Emerian Rich is the creator of HorrorAddicts.net — a podcast, blog, and publishing house — catering to horror enthusiasts. She served as editor or co-editor for five books under that imprint. She’s also the author of the vampire book series, Night’s Knights, has been published in 40+ fiction anthologies, works for two magazines, is a voice actress, and graphic artist.
She also works at a cemetery.
I wanted to ask her some questions about her latest book, Manor of Frights, which just came out last month.
Manor of Frights
Imagine a Victorian house where every room is cursed with a frightful existence. Are monsters in the halls? Ghosts left to fester in the library? Or are the rooms themselves enchanted with malevolent energy? What was summoned long ago and what doorways were left open? Manor of Frights is a collection of tales all set in different rooms of the same house.
With authors: Loren Rhoads, Judith Pancoast, Daphne Strasert, Mark Orr, Michael Fassbender, R.L. Merrill, Sumiko Saulson, Ollie Fox, Barend Nieuwstraten III, Rosetta Yorke, Amanda Leslie, Lesley Warren, BF Vega, DW Milton, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jason Fischer, and Emerian Rich.
Here’s an interview with Emerian Rich, editor of Manor of Frights:
Have you ever seen a ghost?
Yes, I have. It’s weird… Every time I have seen a ghost, I’ve thought it was a real person I was talking to. My clearest vision of one happened when I was a little girl. A girl in a yellow dress — I thought she was part of my sunbeam troop — beckoned me to follow her. I did, then she was gone. When I asked where the girl went, the other people there didn’t know who I was talking about. I also saw some little kid ghosts in the same church. It was a creepy place.
What is it like to work in a cemetery?
Nothing like I thought it would be. Much more customer service and people-related than spooky. People who are grieving are all different and handle it differently. Sometimes I console them, sometimes I am their therapist, and other times they’d rather just sign papers and get out of there without many words spoken. I try to read the situation and give them what level of human understanding they require at the time.
Has anything spooky ever happened at the cemetery when you were there alone?
Not really. I’ve gotten scared by noises out there, but it’s always ended up being a deer or squirrel. I’ve had people (ashes) in my office for a while and nothing has happened. I thought maybe when we have had to disinter the ashes because the family wants to move them, they might get mad and be a restless spirit, but so far… nope. The creepiest thing for me was when we had the recent storms and a huge tree fell over, bringing headstones up out of the ground with it! Those gaping holes near the roots kinda reminded me of a hellhole, but it was just dirt. Ha!
What’s your favorite haunted house?
Probably the one in The Woman in Black. It’s so cool to watch. I mean, I’d get someone to go in and remove the blasted cymbal-clanging monkeys, but after that, I’d be right at home. Haha.
Where did the idea for the Manor of Frights anthology originate?
I have always loved haunted house stories or stories where something is going on in a house and the residents don’t know what it is or what it wants. I’ve lived in so many different houses in my life, I love to see how people live differently. I thought opening up a fictitious house for people to fill would be a great way to see lots of different rooms through the eyes of some imaginative writers. I was right. I got so many stories I enjoyed this year, I had to turn half of the ones I wanted away. It was a great problem to have.
What can you tell us about the variety of stories/monsters in Manor of Frights?
I was really surprised by the variety of stories I got this time. I mean, I would never have thought of some of these tales. We’ve got smexy sea monsters, demons, ghosts, murderous toys, flower-devouring mistresses, mistress-devouring flowers, and a study that is filled with inhuman monstrous objects. It’s lucky any of us got out of there alive!
In the book, your story about zombies is really funny. Was there something that specifically inspired it?
Thank you! To tell you the truth, I wrote it for another anthology that a friend of mine was running. At the time, I was really into watching those documentaries where they recreate the upstairs/downstairs lives of those big houses like 1940s House. My friend’s anthology goal was to make sure that at least one person survived a horror happening in the story. When he fell ill and could no longer complete the anthology, I stuck the story away and didn’t look at it for a while. Re-reading it brought back good memories of him and his vision for his book. I adapted it to go into Manor of Frights because I felt it brought a good balance into the anthology. It brings a little humor into the book and plays nicely against some of the more serious pieces.
To read Emerian’s comic zombie story and so much more, treat yourself to a copy of Manor of Frights!