Mark Your Calendar–My new book is coming soon! The Greatest Ghost Stories Ever Told, Vol. I…Visit my publisher and show your support with a Like and a Follow!

Here it is, friends and fellow readers and lovers of all things ghostly! News Release for my new anthology of rare  ghost stories with notes, annotations, articles, and artwork—in addition to some of the most amazing ghost stories almost lost to history!

Pleas visit Wick Press, here, and show your support with a Like and a Follow, won’t you?
Thank you, friends.
🌱SW

https://wickpressblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/the-greatest-ghost-stories-ever-told-in-two-volumes-ed-sanguine-woods-volume-i-eta-december-2017/

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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?

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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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What’s on the Tube? An Urban Supernatural Creeper Starring Nicholas Cage—“Pay the Ghost” Is Based on a Halloween Story by UK Author Tim Lebbon

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Well, the poster sucks. I give the poster a half star! But this is a good film for a cool night with the windows open, and the wind going.

Based on the short story “Pay the Ghost” written by horror author Tim Lebbon (see “About the Short Story”, below) and published in October Dreams*—a Halloween-themed anthology edited by Richard Chizmar and published by Cemetery Dance books in 2000, the film, Pay the Ghost, stars Nicholas Cage in a frightening take on kidnapping, Pagan lore, and witchcraft all with an urban twist that is effective. I was fascinated and even scared here and there. Effects are well done; and even though the plot has been done before in a variety of ways; the supernatural elements work.

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So, now that I’ve seen the film, I’m backtracking and starting the story!

Here are some links to info on the film and to the ebook site—where you can read the original short story for only $.99! Lebbon is a great writer, so check it out!

Entertainment Weekly Review:

http://ew.com/article/2015/08/24/nicolas-cage-poster-pay-the-ghost/

Wiki:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_the_Ghost

About the Short Story

Click here to get “Pay the Ghost”, the story by Tim Lebbon:

*Click here to read about the anthology October Dreams ed. by Richard Chizmar & Robert Moorish:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Dreams

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Listen to a Podcast in which Lebbon discusses the story:

http://www.thisishorror.co.uk/tih-106-tim-lebbon-on-pay-the-ghost-the-silence-and-self-doubt/

Interview with The Story’s Author, Tim Lebbon:

https://www.starburstmagazine.com/features/tim-lebbon-interview

Visit the author’s website, here:

https://www.timlebbon.net/

Below, is the Foreword of the 2018 ebook edition and following that is page one of the story…

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“The Festival”—A Cult Horror Story by H. P. Lovecraft, Full Text & Facsimilie Pages of Lovecraft’s Final Draft as Submitted to the Publisher

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“Lovecraft’s ‘The Festival’. Art by SPARATIK @ Deviantart.com.

The Festival

H. P. Lovecraft

“Efficiunt Daemones, ut quae non sunt, sic tamen
quasi sint, conspicienda hominibus exhibeant.”
—Lactantius.


I was far from home, and the spell of the eastern sea was upon me. In the twilight I heard it pounding on the rocks, and I knew it lay just over the hill where the twisting willows writhed against the clearing sky and the first stars of evening. And because my fathers had called me to the old town beyond, I pushed on through the shallow, new-fallen snow along the road that soared lonely up to where Aldebaran twinkled among the trees; on toward the very ancient town I had never seen but often dreamed of.

It was the Yuletide, that men call Christmas though they know in their hearts it is older than Bethlehem and Babylon, older than Memphis and mankind. It was the Yuletide, and I had come at last to the ancient sea town where my people had dwelt and kept festival in the elder time when festival was forbidden; where also they had commanded their sons to keep festival once every century, that the memory of primal secrets might not be forgotten. Mine were an old people, and were old even when this land was settled three hundred years before. And they were strange, because they had come as dark furtive folk from opiate southern gardens of orchids, and spoken another tongue before they learnt the tongue of the blue-eyed fishers. And now they were scattered, and shared only the rituals of mysteries that none living could understand. I was the only one who came back that night to the old fishing town as legend bade, for only the poor and the lonely remember.

Then beyond the hill’s crest I saw Kingsport outspread frostily in the gloaming; snowy Kingsport with its ancient vanes and steeples, ridgepoles and chimney-pots, wharves and small bridges, willow-trees and graveyards; endless labyrinths of steep, narrow, crooked streets, and dizzy church-crowned central peak that time durst not touch; ceaseless mazes of colonial houses piled and scattered at all angles and levels like a child’s disordered blocks; antiquity hovering on grey wings over winter-whitened gables and gambrel roofs; fanlights and small-paned windows one by one gleaming out in the cold dusk to join Orion and the archaic stars. And against the rotting wharves the sea pounded; the secretive, immemorial sea out of which the people had come in the elder time.

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H. P. Lovecraft’s Dunwich Horror and Other Stories—3 Animated-Claymation Short Films by Toei Animation, Directed by Ryo Shinagawa, 2007

In a sales collaboration with Gentosha Inc., Toei Animation Co., Ltd. releases H.P.Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror and Other Stories on August 28, 2007 under the Ganime DVD label. Director of the DVD is Ryo Shinagawa, the editor-in-chief of a monthly magazine Studio Voice, has also been involved in the production of films.

American author, H. P. Lovecraft—the original writer—is a master of weird fiction steeped in “cosmicism” or “cosmic horror” represented by a unique and original mix of horror and science fiction. Lovecraft is also the originator of a “mythos” featuring the “old one” Cthulhu, a tentacled creature who is worshipped by a cult of fanatics and who is supposed to be sleeping beneath the ocean—Godzilla-like—and will soon return. Lovecraft and Cthulhu have many fans around the world.

6176B162-2DFC-43AB-89E1-97F0AC371A47Three of the famed author’s original stories are represented here, in amazing three-dimensional “claymation” images created by artist Shohei Yamashita. Added to this is the music of Jim O’Rourke, a composer previously involved in numerous films. The result is an exquisite representation of the way literary and visual horror can work together to great effect to preserve classic works of art and literature.

(Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20120210150807/http://corp.toei-anim.co.jp/english/press/2007/06/hplovecrafts_the_dunwich_horro.html)

Beyond the Veil: The Fiction of Arthur Machen–An Essay

Left: An early paperback edition of Machen’s fiction; right: Oxford Univ. Press 2018 edition.

from a 2011 essay by Michael Dirda see link to the full article after the post…

‘H.P. Lovecraft, the American master of supernatural fiction, once described Arthur Machen (1863 – 1947) as the author of “some dozen tales long and short, in which the elements of hidden horror and brooding fright attain an almost incomparable substance and realistic acuteness.” With his first major story, “The Great God Pan” (1894), Machen mixed together transgressive scientific experiments, pagan survivals, a heartless, only half-human femme fatale, and a fantasmagoric climax involving protoplasmic reversion. To this day, just saying that title — “The Great God Pan” — makes me shiver.

As Philip Van Doren Stern noted in his introduction to the 1948 Machen omnibus Tales of Horror and the Supernatural, the Welsh author “did not write a single ghost story.” Instead, “he wrote of things more ancient even than ghosts,…for Machen dealt with the elemental forces of evil, with spells that outlast time, and with the malign powers of folklore and fairy tale.” His work repeatedly underscores the thin line between the material world of appearances and a darker occult reality. As one of his characters poetically says:

Now I know that the walls of sense that seemed so impenetrable, that seemed to loom up above the heaven and to be founded below the depths, and to shut us in for evermore, are no such everlasting impassable barriers as we fancied, but thinnest and most airy veils that melt away before the seeker and dissolve as the early mist in the morning about the brooks.

In Machen’s central mythology a squat, malevolent race of primordial beings survives to the present day, lurking in hills and forests and caves. Machen describes their characteristics most fully in “The Novel of the Black Seal” when its narrator happens upon an old Latin treatise and makes the following translation:

The folk…dwells in remote and secret places, and celebrates foul mysteries on savage hills. Nothing have they in common with men save the face, and the customs of humanity are wholly strange to them; and they hate the sun. They hiss rather than speak; their voices are harsh, and not to be heard without fear. They boast of a certain stone, which they call Sixtystone; for they say that it displays sixty characters. And this stone has a secret unspeakable name, which is Ixaxar.

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Arthur Machen, the Forgotten Father of Weird Fiction

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Welsh Writer & Mystic, Arthur Machen (1863 – 1947), ca. early 20th century (Public Domain).

Perhaps the most significant but least well remembered writers of what is no being called “The Weird” is the Welsh author of supernatural and occult fiction Arthur Machen (1863-1947). Machen might be little read today, but his ideas lie at the heart of work  by modern horror writers Stephen King and Clive Barker, the most-well-known 20th-century writer of weird fiction, H. P. Lovecraft, and filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro.

Many contemporary authors of weird fiction will see their own struggles reflected in Machen’s life and career. Born into the social hinterland between the privileged upper classes and the poverty of the working class, he received an excellent early education but lacked the money to attend university. Nonetheless he pursued a career as a writer, working as a journalist and tutor and writing through the night, hard work that led in his thirties to Machen establishing himself as an author of what we now classify as the “Decadent” period history when his novella The Great God Pan* was published and soon deemed part of the Decadent movement in art and literature; however, there is enough to support its inclusion today if for no other reason than as a point of historic research or academic study.)

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(Oxford University Press 2018)

*Machen was not pleased with being grouped into this period, and has justified his exclusion from it in a comment, which can be found quoted in introductions to his fiction, especially The Great God Pan (See the recent collection of Machen’s fiction published in a handsome cloth-bound edition by Oxford University Press, the cover of which is shown above).

But this success would turn sour when his association with genre fiction made it impossible to find a publisher for his writing as it grew in sophistication, leading to much of his best work remaining unpublished for many years.

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