Archive for the Archive Category

Leaving 2019 in a hail of bullets (and a Top 10 list to boot)

Posted in Archive on December 30, 2019 by Occult Detective
  • Shawn Hebert, proprietor of Lailokens Awen (whose candles I wholeheartedly endorse) posted a terrific review of my latest release — Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum
  • I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions, but I do like to make plans for the coming year and more occultdetective.com content is high on my list of priorities.
  • Hellier is one of the better paraentertainment series out there and well worth a look if you haven’t. I have a soft spot for Planet Weird content.
  • I read just shy of 60 books this year which is becoming an unfortunate trend.
  • I’m making a list (and checking it twice) of projects I want to manifest in 2020. Truth is, I have so many irons in the fire, and so many more I want to add, it seems like a improbable set of goals. Hopefully, if I can accomplish a fraction of these, I will be somewhat at peace with it.
  • If you’re into gaming, you might want to keep an eye on Bordermen Games next year. We have a lot of interesting things in development and the blog will be showcasing reviews, serial fiction, and GM tips and tricks in 2020.
  • Thrilled to be continuing my relationship with Paint Monk’s Library. If you dig comics, then yeah, it’s the place to be.
  • I was going to post a Top 10 list of my favorite films of 2019, but, unfortunately I didn’t see ten films that I thought deserved the recognition.
  • So, no Top 10 movies, but Top 10 TV series is a little easier to manage. See my list below.

Top 10 TV Series of 2019

null

  1. The Mandalorian
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. The Good Place
  4. Stranger Things
  5. Good Omens
  6. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  7. Lucifer
  8. The Man in the High Castle
  9. Living with Yourself
  10. Veronica Mars

Bonus: Best Scene — John Constantine meets up with Lucifer on Earth 666 on an episode of the Flash (Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part III)

  • Last bullet. Will there be an Occult Detective Awards this year? I suppose there will. It will be my 10th year doing so. I guess the bigger question is, will they continue after that…

Who’s up for some Haunted History?

Posted in Archive on October 11, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

The Converse Historical Society is hosting its 2nd Annual Haunted History event this weekend, October 12, from 5-8 at the Eastern Woodland Carvers Club.

We’ll be showing off our latest acquisitions and presenting rare video footage captured throughout the history of the town. You’ll also have the opportunity to be led on a ‘ghost tour’ of the building by yours truly as I share with you the rich and storied legends of one of Converse’s most interesting landmarks.

Admission is FREE!

HAUNTEDHISTORYII

break

I unfortunately had to cancel my appearance at Para-Unity next weekend, but they still have plenty of exciting guests. If you’re out and about on Saturday, October 19th, you should swing by and support our local ghost hunters at the Riverview Event Center (421 W Canal St in Peru, IN) from 5– 8pm.

break

In case you missed it, I’m featured this month over at Horror Delve. I got to sit down with the talented Matt Cowen and answer 13 Questions. It was a great time and more than worth a look.

DescendantCoverYou might also check out my interview on The Star Chamber from a couple of weeks back. I had the opportunity to join Stephen, Holly, and Daniel for a deep dive into my shadowy past. And as an added bonus, Steven Shrewsbury drops in for a chat as well.

I have a blog tour coming up in November. If you’d like to open your corner of the internet up to me, I am available. You can sign up here for Bob Freeman’s Descendant Blog Tour.

 

And lest we forget why we’re all here, Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum will be available in trade paperback and ebook on Samhain, October 31, but you can preorder the kindle version right now via amazon.com.

Suite: 16

Posted in Archive on October 9, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

The high point of my favorite month and season is my son’s birthday. Connor turns 16 today, which is both amazing and frightening all at the same time.

On the one hand, he’s a marvel: a terrific young man with a big heart, a gifted storyteller, immensely helpful in all facets of our daily lives, and a great sounding board.

On the other, he’s freaking 16, which has me feeling somewhat long in the tooth and wondering where in the hell all our time has gone.

IMG_275420191008_161541

It’s an honor to be this kid’s father.

Happy Birthday, Connor.

You’re now a man grown, as they say, and the world is whatever you want to make it.

I envy the journey that lies ahead for you and I am thrilled I get to be a part of it.

Cool T-Shirts don’t have to expensive

Posted in Archive on October 7, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

halloween shirts

Looking for a cool (but inexpensive) Halloween T-Shirt? We’ve got you covered!

But, if you’re looking for something a little darker or magical, well, we’ve got that covered too.

magicktees

Or why not check out our entire line of shirts on Amazon? We’ve also got apparel for Gamers, Historical Martial Artists, Bushcrafters, Yoga Enthusiasts, Guitarists, Theatre Lovers, and much more…

tshirts

 

 

Every Man and Woman is a Star

Posted in Archive, Writing on September 11, 2019 by Occult Detective

I am excited to announce I will be appearing on The Star Chamber this evening, (Wednesday, the 11th of September) to talk about the release of Descendant and, I imagine, a whole host of other topics. I do have a tendency to chatter on about everything under the sun (moon and stars).

The Star Chamber is a weekly live podcast show hosted by Stephen Zimmer, Holly Marie Phillippe, and Daniel Dark that covers the world of creatives, from authors, to filmmakers, actors, game designers, musicians, artists, and more… It should be a blast. I’m slated to call in after 9 EST, so be sure to park yourselves early.

Another chat that should go down sometime in the next two weeks will occur on Signal of Doom, where I’ll be joining host David Finn from the swamp of comic and movie reviews. As it’s based in Australia, we are trying to navigate the time difference so that neither of us is put behind the proverbial 8 Ball.

bobfreeman copyAs long as you’re marking your calendars, I’ll be a guest at ParaUnity — a paranormal convention being held at the Riverview Event Center (421 W Canal St in Peru, IN) on Saturday, October 19 from 5– 8pm. I’ll be signing books and sharing stories of my more than 35 years of experience with the paranormal and occult. It would be great if you could come out and see me, live and in person.

Men of Ash

Posted in Archive on May 14, 2019 by Occult Detective

Aescling, Men of Ash.

I grew up on a small farm northwest of Converse surrounded by ash trees. They’re all dead now.

The trails we hike through the Mississinewa are littered with fallen ash.

 

In Norse culture, the world tree was a mighty ash. Odin and Thor both wielded spears of ash, and it is said the first man of the north was born of ash, while the first woman was born of elm.

Ash wood is very strong, tough and elastic, and a joint of ash will bear more weight than any other wood.

It is the best firewood, burning the hottest for the longest, whether seasoned or green.

ash_tree

Here in Indiana and across the Midwest, the ash has been ravaged. Then I look across social media and the cultural shift globally and the symbolism does not escape me.

We face two fronts.

We are at war with the extreme left who would demonize men, particularly what they refer to as “white men”, brandishing terms against us such as “toxic masculinity”, “patriarchy”, “misogyny”, and “racist”.

And we are at war with the extreme right who misappropriate our cultural heritage and the symbols of our faith to further their fascist ambitions.

How do we combat these extremes?

Simple.

We hold true to our faith. We stand proud as Men of the North, as Men of Ash. We become shining examples of what men should be — protectors, providers, self-reliant, and strong. We bolster our communities and lift up the weak. We cast down our enemies and give comfort and aide to those in need.

1200px-Blason_Gondor.svg

I am reminded of Aragorn’s speech from Return of the King in which he called:

My brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the age of Men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand!

The ash has fallen. We need to plant them anew and root out the pests that brought them down.

Our Trip to Rosslyn Chapel is Old Enough to Vote

Posted in Archive on March 26, 2019 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.

rosslyn2

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.

Interior of Rosslyn Chapel - both Master and Apprentice Pillars visible

Interior of Rosslyn Chapel – both Master and Apprentice Pillars visible

We 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”.

rosslyn1We 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.

You 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.

bobkim0301

Happy Birthday, Robert E. Howard

Posted in Archive on January 22, 2019 by Occult Detective

Robert E HowardToday marks the 113th anniversary of the nativity of my favorite author — Robert E. Howard.

In, what is arguably his finest work, Beyond the Black River, he wrote, “Barbarism is the natural state of mankind. Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.”

In a letter to his friend, Tevis Clyde Smith, he asked, “When a nation forgets her skill in war, when her religion becomes a mockery, when the whole nation becomes a nation of money-grabbers, then the wild tribes, the barbarians drive in… Who will our invaders be? From whence will they come?”

I wonder what Howard would think of what we have become? I suppose he would consider us soft and ripe to be overrun. A society built on keyboard posturing, where extremists on both sides of the fence froth at the mouth — close-minded, insecure — desperate to curry the favor of their peers by spewing as much hated as they can muster, the glow of their computer monitors and cell phone screens illuminating the enraged faces of unrecognizable monstrosities.

Howard saw the truth of it.

Robert E. Howard wrote with a fiery imagination, thundering out kinetic and visceral prose that spoke to the human condition, that evoked raw, unbridled emotion.

He left us far too soon, but on his own terms, I suppose.

Regardless, today we raise a horn in his honor.

Happy Birthday, Two-Gun.

Cabbage on the morrow

Posted in Archive on December 31, 2018 by Occult Detective

dad3

Let’s cut to the chase — The defining moment of 2018 was the death of my father near the end of July after a horrific battle with cancer. It was an exhausting ordeal, for everyone, and I’m still feeling the weight of it these many months later. My father had a lot of faults, but I loved him despite each and every one of them and I miss him, foibles and all.

There was some good, to be sure, spread out across the mantle of the past year. While my father’s passing was a grim shadow that hung over it, we still managed to find some light.

One of the highlights was seeing Connor meet one of his favorite authors, Margaret Weiss, at Gen Con. My son has been reading through all of the Dragonlance books, and recounting them, chapter by chapter, to me has been such a joy. His enthusiasm is contagious and I revel in his love for these books, much as how I did when they first hit the scene in the late 80s.

kbc

Another of the things I cherish about 2018 was our continued commitment to our health and well being. Yoga, meditation, and hiking have become such an integral part of our lives, with Kim being the driving force behind it. We eat healthy. We exercise. And we’re loving every bit of it.

We also took in several plays and concerts, and man, was that a lot of fun. To soak up a bit of culture like that, and being able to share it with Kim and Connor, was such an uplifting experience. I am so looking forward to expanding those horizons even more in 2019.

There were also a lot of things that took a backseat this past year, unfortunately.

My explorations into the paranormal were few and far between for the better part of 2018. A lot of that was due to my father’s illness, to be sure, but I also have been noticing an ongoing trend in the field, some things that I have complained about for years, that are becoming more and more prevalent. I hope to work toward changing some of that as the new year rolls out.

housead

I didn’t get much writing done this year either, but I did manage to see a novella published — Hallowe’en House, co-written with my friend Greg Mitchell; and there was the introduction I wrote for a kickstarter project that reprinted the earliest tales of Kull written by my favorite author, Robert E. Howard.

Along with writing less, I also read less this year. Our Water Street Book Club petered out after two books (Sleeping Beauties was a real slog) and I managed only about 60 titles for the year, many of which were review copies that came my way. That will be one my New Year’s Resolutions, to see the Book Club revitalized and to get more reading (and writing) in over the course of 2019.

rpgAnother high point of 2018 was seeing the Oak Hill RPG Club grow. We picked up new members and played twice weekly for the better part of it. While we lost steam on developing our own RPG (due to various copyright issues), we really have seen gaming become more firmly entrenched into our regimen.

So, we say fare thee well to 2018. I’ve a fair number of resolutions for the new year, not the least of which is to be more mindful of content for this blog. I hope to have some exciting announcements in the coming months and hope you’ll stay tuned to hear them.

Till then, I wish each and every one of you all the best and may 2019 find you at peace.

Bliadhna Mhath Ùr!

Tonight, join me for “Haunted History” in the Historic Odd-Fellows Building

Posted in Archive, Magick on October 20, 2018 by Occult Detective

HAUNTEDHISTORYsm

While the Converse Historical Society treats guests to pumpkin decorating, cider & canvas illustrating, the showcasing of the artifacts they’ve gathered, and a viewing of vintage ‘home movies’ from Converse’s past, I will be offering hourly tours of the upper floors of the former Odd-Fellows Lodge.

This is a rare peek into the spectacular ruin of the third floor, and while I cannot guarantee that you will ‘experience’ a ghostly encounter, I can assure you, it certainly can happen.

There is the potential for this tour to become very intense and frightening. The EWCC & CHS shall not be held responsible for guests who are unable to continue due to the affects of this site.  If it becomes too much for guests, they will be escorted downstairs as safely and quickly as possible.

For your protection as well as mine, I must insist that guests remain together in a group and in close proximity to me AT ALL TIMES.

Out of respect for the site and our hosts, the Eastern Woodland Carvers Club, please DO NOT touch any carvings on display. Please treat the building and its contents with respect.

I urge parents to use their own good judgment regarding children. While the stories told are ‘family-friendly’, the experience has the potential to be unsettling. As for seniors or others with mobility or health issues, I would recommend you not take the tour due to the extensive stair climbing. Again, use your best judgement.

As I stated earlier, there is no guarantee of actually seeing (or feeling) a ghost or spirit in human form, but you should prepare yourselves for the possibility.

Now, who wants to learn a little history and have a bit of a thrill tempting the preternatural forces that reside in this historic building?

%d bloggers like this: