Dead Children’s Playground

Here’s a story. Believe of it what you will. First, some background:

My family and I traveled to Huntsville, Alabama on Saturday, February 25. We live relatively close and were bored, wanting something to do. Maple Hill Cemetery is a very old and very large resting place for everyone from several Alabama governors to the nameless newborn. When the Spanish Flu pandemic came through, many of the children who died were buried in this cemetery. Also, there’s a playground.

Sure, the park was creepy: it was in a cemetery and we worked ourselves up with ghost stories during the ride there. The ‘Dead Children at Play’ graffiti didn’t help, either. The boys swung for a little bit, played some, and that was that. We stood in the park for a while and waited.

That’s when my youngest son complained that he felt ‘pressure around his ankles’ (whatever that meant). A small, red welt had formed on his right ankle. After he said that, my wife leaned in and whispered, “I didn’t want to say anything to spook the kids, but I feel the same heaviness on my feet too.” Fine, he hit his leg while playing and both my wife and son are crazy. I’m forever a skeptic, and, so far, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

I was playing on my phone while my wife did her thing, and the boys explored. I heard children playing; it sounded like they were off in the distance. It didn’t seem to be supernatural, and I thought nothing of it. Although, hindsight told me that there were no other children around, there were very few people in the huge cemetery, and there was a funeral about to begin far from where we were. Whatever it was, there weren’t children around, especially loud children playing. I continued to ignore the sounds until my wife jogged over to me with a not quite worried but definitely concerned look on her face.

“You’re playing a video, aren’t you?” she had asked me. “Tell me that sound is coming from your phone.”

I tell her it wasn’t, and I confirmed I heard the kids too. She explained that she heard the sounds coming from the swing set, and she heard the squeak of rusty swing chains too. My oldest son heard this and lost his mind and wouldn’t shut up. The sounds disappeared, we couldn’t investigate further, and that was that.

I have never had a supernatural experience or encounter with ghosts before, and I’m not sure what to make of this. I can’t explain it away. There was no spooky feeling or sense of dread. Sure, we were primed for a paranormal experience, and it was fun, but that was it.

Anyway, if you’re ever in Huntsville, AL, stop by the Dead Children’s Playground and hang out for a bit. Those children are probably lonely and need a companion.

Stripper Noir book review

Mobsters, crooked cops, dead strippers, and an ornery cat.

Armand Rosamilia and Erin Louis make you feel dirty with their close look at the seedy underbelly of Las Vegas.

This was a story I didn’t want to put down. Grit and glitter littered the pages, and the garbage kept getting piled higher as every single character was in over their heads.

Stripper Noir was my first read from both of the authors, and I am excited to explore more from them. They did a fantastic job at digging into the heads of the characters and showing us what made them tick.

The sense of place in this novel was superb. It didn’t matter if the action was taking place in a diner, VIP room at a strip club, seedy hotel, or apartment, the atmosphere was spot on. The inner workings of a strip club came to life with Louis’s contributions. She poured out her lived experience onto the page (well, hopefully not everything in this book was a lived experience!), and it shows in the level of detail.

If you’re looking for a dark and disturbing mystery, look no further.

Buy Stripper Noir here.

Books that read like B-horror movies

I love all horror, but my favorite ‘subgenre’ would be the above. Yes, I know it isn’t a real subgenre of horror (yet), but the books that read like B-horror movies are what I can’t get enough of. They don’t take themselves too seriously, they’re fun, and there is always gratuitous amounts of violence and sex. Throw in some comedy, and the book is perfect.

The image above is a link to a new book review site called From there you can find a short review of each of the five books above by me and a link to my first novel The Caverns. Please check it out and support some great authors!

If you managed to stumble across my website, I’m sure you are well aware of the other authors above, but below are the links to the websites for those who have one:

Graham Masterton

Brian Keene

Ronald Malfi

My next novel is out now!

Four Keys is my latest horror novel. Part cosmic horror, part family mystery with a dash of folk horror and urban decay, this story follows the unlucky employees at One Stop Finance, a check-cashing company and payday lender in the seedier part of New Chatham, Tennessee. Fans of Bentley Little and Brian Keene should also enjoy this novel (as well as my other stuff!) Please, check it out and let me know what you think.

Debut novel coming soon!

Exciting news, everyone. Expect to see my first novel coming out later this summer. The Caverns is being published by Spearfinger Press, and I am ready to finally hold this thing in my hands. Click over to the ‘Books’ link at the top of the page for more info and make sure to follow me on Twitter @olencrowe for more information.