Friday, August 31, 2012

Supernatural Friday: Ghosts Are Here Now!

Summer is almost at an end as Labor Day weekend is upon us. Fall is not far away. Many of us think about spirits 365 days a year, but there are those who began to think of them as pumpkins start to appear in grocery stores and the cooler autumn breeze plays with the leaves changing color on the trees. They want to hear scary ghost stories, and if those tales have a basis in fact, well, that’s all the better.
Humankind has been fascinated since the time of the cavemen, their shaman telling them tales around a blazing campfire built to keep the dark and things away. Some cultures honor their dead and welcome their ancestors to come visit them, bringing them foods and gifts, like Mexico does with their Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos). More than 500 years ago, when the Spanish Conquistadors landed in what is now Mexico, they encountered natives practicing a ritual that seemed to mock death. It was a ritual the indigenous people had been practicing at least 3,000 years. A ritual the Spaniards would try unsuccessfully to eradicate. The Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations kept skulls as trophies and displayed them during the ritual. The skulls were used to symbolize death and rebirth. The skulls were used to honor the dead, whom the Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations believed came back to visit during the month long ritual. The Spaniards thought death of as the end, while the natives embraced it, as to them it was only the beginning. Not separating death from pain and wealth from poverty, unlike in Western cultures.
Not able to kill this barbaric ritual, the Spanish merged it with “All Saint’s Day” and “All Soul’s Day,” the first two days of November. When the natives celebrated it for a month, always falling on the ninth month of the Aztec Solar Calendar, approximately the beginning of August. Festivities were presided over by the goddess Mictecacihuatl, known as "Lady of the Dead.”
You can learn more about the Aztec calendar and see what it looks like at
Nowadays, people don wooden skull masks called calacas and dance in honor of their deceased relatives. They placed wooden skulls on altars dedicated to the dead. Sugar skulls, made with the names of the dead person on the forehead, are eaten by a relative or friend. Families would also visit the cemetery where their loved ones are buried. They decorate gravesites with marigold flowers and candles. They bring toys for dead children and bottles of tequila to adults. They sit on picnic blankets next to gravesites and eat the favorite food of their loved ones. Strangely enough, in Richmond, Virginia, families would come to town and visit their buried dead at Hollywood Cemetery, picnicking by the graves. Today, in the contract, it is stated that when you purchased a gravesite there, no picnics are allowed there!
Honestly, the dead may haunt the graveyards, but they don’t stop there, but paranormal activity has been cited in homes, schools, hospitals, prisons, amusement parks, so many places. And they don’t wait for Halloween or Day of the Dead or All Soul’s Day, but any day of the year works for those who passed away.
After all, the dead don’t stay dead anywhere you look!

Haunted Richmond II Book Blurb:
Return once more to Richmond’s haunted places and check out its interesting and sometimes scary legends, too. There may be no building safe in this town, as you may find that even a comic shop like Stories holds more than comics within its wall. Step back in time at Henricus Historical Park as the dead colonists, Civil War soldiers and other haunts welcome you to take a tour. Discover that not only is there the Richmond Vampire out for your blood, but the Werewolf of Henrico waits for you beneath the full moon. It seems that the War Between the States is still being fought between ghostly Confederates and Union soldiers at Cold Harbor, Sailor’s Creek, Parker’s Battery, Petersburg Battlefield, and other Civil War sites in Richmond and its surrounding counties.
All this, plus a sea serpent, a lost city, ghostly cats, Bigfoot, haunted churches, parks, colleges and more, await your visit to a very paranormal Richmond and its surrounding counties.
The dead don’t stay dead in this town!

Whichello Chapter:
There are ghostly tales told about Whichello. Also known as the “Tall House,” at 9602 River Road. Legend tells of a skeleton of a former owner buried seven feet beneath a large fireplace in a parlor to the right just as you entered the house. The other story concerns a treasure supposedly hidden within the house or somewhere on the grounds. The treasure is a reason that the wainscoting on the fireplace is no longer there—treasure hunters.

It is thought that the land it is on belonged to the Randolphs of Tuckahoe. That one of the family members gave the land to his barber, a Frenchman named Druin, who I turn, gave it to his daughter, Catherine Woodward. It was she who had Whichello built in 1827, though it is also said it may have been built by the next owner, Richard Whichello.

It became a tavern, a stop on the way to Richmond or Charlottesville or Lynchburg for travelers. A few years later, Catherine’s daughter, Eliza Anne Woodward Winston, sold the place. Some say this was done in 1838 and yet, there is also a reference to a sale in 1845. Either way, an Englishman, Richard Whichello, bought it. Whichello gained wealth with the inn. Stories arose that he ran cock fighting there and gambling, neither supposedly honestly.

In 1850, there was a man from out west who drove cattle to Richmond to sell and afterwards, stopped on way back at the tavern. After having dinner, Whichello invited him to the ‘country store.’ This was a crossroads barroom, only a few steps from the inn. Both indulged in a game of poker. In the end, Whichello had winnings from what the drover earned for the sale and the other man was broke.

The tale doesn’t end here. Seems the next morning Whichello was found in his bedroom—dead—his head beaten in by an axe.  The money he’d won was missing. As for the drover, the man was gone. Of course, the drover was never found.

Friends of the deceased didn’t know where to bury the body. They worried if they planted him in the cemetery, his slaves out of anger from the mistreatment done to them, might dig him up and do unmentionable things to the remains. That’s where the body beneath the fireplace came into play. In secret, after digging a hole in the east chimney, they put him in there and walled it up. After that, stories arose that the murdered man’s phantom was seen, apparently guarding his treasure that the murderer never got.

Many tried to find this buried cache, including one old African-American called Uncle John in the 1930s. From what I heard, it sounded like he either used a drowsing rod or a metal detector. John never found a single coin. Uncle John claimed he had come closed to the box, but that the spirit booty vanished, as he told to the owner of a tea room ran in the place in the 1930s, Mrs. Joseph Crenshaw.

Even if the wealth did not exist (I feel the drover take off with the money), there was the paranormal activity seen and heard over the years. There was a mysterious clicking noise, like a telegraph key might make and yet, nothing ever found to prove what it was. Customers to the tea room complained of a strong feeling in the building. Mrs. Joseph Crenshaw had requests for a meeting or even a séance in it. One Richmonder who came told her she saw a little girl that was handing over a flower to one of the other visitors. The visitor admitted the description fit her niece.  Another ghost seemed was an old African-American woman that sounded like Mrs. Crenshaw’s nanny she has as a child. The medium did say she saw a man in hunting clothes and apparently lived in Whichello.

At one point Mrs. Crenshaw approached the owners of the horse that could predict things, Lady Wonder. When Mrs. Crenshaw asked the horse where the treasure might be, the animals typed out ‘chimney.’ When asked exactly where, the horse answered, ‘east.’  Mrs. Crenshaw asked for a more definite location and the hose typed 'up ten feet'. The woman went home and attempted to see if she could find the treasure, but never did.

By spirit writing, Mrs. Crenshaw was told by Richard, that his wealth was buried outside, about hundred feet from the house. Beneath earth about five feet and under a small board fence, she had to look toward the east when she left the back steps and count until told to stop, stepping back three steps. Did she take this advice and find the cache? There is no word one way or the other. The owner of the property in the middle-1930s says they never had any activity, nor the owners later, the DeVilbisses.

Though there are those in the area who say that activity still happens there, even if the current owners say no. Those driving along River Road claim to see a man in riding clothes standing near the woods, on the lawn.  Though I went that way on January 27, 2011, I saw no on as I drove past.

Does he still search for his treasure himself, or is all gone, maybe by his murderer himself? I believe this is so and that is why he haunts the property, for not being able to stop what happened to him.

Next time you pass Whichello, glance aside and maybe you will see a spectral figure in hunting clothes entering the house.
If you want to read more from Haunted Richmond II, you can now purchased it anywhere, inluding at your local indie bookstore and Barnes and Noble. If it is not in, the bookstore can order it in for you. Or find it online at Schiffer Publishing, Amazon, Books A Million Online and at Indiebound.orgAnd if you live in the Richmond, Virginia area, I will be doing a book release party for it at Book People in Richmond, Sunday, September 23rd, 3-5 p.m.
And the following Saturday, September 29th I will be speaking at the free paranormal conference event, Parscon at the Exchange, held at the Exchange Hotel Museum in Gordonsville, Virginia, plus have a table there to sell and sign copies of Haunted Richmond II and my other three ghost books 11 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WEIRD WEDNESDAY: Huff and Puff, and I'll Blow Your House of Tombstones, Beer Cans, Paper, and Bottles Down?

It can be fascinating, but it can be strange too. Most homes are built of lumber and brick. But others are made most differently.
Like a house of tombstones. Like the one in Petersburg, Virginia that is in my new release, Haunted Richmond II from Schiffer Publishing. It was built in the 1930s, using tombstones from Poplar Civil War Cemetery. This house’s exterior walls are fashioned from the 2000 marble tombstones of Union soldiers killed during the Siege of Petersburg. Sixty thousand people were killed during the siege, which lasted ten months during 1864-65.

To save money, the city sold these tombstones to the builder, O. E. Young, for forty-five dollars. The ones used to build the house were put in facing inwards, and then Young plastered over the inscriptions. He even made the walkway out of the tombstones too, facing down. Wooden markers were placed upon the graves at Poplar Grove at first. But wood is not a very durable material and the weather destroyed them over a couple of years. In 1873 the government replaced them with marble ones. The soldiers’ names, states, and ranks were inscribed upon these new markers. Poplar Grove is the only cemetery in a national park where the tombstones lie flat. Besides being creepy enough to live in a hose of gravestones, the place is also haunted. To find out more about that, you have to buy Haunted Richmond II, to find out by whom or what.

Though this is the only place made of markers from graves I found, other materials a builder wouldn’t think of using nor ally, are used to build buildings. More than 50,000 cans adorn John Milkovisch’s Houston home in Texas.  It also includes bottle caps, bottles and other beer paraphernalia. The project began in 1968 when Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer was tired of mowing grass and covered his front and back yards with concrete, inlaying thousands of marbles, rocks and other glittery items to create a unique lawn.
He then turned to the house and began decorating it with flattened beer cans, covering the walls and roof, and even creating beer-can wind chimes.
Garlands made of cut beer cans hanging from the roof edges not only made the house sing in the wind, but also lowered the family's energy bills.
Today the Beer Can House is a museum. Find out more on how you can visit it at

It was in Rockport, Massachusetts, in 1922 that mechanical engineer Elias F. Stenman constructed his two-room home, planning to insulate it with newspaper. Before long, he made the entire house out of paper, and two years and 215 layers of newspaper later, he moved in. At that, he went on to make all of the home’s furnishings — including the desk and the piano — out of newspaper as well. He worked on the project until his death in 1942. Although the frame, floor and roof are made of wood, the rest of the home is composed entirely of newspaper, all donated by Stenman’s friends and family. Although the Paper House is completely sturdy, it does have to be revarnished every few years to keep it well-preserved. Of course, you can visit it. You can learn more at

In the southern part of Virginia, actually in Hillsville, there’s a house made up of all things, bottles. In 1941, pharmacist John “Doc” Hope commissioned a builder to build for his daughter a playhouse made out of bottles. Glass containers that had contained castor oil to soda pop were used in construction of this place. But unlike most children’s playhouses, this one stretched from fifteen to twenty-five feet.

Nicknamed the “House of a Thousand Headaches” due to the wine bottles also used in its construction, unlike many homes today, this one has stood the test of time. It is said that unlike other homes made of bottles in the world, this one had all its bottles arranged backwards, making the inner walls green. Green bottles form an "H" pattern (for Hope) on one of the side walls. There is also a blue bottle chandelier.

Not the only homes and buildings made like this, you could probably google and find one in your area to check out.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Supernatural Friday: Legends of the Moon

"Blue Moon
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own"
With a blue moon almost upon us at the end of this month, I am blogging about myths and folklore to do with the moon.

For thousands of years, people have looked up at the moon and wondered about its divine significance. No surprise many cultures had lunar deities - that is, gods or goddesses associated with the power and energy of the moon. If you're doing a moon-related ritual, in some traditions of Wicca and Paganism you may choose to call upon one of these deities for assistance.

Alignak is the god of both the moon and weather. He controls the tides, besides also earthquakes and eclipses. In some stories, it is told that he is also responsible for returning the souls of the dead to earth so that they may be reborn. Alignak may appear in harbors to protect fishermen from Sedna, the wrathful sea goddess.

Artemis is the Greek goddess of the hunt. As her twin brother, Apollo, was associated with the Sun, Artemis became connected to the moon in the post-Classical world. During the ancient Greek period, although Artemis was represented as a lunar goddess, she never gotten portrayed as the moon itself. In post-Classical artwork, she is depicted beside a crescent moon and is often associated with the Roman Diana as well. Like Artemis, Diana began as a goddess of the hunt who later evolved into a lunar goddess.
Cerridwen is the keeper of the cauldron of knowledge in Celtic mythology. Besides the giver of wisdom and inspiration, she is often associated with the moon and the intuitive process. As a goddess of the Underworld, Cerridwen is often symbolized by a white sow, which represents both her fecundity and fertility and her strength as a mother. She is both Mother and Crone; many modern Pagans honor Cerridwen for her close association to the full moon.

Chang'e of Chinese mythology was married to the king Hou Yi. Although he was once known as a great archer, later Hou Yi became a tyrannical king, spreading death and destruction wherever he went. People starved and were brutally treated. Hou Yi greatly feared death, so a healer gave him a special elixir that would allow him to live forever. Chang'e knew that for Hou Yi to live forever would be a terrible thing, so while he slept, one night she stole the potion. When Hou Yi saw her and demanded the return of the potion, she immediately drank it and flew up into the sky as the moon, where she remains to this day. In some Chinese stories, this is the perfect example of someone making a sacrifice to save others.

In Aztec stories, Coyolxauhqui was the sister of the god Huitzilopochtli. She died when her brother leapt from their mother's womb and killed all of his siblings. Huitzilopochtli cut off Coyolxauhqui's head and threw it up into the sky, where it remains today as the moon. She is typically depicted as a young and beautiful woman, adorned with bells and decorated with lunar symbols.

Hecate was venerated as a mother goddess, During the Ptolemaic period in Alexandria, she was elevated to her position as goddess of ghosts and the spirit world. Many contemporary Pagans and Wiccans honor Hecate in her guise as a Dark Goddess, although it would be incorrect to refer to her as an aspect of the Crone, because of her connection to childbirth and maidenhood. It's more likely that her role as "dark goddess" due to her connection to the spirit world, ghosts, the dark moon, and magic. 

Thoth was an Egyptian god of magic and wisdom, and appears in a few legends as the god who weighs the souls of the dead, although many other stories assign that job to Anubis. Because Thoth is a lunar deity, he is often portrayed wearing a crescent on his head. He is closely associated with Seshat, a goddess of writing and wisdom, who is known as the scribe of the divine. 

Sina is one of the best-known Polynesian deities. She resides within the moon itself, and is the protector of those who might travel at night. Originally, she lived on earth, but got tired of the way her husband and family treated her. So, she packed up her belongings and left to go live in the moon, according to Hawaiian legend. In Tahiti, the story goes that Sina, or Hina, simply got curious about what it was like on the moon, and so paddled her magical canoe until she got there. Once she had arrived, she was struck by the moon's tranquil beauty and decided to stay.

Last, is Selene. She is the sister of Helios, the Greek sun god. Tribute got paid to her on the days of the full moon. Like many Greek goddesses, she had a number of different aspects. At one point she was worshipped as Phoebe, the huntress, and later was identified with Artemis. Her lover was a young shepherd prince named Endymion, who was granted immortality by Zeus - however, he was also granted eternal slumber, so all that immortality and eternal youth was wasted on Endymion. The shepherd was doomed to sleeping in a cave forever, so Selene descended from the sky every night to sleep beside him. Unlike most other lunar goddesses of Greece, Selene is the only one who is actually portrayed as the moon incarnate by the early classical poets. 

But the moon has more to do with superstitions and legends besides as a diety:

The word lunatic comes from the Latin luna. This is because it was believed that people were more likely to exhibit aberrant behavior during a full moon. Although studies have been done showing that emergency room visits and accidents are increased during the full moon period, there has yet to be conclusive evidence for causation. Of course, with the full moon at some point being a part of a werewolf ‘s transformation, maybe this is what they thought.

The moon seems to have an effect on animals as well as people. A Florida expert on animal behavior reports that hamsters spin in their wheels far more aggressively during the moon's full phase. Deer and other herbivores in the wild tend to ovulate at the full moon, and in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the full moon is mating time for coral. Werecoral?

The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson, was inspired by the strange -- and yet very true -- case of Charles Hyde, a London man who committed a series of crimes at the time of the full moon.

A British legend tells that if Christmas falls on the day of a dark Moon, the following year's harvest would be a bountiful one. In some parts of the British Isles, it is believed that a waxing moon on Christmas will insure a good crop the next fall, but a waning moon indicates a bad one will happen.

When a halo is seen around the moon, in some countries this means bad weather is coming.

The first time you see a crescent moon for the month, take all your spare coins out of your pocket, and put them in the other pocket. This will ensure good luck for the next month.

It is believed that the fifth day after a full moon is the perfect time to try to conceive a child.

Offerings are made to the ancestors on the night of a full moon in some Chinese tales.

The moon is held captive by a hostile tribe in some Native American legends. In the tales, there are a pair of antelope who hope to rescue the moon and take it the village of a good tribe. But Coyote, the trickster, interferes. The antelope chase Coyote, but he throws the moon into a river each night, always out of reach of the antelope.

The night of the full moon is believed to be a good time for divination and scrying, so if you want to find some things out, a good time to do so.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WEIRD WEDNESDAY: The Religion of Spock

Now, I am a big Star Trek fan, and into anything to do with Trek. But the one thing that took me aback, in its peculiarness, was a church called “The Spock,” that I accidently discovered when I googled. It is a few miles south of Lynchburg in Campbell County, in the state of Virginia.

 Founded in 1977, it is in a large and attractive octagonal building. It is said to be the world's only church of Star Trek, a religion centered on the popular 1960's television series, featuring the adventures of a crew of interstellar explorers. It promotes beliefs associated with one of the popular characters in the TV series, Mr. Spock. The ideology of the church is centered on so-called Vulcan philosophy which includes the belief in pure "logic" and which emphasizes a lifestyle devoid of emotion.

A huge stained-glass likeness of Mr. Spock is featured in the sanctuary. Churchgoers recite sequences of dialogue from the series and participate in what they call a "Holy Mind Meld." It is said that many of the members wear stick-on pointed ears like Spock has during services and at other church functions. Supposedly, in one case of excessive dedication to the "faith," one member attempted to have his ears surgically altered. There were disastrous results, requiring extensive corrective surgery.
"The Spock" is not without controversy, as reportedly in the late 1980's, disagreement arose within the church. This due to the lengths in which members should go in emulating the purely logical and emotionless Vulcan approach to life. Some of them advocated a reasonable degree of emotion, due to Spock’s half-human part.  Though a core group of hard-line members were adamant to stick to the Vulcan ideology. The stricter view won.  Several members left the church, condemning the practices. One former member went so far as to publish a science fiction story based on his rigid and stifling upbringing in the faith, a story which concludes with the destruction of the Campbell County sanctuary by a "phaser" blast from an orbiting "starship" at his command. But despite the dissent, "The Spock" boasts a membership today of over 120. Active campaigns are done for new members at area fan conventions and at Star Trek movie showings in local theatres. Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Mr. Spock in Star Trek, has refused comment on "The Spock."

Friday, August 17, 2012

Supernatural Friday: Slendar/Tall Man

The Slender Man is an urban legend of a mythical creature often depicted as a tall, thin figure wearing a black suit and a blank face. According to the legend, he can stretch or shorten his arms at will and has tentacle-like appendages protruding from his back. Depending on the interpretations of the myth, the creature who seems to be no unlike the men in black ufo stories, can cause memory loss, insomnia, paranoia, coughing fits (nicknamed “slendersickness”), make photograph/video distortions, and can teleport at will.  Where he comes from is as much a mystery as what he wants. All that is known is that there is evidence of him existing for far longer than one would expect. Those who see him often wind up missing or worse, their mutilated bodies are impaled upon a tree, their organs removed, and then replaced in a systematic way. Supposedly sightings of this creature have been seen in many places around the world, including the United States, Norway and Japan. The story goes that those who have seen him are frequently found to be maniacally writing strange messages, and drawing mad scribbles of a dark, faceless figure. It is advised that one stops investigating too much, otherwise will find that you become the subject of unwanted interest. There is even a mock documentary in vogue of “Blair Witch” you can see at Youtube at

Supposedly, in June 2009, a “’paranormal pictures” photoshop contest was launched on the ‘Something Awful’ Forums. The contest required participants to turn ordinary photographs into creepy-looking images through digital manipulation and then pass them on as authentic photographs on a number of paranormal forums. Something Awful users soon began sharing their faux-paranormal creations with layered images of ghosts and other anomalies, usually accompanied by a fabricated witness account to make them more convincing. One of the forum users on June 10th had posted two black and white photographs of unnamed children with a short description of “Slender Man” as a mysterious creature who was stalking the kids in the photographs. Another user of the forum reused the Slender Man character for his own story. The original thread, which still remains active today, extends for 46 pages as of June 2011.

The creation of “Slender Man” may have inspired an ongoing series of amateur adventure games titled “Chzo Mythos.” Published by Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw in 2003, one of the main villains is called Cabadath. It is also referred to as “Tall Man. Making his first in-game appearance in Trilby’s Notes, the character was portrayed in the third installment as a tall, thin man dressed in a long, black, high-collared coat with tails that reach to the floor and having a blank face.

But this slender man or tall man has more far reaching stories from old legends. There is Der Großmann, German for “The Great Man,” is often translated as The Tall Man, too. It is rumored to be a German folklore concerning a tall boogeyman existing since the 16th century. The Tall man also abducts children, just like the Slender Man is supposed to. There is a horror film about the Tall Man, called “The Tall Man,” that came out in 2012: Even the fiend in the Phantasm movies is called the Tall Man. No doubt, the game developers took this being and using “Slender Man” for the name of their villain, put him into their game.

From what I could find, there is some old legends for the Great Man or tall Man, but I suspect that the Slender Man has been fabricated on more and more in modern times, with help by the Internet, not unlike the Bunnyman of Virginia. 

But just in case I am wrong, if you see a extremely tall, thin man dressed all in black not far from a children’s playground, maybe you should take heed. Especially before you forget. . .

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Weird Wednesday-It's All About the Foam

In the western part of Virginia, there's something may be strange and yet, really cool. Like Foamhenge in Natural Bridge, Virginia. Mark Cline of the Enchanted Castle Studios made the full size scale replica of Stonehenge, all made of Styrofoam. It is painted to resemble the original. It first appeared on April’s Fool Day in 2004. It has appeared on MSNBC, Fox, Discovery Channel, and TBS, along in National Geographic for Kids, Washington Post, U.S.A. Today, international magazines, and in several books, and on the cover of Strange But True VA.

Got the itch to visit Stonehenge, but can’t afford the plane ticket to England? Well, then Foamhenge may be more within your budget. It’s free to visit and is open daily. The attraction is just north of the Natural Bridge on U.S. 11, near the Natural Bridge Caverns and the Natural Bridge Zoo.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review of Reich by Donald Allen Kirch

"Once he stretched out his hand and Europe trembled." Adolf Hitler, the “Supreme Warlord” of Germany’s Third Reich ruled Europe with an iron fist. With his political promises to a desperate people he spoke of a reign that would last a thousand years. Under his command humanity had entered a new dark age. Tales were told of horrors taking place in the East—of railroad cars, of ovens, and death. Still, there was one little secret he had kept to himself.

Reich is a novella set during World War II. In this story, Hitler always thought of as a monster for the real things he did back then, the author has brought the horror storyline into the history one. A failed attempt by some Germans at ridding themselves of the Fuehrer, a u-boat is ordered to take Adolf Hitler to Norway, where he plans for a thousand-year world domination to begin. But the captain of the submarine discovers there is more of the fantastical monster to Germany's leader--one that will force him and his first officer to join unlikely allies in a war with something that can not possibly be!

I enjoyed this vampire tale. Here, the vampire is not the elegant count in Dracula, or the glittering bloodsuckers of Twilight. Instead this vampire is more aligned with the inhuman creatures of "30 Days of Night."

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Supernatural Friday: Imagine That! The Reason behind "REICH": Guest Blogger Donald Allen Kirch

Welcome author Donald Allen Kirch as he gives reason behind his new historical horror release, Reich.

Vampire novels have always fascinated me.  I mean, what better way for a guy who grew the "new kid" in town, alienated, and not too well liked to live out his need to be around people, than to vicariously live through a fictional character who was always powerful, cool, and great with the ladies?  Seriously...there is something primal about being able to defeat death, and to be, somewhat, in control of your own destiny.  Not to be disrespectful to the "Twilight" circle, I also prefer my vampires to be evil.
One of the first vampire memories I have, was while watching the ABC movie "The Night Stalker."  The show is quite tame by today's standards, but it gave me nightmares as a child.  What was worse...I LIVED in Las Vegas at the time, and that was where the vampire in the story was killing people!  My mother went nuts, while trying to explain to me that I didn't have to keep making sure all my windows were locked before I went to bed.  Once, I even called a local newspaper, asking to speak with "Carl Kolchak."  I am quite sure the man I called had no idea what I was talking about.  Hey!  I was six...give me a break.
Vampires are great!
When putting together my recent novella "Reich" I was delighted to discover that I had the facts of history on my side.  Three important anomalies allowed me to get away with the notion that Adolf Hitler might have been a vampire.  One, an assassination attempt was performed on Hitler, and he did survive.  Two, the facts of his true death have always been a mystery, thanks to the paranoia of Joseph Stalin.  Three: A message was found in a bottle claiming Hitler died in a U-boat heading to Norway after the war.
Like the fictional character Dracula, Adolf Hitler can be identified, solely, by the horror of his last name.  What better fiend as a vampire?  As a kid, I read several books about the Second World War, and one of the most fascinating facts that stuck with me, was the assassination attempt on Hitler's life.  He was less than six feet away from a powerful explosion...and LIVED!  Six men, standing in the immediate blast range were instantly killed, but NOT Hitler!  What a lucky bastard...sort of.  That always fascinated me, and I looked long and hard for a "fictional" way to explain it.
His death in the bunker, at the end of the war, has always been in a historical flux, due to the fact that no one in the West witnessed it.  We take these facts as historical; because it is the only story the old Soviet Government was willing to sell the Allies.  Even the witnesses changed their stories throughout the years, claiming that most of the facts were gained from them by means of torture.  Hell!  I'd lie too, under such circumstances!  So, Hitler, killing himself in the dark universe of his bunker...a so-so fact with me.
Now!  We come to the heart of "Reich's" creation!
Fact:  On November 26, 1946, a message was discovered inside an empty wine bottle, which had washed up upon the Danish shore.  It claimed that Adolf Hitler did not die in his bunker, but was killed on board a German u-boat named NAUECILUS.  The message appeared to be written upon the torn out page of a captain's log - commonly used by the u-boats of the time.  Upon investigation, the message was later thought to be a hoax.
Still..."What if?"
In "Reich" the old values of Germany are allowed their day "in the sun" and battle the forces of the "Nazi evil," and save the day.  Something that wasn't done until after so much destruction and death.
We live, again, in dangerous times.  Hitler came to power during an age of economical distress and chaos.  Politicians in his time had no guts to stand forward and offer answers.  Like most today, they were caught in a rut.  Again, Europe is circling the drain.  Let us hope that reason takes hold, and will not allow yet another monster to rise.
Donald Allen Kirch

Book Blurb:
Adolf Hitler, the “Supreme Warlord” of Germany’s Third Reich ruled Europe with an iron fist. With his political promises to a desperate people he spoke of a reign that would last a thousand years. Under his command humanity had entered a new dark age. Tales were told of horrors taking place in the East—of railroad cars, of ovens, and death. Still, there was one little secret he had kept to himself.
When Hitler survived an assassination attempt upon his life his secret was discovered by those in command. Something had to be done!
A German U-boat Captain is ordered to transport Adolf Hitler to a secret military base in Norway, during the closing days of the Second World War. While on this mission, he discovers that there is more to Germany’s “Supreme Warlord” than meets the eye. To his horror, the Captain discovers the Third
Reich’s darkest secret: Hitler was a vampire!

Everything went terribly wrong.
“Line the pigs up against the wall!” Hitler yelled, stepping out of a truck. The ringing in his ears, a side effect from Stauffenberg’s bomb, was starting to give the German leader a headache. Stauffenberg, beaten, chained at his feet, and wrestling with a pair of handcuffs, looked on in disbelief.
Stauffenberg, along with the rest of his group, were silently lined up in the tiny courtyard of theBendlerstrasse, one of Berlin’s many ministry buildings, just so Hitler could gloat at them. Behind their leader was a line of soldiers with guns pointed. Stauffenbergdid not need to know what they were for—he knew that he had only minutes more to live.
Hitler just stared. Sneering.
Stauffenberg could not understand it. The man looked unharmed. He had seen the blast. He had positioned the bomb to be only a few feet from Hitler when it exploded. He had seen the Map Room destroyed! What went wrong?
Hitler silently ordered the soldiers to point their weapons at Stauffenberg. He found himself in prayer. His worries would soon be over.
Stauffenberg took one last look at Hitler.
Draped in darkness, looking like the evil troll that he was, Hitler noticed Stauffenberg’s curiosity. The Lt. Colonel could see that Hitler was enjoying the confusion immensely.
Hitler’s eyes glared back in an unholy yellow, piercing the darkness of the night. The German Leader’s gaze was like none upon the earth—inhuman in nature.
Stauffenberg blinked. His only eye, blackened by kicking boots to his face, ached with pain. Blood was fighting with his vision. What he was seeing was impossible.
The soldier’s aimed their rifles.
“This cannot be!” Stauffenbergshouted, addressing his horrified amazement directly at Hitler. “What are you to have survived such a blast?”
Hitler laughed. “Much more that you first perceived.”
The rifles cocked.
“You will not succeed,”Stauffenberg shouted, fighting the chains keeping him in place. “There will be others who will see you for what you really are. They will destroy you where I could not. Long live sacred Germany!”
The shots were fired.
Stauffenberg’s world stopped.
About Donald Allen Kirch:
DONALD ALLEN KIRCH lives in Kansas City, Missouri. He is an avid reader of history, Sherlock Holmes Mysteries, and the paranormal. He has a degree in Radio and Television Arts, and is listed in “Who’s Who in America.” After spending two weekends in the famous “Sallie House,” a “haunted house” featured on the Fox TV-series Sightings, in Atchison, Kansas, he is one of the only authors of his genre who can claim to have been attacked by a ghost!
“Mr. Kirch has taken an obscure historical fact and let his curiosity and imagination run wild with it, taking the reader on a terrifying submarine ride. The atmosphere weighs heavy, the tension mounts and the brief glimpses of the monster encourages one to turn on a light. Mr. Kirch is a master at imagery and phrasing: “Like a tiny steel splinter the vessel plunged deep into the ocean’s body aware of its surroundings.” He leads the reader step by step into an improbable scenario and we are captured by it. Reich manages to both chill and thrill and confirms what history has always suggested, that Hitler was not only monstrous, but indeed a monster.”
—Rating: 4.5 Tombstones,

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