A By Candlelight Media Magazine.
A Note From the Editor
While there still isn’t a whole lot to see on By Candlelight Media, June will mark the website’s first official month with podcasts, web series, and multiple authors writing stories. It’s an exciting month for us. Here in the studio, there’s a certain type of tingling buzz about us. We’ve finally been able to achieve something; something we’ve been striving for a long time.
I decided a little while ago that with as much content as we will be releasing every month it will be difficult, for newcomers to the site, to see everything and have any idea of what is going on. I love what we’re doing here and I want everyone to be able to catch up on the latest shows or stories and keep track of where we’re going.
I also wanted to make sure I was communicating with our audience in a way they could keep up with the site, and know when to expect new content. I understand completely if people coming to this website only come for the short stories, or for the webcomics, or for just one thing and not the rest. I get it. I do the same thing on other websites.
The best way to keep everyone informed on what has been released, and what will be released is this magazine. So, here we are… The Chandler, Issue 1.
Why choose the name The Chandler, you’re asking. Well, that’s easy. The proper name for a person who makes candles is known as a Chandler. And as this site is obviously called, By Candlelight Media, what better way to tell you all about the website than turn you over to the people who make the site a reality. They are our curators, our candlestick makers, our Chandlers.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this magazine let me first explain that this issue will be mostly written by me, as there simply aren’t enough authors and other contributors as of yet to fill out a full-time magazine staff.
The Chandler will be released on the first Sunday of every month. It will cover everything that has been released over the previous month. It will break down each podcast, web series, and webcomic, as well as give you a small behind the scenes look at the process and craft that goes into making each piece of content for the website.
Then we will give you a look at upcoming episodes, articles, stories etc. Giving you a sneak peak, and give you something to look forward to. There will also be articles, like this one, simply written by me, or other staff members to explain the magazine, the website, or simply their opinion on things.
It won’t take over our blogs, as those will continue to be released regularly. This is more formal than that and will be pointed more at the process and efforts that go into making the content on this site.
Hopefully, this helps with any confusion as to what this crazy thing is. I also hope that you enjoy everything we do here on the site. If you enjoy what we do, and want to see more content more often, help support us by becoming a patron on our Patreon, simply visit, https://www.patreon.com/bycandlelightmedia for more details.
Editor | Producer | Writer
By Candlelight Media
Written By Rick Bishop
There is a lot of content being released this upcoming month here on By Candlelight Media. With that happening, I’m going to break down the release schedule for everyone and hopefully make it clear as to when and where things come out.
Sunday: The Chandler Magazine (1st Sunday of every month.)
Tuesday: By Candlelight. Podcast
The Book of Judas. Ongoing story series.
Wednesday: Buffy By Candlelight. Podcast
Hell Portal Hospital. Webcomic
Thursday: Cinema By Candlelight. Podcast
Friday: Media Minute. Web series.
Saturday: Short Stories
Now, there will be other shows and podcasts releasing over the next few months to fill out this schedule a little more. There will even likely be more content coming to this month’s schedule, but I chose not to show them, as they are still in production and haven’t been polished to the point of putting them up on the site yet.
We’ve talked a lot about the release schedule, and have determined with the current content being created, this schedule will work best, but if there are any changes to it, there will be a post about it somewhere on the website, our Facebook page, or on Twitter.
A Podcast for the Horror Fan
Written By Rick Bishop
If you’re anything like me, then you know that feeling you get when someone says they like horror. There is a rush of energy and excitement which briefly overwhelms you because you know, you’ve just made a new friend.
To me, horror is so much more than just a genre of fiction. It is, in some ways, a way of life. Horror is what consumes my brain most days. I think about writing horror stories, writing screenplays for movies I probably won’t ever produce, and thinking of all the amazing horror content I’m going to produce for the website. While some of the things never actually come true, and while I can’t say whether the content I personally add to the website is amazing, I can say with absolute certainty, I love horror. I love it so much I made a website based around it.
When I meet new people and discover they like horror, I find myself delving into deep conversations with them, trying to learn what type of horror they enjoy, what the other person finds fascinating about horror, and getting an idea of what they think horror really is.
That is what By Candlelight is about. It’s a podcast where I as the host, sit down and discuss the many facets of horror with my co-hosts and guests. We delve into the ideas of horror, what makes horror, the minds of people who create horror, the history of horror…basically anything to do with horror.
We’ve broken down the many moving parts of the genre and decided each week we’ll discuss a different topic.
On the first week of the month, we’ll talk about the psychology of horror, and the psychology of why certain things in horror have remained so successful. We’ll discuss the culture of horror and how it plays into the human experience.
On the second week of the month, my co-hosts and I will review and analyze and film which is neither a new release still being shown in theaters, or a movie from the classical era of horror films. Instead, we’ll talk about a film which can be easily accessed either through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Redbox. We want the audience to have either seen the film or be able to easily see the film being discussed without having to spend an arm and a leg. We’ll break down each part of the movie, talking about what we liked and didn’t like, we’ll talk shop, discussing the special effects, the production design, the writing, directing, or acting. At the end, we’ll rate the film based on how each of us enjoyed it, and finally give it an overall rating.
On the third week of the month, we’ll talk about the history of horror. The first episode we’ll discuss the overall long reaching history of horror, and work our way quickly into the modern era. On subsequent months our history episodes will talk more specifically about one topic in history. For instance, we might discuss the history of witches. Where they came from, how they evolved through time, and why they are now seen in our culture as the things they are.
On the fourth week of the month, my co-hosts and I will do something a little different. Instead of discussing a specific topic, like history or psychology, we’ll leave the topic of discussion up to our audience. This is our Patron’s Pick episode, where each month the people who support us on our Patreon get to choose what we talk about. We’ll try to choose from the suggested topics something still involving horror, but in the end, whether the audience chooses George Romero films or Twilight as the topic, we’ll do it… Though for obvious reasons, please don’t make us talk about that.
I’m really excited to produce this podcast. Horror is great, and I feel that’s it’s even better when you have people to share it with. This podcast, from its first inception, was simply to be about talking horror with friends. And I can’t believe that it is actually happening. Hopefully, people find it as entertaining to listen to as it has been to make.
The Book of Judas
An Ongoing Tale of Mystery and Horror
Written By Rick Bishop
The book of Judas, when first debating publishing it on this site, never seemed like something I should immediately do. I was going through my Google Drive, cleaning out old content I’d either abandoned or hated and came across a writing project I’d started a few years earlier.
Re-reading through the first few chapters I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. It wasn’t the current novel I’d been working on, and I hadn’t touched it in a long time. But I liked the way it read, and I didn’t want to simply delete the whole thing. That’s when it dawned on me that I could put it on By Candlelight Media. I would release a new chapter every week. It would work well, I thought, because at its core, while still being a horror story with many horror elements, The Book of Judas is a mystery. By slowly revealing the tale piece by piece, I would be able to draw out the best part of the story.
Of course, in making the decision to do this, and by releasing the first chapter online, I realized I was now stuck with the plan of writing a new chapter every single week. Which is, to me at least, a daunting task. Especially considering how many other projects I’m a part of on this website, and the fact that I work a full-time job in the nursing. Are you crazy? Yes, yes I am.
The Book of Judas, surprisingly enough, did not start out like most stories in my head do. It wasn’t ever meant to be a book. It was originally a plan I had for a role playing game called, World of Darkness. I was going to run a campaign as the Game Master and tell the story.
However, as I was already running a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, and playing in another campaign my friend was running, (both of which I still somehow make time for) I shelved the idea for the game and instead decided to tell the story as a novel. I made my own characters where I had intended the players to exist and began writing the first few chapters, introducing each character one at a time.
I consider myself somewhat lucky, as the first few chapters are already written and I can use that extra time, as each chapter is released, to write the next few. If things go according to plan, which they hardly do, I will be a few weeks ahead of the story’s release schedule, and won’t have too many hiccups along the way.
The best way I can describe the story is that it follows a group of people, many whom exist in some ways either in history or fictional works of others, such as Dr. Watson, from Sherlock Holmes. These characters have each been drawn to one another by a secret organization to stop the forces of evil from obtaining The Book of Judas. An apocryphal section of the bible detailing the rise of Lucifer in the end of times. The story is set in the late 1800’s and will follow the characters all over the world from London to Constantinople.
My hope for the story would be that there is a big enough demand for the tale, eventually, I could release the finished work as a novel and have it officially published. But of course, my first priority is the entertainment of those visiting the website, and I won’t try too hard to make things go one way or the other.
This month you can look forward to reading about the main characters of the story, of whom there are five, and you’ll begin to get a sense of what is happening in the world as well as who the secret organization behind the group is.
Hell Portal Hospital
Come for the Healing, Stay for the Monsters
Written By Rick Bishop
When I first read Hell Portal Hospital it was Sally Ortiz’s Patreon page. Sally is a friend of mine and an amazing artist. I knew she had the talent because any time we got together she would be drawing. What I didn’t know, was that she was making a webcomic under the name Sick Nurse.
It was around the same time I had begun building the groundwork for By Candlelight Media that I went to her Patreon page and donated to her work so I could read her comic.
It was everything I could have hoped for in a horror comic. The story was creepy, the dialogue was clever, even funny and the artistry was beyond anything I could do. Without hesitating, I mentioned By Candlelight Media to Sally and asked her if she would be interested in joining the network. We arranged a dinner meeting and discussed the goals of the website and her goals for the comic. I explained how I would contribute to her work, and allow her full freedom to share her content as she saw fit.
The idea behind By Candlelight Media, of course, being that our authors, artists, and contributors remain the owners of their original work, and are allowed to seek every avenue of exposure as they want.
That night we agreed to work together and since then, Sick Nurse has been releasing new issues of her comic Hell Portal Hospital every Wednesday.
Hell Portal Hospital itself is an amazing story. It follows the medical staff of a large hospital called, Health Portal Hospital. However, some things about this facility aren’t exactly normal. Some of the patients and even some of the staff are more… or less… than human.
From the very first issues, we get a strong sense of who these characters are. There’s a brilliant and self-centered surgeon, a no-nonsense and mysterious nurse, as well as a polite, but altogether unsettling man, the founder of the hospital; and while Sick Nurse hasn’t said anything to me personally, I am certain the hospital itself is alive and has it’s own intentions.
So far there have been three issues released on the website, and I know I am looking forward to seeing what else Sick Nurse releases. If you want to support her work and help keep it alive, you can become a patron on Patreon at, https://www.patreon.com/hellportalhospital
Buffy By Candlelight
Talking About the Chosen One, One Episode at a Time
Written by Rick Bishop
I don’t know about anyone else, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my all-time favorite TV series. It released at a time when I needed it most and stuck with me all the way into adulthood.
I was a young kid when it came out, and at the time, it represented for me, something I could look up to. The characters were cool, the story was exciting, and most of all the monsters were scary.
As I got older, and certain events in my life took place, the show took on a new meaning for me. I was able to relate to the characters on a different level. They were experiencing things I was experiencing. They suffered through events just as I was suffering. They became a family. My family. The stories evolved, and so did I. Of course, the monsters were still awesome too, and that provided me with a sense of comfort and familiarity. While many things in my life changed, the show was still there for me.
Again, even after the show had officially ended, I was able to find the same comfort in the comics, which continue on to this day, and which I read regularly. Buffy has been a constant in my life. I can’t put it any other way. It is the rock I rely on to get through the year.
For a time, I was determined to become a screenwriter and director, and with Buffy being the show I was most familiar with, it only makes sense that I would then come to idolize Joss Whedon, the show’s creator and Executive Producer. I learned as much as I could about him, and from him through his work.
Now that I am much older, and have moved on to other projects, such as By Candlelight Media, I felt it was only proper I gave my favorite TV show the attention it deserves. That is why I created the podcasts, Buffy By Candlelight.
It’s a show where I sit down with co-host Dave Larsen and discuss the series one episode at a time. We begin by talking about the first episode, and with each new episode of the podcast, we’ll cover another episode in the series.
The goal of the show is to talk in depth about the story, the characters, and the journey they take to become the people they are by the end of the show. We’ll discuss the themes of each episode and the morals as seen by the characters. We’ll play devil’s advocate and criticize the decisions the characters make, while also looking at the reasoning for their decisions.
Of course, since Buffy is only a TV show, we will also talk about the behind the scenes element. We’ll discuss the production of the show and each episode in particular. We’ll talk about the filmmakers and cast, as well as the special effects makeup and the monsters of the show. We’ll go into detail, sighting interviews with the people who made the show, and commentaries by the filmmakers themselves.
It’s going to be a fun, lighthearted podcast with a lot of humor and joking, as well as in-depth analysis of series and eventually the comics. I’m really excited to share it with you, and I hope you have just as much fun listening to it, as it is to make.
Short, Scary, and Sweet
The Short Stories of By Candlelight Media
Written By Rick Bishop
The main reason By Candlelight Media was born was so that I had a place I could publish my short stories and still have control over how the content was shared. Now, with others contributing to the website it has grown into a different type of beast.
However, the short stories still to this day, remain the strongest part of the website, and still attract the most attention. There is something about being able to read a scary story in a short amount of time, which people seem to love.
It could be that in our current culture we simply don’t have the time to sit down and read a whole novel in a single sitting, though I have done this on more than one occasion, whether or not I’m proud of doing so.
I find it a challenge to write short stories because I have to come up with an entire tale from beginning to end in a relatively constrained way. I have to have a beginning which is both expressive enough to relay the story I want to tell and entertaining enough to draw the audience in. I have to have a middle that tells the reader everything they need to so that they can get from point A to point B. It has to keep their attention, and be entertaining enough it won’t bore someone to death. And I have to have a conclusion that either sums up the tale in a precise way or leave the audience wondering what happened while still answering enough questions to allow the reader the ability to make their own conclusion.
For me, it is a sort of rush when writing short stories. I feel excited about completing something I felt was so challenging only moments before.
Last month a number of stories were released. If you missed them you can find them on the short stories page of the website.
A Walk in the Woods is a classic twist on the story of Red Riding Hood. It’s certainly darker, gorier, and even more sexual. It is one of the longest short stories we have on the site, but it is also one of the better ones we’ve seen. The characters are more developed, the themes are more apparent, and the horror is, in my opinion, on par.
The Disappearance of Chance Young is a story about a police officer in a small town who searches for a young boy who has gone missing while on his way home from school. It’s a simple tale, with simple themes, but delivers a punch when it needs to, and forces you to second-guess walking home alone.
The Woods Beyond the Fence is my personal favorite so far. It’s a tale about a boy who travels into the woods with his best friend and discovers something evil. It’s set in the 1950’s, and succeeds, in my opinion at portraying the voices and feelings of the characters both in dialogue and in narration.
In the Darkness is a story about a young man who sets out to meet a someone he met online when his car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. While in the darkness he must seek help and, of course, not die. It keeps the mystery going until the end, and does, what I feel, is a good job at building tension and suspense where it is needed most.
Her Warm Smile is a story I wrote and based almost entirely off true events in my life. (Which events are true and which aren’t are up to you to decide.) It follows a young boy near Halloween, who is seduced by a beautiful young woman, and the horrifying events that take place when she does. I had my father read this one, and he laughed at the real life references, and then pulled me aside to question if any of the bad things that happened in the story were in any way true. He seemed very concerned.
Edward McGain’s Guitar Case tells the tale of an up and coming country singer who kills his girlfriend and is haunted by the events thereafter. It paints a descriptive picture and gives us a good idea of who each character is. It builds suspense, and in the end, gives you a good laugh.
Through June we can look forward to reading tales about Aliens in When They Came. We’ll see what a man is willing to do to save his wife in the story, Why He Left. Vampires will stalk a young child and his babysitter in When the Parents Are Away. And Lastly, in the story, Crawling, we’ll discover why cave spelunking should be left to the experts.
I hope you’ll join us in reading these tales by the candlelight this month. I look forward to seeing what you think. You can always leave comments on this page or hit us up on Twitter or on Facebook.
Cinema By Candlelight
A Journey Through Horror Cinema
Written By Rick Bishop
One thing I love to do is talk with my friends about horror movies. I love talking about the cinematography, the direction, the acting, the special effects, the story. I enjoy it all. That’s exactly what I do in the podcast, Cinema By Candlelight, which will begin airing on June 29th, assuming there aren’t any delays in production.
The idea is that my co-hosts and I will sit down and discuss classic horror films. By classic, I mean from the silent era of the 1930’s to the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. I didn’t want to include anything really from the late 80’s or 90’s because by that point in time I feel horror had become less an art form from which to tell amazing and terrifying stories and more a commercial enterprise to produce cheap and crappy movies to be released around October.
That isn’t to say there aren’t good horror films from the 90’s or 2000’s, but I want to focus on the films that paved the way for current cinema. Films that changed the way we think about horror.
There were during these years, filmmakers and actors who would forever alter the way we see movies not just in the horror genre, but in nearly every genre.
I want to explore how these films were made, and what made them so special? What made these movies the classics that they are? Was it intentional? Did the filmmakers and cast agree to make a movie which was groundbreaking? Or was it accidental? Did they do something different from other films, if so what did they do?
These things and more are the topics of our conversations. We won’t be reviewing these films like other podcasts have done, because we’ve already decided that we like them. That’s why we’re talking about them. What we really want to do, is figure out exactly what about these films we like, and what is it that made us like them so much?
This month will only air one episode, simply due to our recording and production schedules, but I feel that we have chosen a perfect film to explore, Universal Studio’s 1931 classic, Dracula. Starring Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, and David Manners. Directed by Tod Browning and Produced by Carl Laemmle, this film is a perfect example of how horror cinema was forever changed.
While we’ll get a preview of what episodes are to come in next month’s issue of The Chandler, I can tell you now, expect to see episodes covering, Night of the Living Dead, Phantom of the Opera, and An American Werewolf in London.
If you’re a cinephile like I am, I’m sure you’ll love this show, so stay tuned.
That Was Longer Than a Minute!
The Long and Short of Media Minute
Written By Rick Bishop
What is Media Minute? So far it’s the only show on By Candlelight Media or their Youtube channel. One episode is five minutes, the other is three and a half and neither have the best quality. What gives?
Well, Media Minute is a “weekly” news show where I break down the latest in horror news and give it to you, the audience in five minutes or less. There have been a number of issues so far in this poor show’s production, and I feel terrible about it. The reason I put weekly in quotes in the last paragraph is that this show hasn’t been made every week, and I struggle even now, to get things back on schedule.
The concept for the show is simple. Once a week, I scour the internet for the latest and greatest horror-themed news, write a script, go to the set, and film. Then I edit the hour long footage, (I have a lot of bloopers to cut out) and trim everything down to about five minutes. Then I cut in clips and photos from the topics in that week’s news, add music, (or forget to) and post the video online.
The problems with the show so far have been irritating, to say the least, and completely infuriating at most. The first episode shot had some good stories. However, there was a delay in the shipping of the muslin backdrop and frame I had ordered online, and I was determined to get the episode out; so I filmed it from my desk. It looks bad and sounded too scripted when watching it back. It appears I can’t read out loud very well.
The second episode went more smoothly and sounded a lot better. I even had my backdrop. However, there were issues with the set, which some people may or may not care about, but which killed the video for me. That very same day I had a fashion show to attend. My brother was portraying the Big Bad Wolf from Into the Woods, and By Candlelight Media’s very own Ratboy was doing the special effects makeup. I couldn’t miss it.
So strapped for time, I edited the footage, slapping it together as quickly as I could. I added music and posted it on Youtube. Almost instantly the video came back, flagged for copyright issues. It seemed one of the clips I had used in the news footage was too similar to someone’s else works and they wouldn’t allow me to publish. Upset, I pulled the video, recut the whole thing, and posted it back online, only this time, I forgot to re-add the music.
I have since skipped a week or two due to other issues, and the fact that I have moved into a new home.
However, that having all been said, Media Minute will continue its production this week, and we should see a new episode out on Friday.
A Closing Remark
Well, that is it for this month’s issue of The Chandler. I hope you enjoyed it. As with all things on this site, expect to see more writers contributing to the magazine as our network expands. As more episodes of our podcasts and web series are released, more articles will be available, and as always, we’ll do our best to keep you in the loop.
Until next month, stay near the candlelight, you never know what is lurking beyond the shadows.
Editor | Producer | Writer
By Candlelight Media