Our artist’s conception of the inhuman horror haunting Kristel and her family in Vermont.


Listen to EPISODE 33: DEMONS IN VERMONT with co-host Kristel Smart


T. Fox Dunham & Phil Thomas continue their tribute to Women in Horror Month in February by featuring paranormal author & demonic victim, Kristel Smart, author of the terrifying account of her family’s demonic oppression in Hinesberg House, Virginia. Her story was also featured as an episode of Syfy’s Paranormal Witness, episode 411 When Hell Freezes Over.


Kristel Smart eating at the Italian restaurant, Sarduccis, that became their refuge during the inhuman oppression of their home.


Kristel Smart is a writer, dog lover and horse enthusiast. She has a deep love of nature for both the solace it provides, and the mystery it contains. She currently resides in South Burlington, Vermont with her daughter, Taylor and her Doberman, Murphy. You can learn more about Kristel from Facebook or Goodreads.

This is another episode supporting Women in Horror Month which begins in February, but there are so many talented and tenacious women horror contributors, we wanted to start early. Women in Horror Month is a grass-roots organization supporting events and programming that celebrate women in horror. They will be coming on the show soon to talk about their goals, and we will continue to feature women authors, artists, film makers and actresses for the next few months along with their work.


Kristel Smart joins Phil & Fox as a co-host. Her story begins, as most do, when she, her daughter, her sister and childhood friend all move in together in a beautiful rustic house–their dream house, promising a bright new future. Strange events occur right away: phantom growling, weird telephone calls with no answer, children laughing in the night and dark shadows lurking—shadows with will and purpose. The air reeks of sulfur, and electrical problems cost them a fortune.  Lightbulbs explode even when the power is off! Things get worse when the inhuman entity hurts the health of Kristel’s daughter and terrorizes the family while they were trapped in the house during an ice storm. Phil & Fox talk to Kristel through the episode, learning the details of the haunting and understand the psychological effects of these violating attacks after 15 years. The family is recovering much in the same way as victims of battered spouse syndrome or PTSD.

Listen to the show to learn the whole story and gain a defense against the invisible world hidden in our own–a world of shadows that move in the darkness, watching you. The show dedicates itself to equipping its listeners to be more capable in a universe full of dark forces that gain power through ignorance and skepticism, and they’re here to help the victims of such inhuman forces tell their stories and find some closure through the process of catharsis. That is the mission of What Are You Afraid Of? Horror & Paranormal Show.

Kristel tells us at night it was strongest:


I notice movement in the corner. It’s the shadow. The shadow itself. It’s so dark, a deep void of black, that even the bright bedroom lamp can’t dispel it. It just hangs there, moving in undulating waves. I have this stark realization that it knows I can see it. And it knows I’m scared. I sense its awareness of me. As a general rule, I don’t fear ghosts. But this is no ghost. Such malevolence, it just emanates in waves. I feel helpless, and barely manage a choked, half whispered “Oh…” Then my voice stops. Tears slowly make their way down my face. My whole body is numb. –Excerpt from In Stone by Kristel Stone



The house looked innocent enough. There was nothing to distinguish it from any other quaint, older home nestled within the rural Vermont landscape. For Liz, Charlie, Donna and Willa it was a dream come true; exactly what they needed. Each of them had escaped hardship longing for the comforts of loved ones, hearth and home. The spacious house, the location and the timing all seemed so perfect. But none of them could imagine the horrors that awaited them as the house revealed its secrets. Buy from AMAZON.



You can view her episode of Paranormal Witness on the SYFY channel below on Vimeo.


Thank you Kristel Smart for being on the show, and we hope you’ll join us again. Get her book, In Stone, on Amazon in paperback or kindle edition.

Our British folksinger, David Walton, narrates excerpts from some of Kristel’s nocturnal visits from In Stone, which is available here at Amazon. David also sings a classic British Folksong, The Cruel Mother.

A woman gives birth to one or two illegitimate children (usually sons) in the woods, kills them, and buries them. On her return trip home, she sees a child, or children, playing, and says that if they were hers, she would dress them in various fine garments and otherwise take care of them. The children tell her that when they were hers, she would not dress them so but murdered them. Frequently they say she will be damned for it. –The Cruel Mother from Wikipedia



We continue with our special feature on Women in Horror over the next few months with more artists, authors, musicians and those deserving of promotion. Get your spooky on at FRIDAY 9PM EST at PARA-X RADIO or download from all major podcast services. Check out the website at www.whatareyouafraidofpodcast.com for expanded material and our true ghost story archive or follow us at @pfwhatafraidof.

And don’t forget to check out the new feature film from Film Zero, Phil Thomas’ film company.


From FilmZero

Our latest film is an eight minute short entitled “A Short Term Effect” that we shot this past October. With recent quality contributions to horror such as The Conjuring, Annabelle, You & #39. Next, Lights Out, and Don’t Breathe, it compelled us to do a series of shorts throughout 2017.

It’s a fun ghost story involving a depressed man, some haunted woods and a chance encounter with the girl of his dreams—but will he be able to close the deal? We will be posting other short films every few months as long as people are enjoying them. Please check them out.



Follow us on Twitter: @pfwhatafraidof


Listen for us on PARA-X RADIO at our usual time slot on FRIDAY NIGHTS at 9PM EST.


Sponsored in part by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.



(A Horror Medical Thriller Novel from Blood Bound Books.)


By T. Fox Dunham

(Host of What Are You Afraid of Horror & Paranormal Podcast)

FANGORIA gives MERCY 3.5 out 4 Skulls – “Dunham has channeled his many brushes with the other side into the exquisitely rendered, lyrical supernatural hospital thriller MERCY.READ FULL REVIEW HERE.



Author Tim Waggoner

Part medical horror, part supernatural suspense, MERCY is a hard-hitting fever dream of a novel. I enjoyed the hell out of it!” ~ Tim Waggoner, author of The Way of All Flesh and Eat The Night

Pain and poetry flow in equal measure through these pages. Dunham’s prose strikes deep and hits all the right notes. MERCY is unforgettably vivid.” ~ David Dunwoody, author of Hell Walks and The 3 Egos

William Saint is dying of cancer. On most days death seems like a humane alternative to the treatment. Stricken with fever, William is rushed to Mercy—notorious as a place to send the sickest of the poor and uninsured to be forgotten—and finds the hospital in even worse condition than his previous visit. The grounds are unkempt, the foundation is cracking, and like the wild mushrooms sprouting from fissures of decay around it, something is growing inside the hospital. Something dark. It’s feeding on the sickness and sustaining itself on the staff, changing them. And now it wants Willie.

This was my death.

Life is an addiction.

Love is the only force that is real. Read . . . and understand what I saw. I put it in metaphor. You do not understand what you do not understand.


Author of Mercy – T. Fox Dunham

Buy on Kindle at Amazon

Or Buy in Paperback at Amazon



“Classic Horror 3” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

“Come Play With Me” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

“The Chamber” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License




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