5 Dec 2023

Shudders from the Library

Katy Soar (Editor) Circles of Stone: Weird Tales of Pagan Sites and Ancient Rites. British Library Tales of the Weird).
(7 December 2023)

Standing stones, stone circles, tumps, barrows and ancient clearings still remain across the British Isles, and though their specific significance may be obscured by the passing of time, their strange allure and mysterious energy persist in our collective consciousness.

2 Dec 2023

The Graphic Design of Magic

M. B. Jackson. Sigils, Seals and Pentacles: Illustrated Guide to the Graphic Design of Ceremonial Magic. Green Magic Publishing
(30 November 2023)

Sigils, seals and pentacles are occult devices used in ceremonial magic as part of the invocation and evocation of angels, demons and other spirits. They were developed out of ritual magic, a mixture of Greco-Egyptian Hermeticism, Arabic Astrology and Jewish Cabala in the 10th century Medieval Europe. 

30 Nov 2023

Behind the Dreams

Peter W Merlin. Dreamland: The Secret History of Area 51. Schiffer Publishing. 
(28 November 2023)

Area 51, a top-secret military installation hidden in the desert northwest of Las Vegas, has been shrouded in mystery since 1955. Now, aerospace historian Peter Merlin cuts through the myths and conspiracy folklore to reveal in extraordinary detail the true story.

28 Nov 2023

Seeing Angels

Ed Simon. Elysium: A Visual History of Angelology. Cernunnos. (23 November 2023)

A gloriously illustrated overview of angels across art, religion, and literature. Ineffable, invisible, inscrutable―angels are enduring creatures across Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and human experiences of the divine as mediated by spiritual emissaries are an aspect of almost every religious tradition. 

26 Nov 2023

Out There . . .

Garrett M. Graff. UFO. The Inside Story of the US Government's Search for Alien Life Here—and Out There. Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster (14 November)

For as long as we have looked to the skies, the question of whether life on Earth is the only life to exist has been at the core of the human experience, driving scientific debate and discovery, shaping spiritual belief, and prompting existential thought across borders and generations. 

24 Nov 2023

London's Lost Artist

Phil Baker and Alan Moore. Austin Osman Spare: the Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist. Strange Attractor Press. Revised edition. (21 November 2023)

London has harboured many curious characters, but few more curious than the artist and visionary Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956). 

22 Nov 2023

Still Searching

Christopher K. Walker Investigating Life in the Universe: Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life.  CRC Press. (16 November 2023)

This textbook gives a lively introduction to the search for extraterrestrial life. It is a guidebook to understanding the possibility of life elsewhere, pointing out landmarks and providing background information to facilitate further exploration of those areas of most interest to the reader.

20 Nov 2023

The Godfather

Linda Powell. Against the Odds: Major Donald E. Keyhoe and His Battle to End UFO Secrecy. Anomalist Books. (17 November 2023)

One man is largely responsible for the twin pillars of current UFO belief: that UFOs represent extraterrestrial technology and that the government is hiding this truth from us. His name is Donald E. Keyhoe. 

19 Nov 2023

Supernatural Aerial Phenomena

Carlo Eire. They Flew: A History of the Impossible. Yale University Press (14 November 2023)

Accounts of seemingly impossible phenomena abounded in the early modern era―tales of levitation, bilocation, and witchcraft―even as scepticism, atheism, and empirical science were starting to supplant religious belief in the paranormal. 

16 Nov 2023

I Want to Believe?

James Fenwick and Diane A. Rodgers (Editors) The Legacy of The X-Files. Bloomsbury. (14 December 2023)

The Legacy of The X-Files examines the content and production of the show, its reception, its use of legend and folklore, its contemporary resonance in politics and society of the 21st century, and its impact and legacy on film, television, the Internet and beyond.

13 Nov 2023

Tracking Travis

Terry Wriste. Beam Me Up: Terry Wriste's Book of the Travis Walton UFO Abduction.‎ Independently published (2 November 2023)

The Travis Walton story began with a single, bizarre UFO report so utterly fantastic that nobody with a sober and rational mind would have believed it to be true. Yet six reliable witnesses stated that on the evening of November 5,1975, a huge glowing object appeared in a clearing in the Arizona woods, which Travis Walton approached. 

12 Nov 2023

The Art of Ectoplasm

Serena Keshavjee (Editor). The Art of Ectoplasm: Encounters with Winnipeg's Ghost Photographs. ‎ University of Manitoba Press. (15 September 2023)

In the wake of the First World War and the 1918–19 pandemic, the world was left grappling with a profound sense of loss. It was against this backdrop that a Winnipeg couple, physician T.G. Hamilton and nurse Lillian Hamilton, began their research, documenting and photographing sΓ©ances they held in their home laboratory. 

9 Nov 2023

To Crystal Palace and Beyond

Karl Shuker. ShukerNature (Book 3): Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, Jungle Walruses, and Other Belated Blog Beasts. ‎Coachwhip Publications (16 October 2023)

This third compilation of Dr. Karl P.N. Shuker's ShukerNature blog articles delves into a delectable variety of curious zoological subjects, from the Nandi bear and jungle walruses to striped mantas and giant monitor lizards. 

8 Nov 2023

Fairyland Our Fairyland

Simon Young. Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies, 500 AD to the Present. Gibson Square Books Ltd; Enlarged paperback edition
(2 November 2023)

British and Irish fairies have been around since 500 AD. Ever since the Cottingley Fairy Hoax (1917-21) they have been in decline, however. But in the footsteps of The Lord of the Rings and The Game of Thrones, British fairies are regaining their old lustre. 

6 Nov 2023

God's Diet Sheet

Christina Ward. Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat. An American History. Feral House. (9th November 2023)

Independent food historian Christina Ward's highly anticipated Holy Food explores the influence of mainstream to fringe religious beliefs on modern American food culture. Author Christina Ward unravels the numerous ways religious beliefs intersect with politics and economics and, of course, food to tell a different story of America. 

4 Nov 2023

Nonhuman Encounters

D W Pasulka. Encounters: Experiences with Nonhuman Intelligences : ‎ St. Martin's Essentials (7 November 2023)

In Encounters, author D.W. Pasulka takes readers to the forefront of this revolution, sharing the work of experts across a spectrum of fields who are working to connect humanity with unknown life-forms. Most of us have visions of nonhuman encounters that are shaped far more by Hollywood than they are informed by the current research. 

1 Nov 2023

God's Monsters

Esther Hamori. God's Monsters: Vengeful Spirits, Deadly Angels, Hybrid Creatures, and Divine Hitmen of the Bible. Broadleaf Books (31 Oct. 2023)

The Bible is full of monsters: giants tromp through the land of milk and honey; Leviathan swims through the wine-dark sea. What we often believe is that God reliably vanquishes the monsters and protects us from harm. But when we look closer, we find that most of these monsters aren't God's opponents--they are God's entourage. 

30 Oct 2023

The Archipelago

Alice Albinia. The Britannias: An Archipelago's Tale. Allen Lane (19 October 2023)

The Britannias
tells the story of Britain's islands and how they are woven into its collective cultural psyche. From Neolithic Orkney to modern-day Thanet, Alice Albinia explores the furthest reaches of Britain's island topography, once known (wrote Pliny) by the collective term, Britanniae. 

29 Oct 2023

Back to Borley

Sean O'Connor. The Haunting of Borley Rectory: The Story of a Ghost Story. Simon & Schuster. (12 October 2023)

In 1928, Eric and Mabel Smith took over a lonely parish on the northern border of Essex. When they moved into Borley Rectory, Mrs Smith made a gruesome discovery in a cupboard: a human skull. Soon the house was electric with ghosts. Within the year, the Smiths had abandoned it and the Rectory became notorious as the ‘most haunted house in England’. 

28 Oct 2023

Panic Attack

David Kerekes and David Slater. Cannibal Error: Anti-Film Propaganda and the 'Video Nasties' Panic of the 1980s. Headpress. (2nd revised, October 2023)

In the early 1980s, video technology forever changed the face of home entertainment. The videocassette - a handy-sized cartridge of magnetic tape inside a plastic shell - domesticated cinema as families across Britain began to consume films in an entirely new way. Demand was high and the result was a video gold rush, with video rental outlets appearing on every high street almost overnight. 

26 Oct 2023

Just Joking

Elliott Oring. The Consolations of Humor and Other Folklore Essays. Utah State University Press (1 November 2023)

The Consolations of Humor and Other Folklore Essays unfolds as a series of questions, commentaries, and criticisms of the analysis, interpretation, and explanation of folklore. Can we confidently regard jokes as the catharsis of sexual and aggressive impulses? What is the basis for characterizing a joke as Jewish or Scottish or Japanese?

Reading About Satan

Per Faxneld, Johan Nilsson (Editors) Satanism: A Reader. OUP USA. (25 October 2023)

Satanism is a current of thought that generates intense feelings. It remains understudied by academics. This selection of key source texts from the period 1841 to 2017 attempts to remedy that gap. Ranging from the esoteric to the anti-clerical, countercultural, and political, the texts span a wide variety of genres, from poetry and polemical religious tracts to ritual instructions and internet FAQ's. 

25 Oct 2023

Snowballs from Space

Louis A. Frank. Cosmic Rain: The Controversial Discovery of Small Comets.‎ Anomalist Books (15 October 2021)

Every minute several huge "snowballs" break up as they approach the Earth and deposit a large cloud of water vapor in Earth's upper atmosphere. That's the startling finding of world-renowned physicist Louis A. Frank after an examination of the images relayed from the Dynamics Explorer 1 spacecraft.

24 Oct 2023

Exploring Middle Earth

Bradley J. Birzer, J.R.R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle Earth. Regnery Gateway (26 October 2023)

Peter Jackson's film version of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy - and the accompanying Rings-related paraphernalia and publicity - has played a unique role in the dissemination of Tolkien's imaginative creation to the masses. Yet, for most readers and viewers, the underlying meaning of Middle-earth has remained obscure. 

23 Oct 2023

The Politics of Folk Horror

Kevin J. Donnelly, Louis Bayman (Editors) Folk Horror on Film: Return of the British Repressed.‎ Manchester University Press
(10 October 2023)

What is folk horror and how culturally significant is it? This collection is the first study to address these questions while considering the special importance of British cinema to the genre’s development. The book presents political and aesthetic analyses of folk horror’s uncanny landscapes and frightful folk.