Archive for the Occult Detectives Category

An Imaginarium Convention Update

Posted in Horror, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on September 12, 2018 by Occult Detective


My schedule is starting to shape up for my appearance at next month’s Imaginarium Convention.

I’ll only be attending the con on Saturday, October 6th this year. Though I’m not sure when, I will be signing copies of First Born, Shadows Over Somerset, & Keepers of the Dead at the Seventh Star Press table for a brief period of time. I will, however, be involved with two panel discussions:

Paranormal Literature – An open discussion about paranormal literature today. What’s popular now? What are some of the trends at the moment? Why do tales with strong paranormal elements resonate so strongly in a science-driven age? This panel will consider these kinds of questions and much more! Sat 11:30am in room Farmington. Panelist include: (Mod-Alison Richards) Tammy Blackwell, Pam Turner, Bob Freeman, Kelly Martin, Katheryn Ragle.

The Occult in Literature – The occult is often used in literature, from thrillers, to mysteries, to horror and cross-genre tales. With a vast amount of information available and a history that extends to the beginning of humankind, the occult has proven to be fertile ground for storytellers. Our panelists will discuss the presence and use of the occult in literature. Sat 3:15pm in room Derby. Panelist include:  (Mod- Bob Freeman: The Occult Detective) Chad McClendon, Sara Marian, R.N.Drum, Janie Franz, Josef Matulich.

bobIf you’re looking for me to devalue your copies of any of my books (ie get them signed), catching me before or after one of these panels is a sure way to have me nailed down to one spot and hold me accountable.

Otherwise, if you see me on the convention floor, feel free to come right up and say “hi”, but be prepared for me to chew your ear a bit (not in a MIke Tyson sort of way). I’m hard to miss. I kind of stand out in a crowd for some reason.

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.


My thoughts on Dunwich by Peter Levenda

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives on August 17, 2018 by Occult Detective

dunwichI am an unequivocal fan of Peter Levenda’s non-fiction writings. He is a thorough researcher and is uniquely gifted at connecting dots with an esoteric bent.  In Dunwich, the follow-up to his 2016 novel, The Lovecraft Code, Levenda takes those skills he has honed as a historian and conspiracy theorist to create and engaging occult thriller that merges modern Middle Eastern religion and politics with the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.

While I found The Lovecraft Code intriguing, I thought it suffered somewhat from the actual nuts and bolts side of the of things. I got what Levenda was going for. He wanted to outshine Dan Brown, to beat him at his own game.

While I think the plot was terrific and the material was brilliantly assembled, it was the writing itself that ultimately fell short. It was a little too rote for my taste. With Dunwich, however, you can really see Levenda’s growth as a fiction author.

While his writing is still somewhat mechanical, there is a little more fluidity to his prose. At the heart of this novel, and its predecessor, is an engaging political pot-boiler that takes Robert Anton Wilson-esque twists and turns throughout.

Levenda knows this material as well as anyone, and if you’re a fan of the Illuminatus! Trilogy, Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco, or Katherine Kurtz’ Templar books, I think you’ll find this series by Peter Levenda to your liking.

What makes Dunwich work so well is the author’s breadth of knowledge. You believe every word he says, because the research shines through on every page. He paints a picture, not with rich, vivid colours, but with a real and believable palette that brings to life the dull, flaccid reality we are mired in. Levenda gives us the real world, shadows and all, and that makes the rabbit hole he’s presented for us all the more terrifying.

I recommend Dunwich highly and can hardly wait for the third installment in the series.

Dunwich: A Novel by Peter Levenda is available wherever books are sold, including the most Lovecraftian horror of all, Amazon.


78 Days until Hallowe’en

Posted in All Hallows Read, Occult Detectives on August 13, 2018 by Occult Detective


Just wrapped up a novella, written with my friend Greg Mitchell, and we’re in the editing and graphic design stage of the project. We’ll be sharing the details soon enough, but I thought I’d share a little sneak peak at some of the art you’ll find inside.

Author Brian Keene could use a little help from his friends

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives on June 6, 2018 by Occult Detective

brianBrian Keene needs your help. An accident has left him with first, second, and third degree burns on his face and arm and, being a popular mid-list author, unfortunately, does come with the perk of health insurance. To take some of the sting out of mounting medical bills, author Stephen Kozeniewski has set up a gofundme to benefit Brian in his time of need.

On June 5, 2018, author, podcaster, philanthropist, and father Brian Keene was badly burned in an accident. At this time he is conscious and in good spirits but has first degree burns on his face and second degree burns on his body.

As a freelance author, Brian does not have health insurance. We’re not sure at this time how long he’ll be in treatment, or how much the bill will be, but any visit to the hospital is expensive, and will only be compounded by lost wages from not being able to work.

We’re asking the community of writers, horror fans, and just decent human beings in general to chip in a few dollars to help get Brian back on his feet and spending time with his loving girlfriend and sons. We’d be very grateful for anything you can afford to contribute.


I’ve known Brian for something like fifteen years. The first time I sat down with him and had a chat (at Maurice Broaddus’ house in Indy) I felt an instant kinship, bonding over our mutual love of Manly Wade Wellman and folk magic.

levi_smBrian’s Dark Hollow series (Dark Hollow, Ghost Walk, A Gathering of Crows, Last of the Albatwitches) is a brilliant take on the occult detective genre. I assure you, any fan of the genre will be enthralled by the adventures of ex-Amish magus Levi Stoltzfus.

Of course, I’m a little biased. The dedication page of Last of the Albatwitches, in part, reads:

The second half of this book — Last of the Albatwitches — is dedicated to Bob Freeman, my favorite real-life occult detective.

Needless to say, my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. He has always been a good friend to me and I have seen firsthand what he has given back to this community of fans and fellow authors. It’s well past time we give a little something back.


If you can’t donate to the gofundme campaign, maybe instead you could pick up one of his books. Every little bit helps.

My Top Ten Essential Occult Detective Tales

Posted in Occult Detectives on June 4, 2018 by Occult Detective

On twitter yesterday, author Peter Bebergal ( Too Much to Dream, Season of the Witch) asked “What are your top ten essential stories/novels of the (occult detective) genre?”

This was in response to two tweets:

Occult detective fiction has always struck that perfect balance for me. There’s nothing quite like a metaphysical whodunit. Seabury Quinn’s Jules de Grandin stories are a great place to start. Not my favorite, but a fine representation of the genre.

Another great example would be Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris’ The Adept series. Adam Sinclair is the quintessential occult detective. These five books, six if you count Lammas Night, are among my most treasured.

Compiling a list of my Top Ten Essential Occult Detective Tales is no mean feat. It’s like being asked to choose a favorite child. At least in this instance you get to pick ten of your favorite kids. So let’s to it then, in alphabetical order…

The Adept
Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris
Sir Adam Sinclair

Ancient Sorceries
Algernon Blackwood
Dr. John Silence

Brood of the Witch-Queen
Sax Rohmer
Robert Cairn

The Devil Rides Out
Dennis Wheatley
Duc de Richleau

Falling Angel
William Hjortsberg
Harry Angel

Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits
Garth Ennis and Will Simpson
John Constantine

The Last Illusion
Clive Barker
Harry D’Amour

Aleister Crowley
Simon Iff

The School of Darkness
Manly Wade Wellman
John Thunstone

Robert Weverka
William Sebastian

Book - SpectreAdmittedly, Spectre, a novelization of the failed Gene Roddenberry tv pilot, is difficult to track down. It’s listed on amazon for over $1000, just under $100 used. I add it to this list because it’s near perfect as an occult detective novel and superior to the source material  Considering my fondness for Robert Culp’s performance in the show, that’s saying a lot.

I had wanted the book for years, being a huge fan of the pilot from the moment I received the Lincoln Enterprises newsletter announcing its May 21, 1977 airdate.

Unfortunately, I missed out on the book, but a couple of years ago, my lovely wife Kim snagged me a secondhand copy (paying way too much for it, some $40 I believe), but it was everything I wanted it to be and more.


If you happen upon it at a reasonable price, do not hesitate to buy it. It’s well written and a loads of fun. It’s not worth three or more digits, mind you, unless money is no object to you.

Of the list I compiled above, if I were to choose a single short story that best represented what an occult detective is, or should be, I might lead you to The Last Illusion by Clive Barker, originally published in Volume Six of The Books of Blood. It has that hard-boiled feel, and early Barker was magically delicious. If you just can’t wait, another Harry D’Amour tale is available online for free at the following link: LOST SOULS.

If I were going to direct someone to a single anthology, the Weiser Book of Occult Detectives, edited by Judika Illes is a no-brainer.

The best occult detective collection is Manly Wade Wellman’s Complete John Thunstone.

As for the best occult detective series, I would argue that The Adept series by Kurtz and Harris would surely be the books to turn to.


All are easy enough to track down on amazon. Katherine Kurtz is certainly one of my favorite authors and I reread Lammas Night frequently. Prolific comic scribe Cullen Bunn tweeted, in response to my Adept post, “It’s been so long since I read them. I should probably revisit them.” I couldn’t agree more.


Now Available — Occult Detective Quarterly (Spring 2018)

Posted in Occult Detectives on May 9, 2018 by Occult Detective


OCCULT DETECTIVE QUARTERLY returns with it’s 4th issue and is available via Amazon. I was honored to offer up an illustration for Aaron Vlek’s tale (as well as performing a bit of graphic design assistance). Editors John Linwood Grant and Dave Brzeski continue to do God’s work (just don’t ask which one). It’s another issue of the best in Occult Detective fiction and not to be missed!

Freeman, ODQ Vlek

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