Last Writes with… Peter Bebergal

The premise of LAST WRITES is simple. Our guests face their final rest, but before Death claims them they are granted a few parting earthly pleasures, the memories of which will travel with them into the great unknown. What makes these questions appealing and insightful for me is that these are not necessarily our guests favorite things, but those they most want to experience one last time before they shuffle off this mortal coil.



Goodness. I’ve known Peter Bebergal a while now, it seems. He first entered my radar with his 2013 book How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll and I reviewed Strange Frequencies back in 2018. Which doesn’t seem terribly long ago, but hell, somehow it’s 2023 and we’re all just trying to make it to the next sunrise.

Peter helps with that immensely. His books are phenomenal stuff, whether is the aforementioned books on the occult, rock and roll, and the paranormal, or his memoirs, religious discussions, or the glorious Appendix N which dropped during the pandemic. Let’s face it, Peter’s a positive force for good, a lover of comic books and roleplaying games and the pop culture of a certain era that strikes me right in the proverbial feels. And he’s always a good chat.

Which brings his visit with us in the Occult Detective Mortuary to the fore. As he settles in, in anticipation of those inevitable Last Writes to be performed, he has an admonition before the ritual begins…

Disclaimer: These are the things that I would want today if they were my last, with the caveat that tomorrow, or hopefully many many years from now, they might be completely different. — Peter


Fresh baked bread, softened butter. A plate of perfectly al dente spaghetti with meatballs, marinara sauce heavy on the crushed red pepper. A simple salad of bitter greens, oil and vinegar dressing, lots of pepper. Dessert is banana-cream pie, strong black coffee, and a cigar. Might even have that this weekend, come to think of it.


The Book of Job, various translations. If and when I am reading what I know will be my last book, I hope by then I have come to have some modicum of acceptance. More importantly, I don’t want to take my own death personally, and yet I want it to be personal. Let the leviathan swallow me, let the behemoth crush me.  Nevertheless, “He may well slay me, I may have no hope/ Yet I will argue my case before Him.” Wrestling with the divine until the end, but knowing full well I was pinned and tapped out from the start.

(And if allowed, a final poem: “The Windhover” by Gerard Manly Hopkins: “In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing…”)


Despite the disclaimer, it is unlikely this will change. I would want to leave this sad and beautiful world in a state of sheer joy, and so Singin’ In the Rain is always the right choice. There is an ineffable quality to almost every song and dance number, even the most iconic; that of Gene Kelly dancing in a downpour, kicking puddles, using his umbrella as an extension of his body. The friendship between the three leads is a comfort, and even the surreal overwrought dream sequence is as charming as the whole. I would be blessed to close my eyes having these images and sounds echoing with me into the ether.


“Mr. Rabbit” by Burl Ives sums up the entirety of our delightful frail lives in just about one minute, thirty seconds. 


It would be hoot to be greeted by any number of my favorite artists and thinkers; TH White, David Bowie, Ursula Le Guin, Alan Watts, Isaac Bashevis Singer, but I am going to go soft on this one. I would like to come to cosmic consciousness surrounded by my departed loved ones, along the seraphim and the other mighty hosts.

That was terrific. I am lucky to call Peter a friend and really loved his responses to these morbid inquiries. You can track down Peter’s books via Amazon. And be sure to follow him on social media, such as twitter or instagram.

Please remember to tune in next Wednesday as we raise up another departed guest for our soul-shattering season finale. Who is we lift up on our proverbial funeral pyre? None other than one of my favorite Paranormal Adventurers — Heather Taddy. See you then!

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