It’s Totally Okay to Space Out Saturday Night

stormy path

Spaced Out Radio is the perfect excuse to get freaky with me and the esteemed host, James Tyson THIS SATURDAY, MAY 14. 10PM-MIDNIGHT PST.

Join us as we amble along a dark and shadowy path where only the truly weird dare to tread.

So mix yourself up a little something something and get cozy.

Click here to listen in.

Image: Shannon Landers Photography via Flickr Creative Commons

What Happens When You Crawl Out From Under a Rock: Beyond Reality Radio

I’m baaaack. I’ve been hiding in the darkest and most wonderfully terrifying of places but more on that later. Let’s celebrate together. Pour yourself a large glass of something that burns going down and tune in to Beyond Reality Radio this Monday, April 11, at 9 p.m.-midnight EST.


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.


Freaky Friday: The Ghost in the Fruit Cellar plus Black Cats and Skulls

Bloodcurdling Bizarre

It’s the last Friday in October and it’s time to really bust it out with freaky, Halloween-worthy, facts so have at it. Share them at a cocktail party, wow your blind date, or amuse your children. And if you want more, check out my books The Book of the Bizarre and Beyond Bizarre for loads more terrifying trivia and hilariously horrific facts. Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

black cat

  • When Stephen King had writer’s block while working on his novel It, he had a nightmare about leeches inside of discarded refrigerators. He says he woke up and knew immediately where the novel was supposed to go.
  •  In 1925, a few miles south of Portage Wisconsin, August and Patricia Heinz and their children suffered trauma of the supernatural variety. The family, which also included 7-year-old Freddy, 9-year-old Charles, and 11-year-old Elizabeth, had moved into the simple two-story farmhouse 10 years before and lived there happily without incident. But then, in February 1925, an unexplained fire destroyed one of the barns. In June, another barn burned, also without explanation. And then late one June evening, as the family sat down to supper., they heard the sound of footsteps descending from the second floor. Young Charles and his father investigated, but found no one else in the home. After they had sat back down with the rest of the family, the footsteps began again. This phantom sound continued on and off for the next three months. Further incidents began to occur. Patricia discovered that each morning her broom was missing from the kitchen, only to turn up in some strange place, such as a remote corner of the property or a different room in the house. Suspecting the children up to mischief, August and Patricia questioned each one, but all insisted they had nothing to do with it. Exasperated, Patricia decided to chain down the broom and lock the kitchen door. The next morning, she was horrified to discover the door still locked, but the chain broken and the broom outside in the yard.The events culminated one evening when August and his neighbor returned from a hunting trip. Once everyone, including their guest, were seated at the table, the sound of footsteps began. August recounted the story of this mysterious ghost to their guest. The neighbor decided to take action. Thinking that he might scare the ghost, the took his unloaded shotgun and crept towards the stairs where the sound of the footsteps had been heard. He leapt out, let forth a wild scream, and pointed his gun. Though he believed the gun to be unloaded, a shot flew out, shattering the plaster and wallpaper. Freddy and Charles recalled hearing a man moan after the shot, and all the family members heard the sounds of moans and cries coming from the fruit cellar. Once the sounds had ceased, the family was never again haunted by the spirit of the house.
  • In January 2008, an eight-one-year-old Chilean man woke up at his own funeral. His family dressed him in his finest suit and laid him out for a proper wake, only to witness him opening his eyes mid-mourning. Upon waking he simply asked for a glass of water. The family was overjoyed.
  • The black cat is the most common enchanted animal of the mystical world. Often the companions of witches, black cats are believed to have the power to reason, perform sorcery, and understand human language. Just about everyone knows the superstition that says when a black cat crosses your path bad luck will follow. But there are ways to counteract this omen. As soon as you spot the black cat, spit on the ground, turn yourself around three times, or walk backwards retracing your steps. As you pass the cat, reach down and stroke its back as a gesture of kindness
  •  During the seventeenth century, Azariah Pinney, a resident of Bettiscombe, a town in the heart of the English countryside, returned home after living in the West Indies for quite some time. Pinney brought a slave home with him to help care for his house, known as Bettiscombe Manor. The slave, unfortunately, soon fell ill, and lying upon his deathbed, requested one thing from his master. He asked that his corpse be sent home and buried in the land of his birth. Pinney agreed, but when the slave passed away, he broke the promise and buried the slave in a nearby church cemetery. Immediately after the burial, a strange moaning drifted up through the earth  under which the slave had been buried . Before long, the moaning turned into an endless and agonizing scream, which tore through the countryside. Upon finding out about Pinney’s broken promise, the local villagers demanded that he immediately dig up the body and remove it from the cemetery. Pinney did as told, and returned with the body to Betiscombe Manor, where he stored the body in the attic. The tortured screams ceased. The corpse remained in Pinney’s house, where it decayed over time, until all that remained was the skull.  As the years passed, Bettiscombe Manor saw many owners come and go. Some did not take well to sleeping so near the infamous skull and made the mistake of removing it from the attic. One owner threw the skull into a nearby pond, thinking it would sing, but the skull rose to the surface shrieking in anguish. Another family buried it in the backyard garden, but it dug itself out of the ground. In the end, the skull was returned to the house, where it is said to reside peacefully to this day.

Dog Days of Summer: Intuitive Dogs

 snarl dogEven if you don’t have a doggie to call your own, you can’t help but give up some respect for the amazing powers of the canine crowd. 

Is Fido Psychic?

Many people claim their pets have extrasensory perception (ESP), and a Russian experiment proved it. To test dogs’ mind-reading abilities, the scientists conducted 1,278 trials that measured the canine’s response to unspoken commands. The dogs responded correctly to the unspoken commands more than 50 percent of the time. The odds of this phenomenon being mere chance, claims Dennis Bardens, the author of Psychic Animals, are billions to one.

Woman’s Best Friend

A woman in California who ran a successful coffee business had her canine companion constantly at her side. One afternoon while taking a much-needed break, her dear doggie began to sniff and lick at her breast area. That night, her dog repeated the odd behavior by tugging at the blankets and biting at her pajama shirt. The next day, the canine jumped into her lap and dove at her breasts, which caused some pain. She was stunned to discover that she had a lump in her breast, and later medical tests revealed it to be a cancerous tumor. She’d had a routine breast exam just three months earlier, but the odd behavior of her dog saved her life. If the tumor had developed more extensively, it could have spread into her lymph nodes. After months of chemotherapy and radiation, she is now living cancer free.

Mike the Headless Wonder Chicken

chickenIn 1945, farmer Lloyd Olsen of Fruita, Colorado, went to his barnyard to butcher a chicken for his family’s dinner. But the chicken in question had other ideas. Olsen skillfully beheaded the fowl with a swift ax chop, and the body, like those of so many freshly killed chickens, began to stagger around. Then it took off running.

The next day, Olsen found the headless rooster, still alive and pecking. Unable to kill a bird with such a clear will to live, the farmer began using an eyedropper to feed grain and water down its esophagus. He then drove the bird 250 miles to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. There, scientists determined that Olsen’s ax blow had missed the rooster’s jugular vein, and a subsequent blood clot had kept the bird from bleeding to death. The brain stem, which controlled most of the bird’s reflexive functions, remained attached to the body. Oblivious to the fact that most of his head was missing, the rooster continued trying to peck for food, preening its feathers, and sleeping with the top of his neck under his wing.

Over the next eighteen months, Olsen continued to use an eyedropper to feed the bird, who flourished in spite of his handicap, growing from two and a half pounds to a robust eighteen pounds. Dubbed Mike, the Headless Wonder Chicken, the plucky rooster and Olsen set off on a national tour and became the subject of articles in Time and Life magazines. Unfortunately, Mike’s miraculous life came to an abrupt end in an Arizona hotel. The rooster choked, and Olsen was unable to find an eyedropper to clear his feathered friend’s throat.

Today, Mike still has his own fan club, and his dauntless spirit is celebrated annually in Fruita on the third weekend in May. “Mike’s Festival” includes a chicken recipe contest, a chicken-dance contest, and a 5K “run like a headless chicken.” Appropriately, the event’s Web site states, “Attending this fun, family event is a nobrainer.”

Read more, here!

from The Book of the Bizarre by Varla Ventura

Spooktacular Giveaway and Blog Hop-WINNER!!

Ladies and Gents, hold on to your pointy hats and swallow that last chunk of Halloween candy, because we have a WINNER.

Congrats to Jonquil Alexia who will receive copies of both of my books and some freaky tidbits too. And thanks to all that participated. i hope you all had a wild and wooly Halloween!

I am participating in The Spooktacular Giveaway Blog Hop!

There are over 500 other blogs participating lots of opportunities to win supernaturally awesome I am giving away copies both my Book of the Bizarre and Beyond Bizarre books plus some spooktacular swag!

To enter:

To the most inspired Halloween observer goes the spoils. Enter between now and MIDNIGHT on October 31st. I’ll announce the winner on the 2nd of November. Please only enter if you have a US or Canadian mailing address. Good luck, tell all your friends,  and Happy Halloween!!

Horror Movie Madness Giveaway! WINNER

We have a winner! Ron Oliver, you’ve won the Horror Movie Madness giveaway. You’ll be receiving your soon–it’s going out it today’s mail! Here’s a sneak peak of what is creeping around in the big package coming your way, which includes copies of both of my books and some freaky fun things!

One of Ron’s favorite horror movies is The Exorcist. In a competitive genre, The Exorcist is definitely a stand out. Thanks to all who entered, and don’t worry if you didn’t win!! See the other posts about the Spooktacular Giveaway Blog Hop AND watch for the Zombocalypse Giveaway coming later this week!

I’m just in a giving mood this Halloween season. I want to give YOU, dear reader, signed copies of each of my freaky trivia  books, The Book of the Bizarre and Beyond Bizarre, along with a grab bag of zombirific  Halloween splendor, including but not limited to stretchy zombies, bug bracelets, stickers, and grow-your-own maggoty worm things.
How, pray tell, can you win such a wonderful prize? It’s easy! Do one or more of the following for a point to enter. No more than 6 points allowed per person. Each point counts as an entry (so if you do everything you have 6 x the chances to win.)

1. Follow my blog. (If you already do, just say so in your comment and you’ll get the point.) (1 point)

2. Add me to your interests on facebook. You just click on my page, like it if you haven’t already, and then to the right of the like button you’ll see an a tab that you can click on. A drop-down menu appears, and you just say “add page to interests.” (2 points)

3. Follow me on twitter. (1 point)

3. Comment with the answer to this question (2 points!):

What is your favorite horror movie???

Answer by October 21st, 2012. The winner will be announced on October 22nd.

Open to US residents only (if you live elsewhere you can enter if you want the prize to go to someone in the U.S. )

Church of Mabus and Varla’s House of Horrors

Just had a great interview with Jeffery Pritchett. Jeffery  is the host of The Church Of Mabus Show “bringing you high strange stories from professionals in the carousel of fields surrounding the paranormal.”

Read about hospital horrors, magical creatures, psychic premonitons, and body snatchers~

Interview on Examiner dot com, Varla Ventura on Real Life Horrors

This video explains how to write a successful horror story by keeping your reader gripped and always wanting to know what's in store for the characters.

Friday the 13th: Luck and Lore

Happy Friday the 13th!!

Here are a few fun tidbits about luck, lore, superstitions, and strange beliefs to get you in the spirit of the day!

Triskaidekaphobia is the term for a morbid fear of the number 13.

Some say the fear of Friday the 13th comes from the early Christian belief that there were 13 present at the Last Supper, and it is said that Christ was crucified on a Friday.

In early 20th-century Europe it was believed that the hand of a dead person, especially the hand of a person who’d been executed for a crime, held healing powers.

On the books in Pennsylvania: A case from 1971 in which a man suing Satan for his own bad luck and downfall. The case was thrown out of court because it could not be proven that Satan lived in the state of Pennsylvania!

Scholionophobia is an extreme fear and hatred of school.

Confederate general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson always charged into battle with his left hand held over his head, allegedly for psychic balance.

Spanish Queen Juana so loved her husband Phillip that when he died in 1506 she kept his coffin with her until her own death.


Oh, there are so many more! Check out my books if you want to curl up and read some real freakery!