Creatures of mist, half credited;
Our faint form flings
No shadow in moonlight on the bed
We visit; noiseless is our tread,
Who come from deserts of the dead,
Where no bird sings.
—Anon, 1887 (from Ghost Stories and Presentiments)
Here There Be Ghosts
I have never met a ghost story I didn’t like. Whether it ends in a ridiculous joke (the wrapping paper in the closet the source of the phantom “rap, rap, rapping”) or lingers long enough to make you jump at the shadows, I find the genre and all of its many incantations delightful. But nothing quite gets me going like the story right from the mouth of babes: when a first-hand experience is recounted to me (preferably in the dim light of the fire on a dark and stormy night). When I began writing this book I put out a call for stories among my people: the midnight podcaster, the horror novelist, the paranormal lovers and those whom the paranormal seem to love. While my original intention was to create one opening chapter chock full of as-told-to-me tales, as I gathered them they found their own way into the manuscript. In later chapters, you’ll find the case of the haunted tarot deck and the pot-smoking Ouija board user and even a haunting from the catacombs of Paris. In this chapter, many of the stories I wanted to tell from my own experiences include the child ghost that I lived with for a number of years. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one with a kid apparition. In addition, you will find the unnamed Lovecraftian thing that moaned in the woods and other horrifying joys. Read on, my friends, read on.
—an excerpt from Varla Ventura’s Paranormal Parlor: Ghosts, Seances and Tales of True Hauntings
Available June 1st on Amazon, Barnes & Noble & IndieBound and wherever books are sold.
image credit: Jordan Jansen via Unsplash
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 34:02 — 12.8MB)
Subscribe: Android | | More
Ladies and gentlebeans, wicked weirdos and friends of the bizarre! We proudly present to you, our Alaska episode of Tales of the Strange!!
Varla Ventura’s Tales of the Strange: Strange America—Episode 2—Alaska
We interview Neelie Ravenclaw of the IOPIA (Investigation of Paranormal in Alaska)
Host: Varla Ventura
Co-Host: Bo Luellen
Visit: IOPIA website
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 27:55 — 10.6MB)
Subscribe: Android | | More
Ladies and gentlebeans, wicked weirdos and friends of the bizarre! We proudly present to you, our first episode of Tales of the Strange!!
Varla Ventura’s Tales of the Strange: Strange America—Episode 1—Alabama
We launch our show with a great look at the State of Alabama’s haunted history and a great UFO story.
Host: Varla Ventura
Co-Host: Bo Luellen
Recommended further reading: Field Guide to Haunted Graveyards by Troy Taylor, Encylopedia of Haunted Places by Jeff Belanger, Beyond Bizarre by Varla Ventura
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:
Barnes & Noble
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PARATRUTH RADIO LIVE NOW!!
T-minus 20 minutes or so.
You 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:
or this one:
Join us as we discuss the Beast of Bray Roard, Banshees, and all manner of creatures of the night !
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