Live events really shaped Morbid Curiosity magazine. After the release of each issue, I hosted a reading at Borderlands Books in San Francisco’s Mission District. These included as many of the contributors as I could squeeze into 2 hours. That’s how I got to hear M. Christian read his searing “Various Assorted Endings.”
I also hosted open mics at the World Horror Conventions, inviting guests to get up and read or tell their true morbid adventures. Often, if a story really spoke to me, I’d encourage the author or storyteller to submit it to the next issue of the magazine.
Which is how I got Willow’s “Childhood Hauntings” for Morbid Curiosity#6. She got up at the Morbid Curiosity Open Mic in Seattle and very quietly told about the ghosts who befriended her when she was a child. I recorded the story and transcribed it, then published it with her permission. Sometimes a story was so good, it didn’t need a writer to write it down.
I heard William Grace telling about volunteering for medical tests at a party. Several years later, Michael Jackson died of the drug that had been tested on William. He read his story at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle, after Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues came out. The experience is that much more terrifying in the light of hindsight.
This ghost story, by Jill Tracy, also comes from Morbid Curiosity #6:
The Keeper of the Shop, part 1:
The Keeper of the Shop, part 2:
Copies of Morbid Curiosity #6 and some of the other back issues are still available here.