Creature Feature: The Varua Ino: The Ravening Watchers

For today’s creature we venture into the tropical paradise of the South Seas: a place of warm, hospitable people, blue seas, palm-trees swaying in the trade-winds–and blood-thirsty elementals: the Varua ino.

The Tomb Challenge of the Russian Princess

In 1818 the Russian Princess Elisabeth Demidoff died at Paris, aged 39. 75 years later, strange stories began to circulate about the tomb and its occupant.

Hearts and Powers: Cardiac Witchery

In this Valentine’s week, let us take the pulse of early 20th-century witchcraft and look at the power of the heart in enchantments. The hearts of lambs, moles, and humans–all had mystic powers.

The Kiss of Death: A Mexican Ghost

As we have all painted our faces like La Calavera Catrina and are munching sugar skulls to honor our Dear Departed on this Day of the Dead, let us settle down among the marigolds for a ghost story. On previous holidays, we have met a faithful dead nun and a skeletal bishop with his evil raven companion. Today we go to a churchyard in San Juan where a seductive entity sought its prey.

The Thing in the Cemetery

There is a horrific tale called “The Croglin Grange Vampire” told by Augustus Hare in The Story of My Life (1896/1900). The hideous Thing in this story from Van Wert, Ohio is strongly reminiscent of Hare’s unearthly creature found in a churchyard vault.

The Victorian Book of the Dead: A Preview

Preview of coming attraction: The Victorian Book of the Dead, by Chris Woodyard, will be available in September. Here’s a blurb and a table of contents.

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