Montilee Stormer’s Traveling Moleskine

In this vlog, Doktor Leech opens the Traveling Moleskine, a nifty project for writers spawned by horror writer MontiLee Stormer. MontiLee assembled a list of creative types who each get an opportunity to contribute to the Traveling Moleskine. It’s sort of like a chain letter, but with more creativity and potential mayhem.

The Doktor freaks out a bit because in opening the package and reading the instructions, he discovers that each contributor only gets ONE WEEK to make their mark before sending the book along to the next artiste… and he’s postponed opening this package WAY TOO LONG.

Both The Gruesome Doktor and Montilee Stormer are members of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers.

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Sadist’s Bible Kickstarter

Doktor Leech plays Bible salesman for “The Sadist’s Bible” by Nicole Cushing, specifically for the Kickstarter campaign to produce a printed version of this weird and deliciously transgressive novella.
Consider contributing to help make this strange thing real. More information here.

The Doktor DIGS Cushing. Check out this other video about her postcard club.

The Doktor chatted with Nicole at the World Horror Convention in Atlanta, 2015 and a podcast of that interview can be found here.

Nicole runs her own Youtube channel.

Check out Nicole’s website.

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DogCon5 Video Report

The Doktor and Elsa L have just returned from DogCon5, an annual gathering hosted by small press publisher Raw Dog Screaming Press. DogCon brought together business owners, publishers, publicists, editors, and a slew of other writers at the Delaware shore in a community aptly named Broadkill Beach for a weekend of learning, sharing, writing, gaming and general carousing near the Atlantic Ocean. A fantastic time was had by all!

Here’s the Doktor’s video report which includes a walk-through of the beach house accommodations as well as cameo appearances from other attendees, a peek at Dogfish Head Brewery, a cartwheel (!) by Elsa L, and DONUTS!

We can’t wait to do it all again next year! Thanks, RSDP!

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#374: Tic, Tac, Toe


This dream was mostly an image– one that startled me when I told the story to a friend the following day:

Someone was playing Tic Tac Toe—

On my wrist —

In my blood—

Using their teeth.

I don’t know who won and who lost, but, really, does it matter?

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UNBOXING: A Cat Skull Celebration

Doktor Leech celebrates his birthday Dailynightmare-style with the gift of a cat skull from The Skull Store ( Check it out to learn a bit about the legal status and import laws about skulls as well as gaining appreciation for all skeletons, including yours.

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UNBOXING: Menton3 Painting Commission

Doktor Leech gleefully unboxes a painting he commissioned from Menton Matthews III a.k.a. Menton3 and suggests that perhaps what others are calling “Dark Art” might better be called the art of Dark Interiority. He also likens this movement to the older genres of allegory and even religious art.

Menton and David Stoupakis had a sold-out show at New York’s Last Rites Gallery in 2015 called “The Kindly Ones.” All of the pieces dealt with the Fates, figures figures of divine retribution and justice that the ancient Greeks feared so greatly they referred to them as “The Kindly Ones” rather than risk evoking them by using their name. Though the Doktor missed that show, he was able to commission a painting from Menton which he unboxes in this video.

Menton along with Faith Betinis and Michael Knight, are opening Ars Memoria Tattoo Shop and Gallery in Chicago — Grand opening May 6th, 2016 — which utterly delights the Doktor, since he hopes that means he won’t have to trek to New York or California to see world class art that reflects the shadowy recesses of the human heart.

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UNBOXING: Menton3 PRINTS – First batch

Doktor Leech opens three signed art prints from Menton3 and once again does NOT remove a finger with his Happy Knife. This VLOG was filmed in mid-December before the Doktor figured out lighting, editing and how to, um, talk without, um, pausing so much, ah, between words. He still kicks ass, though.

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GenCon2015 – the Doktor’s Haul from the Dealer Room

Tickets for GenCon 2016 went on sale recently, so the Doktor looks back on his haul from the GenCon 2015 Dealer Room, including:

masks from Lisa Sell


Twilight Creations

Gloom the card game expansion packs

Shindig Machine

— and an angry yellow elder god from Cthulhu Wars

Who knew Con-shopping could be so much fun?

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UNBOXING: Carved Bear Skull

On the Pagan holiday, Imbolc, the Doktor is once again opening a special package, and he can hardly contain his excitement.

Watch as the Doktor opens this one-of-a-kind hand carved bear skull (yes, a real bear skull!) and shows off the fine craftsmanship of Rachel Lee. How can you get your hands on such a treasure? Follow the Doktor’s tips for discovering the best bone art worth owning.

Follow Rachel Lee’s Instagram on @Rachleeroth.

Doktor Leech is on Instagram @grimgnome13.

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Getting ahead in the human head rental business


News broke on January 30, 2016 that a Grosse Point Park couple who run a biological supply company which rents of body parts for training purposes were charged with fraud. The charges filed claim that their business failed to disclose to the leasees of heads and other body parts that the specimens sometimes came from bodies with infectious diseases, such as HIV and Hepatitis B.

Our local online newspaper Mlive took the click-bait road with a headline that read “Michigan couple charged with renting out disease-infested human heads.” That headline has inspired nearly 5000 shares on social media so far.

It’s worth noting however that the couple involved, Arthur Rathburn and Elizabeth Rathburn, ran a completely legitimate medical business. International Biological Inc. is a legal business which supplies medical and dental training programs with human heads and other body parts. The couple legally procured donated human bodies, dismembered them, and provided them to medical and dental professionals for a rental fee. It does appear that the couple sometimes obtained disease-infected bodies at discounted prices. The issue was not that heads were rented, but that the company failed to notify the renters of such body parts that some were infected with diseases and that they made false statements about body parts in their possession.

As in all businesses, not being honest about the sources, condition or safety of one’s products– be they heads, cars, food, or children’s toys– is fraud. This business deserves the American standard assumption of “innocent until proven guilty” just as much as any other– even if their business is rental heads.

More details can be found here at Crain’s Detroit Business.

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UNBOXING: Mummified Piglets

“You’ve got mail” doesn’t get much weirder than this!

In this clip, the Doktor is excited about unboxing some highly unusual porcine pretties. What is the deal with this package? Why does he want them? And what will he do with them?

Tune into this unboxing video to learn about the strange phenomena of mummified piglets, get the answers to these questions, and grow in your knowledge of our version of Midwest Weird.

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Nightmare #374: Cut to the end


(USA, 50’s) This nightmare was a strange one, sort of anti-climactic and almost boring, after the bang-up start. It began with a cut and ended with… I don’t know what.

I was in a strange apartment with a bunch of friends– dream friends, not real ones — but we were all there together. I think we all lived there together.

In my dream, everyone was dying.

All of our throats were cut, and all of our blood had poured out on the floor. Everyone’s neck had a big gash in it.

We were all so sad. And we felt tired. After all my blood had drained out, I felt so so tired. I was sure I was going to lie down and die any minute.

But I didn’t.

That was the weird part: shouldn’t we all be dead already?

But we weren’t. We were dying, but slowly, or at least not right away. So it seemed like we might as well do the laundry… and clean up the apartment a bit… and talk to each other. We just kept going because it seemed like a good idea, that is, to keep moving and keep doing things, even when we didn’t know when it might all end.

After I woke up, I was haunted by that knowledge: we ARE all dying. We don’t know when. Do something already.

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Our Review Policy

Here at the Dailynightmare, we review movies, books, performances, artworks, and events. We take a look at and evaluate jewelry, food products, clothing, crafts, art openings, and film festivals. We take our analysis further still and report on retreats, crowd funding campaigns, software and apps, weird date nights, and conventions.

You might wonder– are they just doing this for the perks? Can their good opinion be courted with gifts and freebies?

Fear not, Dear Reader! Watch this clip for a thorough understanding of our review policy!

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Nightmare #373 – Turning Teeth

Smile pic

(North America, 20’s) Recently, my dentist informed me that I have been grinding my teeth in my sleep. Her suggestion was to have a bite splint made that I could wear in the night to protect my teeth. In my family, I have always had the best teeth; no cavities, no stains, and I always get good comments from my dentist each visit. But now I was being told that by grinding my teeth, I am slowly causing serious irreplaceable damage that could open me up to cavities and bed news in the future. In an effort to be a compliant patient, I have been doing my diligence and wearing my mouth guard every night, even though it is slightly uncomfortable and I’m not used to it yet. The other night, while wearing this stupid plastic contraption I had the following dream.

I was out of town at a professional development conference with a group of women I had vague friendships with, but no one I could pick out really. One morning when I woke up in my hotel room I noticed that my teeth were hurting much more than normal, but I thought, “I slept with my mouth guard in, and isn’t that supposed to help?”

When I went to the washroom to look in the mirror and take out my mouth guard, I was horrified to discover that my mouth guard had been adjusted so tightly that in the night ALL of my teeth had been pressed inward! Every one of my teeth had been flipped nearly on its side as the roots pressed out of my gums and the tops of my molars touched against my tongue in the most unusual manner. 

The pain in my mouth was unbearable, and the distortion of my teeth made me unable to speak in any coherent manner. I was scared to tell the women I was with what had happened, and so instead I tried to find ways to push my teeth back into their appropriate positions. I used my finger to feel along the inside rim of my mouth, and I began sobbing.

And as I contemplated what this would mean, that I now had the most corrupted teeth in my family, I got so anxious and upset that I woke myself up.

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Nightmare #372: Nightmare at the Mall

(Midwesterner, 50s)

By Kolkatan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Kolkatan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

I am walking through an unfamiliar shopping mall. Very upscale, wondering why I am even here. This is not where I would ever shop. Glistening displays wherever one looks, immaculately dressed people carrying bags of goods. Expensive leather shoes clicking on beautifully shining floors.

Suddenly, the shoppers are scattering, like oil poured into a too hot pan. Moving from the center walkways toward the walls. Grabbing each other, running in huddled groups.

They have heard the announcement before I comprehend. A man’s voice, loud and booming, “There is a shooter in the mall. He has already shot a mom and her one-year-old daughter. Move to safety. Move to safety”.

How would they know so quickly that the child is one, I ask myself. What stupid things a person thinks of when faced with danger. And where is safety ?

I look up to see he is walking toward me. I say he because I assume it’s a man from size and stature. But I cannot see his face. It is covered as is the rest of his body. Layers and layers of clothes cover every inch of him.

He is holding a rifle strapped from shoulder to hip. He steps back into a stance, one black booted foot in front of the other, raises the gun and aims directly at me.


The crowd is screaming in the distance, but the sound I hear the loudest is the bullet tearing into my skin, the crunch of my bones breaking. I know I am hit on my right side, as I fall face first, to the ground.

“Play dead, play dead” I tell myself, as I hear his footsteps coming closer. I feel his heavy boot kick my foot, looking for signs of life.

I am left alone lying there, breathing in air with the smallest of movements. The pain is searing through my right side with every tiny breath. When I finally lift my head, I am in the safety of my own bed, flannel pillowcase warming my cheek. I remind myself it was just a nightmare as I reach to touch my right hip. My side is painful. It is hurting. I wouldn’t be surprised to find a bullet hole.

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Fire Dancing at Theatre Bizarre 2015

Is there anything quite as magical as fire? That smell, the flare of color, the flash of heat?

Fire, fire, everywhere at Theatre Bizarre, that wonderful annual masquerade at the Masonic Theatre, Detroit Michigan. The Doktor captured just a few of the fire performances that seemed to pop up wherever we turned.

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Nightmare #371 – Improving Memory

surgery-688380_640(Canada, 20’s) When I was younger I had a collection of operations to correct a birth defect and resulting life complications with my kidneys. One of the weird blessings about surgery is that once your IV is set up in pre-op, you are doped up on a collection of drugs that basically take away your consciousness of the situation around you. You are moved around, and somehow finagled to the operating table where they really put you under withanesthetic. Then, you wake up in recovery with a new scar and new pain meds, but with no memory of the past seven hours of your hospital stay.

In a recent dream, for some reason my memory was improving. I have been teased in the past for my inability to remember certain details of stories, or not realizing I am telling a story to a friend who was a part of the story itself. This dream was great in that sense, because I was remembering everything! I could tell you what color shirt my best friend had been wearing on the fourth day of high school; I could remember the recipe to my mother’s famous foods without needing to look things up; I was remembering everything and I loved it!

At least in the beginning.

As my memories began coming back, so did the memories I didn’t want, namely those of being in the hospital as a child. I began to remember being taken away from my parents in pre-op, wheeled down unfamiliar halls and taken in to stark white operating rooms, things I had previously been too drugged up for to comprehend. But that wasn’t it. These memories became increasingly upsetting as I began to remember times when I was actually no longer conscious, when I would have been sedated under heavy anesthetic. I started to ‘remember’ lying on the operating table under bright florescent lights, as the doctors began using a scaple to cut open my stomach. I ‘remembered’ watching them remove my kidney, how they talked about their vacation plans while I lay motionless with monitors hooked up to every part of me. I hated these memories. As more and more upsetting memories came flooding back to me about being in the hospital, I began experiencing the pain that those event would have caused. The scars on my stomach and side began burning, and I woke up with my heart racing. I looked around my room, felt across my stomach, realized I had only been dreaming, and was for the first time grateful for my inconsistent memory.

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What’s in the Box? UNBOXING — Scan-a-rama Figurine from Theatre Bizarre

Doktor Leech is joined by Elsa L. to unbox their 3-D portrait from Theatre Bizarre made by the Great Fredini / Scan-a-rama.

Read about last year’s figurine:…

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Nightmare #370: Skin Issues

Electric face mask: wikimedia

Electric face mask: wikimedia

(Michigan, 30’s)

I don’t remember all the details of this nightmare, but I remember enough of what happened to my skin and what I felt to be totally creeped out.

Something terrible but vague had happened to me – – I’d been attacked or in an accident – – and I woke up to discover that I had had a face transplant. I suppose it was better than no face at all, but it was just horrible. I felt like I was wearing a mask all the time, like I was looking out from behind a layer. There was that sensation of an edge of fabric around my eyes, like my field of vision was narrowed, because the skin didn’t fit smoothly.

When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t recognize myself at all. My face had been replaced with what only somewhat resembled a face. It was like I had been erased. Only my eyes looked familiar.

My new face didn’t fit very well. There were scars, and this is really odd seam-like scar all the way around my face in a big circle.

Finally, my face hurt. It ached all the time. And I knew I was supposed to be grateful, grateful to be alive, grateful to have any face at all. But it was just awful.

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DailyNightmare PODCAST Kathe Koja Interview

Kathe Koja (photo credit Rick Lieder)

Kathe Koja (photo credit Rick Lieder)

Recently I had the opportunity to sip a hot chocolate in a bustling (and noisy!) coffee shop with one of my favorite writers. Kathe Koja should be familiar to any fan of DailyNightmare. If not, you have a treat waiting when you discover her work.

Her first novel, The Cipher, is regularly cited as one of the greatest horror novels of all time. She followed up that striking debut with a series of novels that are literate, visceral and dark, works that are hard to pigeonhole with the label horror.

She has also written several award winning young adult novels, including The Cipher, Buddha Boy, Headlong, The Blue Mirror, Kissing the Bee, and Straydog.

Kathe is the director of Nerve, a Detroit based theatre company that specializes in immersive theatrical experiences. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing — or should I say, participating — in a couple of these performances and I’ve reviewed them here, here and here on the website.

Kathe is a native Detroit resident, not one of those young hipsters who’ve only recently discovered the D.

Kathe along with her husband, the artist Rick Lieder, will be guests of honor at the World Fantasy Convention in November.

But we sat down to discuss a trilogy of books she’s just completed that follow the exploits of Istvan and Rupert, life-long partners, business partners, sexual partners, quite literally partners in crime of various sorts, two grand gentlemen of theatre. We pick up their tale first in Under the Poppy: a novel and continue it in The Mercury Waltz“. And now, with the third book of the Trilogy, Bastard’s Paradise will be appearing on Roadswell Editions later this year, we discussed the series and her work as creator of worlds.

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