We’ve all been scared at one time or another. Sometimes it’s thrilling, sometimes it’s unwelcome. It’s best when it inspires imagination and reminds you why you are alive. But the idea of a scary story is so limited. The set up, the growing tension, the horror, and then probably a twist. If you’ve spent any time watching movies or reading books, you know there are so many other emotions created by scary stories. Stories that are eerie, dark, macabre, grim, peculiar, imaginative, unsettling, mysterious, and strange are so much more than scary—they’re thought provoking and inspiring. They awaken a sense of lighthearted darkness.
When the idea of The Weird Reader first came to me, it seemed perfect. Being born on Halloween, I’ve always loved taking my enthusiasm of the holiday to the next level. My parents inadvertently helped out by raising me on The Twilight Zone, Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock, Tim Burton, and all the classic old monster films. The idea was originally to have a concert in mid October 2015 (my musician friends and I love any excuse to play creepy music) in our garage, and to showcase Dane Goodwin’s artwork. The idea evolved, and I asked my writing friends if they wanted to hand out any scary stories. They said maybe. The concert happened and some art was sold. But there were no stories. I wasn’t satisfied, and the idea grew.
Now we have a journal with a variety of stories and art that I couldn’t be happier with. Through the hard work of all those involved, the first volume of The Weird Reader is better than I could have hoped for. I can’t wait to see what future issues look like. Thanks to our staff and contributors, the bar has been set high.
So sit back—hopefully not alone—and enjoy the strangeness of The Weird Reader.
-Michael Burnham, Editor-in-Chief