Matthew M. Bartlett Portrait

Portrait by Dave Felton

Matthew M. Bartlett was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1970. At an early age he was given as a gift the novelization of The Omen; not long after that, he inherited a worn copy of Christine by Stephen King. He fell deeply in love with horror: with the Universal monsters, with Hammer films, with the rented videos from the horror section of that almost-gone artifact known as the Video Rental Store. He began writing poetry while in the English program at Central Connecticut State University. An abiding interest in horror fiction led him to start a Livejournal page whose posts were his first forays into fiction: bite-sized tales accompanied by doctored daguerreotypes and his own photographs taken in Leeds and Northampton, Massachusetts. These posts centered around a long-dead coven using radio waves to broadcast disturbing and dangerous transmissions from the dark woods of Western Massachusetts. His inspirations are varied and the foremost are certainly not atypical for the genre: H.P. Lovecraft, Thomas Ligotti, Robert Aickman, T.E.D. Klein. Other authors he admires include Donald E. Westlake, Richard Yates, J.D. Salinger, and Hunter S. Thompson. He also draws inspiration from the radio monologues and shows of Joe Frank; the poetry of Philip Larkin, of Mark Strand, of Stephen Crane; the movies of Wes Anderson, of Ben Wheatley, of the Coen Brothers. His work has been published in numerous anthologies – including the Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vol. III. He continues to write dark and strange fiction at his home in Western Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife Katie and an unknown number of cats. You can visit him on Facebook here and on Twitter here. He has an oft-neglected blog which you can visit here.



Illustration by Yves Tourigny

– in the winter of 1620 when half the Leeds settlers died

– when in 1906 the first radio broadcast of voice and music was heard in Brant Rock, Massachusetts

– when your father fell to his knees before tall and stately Satan in the Holyoke Woods

– when your father pledged allegiance to the Master of Worms, forsaking all other Gods and loyalties to Man

– when your father arrived home and howled in the basement, pleading with the walls for forgiveness

WXXT was there.

We broadcast from the woods of Leeds. We writhe in your stomachs and in your veins. We pray to the Grand Devil conceived at the intersection of Blood and Stone. We chew the fat off the dead. We curdle the milk. We whisper in your ear and stroke your face while you sleep.

WXXT. The Worm. The Woods. The Will. The Way. We will always be here.

(And here.)



Portrait by Yves Tourigny

The WXXT site is managed by a young man named Brian O’Connell, who started it after hearing Ben Stockton talking to him via the radio (reaction captured above). These mad ravings are not his own, but are the voices of WXXT transcribed by shaking hands and posted online. When he is as sane as he can be, he resides at a much cozier place in the Blogosphere – a site quaintly titled the Conqueror Weird, where one can find some nice reviews and the occasional story from some talented personage. When he is not there, he is scribbling morbid visions of his own down on paper, which you can track at his other site, Devil Coven. He dreams of Satan. You can visit him on Facebook here.