Spooktober 2022, Days Six, Seven, and Eight

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  The arguing used to be fun but people are acting so weird about it this year.  Sigh.  These are my entries.


TITLE:  Doctor Philliplier

PREMISE:  It’s an early ’90s straight-to-cable midnight creepshow, now a moldy VHS retrieved from the ruins of a trailer in rural Arkansas.  You pop it in the old VHS player and it whirs to disgusting life, some intersection of Michael Keaton’s “Multiplicity” and Jeff Fahey’s “Body Parts.”

Dr. Phillips is a plastic surgeon and legit science genius, out of his mind on cocaine and narcissism.  He dabbles in womanizing on the LA punk scene, and stand-up comedy.  One night his experimental rejuvenation process goes out of control, reducing him to a pile of deformed limbs and a screaming head.  He buds clones that are much more well-formed and tries to boss them into helping out, but they are aberrant in the head.

Despite not really looking quite like him, everyone is somehow fooled.  The silver-haired one takes over his stand-up, veering the act into surreal voices and weird noises.  The lanky Lux Interior-looking one takes over the drugging and womanizing, despite only being able to mumble nonsense in an Elvis impression.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Will he ever get his body and his life back?  Good help is so hard to get.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake VHS cover for film "Doctor Philliplier"



TITLE:  The Cabin of The Cyclops

PREMISE:  Dr. Jarecky is suave and beautiful, despite having lost an eye in youth.  Together with his assistant Helmut, he runs a mental health asylum in 1950s Oregon.  But all is not well.  He has a cabin retreat where he takes “special cases” – beautiful young women – for “intensive therapy.”  The girls are getting wise, and Helmut has realized that in his hubris, Dr. Jarecky has brought too many to the cabin.  The bad men are decidedly outnumbered, and these girls were locked up for reasons…

HORROR ELEMENT:  Corrupt care professionals are the real horror.  Well, at the beginning.  Later on the horror is justice.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake 1950s book cover for "The Cabin of The Cyclops"


SPOOKTOBER DAY #8 — Cryptids

TITLE:  Flatwoods

PREMISE:  Before she was a ghostly cryptid terrorizing modern people, Honora Knecht was an occultist in 1880s Sutton, West Virginia.  She wasn’t much of a showman, but had some fame by merit of being seven feet tall.  Sinope Locke was a daughter of power, adrift in a life not her own.  On a lark her fiancé paid for Honora to entertain at one of their parties, and Sinope fell in love.

Is it love or witchcraft?  Honora’s eyes glow red, her long fingers look like talons in lace gloves, her witch hat like the minaret of a Turkish mosque.

HORROR ELEMENT:  I could tell stable diffusion AI knew what the Flatwoods Monster was, but it refused to make a sensible result.  The horror is trying to cheap out on making art but still having to work for it lol.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake spooky-romantic book cover for "Flatwoods"



TITLE:  Come With Me, Baby, to LoveLand

PREMISE:  While coming up with ideas for cryptid stories, I played with romance novel covers involving the Loveland Frog.  The fake author name is to obscure the torso, helping me spend less time making sense of that in photoshop.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Accidentally swallow a tadpole while swimming in Loveland, Ohio.  Go ahead.  Don’t be surprised if you turn into a frog.  Don’t be surprised when your lady loves you even more.  Don’t be surprised when she gives birth to horrendous amounts of tadpoles.  And don’t be surprised that it never ends.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake romance novel cover for "Come With Me, Baby, to LoveLand"


EDIT TO ADD:  In case you were curious what these look like before I try to fix them, enjoy this collage.  This will have no alt description, except to say imagine what I described above, but with varying degrees of mangling and mutation.  AI seldom gets me something I’d use unmodified, don’t know how Marcus does it.


  1. Cutty Snark says

    Is it just me, or does Dr Phillips have an almost Bruce Campbell-esque quality in the poster?

    It seemed very reminiscent of a 70s Cronenberg – excellent stuff (I’m really enjoying these prompts, and what you are doing with them)!

  2. says

    Thank you! Bill Pullman was the guy I fed into the prompt, but I intentionally chose the result that looked the least like him. Anyway, chinsome fellas. An interesting aspect of that is David Lynch choosing him as the main guy in Lost Highway. His previous main guy Kyle MacLachlan was also chintacular. One could wonder what that says about the auteur.

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