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Archive for the ‘Folklore’ Category

McNally & Florescu – In Search Of Dracula

Posted by demonik on May 28, 2009

Raymond T. McNally & Radu Florescu – In Search Of Dracula: A True History Of Dracula And Vampire Legends (Nel-Mentor, 1975)

illustrated

Back cover blurb

” — there are such things as vampires; some of us have evidence that they exist.” So wrote Bram Stoker in his now famous horror novel Dracula. This was the first work of fiction to pick up on the centuries-old legends of vampires and transform that incarnate Prince of Evil, Count Dracula, into a ‘hero’ of novels, plays and particularly, films.
The two researchers, McNally and Florescu, have delved through the layers of legend and myth to the origins of the legend, to Vlad Dracul, a 15th century nobleman of Wallachia, nicknamed ‘the Impaler because of his delight in impaling his enemies, alive, on wooden stakes.
The authors trace the intertwined reality and myth to the twentieth century cult, revealing much that is fascinating, much that is truly horrific.

The source for many horror novels (notably Peter Tremayne’s Dracula Unborn), this is a well regarded study of Vlad the Impaler, the ‘real’ Dracula, which includes translations of several 15th Century documents and purports to tell the story of Vlad the Impaler. Also includes a 16 page photo spread and handy checklist of Countess Bathory, Stoker and Dracula in film and literature.

Posted in Folklore, Mentor, NEL, non-fiction, Radu Florescu, Raymond T. McNally | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Elliot O’Donnell – Casebook of Ghosts 2

Posted by demonik on May 17, 2009

Elliot O’Donnell – Casebook of Ghosts Volume Two (NEL, March 1971)

Jan Parker

Jan Parker

More True stories by the world’s greatest ghost-hunter.

The Jansen’s kept one of their rooms boarded up – because those who’d stayed there in the past always experienced a strange compulsion to kill. And then one night, a visiting cousin with nowhere else to stay emerged from the room clutching a pair of gleaming scissors in her fist.

What was the power that had her in its spell? Only Elliott O’Donnell’s steel-nerved persistence could track down the origin of such a trance.

Here are more case histories by the fearless author of NEL’s bestselling “CASEBOOK OF GHOSTS”, Volume 1. This sequel includes true tales of headless sailors, disappearing secretaries, haunted elevators and much, much more.

Thanks to Steve Goodwin for providing the scan and blurb!

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Elliott O’Donnell – The Screaming Skulls

Posted by demonik on May 17, 2009

Elliott O’Donnell – The Screaming Skulls & Other Ghost Stories (Four Square Horror, September, 1966) [Edited by Harry Ludlam]

Screaming skulls in action

Screaming skulls in action

Blurb:

These gripping true ghost tales, together with some compelling legends, are the cream of those collected by Elliott O’Donnell in over half a century spent ghost-hunting.
He writes of creeping hands, vengeful phantoms and tortured wraiths exactly as they were seen — from accounts by witnesses, and from records made at the time or shortly afterwards.
Besides documenting the cases of others, O’Donnell tells of his own creepy experiences. He has investigated numerous cases of supernatural phenomena, disturbing Me and horrifying, from inexplicable hauntings in lonely country houses to those in the heart of town cursed by appalling events of the past.
No one reading these tales by Britain’s most renowned ghost-hunter can remain, a sceptic … or refrain from a shudder in the dark.

Posted in Elliott O'Donnell, Folklore, Four Square, Horror Fiction, non-fiction | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rhiannon Hughes – Legends of the Mist

Posted by demonik on September 16, 2007

Rhiannon Hughes (ed.) – Legends of the Mist (Nel, 1972)

Not quite as glamorous as the wonders of Flesh Bait perhaps, but …

I’ve never seen a copy of this, but found the following review at Crew (Centre for Research in to the English Literature and Language of Wales). In his own collection of Welsh Terrors, The Magic Valley Traveller, Peter Haining attributes the blinding The Murderess, or The Fatal Prediction, A Romantic Tale to ‘Anne Of Swansea’, but he is evidently the only person to have come to that conclusion. If anybody has this and would like to share the complete contents list then I’d be most grateful as it’s one that seems to have eluded the best brains on here!

A sort of subtitle on the front cover describes this as “A magical collection of Welsh folk tales and legends”, and many of the stories here are precisely that. There are no credits for sources or authors; The Lady of the Fountain, for instance, is taken straight from the Guest translation of the Mabinogion.

The book is in sections: Legendary Tales (of which Merlin and the History of Tom Thumb and The Legend of the Mountain Bard probably come from travellers` accounts – and Tom Thumb has nothing to do with Wales apart from the mention of Merlin`s and Arthur`s names); Witchcraft and Satanism, which includes extracts from Brand`s Popular Antiquities etc; and Supernatural, which does include two stories and one `storyfied` legend. The two short stories are evidently early nineteenth century: The Murderess, or The Fatal Prediction, A Romantic Tale and The Infidel: a Welsh Legend; the first is High Gothic, with a haunted murderess, vengeful ghosts and so on, while the other is School of Walter Scott, with, in fact, no supernatural elements at all. The Sighs of Ulla, the third offering, is much the same. Like The Infidel, it has a lengthy introduction, and is only very dubiously a legend.

It is unfortunate that so much of the material is uncredited, but the use of so many nineteenth century sources, no doubt to avoid paying royalties, does make some interesting early fiction available.

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