The World’s Most Evil Books – in movies and real life

The World’s Most Evil Books – in movies and real life

book of shadows

For conjuring, spells, invocations and summoning the dark powers and Demonic entities

Books for summoning dark powers, entities, and magicks are often called Grimoires. These Grimoires were often collections of incantations and spells that practitioners accumulated in their travels, rewritten in an orderly fashion. Some were more intensive studies by monks, Satanists and sorcerers interested in the dark arts and attempting to unlock the secrets of death and the great beyond. Here’s a brief look at some of the most powerful dark arts books in the world.



TheBlackPullett

The Black Pullet – 1700s

This book from 18th century Rome gives instructions and guides on creating and using Talismans. The magic of the rings is known to bring forth a multitude of extraordinary powers of protection, healing, and spellbinding. One such ceremony concerns producing the Black Pullet, known as the Hen with Golden Eggs, to build wealth and fortune.


Grand Grimoire - Cover

The Red Dragon aka: The Grande Grimoire – 1500’s

Presumed to have been dated back to the 1500’s this book is a prized source of black magic and demonic invocation. It is believed to have been transcribed from original writings of King Solomon, known to be a master of spells, rituals and pacts with evil.


Malleus Maleficarum

Malleus Maleficarum – 1486

aka: De Hexenhammer (German) / Hammer of the Witches (English) This famous book is a legal treatise on the hunting, detection and persecution of witches. Written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer after he had been given full papal approval for Inquisition and prosecution of witches in 1484. Part of it is a guide on the rules and methods of conducting a witchcraft trial, including accusations, tortured interrogation and proving witches guilty. The book covers arguments against witchcraft and how to maintain that it is real, the powers of a witch and the demon’s recruiting strategies.


aemeth_jhp_sl313s

Liber Juratus – 1200’s

aka: The Grimoire of Honorius, is one of the oldest Grimoires known to man. It is said to have been created at a gathering of the world’s magicians and sorcerers for the expressed purpose of collecting all their knowledge into a single useful tool. This book of higher necromancy offers instruction on saving souls from purgatory, conjuring demons, casting spells and even powers of the church such as using angelic powers and seals. Its date of origin is unknown but can be traced as far back as medieval times in the 13th century.


egyptianparch

The Handbook of Ritual Power – An Ancient Egyptian Book of Spells – 700 AD

This is a 1,300-year-old book of bound parchment papers describing spells to accomplish many things including, controlling a person or freeing oneself from possession. It is written in Coptic and dialect points to its origins in the ancient cities of Ashmunein and Hermopolis. It could have been a rewriting and transitional documents of Sethian spells. It’s currently housed at the Macquarie University Museum in Australia.


necronomicon art

The Necronomicon – 1929

The Necronomicon was a fictional book created by HP Lovecraft in his story The Hound. It showed up in several other stories by himself and others after its first appearance and was described as written by The Mad Arab. It was not the book bound in human flesh as many people think. Although fictional, The Necronomicon was later the title of a “real” book of spells described as the Simon Necronomicon. The Simon Necronomicon is a two-part book. The first part is of how the editor, only known by the name Simon, came into possession of the book and his work to translate the book. It’s followed by the book of spells and identifiers. It claims to be able to summon entities to do your bidding or to ward off evil. The rituals are a mix of cultures including some Babylonian creation stories and Sumerian rituals.


Necronomicon Ex-mortis - Evil Dead

The Naturom Demonto – aka: The Necronomicon Ex-mortis – 1980

This is the fictional book that appeared in the Evil Dead films. It is purportedly written by The Dark Ones, who were banished into the Mirror Dimension, as a tool to release the Dark entities. This is the book that is described as bound in human flesh creating confusion and making people think that Lovecraft’s Necronomicon was also bound in human flesh.


tibetan book of the dead

The Tibetan Book of the Dead

The Tibetan Book of the Dead is meant as a guide for Buddhists when they die and enter the Bardo, the hell-like place that exists between life and death. The text also includes the Signs of Death, and rituals to perform when death is near, in order to help the dying in the afterworld.


The black pullet - talismans

The Book of Shadows – 1940’s

The Book of Shadows contains rituals and ceremonies for the Wiccan Neopagan religion. It was created in the late 1940’s by Gerald Gardener and used in his Bricket Wood Coven. Originally he had tried to keep the contents of the book a secret but with the expansion of the religion in the 1970’s and adaptations by Alexandrianism it soon became publically used by solitary practitioners and the demand for it led to published copies. The book had become popular after its usage in the TV show Charmed and other film references but the spells and rituals in the show never adhered to the content of the real book.


egyptian-handbook

The Hecate Scriptures – 1206 AD

My first discovery of this book was during research in my Theology class in college. I had taken notes on this book only to find at later dates the information gone. This book had instruction on how to use magic, spells and conjuring.  Also, the book supposedly disseminates the laws and rules of Hell itself. It has instruction on binding, conjuring and commanding evil entities and lists known demons of the time.



 

What you’re looking at here is my research notes for my story, Skin Job. I will often do in-depth studies to gain an understanding about what I’m writing in my tales. I wanted to make sure the actions in the story were consistent with the rituals and outcomes from interactions with these sacred texts. It was interesting study to find out about these books and the ceremonies contained within them.

In my story, Skin Job, Alex uses a conjuring spell also known as an invocation, to call forth the ‘Car Nex’ demon. The book is unnamed with no markings upon its cover. It could very well be one of the books I’ve mentioned here. The book also has power in of itself as it possesses Alex and haunts his dreams until he can’t resist using it. The book torments him until its powers of darkness are unleashed.

The Five Stages of Writing

skeleton-writing-letter

Do you want to be a horror fiction writer? The 5 Stages of Writing

The Five Stages of Writing

There are five stages I take to get a fiction story from inside my head to a finished work, ready for publication. You may find you follow these or similar stages. It’s a way of organizing my work. When I follow this in stages I never get stuck on what to do next and I never have to do the same work twice (such as rechecking the grammar after I’ve made changes to the story).


STAGE 1 – Incubation period

I’ll have an incubation period where I take the idea of the story and add to it as new thoughts come into my head. I’ll write notes about different scenes, descriptions of the characters, possible endings, develop scenes that will demonstrate the conflict(s) in the story best. Sometimes I’ll collect pics and photos from the internet and add them to a file folder. I’ll look at these pics in order to influence my story or help with descriptions.

I like to have times where I’ll sit in silence and let my imagination go into the story. I see a scene play out in my head like a movie and take mental note of the setting, characters and pacing. I do this without stopping to write anything down. If I stop to write, it breaks up the flow of the scene. Once the scene has played out to the end, I’ll put it on paper.

I will do some research on items, settings, people, cultural beliefs, similar story ideas, myths and legends, and anything else that will pertain to the story. If there is a mythology or a previous ‘world building’ that is accepted by the general public, then you have to follow those guidelines in order to keep the story in a suspension of disbelief. You can add to the mythology, but the basic premise has to coincide with people’s beliefs. For instance, if you’re writing a story about Slenderman and you give a description of his face that is inconsistent than the accepted mythology (he has no face) the reader will not continue reading.

I’ll also determine if a story is developed enough to ensure I can write freely. Sometimes I’ll do this with an outline, sometimes with notes I’ve been taking and other times I’ll have it all in my head.

writing hands b&w b

STAGE 2 – Write it

I’ll often think of the opening line first. What that will be, will depend on how close to the major conflict you want to start the story. It’s best to start in some sort of action, either physical, mental or dramatic, in order to get the reader hooked. It’s also important to get the reader emotionally involved with your character early on.

I’ll try to write a little every day until the story is finished. I don’t usually try to follow a word count quota. That works well for many writers, but if I force myself to write on a day when my mind isn’t completely engaged by my own story, I wind up throwing what I’ve written that day in the trash. So, I’ll start with a paragraph and if I get that ‘flow’ going, that energy that many writers call their muse, I’ll continue writing for as long as the ideas are coming. I’ll also write no matter where I am. If an idea comes to me when I’m out, I’ll pull out my kindle, write my scene in an email and send it to my desktop computer. When I’m home I’ll copy and paste it into my storyline.

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STAGE 3 – Edit it – (aka: drafting)

This is done many times, creating many drafts. This stage involves getting the story into shape so a reader will understand and enjoy it. I will work on pacing, settings, character development and arcs, story arc, and understandability (is that a word?). I’ll check the continuity. I’ll add more story to places that may need it and remove aspects that do not add to the story. One piece of advice I always liked was, make believe Judge Judy is going to read it. Does everything make sense? Do all the characters have sufficient motives to engage them in action. Are there irrational thoughts, actions, or motivations that can’t be explained? Does everything line up to the conclusion of the story? In this step I will not delve heavily into grammar. This step is about the story as a whole, not the individual words and sentences.

Other steps in this stage is to make sure the story follows the same tense all the way through. Make sure the story has a clear POV. I’ll check to make sure I’m using Active Voice, not Passive Voice.

Passive voice / active voice
A passive voice puts a barrier between the reader and the character, never letting the reader to be fully immersed in the character’s world. It’s like the difference between reading a good fiction novel or reading a story in a text book. Historical accounts in text books are almost always passive voice. While both can tell the story, only one will allow the reader to feel the emotion, empathy and impact of the story.

Each time I save the story after a period of editing it’s called a draft. You start with a rough draft and keep working on it until the final draft (finished product). This can take months for some stories. I might complete 10 to 20 drafts for a 3k word short story. If you write a story, then only check the grammar and spelling, most likely the story is not ready to be published.

writing-essay

STAGE 4 – Proofread it

This is the step where all the grammatical rules come into play. Word spellings, grammar, punctuation, verb/subject agreement, all that good stuff is checked during this stage. For very short stories I do all the proofreading myself. If the story is longer, I’ll send it to a proofreader and pay to have it done. It’s often difficult to proofread your own work because your mind sees what you want it to say, not what another reader will see. Using the spellcheck and grammar check in your Word or Writing programs is not good enough. It will not alert you to using the wrong words that sound alike, (homophones: there, their, they’re or where, wear), or having the wrong word in a sentence that is spelled right (such as ‘on’ instead of ‘one’).

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STAGE 5 – Format it

This is where I’ll set up the format of the story to get it ready for the editor’s review. It will have the proper spacing (either Shun formatting or editor’s specs), proper font and font size (I write in Arial, but most editors prefer Times New Roman or sometimes Georgia or Courier) and proper indents for new paragraphs. Do not use tabs to set indents as it will mess up formatting it to eBook. Use the paragraph format and set it to first line indent (usually+3 but check submission guidelines). At the top left you will have all your information, name address, phone, email, story name, word count, what book or zine issue you’re submitting to, the date, etc.

If you follow these 5 stages carefully, you will have a publish-ready story in your hands. Now to find a place for your creation. More advice on that in my next article.

slenderman old photo

 

Knockemstiff – Book Review

knockemstiff book cover

Knockemstiff (2008)
by Donald Ray Pollock

What is Knockemstiff, you may ask? It’s a collection of stories concerning the citizens of a small insignificant town called Knockemstiff, OH, a spec on the map with a world full of pain and misery. It’s provocative, it’s real life scary, it’s dismal, it’s one of the best fiction story collections I’ve ever read. I was hoping one of the characters would make it out of that hell hole of a failing town, but most of the stories ended grimly. It’s real hardcore stuff, drug addiction, alcoholism, bullies and big mouths, dreamers and thieves, mentally disturbed and smart people, all succumb to the pit that is Knockemstiff. It’s a miserable place where born losers die hard and all who try and escape are entangled in the spider’s web. It’s an excellent read for those strong enough to experience the gritty under belly of America. Highly Recommended.

knockemstiff OH

I’d like to leave you with two lines from the book to give you a feel for the writing.

“A damp, gray sky covered southern Ohio like the skin of a corpse.”

“…anything I do to extend my life is just going to be outweighed by the agony of living it.”

Donald Ray Pollock, Knockemstiff

Donald Ray Pollock knock moonville tunnel OH

Donald Ray says of his hometown, (paraphrased) this is a work of fiction and there are good people in the real town of Knockemstiff.

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The Woman In Black (2012) – movie review

 

The Woman in Black 2012 - pic 1

The Woman in Black  (2012)

 

Directed by James Watkins

Starring
Daniel Radcliffe
Ciarán Hinds
Janet McTeer
Liz White

For a Hammer film, I would expect no less than a gothic ghost-tale, taking place in a deserted mansion, in the countryside of England. Being a period piece only adds to the true Hammer experience of yesteryear. These were elements missing from the re-launched Hammer production’s previous films.

A young lawyer, Arthur Kipps, struggling to provide for his motherless son, is sent on a countryside journey to the estate property, known as the Eel Marsh House. After the passing of tThe Woman In Black posterhe last living relative, Alice Drablow, it is Mr. Kipps’ assignment to wade through the mountain of paperwork at the decrepit estate, in order for his firm to gain the rights to sell it. At the Estate, Mr. Kipps begins to hear strange noises which lead to the frequent sighting of the Woman in Black, a ghastly, dark presence that haunts the Eel Marsh House. In town, there are several deaths of children. Mr. Kipps begins to investigate a recurrence of child deaths throughout many years and their ties to the Eel Marsh House. The intriguing story unfolds in layers as the mystery is revealed.

 

Daniel Radcliffe plays the young lawyer, Arthur Kipps, wonderfully, sporting  old-English style side-burns, causing one to wholly forget his Harry Potter persona. Ciarán Hinds plays an outstanding supporting role as the local neighbor, Sam Daily, who, years earlier, lost his own son to tragedy.

The Eel Marsh House provides a fantastic setting, almost like a character itself; it sits upon an isolated hill that becomes surrounded by water during high tide. There is a small family graveyard on the property, which adds to the creepiness of the house and exudes the perfect atmosphere for sightings of the veiled, woman in woman in black radcliffeblack. The inside of the mansion is suitably run-down, genuinely old, and neglected, with cob-webs, worn edges and dimly lit areas for evil to hide. The cinematography in this film was exceptional, portraying the ugly-beauty of the age tattered estate.

The Woman in Black is a classic, old-fashioned ghost story. It’s a slow-burn with a small cast and low-key feel, self contained in the sparse community surrounding the estate. This is not the full-on, ‘Poltergeist’ style ghost film. The haunting is subtle; a noise, a toy turning on for no reason, a movement seen in the mirror, and movement in your peripheral vision.  It is the type of film that I have purchased on DVD for my own collection and watch it often around Halloween. If the new Hammer Films would make all of their movies in this style and not try to compete with Hollywood, I would be quite pleased.


 

Chronicle (2012) – movie review

chronicle 2012 pic 7
Chronicle (2012)

Directed by Josh Trank
Story by Josh Trank and Max Landis 

starring:
Alex Russell
Dane DeHaan
Michael B. Jordan
Michael Kelly
Ashley Hinshaw

Chronicle is an enjoyable film with lots of action, likable characters and blockbuster special-FX. It is a film in the reality-style, hand-held, video-cam technique, films. It is not a found footage film – we are seeing everything in real time through the camera lens (even though it is being recorded on video). Early in the movie, this style helps build a strong relationship with the three main characters, but as the action begins to escalate it becomes a burden to the film.  The movie appeals to my sense of boyhood adventure and angst, so I think it is more suited to a malechronicle 2012 poster audience.

High school outcast, Andrew, is brought together in friendship with his popular cousin, Matt, and the even more popular, high school jock, Steve, when the three of them discover an underground cavern with a giant glowing metal object buried within it. Contact with the object causes hyper-telekinesis in the three youths. They form an instant bond as they learn to use their new found powers. Andrew documents all their adventures in harnessing these powers on his video camera and we see the tale manifest through his lens.

Just when it seems Andrew is going to shed his outcast and downtrodden social standing, a series of unfortunate events unfold – one, involving his sick mother and abusive step-dad and another mishap at a party that it seems every student from his high school has attended. The film does a great job at making you empathize with Andrew through these harsh issues but you are quickly horrified as the young man turns on his friends and uses his powers in the most destructive ways possible.

The rest of the film turns into a modern-day “Carrie” with a sci-fi angle, crossed with a superhero vs. supervillain battle between Andrew and Matt.  It is during this battle that the hand-held/reality-style camera work becomes a hindrance and the format is suddenly dropped and switches to third person camera angles, interlaced with surveillance camera and news-chopper shots. It was a bit jarring when this happened and led to a bit of a distraction. However, the action is quickly ramped-up, and I for one, was able to make the mental switch and enjoy the rest of the film. Despite the mentioned drawback, I did like the film, perhaps not enough to buy and own it, but it was definitely solid enough to spend a night watching.

Great action in this realistic superhero,  first person sci-fi film!

 

The Remake Scoreboard / Killers On The Loose

willard 2003

I have some important ‘life’ things to deal with this week so I’m doing a little recycling. Before You read the post however, I have a couple of things to think about…

Why are cell phone plans so convoluted that the workers don’t even know what it’s going to cost you when you make a change? I don’t want to mention any names, so let’s just call them company V. The last time a worker from Co. V told me they were gonna save me money, it wound up costing me an extra $30. Per month.

Would you pay $65 more for an I-phone if Apple brought almost a million jobs back to the US? They say this is the reason they can’t make their products in the US, the place they make most of their money and are afforded the biggest tax breaks.

Ok, now on to our horror flicks!

parlor of horror

The Remake Scoreboard – Horror movie remakes – the good and bad list. Thumbs up or thumbs down and a few sentences why.
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Remakes: Killers On The Loose

Black Christmas (remake) (2006)
(original 1974)

The original film portrayed a creepy and suspenseful thriller that built to a nail biting climax. Likeable characters were harassed by an eerie voice on the phone and were dispatched, one by one, in the most extremely unpleasant methods imaginable. The new one is a closely scripted remake but fails to capture the atmosphere, intensity, and character likeability that make the original so good. About half way through the film I was completely disengaged from the story and just wished everyone would DIE already, because I was bored to tears!

When a Stranger Calls (remake) (2006)
(original 1979)

Aside from the ‘he’s in the house’ scene, this remake has a totally different script. The…

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Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part V

dino art - artist unknown

Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part V

 

Here’s some dinosaur art from a bunch of different artists…

This is the last post in this series. I’m going to take a break from the dinosaur fantasy art.

Jurassic World comedic

From here I’m going to start a new series with dinosaur illustrators and artists in the science, learning and museum sector. Look forward to work by Charles R Knight, Rudolph Zalinger, Neave Parker and other dinosaur art pioneers…