Because the writer is always the last to know, turns out I made my television debut on World’s Most Unexplained on the Travel Channel last night. Thank the fates that my friends watch these crazy shows all the time and they were quick to let me know!
Oy, look at that mug. I was filmed in a cramped hotel room in the height of the pandemic. Taking off my mask made me nervous as hell, which helped tamp down any butterflies I had about being on camera and interviewed by someone who was on a laptop in Ireland.
The episode is called Roadside Creature/Up in Flames. In the episode, I and several other Travel Channel mainstays talk about the very mysterious 2 night event in a bucolic Massachusetts town back in 1977. Several teenagers saw a bizarre creature on the dark, winding roads, all of them reporting basically the same odd being. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman was there on the scene and coined the name, the Dover Demon.
I’m sure you can stream the show. Here is a one minute preview –
When I was with Loren at the International Cryptozoology Museum, we got to talking about the DD and I was hooked. Not long after, my fictional take on the cryptid with UFO connections was born. If you’d like to explore the Dover Demon and what it could mean for the people who witnessed it when it returns decades later, grab a copy and be prepared for some high strangeness!
That’s right Hellions. You’ve all been incredibly patient waiting a whole year for my latest book, MISFITS, a brutal trek through the darkest woods populated by a race of humanoids who crave human flesh.
“A bad-ass love letter to small-town folklore.” – Splattergeist reviews
During the height of the 90s grunge era, five high school friends living on the fringe are driven to the breaking point. When one of their friends is brutally raped by a drunk townie, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Deep in the woods of Milbury, Connecticut, there lives the legend of the Melon Heads, a race of creatures that shun human interaction and prey on those who dare to wander down Dracula Drive. Maybe this night, one band of misfits can help the other. Or maybe some legends are meant to be feared for a reason.
MISFITS is available in hardcover, trade paperback and ebook. CLICK HERE to take a trip down Dracula Drive and face the horror of the Melon Heads!
Is the truth about the existence of a lake monster in Loch Ness just around the corner?
Scientists from the University of Otago have already gathered over two hundred samples from the famous Loch and plan to run Environmental DNA (or eDNA) testing to suss out the wide and varied life forms living under the dark waters. Even passing creatures will leave their mark, a floating residue waiting to be analyzed.
The kid in me is excited. As a matter of fact, so is the adult. It’s said that we should know if anything anomalous and Nessie-like has been found in a few months. Look, I’m not running to Vegas to lay down good money that we’re for-sure going to find out that Nessie is real. But I am fascinated to see what they do find. The Loch is bigger than you think and the odds of finding an elusive creature are slim, but for my money, this is the largest net cast yet for answers.
Wouldn’t it be fascinating to find out the Loch Ness Monster is real, and to finally know what it really is? Or is it better to let it remain a tantalizing mystery? What’s your take on this latest search for Nessie? Comment below and I’ll pick 2 random people to receive a free ebook of LOCH NESS REVENGE.
Severed Press has just brought THE DOVER DEMON back to life. Originally published by Samhain Publishing in 2015, the book was left in limbo when Samhain closed its doors. This little beastie has returned with a kick ass new cover!
Back in 2014, I was at the International Cryptozoology Museum for a book signing on my tour for The Montauk Monster. The museum’s owner is Loren Coleman, one of the most revered cryptozoologists in the world. Loren and I struck up a conversation and I asked him what cryptid I should write about next. He didn’t hesitate in urging me to look into the famous Dover Demon case, one that still baffles everyone associated with it 40 years later.
Over the course of two nights in 1977 during spring break in the affluent town of Dover, Massachusetts, six teenagers spotted a bizarre, bipedal creature scuttling along the dark roads. It appears that all saw the very same being, one of them (Bill Bartlett) drawing a sketch of the anomaly for the police.
Today, a lot of people would say, “Oh, that’s one of those gray alien things.” But you have to remember, this creature was spotted before the iconic image of gray aliens was a thing. Hell, Close Encounters of the Third Kind hadn’t even come out yet. Loren Coleman was called to Dover and was the one to give it its name. Cryptozoologists are still puzzled by what the teenagers saw. They look at it in terms of being a terrestrial animal. UFOologists look to the case as an early example of the grays making themselves known.
A cryptid AND an alien? I couldn’t turn down the challenge. THE DOVER DEMON is both one of my most personal and strangest books to date. So, if you care to take a trip to Dover, the gates are once again open. Beware, you might never be the same!
A little bit of trivia : The man character is a man named Sam Brogna. I named him after a New York Mets short-lived first baseman, Rico Brogna. The man’s career was cut short due to injury, but he lives on in The Dover Demon. Well, sort of.
The Dover Demon is real…and it has returned.
In 1977, Sam Brogna and his friends came upon a terrifying, alien creature on a deserted country road. What they witnessed was so bizarre, so chilling, they swore their silence. But their lives were changed forever. Decades later, the town of Dover has been hit by a massive blizzard. Sam’s son, Nicky, is drawn to search for the infamous cryptid, only to disappear into the bowels of a secret underground lair. The Dover Demon is far deadlier than anyone could have believed. And there are many of them. Can Sam and his reunited friends rescue Nicky and battle a race of creatures so powerful, so sinister, that history itself has been shaped by their secretive presence?
My favorite month of the year is just a few days away. I’ve already prepared my list of movies to watch and books to read, along with Halloween/horror events to attend (and beers to drink). How about you?
To help get you in the mood (and build on your TBR pile), I’m having a signed book sale. I have limited quantities of the following books, so it’s first come, first served. If you live in the continental United States and would like a signed copy of the following, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All prices include shipping and payments are made through Paypal.
MEGALODON IN PARADISE – $10
WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING (trade paperback) – $15 * 1 copy left!
WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING (1 limited edition hardcover left) – $50
THE JERSEY DEVIL (paperback) – $7 (7 CD audiobook) – $18
SAVAGE JUNGLE – $10
LOCH NESS REVENGE – $10
THE MONTAUK MONSTER – $7
TORTURES OF THE DAMNED – $7
THE DOVER DEMON (last of the out of print Samhain version) – $15
But wait, there’s more!
Available to anyone on this sphere we call Earth, I have a few codes to download copies of my ebook OPTICAL DELUSION . For just $1 (half off the cover price) you can dive into the world of my MAIL ORDER MASSACRES.
Enjoy mind bending X-ray specs, all for less than the cost of a comic book. 🙂
Happy Horrortober everyone!
The cryptozoology world has been buzzing this year over a wave of supposed Mothman sightings around Chicago. The mysterious creature that terrorized the town of Point Pleasant, WV between 1966 and 1967, culminating in the Silver Bridge collapse, appears to be alive and well in the Windy City. There have been almost two dozen reports of a large (7 foot or taller) hominid with massive wings both on the ground and in the air since April.
Other than the slew of Bigfoot encounters that are reported every year, this cluster of Mothman sightings represents one of the largest cryptid waves in the past 4 decades. What is truly out there? And is the Mothman circling Chicago a portent of something terrible to become?
I’ve always said the original Mothman case is one of the most bizarre and intriguing in all of cryptozoology. You see, Point Pleasant wasn’t just visited by the Mothman. The entire town also saw strange lights in the sky, were visited by mysterious men in black, were witness to apparitions and ghostly phone calls and so much more, it makes my head spin. My partner Jack and I tackled the subject in one of our earliest Monster Men episodes.
Reporter John Keel was on the ground in Point Pleasant in the 60s, delving into dark corners and interviewing terrified witnesses. His efforts there (and many other bizarre cases) made him the inspiration for Carl Kolchak on television’s The Night Stalker. He wrote the definitive book on the Mothman, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES : A TRUE STORY.
If you’re a true blue fan of cryptids and the unexplained, this is a must have addition to your bookshelf. It’s as terrifying as it is perplexing. Keel called it the Mothman Prophecies because it is believed that the creature was, in its way, warning the citizens about the impending destruction of the Silver Bridge, which killed 46 people on December 15, 1967. I’ve always found the connection between the cryptid and the calamity a bit nebulous, the biggest case for it being that all strange activity stopped right after the bridge collapsed. Since 1967, there have been scattered sightings of a winged creature that resembles the Mothman, but nothing like what is currently occurring in Chicago.
If you want to learn about the original story from a fresh perspective, check out the new documentary, The Mothman of Point Pleasant by director Seth Breedlove and his Small Town Monsters crew. They’ve previously explored the Boggy Creek Monster, Minerva Monster and Beast of Whitehall. Always a good watch.
There was also a 2002 film adaptation of Keel’s book called The Mothman Prophecies, starring Richard Gere. When I first saw the movie, I knew very little about the cryptid and it confused and disappointed. Viewing it after my own research into Mothman, I can now appreciate the movie and what they were trying to do. It’s very difficult to convey the high strangeness surrounding the Mothman to a wide audience.
What is the Mothman? Is it a flesh and blood beast? An unknown type of bird? An angel? A demon? A figment of our imagination? I don’t know. But I think what’s happening in Chicago bears some close scrutiny. I’ll be interested to see if there is a spike in other paranormal phenomena there this year.
What’s your take on the Mothman? And do you think something dark and deadly lies in wait for the people of Chicago?
For the latest cryptid news and more, sign up for my free Dark Hunter Newsletter today.
Whether they are real or fake, nothing makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up straighter than audio recordings of Bigfoot yelling, screeching and speaking in the woods.
Look, I’m a city boy. The woods without a Bigfoot are big and scary places to me. If you add being surrounded by squatches, well, just bury me under a pine tree and tell my momma I died knowing the truth.
Arguably the most famous of all Bigfoot audio recordings are the Sierra Sounds, captured back in the 1970s. You can hear people interacting with squatches throughout. For you Bigfoot enthusiasts, this is a must listen.
Now here’s one that is quite controversial (aren’t they all?). It was recorded just a few years ago and features a camper having a relatively pleasant conversation with a Bigfoot. Hell, even if this was some dude talking to me in the dark, I’d mess myself.
This one is strange but again, it sucks me down the rabbit hole. Not sure a Sasquatch would speak English, but the interpretation comes from the person making the recording, similar to EVP. You hear what you want to or think you should hear.
Team Squatchin’ USA has a host of Bigfoot audio you can listen to right on their home page. Play it so loud the neighbors can hear and wonder what the hell is going on in your house. Click their logo to go down a deep, dark, wonderful rabbit hole.
This is supposedly a very pissed off Bigfoot pitching a fit. Not sure if I’d stick around to record it, but hey, some folks are braver than me.
Oh baby, do I love this cover! Severed Press nailed it. This is exactly the kind of cover I had hoped for when this nasty skunk ape novella first came out with Samhain. Word on the grapevine is the book will be available, in ebook and for the first time PRINT, in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
As for my other Samhain titles, I’m in talks with an esteemed publisher about getting them all back out in the world. Can’t wait to be able to tell you about it.
So, what do you all think?
At some point while I was watching the premier of THE VOID (meh), my latest Severed Press book, SAVAGE JUNGLE (LAIR OF THE ORANG PENDEK), came screaming into this world like a demented squatch baby.
They are called the Orang Pendek, masters of the steamy Sumatran rain forest.
Henrik Kooper watched his father die at the brutal hands of the orange-haired ape men. Having barely survived helping twins Natalie and Austin McQueen discover and destroy the beasts lurking in Loch Ness, it’s now his turn for vengeance. Within the treacherous jungles of Sumatra lies the fabled lost city of Gadang Ur. Its secrets are guarded by a savage band of Orang Pendek who lord over the strange and deadly creatures of the hidden land. Utter madness is the lifeblood of Gadang Ur. Henrik’s journey into darkness will take them to the ragged edge of hell on Earth.
Some places were never meant to be discovered.
As an added bonus, here’s a sample chapter to get you in the mood for some Orang Pendek fury…
Austin handed Natalie a gun. She couldn’t remember what kind it was, but it was heavy and looked deadly. He said to Oscar, “Do we just stay here and mow them down?”
“Heavens no,” Henrik said, calmly slamming a cartridge home in his assault weapon of choice. “We’d never survive. The hope is that our guns frighten them enough to veer them away from our position.”
Natalie shrugged her shoulders. “Of course. Why didn’t I think of that?”
The ground shook as they came crashing closer. Their terrified bellows echoed throughout the jungle. Hearing them, feeling them, but not being able to see where they were coming from was absolutely terrifying.
Oscar said, “Just be ready to run. If we get split up, we meet back here.”
“Easy for you to say,” Austin said, the muscles in his neck bulging like ropes. “I have no freaking clue where here is.”
Henrik coolly added, “Just follow the path the elephants are sure to make. They’re better and faster than bulldozers.”
Natalie’s knees nearly buckled. She wasn’t sure if it was from exhaustion, fear, or the rumbling of the earth, which was making it hard to keep her footing.
Please take a detour. Please take a detour. Nothing to see here. No need to trample the Orang Pendek hunters.
She hadn’t noticed the porters taking their machetes to the brush behind them, clearing a bit of a path for their escape. At least it gave them some room to step back and see which way the elephants were going. Bambang handed his machete over to her.
“No, you keep it,” she said.
He shook his head, refusing to let her give it back to him.
“They’re definitely headed straight for us,” Oscar said, taking a blind shot with the elephant gun. The report was deafening. Henrik fired off a few rounds as well. Then Austin joined in.
“Is it doing anything?”
The look Oscar flashed didn’t ease her fears.
They all stepped back as far as they could go, until their backs were against the endless wall of vegetation. Natalie almost tripped over an exposed root as thick as her calf. Austin reached out and grabbed her by her shirt.
“I’m shitting myself. Is anyone else shitting themselves?” she asked.
“I think it’s safe to say we’re all going to need a change of pants,” her brother said, eyes locked dead ahead.
There came a great crashing of branches and trees, centuries-old oaks snapping like dry toothpicks. The jungle tableau swayed back and forth in anticipation of the runaway freight train of excited pachyderms.
Now, even Natalie joined in their desperate attempt to scare them off with firepower. The gun’s kickback smashed the stock into her ribs. She didn’t feel a thing. Abject fear had made her numb.
When the first elephant broke through, rearing its trunk with an ear-splitting roar, she could only stare with mute horror. Everyone had stopped firing their weapons.
She felt a hand at her collar, someone tugging her backwards.
Natalie couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
A second, third, fourth and so many more elephants came crashing into view, their eyes wild not with terror but unadulterated menace.
Because they weren’t alone.
Riding atop each wild elephant was a small, orange-haired being that looked like a cross between an orangutan and a man.
The Orang Pendek rode the elephant herd right at them, crying out with beastly wails that turned her bowels to water.
Now it’s time for me to be a fan boy. I’ve been a huge fan of Jim Harold and his incredible Paranormal Podcast for years. A long time subscriber, I listen to every single episode, from The Other Side, to Crime Scene, Ancient Mysteries and the newest addition, The Cryptid Report (on which I was a guest recently, talking about my old pal, the Jersey Devil. You can check that out here).
It’s an honor to have Jim on this old blog n’ chain. We talk about a possible grand unified theory of the paranormal, dream guests and pursuing podcasting full time. So read on, Hellions, and do yourself a favor and listen to the free podcast and subscribe to his Plus Club. You can thank me later.
When it comes to bringing the best and brightest of the paranormal world to listeners all around the world, your podcasts are the top of the heap. How has this decade-plus ride been for you as creator, chief, cook and bottle washer (to steal your own phrase)?
It has been nothing but great. Of course, there have been frustrations and times when I wasn’t sure it was all going to work out but all in all it has been the opportunity of a lifetime for me.
Everyone has to start somewhere. Who was your first guest and how did you get them on the show, especially being an unknown quantity at the time?
It was July 29, 2005 and the guest was Loyd Auerbach who is one of the best people in this field. I simply wrote him an email asking. He was kind enough to say sure. My plus members can still listen to that show but my ears bleed when I hear it.
You often talk about the impact In Search Of had on you and your career. I see that with so many people of a certain age (like myself) who have gone on to write and create in the horror/scifi/paranormal fields. What was your favorite episode? Which one scared you the most?
Hmm, that is a tough one. I always loved the stuff about The Bermuda Triangle. That eerie music freaked me out. I loved it! (Hunter’s Note : The soundtrack to In Search Of still creeps me out. Literally the only music that gives me the willies.)
People really appreciate the fact that you’re not a ghost/cryptid/UFO investigator. You’re the even-keeled man behind the mic giving voice to those who have dedicated their lives to the study of the strange and unusual. After hundreds and hundreds of interviews, what’s surprised you the most?
That there is very possibly some tie between these different phenomena…I originally viewed everything as very siloed but now I wonder. Is all of this stuff, or at least some, connected?
Over the past year, you ask a lot of your guests about a grand unified theory of the paranormal, where perhaps everything is all part of the same whole. You have a unique view of the entire landscape. Gun to your head, do you think ghosts, cryptids, UFOs, the whole gamut, are related and if so, what do you think is behind it all? If it’s all originating from some starting point, there has to be an originator.
Ah, I anticipated your question in my last answer! I think that there is SOMETHING connecting everything but I don’t know what. I have no idea. I think it is kind of like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave where we are just all looking at the shadows on the wall, trying to interpret them but failing because we can’t see what is really going on.
Did you ever interview someone outside of your Campfire show that told a story so frightening (maybe even because it was a horrifying potential reality), it gave you chills or maybe made sleep a little more difficult that night?
I recently did a show on the 1949 case of a possessed St. Louis boy who was the inspiration for The Exorcist. To know, and this is well documented, that there are real cases of what appears to be demon possession is very unsettling to me. If demons come out this aggressively and it is documented, how do they infiltrate our daily lives and we don’t even realize it? Road rage, child abuse, war, etc. The list goes on and on. How many ways does evil invade our lives and we just chalk it up to human nature gone wrong? Is there really something sentient trying to lead the world astray? It makes you think about the existence of a literal Devil.
If we could get a substantial government grant to dedicate millions of dollars and resources to the scientific study of one aspect of the paranormal, which should we choose? I have my own answer that I think we’re going to be in agreement with because of the broader implications.
Life after death, hands down. It answers so many other questions. (Hunter’s note : that’s exactly how I feel! We answer that question, what else really matters?)
Who have been some of your favorite guests? Who is the one guest who has since passed that you wish you’d gotten, and one current dream guest that you’re hoping to get?
I wish I would have been able to interview Budd Hopkins on UFOs, that is one who comes to mind. John Keel is another. Loren Coleman would be a great guest and I’d very much like to interview James Randi. I know that seems counter intuitive but we need to understand the hardcore skeptic to learn how to have communication with other skeptics who might be capable of having an open mind.
A few years ago, you took the leap to full time podcasting, as well as writing. How terrifying was that and how has it been? By the way, the day you announced it, you became my hero. You have the career I dreamed of as a kid.
Thank you. I didn’t dream of podcasting, per se, because it didn’t exist in its current form but I always wanted to be a content creator in both broadcasting and written form. Audio, visual and the written word. Sometimes I would take stories and rewrite them from the neighborhood newspaper with a manual typewriter (remember those?), I would go around the house with a flashlight pretending I was a game show host, so broadcasting seems to have been bred in me as well. Another funny story is how I asked for a DJ “radio studio” toy when I was a kid. I didn’t get it but I have done a really good job of reconstructing it in my home studio now! Amazon must love me. Can you say compensating?
I was moderately scared at first when going full time but I had changed jobs many times while working in traditional media and kind of just viewed this as another job in terms of risk. If it wouldn’t have worked out, I would have just found another job. My wife and family were very supportive and I couldn’t have done it without them. It has been nothing but a blessing and I am so grateful to my audience. The feedback tells me they enjoy what I do and I am so glad it resonates with them. We are all just fellow seekers. I hope your readers will check out the shows at jimharold.com and wherever fine podcasts are heard. Thank you for the time to talk with you and your audience today.