Now Showing on YouTube: Terror for Tourists

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One resident delivers a spooky new way to look at the nation’s capital

In the mind of Soren Narnia, Ford’s Theater is the site of a twisted haunting, Constitution Avenue is where a vengeful ghost once drove a senator to blind himself, and the tunnels of the Washington Metro system torture the living with images of those who died in a decades-old cave-in. And there’s nothing campy or folksy about any of it.

The Washington Horror Tour is a ten part documentary-style video made specifically for YouTube in which several DC landmarks become the focal point for grisly fictional histories---the kind that make traditional city ghost walks seem tame and prosaic. Working from stories found in his Knifepoint Horror: Book One, the DC-based writer (whose name is an unusual reworking of a nonsensical phrase from childhood) specializes in grim, vivid tales which rely on mood and airtight story construction to frighten readers and viewers. “Knifepoint horror doesn’t want to entertain you,” he says, “it wants to hurt your mind.” Indeed, the low budget video, essentially a long monologue with constant visuals, is about as dark as the genre gets. From the legend of a murderer whose corpse refuses to decay to an account of a downtown séance gone horribly wrong, Narnia’s words go for the throat without ever quite descending into graphic violence or gore. “I would advise not watching further if you want your images and memories of Washington protected from a deeply unpleasant tinge,” the movie’s narrator warns up front. Sound advice---and whatever you do, stay away from Rock Creek Park, the Korean War memorial, and a certain grassy spot near Catholic University.

The video can be watched now on YouTube and its source book downloaded for free, including several tales not included on the tour, from the author’s web site.

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Soren Narnia

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