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Happy Birthday Buffy: A Love Letter To Our Favorite Vampire Slayer On Her 42nd Birthday



“Why don’t we start with, ‘Hi, I’m Buffy’….

“What’s the meaning behind this stick figure,” the tattoo artist asked my friend and me about the tattoo we were getting together. We both glanced at each other, seeing which one of us would explain it first.

“It’s from Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” my friend said.

“Cool, cool, I remember that movie,” the artist said casually.

“It’s something someone draws in an episode,” I said, giving more explanation than the artist cared about. I didn’t go on to tell him that the stick figure is a drawing our favorite surrogate TV dad, watcher Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), did of the Slayer in the iconic episode “Hush,” where they all lose their voices. I didn’t tell him I have a Buffy the Vampire Slayer podcast. I didn’t tell him that the show is far superior to the movie. I didn’t give him my rant about Sarah Michelle Gellar being one of the most underrated actors.

But I thought it all.

As I approach 40 and our beloved slayer approaches 42, I can say with absolute assurance that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is not only my favorite show but my favorite thing. It’s been one of the few constants in my life.


“Of course, you could smash my toes with a hammer and it would still be the bestest Buffy birthday bash in a while.”

January 19th is the date the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fandom has decided is Buffy’s birthday. Mostly due to the fact that her birthday episodes always aired towards the end of January and that she says, “Capricorn on the cusp of Aquarius. You?” in an episode where she’s asked, “What are you?”

My birthday is January 21st—I used to love to think growing up that we had the same birthday, but I’ll take two days apart.

Buffy’s birthdays have seen her heroic vampire boyfriend turn evil, her lose her powers, her watcher get turned into a demon, her sister scream, “get out,” and even seen everyone attending her party get trapped in the house. But, of course, Buffy Anne Summers overcame it all. And her birthday disasters barely scratch the surface of the things she has overcome. She’s died twice, after all.

“That was then. This is now.”

The birthday episode that always sticks with me is maybe the most iconic one—Buffy season 2’s two-parter “Surprise” and “Innocence.” Buffy and her beloved Angel (David Boreanaz) have sex for the first time and we quickly learn that due to a curse, his soul leaves his body once he has one true moment of happiness. In the episodes, he berates Buffy for her lack of sexual experience and tries to kill her friends. Buffy ends her celebration on the couch with her mother, watching the lone candle in her cupcake burn.

These episodes were when the show really showed you what it would become. Both funny and dark—bringing in the emotional beats for the rest of season 2 and giving us the new big bad, Angel’s evil alter ego, Angelus.

In those stellar two-part episodes we also get one of the greatest moments of the show—Buffy pulling out a rocket launcher inside the Sunnydale Mall to blow up the newly resurrected evil demon, The Judge; it’s such a big moment—Buffy has been beaten down by her newly evil boyfriend, yet she still stands up and saves the day.


It encapsulates everything that makes the show great—Buffy always stands back up.

“Can stand up, will stand up”

I started my Buffy podcast, Slayerfest 98, for the 20th anniversary of the show. But by the time I started it, I’d already interviewed some of the cast when I’d interned at BuzzFeed. In fact, Amber Benson (who played Tara) was my first-ever celebrity interview, and she spoiled all the rest for me. I interviewed her at New York Comic Con, and she invited me to go out drinking with her after the con—where I’d meet Tom Lenk (Andrew) and Adam Busch (Warren). I ended the night doing a shot of Fireball whiskey with Amber. It was a nerd’s dream come true.

Meeting those folks that night helped me get them on the podcast. And helped me branch out into getting other guests as well.

If I’d ever told teen me that I’d start a Buffy podcast where I’d get to interact with and talk to cast members from the show regularly, I have no doubt teen me would call bullshit. But through my podcast, I’ve gotten to speak with James Marsters (Spike), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), Clare Kramer (Glory), and a bunch of other stellar folks from the show. I’ve even formed friendships with some of them.

Once, over a video call, James Marsters said, “Is that a painting of Sarah?” He was right, it was, and I cringed because I thought I looked like an unhinged fan. But he was nice and asked about it, and I told him it was something a friend had painted for me for my 19th birthday. He told me it was a good likeness.

When I get super down about my career, and where I am in life, I remember how cool it is that I’ve formed these relationships through my podcast. I also remind myself of all the things I watched Miss Summers overcome and think I can make it too.


“I’m cookie dough. I’m not done baking. I’m not finished becoming whoever the hell it is I’m going to turn out to be”

After getting my ‘Buffy Will Patrol Tonight’ tattoo above my right knee, I felt incredibly emotional. It was my 4th tattoo, but my first Buffy-themed one, and I was so happy to have my forever hero on me.

My friend hugged me because he could see how I was reacting. It’s weird to say that having a man stab you with a needle is an emotional experience but it was.

I often think about how I’m not done becoming whomever I’m going to become, even as I turn 40. I still relate to what Buffy Summers said during the final season about being cookie dough. It’s always how I feel, even if I am significantly older than she was back then.

I didn’t get a Buffy tattoo for the longest time because of the creator being a jerk and because I thought fandom tattoos were a risk—what if I eventually outgrew the fandom?

But as a man approaching middle age, who still absolutely loves this show, I think it’s safe to say I won’t be outgrowing it ever.


So, thanks, Buffy, for always being there for me—and happy birthday.

Love Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Here are our 9 favorite episodes to watch on Buffy’s birthday!

Ian Carlos Crawford grew up in southern New Jersey and has an MFA in non-fiction writing. His favorite things are Buffy, Scream, X-Men, and pugs. His writing has appeared on sites like BuzzFeed, NewNowNext, Junkee, and other random corners of the internet. He currently hosts a queer Buffy and Marvel focused pop culture podcast called Slayerfest 98 and co-hosts a horror podcast called My Bloody Judy.

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CREEPSHOW SEASON 4 is Coming—”The Most Fun You’ll Ever Have Being Scared” Is Back! [TRAILER]



Friday the 13th this year marks the return of a classic horror spectacle—and not that guy in the hockey mask. We’re talking about Creepshow!

We’re getting a fourth season of the Shudder fan favorite Creepshow, produced by Brian Witten and Greg Nicotero, the horror makeup legend who became a household name for his work on From Dusk Til Dawn and The Walking Dead. The anthology series is back with a new array of 6 frightening short stories of supernatural delight, and with Creepshow, we’re sure to get monsters both mundane and mystical, bringing terror to the small screen. 

Just as the franchise began with George A. Romero’s 1982 film, the Creepshow series retains that classic feeling of being under the covers with a flashlight and an old EC horror comic. The first three seasons gave us campy, gory fun, which the trailer proves is still plentiful in this run of episodes. And you can watch that trailer right here!

Get ready for wild werewolves, vicious vampires, and rare rotoscope nightmares. Also, Tom Atkins is there! Neat. 


It debuts on Shudder, AMC+, and the AMC channel. All 6 episodes will be available to stream on AMC+ and Shudder, while it releases on a weekly basis for cable viewers (at 10:00pm, EST and 9:00pm CST). So, remember to mark your calendars for this premiere: Friday, October 13th.

See you on the other side of the release date, reader, and stay tuned for more news here on Horror Press! 

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Help Make the Paranormal Queer Again!



A team of queer filmmakers is exploring the weirdest corners of the paranormal—and they’ve launched a Kickstarter to make their shows a reality.

A Fresh New Take on the Paranormal

What comes to mind when you think of paranormal television? A group of dudes yelling at ghosts? Hackneyed narratives about banishing demons and sending spirits “to the light”? Most mainstream paranormal shows have gone stale, falling back on profitable formulas that the networks prefer, even if that means leaving the weirdest parts of the story on the cutting room floor.

Two new queer paranormal TV shows, New Blood and Inhuman Beings, want to change that. Renowned occult expert Michelle Belanger (Paranormal State, Portals to Hell, Conjuring Kesha, Monsterquest, and more) and paranormal podcaster Fen Alankus (Follow the Woo) have teamed up with a crew of film professionals and paranormal investigators to take an honest, fresh look at the strange and unusual.

Encounter a Secret Society of Vampires

The documentary series New Blood follows a film crew that sets out to learn about a secret society of Vampires. When paranormal podcaster and witch Fen Alankus meets two modern-day Vampires, she follows a string of bizarre coincidences all the way down the rabbit hole. With the help of spellwork, she pulls together an investigative film crew and digs into the world of modern vampirism. What began as a look at the true nature of Vampires becomes an intense initiatory experience for the cast and crew.

Explore Haunted Locations

The paranormal investigation series Inhuman Beings explores a new location with a reputation for high strangeness in each episode. But this is no ordinary ghost-hunting show: the team tries new methods and is open to anything, looking at cryptids, the fae, aliens, ghosts, and more. Season one includes experiments using dream sigils to communicate with entities, crossing a remote river to traverse land ruled by the fae, and investigating a strange castle with a mysterious past.


A Kickstarter Badge of Approval

Slated for a Fall/Winter 2023 release, the first seasons of both shows are underway, with more than 100 hours of footage shot so far. In celebration of Pride Month, they’ve launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for the rest of the filming, editing, marketing, and distribution. Less than a week into their campaign, Kickstarter hand-picked New Blood TV as a “Project We Love,” which is Kickstarter’s way of highlighting standout projects that go the extra mile regarding quality, creative vision, and boosting underrepresented voices.

Rewards for Kickstarter backers include magically imbued Ouija planchettes, Bigfoot and Pride Demon T-shirts, subtle-body portrait readings, bonus and behind-the-scenes content, executive producer credit, guest spots on their shows, and more.

Spread the word and help make the paranormal queer again!




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