The “CALL OF CTHULHU” Cocktail

Can I get a hell yeah?

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


Wednesday Night Wickedness on Beyond Reality Radio

Don’t let your week drag on without a little infusion of good old fashioned supernatural fun! Join me on Beyond Reality Radio, Wednesday, April 19 from midnight to 2 p.m. EST. as we discuss Fairies, Pookas, and Changelings and all manner of things that go bump in the night.

Click HERE to find out how to listen live.

DATE: Wednesday, April 19th

TIME: midnight to 2 p.m., EST/11 p.m. to 1 a.m. CST/9 p.m.-11 p.m. PST

Co-hosted by hosted by Jason Hawes (TAPS/Ghost Hunters, awesome dad, badass, author) and JV Johnson (promoter and organizer of SCARE-A-CON and publisher/editor of TAPS ParaMagazine & The Horrophile, all around insanely cool guy) that should be enough for you to tune in. But if it isn’t then think of me, dear ones. How wretchedly distraught I will be if you can’t join.

Click here to listen in.


Barnes & Noble

Friday Night Freakery on Church of Mabus Radio

Your Friday night just got interesting! Join me as I submit to the wit and wicked wisdom of the late night marauder and all devilishly charming Southern gentleman, Jeffery Pritchett, on Church of Mabus Radio. We’ll delve into the world of Fairies, Pookas, and Changelings and whatever mischievous things come to mind. Don’t miss it!

DATE: Friday, April 14

TIME: 8 p.m EST (that’s 5 p.m. PST/7 p.m. CST)

So end your work week right! Pour yourself a cocktail and tune in.

Click HERE to listen.

Click one of the links below to buy my book!

Barnes & Noble

There’s Still Time to Enter the Fairy Tale Contest!

Have you entered yet? Time is ticking, my fair young muse.

In honor of my new book Fairies, Pookas and Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild and Wicked Enchanted Realm, I’m running a little contest throughout the month of April.

Here’s how it works. I give you the following intro paragraph and you finish the tale, in 500 words or less (ideally). Submit your entry anytime between the hours of 12:01 a.m. on April 1st through midnight April 30th.

Varla Ventura’s Complete a Fairy Tale (from the Dark Side) Contest

Something twisted in the shadow of the trees as she made her way down the woodland path. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but she knew she was being watched. In the far distance, beyond the dusky silhouettes of trees she could see the inky blackness of a pond and beyond that,  the castle lights. Suddenly, she felt something grab at her ankle. Stunned, she turned and saw…

Here are the rules:

Please keep entries to 500 words or less.

You can change the pronoun to any gender you please.

Entries must be copy and pasted into the body of an email. I will not (I simply cannot) open attachments. Should your entry be chosen fear not: we will go through a basic editorial and approval process that involves attachments.

You will retain all rights to your work, however the intro as I have written remains my own. In other words, should you want to republish the work elsewhere, you would need to change the introductory paragraph after the contest is over or just indicate it was written by me. I’m going to put my faith in your ability to do the right thing here.

Submit all entries no later than midnight on the Eve o’ May (April 30) to:

fairytalesfromthedarkside [at] gmail [dot] com

(You know that means right?)

(Please don’t email me regular correspondence, interview requests or the like at this address as I am not able to respond.)

The Winner(s):

First Place wins a complete set of my three Magical Creatures books including Fairies, Pookas and Changelings; Among the Mermaids and Banshees, Werewolves and Vampires along with a box full of strange and wonderful things customized for you by me. The story will be published on and publicized by my team.

Second place: a signed copy of Fairies, Pookas and Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Enchanted Realm. The story will be published on and publicized by my team.

Third place: There is no third place.

Okay, now darlings, get writing!

Order my new book here:

Barnes & Noble

Copyright Varla Ventura/Weiser Books 2017.

Tonight! Coast to Coast AM with George Noory!

Hello my darling fellow lovers of the strange! It’s time for some late night freakery on Coast to Coast!

I’m honored to be booked on Coast to Coast AM again to discuss my new book and the wicked subject matter that goes along with it with the one and only George Noory. We’ll talk about fairies, pookas, changelings and all things wild in the enchanted realm of the fae. Join us!

TIME: midnight-2 a.m.

CST: 2-4 a.m.

EST: 3-5 a.m.

Click here to learn more.

Find your local station here.


Barnes & Noble

Oddsalon: Learn Something Weird! And a Secret About Me

goblin shark oneIf you have not yet heard of OddSalon, you should click the link  immediately after reading what I have to say. There is a secret announcement hinted at but not really announced at the bottom of this post.

Oddsalon is a new parlor-style forum that hosts twice monthly salons about weird things, or perhaps better stated, a weirder view of the ordinary including lost history, secrets, crimes, hoaxes, tricks, enlightenment, disasters, and so much more.The shared brain-child of three gal pals who are contributors to Atlas Obscura, Death Salon, and The Order of the Good Death, they cull creative ideas, topics, and people from around the SF Bay Area for a truly entertaining and enlightening evening.

Oddsalon: Fake! Tues., Mar. 25th, 2014

This one includes a wide variance of interpretaions of the word “fake” including the topic of mermaids–real, hoaxes, or a little of both? The speaker has (with my permission) used my book Among the Mermaids as major source material. And she’s terribly entertaining. And if you go, and stick it out, you just might learn something fake about me.

Think you know the secret? Attend the OddSalon and then reply to this post with the answer to this question: What was the last slide of the night? If you are right, you’ll win a signed copy of my mermaid book (or another book I wrote if you prefer).

The event is in San Francisco at the DNA Lounge.

Red Wheel Weiser Staff Picks: Holiday Gift Guide

Check out my publisher’s gift guide! Includes my Banshee book, and lots of other great titles. Death Poems is on my must-have list!

Parascope Freaktacular

Join me tonight on Para-Scope, uncensored paranormal radio extrodinaire. The show starts at 10pm EST (that’s 7pm PST!) I’ll be on at 7:30, and we’ll chat about all manner of beasties and beautifully bizarre things.

Click here to listen to the show: PARASCOPE on HEYZRADIO

Fun fact: After the show I’ll be burning the midnight oil packing/primping/prepping for an amazing journey. I’ll be flying to Denver to tape Beyond Belief with the one and only George Noory of Coast to Coast fame! 

It’s a bit terrifying, but I think you all know how I love terror!

Me, victim of a zombie encounter or just up all night?

Me, victim of a zombie encounter or just up all night?


Guest Post on Caffeinated Book Review~Featuring Pookas and a Giveaway

Hello Fans of the Freakery~

If you haven’t got your paws on a copy of my latest book, Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night, check out my guest post on the Caffeinated Book Reviewer blog. You can read an adapted excerpt on Pookas, plus enter to win my book! You’ve only got about 12 hours left to enter (but you can read it any time).

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