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Sunday, September 27, 2009


"What is it about the McBride House that serves as a beacon to the dead? Built in the oldest town in Oklahoma by physician George McBride in 1895, this Victorian home is rife with ghosts from the past. Ghostly parties at 2:00 a.m., spirits calling family members and houseguests by name, dolls that talk even after the batteries have been removed...The Back family has been subjected to impossibly bright lights, loud crashing noises, weird shrieks—even ominous odors such as decaying matter.

Each ghost in the McBride House has a personality of its own, including one entity whose antics are downright terrifying. But instead of fleeing, the Back family remained and gradually got to know their "spirited" residents. This is their story. "

The book by Celia Back is a true accounting of her family and their experiences in this historic and haunted house. This 192 page book is easy to read and at times engaging but at other times slightly disturbing. Living in a house with sometimes cankerous spirits pushes the bounds of being a good neighbor! There is no gore or deep mystery but rather a family's open acceptance that the house they had purchased was considered home to those no longer living. All in all a worthwhile read as history and as metaphysical journey.

Available on Amazon and from Llewellyn Worldwide

Product details.


Vance offers up thirteen tales of Lovecraftian horror with a deft sense of suspense and heart-pumping terror. His grasp of terror is second to none, and delivers nightmarish scenes with incredible, horrific feelings. Ron Fortier

“I'm a-skeered just lookin' at that!! Woooooooooooooo” Van Allen Plexico.

“Scary!” Guglie

“Nice, spooky cover.” Bobby Nash

“That cover is to die for (from?)! This looks to be a great anthology and a great start to this year's wave of Airship titles. A must have!” Andrew Salmon

“You said the magic word, Ron..."Lovecraft". It is now on my wish list to buy.” Mike Schau

“Oooh, that IS a scary cover! It would even make a good sword-and-sorcery type cover.” Duane Spurlock

I did get a chance to read "Picked Clean". As you requested, I am going to be completely honest!

So far as the story goes -- I especially liked the pressurized atmospheric effect that you describe during the two men's encounter with Caleb's island environment. This was very effective. Caleb is a very unnerving character, desperate and deformed, with strange agendas. Ezekiel is brutal and greedy, and operates in a very clearly defined manner with no ambiguity, a nice offset to Caleb. Hiram seems like he's been dragged along for the ride, and provides the necessary sympathetic character, and the hint of a continuation of the story with his survival.

The suspense built up by the end, when Hiram enters the cave chamber, is palpable, and the dread approaching is wonderfully crafted, especially as the ultimate denouement doesn't occur until after Hiram's fate is settled for the reader. Meanwhile, the reader sits, their mind imagining what the horror could have been.

The giant maggot kind of threw me. It seemed like ... well, the spider leg reference was disorienting, and the biological method necessary to encourage Caleb to create a maggot monster offspring baffled me, and distracted me from how well the suspense had been built up to that point, until I had reread the story a couple of times and regained that sense of dread prior to the monster's reveal. I think I had been expecting something oceanic, since it lived in a sea well -- that might part of it. So for me, the suspension of disbelief got thrown at this point because of the extremism of the monster, which was a pity after the build-up of historic mood and setting.

But overall, I enjoyed the story! While I was out at lunch, it occurred to me that in a pulp-story sense, the creature was perfect for that genre -- over the top and hideous, an amalgamation of evil and man's warping influence.
Michelle Souliere

Mark Orr
Michael Vance has produced a terrific cycle of tales, inspired by but not slavishly imitative of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. He seems to draw from some of the same tainted wells that Lovecraft did, and from those drilled after Lovecraft passed on, but has assembled those traditions in a new and deliciously creepy way. Frissons abound in his tales of Light's End. Highly recommended.

By Frank Creed

After King and Poe, Lovecraft is widely acknowledged as one of the top three horror writers to impact American horror. Lovecraft's horror world even has its own name: the Cthulhu (Kuh-Thoo-Loo) Mythos. Fans of Howard Phillip Lovecraft's style, rejoice--there is an author you simply must meet. Algernon Blackwood and August Derleth have a stylistic contemporary in Michael Vance, a professional writer of non-fiction for over thirty years, who has mastered the short story form.

The award-winning Vance does not write in the Cthulhu Mythos itself, but his Lovecraftian style features patiently built suspense rich in setting and character, usually with short vivid climaxes and resolutions. Properly written, the effect puts a reader into the story, with page flipping curiosity.

Vance paints portraits of fated personalities in an eerie little town on Maine's northern Atlantic coast. Light's End can also be found on brink of madness. Deep spiritual influences and events, guilty evils, and ancient lore are scrimshawed into memorable tales centered on the moral implications and consequences of personal actions.

Vance's voice is distinct from Lovecraft's on several points. Horrors of the dark human heart, rather than horrific alien mysteries, are the center of each work. Readers are snatched from madness' edge by an overall Christian worldview, which gives horror, and moral choices, context.

Weird Horror Tales' thirteen short stories, and a few non-short story treats, showcase a Lovecraftian sins-of-the-fathers theme. The collection is what's known as a braided novel. The tales, all in and around Light's End, are set chronologically from the early twentieth century, to present day and near future. Common threads of symbol and prophecy progress through the stories. Any of the stories could be enjoyed individually, but read sequentially, there's a bigger tale.

Vance's fiction does not cower from language and subjects that most Christian publishers avoid. Vance uses dark imagery and language in a tasteful and literary sense. Pre-teens would see examples of good literature, but graphic content is appropriate for high school and older maturity levels

Sadly, Vance's literary level may be too high. I fear readers won't like Random Pairings: a literary dialog, boldly written without quotation marks, with one of the most dramatic endings in the braided novel.

Overall, Weird Horror Tales is a must-read for genre fans, especially those who of the Christian worldview. Note that one tale, The Lighter Side, should be saved for a reader's zany reading mood. When you want something fun, the humor in this piece rivals Douglas Adams and Stephen Leon Rice.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Two new Oklahoma authors will be visiting the Enid, Oklahoma public library on Oct. 10, 2009. The 10 a.m. program will feature Cullan Hudson, author, artist and blogger,whose book STRANGE STATE: MYSTERIES AND LEGENDS OF OKLAHOMA, has been cited as "the premiere collection of stories about the strange and the marvelous in Oklahoma."

Also featured will be TAMMY WILSON, one half of the dynamic duo that keeps the paranormal (and those who research it)in Oklahoma hopping. Longtime paranormal researcher, she and her writing collaborator, Tonya Hacker, recently published GHOSTLAHOMA, a collection of ghost stories from the Sooner State.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Oklahoma City's legendary "County Line" resturant is uniting with GHOULI to present a series of select evenings of "BBQ and Banshees". Enjoy fantastic food, legendary conversation from authors, researchers, and storytellers. Stick around to see if the ghosts in the storied resturant reveal is limited! Information:

Monday, September 7, 2009


Marilyn A. Hudson is the "Oklahoma Ghost Teller" who shares legends, folklore, literary and original stories that go "bump in the night".