Welcome to Bob Freeman’s occultdetective.com

Posted in Alba Gu Brath, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on April 18, 2016 by Occult Detective

01 sigil magickBob Freeman is an artist, game designer, paranormal adventurer, and author of two book series — The Cairnwood Manor series ( Shadows Over Somerset  & Keepers of the Dead) and Tales of the Liber Monstrorum (First Born).

A lifelong student of mythology, folklore, magic, and religion, Freeman has written numerous short stories, articles, and reviews for various online and print publications and is a respected lecturer on the occult and paranormal phenomena.

He lives in rural Indiana with his wife Kim and son Connor.

In addition to occultdetective.com, Mr. Freeman can be found online on twitter and facebook.

cairnwood series

Haunted History Tour

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on September 13, 2018 by Occult Detective


I’ll be leading folks on guided tours of the Oddfellows Building on Saturday, October 20. If you’re in the area, it’ll be a good opportunity to learn a little local history and maybe, just maybe, experience something a bit more…

An Imaginarium Convention Update

Posted in Horror, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on September 12, 2018 by Occult Detective


My schedule is starting to shape up for my appearance at next month’s Imaginarium Convention.

I’ll only be attending the con on Saturday, October 6th this year. Though I’m not sure when, I will be signing copies of First Born, Shadows Over Somerset, & Keepers of the Dead at the Seventh Star Press table for a brief period of time. I will, however, be involved with two panel discussions:

Paranormal Literature – An open discussion about paranormal literature today. What’s popular now? What are some of the trends at the moment? Why do tales with strong paranormal elements resonate so strongly in a science-driven age? This panel will consider these kinds of questions and much more! Sat 11:30am in room Farmington. Panelist include: (Mod-Alison Richards) Tammy Blackwell, Pam Turner, Bob Freeman, Kelly Martin, Katheryn Ragle.

The Occult in Literature – The occult is often used in literature, from thrillers, to mysteries, to horror and cross-genre tales. With a vast amount of information available and a history that extends to the beginning of humankind, the occult has proven to be fertile ground for storytellers. Our panelists will discuss the presence and use of the occult in literature. Sat 3:15pm in room Derby. Panelist include:  (Mod- Bob Freeman: The Occult Detective) Chad McClendon, Sara Marian, R.N.Drum, Janie Franz, Josef Matulich.

bobIf you’re looking for me to devalue your copies of any of my books (ie get them signed), catching me before or after one of these panels is a sure way to have me nailed down to one spot and hold me accountable.

Otherwise, if you see me on the convention floor, feel free to come right up and say “hi”, but be prepared for me to chew your ear a bit (not in a MIke Tyson sort of way). I’m hard to miss. I kind of stand out in a crowd for some reason.

My thoughts on The Visions of the Pylons by J. Daniel Gunther

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on September 11, 2018 by Occult Detective

visionsThere are books and then there are books, those works that come along to elevate you, that open you up to infinite possibilities, to wonders and magic and more.

J. Daniel Gunther’s The Visions of the Pylons: A Magical Record of Exploration in the Starry Abode is a fascinating glimpse into the workings of a magician, a Thelemite, in pursuit of knowledge and truth.

Visions chronicles a series of workings with Gunther assuming the role of seer while his student, Richard Gernon, served as a scribe.

Plumbing the depths of Egyptian Cosmology, utilizing Aleister Crowley’s “Notes on Astral Projection” as his guide, Gunther embarked on a quest through the Pylons, confronted by Celestial Gatekeepers, Watchers, as he made unbelievable discoveries — unveiling secret pathways into the Aethyrs and beyond.

Yes, one might quibble over the particulars of the gods as depicted therein, but to do so is to miss the point, I feel. The essence of the unfolding narrative is what matters here. This book was stunning, eye opening, and mind expanding, a modern grimoire that should grace the libraries of all who aspire to glimpse behind the curtain.

This, for me, was the most important work I’ve read this decade. The Visions of the Pylons is an important work, a necessary guide for all seekers of occult wisdom. While these may not be the answers you’re looking for, Gunther’s journey is an inspiring vision-quest that will thrill you and inspire you to reach out and touch new heights beyond your wildest imaginings.

Beyond Visions content, Ibis has packaged the work as a beautiful piece of art. Visions is a gorgeous book, lavishly illustrated and bound, but at an affordable pricepoint. This will become a treasure, a book that will continue to be a presence in your life for years to come, that you might pass on to those who come after.

I urge you to seek this book out, to consume it and think about it. It made me hunger for more and helped clear the debris from the path of my journey. I think it could do the same for you.

The Visions of the Pylons by J. Daniel Gunter is available via Amazon or direct from Red Wheel /Weiser.



My thoughts on Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic & Sen Moise’s Working Conjure

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on September 5, 2018 by Occult Detective

blackthornWhile we gently slide into the witchy season, what better time than now to talk about a couple of books I had the pleasure of devouring recently.

First up was one that caught me a little off guard. To say that I was pleasantly surprised by Amy Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic is more than an understatement.

In the 40+ years that I’ve been interested in folk magic and the occult, I have read dozens of books on herbalism, potions, oils, and the like.

This one hit that sweet spot, being concise and informative. The author has a smooth voice, coming across friendly but knowledgeable. She’s the neighbor you wish you had.

The book is comfortable to read, with heavier stock newsprint so there’s no glare. Not overly fond of the inserts, but overall the font is relaxed and not hard on the eyes. Us over-50 year olds have to worry over such things ;)

The star of the book is the simple recipes found throughout. This is spellcraft laid out for beginners, but there are plenty of intriguing creations that will entice the seasoned veteran as well.

You can pick up a copy of Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic wherever books are sold, or just click the Amazon link and get it delivered to your door.

conjureAnother fascinating book I had the chance to devour was Hoodoo Sen Moise’s Working Conjure: A Guide to Hoodoo Folk Magic.

I’ve always had a soft spot for traditional folk magic, particularly Southern rootwork that blended heathen magics from Europe and Africa to create something new and wonderful… and downright scary at times.

I was unfamiliar with the author, hoodoo’s not really my scene (I’ve got a thing about chickens), but Sen Moise delivers are well-balanced primer for those interested in dipping their toes into the modern revival of Root Magic.

I see that as the strength and weakness of this book. While the author is respectful of his ancestors, I see this as an evolution of the craft. It’s a bit modern and revisionist, but it speaks to the times we’re in and this is Conjure for the 21st Century, where the old and new find a balance to move forward.

It was certainly an interesting and enveloping read. It was personal, which is a strong point, especially with this flavor of magic. While this isn’t exactly my cup of hoodoo blend, I was better for having experienced it and will certainly integrate aspects of the work, particularly parts of Conjure in the Graveyard, into my own practice.

Working Conjure: A Guide to Hoodoo Folk Magic by Sen Moise is available on Amazon or wherever books are sold.

I make my home in the Haunted Heartland

Posted in Alba Gu Brath, All Hallows Read, Horror, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on September 5, 2018 by Occult Detective

I always seem to get more popular the closer we get to Hallowe’en.

Case in point —

heartlandYou can find me in the latest issue of Heartland Magazine in an article titled “Oh, the Horror: Exploring Haunted Places in North Central Indiana”. I had a great chat with reporter Carson Gerber about several local haunts. He’s a great interviewer, always respectful, and a pleasure to just sit and talk with.

Want to see me in person?

I’ll be a guest for the 5th anniversary of the Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, Kentucky October 6 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Conference Center.

Imaginarium is an amazing convention for writers, filmmakers, artists, musicians, editors, publishers, game designers, cosplayers, gamers, readers, podcasters, pop culture fans and all who love the creative world. It features over 130 panels and workshops, sports a gaming room crawling with table-top games, RPGs, and retro video games, is a book fair and expo, and offers tons of Live entertainment, covering everything from bellydancing, to magic and music, costume contest and cosplay and more.


Weekend and single day passes are available. For more info visit www.entertheimaginarium.com


On October 20th, the Converse Historical Society will be hosting an old school Hallowe’en Festival at the Eastern Woodland Carvers Club in beautiful downtown Converse.

The CHS will have some fascinating artifacts on display, there will be games and refreshments, and I’ll be there giving people guided tours through the upper floors of the historic Oddfellows Building. Never been on a ghost hunt before? This is a chance you don’t want to miss.

Keep an eye on the CHS Facebook Page for details.


Happy 128th Birthday, H.P. Lovecraft

Posted in Horror on August 20, 2018 by Occult Detective


Happy 128th Birthday, H.P. Lovecraft

His influence on modern horror and, strangely enough, modern occultism is nearly unfathomable. Lovecraft’s prose is emotionally charged, but in a cerebral way, while still peeling away at the layers of that primordial fear of the other that is so ingrained in our deep consciousness.

I, for one, am grateful  he was able to channel his neuroses in such a way as to leave an indelible mark on American Literature. Lovecraft is the father of cosmic horror. His imagination, his nightmares, have taken on a life all their own.

I leave you with that and Despair to dwell upon…

O’er the midnight moorlands crying,
Thro’ the cypress forests sighing,
In the night-wind madly flying,
Hellish forms with streaming hair;
In the barren branches creaking,
By the stagnant swamp-pools speaking,
Past the shore-cliffs ever shrieking,
Damn’d demons of despair.

Once, I think I half remember,
Ere the grey skies of November
Quench’d my youth’s aspiring ember,
Liv’d there such a thing as bliss;
Skies that now are dark were beaming,
Bold and azure, splendid seeming
Till I learn’d it all was dreaming –
Deadly drowsiness of Dis.

But the stream of Time, swift flowing,
Brings the torment of half-knowing –
Dimly rushing, blindly going
Past the never-trodden lea;
And the voyager, repining,
Sees the wicked death-fires shining,
Hears the wicked petrel’s whining
As he helpless drifts to sea.

Evil wings in ether beating;
Vultures at the spirit eating;
Things unseen forever fleeting
Black against the leering sky.
Ghastly shades of bygone gladness,
Clawing fiends of future sadness,
Mingle in a cloud of madness
Ever on the soul to lie.

Thus the living, lone and sobbing,
In the throes of anguish throbbing,
With the loathsome Furies robbing
Night and noon of peace and rest.
But beyond the groans and grating
Of abhorrent Life, is waiting
Sweet Oblivion, culminating
All the years of fruitless quest.

— H.P.L.
February 19, 1919

My thoughts on Dunwich by Peter Levenda

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives on August 17, 2018 by Occult Detective

dunwichI am an unequivocal fan of Peter Levenda’s non-fiction writings. He is a thorough researcher and is uniquely gifted at connecting dots with an esoteric bent.  In Dunwich, the follow-up to his 2016 novel, The Lovecraft Code, Levenda takes those skills he has honed as a historian and conspiracy theorist to create and engaging occult thriller that merges modern Middle Eastern religion and politics with the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.

While I found The Lovecraft Code intriguing, I thought it suffered somewhat from the actual nuts and bolts side of the of things. I got what Levenda was going for. He wanted to outshine Dan Brown, to beat him at his own game.

While I think the plot was terrific and the material was brilliantly assembled, it was the writing itself that ultimately fell short. It was a little too rote for my taste. With Dunwich, however, you can really see Levenda’s growth as a fiction author.

While his writing is still somewhat mechanical, there is a little more fluidity to his prose. At the heart of this novel, and its predecessor, is an engaging political pot-boiler that takes Robert Anton Wilson-esque twists and turns throughout.

Levenda knows this material as well as anyone, and if you’re a fan of the Illuminatus! Trilogy, Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco, or Katherine Kurtz’ Templar books, I think you’ll find this series by Peter Levenda to your liking.

What makes Dunwich work so well is the author’s breadth of knowledge. You believe every word he says, because the research shines through on every page. He paints a picture, not with rich, vivid colours, but with a real and believable palette that brings to life the dull, flaccid reality we are mired in. Levenda gives us the real world, shadows and all, and that makes the rabbit hole he’s presented for us all the more terrifying.

I recommend Dunwich highly and can hardly wait for the third installment in the series.

Dunwich: A Novel by Peter Levenda is available wherever books are sold, including the most Lovecraftian horror of all, Amazon.


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