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

bobav2Bob Freeman is an author, artist, and paranormal adventurer whose previous novels include Shadows Over Somerset, Keepers of the Dead, and Descendant.

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.

Casting the Runes

Posted in Archive on September 27, 2016 by Occult Detective

Dice Upon A Time

bgsm2My infrequency in posting is not due to fading interest in bloggery, but, mind you, an indication that I am hard at work further developing OCCULT DETECTIVE: The Roleplaying Game.

Chiefly, in the area of Character Creation.

There are a lot of elements to it: abilities, skills, archetypes, paths, sun and moon signs, rune casting, and even a pull from the tarot. All of these factors play into the character as a whole.

Finding the right balance is key and the mechanics are coming together.

I have created a number of games over the years, but never for mass public consumption. In the past, they have always been for my various gaming groups, but now, as I set my sights on a broader audience I am gaining a newfound respect for those who actually write games for a living.

This is a far cry from an easy task.

It’s one…

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My thoughts on The Exorcist

Posted in Archive, Media Macabre with tags on September 26, 2016 by Occult Detective

exorcist

While the rest of America looked elsewhere it seems, I couldn’t resist settling in for the promised thrills and chills of The Exorcist, which premiered on Fox this past Friday.

It’s ratings appear in line with what Constantine was pulling in. Unlike Constantine, there has been a resounding indifference from social media.

I’ve got to tell you, I enjoyed the hell out of it (no pun intended).

Perfect? No, not by half, but there were strong performances from Alfonso Herrera and Ben Daniels that show there’s promise. While Geena Davis does a good job of portraying a woman whose life is unraveling, desperate to hold it all together, and the young actresses playing her daughters, Brianne Howey and Hannah Kasulka, balance the yin and yang of sisterhood, The Exorcist will live or die by its atmosphere and dread.

exorcist-cast

First of all, I am thrilled they decided not to adapt the novel or remake the film. The Exorcist is one of the greatest movies of all time. You do not want the job of recreating scenes that are cinema classics, especially when it’s for a network television audience.

The cast, as I explained above, is solid and the story a compelling one.

Yes, Father Tomas dreaming of Father Marcus’ failed exorcism in Mexico City was a bit much, but it got us where we need to be, with Tomas discovering there is more than meets the eye in the Rance household.

That Mexico City exorcism, which invoked memories of both Lord of Illusions and the movie version of Constantine for some reason, was adequately done, but it was the final few minutes of the episode that sold it to me and made me anxious to see the next episode.

There’s been no shortage of good exorcism dramas on the small screen.I quite enjoyed ITV’s Midwinter of the Spirit, BBC’s Apparitions starring Martin Shaw was damn near brilliant, and of course Cinemax breathed life into Robert Kirkman’s Outcast which was a stellar ride as well.

The verdict is still out on whether FOX’s The Exorcist is going to pull this off. But if nothing else, the pilot gives me hope.

All Hallow’s Read 2016

Posted in All Hallows Read on September 25, 2016 by Occult Detective

We’ve but 35 days until Hallowe’en and with Hallowe’en comes All Hallow’s Read.

In addition to supporting the gifting of scary books this time of year, I also make a point of reading scary books. This season, my wife and I will be sharing Stephen King’s Bag of Bones and I’ll be delving into various short story collections, reading Lovecraft, Poe, Machen, Blackwood, and more…

Another All Hallow’s Read tradition is my annual All Hallow’s Read poster, which I share with you now.

Remember… keep Hallowe’en spooky and Happy Bobtober ;)

ahr16

Three. It’s a magic number.

Posted in Lost In Translation, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives on September 24, 2016 by Occult Detective

I am not generally a big fan of memes, hashtags, and trends, but I have to admit I was thoroughly enamored with the idea behind #threefictional characters. I only wish more people took it seriously.

It seems to me, you can learn learn a lot about a person based on their honest choices.

I did give mine a lot of thought and though a writer didn’t make the cut, they being the products of writers’ imaginations have to count for something.

3characters

My choices began with Supernatural’s Bobby Singer, a bearded hillbilly curmudgeon with a talent for ghostbreaking and demon slaying. Yeah, he hits a wee bit close to home. Add in the fact that he is (or was) Sam & Dean’s surrogate father and I think you can see why Bobby Singer was a good fit. Hell, we even share the same first name.

John Locke was a no-brainer for Team Bob. Locke was a Man of Faith, as LOST so frequently hammered home. He was also damaged. For all his philosophical leanings, there was a part of him, deep down, that was lost (no pun intended) and afraid. We all have those moments, to be sure, and Locke, particularly in those early episodes really spoke to me. “Don’t tell me what I can’t do”? Indeed.

Rounding out the trifecta was difficult. Choosing another Occult Detective was obvious and I considered many, but in the end, it was the tv version of Harry Dresden who made the cut. I always found Paul Blackthorne’s portrayal more appealing than what was found on the page. Harry is a sympathetic guy, often down-on-his-luck, but with a big heart and an uncanny knack for magic. The fact that he pals around with a skull named Bob doesn’t hurt matters. Magic being a big part of my life, Dresden ticks that box for me quite nicely in ways that John Constantine no longer can. I’ve grown up a bit… but not too much.

So, yeah. I enjoyed that quite a bit and I’d like to think that you can see a bit of me in all of them, and vice versa…

Must be the Season of the Witch

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on September 23, 2016 by Occult Detective

Rolling Stone Magazine debuted on November 9, 1967 and featured an interview by John Carpenter with Donovan.

He said, of magic, “it’s in the blood of my race…The magic that you hear in tales and things was all based around the Celtic mythology of England… I just drain from that source. I just drain everything. So the magic is there. We are magic. It is magic that we’re walking around. It’s fantastic magic. Some people would call it miracles; I like to call it magic. …the more I can understand how big it is, how big it will get. It’ll be harder to comprehend; that’s why I have to go along with it, ’cause its so vast. To say to somebody that God is everything that lives and ever has lived and ever will live, and you’re never going to touch and see, smell and be everything that is God. Magic is very hard to comprehend.

vivien-and-merlin

There’s a truth in his words and I feel it, especially as this time of year rolls around. There’s a magic inside all of us, and each race and culture has their own unique spin on it.

It all taps into the same source, give or take, but it’s the individual flavor that gives it that little something special that tends to speak to all of us in different ways.

Much like Donovan, my roots lie in Northern Europe, from Scandinavia and the British Isles. I have a deep fascination and appreciation for magic in all its various guises, but it is the magic of my ancestors, my kindred folk, that sets my soul afire.

As Samhain approaches I am cognizant of those who came before me and I feel connected through the bones of the earth and the astral winds that blow up from the distant past.

But magic is alive. It is about more than just yesterday. It is about today and tomorrow as well.

.:.

And so it begins…

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on September 22, 2016 by Occult Detective

bobtober2016

I’m not going to pretend that this is going to be the Bobtober to end all Bobtobers. I have been somewhat ill for a while now and I am trusting that between the various doctors poking and prodding me, some magical friends bending the laws of physics on my behalf, and my wife’s persistent care-giving that my course shall soon be righted and I will be back to some semblance of my old self.

That is not to say that this year’s festivities are a wash. My top two priorities are spending some quality time with my lady love today as it is our 16th Wedding Anniversary and to see that my son’s birthday is a day to be remembered for years to come.

I will most likely be having a surgery or two at some point so everything else is up in the air, but I do most seriously plan to publish reviews of Judika Illes’ Weiser Book of the Fantastic and Forgotten, the majestic and inspiring English Magic Tarot, Martin Faulks’ The Emerald Tablet: A Commentary on the Path of the True Adept, Nick Mamatas’ I Am Providence, and Richard Chizmar’s A Long December.

I would truly like to hike out to the ‘Indian Cemetery’ near Taylor Creek, to visit some of my childhood haunts along the Mississinewa, and visit old friends along Goose Creek if the gods are willing.

I’ve an itch to attend Mississinewa 1812 and the Fishers Renaissance Faire.

I want to play Dungeons & Dragons and run more playtests of Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game.

I had hopes to pull another Ellison and live post a month long serial as I’ve done in years past, but this year I think I’ll try some flash fiction and poetry instead…

I want to read the perfect Hallowe’en novel with the Water Street Book Club.

I want to watch some of my favorite horror and occult detective movies… and I want to discover some new ones.

I want bonfires and spellcasting, ghostbreaking and soul searching. I want another danse macabre. I want cemetery strolls and magick underfoot. I want to be surrounded by ghosts and ghouls and goblins…

I want to see First Born published.

And I want to share it all here, with you, my friends…

So let it begin, this fell Bobtober. Let it howl and moan with unfettered desire.

This witching season, we shall become more than we were…

 

My thoughts on Unseen Forces edited by J. Douglas Kenyon

Posted in Archive with tags , , on September 13, 2016 by Occult Detective

These Atlantis Rising magazine collections put together by J. Douglas Kenyon have really been growing on me. I was admittedly a bit chaffed by the first few I looked at. I wasn’t in a good place and I was a little burnt out on the whole fringe science / global conspiracy scene. I’d been neck deep in it for forty years and I needed a break.

I blame reality television.

From all those programs with Ghost in the title (Hunters, Adventures, Lab, Mine, etc), to Ancient Aliens, Search for Lost Giants, America Unearthed, and a host of others, Reality TV really soured me on Fortean research.

Critical thinking was seemingly dead. It became a parade of bad science and lies by omission. These so-called experts were putting on a show, purposely distorting history to make their ludicrous theories seem plausible, throwing anything and everything against the wall to see what would stick.

The thing is, I was, and am, still a believer. There is a truth out there waiting to be found.

And that’s when I returned to the fold, because I realized that lost in that myriad of half-cocked, three-quarter baked theories are glimmers of that much sought after truth.

History is not fact. Science is not infallible. Alternative and unconventional thinking is often a rabbit hole of crazy that so many of us fall down, but by doing so, by clawing through it all, we are able to piece together a semblance of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but…

unseen-forces

Which I guess is a round about way of saying that Unseen Forces: A Guide to the Truly Attentive, the latest release from J. Douglas Kenyon, culled from the Atlantis Rising magazine library, is well worth your time.

There are some fascinating articles throughout, such as Dr. Marc Seifer’s Nikola Tesla & the God Particle and Wallis Budge Gets the Last Word by Laird Scranton.

Do not just accept anything as gospel. Challenge everything. Think for yourself, but do so critically and earnestly. Remember, everyone has an agenda, even yourself.

Truth for truth’s sake, toward this boldly go…

And speaking of boldly going, be sure to venture forth to your nearest bookstore and peruse the “magic” section. Buy yourself a copy of Unseen Forces or something like it.

Take yourself a tumble down the rabbit hole.

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