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As the month of August waned, I and intrepid Strange-Mainiac Stella Hell set out on a sunny day on our quest to visit Glenn in his well-appointed den of darkness. As we settled in to the Chadbourne house’s darkly furnished livingroom for our little chat, it seemed inevitable that the subject of cemeteries would come up.
SMG: In “The Hairy Tale of Lou Garoo” from your comic Farmer Fiend’s Horror Harvest, the characters talk about places that are “just off.” Are there any places like that you’ve encountered or heard of?
Glenn: There was a spot off the railroad tracks when we were kids here in Newcastle that was an old overgrown boneyard out there, a graveyard from way back when. There was an urban legend that one of the stones glowed. So when we were kids, around Cub Scout age, we’d creep out there, but no one would head for the stones or dare to go up and check them out, we were wimps.
According to the town of Newcastle’s Comprehensive Report (dated 2/6/06), “At least thirty-six cemeteries have been identified in Newcastle. Most are old and private with the oldest dating back to 1758.” The town today has a population of about two thousand living souls.
Newcastle isn’t the only place in New England where tales of a glowing tombstone have proliferated. A close neighbor of ours, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, has one of its own which is well documented online and elsewhere (for instance, see http://nielsenhayden.com/ or read Curious New England: The Unconventional Traveler’s Guide to Eccentric Destinations by Joseph E. Citro and Diane E. Foulds).
At the time I interviewed him, Glenn was up to his neck in artwork for the much-anticipated second volume of Secretary of Dreams, a fully-illustrated collection of Stephen King stories published by Cemetery Dance. The work looks terrific. Glenn showed us the stack of black and white pages, as well as a handful of gorgeous full-color pieces that will be featured in it. The book officially went on sale the other day -- I placed my pre-order as soon as I got the e-mail notice! You can order your copy at Cemetery Dance.
Stay tuned for a contest here on the blog -- we'll be giving away a couple of copies of Glenn's album by Nick Noxious and the Necrophiliacs, courtesy of Morbideus of Maine's own Postmortem Productions.