Joseph A. Federico started this guest blogger series to assure the world knew that different perspectives existed from all walks of life. Whether you’re a doctor, dentist, entrepreneur, belly dancer or a police officer, we all have a story to tell. Imagine how boring the world would be if we just kept our traps shut and didn’t share the very core of who we were as human beings.
Joseph A. Federico would like to introduce the first of many guest bloggers… Stephen Gillhespy.
Hey there, my name is Stephen, and I’m the host of the podcast/website Possessed Radio! Possessed Radio is first and foremost a podcast dedicated to horror in any form. I’ve talked to filmmakers, video game developers, musicians and more.
The project started off as a medium for me to discuss some of my favorite movies. Since I spent most of my time typing giant paragraph responses in horror groups on Facebook to argue about movies, a podcast seemed like a much more practical approach. After the first month or so of rambling to myself on movies, though, I decided to branch out to doing interviews. I interviewed the fantastic people behind Midwest Horror Fest (better known as HMM Films) and from then on, was introduced to the wonderful world of independent horror!
Before I touch on that story, though, here’s what you need to know about me: I’m obsessed with horror. Whether it is fictional, historical, or anything in between. I don’t care if it is in English, Japanese, Spanish, or event silent. The larger the cultural scope, the more diverse and original the scares become. When I was 4, I saw my first horror film when I watched the original “Halloween”. From that moment on, I was crazy about the genre. My father would rent me the latest films or previous classics every Friday growing up.
This love affair continued along with my love for aging films, when I found the Roger Corman adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe, starring the great Vincent Price. From there, my taste spiraled down a never-ending rabbit hole much like Dante traversed the depths of hell; nothing was too dark or obscure. Price led me to Cushing, Cushing to Hammer Films, Hammer Films back to the original Universal Classic Monsters with Karloff, and on. I also discovered Lovecraft through one of my all-time favorite films, “Reanimator”. His written works would complement my childhood readings of Goosebumps, and my home state hero Jonathan Rand’s Michigan Chillers.
While I enjoyed films and novels throughout my life, I also found another beloved pastime in video games. When I was 11, I was introduced to “Resident Evil”. I entered into the golden age of survival horror gaming, making regular stops to “Raccoon City”, “Silent Hill”, and the “Roivas’ Estate”. The terror I felt during those late-night childhood gaming sessions with the lights out in the basement, solidified my love for both horror and gaming. I quickly gained a reputation for being the kid with the scary games at home, and there were many kids my age who wanted to see what they were all about, since most of them were not allowed at home.
As it sounds though, I was sort of an outcast growing-up with my tastes in horror. Many people my age wouldn’t develop that interest until much later, if at all. Much of my interest in horror sprung from my fascination with cemeteries and death as a child. I often played in the cemetery that was next to my country home growing-up and loved reading the headstones. My mother found it so odd, she even asked my pediatrician if she should be concerned. This fascination would only grow as I entered my teen years, with adverse health conditions which left me hospitalized often. I spent many days home alone from school, surrounded by the monsters that gave me comfort.
My health struggles ultimately led me to pursuing a long college career to enter the health field. This followed me from undergrad, through my work in the cadaver lab, hospital, and straight through grad school.
By 2017, I was in my sixth year of college and utterly drained by the studies, so it seemed like a fitting time for an escape, leading me to creating Possessed Radio. Named in part after my favorite film, “The Evil Dead”, made by Michigan filmmaking legend Sam Raimi (and of course, Bruce Campbell). And in many ways, the indie film inspired title was only a precursor of what was to come.
Following that introduction to independent horror, I became obsessed with the genre. The stories could be darker, the effects were gorier, and the ratings were less restrictive. And despite these dark independent horrors, the community behind them was more inviting and friendlier than I ever could have imagined.
My podcast now focuses on the voices of horror that take that creative edge to new heights and diverges from the often mundane and stale triple-A releases. I believe that the salvation of modern horror lies in the voices who are not melding to industry standards, but instead, creating new and unique stories to creep us out for years to come.
As such, my podcast will continue to cover my opinions on all forms of horror, while simultaneously promoting the up-and-comers behind stories that deserve to be heard. I’m even working on my own stories now, and dabbling in filmmaking as well, with many projects on the way. I appreciate everyone who stops by to listen, and active participation is encouraged.
I love to hear the opinions of others, and always love a respectful debate as well. So, take pride in your spooky passions, and as always, keep the lights off.
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Interested in becoming the next guest blogger for JosephAFederico? Have a unique story to tell? Contact Joseph A. Federico here, and the rest is history!