighted when one of my Best of Netflix Horror buddies informed me​ that it was one of the new additions this month!

This is absolutely stunning movie. Florescent, throbbing colours and lots of slow disturbing scenes. This shows horror of a different kind -the horror of the human species and vanity. Fresh-faced 16 year old Jesse arrives in LA to try to make it as a model. What follows is a disastrous kaleidoscope ​of events. This is weird and beautiful and utterly disturbing. I loved it and it’s nothing like any other film I’ve seen.


Netflix, you did not disappoint with these two beauties!

What did you think of these movies? Are you looking forward to anything on Netflix this month?


The Easter Bunny – A Creepy Tail

Easter Bunny

There is something extremely disturbing about the Easter Bunny.

Maybe it’s the fact that the Easter Bunny doesn’t speak or maybe it’s the weird eyes? Or is it the outfit? It could be anyone inside there! Give me Santa Claus any day, over this creepy character!

Easter Bunny

My irrational fear of the Easter Bunny led me to write the disturbing tale/ tail below.

Judy Graham was collected at 5.30 am on Holy Monday by a limousine. She  wheeled her suitcase out the front door and pulled the door of her cramped semi-detatched house behind her. She didn’t say goodbye. There was nobody to say goodbye to since her parents had tragically died last year.

The driver took her suitcase from her and wordlessly motioned her towards the back seat of the giant car. She thanked him and he simply nodded. She had never travelled by limousine before, so she assumed it was chauffeur etiquette. If the driver was this posh, imagine how posh the family who had hired her would be.

Judy was going to Addington House, in the Cotswolds, to play the Easter Bunny for the next week. She had played many children’s characters in the past year, including Elsa, a North Pole elf, a witch and a pirate. Judy loved being a freelance children’s entertainer. It meant she was able to travel to lots of different places to work and bring laughter and fun to so many children. Seeing their tiny faces light up with wonder and excitement was the highlight of her working day.

Judy  had never been an Easter Bunny before, but it seemed like fate. Her Mother had named her Judy, inspired by the actress Judy Garland’s role in the film ‘Easter Parade’. Her Mother would go around the kitchen every Easter Sunday, singing the Easter Bonnet song as she made lunch. That was one of her nicest memories of her.

She had been headhunted by the Addington family. Judy was ecstatic that her hard work and love of the job was finally paying off. The Addington Easter Bunny was iconic, children all over the surrounding areas came to Addington Manor to meet the Easter Bunny. On Easter Sunday, there would be the exclusive Easter Egg Hunt for the children of the sprawling Addington family.

Judy had visited the Cotswolds many times as a child with her parents and had wonderful memories of stone thatched cottages, rolling green hills and ice-cream from quaint little shops. She thought going back there might make her feel closer to them. She would be staying in one of the thatched cottages on the grounds of the manor for the week. Her duties would end early Sunday morning, once the eggs had all been hidden for the giant Easter egg hunt. Nobody saw the Easter Bunny after Saturday, that was the tradition.

She sat in happy silence, admiring the view, as they drove through the different counties of the beautiful Cotswolds. The closest town to the Manor was Blockley. The town looked serene and peaceful and golden Cotswold cottages punctuated the rolling hills. They arrived at the manor at exactly 8 am. The chauffeur opened the door for her and motioned silently for her to walk into the giant stone house. Lord Addington stood waiting in the hallway with an amused look on his long horsey face.

“Miss Graham, if you’d care to follow me into the drawing room and we can go through some of the finer details.” He said, his voice echoed with the high ceilings. She smiled and said “Of course, Lord Addington” and followed him into a stuffy, dusty looking sitting room. He handed her a timetable. Each morning, breakfast would be brought to the cottage at 7.45 am. At 8.30, she would be guided to the children’s play area in her Easter Bunny outfit.  She would do greetings and photographs for two hours. She would be guided back to the cottage for a powder room break and a small lunch. At 1 pm she would return for greetings for a further three hours. Dinner would be brought to her cottage each evening at 6 pm.

She nodded as he went through the itinerary with her. She thought it all seemed very military but he was her employer and he was paying her well. She would do exactly as asked. He told her that it was most important that the uniform must be worn every time she left the cottage during the day. The illusion must be maintained, he explained. The uniform was vintage, it had been worn by every Addington Easter Bunny in the last twenty years. She thought that was gross, but kept quiet.

Easter Bunny

There was no small talk and he led her out to the door where the chauffeur stood waiting by the car. She sat in and was brought to the most charming thatched cottage she had ever seen. A stern looking woman stood waiting by the door. She quickly went through the lighting and heating and left immediately, these people did not like small chat. A giant box with a bow was waiting in her bedroom. She opened it and saw the Easter Bunny outfit. The black eyes of the head stared at her and sent shivers down her spine. The teeth in the mouth protruded over a black mouth. Vintage Easter bunny outfits were really creepy. But the material was soft and fluffy, despite being vintage and smelled of fresh cut grass.

When she tried on the uniform, a queasy feeling came over, she thought she might vomit. She took it off and immediately felt better. The stern woman knocked on the door with a small lunch. She ate every morsel and went for a stroll around the magnificent grounds, they went on for miles. Today was her only day off, as she would be on a schedule from tomorrow.

The next morning she put the suit on and as soon as the suit touched her skin, she got a funny turn again and felt queasy. She ignored the feeling, put on the head and started at herself in the mirror. The outfit was terrifying!

She could see out of the eyes, but there was no trace of the real Judy to be seen. She was brought to the greeting area by the stern woman and she was surprised that the children weren’t afraid of her. They hopped on her lap for pictures and wrapped their small arms around her. Maybe this vintage outfit wasn’t so bad.

Only the babies and small toddlers screamed their heads off when she held them for the photos, the poor mites. All day long, Judy felt strange. Shivers ran down her neck and back. She was freezing, then roasting. Judy hoped she wasn’t coming down with anything. Her eyes were stinging too. She put that down to the heaviness and stuffiness from wearing the head. She was exhausted that night and went straight to bed after her supper.

The next morning, she felt some bit better so she went on with her day as per schedule. As she sat for the greetings, new symptoms emerged. Her fromt teeth were sensitive and sore and her hands were pained and felt swollen.

She returned to the cottage and took the outfit off for a break. She looked in the mirror and sore red-rimmed eyes stared back at her. She spotted something sprouting from her ears, something white and bushy. She yanked it out with a squeal, it was a tuft of white hair! What was going on with her body! She had no further time to investigate as the knock came for the afternoon shift. She would have to ask the stern woman if there was a doctor nearby when she brought her supper.

She got through the rest of the afternoon and was delighted when she was able to return to the cottage and get the horrible Easter Bunny suit off her. Had she caught something from the suit?! It was twenty years old, after all. At 6 pm, she stood by the door, ready to talk to Mrs. Stern. She threw the door open when she heard the knock and the woman jumped back. “Oh, Miss Graham! You look under the weather this evening” she said, her voice surprisingly warm this time. Judy told her she was feeling ill, she needed a doctor. “Sorry to hear that, Miss Graham. There’s no doctor available in the evening in these parts. I can try to arrange a visit for tomorrow and bring you something medicinal?” she said. Judy thanked her, that would have to do for now.

The woman returned with a bottle of syrupy medicine and told her to take two spoons before bed. Judy took the medicine and went straight to bed, she didn’t touch her supper. When she woke the next morning, her eyes were bloodshot and the red rims had grown. It was then she spotted two white whisker growing from her cheeks! She grabbed a tweezer and plucked them out! More tufts had sprouted from her ears, and despite the pain, she pulled them out. Her teeth had never been perfectly straight, but now they were protruding slightly over her lip! There was something happening to Judy, there was something very wrong.

The day passed in a blur as children were passed into her swollen hands. Her legs and feet were aching. When she returned the cottage for lunch, she avoided the mirror, afraid of what she might see. She looked down at her belly and saw that it too was swollen. She’d also put on a huge amount of weight on her lower body in only a couple of days. She’d always been a pear shape, but this was ridiculous.

That evening, her thoughts were foggy and scattered. The only thing she could focus on was the Easter egg hunt and the children. She had to keep going for their sake. She heard a knock on the door, but didn’t open it until a few minutes later. She clumsily carried the tray in, ate her supper and left the tray outside. She drank two sups of the medicine and went to bed for the evening. She tossed and turned.  She woke from a bad dream in the middle of the night and to her horror, she felt something growing on her backside! Something large and hairy! It was a bushy small tail!

She squealed. Her mouth felt funny too. When she looked in the mirror, her mouth had morphed into a grotesque shape and four long whiskers now grew from each cheek. Tufts of white hair sprouted from every orifice. Words tried to form in her head, but when she opened her mouth, she couldn’t speak. Her hands and feet were even more swollen and covered in fine hair. She touched her face, not believing what was happening to her.

She put on the bunny head to cover her monstrous face and squeezed herself into the now very snug bunny outfit. As she did the morning greetings, she though about running away. But she had no car, no way out. And what would people think of  her transformation anyway, even if she escaped?

Was this all her imagination? Was Judy imagining that she was a real-life Easter Bunny??

Her thoughts became even more blurred. When she looked in the mirror Good Friday, she could only think of the children and their little faces. The Addington Easter Egg hunt would be unbelievable this year, she would make sure if it. She put on her uniform and bounced out the door after Mrs Stern. On Holy Saturday, she looked in the mirror and realised that she didn’t need the uniform any more. She WAS the Easter Bunny and tomorrow was the most exciting day of the year!

By early Easter Sunday, all of Judy’s memories had faded. Her only task was to get the hunt ready for the children. She spent hours hiding the eggs, even though it was difficult with her furry swollen hands. She heard the excited shrinks and laughter from children in the distance. She bounded away out of sight, feeling satisfied. But the shouts followed her, even though she was going in the opposite direction to the Easter Egg hunt.

“My first hunt, Arthur! I hope I catch it” a girlie voice shouted. “No one catches one on their first hunt, you idiot. You need to learn how they move and how to track them” a boy’s voice said.

Them? It? She bounced away as fast as she could with her giant furry feet.  Someone left out a high pitched scream. “This way! The hunt is on.” The Judy bunny realised that the hunt was for her, not for Easter eggs.

The Judy bunny tried to get away from the children. It had no memory of its former life as Judy. All it wanted now was to escape. A misplaced hop landed the Judy bunny in a giant animal trap. It lay on the grass, it’s broken mangled foot caught in the vice. It struggled and whimpered.

A tiny girl, no more than six years of age stood above it and shouted to the other approaching children.  “I won the hunt! I won the hunt! The head is mine!”

The Lord of the Manor appeared above the Judy bunny. “Oh, Cordelia, Grandfather is so very proud of you. You caught the Addington Easter Bunny.” The Judy bunny stared up  at him. One chocolate tear streamed out of her glassy black eye as Lord Addington chopped it’s head off with a sharp axe. He held up with a cheer, to the delight of the children. The Addington Easter Hunt was over for another year.

Creating Fiction at the Friary


I attended my second Fiction at the Friary event in Cork City at the end of March.

Find out more about the event on Facebook or follow the Twitter page.

Creating Fiction at the Friary

Fiction at the Friary is a free monthly literary event in the Friary Bar at the bottom of Shandon Street, organised by Madeleine D’Arcy and Danielle Mclaughlin.

The event is held on the last Sunday of every month from 3 to 6 pm. Each month, there is a reading from different authors. We were treated to a reading from Eimear Ryan, of Banshee literary magazine, in February. At the March event,  Danny Denton read from his upcoming novel The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow. This debut novel will be published in Jan 2018. 

My friend Aoife and I attended the event and it was very relaxed and friendly. We love to read (We’ve even started our own Facebook book club Reading in Between in the Wines) and we thought that this sounded like a great way to connect with other book lovers and writers.

Fiction at the Friary is open to anyone with an interest in writing or reading. There is a highly  optional writing exercise and an open mic. The open mic is highly entertaining and my favourite part of the day. During the open mic session in March, two people read what they’d written during the writing exercise, they were just brilliant! Cork is full of talented writers.

The writing exercise at the March event consisted of two writing Prompts, a beginning sentence and a picture. Here are mine!

Creating Fiction at the Friary

This was my attempt, who knows, it may become a full story with a middle and an end. 

Creating Fiction at the Friary

In an hour, Mother would be here and it would be time for the Great Burning.

But for now, Agatha sat on the wooden bench at the edge of the pond. Below the murky surface giant multi-coloured fish swam, while a line duck flapped away happily on the surface. The sight of the duck reminded her that she too was alone now.

Thoughts of the many times she’d sat in this exact spot with Myrtle flooded her mind. On sunny days, when Myrtle was too frail to do anything but sit and stare, they would come down the pond. Agatha would bundle Myrtle into her wheelchair and layer her in soft woolen blankets. They sat there in silence, needing no words. Myrtle would have a look of pure contentment on her thinning face, her skin almost translucent in the daylight and her too bright eyes dreamlike.

It had always been Agatha and Myrtle, as far back as Agatha’s mind could stretch. Such old-fashioned names for young twin girls. But it was only Agatha now; half a twin, half a person. She sniffed back snot,  fighting back tears but they escaped down her cheers and chin. Loneliness overcame her and she felt like there was a giant weight pressing on her chest.

Agatha focused on the fish, trying to calm down, trying to forget but wanting to remember. She NEEDED to remember. She Had to remember every little detail of Myrtle’s face. The real Myrtle, the Myrtle with chubby cheeks and an enthusiasm for every small thing in life, from poached eggs to wedding celebrations.

Tonight, they would celebrate Myrtle’s life and burn all of her material trappings – her wheelchair, her medication, her bedclothes and mounds if soft woolen blankets. A fire to remember Myrtle and what she had been before sickness had rattled the life out of her.

Tomorrow, they would burn Myrtle’s mortal trapping, her body.

But for now, Agatha sat and was soothed by the same oriental fish, swimming in the same pond, that Myrtle had loved.

I look forward to getting my middle sentence writing prompt at the April event and I can’t wait to hear Susan Lanigan speak!

Book Review: Embers by Kenneth W. Cain


Embers, A collection of Dark Fiction is a dark and twisted selection of smouldering tales.

Best way to read Embers: Curled up by a dying fire, sipping a glass of red or tea!

Recently, I’ve become a big fan of short story collections, so I jumped at the chance to review this ARC from Crystal Lake Publishing. Horror collections work especially well. A short pacy story can pack just as heavy a punch as a longer, more developed one. Gutted : Beautiful Horror Stories (also published by Crystal Lake Publishing) re-awakened my love of horrific short stories.

Embers reminded me of shows from my childhood like Tales of the Dark Side and The Twilight Zone (why I was allowed to watch this as a child, I still don’t know!) Each story is connected by a little thread to the next one. Kenneth created a web of weird, sometimes gory, sometimes psychological and always scary threads.

My favourite story is The Chamber, it made me feel clammy and uncomfortable for all the right/ wrong reasons, was the first one. In The Chamber, an old war veteran visits an old war site with his family and encounters horrors from the past and present. The imagery and sense of dread is excellently portrayed.

Of Both Worlds and Breathing Cave, two slightly connected stories freaked me out! The environment and the character’s emotions are so vivid, the reader feels like they are part of the story. The stories based largely in caves, reminded me of The Descent (an excellent horror movie from 2005).

To conclude, this well written selection is perfect for dipping into. I love discovering new horror fiction authors and I will be reading more of Kenneth’s work. To find out more about the author click here.

Click here to purchase the book.

The Tracks- A Creepypasta with thousands of hits

This evening, I’m sharing something different on the blog, “The Tracks”, a Creepypasta written by Banshee Irish Horror blog co-admin (and my little brother) James the Jester.

James’s Creepypasta “The Tracks” (link here) was picked up and narrated as part of a Youtube compilation, which has over 92K hits (and counting).  “The Tracks” is the first tale of the compilation. It is a post apocalyptic story of survival. With gory detail, the Creepypasta engages the listener from start to finish and has the reader rooting for the survivor and his unlikely companion.

For more deliciously creepy tales by James The Jester click here.


Creepypasta are online horror stories, memes or pictures, copied and pasted around the internet. Their main purpose is to scare the living crap out of people!

Creepypasta hit the mainstream media in 2014 with the so-called “Slenderman” stabbings.  Two twelve year old girls lured another girl into the woods and stabbed her. They claimed to do this to impress the fictional Slenderman, a Creepypasta character. Truth is more horrific than fiction in this case.


The Final Reconciliation by Todd Keisling: Novella Review


The Final Reconciliation is a hard metal symphony of terror.

Final reconciliationWritten in an album format, The Final Reconciliation is a tale of the occult, a gypsy who is more than she seems and a hard metal band striving to hit the big time. When The Yellow Kings have the performance of their lives, there is only one survivor.

I was delighted to receive an ARC of The Final Reconciliation from Crystal Lake Publishing (link to the Crystal Lake website). This is the third book I’ve read from Crystal Lake Publishing, including Gutted Beautiful Horror Stories.  Gutted was the most memorable, brutal and beautiful collection of stories from last year.

The pace and length of this novella were perfect for the tale, narrated 30 years after the tragic concert, by a journalist interviewing aging rock star Aidan Cross. The Yellow Kings are struggling to make their dreams come true when Camilla, a seductive gypsy character appears on the scene. Her introduction to them is the start of their nightmarish fate.

Friendship is key to the story, as were the changing dynamics of the group. The scenes where the band are pouring their souls into their final album are described in gory and grotesque detail.

There is dark beautiful imagery during the visions of Carcosa. The ending was both disturbing and mesmerising.  The album reaches its’ crescendo with a horrifying climax.

The Final Reconciliation is a horrifying tale, which will appeal to lovers of heavy metal and horror alike.

 Here are the links to purchase this book:

Amazon: http://getbook.at/TheYellowKing