E.L. King chats horror, squishables, and Dead by Daylight with GhostHostLauren.
Content creator and creative crafter Lauren, also known as GhostHostLauren on Twitch is a part-time variety streamer with a penchant for Dead By Daylight and other games in and outside of the horror genre. She considers her content wholesome with a dash of crude commentary but strives to ensure her community is an inclusive space. Lauren has been an avid gamer since childhood—her first console was the Sega Genesis.
Lauren is also the founder and operator of boutique shop Grim Grinning Ghost Co. which launched in March 2021. The shop specializes in hand-crafted squishables and features creations inspired by the popular asymmetrical horror game Dead By Daylight and horror films like Midsommar. Her latest project is a Ghostface plushie which fittingly arrives with the recent release of Scream (2022). Enjoy a peek behind-the-scenes and progress photos on Ko-Fi. You can purchase Lauren's creations on her website and Etsy.
E.L. King: You told us that your favorite horror film franchise is Saw. So I assume that means that Saw (2004) is one of your favorite films. Let's discuss why you love the Saw franchise and why that is your comfort film.
Lauren: It's really interesting because I used to absolutely despise gore when I was younger and after being medicated for anxiety, that has totally changed for me. You know I don't know if It's just being numb or jaded to gore but, it really tickles the morbid curiosity in my brain. I just find it really interesting, like the specific reasons why Jigsaw did what he did to these people. So I don't know if the whole franchise is just easy to watch or something like that.
Slay Away: You mentioned to us that your go-to horror game is Dead By Daylight. You've also played some Phasmophobia, but when did you start playing DBD?
Lauren: I've actually had the game since 2017. I got it in a Humble Bundle. It looked interesting. I played it a few times and didn't really get into it. I was mostly playing on the PS4 at the time. I want to say about two years ago on my Twitter feed, Dead By Daylight just kind of popped up again and I was like, "Oh yeah, that game, I remember that I have it. I'm gonna play it again" and then it kind of just spiraled down from there. I play it all the freaking time now.
Slay Away: Why is Dead By Daylight one of your favorite games?
Lauren: I don't know. It's one of those games that you kind of just get sucked into and I'm sure you can attest to that. You know as a fan of licensed characters and horror. You have Krueger, you have a Ghostface, you have Michael Myers. As new chapters get released and horror films characters are licensed into the game, you get those people who are diehard Resident Evil fans or there are diehard Halloween fans that get excited their favorite horror characters are in this game and want to check it out because they really love them, so yeah I don't know, it's just what I'm into.
Slay Away: Who is your favorite character in the game and do you main Killer or Survivor?
Lauren: Survivor mostly just because the Killer stresses me out. I don't like having that kind of pressure put on me, but I have been playing Killer a little bit more and enjoying it and talking about the lore. Dead By Daylight has such intricate lore to it, surprisingly enough. Many people just kind of gloss over it. I think it's really important to talk about it and why these Killers came to be, in a sense, married to the Entity. So, I've been starting to pick up playing Killer a lot more. My favorites are probably The Clown because he's the only one I'm really good at right now, but if we're talking strictly based on lore, it is a toss-up between The Spirit and The Plague. The survivor backstories have always been a little bit boring to me. They just don't captivate me as much.
Slay Away: Is there a horror film that has left a real impact on you?
Lauren: I wouldn't say a big impact, but I wanted You're Next! and really enjoyed it. It's your average gratuitous slasher film.
Slay Away: It includes quite a different take on the stereotypical 1970s and 1980s final girl trope with the character of Erin though.
Lauren: That's what I loved. I've revisited that movie a couple of times because kind of like the Saw franchise, it's got some gratuitous slashing. So, I can easily work on other projects while I'm watching them.
Slay Away: Speaking of final girls, we usually like to ask if you have a favorite final girl or sole survivor.
Lauren: Oh, I love Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott in the Scream franchise. I like Erin and I like Laurie Strode from Halloween (1978), but poor Laurie, her character in Dead By Daylight just can't do anything.
Slay Away: Tell us more about Grim Grinning Ghost Co. and how your shop came to be.
Lauren: Yeah, so the basic idea was to create squishable or Squishmallow-type plushies and it came to fruition during one of Lexicat's streams actually. She's a very big fan of Squishmallow and The Pig is her main in DBD. We were just kind of chatting and you know the kind idea came up and I was like, "Oh my god that'd be so cute, what if there was like a The Pig type plush?" I was just vibing and I kind of drew it out and decided to do it. The more I thought about it and the possibilities with all the Killers in the game, I just felt like I had to do it. Dead By Daylight, despite how big it is, for some reason doesn't have a whole lot of merchandise outside generic t-shirts and I think they have the lunchbox or something. I often joke that mentally ill millennials, such as myself fucking love plushies, and we fucking love squishmallows. So, I am catering to a very specific audience.
Slay Away: Do you have any plans to expand on what you're offering in the shop?
Lauren: Dead By Daylight is like my main focus, but obviously, as someone who really enjoys horror, I'll likely expand. I've created a Midsommar plushie of the sacred hut in the film. Eventually, maybe I'll create a Bunny Hoodie for Feng Min. The sky is the limit.