Nightmare Magazine

Latest Fiction

Who The Final Girl Becomes

Cinda begins the worst afternoon of her life by hiding in a closet. It’s spring break of her senior year of high school, and she’s rented a cabin with four friends using money she saved from her job at the bookstore, and it all feels terribly grown-up: the long drive into the mountains in the passenger seat of her boyfriend Travis’s car; the box of condoms Paulina not-so-secretly tucked in the glove box; the case of cheap beer and freezer bag of weed that Wally stowed in the trunk; the excursions and activities that Maeve carefully planned.

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Latest Nonfiction

Editorial, February 2023

I like to think of this issue as a bit of first aid for the cabin-feverish soul. We’re pulling out all the stops on ultraviolence and creepiness for . . . The Killer Issue. In related news, we are also test-driving the addition of content warnings for all of our stories! While a content warning can feel like a bit of a spoiler, I also know that even the most hardcore horror lover can still have topics they need to protect themselves from. If we’re going to help all kinds of readers find their horror groove, then we need to do a better job making sure our readers feel welcomed and safe!

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One could, if necessary, hide between the studs in your wall. Shoulders, narrower than the gap. Back against the plywood of the exterior panel; chest, when fully inflated with breath, pressing against the lath and plaster. Room enough to disappear. This was mine before it was yours. Single story 1920s bungalow, three bedrooms, an unfinished basement and an attic crawlspace. Flower beds in the front. Garden space in the backyard. In the door frame of the second bedroom, lines scratched to mark the top of a growing boy’s head.

(available on 2/15)  |  Buy Ebook To Read it Now

A Girl Defines Herself

Years ago, while working online in curriculum development, I was set the task of helping high school students understand Hamlet. Many approaches exist—too many to enumerate here—but the one that changed my experience of “the Bard” and the English language itself was turning to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) whenever I had a question about a word. My favorite part of this process was learning about the history of the word: the obsolete definitions, the slang it once formed, the phrases in which it first appeared.

(available on 2/22)  |  Buy Ebook To Read it Now

More Creative Nonfiction

More Nonfiction

The H Word: A Jaded Eye on Good Girls Gone Bad in Asian Cinema

It’s time to let the women with the long wet hair in Asian cinema and their Western remakes rest. They’re tired. Now I’m not saying the ghost herself should disappear. I think we can all agree that the images are haunting and succeed in inducing fantastical visual scares. What I’m saying is that the Asian “revenge wraith” trope needs to be updated. Misogyny in Western horror films is nothing new, but there’s been such a dramatic and positive shift with the roles of the “Final Girl” it makes me a tad envious.

(available on 2/8)  |  Buy Ebook To Read it Now

Interview: Eric J. Guignard

Eric J. Guignard has gone from a short story writer to an acclaimed and award-nominated novelist (for his first novel, 2019’s Doorways to the Deadeye) to an editor and small press publisher (Dark Moon Books). Eric oversees two book lines that offer insight into horror’s history: Exploring Dark Short Fiction, which provides primers to various writers; and the Horror Writers Association’s Haunted Library of Horror Classics (co-edited with Leslie S. Klinger).

(available on 2/22)  |  Buy Ebook To Read it Now

More Poetry

When At Last He Was Empty

I can’t recall the precise moment of inspiration that spawned this poem, but it’s a merger of two unsettling notions taken to terrible extremes. The first is the helplessness experienced while vomiting and the awful thought I’ve had in mid-spew: “What happens if this heaving doesn’t stop?” Second, the realization while browsing treasures at estate sales: “One day, the evidence of my life, too, will be laid out on display, labelled and bargain-priced.”

(available on 2/8)  |  Buy Ebook To Read it Now