The Noctrium

Welcome to The Noctrium. Feel free to wander the dusty corridors of my dark art gallery or surrender your imagination to the pages of my ghost stories. Above all, enjoy your stay—and if you feel an icy touch on your back, fear not; my spectral tenants are friendly…for the most part.

James Colton

Toes

A boy is stuck in bed with a fever. But as he lies in the dim bedroom, he begins to wonder whether or not he really is the bed’s only occupant.

Break My Chains

A man purchases a mostly vacant plot of land and demolishes its only structure so he can build a house. But he doesn’t know anything about the land’s history. His actions may have unleashed something old. Something evil.

An Open Door to Belief or Doubt

A boy hears ghostly noises at night. But when he tells his parents, they offer warnings instead of comfort. Raised in a household of dread, the boy’s only consolation comes in the form of the family cat.

Anniversary

An aging couple’s wedding anniversary is interrupted by a nasty surprise. Instead of celebrating the past thirty years, they find themselves tormented by an unseen intruder who seems bent on destroying their marriage and their lives.

Blair Witch

What did I love about the original Blair Witch Project? The forest setting. The subtle, urban-legend-style storytelling. The primitive artifacts that had no right to be as creepy as they were. The intensely scary scenes that relied on the unknown.

The 2016 sequel shares all of this, except toward the end, where Blair Witch decides to let up on the unknown a bit. If the movie has one weakness, this is it. While The Blair Witch Project gave us almost nothing to go on, Blair Witch gives us quite a bit more than nothing.

Dark Matter

I have discovered the single best setting for a ghost story: winter above the Arctic Circle. Vast, empty, cold, and dark.

Dark Matter

Michelle Paver’s Dark Matter spends most of its time describing this setting. But don’t worry about getting bored. One moment you’re humming along with beautiful images of water, ice, light, mountains, and sky; then suddenly, although nothing’s changed, you find yourself afraid. The water, somehow, is terrifying. The alien light is terrifying. The distant mountains are terrifying. You realize this was a place humans were never meant to be. A place where everything, even in its beauty, means death.

The Visit

I first saw The Sixth Sense as a teenager, before I had any real interest in horror. That movie disturbed me deeply. The terrifying scenarios and the way they were shot resonated uncannily with my own nightmares.

Since then, it’s become popular to condemn Shyamalan’s movies. While I remained a fan longer than most (I loved The Village), I was forced to agree with the majority sentiment that he’d lost his touch.

Then I saw The Visit, and I was reminded why, more than a decade later, I still have trouble making myself watch The Sixth Sense.

The Visit creeped me out.

Off the Path

A woman checks in with a reclusive friend who recently lost her husband. The widow lives in a charming house in the woods, but a bizarre set of rules holds sway over the property. When broken, these rules unleash the house’s dark secret.