Try to Keep an Open Mind: From Frederick Douglass to the Fox Sisters

Amy and Isaac Post were a pretty radical couple for the 1840s. As outspoken abolitionists it isn’t surprising that their open-minded attitude meant that not only were they Quakers, free-thinkers, anti-slavery, and women’s rights advocates, they were also believers in the Spiritualist movement. They held regular abolitionists meetings in their home and hosted the likes of Susan B. Anthony, Cassius Clay and Frederick Douglass as lecturers, and went on to help Douglass establish his legendary newspaper the North Star. The Post home was a station along the Underground Railroad and it is said that they housed more than twenty escaped slaves. Amy Post was extremely outspoken in the women’s movement. She was friends with Harriet Ann Jacobs, who wrote Incident in the Life of a Slave Girl. But in the company of radicals and free-thinkers, they also invited the Fox Sisters into their home. Kate and Margaret Fox were just at the beginning of their career as infamous mediums and the Posts were introduced to a new world of psychics, séances and the Spiritualist belief in afterlife communication. In fact, Isaac Post became a medium that channeled the ghosts of Benjamin Franklin and other notables in the book, Voices from the Spirit World (published in 1852). How’s that for open-minded?

 

—an excerpt from Varla Ventura’s Paranormal Parlor: Ghosts, Seances andTales of True Hauntings 

Available NOW on AmazonBarnes & Noble & IndieBound and wherever books are sold.

 

Image of Amy Post (top) obtained from http://www.winningthevote.org/APost1-big.htmlOriginal source: Rochester Public Library, Local History Division Collection, PD-US, via Wikimedia Commons

Image of Isaac Post public domain archives, via Wikimedia Commons

Wake Up with Mermaids, Sunday August 11th at 9 EST

I’ve been keeping a secret (sorta). A couple weeks ago the crew from CBS Sunday Morning came to my humble abode to interview me for a segment on mermaids! I got to sit knee-to-knee with the amazing Faith Salie who made me feel like a Mermaid Queen as we talked, walked and laughed. For any fan of this long-running show, you’ll be pleased to know that every person treated me with such graciousness and respect, from the camera man to the producer, and I had more fun doing an interview than I ever thought possible. Can’t wait to see the whole thing put together and grateful to have been part of it

Grab a coffee and watch it live, with me!

This Sunday, August 11th, be sure to watch! Faith went to Weekie Watchee, Coney Island and Varla’s parlour!

Click here to find out what time it airs in your neck of the woods.

And remember, shows are archived on the site so you can watch it later, too….in case you stay up a little too late Saturday night. Ahem…

 

And check out the books!

Amazon: 

Among the Mermaids: Facts, Myths, Enchantments from the Sirens of the Sea 

Fairies, Pookas & Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild & Wicked Enchanted Realm 

Varla Ventura’s Paranormal Parlor: Ghosts, Seances, and Tales of True Hauntings 

Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires & Other Creatures of the Night: Facts, Fictions, and First-Hand Accounts 

B&N

Among the Mermaids: Facts, Myths, Enchantments from the Sirens of the Sea 

Fairies, Pookas & Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild & Wicked Enchanted Realm 

Varla Ventura’s Paranormal Parlor: Ghosts, Seances, and Tales of True Hauntings 

Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires & Other Creatures of the Night: Facts, Fictions, and First-Hand Accounts 

IndieBound

Among the Mermaids: Facts, Myths, Enchantments from the Sirens of the Sea 

Fairies, Pookas & Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild & Wicked Enchanted Realm 

Varla Ventura’s Paranormal Parlor: Ghosts, Seances, and Tales of True Hauntings 

Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires & Other Creatures of the Night: Facts, Fictions, and First-Hand Accounts 

Wild Thoughts of the Fairy King: Ghost Chronicles, Tonight!

Join me and the lovely hosts of Ghost Chronicles, Ron Kolek and Anne Kerrigan, as we gather round the radio-machine to discuss all manner of creatures real and imagined. Tune in live tonight, Wednesday, March 22nd at 7 p.m. EST to talk about my new book, Fairies, Pookas and Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild and Wicked Enchanted Realm.

click HERE to listen

Stay strange and preorder below:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indiebound 

 

Got Ghosts? I Want to Hear from You

ghost

Good evening.

Since my new book is about to get inked, I simply cannot sit still and have already begun working on another! The next one is focused on ghosts, paranormal parlor games, tricks and history, seances and forgotten lore. And I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a ghostly encounter you’d want to share with me? Contact me at varlaventura AT gmail dot com or comment on this post to let me know you are interested in sharing.

Stay wicked.

A Christmas Ghost of Dickens’ Past

Happy Holidays, you weirdos! I’ve got a little present for you. I recently got together with my esteemed publisher for Weiser Books Radio Hour, to read to you from a little tale from Charles Dickens’ A Haunted House.

THE HAUNTED HOUSE

Charles Dickens’ Christmas ghosts were rampant in his 1894 pamphlet Christmas Stories, a holiday supplement to Âll Year Round, a publication for which Dickens served as editor. The Haunted House is both a fictional house where like-minded guests and ghosts gather and a literary gold mine, where Dickens’ favorite authors of the day gathered to tell their particularly assigned ghost stories. Dickens created the setting and each room of the Haunted House was assigned to one of his favorite writers (and to himself).

Wilkie Collins, born in London in 1824, met Dickens in 1851. Shortly after this, both men acted together in Edward “Dark and Stormy Night” Bulwer-Lytton’s play Not So Bad As We Seem. This “set the stage” for what would become a lifelong friendship. Like Dickens and most of Victorian England, Collins had a healthy relationship with the idea of ghosts. That is to say, he believed in them—at least as a literary device. He wrote dozens of plays, short stories, and novels, the most famous of which was called The Woman in White, which was later adapted for the stage and even modern film.

Wilkie Collins was assigned “The Ghost in the Cupboard Room,” occupied by one Nat Beaver, a salty old merchantman who has some nervous ticks brought on by a most unexpected specter of his past. Join me, to find out what haunts this sailing man; who else was in the house; and to hear a tale of terror (and bondage) on the high seas.

Click HERE to listen.

Merry Meet!

 

 

Spend the Night with Me (and George Noory)

Nobed by creepy pasta

DAHLINK. I know you thought tonight is the night you’re finally going to get to bed at a reasonable hour but you were sadly mistaken. You can’t miss tonight’s Coast to Coast AM with George Noory. Why? BECAUSE I’LL BE THE GUEST.

Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to eat your gruel and pour yourself a draught of ale before I’m on. I’m the second segment so that’s MIDNIGHT to 2PM PST.

TUNE IN HERE if you are a Coast Insider (you can also listen after-the-fact as a Coast Insider).

Click HERE to find your local station and tune-in live (and call in!)

We promise to keep you very, very awake.

 

Image: CreepyPasta 

What Are You Doing RIGHT Now? Get Thee to a Listening Device

Paratruth Radio Show, tonight at 8pm EST/5 pm PST. Me, a couple of freaky hosts, and a whole lot of banshees. And probably a vampire, a ghost, and a werewolf or two.

Listen here:

PARATRUTH RADIO LIVE NOW!!

T-minus 20 minutes or so. old-radio

A Paranormal Magician, Banshees, and Me: UnReal Radio this Sunday, August 10th

werewolfYou can feel it, can’t you? It’s subtle but it is there. I know you may be battling the heat of summer and not believe me, but trust me: Halloween is creeping in. Banshees lurk and vampires dance through the dead of night. Get in the mood for all things bizarre with Joe Diamond, host of UnRealRadio and me this SUNDAY, AUGUST 10th, 6-7:30 PM PST.

You can listen live via this link:

UnRealRadio

or this one:

WLIP

(Kenosha, Wisconsin)

Join us as we discuss the Beast of Bray Roard, Banshees, and all manner of creatures of the night !

 

Swim Through the Murky Depths with Me and Jim Harold

Get out that mP3-pod-listening-device-computer-radio machine and listen to this lovely podcast. Then, throw off your shoes at the sands of a beach and go for a stroll while staring out at the sea and pondering the existence of mermaids. Not near the sea or a lake or any large body of water. Mores the pity on you! Go draw yourself a bath or fill up a bucket to soak your feet. It makes it much more fun to talk of mermaids. Last ditch, do the dishes with headphones on.

 

Click the link below to listen to my interview with Jim Harold of Paranormal Podcast. And you might want to check out his other interviews too, because they rock in all manner of freakery and supernatural spectacularness.

 

http://content.blubrry.com/paranormalplus/Among_The_Mermaids_with_Varla_Ventura-The_Other_Side_91.mp3

pirate flag

 

Get Freaky With Me and the Citizens Awareness Vanguard: Jan. 16th

Tune in, my prettys! THURSDAY, Jan. 16th to Citizens Awareness Vanguard radio for a strange creature chat with Chris & Mark. I’ll be on LIVE. Show starts at 9 PM EST/6 PST. Grab a glass of something strong and lock the front door.  Creatures of the night are afoot!

Listen by clicking the following link:

CAV RADIO SHOW 

James_Dean-Natalie_Wood_(Rebel_Without_a_Cause)_still