Announcing Brom Bones Books! Sorry, the Submissions Window — and Even the Transom — Don’t Exist

TheBack - Brom Bones Logo book version of Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports from U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917 is nearly available for purchase. I’m still hoping for a pre-Halloween release, but it’s probably going to be close. I’m waiting for a proof copy to arrive in a few days. I’ll have the book’s interior ready to go when it arrives. However, I want to double-check the cover, and if that’s good, the actual release date will be in other hands.

Continue reading “Announcing Brom Bones Books! Sorry, the Submissions Window — and Even the Transom — Don’t Exist”

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A Ghost Report from the Orleans County Monitor on February 17, 1873

Here’s an article I refer to in the Introduction of the forthcoming book, Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports from U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917. I talk about how ghosts were often treated with the same tone and objectivity as other news.

A Vershire couple’s son dies in a fire. A vengeful ghost haunts a house in Bennington. A sheriff is reappointed in Lamoile County.

Apparently, it was just another day in Vermont…

Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

UPDATE: I’m pleased to report that the Spectral Edition book has been submitted — and resubmitted — to CreateSpace. Apparently, I had made one mistake with the spine of the cover the first time. That was easily fixed, though, and it’s now awaiting final approval. I think a pre-Halloween release is very likely.

A Ghost Report from The Sun on March 30, 1884

Spectral Edition

This report on a giant, “unmannerly” ghost in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, didn’t make it into the forthcoming Spectral Edition book.

It’s an interesting ghost report, but it was published in The Sun, which had a reputation for running fabricated stories just to sell papers. I didn’t avoid The Sun altogether in the book, but I was especially choosy when considering their articles.

1884-03-30 p1 The Sun [New York, New York]

Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

UPDATE: For the first time, I feel like I’m behind schedule. While the cover of the Spectral Edition book is ready to be submitted, I’m still triple-checking everything inside the book. I had hoped to have this done by the very start of October. I’m still hoping for a pre-Halloween release . . . but it might be closer than I had planned.

A Ghost Report from the Bridgeport Evening Farmer on September 1, 1911

Spectral EditionWas it swamp gas — or something supernatural?

The writer of this report seems to lean toward giving the strange, wandering light seen in Hillside Cemetery a natural explanation.

But it’s not definite enough for this ghost report to have earned a place in the Natural Explanations chapter of my Spectral Edition book.

1911-09-01 p6 Bridgeport Evening Farmer [Connecticu]

Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

UPDATE: Things are proceeding very well with Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports in U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917. I have the cover finished (though I’m one to tinker with such things). My wife, an excellent editor, and I are giving the contents a final proofreading before I submit it to CreateSpace.

A Ghost Report from the Evening Star on July 25, 1887

Spectral EditionHere’s another ghost report that didn’t make it into the book. There’s some poltergeist activity described, but it’s not very impressive.

It might have fit into the “Natural Explanations” chapter, but there are too many tricksters afoot. Even so, not all of the ghostly evidence is explained.

1884-07-25 p3 Evening Star [Washington, DC]

Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

UPDATE: Formatting is still in progress with the book version of Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports in U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917. Keeping the graphics looking good is proving to be difficult as I convert the Word document into a pdf. I’m still aiming for a pre-Halloween release, though.

4-Question Interview: Loren Rhoads

present-tensionsIn a recent online discussion, I tried to boil down the difference between occult detective fiction and urban fantasy to simple math: “5 vampires per 7 billion humans = occult detective. 1 billion vampires, 1 billion werewolves, 1 billion zombies per 4 billion humans = urban fantasy. There’s an error margin of + or – 17.”

Loren Rhoads is blurring that formula — as well as the division between those genres — with her occult detective fiction. On her website, she explains that she’s written “a series of urban fantasy short stories about Alondra DeCourval, a young American witch who grew up in London. Alondra travels the world, battling monsters.” But the author’s take on urban fantasy doesn’t seem quite so monster-heavy as my formula suggests. She explains this while answering the 4 questions that I’ve asked of many writers keeping the occult detective tradition very much alive today. Continue reading “4-Question Interview: Loren Rhoads”

A Ghost Report from the Brownsville Daily Herald on March 19, 1904

Spectral EditionI’ve found several reports of murderers haunted by the ghosts of their victims. It’s easy to attribute this to a guilty conscience. A few of these appear in the “Haunted People” chapter of my forthcoming Spectral Edition book.

But here’s an article that almost fits better into the chapter on “Natural Explanations” — or it would if it offered a clear-cut explanation for Susano Marmolejo’s ghostly visions of a man he had stabbed and left for dead.1904-03-19 p1 Brownsville Daily Herald [Texas]Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

UPDATE: I’m now at the slow, careful formatting stage with the book version of Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports in U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917. I’m also gradually learning what’s needed to self-publish the book. All looks good for a pre-Halloween release!

Dolly Desmond: Reporter and One-Time Ghost Hunter

Dolly Desmond was the lead character in a 1914 movie serial titled The Active Life of Dolly of the Dailies. There were twelve episodes in this series, produced by the Edison Company and directed by Walter Edwin. In the title role was Mary Fuller, who also happened to star in what is considered the very first movie serial, What Happened to Mary (1912).

As were a few other serial heroines from the 1910s, Dolly Desmond was “noteworthy less for her extraordinary beauty than for her daring and resourcefulness. This woman would often perform her work in a male-dominated arena, winning the day with confident self-reliance and an imaginative capacity seemingly unavailable to her male peers.” Specifically, Desmond was a reporter in that era of brave, adventurous reporters carving a place for professional women, journalists who included Nellie Bly and Ida Tarball.

Continue reading “Dolly Desmond: Reporter and One-Time Ghost Hunter”

A Ghost Report from the Nebraska Advertiser on October 31, 1902

Spectral EditionHere’s a good example of a ghost report that didn’t make its way into the upcoming book version of Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports from U.S. Newspaper, 1865-1917. I rejected any articles published on either April Fool’s Day or, as this one was, on Halloween. No trick reports, thank you.

And there’s not much ghostly activity here. A woman wearing black appeared on a porch one day. When addressed, she “disappeared.”  Does that mean she turned transparent — or she simply turned and ran off?

1902-10-31 p1 Nebraska Adverstiser [Nemaha City]Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

Deceived by H. Macaulay’s “The Detective” (1870)

Unearthing the Unearthly

Skimming through an 1870 short story called “The Detective: A Tale of the Old Walton House,” I spotted clues of supernatural events occurring. Given the title, I felt very hopeful that I had come across yet another piece of fiction that crosses supernatural and detective genres — ideally, resulting in another early occult detective to add to my Chronological Bibliography thereof.

But I had been deceived. Tricked. Bamboozled even. The title detective in H. Macaulay’s tale is actually the supernatural being, and it’s called “the detective” because it haunts — or shadows — the protagonist as a detective might do. This is all explained up front: Continue reading “Deceived by H. Macaulay’s “The Detective” (1870)”