Tag Archives: The Sinister Horror Company

Mari Lwyd narrated by Dion Winton-Polak

In 2020 I wrote a short story for the Sinister Horror Company‘s Advent Calendar. I based it on Mari Lwyd- the Welsh wassailing custom that involves a hobby horse constructed from a horse’s skull.

It was later reprinted in the Black Shuck Books‘ anthology Dreamland: Other Stories.

I’m delighted to have it narrated by Dion Winton-Polak. He did a wonderful job of it but then went one step further. He also recorded it in Welsh. Massive thanks to him for doing this.

Mari Lywd (English)
Y Fari Lwyd (Welsh)

Learn more more about Mari Lwyd.

Finally, you can hear more stories performed by Dion Winton-Polak, read his audio Testimonials and hire him to perform your own work if you like. Email him at dion@thefinetoothed.com or find him on social media.

Sound design and attribution:

Intro and Outro music come from the Free Music Archive and are used under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License. / The Intro music is called The Fifth Life, by Circus Marcus. / The Outro music is called Post Bellum, by Dee Yan-Kee. / The sound effects used have all been sourced from Freesound under the same Creative Commons license. They are as follows: Footsteps on coastal path #3 by arnaud coutancier , Countryside_Birds_Lambs_Rhos_Wales_April_9am , Countryside_Blackbird_Rhos_Wales_April_8pm by innov8ting, dig by maxthrower , ambience_rural_kitchen_silence by patobottos , Barn Sounds by bone666138, Crouching and getting up-dress by usamah , CoupleLaughing by morningfrost , 50-minigaspNina by wintuh, yeah by jburunet , children playing by goldkelchen , Footsteps on crunchy ice on sidewalk by OBXJohn , Five_Heavy_knocks_on_bedroom_door_2 by Omar Alvarado , fire wood bonfire low eq by homejrande

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The Sinister Horror Company’s Advent Calendar

Justin Park of The Sinister Horror Company had tried to spread some Christmas cheer for horror fans with an advent calendar of microfiction. As it’s been a dire year, he’s running the calendar to the end of December. If you’ve met him you’ll know his devotion to the horror genre is absolute. 

The writers so far are Tracy Fahey, Lex H. Jones, Penny Jones, Chad A. Clark, Em Dehaney, Matt Boultby, James Jobling, C. L. Raven, Lily Childs, John McNee, Andrew Freudenberg, J. R. Park, David Watkins, Lydian Faust, Pippa Pilgrim, Matt Shaw, James Everington, Nick Stead, Marie O’Regan, J. L. George, K. M. Edwards, Benedict J. Jones, C.M. Franklyn, and Paul Kane.

Justin has posted two stories as it’s Christmas Day- mine and Jonathan Butcher’s. It was a bit of a challenge for me as I don’t normally write short short fiction.

My story is about Mari Lwyd.



The video is a look at this ancient folklore tradition and the people who keep it alive. Directed, Produced and Edited: Jordan M Paterson & Matt Adams

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The Sinister Horror Company

Justin Park of The Sinister Horror Company has decided to bring some much needed joy to fans of dark fiction at the end of the year with an online advent calendar of Christmas themed microfiction. So far there’s been work by Tracy Fahey, Lex H. Jones, and Penny Jones and I’m sure there will be many more fine writers to come. Plus me. I’ll be in there somewhere. 


Guest Post by Tracy Fahey: The Return Of The Repressed: Further Unheimlich Manoeuvres…

I am delighted to have Tracy Fahey here to talk about the rerelease of The Unheimlich Manoeuvre. Her collection has been described as domestic horror but it’s anything but mundane. Her writing  has a very claustrophobic quality which heightens its unsease. Large events that affect whole communities are focused through the microscope of personal interactions, which are beautifully observed. Although there are twists, Tracy Fahey never plays for cheap shocks. I thoroughly recommend her work. – Priya Sharma


In March 2020 I’m delighted to announce the uncanny resurrection of my first, beloved collection, The Unheimlich Manoeuvre in a deluxe edition, and the arrival of a new chapbook, Unheimlich Manoeuvres in the Dark, both released by the Sinister Horror Company.

Originally published in limited hardback edition by Alex Davis of Boo Books, The Unheimlich Manoeuvre was a collection of fourteen tales situated within the broad parameter of home. In 2017 it was nominated for Best Collection in the British Fantasy Awards, and one of its stories, ‘Walking The Borderlines’ was also longlisted by Ellen Datlow for The Year’s Best Horror Volume 8. The next year, in 2018, it was picked up by the Sinister Horror Company and rereleased in paperback and ebook.

Surely that’s as much life as any book can hope for? But like its unheimlich Freudian source, it seem that this is a book that specialises in the uncanny return…

I’ve always been fascinated by tales of unease grounded in the home. Classic stories like Charlotte Gilman Perkins’ The Yellow Wallpaper or Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask Of Amontillado haunt me with their mundane settings where horrifying events happen. Even after the re-release of The Unheimlich Manoeuvre, I continued to weave horror that arose from the subversion of domestic intimacy; the distortion of home through the lens of physical and mental illness, the intense disquiet occasioned by paranormal shadows within a safe space. In late 2019, in conversation with my excellent editor, Justin Park, we decided to bring out a third, deluxe edition of The Unheimlich Manoeuvre. This handsome edition, out on Friday the 13th of March 2020,will include a new essay, ‘Creative Evocations of Uncanny Domestic Space,’ five new stories, a print and piece entitled ‘Remembering Wildgoose Lodge,’ and complete story notes on all nineteen stories in this edition.

It was at this point that my resourceful editor pointed out that through the popularity of the second edition many readers already owned a copy of The Unheimlich Manoeuvre. For these Constant Readers, he proposed creating a 100-page chapbook of the new and additional material. And so the gloriously punny Unheimlich Manoeuvres In The Dark was born.
These are beautiful objects. I love the original design for The Unheimlich Manoeuvre; black, fractured home on a green background. For Unheimlich Manoeuvres In The Dark, the Sinister Horror Company have neatly reversed the colours, so the little green house becomes isolated in the gathering dark. For the deluxe edition, the wraparound back cover contains within it the watermarked version of the Wildgoose Lodge print inside the book, a lovely visual reflection on the lingering quality of the uncanny.
As an author, I couldn’t be more delighted with this strange, uncanny rebirth of The Unheimlich Manoeuvre, and its sinister doppelganger, Unheimlich Manoeuvres In The Dark. Grateful thanks to my midwife, Justin Park, as always, and I can only hope that others will grow to love these weird book-children as much as I do.



Tracy Fahey is an Irish Gothic writer. In 2017, her debut collection The Unheimlich Manoeuvre was shortlisted for a British Fantasy Award, 2020 sees the release of the third deluxe edition of this collection, together with a chapbook, Unheimlich Manoeuvres In The Dark, both published by the Sinister Horror Company. Eight of her short stories have been longlisted by Ellen Datlow for The Best Horror of the Year; her short story ‘That Thing I Did’ receiving an Honourable Mention in the latest volume. She is published in over twenty Irish, US and UK anthologies and her work has been reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement. Fahey holds a PhD on the Gothic in visual arts, and her non-fiction writing has been published in Irish, English, American, Italian, Dutch and Australian edited collections and journals. She has been awarded residencies in Ireland and Greece. Her first novel, The Girl in the Fort, was released by Fox Spirit Press in 2017. Her second collection, New Music For Old Rituals, was published in 2018 by Black Shuck Books. She is currently working on her third collection, I Spit Myself Out. Her website is at www.tracyfahey.com

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Guest Post: Shouting About Trying To Be So Quiet by James Everington

ttbsq-cover-kindlev2_orig-2James: Hi James, how’s it going?

James: Uh, who’s this? What’s going on?

James: It’s an interview, remember? To promote your new mini-collection, Trying To Be So Quiet & Other Hauntings.

James: Uh…

James: You remember, for Priya’s blog. I mean, you are late doing it so you might have forgotten.

James: Are you… Is this Priya?

James: Do I sound like Priya? I’m you.

James: You’re me?

James: You.

James: Me? But… Why are, uh, you interviewing me? Where’s Priya?

James: She’s a Locus and Shirley Jackson Award nominee, James, she’s not got time for this shit. You’ve got to look after yourself in this game. You’ve already wasted half a page talking to yourself rather than promote the book.

James: Me?

James: You.

James: You, more like.

James: Me?

James: You.


James: Look, let’s just start again. So, you’ve written this book Trying To…

James: Wait, aren’t I meant to be asking the questions?

James: You?

James: Me. The one in bold.

James: Jesus, okay, whatever. You ask the questions then.


James: Uh, well, I’m not quite sure what…

James: You’ve not got any questions?

James: So, um, what’s the book about?

James: That’s it?

James: Okay, fine. Well, uh, it’s about death. Ghosts. The supernatural as a manifestation of grief…

James: That sounds quite good that bit, actually.

James: Does it? The manifestation bit?

James: Yeah. You write about that a lot, don’t you? A hell of a lot. How come?

James: Well, death comes to us all.

James: That’s it?


James: Some trite stock phrase? Everyone knows ‘death comes to us all’ you twat; everyone. They don’t all write weird crap about it. I mean we’ve got [riffles pages] dead wives, dead parents, dead lovers. Floating skulls that are probably solipsistic ‘all in his mind’ bullshit rather than being real, maybe a zombie, possibly ghosts. Plus that odd bit about someone sticking their hand in a pan of boiling water to feel pain. It’s not normal, is it?

James: You can talk.

James: I wish you would. How’s the song go? ‘Aint it just like the night to play tricks when we’re trying to be so quiet’. It’s all a trick isn’t it? A distraction. All this jokey interviewing yourself bullshit. A way to avoid talking about what really scares you.

James: [quietly] Me?

James: [quietly] You.


James: Yeah. But it is death. It is trite stuff that everyone knows. Not my own death—I mean, that does scare me, and I write about that fear too—but the death of those around me. Those I love. It’s so… It’s coming, you know? I’m sitting here, typing this, listening to LCD Soundsystem and drinking a beer, having a chuckle to myself at this interviewing myself gag, and it’s coming. The death, the pain, the grief. One day, something will happen—a phone call, a doctor’s pause before answering, a sound from another room—and everything will be upended, everything will be different because someone I love will be gone from the world. That’s coming for me.

James: [quietly] Me?

James: You.


James: But it hasn’t happened yet, not really. Part of the reason I didn’t want to talk about this is because I feel like such a fraud. I mean, I’ve known people who have died. A classmate at school, a friend at university, grandparents…. I’ve know death, I’ve know grief. But not to the extent of… how did you say it? “Dead wives, dead parents, dead lovers.” Not that yet. I’m a fraud. I’m using the inevitability of death to pretend I’ve already experienced it.

James: But they’re stories; it’s not all about you. You’re not trying to flog people your diaries. Try and sell them the stories. You might think yourself a fraud but you don’t think the stories are false.

James: Look, I’m not going to do the normal thing of bigging up the plot or horror tropes or anything like that…

James: [quietly] Jesus…

James: I’m just going to say these stories are my attempt to cope with the knowledge of loss, the inevitability of it. Because that’s what horror fiction is, to me: not the blood or the monsters or the disemboweling. But the attempt to shape, to pre-empt and so somehow cope with the worst things that will happen to us, before they occur. They’re my attempt to live with that knowledge.

James: Did it work?

James: Nah.

James: I mean, I think you might need to sell it a little bit more than that. Just something, some hook…

James: Is this you trying to lighten the mood again, now I’ve bared my soul? Is this another of your tricks?

James: Me?

James: You.

James: Wait, aren’t I meant to be asking the questions?


James: So, where can people buy Trying To…?
James: So, has it got any good reviews or…


James: After yo…
James: You go first…


James: Uh, well, Tracy Fahey said the title story was “quiet, stealthy, and throat-achingly sad” and Gingernuts of Horror said it was “an exemplary example of ability for quiet horror to chill a reader to the core” and… god, I hate all this self-promotion stuff. I was more comfortable talking about how terrified I am by the meaningless and inevitability of dea…

James: You’re not really though are you?

James: [quietly] No

James: So, you asked about where people could buy Trying To Be So Quiet…

James: That was just an excuse to stick an Amazon link in to be honest.

James:I mean, I think you need to shout about it a bit more. Say ‘hey folks, you can buy…’

James: Me?

James: For once, no.

James: I’m not sure this has gone very well. The Sinister Horror Company aren’t going to be happy; they’re the publisher and you’ve not even mentioned them once.

James: We could try again?

James: Okay

James: So, uh. Hi James, how’s it going?

James: Wait, aren’t I meant to be asking the questions?



James EveringtonJames Everingon is a writer from Nottingham, England who writesis dark, supernatural fiction, although not necessarily ‘horror’ in the blood and guts sense. He prefers to explore the unexplained, the psychological, and the ambiguous in his fiction. His cites his main influences as writers like Ramsey Campbell, Shirley Jackson, and Robert Aickman.  He drink Guinness. More information about James and his work can be found on his blog.

Sinister Horror Company


The Sinister Horror Company was established by childhood friends Daniel Marc Chant and Justin Park in 2015. Its catalogue varies from unsettling modern gothic to the soul-crunchingly bleak extreme. It prides itself on daring to be different without compromising on quality.


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The Unheimlich Manoeuvre by Tracy Fahey

The wonderful British Fantasy Award nominated debut collection by Tracy Fahey has been re-released by The Sinister Horror Company.

It’s a very assured first collection. It’s been described as domestic horror but it’s anything but mundane. Even the stories are set abroad have a very claustrophobic quality. Large events that affect whole communities are focused through the microscope of personal interactions, which are beautifully observed. Although there are twists, Tracy Fahey never plays for cheap shocks.


I’d recommend going to a panel she’s on if you ever get the chance. She’s entertaining, eloquent and knowledgeable.
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