The Trouble with the Warrens

Fans of the “Conjuring” horror movie franchise will know the names Ed and Lorraine Warren, and a very idealized characterization of the husband and wife team of paranormal investigators. The films depict the couple very much as they wanted to be seen, which is what Hollywood does to stories. Watch Ryan Hollanger’s critique of the film on Youtube if you… Read More »The Trouble with the Warrens

Feral?

The Appalachian mountains are ancient. In geological terms, this range of mountains first formed over one billion years ago. As tall as the Rockies at one time, erosion has reduced the Appalachians to the bare bones of a mountain range. The history of the Earth is exposed in the undulating layers of sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks, and slivers of ancient… Read More »Feral?

Is Harry Potter Fascist?

Harry Potter has always been fucked up. Okay. Let’s just clear the air on that one. We open on an orphan child kept in abusive conditions by adoptive parents who despise him for even existing. It is quickly revealed that the abused child is cursed, and soon enough he is saved from his abusive condition and introduced into a secret… Read More »Is Harry Potter Fascist?

The Bigfoot Paradox

Wild men, woodboogers, and Indian devils, are all terms that were applied to a phenomenon that can be traced back to the Woodwose of Medieval English lore. The antagonist of the earliest known epic in what we now know as the English language presents a hero who defeats a cave-dwelling wild man. The legend of Gilgamesh, the earliest known narrative… Read More »The Bigfoot Paradox

Seeing is Believing

It is the easiest thing in the world to be a skeptic. Just reject any implausible story as false and give it no more thought. People experience delusions, they have psychotic episodes, or just lie their way out of our shared reality. A skeptic can casually dismiss most of what Charles Forte called High Strangeness as some combination of mental… Read More »Seeing is Believing

What in the Hell is the Jersey Devil

In the folklore of the American colonies there exist so many specimens of primeval megafauna, apex predators, and fantastical creatures to comprise a unique sub-genre of bestiaries, the most famous being Fearsome Critters, published in 1939. A compendium of the tall tales told in lumber camps across the North Eastern U.S., Fearsome Critters (and its 1910 predecessor Fearsome Creatures of… Read More »What in the Hell is the Jersey Devil

Gruß vom Krampus!

Behind the thin plastic shell of the Modern idea of Christmas as the “most magical time of the year” (ding-dong! ding-dong!) is a well known trope that Christmas is an appropriation of the Pagan midwinter festivals known as the Yuletide. Winters were especially cruel in Northern Europe during the Middle Ages, and the odds were very grim for a child who got lost in the woods after sundown.