“The Jewish Book of Horror, ed. Josh Schlossberg (pub. Denver Horror Collective) is a dark, informative and entertaining read. I was drawn to this book because I was wondering how can a people, who have endured so much during the history of the human race, create fictional horror and I also wanted to know what was different about ‘Jewish’ horror compared to standard offerings.”
On the first night of Hanukkah, November 28 at 5 pm PT / 6 MT / 7 CT / 8 ET Denver Horror Collective hosts “Jewish Horror 101,” an hour-long virtual Zoom event celebrating the publication of the award-winning small press’ third horror fiction anthology, THE JEWISH BOOK OF HORROR, available online and at bookstores across the U.S.
Whether it’s pirate rabbis or demon-slaying Bible queens, concentration camp vampires or beloved, fearless bubbies, THE JEWISH BOOK OF HORROR offers you twenty-two dark tales about the culture, history, and folklore of the Jewish people, selected by award-winning editor and horror author Josh Schlossberg, with a foreword by Rabbi John Carrier and introduction by Molly Adams of the Jewish Horror Review.
“Jewish Horror 101” will feature five anthology authors revealing secrets about famous and lesser-known creatures from Jewish folklore and mythology appearing in their stories, including the golem (Simon Rosenberg), Lilith (Molly Adams), the dybbuk (John Baltisberger), mazzikim (Emily Ruth Verona), the alukah (Michael Picco), and the Watchers.
In “Dark Wisdom,” we seek writing and/or publishing advice from the horror fiction masters making up Denver Horror Collective’s Advisory Council.
For this installment, we pick the brains of Carina Bissett, a Colorado Springs-based writer, poet, and educator working primarily in the fields of speculative fiction and interstitial art.
How does mythology influence modern horror fiction?
CARINA BISSETT: By its very nature, mythology provides a broad foundation for writers to build upon. This can also be said when it comes to urban legends, folklore, and fairy tales. These stories tend to speak to universal truths, which is one of the reasons they have endured throughout history. With just a few words, a writer can invoke setting, theme, and mood. Well-known symbols—such as apples, serpents, crows, mirrors, teeth, flowers, chalices, shoes—create a shortcut into story. However, despite their familiarity, they also allow for distance, which can be a useful tool for writers commenting on contemporary issues.