May 22, 2016

10 Best Writers Retreats for Dark Authors in 2016

Lately I've been ruminating over my failed attempt last year at NaNoWriMo. (To be fair, I was super busy teaching and administrating over at Dark Side University so had little time to write!)

I still have a fiction book I'd love to complete, and a non-fiction book or two sketched out. With my busy family responsibilities, business, Internet blogs and related hobbies, friends to socialize with and pets to care for, my writing time often gets interrupted. I've been fantasizing about taking just an old typewriter (no phone! No laptop!) with me to a cabin somewhere and sitting down and just WRITING.

Whether or not this is a realistic fantasy, I've been enjoying daydreaming about some of these fabulous locations. Writing in a castle? Could I afford it? Would I actually write, or just gape at the gorgeous decor and stroll about the beautiful grounds instead of writing? Nonetheless, let's enjoy an afternoon of fantasy and check out some of the darker available writing retreats available this year. None of them are geared towards dark or horror authors, but the locales would certainly lend themselves to darker inspiration.

1. Creativ Castle, Europe

"Write your next book in a castle." Sounds lovely, doesn't it? They advertise their castles as "a luxurious space for creatives and writers." Derek and his wife are attempting to raise funds through a Kickstarter to purchase a castle to be a permanent retreat location. For now, you can join them at a rented French castle in November during NaNoWriMo.

2. The Horror Writer's Workshop - Transylvania

August 7-14, 2016 in Bran, Transylvania.

This would be incredible!

"THE HORROR WRITER’S WORKSHOP, TRANSYLVANIA is honoured to invite Brian Evenson as guest instructor for the seven day workshop and retreat in Transylvania, Romania from August 07-14, 2016. The workshop will take place in the a quaint, award-winning hotel situated in the mountains of Bran, overlooking Bran village and Dracula’s castle. Along with daily lectures and workshops, you will be given personal attention to your writing, including one-on-one tutorials and comprehensive critiques by our guest."

I can't imagine how much it would change one's life, not just as an author, to participate in this. I can only think it might take me quite a while, once I was back home, to process what I'd just experienced on this trip!

Horror Writer's Workshop - Transylvania, on Facebook

3. Ardtornish Estate

Located on the West Coast of Scotland. Not a writer's retreat, but how fabulous would it be to rent one of the Victorian apartments or cozy cottages while writing your novel? One would be there to write, not engage in the diving, snorkeling or sports pursuits on offer. However, the walking opportunities surely would be conducive to deep and inspiring reflection.

The Ardtornish Estate, on Facebook

Stanley Hotel Writers Retreat

October 20-23, 2016 at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.

This Indigogo-funded writer's retreat is apparently a go! (It makes me a bit nervous that the event doesn't have an official Facebook page as of yet!) You could stay overnight and write at the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining! This is meant to be an informal, casual writing retreat where you can get lots of writing done, not a convention or conference with tons of meetings.

Stanley Hotel Writers Retreat at IndieGogo

4. La Muse Artists and Writers Retreat

One, two, three, or four week retreats in the mountains of southern France. You can rent an individual room, book rooms for a group event, or stay in the Mews or a cottage. They try to keep rates affordable so writers and artists can afford to stay long enough to get a good amount of work done. This place is not a castle or chateau, but is surrounded by so much picturesque countryside, it makes up for it.

5. Camelot Castle

Stay in a private family home in Cornwall, England. You can rent a room with a four poster bed, desk, and a view of the Atlantic and the ruins of King Arthur's Castle at Tintagel. Sounds fabulous to me! Then again, I might fall prey to staring dreamily out the window all day instead of actually writing.

However, Buzzfeed claims this castle is owned by a Donald Trump superfan who is also a Scientologist. Thought you should know!

6. Winchester Mystery House Writers Retreat, San Jose, CA

August 11-13, 2016.

R.J. Cavendish put together this Indiegogo funded writers retreat. Note that you wouldn't be staying overnight at the actual Winchester house, but at a mansion about 20 minutes away.

Winchester Mystery House Retreat, at Indiegogo

Winchester Mystery House Writers Retreat, on Facebook

7. Rocaberti Castle Writers Retreat

October 7-12, 2016, in Figueres, Spain (near Barcelona).

This writers retreat especially emphasizes screenwriting. "You’ll be part of a small and exclusive group of a maximum of 16 writers at the retreat. Through focused, practical presentations in the mornings, afternoon mentoring sessions, evening social events—and with a mentor/writer ratio of approximately 1:4—you’ll learn how to tell your story on the page and on the screen, and be one step closer to seeing your dream come to life!"

Rocaberti Castle Writers Retreat, on Facebook

8. Writeaway in France

September 25-October 2, 2016, Chateau du Pin in France.

Nothing particularly dark about this writer's retreat - I probably wouldn't bring a bloody or gory horror novel to read aloud from in group sessions.. scaring off the poor other writers. However, how cool is this locale? Writing in a 15th century chateau.. I am swooning!

9. Ballyhannon Castle, Ireland

If castles in France and Spain don't tempt you, how about this one in Ireland?

The castle sleeps 10 people. It's not a hotel, so you have to cook for yourself. Unless you're rich, you probably don't want to rent this all by yourself. What a fabulous writer's retreat you could concoct here to share expenses and inspiration with likeminded authors!

Ballyhannon Castle on Facebook

10. St. Peter's Abbey, Saskatchewan, Canada

At these three-week writers retreats, held by the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, you stay in the guest rooms of the abbey. This is another instance of a writer's retreat not specifically seeking out dark authors, so you won't be comparing notes on your gothic romance or horror novel with the other authors. As a bonus: "A reference library specifically designed for writers and artists is set up in the lounge of the Abbey Guest wing."

St. Peter's Abbey

Saskatchewan Writer's Retreats

Hope you enjoyed daydreaming about writing as much as I did today! Now I really need to go sit down and do some actual work on my novel, retreating merely to my quiet backyard today!

--Copyright 2016 Carrie Carolin, Dark Side of the Net

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December 14, 2015

Dark Games: Revisiting Silent Hill in All Its Twisted Glory

Today's walk down dark gaming memory lane is brought to us by guest blogger KaitiKat, an avid videogamer hailing from the bleak Northwest. Her first childhood trauma came from playing Silent Hill alone at home in the dark. Today she wants to share a look at Silent Hill resources and websites on the dark side of the net.


Konami Silent Hill

This is Konami's Silent Hill Official Page.

Silent Hill Facebook Page by Konami

Silent Hill Heaven

The best resource for Silent Hill, not official by Konami but a highly regarded fansite.

Silent Hill Heaven on Facebook

Silent Hill Heaven on Twitter

Silent Hill Wikia

Normally, I wouldn't include a wikipage, but the Silent Hill Wikia is a great starting resource for the beginner or even for someone like myself.


Silent Hill Memories

One of the largest US Silent Hill communities. This site has information such as news updates, walkthroughs, and forums.

Silent Hill Memories on Facebook.

Silent Hill Memories YouTube Channel.

The Silent Hill Community Forum.

Alchemilla Hospital

Silent Hill Forum

Slightly older than the latter, but still reliable community for Silent Hill fans.

Alchemilla Hospital on Facebook

Alchemilla Hospital on Twitter

Alchemilla Hospital's YouTube Channel

Alchemilla's Hospital on Tumblr

Silent Hill Paradise

Large UK fansite with many resources to Silent Hill merchandise and news updates.

Silent Hill Paradise on Facebook

Silent Hill Paradise on Twitter

This site is a constantly used forum, great for any FAQs.

Silent Hill Historical Society

This large fan site provides the latest news and other resources.

SH Historical Society on Facebook

SH Historical Society on Twitter

SH Historical Society YouTube Channel

My Silent Hill

Large fansite full of news, art, and music.

My Silent Hill YouTube Channel

My Silent Hill on Twitter

Reddit Silent Hill

Reddit is probably one of the best places to connect with Silent Hill fans to discuss the game/movie further.

The Silent Hill Office of Tourism

Just for fun, this site is a creative fansite that has some Silent Hill resources and facts. It's a very old website.

The Silent Hill Office of Tourism Facebook Pagei


Silent Hill France

French website for SH.

Silent Hill Germany

Germany's site for SH.

Silent Hill Germany on Facebook

Dark Games Forum Germany

This is a German forum for general horror games.

Nightmarish Dream Russia

SH fansite in Russian.

Nightmarish Dream on Facebook

Nightmarish Dream on Twitter

Nightmarish Dream on YouTube

Silent Hill Italy

SH for Italy.

Silent Hill Apocalypse

Silent Hill Apocalypse or "The Italian Otherworld", is another Italian fansite.


GameFaqs-Silent Hill

Kotaku-Silent Hill

PC Gamer-Silent Hill

Games Radar - Silent Hill


Silent Hill by Sony

The most direct place to get the Silent Hill Movie and a brief description.

Silent Hill IMDb

Best informational resource for the Silent Hill movie.

Silent Hill: Revelation Official Website

This is the second Silent Hill movie's official website which has all you need as far as the gallery and story.

Silent Hill Revelation Facebook Page


Silent Hill Best Soundtracks From The Legend Akira Yamaoka

Silent Hill Media X

It's an older website, but it has lots of Silent Hill music and environmental sounds that were in the game.

Fungo's (Owner of Silent Hill Media) YouTube Channel


Silent Hill Fanfiction at FanFiction.Net

A large database with all sorts of Silent Hill Fanfiction.

Since the announcement of the "Silent Hills" game, the franchise has been revived once more, thus many sites are very much up to date. Some things I did not have specific websites for such as art, cosplay, easter eggs, etc. They all have their own niche in links I previously mentioned. Happy hunting! Don't forget to run away from Pyramid Head.


-- Copyright 2015 Dark Side of the Net

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February 16, 2015

Crimson Peak Movie Links


Crimson Peak on IMDB

Crimson Peak (Official) on Facebook

Crimson Peak Official Site from Legendary Films


Crimson Peak Trailer at

Crimson Peak Teaser Trailer #1, on YouTube

Crimson Peak Trailer, at MTV


The music used in the trailer is "Red Right Hand", which is PJ Harvey's cover of the Nick Cave original:

Red Right Hand, by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Creepy Crimson Peak Trailer Song No Accident (2 Paragraphs)


Collider's July 30, 2014 Guillermo del Toro "Crimson Peak" Interview

Costume Designer Kate Hawley (Variety411)

Guillermo del Toro Says Crimson Peak is Shocking, Kinky, Gothic & Scary (Screen Rant)

Guillermo del Toro: What You Need to Know About Crimson Peak (Shock Till You Drop)

Legendary's Gothic Gallery for Crimson Peak (7/24/14)

Watch Guillermo del Toro Give a Personal Tour of His Tiny Haunted House (Io9, 7/24/14)


Trailer Screen Caps, at

Crimson Peak at Siam Costumes

Crimson Peak Set Photos (ScreenCrush)

Mia Wasikowska's Tiny Waist Accentuated by Odd Hand-Shaped Belt (Daily Mail)

Crimson Peak First Photos (The Mary Sue)


Crimson Peak Gothic Gallery Tour with Guillermo del Toro

Crimson Peak Behind the Scenes in Kingston, Ontario

Crimson Peak ComicCon 2014 Panel

Crimson Peak Script Scared Tom Hiddelston to Tears (Jessica Chastain)


Crimson Peak Envelopes

Crimson Peak Filming on Tumblr

Crimson Peak Film fan Twitter

Crimson Peak Lover Left Alive, on Tumblr Guillermo del Toro Fansite

Sharpe Manor, on Tumblr

--Copyright 2015 Dark Side of the Net

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