Samhain Publishing launched its Horror line this time last year, and was proud Platinum Sponsor of the Bram Stoker Awards® in Salt Lake City. Readers visiting the website http://www.samhainhorror.com will know that the roster of authors (including some HWA members) and diverse titles have grown month-on-month, with no sign of slowing down. Samhain Horror authors have been spotted at conventions like Horrorfind Weekend and KillerCon, signing copies of their books and reading their stories to horror fans. All such events have taken place in the USA—until now.
When the time came to put together the first ever UK Samhain Horror event, I knew the location for the event was as important as the event itself. Just as a haunted house or abandoned asylum becomes a bona fide character in a horror story, I wanted us Brits to hold our inaugural event at a location that would provide the perfect backdrop for our Samhain stories. And I found that special place in North London.
Abney Park Cemetery is one of London’s famed ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnificent_Seven,_London (the roster also includes Highgate Cemetery, Kensal Green, and one of my personal favourites—West Norwood Cemetery). Now a centre for the arts, wildlife sanctuary, and living restoration project, Abney Park is crammed with history (famous ‘residents’ include the founders of the Salvation Army). And aesthetic appeal? Just one glance at the atmospheric Chapel gave me the shivers and convinced me that this would be the place to host our evening of creepy entertainments.
Abney Park was opened in 1840 as a non-conformist garden cemetery. It is now a 32-acre historic park, cemetery and nature reserve in a built-up inner-city area. It represents an important green resource for the local community and a unique experience for visitors. The Trust, a registered charity, took over the management of the site in 1991 and now runs events including environmental education, training, volunteer projects, guided walks, talks and workshops, as well as theatre productions, music festivals and open days. The cemetery is also a popular location for film and photo shoots. For more info see our website www.abney-park.org.uk or call 020 7275 7557. If you would like to donate to the Trust then please visit The Big Give: http://new.thebiggive.org.uk/charity/view/2946/projects
With the generous support of Samhain Publishing and Abney Park Trust, ‘Samhain Stories’ takes place on Saturday 27th October (6pm-9pm) and will include a guided historical cemetery tour, live readings in the Chapel by Samhain authors Maynard Sims (NIGHTMARE CITY, THE EIGHTH WITCH), Peter Mark May (HEDGE END, ANNO ZOMBIE) and myself, along with book signings, refreshments, giveaways—and more. Those wishing to attend this unique (and free!) London event should RSVP via the Facebook Event Page: http://tinyurl.com/SamhainStories, or email: info(at)frazerlee(dot)com.
Frazer Lee is a writer and filmmaker whose screen credits include the award-winning short horror movies “On Edge,” “Red Lines,” “Simone,” and the horror/thriller feature film (and movie novelization) Panic Button. His Bram Stoker Award® nominated first novel The Lamplighters is published by Samhain Horror along with the forthcoming novel The Jack in the Green and novella “The Lucifer Glass.” His short stories have appeared in anthologies including the acclaimed Read By Dawn” series. He lives with his family in Buckinghamshire, England, where he is working on new fiction and film projects. For more about Frazer Lee, please visit http://www.frazerlee.com