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.

WHERE TO BUY MY BOOK, FAIRIES, POOKAS, AND CHANGELINGS: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE WILD AND WICKED ENCHANTED REALM:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indiebound 

Have You Entered My Complete A Fairy Tale Contest?

Have you heard? 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 @gmail.com 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 varlaventura.net 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 varlaventura.net and publicized by my team.

Third place: There is no third place.

Okay, now darlings, get writing!

Order my new book here:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indiebound 

Copyright Varla Ventura/Weiser Books 2017.

Everybody Plays the Fool (But Nobody Does It Like Joe Diamond)

Nobody knows how to trick and prank like Joe Diamond, paranormal magician, mind reader and radio host.

Except, of course, the mighty Pooka. Join me and Joe tomorrow night as we discuss all manner of beasties that go bump in the night but especially the King of the Trickster Fairies: The Pooka. All because I wrote a darling little book called: Fairies, Pookas and Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild and Wicked Enchanted Realm. And because Joe is amazing.

Sunday, April 2, 8-10 CST (THAT’S, 6-8 PM PST OR 9-11PM EST.)

You can listen live via this link:

UnRealRadio

or this one:

WLIP

(Kenosha, Wisconsin)

Order my book here:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indiebound 

 

 

The Hour It Draws Nigh (and a Contest)

The Hour It Approaches: Today marks the official release date of my new book Fairies, Pookas and Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild and Wicked Enchanted RealmIn honor of the book release, I’m going to run a little contest throughout the month of April. 

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

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. 

Here’s the intro:

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 @gmail.com 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 varlaventura.net 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 varlaventura.net and publicized by my team. 

Third place: There is no third place.

Okay, now darlings, get writing!

Order my new book here:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indiebound 

Copyright Varla Ventura/Weiser Books 2017.

 

 

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 

 

Leaping Leprechauns: A Bit of Lore

Leprechauns are also known by more than pots of gold in the Fairy Kingdom. The leprechaun can be identified by the sound of his knocking or tap-tap-tapping upon his little shoe bench, as they are cobblers and the sound is that of their tiny hammers making elfin shoes. Fairies prize shoes and fine clothes far more than gold. If you can trap a leprechaun—some say green velvet and fine wine do the trick—the location of all that hidden gold could be revealed. But be aware that simply looking away from the ’chaun for a moment can allow them to vanish back into the green grass or woods where you happened upon them. The leprechaun is believed to be a perpetual bachelor elf who successfully staves off scores of proposals from all manner of feminine fairy, although it could simply be that he prefers the solitary life rather than that he has an actual disdain for the feminine ilk.

Victorian-era Irish writer and folklorist David Rice McAnally Jr. amassed an entire volume of Irish legends, Irish Wonders, upon which William Butler Yeats and other scholars draw quite heavily. While little is known about McAnally, we do know he was a clergyman who heard many stories including accounts of pookas (you’ll find one of my favorites in the chapter on the subject). He wrote one of the best extended descriptions and accompanying stories of the leprechaun to date, which I have excerpted from here.

McAnally describes the leprechaun, or leprechawn, as a creature of neither evil nor good, but of rather mixed quality, the child of an evil father and a degenerate fairy of a mother. (Apparently she spent one too many nights knocking back the whiskey with a pooka). The best way to spot a leprechaun is to know what one is looking for. For physical description, McAnally’s account is unmatched. He writes:

He is of diminutive size, about three feet high, and is dressed in a little red jacket or roundabout, with red breeches buckled at the knee, gray or black stockings, and a hat, cocked in the style of a century ago, over a little, old, withered face. Round his neck is an Elizabethan ruff, and frills of lace are at his wrists. On the wild west coast, where the Atlantic winds bring almost constant rains, he dispenses with ruff and frills and wears a frieze overcoat over his pretty red suit, so that, unless on the lookout for the cocked hat, “ye might pass a Leprechawn on the road and never know it’s himself that’s in it at all.”

If you’re curious about leprechauns and how to catch one, you’ll enjoy a selection of stories I’ve chosen for my new book, Fairies, Pookas and Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild and Wicked Enchanted RealmYou’ll hear the story of a man who was sure he could outsmart a leprechaun; the tale of a man who was ostracized from his village for not revealing the supposed golden store/indentured leprechaun (though it’s more likely his fortune came from hard work and a decided distaste for The Drink) and an epic tale of fairies and leprechauns on Halloween. All this, and much, much more.

If you’d like a copy, order now at:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indiebound 

And watch this site for a giveaway contest coming up soon!

Excerpt and text copyright Varla Ventura/Weiser Books 2016.

photo: Nathan in San Diego via flickr cc

 

The Hopskinville Goblins

goya_-_caprichos_49

Not all goblins are from a different century. Case in point, The Hopskinville Goblins:

In 1955, eleven members of two families living in a rural farmhouse between Kelly and Hopskinville, Kentucky reported numerous encounters with unidentifiable creatures. In addition to lights and odd noises heard by witnesses nearby, the families claimed that they were terrorized by little creatures similar to goblins or fearsome gremlins. They were described as being three feet tall, thin, with long arms and claw-like hands, and with pointed ears. They were silvery in color and were said to float, trudge as though underwater, and then make sudden appearances outside windows and doorways. Although at first two members of the party had attempted to shoot and then find them, eventually they retreated to the house. The creatures did not enter the house (the family dog was hiding underneath in terror) but they continued to appear throughout the evening. Ultimately the families, including screaming children, made a midnight dash to the police station. Here’s where it gets weird: the families returned to the farmhouse with the sheriff and twenty of his men. Evidence of struggle and damage to the house was obvious, but the officers reported seeing a strange green glow at the edge of the woods beyond the property. They interviewed neighbors who affirmed odd noises and lights, and even the police saw strange lights and heard odd noises while at the property. After the police left, the creatures returned and continued to harass the family until the break of day, when they disappeared, never to return again.

Do you believe in goblins? 

Excerpted from my new book: Fairies, Pookas, Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild and Wicked Enchanted Realm, available April 1, 2017.

Preorder at:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indiebound 

Excerpt copyright Varla Ventura/Weiser Books 2016.

post image by Francisco Goya via wikimedia commons 

 

The Occult Power of Goats

Do you believe in the occult intellectual power of goats? An American journalist, born in the 1830s, William Wirt Sikes did. Or at least he believed it was necessary to record this belief along with other fascinating “old ways” of the Welsh people as he traveled there as consulate, and never left.

goats

Many of us have an immediate association with goats and Baphomet or another horned god, seen cavorting with witches at the sabbat, and dancing around the bonfire at all hours of the night. (Yes, please). But Sikes is talking about a more specific relationship: that of goats with the Gwyllion: female fairies with “frightful characteristics, who haunt lonely roads in the Welsh mountains, and lead night-wanderers astray.” These wild goblin women (which remind me a bit of the banshee) lurk and loom in craggy mountains and behind the shadows of boulders. The Welsh word “gwyll” Sikes tells us, is used “to signify gloom, shade, duskiness, a hag, a witch, a fairy, and a goblin.”  In this excerpt from his greater work, British Goblins, we learn the story of a goat who did not transform into a man but rather a beautiful maiden who seeks to avenge a man’s anger.

Sikes writes:

Among the traditions of the origin of the Gwyllion is one which associates them with goats. Goats are in Wales held in peculiar esteem for their supposed occult intellectual powers. They are believed to be on very good terms with the Tylwyth Teg [the common Welsh name for all fairies. V.V.] and possessed of more knowledge than their appearance indicates. It is one of the peculiarities of the Tylwyth Teg that every Friday night they comb the goats’ beards to make them decent for Sunday. Their association with the Gwyllion is related in the legend of Cadwaladr’s goat: Cadwaladr owned a very handsome goat, named Jenny, of which he was extremely fond; and which seemed equally fond of him; but one day, as if the very devil possessed her, she ran away into the hills, with Cadwaladr tearing after her, half mad with anger and affright. At last his Welsh blood got so hot, as the goat eluded him again and again, that he flung a stone at her, which knocked her over a precipice, and she fell bleating to her doom. Cadwaladr made his way to the foot of the crag; the goat was dying, but not dead, and licked his hand—which so affected the poor man that he burst into tears, and sitting on the ground took the goat’s head on his arm. The moon rose, and still he sat there. Presently he found that the goat had become transformed to a beautiful young woman, whose brown eyes, as her head lay on his arm, looked into his in a very disturbing way. ‘Ah, Cadwaladr,’ said she, ‘have I at last found you?’ Now Cadwaladr had a wife at home, and was much discomfited by this singular circumstance; but when the goat—now a maiden—arose, and putting her black slipper on the end of a moonbeam, held out her hand to him, he put his hand in hers and went with her. As for the hand, though it looked so fair, it felt just like a hoof. They were soon on the top of the highest mountain in Wales, and surrounded by a vapoury company of goats with shadowy horns. These raised a most unearthly bleating about his ears. One, which seemed to be the king, had a voice that sounded above the din as the castle bells of Carmarthen used to do long ago above all the other bells in the town. This one rushed at Cadwaladr and butting him in the stomach sent him toppling over a crag as he had sent his poor nannygoat. When he came to himself, after his fall, the morning sun was shining on him and the birds were singing over his head. But he saw no more of either his goat or the fairy she had turned into, from that time to his death.

Learn more strange tales and exciting folklore in my new book, Fairies, Pookas, and Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild and Wicked Enchanted Realm. Pre order it by clicking the links below:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indiebound 

photo of goats: Shawn Clover via flickr creative commons

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.

Exploring the Bizarre Tonight!

Tonight! Thursday, December 29, at 10 pm EST I’ll be joining Tim Beckley and Tim Swartz to discuss otherwordly vampiric beings (and who knows what else) along with the renowned author Rosemary Ellen Guiley. That’s right, folks, not only do you get not one, but TWO Tims, you also get Rosemary Ellen Guiley and me. Come on, get your freak on!

TONIGHT on Exploring the Bizarre, KCOR Digital Radio.

Click HERE to listen.