A Season with the Witch The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem Massachusetts

Author: J. W. Ocker
Publisher: The Countryman Press
ISBN: 9781581575545
Release Date: 2016-10-04
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit

Edgar Award-winning travel writer spends an autumn living in one of America's spookiest tourist destinations: Salem, Massachusetts Salem, Massachusetts, may be the strangest city on the planet. A single event in its 400 years of history—the Salem Witch Trials of 1692—transformed it into the Capital of Creepy in America. But Salem is a seasonal town—and its season happens to be Halloween. Every October, this small city of 40,000 swells to close to half a million as witches, goblins, ghouls, and ghosts (and their admirers) descend on Essex Street. For the fall of 2015, occult enthusiast and Edgar Award–winning writer J.W. Ocker moved his family of four to downtown Salem to experience firsthand a season with the witch, visiting all of its historical sites and macabre attractions. In between, he interviews its leaders and citizens, its entrepreneurs and visitors, its street performers and Wiccans, its psychics and critics, creating a picture of this unique place and the people who revel in, or merely weather, its witchiness.

Poe Land The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe

Author: J. W. Ocker
Publisher: The Countryman Press
ISBN: 9781581576764
Release Date: 2014-10-06
Genre: Travel

Winner of the 2015 Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biographical! Follow the footsteps of the father of American horror fiction. Edgar Allan Poe was an oddity: his life, literature, and legacy are all, well, odd. In Poe-Land, J. W. Ocker explores the physical aspects of Poe’s legacy across the East Coast and beyond, touring Poe’s homes, examining artifacts from his life—locks of his hair, pieces of his coffin, original manuscripts, his boyhood bed—and visiting the many memorials dedicated to him. Along the way, Ocker meets people from a range of backgrounds and professions—actors, museum managers, collectors, historians—who have dedicated some part of their lives to Poe and his legacy. Poe-Land is a unique travelogue of the afterlife of the poet who invented detective fiction, advanced the emerging genre of science fiction, and elevated the horror genre with a mastery over the macabre that is arguably still unrivaled today.

Death and Douglas

Author: J. W. Ocker
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
ISBN: 9781510724624
Release Date: 2017-10-31
Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Douglas has grown up around the business of death. Generations of his family have run the Mortimer Family Funeral Home. The mortician and gravediggers are all his buddies. And the display room of caskets is an awesome place for hide and seek. It’s business as usual in Douglas’s small New England town. Until one day an incredibly out of the ordinary murder victim is brought to the funeral home. And more startling: others follow. On the cusp of Halloween, a serial killer has arrived. And unsatisfied with the small-town investigation, Douglas enlists his friends to help him solve the mystery. With sumptuous descriptions of a bucolic town and it’s quirky people, fascinating yet middle grade–appropriate insider information about the funeral process, and a crackling mystery with a heart-pounding conclusion—Death and Douglas has something for readers young and old.

The New England Grimpendium

Author: J. W. Ocker
Publisher: The Countryman Press
ISBN: 9781581578621
Release Date: 2010-09-20
Genre: Travel

An insider’s guide to wicked, weird, and wonderful New England. A rich compendium of macabre and historic New England happenings, this travelogue features firsthand accounts of almost 200 sites throughout New England. This region is full of the macabre, the grim, and the ghastly—and all of it is worth visiting, for the traveler who dares! Author J. W. Ocker supplements directions and site information with entertaining personal anecdotes. Topics include: Legends and personalities of the macabre Infamous crimes and killers Dreadful tragedies Horror movie locales Notable cemeteries and gravestones Intriguing memento mori Classic monsters

Ghostland

Author: Colin Dickey
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101980217
Release Date: 2016-10-04
Genre: History

One of NPR's Great Reads of 2016 “A lively assemblage and smart analysis of dozens of haunting stories… absorbing…[and] intellectually intriguing.”—The New York Times Book Review An intellectual feast for fans of offbeat history, Ghostland takes readers on a road trip through some of the country's most infamously haunted places—and deep into the dark side of our history. Colin Dickey is on the trail of America's ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and "zombie homes," Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. Some have established reputations as "the most haunted mansion in America," or "the most haunted prison"; others, like the haunted Indian burial grounds in West Virginia, evoke memories from the past our collective nation tries to forget. With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living—how do we, the living, deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed, for whatever reason, haunted? Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes to those facts are made—and why those changes are made—Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone, crimes left unsolved. Spellbinding, scary, and wickedly insightful, Ghostland discovers the past we're most afraid to speak of aloud in the bright light of day is the same past that tends to linger in the ghost stories we whisper in the dark.

Witches of America

Author: Alex Mar
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
ISBN: 9780374709112
Release Date: 2015-10-20
Genre: Religion

"Witches are gathering." When most people hear the word "witches," they think of horror films and Halloween, but to the nearly one million Americans who practice Paganism today, witchcraft is a nature-worshipping, polytheistic, and very real religion. So Alex Mar discovers when she sets out to film a documentary and finds herself drawn deep into the world of present-day magic. Witches of America follows Mar on her immersive five-year trip into the occult, charting modern Paganism from its roots in 1950s England to its current American mecca in the San Francisco Bay Area; from a gathering of more than a thousand witches in the Illinois woods to the New Orleans branch of one of the world's most influential magical societies. Along the way she takes part in dozens of rituals and becomes involved with a wild array of characters: a government employee who founds a California priesthood dedicated to a Celtic goddess of war; American disciples of Aleister Crowley, whose elaborate ceremonies turn the Catholic mass on its head; second-wave feminist Wiccans who practice a radical separatist witchcraft; a growing "mystery cult" whose initiates trace their rites back to a blind shaman in rural Oregon. This sprawling magical community compels Mar to confront what she believes is possible-or hopes might be. With keen intelligence and wit, Mar illuminates the world of witchcraft while grappling in fresh and unexpected ways with the question underlying every faith: Why do we choose to believe in anything at all? Whether evangelical Christian, Pagan priestess, or atheist, each of us craves a system of meaning to give structure to our lives. Sometimes we just find it in unexpected places.

Halloween

Author: David J. Skal
Publisher: Courier Dover Publications
ISBN: 9780486805214
Release Date: 2016-06-15
Genre: History

Original, entertaining mix of personal anecdotes and social analysis examines America's perplexingly popular holiday, tracing the tradition's evolution from its dark Celtic history to its emergence as a mammoth marketing event.

Necronomicon

Author: Donald Tyson
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN: 9780738717593
Release Date: 2012-04-08
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit

Anyone familiar with H. P. Lovecraft's work knows of the Necronomicon, the black magic grimoire he invented as a literary prop in his classic horror stories. There have been several attempts at creating this text, yet none stand up to Lovecraft's own descriptions of the Necronomicon . . . until now. Fans of Lovecraftian magic and occult fiction will delight in Donald Tyson's Necronomicon, based purely within Lovecraft's own fictional universe, the Cthulhu Mythos. This grimoire traces the wanderings of Abdul Alhazred, a necromancer of Yemen, on his search for arcane wisdom and magic. Alhazred's magical adventures lead him to the Arabian desert, the lost city of Irem, ruins of Babylon, lands of the Old Ones, and Damascus, where he encounters a variety of strange creatures and accrues necromantic secrets.

American Witches

Author: Susan Fair
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 9781510703810
Release Date: 2016-08-23
Genre: History

The history of American witches is way weirder than you ever imagined. From bewitched pigs hell-bent on revenge to gruesome twentieth-century murders, American Witches reveals strange incidents of witchcraft that have long been swept under the rug as bizarre sidenotes to history. On a tour through history that’s both whimsical and startling, we’ll encounter seventeenth-century children flying around inside their New England home “like geese.” We’ll meet a father-son team of pious Puritans who embarked on a mission that involved undressing ladies and overseeing hangings. And on the eve of the Civil War, we’ll accompany a reporter as he dons a dress and goes searching for witches in New York City’s most dangerous neighborhoods. Entertainingly readable and rich in amazing details often left out of today’s texts, American Witches casts a flickering torchlight into the dark corners of American history.

The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism

Author: Patrick Lepetit
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781620551769
Release Date: 2014-04-24
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit

A profound understanding of the surrealists’ connections with alchemists and secret societies and the hermetic aspirations revealed in their works • Explains how surrealist paintings and poems employed mythology, gnostic principles, tarot, voodoo, alchemy, and other hermetic sciences to seek out unexplored regions of the mind and recover lost “psychic” and magical powers • Provides many examples of esoteric influence in surrealism, such as how Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon was originally titled The Bath of the Philosophers Not merely an artistic or literary movement as many believe, the surrealists rejected the labels of artist and author bestowed upon them by outsiders, accepting instead the titles of magician, alchemist, or--in the case of Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo--witch. Their paintings, poems, and other works were created to seek out unexplored regions of the mind and recover lost “psychic” and magical powers. They used creative expression as the vehicle to attain what André Breton called the “supreme point,” the point at which all opposites cease to be perceived as contradictions. This supreme point is found at the heart of all esoteric doctrines, including the Great Work of alchemy, and enables communication with higher states of being. Drawing on an extensive range of writings by the surrealists and those in their circle of influence, Patrick Lepetit shows how the surrealists employed mythology, gnostic principles, tarot, voodoo, and alchemy not simply as reference points but as significant elements of their ongoing investigations into the fundamental nature of consciousness. He provides many specific examples of esoteric influence among the surrealists, such as how Picasso’s famous Demoiselles d’Avignon was originally titled The Bath of the Philosophers, how painter Victor Brauner drew from his father’s spiritualist vocation as well as the Kabbalah and tarot, and how doctor and surrealist author Pierre Mabille was a Freemason focused on finding initiatory paths where “it is possible to feel a new system connecting man with the universe.” Lepetit casts new light on the connection between key figures of the movement and the circle of adepts gathered around Fulcanelli. He also explores the relationship between surrealists and Freemasonry, Martinists, and the Elect Cohen as well as the Grail mythos and the Arthurian brotherhood.

Season of the Witch

Author: Peter Bebergal
Publisher: Tarcher
ISBN: 9780399174964
Release Date: 2015-10
Genre: Music

"From the hoodoo-inspired sounds of Elvis Presley to the Eastern odysseys of George Harrison, from the dark dalliances of Led Zeppelin to the Masonic imagery of today's hip-hop scene, the occult has long breathed life into rock and hip-hop--and, indeed, esoteric and supernatural traditions are a key ingredient behind the emergence and development of rock and roll ... [and in this book] writer and critic Peter Bebergal illuminates this web of influences"--Amazon.com.

Inside the Other Side

Author: Concetta Bertoldi
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062087430
Release Date: 2012-07-17
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit

“Concetta Bertoldi is definitely not your run-of-the-mill medium.” —actor Billy Baldwin “With her fun loving and sparkling personality, it is no wonder the spirit world wants to speak to her.” —James Van Praagh, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Talking to Heaven The New York Times bestselling author of Do Dead People Watch You Shower?, celebrity psychic medium Concetta Bertoldi talks intimately about soul contracts, life lessons, and how dead people help us between here and heaven, as she leads us on an eye-opening tour Inside the Other Side. With the same compassion and wit that inspired Publishers Weekly to praise “the charm of this ‘average Jersey girl who talks to the dead,’” Concetta shares, her own experiences with loss, as well as the fascinating and comforting anecdotes of those she’s read for over the years. Readers of Sylvia Browne and Alison Dubois, and the avid television audience for John Edward and Lisa Williams will be inspired by Concetta’s powerful insights and guidance as she explains how to cope with life’s most difficult issues by getting in touch with angels on the Other Side.

The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic

Author: Eliphas Levi
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780143111030
Release Date: 2017
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit

Filling a huge gap in our spiritual culture, here--at last--is a comprehensive and elegant translation of the 1854 French masterwork of occult philosophy. The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic reignited the esoteric spiritual search in the West and led to the emergence of Madame Blavatsky, Manly P. Hall, and the New Age revolution. Levi's study of magic is an absolute must for every seeker in occult, esoteric, and druidic realms; but this need has been frustrated by dated and inaccurate translations--until now. Greer, a respected occult scholar, and Mikituk, a masterful translator, collaborate to restore this landmark work--complete with its original illustrations and symbols--to the center of the alternative spiritual canon.

The Penguin Book of Witches

Author: Katherine Howe
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780698141841
Release Date: 2014-09-30
Genre: History

Chilling real-life accounts of witches, from medieval Europe through colonial America, compiled by the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and Conversion From a manual for witch hunters written by King James himself in 1597, to court documents from the Salem witch trials of 1692, to newspaper coverage of a woman stoned to death on the streets of Philadelphia while the Continental Congress met, The Penguin Book of Witches is a treasury of historical accounts of accused witches that sheds light on the reality behind the legends. Bringing to life stories like that of Eunice Cole, tried for attacking a teenage girl with a rock and buried with a stake through her heart; Jane Jacobs, a Bostonian so often accused of witchcraft that she took her tormentors to court on charges of slander; and Increase Mather, an exorcism-performing minister famed for his knowledge of witches, this volume provides a unique tour through the darkest history of English and North American witchcraft. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Secrets Of Nostradamus

Author: David Ovason
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062194015
Release Date: 2012-02-14
Genre: History

His name has become a synonym for clairvoyance: Nostradamus, astrologer to the king of France, the most famous seer in Western history. But the real meaning of his prophecies has gone undetected, hidden in a secret alchemical code. Known as the Green Language, it was understood by only a handful of medieval occult scholars, and has been lost for centuries—until now. David Ovason spent 40 years working on the Green Language, enabling him to finally crack the secret code of Nostradamus. In this book, he reveals with line-by-line analysis the hidden writings of the great astrologer, showing that his dates and details are more exact than any previous scholars have realized. As a master of the arcane astrological traditions practiced by Nostradamus, Ovason provides the most accurate and insightful account ever written of this mysterious figure's writings, predictions, and life.