Who’s That Knocking on my Coffin Lid? Vampires, Magical Creatures Part Three

Lovers of True Blood, Dracula devotees, and Twilight tweens: I offer you the ancient vamps of my Magical Creatures series!

These are the stories that Stephenie Meyer and Anne Rice read when they were but wee babes, suckling on their mothers (or the  neck of their mother). These are the groundwork stories about vampirism, both horrific, romantic, and psychic.

Currently available exclusively as e-books, these are found volumes of forgotten lore (many a quaint and curious tale!) and cover the realm of such creepy and cool beings as goblins, werewolves, vampires, banshees, mermaids, and phookas, to name but a few.

(If the response is positive on these little e-beasts, I’ll be expanding them into book form!!)

Horror devotees will recall the story of the infamous gathering at a lake house outside of Geneva, Switzerland in the summer of 1816 where a small party celebrated the settling darkness by reading ghost stories aloud to one another. Present were the host, Lord Byron, and his guests: Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft (Shelley) and her sister, and Lord Byron’s physician—John William Polidori. At the prompting of Byron, pens were set to paper to write ghost stories of their own. Here the groundwork was laid for what would become Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a Modern Prometheus. Shelley himself wrote Fragments of a Ghost Story, and Byron wrote something called Fragment of a Novel. This “fragment” became the basis for Polidori’s The Vampyre, A Tale—the first vampire novel published in English, some seventy years before Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Also in the vampire collection, are two lesser known tales by Bram Stoker: Burial of the Rats and Dracula’s Guest. Both were part of a collection of stories that Stoker had been working on but never published. After his death, his widow decided they were fit for print and submitted them to his publisher in 1914. And Théophile Gautier’s Clarimonde is by far one of the most controversial vampire stories from the early 19th Century. A would-be priest begins to doubt his path and his God when he meets (by chance?) fair Clarimonde. I won’t give it all away but this is some necromantic romance at its best! And finally, George Sylvester Viereck’s 1907 short story The House of the Vampire was the first novel to introduce psychic vampires.

You can purchase these little digital gems following the links below:

The Vampyre: A Tale by Varla Ventura and John William Polidori (Amazon) (B&N)

The Burial of the Rats by Varla Ventura and Bram Stoker (Amazon) (B&N)

Dracula’s Guest by Varla Ventura and Bram Stoker (Amazon) (B&N)

Clarimonde by Varla Ventura and Théophile Gautier (Amazon)

The House of the Vampire by Varla Ventura and George Sylvester Viereck (Amazon) (B&N)

Beware the Scandanavian Christmas Troll!!!

Lock up your daughters. And your sons! No child, strike that, no mortal is safe in the dark hours of Christmas Eve. For there lurks the Christmas troll, drunk on spirits and cavorting with the witches, waiting to trick you into a midnight ride.

Early 20th century author Clement A. Miles was a historian and an amateur anthropologist of sorts. His 1912 collection of Christmas traditions he deemed “both Pagan and Christian” is not just a cross-cultural look at the origins of Santa Claus. Here you will find werewolves, bogeys, and trolls. You will find curses and hexes and imminent death, rituals of the dead and goblin offerings. You will be warned of The Devil and cautioned against laziness. If you are in Bavaria, take heed of the Berchte—a wretched bogey who cuts the stomachs open of naughty children. And at all costs, do not walk outside alone should you ever find yourself in Greece during the Twelve Days of Christmas. For there lurks the most horrid beast of all: the Kallikantzaroi  or Karkantzaroi, a horrid half-human, half-animal monstrosity that plays tricks and ravages households, often leaving the occupants dead. Some say it is a mortal man transformed into a beastly creature, others say it is manifested from the supernatural beyond.

If you want to learn more about these horrifying hellhounds of Yule, join me on Friday the 23rd of December, at 10pm PST on Coast to Coast where George Noory and I will speak of things evil and strange, quirky and creepy, funny and festive!

Coast to Coast is a live show that you can listen to via your local AM radio station. Visit their website for a list of stations and times. And don’t forget, you can call in with your own tales of terror!! Open lines in the second hour.