Archive for the Alba Gu Brath Category

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


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.


Godspeed, Dad

Posted in Alba Gu Brath on July 23, 2018 by Occult Detective


One of my fondest memories, sifting through the dusty files that occupy my cranial attic, is of my dad coming home from work on second shift, pulling me out of bed, and sitting me on his lap to watch Boris Karloff in Frankenstein. I was maybe 4 or 5. By the time the windmill was on fire, I was cowering behind his chair, eyes glued on the screen, unsure if I should feel sympathy for the monster or cheer at its destruction..

My dad passed away in the final minutes of Friday, the 20th of July, after a long battle with cancer. He was 71 years old.

When we lose loved ones, we tend to oversell them, attaching adjectives like “great” and “special” to them, by ascribing qualities to them that often times simply don’t reflect the person they really were, but some ideal that you want to project out into the world.

My father was far from perfect, but I loved him dearly. He was hard-headed, opinionated, and a know-it-all. And dang it, that was part of his charm. He was an over-grown kid in all the best ways. He was a jovial guy, always quick with a quip or a joke, and ones that were more often than not completely inappropriate. Dad didn’t have a “political correct” bone in his body.

His favorite president was Richard Nixon.

Dad instilled in me a love for horror and science fiction movies. He bought me comic books and UFO magazines. He taught me how to ride a horse, shoot a gun and bow, how to build a fire, set up a tent, and sharpen a knife. He told me my first ghost stories. He taught me how to swing a bat, get into a three point stance, throw a shot put, and ride a bike.

He loved my mom more than anything in the world.

We went on lots of trips, often with a gaggle of my older cousins in tow: Santa Claus Land, King’s Island, Cedar Point, Disney World, Mackinaw Island, the Piatt Castles, Merrimack Caverns, and State Parks all over Indiana. And lots of trips to Arkansas.

How do you write about a man that was such a huge influence on your life, for so long? How do you capture it all?

You can’t. It’s a surreal flood of memories all slamming into one another. Riding around town with him on his golf cart, buying him cigarettes at the local grocery, hunting deer with him “Indian-style” and getting attacked by a wild turkey, him teaching me how to drive a stick in Wabash, learning how to swim by him throwing me out into deep water, watching Blue Bloods while holding his hand.

There’s an old saying that you don’t become a man until the death of your father.

I don’t think I was ready to become a man quite yet.


Welcome to Bob Freeman’s

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, Mr. Freeman can be found online on twitter and facebook.

cairnwood series

Another Magical Day in #Scotland

Posted in Alba Gu Brath on March 28, 2016 by Occult Detective

March 28, 2001

Another important milestone for us was to ride the rails, which we did when we caught a train to Stirling on the 28th. How perfect was that? Traveling by train allowed us a terrific view of the beautiful countryside as we rolled across the Highlands to the historic city. The rain was a bit heavier that day, but we soldiered on, hiking across this foreign place. Seeing the Wallace Monument far off in the distance, we walked toward it, pausing at the infamous Stirling Bridge, site of William Wallace’s greatest military victory and dining at the Wallace Pub for a spell.

We were spent. We’d walked hundreds of miles so far on this trip. To be honest, I was amazed at how well we held up. But we were starting to feel it. Still, we soldiered on and walked into Stirling proper, ate again, this time at Hog’sHead (where we had the best salmon I’d ever tasted), then marched on Stirling Castle, ancestral home of the Clan Stewart.

Stewart QueenStirling Castle was magnificent. Under heavy renovation, the Castle was a stark contrast to the one in Edinburgh. This Castle had the feel of being lived and fought in and it was really one of the high points of our trip. Stewart blood runs through my family’s veins and it was a thrill to walk the very battlements where my ancestors once did.

One surprise was coming upon a painting of Queen Anne, granddaughter of Robert the Bruce. Looking at that picture I couldn’t help but notice a more than passing resemblance to my own beautiful wife. I felt connected to my forefathers in a way unimaginable and it occurred to me that my connection to my wife was strengthened by this mystical bond that reached out across time, through our common ancestry, as if we were fated to be together.

Heading back by train, our hearts were heavy. This was the end of our trip. The next day we’d be flying back to the States. Back to the real world. One thing we knew for sure though — Scotland would be in our hearts forever.

A Magical Day in #Scotland

Posted in Alba Gu Brath with tags , , on March 26, 2016 by Occult Detective

March 26, 2001

We got up early and walked through a light mist and boarded a bus that set out across the Scottish countryside. When Kim and I first made plans to travel to Scotland there was one special destination that was at the very top of our “must see” list. We were excited and passed the time chatting with our fellow passengers, especially with a young Australian college student named Sophie who was backpacking across Europe. As we rolled into the village of Roslin, I felt an electricity in the air. It was a feeling that would become amplified as we disembarked and walked up the gravel lane and laid eyes on one of the most magnificent pieces of architecture ever conceived.


Rosslyn Chapel is well known today, thanks in large part to Dan Brown’s 2003 literary phenomenon The Da Vinci Code.  I understand that it has since been overrun with tourists, but when we arrived on that cold, early spring morning, it was a small handful of us that walked the hallowed grounds. In fact, Kim and I spent hours in the Chapel alone, without another soul around.

Interior of Rosslyn Chapel - both Master and Apprentice Pillars visible

The Chapel was enveloped by a network of scaffolding as renovations were underway, but that steel cage did nothing to diminish its awesome beauty. Intricately detailed with Masonic symbols, gargoyles, green men, historic figures, and Norse gods, Rosslyn Chapel was as much art as it was a place of worship. It was the single most impressive structure I’ve ever stood in, and it was all ours… We just didn’t want to leave and we lingered about, gazing in wide wonder and poring over every delicate inch of this monument to the esoteric mystery traditions.

rosslyn1We marveled at the Apprentice Pillar, symbol of blessed Yggdrasil, and the inscription there — “Wine is strong, a king is stronger, women are stronger still, but truth conquers all”. We jumped the rope and descended into the lower crypt and explored the cells. We walked the graveyard and climbed the scaffolding to pore over the roof and the carvings there unseen from below. And we toured the on site Museum of Freemasonry…

It was sweet perfection.


We met up with Sophie in the village and ate a quick lunch of garlic toast and exotic cheeses before  catching the bus back to Edinburgh. We spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening wandering the city streets and making preparations for our next day’s journey. We ate haddock at Filthy McNasty’s and had sodas at Jenny Ha, then ate supper at the Bad Ass where I took a leap of faith.

badassYou just can’t go to Scotland and not submit yourself to a bit of traditional cuisine. While Kim acquainted herself with the Bad Ass’ version of a chicken enchilada, I ordered the Highland Chicken and Haggis. Haggis is the minced heart, lungs, and liver of a sheep that’s stuffed into its stomach, along with onions, suet, and spices… And it is unbelievable. I loved every bite of it. It had a very unique texture and was moist and savory. It immediately went to the top of my “last meal” requests.

It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

Alba Gu Brath

Posted in Alba Gu Brath on September 11, 2015 by Occult Detective

stirling bridge 1The 11th of September, 1297

That Most Terrible of Days

Posted in Alba Gu Brath, Liber et Audax, Writing in Theory & Practice on April 16, 2015 by Occult Detective

The MacLeods were with me at Culloden, that most terrible of days.
— Bonnie Prince Charlie,
Highlander “Through a Glass Darkly”


The Battle of Culloden
16 April 1746

It’s no secret… I’ve long had a fascination with Scotland. Today, on the 269th anniversary of the Battle of Colloden, “that most terrible of days”, I share with you an extremely short excerpt from my novel Keepers of the Dead, forthcoming from Seventh Star Press, presumably latter this year:

“Nestled securely in Cairn Wood for centuries, the hills of Scotland were theirs to prowl, but they were lured out of their den by the call of patriotism and our family faced defeat alongside the Bonnie Prince at Culloden.

“They had set out as shock troops, a lead band of wolves intent on striking hard and fast into the invading Hanoverian troops and weakening them afore the Prince’s meager militia would be forced to face them in open combat, but they were betrayed by their own kin.

“The children of Romulus,” MacGregor continued, “had allied themselves with the Duke of Cumberland in return for valuable properties in the midlands of Scotland and they served the Governmental Forces well by ambushing our kinsmen and, with the aid of a vampiress, kept the pack of Cairn Wood from the guerrilla assault they had intended. As a result, after a forced march through the night, the Stuart’s outnumbered and outgunned army was decimated by the Duke’s well-trained forces. The clans were scattered, tortured, and killed, the landscape littered with mass graves…

“Our forefathers sulked with their tails between their legs all the way back to Cairn Wood and, fearing retribution and depressed by the thought of a homeland stripped of its customs and culture, they left Scotland for the New World and the promise of a new life in the colonies.”

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