Releasing my latest foray into cryptid mania on Friday the 13th was no mere coincidence. What better time to give birth to a book that is chock full of Goat Man carnage, devil worshipping, revenge, and, well, love? Oh yeah, this has it all.
The ebook is available now and paperback will be quick to follow.
If that doesn’t have your horror motor running, here’s a quick preview of Chapter One!
SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS
The bleating of the terrified goat rode under the constant barrage of thunder. Lightning crackled against the starless sky, throwing up strange and twisted shadows in the woods. The first patters of rain plinked off the leaves. It sounded like a monsoon was barreling their way…fast.
“What about the fire?” one of the black-robed figures asked.
“It will burn for as long as it needs to burn,” replied the nude woman covered in blood and holding a heavy, leatherbound book. Her name was Lupita Saenz and she was the leader of their cult. Lupita had used a metal file to whittle her eye teeth into fangs the night before, and with the way the wind was whipping her jet-black hair, she was a vision of absolute terror.
Perhaps not for Chuck Bugna, who had had enough of an unrelenting crush on Lupita to willfully join the group of weekend Satanists on the night of their big sacrifice. He couldn’t stop staring at her crimson breasts. There had been promises of a wild bacchanal when they were done. Chuck had been in charge of procuring all of the alcohol and the suite at the Hampton Inn a few towns away. The word orgy had been bandied about and that was not something Chuck was going to miss, even if he had to watch a goat get its throat cut. Normally an animal lover, he clung to the memory of being chased by a goat at the petting zoo when he was eight. It had traumatized him.
Yeah, well fuck that goat. Chuck looked at the goat to his left as it strained against the rope, its eyes wide and terrified with each clap of thunder and flicker of lightning. Sorry you gotta take the fall for it, but at least you’ll be serving a higher purpose.
That higher purpose, Chuck was sure, was not the incarnation of the devil or satisfied Goat Man or some lesser demon. It would be him getting laid. With Lupita, if the fantasies in his head managed to play out.
He just wanted this whole part to be over and done with. With his luck, he’d get struck by lightning. A whole year of chanting HAIL SATAN for naught.
Think positive. And stop looking at the goat.
Lupita motioned for Sandra on her right to hand her the chalice. She took a huge gulp and promptly spat the cheap wine into the large campfire it had taken Chuck and Dan the better part of an hour to build.
Chuck thought the wine would make the flames roar. Instead, the bitter liquid sizzled and was quickly evaporated.
She threw her head back and looked into the roiling sky.
Dylan took the book from her, dropped to his knees and held it open so she could read from it. Chuck had wanted that job, if only to get closer to a naked Lupita. She had insisted Dylan be the book bearer. For that, Chuck hated Dylan just a little bit.
“Bow your heads and repeat after me,” Lupita commanded. “Amen. Everlasting life and body the of resurrection the sins of forgiveness.”
The group of six Satanists around the fire intoned as one. “Amen. Everlasting life and body the of resurrection the sins of forgiveness.”
When they finished, the rain started to fall in earnest. So many jagged spires of lightning sprang to life, it turned night into day for several seconds. Chuck felt his arm hairs start to rise.
The rain washed the blood (pig’s blood they got from the butcher) off of Lupita’s tan, taut body. Chuck licked his lips.
She continued. “The saints of communion the Church Catholic holy the Spirit Holy the in believe I!”
They responded. “The saints of communion the Church Catholic holy the Spirit Holy the in believe I!”
Saying the Apostle’s Creed backwards was no easy task. They had been rehearsing it for the better part of a month. Chuck couldn’t count how many times he’d said it forward in church growing up. The priests used to stop random students in the school halls to make them say it until they knew it like the backs of their dirty hands. If they could only see Chuck now.
When they finished the Apostle’s Creed, Lupita began chanting in a weird language that was so guttural, Chuck worried she might choke on her own tongue. His worry didn’t prevent him from ogling her.
“Get the sacrifice!” she wailed. Chuck forced his eyes to lock on Lupita’s face. Her eyes showed too much white. Crazy eyes. He quickly and happily went back to looking at her chest and below.
Rosie and Harold pulled the stake the goat was tied to out of the ground and led the skittish animal closer to the fire. Sandra passed the ceremonial dagger she had ordered from some seller on Etsy to Lupita. The fire hissed as the rain pounded down. Chuck could feel the thunder in his bones. This had better be quick.
As you all know, old Hunter is a bit of a cryptid fanatic. It’s been my mission in life to drag these poor (oftentimes scary) creatures into my fictional world of mayhem and murder. As a lad who became fascinated by the likes of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster thanks to shows like In Search Of, I’ve always wanted to see these mythical beasts at their wildest and most terrifying.
Hence, I have a library of books I’ve penned detailing the fantastical adventures of the Montauk Monster, Dover Demon, Skunk Apes, Loch Ness Monster, Pukwudgies, Thunderbirds, Orang Pendeks, Jersey Devil, Loch Ness Monster, and now, coming out on Friday the 13th in May…The Goat Man!
When I was searching for a new cryptid to exploit…er, I mean explore…I reached out to my mega Hellions on Patreon and asked them to make suggestions. I was looking for a creature that has had little to no fiction written about it. When someone brought up the Goat Man, tiny bells went off in my head. I recalled my daughters loving an episode of Buzzfeed Unsolved where hosts Shane and Ryan go down to Denton, Texas to find evidence of the local legend…and maybe some devil worshipers!
I was hooked! I knew about the Goat Man, but I didn’t realize that the cryptid is not confined to just one place. There are Goat Man legends in Texas, Maryland, Louisiana, and the most infamous of all, Kentucky, home of the Pope Lick Monster, which, if you ask me, is a way cooler moniker. Goat Man conjures up too many images of Jim Brewer doing the Goat Boy on SNL.
But here’s what intrigued me the most. When you think of it, the Goat Man, a bipedal half man, half goat living in the woods, looks a hell of a lot like the devil himself, or at least something demonic. Sprinkle in tales of Satanic rituals being performed in places where the Goat Man has been known to dwell, and you have a pretty spine-chilling backstory.
And speaking of backstories, the Goat Man has plenty. He is sometimes said to be the offspring of one of those Satanic rituals. Others say he was an African American goat farmer who was hanged by jealous white farmers. He also may be the end product of a science project gone awry at a nearby animal lab. Like all juicy legends, speculation runs wild and give us space for our imaginations to soar. And when we’re left to fill in the blanks or expound upon an existing theory, the darkness creeps in.
I don’t know about you, but if I saw that thing in the woods, I’d hightail it all the way to Canada. I’ve always felt that the Goat Man in America is an extension of the mythological Satyr. What’s a Satyr? Well, here’s my favorite definition found on Wikipedia – “In Greek mythology, a satyr, also known as a silenus or silenos, is a male nature spirit with ears and a tail resembling those of a horse, as well as a permanent, exaggerated erection.” I know, I’ll never outgrow my adolescence. These beings are also half man, half goat, and have been around for three thousand years. Here’s another thing I love about Satyrs, thanks to those Wiki peeps – “Satyrs were characterized by their ribaldry and were known as lovers of wine, music, dancing, and women. They were companions of the god Dionysus and were believed to inhabit remote locales, such as woodlands, mountains, and pastures.“
Now, it seems like Satyrs have a whole lot more fun than our American Goat Man, which kind of makes me feel sorry for him. What I don’t feel sorry for are the cultists who have been known to sacrifice cats to the devil or the Goat Man or Linda Blair. Killing cats is not cool, though you never hear someone ask about a book or horror movie, “Did they kill the cat?” Down in Texas, it’s gotten so bad, local pet stores won’t sell cats.
Now, you can’t have a Goat Man without a bridge, it seems. The old Anton Bridge in Texas still stands after well over a hundred years. Known to residents and cryptid enthusiasts as the Goat Man’s Bridge, it’s a sort of gateway between our world and the underworld…and I’m not talking about the Mafia. All one needs to do to call upon the Goat Man is to rap on the bridge three times and utter its name. If you’re lucky, nothing will happen. If you’re one of the very unlucky, the Goat Man’s piercing eyes will appear out of the darkness, a growling voice compelling you to “get off my bridge!” And if you’re super unlucky, the Goat Man will chase you!
The Goat Man isn’t necessarily a killer, but he is territorial. Satanists, on the other hand, can be killers, especially if you wander into their ritual while wearing a cat suit. For my money, Devil worshippers are much scarier than a Goat Man. And that is how my next book was born. Out of a love for the Goat Man and a fear of Satanists!
There’s a lot more to come as we walk across the old Goat Man’s Bridge and see what we can do about rousting that modern day, unhappy Satyr out of his lair. Stay tuned, and if you find yourself in the woods at night on a decaying bridge, knock three times and tell me what you see.
Hoo boy, is this one going to be a wild ride! Inspired by my Hellions on Patreon and my lovely daughters, TO THE DEVIL, A CRYPTID brings life to a cryptid that doesn’t get a lot of love and attention. What makes this book even more special is that it will be my tenth release with Severed Press, your home for cryptids, aquatic beasts, space rangers and dinosaurs on the loose.
As we get closer to the big day, I’ll reveal more about the book, the monster (I think a lot of you can figure it out by the cover), and all of the unexpected madness contained with its pages. We’ll do some deep dives into the history of this particular cryptid, share sneak peeks, host some online events and more. It’s everything you’ve come to expect from this old monster lover and a whole lot more. Expect the unexpected.
And yes, the title was inspired by the Christopher Lee classic, To the Devil, A Daughter. I can promise you, that’s where all the similarities end. Just for shits and giggles, here’s a trailer to the movie.
What do you think of the cover? Can you guess the cryptid? There’s so much more to come, so don’t touch that dial!
One thing the pandemic did was lower the visible rat population. With so few people out and about littering and going to restaurants and stores, there was less and less for the furry bastards to eat. Gone were the days of rustling mounds of trash bags on city curbs.
You ever wonder what the rats were doing all that time?
Wonder no more! For those who enjoyed my ‘rats take Manhattan’ novella, RATTUS NEW YORKUS, comes a continuing saga of furry terror with…MANRATTAN!
If you dig the title, all credit goes to my daughter who came up with it when she was editing Rattus New Yorkus. It was too good a title to go to waste.
Manrattan finds exterminators Chris and Benny Jackson back in the big city battling it out with a new breed of vermin that might just be too much for the city to survive.
If you want to join the twitching, chittering carnage, you’ll need to head on over to my Patreon account at http://www.patreon.com/huntershea and become a patron.
And while you’re there, you’ll have access to the massive novel, Clash of the Cryptids, lost novella, I Kill In Peace, new Jessica Backman stories and so much more. Plus, you can join me with monthly live movie watch parties where the beer flows as freely as the comments on the horror turkeys and lost gems that we cultivate through careful thought and consideration. Sorta.
Let’s just hope you don’t end up like poor Charlie after reading Manrattan.
Happy New Year, Hellions! Somehow, the start of 2022 feels worse than 2021. Now that’s an incredible feat. No matter how dire things seem in the world, at least we have horror movies to watch in the safety of our own homes. One thing 2021 brought us was Tubi stepping up their horror game, flooding the free streaming channel with a bevy of gems and turds and movies almost no one has ever heard of. It gave me hope that even after 50 years of watching horror flicks, there are still plenty out there to be discovered.
For most of last year, I wasn’t sure I would find 13 movies to put on my list. That only made sense, considering the shit show that was 2020 and what it did to the movie industry. Then, I did my usual end of the year binge and the list was complete! A post-Christmas miracle! Now, if you want to see what I thought of each of my top 13, you can watch it all unfold on the Final Guys podcast (plus get a grab bag of other movies that Jack, Jason and Tim put on their lists). Mind you, I’d had a very rough day at work before we recorded and drank some high octane spirits on an empty stomach. Which means I was hopefully more amusing than usual. Or annoying, if you ask Jason.
And for those who just want the damn list and none of the palaver, here it is, in order.
13. A QUIET PLACE 2
12. WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING
11. WEREWOLVES WITHIN
10. MY HEART CAN’T BEAT UNLESS YOU TELL IT TO
9. BLOODY HELL
8. JAKOB’S WIFE
7. THE NIGHT HOUSE
5. SHADOW IN THE CLOUD
4. LAST NIGHT IN SOHO
3. NO ONE SLEEPS IN THE WOODS TONIGHT PARTS 1 & 2
2. PSYCHO GOREMAN
**Bonus honorable mentions – VICIOUS FUN, SLAXX, VHS 94, LAMB and the uber odd TITANE.
Now that I’ve showed you mine, I want to see yours? What were some of your favorites?
Tis the season for giving, and I’m proud to be a part of an absolutely amazing charity anthology. DIABOLICA AMERICANA is the perfect stocker stuffer for the horror fan in your life. Better yet, all proceeds go to a charity called ‘A Place Called Home’, which gives children and teens a chance to have meaningful lives away from the influence of gangland culture in Los Angeles. By purchasing this book, you will be making a real difference to the lives of so many bright, young hopefuls.
Talk about an all star lineup. You’ll find spine chilling tales from Richard Chizmar, Gabino Iglesias, Cynthia Pelayo, Jonathan Janz, Chris Sorensen, Laurel Hightower, Jofn F.D. Taff, yours truly and so many more.
Need more incentive? I have a very different tale (for me) called DAUGHTER. Here’s a little bit to get your horror motor humming…
By Hunter Shea
Dennis Gordon dipped the paddles into the black waters of the Long Island Sound, careful to make as little noise as possible. His kayak sliced through a ribbon reflection of the moon. The island loomed ahead, shadowy trees waving in the breeze.
His phone vibrated.
Carefully setting the paddle across his lap, Dennis checked the message.
Honey, I know where you are. Please come home. This has to stop. Not just for your sake. For our sake. I love you. I can’t lose you, too.
He tucked the phone back into his pocket and had to course correct. The current, even in just that blink of an eye, seemed to want to push him to shore. It was as if it was in league with his wife and the lingering remnants of his rationality.
“I love you, too,” Dennis whispered into the night. “But we both know I can’t stop.”
There were times, especially during the light of day, when he thought she was right. Enough was enough. This was bordering on insanity. No, not bordering. It had long crossed over. He just had to look at the bits of dirt under his nails that he could never fully remove to remind him of his madness.
“It’s not madness.”
He’d been talking to himself a lot lately during his forays to the island.
“Not just to myself.”
He was right. And that should have given him pause.
“Keep paddling. Slow and steady, Denny. Slow and steady.”
He remembered how physically exhausting the trip was in the beginning. He was by no means a young man anymore. His forties had given way to fifty and there were a lot of muscles he no longer used. The burn in his shoulders just from kayaking threatened to cut his nights short.
Now, six months later, he was in the best shape of his life. Even better than his high school baseball days.
“I wonder if I can still throw a curveball?”
Water sluicing off the end of his paddle was his only reply.
He paused for a moment, checking for any lights on the island that shouldn’t be there. A seagull croaked overhead as it headed to the island.
The gulls loved it there. They knew what was hidden just beneath the surface. If there was a chance something would come up, they would be the first to reap the gruesome rewards.
All was quiet, as it was most nights. Dennis paddled on until the tip of his kayak dug into the soft sand on the island’s south shore. He slipped out and pulled his kayak under a pile of branches and leaves he’d tied together as camouflage months ago. Under that carefully constructed pile lay his shovel. He grabbed it with split, calloused hands and walked through the brambles.
Want to read more? Click the cover image below to grab your copy and give to a stellar charity.
It ain’t the spooky season without a brand new Hunter Shea book. And this one is a dark and twisted doozy!
ABOUT THE BOOK –
How do you survive hearing your family being brutally murdered over the phone? For Father Raul Figeuroa, all faith and hope are lost. Turning away from the priesthood, he retreats to his aunt’s empty farmhouse in upstate New York, hoping to drink himself to oblivion. But he’s not alone in the house. Something is trying to reach out to him. Or is he losing his grip on reality? When his childhood friend Felix comes to visit, things take a darker turn. The deeper they dig into the mystery, the closer they get to hell literally breaking loose.
“Faithless is yet another example of why Shea and Don D’Auria continue to be a magical partnership.” – Cemetery Dance
Grab an ebook, paperback or hardcover today!
You know, 2021 hasn’t been all that much better than 2020. Which is why I’ve been waiting for Horrortober to arrive to I can just burrow down deeper into the genre and world I love and ignore the horse dookie around me. Along with watching at least a horror movie a day (last year’s record breaker was 70 movies in 31 days – hmmm, let’s see if I can top that), I’ll be reading lots o scary books. Here is my 2021 lineup. Hopefully you find something you’d like to add to your list. Better yet, what are you planning on reading?
I couldn’t wait to get this book in my hot little hands. I mean, it’s Elvira, the queen of horror. I’ve met her several times and she has always been a pleasure to be around. A book that is 70 years in the making, which seems impossible to believe.
The woman behind the icon known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, the undisputed Queen of Halloween, reveals her full story, filled with intimate bombshells, told by the bombshell herself.
The latest by the prolific Armand Rosamilia, Trapped has the best returning character in literary history, TV cryptozoologist, Hunter Shaya!! Yeah, I may be biased.
Forget the conspiracy theories about Denver International Airport… this just got real.
When a massive snowstorm shuts down the airport and forces a plane carrying exotic and deadly cargo, those trapped inside the terminal have no idea what’s in store for them.
Can a group of passengers and airport workers band together to face the onslaught, or will they be ripped apart?
Jeff Strand signed my copy of Allison at Scares that Care and I squirreled it away just for Horrortober. Strand never, ever disappoints, so I know this will rock.
Allison can break your bones with her mind, and she can’t control her power.
Now forty-five years old, she’s spent her life trying to stay away from other people. But a random encounter with a couple on the street leaves her believing that she may have done something horrible. Something unforgivable.
Killer-for-hire Daxton and his girlfriend Maggie know the truth. Instead of easing Allison’s anguish, they come up with a cruel plan to take advantage of it. But with Allison’s abilities exposed, there may be a grisly body count very soon…
From its shocking opening to its sinister conclusion, ALLISON is Jeff Strand at his over-the-top best!
I’ve had this on my shelf for months! I hear nothing but great things about Dear Laura.
Every year, on her birthday, Laura gets a letter from a stranger. That stranger claims to know the whereabouts of her missing friend Bobby, but there’s a catch: he’ll only tell her what he knows in exchange for something…personal.So begins Laura’s sordid relationship with her new penpal, built on a foundation of quid pro quo. Her quest for closure will push her to bizarre acts of humiliation and harm, yet no matter how hard she tries, she cannot escape her correspondent’s demands. The letters keep coming, and as time passes, they have a profound effect on Laura.From the author of Cruel Works of Nature comes a dark and twisted tale about obsession, guilt, and how far a person will go to put her ghosts to bed.
It’s no secret that Chad Lutzke is one of my favorite authors (and human beings for that matter). Just working my way through all of his books. I already know I’ll dig it.
“My name is Levi. I’m 16. I’ve got a skull for a face. And here’s how shit went down.”
Having never been outside the walls of Gramm Jones Foster Care Facility, sixteen-year-old Levi leaves in the middle of the night with an empty backpack and a newfound lust for life. A journey that leads him into the arms of delusional newlyweds, drunkards, polygamists, the dangerous, and the batshit crazy. His destination? Hermosa Beach, California where he’s told there is another like him, with the face of a skull.
A coming-of-age road trip filled with surreal Lynch-ian encounters exploring the dark, the disturbing, and the lonely in a 1980s world—an epic venture for one disfigured boy struggling to find his place in the world.
I recently met Daniel Volpe and grabbed a couple of his books. This one looks insane, so count me in!
In the early 1990s the rising popularity of the video cassette gave birth to a seedy, underground world of illicit pornography.
Talia, a Midwest dreamer, leaves home in search of fame under the blinding Broadway lights. But nothing could have prepared her for what she finds instead. Savage violence, bottomless depravity, and no way out.
Talia will unapologetically drag you into the foul underbelly of society. A sanity straining journey, full of hot bloodshed and betrayal.
Way back in 2013, my editor at Samhain Publishing (the legend himself, Don D’Auria) said to me, “So, what’s your latest book idea?” Back then, I had pledged to write two books a year for Samhain, delivering a novel and novella before New Year’s Eve. I wanted to write about the real life haunting my family had been experiencing since the 90s, but Samhain didn’t have a non-fiction line. So, I took the high strangeness we were going through and fictionalized it. The end result was my novella, The Waiting. It came out in 2014 as an ebook only and was well received, though it didn’t get in front of a ton of eyeballs.
Samhain went under a few years after that and my little ghost story was as dead as the phantom boy who prowled my apartment.
That is, until the amazing folks at Silver Shamrock agreed to bring it back to life with a brand new cover by the incredible Kealan Patrick Burke, foreword by punk horror master Glenn Rolfe, and a revised ending and afterword by yours truly.
The afterword is very important this time around because at the time I originally wrote The Waiting, I had no idea what was at the heart of the mystery. Since then, we think we know exactly who – or what – spent so much time with us. I’m very proud of this book and know that Creature would never have happened if this hadn’t paved the way for me.
A little about the book :
Newlywed Cassandra Pagano lies in a state between life and death, her body fed and preserved by the machines at her side. While she struggles, unaware of the world around her, someone waits. A boy. A phantom that appears solid, real, “alive.” Cassandra’s husband, Brian, sees him in the house, by her bedside, running down darkened hallways. The boy walks without sound, whispers words that can’t be deciphered.
Terror and tension are driving Brian to the breaking point. Why is the boy there, and what does he want with Cassandra and her fading soul?
You can now grab a copy of this gorgeous, new edition, in ebook or print! Click here so you don’t have to ‘wait’ anymore!
I mean, who doesn’t have a lustful spirit hiding in the corners of their attic? I’m very pumped to be featured in the latest edition of Terry M West’s Weirdsmith series. My story, THE ATTIC, is not your average ghost tale.
About the story –
They say you can’ t go home.
Burt Cromartie would agree. Something unspeakable happened to him in the attic of his childhood home. He’d hoped to never return. But, now the house is his, and with no job and dwindling savings, he’s forced to accept the curse willed to him by his horrid parents. Whatever Burt left behind in the dusty attic has been waiting, patiently, for him to come back.
The gate to hell is a simple wooden door, a set of creaking stairs, a musty room that is never, truly empty.
There’s no running from the thing in the attic.
Welcome home, Burt.
It’s just dying to meet you.
And maybe, just maybe, Jessica and Eddie might show up to try to save poor Burt and his family.
DROP IT ON YOUR KINDLE FOR ONLY 99 CENTS!