Enter Carlton Mellick III’s The Haunted Vagina

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Since the entirety of October is officially Halloween this year (shut up, you!), we at Psycho Drive-In have decided to attempt to fill the month with thirty-one recommendations for horror-related movies, comics, books, TV shows, toys, games, and everything in-between. It’s gonna be a grab-bag of goodies we feel you should be exposed to, whether you like it or not! But don’t expect your standard suggestions for Halloween fun, we’re digging into some stuff that we love in the hopes that you might make this October a little bit weirder than usual.

Weirder in a good way. Not like what’s going on outside in the hellscape of 2020.

As the seductively spooky season of Halloween closes in on us, it’s hard not to be pulled in by things dark and macabre: horror movies peering out from the boob tube, the whisper of leaves blowing across an empty avenue, adults and children both wrapped up in sinister latex and masks, strange voices slipping out of your girlfriend’s vagina . . .  

Wait, what?

Yeah, you read that right. You’ve just entered Carlton Mellick III’s filthy and beautiful novella The Haunted Vagina, and that’s exactly how it starts. Steve and Stacy have been going out for a while. There’s been some cuddling, some sex, everything’s cool. Then he notices the strange sounds coming from her while she sleeps.

“At first I just thought it was her snoring. Then I thought there was a television left on somewhere in the house. I heard voices in the dark – whispers, then laughs. Then cries. Then howls. The sounds were muffled, but seemed to become clearer and clearer with each passing night.

“Where the heck are those noises coming from?” I asked Stacy one evening.

She blinked herself awake. “Huh?”

“I hear voices. Coming from the walls,” I said.

“Oh . . .” she said.

“I’m serious,” I said.

“That’s not coming from the walls,” she said, “It’s coming from me.”

“From you?”

“From inside me,” she said, pulling off the covers and pointing at her crotch.” 

Welcome to the wonderful world of bizarro fiction, the fairly new genre of fiction that sprang to life in the early 2000s. Spearheaded by the earliest works from Mellick himself, bizarro fiction is exactly what its name would suggest. It’s a bit absurd, satirical, horrific, and surreal. It’s, you know, bizarre. Just a few of the plotlines include a serial killer with a barbershop pole for a head, a guy who marries his house, and time-traveling Pilgrims versus floating sharks.

Some of Mellick’s books have the following titles: Satan Burger, Electric Jesus Corpse, Razor Wire Pubic Hair, The Baby Jesus Butt Plug: A Fairytale, Ultra Fuckers, Zombies and Shit. If you don’t have at least some kinda idea of what you might be getting with titles like that, there’s not much I can do for you.    

Honestly, most of the bizarro world sounds just a bit too bizarre for me.

Something about Carlton Mellick’s stuff called to me, though. Okay, it was the thought of a haunted vagina, I’ll admit it. There’s a few I’ve never been able to forget. That, and the illustration on the cover was, well, bizarre, but kinda hot: a female creature, essentially human, but with curved-back horns, pink eyes and hair, and ghostly skin with splotches that appear almost bloody. Usually, I’m into brunettes, but what the hell?

Stacy pulls Steve’s face down to her crotch, turning his head so he can listen to her insides. Then, sure enough, he hears a voice. He can’t understand the words, but it sounds like a woman crying, babbling in some deranged way. When she suddenly screams right in his ear, he leaps back. Stacy laughs at him, then explains that she thinks it’s a ghost, that she’s got a haunted hoo-hah.

“Why don’t you do anything about it?” I asked.

“What can I do?”

“I don’t know . . . call a priest?”

“What’s a priest going to do? Stick a cross up there and cast the spirits out?”

Maybe surprisingly, maybe not, Steve isn’t sure if he wants to have sex with Stacy anymore. To each his own, but it’s been a while for me, so . . . um, anyway, he’s still crazy about the girl. Her scent, her smile, the way she laughs. So it’s not too long before she convinces him to go down on her. He’s still a bit afraid, so she just wants a little licking. She’ll keep her legs closed, really.

But she doesn’t.

Not only does Stacy open up wide, but she holds him in place. Even as the voice inside of her gets louder, as something starts rumbling like it’s trying to get out. Her belly is getting bigger and bigger, like she’s getting more and more pregnant right before his eyes. Steve falls to the floor, just in time to watch a skeletal hand reach right out of his girlfriend . . .   

After he pulls the thing out of her, and it melts on their bedroom floor, Steve responds the way most men would:

“Let’s go for a drink,” I tell her.

Then the story starts to get strange.

Mellick’s story is tight, yet expansive, his prose clean and simple. The whole thing is over in just a hundred pages, and it goes deep. Because he loves her, when she asks him to crawl inside of her, of course he does it. What he finds inside of her is truly amazing too. There’s not just another girl in Stacy’s vagina (the strangely seductive creature from the cover), but an entire world of cliffs and blue-purple skies. There’s more skeletons. There are waves of sperm that threaten entire villages. And now there’s Steve, who might just be the savior from the outer world.

Really, you forget that you’re inside of someone’s vagina.

It’s weird, it’s scary, sometimes it’s a little gross. But damn, it’s actually a really competently woven story, and it might even touch your heart. I’ve read four Mellick books now, loving every one of them like a freaky little pink-skinned nymph. The guy’s got some skills between the pages and he’s got a heart. When the autumn wind starts whispering your name, calling you to cozy up in bed with a good Halloween read, you might want to give him a chance.         

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