Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Charlottesville Book Fair Logo

I will be doing a book fair in Charlottesville, Virginia on November 18, 2017 (just in time for those Christmas shopping). The person in charge of the event just sent out the logo for it.  

Betsy Ashton
Patsy Asuncion
PMH Atwater
Marc Boston
Anne Carley
Jayne D'Alessandro-Cox
Kimberly “Kimba” Dalferes
Phyllis Duncan
Pam Evans
Cynthia Fain
James Gaines
Allison Kathryn Garcia
Martha Graham
Robert Haught
Judith Howell
Christine Maria Jahn
Jean Kilby
Annabelle Kim
Pamela K. Kinney
Taryn Noelle Kloeden
Phyllis Koch-Sheras
Linda Layne, Cedar Creek Publishing
Amy Lee-Tai
Joanne Liggan
Margaret Locke
Louise Mitchell
Bryan Nowak
Carolyn O'Neal
Natalina Reis
Sara M. Robinson
Jim & Linda Salisbury, Tabby House
Tamara Shoemaker
Keith Shovlin, AOIS21 Publishing
Zachary Tamer
Leslie Truex
Elizabeth Van Zandt

Gareth Phillips of January Zero
Rich Cohen

Friday, August 25, 2017

Supernatural Friday: Beware of Slender 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 StatesNorway and JapanThe 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. 

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 GroßmannGerman 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: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1658837/. 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. . .

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Supernatural Friday Early: Total Eclipse of the Myths?

Since I have my first cataract surgery this Thursday, August 17th, and doubt I care to post the Supernatural Friday pas on Friday, here it is early, and all about myths concerning eclipses. Enjoy.

On August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be happening. Anyone within the path of totality can see this total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun's tenuous atmosphere - the corona - can be seen, will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk. To see a 10-foot map of the eclipse, go to 10-Foot Map of the Eclipse. And here is where you can view the Best Places to View Eclipse .

This rare event is the moon passing directly between the sun and the Earth—shadowing the planet. The event of midday twilight is said to even quiet birds, as they stop singing, no doubt confused into thinking night has arrived. This significant occurrence was seen as so traumatic or ‘unnatural’ to humanity since prehistoric times myths and legends, and many reason myths and legends have sprung up.

The ancient Greeks believed they were portents and warnings of disaster. Disruption of the established order was frightening and a sign of doom, especially when mankind depended on the movement of the sun to guide the way.

The sun or moon being devoured by supernatural entities was a common theme in myths. Like those in Vietnam believed that a solar eclipse proved the sun was being eaten by a giant frog.


It was thought the sun disappeared due to attacks by gigantic hounds in Korea. Mythical fire dogs called Bulgae were sent by the lord of a dark realm to bite the sun and moon. But the sun was too hot and the moon too cold to bite, only a short time, and the injured dogs returned to their master without their prize.
An eclipse was caused by spirits of the dead trying to eat the Sun or Moon, at least so said Serrano natives of California. Shamans and ceremonial assistants sang and danced during an eclipse as a way to appease the dead. Everyone else shouted in hopes that the spirits would be frightened away.


The Vikings explained that sky wolves, or warsg were behind the eclipses, trying to chase and eat both sun and moon.

There is a legend about the Hindu demon Rahu, who attempted to sneak a taste of an elixir of immortality. The sun and moon told the god Vishnu about Rahu’s crime, so Vishnu sliced off Rahu’s head as the demon was drinking. Rahu’s head became immortal, though his body died. In rage and frustration, Rahu’s head continues to chase the sun and moon, occasionally catching up to swallow them. Because he has no body, however, the moon and sun disappear only momentarily, and fall out the bottom of his head.

There are different traditions and practices still carried out by various cultures to ward off evil during an eclipse, or avoid bad luck. Fasting is still recommended in some countries during solar eclipse. Children and pregnant women are asked to remain indoors as the dramatic darkness is believed to be a danger to them. Other traditions include banging pots, playing drums, and making noise during eclipses in the attempt to scare off evil forces, plus encourage a return of the proper cosmic alignment. In parts of India, people fast during a solar eclipse because they believe that any food cooked during the time will be poisonous, and in Italy it is believed that flowers planted during a solar eclipse have more color than those planted at other times of the year.

The West African Batammaliba’s legends tell that the Sun and Moon are fighting and the reason for the eclipse. The only way to stop the conflict was for people on Earth to settle their differences.

In reality, eclipses happen only happen at the new moon, when the moon directly blocks sight of the sun from certain places in the world. It can take place up to five times a year. But NASA says that only 25 years in the past 5,000 have had five solar eclipses.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Author Appearance/Signing at Suffolk, Virginia Mystery Author Festival This Saturday!

I'll be at the Suffolk, Virginia Mystery Authors Festival this Saturday the 12th, from 1:45-6 p.m at the New Author Expo with my ghosts books, horror fiction, and even a copy of my erotic urban fantasy, The Witch and The Familiar by me under the pseudonym, Sapphire Phelan. http://www.suffolkmysteryauthorsfestival.com/

Schedule of everything at the event(begins at 1 p.m.: http://www.suffolkmysteryauthorsfestival.com/full-festival-schedule.html

Friday, August 04, 2017

Supernatural Friday: Does Poe Still Write from Beyond the Grave?

“Even in the grave, all is not lost.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe has written horrific and otherworldly stories and poetry. Some are those coming back to haunt the main character. The question here is, has he been seen in specter form?

I’ve been to the old Stone House where the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia is housed. It is haunted by children. As for him, maybe where some of his personal affects are. Near his childhood bed I gotten my EMF meter to go off once. Is it him? Or the others that haunt the buildings? No clear answer. I’ll be returning there end of August with the Richmond Paranormal Society so it will be interesting to find out. Another spot he has been seen in Richmond is what had been the home of his love and last fiancée and there are claims his ghost has been seem in Shockoe Cemetery. 

There is a famous and unsolved mystery concerning Poe’s gravesite in the Old Western Burial Ground. The remains of people like Edgar Allan Poe, the son of Francis Scott Key, the grandfather of President James Buchanan, five former mayors of Baltimore and fifteen generals from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 are buried here.  Few years ago, my husband and I drove pass it to another destination at the time. We never stopped, or gone back to visit it—someday, I hope to. A story about Poe’s grave involves a man seen in the graveyard for more than fifty years. Dressed completely in black, including a black fedora and a black scarf to hide his face, he carries a walking stick and strolls into the cemetery every year on January 19, the birth date of Edgar Allan Poe. On every occasion, he has left behind a bottle of cognac and three red roses on the graveside of the late author. After placing these items with care, he then stands, tips his hat and walks away. The offerings always remain on the grave, although one year, they were accompanied by a note, bearing no signature, which read: "Edgar, I haven’t forgotten you."

Tales claim the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe haunts his gravesite, but the man in black is alive, just no one knows for sure who he is. He has brought roses and cognac to the cemetery every January since 1949. This past January 2013, he hasn’t. I can only assume he has passed away and is now a ghost himself if anyone sees him.

Legend has it that the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe has been seen near his grave and in the catacombs of the church. At the catacombs, it is said there are cold spots, sounds of footsteps, disembodied whisperings and some visitors have felt the touch of unseen hands too. The author died mysteriously in Baltimore and thus came to be buried there Poe was found barely conscious and lying in a gutter on East Lombard Street in Baltimore. He was rushed to a hospital but he died a short time later.

Some said Poe's death was caused by alcohol, others say that he was in a psychotic state and even rabies has been blamed. Other writers believe that he may have been drugged and murdered as the clothes that he wore were not his own and the walking stick he carried belonged to another man. There have been literally dozens of theories posed as to what caused Poe’s death but no one will ever know for sure. Perhaps the fact that his death remains unexplained is the reason why Poe’s ghost remains in the Old Western Burial Ground.
Poe’s house in Baltimore now a museum is haunted. There are cold spots and people have felt something tapping them on the shoulder. Windows fly open and shut by unseen hands. Witnesses have reported seeing an overweight grey haired woman dressed in clothing of the 1800s. People have heard mysterious voices. An actress was getting dressed for a play based on Berenice, a horror story Poe wrote. A window suddenly fell and crashed to the floor. It had been secure and there were no wind gusts.

During the riots that followed Martin Luther King’s assassination, people saw lights in the house and called the police who also witnessed the lights that moved from floor to floor. They could not get into the house and did not want to break into it, so they surrounded the building and waited for the curator. No one had been in the house. 

His phantom has been seen at Fort Monroe.  Witnesses claim to have seen his ghost writing away at a desk; he penned some minor poetry collections while on base.

Other Spots Poe Is Claimed to Haunt
Washington College Hospital: this is the Baltimore hospital where he died in 1849, it's been said that Poe's ghost has been seen roaming its hallways.

-- Eutaw House: There are a myriad of eerie tales concerning the old Centre County, Pennsylvania, Inn. One is that Poe stopped by, fell in love with a local girl, and was spurned. A spook that physically resembles him has been spotted there, although the local lore seems to associate the apparition with a ghost family haunting its halls