Monday, January 21, 2013


by George Wilhite

My childhood was immersed in reruns of old monster movies and other creepy stuff from the Fifties and Sixties. I remember staying up late on Saturday nights (if I could stay awake) with my Dad, watching Bob Wilkins hosting “Creature Features” in the San Francisco Bay Area. Those great old films knew how to scare us without relying on gore and exploitation.

I write all kinds of horror but particularly like to create work that harkens back to those early days of monster cinema without overtly stealing their tropes. Readers of my fiction know I write very few vampires, werewolves, and other traditional monsters. While these creatures make an occasional appearance, I tend to create my own original monsters, or at least my own hybrids or mutations of what has come before.

In Silhouette of Darkness, my new e-book release from Musa Publishing, you will find these “Creature Features”:

Fatal Insomnia
The central idea of this story began with the characters, not the monster. I wanted to write a story in one setting, with a few characters who were isolated together for some time, and going slowly mad. I would pick up their story far down the road, on the night that everything went to Hell.

I wrote about three siblings and their best friend living in a farmhouse, and after sketching them a bit I decided that, for some still unknown reason, they were forced to stay awake all night and sleep during the day. Their normal circadian rhythms disrupted, this was the pressure that drove them to the breaking point.

The monster of this story, The Blight, took shape from this central idea. I wanted the creature to be a bizarre construction of unknown origin. The knowledge that one must stay awake all night to avoid being its victim came from experience with it, not because anyone understood exactly what was going on.

I hope you agree The Blight is worthy of comparison to some of the stranger monster movies of old, and perhaps even a nod to one of my favorite masters of the horror, H. P. Lovecraft.

Jerrod’s Brood
I remember being very creeped out by the film “Willard.” Watching it now, it seems a bit corny, but the whole notion of a loser like Willard communing with rats and becoming their master is still disturbing. I wanted to take another loser and “bless” him (or curse him, depending on your viewpoint) with a brood of his own, creatures that seem to appear from nowhere but bond to him immediately.

Read this story to find out where life takes this poor soul on this fateful night.

Ashton Howard’ Dark Process

Carnivals are fun but they can also be a bit scary, right? Whether it’s the Bradbury classic “Something Wicked this Way Comes,” the clown in “It,” or some of the characters in the B-movies exploiting the carnie life, at one time or another we have all mused about the possibility that all may not be as merry with carnivals and circuses as they appear on the surface.

I wanted to take the idea of the freak show and give it a bit of a horror twist. What if there are no actual “freaks of nature,” but instead an evil mad scientist is creating them?

Read this short story and learn the secret behind the sideshow “Ashton Howard’s Tent of Oddities.”

These are just three of the creatures I created in the dark tales found in Silhouette of Darkness.

Still can't get enough monsters?

Check out my flash fiction anthology MONSTER GALLERY

As editor of this collection, I simply put out a call for flash fiction featuring monsters. No more specific conditions on content. I received hundreds of tales of wondrous and horrible creatures, some humorous, others poignant, many quite disturbing.

The end result is 93 flash fiction stories of every type of monster imaginable by these great writers.

Jeffrey Thomas, author of the Punktown series and many other stories and novels, provided a wonderful introduction on the subject at hand.

So if you like monsters, you need look no further Silhouette of Darkness and Monster Gallery. What are you waiting for?

As always, if you check out either or both of these books, I would be most grateful if you left your thoughts in comments on Goodreads, Amazon, or any other review forum.

Silhouette of Darkness from Musa Publishing buy link.

Monster Gallery Amazon buy link.

Learn more about George Wilhite on his blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Great post, George. Nothing like a good monster in a story. :)

  2. Love the old monsters! My fav is Lon Chaney Jr.'s the Wolfman! Great post, George, brings back many memories of weekend matinees! Bahaha!