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Haunt of William P. Robertson--Master of the Macabre & Gothic Horror: Home


I've lived most of my life amidst the wild beauty of rural northwest Pennsylvania where hillsides choked with oak and hemlock create bleak tableaux that adversely affect one's psyche. Deserted farmhouses, overgrown graveyards, stark moors, and rusty oil field relics are just a few of the spooky features of this desolate land. In Warren, McKean, Potter, and Tioga Counties but two seasons exist--those of darkness or light. The absence of sunlight in this somber region causes some folks severe bouts of depression. For me, it inspires a dark creativity that found its outlet in writing Gothic horror.

The Gothic novel was the first form of literary horror. Englishman, Horace Walpole, was the originator. In 1756 he wrote The Castle of Otranto in which he mentions giant swords, bleeding statues, walking portraits, and strange noises that later writers copied. By "Gothic" we mean a type of story, usually in a pseudo-medieval setting, full of mysterious, occult, and violent incident, in a pervading atmosphere of terror and gloom.

It wasn't until the 1830's that the horror genre was widely popularized by the American, Edgar Allan Poe. Poe brought the Gothic format to the short story in his masterpiece, "The Fall of the House of Usher."  He also invented the story of psychological analysis when he wrote "The Tell-Tale Heart." His "Annabel Lee" I still consider the saddest and most beautiful poem ever. It inspired many of my early poems like the one below:


What do you do when your whole family's strange,

And you have their sickness polluting your veins?

How do you cope with the future ahead

When you know you'll be crazy before you are dead?

What do you do when it starts to take over

And robs you of reason the few times you're sober?

How can you fight this congenital disease

That comes from the roots of two warped family trees?

What can you do to defeat the dark urges

And beat back the devil each time he emerges?

How can poor Madeline escape what will crush her

Imprisoned in a place like the vile House of Usher?


To see the video of this poem, go to YouTube and search Robyl Press, the video channel I created to feature my Gothic poetry, songs, and stories.  You will also find videos of "The Raven Tree," "The Executioner," "Shelly," and "You Are a Witch in Pretty Skin" there.  Enjoy!

So far, I've published 5 collections of horror stories, eerie poems, and spooky photos. The books include Lurking in Pennsylvania, Dark Haunted Day, Terror Time, The Dead of Winter, and Season of Doom.  For more information, visit the Books, Summaries, and Buy pages above.

2017 brought the release of Icicles, my latest collection of spooky poems and photos. It includes Gothic poetry, sci-fi, Medieval fantasy, and humorous horror in both rhymed and free verse styles. In my world, wasted trees writhe with rigor mortis as the wind retreats like a lung-shot beast!

And now in 2018, Fear Is Forever collects all of my best horror stories in one cemetery row!