From NOS4A2 by Joe Hill:
“Without any warning, the great Christmas tree lit all at once, and a thousand electric candles illuminated the children gathered around it.
“A few sat in the lowest branches, but most — perhaps as many as thirty — stood beneath the boughs, in nightdresses and furs and ball gowns fifty years out of date and Davy Crockett hats and overalls and policeman uniforms. At first glance they all seemed to be wearing delicate masks of white glass, mouths fixed in dimpled smiles, lips too full and too red. Upon closer inspection the masks resolved into faces. The hairline cracks in these faces were veins, showing through translucent skin; the unnatural smiles displayed mouths filled with tiny, pointed teeth….
“One boy sat in a branch and held a serrated bowie knife as long as his forearm.
“One little girl dangled a chain with a hook on it.
“A third child … wielded a meat cleaver and wore a necklace of bloodied thumbs and fingers.
“Vic was now close enough to see the ornaments that decorated the tree. The sight forced the air out of her in hard, shocked breath. Heads: leather-skinned, blackened but not spoiled, preserved partially by the cold. Each face had holes where the eyes had once been. Mouths dangled open in silent cries. One decapitated head — a thin-faced man with a blond goatee — wore green-tinted glasses with heart-shaped, rhinestone-studded frames.…
“Children began to spread out from beneath the tree … forming a human barricade…. Or inhuman barricade, as the case might be.”
This post’s title, in case you aren’t familiar with it, was appropriated from the classic 1979 horror movie When a Stranger Calls, starring Carol Kane. The movie has nothing to do with Christmas but the idea for this post and these crazy-ass photos got stuck in my head when I recently saw a reference to the line of dialogue “the call is coming from inside the house” from this movie.
NOS4A2, on the other hand, quoted above — Joe Hill‘s book and the recently released Hulu series — IS about Christmas, presenting a deliciously wicked version of the holidays that could only come from the mind of a blood-relative of Stephen King. 🙂
What would Christmas be without a wee bit of horror? or should I say ho!-ho!-horror?? Have you finished your shopping yet?