Scary Stories for a Good Cause: Gerry Griffiths on "The White Stuff"

By L.S. Johnson (

Gerry Griffiths lives in San Jose, California with his family, their four rescue dogs, and a cat. He has over thirty published short stories in various anthologies and magazines, along with a collection entitled Creatures. He is also the author of Silurid, The Beasts of Stoneclad Mountain, Death Crawlers, Deep in the Jungle, The Next World, Battleground Earth, Down from Beast Mountain, Terror Mountain, Cryptid Zoo, and Cryptid Island (prequel to Cryptid Zoo).


Tell us a little about your story, “The White Stuff.”

The story is about four friends celebrating Christmas together in a remote home out in the desert. Not exactly the holiday theme you would expect being surrounded by sand and cactus. But that all changes when everyone awakes on Christmas morning to newly fallen snow. Could it be a miracle of nature? Or is it more menacing? I’d like to think this story has a little Twilight Zone vibe to it.


Much of what happens in your story is shaped by the characters’ isolation—they’re in a house that is, as one characters says, “in the middle of nowhere.” Was this based on personal experiences?

Well, I can think of a couple of incidences. One time when my brother and I were kids we went camping with our parents in the Santa Cruz Mountains and got lost when we wandered off into the woods. At the time we were pretty scared and were in tears—until we realized all we had to do was retrace our footsteps back to camp. I don’t think our parents even realized we were gone. While in the Navy, the submarine I served on nearly sank while undergoing a routine test dive. I guess the thought of being stranded in the forest or lying at the bottom of the ocean certainly traumatized me. Like floating helplessly in outer space without a tether … or facing true terror running for your life in the middle of the desert.


What is your relationship to California, and does California influence your work? 

California has been my home for much of my life. I was only a year old when my parents left London and brought me across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary in 1950. We were constantly moving from state to state as my father worked for Trans World Airlines and was always accepting new job opportunities with the airline, but we always seemed destined to return to California. I can’t think of anywhere I would rather live than here and have many fond memories. I’m sure they’ve influenced my writing. Sunshine is great for the imagination.


As writers, we constantly use our imaginations, sometimes in terrifying ways. But can you imagine a hopeful future for California? What might that future look like?

Well, these are turbulent times for California. I think it’s important that we preserve and protect our wonderful state and share the core values as honest and compassionate citizens and not forget the historical legacies that made this state the fifth largest economy in the world. Everyone from all walks of life working together accomplished that. This is where we can step up and be proud of our Golden State. I think many of us have friends and relatives that lived in Paradise and the surrounding communities that suffered from the devastating Camp Fire. This charity anthology benefiting wildfire relief for the survivors is our way as Bay Area horror writers of doing our part to help with the effort.


Where can readers find more of your work?

I have an Author Central page on Amazon that lists my novels, the magazines I have contributed to, and a collection of short stories. Please feel free to visit and browse around.

NEXT POST ON MONDAY 6/3/19, SCARY STORIES FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Loren Rhoads ON “Still Life with Shattered Glass”

"[A] brilliant collection of truly creepy tales by horror's hottest voices! Dark, funny, heartbreaking, and bizarre. Highly recommended!"
-Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of V-Wars and Glimpse

Scary Stories for a Good Cause. From Bram Stoker Award-nominated editor of the cult magazine Morbid Curiosity comes Tales for the Camp Fire, a new charity anthology of short stories to help support wildfire relief efforts. Through these pages roam werewolves, serial killers, a handful of ghosts, plenty of zombies, Cthulhu cultists, mad scientists, and a pair of conjoined twins.