Monday, May 28, 2012

Free eBook - 5/30 and 5/31

Hey Z-Fans,
The Real Night of the Living Dead: Dead Memories, Book One will be available to download for FREE this coming Wednesday and Thursday at Amazon. Don't miss out!

Just go to to take advantage of this excellent offer!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Intro and First Two Chapters of The Real NOTLD

My Introduction...

The name is Veimer Stanton. I’m 85 years old, and I live in Toms River, New Jersey.
I may not be around to see this published, but a close friend has assured me that it will. I’m not sick. At least, I don’t think so? It’s just that I am a very old man, and I am tired. So tired. I’ve lived my life. I lived my life the best that I could, and there’s not much else to look forward to.
I get up at 3:30am every morning. Make my cup of coffee. Sit down in the living room and watch sports highlights from the night before. After around seven, I sit on my porch and watch my neighbors head to work. Then I whip up some eggs and French toast, smother them in syrup (even the eggs), grab another cup of joe, and plant my butt on my sofa in the living room. There I spend the next eight hours or so watching old pictures on the cable. The other day I saw Sunset Boulevard and Mr. and Mrs. Smith ― that would be the Hitchcock one, not that malarkey with the dame who has all those kids. There was another one, but I can’t remember. Maybe it was a Bogie flick? Speaking of Bogie, there was a Cagney marathon on last month. I love Cagney.

I have my lunch while watching the cable, then around four, I eat supper. I take a shower after the dishes are clean, and I sit on the porch, with another cup of joe, to watch my neighbors return at the end of the day. Then I go to sleep, usually around 7:30. I live in a nice quiet area. People are nice. No problems.

It’s boring.

Which is why I watch the cable all day.

But last week was Halloween, so instead of watching the cable, I spent the evening handing out the sweets to the kids who came ringing at my door. Usually, whenever Halloween came around, I would shut off my lights and go to sleep early, to avoid having to spend money on the junk food. But this year was different; I felt extra lonely, so I decided to be generous. The evening was going swell; kids showed up dressed as firefighters, superheroes, all kinds of stuff. Then came the moment that terrified me so much that I had to lock myself in my bedroom and couldn’t sleep for days; the doorbell rang, and when I opened it, I was met by three kids dressed as the walking dead.

Since then, I haven’t been able to think straight. It’s amazing. I can sit back and remember everything that happened that night; almost as if it took place yesterday. All the memories continue flooding back into my decrepit mind. The memories of what happened that cold spring night back in 1951. A lot of people died that night. Some more than once.


I was serving a five year sentence at Holmesburg Prison, about seven months into it I was asked if I’d rather serve my remaining time at Philadelphia State Hospital. I asked, Serve as a patient? They told me, No, serve as a worker. They were far overcrowded and didn’t have enough workers to perform the necessary duties. I think at the time, there was one worker for every eighty patients. So they needed help. Bad. But the state wasn’t interested in spending the additional funds. So what did they do? They compromised. Philadelphia State Hospital needed more workers? Okay, we’ll get them help. Have someone visit the nearby jails and prisons and see which convicts want to leave to work at a hospital. The catch is: you work for free. You don’t get paid. Not a red cent. But, you’re not locked in a cell all day. You have to stay on the hospital’s premises, but at the time, this hospital had so many buildings that it was like a small town. And, you get to live in a dormitory with the other workers. You see, back then, this part of Philadelphia was still very rural and secluded from residential areas. So workers had the option of living on campus. There were other big advantages for prisoners: get good food, be around women all the time (depending on where you worked.) To hell with getting paid, I mean, the prison and the warden could go jump in the lake. It was a no brainer for me. I chose the hospital.

Before I go into the events that took place that night in 1951, let me give you a brief history of Philadelphia State Hospital. I’ll begin by telling you that it was not a regular hospital. You know, your kid gets sick so you take him to the ER, or your wife is about to have a baby so you rush her in so she can give birth. No, it wasn’t like that at all. Philadelphia State Hospital, or Byberry (as it has come to be known as over the years), was a mental hospital. It opened in the beginning years of the twentieth century and began closing some of its buildings in the sixties. By the end of the eighties, it was completely shut down.

Almost from the beginning, the hospital was infamous for the horror stories that took place inside its walls. Some of the stories include: patients forced to walk around naked because they tore off their clothes and the hospital didn’t have the money to replace them. Patients being chained to their beds for months at a time. Others kept doped up, walking about the ward while the nurses remained locked in their station, frightened of what the patients were capable of. They would keep them doped up by passing their medication through a slot in the window. Even murders occurring among the patients, one of which involved a male patient who murdered a female patient, chopped her body into itty-bitty pieces and scattered them throughout the campus. My friend, one of the attendants, found a patient (about 8 years old), playing with the victim’s jaw. The guy couldn’t eat or sleep for days after seeing that.

Throughout its years, the hospital became known as a last resort, a place to send members of your family, who were handicapped or mentally ill, when you wanted them out of your life, wanting to hide them from others, wanting to have nothing else to do with them.

I guess that’s one of the reasons why my story was discarded for so many years. Many of the victims were patients and, sad to say, they had no loved ones to claim them. No one who gave a damn.

It was late in the evening, Wednesday, March 21st, 1951. Two days before Good Friday. I was working in the N-3 building, it was a therapy building. Actually, on one of the floors, the third floor (where I was working that day), doctors would test drugs on patients. Used them as guinea pigs. Tested all kinds of drugs that were in the early stages of development. They weren’t too concerned with side effects, because the patients were considered crazy and really couldn’t complain. Who would listen to them? It was really horrible.

I was an attendant; had been working at the hospital for the past five months. Me and my friend, Melvin, were assisting a couple of doctors who were testing a new vaccine. Really we were just standing by, in case they needed the extra muscle to control the patients.

The third floor of N-3 had at least a hundred beds in the room, two rows on either side of the room, lining the walls, then a row going down the center.

There were about twenty patients on the floor, most of them men, a few women. Some were shackled to the metal bed frame as they were considered criminally insane, but most of them weren’t. They were just too crazy to give a damn and just laid there with smiles on their faces.

The doctors were given a new polio vaccine to test. Back then, the polio virus was a son of a bitch, and there were tens of thousands of cases reported each year. The vaccine was developed by a colleague of a doctor by the name of Kollmer, who years earlier tested a polio vaccine which turned out to do more harm than good. The people who were given Kollmer’s vaccine had their polio worsen and some even died. But this new vaccine, the researchers said, was destined to cure polio.

Doctor Haas had already injected the vaccine into three of the patients, and he was working his way down the line. The second doctor, Doctor Oksenberg, was observing the injected patients. His hand on his chin, and his eyes squinting. Looked like he had to use the john. A nurse was following Doctor Haas, handing him tools as he requested them.

The doctors and the nurse barely said a word to Melvin and me. To them, we were scum. I was a convict, and he was hired off the street, almost literally. There was a sign posted along the block where he lived in North Philadelphia, calling for men needed as orderlies, no experience required. He applied and was hired on the spot. He’d been here for a couple of months, and I don’t think a day had passed that I worked with him and he didn’t smell of booze. But he was a good guy. We got along great.

“You listen to Dragnet last week?” said Melvin, as we stood side by side.

My eyes were on Doctor Haas as I said, “No, it’s been a while.”

Melvin said, “Yeah, lately, I’ve been going to my neighbor’s house down the street. In the evenings, a bunch of us go there to watch his television.”

“Television? He rich or something?”

He shook his head. “He won it in some kind of lottery. I don’t know. All I know is he’s got himself a television, and he charges us a nickel a piece to watch the programs after supper.”

I began to hear a slight grunting, and my eyes moved from the doctor over to the first injected patient.

“You missed a great one, pal,” said Melvin. “About a guy who was beaten, had his car stolen, then a murder took place.”

“Melvin, when doesn’t a murder take place on Dragnet? No skin off my back. I’ll catch it next time.” I was too busy focused on the grunting patient. Something about the guy didn’t seem right.

“Next time? Next show doesn’t air until sometime in April.”

“Okay, good lord. What, you got the hots for Jack Webb or something?” I said.

“It’s a good show. Probably my favoritest radio show.”

I nudged Melvin and motioned with my head to the grunting man.

“Yeah?” said Melvin. “What about him?”

“Something’s wrong with him. Listen to him.”

“You just figured that out? Guy’s a nut job. Prob’ly the same sound he makes when he plays with himself.”

The grunting grew louder. My eyes went to Doctor Oksenberg. He was watching the grunting man and recording notes on a pad of paper.

“Should he be making sounds like that, doc?” He ignored me as he studied the patient who was beginning to turn pale. Then the grunts came to a halt. The patient stopped moving. His arms dropped limp.

He was dead.


Doctor Oksenberg approached the dead patient and leaned forward, putting his ear to the patient’s chest. He looked up toward his colleague and said, “I don’t hear a heartbeat. Doesn’t appear too promising.”

“Let’s see what we can get from the rest,” said Doctor Haas. “Have one of them take the deceased downstairs to the morgue.”

Oksenberg stood upright and looked to me and Melvin. He said, “Come on. One of you boys get over here and take him. You know where the morgue is, right?”

Melvin shook his head. He seemed a little scared. He probably never put his hands on a dead body before. I was a little familiar. “I’ll take him.” Melvin was relieved.

I moved toward the bed. Then he twitched. Me, Melvin and Oksenberg flinched in unison. I could feel the hairs on my arm stand. Doctor Haas and the nurse were busy moving their way down the line of patients to notice what just happened.

“Cancel that,” said Doctor Oksenberg. “He’s moving.”

The patient was a man, I would say in his late thirties, but he appeared to have aged twenty years since taking in the vaccine. He was dragging his feet up and down against the thin urine soaked mattress pad, and his eyes were rolling side to side under their lids.

Oksenberg’s pen began to dance again. Standing behind him now, I looked over his shoulder, past his thinning gray hair, at what he was scribbling. He wrote: Within 5 mins. of vaccine injection - Outermost layer of eye appears yellow in color.

My gaze drifted to the patient. He was staring dead at me. And the doctor’s notes couldn’t be more correct; the whites of his eyes were now a stale yellow. I’ll tell you what; I was a tough guy in my day. Never backed down from any joe. But when I saw those yellow eyes on me, I was intimidated. For the first time in my life. And that made me feel very uncomfortable.

I turned to Melvin and he looked confused, like he was waiting for Oksenberg to give the next order. I put my finger to my eye and mouthed, His eyes.

His gaze went to the man’s eyes. His forehead wrinkled and he said, “Say, doc, what’s with his eyes? He ain’t looking too hot.”

“Please, boys. We’re extremely busy here. Would you prefer to work your shift at N-9 and try to deal with those psychos?” said Doctor Oksenberg. “I’m sure they would enjoy hearing your questions as you listen to them scream themselves to sleep.”

Melvin hushed up real quick, and I wasn’t going to open my mouth again. Not after that threat. N-9 was the maximum security building where they kept the worse of the worse of the men. No thanks.

Oksenberg continued scribbling as the yellow eyes scanned the room, like he had just woken up after a long nap and was trying to figure out where he was. Doctor Haas and the nurse were nearing the end of the injections. I could hear one of the patients say, Thanks. Another said she was being crucified for stealing muffins from the kitchen. A few others laughed as the needle shot the vaccine into their veins, others cried. But we noticed some of the first patients injected were beginning to show the same effects as the man who we thought had died.

The man with the yellow eyes placed his hands on the edges of the bed. He let out a faint moan as he pushed himself into a sitting position.

“Please lay down.” He didn’t listen. His head was hanging. His chin was resting on his chest, but his eyes were focused on Oksenberg. He said, “Lay down. Do as I say.” He placed his hand on the man’s chest to shove him back, but the man snatched the doctor’s hand and screamed as he moved the hand toward his mouth.

Oksenberg’s reaction was to pull away. He looked to us as he shouted for help. Melvin and me rushed over, each of us grabbing an arm, and slammed the patient back down to the bed. We gave each other a look that said, What the hell was that? We turned to the doctor, and his face was covered in sweat as he held on to the hand he nearly lost a few seconds ago.

Our attention fell to the man acting erratic. We were holding him down. Had a little strength to him, but no more than an average man. With the two of us holding him down, he wasn’t going anywhere. But it was obvious he was trying to bite the doctor. His head would rise, and his jaw would snap at the air. Looked like a damn bear trap.

Doctor Haas stood beside his colleague now. His eyes gazing at the patient as he said, “What in the hell just happened?”

“He tried to bite my hand.” I can still see the look of shock on his face. Amazing. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wet his pants at that moment. Just a little.

Haas turned to us and said, “Call the guard. Tell him to take this gentleman to N-9 via the tunnel.”

Melvin jumped at the chance to get away from the situation. He said, “Can you hold him while I go?” I nodded. He waited for me to place my other hand down on the man’s arm before letting go. I was pressing down now, holding him, but I was growing tired. Melvin exited the room.

I looked down at the insane man right below me; he was snapping his jaws, trying his best to bite me as he screamed. I had to look away, those eyes were too eerie. My gaze went to the doctors who were staring, they looked scared. The nurse was way down at the end of the line, standing by her rolling cart that carried the vials of the polio vaccine. She was the only one who didn’t appear scared. But she did look impatient, like she was hoping Haas would get his butt over there fast, so they could wrap up the vaccinations.

The door opened, and the guard entered with Melvin behind him. The guard was pretty confident of the whole situation. He approached the bed, pulled his baton from his belt and whacked the screaming man a few times.

The hits didn’t faze him. “Let him go,” the guard said to me. I did. The guard positioned himself, ready to attack with his baton. As I stood back, I stole a quick glance of the other patients; I noticed a few of them were moaning, others were lifeless. My eyes went back to the first patient. He stood and moved toward the closest person to him, the guard.

“Come on, you crazy son of a bitch. I got some medication right here for ya.” The patient charged with his arms stretched out toward the guard. Guard was ready. His arm pulled back and shot forward, cracking the patient on the head. He dropped to the tiled floor, a puddle of blood beginning to form now where his head lay.

The guard stood over him, grabbed the handcuffs from his belt and slapped them over the patient’s wrists behind his back. The patient was still conscious. I couldn’t believe it. He took a few hard blows to the head, but here he was, trying to get on his feet again.

The guard didn’t look too thrilled. I could tell he was pissed. This patient trying to do his best to make this guard earn his worthless paycheck. I was sure along the way to N-9 the guard would take a little detour and teach this loony tune a thing or two about respecting his authority. He said as he stood, his chest heaving, “What’d they do to ya? You got some good stuff pumped in your veins, eh?”

“Just get him out of here, please,” said Doctor Oksenberg.

The guard gazed at the frightened doctor, then turned to Melvin, who was standing near the door, and said to him, “Why don’t ‘cha do something useful. Grab a mop and clean this mess up.” Melvin didn’t say a word and didn’t move. The guard’s attention went back to the patient.

The patient was trying to stand, but with his hands bound he was having a difficult time. He was struggling to push himself up with his head. That’s when the guard grabbed him by his dirty old plaid shirt and lifted him to his feet. A line of blood was hanging from the corner of his mouth, down to his chin, and onto his shirt. His yellow eyes were on the guard, and he was anxious to break free from the cuffs. I could already see that his wrists were beginning to bleed.
We all watched as the guard struggled with the patient to get him out of the room. He started by poking him in the chest with his baton, but the enraged man kept charging. So he began pummeling him with the baton, on his face, his arms, his ribs. We watched. All of us in shock to see a man take such a beating and still keep coming. By now, his face was covered in blood, but he could care less. The only progress the hits were making was every time one landed it pushed him back a few inches.
After another minute or so of the guard beating him, we watched as they took their show outside the room. Melvin slammed the door behind them. None of us noticed the next five patients who were waking up now, staring with stale yellow eyes.

I'm Back From the Dead

Hi Everyone,
Sorry for disappearing for so long, but I'm back, and I will be posting a few chapters soon of The Real Night of the Living Dead.
Stay Tuned.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dear Zennifer

Dear Zennifer,
I’m a 20-year-old single woman, living just outside the city. I recently went on a blind date with this guy who, I found out after the date, was a zombie. Everything was going great; he took me to a steakhouse for dinner, I had a small salad and he had a couple of raw porter house steaks, then we went to my place where we watched a movie and made out for a while. He kept nibbling on my neck. After he left, and I went to sleep, I kept feeling a slight pain in my neck. At first, I thought it was just a hickey, but after checking it out in my mirror, I noticed a small piece of skin was missing.
I really like this guy, but I don’t know if I should see him again if he’s going to keep leaving bite marks on me. Help, Zennifer.
What should I do?

Bitten with Love.

Bitten with Love,
Wondering whether you should see him or not is the least of your worries. Welcome to the family…

Doc Z

Friday, October 9, 2009

Chyna Chandler Interviews Trevor Banks

Hello everyone, I’m Chyna Chandler.

For every actor out there making $30 million to star in a film there are roughly 2,000 actors just getting by, with some of them having to find a second job just to pay the rent on time and put food in their mouths. Out of the thousands of struggling actors there is a small percentage, no more than a hundred, which are among the living dead.

I recently caught up with one outside a Wawa mini-mart in Southeastern Pennsylvania. His name is Trevor Banks. Trevor began acting in school plays at the age of 12. After graduating from high school, Trevor enrolled in an acting class. It was then that Trevor got his big break, his first part in a major motion picture:

Chyna Chandler – Tell us about your early days, Trevor.

Trevor Banks – Well, it’s funny. I read this ad in the Arts and Entertainment section of the local paper for a new acting class run by a veteran actor. I immediately knew who the dude was; he played in a bunch of mob movies in the late seventies and early eighties. Anyway, I was really excited about it. So I made an appointment with him. I should’ve known when our meeting was held in the basement of his home that the old dude was a little shady, but I was blinded. I wanted to be a star, you know?

CC – Of course.

TB – So right away dude tells me I’m gonna be a star. Tells me I look like a young Al Pacino, only more pale. And that was all I needed to hear, ‘cause I wanted to be the next Stallone. I wanted to star in a Rocky or Rambo movie, maybe play his successor or something. I wanted to be on set with that robot from Rocky IV. But I suffered from one major flaw; I was undead.

CC – And he told you it wasn’t a problem.

TB – Oh yeah. He told me he’d train me so well that I would be stealing Oscars from under Nicholson’s nose.

CC – So what followed?

TB – I signed a one year, $2,000 contract with him, which was still drying from the night before when he said his kid spilled Kool Aid on it. I paid him a thousand up front and the rest in monthly installments. I was being ripped off and didn’t even know it.

CC – When did you realize you were being ripped off?

TB – I got the feeling during the first class when I was one of about four students. It sunk in a little more when we moved our next class from the Y to his basement. It hit like a blow to the brain when we abandoned the acting exercises all together and watched scenes of The Godfather and The Wizard of Oz and after the scenes he would tell us to reenact them, verbatim.

CC – Trevor, so you wanted to be a star. You saw what you thought was an opportunity and invested your hard earned money. Then you find that you have been taken advantage of. When does Trevor Banks the actor decide that enough is enough?

TB – Well, I’ll tell you, Chyna, I got sick of saying, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” five times a day. I heard from a friend about a movie they were casting for, and it was right up my alley. The movie was called Day of the Dead, and I knew this was my “once in a lifetime.”

CC – So you audition for Day of the Dead and what happens?

TB – Auditioned? Hell, I walked in and Romero’s jaw drops. He gets out of his chair, walks over, shakes my hand and says, “You got it, pal. You’re my zombie.”

CC – How did you win him over so easily?

TB – Well, for one thing, I’m undead. But what I think sealed it was my outfit. Usually, in those days, I’d dress in a cool pair of stone-washed jeans with a nice button down shirt, or if I was feeling extra cool, I’d throw on a metal band shirt. So I think, when he saw this undead guy walking in wearing tight stone-washed jeans and an Iron Maiden shirt, it just floored him. You know? He was probably thinking, Shit, this is the coolest zombie ever.

CC – But the rest of the cast wasn’t as fond of you.

TB – Yeah, I think they were jealous.

CC – Jealous? Why?

TB – Come on, Chyna. Because I was the real deal. I mean, they all had to get their faces made up to look like a zombie. And some of them took a long time. But I only needed a few strokes of the brush here and there. Not only that, but they were subbing raw meat for the scenes where they had to eat flesh. But I let it be known that I was willing to eat real flesh. The extras didn’t appreciate that.

CC – Why not?

TB – Look, nothing against extras, I mean, that’s how you get your start, but I’m a trained Method actor. I’ve acted out enough scenes of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull to know what it takes. These amateurs were eating cold sausages. I was gonna take bites out of people. I’ve done it before…and for free too.

CC – So what was the reason the shoot didn’t go as well as you had initially thought?

TB – Because some of the extras sabotaged me.

CC – Really? That seems quite outlandish, don’t you think?

TB – What? No, are you kidding, dude. There was a group of about four or five that were acting like a bunch of bastards. They were going around telling the casting director that my rotting flesh was stinking up the break room; that I was acting like a big shot just because I was a real zombie.

CC – Did this do damage to your reputation?

TB – Oh, absolutely. I was supposed to be a leading zombie.

CC – Bub?

TB – No, not him, but one of the main ones. I was going to get a lot of screen time, like a total of two minutes and thirty-five seconds.

CC – How much time did you end up with on screen?

TB – Have you seen the movie?

CC – Uh…yeah…

TB – Are you sure? ‘Cause you don’t sound it.

CC – No, I have seen it.

TB – You won’t know what I’m talking about unless you’ve seen it.

CC – I have.

TB – Okay, at the end, when that Spanish dude is lying on the elevator and everyone is tearing him to shreds, there is a close-up shot of him screaming, then you see a bunch of hands reaching for him, well, my right hand made its way into that shot. And that was about a total of maybe a second, second and a half.

CC – You must have been proud.

TB – Yes and no. I was proud to have finally been in a real movie, but it didn’t open the doors that I thought it would.

CC – So what doors did open?

TB – Let’s see, I played a corpse on shows like Simon and Simon, Law and Order, stuff like that. I think I even did an episode of Cop Rock, but I’m not sure?

CC – But no major parts?

TB – No, I auditioned for the part of Bernie in Weekend at Bernie’s and was turned away. They said the part was that of someone who was alive at first and then dies. I’ve done some plays and stuff; played Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol at a local church during the holidays. But I want that big part. I deserve it. I’m an actor too. A good actor, at that. I don’t wanna be typecast as the undead guy who plays corpses. I even tried out for Land of the Dead and was rejected. Believe that?

CC – That must have been damaging to the ego?

TB – You said it. I’m undead, and I can’t even get a part as a mindless moaning zombie? That’s when I knew my career had hit bottom. But I don’t know, sometimes I wonder if those same bastards who screwed me in Day of the Dead managed to brainwash the casting director of Land. But I guess that’s one of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries, like who built those faces on Christmas Island.

CC – Uh…okay?

TB – You know, right?

CC – Actually it’s called Easter Island.

TB – What? (laughs) Why the hell would they name it after a giant bunny?

CC - Of course. (pause) So what does the future hold for Trevor Banks the undead actor?

TB – The future is unwritten, Chyna, but I hope to show the world that there’s an actor out there who’s better than Eric Roberts, Burt Reynolds and F. Murray Abraham and his name is Trevor Banks, or Trev if you’re part of my entourage.

CC – Do you have an entourage?

TB – (long pause) Not yet, but soon, someday…hopefully. I can still make my dreams come true. I’ll die again trying. I mean, Stallone is still doing it; maybe I can be in his next Rambo or Rocky? And Pacino is still out there. Some say I still look like him. I think even more so now, ‘cause the guy’s looking as dead as I am. But anyway, I have the strength to make it happen, because I’m not just an undead actor, I’m an awesome cool ass undead actor.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

And later this week...

Join us when Zombie Living's own Chyna Chandler interviews struggling Hollywood actor and member of the zombie community, Trevor Banks.

Chyna is working hard at wrapping up her piece and will bring it here for us all.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Birth of Zombie Living

Welcome Zombies and Lovers of Zombies,
My name is Mark L. Kramer, and I am the editor of Zombie Living.
Zombie Living is an ezine dedicated to all things related to zombies and their lives: what they love to do, the foods they enjoy eating, their relationships, problems, etc.

We will be presenting articles by staff members of Zombie Living focusing on the plight of zombies and posting short stories about the fascinating people who seem to have a problem with staying dead.

We also welcome submissions from fellow zombies. Anyone interested in submitting an article or short story (of 2,500 words or under) for consideration can send it in an email (no attachments, please) to In the subject heading, please list the title of your article or short story and attention it to Mark L. Kramer.

And by all means, follow us. Help us make the world a little deader.