Fangs, Fur, and Fey Giveaway WINNER!!!


A coffin bag full of books and zombie bags full of fun!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and ghouls…

The winner of the Fangs, Fur, and Fey Giveaway is…..

Zara Alexis.

Zara, you can expect a package of creepy fun coming your way soon. Included are copies of my book, The Book of the Bizarre, and Reginald Bakeley’s Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop. Also a zombie-grab bag of fun!!!

See the pictures of your spoils below…

And if you didn’t win take heart! There are three more giveaways happening this month, so watch here for more details. I’ll be giving away more spooky swag and copies of both of my books.
Congrats Zara!!

(Check out Zara’s cool blog here:

Happy Halloween!

To the victor go the spoils!

Banned Books: Frankenstein

Mary W.  Shelley, feminist and banned book author

Did you know this is Banned Books Week? I love books, especially banned ones! I say any book someone says you shouldn’t read just makes me want to read it more!

My favorite Banned Book of all time is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. She started the story when she was 18 and it was published when she was just 21. The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley’s name appears on the second edition, published in France in 1823.

From wikipedia: The storyline emerged from a dream. Mary, Percy, Lord Byron, and John Polidori decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for weeks about what her possible storyline could be, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made. She then wrote Frankenstein.

Check out my post about Polidori here: The Vampyre, A Tale

Banned! Because it proposed man as God. Banned! Because Shelly’ was a feminist and forward-thinker.

What is your favorite Banned Book?

Check out this link to read about the latest additions:

What is your favorite Banned Book? Click this link to find out some of the latest titles on the list.

Banned! Because it proposed man as God. Banned! Because Shelly’ was a feminist and forward-thinker.

Church of Mabus and Varla’s House of Horrors

Just had a great interview with Jeffery Pritchett. Jeffery  is the host of The Church Of Mabus Show “bringing you high strange stories from professionals in the carousel of fields surrounding the paranormal.”

Read about hospital horrors, magical creatures, psychic premonitons, and body snatchers~

Interview on Examiner dot com, Varla Ventura on Real Life Horrors

This video explains how to write a successful horror story by keeping your reader gripped and always wanting to know what's in store for the characters.

Interview with Dark Harvest Radio

Hello Pumpkins and Pumpkin Eaters!

It’s been ages since you’ve heard the sweet (or should I say scratchy? It’s been Dark and Stormy night…) sound of my voice. Well, the agonizing wait is over. Listen to me live Monday the 24th, at 7pm EST where I’ll be chatting with host Dan Marro on his show The Dark Harvest Radio Show. 

We’ll be talking about all that is creepy, freaky, fun, and paranormal. Listen live!!!

 Dan Marro as the Dark Harvest Radio Program broadcasts live Monday nights from 7pm-9pm(EST) on Global Radio Alliance The Dark Harvest Radio Program is designed to be a forum for those who have a curiosity for the unknown. From conspiracies and cover-ups to ghosts and other dimensions, The Dark Harvest Radio Program will address all topics that fascinate us about this mysterious universe of ours. You can even talk LIVE during the show by joining us at the GRA Live Interactive Chat

Tune in!

Ray Bradbury Is So Cool

I was settling into my annual reading of The Halloween Tree, which is a ritual I have invoked and maintained for the last few post-Halloweens–a great way to come down from the witches’ high of the Big Night and prepare for Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.  I was savoring my copy of the book–pilfered from my Grandma’s basement when I was but a teen–and I noticed something for the first time in several years. The words on the dedication page read thus:

With love for


met twenty-seven years ago in the graveyard at midnight on the Island of Janitzio at Lake Patzcuaro, Mexico, and rememebered on each anniversary of The Day of the Dead

Oh now, I have read these words before. But I hadn’t noticed them of late and this is significant because I actually visited that island! I guess Ray Bradbury was in my subconcious because two years ago on The Day of the Dead I was crouching behind mourners and candlelight vigils, taking orb-ladened photos and sips from a flask as the icy chill of midnight and the mountain lake’s waters settled all around us.  I was in the same cemetery as Bradbury, doing the same thing. Only he is way cooler because he did it back before it was really something tourist did. The influence of the Mexican culture, specifically their Day of the Dead tratiitons are all over Bradbury’s books.

In honor of his friend, and in honor of a few of mine who have gone to the great beyond, tonight I burn the candle I bought on Isla Janitzio those moons ago. And I think of those who have passed, the loved ones, the family and friends, and even the forgotten souls who wander. Tonight is the celebration of life in honor of the dead. And if you are lucky enough to live somewhere with a celebration, its time to paint your face like a skeleton and join the parade!!


For those of you who missed my Halloween musings on The Huffington Post’ Weird News, you can read about kitchen ghosts, Halloween cookies, a dark and stormy night, and what this all has to do with Scooby Doo here:

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary 

Sinister Serial Sisters

It is nearly Halloween! I will have to post today as I will be well away from my computer come Halloween eve and Halloween night, what with freaky parties and tricks and treats. If you have the time to listen in on Halloween morning or evening, two shows will be on the air.

The first is a segment during a cooking show in Tampa Bay, Florida! The lovely Elizabeth Doughtery took some time away from her regular program to talk to me about some freaky Florida facts, including the haunted Tampa Bay Sunshine Skyway and Zombie Ants. You can listen live, from 9am-11am EST, if you are in Florida, or tune in from the web.

For Elizabeth, I put up this picture of a marzipan witch finger. Edible, fairly delicious, and absolutely gruesome. Once you put them in the fridge for an hour, they really start feeling like dead flesh.

And if you are interested in hearing a great show 6pm PST, 9pm EST, tune in and listen live online to Jeremy Scott’s anything-goes Halloween show.

And finally, you can listen to the podcast of my interview from today with the venerable Ron Ross by following the link below.

Now that some business is in order, I will share with you one more tale of terror before I depart for Halloween Heaven. This one is about the sinister serial killers Delfina and Maria de Jesus Gonzalez, two sisters that owned and operated a brothel in Guanajuato, Mexico, in the 1950s and 60’s. The sisters had a successful business, but they also had a problem on their hands: the prostitutes who got too old to work expected continued financial support. Every good businessperson knows that carrying dead weight is unsustainable, and the sisters came up with a workable solution: killing their low-achieving sex workers. They also killed any customer who appeared to have a big wad of cash with him. When investigators finally questioned the sisters and examined the property, they found the bodies of 11 men and 80 women!

A true tale of terror for your Halloween weekend!

“Half-Hangit” Maggie

I’ve been neglectful in writing of late, up to my bony elbows in pre-Halloween activities. The evolution of a gruesome cake, last minute additions to my costume, and pumpkin carving have all kept me up through the wee hours of the night. Tonight I will be finishing most of my All Hallows Eve prep, because once the 28th hits, it is all Halloween, all the time. Yes, I celebrate more than just one long dark night.

The celebrations begin early tomorrow (Thursday) morning with a quickie segment of bizarre briefs with KGAB, based in Cheyenne, Wyoming. That will be at 7:07 Pacific Standard Time, and you can listen live online if you don’t happen to live in Wyoming.

And then tomorrow night, Badlands Radio has invited me to be a guest for a 2.5 hour freak fest of paranormal proportions! Based in Central Texas, this station can be heard across the country online. The show starts at 6pm Pacific Time, and we will take callers! Should be quite the fest with Captain Jack Harris. You know I love anyone I have to call Captain!

I wanted to share a creepy story of life beyond the grave in honor of this fantastic time of year. The story of Maggie Dickson. Maggie was hung in 1724 in Inveresk, Scotland, presumably for attempting to self-induce an abortion. She was hung in the town square, and it is said that the hangman pulled and swung on her legs once the noose was tightened and the ladder kicked out, just for good measure. They cut Maggie down, apparently dead, and placed her body into a cart that was used by her relatives to transport her home for burial. Along the way her mourning family and friends stopped at an alehouse for a bit of consolation. While the bereaved were inside, Maggie regained consciousness. Her weak cries attracted the help of a local surgeon who helped to revive her.  Later, she was granted her freedom (it being ruled that she had taken the court-appointed punishment) and went on to live many more years, widely known as “Half-Hangit” Maggie.

For more stories like these, check out my first book The Book of the Bizarre and also Norman Adam’s book Scottish Bodysnatchers: True Accounts.

Howdy Fellow Lovers of the Freaky and the Strange~ It has been a while since I have posted but the time is nearly upon us for this last year of work to pay off! My next book Beyond Bizarre: Frightening Facts and Blood-Curdling True Tales will be available September 1st, and you can pre order it today anywhere books are sold.  I will try and keep up here with updates about entries, startling strange facts, and radio interviews to come. My favorite season nears as I can’t help but wonder what I will dress as for this year’s Halloween…Stay weird! ~ Varla