The past hits hard in David’s latest novel, GRAVE REGRETS.

A murdered woman’s body is found sprawled across a car seat in Seattle, a tree branch resting on top of her corpse. She clutches a cell phone displaying a website featuring horror fiction stories posted by the public. The story of the day is about Spindly Arms, a killer with a face in the shape of a crescent moon and tree branches for arms.

Forty-four-year-old John Larsen is aghast after hearing about the murder. “Spindly Arms” was a story he wrote over a quarter of a century ago, when he was a high school senior. The tale first appeared in a literary magazine published by the girl—no, the woman—who just met her bloody end.

Back in 1992, John was the boyfriend of Vivian Chiang and best pal of Brandon Laurent until a major betrayal among the friends forced them to stagger off in their separate ways. This was also the year the three classmates had disturbing encounters with the person they called “the armless man,” a bald, stocky fifty-something with bulging eyes and prosthetic arms. The man lived in a ramshackle house on John’s paper route, and he was the inspiration for Spindly Arms.

Now all three classmates painfully regret past actions as some sinister stranger who remembers 1992 stalks them. Spindly Arms is reaching across the years, and he won’t let go of John, Vivian, or Brandon until they’ve paid for past sins, or they’re dead.

“Massengill’s mixture of relatable, contemporary characters, urban legend, creeping horror, and multiple perspectives is a deft and winning one. Told with crisp prose that carries both the onion-peeling plot and a vivid personality, Grave Regrets is a mystery-horror that confronts, among other things, just how much our past can haunt us. It deserves a place on the nightstand of any Bentley Little or Richard Matheson fan, or anyone addicted to the CreepyPasta corner of the Internet.” — Mike Robinson (The Prince of Earth and the Enigma of Twilight Falls trilogy)

“Grave Regrets is yet another first-rate thriller from David Massengill, who has been making a habit of creating skillfully written stories that keep you hooked from the first word right up to the last. With his latest, Massengill has crafted a pulse-pounding tale set in and around Seattle. The novel offers varying perspectives about the horrors of a past left unresolved, and how those horrors can manifest in the present day. Grave Regrets is a true page-turner with a conclusion that will leave you both satisfied and haunted.” — Jonathan R. Rose (Carrion, The Spirit of Laughter, Gato Y Lobo, and Wedlock)

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The horror is down South in David’s second novel.

Kim Lansing and Todd Regan are about to learn about sacrifice. While on a clandestine date with another woman, Kim discovers that her fiancé, Eustace, has killed himself. Torn with remorse, she fulfillls his one last request: taking his ashes from Seattle to his family members throughout the deep South.

In Miami, struggling male model Todd Regan botches a much-needed photo shoot. Desperate for income, he accepts a persuasive talent scout’s offer of a high-paying role in an “experimental” horror film in Georgia.

As Kim and Todd’s separate paths lead them beneath the shadow-casting Spanish moss of Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery and into the sweltering, gator-infested Louisiana swampland, they realize the locals may have something in mind other than hospitality.

Join a haunting journey through an American South of disturbing rituals and supernatural possession, murderers in fish-head masks and an ancient spirit that stalks old plantation grounds in search of THE SKIN THAT FITS.

“…a great read, richly humid with atmosphere, tense, packed with paranoia. The characters are interesting and well-rounded, tackling some difficult social constructs. Subtle but distinct Lovecraftian undertones weave throughout.”
The Horror Fiction Review

“Cults, Cajun gators, and roly-poly fish heads as rendered by Jack Ketchum will be the least of your worries as author David Massengill evokes the kinographic horror to be found in Marisha Pessl’s Night Film or even David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. Massengill builds on his previous work (Red Swarm) and is better than ever as our tour guide through this sickly-sweet southern Gothic.”
—Mike Sauve (How to Market Your Grief Blog)

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The redbugs are coming, and they bring death to those they touch.

But first you may suffer from intense sweating, hives all over your body, violent seizures, skin necrosis.

It’s possible the redbug won’t kill you.

It may burrow inside your neck, turning you into what the CDC calls a “nest person.” Drifting in and out of consciousness, you could have the cognitive abilities of someone who’s gone through extensive electroshock therapy.

David’s debut novel follows the struggles of a handful of survivors in the infested Pacific Northwest. A Homeland Security exterminator seeks his estranged cousin while completing a tour of duty in the Washington desert. A young woman volunteers at an urban refugee center to keep constant watch over her nest person mother. A man journeys south from a research lab in ravaged Seattle and discovers a mansion occupied by a 19-year-old megalomaniac and his female nest person servants.

Can these people live through the extermination days? Can the government eradicate the redbug with insecticide and bombs? Or will all succumb to the RED SWARM?

“David Massengill delivers near unbearable doses of suspense and shock in his post-apocalyptic chiller. Deadly, flesh-seeking redbugs have taken over the Pacific Northwest, leaving behind a nightmare world for the survivors. Riveting, intense and unpredictable, Red Swarm takes the reader on a deliciously creepy, wild ride. With his masterfully macabre prose, Massengill does for bugs what Hitchcock did for our feathered friends in The Birds. This is a must-read for horror fans!” –Kevin O’Brien (The Night She Disappeared)

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What are the consequences of an American tourist stealing a jawbone from a tomb in a Parisian cemetery? Or a husband and wife employing a house sitter as bait for the entity that has been terrorizing their home? Or a Bel Air housewife swallowing a worm-like import from Africa with the intention of losing weight? David’s short story collection Fragments of a Journal Salvaged from a Charred House in Germany, 1816 and other stories (Hammer and Anvil Books) explores such questions with characters whose choices in life are occasionally wise decisions and oftentimes lethal mistakes. Over 20 of these tales have appeared in literary magazines, including Burial Day Books, Danse Macabre, Eclectica Magazine, The New Flesh, Pulp Metal Magazine, and Yellow Mama.

“The genius of a David Massengill story lies not simply in its taut narrative, its bizarre and disturbing elements, its cracking pace, or its dark humor. No, the genius lies in an insistence that the protagonist is complicit in his own demise, even if only through a fleeting thought or a careless action. It is a twisted American gothic karma that Massengill has painted in this collection, and it’s a world and a morality that will keep you reading story after story after fascinating, riveting, blood-curdling story….” –Garth Stein (The Cloven)

(No longer available)


David and his talented friend Soyon Im have published I Just Want to be Loved by You and You and You, an approximately 50-page book that includes three stories about infidelity. The short story collection features Soyon’s exquisitely written “,” about a Korean woman who ventures into an extramarital affair on the Web. In David’s “No Mas Mi Amor, 1959,” a TV actor cheats with a married car salesman and suspects he’s being unfaithful to himself. And David’s ghost story, “The Little Man,” leads the reader into a haunted hotel room where an elderly woman seeks the spirit of her long-dead lover.

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I just want to be loved by you and you and you

Gothic Blue Book: The Revenge Edition (Burial Day Books) features 15 short stories and poems that provide cutting-edge interpretations of the historical gothic tale. David’s suburban ghost story “Bellevue” is in the anthology. Other contributors include Chad Brown, Tara Cleves, M.N. Hanson, Phil Hickes, Emma Hinge, K. Trap Jones, Daniel Kraus, Carl Palmer, Cynthia Pelayo, Gerardo Pelayo, Cortney Philip, Wednesday Silverwood, Jennifer A. Smith, and Melissa Stanziale.

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David’s contribution to Gothic Blue Book IV: The Folklore Edition (Burial Day Books) is “Looking Glass,” a tale of Southern horror set in Savannah, GA. The anthology also includes work by New York Times bestselling author Jay Bonansinga (The Walking Dead: Fall of the Governor Part 1 & 2, The Road to Woodbury) and Bram Stoker Award-winning author Bruce Boston (Dark Roads: Selected Long Poems 1971-2012, Surrealities).

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William Pauley III and Brian Barnett, editors of the online literary magazine The New Flesh, have published a free(!) e-book featuring their favorite stories from the magazine’s second year of existence. Long Live the New Flesh: Year Two includes David’s horror tale “Grocery List,” which is not for those with sensitive stomachs.

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The New Flesh Year Two

You’ll find David’s Sapphic ghost story “Getaway” in the anthology Clones, Fairies, & Monsters in the Closet, which offers an eclectic mix of queer mystery, adventure, sci-fi, horror, and romance stories. (Interestingly, David’s spooky tale made it into the romance section.) The book is published by Exter Press and edited by Bill Olver, who helms the excellent Big Pulp literary magazine.

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Clones, Fairies & Monsters in the Closet