Showing posts with label ghost story. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ghost story. Show all posts

Friday, 8 October 2021

Friday Fics Fix - A Queer Horror Fanfic Rec List


Since it's October, and therefore a time for all things spooky and gothic (woohoo!) I thought I'd give you all a little taste of some horror fics.

Some of these are horror in that the specific piece of fanfiction is horror-based, and some of them are actually based on horror media/fandoms. OK? OK.

Oh, and they're all Queer af.

'Fics Fix!' with purple background and white lightning bolt shape

As I’ve mentioned before, Queer people love horror.

(Not all of us, obviously, that would be a sweeping generalisation, and everyone’s different, but a lot of Queer people do love horror. And I mean LOVE it.)

So, horror's Queer, fanfiction's Queer, let's pull some monsters outta the closet! 😉😎😅

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Nerd Church - Witch-Hunts and Fear: The Emotional Maturity of ParaNorman

 * = commission link

I love the movie ParaNorman*. It’s hugely underappreciated.

This beautiful, weird, stop-motion mash-up of classic horror and kids’ adventure tale is surprisingly emotionally mature.

It explores the way that fear creates hatred, which in turn creates fear and hatred. And that adults can sometimes act out when they’re scared, in ways that can hurt the people – the children – around them.

'Witch-Hunts and Fear: The Emotional Maturity of ParaNorman'

Warning: this post contains SPOILERS for the film ParaNorman, and discusses: persecution (including religious-based persecution,) Ableism, Transphobia, Homophobia, horror elements, executions, death

I’ve seen ParaNorman quite a few times now – it always strikes me like it’s the first time I’ve seen it.

I think I forget, in between watches, just how good this film is.

First-off, of course, I appreciate anything made with stop-motion animation – stop-motion uses puppets or models, which are imaged, frame-by-frame, as they are moved incrementally by hand.

When the still images are put together (at a rate of around 24 frames per second,) it generates the illusion of movement.

In order to create smooth-looking movement, the positioning of the models from one frame to the next has to be both minute and precise.

Friday, 4 June 2021

Friday Fics Fix - Pride Fics Fest: The Queer Umbrella (Academy)


Yes, it's June! Which means that here on Dora Reads I stop pretending that fanfiction is anything other than Queer af, and go all-out with my Pride Fics Fest.

'Fics Fix!' with purple background and white lightning bolt shape

What better way to kick off this year's Pride Fics Fest than with superhero TV show The Umbrella Academy (TUA)?

TUA is super Queer (pun very definitely intended,) and more than willing to give us two canonically Queer main characters in our superhero family ensemble.

Because this is fanfiction, I'll be looking at IDs which are both canon and not canon.

Friday, 19 March 2021

Friday Fics Fix - Movie Night Is Kind Of Crowded

'For Klaus, there are – approximately – seven million people crammed into this slumber party, most of them screaming at the top of their lungs'

'Fics Fix!' with purple background and white lightning bolt shape


I read a lot of Umbrella Academy fanfiction, like a butt-tonne.

So yes, this week's fic rec is once again an Umbrella Academy fic.

Friday, 26 February 2021

Friday Fics Fix - I Am Utter Trash and Do Not Care To Hide It

'...“But when he doesn’t show up for pancakes it's good practice to make sure he hasn’t fallen down a manhole or something,”

Klaus resists the urge to hiss.'

'Fics Fix!' with purple background and white lightning bolt shape

You know I love novel (or novella) length fanfiction.

The beautiful dedication that it takes to write a piece like this always makes me smile.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Friday Fics Fix - Haunting Metaphors (...and I'm Blaming the Coffee)

 (Warning: this post discusses mental health problems, as well as referencing abuse by parents.)

'Klaus blinked slowly, then nodded. “Yeah, what can I say? Some people just can’t accept that they’re f**king DEAD!”'

'Fics Fix!' with purple background and white lightning bolt shape

Now that I've finally finished watching Series 2 of The Umbrella Academy, it is of course time for some TUA fanfiction!

I'm Umbrella Academy trash, and proud of it! 😂😎

Friday, 8 January 2021

Friday Fics Fix - Avengers! Ghosts! Buzzfeed Unsolved!


'“I mean,” Clint cuts back in, “better safe than sorry. If it is a ghost, shouldn't you get the Tower blessed or cleansed or whatever?”'


'Fics Fix!' with purple background and white lightning bolt shape

Avengers! Ghosts! Buzzfeed Unsolved!

...To be honest, if that hasn't hooked you I don't know what I can say to convince you to read this week's fic. 

If you're intrigued, read on fair nerdlets! 

If not, go! 

Go now and frolic in peace!

(...I think I'm gonna be like this for the entire post. Just as a warning! The first week of 2021 has picked up where 2020 left off and I wasn't exactly normal to begin with 😅)

Friday, 4 September 2020

Friday Fics Fix - Klaus and Ben's Guide To The Parenting Of Dead Children


'Ben started laughing too. “What’s the matter, Klaus? Nonbinary ghost child should be right up your alley.”

That laughter was contagious, and Klaus gave in. “You know what? You’re right. Nonbinary ghost child is right up my alley. Good for you, kid!”'

'Fics Fix!' with purple background and white lightning bolt shape

Yes, we are talking Umbrella Academy...

But hang on a sec -

!! Please do NOT the SPOILERS !!

I'm only about half-way through series 2 of The Umbrella Academy, so please no spoilers! 

Diolch yn fawr iawn fy nghariadau!/Thanks v. much my loves!

Friday, 6 September 2019

Friday Fics Fix - Something Followed

'He can feel something else coming through, something uninvited.'

Fics Fix title image with purple background and white lightning bolt shape

I love horror.

...You may or may not have noticed.

Generally speaking, the less-realistic and more fake-looking the horror is, the more I'm freaked out.

There are some notable exceptions (Pet Sematary *shudders*) but overall, the more realistic and convincing the horror is, the more I'm like: meh, it's a ghost.

Related Reading: Nerd Church - My Real-Life Ghost Stories

Friday, 30 August 2019

Friday Fics Fix - Ghosting Through

'Twitching his fingers before scrunching the light grey fabric up in his fingers. The small motion making his fingers ache and nearly all of his joints pop. Speaking with his voice coming out harsh and scratchy, “now where?”.'
Fics Fix title image with purple background and white lightning bolt shape

Sometimes you just come across something fresh and interesting and... you have to read the thing.

This fic is the thing. I had to read it.

OK, I've talked about Danny Phantom and my UNDYING LOVE for that cartoon before now.

Danny Fenton making love-struck eyes while little pink hearts float around him
Via Giphy

But if you're not aware of it:

Basically, this kid is half-ghost (yes, that's a thing, just go with it,) and fights bad ghosts; his parents are ghost hunters and don't know he's half-ghost because they're both oblivious and a li'l incompetent.

...But they have moments of brilliance that always seem to negatively affect Danny. Because typical 00's cartoon parents.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Review Time! (Graphic Novel Edition!) - Watersnakes by Tony Sandoval

This post contains affiliate links for (USA.) I earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Watersnakes title graphic, with a sword shape underlining the word

Title: Watersnakes

Author: Tony Sandoval

Watersnakes book cover showing girls in armour and holding swords
Graphic Novel, Fantasy*, Young Adult, Magic Realism, LGBTQ+ (F/F), Horror*, Ghost Story* (*ish) 

Buy Now USA

Friday, 28 June 2019

Friday Fics Fix - Murder House Party!

“You guys seem really chill about all this,” observed Ben. “By this point most people are running around screaming.”

“Occupational hazard,” said Klaus.

“I’ve lost a lot of blood,” said Diego. “I’m just accepting everything at face value right now.”

Fics Fix title image with purple background and white lightning bolt shape

If there's one thing that Netflix has got me obsessed with as much as Umbrella Academy, it's American Horror Story.

(Only on season 2 #NoSpoilersPlease!)

Friday, 18 January 2019

Friday Fics Fix - He's a Phantom!

'Most of the lesson was spent in silence, with the usual crash outside followed by Danny's hand shooting up and asking to go to the bathroom; reappearing later on when the ghost fight was over, claiming to have gotten stuck under some debris from the fight.'

fics fix title image with purple background and white lightning bolt shape

I miss Danny Phantom.

I really hope that at least some of you have heard of, and/or watched this cartoon, because if not it's just an injustice!

(Also, it ended over a decade ago and I feel very old now.)

And a shout-out is due to the awesome Carrie @ Cat on the Bookshelf, who got me in a Danny Phantom mood!

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Nerd Church - My Real-Life Ghost Stories

It's Halloween on Wednesday... let's make this week's Nerd Church spoopy!

scared Victorian-y chick reading at night in an armchair

Do you believe in ghosts?

I do...

Kind of.

(You know nothing is ever simple with me!)

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Comics Wrap-Up - Setting Fire To The Sky

Graphic Novels

This week, I reviewed Rendez-Vous in Phoenix by Tony Sandoval (UK - USA ) a generally great graphic novel about a young man crossing the border into America.

There are some issues with the representation of black people, which I went into further in my review, but overall it's a great book.

Other Stuff

I read a fairly damn cool ghost-based webcomic called 'The Auntie' by Alyssa Wong and Wendy Xu.


Over on Women Write About Comics, Sergio Alexis wrote an awesome post about queer rep.

Alexis, quite rightly, points out that The Big Two (Marvel and DC to those who don't speak hard-core nerd,) are cr*p at selling queer comics, but that queer comics do sell elsewhere.

It's a really interesting piece, so give it a glance :)

Like this post? Give these a try:

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Welsh Halloween Traditions

Stop the presses! She's talking about Wales again!

Look, I know, I talk about Wales a lot but that's because

a) I'm Welsh,
b) this is one of the most beautiful and magical places on the planet,
c) you guys seem to know very little about my lovely country/principality, and

So, humour me a little more, and let me tell you about Welsh Halloween traditions. Most of which, unfortunately, are now passed over in favour of trick or treating and parties.

I never went trick or treating, but that's because my parents are socialist hippies who viewed it as a disrespectful form of begging.

And I'm vegetarian and most of the sweets were made with gelatine.

(I did go trick or treating with two of my mates as a teenager - I told my parents we were just having a party at one girl's house. I'm such a rebel, lol.)


My mother tells me when she was young, they would carve swedes for Halloween. Yes, swedes. Not pumpkins.

Pumpkins actually aren't native to the UK, and in the 60s and 70s, it was easier to get hold of swedes instead (though definitely more difficult to carve!)

Also, Jack o'Lantern is an old British (yes, that includes non-Welsh Britain,) word for a Will o'th' Wisp - a dancing light sprite/fairy/spirit thing that tempted travellers into dangerous places like swamps and hidden pools.

Nos Galan Gaeaf

The Welsh version of Halloween is Nos Galan Gaeaf (not to be confused with Nos Galan - New Year's Eve.)

Nos Galan Gaeaf is the night before the first day of winter. It was thought to be Ysbrydnos - a night when spirits are abroad and able to gather at places where the worlds are close together like graveyards, stiles, crossroads, bridges, etc.


Halloween has always been the perfect time for divination here, because the other world is close. It's also one of our most important Halloween traditions.

One form of divination involved hanging clothing/underwear on a washing line at midnight.

Some stories tell of young women hanging their knickers on the line; the spectre of the man she was to marry would appear and touch them (I know, this story sounds considerably dodgy.)

Some stories say that the future was revealed by whatever ghostly image appeared by a person's clothing - a crib, for example, meaning the person would have a child soon.

The spookier stories tell of coffins appearing above a person's clothing, and death soon after.

Then there's the rocks, placed in a fire, with the names of the people in the household written on them.

If the rocks were gone in the morning, that person would die within the year. This was mainly a North Welsh tradition, I think, so I don't know much about it.

In honesty, there seem to be as many divination rituals here as there are families.

Everyone seemed to have a different method of telling the future, though even within the last 50 years it's gotten less and less.

Apple-bobbing was also a divination method; that's how it started. The first girl to actually bring up an apple was the next to be wed.

And of course, they would then peel the apple, in as long a strip as possible. You then drop the peel, and whatever letter it seems to make will be the initial of the person you are to marry (this one is still relatively popular.)

Mari Lwyd

Still occasionally carried out, mari lwyd ('the grey Mary') is a traditional costume and/or effigy using a horse's skull, garlands, and a sheet. 

It's now usually used around Christmas and New Year, but originally was used at Halloween too. It chases people (in modern times, the people have agreed to this!) around their homes in exchange for money and/or food.

No-one actually knows why.

Goblin/ghost funerals

This isn't a phenomena specific to Halloween, but I think it's probably worth mentioning here, as the worlds being closer together ups the chances of it occurring.

There are numerous stories here of processions of the dead - sometimes this is the people who will die within the year, all marching through country lanes, sometimes it is the portent of a funeral to come - complete with the mourners who will be there.

Sometimes it's a procession of Y Tylwyth Teg - the Fair Folk, (the Grey Folk, the Ladies and Gentlemen, the Old Ones, etc.) carrying out their own funerals.

(Always speak respectfully of the Grey Folk, and never thank them - they don't like it. Also an alcoholic beverage, or some sugar, or some dairy produce, will go a long way. And potentially make the local cats very happy.)

Look, we have a lot of folklore - and I read a ridiculously large amount of local folklore books, ok? ;)

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Month in Review(s) - September 2016

September was the month that various sh** hit various fans.

In case you're not caught-up on all the goings-on of the bookish online community, let me briefly summarise:

  • Some people questioned authors about the lack of diversity in their books (no matter you're opinion on this, those people had the right to ask the questions.) This resulted in trolling.

  • There was a video on BookTube (the bookish portion of YouTube,) by a horrible person who sees diversity as a dirty word, and is generally a bigoted jerk. She then took offence when it turned out a lot of people didn't agree with her.

  • White supremacist & Nazi trolls decided to spread their racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, etc. hatred by trolling members of the online bookish community. Most of these people were also Trump supporters.

  • A US library magazine called VOYA showed some of the worst customer service you can imagine in their response to criticism of their apparently bi-phobic reviewing.
...I think that covers most of it. It was an... interesting month.

But we, as a community, are pulling through this... I hope.

As far as my blogging stats go this month, things have been good :)

I discovered an acronym for my blog which had been staring me in the face the whole time - DORA. Which I will now be using when Diary of a Reading Addict is too long-winded.

I passed 30k page-views for the first time (!!!!) and now see between 100 and 300 page-views on a typical day :)

I gained a handful of followers on BlogLovin and Twitter, though not as many as I would've liked.

I also noticed something in terms of my Twitter followers, which kind of upset me.

Whenever I tweet about anything to do with LGBTQ+ issues, I lose 2-3 followers; that's per tweet where I mention queer issues, characters, books, etc.

At first I thought it was just coincidence - but after that it became too regular, and I couldn't believe it was coincidence any more.

It's not like I tweet about LGBTQ+ an excessively large amount... is it? I don't think I do.

Anyway, I figure I'm better off without followers like that. As upsetting as that is.

But I just want to thank all the people who do read this blog, like and RT my tweets, comment on my posts, and continue to follow me.

I love you. Each of you is worth 1000 of those homophobic a*sholes.

In a month of trolls, bigotry, and bad news, there were two high-points - my birthday, and you guys.

So, to the books I reviewed this month:

Young Adult

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova - Fantasy, Witches, LGBTQ+
As I Descended by Robin Talley - Ghost story, Horror, LGBTQ+



The Sun Dragon's Song #1 - Kids, Fantasy

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Review Time! - As I Descended by Robin Talley

Title: As I Descended

Author: Robin Talley

Genre: YA, Ghost Story, Horror, LGBTQ+ (F/F and M/M)

Release Date: 6th September 2016

Amazon: UK - USA

A few starting notes:

I received a free digital review copy of this book via NetGalley. NetGalley provides review copies from publishers in exchange for fair and honest reviews.

A young adult re-telling of Macbeth. In a boarding school. With LGBTQ+ protagonists. Hell yes!

I sooo wanted to read this - so much so that when my request to receive an eArc was declined on Edelweiss, I marched myself straight over the NetGalley to see if it was listed there.

And on NetGalley I was approved!!!!!!! XD XD

Happy book nerd all around!!!!!!!


Lily wants her girlfriend to come to the same college as her after they graduate.

Maria deserves the best, and the Cawdor Kingsley prize would mean the scholarship of her choice. It would be perfect.

The thing standing in their way? Queen bee Delilah Dufrey.

It wasn't meant to go down like this. But after that night with the Ouija board, nothing goes to plan.

They wanted Delilah out of the way, and they just might get it.

Best bits:

Let's just take a moment to appreciate the diversity in this book:

The central relationship is between two girlfriends, one of which is Latina, and the other of which is disabled.

The two main supporting characters are boyfriends Mateo (another Latinx character) and Brandon.

None of this feels forced, and none of the characters feel 2-dimensional.

As well as being diverse, it is a damn good horror/ghost story.

With enough nods to the original Macbeth to keep the bard lovers reading, Talley weaves a story full of creepy tension and layers of meaning.

Because there is some deep sh** going on beneath the surface here - themes of ambition, insecurity, and hypocrisy all feature.

And Talley doesn't shy away from the issues either.

Her characters face the sting of homophobia in a variety of forms, and the irritation of being the only people of colour (PoC) in the school and therefore used by the establishment as proof that the school has left its racist roots behind.

The achievements of Lily and Mateo are often put down to 'affirmative action' - despite how hard they work, they can never get full credit for what they've done; and this, understandably, makes Lily in particular pretty damned angry.

The way Talley deals with these issues is truly skilful. She neither belittles them, nor makes them the central point of the book. They are an aspect of a complex plot filled with complex characters.

Honestly, there's so many excellent points that I could make about this book that I couldn't possibly get to them all. You'll have to read it to find out ;)

Not so great bits:

Personally, I would've loved an expansion on some parts of this book.

What is up with minor characters Austin and Felicia, who clearly know a hell of lot more than they should? Why is the dining room such a focal point for the spirits? Is the woman really La Llorona, like Mateo thinks? I NEED MORE!

It would've also been a plus to up the exploration of the Brandon/Mateo and Lily/Maria relationships.

I felt like there was so much more space for development there, and was left slightly unsatisfied when this aspect didn't fulfil its potential.

I also found the ending slightly underwhelming. There was nothing wrong with it - I just felt like it needed more POW!

('POW!' is now officially a technical term. I've decided.)

There're some issues in this book that people may have trouble with, including (but not limited to,) - death, ghosts, homophobia, self-harm, suicide, drugs, and a disturbing lack of interest by the authorities in what is happening at this school.

I didn't notice any swearing, but the odd word might've snuck in there.

There's a lot of violence, blood, gore, and references to the sexy times.

If you don't like ghosts or horror, then maybe try a different book. ;)


Well-written diverse YA horror with complex themes and characters!!!!!!!!

Book, will you marry me? ;)

Update 27th Jan 2017 - In the interest of fairness and openness, here is a Goodreads review from a reviewer who had a lot of problems with the representation of various people in this book.

Buy Now UKBuy Now USAGoodreadsAuthor's Site

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Month in Review(s) - June 2016

We're half-way through the year folks! Which is kind of rocking, really, because it means we're that much closer to Christmas.

(I love Christmas!)

Anyway, back to the summer-ish-ness of June, and I can honestly say I read a little bit of everything this month.

Plus it was a pretty fab month blog-wise: I reached over 750 Twitter followers, over 15k blog page-views (ARGH!!!!!) and over 30 Bloglovin followers.


(I'm a massive Juno Dawson fan - so this was kind of a fantabulously big deal to me.)

So catch up on all my reviews this month with this handy link-list (and I've added cover images, because I spoil you.)


Young Adult

Say Her Name by Juno Dawson - Horror, Ghost Story
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly - Historical Fiction, Crime


Life Blood by V M Black - Romance, Paranormal, Vampires, Novella
Landline by Rainbow Rowell - Contemporary, Chick Lit, Magic Realism, Romance* (*ish)

Graphic Novels

Codename Baboushka, Vol: The Conclave of Death - Spy, Gangster, Thriller, Crime
Klaw, The First Cycle - Young Adult, Fantasy, Superhero*, Paranormal* (*ish - there are shifters of various types and somewhat of a superhero origin story.)