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Horror Lit in Westchester

A look into one of the most popular and highest grossing literary genres today and some of their more unknown writers.

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Just what is it about horror exactly? Merriam-Webster defines horror as a “painful and intense fear, dread, or dismay.”

With Halloween season now in the rearview mirror and many swapping their Halloween decorations for Christmas ones, one mustn’t forget what helps contribute to the “spooky” season… the scares.

For some that fear, dread, or dismay is best experienced visually. Since the end of the 19th century with the first horror film of record by early film pioneer George Méliès Le Manoir du Diable to modern horror movies such as Jordan Peele’s directorial debut with 2017’s Get Out, the public has had their fair share of visual horror for the better part of a century now.

 What about in literature? Can that same fear, dread, or dismay be replicated through text?

The short answer? Yes.

In 2017, horror was ranked fifth in book genres that generated the most money at just under 80 million dollars!

Today’s horror literature roots can be tracked all the way back to The Inquisition in the early 13th century. It was not until the 1700s and after, along with the rise of gothic novels that would bring about the most influential writers of the genre.

The work of Edgar Allan Poe, H.P Lovecraft, and Stephen King that helped solidify horror as a literary genre, have been known for decades now, however, their body of work has also inspired a new wave of horror writers.

And they may be closer than one may think.

***

(Anthony Cardone in his study where he does most of his writing.)“I was always fascinated by the atmosphere and imagery of cemeteries in movies growing up as well as horror and ghost,” said Anthony Cardone, a 36-year-old sanitation worker from Yonkers.

Cardone is also the author of “Horror on Lyceum Road.” A horror fiction short story, which Cardone believes is the best form for writing horror fiction, set in a time period where Jack The Ripper is still at large.

Trips to Salem, Massachusetts and his love for fellow horror writers Edgar Allan Poe and Washington Irving have directly inspired Cardone to try his hand as a horror fiction writer.

He also attributes autumn and his love for Halloween as a direct influence. Whether it is the changing of the leaves, the start of “hoodie” weather, or watching ironically enough John Carpenter’s 1978 slasher classic Halloween with his late father there is something about this time of year that puts Cardone in a different mood.

“Most associate this jolly time and mood with the Christmas season but I believe it starts with Halloween,” stated Cardone scratching his salt and pepper beard.

His home decorated with jack-o-lanterns and cobwebs inside and out.

Cardone has even tried to get his over 9,000-word short story published by FunDead Publications. The publication has different criteria requirements to be considered for one of their anthology collections.

For the anthology that Cardone was trying to get into, FunDead Publications were looking for different lead characters to that seen in most horror literature. So gone was the “damsel in distress” and enter two homosexual men as the lead characters for Cardone story.

Unfortunately, “Horror on Lyceum Road” was not chosen, but that has not discouraged Cardone.

“I have tried to get published by a different publisher, this one in New York City, and they have already read Horror on Lyceum Road and loved it,” said Cardone.

Cardone has recently completed his second horror fiction short story, however, it is untitled and has a third story in the works. Based on an experience his grandfather Frank had when he was younger. He will incorporate horror elements to that story as well. His plan is to release the three stories as a collection to meet the publications 20,000-word minimum for publishing consideration.

Today Anthony Cardone can still be found making trips to Salem, but this time as a family man. He recently got married to his wife Jessica in 2017 and is stepfather to Lilee. When Cardone is out of work and before picking up Lilee from school, where she dressed up as Wednesday Addams of The Addams family this past Halloween, that is where most of his writing gets done.

“They are short 15-30 minute burst at most when I can write, but if I can get a good session in that time then I am content with that,” said Cardone while the Stranger Things, one of Lilee’s favorite television shows, theme song plays in the background.

***

(Jason Medina with his fourth [right hand] and fifth [left hand] books, “Ghost and Legends of Yonkers” and “The Manhattanville Incident” respectively. Shot at The Sherwood House Museum which is also mentioned in the paranormal story.)

Jason Medina was born exactly at 2:31 AM on April 27th, 1971 at the Hospital of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. He and his family would move to Yonkers in the year 2000.

Medina, a retired NYPD officer of 23 years, would often write comic books and make-believe stories as a child. In the third grade, he would win an award for a book-making contest.

“Ghost hunting really inspired me to begin writing books,” stated Medina.

For a story on Jason Medina the paranormal investigator, click here.

A paranormal investigative trip with Medina’s nephew Chris to the now-defunct King’s Park Psychiatric Center, which Jason states to be  “his most important,” inspired his three-volume book: “Kings Park Psychiatric Center: A Journey Through History.”

While doing research on his book, which Medina at least does a year of research before writing any book, he wanted to release a book while working on his massive three-volume set.

After the head of the King’s Park Heritage Museum, since renamed the Leo P. Ostebo Heritage Museum, found out he was a cop he gained access to files of patients at King’s Park Psychiatric Center. He used to cases from the hundreds of files he had read and along with some fictional stories of Medina’s own “No Hope For The Hopeless at King’s Park” was made. The book was finished and later published in the summer of 2013.

Medina prefers writing fictional horror books as “all my books have a little bit of truth and history to them.”

In “No Hope For The Hopeless at King’s Park” the first of the three stories that appear in the book is focused on a girl named Amanda. To add realism to the story, Medina added an account of a real patient which he named “Eve,” but her actual story is in “Kings Park Psychiatric Center: A Journey Through History.”

Or referring to Marie Laveau in his third book “A Ghost in New Orleans,”  and going as far as searching Laveau’s family tree on ancestry.com and incorporating them into his book.

Today, Jason Medina is currently working on his ninth book “A Night at The Shanley Hotel,” based on the hotel of the same name in Napanoch, New York with his current publisher AuthorCentrix.

Medina has plots for over 72 books, and does not seem to be slowing down.

About the Writer
Brian Pineiro, Impact Staff

Brian Pineiro is a senior... finally. After a brief hiatus, Brian is back and more determined than ever to pursue his degree in Media Studies. This does...

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