Halloween Night Party with Jim Harold

After all that trick-or-treating, I’ll be WIDE AWAKE and ready to join the great Jim Harold as his guest for the last half-hour of his annual Facebook Live Halloween show!

The party starts at 8pm and there’s a lineup of awesome guests and giveaways.

I’ll be joining in at 11:30 EST, until midnight. (Obviously on Oct. 31st).

Here’s the link, the feed will start there at 8pm

https://www.facebook.com/jimharold

We’ll be giving away a signed copy of my latest book, Varla Ventura’s Paranormal Parlor: Ghosts, Seances, and Tales of True HauntingsAvailable  AmazonBarnes & Noble & IndieBound (and wherever books are sold!!!).

 

image by Sarah Pflug via Burst 

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

 

Alabama – Strange America – 1

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

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.

Varla on Ghost Chronicles–Tonight, Wednesday the 24th!

Greetings!

Tonight I am honored to be on Ghost Chronicles with hosts Ron Kolek and Anne Kerrigan. Ron has been a supporter of my books since lo’ those many years ago when The Book of the Bizarre came out, and he regularly includes a tidbit of Beyond Bizarre on his shows, so not only will you hear me tonight talking about Among the Mermaids and all manner of other things, you can hear me there week after week!

Ron is the head of the New England Ghost Project, and his own book A Ghost a Day, which he co-authored with Maureen Wood, is one of my go-to campfire reads. It’s a really wonderful book–a ghost for everyday of the year. I like to meet people and look up their ghost based on their birthday!

You can tune in here, from 7pm-8pm EST (tonight, and every Wednesday)

http://toginet.com/shows/ghostchronicles

I hope you can join us as we traverse the forgotten, the foreboding, and the utterly freaktacular!

Preston Castle

 

Calling all Banshees!

Banshee CounterpartsBanshees are among the most feared creatures of the fairy and supernatural realm,  and this may be in part to the sympathies they invoke when you hear their wailing. You could easily be lured into the dark of night, hoping to help the pathetic creature who sounds as if she is in mourning. Some tales recount that banshees are the ghosts of women who have died in childbirth; others say they are the restless sprits of unrequited lovers.

It is common for families to inherit the banshee, who arrives time and time again to warn of an impending death.

To quote Raymond Buckland from his book The Weiser Field Guide to Ghosts:

“It has been said that a banshee is really the disembodied soul of someone who once lived and was attached to the family in some way.  It depends upon the relationship that the banshee had with the dying family member as to how the banshee announces his or her coming death.  If the person about to die was of a gentle, kind disposition, then the banshee will appear and sing soft songs of warning, summoning the person to death.  But if the person destined to die was of a hateful disposition, then the banshee will make her announcement with horrible cries and screams.”

Have you ever seen or heard a banshee? I want your first-hand accounts for my upcoming book, Banshees, Werewovles, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night (Weiser Books, October 2013).

Contact me at varlaventura AT gmail.com (you know how to actually type that, right?) and let me know what creepy creatures you’ve encountered.

Coast to Coast: Friday September 21st

Werewolves, banshees, vampires, ghosts! Come tune in for TWO HOURS of lively banter with George Noory and moi!

Friday, September 21st, 10pm-12pm PST

Listen LIVE via the web or your local AM radio station.

Remember, you have to either listen live or subscribe (for a small fee) to listen to archived shows. Click the link and find out what local station the show will be on.

COAST TO COAST AM

I’ll be discussing the Magical Creatures e-book collection and other spooky, ookie, freaky fun!

Haunted Houses on Huff Po!

ImageFor those of you who love a good horror story and you fans of the freaky, I’ve got a new post on the Huffington Post’s Weird News site about 5 Haunted Places I’d Love to Stay the Night! You can read it here and comment on where you’d stay. I think the list could easily be in the hundreds once we all get going!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/varla-ventura/best-haunted-houses_b_1539754.html

 

 

Eat Your Heart Out, Blavatsky

Nothing quite pleases a ghost hunter and paranormal prowler like the story of a Victorian medium who came to her powers after being diagnosed with a tumor, and who was vetted by the Society for Psychical Research as well as by Dr. Hodgson (who examined also Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical society and called them all charlatans!)The story of Leonora Piper is a truly remarkable one. She “hosted” more than one entity, including a French doctor– Dr. Phinuit– an actress named Mrs. Siddons, Johann Sebastian Bach, Henry Longfellow, Commodore Vanderbilt (the Italian multi-millionaire) and a young Italian girl named Loretta Ponchini, and by some accounts she also channeled Abraham Lincoln and George Washington!  Phinuit is said to be her primary “control” and appeared most regularly and readily, speaking in a unique French dialect.

Click HERE to read more about Leonora Piper in Mrs. Piper and the Society for Psychical  Research, from the Paranormal Parlor Weiser Books Collection.