Friday, July 21, 2017

Supernatural Friday: Ghoul or Zombie: It's All How You Look at It

"They are neither man nor woman
They are neither brute nor human
They are Ghouls"
— Edgar Allan Poe

When George Romero's Night of the Living Dead came out, the press called the undead in it,  zombies. Except Romero never coined them by that term. Instead, he                  called them ghouls. Which would be the right term, as zombies are connected to voodoo and are people drugged and controlled, not flesh eating monsters.

What are ghouls? A ghoul is a legendary evil being that robs graves and feeds on corpses.  It is one who shows morbid interest in things considered shocking or repulsive and supposedly lives in burial grounds. In Arabic folklore, ghouls are a type of jinn that could change their shapes but had one unchanging feature: donkey's hooves for feet. Even more horrible, it kills young children and even can lure unwary folk into abandoned places. By extension, the word ghoul is also used derogatorily to refer to a person who delights in the macabre, or whose profession is linked directly to death, such as a gravedigger.
Ghoul is from the Arabic ghul, from ghala "to seize." It is even thought to come from Gallu, a Mesopotamian demon. In Sumerian and Akkadian  mythology, the Gallus (also called gallu demons or gallas[Akkadian: gallĂ»]) were great demons/devils of the underworld. Their job was to haul off unfortunate victims to the underworld and even accompanied Istar when she headed down to the underworld.
The ghul is a fiendish type of jinn believed to be sired by Iblis, known to the Devil in Islam. A ghoul is a desert-dwelling shapeshifting demon that can assume the guise of an animal especially a hyena. It lures unwary people into the desert wastes or abandoned places to slay and devour them. The creature also preys on young children, drinks blood, steals coins, and eats the dead, taking the form of the person most recently eaten. In the Arabic language, the female form is given as ghouleh and the plural is ghilan. In colloquial Arabic, the term is sometimes used to describe a greedy or gluttonous individual.
In stories and films, I think Gollum as closest to the idea of a ghoul, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is what Tolkien had in mind when he wrote him into The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. What other beings in books or TV or film, do you believe are ghouls?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Author Appearance at Scares That Cares July 22, 2017

I will be at the charity horror convention, Scares That Cares this coming Saturday, July 22nd, most of the time at the Horror Writers Association Virginia table in the dealers room at the Doubletree Hotel in Williamsburg, VA. You can purchase and get signed by me, one of my nonfiction ghost books (one concerns Williamsburg-Virginia's Haunted Historic Triangle) or my collection of horror short stories, Spectre Nightmares and Visitations. Plus 8:30pm – 9:30pm – I will be at the HWA Virginia Meet & Greet in rooms A and B. Information on cost, plus address of the hotel, what actors are guests, other authors, and more can be found here:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Supernatural Friday: Icy Poem (Original Poem)

Enjoy this poem. It is copyrighted by me, so if wish to share it with friends and family, please share the link. Thank you.

"My Soul for a Bucket of Ice"
Pamela K. Kinney

Summer heat;
humidity draining me.
The night is
no different
The moon doesn’t
cool me down
I would do anything,
anything to be cold.
Even sacrifice
my first born child
Or rip out
the heart of my enemy.
I make this summoning,
I will keep sweating.
Circle of blood;
black candle lit
Chant rising
on the night’s fetid air
A form of
black mist inside
Eyes red
as hellfire
staring back at me
“What is your command?”
I fall to my knees
Cry out,
“I need freezing cold!”
“As you wish. . .”
I disappear
End up
in a cave of ice
Many miles below
the Arctic snow and ice.
Maybe I should have
been more specific
And maybe,
Next time don’t use,
Demon Summoning for Dummies,
go to the supermarket
and buy a bag of ice. 

Friday, July 07, 2017

Supernatural Friday: Passing the Infection (Original Poem)

Please, enjoy this horror poem. Share the link and not the poem with your friends. Thank you.

Passing the Infection


Pamela K. Kinney

Mouth full of jagged fangs
Bites; it hurts, oh it hurts!
My life is sucked away,
Crimson, wet, no life left
Something is exchanged
Corrupting me, molding me
Death is short,
Until, the next night,
Rising, a walking virus
Seeking, seeking, seeking
Biting, biting, biting
Undead infection.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Supernatural Friday Several Days Late: 4th of July Myths

Happy 4th of July, I know, I 'm late with a Supernatural Friday past, but I'd been signing my books for three days at a local Army base Friday through Sunday. Anyway, I hope that you  don't overeat all those burgers, hot dogs and barbecued ribs today, along with everything else delicious.  There are myths connected with the Fourth. It's something different to learn about this holiday, showing that we have much to learn about it.

4th of July is a celebration of the U.S. Constitution.
The U.S. Constitution’s purpose was to remake the American governments of the Revolution by making the system less democratic. The delegates from 12 states who met in Philadelphia in summer 1787 had been sent by the states to recommend amendments to the Articles of Confederation. Instead, they instantly decided to meet in secret, and then the nationalists among them tried to win adoption of a national – rather than a federal – constitution.

The 4th of July was the day that the 13 states established their independence.
No, it was not. Virginia established its independence on May 15, 1776, when its revolutionary Convention adopted resolutions for a declaration of rights, a permanent republican constitution, and federal and treaty relationships with other states and foreign countries. It was because the Old Dominion had already established its independence – had, in fact, already sworn in the first governor under its permanent republican constitution of 1776, Patrick Henry, on June 29 – that Virginia’s congressmen, uniquely, had been given categorical instructions from their state legislature to declare independence. Virginia was not the only state whose independence was not established by the Declaration on the 4th, as New York’s congressional delegation did not then join in the Declaration. In short, the states became independent in their own good time – some on July 4, some before it, some after the date.

The chief legacy of the 4th of July is the political philosophy set out in the Declaration of Independence.
Since the 18th century, political radicals have argued for understanding the Declaration as a general warrant for government to do anything it likes to forward the idea that "all men are created equal." Yet, that was not what the Declaration of Independence meant. The Declaration of Independence was the work of a congress of representatives of state governments. Congressmen were not elected by voters at large, but by state legislatures, and their role (as John Adams, one of them, put it) was more akin to that of ambassadors than to legislators. They had not been empowered to dedicate society to any particular political philosophy, but to declare – as the Virginia legislature had told its congressmen to declare – that the colonies were, "and of right ought to be, free and independent states." In other words, the Declaration was about states’ rights, not individual rights, and the Congress that adopted it had no power to make it anything else. All the rest of the Declaration was mere rhetorical predicate.

The 4th of July is a non-partisan holiday dedicated to recalling the legacy of the American Revolution.
In the Founders’ day, the 4th of July was a partisan holiday. Celebrated in the 1790s and 1800s by Jeffersonian Republicans to show their devotion to Jeffersonian, rather than Hamiltonian, political philosophy. If a Federalist in the 1790s, you would celebrate Washington’s Birthday instead of the 4th of July. If you believed in the inherent power of the Executive in formulating foreign policy, in the power of Congress to charter a bank despite the absence of express constitutional authorization to do so, and in the power of the federal government to punish people who criticized the president or Congress, you would not celebrate the 4th. The 4th was the holiday of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, those great states’-rights blasts at federal lawlessness. It was the anti-Hamilton, anti-Washington, anti-nationalist holiday.

The fulfillment of the 4th of July lay in the establishment of a powerful national government.
Celebrants of the 4th of July in the Founders’ time rejected the idea that the Constitution had created a national government. They insisted that it was federal instead and that Congress had only the powers it had been expressly delegated. This was chiefly through Article I, Section 8, that the federal courts had no more jurisdiction than they had been assigned through Article III, and that the vast majority of government functions had been kept by the states. When federal courts grabbed for more power in 1793, these people added the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution. In response to the nationalists’ war on France and Alien and Sedition Acts, they first adopted the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, then elected Republicans – Jeffersonian states’-rights/laissez-faire advocates – to run their government.

The Declaration of Independence was written for all.
No, it stood for the rights of white, male property owners alone. The philosophical material in the first section of the Declaration, although commonplace at the time, had no legal or moral weight. Congress didn't have power to commit the states to it. Now, revolutionaries who accepted the Lockean version of social compact theory did not necessarily believe that only white, male property holders had rights. Thomas Jefferson, for example, who was the author of the draft Lockean section of the Declaration, followed his belief in the idea that all men equally had a right to self-government, coupled with his belief that white and black people could never live together peacefully as equal citizens in America, to the conclusion that blacks must be colonized abroad to someplace where they might exercise their right to self-government.

The fulfillment of the 4th of July will come when the United States has sponsored democratic revolutions throughout the world.
No. George Washington--in an address he co-wrote with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay-- along with Thomas Jefferson counseled that the U.S. avoid foreign entanglements, and of course, foreign wars.