“A Case of the Stubborns”—A Story of Death & Conjuring by Robert Bloch (Psycho)

Stills above are from A Case of the Stubborns, the televised episode based on Robert Bloch’s short story. It aired on December 2, 1984 as episode 9 during season 1 of Tales from the Darkside. (See link after the story…)*


When a crusty old man like Grandpa didn’t believe he was dead, it took more than medical science, and a lot less than most people would think, to convince him otherwise . . . a delightfully creepy story by the author of Psycho. 


The morning after he died, Grandpa come downstairs for breakfast.

It kind of took us by surprise.

Ma looked at Pa, Pa looked at little sister Susie, and Susie looked at me. Then we all just set there looking at Grandpa.

“What’s the matter?” he said. “Why you all staring at me like that?”

Nobody said, but I knowed the reason. Only been last night since all of us stood by his bedside when he was took by his attack and passed away right in front of our very eyes. But here he was, up and dressed and feisty as ever.

“What’s for breakfast?” he said.

Ma sort of gulped. “Don’t tell me you fixing to eat?”

“Course I am. I’m nigh starved.”

Ma looked at Pa, but he just rolled his eyes. Then she went and hefted the skillet from the stove and dumped some eggs on a plate.

“That’s more like it,” Grandpa told her. “But don’t I smell sausages?”

Ma got Grandpa some sausage. The way he dug into it, they sure was nothing wrong with his appetite.

After he started on seconds, Grandpa took heed of us staring at him again.

“How come nobody else is eating?” he asked.

“We ain’t hungry,” Pa said. And that was the gospel truth.

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Drawing Down—A Poem by Sanguine Woods

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Photo: aukjevanderwal.nl

Drawing Down

Bequeath me sight not as it seems—
A sphere of light to capture screams;
Come, toll the word of moons and beams—
Exhume the heft of youthful dreams.

Purvey the slice that leaves no scar—
A sliver of bewitchèd glass;
A drop to stir; enflame the pall—
Un bâton rouge pour faire l’étoile.

Encerclez! thou thornèd crown—
Each pented point a waning sun;
Le sang va embrasser le sol—
And bring the circle ‘round.

(C)2018 Sanguine Woods

Her Kind, a Poem by Anne Sexton

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Photographer unknown (Pinterest).

Her Kind

I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.

I have found the warm caves in the woods,
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,
closets, silks, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:
whining, rearranging the disaligned.
A woman like that is misunderstood.
I have been her kind.

I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waved my nude arms at villages going by,
learning the last bright routes, survivor
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
I have been her kind.

– Anne Sexton

The ‘Dark World’ of Ghost Adventures’ Zak Bagans—A Must-Read!

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Into the Shadows with the Lead Investigator of the Ghost Adventures’ Crew, 2011 (VB Books)

Whether you are a fan of the hit TV series Ghost Adventures, or just learning about it for the first time, this telling autobiography by the show’s creator and star, paranormal investigator, Zak Bagans, is quite a story! His experiences have been frightful, his commitment arduous, and his passion and honestly unflagging. A must-read. Below, is the Foreword to Dark World: Into the Shadows with the Lead Imvestigator of the Ghost Adventures’ Crew, Zak Bagans (with Kelly Criger), VB Books, 2011.

Foreword

There is arguably no topic in human history that incites as much contemptuous disbelief and passionate dedication as the existence of life after death. As humans, it is our natural instinct to belittle what we don’t understand, and then follow with statements of derision and ridicule. Even mentioning that ghosts might exist can cause instant damnation and persecution among the religiously devoted and staunchly pragmatic, which causes many people who have had a paranormal experience to remain quiet about it. Maybe that’s the greatest achievement of the dead: they’ve convinced the world that they don’t exist, so the majority of us are either disinterested in proving it otherwise or too convinced in our own beliefs to recognize a new viewpoint. Yet most of us are at least curious to know what happens when we die; some may say that information is even a right of humanity, that if another world exists after our physical bodies die, then it’s our right to know about it.

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Artist’s rendition of the “entity” that would trouble Bagans as a child.

I wrote this book for several reasons. First, I want to take you on my seven-year journey through the world of paranormal investigation from the documentary film in 2004 through the many seasons of Ghost Adventures. I want to tell you about the things that didn’t make it onto the screen and dig deeper into the most significant events that did. We sometimes spend four days filming an episode and have to boil it down into one hour, so there’s always stuff we want to show, but don’t have the time to. And sometimes even the most significant phenomena that we capture have to be covered quickly because of time constraints.

Second, I want to use our adventures to address leading theories on life after death….

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Insomniac—a Poem by Sanguine Woods, 2018

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O the blood-encrusted thoughts!
whirring like blades, wheeling
and whining through the
ambushed mind, unbeckoned;
unhindered, unheeded—how does one
pray to be emptied?
Sly little half-truths; those
brazen whole-truths, eyes
like coals, low to the burning;
“‘tis the hooded chill cloaks the fever!”
Old Wives’, you know;
smoldering blue at the gums…
tooth and blade, chew,
then whirrr; whirrr, then chew—
through the indigo watches
of the night.

(C)2018 Sanguine Woods

The Shirting Needle & Other Appalachian Tales of Bewitchment

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Granny Witch. Artist unknown. See signatures at bottom of etching. (Pinterest)

The Old Cap-Woman

The following stories come down from American ethnologist, Frances Albert Doughty, who recorded them in his journal in 1899, and later published them in an article called “Folklore of the Alleghenies”. Doughty credited the source of the story to “one of the oldest residents of Monroe County” who claimed the bewitching events took place duringthe 1840’s:

Not so long ago, in Monroe County, there was a woman who lived down near the sweet springs who was always seen with an old-fashioned bonnet cap on her head; nobody ever saw her without the cap. She was a hard, grim-lookin’ monster. During the rare instance when anybody was watchin’ to see her untie her cap strings, and remove the cap, it was said. they never could see anything underneath it, her very likeness disappearing, until she’d put the cap back on her head.

The Strange Calf

When the old cap-woman first came to Monroe County from somewhere over in Botetourt County it was said, she lived over a small forested hill from a man and his wife who’s two children walked to and from a nearby school every morning and afternoon.

The story goes that an odd calf began to follow the children along the route to school, and had been in the habit of “attackin’ ‘em and bitin’ ‘em, when they was walkin’ to school”. When the children became too afraid to walk to school, their father decided to investigate. One day, about the same time the children would’ve been passing the location where the attacks seemed most often to occur, the father concealed himself one day and was watchin’ to catch the calf. On that occasion it come out and attacked the children on a bridge across a little stream of water. The father chased and caught the calf and cut off its ears with a knife.

Folks in Botetourt County had believed for some time that the old woman was a witch, possessed of some uncommon art. They said she could turn herself into a calf, and had been known to do so on numerous occasions. Interestingly enough, the next time the old woman was seen around town, a crowd mobbed her, and pulled off her cap. As was expected, she was missing both ears!

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Manitou Man—An Anthology of Stories by Graham Masterton, TOC

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Table of Contents

9 • Introduction (Manitou Man: The Worlds of Graham Masterton) • (1998) • essay by Matt Williams and Ray Clark
11 • Foreword (Manitou Man: The Worlds of Graham Masterton) • (1998) • essay by Peter James
13 • Myths and Legends (Manitou Man: The Worlds of Graham Masterton) • (1998) • essay by Ray Clark and Matt Williams
23 • Spirit-Jump • [Manitou / Harry Erksine] • (1996) • novelette by Graham Masterton
49 • Jack Be Quick • (1996) • novelette by Graham Masterton
61 • Fantasy Worlds & Parallel Existences (Manitou Man: The Worlds of Graham Masterton) • (1998) • essay by Ray Clark and Matt Williams
71 • Evidence of Angels • (1995) • novelette by Graham Masterton

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“Witch-Compass”, a Horror Story by Graham Masterton … an Excerpt

AE89A34A-46D8-4738-A3A5-AE02E1D1B8DEOn his last night in Libreville, Paul went for a long aimless walk through the market. A heavy rainstorm had just passed over and the air was almost intolerably humid. He felt as if he had a hot Turkish towel wrapped around his head, and his shirt clung to his back. There were many things he would miss about Gabon, but the climate wasn’t one of them, and neither was the musty smell of tropical mold.

All along the Marché Rouge there were stalls heaped with bananas and plantains and cassava; as well as food-stands selling curried goat and thick maize porridge and spicy fish. The stalls were lit by an elaborate spider’s-web of electric cables, with naked bulbs dangling from them. Each stall was like a small, brightly colored theater, with the sweaty black faces of its actors wreathed in theatrical steam and smoke.

Paul passed them by, a tall rangy white man with short-cropped hair and round Oliver Goldsmith glasses, and already he was beginning to feel like a spectator, like somebody who no longer belonged here.

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