Jeff Belanger Interviewed Me on GhostVillage (Life Goal, Achieved!!!)

If you are a fan of the paranormal, then you have no doubt spent time on Ghostvillage.com, Jeff Belanger’s website dedicated to ghost research and evidence. If not, for shame! Get thee on over and join the community of thousands—ghost encounters, curious and skeptics alike. It’s been around since 1999 and I’ve been a fan since about that time myself.

Need a place to start? Here’s one:

Jeff’s recent interview with me on my new book, Varla Ventura’s Paranormal Parlor: Ghosts, Seances and Tales of True Hauntings (available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble & IndieBound )

Click HERE to read the GhostVillage interview.

Yes!!! Life goal achieved. Thank you, Jeff!!

Click HERE to read the GhostVillage interview.

 

cool-ass image: darksouls1 via Pixabay

 

 

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

 

The Poltergeist Within: An Excerpt from Paranormal Parlor

We Are Family

The idea of family ghosts, or ghosts that attach themselves to people and are “inherited” from generation to generation can perhaps be traced back to a time when families remained in one place for longer periods of time. Were these “inherited” ghosts simply ghosts of a place, a castle for example, where all of the bloodline was destined to live? The Irish Banshee is sometimes equated with a family ghost, as at one time this supernatural songstress was said to belong to the original clans of Ireland (from which all Irish bloodlines are descended). In Germany, we find the White Lady, a warning phantasm associated—like the banshee—with those of ancient lineage. She warns her mortal family of impending death and is not attached to place so much as person, as she will follow from town to town as the descendants move. In Austria, a White Woman appears howling on rooftops to warn families that someone in the house below will die within the month. And in Italy there are numerous examples of “inherited” spirits, especially among prominent families of royal lineage. In Venice, for example, the Donati possess a ghost in the form of a disembodied head that floats into the doorway of a doomed family member. But are these ghosts attached to a family or is it that the ability to see them—the second sight, the Shining, the clairvoyance—is actually what is inherited?. Either way, ghosts are no doubt in our DNA.

What ghosts haunt your family? Is it a clan thing? 

—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: Annie Spratt via Unsplash

 

Here There Be Ghouls: A Teaser from Paranormal Parlor

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

 

Happy New Year & An Annoucement

Happy 2018 you delightful devils! Let’s hope your celebrations (and libations) didn’t take you too far off the path. We all know how those Pookas can appear when you least expect them…

2017 was a big year for me personally: it saw the publication of my latest book, Fairies, Pookas, and Changelings: A Complet Guide to the Wild & Wicked Enchanted Realm in April. By the fall I had completed the manuscript for my next book, Varla Ventura’s Paranormal Parlor: Ghosts, Seances, and True Tales of Hauntings (available for pre-order on Amazon, IndieBound or B&N). And in October, with the talents of Bo Luellen, we launched a new podcast, Varla Ventura’s Tales of the Strange: Season One–Strange America

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, Bo is no longer able to do the podcast. I am indebted to him for motivating me to think outside the book and he and I will remain forever friends. But this means that 2018 will have me reinventing the Podcast just a lil’ bit, and I will be learning some new skills (uh, mainly podcasting…know any good books on the subject?). For those of you who noticed nothings doin’ in the podcast realm, bless ye, for you are paying attention.

There are currently 3 episodes live and episodes 4 & 5 awaiting my nimble fingers but I’ve booked several guests that I can guarantee will delight you. So please bear with me as I try new things, take the reigns and make Tales of the Strange my own.

In the meantime, please enjoy the current episodes, tune in for upcoming interviews where I am the guest and take a peek at my books!

May 2018 bring you the vision of starlight, the creative genius of 10,000 novels and one more for the road.

 

 

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!

 

 

Oh How We Love to Hear You Scream

Doll hangs from bathtub in a bloody mess

Kick off Halloween on this eve of All Hallow’s Eve with a little ramble down a shadowy path. Who knows what will scream, reach out or come looking for you while you are distracted listening to the radio? We cannot say, nor can we guarantee your safety. What we can be sure of is a wild romp through a world of bizarre creatures, freaky facts and all manner of vampires, banshees, werewolves and other strange things. So keep this freaky Halloween thing going and tune in to hear Dave Cruz of Beyond the Strange Radio Show talk with me about whatever frightening things come to mind. And if you listen carefully, you just might hear a story I’ve never told before on air. It’s quite fearsome, and haunts me to this day. If there’s time, we may take callers so get ready with your own terrifying tales.

Listen live here. Tonight, October 30 at 7 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST.

Just click the website and the player will be going.

Later it will be archived into a podcast so you can relive all the scary stuff in the light of day. But you really should listen now. What else are you doing on a Sunday night, besides sewing your kid’s Halloween costume?

 

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