Nightmare Fuel! Agents of Dreamland by Caitlín R. Kiernan…Make It Your Next Read…

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“Agents of Dreamland is a new Lovecraftian horror novella from award-winning author Caitlín R. Kiernan…

In this new novella, a government special agent known only as the Signalman gets off a train on a stunningly hot morning in Winslow, Arizona. Later that day he meets a woman in a diner to exchange information about an event that happened a week earlier for which neither has an explanation, but which haunts the Signalman.

In a ranch house near the shore of the Salton Sea a cult leader gathers up the weak and susceptible ― the Children of the Next Level ― and offers them something to believe in and a chance for transcendence. The future is coming and they will help to usher it in.

A day after the events at the ranch house which disturbed the Signalman so deeply that he and his government sought out help from ‘other’ sources, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory abruptly loses contact with NASA’s interplanetary probe New Horizons. Something out beyond the orbit of Pluto has made contact.

And a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity.”

(MysteryTribune.com)

”Death cults, fungus, and the vast, time-hopping conspiracies of eldritch horrors, oh my. Caitlìn R. Kiernan’s Agents of Dreamland had everything I love crammed into a deceptively slim novella. Kiernan, one of the sharpest voices in weird fiction, has created a bleak and beautiful playground and her new edition of her first Signalman novella, Black Helicopters, is one I’m hoping to see in 2018. I can never get enough nightmare fuel.”

(TOR.com)

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Have You Heard Bigfoot Yet? Listen to These Recordings of Sasquatch Making Odd Human-Animal Noises … Keep the Lights On…

“We decided to record the sounds on CD and cassette [and digitally] to make them available to people. We do believe these creatures are trying to communicate with us, though. As we speak we are having the linguistics people look into it; they are very encouraged. What they’re saying so far is that humans cannot mimic these sounds, that the range supersedes what humans can do. The tapes were shown by a previous study at the University of Wyoming to be spontaneous and no signs of being re-recorded, or pre-recorded at altered speeds; so the idea of a hoax is highly improbable as far as professionals are considered at this time.”

— Ron Morehead, Bigfoot, a Netflix Documentary (1997)

Here Ron Morehead’s original Bigfoot vocalizations—the most bizarre thing ever recorded:

Here’s how Morehead captured the sounds on tape:


The Recordings of the “Bigfoot Language” Are Actually Pretty Frightening

Is that an ape? Wait; that sounds almost human! Indeed. And both are what you hear in the hoots and growls and whines and snarls of what Ron Morehead calls “Bigfoot Language—a series of tape recorded noises Morehead recorded while living in a remote area of Northern California’s Sierra mountains during the early 1970s. But, are they real? I have put together this post so you can check out the facts and decide for yourself.

“The sounds, vocalizations, that include whistling, have been professionally analyzed and it is the belief of the scientists who did the analysis that they are not man-made. Regardless of the findings, which incidentally have never been disproved. I am satisfied and will personally vouch for the integrity of both my associates, Alan Berry and Ron Morehead, in the matter of these recordings. Indeed I look forward to working with them again, in the Bigfoot field, in the future.”

— Peter Byrne, Director, The Bigfoot Research Project

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To this day, there is still a debate over the authenticity of the tape recordings; however, many audio and human and animal linguistics specialists admit to the recordings’ uncannily realistic nature.

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“You Keep Coming Back Like A Song” (Tony Perkins, 1958) Is Played in New Horror Film: I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House Dir. by Son, Osgood Perkins

You Keep Coming Back Like A Song, Sung by (Anthony) Tony Perkins, 1958. What a beautiful rendition of this classic song. (See text that follows the video)

Tony Perkins Sings You Keep Coming Back Like a Song

 

The song first appeared in the film Blue Skies in 1946, performed by Bing Crosby and Betty Russell. The song was a big hit and since that time, has been recorded by a number of famous songsters, including Perkins…

Recording History

  1. Bing Crosby & Betty Russell (Blue Skies Film Soundtrack), 1946
  2. Dinah Shore, 1946
  3. Jo Stafford, 1946
  4. Bing Crosby, Solo, 1946
  5. Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra (with Johnny Thompson) , 1946
  6. Chuck Foster & His Orchestra  (with Tommy Ryan) , 1946
  7. Ted Heath & His Music (vocal: Paul Carpenter) , 1946
  8. Dennis Day, 1946
  9. Leslie “Hutch” Hutchinson, 1946
  10. Georgia Gibbs, 1946
  11. Frank Sinatra (Radio Transcript), 1946
  12. Gordon MacRae, 1952
  13. Ella Fitzgerald, 1958
  14. Anthony (Tony) Perkins,1958
  15. Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians – 1958
  16. Margie Gibson, 1993
  17. Andrea Marcovicci, 1994
  18. Elisabeth Welch, 1995
  19. Phillip Officer, 2000
  20. Jane Scheckter, 2003
  21. Maude Maggart, 2005
  22. Also Recorded by: Dick James with Bob Farnon’s Orch.; Mantovani & His Orch.; Charlie Kunz; Jackie Davis; John Arpin; Marlene Ver Planck; Geraldo & His Orch.; Frank Strazzeri ……… and others.

Tony Perkins’ Sons Make a Masterpiece: I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, 2016

Note of Trivia: The 1958 Perkins version of the song was recently featured in a horror film, I am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (film poster, inset), written and directed by Tony’s son Osgood (Oz) Perkins; the music for the film was composed by Tony’s son, Elvis Perkins. The film, a unique ghost story, is a ghost masterpiece of subtlety, beauty, and creeping dread—unlike anything I have ever seen before—and I highly recommend it (5 out of 5 stars).

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Anthony Perkins’ son, Oz Perkins, wrote and directed the October 2016 Netflix Original horror film, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, a subtle and hauntingly dreadful ghost story with cameo appearances by Deborah Harry (Blondie), as the creepy Mrs. Plum. Elvis Perkins, Tony Perkins’ other son, wrote the film’s eerie score. This film is a must-see. (5 out of 5 stars)

Lyrics as Sung by Tony Perkins, 1958

You keep coming back like a song
A song that keeps saying “Remember”
The sweet used-to-be that was once you and me
Keeps coming back like an old melody

The perfume of Roses in May
Returns to my room in December

From out of the past
Where forgotten things belong
You keep coming back like a song

<Trombone Solo Interlude>

From out of the past
Where forgotten things belong
You keep coming back like a song

You keep coming back like a song

(Transcribed by Sanguine Woods in October 2017 from Tony Perkins original 1958 recording.)

7 Best Horror Stories by Robert W. Chambers (That Are Not Part of the “Carcosa” Mythos)

Thank you to http://www.oldstyletales.com for this great list!

‘Best known for his mind-blasting “King in Yellow” mythos – a series of five stories published in the eponymous 1895 anthology – Robert W. Chambers doesn’t get much more attention for his other weird fiction, ghost stories, and fantasy – and it’s a damn shame. Chambers excelled at creating an atmosphere of otherworldly dread, misanthropic cosmicism, and eldritch horror….

 Illustrations above are from 2 of the 3 stories listed below: “Passeur” & “The Harbormaster”. Artwork by Grant Kellermeyer at http://www.oldstyletales.com

‘Chambers’ amphibious “Harbor Master” may have been the prototype for both the Creature of the Black Lagoon and Lovecraft’s Deep Ones, his demonic priest in “The Messenger” is worthy of a slasher film, and his brutally ironic murder of a butterfly collector in “The Purple Emperor” forecasts the grisliest mysteries of Dashiell Hammett.

While none of them can top the cult-like status of the Carcosa Mythos, it’s a downright pity that more horror aficionados don’t read past his first book.

To rectify this, here are seven of Chambers’ best short works; you can find them in the annotated and illustrated edition of The Best Weird Fiction and Ghost Stories of Robert W. Chambers available at http://www.oldstyletales.com.&#8217;

STORY #7: THE PURPLE EMPEROR

The subtitle of every Oldstyle Tales book is “Tales of Murder, Mystery, Horror, and Hauntings.” It starts with “Murder” because pretty much every writer of horror uses that as a plot device in at least one of their stories. While “The Purple Emperor” doesn’t feature any hauntings, it is rife with the other three. Strait out of a pulp classic, it pits two rival butterfly collectors against one another: the snarky Red Admiral and the unhinged Purple Emperor (each self-styled after their favorite specimen). While it sounds like a Monty Python sketch, the story takes a decidedly dark turn when the Red Admiral’s severed hand is discovered, and the chief suspect is an American tourist who is romancing the Purple Emperor’s ill-used niece. When the French police cart him off for questioning, his memory proves invaluable, and the ingenious-if-dramatic method used to kill the Admiral is used to discover the killer.

STORY #6: THE BRIDAL PAIR / A PLEASANT EVENING

This one is a twofer. Chambers is best remembered for his weird fiction, but he also wrote some genuinely creepy ghost stories. Most famous during his lifetime as a writer of romances (in the will-they-won’t-they, “don’t cry, ShopGirl” style of Nora Ephron), it isn’t surprising that warped, twisted, or unnatural romances feature prominently in his darker works. Both “The Bridal Pair” and “A Pleasant Evening” involve a man being lured by the siren-like attractions of a mysterious female shade. Now it’s no secret that they end up being ghosts, but the tension and dramatic irony experienced by the readers make both stories classic ghost stories with a uniquely American flavor. In “The Bridal Pair,” estranged lovers reunite on a remote hill (despite the reservations of the man’s terrified dog) and in “A Pleasant Evening,” a New York artist keeps running into a woman with cold skin and a wet dress. Even I was surprised to find out where she came from.

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Vampire Women Rock! Remembering Weird Tales Writer, Everil Worrell (1893-1969)

Worrell’s daughter recounted that her parents “had the walls of their apartment decorated with the art work for her stories and the covers of issues of Weird Tales. When I was born (1928), however, they thought they’d better take the pictures down because they didn’t want to frighten the baby!” 

– Jeanne Eileen Murphy, Worrell’s daughter, from a biography of the author that appeared in the first edition of Robert Weinberg’s Weird Tales Collector in 1977.

I wanted to introduce you, fellow lover of “the weird”, to a long-overlooked writer of quality short fiction, Everil Worrell (1893-1969), who, beginning in 1926, was a regular contributor to Weird Tales magazine. Worrell’s perhaps most well-known story “The Canal” mixes fishermen, vampires, and murky water to make an intoxicating brew. The story first appeared in Weird Tales in December 1927; and was later made into a TV episode on Rod Serling’s popular series, Night Gallery (see end of this post).

Everil Worrell wrote no less than 19 stories for Weird Tales and made the cover three times: “The Bird of Space” (September 1926) with art by E.M Stevenson; “The Gray Killer” (November 1929) with art by C.C. Senf; and “Once There Was a Little Girl” (January 1953) with art by Frank Kelly Freas. Having published stories in Weird Tales between 1926 and the mid-1950s, when the publication first gave up the ghost, Worrell is considered the magazine’s most frequent contributor over such a long expanse of time.

[More information on the life and death of Everil Worrell can be found here: http://tellersofweirdtales.blogspot.com/2012/02/everil-worrell-1893-1969.html; and https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=90458037&PIpi=161705790. In the event that the Internet site URLs above should ever become inactive, I have included the bipgraphical information contained therein at the end of this post under Further Reading.]

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Cover of the 1977 first edition of Robert Weinberg’s Weird Tales Collector

Everil Worrell began regular appearances in Weird Tales in 1926. It’s hard to verify how many stories she wrote in total—twenty four titles are known. Nineteen of them certainly appeared in Weird Tales between 1926 and 1954; one under the pen-name Lireve Monet. As “Everil W. Murphy” she contributed two stories to Ghost Stories*, a U.S. pulp magazine published between 1926 and 1932.

*[Ghost Stories published both original tales and reprints, including reprints of stories by Margaret Oliphant, Agatha Christie, and Charles Dickens. The magazine even published a Robert E Howard story, “The Apparition in the Prize Ring” aka. “The Spirit of Tom Molyneaux”, under the name John Taverel; the story is one of two Howard stories about African-American boxer Ace Jessel, aka. the “ebony giant”.]

You can find more biographical details at the informative Tellers of Weird Tales site here:

http://tellersofweirdtales.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/everil-worrell-1893-1969.html

A collection of Worrell’s stories has yet to be published. They can be found, one by one, at least many of them, in vintage anthologies; and online as magazine scans / PDFs.

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Weird Tales September 1926, Worrell’s first cover appearance.

Worrell’s fiction made the cover of Weird Tales three times, starting with that September 1926 story ‘The Bird of Space” (pictured), which isn’t bad considering this was during her first year with Weird Tales.

Her last appearance was in the March 1954 issue, only a few months before Weird Tales gave up the ghost for the first time in the 1950s (Weird Tales was picked up again, and is still going strong today)—giving Worrell one of the longest-running professional relationships with the magazine of any of its “regular” writers.

Weird Tales was picked up again and continued in print, with some interrupted years, until at least 2014. See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weird_Tales

Interestingly, the appearance of “The Canal” in September 1926 coincided with the publication of Henry S Whitehead’s story, “The Projection of Armand Dubois”. A month later, another of Worrell’s stories, “Cattle of Furos”,  appeared in Weird Tales at the same time as another of Whitehead’s well-known stories: “Jumbee”.

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Footage: Bigfoot Sighting in Payson Canyon, Utah

Byron, the Shelleys, Polidori & the Genesis of Gothic Horror…

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Villa Diodati, Switzerland, During a Storm.

On This Day in 1816: John Polidori Finds a Book

Fabio Camilletti

The ‘On This Day’ series continues with a post by Fabio Camilletti* on Fantasmagoriana, celebrating exactly 200 years since the Shelleys, Byron and Polidori held their now infamous ghost story competition during a rainy summer by Lake Geneva.

On the 12th of June 1816, John Polidori ‘rode to town’, and ‘subscribed to a circulating library’; five days later, on June the 17th, he records in his journal that ‘the ghost-stories are begun by all but me’. Who knows when they started reading: on the evening of the 12th, Polidori slept in a hotel, and so he did on the 13th, when he ‘walked home in thunder and lightning’, lost his way, and the police drove him back to the inn; it may have been on the 14th (‘Shelley and I had a conversation about principles, – whether man was to be thought merely an instrument’: a nice appendix to a ghost story-telling night), or on the following days – the Shelleys, at any rate, were always around. The question, however, is in the end irrelevant – the ‘night at Villa Diodati’, as we imagine it, may well not have taken place at all. But the book was there, this is for sure: and, most plausibly, it came from the ‘circulating library in town’, to which Polidori had subscribed on the 12th. In the previous days, he had been reading Tasso and Lucian: from that day on, ghosts, fate, and the principles of life became an increasing concern for the company, until the moment when – as per the entry of 18, at ‘Twelve o’clock’– they ‘really began to talk ghostly’.

Fantasmagoriana_title_pageFantasmagoriana had been published in Paris by the Alsatian bookseller Frédéric Schoell (or, more correctly, Friedrich Schöll), a philologist and historian who had entered the editorial business during the Revolution – first in Basel, and later in the French capital – and would later attend the Congress of Vienna as a member of the king of Prussia’s entourage. Schoell’s bookshop was located in the Rue des Fossés-Montmartre (nowadays a part of the Rue d’Aboukir, in the second arrondissment), namely a few metres away from the medieval ruins of the convent and church of the Capucines, which had been ravaged during the Terror and would later be dismantled in the course of Haussmann’s renovation of Paris. In 1798, part of the convent had been hired by the Belgian manager Étienne-Gaspard Robert, better known under the name of Robertson, who had exploited the properties of that quintessentially gothic setting for his show: a mixture of lights, images, and sounds which he sold under the name of Fantasmagorie. In the heart of old Paris, not far away from Place de la Révolution where the king and Robespierre had been guillotined, the book and the show echoed, therefore, each other, both promising an experience of terror behind which, in a sense, sounded as the afterimage of another, and more historical, Terror.

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Robertson’s Phantasmagoria.

Phantasmagoria was not Robertson’s invention. In the 1770s, an ex-Hussar and freemason named Georg Schröpfer had held necromancy séances in his coffee-house in Leipzig, and his ability in summoning ghosts via a hidden magic lantern had awarded him the nickname of Genspenstermacher (‘Ghost-maker’): Schröpfer’s experiments played with the ambiguity between ‘real’ supernatural and artifice, and so did the shows performed in Paris, since 1792, by an otherwise unknown Philipstahl or Philidor, being the first ones to be advertised under the name fantasmagorie, and which exploited the audiences’ interest in occult subject by selling themselves as a way of debunking credulity towards superstition. The same ambiguity was preserved – and indeed brought to the extreme – by Robertson’s shows, a veritable multi-sensorial experience that aimed at catching the beholders’ imagination completely: audiences were welcomed in the dark vaults of the convent of the Capucines, where meticulous care was paid to generating a ‘Gothic’ atmosphere; among skulls and spectral sounds, lamplights and smoke, Robertson held a speech in which he mixed necromancy and occult sciences, electricity and Galvanism; then full dark ensued, while the lantern began projecting its horrors, including skeletons, ghosts, the ancient gods, but also the shadow of Voltaire or the guillotined head of Danton. Ancient superstition mixed with contemporary history: at some point, the show was forcibly closed by the police when rumour was spread that Robertson could bring King Louis XVI back to life.

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