Thursday, November 8, 2012

November's Fresh Blood Will Be December's Dried Blood

We were very sorry to have to cancel this month's Fresh Blood event because of the horrifying weather. This month's readings will be rescheduled for our next event, on Wednesday, December 5. I apologize for the inconvenience and I hope you will join us next month for Fresh Blood: Devil Spawn!

We'll be reading the following plays:
  • Tate by Mark Cornell 
  • Man-Child by Max Mondi
  • Endless Tomorrows by Joe Brofcak 
  • Hold Still by Kellie Powell
If you still want to get your La Petite Morgue fix this week, please join us for SPOOKELELE on Saturday night at Otto's Shrunken Head! Put on the Halloween costume you didn't get to wear, and head on over to Otto's for some Tiki drinks and spooky songs played on the world's scariest string instrument - the ukelele. It may be your last chance of the winter to get "lei'ed".

Also, please support La Petite Morgue playwrights this month at the following events:

Clare Drobot (writer of October's The Myth of Andrew Starner) invites you all to attend a reading of her new play Ways of Seeing on Monday, November 12 at 5:30pm at 1100 6th Avenue at 42nd Street.

Joe Brofcak (writer of zombocalypse thriller In Sickness) invites you to I Can Build You, one of Love Creek's Brief Acts, performing November 16 & 17th at 8:00pm and 18th at 7:00pm at The Producers Club, 358 West 44th Street.

Stay warm out there!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Seeking Horror Monologues by Women, for Women

Women in Horror Recognition Month (WiHM) assists underrepresented female genre artists in gaining opportunities, exposure, and education through altruistic events, printed material, articles, interviews, and online support. WiHM is a service provided by the Viscera Organization, a 501(c)3 non profit organization expanding opportunities for contemporary female genre filmmakers and artists by raising awareness about the changing roles for women in the film industry.

This February, La Petite Morgue will present an evening of Horror Monologues, written by female playwrights, to be performed by female actors. We are currently accepting submissions, which can be excerpts from existing works, or separate horror works written specifically for this event.

Send your monologues to: - before December 1, 2012.

We are particularly interested in monologues that are active (rather than passive story-telling narratives). And while women being terrorized can make for fascinating monologues, we are far more interested in women who stand up to their tormentors - or who are doing the terrorizing themselves. At this time, there is no firm length requirement, but we would prefer pieces that are no more than 3,000 words. 

If there are any men reading this, we are still interested in reading your work, so please submit it - we'll be happy to consider it for our monthly Fresh Blood reading series, or for future events. Feel free to read our general submission guidelines for more information.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

La Petite Morgue at NYC Zombie Crawl

LA PETITE MORGUE is proud to reprise its production of In Sickness, the zombocalypse horror play by Joe Brofcak, for the annual NYC Zombie Crawl! The play was first seen at the first-ever Fresh Blood fundraiser, and starred Trystin Bailey and Serge Thony as two friends who wake up one morning after a bachelor party to discover the world outside has gone completely World War Z. 

More information from NYC Zombie Crawl:

Come get bloody with the 6th annual official NYC Zombie Crawl event on Sunday, October 14th! Full details to come - starts and ends at Webster Hall - 125 E. 11th Street.

6:30pm Zombies invade Manhattan with several stops to be announced including our annual photo opportunity in Union Square as well as The Beauty Bar NYC and The Continental routing will be announced soon!
9pm – NY Zombie Afterparty at Webster Hall -$15 - 19 and up + with performances by:
THUNDERBOX NYC – The All-Girl Tribute to the best of METAL
NINE INCH ELVIS – A NIN tribute as performed by Elvis!
MUTANT SUPREMACY Demonic Metal, these guys had a track on the ‘Splatterhouse’ video game soundtrack!
RIGOR MORTIS REVUE Zombie and horror burlesque!

The night features Zombie video projections featuring a sneak preview of the new Troma movie “Return to the Class of Nuke Em High” directed by Lloyd Kaufman and the accompanying documentary “Youth of Tomorrow”!

Stay tuned to for up to date details!
This will be an exciting opportunity for LA PETITE MORGUE to reach a new audience of horror fans. We hope you'll join us for the party!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Zombie Mix Tape

Looking for music to listen to while you practice your skull-smashing and stock your underground bunker? Or maybe you just need some songs for your very own Party of the Living Dead? Here's the mix we used for our event, ready to download:
Links will allow you to download the songs from Google Drive. Enjoy, zombie fighters!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Party of the Living Dead

The venue? Legends Bar, downstairs at 6 W. 33rd Street, near the Empire State Building. Legends offers a full menu, so you can eat, drink, and be scary!

We've arranged for an original drink special, the Zombie Attack - $6 - it's made with whiskey and it's red like blood!

We've got musical entertainment by the criminally talented band PEACHES & CRIME. (And we've got a spooky soundtrack of recorded scary songs to play during their breaks.)

We've got volunteer make-up artists to help attendees transform themselves from fleshy zombie bait into rotting undead specimens!

We've got prizes galore - including sweet Troma SWAG! You'll be able to compete for "Best Costume" or "Funniest Zombie" - or be chosen randomly for a door prize.

But there's more! From 10pm to 11pm, we will be offering The Zombie Bite Booth. Yes, just like Kissing Booths of yore, the Zombie Bite Booth will be your chance to get a piece of thrilling zombie action - for only $1.00! Get a once-in-a-lifetime experience - and a photo to go with it!

We hope to see you this Saturday night! The fun begins at 8pm. Admission: $7 for zombies, and $10 for humans. All proceeds go towards La Petite Morgue's inaugural season.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Party of the Living Dead - September 29 at Legends

Save the date, kids - La Petite Morgue has booked its Zombie Extravaganza - a bloodbath/party on Saturday, September 29 at 8pm at Legends Bar - 6 W. 33rd Street.

We're partnering with The New York Horror Movie Meetup Group to bring you an evening of drinking, dancing, brains, entertainment, contests and prizes. Entry to the party is $7 if you come dressed as a zombie, and $10 if you are dressed as squishy, fleshy zombie food. If you are interested in joining the ranks of the living dead, we will have makeup artists on hand to assist you with the transformation!

We're thinking about convincing Legends to start calling the Bloody Mary a "Bloody Barbara" instead. They're coming to get you, Barbara!

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Our Monthly Fresh Blood Reading Series Begins!

The Fresh Blood Monthly Reading Series will begin on September 5! On the first Wednesday of every month, La Petite Morgue will take over Happy Ending Lounge to read new horror and suspense plays. And drink!

On Wednesday, September 5, a couple will take drastic actions following a mysterious apocalypse. A woman confined to a mental hospital will suffer from a persistent hallucination. And a multiple murderer will attempt to recruit a like-minded accomplice. It's all happening at 8pm at Happy Ending Lounge - 302 N. Broome Street in Manhattan.

The Plays:
  • Meat by Tyler Grimes
  • Jester by Devlin Giroux
  • Rage Is Loud by Kellie Powell
RSVP on Facebook - and help us spread the word by sharing the event on your wall and inviting your friends!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Volunteers Needed for Fundraising Campaign

After the success of our first-ever Fresh Blood event, La Petite Morgue is gearing up for our inaugural season. We have ideas, but it will take money to bring those ideas to life. We have a strategy for fundraising, but we need your help!

We need volunteers to:
  • Design merchandise for our SpreadShirt store.
  • Solicit donations that can be used as donor incentives and gifts from horror-themed businesses and service providers (i.e. "Donate $25 to La Petite Morgue and receive a Zombie Mafia CD").
  • Help us make short horror videos explaining why horror fans should donate money.
  • Build our online presence with a website slightly more sophisticated than this blog.
  • Blog about horror - most importantly, live horror - and help us build our blog's readership.
  • Preview and review upcoming events in local and online media.
  • Start a podcast for radio horror plays, interviews, reviews, and speculation.
If any of this appeals to you, please write to: - send a short note telling us about your relevant skills and what you would be willing to do to assist our fundraising campaign. Most of these projects can be done from the comfort of your own home or office, and they don't take a big time commitment. If you are a student, we are willing to fill out the necessary paperwork so you can earn school credit. We are also willing to write you a glowing letter of recommendation if that would be useful. If it wouldn't be useful, we will buy you a pizza and some beer.

Script Submission Guidelines

Are you a playwright? La Petite Morgue is willing to consider your script! Here are the guidelines you need:
  • Your script must be horror. No comedies, no spoofs. A horror play can have drama, but having horrible things happen doesn't make your drama into a horror play. Hamlet has a ghost in it, but that doesn't mean Hamlet is a horror show.
  • We are interested in plays written for the stage. We don't make films. Yet.
  • We will consider musicals, if they are as dark or darker than Sweeney Todd
  • We will consider one-man or one-woman shows, if they are sufficiently fascinating.
  • Please send us no more than 30 pages the first time you submit. You can send us three different ten minute plays, or the first 30 pages of your full length play, or any combination you like, but please don't send us more than 30 pages worth of work. If we like those thirty pages, we'll invite you to send more.
  • Our ideal submission is a unique, suspenseful horror show that A.) is scary and B.) features compelling characters. We especially like strong female characters, surprising endings, and plays with immersive or interactive elements.
  • Send your scripts to: and make sure to include your name and an e-mail address where you can be reached in the document. Microsoft Word and PDF are the best formats for submissions. 
  • Unfortunately, we do not have time to respond to every submission, and we will only contact you if we are interested in producing something or if we want to see more of your work. 
  • The best way to get a sense of what we like is to attend one of our events and experience the live horror for yourself! Check back soon to find out when the Fresh Blood reading series will resume!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fresh Blood Post-Mortem

I want to start out by congratulating and thanking everyone who helped to make FRESH BLOOD such a success! Every seat in the house was taken - and we crammed people into the aisles and entryways. And I think everyone who came enjoyed some scary fun!

We started out the evening with Circles by Steven Korbar. This short play, directed by Andreas Hager, starts out with Cindy Ann (played by Amanda White) and Randel (played by Stephan Goldbach) sitting in a car together on a long drive through the countryside and woods. The audience is nervous for poor Cindy Ann, who is probably about to be the victim of a gruesome fate at the hands of creepy loner Randel - but they were in for a surprise. My favorite part of this play is its sudden reversal, and the tension was broken only by the audience's nervous laughter.

Next up was the scary - and snarky - vampire play Heart/Succor written by Lisa Huberman and directed by Joe Brofcak. Amanda Berry plays Mina, a sweet young woman on the L train after midnight, minding her own business and reading Stardust - who is approached by a drunken, lecherous hipster, Roger, played by Yuriy Pavlish. Once again, we are concerned for the apparently helpless young woman, only to be shocked. Mina gives into Roger's advances - and then starts drinking his blood. Meghan-Sara Karre was kind enough to cameo in this piece, coming on at the end to deliver the play's final line, "There will be other hipsters."

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Volunteer Zombies Needed for FRESH BLOOD

Do you practice your zombie face on your morning commute? Do you make zombie moans when you get up in the morning until you get some coffee? Do you go to Zombie Pub Crawls and Zombie Parades? 

 LA PETITE MORGUE needs volunteers for our FRESH BLOOD event on July 17! We need some creepy undead creatures of the night to scare the bejeesus out of our audience while handing out programs and tearing tickets. 

Image by Vince Templement - Copyright KAMELEON STUDIO

If you're interested, and available on the evening of July 17, please write a quick note to: - and if you have a picture of yourself in zombie make-up and garb, please send that as well. 

We will also happily consider other undead creatures of the night, such as vampires (non-sparkly kind only!), mummies, ghosts, skeletons, hell-beasts, and demons. You'll help us create a scary atmosphere for the readings, and you'll get to see some of the shows - and maybe even participate in one of them. We promise fun times, and a free Bloody Mary at the Post-Mortem Party. 

La Petite Morgue Presents FRESH BLOOD - Tuesday, July 17. 
Doors open at 7:30, shows begin at 8:00.
The Producers Club - Grand Theatre - 358 W. 44th Street, NYC.
Between 8th & 9th Avenues.
More information & tickets:

Saturday, June 30, 2012

"Hiding the Crazy" with Lisa Huberman

Next in our series of Playwright Interviews, we talked to Lisa Huberman, author of Heart/Succor.

We asked Lisa what her play is about. Her answer included: love (just kidding), survival, capitalism, traveling, and, the roles we play to keep people from realizing that we're - well, crazy...

We asked her what scared her as a child. Apparently she found the ending of The Little Mermaid quite terrifying. 

Perhaps most fascinating is her answer to what scares her now. Watch the video to find out.

This video also features footage from the recent reading at [Untitled]! Get a sneak peek at this "Strangers on a Train" horror play! Performances by Lisa Huberman herself as Mina, and Yuriy Pavlish as Roger, with Meghan-Sara Karre as Lavinia.

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Highly Gifted Amateurs"

"...I have nothing against gangsters, you understand. Some very delightful murders have been committed by professional criminals. By and large, however, the more interesting work in this field is done by amateurs. Highly gifted amateurs, but still amateurs. They are people who perform their work with dignity, good taste and originality, leavened with a sense of the grotesque."
-- Alfred Hitchcock in the preface to Twelve Stories They Wouldn't Let Me Do on TV
I didn't realize it until I actually counted, but all four plays being read at [Untitled] on Thursday - all four - feature murders. And none of the murderers are "professional" criminals, thugs, or lunatics. That's a big part of what makes them scary. These are murderers who could easily be the person sitting across from you on the subway, the dude you met at the bar last night, your husband, or your child...

Hitchcock was onto something.

Come to [Untitled] to hear the unspeakable horrors! And bring your friends! There's safety in numbers.

Facebok | Eventbrite | Details

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Excerpt from an Interview with Joe Brofcak, Writer of "In Sickness"

We recently interviewed Joe Brofcak, writer of the ten-minute zombie-apocalypse thriller In Sickness. Joe told us about his play, in which "dudes in suits kill zombies with Berettas." We asked him what scared him as a child - and he told us about his fear of, and fascination with, Freddy Kruger, and Pin-Head from Hellraiser.

And then I asked him, "What scares you now?" Watch for his answer.

I apologize for my omnipresent laughter in the background.

Christine Croyden's "The Cat's Paw"

Christine Croyden is an Australian playwright who sent La Petite Morgue one of our favorite submissions, a short play called Lovesick, which will be read at [Untitled] on Thursday, June 28 at Happy Ending. Her play The Cat's Paw is currently being produced by Spotlight Theatre Company in Adelaide. Below is the preview. I don't know about any of you, but I find it rather unnerving. 

It makes me wish I lived in Australia, so I could go and see it. But for those of you who live in New York, and not Australia, you can come and hear a reading of Christine's play Lovesick at [Untitled] on Thursday, June 28. Doors open at 7:30, and the readings begin at 8:00. It's a free sneak peek at the unspeakable carnage to come at Fresh Blood (July 17 at the Producers Club)! In addition to Lovesick, you'll also get to see Heart/Succor, written by Lisa Huberman, and With You, written and performed by Chris Van Strander. Mingle, drink, and be scary!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Our Events in June & July

La Petite Morgue Co-Hosts [UNTITLED]
Thursday, June 28 at Happy Ending
302 Broome Street, NYC

Every month, Inkslingers hosts a reading series called [Untitled]. Playwrights read from new and in-process works at the Happy Ending Lounge downtown. On Thursday, June 28, La Petite Morgue is coming to take the Happy out of your Ending with an evening of ghost stories, psycho killer confessions, ugly monsters, and a special appearance by The Zombie Mafia.

The doors open at 7:30, the show starts at 8:00. No cover, no "drink minimum". It's a chance to Mingle, Drink, and Be Scary. Help us spread the word by sharing our event on your Facebook Wall and inviting your friends.


Pro Tip: Happy Ending is completely impossible to recognize from the outside!

Tuesday, July 17 at the Grand Theatre 
The Producers Club - 358 W. 44th Street, NYC

La Petite Morgue presents an evening of live horror like you've never seen before - our first-ever FRESH BLOOD event! Enjoy staged readings of these new short works of horror:
  • In Sickness by Joe Brofcak
  • Heart/Succor by Lisa Huberman
  • Circles by Steven Korbar
  • You Lost a Lot of Blood by Mike Mariano
  • Bloody Mary by Aleks Merilo
  • Posers by Laura Pfizenmayer
  • My Sexy Doll by Stanley Toledo
  • With You by Chris Van Strander
  • All the Way to Crawfordville by Le Wilhelm
  • What Would You, How Would You, Who Would You? by Kymm Zuckert

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

(Virtual) Auditions for La Petite Morgue

La Petite Morgue is always looking for actors to participate in our monthly reading series, Fresh Blood, which takes place on the first Wednesday of every month at Happy Ending Lounge in lower Manhattan. To audition for La Petite Morgue, you can send an e-mail at any time to: that includes the following:

  • 90-second audition video (links and attachments are both acceptable)
  • Headshot
  • Resume
We will keep your materials on file and contact you for future readings and productions. If you are not able to send a video, we will try to schedule face-to-face auditions twice a year.

Please Note:  

  • Actors must be 21 years or older to participate in Fresh Blood.
  •  We cannot offer payment to actors at this time. Actors who participate in the Fresh Blood Reading Series are compensated with vouchers for free drinks. 
  • Actors who are members of AEA or other professional unions are responsible for securing any relevant permissions from their governing agency.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This Explains Everything

I talked to my father this morning - yes, to borrow money - and he told me that he was recently reminded, probably by all my aggressive facebook updating - of an incident that occurred when I was about ten years old. 

Some of you reading already know that Halloween is my birthday, but for those of you who didn't, yes, I am a witch/demon spawn/pumpkin-headed weirdo. As a kid, there's really nothing better than a Halloween birthday. You get to dress up and beg for candy, but you also get presents. And I think for the first couple of years, I probably thought, on some level, that everyone was dressing up and trick-or-treating in honor of my birthday. Which was probably a nice ego trip.

One year old. I am a fisherman!
All this is just to set up the fact that on my tenth (or so?) birthday, I got my father to take my brother and I to a haunted house. Now, this was probably the kind of thing that the Lexington, Illinois 4-H Club set up in a barn as a fundraiser for the annual middle school field trip, but my father says that it was actually pretty scary. I don't actually remember any of the details he told me about, like the strobe lights and what not. I just remember being so frightened that I FLIPPED THE FUCK OUT and they had to take my brother, my father, and I on a backstage tour to calm me down. 

I have a vague recollection of alarmed grown-ups taking off their masks and being like, "It's okay, it is pretend." And bending the plastic knives to show how fake they were. They were like, "Chill out, little girl, no one here is going to hurt you." Memory is a tricky thing, but I'm pretty sure I just kept bawling. Sometimes when someone wants to make a kid stop crying, that just makes it worse. (Someone trying, really hard, to convince you that they're not evil can seem like it's all part of their plan to chainsaw-massacre you. Especially when you are ten.) But eventually they got us outside, and I waited about 15 years before I set foot in another haunted house. And I made sure to be pretty drunk.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Plans for the Future

Chelsea and I - okay, mostly Chelsea - spent a lot of time crafting our Mission Statement. And it talks a little bit about the kinds of things that we want La Petite Morgue to produce. But since it was a Mission Statement, it's full of big words and vague promises, and not a lot of specifics. Since we're about to launch into hardcore fundraising mode, I thought it would be a good idea to share with everyone some more specific ideas that we have four our inaugural season.

Please keep in mind that these are just ideas. Some of them will be too expensive to do right away. Some of them may prove to be impossible, no matter how much money we raise. At this point, they're just Pipe Dreams - or pipe nightmares...? What I'm trying to say is: We are not making any promises.

Fresh Blood: The Reading Series

The idea: The Fresh Blood Fundraiser (on July 17!) is just the first step. We want Fresh Blood to be a monthly phenomenon!*  We've also thought about coming up with a theme for each month. One month could feature Adaptations of Classic Horror Stories, the next month could be shows that all have Creepy Children, and the month after that could have a theme like "Blood & Rage".*

Feasibility: We've already received enough quality horror & suspense scripts to fill 90 minutes at least six times. And we've got plenty of talented performers to read them. All we need is the money to rent the performance space. Which... fuck, space is expensive! The money we raise is going to determine whether we hold our Reading Series in a theatre, or under a bridge in Central Park.

I Love You To Death: A Valentine's Day Cabaret (of Murder Ballads)

The idea: Have you ever noticed how many great songs there are about murdering an unrequited love, a former lover, and/or his or her new flame? Because there are a lot. Voltaire's "Ex-Lover's Lover". At least two songs by the Beatles. "The Plans We Made". To celebrate Valentine's Day 2013, La Petite Morgue wants to gather a bunch of talented singers and musicians and toast your Bloody Valentine - or, help you drown your sorrows in blood and guts!

Feasibility: Have you ever tried to book a venue on Valentine's Day? We may end up celebrating at midnight the night before. But other than that small concern, this is the most feasible idea on the list, and the most likely to come to fruition.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kellie's Favorite Horror - Films

It was a lot harder than I expected to rank all the nightmare-inspiring movies I love.

The following list contains lots of spoilers, so read with caution. I decided it was silly to worry about ruining the end of movies like Friday the 13th. There has to be a statute of limitations on these things.

I should also note that it is INCREDIBLY EASY to scare me. The list of horror movies that didn't scare me is longer. But I digress. Here you go, kids: 

Kellie's Top 15 Favorite Horror Movies

15. Sleepy Hollow

I can't help but love this creepy re-telling of this classic ghost story, featuring Johnny Depp, who is adorable when he's a terrified geek, and Christopher Walken, who is terrifying even when he has no lines. Maybe moreso.

Scary-as-Hell Headless Horseman? Check. Tree of Blood? Check. Creepy crone witch-lady? Check. Plus more medieval and Victorian torture devices than you can shake a stick at!

14. Stir of Echoes

Kevin Bacon + ghost of a murdered girl + creepy child + hypnotism + "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones" = scary as hell.

My favorite part of the movie is probably the ending. The ghost has been helped and Kevin Bacon is back to his old self. But then you realize that by helping one ghost, that kid has become a magnet for every other pissed-off ghost in the Tri-State Area. Good luck, you poor creepy little bastard!

13. Valentine

This movie has all my favorite slasher elements: A picked-on child grows up and gets revenge on the Mean Girls. The killer sends his victims creepy cards - "The journey of love is an arduous trek, My love grows for you as you bleed from your neck" - and presents, such as chocolates with maggots inside. From the creepy art installation to the murder in the hot tub, this movie, despite some silliness, makes my hair stand on end, and what more could you ask from such a film?

February 14th is its own special kind of horrifying experience, and the movie makes full use of it. There's the creepy neighbor (see dialogue below), the date from Hell whose name is Jason (!!!), and finally, the scene in which the killer, wearing a cupid mask, shoots one of his victims with a bow and arrow. Delightful! Best of all, spoiler alert - the killer gets away with it!

GARY: "You look great, Kate. How about a date, Kate? You could be my mate, Kate."
KATE: "You're scary, Gary."

Plus, David Boreanaz! In sunlight!!

Hey there, Angel... I can't help but notice that you're not on fire...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Seeking (Fearless) Directors

Let me just start by saying that reading all of the submissions we've received has been a lengthy, rewarding, and absolutely terrifying experience. There are some twisted minds out there, writing some truly horrifying scripts. (Horrifying in a good way. Mostly.) I've been really impressed, not only with the quality of the writing, but with the variety of ideas. We've got vampires, we've got zombies, we've got ghosts, we've got psycho killers! Oh, my!

The problem is, of course, we've got a lot more scripts than we can reasonably cram into one evening. Miss Sardonicus and I have been consoling ourselves with the knowledge that even if we can't use a piece for our first event - which will be Tuesday, July 17 - we can hold onto the scripts for a future event. One goal is to have a monthly reading series for new works, and we've probably got enough scripts already to run one for six months.

Writers, you still have until May 31 to submit their scripts, but we are starting to narrow down the (very large) submission pool we already have, and we have a few scripts that have risen to the top of the list. Our next step is to pair our favorite pieces with qualified directors. If you are interested in directing, you can send your resume to: If you're not sold on the idea, here's some more information:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Kellie's Favorite Horror - Fiction & Drama

Today, I'm going to share with you my favorite works of horror fiction and drama. The novels and plays on this list are the most suspenseful, eerie, disgusting, haunting, and just plain fucking scary things that I've ever read. Without further adieu... welcome to my nightmares.

10. The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat As Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade by Peter Weiss

My alma mater, Illinois State University, staged a fantastic and horrifying production of this "total theatre" extravaganza which I saw as a senior in college. The title spells it out for you: it features a play-within-a-play, performed by asylum inmates, and directed by the Marquis de Sade. So, you've got the man that sadism is named after, and a re-enactment of a brutal murder in a bathtub, staged by dangerous lunatics. Sounds like a recipe for awesome, any way you slice it.

 9. The Insanity of Mary Girard by Lanie Robertson

My Number Nine is another play set in an asylum - back in the days when a husband could have his wife committed, and didn't really even need much of a reason. Mary Girard makes the mistake of cheating on her husband (or, makes the mistake of marrying the douchebag in the first place?) and is committed to an asylum. And did I mention she's pregnant? She wasn't crazy when she went in, but, being imprisoned with a bunch of maniacs tends to damage one's mental stability. And, as Nurse Mandy says, "Babies make people crazy in the brain." The play walks a nice line between horror and drama - and the production I saw in high school scared the bejeesus out of me.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dead Before the Opening Credits

"I don't really believe in motives, Sid.
I mean, did Norman Bates have a motive?
Did we ever find out why Hannibal Lector liked to eat people? DON'T THINK SO.
See, it's a lot scarier when there's no motive."


I admit it. I love slasher flicks. Scream, Urban Legend, I Know What You Did Last Summer... These are the movies I saw in my early teen years that made me afraid to be alone in my house. 

I can get scared by almost anything - from Arachnids to Zombies - but I think the scariest movies may be the ones with no supernatural elements, the "ripped from the headlines" movies about serial killers. The movie Zodiac is really a drama about  a man obsessed with the case, not a horror movie - but it has some moments that are truly fucking terrifying - and that's probably because the Zodiac Killer was a real person.

Scary movies about things like poltergeists and werewolves require you to suspend your disbelief - you have to not listen to the voice that says, "There's no such thing as ____." You cannot say there is no such thing as a psychopath. They exist. They're out there.

My mother once told me that the only movie that ever really scared her was The Silence of the Lambs. She said that it was the one movie that made her feel like no one was really safe - it left her feeling that anyone could be a target - anyone could be a potential victim - even her.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Urban Legends in the Internet Age

By now, thanks in part to the 1998 movie, everyone knows what an urban legend is. A fictional story, presented as fact, told and retold. Sometimes they're cautionary tales - the psychopath hiding in the backseat, the creepy calls coming from inside the house, the man with the hook for a hand who preys on the parking teenagers. Always told as, "No, that really happened to a friend of my cousin / a girl in my hometown." The beautiful, organ harvesting woman and the man who wakes up in a bathtub full of ice. The alligators in the NYC sewer tunnels. The hippies who poisoned Halloween candy. Despite the lack of evidence to the contrary, these stories were passed on, and on, causing fear, even panic. 
Full disclosure: I love the movie Urban Legend. I don't care what anyone says, it is an awesome movie. This may or may not be because I am in <3 with Jared Leto, and have been since 1994.

But, as Google and Snopes have become a part of our everyday lives, it has become more difficult to perpetuate an urban legend. If someone tells me about how their uncle was the victim of the high-beams gang initiation, I can whip out my smart phone and confidently tell my friend, within five minutes, that their story is complete BS.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On Fear

Fear is a universal human experience. Everyone feels fear. Common fears include: fear of ghosts or evil spirits, cockroaches, spiders, snakes, and other creepy-crawlies, heights, water and bridges, enclosed spaces and tunnels, needles and blood, flying or driving, failure, social rejection, and public speaking.

Bill Tancer analyzed the most frequent online search queries that involved the phrase, "fear of...". This follows the assumption that people tend to seek information on the issues that concern them the most. His top ten list of fears? Flying, heights, clowns, intimacy, death, rejection, people, snakes, failure, and driving. 

In a 2005 Gallup poll, a national sample of adolescents between the ages of 13 and 15 were asked what they feared the most. The question was open ended and participants were able to say whatever they wanted. The top ten fears were, in order: terrorist attacks, spiders, death, being a failure, war, heights, criminal or gang violence, being alone, the future, and nuclear war. Proving that we've come a long way since "the bogeyman" and "monsters under the bed".

And then there are the learned fears. Kids who grow up in rural areas learn to fear the city, where they fear being mugged, kidnapped, shot, car-jacked, brutally murdered, or pushed in front of a moving subway train. They are intimidated by large crowds, and have trouble sleeping surrounded by so many unsavory characters. Kids who grow up the city, however, never experience complete darkness, or complete silence, until they're in the country for the first time. They are terrified by the knowledge that if Leatherface is lurking with his chainsaw, there would be no one to run to for help or protection. Are you comforted by the fact that there is safety in numbers? Are you less likely to be a lunatic's victim if there are other people nearby?

Seeking Skulls

Sister, can you spare a skull? Or other miscellaneous body parts that you've got lying around?

The creators of La Petite Morgue are looking for your best collector's pieces to display at our first live horror event in July. If you have a mannequin, severed limbs, or other items that we could borrow, please, let us know. We pledge our undying gratitude.

You can write to:

For other ways that you can help, please see: Give Us Money.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

On Friday, October 13, 1307, Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay and several Templar Knights were arrested by King Phillip of France. Most were eventually tortured to death.

On Friday, July 13, 1821, notorious Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest was born in Tennessee.

On Friday, March 13, 1964, Catherine Susan (Kitty) Genovese was stabbed to death as she was returning to her Queens, New York City home in the early morning hours. She was only 29 years old. Two weeks after the murder, a newspaper article appeared that questioned whether or not neighbors heard the attack and stood by and did nothing to help the girl. The murder of Kitty Genovese and the investigation brought to light a social psychological phenomenon called "diffusion of responsibility" or "the bystander effect".

On Friday, November 13, 1970, a massive storm killed approximately 300,000 people in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and created floods that killed as many as one million in the Ganges Delta.

On Friday, October 13, 1972, a chartered plane carrying 45 rugby team members and their friends and families crashed in the Andes Mountains. Sixteen of the group survived for 72 days while the world thought they were dead, in what would become headline-making acts of cannibalism.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why "Miss Sardonicus"?

To begin to answer this ultimate mystery, you first need a passing familiarity with the 1961 William Castle classic, Mr. Sardonicus:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Seeking Scripts

LA PETITE MORGUE, a new NYC theater company devoted to new and classic works of horror, is looking for one-act plays for a reading series which will have its first event on Friday, July 13th, 2012. Plays should be no more than 30 minutes and must be in the horror genre. No horror-comedy or spoofs.

Please send submissions to - Unfortunately, we will only be responding to those writers we are interested in working with.

If you reside in the NYC area and are interested in directing a show, or performing at the event, please write to the e-mail address above and include a resume and headshot. We will respond to you when we are able.