Xander Woolf (Written by Anna Johnston, AKA Vanri The Rogue)
As some of you already know, the name is Alex Woolf. Better yet, make that Xander. Xander the Wolf. It’s about time I rebranded myself in light of this new adventure.
And for those of you who don’t know: I’m a woman. So you can stop picturing that hopelessly nerdy guy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and start paying attention.
Fear is the intangible force that has the power to make grown, macho bodybuilders break down and cry like three year old girls. The psychology behind fear is fairly interesting in that everyone fears the same basic things. Naturally, there are societal archetypes that the majority of the population has been conditioned to find terrifying, such as ghosts and demons, werewolves and vampires (though the latter two have fallen from their former glory in one fell swoop of the teen fiction industry). These conditioned and widespread fears rise from ghost stories and ancient legends engineered to exploit and expand the common fear of the unknown. These ancient legends are in turn modernized and tweaked to become urban legends. And if you do enough digging, you’ll notice that no matter what geographical location you’re in, the urban legends are all nearly identical.
That, then, begs the question of whether or not these stories and legends are actually true. That is part of what my BFF Lill and I discuss on our blog, 9th Circle of Horror. We look at horror movies, horror novels and video games, ghost stories, local legends and local haunts in order to critique and analyze how effective these things are at pulling and manipulating the strings of fear. That being said, the truer and more personal the story, the better that story gets at pulling your fear strings.
For me, I’ve seen a few things. I live in a perpetual state of frustrated fear. When I was a young kid, growing up in Holland, OH, I saw a little boy riding his tricycle down Gunn Rd. The next thing I knew, the boy had vanished into thin air at the mere sound of a semi truck bumbling by, though nowhere to be seen. Curious, I took a closer look, only to find a chalk outline of a body where the boy had disappeared. Much later, I learned that the little boy was the ghost of “Chalkie,” who had been hit and killed by an 18-wheeler twenty years earlier. Nobody knows the boy’s real name; instead, the locals branded him “Chalkie,” because his chalk outline can be seen at any time of day, no matter how many times the city repaves the road.
My second encounter happened in a library in Toledo. When I was fourteen years old, my best friend, Heather, convinced me to sneak up to the third floor, which had been closed to the public for as long as I could remember. Whispered stories informed me that the spirit of a vengeful librarian wandered the stalks of the history section. I was in the middle of reading the summary blurb of a biography about Mary, Queen of Scots, when the lights started to flicker. A shiver went down my spine as the sound of high heeled footsteps began to click roughly on the linoleum floor. I snuck to the edge of the row and peered around the corner, only to find that the room was empty. The footsteps stopped, but a feeling of pure anxiety and fear washed over my being. My palms started to sweat and my heart began to race. I ran out of there as fast as my young legs could carry me.
My fear has motivated me, inspired me, to become the person I am today. Now, ten years and a liberal arts degree later, I spend hours upon hours with my best friend, Lilliandra Winters, researching fear, ghosts, goblins and any other monster you can think of for 9th Circle of Horror. I’ve taken my fear and turned it into something productive. I live in a state of perpetual fear. Sure, I don’t sleep… ever. But, you know what? I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Wolf out.
Lilliandra Winters (Written by Margot Shenton, AKA Crymson Pleasure)
Hello is a good place to start, I guess. My name is Lilliandra Winters and I am a professional Blogger. I am sure, as some of you read this, you are thinking to yourself that this is another truly uninspired introduction to another mundane diary in a sea of broken hopes, shattered dreams and pointless whining. You long to find something full of meaning and wonderment and worth your time. While I agree with you I am not here to entertain you so if you don’t like what you are reading there is a tiny x in the top right corner of your screen that I promise if you click I will magically go away.
Now that we have settled that small but important matter let me tell you a bit about myself. I am 27 currently, if you are one of those annoying people that try very hard to describe something as massively complex as a human being in one word, my word would be goth but it is a word and a label and it doesn’t define me it just helps you define me or get a good mental image. I adore my job, I love watching horror movies, reading horror books, horror video games, ghost stories, urban legends and well I think you get the point. I love it all, spend as much time as I can enjoying it then proceed to blog about it.
Life is pretty sweet.
I spend most of my time with my hetrosexual life mate Xander Woolf, who happens to be the most awesome lady walking around next to me. She blogs with me, shares my obsession with ghosts, goblins and ghouls, oh my. We Co-Author Horror Rules which is wonderful if you are interested in ghosts, horror, urban legends and everything that surrounds those. If you don’t find those things interesting then I feel sorry for you.
Now I am sure you are wondering why, and if not you should be. You should question everything it makes life more interesting. When I was but a wee lass I saw a ghost. My memory is a bit hazy on most things but this moment is as clear as my first cup of coffee this morning. I had fallen asleep in my parents bed watching TV with my Father since my Mother was working late that evening. I couldn’t tell you what woke me up but I opened my eyes and there standing at the end of the bed was this tall see through wispy thing. It don’t remember there being a lot of definition to what I saw, I think its mouth was open as if it were screaming, black holes where eyes would have been and its arms were straight out at its sides as if it were asking for a hug but there was nothing inviting about it. I was so terrified I am still surprised I could move, but move I did. I jumped up and ran down the bed, leapt through the cold mist of the ghost and out the bedroom door, down the stairs and hid under the buffet table in the dining room. I don’t recall how long I hid there, my Mother came home and found me there, I told her all about the ghost as she took me to the kitchen and made us both some hot chocolate to calm me down. I eventually calmed down and I think she slept with me in my bed to make sure I was ok.
Now you would think that I would want to avoid them at all costs but that only excited my love of the strange. Oddly enough no one can recall any disturbances in the house. We only rented it at the time, it was a row home in Berwyn Pennsylvania. Now that I think about it again I think I should research to see if there was anything there or anyone ever reported any incidents.
Moving right along I will express to you that my Father raised me on a love of the macabre as well, I grew up with an unnatural love of Halloween, Rock and Roll and the mysterious. He loved Fantasy whilst my Mother loved Science Fiction and I adore both like old school friends. My Father encouraged my passions about vampires, horror movies and ghost stories.
I lost him many years ago and sometimes I hope he will find me.
All in all, there is nothing like exploring the unknown, feeling the rush of fear and knowing that in the end its just a story…. or is it?
*The backstories of Xander Woolf and Lilliandra Winters are fictional and do not represent the backstories of the actual authors of this site*
Oh hello! Bridget, here.
I am a friend of Lily Winters and Xander Woolf as well as a contributor to some of their reviews. I have been writing from a young age and have always been a horror fan. Urban Legends and ghosts are among some of my favorite things to research.
Time not spent looking for the supernatural is spent at a library and writing.
Some of Bridget’s other writing can be found: http://realwomenofgaming.com/author/thiathebard/