Archive for February, 2017

The Occult Detective’s #LastWrites with… Steven Shrewsbury

Posted in Last Writes with... on February 27, 2017 by Occult Detective


Welcome to the eighteenth installment of LAST WRITES.

The premise is simple. My guests face their final rest, but before Death claims them they are granted a few earthly pleasures, the memories of which will travel with them into the great unknown.

shrewsburyToday’s guest is Steven Shrewsbury, a fantasy and horror author with well over 300 tales published online or in print.

I was first introduced to Shrews via his Dack Shannon and the Majestic Universe occult detective stories.

Other works include Bad Magick (with Nate Southard), Stronger than Death, Hawg, Godforsaken, King of the Bastards (w/ Brian Keene), Bedlam Unleashed (with Peter Welmerink), Hell Billy, and many more.

Steven lives in rural Illinois with his wife and sons.


Mashed potatoes, with milk gravy…pork chops; corn on the cob; apple pie with ice cream made by the Amish


GODFATHER by Mari Puzo. love it. entertaining






My dad. He’s waiting for me. I’ve got so much to tell him

For more information on Shrews visit his official website, Amazon Author Page, or follow him on facebook or twitter.


Infinite Monkey Business — Do Ghosts Exist?

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on February 23, 2017 by Occult Detective

There is an article floating about the internet in which Brian Cox, a media science commentator and an Advanced Fellow of particle physics at the University of Manchester, states categorically that the Large Hadron Collider disproves the existence of ghosts.

Appearing alongside Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on The Infinite Monkey Cage, Cox began the program stating “We are not here to debate the existence of ghosts because they don’t exist.

coxCox went on to explain that “If we want some sort of pattern that carries information about our living cells to persist then we must specify precisely what medium carries that pattern and how it interacts with the matter particles out of which our bodies are made. We must, in other words, invent an extension to the Standard Model of Particle Physics that has escaped detection at the Large Hadron Collider. That’s almost inconceivable at the energy scales typical of the particle interactions in our bodies.

Essentially, what Cox is saying here is that if spirits have an influence on the physical world, then there must be some definable and measurable effect that can  be detected by physicists. So far, no such detection has been verified to Mr. Cox or his colleagues’ satisfaction.

I am reminded of my favorite quote from Dion Fortune, “We live in the midst of invisible forces whose effects alone we perceive. We move among invisible forms whose actions we very often do not perceive at all, though we may be profoundly affected by them.

I have been keenly interested in the occult and paranormal since I was a child. I have dedicated more than forty years to its study. I can promise you, without hesitation, that Brian Cox is wrong. The fact that his science has yet to be able to quantify the existence of preternatural beings does not prove that they do not exist, it merely spotlights that science has not been able to successfully measure the ethereal realm and those who populate it. It may never be able to do so.


I long ago abandoned any attempts at proving the existence of the so-called ‘supernatural’ to non-believers. My beliefs and experiences do not need any sort of validation from the scientific community or by the general populous for that matter.

I know what I have seen, heard, and felt with my own senses. With an open mind and an an insatiable curiosity I have come to my own conclusions.

I leave you to do the same.


The Occult Detective’s #LastWrites with… Tracy DeVore

Posted in Last Writes with... on February 20, 2017 by Occult Detective


Welcome to the seventeenth installment of LAST WRITES.

The premise is simple. My guests face their final rest, but before Death claims them they are granted a few earthly pleasures, the memories of which will travel with them into the great unknown.


Today’s guest is author and editor Tracy DeVore. Tracy was the founding president of the RWA Chapter, Gothic Romance Writers, Inc. (“GothRom”), and a founding member of Indiana Horror Writers (IHW).

She is the Senior Editor for Belfire Press and has edited for several small publishing companies, along with freelance editing for numerous individual authors.

Tracy lives in Indianapolis with her husband Tim and works for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.


Would have to be round steak slow-cooked (on the stove, not in a crock pot) in its own gravy, the way only my mom could make it. Mashed potatoes (leave a few lumps, please), macaroni & cheese and applesauce with cinnamon sprinkled over it. Not fancy, but it comes with a warm, nostalgic feeling of love and security.


The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. Totally lost myself in that world and would love to do so again.


I thought, what movie would I be sad to never see again, and the first thing that came to mind was the Man in the Iron Mask.


I first wrote “Sitting” by Cat Stevens, because it’s long been a song I want played at my send-off. But something for me to just sit and listen to one last time? That’s a tough one, there are so many. I haven’t just put the old headphones on, laid back and listened to the full version of Innagadadavida. I think I’d enjoy that.


Without a doubt, my sister, Debbie. I see no relief for my grieving in this life, I miss her so much.

To find out more about Tracy, check out her Amazon Author Page or follow her on facebook.

Laevisomnus Rex

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on February 17, 2017 by Occult Detective

kenning: a compound expression in Old English and Old Norse poetry with metaphorical meaning.

bind-rune: a ligature of two or more runes, conjoined  to form a glyph.


We are not whole. Unbound, adrift, with the world in turmoil and confusion, we are lost, individually, culturally, politically, and spiritually.

The US Presidential Campaign and subsequent ‘post-election Trump Ascension’ has turned a spotlight on our division. But this is so much bigger than us versus them. It is not black against white, or right against left, or even good versus evil. It’s a far deeper rabbit-hole we’ve tumbled into.

Each of us is a union of the corporeal and incorporeal. We are mind, body, and spirit; three parts to make a whole. Our mind and body are unique to us, but our spirit is linked to that of every other living thing in this vast universe.

We must become whole individually before we can ever hope to heal collectively. Too many of us are avoiding the inconvenient truth—that we are all complacent in the world around us.

We all want something for nothing. Sorry, but that’s not the way it works. There is a reason that we choose to muddy about in these meat suits. There needs to be an acceptance, an understanding, but somehow it all got mixed up and we’ve found ourselves floundering.

The universe is doing its level best to pull back the veil. It is up to us to acknowledge and accept the responsibility that this is the world of our choosing.

The sleeper must awaken.


The thing about Trump is (and you just knew I’d get back around to him), he is a catalyst of change; he is our trial by fire; he is the agent of our awakening.

Nap time is over. We’ve got work to do.


I am reading The Lake House by Kate Morton (Kim’s Water Street Book Club pick) and The Invisibles by Grant Morrison.

I am studying The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa; and Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson

I am working on an untitled sword & sorcery short story or novella; Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game; a new cartography project; and in the planning stages are a revisit to some old Lion’s Den Studios material (our 30 year anniversary is coming up) and a video series.

I am playing Dungeons & Dragons and Skyrim (though far less now than in weeks past).

I am watching Critical Role, Forged in Fire, The Curse of Oak Island, plus the Arrowverse, Riverdale, and, perhaps best of all, Deep Space Nine.

Happy Galatin’s Day

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on February 14, 2017 by Occult Detective


Happy Valentine’s, Lupercalia, and Galatin’s Day to all of you, but especially to my wife, Kim, who puts up with more than you can possibly fathom.

I hope you all get to celebrate the day with someone you love, but if you find yourself alone this year, I trust you’ll find comfort in a good book, because there is no better company in such times than when you are embraced by words of magic…

And speaking of magic, the first person to email me today before 12:00 Noon EST, will get a FREE three card tarot reading.

Email me at for your chance to win.


Addendum (12:26pm)

Congratulations, Francesco Rossi on being the first email received.

Here’s your reading:


The first card reflects the past; something you’re moving away from. The 9 of Cups-Reversed represents Truth and Honesty.

The second card reveals those forces currently surrounding you. The 9 of Pentacles-Reversed is a card of Deception.

The third card symbolizes what lies ahead. Here we find the Ace of Cups-Reversed, which is a card that signifies Instability and Revolution.

My recommendation? Stock up on canned goods and bottled water.


The Occult Detective’s #LastWrites with… Charles R. Rutledge

Posted in Last Writes with... on February 13, 2017 by Occult Detective



Welcome to the sixteenth installment of LAST WRITES.

The premise is simple. My guests face their final rest, but before Death claims them they are granted a few earthly pleasures, the memories of which will travel with them into the great unknown.

crToday’s guest is Charles Rutledge, co-author (with James Moore) of the Griffin and Price urban fantasy series. Hailing from Georgia, Charles is a pulp fiction and comic book aficionado with a particular fondness for Burroughs, Lovecraft, and Howard, among others. The fact that he’s had a lifelong fascination for The Occult Files of Dr. Spektor wins him all kinds of points around this website for sure.



I eat Mexican food every Wednesday night with a group of friends and have for almost 30 years. One more of those please. I usually have a combo of one burrito, one enchilada, rice and refried beans.


Tarzan at the Earth’s Core. It’s my favorite Tarzan book and the one I’ve re-read the most.


The Maltese Falcon. I’ve seen that movie more times than any other, and would happily watch it again right now. Dashiell Hammett’s masterpiece and one of Bogart’s signature roles.


A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum. It always makes me think of Karl Edward Wagner and the melody and lyrics are haunting.


My grandmother, Bess Rutledge. She was a second mother to me and I miss her every day.

To find out more about Charles, check out his Amazon Author Page or follow him on facebook and twitter.

The Occult Detective’s #LastWrites with… Cullen Bunn

Posted in Last Writes with... on February 6, 2017 by Occult Detective



Welcome to the fifteenth installment of LAST WRITES.

The premise is simple. My guests face their final rest, but before Death claims them they are granted a few earthly pleasures, the memories of which will travel with them into the great unknown.

cbunnToday’s guest is comic book writer and author Cullen Bunn, best known, perhaps for work on Uncanny X-Men and Deadpool, but around here The Damned, The Sixth Gun, and Helheim get top billing.

I also have a soft spot for his short story collection, Creeping Stones & Other Stories, and my son would kill me if I didn’t acknowledge Crooked Hills.


At first, I was real quick to say I’d go for one of those “Special Dinners” you can get at a lot of Mexican restaurants, the ones that come on four plates and have a little of everything. Wash that down with a really amazing monster margarita and I’m all set.

But then I realized I would probably go with a fried chicken and barbecue combination from Parker’s Barbecue in Wilson, NC is the only way to go.

I’d still want the margarita, though.


Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon. It’s a lovely book, a wonderful exploration of childhood. It would help me to think back on my own childhood before the end.


Big Trouble in Little China. It’s a favorite of mine. And it’s about this jackass who gets in over his head in a strange world. Seems about right. After all, I’d be a jackass getting in over my head in the hereafter.


Pancho and Lefty by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. Not even sure why. First thing that popped into my mind. Maybe it just feels like a good song for the end.


My dad. We have a lot of catching up to do. I can’t wait to see what kind of business scheme he’s launched in the afterlife.

For more on Cullen, check him out at his official website, Amazon Author Page, or follow him on twitter and facebook.

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