Tag Archives: spooky stories

A Long December A Book Review by Mike Limon

1 May

I fell in love with reading in the third grade. I found myself reading mostly short stories. As a teenager growing up in the 1960’s, I really enjoyed watching TV shows like The Twilight Zone, and The Outer Limits. I started reading plenty of horror short stories. Like many other fans of the genre, they fascinate me. I don’t remember how I found Richard Chizmar’s short stories a few years ago, but boy, I sure am glad that I did! I really enjoy reading his work. I recently read his book, ” A Long December.” This is one of the best short story books that I have read in a long time. Each story was different and I was fascinated reading this collection.  It is a collection of 35 of his short stories, and is incredible to read! The author takes you on a roller coaster ride with each story. They start out slow and gain momentum and then you need to hold on because you know something is coming, but you’re not exactly sure what’s going to happen! Many times I finished reading the story thinking to myself, “Wow! I didn’t see that coming!” Chizmar writes about everyday people like you and me but something horrific happens in their lives. In “The Box,” a mother discovers a horrifying  secret that one of her children has been hiding in a box in the teenager’s closet, but there’s another shocking discovery! In “Ditch Treasures,” workmen along the freeway in Maryland discover treasure everyday that people have discarded. One workmen makes what he thinks is an incredible find that will bring him fame and fortune, but as he takes a closer look at what he found, he is shocked and wishes he had never laid eyes on this terrible thing. I encourage you to check out this book. Each of these stories is unique in their own way, but as a reader you can sympathize with the characters and what is happening to them!  You will find yourself thinking about these stories long  after you put the book down.

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Watching “One Step Beyond” with my mom.

6 Jan

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Presid...

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States. Latviešu: Abrahams Linkolns, sešpadsmitais ASV prezidents. Српски / Srpski: Абрахам Линколн, шеснаести председник Сједињених Америчких Држава. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m spending my Sunday evening on Hulu watching an old black and white television show, called “One Step Beyond.”  For those of you who didn’t grow up in the 1960’s like I did, it was a show very similar to The Twilight Zone, except that each episode  was based on a true story.  It aired on ABC from Jan 29, 1959 to July 4, 1961. Actor John Newland was the host. This show brings back some great childhood memories. One of my mother’s favorite things to watch on TV was what she called, “spooky stories.” I didn’t know it at the time, but she would instill this same curiosity in her then, ten year old son.  My mother and I would watch reruns of this show over the summer, which always aired at one a.m.  One at one, easy enough to remember. Summer was the only time that she would let me stay up late, as there was no school for three months. To be honest with you, I don’t think she wanted to watch them alone.  After she made some Jiffy pop popcorn (remember that?), I would turn off all the lights in the house, lock all the doors,  and sit on the couch, giving this show our full attention. We would tune in listening to the eerie music, and watching as John Newland would introduce that night’s episode.  As you can imagine, any unexpected noises we heard made us jump. We would look at each other,  trying to figure out what the noise was. She would tell me,” Michael, go see what that was!” To which I replied,”No way Mom!” My poor excuse was that I didn’t want to miss the show.

The were two episodes that were very memorable, and I can still recall them forty-five years later.

The first was called, “Tidal wave.” It is about a woman who lives in Hawaii, and is wheelchair bound. A series of earthquakes has sent a Tsunami towards her house, and everybody else has left the island. An elderly man is led to her home, and saves her. Not an easy task considering the man is deaf.

The other was called, “The Day the World Wept-The Lincoln Story,” told about President Abraham Lincoln, who in 1865, had a dream about his own murder. The next day he goes to Ford’s theater, where he is assassinated. I recently found out that this was indeed a fact after stumbling upon an article on the internet. Note- you can also view episodes of this show on You Tube.

It was a favorite time in my life, and now that my mother is no longer around, I still have awesome memories of those hot summer evenings, watching spooky stories together. Mom only had one rule: you could talk all you wanted during the commercials, but when the show came back on, you had to be quite. This worked for me as I didn’t want to miss any of the program.

So if this is the kind of the program that you enjoy watching, or if you’ve never seen it, here is my advice. Wait until it’s dark, head over to Hulu, or You Tube, turn off all the lights, lock the doors, and enjoy yourselves! Oh, and don’t forget the popcorn!

Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond

Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond – Host actor John Newland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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