Archive for the Occultober Category

#OCCULTOBER: The Last Word

Posted in Occultober on November 1, 2021 by Occult Detective

We have reached the end of another OCCULTOBER. As usual, I did not accomplish everything I hoped, but it was a smashing success nonetheless. I want to thank each and every one of you for stopping by as we journeyed through the hinterlands together.

Hallowe’en has grown to become the second biggest holiday here in the States, and that popularity is spreading globally. But, before I move to discuss the investigation we held on Devil’s Night, I want to encourage you to embrace another holiday, one every bit as spooky as Samhain. We are just 181 days out from Beltane, or Walpurgisnacht…

Latha Bealltainn, Beltane, May Day, Summerween, Walpurgisnacht. As Samhain is a time when the veil between the living and dead is at its thinnest, so too do we find the veil thinning at Beltane between the living and the fae. It is a magical time, and every bit as dark and wondrous as its opposing celebration.

Both are Seasons of the Witch and I have long felt that Beltane should be held in the same regard as All Hallow’s Eve. Perhaps 2023 will be the year that finally happens for us here in America. Let us light our bonfires, cast spells beneath the stars, and lay out treats for the spirits of Alfheimr.

Alright, as for the paranormal investigation conducted on Devil’s Night, the 30th of October, it was, as they say… eventful. We began before 11pm, conducting a walk-through of the property.

The building once served as an Oddfellows Lodge, with a commercial property on the first floor, business offices on the second, and the Lodge proper on the third. During prohibition, the second floor also served as a speakeasy and brothel. Needless to say, a building with a lot of history in its more than 150 years of service.

It was on that second floor when we discovered out first evidence. We detected the unmistakable smell of tobacco, and were confident no one had been smoking in the building. It had been thoroughly cleaned earlier in the day and the upper floors had no visitors since. Shortly after, a light turned on of its own accord, and as we investigated, we witnessed a shadow figure, multiple times, spying on us. In another room we discovered a chair had been moved from its previous placement, and several doors which had been closed tight were found ajar.

On the third floor, a ring of seats I had previously set up was found disrupted. An antique wheelchair had moved from its original position and sat a good12 feet away. We verified it couldn’t have rolled from where it had been originally placed, then prepared for an Estes session.

I went under the hood, unable to see or hear my compatriots. It was a telling session, wherein my partners were convinced that multiple entities were communicating. Hopefully I will be able to post the session to youtube soon.

All in all it was a stellar investigation with several interactions that made the event a memorable one. Here’s the scorecard, using the Periodic Table of Paranormal Elements:

Alright. That’s all for now. This really is the Last Word, at least as far as OCCULTOBER is concerned. Thank you all for being a part of it. Let’s make next year’s festivities even better.

As for what lies ahead, book and tarot reviews are coming, a patreon announcement, exciting news about upcoming anthologies, and lots more. Just because Hallowe’en is over doesn’t mean the world grinds to a halt… Magick never sleeps.

#OCCULTOBER: All Hallows (Tarot) Read

Posted in Occultober, Tarot on October 31, 2021 by Occult Detective

Neil Gaiman’s All Hallows Read holds a special place in my heart. The idea of giving books as a Hallowe’en tradition is something every author and reader should get behind.

I got to thinking this evening that we occultists might take it a bit further. Next year I propose that in addition to (or instead of) treating the printed word that we might offer up tarot readings to people during the holiday season..

So, there you go. Next year. All Hallows Read. Free Tarot Readings.

See you then.

#OCCULTOBER: Pareidolia

Posted in Occultober on October 29, 2021 by Occult Detective

pareidolia (noun) par·​ei·​do·​lia | \ ˌper-ˌī-ˈdō-lē-ə : the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern

apophenia (noun) ap·​o·​phe·​nia | \ ˌa-pə-ˈfē-nē-ə : the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)

synchronicity (noun) syn·​chro·​nic·​i·​ty | \ ˌsiŋ-krə-ˈni-sə-tē : the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (such as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality —used especially in the psychology of Carl Gustav Jung

I have always felt a strong connection to the Mississinewa, its river and the forest surrounding it. It is the epicenter of the strange and unusual I have been chasing my entire life. I am tethered to those environs, preternaturally so.

As I was perusing google maps, investigating aerial views of particularly active locations, I noticed a strange anomaly. A trick of the eye? The remnants of long drowned roadways? Of course… Nothing to see here. It’s like the Sphinx of Mars, right?

Still, Ive never one to dismiss synchronicities…

I feel the need for a long stroll through those woodlands, like that symbols is an invitation to visit the strange and unusual while the veils still thin…

We’re two days out from Hallowe’en proper, but as I fondly share as often as I can find ears to listen, the state of mind that overtakes common folk this time of year is the headspace I occupy all year round. But I do enjoy this time spent when the rest of the world is on the same page.

So, while many become sad because this Samhain Season is almost past, I am content. The strange and unusual is always a part of me. When I look in the mirror each morning, my other self whispers “Happy Hallowe’en” each and every day.

Be safe out there, sleuths.

#OCCULTOBER: Three for Thursday: Paranormal Apps

Posted in Occult Detectives, Occultober, Paranormal on October 28, 2021 by Occult Detective

Short and sweet today. As it’s usually Three for Thursday around here, and with but three days till All Hallow’s Eve, I thought we’d keep with the Samhain Spirit and I would share my three favorite Paranormal SmartPhone Apps.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Sigil Engine: A technomantic tool to create magickal sigils, quickly and easily.

Runic Formulas & The Book of Runes: Elder Futhark runes what Scandinavian God gave to us is able to help, heal, and also to destroy. They help in making a powerful protection amulet or talisman for achieving success. Runic Formulas is your helper on the runic way, it contains not only a collection of runes amulets, bind runes, sigils, glyphs, talismans, and magic formulas but also a handwritten book of runes meanings with clear descriptions for every rune from Elder Futhark. Start your Viking journey with Runic Formulas.

Law Is For All: A toolbox for practitioners of Thelema

THREE

Sono X10 Spirit Box: Sono X10 Spirit Ghost Box is a great tool for both amateurs and professional paranormal investigators. We have created a Ghost Box and a Spirit Voice Box combined in one single ghost hunting tool. Control the sweeping speed, from 100 ms to 150 ms with a single button.

TWO

My Moon Phase: My Moon Phase is the best app for tracking the lunar calendar. It has a sleek dark design which makes it easy to view information such as the current moon cycle, moonrise & moonset times as well as extras such as when the next full moon will be. If you’re interested in moon photography, you can also find out when the golden hours and blue hours are so you can take the most beautiful photos.

ONE

Paranormal Elements: Explore, collect, and analyze paranormal experiences using this innovative organizational system from the makers of Spirit Story Box. Read my review of this app HERE.

#OCCULTOBER: The Chair Was Not Empty

Posted in Occultober on October 27, 2021 by Occult Detective

A quick missive, about last night. I joined three of my favorite people — Michelle Belanger, Eilfie Music, and Shawn Hebert — for a roundtable discussion about the use of magick in paranormal investigations.

It was everything I hoped it would be and more. My three cohorts were charming and erudite, and while I was hopped up on pain meds. I was still more than thrilled to be a part of this two and a half hour chat.

The podcast will be available for download on Samhain, the 31st of October. Search for The LVX Files wherever you get your podcasts… This will be the first episode of Shawn’s second season. You don’t want to miss it.

#OCCULTOBER: Bid Time Return

Posted in Occultober on October 26, 2021 by Occult Detective

Time is woefully short today, which again alters the week’s plans, at least as far as today is concerned. I did some sketches for a project Freeman Presson and I are working on and the day just got away from me. Later I am heading out on a hike through the haunted hinterlands, then after I am joining Shawn Hebert on the LVX Files, alongside Michelle Belanger and Eilfie Music, for a discussion about the use of magick in paranormal investigations. Should be a fantastic chat. I will post links as soon as they’re available.

So, on this, but five days out from All Hallow’s Eve, I leave you with some Occult Detective Landon Connors artwork to chew on. I wish for you all a world of frights. Samhain looms. Die well, my sleuths.

#OCCULTOBER: As the Worm Turns

Posted in Occultober on October 25, 2021 by Occult Detective

I have been sick (I’m sure I’ve mentioned this) and I’m still under the weather a bit. Hell of a time for me to be so. This is my shining moment, when, for a brief time, I am aligned with the masses, when they all spend a month or so wrapped in the cloak I wear year round. That’s alright, no amount of discomfort will dissuade my spirit.

That said, I will not be posting a review of Loki and Sigyn today as I imagined I would. I am only a third of the way through it. I am enjoying it well enough. It’s not exactly a scholarly treatise, but I appreciate an author who’s heart is in the work.

While I did not finish Loki, I did help host a Halloween Party on Saturday. I read fortunes with the Jack O’Lantern Tarot (a big hit) and led a “ghost hunt” through one of my favorite haunted locations. It was a great night spent with friends and family and, while I was admittedly hopped up on pain meds, I felt pretty good, with a bit of a backslide on Sunday.

Connor and I took in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune and I’ve got to say, I have mixed emotions. It is more faithful than David Lynch’s adaptation. It’s an attractive film, with stunning visuals and spectacular effects. It has a stellar cast, and thematically, it’s focused… but David Lynch’s version, despite the obvious warts, is a far better film. Villeneuve covers roughly one third of the novel, while Lynch tells the complete story in less time. You would think with the slower pace we would get more time to get to know the characters. No. Lynch, in his weird and spartan retelling delves so much deeper into everyone’s motivations. Villeneuve’s film is soulless and vapid, while Lynch delivered a masterclass in peeling back the layers of the spirit, exploring religion and politics and cult of personality. Villeneuve’s Dune is pretty, but Lynch’s Dune is a true epic.

In this Tale of Two Paul’s, Kyle MacLachlan’s character is one I feel for, one I am invested in. Timothée Chalamet, on the other hand, delivers a Paul who I do not care for in the slightest. The same is true of every character we meet in Villeneuve’s Dune, save for Oscar Issac’s Duke Leto. His is the only character who is given any depth and the movie suffers for it.

On a scale 1-10 Sand Worms, I give the 2021 Dune (Part One) 6.5 (maybe 7 if I wasn’t under the weather). As for David Lynch’s Dune? Hell, I’d give 10 Sand Worms alone just for Alicia Witt’s demon child scene at the end.

As Samhain approaches, we detect that not so subtle shift as the separation between worlds is but a whisper. Rain is falling on the haunted hinterlands now, of the sort that holds the promise of winter. Soon, frost will abound, and the northern spirits will return to their proper station. I’ve so many plans and so little time….

Tomorrow night, I’ll be joining Shawn Hebert, Michelle Belanger, and Eilfie Music for a talk about magick and the paranormal. I can hardly wait and I look forward to sharing it with you.

That’s all for now. The rain will not lessen. I can hear it calling me the way it used to do…

#OCCULTOBER: Tis the Season

Posted in Occultober on October 22, 2021 by Occult Detective

So, as I mentioned briefly yesterday, I contracted a pretty nasty ear infection and I was pretty much down for the count. I am better today, infused with antibiotics and minimal pain relief. We, here in the States, have serious pain management issues. But, regardless, I am on the mend and looking to see this Witching Season through to the bitter end.

This afternoon I’ll be checking in on Llewellyn’s Virtual Author Forum: Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal featuring Michelle Belanger, Mustafa Gatollari, and Brandon Alvis. Should be interesting. You can join in the discussion via Crowdcast at 3pm EST.

Tomorrow night, my wife and I will be hosting a small gathering at a local haunted location, complete with tarot readings and a “ghost hunt”. Man, I love this time of year.

Next week, Michelle Belanger, Eilfie Music, and myself will sit down for an interview with Shawn Hebert. The topic is the use of magick in paranormal investigations. Should be a great discussion. Shawn is an ace interviewer and I have a ton of respect for Michelle and Eilfie. I’ll post the appropriate links once the podcast goes live.

I’m still revisiting Robert E. Howard’s Occult Detective fiction and I hope to discuss my thoughts on those stories before Hallowe’en rolls around. I also have reviews of Loki and Sigyn by Lea Svendsen and Welsh Witchcraft by Mhara Starling to post, most likely on the 25th and the 1st of November respectively. Look for my thoughts on Fabio Listrani’s Goetia: Tarot in Darkness on Tuesday, October 26th.

And watch for a couple of announcements next week,one regarding an exciting new anthology I’m putting together and the other, well, let’s save it for then. The crows have to caw about something.

Heck, as long as we’re looking ahead to the future, let’s go deep. As of now, I plan to be a guest at ParaUnity IV at the Miami County Fairgrounds, October 22. Pencil that one into your calendars.

Well, sleuths, that’s all for now. Let’s get out there and rattle some chains this weekend, then come back here and chat about. What do you say?

#OCCULTOBER: 3 for Thursday — Magick Retailer Edition

Posted in Occultober on October 21, 2021 by Occult Detective

Dark days are upon me. I’ve developed a nasty sinus ear infection and so am consuming antibiotics and painkillers like they’re Hallowe’en candy.

I want to shine the spotlight today on three of my favorite occult shops. First, I’ll give love to my local metaphysical guilty treasure — Willow Products.

Located at 1204 N Baldwin Ave in Marion, IN, Nick and Daniel offer this small community an amazing array of products.

Next up we’ll turn our attention to Salem Massachusetts and the fantabulous purveyor of syrups and lotions and more — the magically delicious WytchWood.

Finally, we have the wonders of Lailokens Awen, A paradise of scents and spells, Shawn is the premiere herbalist and aromatherapist, whose formulas are quickly becoming essential to my work.

Apologies for not including links. I’m posting from my phone and it’s giving me fits.

Edited to add the proper linkages, correct drug-induced spelling errors, and properly relay my diagnosis.

#OCCULTOBER: (Ghost)Hunter’s Moon

Posted in Occult Detectives, Occultober on October 20, 2021 by Occult Detective

This evening brings us the Hunter’s Moon, harvest festivals abound, and we are less than a dozen days till Samhain. As promised last week, today I am slated to write a short missive on the favorite Occult Detective of the winner of the Shadows Over Somerset All Hallow’s Read Giveaway. The recipient of the book, Vince Dickinson, wrote in his entry the following:

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

Well, it most certainly does. A deal is a deal.

So, how is it that I came by the moniker of Occult Detective?

I’ve been fascinated by both sides of the Occult Detective coin since I was a child. Growing up in rural Indiana, surrounded by local legends, of both the more common urban variety and the myths of the Miami Indians who once called the area home, and fed by the folktales of my family’s native Ozark roots, I was obsessed with magic and monsters and the macabre.

Before I was ten, I was reading the works of Dennis Wheatley, Richard Cavendish, Sybil Leek, Gerald Gardner, and Manly Palmer Hall… they went hand in hand with Marvel Comics, The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and The Three Investigators.

I studied UFOs, Bigfoot, and the Occult, prayed to Heathen Gods in the Hoosier hinterlands, scoured newspapers and gossip rags for stories about Hans Holzer, the Warrens, Sean Manchester and the like, and spent near countless nights in local graveyards and prowling abandoned houses, barns, and churches…

What was the catalyst? Who can say? Was it Kolchak, Dark Shadows, Scooby Doo? Late night Sammy Terry? Maybe seeing the Legend of Boggy Creek or The Exorcist at the Drive-In? Or it could have been the seances and light-as-a-feather sessions conducted by my much older baby-sitting cousins….

Regardless, I was hooked at a young age and I’ve never looked back.

Beyond those childhood endeavors, I began really investigating the strange and unusual in 1983, and that carried over into college where I studied Anthropology with a focus on Witchcraft, Magic, & Religion. At the height of the “Satanic Panic” I consulted with the local DNR on how to identify occult activity in the Misissinewa State Forest.

In a way, an Occult Detective is something I’ve always been rather than something I became.

Anyway, all the gibber jabber is well and good, but rather then me drone on and on about myself, I’ll open it up to you. If you have a question, fire it to me either in the comments section below, or you can always email me via bob@occultdetective.com.

And thanks again, Vince for your entry. I hope you enjoy the novel.

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