Archive for the All Hallows Read Category

13 Hallowe’en Reads

Posted in All Hallows Read, Occultober on October 10, 2022 by Occult Detective

Look, almost everyone loves spooky season, and there’s something comforting about snuggling up with a scary book on those nights when the autumn chill has you in its grip. I thought it might be fun to make a list of hauntingly good Hallowe’en Reads, books that really set the mood and promise fitful nights of unease and bad dreams. These are all stories I have read multiple times. Many are near lifelong favorites.

You’ll notice a common theme. I like me some pulpy fiction. The more purple the prose the better.

Anyway, I wish you many happy nightmares in the days and weeks to come.

13. The Devil Rides Out & Gateway to Hell
by Dennis Wheatley

12. The Complete John Thunstone
by Manly Wade Wellman

11. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

10. The Complete Tales and Poems of
Edgar Allan Poe

09. The Shining by Stephen King

08. The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

07. A Dark Matter by Peter Straub

06. The Collected Ghost Stories of M.R. James

05. Shirley Jackson: Novels and Stories

04. Tales of Horror and the Supernatural
by Arthur Machen

03. Tales of the Uncanny and Supernatural
by Algernon Blackwood

02. The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft

01. The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard

All Hallow’s Read 2022 #AllHallowsRead

Posted in All Hallows Read, Occultober on October 4, 2022 by Occult Detective

“You know, there aren’t enough traditions that involve giving books,” Neil Gaiman thought. And from this simple kernel has sprung All Hallow’s Read (#AllHallowsRead on twitter). So here’s his line of thinking:  “I propose that, on Hallowe’en or during the week of Hallowe’en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they’ll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they’ll enjoy.”

I have designed an All Hallow’s Read poster for several years running now, since 2014 I think. Always a lot of fun. It’s a tradition I hold near and dear to my heart and I hope it means something to you.

Give a scary book this and every Hallowe’en. Keep the nightmare alive…

#OCCULTOBER #ALLHALLOWSREAD #GIVEAWAY And the Winner is…

Posted in All Hallows Read, Occult Detectives, Occultober on October 13, 2021 by Occult Detective

Today I get to announce the winner of the Shadows Over Somerset All Hallow’s Read Giveaway. Whether it’s a Trick or Treat will be for the recipient to decide. Not only will the winner receive a signed (& personalized if they desire) copy of the second edition of my debut novel, Shadows Over Somerset, but they also get to pick the subject of my Occult Detective essay to be published on the Hunter’s Moon, the 20th of October.

So, without further ado, the winner is:

VINCE DICKINSON

And his favorite Occult Detective is… well, let’s share his email:

"Hi Bob - my favorite occult detective is YOU.  To be fair, I don’t follow any others, but that still counts, right?"

Well, there you go. I’ll be sending Vince’s prize out on Friday, so that he receives the book before Hallowe’en. As for the Hunter’s Moon blog post? Well, that’s a bit awkward. We’ll see if I can spice things up a bit…

Congratulations, Vince. I hope you enjoy the book and have a spooktacular Hallowe’en.

And to the 30+ men and women who entered, thank you for your interest.

#OCCULTOBER #ALLHALLOWSREAD #GIVEAWAY: Win a free copy of Shadows Over Somerset

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives, Occultober on October 6, 2021 by Occult Detective

What secrets lurk in the heart of Cairnwood Manor?

In the sleepy little town of Somerset, an ancient evil awakens, hungering for blood and vengeance…

Michael Somers is brought to Cairnwood, an isolated manor in rural Indiana, to sit at the deathbed of a grandfather he never knew existed. He soon finds himself drawn into a strange and esoteric world filled with werewolves, vampires, witches… and a family curse that dates back to fourteenth century Scotland.

“Gory, baroque, hairy fun with vamps and beasties.” — William Meikle, author of The Midnight Eye Files

“In the first few pages alone we are given proof positive of what terror lurks around every corner…and it’s this tension that shines through on every page.” — Insidious Reflections

“I recommend it to all horror fans (even those who don’t particularly care for vampires, werewolves, or witches).” — Horror-Web

In the Fall of 2000, newly married and without a job, my wife suggested I do something I had always aspired to do but had never done — write a novel. So, for three months, each evening as my wife slinked off to work at Waldenbooks, I ascended to the attic and wrote a story about werewolves and witches and vampires and immortal swordsmen and ancient Scottish curses and… well, you get the idea. Nick Mamatas once said that the biggest mistakes first time authors make is shoehorning in everything they’re interested. Guilty as charged.

I have so many fond memories of Shadows Over Somerset — the writing of it, sharing it with my wife every evening, seeing it developed and then dropped by Dimension Films (well the dropped part not so much), signing my first contract, my first (and hugely successful) book signing…

Yes, it has warts, but Shadows Over Somerset, my love letter to Dark Shadows and the Gothics I devoured as a child, has a special place in my heart.

It is Out-Of-Print and I’ve decided it’s time to retire it and its sequel, Keepers of the Dead. It was a hard decision, but one I ultimately had to make. So, as a fond farewell and in honor of All Hallow’s Read, I would like to offer YOU the chance to win a signed copy of the Seventh Star Press edition that was released in 2014, edited by Rodney Carlstrom and illustrated by Enggar Adirasa.

HOW DO YOU WIN?

Email me at Shadows@OccultDetective.com before the end of the Lesser Feast of Aleister Crowley (11:59pm EST on October 12th) and tell me who your favorite Occult Detective is. I’ll toss all the names in a fedora and a draw the winner on the 13th… and, as an added bonus, on October 20th, I will share my thoughts on the Occult Detective you’ve chosen.

There you have it. A signed copy of Shadows Over Somerset could be yours? Good luck and Happy Hallowe’en.

#OCCULTOBER: Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

Posted in All Hallows Read, Occult Detectives, Occultober on October 1, 2021 by Occult Detective

Rabbit. Rabbit. Rabbit. Let’s gather ’round and stab it.

Finally, October comes and we can really sink our proverbial teeth into OCCULTOBER. It’s just 30 days till All Hallow’s Eve, but we know here at occultdetective.com the spirit of Samhain never stops.

I have UPDATED the “What is an Occult Detective?” page, addressing real world paranormal sleuths like myself, as well as restructuring my Top Ten recommendations in fiction and including a Paranormal Reality Series category. Check it out if you’ve a mind to.

So, what’s on the agenda for this month? Whilst still trying to dodge COVID, I hope to take in Mississinewa 1812 this weekend, there’s the Autumn Camping Weekend coming up, the Season 3 premiere of Critical Role to look forward to, plus a Halloween Party/Ghost Hunt.

This year I’m planning to spend a lot more time out there in the haunted Hoosier hinterlands, and slither back here to report all the goings on. I’ve also a slate of reviews coming your way as well as a look at Robert E. Howard’s Occult Detective fiction… and, late in the month, I’ll be joining Shawn Hebert, Michelle Belanger, and Eilfie Music for a discussion about utilizing magick in paranormal investigations (details to come).

Of course, at the very top of the list is my son Connor’s forthcoming 18th Birthday. Obviously, I am immensely proud of that young man. Believe me, he is a force to be reckoned with. He’s already a marvelous storyteller. I truly believe he’s going to be an author everyone will know in due time.

That’s all I have time for today. Happy October, everyone. Let’s make this year’s celebration one to remember…

All Hallow’s Read 2021

Posted in All Hallows Read on September 20, 2021 by Occult Detective

“You know, there aren’t enough traditions that involve giving books,” Neil Gaiman thought. And from this simple kernel has sprung All Hallow’s Read (#AllHallowsRead on twitter). So here’s his line of thinking:  “I propose that, on Hallowe’en or during the week of Hallowe’en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they’ll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they’ll enjoy.” Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

I have clung to this tradition since I first learned of it, ten years ago now. It’s so simple and pure, it’s a wonder it has not always been so. In keeping with the season, each year I design a poster, free to share, to celebrate the occasion. As today marks 40 days until that most glorious and frightful unholiday, I thought it a perfect time to unveil it.

Enjoy, and Happy Hallowe’en, my fellow freaks and ghouls.

All Hallow’s Read 2020

Posted in All Hallows Read on October 15, 2020 by Occult Detective

“I propose that, on Hallowe’en
or during the week of Hallowe’en,
we give each other scary books…
Who’s with me?”

Neil Gaiman passed along that sound advice in 2010. Has it really been a decade of All Hallow’s Read? It’s a tradition I’ve tried to keep alive. In 2013 I started making posters to celebrate the giving season… It’s always a treat to share, and so I present this year’s trickery.

Happy Hallowe’en… and for the Dark Lord’s Sake, give a scary book for All Hallow’s. The spookier the better.

Wyrdtails: A Landon Connors Supernatural Thriller

Posted in All Hallows Read, Occult Detectives, Writing on October 11, 2020 by Occult Detective

Wyrdtails, for you reading pleasure. This one fits the season and is one of my favorites.

occultdetective.com

wyrd2

.:.

I was dressed, after a fashion, as how I thought the deceased would best recognize me — black t-shirt and blue jeans, scruffy jogging shoes, and a red bandana sticking out of my back pocket. I hadn’t really planned it, though it made sense to me after the fact. I just couldn’t be bothered with climbing into a suit. It felt unnatural and pretentious. The day was difficult enough without putting on the accepted uniform of grief. I was confident most of the people in the chapel considered my attire disrespectful, but I was pretty damn sure the deceased didn’t mind.

There was that word again. I mulled it over and rolled it on my tongue. Deceased. As in no longer with us. It had an improper finality to it, I thought. An improper word for an improper occurrence. An improper, and improbable occurrence of a finality. As these…

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The Strange Case of Edgar Allan Poe and James Whitcomb Riley / #40DaysofHalloween

Posted in All Hallows Read on October 7, 2020 by Occult Detective

Edgar Allan Poe died October 7, 1849, the same day James Whitcomb Riley was born in Greenfield, Indiana. An odd connection, to be sure, the Hoosier Poet and the Tomahawk Man, but there is a stranger one still.

Believing that Midwestern authors were failing to find traction in the literary magazines and newspapers published on the East Coast, in 1877 James Whitcomb Riley concocted a poem in the style of Poe and submitted it as a long lost work of the famed author.

The poem, titled Leonainie, appeared in the Kokomo Democrat on August 2nd, 1877, and was subsequently reprinted many times before people caught on to the prank.

While the ruse traveled far beyond where Riley intended, the young poet took pleasure in the fact that many of the literary elite, the very ones he intended to prank, fell for it.

Granted, Riley was fired from his position at the Anderson Democrat and he was forced to move back home to Greenfield, but the backlash eventually subsided and Riley went on to become an acclaimed author in his own right.

While perhaps not as grim as Edgar Allan Poe, Riley did turn out a couple of devilish works, the most prominent being a staple here in the Hoosier State, Little Orphant Annie

An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,
An’ make fun of ever’ one, an’ all her blood-an’-kin;
An’ wunst, when they was “company,” an’ ole folks wuz there,
She mocked ’em an’ shocked ’em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about! An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef
you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

Now Available — Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing on October 31, 2019 by Occult Detective

DescendantCover

Available now in trade paperback and kindle on Amazon and Amazon UK, Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum is my love letter to the occult detective genre. I think it’s pretty good… but don’t take my word for it —

“Descendant is like the bastard lovechild of The X-Files, H.P. Lovecraft, and Doctor Strange; and I mean that in the most loving way possible.”

— Erik Smith, The Monster Librarian

“Descendant is up there at the top my favourite paranormal investigation novels… the depth of occult knowledge that has been intertwined into the story is vast.”

— Jim McLeod, Ginger Nuts of Horror

“Bob weaves an excellent tale here, moody and at times grim, but never dull. The characters made me give a flying dang about them and I found myself smiling at turns in the dialogue & plot. Executed with precision, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more from Mr. Freeman. This stuff should be on TV.”

— Steven L. Shrewsbury, author of Mojo Hand

“Between ancient bloodlines, unholy alliances and magical orders of great power, Freeman’s knowledge of dark magic and its history shows throughout every page.”

— Rodney Carlstrom, The Sci Fi Guys Book Review

“…Agents Wolfe and Crowe, are colorful, smart, emotionally driven, wise-cracking, resourceful, tough and just plain fun to watch. Er, I mean to read. Well, that’s just the thing. I always had the impression that I was actually seeing them, like watching a movie. Man, I love these two characters! They each have very distinct personalities that play off each other extremely well. If this was a movie, I’d have to say the casting was perfect. Wolfe and Crowe have a terrific chemistry going on.”

— Gary Val Tenuta, author of Ash: Return of the Beast

“This is not a story with an occult theme; this is a fictional storyline based on Freeman’s detailed knowledge of the occult, with extensive terminology and background information. While this novel could be a stand-alone – no wicked cliff-hanger or blatantly open-ending – it is the first in a series, and I am looking forward to the sequel.”

— Ursula K. Raphael

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