Off to a writer’s retreat at a haunted house rumored to have once been owned by a former Klan member. I’ll be the only black person there. This really does sound like the premise of a horror movie I deserve to die in. #aintnothingmagicalaboutme

Me, co-editor Jerry, and intern/slush reader Rodney launched our Streets of Shadows Kickstarter then immediately withdrew to the IHW retreat.  It’s a long standing tradition for our group, but we thought we’d switch it up a bit and return to the place where the group first had its retreat.*  A renewal of sorts.

I figure I might as well recap the event by collecting my Tweets through the weekend.

Welcome to Converse, Indiana. Population: 6. And a goat.

Converse, Indiana happens to also be the home of one Bob Freeman.  Writer, mystic, warrior, and also artist (as he’s responsible for a lot of the Mo*Con posters).  He is not the owner of the goat.

Spotty cell phone service & 6 in of snow due. I might as well tell @rodneycarlstrom he’s got The Shining & wander into the cellar by myself

Did I mention that the weather report called for us getting hit with ANOTHER six inches of snow that weekend?  We may have to rethink just how “winter” we wish to have the retreat.  Maybe the IHW Summer cookout may be in order.

[Shrugpolean Dynamite ‏@ASky84 Jan 24 @MauriceBroaddus this sounds like you die before the opening credits shit before the first note of the opening track]

Yeah, cue my friends being less than supportive during my time here.**

Here’s where we’re staying: the Eastern Woodland Carvers Club in Converse, Indiana.

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A little bit on the history of the building:  Hardware store on first floor.  Offices and apartments on the second floor.  The third floor added in 1880s.  In its 110 year history it has been a speakeasy, a brothel, served as the offices for doctors, lawyers, and the Ku Klux Klan.  Then it was taken over by the Freemasons and the Oddfellows before the Woodcarvers acquired it in 1996.

Things to do in Converse: #5 whittle

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I’ll say this for Converse, Indiana: bacon cheeseburger with two 1/2 pound patties … $3. #pubfoodrules

I think that not only says it all, but gives you a hint of where I ate all weekend.

On the second floor, the Klan’s former offices,  now a lathe room.

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All of the Klan rooms have eyeholes in the doors.  You know, so they can check out who they should let in.

My favorite room on the second floor: the hammer room. A testament to one man’s obsession.

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Who doesn’t need a six foot hammer? @KyleSJohnson

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Later tonight, our Wicker Man celebration.  Hosted by @OccultDetective

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Lords of EVIL @gdwessel @KyleSJohnson @RodneyCarlstrom @byMichaelWest @jerrylgordon @OccultDetective

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And it’s a dry building. No alcohol allowed on the premises. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. What do you call a gathering of writers? A bar!

 Uh, in case anyone from the Woodcarver’s reads this blog, absolutely no alcohol was harmed during the tweeting of this event.

So the third floor of this building was apparently the inspiration for Session 9. My colleagues are MUCH more curious than I …

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When in doubt, I only have to be faster than my intern…


I need folks to hear me on this: if the room is called “the demon closet”, I’m not going in by day, much less near midnight without lights.

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There was supposed to be a ghost hunters group joining us this weekend for an investigation.  They bailed on us due to inclement weather.


Yeah, the third floor is creepy enough by day…

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And seriously,  this making an appearance much less moving on its own in a breeze #imout

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[Madeline Ashby ‏@MadelineAshby Jan 26 @MauriceBroaddus Yup, you’re in Silent Hill. Get out.]




In short, you take a room full of (horror) writers in repose (read: drinking), mix in stories of a building with an extensive history of being haunting, reports of activity (oh, the strange things that happened to Michael West’s laptop:  every time he opened his password protected computer, some “one” typed in the words “Wake” and then “Why???”), an old building with drafts, wind through plastic sheets, an old heating system with creaky ducts, birds trapped in the attic, A DEMON CLOSET, plus the power of imagination and you get a fun-filled weekend with very little sleep.


The rest saved for future stories.






*Truth be told, I barely attended the first one, staying a couple of hours mid-day on that Saturday, which still proved to be a pivotal moment since that was when I first met Doug Warrick.

**Meanwhile, Chesya took great glee in writing my various death scenarios on Facebook