Listen to Episode 37: Lizzie Borden’s Ax

Lizzie Borden had an axe
She gave her mother 40 whacks
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father 41


Bram Stoker & Shirley Jackson award-winning horror author Lisa Mannetti joins T. Fox Dunham & Phil Thomas for an episode of horror, murder and rebellion on Episode 37 of What Are You Afraid Of? Horror & Paranormal Show. Lisa shares her writing wisdom, what it’s like as a women horror author, a true story about a haunting experience from that ax-wielding Lizzie Borden and a passage from her novella about Harry Houdini, The Box Jumper. Lisa joins us as part of our celebration of Women in Horror in support of Women in Horror Month.

Lisa Mannetti’s debut novel, The Gentling Box, garnered a Bram Stoker Award and she has since been nominated four times for the prestigious award in both the short and long fiction categories: Her story, “Everybody Wins,” was made into a short film and her novella, “Dissolution,” will soon be a feature-length film directed by Paul Leyden. Recent short stories include, “Esmeralda’s Stocking” in Never Fear: Christmas Terrors; “Resurgam” in Zombies: More Recent Dead edited by Paula Guran, and “Almost Everybody Wins,” in Insidious Assassins. Her work, including The Gentling Box, and “1925: A Fall River Halloween” has been translated into Italian.

She has also authored The New Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, two companion novellas in her collection, Deathwatch, a macabre gag book, 51 Fiendish Ways to Leave your Lover, as well as non-fiction books, and numerous articles and short stories in newspapers, magazines and anthologies. Forthcoming works include “Arbeit Macht Frei” in Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and a dark novel about the dial-painter tragedy in the post-WWI era, Radium Girl.

Lisa lives in New York in the 100 year old house she originally grew up in with two wily (mostly) black twin cats named Harry and Theo Houdini.


Lisa shares with us the first in a series of her paranormal experiences while visiting the Lizzie Borden house. She’s always been to drawn to Lizzie, which has to worry you a bit.


While I was away, the guide and my two new-found friends actually heard someone calling my name over and over, “Lisa, Lisa, Lisa!”


–From The Haunted Lizzie Borden House: True Ghost Stories. Written and submitted by Lisa Mannetti

The body of Lizzie’s mother.


Hannah Neurotica also comes on this episode as we play part one of T. Fox Dunham’s interview with this founder of Women in Horror Month. This is her first podcast appearance in years, and we’re very happy to have her. She explains how Women In Horror Month started after she suffered prejudice as a woman horror author. Part 2 of the interview, a profile of this talented author & filmmaker will play on our next episode. She’s an inspiring artist, suffering through mental illness to create her work and fight her revolution.


Women in Horror Month (WiHM) is an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre.

I think in general when readers choose books, they think women’s horror will be milder and watered-down.

–Lisa Mannetti about women writing in horror


The Box Jumper

We end the show with a reading from her fantastic novella, The Box Jumper. Fox and Lisa share a fascination with the master of illusion, his light and dark side. The novella is available from Amazon. Her most recently published longer work, The Box Jumper, a novella about Houdini, has not only been nominated for a 2015 Bram Stoker Award, it won the “Novella of the Year” award from This is Horror in the UK.

Thirty years after his death, one of Houdini’s premier assistants reveals the secrets of his paranormal abilities—but is she telling the truth?

“‘Magic’ is the operative word for this moody novella. The magic of Harry Houdini serves as an overriding backdrop here, but another kind of magic permeates these pages—the magic of fine writing. Don’t expect the usual linear plot, because there is no direct narrative. Vivid dreams, surreal images, hypnotic memories, all serve to flesh out an unsettling tale that sweeps us into a new fictional dimension. Read The Box Jumper and share the magic.”

William F. Nolan, author of Logan’s Run and screenwriter of Burnt Offerings


“Seamless delving into the minutia of the period, a compelling main character, and a fine love story in a surround of trickery, fakery and darkness.”

Jack Ketchum, author of OFF SEASON

The Following Man:

Phil Thomas has a new horror short available. It’s an incredible film he talks about on the show, The Following Man. With an incredible music score reminiscent of The Exorcist, watch this brilliant film in his new series of dark shorts.




They’re on PARA-X RADIO at 9PM EST on FRIDAYs.

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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

Music Rights:

“Garden Music” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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

“Dark Hallway Distressed” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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






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