The Creepfest has taken over! Not even those quaint Christmas villages are safe from the devious minds of your favorite horror, dark and speculative fiction authors.
Bloody Bookish asked author Ruth Barrett how she would create the ultimate Creepfest-inspired Christmas village. Here is her hellish take on this holiday tradition.
You arrive in a black sleigh pulled by a team of inky headless horses. Their hooves make no sound as they crash through the snow, and the traditional jingling bells are silent as the grave. There is no driver: the horses know exactly what their route is to be. At the center of the village square, they stop. The door of the sleigh swings open and a voice from nowhere and everywhere at once intones: “Get out!” The second your feet touch the ground, the horses and sleigh vanish.
You peer about your hellish holiday surroundings. All in all, it’s dark and quiet and decidedly non-festive. The lone main street is lined with abandoned clapboard houses. No lights blaze from within, and there is no smoke coming from any of the chimneys. It’s far too cold to stand there freezing to death (perish the thought) so you clutch your bags closely to your chest and start walking toward the sole brick home at the end of the street. You have no choice.
Your feet crunch loudly on the frozen ground. Despite the lack of any signs of life, you feel under close scrutiny as you make your way past the silent houses.
As you reach the iron gates of the brick Victorian house, the gables suddenly glow with thousands of red Christmas lights. An ancient pine in the yard flashes on in concert– topped with a grinning red demon in lieu of an angel. The red reflects from the knee deep snow so that you seem to be wading through a thick sea of blood.
You cautiously arrive on the wooden steps and stomp your feet. The sound seems to cue music from within doors, and hollow children’s voices ring high and clear:
Silent night… holy night…
The door swings open and a backlit black figure towers over you. Two red pinpoints of light within its hood gaze down at you expectantly.
Swallowing your fear, you lift your precious offering of bags and force a game smile.
“I hope the kids like egg rolls- I brought extra!”
Merry Christmas from Ruth!
About the Author
In 1605, Sir Walter Calverley’s murderous rampage leaves a family shattered. The killer suffers a torturous execution… but is it truly the end? A noble Yorkshire house stands forever tarnished by blood and possessed by anguished spirits.
Some crimes are so horrific, they reverberate through the centuries.
As an unhappy modern couple vacation in the guesthouse at Calverley Old Hall, playwright Clara, and her scholar husband, Scott, unwittingly awaken a dark history. Clara is trapped and forced back in time to bear witness to a family’s bloody saga. Overtaken by the malevolent echoes, Scott is pushed over the edge from possessive husband to wholly possessed…
Inspired by a true-life drama in Shakespeare’s day, this is itself a play within a play: a supernatural thriller with a historical core.
Only one player can survive.