An Excerpt From HORRORS & ABOMINATIONS: 24 Tales Of The Cthulhu Mythos


HORRORS & ABOMINATIONS: 24 Tales Of The Cthulhu Mythos by Mark McLaughlin & Michael Sheehan, Jr.

Below is an excerpt from “The Thing From Beyond The Living Door” – one of the many tales in this paperback collection:

I asked Caspar about the scuttering sound and was surprised to learn that he’d actually witnessed its source. He hadn’t mentioned it to anyone because the whole incident was so outlandish, he’d figured that no one would believe him.
Shortly after midnight on a Saturday, he’d happened to be awake, watching a late movie with the sound turned down so it wouldn’t disturb other tenants. It was then that he heard the sound in the hallway. It only took a moment to cross to the door and open it.

He looked down the hall and there he saw it – a nimble, hideous thing, at least five feet long and three feet high. Caspar said that it looked like a starfish with seven legs, covered with black-velvet fur. It moved by running on the tips of its limbs, with its body held up in the air. On the top of its body, at the root of each limb, were flexible stalks that ended in glistening, spiderlike eyes, as red as rubies. He added that he could not see a mouth anywhere on the creature’s bizarre body.

The thing did not seem to notice him as it scuttered quickly down the hall. Caspar went back inside his room, but afterward, he wished he had followed to see where it was going.

“I have no idea what a thing like that could be,” I said. “It sounds like a weird cross between a land mammal and a sea-creature, but such a thing just doesn’t exist.”

“I know. It’s just impossible! I wouldn’t have told you about it if you hadn’t asked me about that noise.” Caspar shrugged. “I suppose it was all a dream. But still, can you smell things in a dream? That thing was close enough for me to smell it. Like ammonia.”

“Sometimes I smell ammonia in the halls,” I said. “I just assume Mrs. Veng has been doing some scrubbing.” I thought for a moment. “Can you show me where it might have gone after it ran off?”


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For Movie Lovers: The Top 10 Accidental Comedies Of All Time


Every now and then, a movie comes along that was clearly meant to be a riveting, thrilling drama – but somewhere along the line, its creators went overboard and the movie inadvertently shifted into a comedic gear. That’s what I call an accidental comedy – a type of movie I dearly love. Below, I’ve listed what I consider to be the top 10 accidental comedies of all time. You can find most of these films on YouTube and/or DVD collections of vintage movies.

I’ve arranged these movies chronologically, since I’d be hard-pressed to arrange them by their quality. With movies like these, how can you tell which one is best … or worst? An early warning: Some of the write-ups below contain spoilers, so if there’s a movie in the list you haven’t seen yet and you want to be surprised, you might want to skip reading that particular paragraph.

MANIAC (1934) – When you think of cheap, sleazy horror movies, you don’t usually think of films from the 1930s. In that regard, watching MANIAC will expand your knowledge of movie history exponentially. Basically, this is a convoluted retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat,” featuring a mad doctor who wants to raise the dead. The doctor’s assistant kills him and then begins to impersonate him with zesty aplomb (I told you it was convoluted!). The assistant then shoots up a patient named Buckley with the wrong drug and before you know it, poor addled Buckley is dragging a half-naked corpse around the countryside. Somehow cats get roped into the action and, per the “Black Cat” plotline, a dead body in the wall makes a cameo appearance. The feverish wall-to-wall over-acting makes this an inadvertent comedy classic.

THE GIANT CLAW (1957) – At last there will come a day when the Earth has to face its greatest opponent: a giant space-bird that apparently lives to destroy. The whole world quakes with fear as this fine feathered extraterrestrial ruins lives, vehicles and real estate at a dizzying rate. We are told it is as big as a battleship, and that it came from an antimatter galaxy. It all sounds perfectly horrifying, but alas, cries of terror give way to gales of laughter when we see that the creature looks like a demented, googly-eyed, turkey-vulture piñata. Apparently, that was the best that the producer could afford…. But hey, maybe aliens DO look like demented, googly-eyed, turkey-vulture piñatas. Who can say?

BLACK SUNDAY (1960) – Many people consider BLACK SUNDAY to be a horror classic … and it is! It is an elegant production that tells a brooding tale of death, black magic, and revenge. Actress Barbara Steele is entrancing as the lovely, evil witch, Asa Vajda. I’m sure there are plenty of people who watch this movie without laughing. But, I’ve seen it many times, and the more you watch it, the more you realize that there’s waaay too much talky, repetitive exposition. Authoritative characters explain every little thing down to the last detail, and that evil witch should does like to gloat, monologuing with more gusto than the villain in any James Bond movie. This is one movie where the inadvertent humor grows on you with repeated viewings.

THE GREEN SLIME (1968) – This energetic American/Japanese production has one of the most exuberant theme songs you’ll ever hear, and certainly will never forget! The lyrics include these thought-provoking questions: “Is it something in your head? Will you believe it when you’re dead?” Astronauts are sent into space to destroy a huge asteroid heading toward Earth, and some green ooze from the surface of the asteroid smears on their outfits. After they blow up the asteroid, they return to their space station. The asteroid ooze soon grows into green, one-eyed monsters with tentacles, and while they try their best to be frightening, the aliens are really just goofy little Cthulhu-wannabes. There’s drama galore throughout the movie, but all the rubbery space-goobers are more of a humorous distraction than a threat.

GODZILLA VS. THE SMOG MONSTER (1971) – Most old Godzilla movies have amusing aspects to them, and most of that humor relates to the rubbery suit of the title monster. In this one, the Smog Monster, also known as Hedorah, is even more bizarre and comical than Big G. Like the little space-goobers in THE GREEN SLIME, Hedorah is goofy, rubbery, and more adorable than abhorrent. In the big face-off at the end, Godzilla goes to such great lengths to finish off Hedorah that the battle takes on a distinctly wacky tone. The movie features a few short cartoon sequels with ecological messages, and those also add notes of whimsy to the movie.

INFRA-MAN (1975) – INFRA-MAN was certainly meant to be a fun movie, since the characters, for the most part, are bold and cartoonish. But, it was obviously written as a superhero action movie, as opposed to a comedy. A scientist turns a colleague into a bionic hero named Infra-Man to defend the world against the evil Princess Dragon Mom and her devilish mutant followers – namely, She Demon, Giant Beetle Monster, Octopus Mutant, Emperor of Doom, Driller Beast, Laser Horn Monster, and the twin Iron Fist Robots. The funniest aspect of the movie isn’t the action or the characters – it’s the grandiose dialogue. For example, when Princess Dragon Mom first addresses the Earth, she states: “Greetings to you, Earthlings! I am Princess Dragon Mom. I have taken over this planet. Now I own the Earth and you’ll be my slaves for all eternity!” Wow, nice way to greet her new neighbors. Later, the scientist tries to intimidate the forces of evil by saying, “No matter how potent your weapons are, you’ll be defeated because Infra-Man is invincible against them!” The entire movie is filled with this same high-power, hilarious degree of bravado.

EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC (1977) – THE EXORCIST is considered one of the best horror movies of all time. EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC, on the other hand, is considered one of the worst movies of all time … and rightly so. Linda Blair returns to her role as Regan, now recovered from her exorcism ordeal, and Richard Burton plays Philip Lamont, a troubled priest. Father Lamont has been sent by the church to investigate the original exorcism and Father Merrin’s death, which had resulted from that exorcism. The movie goes in many strange directions, and some are laughably bizarre. For example, locusts figure heavily into the plot. Who would have guessed? We find out the demon Pazuzu is a sort of locust demon, and that for reasons too lengthy to explain, Regan now knows how to perform a dance to drive off locust swarms! Also, there’s a machine called a Synchronizer that can align two people’s brainwaves, and the scene with that device is weird, wild and fairly ridiculous. I would like to add, even though it’s awful, I happen to enjoy many awful movies, and I’ve watched EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC at least a dozen times over the years.

CALIGULA (1979) – CALIGULA is a historical drama about a Roman emperor, and its stars include Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole and Sir John Gielgud. The movie also contains explicit orgy scenes (FYI, the distinguished performers named aren’t orgy participants). Surprised by all that adult content? Well, you probably shouldn’t be, since Bob Guccione, founder of Penthouse magazine, was also a producer and director. CALIGULA’s most outrageous performances come from McDowell and O’Toole – both excel in their mad, lust-crazed roles. I suppose it’s a bit of a stretch to call it an accidental comedy … it’s more of an intentional porno. But I do think you’ll laugh at Peter O’Toole’s gloriously rambunctious performance. You’ll also laugh with surprise at many of this movie’s various naughty jests and antics.

MOMMIE DEAREST (1981) – Faye Dunaway played Joan Crawford in MOMMIE DEAREST, and certainly she sank her teeth into the role. The movie tells how Crawford was an abusive foster mother, as well as a compulsive perfectionist and neat-freak. She wanted to control every aspect of her world, and became overly upset when things didn’t go her way. The character’s behavior is so extreme that most viewers cannot help but laugh at her bombastic emotional excesses. The movie eventually became known as an unintentional comedy after its release. For that reason, the film has ascended to cult-movie status – an acknowledged best-of-the-worst classic.  

KING KONG LIVES (1986) – KING KONG LIVES is the sequel to the 1976 remake of the original KING KONG from 1933. In this sequel, we find out that after King Kong fell off the World Trade Center, he was kept alive in a coma at a facility called the Atlanta Institute. How did Kong’s fall from the World Trade Center not shatter his bones to bits? Darned if I know! Kong’s doctor, played by Linda Hamilton, wants to bring the big guy out of his long-term slumber, but he needs a major transfusion before that can happen. Eventually a female giant primate, Lady Kong, is found in the Borneo area and becomes the donor Kong needs. Once the blood situation is squared away, Kong is given a gigantic artificial heart and restored to a mobile lifestyle. Kong then gets mixed up with Lady Kong and sure enough, runs afoul of civilization again, escapes … and is marked for death. It took so much time and effort for us humans to wake him up, only for us to decide he needs to die. Humans sure are fickle! Along the way, Kong fathers an adorable Kong Jr. Aaaawww! KING KONG LIVES tickles me because it makes precious little sense … but still, it ambles and shambles along with carefree confidence.

There you have it – my list of the top ten accidental comedies of all time. I do want to stress, this list isn’t etched in stone. Certainly I’ve seen thousands of movies over the years, but I know I haven’t seen every movie ever made. But rest assured, I’m working on it!


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APOCALYPSE AMERICA! by Michael McCarty and Mark McLaughlin. New Novel, FREE on Kindle Unlimited:

Flesh-eating dust mites, Internet Witches, murderous robots, giant scorpions, Biblical demons and sophisticated cannibals – these horrors and more inhabit the future ruins of the United States in the new novel, APOCALYPSE AMERICA! by Michael McCarty and Mark McLaughlin.

Following a devastating nuclear war, America is thrown into chaos. Malevolent Internet Witches use their monstrous cyber-magic to attack the country through its computers. The last hope for humanity rests with Cain, a post-apocalyptic nomad who is determined to find a legendary paradise known as Eden. Cain is joined on his trek by new friends: Galileo, a surgically enhanced rabbit with a human mind; a brilliant robot named RT-Fax; and Miranda, a downloaded Internet Witch who has discovered the joys of being human.

The group is pursued on their journey by the Shadow Man, the demon Legion, and various minions of the Internet Witches. The friends travel across America in search of Eden, and learn that the country has become a dizzying patchwork of bizarre compounds, whose inhabitants are desperate, dangerous, and sometimes, not even human.

Cain and his friends also learn more about why America is hovering on the brink of ruin. Before long, they have reason to believe they can repair the damage and restore the country to its former glory. Can they access the secrets of Eden and save the Earth, before all living things are destroyed?


McLaughin’s latest paperback releases are EMPRESS OF THE LIVING DEAD: 25 TALES OF HORROR & THE BIZARRE, and the Lovecraftian story collections, HORRORS & ABOMINATIONS: 24 TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS and THE HOUSE OF THE OCELOT & MORE LOVECRAFTIAN NIGHTMARES, both coauthored by Michael Sheehan, Jr.

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New Paperback – Empress Of The Living Dead: 25 Tales Of Horror & The Bizarre


Empress Of The Living Dead: 25 Tales Of Horror & The Bizarre by Mark McLaughlin

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

EMPRESS OF THE LIVING DEAD collects 25 stories of horror and dark fantasy by Bram Stoker Award-winning author Mark McLaughlin. These stories are compiled in a paperback edition from three previous Kindle collections by McLaughlin — FOREIGN TONGUE, DRUNK ON THE WINE THAT POURS FROM MY WICKED EYES, and MAGIC CANNOT DIE. “Empress Of The Living Dead,” a tale of cult movies and zombies, completes this collection.

The stories in this book abound with monsters, supernatural beings, aliens, practitioners of magic, kaiju, tentacled creatures and more. Stories in the collection include “Empress Of The Living Dead,” “Cold-Blooded,” “The Vainglorious Simulacrum Of Mungha Sorcyllamia: A Weird Romance,” “Foreign Tongue,” “The Astonishing Secret Of The King Of The Cats,” “Zombies Are Forever,” “Silky, Slinky, Fabulous – To Die For,” “The Prince Of Dreadful Magick,” “Why Cosmo Used To Wear A Lab Smock Every Halloween,” “The Nightmare Quadrant: The Legacy Of Alphonse Sweetwater-DuBois,” and many more.



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THE HOUSE OF THE OCELOT & More Lovecraftian Nightmares


THE HOUSE OF THE OCELOT & More Lovecraftian Nightmares by Mark McLaughlin & Michael Sheehan, Jr.

THE HOUSE OF THE OCELOT presents tales of Lovecraftian fantasy and horror, as well as an epic poem regarding the return of Nyarlathotep to the modern world. Most of these adventures have only been available so far on Kindle. This paperback collection is a companion volume to HORRORS & ABOMINATIONS: 24 TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS, and has been released for readers who prefer holding books, as opposed to devices.

Stories in this collection include “The House Of The Ocelot,” “Queen Of The Vultures,” “The Foul One Lives To Destroy: A Tale Of The Dreamlands,” “Shoggoth Apocalypse,” “The Glorious Return Of Herbert West,” “The Last Witch-House,” “Stainless Steel Sarcophagus,” and many more.

The collection also includes the epic poem, “The Arrival Of Our New Master: A Lovecraftian Armageddon.” People believe that Caliban Storm, son of wealthy Bernard Storm, offers the wisdom and guidance that the world has needed for so long. But in truth, there is something very wrong with handsome young Caliban. He is in fact an avatar of Nyarlathotep, a malevolent deity also known as the Crawling Chaos. Caliban Storm presents the world with a series of amazing technological advances as he rises in power. But, each advance comes with monstrous surprises, and it soon becomes apparent that Caliban has a nightmare agenda in store for the Earth….

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Horrors & Abominations: 24 Tales Of The Cthulhu Mythos


HORRORS & ABOMINATIONS: 24 Tales Of The Cthulhu Mythos
by Mark McLaughlin & Michael Sheehan, Jr.


Enter a midnight world of grotesque creatures and ancient deities from nightmare dimensions. HORRORS & ABOMINATIONS by Mark McLaughlin and Michael Sheehan, Jr. presents 24 stories of Lovecraftian fantasy and horror.

Learn the unholy secrets of such malevolent beings as Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Azalareon, Mother Hydra, the King in Yellow, and Yagdolak. Discover the evil activities of the Tillinghast and Delapore families … wicked Mrs. Veng and her horrendous tenant, Dr. Brandywine … and the unspeakable, mutated son of King Tutankhamun.

Stories in this collection include “Deathless Bride Of The Crawling Chaos,” “The Abominations Of Nephren-Ka,” “Coins From Y’ha-nthlei,” “The Blasphemy In The Canopic Jar,” “The Curse Of The Tillinghasts,” “The Colossus In The Catacombs,” “The Nightmare In Delapore Tower,” “The Thing From Beyond The Living Door,” “The Gateway To Carcosa,” “The Testament Of Cthulhu” and many more.

These stories represent many of the writing duo’s most unearthly Cthulhu Mythos tales. So far, the majority of these stories have only been available on Kindle. HORRORS & ABOMINATIONS has been released for readers who prefer paperbacks. These stories were selected from seven Kindle collections previously released by McLaughlin and Sheehan: THE TESTAMENT OF CTHULHU, THE CREATURE IN THE WAXWORKS, THE RELIC IN THE EGYPTIAN GALLERY, SHOGGOTH APOCALYPSE, THE BLASPHEMY IN THE CANOPIC JAR, THE HORROR IN THE WATER TOWER, and THE ABOMINATIONS OF NEPHREN-KA.

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Lovecraftian Kindle Collections by Mark McLaughlin & Michael Sheehan, Jr.:

THE ABOMINATIONS OF NEPHREN-KA & Three More Tales Of The Cthulhu Mythos:
THE ARRIVAL OF OUR NEW MASTER: A Lovecraftian Armageddon:
THE BLASPHEMY IN THE CANOPIC JAR & More Tales Of The Cthulhu Mythos:
THE CREATURE IN THE WAXWORKS: Tales Of Weird & Lovecraftian Horror:
THE HORROR IN THE WATER TOWER & Five More Tales Of The Cthulhu Mythos:
THE RELIC IN THE EGYPTIAN GALLERY & More Tales Of The Cthulhu Mythos:
SHOGGOTH APOCALYPSE & More Tales Of The Cthulhu Mythos:
STAINLESS STEEL SARCOPHAGUS: Tales Of Lovecraftian Fantasy & Horror:
THE TESTAMENT OF CTHULHU: Tales Of Weird Fantasy & Horror:

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