Recently, Sirens Call Publications released its sixteenth anthology titled Voices from the Gloom – Volume 2. With ten stories contained within, none of them specific to any theme other than exceptional horror, we wanted to know what inspiration these authors were met with in writing their tales. Today we’ll be hearing from Jacob M. Lambert and his story The Journal of Elizabeth Brice. For those of you who don’t know too much about him, here’s a few tidbits…
Jacob M. Lambert lives in Montgomery, Alabama, where he teaches music and is an editorial assistant for The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats, an academic journal pertaining to English literature of the late seventeenth-and early eighteenth-century. When not writing, he enjoys time with his wife Stephanie and daughter Annabelle. You can find Jacob on Twitter at @Jlamber4.
So without further ado, we turn you over to Jacob…
Inspiration for The Journal of Elizabeth Brice
A college—whose name I’ve been warned to keep secret—asked me to create a “ghost story,” something they could turn into a myth of sorts to scare incoming freshmen. So I looked around campus, and this is what I came up with: a gothic story using actual history of the area and treating it as “found footage.”
Unfortunately, the campus considered the story too extreme and, after telling me to change names, places, and descriptions, then told me, “I don’t think the chancellor would like the idea of a demon living in the woods behind the school…”
I’m sure there were other reasons too—but when you write horror in the capital city of Alabama, and there are demons in the tale, then you have two possible outcomes: one, every church in a twenty-mile radius knows your name. And two—college campuses are scared of those same churches blasting them (or burning them down) for publishing your material.
Anyway, the inspiration for The Journal of Elizabeth Brice came from taking a walk behind campus a few falls ago, in the woods, and somewhere in the far back, near the interstate, I found a shack. This shack—as in the story—had an eerie quality to it, and the descriptions in the story are near accurate (with maybe one or two taken out, because of the mess with the school). This was one of my favorite stories to write, though, and you’d be surprised at how much of it is true: even down to the characters themselves.
Thank you Jacob. Now let’s take a look at Voices from the Gloom – Volume 2:
In this second volume, you’ll encounter ten stories that will send icy shivers down your spine. It includes tales of two brothers who find an opening into another world behind their grandparent’s home; a reporter sent to investigate a haunted house only to find out it holds a more nefarious secret; and the story of a woman searching for her lover but when she doesn’t find him, the tale takes a demented twist.
Get lost in the different voices, let their horrific nature speak to you from the spaces between the shadows. Allow them to get into your head and wring the marrow from your soul…
Maynard Blackoak, Carson Buckingham, Alex Clarke, Kevin Holton, DW Gillespie, Erik Gustafson, Jacob Lambert, Patrick O’Neill, Hannah Sears, and J.T. Seate
Available for purchase at:
And here’s a short excerpt from The Journal of Elizabeth Brice…
Disclaimer: The editor wishes to express caution when reading Ms. Brice’s journal, for some of the subjects, though historical in nature, lack the proof to call them fact. In addition, there is no actual record of Ms. Brice attending Montgomery University, but the initials E.B. appear several times in the college’s archives, mostly attached to student papers. The journal itself came to the attention of the university after one of the construction crew—who has asked to remain anonymous—found it during the building of the new student apartments, but the university dismissed its contents as fiction, refusing to admit or deny anything within its pages.
After several nights—this editor, upon his own investigation, removed the first fifty or sixty pages, finding them unremarkable and opted to retype the last nine, for obvious reasons—or will soon become obvious to the reader. Certain names and places have been marked with a “—” to allow anonymity. In accordance with campus policy, the editor must make a statement concerning the contents of the journal.
If anyone, student or staff, decides to proceed with the reading of Ms. Brice’s work, he or she will not emulate anything written within it, nor will they explore, deface, or take pictures of the “sugar shack,” and if found violating these rules, the student or staff member will either face expulsion from the university or termination. That said, once again, this editor urges caution when approaching the manuscript. And if the urge should arise to follow in Ms. Brice’s footsteps, ignore it. Some roads are better left unexplored.
The Montgomery Chronicle
October 5, 1973
My initial reaction, after we had reached the tree line, was to laugh, but Mike, with his dirty blonde hair plastered to his sweating face (so sexy), screamed at me. He kept asking, “Didn’t you see it?” but I just continued to laugh until he got pissed and ran back toward Spencer Hall. Sure, I was scared too, especially after he refused to tell me what he saw, but there had to be some explanation, right? I mean, whatever had chased us through the woods was either some disgruntled neighbor, someone still upset about the campus’s move, or some kind of animal. Who knows? Sometimes, I think Mike is so hot, his jeans tight in all the right places, but other times, like tonight, I just want to hand him one of my tampons. Tell him to chill, you know?
Earlier today, I was sitting behind the library, trying to read a book (really trying to figure out a thesis for my paper, thank you Dr. —) but the construction going on behind the library was too loud. I guess they’re turning the area into a place for the new athletic program, but I don’t know. I understand the campus is new, but do they really need an athletic field? Well, because I couldn’t concentrate, I just stared at the high grass leading to the forested area beyond, my eyes focusing on an old bottle tree, listening to the low howl as the wind passed through it. I saw the construction guys taking a break underneath it, and I continued to watch…