Wednesday, October 31, 2007

TONIGHT! Horror Stalks the Airwaves!

Radio drama rises from the dead this Halloween as WMPG unleashes a triple set of tales of terror. From 8:30-10PM on October 31st all manners of ghouls, gods, and ghosts will infiltrate the eardrums of listeners with tales by Mind's Eye Productions/William Dufris, The Grist Mill, and an original by Portland's own FinalRune Productions.

A demon may be loose in the world, but no one believes him. A god forgotten since ancient days confronts an awestruck human. Two friends head to a haunted house and awaken an ancient evil. The terror is non-stop Halloween night as we hear H.P. Lovecraft's "The Statement of Randolph Carter," Joe Lansdale's "God of the Razor" (winner of the 2007 Ogle Award), and Frederick Greenhalgh's "Dark Passenger."

This live audio event is a collaboration of WMPG DJs Eric Poulin and Frederick Greenhalgh, the latter of whom runs a weekly show dedicated to audio theater called Radio Drama Revival! Listeners can tune in to WMPG at 90.9/104.1 FM, stream online at, or hear the podcast of the presentation after the fact at

Photo features Chris Reiling butchering a pumpkin while Philip Hobby screams in terror (see on YouTube )...

Curious? You can also hear the promo for the whole thing online.

Who is this William Dufris, and why is he trying to scare the pants off of you? He is a Maine native, hailing from Houlton. After a 13 year residency in the UK, where he had the distinct pleasure of regularly performing in a number of BBC Radio Plays, as well as producing for The Story Circle, he returned Stateside in 2001, only to discover a lamentable lack of audio theatre in the area. He immediately sought out a number of theater friends and acquaintances from his pre-UK days, with the intention of producing a localized War Of The Worlds, a la Orson Welles. However, the events of 9/11 put that idea to rest, and thus was born the series Nightmares On Congress Street (with its obvious allusion to Nightmare on Elm Street). His original plan to produce a 'live' horror disaster set in Maine finally came to fruition with "The Horror Of Walker Point." But don't rest easy... he still intends to realize his original plans for A War Of The Worlds, but for now...).

Thanks to Mr. Dufris for pointing out that tonight WKIT 100.3 FM in Bangor (Stephen King's radio station) will be doing a Halloween broadcast of some old Nightmare favorites, as well as a new piece from The Tales From The Crypt series.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Zombies Invade Biddeford!

Anyone who was in downtown Biddeford on Saturday night may have been alarmed to see small groups of zombies staggering down the street. Thankfully they were not ripping limbs from innocent pedestrians or causing carnage. They were on their way to the City Theatre for the premiere of the new zombie movie, "2", produced by local filmmakers,Emptyhouse Film.

For those who missed the event, here are some photos from the night, including some of the entrants in the zombie costume contest. Those who bemoan the lack of blood should keep in mind that contestants were asked not to douse themselves in blood, as it would not be a good idea to ruin the seats in the theatre.
zombie poster art

Andy Davis on the mic

zombie Mr. T. pities the undead fool

zombie couples compete to be the best undead

some of the contestants in the zombie contest

all photos (c) Chris Wallace

more photos from the premiere of "2"

"2" was shot in Biddeford earlier this year involving a cast of more than 100 zombies, who gladly braved the frigid February temperatures to give their best impression of carnivorous stumbling death.

If you'd like to see behind the scenes photos of the making of "2", including makeup, zombie attacks, and lots of blood, here are some links.

photos from the zombie casting call and several days of filming

even more photos from filming

Thursday, October 25, 2007

EVENT: Maine Zombie Film "2" Premiere 10/27

For those who have been following the saga of the Maine-filmed zombie movie, "2", or indeed those who are just hearing about it now, the wait is finally over!

To read more about the history of the film, see:
  • Post about the Fangoria article

  • "2" music video and trailer

  • Photos and stories about the filming

  • The fire that plagued the filming

  • Photos of the original zombie casting call

  • On Saturday, October 27th from 6:30 pm- 10:00 pm, the zombie film "2" will have it's world premiere at the City Theater in Biddeford, Maine. The event is open to the general public. Admission is $15/Adults and $10/Students and Senior Citizens.

    "2" was filmed earlier this year at various Biddeford locations, including the Riverdam Millyard, Main Street, and the 3-D's Variety Store. Over 200 zombie extras helped create the eerie atmosphere of the film. "We were really surprised how many people from all walks of life came out to be zombies in our film, all the community support we received was amazing. We're very thankful", said Executive Producer John Lane.

    On October 27th, the film will be shown in its entirety. The filmmakers will speak before and after the film. Those attending are asked to come dressed as "Zombies" for the pre-movie "Zombie Fashion Show". Prizes will be given for a variety of themes including "Best Zombie" "Best Zombie Couple" and more. "You don't have to come as a zombie, but when are you going to get another chance to come to a film's premiere as a zombie? We really want to make a night of it", said Producer Olin Smith.

    "2" stars C. James Roberts and Molly W.B. Roberts as two survivors of a bio-terrorist attack that has turned everyone around them into Zombies. "2" is a feature-length film produced by Olin Smith of Motion Media, Executive Produced by John Lane of John Lane Films, and co-written and directed by Andy Davis of Emptyhouse Film. Music for the film was created by Portland band COVERED IN BEES. The film contains strong graphic content, adult themes and discretion is advised.

    For ticket information, please call the Biddeford City Theater at: (207) 282-0849

    A commercial for the event can be viewed here.
    For information on "2" go to Emptyhouse Film's site.
    For information on the Biddeford City Theater, visit their home page.
    Email any questions to: emptyhousefilm[at]

    A limited number of press tickets are available for the screening. Footage and stills are also available to the press. The film's stars and crew are available for interviews. Please contact emptyhousefilm[at] for more information.



    Doors open at 6:30 pm

    Zombie Contest begins at 7:00 pm

    Filmmakers speak at 7:45 pm

    Film starts at 8:00 pm

    Filmmakers speak at 9:30 pm

    BE THERE!!!

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    Ongoing EVENT: Wicked Walking Tours

    Gordan Tweedie is running a series of Wicked Walking Tours in Portland's Old Port and waterfront as the spooky season commences.

    Tours are run daily, and are available in the daytime for more timid souls, at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and at night for more stalwart adventurers, at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday evenings through Nov. 17. As the flyer notes, “your credit is no good in the afterlife,” so tickets are cash only ($15; $13 for seniors and children under 12). Look for your guide at Bell Buoy Park, on Commercial Street between Casco Bay Lines and Flatbread Company.

    For questions or to make reservations, call 730-0490, or check out

    You can catch my review of the tour online at The Bollard. (Click here to go straight to the review.)

    Photo by Michelle Souliere.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    Halloween Awakened Spirits from the Library

    "Give me the calm of Days decline,
    to muse upon my own,"

    ...reads the frontispiece of the palm-sized Halloween, an artifact exhumed from the depths of the Portland Public Library's Special Collections. The volume was published in Hartford in 1847. The author, Arthur Cleveland Coxe (1818-1896), is simply attributed in the book as "A.C.C.," writes in the beginning stanzas of his narrative:

    "I have been roaming in that Spirit-world,
    and still my deathless love return'd to thee;
    And still thy brow, thy locks in lustre curl'd,
    And thy dear eye of beauty shone on me..."

    Sunday, October 14, 2007

    Local Urban Legends

    Some local urban legends collected by Mark LaFlamme are up on the Sun Journal website. Some, like "All is Well," might better be called "rural legends."
    Six years ago, a group of kids dared a pre-teen to explore an abandoned well behind an ancient barn in Sabattus. The well was at the far end of a long-forgotten cemetery and it was reputed to be haunted. The boy was eager to impress his friends, however. He agreed to be lowered into the well on a rubber tire attached to a sturdy rope. His friends, giddy with excitement, lowered the boy down and down and down into the dark hole until he disappeared into the blackness.

    After there was no sound from below and no movement on the rope, they hastily decided to pull their friend back up. But what they hoisted out of the well was not the young boy they knew as their friend - the lad's hair had turned pure white, his eyes were dark and wild, and he trembled with unimaginable terror. He babbled and cackled wildly and appeared to have aged decades in the few minutes down in the darkness of the well.

    The boy never recovered from his madness. He is said to shriek sporadically from his padded room in the county mental institution. [Source]

    Sunday, October 07, 2007

    Rumors of a haunted Maine library

    The Britannica Blog has a Maine library on its list of haunted United States libraries. The text it quotes comes directly from page 560 of The Whole Library Handbook 4 by George M. Eberhart (also the author of the blog post), which you can see online at Google Books here.

    To quote the source: "Eliot, William Fogg Library. A newspaper photo apparently shows a transparent skull floating above a staircase." This same quote appears on the Spirits of Maine page, with the addition of the following: "Also window randomly broke while kids were playing outside."

    I haven't found anything else explaining this online. Perhaps an inquiry is in order.

    Strange device is but a mirror

    People get weirded out by just about everything these days. Proof?
    Suspicious man causes brief stir at York inn
    October 04, 2007 6:00 AM
    by Dave Choate

    YORK, Maine — Police said a suspicious man who left a strange object in an outdoor ashtray at the Stage Neck Inn turned out to be harmless.

    York Police Sgt. Brian Curtin said the object was a mirror, partly obscured by leaves the man kept placing on top of it. The man was dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt and was behaving in a very suspicious manner, Curtin said.

    Officers considered calling in a state trooper and bomb sniffing dog but quickly discovered that the mirror was harmless. The man was found wandering around the loading dock at the inn and was transported to York Hospital for observation.
    [read full article here: Source]

    Ban on the son of the man from the Girl from UNCLE

    Will Harrison, who is the son of actor/singer Noel Harrision, who played agent Mark Slate on The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., is also the grandson of Rex Harrison. He's been attracting a lot of attention with his antics lately. To quote the Cinema Retro site:
    Try to imagine a scandal that directly or indirectly involves:
  • Legendary actor Rex Harrison

  • The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.

  • The Sound of Music

  • A public park in Maine

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Attacking actors playing Nazis with spray paint

    [Read the Cinema Retro writeup here: Source]
  • More on the event and the ones preceding it can be found on the Seacoast Online site:
    On Tuesday he could be found at the counter in the District Court clerk’s office, trying to straighten out some paperwork for a series of misdemeanor crimes for which he was arrested over the past couple of months.

    Behind him, security officers could be heard talking about his famous grandfather. To his left, a Herald reporter was asking questions about his famous father. To his right, a police officer was sticking around while a clerk figured out what to do about an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

    “I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone,” said Harrison, 35, with a broad smile.

    The warrant for his arrest was for failing to appear at the court for one of the open charges against him and running the gamut from spray painting the word “God” on a local bridge, pushing someone, and street fighting — to playing a guitar in Market Square while calling women who passed by “rude names.”

    “I’m bipolar,” Will told the reporter. “I had problems getting to my pills and it causes a mania when I don’t act like myself, which is really pretty civilized.”

    He didn’t make the recent court appearance, he said, because he went to New York City to visit some friends and to check into Bellevue Hospital for mental health treatment. He picked that hospital, he said, because “it’s the classic.”

    “No one wants to admit to being bipolar. There’s such a stigma,” said Harrison. “People with diabetes take insulin and there’s no problem. But it’s different when it’s the mind."

    Outside the courthouse, Portsmouth Police Officer Rochelle Jones approached to present Harrison with a no trespass order barring him from Prescott Park for a year. He signed it, then explained the “spontaneous” act “with an art statement” he committed during the local theater production and leading to his banishment from the park.

    Harrison said he put on a disguise of a cape and goggles, climbed onto the stage with a squirt gun and “squirted all the Nazis at the end.”

    “It’s sort of like a pro-Aryan movie,” he said. “Even the music is like pro-Hitler. I found it slightly offensive.”

    He then broke into a short chorus of Edelweiss.
    [for the full article, please click here: Source]
    The one thing that Cinema Retro got wrong? The park is in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, not in Maine. Ah well! It's still neighboring weirdness, at any rate. Just over the river!

    Photo by Elizabeth Dinan from Seacoast Online.

    Maine nude launches may be banned

    We've posted about Maine's enthusiastic-in-all-weather nudists before, but this neat little gimmick at the Black Frog Restaurant in the Moosehead Lake area escaped our attention until now. It would be sad if it was discontinued by one person's prudery just as we found out about it. Sounds like a good old fashioned North Woods dare to me!
    'Naked Lunch' May Be Banned in Maine
    Oct 6, 3:18 PM EDT

    GREENVILLE, Maine (AP) -- [...] A sandwich called the Skinny Dip, featuring sliced prime rib in a baguette roll, has been offered free of charge anyone willing to plunge naked from The Black Frog Restaurant's dock into a lake.

    Since the free sandwich offer was introduced three years ago, owner Leigh Turner has found plenty of takers. "We've had two or three a week," he said.

    But now the promotion is running into trouble: A patron apparently suggested to selectmen that the activity be banned.
    The skinny dip was typically done at night, no frontal nudity was exposed to customers and a towel was readily available, Turner said. "Most everybody applauded" after the plunge, Turner said.
    [for full story, please click here: Source]
    No mention was made of whether the dip is done in all weathers.

    Photo from the Black Frog's website.

    Horror on the Radio Waves

    I've been wanting to write a piece about this quiet little element in Portland's audio scene for quite some time, and the recent addition of an eerie William Hope Hodgson episode to their repertoire seems like the perfect opportunity. To quote Radio Drama Revival's blog:
    This is the premiere broadcast of a new work by Mind’s Eye Productions, an excellent audio theater operation run locally by the celebrated audiobook narrator William Dufris. Dufris lends his amazing talent to his audio theater work and pairs it with excellent sound effects and eerie music, resulting in stories that will leave you unable to get out of bed for a while. Today’s story is a thrilling adaptation of William Hope Hodgson’s “The Derelict,” about a crew of sailors that finds a strange boat adrift in the endless ocean, and discovers all too gruesomely the reason for its abandonment.
    You can go to the Radio Drama Revival site to download the story and listen to it for yourself.

    For years now, the folks at the Portland-based Mind's Eye Productions have been cranking out a slow but steady stream of Old Time Radio style recordings of horrific tales, under the series name of Nightmares on Congress Street. Their newest series is being released in 2008, under the title of Horrorscope, presented by Maine horror author Rick Hautala. I can't wait!

    To see more about these audio theater series, check out their website, and listen to some samples!

    Saturday, October 06, 2007

    Loren Coleman: At Home with Weirdness

    Like myself, Kathryn Skelton of the Lewiston Sun Journal recently found herself with a chance to visit Loren Coleman in his Portland home, which doubles as the International Cryptozoology Museum. Loren reports on the visit here.

    Kathryn's original article, with photos, is online at the Lewiston Sun Journal website.

    Loren's collection is truly a treasure, and an intriguing and fun one at that. Perhaps some philanthropic local will offer him public space for the museum in the future! Just an idea, folks...

    Photo by Amber Waterman of the Lewiston Sun Journal.