Zachary Von Houser is a horror author and illustrator originally from the storm-wracked shores of Southern New Jersey. He began self-publishing short stories that were written in smoky bars while avoiding spilling whiskey over everything, and has gone on to win the Nosetouch Press ghost story competition and was published in the first installment of their Asterisk Anthology series.
The Fiends in the Furrows: An Anthology of Folk Horror
“Leave the Night”
What is your favorite season and why?
My favorite season is definitely fall, or autumn if you want to be all transatlantic about it. It’s a fine time, with the vile sun finally giving a reprieve but it’s not quite so cold that I look like R.J. MacReady every time I go outside. Plus, what kind of monster doesn’t like hot apple cider of the alcoholic or teetotalling varieties?
What drew you to Folk Horror?
Ritual by David Pinner is definitely a novel that drew me to it, let alone The Wicker Man (preferably the Robin Hardy version, though I guess Mr. Cage’s face covered with bees is a good sell.)
What does Folk Horror mean to you? How would you describe it to someone?
I feel like it is a perfect culmination of the proto-fear that Lovecraft was so fond of. Old ways existed that were quite summarily wiped from of the planet, and if the greatest fear is the fear of the unknown, then those few that might know what has been lost for centuries would be the gatekeepers to an utter truth of horror.
What is the most Folk Horror thing you’ve seen/encountered in your community?
I’m quite fond of camping in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. So, while I’ve yet to see any occult dealings, I would imagine I’ve just been picking the wrong days to stay.
What writing projects do you have next?