Reblog: Naked As Nature Intended? Victorian Author & Spiritualist, Catherine Crowe in Edinburgh, 1854

You might call it parapsychology’s greatest mystery…

Did Catherine Crowe–the at-the-time sixty-something literary stalwart of the mid-nineteenth century, passionate advocate of the German ghost story, and author of that runaway best-seller The Night Side of Nature (London, 2 vols.: Newby, 1848)–really tear through the streets of Edinburgh toward the end of February 1854, naked but for a handkerchief clutched in one plump hand, and a visiting card in the other? And, if she did, was it because she had experienced a nervous breakdown, or because the spirits had convinced her that, once her clothes were shed, she would become invisible?


Author & Spiritualist, Catherine Crowe in her only extant image (Public Domain).

Crowe’s name may not ring too many bells today, but a century and a half ago she was famous. Born in 1790, she was noted as a novelist (she wrote Susan Hopley, an intricately plotted crime procedural that was some way ahead of its time) and as a friend of the great and good (she knew Thackeray, Dickens and Charlotte Brontë, among many others). Nowadays, however, she is best remembered as a pioneer parapsychologist–“a hugely important figure in the emergence of modern ghost-seeing culture chiefly because of her relentless calls for society to turn its attention to the unexplained phenomena in its midst and investigate them in an objective manner.” [McCorristine p.10]

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A Reblog: Bringing Neglected Classics Back into Print—The Valancourt Classics Catalogue… some great horror & mystery thrillers return from … the grave …


Young Frankenstein, the Play. Photographer/Actors unknown (Pinterest).

Rise, I say! Rise! Give my creature LIFE!!

I get a little excited, I guess, when publishers bring back awesome books we’ve forgotten about—or never knew about due to their having been published before our time!

Valancourt Books is doing just that, and here is a nice article on the subject with juicy details, from our buds over at Black Gate (an intensely cool website). And check out these revamped covers (below are 8 of them I liked)!

I’ll also include buying info below for those of you who like to build your own horror library.

Hey, life is short; only read the good stuff.


The Article

The Covers

Click in thumbnails to enlarge…



Where to Buy

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Current Read: 20th-Century Ghosts—A Collection of Award-Winning Ghost Stories by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King!) …


Stephen King had a son?

Yes. In fact, King had two sons; and a daughter. Both sons, Joe (see below) and Owen (see: ) are writers. This post is about Joe Hillstrom King (aka. Joe Hill).2F079018-D3A8-4B46-818E-28CAAEAD7174

You’ll recognize the family resemblance in the photo below. But, damn, can Joe Hill write a mean ghost story!

The story goes he published this on his own without any influence from Stephen King which is commendable. So for, what, a decade? Joe Hill wrote on faith that his own talent would garner a name for himself.

And you know what? It did.

Hill is the very successful author of the novels The Heart-Shaped Box (scared the @%#* outta me); Horns (made into a great film starring Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe); a hauntingly clever take on the vampire novel, N0S4A2 (“Nosferatu”); and The Fireman (also made into a feature film).

I’m starting out with this story: “You Will Hear the Locusts Sing” (above photo), partly because I hate locusts. Then, there’s the Bible plague (yuk); and the Exorcist II where James Earl Jones plays that African prince who commands the dreaded things and the camera is on the little locust back of one of them in some ingenious new film technique as it flies across the continent and oceans as the demon Pazuzu!).


I’ve also heard a lot of good things about the story out on the grapevine. I’ll circle back and do a review of the collection! Hope you’ll pick up a copy and join me!

To read is to be.



Joe’s Website


Interviews & Vids

Reblog: One of the great independent presses, Undertow Books, hits the mark again! Look at this!


The Silent Garden: A New Journal of Esoteric Fabulism

From Michael Kelly, Undertow Books (

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Silent Garden Collective, I will be publishing the inaugural volume of The Silent Garden: A Journal of Esoteric Fabulism.

The Silent Garden is a peer-reviewed journal, edited and curated by the Silent Garden Collective, a professional group of editors, writers, and scholars interested in exploring those liminal borderlands where darkness bends.

The Collective’s aim is to provide an annual journal of exceptional writing and art focussed on horror and the numinous, the fabulist, the uncanny, the weird, the gnostic, the avant-garde, the esoteric, and the dark interstices of the known and unknown world.

The Silent Garden Collective is an organic and changing group of editors. Each volume (assuming the first sells well enough) will be edited and curated by a different group. Thus, given the number of people potentially involved, they thought it prudent to form a Collective.

The book is currently in production, and should be available in August. Pricing and ordering information should be available soon. The amazing Table of Contents is listed below. If you want to be notified when it’s available, just drop me an e-mail and I will add you to the mailing list.

Thanks for the interest, folks. I think this is going to be a very special and unique project!


Deluxe square (8.5” X 8.5”) Hardcover, with interior color illustrations, printed on 70LB paper. Published by Undertow Books.

The inaugural volume of this very cool journal will feature the following:


  • Transcending the Grotesquerie: The Surreal Landscapes of David Whitlam


  • “Translating The Ritual,” by J.T. Glover
  • “The Raw Food Movement: Comparing Transformative Diets in Han Kang’s The Vegetarian (2015) and Julia Ducournau’s Raw (2016),” by V.H. Leslie
  • “Unstitching the Patriarchy: A review of Camilla Grudova’s The Doll’s Alphabet,” by Rudrapriya Rathore
  • “Cinema of the Body: The Politics of Performativity in Lars Von Trier’s Dogville and Yorgos Lanthimo’s Dogtooth,” by Angelos Koutsourakis


  • “Lincoln Hill,” by Daniel Mills
  • “Deposition of Darkness,” by Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles (Translated by Kristine Ong Muslim)
  • “Contortionist,” by Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles (Translated by Kristine Ong Muslim)


  • “Waystations of the High Night,” by Marcel Brion (Translated by Edward Gauvin)
  • “Her Blood the Apples, Her Bones the Trees,” by Georgina Bruce
  • “La Tierra Blanca,” by Maurizio Cometto (Translated by Rachel S. Cordasco)
  • “Embolus of Cinnabar,” by Patricia Cram
  • “Palisade,” by Brian Evenson
  • “Under the Casket, A Beach!” by Nick Mamatas
  • “The Other Tiger,” by Helen Marshall
  • “Coruvorn” by Reggie Oliver
  • “Blood and Smoke, Vinegar and Ashes” by D.P. Watt
  • “The Palace of Force and Fire,” by Ron Weighell
  • “Nox Una,” by Marian Womack

Read more, here, and buy this! Support Undertow Books!

Tonight, I am Tweeting & Reading the Great “Weird Fiction” Writer, Laird Barron—(Follow me on Twitter! @WoodsSanguine)

My favorite Barron story, “The Men from Porlock” (collected in The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All), which I am re-reading tonight, is the creepy tale of a logging operation in the Pacific Northwest, and what may be waiting in the deep dark of the woods for a group of men who venture out from the periphery of the logging camp; some things in the world are older than time…and don’t like to be disturbed.


There are no words to adequately describe the quality of this man’s vision, execution, style, & prose. Suffice it to say you should be reading the work of Alaskan author, Laird Barron…

Click here for Barron’s website…

Click here for the Wiki “lowdown” on this author…

Click here to see what else Barron has written!

Following, is a nifty little review of some of Barron’s short fiction over at Slate Magazine; and the full covers of 5 of his other books of outstanding and creepy fiction…these are all available in affordable Kindle editions at (see link above); and Kindle apps are now free, so get on over there and feed your intellect and learn about what really scares you…

Click here to read Slate’s review of Barron’s The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All…

My latest “Tweet”:



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Review: A Kayak Full of Ghosts, Eskimo Stories retold by Lawrence Millman—A Reblog…


Art by Tim Pitsiulak.

A Kayak Full of Ghosts

Lawrence Millman


‘Lawrence Millman’s gift for storytelling is well-known to most readers of Arctic lore; the best of his books, such as Last Places: A Journey in the North, and Lost in the Arctic, are classics of the genre. Millman’s gift, and a rare one it is, is to be able to combine his own pithy observations with the gab and blather of the quite distinctive people he meets, a gift apparent in his very first book, Our Like Will Not Be There Again: Notes From the West of Ireland. In that book, he introduced us not to the fanciful, peat-smoke suffused “West” of song and story, but to a series of indelible and singular characters, among them a peripatetic poet who simply declared, “After me, it’ll be dead. Poetry, I mean.”

Not surprisingly, it was this gift for picking up the precise tenor of encountered voices — as well as a penchant for bursting the bubble of popular conceptions of people and places — which first turned Millman’s interests in a northerly direction. As the preface to this book describes it, Millman was hospitalized for hypothermia after taking an unexpected dip below the ice off the coast of Greenland. Confined to a tiny hospital which was also served as a drying-out tank, he turned his ear to a man who was there for the latter purpose, and acquired from him the first of the more than a hundred tales which make A Kayak Full of Ghosts the most memorable — and entertaining — collection of Eskimo folk tales ever compiled.

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Celebrated Weird Fiction Author Thomas Ligotti’s Exploration of Horror—Penguin is Publishing the Book in Cool New Edition!


In Thomas Ligotti’s first nonfiction outing, an examination of the meaning (or meaninglessness) of life through an insightful, unsparing argument that proves the greatest horrors are not the products of our imagination but instead are found in reality.

“There is a signature motif discernible in both works of philosophical pessimism and supernatural horror. It may be stated thus: Behind the scenes of life lurks something pernicious that makes a nightmare of our world.”

Ligotti’s fiction is known to be some of the most terrifying in the horror/weird fiction genre; but his first book of nonfiction is even scarier.

Drawing on philosophy, literature, neuroscience, and other fields of study, Ligotti takes the penetrating lens of his imagination and turns it on his audience, causing them to grapple with the brutal reality that they are living a meaningless nightmare, and anyone who feels otherwise is simply acting out an optimistic fallacy.

At once a guidebook to pessimistic thought and a relentless critique of humanity’s employment of self-deception to cope with the pervasive suffering of their existence, The Conspiracy against the Human Race may just convince readers that there is more than a measure of truth in the despairing yet unexpectedly liberating negativity that is widely considered a hallmark of Ligotti’s work.

People do not know, and cannot face, the things that go on in this world, the secret nightmares that are suffered by millions every day… and the excruciating paradox, the nightmarish obscenity of being something that does not know what it is and yet believes that it does know, something that in fact is nothing but a tiny particle that forms the body of The Great Black Swine Which Wallows in a Great River of Blackness that to us looks like sunrises and skyscrapers, like all the knotted events of the past and the unraveling of these knots in the future, like birthdays and funerals, like satellites and cell phones and rockets launched into space, like nations and peoples, like the laws of nature and the laws of humanity, like families and friends, like everything, including these words that I write.”

—Thomas Ligotti, “My Work Is Not Yet Done”




About the Author, Links, &tc.

A cult figure in himself, it is challenging to find clear photographs of Thomas Ligotti online. Above, left, is a photo of the author we located on Pinterest (no info).

Read more about Thomas Ligotti, here…

Read an early review of Ligotti’s book The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, here…

Learn about the new Ligottian literary journal, Vastarian, here… (Cover of Vol. 1, Issue 1 = above, right)

Visit Thomas Ligotti Online (TLO), a Public Forum create by author Jon Padget, here…

Order your copy of Penguin’s upcoming new edition of Thomas Ligotti’s The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, here…

You can read the book free on Kindle, for a limited time, here…