Haunted Castles—A Neo-pagan Gothic Horrorfest by Ray Russell

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“Beneath the haunted castle lies the dungeon keep: the womb from whose darkness the ego first emerged, the tomb to which it knows it must return at last. Beneath the crumbling shell of paternal authority, lies the maternal blackness, imagined by the Gothic writer as a prison, a torture chamber—from which the cries of the kidnapped anima cannot even be heard. The upper and the lower levels of the ruined castle or abbey represent the contradictory fears at the heart of Gothic terror: the dread of the super-ego, whose splendid battlements have been battered but not quite cast down—and of the id, whose buried darkness abounds in dark visions no stormer of the castle had ever touched.”

Leslie A. Fielder, Love and Death in the American Novel

About the Penguin Horror Series

Penguin Horror is a collection of novels, stories, and poems (in the Poe volume) by masters of the genre, collected and Introduced by filmmaker and lifelong horror reader Guillermo del Toro.

More here…

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/series/BM8/penguin-horror


Guillermo Del Toro on Russell’s Haunted Castles from his Introduction to the Penguin Horror series…

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(Followed by More of Del Toro’s Introduction to the overall series…)

‘The case of Ray Russell offers us a chance to talk about one of the most peculiar horror writers. Russell links postpulp literature and the Grand Guignol tradition, with the modern sensibilities of America in the 1960s. Within him resides a neo-paganistic streak that is passed from Algernon Blackwood and Sax Rohmer to him and other writers of unusual proclivities, such as Bernard (aka. Bernhardt) J. Hurwood. A fascinating combination of the liberal and the heretic.

Russell was born in the early twentieth century and saw action during World War II. He held a variety of jobs and published in a variety of publications. He was part of the resurgence of fantastic literature in American letters. As executive fiction editor of Playboy in the magazine’s infancy (1954–1960), Russell probably knew his share of excess and power, but he utilized this power to provide refuge to a host of valuable genre writers, among them the brilliant Richard Matheson and the precious Charles Beaumont, but also heralded the birth of adult fantastic fiction by publishing also Vonnegut, Bradbury, Fredric Brown, and many others.

‘Russell authored numerous short stories and seven novels—including his most famous one, The Case Against Satan, which pioneers and outlines the plights of Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist. But, in spite of this and his continued collaborations with Playboy throughout the 1970s, Russell remains a forgotten writer. A sort of writer’s writer, an acquired taste. This in spite of being a recipient of both a World Fantasy Award and the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement.

In fact, in the last few decades, so little has been published about Russell that the only quote, oft repeated, is Stephen King’s blurb, in which he enthrones Sardonicus as “perhaps the finest example of the modern gothic ever written.”

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Photo (c)2018 by Sanguine Woods.

Tonight’s Read: A Tragic True Story of Demonic Possession…

On March 30, 1978, the trial began in the district court of Aschaffenburg Germany, of Josef and Anna Michel and Father Arnold Renz and Father Ernst Alt. The four were charged with negligent homicide in the death of Anneliese Michel. The courtroom sitting area was occupied primarily by media persons from Germany and abroad. Anneliese, her family, a few close friends, and the two priests involved and their Bishop, all believed that Anneliese suffered from possession. At the time, it was the first official and public case of exorcism in Germany in approximately 50 years, and the only known case to have been recorded on audio tapes. After sixty-seven exorcism sessions, Anneliese died on July 1, 1976 of what appeared to be starvation…

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Detail from a 1976 photograph of Annaliese Michel who was believed to have been the victim of an actual case of demonic possession (disclosetv.com). All other photos below: Pinterest.


“The Klingenberg case was for all those involved, a breathtaking experience. Someone on the outside cannot possibly appreciate this experience. Man’s imagination is stretched past the limit when it comes to demonic possession.”

– Father Ernst Alt, exorcist of Anneliese


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I don’t think there’s any chance of this happening to “the King”…❤️😱🎈

“The idea for each of the stories in this book came in a moment of belief and was written in a burst of faith, happiness, and optimism. Those positive feelings have their dark analogues, however, and the fear of failure is a long way from the worst of them. The worst—for me, at least—is the gnawing speculation that I may have already said everything I have to say, and am now only listening to the steady quacking of my own voice because the silence when it stops is just too spooky.”

– Stephen King, Introduction to Nightmares and Dreamscapes, November 1992

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Art by AnastasiaCaret@deviantart.com.

The Ouija Board Bigfoot—A True Story by Nick Redfern w/Links…

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Charles Ford Photography.

Laura Carter was thirty-six, lived in New York, and was employed by the Post Office when I interviewed her in 2007. She related to me the details of a distinctly odd and unsettling series of occurrences that took place back in mid-1985. On one particularly warm summer’s night, Laura said, three of her friends had come over to visit. Her parents were out of town, and so the girls planned to have an evening hanging out, playing music, drinking, and and generally having a fun time.

At some point during the night, the discussion turned to horror-movies, ghosts, spooks and specters, and the four girls decided to experiment with an old Ouija Board. As Laura admitted to me, none of them were seriously frightened by the board or the possible implications of what might transpire – in fact, they had no real idea at all how to even use the board, apart from “what we had seen in horror movies,” added Laura. But, like teenagers everywhere, they found the idea of “playing with the Ouija Board while my mom and dad were out” to be great fun and immensely exciting. However, what initially started out as nothing more than a bit of late-night joking around quickly changed into something far darker and much more disturbing.

Largely improvising, as a result of their lack of any real knowledge of how to use a Ouija Board, the four did their best: relying on familiar Hollywood imagery, they pulled a wine-glass from a kitchen-cupboard, placed the index-fingers of their right hands atop it, and were soon immersed in their planned bit of fun. Questions about boys, when they would marry, and attempts to contact dead relatives followed – all to no avail, perhaps inevitably. However, said Laura, something decidedly odd did occur: on two occasions, the electricity went off – which scared the living daylights out of the four friends. Not surprisingly, one might argue, taking into consideration their actions with the Ouija Board.

Laura explained further that everyone got a weird vibe when the power failed. And even though nothing else of an untoward nature occurred that night, it was all too late, the damage was done, and a doorway was unwittingly, and ominously, opened. For reasons that, Laura admits, to this day she cannot really explain nor understand, a feeling of fear and apprehension came over as the next day progressed, and afternoon became early evening – and after her friends had all returned to their respective homes. Once again the electricity failed – around 6.00 p.m. – and the dark, foreboding feelings began to take an ever-stronger hold on Laura’s mind. And so, after eating a hastily-made sandwich, she decided to retire to the comfort and (so she thought, at least) safety of her bedroom.

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Sasquatch Ouija Board.

Later that night, however, Laura was woken from a deep sleep in the early hours, and heard what sounded very much like a loud, yet disturbing, animal-like “scream” emanating from the vicinity of a small, but densely-packed, area of woodland that was situated at the rear of the family home.

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What is MK-ULTRA? Welcome to “Stranger Things”…

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Here’s the rundown on the infamous CIA Mind Control program that you need to know about.

I just started watching the Netflix series Stranger Things. I don’t know why I’m coming so late to this party. It’s a stellar show with an amazing cast and writing that’s way cool.

By episode three, though, you gotta have noticed MK-ULTRA I don’t know about you but I sure am tired of learning about new ways our government—and its cronies—have been hiding things from us—decades and decades and decades of secret after secret after secret—many of which are designed specifically to hurt Americans individually and as a people. And we call ourselves a “free” nation.

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Certain people will automatically call you a ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ when they hear words like ‘Deep State’ or ‘Secret CIA Operation’. This is by design and it plays right into why it’s important for you to educate yourself on this topic.

The MK-ULTRA program is a stain—more like a bruise—no, a festering wound—on our history that needs to be told from generation to generation. The proof of its existence was nearly all destroyed by Richard Helm, Head of the CIA, while the Watergate scandal was unfolding. That is why it is rarely talked about and you won’t find it in your History books.

Several thousand documents have been declassified and made public through FOIA. These documents are available in the CIA’s online library. Some of which were released as recently as December 2016.

So, What the Hell Is MK-ULTRA?

The United States was determined to figure out how to enslave someone’s mind in order to have them carry out nefarious acts upon receiving a ‘trigger’ such as a verbal command or seeing an image.

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Is Sasquatch for Real? “The Hairy Giants of British Columbia” Just Might Convince You…

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“Frame 352” from the famous 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film footage that captured what appears to be a female Sasquatch walking briskly away from the camera across a dry riverbed, and off into the woods of Northern California. Despite many attempts over the years to debunk the film, experts still believe it to be authentic and “non-tampered with”. Read more, here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patterson–Gimlin_film

The Hairy Giants of British Columbia

Told by J. W. Burns (Government Indian Agent-teacher, Chehalis Indian Reserve, British Columbia, Canada) and Set Down by Mr. C.V. Tench

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An original version of this article appeared under a slightly different name in the April 1, 1929 issue of MacLean’s Magazine. It later appeared in Wide World, The Magazine for Men, Vol. 84 No. 502, in January 1940.

“Presently there came the sound of a heavy body forcing its way through the brush. Darkness had not yet set and peering through a crack, Peter Williams took a good look at the monster. It was undoubtedly a sasquatch—one of the well nigh fabulous ‘hairy giants,’ which according to Indian belief still inhabit the unexplored wilds of interior British Columbia.”


This challenging article will undoubtedly arouse the derision of skeptics both in Canada and elsewhere. After many years of patient investigation, Mr. Burns, a responsible Government official shares the firm belief of his Indian charges that deep in the unexplored mountain wilds of British Columbia, there still lurk a few scattered survivors of the mysterious “Sasquatch” – primitive creatures of huge stature, covered from head to foot with coarse hair who have figured in Redskin legends for centuries. Mr. Burns recounts a number of seemingly well-authenticated stories of encounters with these uncanny “wild men” who carefully avoid all contact with civilization. Scientific expeditions had sought them in vain and it is generally supposed that—if they ever existed—the giants have long since become extinct – but the Indians remain unconvinced.


Before setting forth Mr. Burns’s narrative, I should like to make it clear that he not only holds a highly responsible Government position as an Indian Agent, but is keenly interested in the subject of the “hairy giants,” which he has studied for a number of years. He is confident that his charges are perfectly sincere in their beliefs; they are not in contact with tourists and have no reason whatever to “cook up” fables for the benefit of the unsophisticated. Moreover, the Indians are reluctant to talk about the “Sasquatch” even to him a friend of long standing, and absolutely refuse to discuss the matter at all with white strangers. They are simple minded, unimaginative folk; the invention of so many different stories of encounters with the wild men would be quite beyond their powers.

“I am convinced,” said Mr. Burns, “that survivors of the Sasquatch do still inhabit the inaccessible interior of British Columbia. Only by sheer luck however, is a white man likely to sight one of them because like wild animals, they instinctively avoid all contact with civilization and in that rocky country it is impossible to track them down. I still live in hope however, of some day surprising a sasquatch and when that happens I trust to have a camera handy. And now for my story!”

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This 1990 Canadian Stamp featured Sasquatch.

Utterly terrified, the Indian raced madly toward the Chehalis River where his dugout canoe was moored. In pursuit lunged a giant of a man at least eight feet in height and broad in proportion. He was stark naked and covered from head to toe by a thick growth of black woolly hair.

In his fright, the Chehalis Indian Peter Williams completely forgot the rifle he clutched; he did not attempt to stop and fight it out. When he suddenly caught sight of the monster standing on the summit of a huge boulder, all reason fled, to be instantly supplanted by sheer panic as the giant growled and sprang toward him.

Heedless of the tangled undergrowth, the Indian plunged wildly on – occasionally jerking his head around to gaze affrightedly at the horror behind. Reaching the riverside he gave a frantic heave and the dugout canoe shot out into the turbulent stream. The water, however did not daunt the giant, he plunged forward in hot pursuit.

The instant the bow of the dugout scraped the opposite bank, Peter Williams leaped ashore. The giant was now almost in midstream swimming strongly. Once more the Red man took to his heels. Well-nigh dazed from exhaustion he finally reached the frame shack that was his home. Frenziedly he herded his wife and children inside, bolted the door and barricaded it with ever article he could lay hands on. Then with his rifle at the ready, he tremblingly awaited the giant’s arrival.


The January 1940 article by J. W. Burns, “The Hairy Giants of British Columbia”—which was published in The Wide World Magazine Vol. 84, No. 502–was actually a revised version of an earlier article Burns had published in the April 1, 1929 issue of Maclean’s Magazine. The 1929 article is included below in its entirety. Click thumbnails to enlarge…


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