Welcome to the annual
October Frights Blog Hop
where paranormal and horror authors
gather to celebrate the spooky season and
everything that goes bump in the night.
A big terrifying thank you to AF Stewart for organizing it and putting it all together for us each October.
You'll find a list of all the awesome authors participating in the hop at the bottom. Please make sure to visit all of them to see what
ominous offerings they have in store for you.
The Ouija Board has always been one of my favorite things. Since the short story I was going to post for hop, "Where The Dead Don't Rest," ended up being submitted to an anthology, (yay!) I thought I'd share the interesting and somewhat dark history of the Ouija Board.
It all began as Spiritualism, popular in Europe, swept across the United States. In 1848, the Fox sisters, from upstate New York, made news when they when they claimed they received messages from the dead who knocked on their wall to answer questions. The sisters became celebrities and other spiritualist made the headlines as well. It became commonplace and acceptable to hold a seance, speak to deceased relatives and friends through automatic writing or table turning, where those in attendance would place their hands on the table as it rattled and shook. It was time consuming and sometimes borderline boring, as the spiritualist would call out a letter and wait to hear a knock to acknowledge it was the correct letter.
Enter American ingenuity. In 1886, word of spiritualists in Ohio using a 'talking board' with letters, numbers and a device to point them out, was reported by the Associated Press. Enter Charles Kennard. With a few investors including Elijah Bond, a patent lawyer, form the Kennard Novelty Company in 1890, to make and market the newest craze in spiritualism, the talking board.
One of the original Ojuia Boards made by the Kennard Novelty Company.
An early picture of a planchette patented in Boston.
Planchette, meaning 'little plank' in France was invented by Allan Kardec, an educator and founder of Spiritism in 1853. After sitting at a seance and sitting through the tiresome calling out of a letter and waiting for a response, he turned over a small basket, stuck a sharpened pencil through it and let the participants write out the message. It was a success and and years later when the talking board became popular, morphed into a wooden, sturdy board and finally into the modern planchette we use now.
Stop by tomorrow to learn how the Talking Board got its now famous name, it's patent, and why it went from a widely accepted way of speaking to the dead, to the evil, demonic tool of the devil that many think it is today.
Before you leave check out the other fun things happening at the hop:
Head over to the October Frights Book Giveaway HERE
Hop over the October Frights Book Fair HERE
TODAY ONLY - JOIN OUR LAUNCH PANEL DISCUSSION WITH:
A.F. Stewart, founder of the October Frights Blog Hop and host, Carmilla Voiez, Heidi Angell and Angela Yuriko discuss the Hop and take a peek at upcoming events. 10:00 am CST
Last but certainly not least,
check out the other participating Paranormal and Horror authors:
Followers, by Christina Bergling is a good read, but to be honest, for a little more than a third of the way in, I read about Sidney, a horror blogger/reviewer and her daily life at her dead end job, her bloody photo shoots (for her blog), her family/personal problems and of course, her online presence working toward her goal of becoming an internet sensation, which was the cursor to get the story going, but nothing had really happened yet.
I'm a horror move fan, so it held my interest, and the writing was good. I enjoyed the trip to the Telluride Horror Film Festival, the discussion of Rocky Horror among other favorite horror movies, and that would have been fine if this wasn't a book in the horror/dark fiction genre. I'm all for setting up the story plot and characters, but it could have been condensed so the core of the story could begin sooner.
When the action did start, however, I was drawn right in. The creep factor was good, especially as Sidney's online conversations got darker, more personal and her online fans wanted more and more of her and from her, causing the suspense to build up nicely. In the end it became quite a chilling game of cat and mouse between Sidney and her 'followers', that I absolutely enjoyed despite it taking a while to get there.
I received a complimentary ARC from the publisher for an honest review.
I was 14 years old in 1975. I devoured the same “nightmare” and “scream” comic books as the main character, Ryan, and even bought Sea Monkey’s, not Sea Monsters, from the local drug store because it was the current fad at the time.
Needless to say, I had a big smile on my face while reading most of Of Men and Monsters. The author perfectly captures the experience of being a kid in the 70’s during the summer. I thought the story had a Stranger Things vibe (set a decade earlier) as a group of kids get together and do what has to be done to fight the ‘monsters’ and ‘demons’ of the story.
This may be the shortest review I’ve ever written, but it’s a quick read, a novella, and I don’t want to give anything away. It was fun, sad, tragic, and suspenseful. A wonderful story by Tom Deady. 5 Stars.
I was given a a complimentary ARC from the publisher in return for an honest review.
The bayou not only whispers, but insists, that Jeannine LaRue, a tough as nails NYC lawyer, who had been through hell and back during Katrina, return to New Orleans. Curtis Jones, a one-time cop and rescuer of Jeannine, who now leans to the wrong side of the law, needs her help. Together they discover that hell isn’t done with Jeannie just yet and she’s up for the fight.
I don’t give spoilers and I don’t rehash the blurb in my reviews. A good book needs good characters. Jeannine and Curtis are top-notch, but Mr. Wood has put together an interesting cast of secondary but important characters. Zombies! Not the virus causing type, but real, good, old-fashioned, voodoo raised from the dead variety, which are my favorite and who, sadly, I don’t read about all that often anymore. A Gollum (usually associated with Jewish mythology) who popped up in the bayou was a
fun and great addition that kept with the raising of the dead theme.
There are historical references with a literary twist, which is always a plus. A ghost ship, The Sultana (a real steamboat that exploded in 1865 on the Mississippi River), captained
by Papa Nightmare and his zombies including a Sax player named Easy Street, as well as an ominous intention that caused a storm off the Gulf to become the human tragedy and catastrophe that was Katrina.
It’s a complex tale and you may have guessed, there is a lot going on, but it flowed well. The author did rely on past memories quite a bit and there were a few instances where dialogue may have made the story smoother, but that’s just my personal opinion and it took nothing away from the story.
A horror thriller with long kept secrets, dark family legacies, and New Orleans’s
mysterious magic, Bayou Whispers is a fast-paced read, a page turner for sure, that
kept me intrigued. A few surprises rounded out the end nicely.
A great read. 4 1/2 stars.
I received a complimentary ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Bayou Whispers is available here:
Crystal Lake Publishing