Folklore, Legends, and Myth


Scary_Stories_to_Tell_in_the_Dark_cover

Now that the media stories behind the brutal stabbings in Wisconsin have somewhat quieted, I wanted to spend some time discussing legend, urban legend, folklore and myth since we have heard these words very often these past few weeks. http://time.com/2817725/slender-man-killing/

 

However, first and foremost, as a publisher of horror we want to say that we do not condone any real-world violence. Horror fiction is just that, it is fiction. Our goal with Burial Day Books has always been to highlight new and emerging horror authors, and ultimately to celebrate good writing. Our thoughts are with the victim and her family.

In the news stories, many of you read mention of myth, folklore, urban legends, and creepypasta. We wanted to go through and discuss some of those terms.

Myth
A myth is a story based on a tradition. Some do have factual origins, but some are completely fictional. These stories tend to explain experiences of man and nature. Their endings are not always optimistic. Gods, fantastic creatures and super humans are often featured in mythology. Popular myths include stories of the gods and goddesses of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece.

Folklore
Folklore, or folk tales consist of legends, stories, and tales that are written, spoken, or communicated through music that are tied to a specific culture or group of people. Artifacts can also be connected to folklore.

Legend
A legend is a popular story often thought to be based on historic events. The Brother’s Grimm defined legend as a story that has historical origins. Examples of legends include the story of the Fountain of Youth, the story of Atlantis, Robin Hood, and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Urban Legend
Urban legends are modern legends. Despite its name, an urban legend does not necessarily mean it originated in an urban setting. The name ‘Urban’ associates it with taking place in contemporary settings and for this many folklorists prefer the term “contemporary legend.” Examples of urban legends include Bloody Mary, The Hook, the Vanishing Hitchhiker, or even the story of cryptid Chupacabra.

Internet Urban Legends
A phenomena on the rise is that of urban legends circulating on the internet. Internet urban legends spread through posts on various blogs, chat rooms and other social media settings. Creepypasta is part of this grouping. The word creepypasta is a mutation of the words “copy paste.” “Copy pasta” is an internet term for a block of text that is copy and pasted from website to website. Creepypasta are horror stories that are posted on multiple sites. Creepypasta can include images, audio and video. Creepypasta, is a literary sub-genre of horror that originated on the internet.

Many of us are familiar with the stock of characters that appear in myth, folklore, legend, and urban legend. However, we are not all clear on the emerging cast popular in internet legends and creepypasta tales. In our next post, we will explore some of these individuals and their origin story.

 

-Gravedigger



Happy birthday to the fantastic, Mr. Vincent Price!


Vincent Price

When many of us think of Vincent Price our memories turn to the brilliant, and often, diabolical characters he played in film, on the stage and on television.

 

Below is a list compiled on Wikipedia of Price’s films. Which ones have you seen? Which ones are your favorites? If it’s been a while since you have seen one of his movies then it’s time to spend some time with him, alone, in the dark.

Year Film
1938 Service de Luxe
1939 The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
Tower of London
1940 The Invisible Man Returns
Green Hell
The House of the Seven Gables
Brigham Young
1941 Hudson’s Bay
1943 The Song of Bernadette
1944 The Eve of St. Mark
Wilson
Laura
The Keys of the Kingdom
1945 A Royal Scandal
Leave Her to Heaven
1946 Shock
Dragonwyck
1947 The Web
The Long Night
Moss Rose
1948 Up in Central Park
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Rogues’ Regiment
The Three Musketeers
1949 The Bribe
Bagdad
1950 The Baron of Arizona
Champagne for Caesar
Curtain Call at Cactus Creek
1951 Adventures of Captain Fabian
His Kind of Woman
Pictura: An Adventure in Art
Notes on the Port of St. Francis
1952 The Las Vegas Story
1953 House of Wax
1954 Dangerous Mission
Born in Freedom: The Story of Colonel Drake
Casanova’s Big Night
The Mad Magician
1955 Son of Sinbad
1956 Serenade
While the City Sleeps
The Vagabond King
The Ten Commandments
1957 The Story of Mankind
1958 The Fly
1959 House on Haunted Hill
The Big Circus
The Tingler
Return of the Fly
The Bat
1960 House of Usher
1961 Master of the World
Pit and the Pendulum
Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile
Rage of the Buccaneers


Happy birthday to the fantastic, Mr. Vincent Price!


Vincent Price

When many of us think of Vincent Price our memories turn to the brilliant, and often, diabolical characters he played in film, on the stage and on television.

 

Below is a list compiled on Wikipedia of Price’s films. Which ones have you seen? Which ones are your favorites? If it’s been a while since you have seen one of his movies then it’s time to spend some time with him, alone, in the dark.

Year Film
1938 Service de Luxe
1939 The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
Tower of London
1940 The Invisible Man Returns
Green Hell
The House of the Seven Gables
Brigham Young
1941 Hudson’s Bay
1943 The Song of Bernadette
1944 The Eve of St. Mark
Wilson
Laura
The Keys of the Kingdom
1945 A Royal Scandal
Leave Her to Heaven
1946 Shock
Dragonwyck
1947 The Web
The Long Night
Moss Rose
1948 Up in Central Park
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Rogues’ Regiment
The Three Musketeers
1949 The Bribe
Bagdad
1950 The Baron of Arizona
Champagne for Caesar
Curtain Call at Cactus Creek
1951 Adventures of Captain Fabian
His Kind of Woman
Pictura: An Adventure in Art
Notes on the Port of St. Francis
1952 The Las Vegas Story
1953 House of Wax
1954 Dangerous Mission
Born in Freedom: The Story of Colonel Drake
Casanova’s Big Night
The Mad Magician
1955 Son of Sinbad
1956 Serenade
While the City Sleeps
The Vagabond King
The Ten Commandments
1957 The Story of Mankind
1958 The Fly
1959 House on Haunted Hill
The Big Circus
The Tingler
Return of the Fly
The Bat
1960 House of Usher
1961 Master of the World
Pit and the Pendulum
Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile
Rage of the Buccaneers



Ghost Ships


Mary_Celeste_engraving

I’m scared of large bodies of water. What terribly scares me about large bodies of water is being near them, at night. There’s something quite frightening about being around a lake or beach in the late hours. The sounds of the lapping waves almost gives the hint of something approaching from somewhere beyond. You never know what’s going to sail in from the sea.

About two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. There are five major interconnected oceans; the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic. Beneath the ocean there’s a world still very much undiscovered by scientists. The ocean is a massive watery world, and many ships have fallen victim to those waves. I have read too many tales of ghostly ships moving along those great bodies of water, and resting beneath the surface awaiting the right time to reappear.

I prefer to stay on land in order to avoid ever having to encounter a ghost ship’s crew.  Following is a list of several ghost ships in folklore, legend, and myth.

 

The Flying Dutchman

Perhaps one of the most famous ghost ships, The Flying Dutchman is a ghost ship that is thought to never make port as it’s cursed. In 1795, writer George Barrington made the first reference of a ship lost off the Cape of Good Hope. Sailor reports surfaced of a ship aggressively approaching them in the sea, and many believed it to be The Flying Dutchman. In 1803, another reference to the infamous ship appeared stating that those on board had been guilty of some horrific crime, and were thus cursed to sail the seas forever.

Mary Celeste
On December 5th, 1872 the Mary Celeste was discovered in the Atlantic. A single life boat was missing as well as the crew of seven men. At the time of the discovery of the empty ship, the weather in the area was pleasant, there was enough food on board to last the crew months, and all personal belongings, valuables, and the cargo were intact and in place. The crew were never seen or heard from again.

Ourang Medan

There are no official records for this supposed ghost ship. Its story first appeared in a Dutch-Indonesian newspaper in 1948. Legend says that the Ourang Medan was a shipwreck and its entire crew were killed. American vessel Silver Star near the Strait of Malacca said they picked up a signal from the Ourang Medan. Morse code messages received included “S.O.S. Ourang Medan,” followed by “Probably whole of crew dead.” The Silver Star claimed to have located the Ourang Medan, but when they went on board they found the ship full of corpses. A fire is said to have broken out in the cargo hold. The rescuers fled and the ship continued to burn, eventually sinking.

Caleuche

People claim to see the Caleuche sail around Chiloe, a small island off the coast of Chile. People claiming to have seen the ship describe it as a massive bright white structure covered in brilliant light. People have also claimed to have seen the ship navigating under water. Chilean mythology believes that the ship carries the souls of the drowned. The crew are dead fishermen and sailors who were kidnapped and killed at sea.

 

We hope you all never have to encounter a ghostly ship. If you do, just decline any invitation to board.

 

-Gravedigger



Ghost Ships


Mary_Celeste_engraving

I’m scared of large bodies of water. What terribly scares me about large bodies of water is being near them, at night. There’s something quite frightening about being around a lake or beach in the late hours. The sounds of the lapping waves almost gives the hint of something approaching from somewhere beyond. You never know what’s going to sail in from the sea.

About two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. There are five major interconnected oceans; the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic. Beneath the ocean there’s a world still very much undiscovered by scientists. The ocean is a massive watery world, and many ships have fallen victim to those waves. I have read too many tales of ghostly ships moving along those great bodies of water, and resting beneath the surface awaiting the right time to reappear.

I prefer to stay on land in order to avoid ever having to encounter a ghost ship’s crew.  Following is a list of several ghost ships in folklore, legend, and myth.

 

The Flying Dutchman

Perhaps one of the most famous ghost ships, The Flying Dutchman is a ghost ship that is thought to never make port as it’s cursed. In 1795, writer George Barrington made the first reference of a ship lost off the Cape of Good Hope. Sailor reports surfaced of a ship aggressively approaching them in the sea, and many believed it to be The Flying Dutchman. In 1803, another reference to the infamous ship appeared stating that those on board had been guilty of some horrific crime, and were thus cursed to sail the seas forever.

Mary Celeste
On December 5th, 1872 the Mary Celeste was discovered in the Atlantic. A single life boat was missing as well as the crew of seven men. At the time of the discovery of the empty ship, the weather in the area was pleasant, there was enough food on board to last the crew months, and all personal belongings, valuables, and the cargo were intact and in place. The crew were never seen or heard from again.

Ourang Medan

There are no official records for this supposed ghost ship. Its story first appeared in a Dutch-Indonesian newspaper in 1948. Legend says that the Ourang Medan was a shipwreck and its entire crew were killed. American vessel Silver Star near the Strait of Malacca said they picked up a signal from the Ourang Medan. Morse code messages received included “S.O.S. Ourang Medan,” followed by “Probably whole of crew dead.” The Silver Star claimed to have located the Ourang Medan, but when they went on board they found the ship full of corpses. A fire is said to have broken out in the cargo hold. The rescuers fled and the ship continued to burn, eventually sinking.

Caleuche

People claim to see the Caleuche sail around Chiloe, a small island off the coast of Chile. People claiming to have seen the ship describe it as a massive bright white structure covered in brilliant light. People have also claimed to have seen the ship navigating under water. Chilean mythology believes that the ship carries the souls of the drowned. The crew are dead fishermen and sailors who were kidnapped and killed at sea.

 

We hope you all never have to encounter a ghostly ship. If you do, just decline any invitation to board.

 

-Gravedigger



Happy Birthday William Shakespeare!


Shakespeare

It is believed that on April 23rd, 2014 legendary playwright William Shakespeare turned 450 years old. Raise a glass of ale to dear ol’ Bard and give thanks to the father of Viola, Beatrice, Lady Macbeth, Othello, Prospero, Hamlet and hundreds more!

Shakespeare’s baptism record state he was born April 26, 1564. In those days, it was typical to have official birth records drafted on the date of the baptism, usually three days after the actual birth. Still, many experts disagree as to the actual date of Shakespeare’s birth.

Regardless as to his actual birth date, Shakespeare is the most famous English playwright in history. The complete works of Shakespeare are available for free here at Project Gutenberg. Please enjoy his works and the brilliance of this famous playwright and poet http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/100.

Shakespeare rests in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in his hometown of Stratford Warwickshire. A supposed curse is written on his grave, supposedly written by him. It reads:

Good friend for Jesus sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.

It’s believed this curse was written to strike fear into the hearts of grave robbers, who were common at that time, and also anyone seeking to move Shakespeare’s remains.

 

-Gravedigger

 



Happy Birthday William Shakespeare!


Shakespeare

It is believed that on April 23rd, 2014 legendary playwright William Shakespeare turned 450 years old. Raise a glass of ale to dear ol’ Bard and give thanks to the father of Viola, Beatrice, Lady Macbeth, Othello, Prospero, Hamlet and hundreds more!

Shakespeare’s baptism record state he was born April 26, 1564. In those days, it was typical to have official birth records drafted on the date of the baptism, usually three days after the actual birth. Still, many experts disagree as to the actual date of Shakespeare’s birth.

Regardless as to his actual birth date, Shakespeare is the most famous English playwright in history. The complete works of Shakespeare are available for free here at Project Gutenberg. Please enjoy his works and the brilliance of this famous playwright and poet http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/100.

Shakespeare rests in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in his hometown of Stratford Warwickshire. A supposed curse is written on his grave, supposedly written by him. It reads:

Good friend for Jesus sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.

It’s believed this curse was written to strike fear into the hearts of grave robbers, who were common at that time, and also anyone seeking to move Shakespeare’s remains.

 

-Gravedigger

 



Dust Bunnies and Agent Blues


 

Dusty_Book1_Pg1__SM

I wrote a children’s book. It’s called DUSTY BUNNY.

 

My friend Mariana Martins approached me about this idea last summer. She is an illustrator with a Bachelor of Arts in film, video and traditional animation from Columbia College. She has also served as lead designer for several ebooks and applications for Chungaboo.

 

I thought her idea was adorable. Given that I’m a mystery and horror writer I wasn’t sure how to approach a children’s book. She gave me the concept and I just wrote. She lives in Texas and I live in Chicago. I’m used to working with writers and illustrators electronically, but this was really a great working relationship.

 

After a few idea sessions the text was ready for Mariana’s creative portion. She created these lovely illustrations (see example below) with our sweet and mischievous bunny and my story had life! Once we were all done it was time to begin pitching the book.

 

This is my first time pitching a children’s book. I’ve pitched agents and publishers before for my novel, and it eventually landed with a fantastic independent press whose mission and values are in line with mine.

 

Several pitches have gone out to agents for DUSTY BUNNY and now it’s just time to wait, very patiently. I’m excited, nervous and sad. I’m excited because this is new territory for me – pitching a children’s book. I’m nervous because I’m a worrier and I’ve yet to land an agent. I am really disappointed that so many people I have seen over the years have been hired on by agents, but not me. I know I’m bright. I have the educational background to prove it. I know I can write. I’m an award winning author now, and so, I just don’t know what it is about me that has yet to land me an agent. I’m sad because I’ll be sad if we don’t get this book picked up by someone [insert sad face].

 

We’ll see. It’s all in the hands of the universe. I hope my children’s book gets picked up by someone. Heck, I hope that I find an agent one day. I’ve been fighting for the legitimacy that I feel an agent will present to my career. I’ve also worked very hard, and am still working very hard at writing. This is what I want to do. I wouldn’t be here writing if this is not where I wanted to be.

 

Dear agent, wherever you are, I hope you find me and I find you.

 

-Cina



Mystery Writers of America – Noir at the Bar


sam-spade-bogart-humphrey-maltese-falcon-the_3

Last Sunday I attended my first full Mystery Writers of America meeting. I have kind of dropped in to meetings before but have had to leave quickly. This past Sunday felt like the first day of high school. I walked into a room, completely self-conscious about my hair, my clothes, and wondering if my breath smelled pleasant. I said’ Hello’ to a few people who I have worked with in applying and submitting a blog post.

 

The writers were on break from the first half of the reading series. So, people were standing around, drinking beer, cocktails, eating French Fries and other awesomely looking bar food. I took a seat in a booth in the back, way back of the room, and hid.

 

The meeting was again called to order and the host proceeded to read an author’s bio and introduction. The first new reader came to the stage and read from her novel. While I was listening to the reader I was wondering if I was going to be called to read. I had emailed MWA a few weeks prior to state my interest in reading, but I wondered if they had forgotten. No one had asked me for a bio, so maybe I wasn’t going to read. I started to have anxiety. I have not read in public since before my kiddo was born, that was almost a year ago.

 

Another reader was called up. Then another. All of the readers had a novel, or novels! They were all splendid. Then I heard “Cynthia Pelayo.” Oh dear. They did have my bio. I was going to read in front of these wonderful writers. My look of terror was evident when the host asked if I was going to read. I nodded and dug my hand into my messenger bag and took out my computer. “What am I going to read?” I thought. I had an idea what I was going to read. I had even practiced, but it was a new piece and it wasn’t yet published and I felt…embarrassed.

 

I got to the stage and briefly introduced myself and explained how my attendance at meetings was lacking since I was a new mom and kiddo needed my time. I looked at the title of my story and thought “Should I really read this? This is a really graphic story.” It is titled “Lake” and I proceeded to read three pages of my short story. I found myself censoring language as I went along, afraid of the graphic content in this urban myth serial killer tale. When I finished I sort of just scampered off the stage, but there was clapping! Very loud clapping and my hand was not just grabbed once, but four times by other authors in the crowd saying “That was wonderful.” My heart was racing and I was so happy and I thought “I’m doing this. I’m a writer.” I stayed for the remainder of the reading, and afterward shared stories with a police sergeant who is also an MWA member and other writers. One of the writers, told me to send him my novel, short story collection and to keep writing what I had just read.

 

The MWA meeting was such a great injection of energy. I needed that, needed a reminder that I am good. I am a writer.

 

 

Best,

-Cina



NaPoWriMo 2014!


So, I nearly forgot that it’s one of my favorite months, April, and that means it’s NaPoWriMo! In addition to writing one story a week this year I am also participating in NaPoWriMo. Last year’s NaPoWriMo is currently being drafted for a poetry collection, and that along with the work I produce this month will be the culmination of that collection. Therefore, I’m not particularly sure I can post the poems again this year, which I’m a bit sad about.

 

Nonetheless, I will post the titles of each poem that I produce each day. I think that may be a good measure. I also will start updating you on how my story a month process is going, which it’s going pretty well. I have several short stories I have developed and I’m looking forward to writing and editing more.

 

Regarding my reading, I’ve been doing a lot of research for my poetry collection and I have several books coming in today that I’m very much looking forward to pouring through. I’m now reading The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. Last week, I finished reading the detective classic by Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon and I’ve been thinking of Sam Spade since! In keeping with the detective theme, I will be reading with the Mystery Writers Association of America this Saturday in my lovely city of Chicago. We’re going to read detective and mystery stories at a local pub and I’m looking forward to spending time with some wonderful writers.

 

In other news, Burial Day Books will be participating in the Pop-Up Book Fair at the Hemingway Museum in Oak Park this Saturday. This spring is already turning out to be very busy, but busy is good. http://www.chicagoartistsresource.org/events/pop-book-fair-hemingway-museum-oak-park

 

-Cina