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, 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.


11 nights till Hallowe’en & in the forest there is magic still

Posted in Liber et Audax on October 20, 2017 by Occult Detective


Yesterday, after I handled some business for the Converse Historical Society and visited with my ailing father, Kim, Connor, and I made our annual sojourn southwest of town to Hainlen’s Orchard to pick up this year’s pumpkins.

Hainlen’s has been a staple of the Converse community for nearly 100 years and a fixture in my life almost half that long. I love the smell of the place, especially in their market, with the blending of fruits and spices and all that cider to create a sensory overload.

After, we traveled north, to one of my most favorite haunts — the Mississinewa State Forest. We decided with autumn’s turn that a hike through the woods was in order, so we opted for the old Blue Heron Trail.

At 2.25 miles of mostly level terrain, it’s a nice, leisurely stroll through what is at times some amazingly beautiful representations of wild Indiana. We spied a doe and fawn on a couple of different occasions and a heron along the shore of Mississinewa Lake.

It was a spectacular endcap to the day, marred only by the discovery that one of my favorite parts of the woods, an arrow straight tunnel through towering pines, was devastated by rot, decay, and the advance of poison ivy. Those northern pines were bare, the once thick carpet of copper needles overrun by grass and vines…

I worried that a bit of magic was gone from the place, but there was still something wondrous and beautiful in its demise. The spell was still cast. It’s ghost remained in the skeleton frames of the soaring shafts and the lingering memories of the years when I’d camped there, often in fall and winter, drifted in and out among the spires.

It’s said that all things must pass, but I don’t know if that’s squarely true. Sometimes, they transform instead, remaining behind as a new thing, striking and extraordinary in its own way. Different, yes, but the shadow still lingers…

12 Days till Hallowe’en and it’s bleeding in 4 colors

Posted in Horror on October 19, 2017 by Occult Detective


Since I was a little kid, Hallowe’en and comics have been all but synonymous. Whenever the witching season rolls around, I dig out some of my horror favorites, such as House of Mystery, Ghosts, The Witching Hour, Tomb of Dracula, or any number of countless others, and I immerse myself in the art and stories, from an age when comics mattered, when they were an integral part of the growing-up process.

Those days, I’m afraid, are long gone. I suspect my generation was there for the last, dying embers of what was once a staple of every child’s life. Oh sure, “comics” are bigger than ever, ruling the big screen (and the small one to a lesser degree), but comics in four colors have not been selling well for decades.

As soon as they stopped being available in gas stations, super markets, and news stands, well, the writing was on the wall. To paraphrase the Buggles, the Direct Market killed the Comic Book Star. Yes, comics still exist, but other than the work of creators like Tim Truman and Cullen Bunn, little else attracts my attention.

And I guess that’s the real horror…

13 Days till Hallowe’en and the Devil Rides Out

Posted in Media Macabre, Occult Detectives on October 18, 2017 by Occult Detective

We’ve entered into the sublime swell of telluric energies that rise during this, the season of the witch. Thirteen glorious days out from All Hallow’s Eve and the esoteric influx of eldritch sorceries are nearing their zenith…

Today I’d like to spotlight two items that are, in a sense, a single thing. I draw now your attention from the mundane world about you and entreat your assiduity be turned toward one of the premiere examples of the occult detective genre — The Devil Rides Out.


Dennis Wheatley was a prolific author, to say the least. Heralded as “The Prince of Thriller Writers”, I favored his “Black Magic / Duke de Richleau” novels, of course, but Wheatley’s work as a whole were brilliantly well-paced. I chewed through them as a boy and still hold a fond place in my heart for them.

Yes, they’re stuffy and so very British, but that’s part of their charm.

As for what I consider his finest work, The Devil Rides Out, written by Dennis Wheatley in 1934, is a sordid tale of black magic and the occult. While it is a product of its time, I believe it still holds up and has a captivating allure, even now.

It helped considerably that Wheatley got on quite well with Aleister Crowley and, it should come as no surprise, the Beast bears more than a passing resemblance to the novel’s antagonist Mocata.



As much as I love the novel, however, the film adaptation of The Devil Rides Out is really something special. It aired on Turner Classic Movies last night and, once again, I could not look away. Christopher Lee as Duke de Richleau is not only brilliant casting, but is easily Lee’s finest performance, and that’s saying a lot.

“Director Terence Fisher has a ball with this slice of black magic, based on the Dennis Wheatley novel. He has built up a suspenseful pic, with several tough highlights, and gets major effect by playing the subject dead straight and getting similar serious performances from his capable cast. Christopher Lee is for once on the side of the goodies.” — Variety

If you’ve not seen it, you should make a point of immersing yourself in The Devil Rides Out. It holds with me a rather curious distinction, shared only by Angel Heart, in that it is a movie that surpasses its source material despite said material being near brilliant.

It is an inspiring film, heavy handed at times, but a delight to the senses. It draws from the novel, capturing its frantic pacing, but is able to frame the narrative through Lee’s performance in such a way that elevates the material even further.

In hoc signo vinces

Posted in Liber et Audax, Magick by Trial & Error on October 13, 2017 by Occult Detective


Ah, yes, my second favorite ‘holiday’ is upon us, and in October no less.

This Friday the 13th is made even more special by signaling the 710th anniversary of King Philip IV’s royal decree that the Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici, or Knights Templar, be arrested en masse and charged with a whole host of crimes, such as heresy and sodomy.


The Templars have long been a fascination of mine. The sheer volume of material written about the Order is staggering and while the majority is conspiracy drivel, there are truths to be found scattered amongst the literary refuse.

The enigmatic nature of these “Poor-Soldiers of Christ” is captivating, from their humble origins to the esoteric and occult narrative that has been irrevocably woven into their mythology.

Of course, it’s the mysterious treasure horde they were said to possess that lures most down the rabbit hole of Templar obsession. Rumoured to have collected everything from the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, the True Cross, and an unbelievable profusion of other divine relics, in addition to more worldly riches, the Templar Treasure, lost to the ages is the stuff of legend.

It’s fueled an entire industry unto itself. Mention the Templars and they will come.


Usually, Friday the 13th is reserved for Camp Crystal Lake related revelry. But not today. Today is for the Templars and to them I raise a horn in their honour. While our faiths do not coincide, the wonder of it all still sparks my imagination.

The end for them began with the words Dieu n’est pas content, nous avons des ennemis de la foi dans le Royaume. As the Knights of the Temple came to a close, their legend began and grew in the telling.


WIN a copy of The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives edited by Judika Illes

Posted in All Hallows Read, Occult Detectives on October 11, 2017 by Occult Detective

In keeping with the All Hallow’s Read tradition, I have a treat for you. I’m looking to give someone a copy of The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives: 13 Stories of Supernatural Sleuthing, edited and introduced by Judika Illes.


Illes has done a masterful job of poring over decades of brilliant occult detective tales and selecting some of the very best to share with you.

Check out my review.

Trust me, you want need this book.

So, what do you have to do to get it?

Well, there’s the trick.

First of all, I have to limit this to folks in the continental US. Sorry about that, but I’m operating on an author’s budget.

For those of you who qualify, all you need do is tell or show me who your favorite fictional occult detective is and why.

Simple enough.

You will be judged based on the content of your submission. This is open to writers and illustrators. Length is not a factor, but the overall piece will be viewed as a whole. Be creative. Dazzle me with your words or pictures, but most of all I want to feel your passion for the character.

Yes, I am willing to accept multiple submissions.

Submission deadline is OCTOBER 24th.

Send all submissions to: contest (at) occultdetective (dot) com

The winner will receive The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives, a signed copy of my novel Shadows Over Somerset, and a signed copy of my now rarer-than-rare Landon Connors, Occult Detective comic.

The winning entry will be posted on this website and spread across social media accordingly.

Happy Birthday, Connor

Posted in Liber et Audax on October 9, 2017 by Occult Detective

conn joust

My boy is fourteen years old today, but then, I guess he’s not really a boy anymore. He’s become a man right before my eyes.

I couldn’t be more proud of him.

He’s smart, kind, and a brilliant storyteller

I am thankful each and every day for him. He is my pride and joy and I owe Kim everything for bringing him into this world.

Happy Birthday, son. I love you more than words can express.

With my sword and my head held high…

Posted in Liber et Audax, Sword & Sorcery on October 8, 2017 by Occult Detective


This morning we travel south, across the beautiful autumn kissed landscape of mythic Indiana, until we reach the sights and sounds of the ancient world reborn for us at  Fishers Renaissance Faire.

It will be grand to be surrounded once more by minstrels, merchants and maidens fair, but we most long to hear once more the cacophony of broken lances and the roar of the crowd as the Knights of Valour demonstrate their tournament prowess.

This has become an annual affair for us, one we so look forward to. That it so closely coincides with Connor’s birthday is an added bonus.

This will be a much needed escape from our daily troubles and the incessant grind of weighty real world matters. Immersing ourselves in the medieval realm of fantasy, our attention will be drawn instead to pomp and spectacle.

I, for one, look forward to the joust and to perusing the weapon tents. Nothing better than holding a yard of well-crafted steel in one’s hand.

So, huzzah, my friends. Expect a full report when Leif Eriksson Day dawns…

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