Coffin Opener

In the literally immortal words of the host of “Tales From the Crypt”. . .welcome fright fans!


Welcome, kiddies! Heh, heh. 

 Christopher A. Leppek and I (the infamous demented duo) creak open our cobweb encrusted door of imagination and beckon you to enter and not be afraid. is dedicated to fans of darkness. Horror, the occasional smattering of blood and the curdle of a good, long scream. This is your site and we urge you to share your deepest fears, your worst nightmares and even have you comment on your favorite scary movie.

There are no rules here. Only a need for honesty and your ongoing participation.

Simply put, this horror blog’s for you!

So what has compelled Mister Leppek and me to write horror for the past 20 years! It certainly wasn’t for the money; our first story sold for the huge monetary sum of $20. No, it’s obviously much more than that. We’ve been telling people ad infinitum that some people go home and drink themselves to a stupor; some are cruel to their spouses; and still others chose to vegetate for hours in front of their new-found God – a fifty inch plasma. Nope, that’s not us. We revel for the opportunity to shut out the pressures of our daily lives and to sit before a blank MicrosoftWord page and conjure tales that will hopefully frighten, disturb and, most importantly, entertain our legion of devoted fans.

Even for the proverbial high-brows, horror has its place in society and always will. Take a look at Shakespeare’s Macbeth for example. If the opening with demented witches cackling and cursing doesn’t qualify as horror what does? It’s like telling someone that you love Stephen King and their response is, “Oh, I don’t read or watch that kind of stuff.” I love to counter by asking them if they ever saw “Shawshank Redemption” or “Stand By Me”. I love the look on their faces when they learn that Master King created both.




Three witches are much better than one. . .

 Whether you are old or young, male or female (or in between), no matter your race or background. . .we don’t care. Our only concern is that you join is in our slightly sinister quest – as just one part of the Demented Duo – to create a global on-line society of horror fans.

If you automatically gravitate to the horror section at Blockbuster, we want you!

If you are drawn to authors such as Matheson, Lovecraft, Poe and Barker, we want you!

If you relish in the noir, we want you!

And if you prefer a creepy fright as compared to a romance novel, we want you!

Join us.

Don’t be afraid.

Don’t disappoint us.

You are not alone.

Fondly, Emanuel Isler, one half of the Demented Duo.

The co-creator of Chaosicon


Dear Surfers and fellow Darksters:

”Blog” – what a strangely fascinating, Cyber-age, word. Almost rhymes with “Blob,” which – as I believe is written somewhere else on this website – was the movie that originally interested my partner-in-gore, Mani Isler, in the overall subject of horror.

Not me. The nail in the coffin for me was a sub-B movie from Britain called “Horrors of the Black Museum.” I saw it when I was 9 or 10 years old, a year or two after it came out, already being recycled on TV, no doubt on “Shock Theater” or “Creature Features,” two marvelous Friday night horror-fests that were put on by Denver’s Channel 2 back in the dark old days.

The infamous “Black Museum” featured a diabolical pair of binoculars, given to an unsuspecting scream queen (pretty, in an early-60s kind of way, but whose name I never knew) by the dastardly villain of the movie. She opened the nicely wrapped gift box, promptly put the binoculars to her eyes and proceeded to adjust the focus.

Big mistake.

Instantly, out of the eyepieces projected two horrific spikes, dreadfully sharp and long, which bore themselves into the poor woman’s eyes and, no doubt, her brain.



“Horrors of the Black Museum” — hey, you ain’t kidding!

The utter dread I experienced while hearing her scream, and watching the blood flow from between the fingers which covered her ex-eyes, would eventually transform itself into the horror-writing freak you now behold and whose words you are presently reading.

There were many stops along the course of this evolution, of course.  All the old Universal classics.  The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits.  Boris Karloff’s Thriller (Yeah!). Poe.  Stoker.  Lovecraft.  Matheson.  King.  Even a little Maurice Level (mercilessly cruel endings) and Poppy Z. Brite (astonishingly bizarre and uncompromisingly horrific, but brilliant at the same time).

All of which leads me to that which I presume led you here – a love of horror. All horror freaks have a starting point – a movie, short story or novel, perhaps even a poem or a painting, a particularly macabre piece of music – which lit that original spark. I’d love to hear from others like myself what that spark might have been, what circumstances surrounded its lighting, what effects it has had on your lives and your appreciation of the dark and horrific.More than this, my partner-in-gore and I would love to hear your comments about anything in the wide and wonderful world of the macabre, whether new or old, whether written, filmed, televised or recorded, whether good reviews or bad, whether just shooting the breeze or waxing all intellectual and literary.

That includes, of course, our own contribution to the genre, Chaosicon, which I presume some of you have read and others might consider reading in the future. Go ahead, savage it, if you will. (We can take it, rest assured, but occasional praise is welcome too.)

Upon which subject, allow me to submit for your consideration a little anecdote about the novel. Although the cover with which it was originally released by Write Way is a lovely specimen (and full deserving kudos goes to artist Gail Cross for that) it was not the original idea. That came from my ultra-talented sister-in-law, Vicki McDonald Leppek, who painted the macabre masterpiece below. It features Nyx, the ancient Greek goddess of the night, who is spreading her mythological cloak (denoting not only nightfall but the primacy of Chaos) over the unsuspecting American town of Coffeyville. It’s full of mystical symbolism which readers of the novel can have fun trying to decipher, based on the story.


The lovely and eternal “Nyx” by Vicki McDonald-Leppek

Long story short: Although Mani and I both loved the painting and its uncompromising aspect of terror, our erstwhile publisher felt it way over the top, likely to discourage counter sales, perhaps even lead to complaints about its, shall we say, skeletal nudity. The publisher flatly nixed the idea (pun fully intended!) and the cover came out quite differently.

So here it is at last – unveiled before what I sincerely hope will be a fully appreciative audience – the dark goddess Nyx in all her nocturnal and chaotic glory.

A final note: This delightfully sanguine website is the imaginative progeny of webmaster Jack Strube, a techie who not only loves the macabre but might be one of the world’s most authoritative Star Wars experts. He’s damnably good at what he does, as you can see, and can be reached via this website.

Goodnight kiddies, til next time!

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