Asbury Dark: Haunting Tales from the Jersey Shore
Author: Lori Bonfitto
Release date: October 1, 2014
Short story collection (7 stories)
Available in paperback, for Kindle and Nook
Price: Paperback $12.99; eBook $9.99
A telekinetic teenager. A doomed ocean liner. A haunted bed & breakfast. A zombie-fighting real estate developer. These are but a few of the eerie people, places and things that go bump in the pages of Asbury Dark: Haunting Tales from the Jersey Shore.
Spanning six decades, Asbury Dark will thrill and delight anyone who’s ever ridden the rides on the fabled boardwalk, searched for Bruce at The Stone Pony, or shambled along in the Zombie Walk.
Mystery and suspense author Lori Bonfitto delivers seven unforgettable tales of fright and fantasy, transforming Asbury Park from a nostalgic playland into a world fraught with obsession, reincarnation, and the paranormal.
With Asbury Dark: Haunting Tales from the Jersey Shore, Jersey Shore native Lori Bonfitto continues her lifelong love of the macabre, exploring obsession, reincarnation, and the paranormal in a collection of short stories based in Asbury Park, New Jersey. In her spare time, she plays softball, meditates, and makes sand castles on the beach near her home where she lives with her spouse.
FACT SHEET, ANECDOTES & APPROVED QUOTES:
– Lori Bonfitto grew up in Oakhurst, New Jersey.
– She graduated from Ocean Township High School in 1981. Her high school graduation ceremony was held in Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
– During high school, she worked as a counter girl in Howard Johnson’s restaurant on the Asbury Park boardwalk (now McLoone’s). She also worked at the Haunted Mansion on the Long Branch boardwalk, where she played the roles of Lizzie Borden and “Rat Professor”.
– Lori’s love of horror, the paranormal and mystery stems from her childhood, when she would watch “B” movies on TV with her dad.
– She is a graduate of New York University film school.
– She has a 24-year-old son who followed in her footsteps and graduated from NYU film school. He now works as a film editor in Los Angeles.
– Lori lived in New York City from 1981 to 2008. In 2008 she moved back to the Jersey Shore.
– While in New York, she wrote and directed plays off-off Broadway.
– For the past 8 years, she’s been a pitcher with the Big Apple Softball League. She travels several times a year to tournaments in other cities.
– In 1978, Lori played on the Ocean Township girl’s Little League softball team, winning the state championship. After the game, the entire team went to the Asbury Park boardwalk and got sick on a ride called the “Rock n’ Roll”.
– Lori is a frequent participant in local sand sculpting contests. She collects plastic sand molds.
– She is a fan of the Yankees and the Giants.
– Lori’s favorite current TV shows include The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and The Leftovers.
– Her favorite author is Stephen King.
– Lori’s favorite things to do in Asbury Park include riding her bike and admiring the Victorian houses, playing at the Silverball pinball museum, and dining at Langosta Lounge and Taka. She is also a fan of the Shore Flicks summer movies on the beach.
– Lori loves the ship model detailing that can be found on the roof of Convention Hall. She first became aware of the ships when, at the age of 10, she attended a boat show at Convention Hall. It was her first time on the roof. The ships make an appearance in “Eminent Domain”, a short story from the pages of Asbury Dark.
– Before Lori’s parents met and were married, they both lived as young singles in Asbury Park. On sweltering summer nights, Lori’s mother and her roommates slept on the beach to stay cool.
– Lori’s favorite ride from the Asbury Park boardwalk was The Scrambler.
– Lori is married to author Kim Brittingham.
Some of Lori’s fond memories of Asbury Park in the ‘60s and ‘70s:
– As a child and teen, Lori went to movies at The Lyric theater in Asbury Park, “before it was a porno,” she says. “I saw Ring of Bright Water there. It was the most traumatic experience of my life.”
– “When I was a little kid, there was a kiddie ride on the Asbury Park boardwalk. There were little cars you could sit in, and one motorcycle. I always wanted to ride the motorcycle.”
– “In its heyday, the Asbury Park boardwalk had a trolley. I remember you used to have to pay attention at all times so it wouldn’t run you over.”
– “It was a Saturday night when I was a teenager. My parents were out playing cards at a friend’s house. I didn’t have my driver’s license yet, but I decided I wanted to go bowling at Asbury Lanes. There was a terrible blizzard that night and when I tried to drive home, I got stuck in a snow drift. I don’t know how I ever got out of it.”
– “I learned how to swim at the YMCA on Main Street in Asbury Park.” The building is now a senior citizens center.
– “I bought my first baseball glove at Bob Kislin’s Sporting Goods on Main Street in Asbury Park.”
– “I still remember the fun house on the Asbury Park boardwalk. You had to exit on a big slide, and that was the best part.”
– “When I was a kid, my mother used to take me to buy shoes at Buster Brown’s on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park.”
– “As a kid, I remember buying my mother a yellow sweater for Christmas at Steinbach’s on Cookman Avenue. I used the money I saved raking leaves.”
– When someone asks Lori which of the stories in Asbury Dark is her favorite, she responds, “That’s like asking a mother which of her children is her favorite. Each one has a different reason for being. And every one has some personal association with Asbury Park.”
– “The most Asbury Park-centric story in Asbury Dark is ‘The Circuit’.”
– If there was any one thing about Asbury Park today that she would change, Lori says, “I’d love to get rid of that concrete and steel eyesore on Ocean Avenue,” referring to a condo building that was never finished. “It just makes me think of all the magnificent buildings that stood in Asbury Park in the past and were demolished. That half-finished building stands like a giant scab.”
– If she could see any business from Asbury Park’s past revived, Lori says she’d welcome the return of The Palace. “The Palace was filled with fun. It was carefree. You could go from ride to ride. There were so many different things to do. When you were inside The Palace, you were taking a break from reality.”
– While studying at NYU film school in 1984, Lori returned to the Asbury Park boardwalk to shoot her student film. “That’s when the changes in Asbury Park really hit me. Everything was closed up, the rides were gone. It almost looked bombed-out, like a ghost town. It made me so sad. Madam Marie was the only thing left that I remembered. We took my dad’s Ford Pinto station wagon onto the boardwalk and used it like a dolly, filming a character running along the boardwalk. That Pinto makes an appearance in my short story, ‘The Circuit’.”
– Did Lori ever visit Madam Marie? “I visited Madam Marie when I was sixteen. She told me I was going to end up with the person I had a crush on.” The prediction never came true.