Peace Door

I am going out in a little while to run an errand and YIKES. Very scary sound in the sky just now. I’m sure it was a special Memorial Day fly-over of some impressive flying machines of some sort, but it sounds like the sky is ripping open. Okay, calming down. As I was saying, I plan to stroll and take pictures of the holiday sights.

Thank you for your service, members of the military, but I do hope that your service will be required less, and I hope that in the future you are treated better upon your return.

Seen in the West Village, NYC.

New Tree on 11th Street

I think I mentioned that some of the cherry blossom trees fell down during the last big storm. But a new tree has appeared! It’s tiny now, but one day it will be part of the canopy of cherry blossoms I miss. Will I still be alive when that happens??

Damnation Island Goodreads Give Away

Goodreads is conducting a book give away for my book Damnation Island! “[A] fascinating look at a piece of nearly forgotten New York City history…” — Mental Floss, who included Damnation Island in its Best Books of 2018.

Below is a political cartoon I came across of Reverend Edward Cowley, who was sentenced to the Blackwell’s Island Penitentiary in 1880. I have a chapter on him in my book because he was the priest who was replaced by Reverend William Glenney French. I thought it was pretty astounding that as Rev. French went around the island, seeing to the needs of the inmates, he’d come across his predecessor! What did he do??

Just as this drawing illustrates (unsympathetically), I wondered what it was like being penned up with the very people you used to give sermons to.

The Shadows Behind by Kristi Petersen Schoonover

I had the honor of writing the forward for Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s new book The Shadows Behind. Here’s what I had to say:

“I once wrote that whenever you look behind a ghost story, what you will find is eternal love, unbearable loss, and unconquerable fear. To this list Kristi Petersen Schoonover adds regret, and mistakes that can never be set right.

“These are the things that haunt us, creating, as Schoonover tells us in one of her stories, the shadows that “ghosts, or God knew what else” move into. The characters in her new collection, The Shadows Behind, occupy haunted, complicated worlds, where things go terribly wrong, and there is no easy way forward. People die, people hurt each other, people screw up, creating yet another monster to lurk in those dark corners we try so desperately to avoid. You can fight them, or you can surrender, but you cannot make them go entirely away. Sometimes the monsters win, sometimes you can even forge a truce, but they will always be there, and as long as you live there will always be more to join the growing crowd inhabiting the shadows. The characters who do best in Schoonover’s stories are the ones who embrace their shadows, and try to see them differently.

“This doesn’t necessarily lead to a happy ending, and this is what makes Schoonover’s stories so satisfying. How can a life in which death and loss are inescapable, a life in which we make devastating irreversible mistakes, ever be truly happy? Acceptance isn’t happy. It’s peaceful—and it is a worthy, and realistic goal. There is truth in the shadows, even if it isn’t pretty, and you will find all your friends there. By the end of The Shadows Behind, Kristi Petersen Schoonover has masterfully illuminated a path to a liberating peace, in a poignant and deliciously scary way; look directly into the shadows, listen to your heart, identify what you are grasping so tightly and let go. Otherwise, like some of Schoonover’s chilling characters, you will become the scariest—and deadliest—monster lurking in the darkness.”

A must, and fun, read!

My book is coming out in paperback 5/14!

“Damnation Island should be your page-turning horror read for the summer. Horn’s book is uniquely arranged almost like a guide book, venturing from one institution to the next, discovering intimate stories of mayhem and malfeasance more unbelievable than the last.” —The Bowery Boys Podcast

“Teeter-tottering between a history textbook and a murder mystery, Stacy Horn’s Damnation Island is fast moving and entrenched in detail … What’s even more horrifying—it’s all real.” —BUST

This is a picture of the Workhouse, a penal institution for people convicted of minor crimes like disorderly conduct, intoxication and vagrancy. It was the largest penal institution in America at the time.