Three Loyola students were named winners of the Under 21 category of the Baltimore County Library annual Tales of the Dead Short Horror Story Contest, which challenged local writers to pen their own original short horror story. All winners will have their stories posted on the Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library’s website, foundationforbcpl.org.
3rd Place: Cody Smith '21 for “The Secret Facility.”
English teacher, Ed Brown’s students took part in the contest as part of a writing assignment. “Contests give people, in this case my students, a chance to prove their abilities to strangers,” said Brown. “It expands and extends the audience beyond me, their teacher and their peers. Most of my students, when they think of writing and contests, believe that only “other people” who are somehow born with magical skills they don’t possess win contests. Three winners from Loyola prove that wrong.”
The Tales of the Dead Short Horror Story Contest was inspired by a ghost story writing challenge 200 years ago which led to the creation of Frankenstein's monster and the first modern vampire story. It was the summer of 1816, the year without a summer, when the incessant rains inspired Lord Byron to challenge his friends to write scary stories inspired by the horror anthology Fantasmagoriana: Tales of the Dead. Dr. John Polidori wrote a story, later published as The Vampyre, which introduced the modern concept of the blood-sucking vampire, and Mary Shelley sketched out a story which would later be published as Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, two of the greatest gothic horror stories of all time.