Today I am interviewing author Krystall Garrett about her new release Among The Headstones. And find out what creeps her out!
How do you feel about cemeteries? Do find them creepy?
I used to find cemeteries creepy when I was young. Now as I’ve grown older, I know that zombies aren’t going to crawl out of the ground and eat my insides. However, there is always a sense of ‘What if…?’ What if the ghosts of those laid to rest are haunting the grounds? That is creepy to think about.
What gives you the creeps?
Noises in the night, when I know everyone in the house is asleep, yet I hear footsteps coming down the stairs.
Or when my cat stares off into the darkness, her hair standing on end. I can’t see anything, but she clearly can – so what is there?
What’s the creepiest place you’ve ever been to?
The Lincoln Theatre Hotel in Decatur was built over the ashes of an earlier hotel that burned town in 1915, with people trapped alive in the inferno. The ghosts of those who perished in the flames are said to haunt the new hotel, roaming the mezzanine, the high balcony, the basement and the sub-cellars.
I have been there several times for ballet recitals, etc. One Halloween night I attended a seance at midnight to see if we could get the spirit of Houdini to visit us.
During the séance, we were sitting as a group on the stage. Up in one of the top rows of the balcony there was a shadow person watching. The shadow didn’t move, and we could not tell if it was a woman or a man. After the séance we got permission to explore the haunted theatre. Naturally, we hurried straight to the balcony to find out who had been watching us.
Nobody was there. We hadn’t met anyone on our way to the balcony, so where had this shadowy person gone? I’ll always wonder if there it was a living person who had exited the balcony and passed us unnoticed, or if we had seen a ghost.
What do you like about the Gothic Fiction genre?
I like how the buildings and environment are characters. I enjoy details, such as the faint footsteps on the creaking winding staircase. Gothic Fiction stimulates all my senses.
Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
I listen to ghost stories and wonder how this haunting came to be, or how it would affect me if it was true. Other writing ideas come from strange calls I’ve run on as a paramedic, and from my nightmares and dreams.
This book, edited by Rayne Hall, presents twenty-seven of the finest – and creepiest – graveyard tales with stories by established writers, classic authors and fresh voices.
Here you’ll find Gothic ghost stories by Robert Ellis, Lee Murray, Greg Chapman, Morgan Pryce, Rayne Hall, Guy de Maupassant, Myk Pilgrim, Zachary Ashford, Amelia Edwards, Nina Wibowo, Krystal Garrett, Tylluan Penry, Ambrose Bierce, Cinderella Lo, Nikki Tait, Arthur Conan Doyle, Priscilla Bettis, Kyla Ward, Edgar Allan Poe, Paul D Dail, Cameron Trost, Pamela Turner, William Meikle and Lord Dunsany who thrill with their eerie, macabre and sometimes quirky visions.
You’ll visit graveyards in Britain, Indonesia, Russia, China, Italy, Bulgaria, Thailand, USA, Australia, South Africa and Japan, and you can marvel at the burial customs of other cultures.
Now let’s open the gate – can you hear it creak on its hinges? – and enter the realm of the dead. Listen to the wind rustling the yew, the grating of footsteps on gravel, the hoo-hoo-hoo of the collared dove. Run your fingers across the tombstones to feel their lichen-rough sandstone or smooth cool marble. Inhale the scents of decaying lilies and freshly dug earth. But be careful. Someone may be watching your every movement… They may be right behind you.
Purchase Link: mybook.to/Headstones
The ebook is available for pre-order from Amazon at the special offer price of 99 cents until 31 January 2022. (After that date, the price will go up.) A paperback is about to be published.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Krystal Garrett lives in Midwest USA with her husband and three daughters. Her love affair with horror began as a child when the good guy doll, Chucky, graced her TV screen. She loves all things horror. She is a paramedic by day and a writer by night.
26 thoughts on “Interview with author Krystall Garrett”
When I hear strange noises at night, I tell myself that it’s either my cats, or else some irregularity in the pump that pumps ground water into the house. I always hope it’s one of the two… but some sounds are distinctly weird. Like, footsteps above my bedroom. I live in a single storey house. Why would someone walk across my roof in the night? Scary thought!
Cats in the dark are weird, or they act weirdly. My cat doesn’t give me creeps anymore, but for a long time, she did. Now I got used to her routine. I just wonder why. She mostly does this meaningless staring in the daylight but sometimes at night, too. When it is all dark, she stays focused on a spot which is generally my bedroom wall, and she observes it without any movement. It is just a wall after all, what can she be looking at so attentively? Is she seeing something I can’t see, like a ghost? Or is it just a small insect? Obviously, I go for the second possibility and sleep peacefully.
My cats do that sometimes too.
That does sound creepy!
Great interview. I don’t have acluphobia but weird noises in the dark would freak out even the ghosts if they are not the reasons hahaha. Who knows, maybe they are?!
Sometimes I feel like we all hear weird noises at night, just don’t talk about them often to not feel weird about it. I used to live on the third floor, right under the roof, and I heard some shuffling or scratching noises from above every night. When I asked my housemates, they said they never heard anything. I quickly convinced myself not to pay attention to it, and it was all good, but until now, I don’t know what it was.
Oh, and you mentioned strange calls at your work – for a paramedic, I bet they can be really creepy! Was there any particular call that gave you inspiration for your stories?
Weird noises, yes! the door creaking, plates clanking or falling of the rack. Most times i just blame it on a rodent or an insect and preserve my peace of mind.
How do you write? Do you have a schedule, follow a routine, or just go with motivation?
Hi Rayne. It is extremely terrifying to think of someone walking on the roof. My imagination is running wild with the things it could be. I remember as a kid when I heard strange noises my parents always used the line “the house is settling”. As an adult I wonder if they knew more than they let onto.
Hi MT. Cats are just so strange. I am kind of scared of bugs too, so I’m not sure which is the worse to deal with lol
Hi Tiffany. I love my cat but when she acts like that I think we should live apart lol
Hi Sencer. Thank you! I definitely think my imagination gets the best of me.
Hi Lana. It makes me feel like I’m losing my mind when others can’t or don’t hear the noises I hear.
I did have one particular call that inspired the first short story I wrote. My team and I worked a cardiac arrest. It was a pretty standard call. We followed our protocols and nothing out of the ordinary happened. However, our patient had a lot of Indian artifacts all over her home. These artifacts were in her yard and every room that we saw. Unfortunately, we couldn’t save her. After I got home I thought about where her spirit went. Her beliefs seemed different than mine. Did she stick around? Did she go off to the afterworld? Or did she believe in heaven or hell. I will never be able to know her beliefs, but what if her spirit stuck around. I worked in the midst of the pandemic. I’ve lost patients in the back of my ambulance because they could no longer breath. I drew inspiration from both experiences and created a horror story about haunted artifacts that spread death.
Hi Marvellous. Thank you for your reply. The thought of rodents making noises makes my skin crawl lol but that is one good benefit about my cat. She keeps them away except for the dead ones she leaves at the door as an offering. I don’t have a routine. I am a pretty new author so right now I write when I have time. With a full time job and three kids I don’t have as much as I would like. I am hoping to find ways to fix that.
Great interview!! We have a lot of cats around here and there are some instances where they just stare off in one direction, it does give me goosebumps when you can see they’re just staring into the void. I haven’t indulged much in the Gothic Fiction genre, I would love to experience how it can be sense stimulating as well. Looking forward to the anthology!
Thank you Jayvel. I didn’t really know gothic fiction was a thing, until I took a horror writing course that described the different genres of horror. It was very interesting to learn about.
Talha Efe AY
It’s really strange that they went and built another hotel over a burned one. Maybe I’m drifting away from the topic but I really wonder how’s the business for that place. Sure, there must be some people demanding a haunted hotel, but for the most part, that must’ve been a big turn-off for visitors.
As much as I would like to live in a house (I live in a flat now), I would be horrified to hear those spooky noises even if I am not alone in the house. Staring cats would add an extra chill to the experience…
Thank you for another great interview! Looking forward to reading your story.
A very fascinating interview. I found the story about the Lincoln Theatre Hotel kind of spooky.
It seems many writers are cat owners for some reason…
For me, after living quite a few years with two black cats in the house, I’m starting to think that in fact they’re the ones keeping me safe and not the other way round 🙂
Can you tell us more about your writing process?? How could you differentiate typical horror to on mixed with gothic?
I’m curious when did you find out that you have a liking for writing stories? When you started, did you write horror stories, or were you drawn to other genres before shifting to horror? I’m looking forward to reading more from you!
Noises in the night are sure creepy
Where do you listen to ghost stories from?
We have a tendency to find reasons for those noises. I think it is mandatory to live on otherwise everyday would be a nightmare.
Also, it’s incredible how you draw inspiration from your work shifts! You never know which call is going to leave a trace in your mind, huh? I’m so curious to find that first story of yours, now. By the way, did that day inspire you to write as a whole, or was it just the last push of inspiration you needed?
What a fascinating reply, and what a shame I only came back to see it now! Thank you for answering my questions, Krystall. It does feel strange to hear (or see) something others don’t. Reminds me of a theory that supernatural entities are all around us, but our ancestors have convinced themselves to ignore them – and here we are, unable to take that step back.
There must be countless strange situations that you come across daily as a paramedic, Krystall. Was there a specific incident or a patient that made you say “I must write about this”?