District of WondersTales To TerrifyStarShipSofaFar Fetched Fables

Tales to Terrify No 90 Matt Cowan and Horror 101

September 27, 2013 by Tony C. Smith

Coming up:

Good evening 0:00:40

Horror 101 – Apartments and Flats in Horror 0:04:46

Fiction: “The Collective of Blaque Reach” by Matt Cowan, narrated by Drake Vaughn 0:40:53

Pleasant dreams… 1:09:41


Here are the links to the books cited in Horror 101:

The Sentinel,” by Jeffery Konvitz:

The Brownstone,” by Ken Eulo:

Rosemary’s Baby,” by Ira Levin:

Horror 101 recommendations:
Audry’s Door,” by Sarah Langan:

No Doors, No Windows,” by Joe Schrieber:


  1. Horror 101 is great as always! Kevin Lucia’s little excursions are very informative. It’s pity that one can’t read all these books.

    The story, however, had suffered a lot. It’s very hard to follow the narrator, his voice is too monotone, and the part with echo is totally unintelligible 🙁

    • Thanks for the comment, Saneshka. While I absolutely agree about Horror 101 edging my iPhone ever closer to full-out glut, I don’t find Drake Vaughn’s voice monotonic. There is some a technical problem with the recording, however, that gives it a hollow, echoey edge. That condition is exacerbated, of course, when the echo effect is added. Ah well.

  2. Saneshka – Thanks! And believe, even with all the books I’ve read, I’ve had to draw the line about where to stop, exactly. That’s why I started the “Recommends” portion, because there’s just no way I can cover all the books I’ve read…

  3. Thanks for covering Rosemary’s Baby in the apartment series! It does my heart good to see it in a section on setting instead of the usual focus on satanism.

  4. Another fine Horror 101. I appreciated the focus on apartments.. Thanks for the reminder of _Sentinel_.
    Might I recommend a fine John Cheever short story, “The Enormous Radio” (1947)? It takes place in an apartment building, and is all about that building, thanks to a creepy bit of technology. I think it’s in Joyce Carol Oates’ excellent _American Gothic Tales_ collection. Sorry to injure the Nook’s book budget.

    Matt Cowan’s story was especially effective for me, as I read it while working on my land. Out here in the country. With a little house.
    However, I agree about the echo effect. It was hard to make out some passages.

    • Thanks for the kind words about my story, Bryan. I was attempting to capture my love of the outdoors (and horror) with “The Collective of Blaque Reach” so listening in that environment seems the idea place for it. Thanks again!

  5. I’ve only read a couple of Barron’s stories so far, but I agree he’s very good. I have a collection of his on my To Be Read Pile.
    My favorite writer in any era is Ramsey Campbell. He’s still producing great work. He’s had some stories with rural settings, “Just Waiting” and “The Ferries” to name a few.
    Joe Landale’s a tremendous modern writer who’s had some, I particularly loved his tale from the anthology HOUSE OF FEAR titled “What Happened to Me”.
    Mark Justice is another favorite. His story “The Autumn Man” is terrific.
    Raven Bower sticks to novels, but her Bailey Kane series are good and the first couple are set in rural Michigan.

    I read a lot of older writers and I’ll always think of Algernon Blackwood as the king of nature-horror. “The Willows”, “The Windego” , “The Wood of the Dead”, “The Transfer” and “The Valley of the Beasts” come to mind.

    Also, Manly Wade Wellman’s John the Balladeer stories were usually rural-based.

    Anyway, those are some of my favorites. Is there Laird Barron story that you would recommend as a favorite of yours?

    • Matt, many thanks for this generous reply! Amazon thanks you as well.

      Laird Barron: all of his short stories, simply put. Start with his first collection, _The Imago Sequence_. The clear majority take place in Pacific Northwest country, besides that hilarious/brilliant Thomas Ligoti parody/tribute tale. He has a fine way of depicting the wild, working in dread.

      Manly Wade Wellman: I’ve been rereading him his year, and enjoying the tales immensely.

      Ramsey Campbell: I didn’t know he wrote outside the urban/suburban realm. Thanks.
      Joe Landale: agreed, especially for southern ales.

      “I’ll always think of Algernon Blackwood as the king of nature-horror” – well said. “The Man Whom the Trees Loved” does a powerful job of opposing nature and civilization.

      I don’t know Mark Justice or Raven Bower, but will check them out.

      Other writers… fearing the countryside is probably one of our oldest story tropes. You can see it in fairy tales, for instance, and in many myths. The first great America horror writer, Charles Brockden Brown, set several books in the 18th-century outdoors, like _Wieland_.
      Lovecraft picked up on this for some stories, like “Colour Out of Space”.
      I’ll need to nose around for more.

  6. Good point about fearing the countryside being an old fear. It’s probably something deeply engrained in us, passed down from generation-to-generation since the dawn of time.

    The majority of Ramsey’s stories are urban/suburban, but he’s great when he moves away from there as well.

    Charles Brocken Brown is one I’ll have to check out. I’m unfamiliar with him, but he definitely sounds interesting.

    Thanks for the suggestions, Bryan.

  7. Ooh, doppelgängers! The story I’m working on now is centered around one of those (the Fetch version). When done well, I find those tales particularly chilling. I haven’t come across many great ones, however. “The Ghost at the Blue Dragon” by William J. Wintle was one I rather enjoyed.

  8. Excellent. Good luck with the story. See, I did my dissertation on doppelgangers, so I get a bit obsessive about the subject.
    And thanks for the Wintle pointer.

  9. You did a dissertation on them. That’s awesome! I have to ask, any suggestions for a good, creepy doppelgänger story? One that’s a favorite?

  10. Oh, many favorites. Poe’s “William Wilson”, which gets better every time I read it.
    Hoag’s very, very strange _Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner_. And Dostoevsky’s _The Double_.
    More recently, Harlan Ellison’s “Shatterday.”

  11. Awesome! Thanks for the suggestions!

  12. VIP cheap Sabres jerseys from china

Links to this post
  1. […] One of the podcasts I listen to every week is Tales To Terrify. It’s free to download, and gets you at least one great horror audio story per episode. I’ve been a fan since the beginning and was honored to have a story of my own, “The Collective of Blaque Reach”, read on episode #90. “The Collective of Blaque Reach” – http://talestoterrify.com/tales-to-terrify-no-90-matt-cowan-and-horror-101/ […]