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!
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!
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!
Believe it or not, it’s pure coincidence that the release of Bigfoot in the Bronx happens to fall on the same day as King Kong vs. Godzilla. I could never have planned it so well. Trust me.
So, who wants to squatch this place up?
It’s hunting season for best friends Shay and Vito. This year, with a bad economy and Shay out of work, it’s more important than ever to bag a deer so they can feed their families. Tucking their truck in their secret spot outside a state park in the Catskills, they settle down, waiting for a deer to come to them.
What they get is a giant creature that outruns a speeding deer and savages it with its bare hands and jagged teeth. Someone hidden in the woods shoots it with a tranquilizer dart. Shay knows what the beast at their feet is, and how its discovery can change their lives forever. They load it into their truck and head home for…
The drugged Bigfoot awakens in a cramped shed in Shay’s backyard. Confused, terrified, angry, it breaks loose in the middle of the night, seeking refuge in a nearby cemetery. When the bagpipes of a morning funeral drive it into a killing rage, the carnage has just begun.
From playgrounds to golf courses, apartment buildings to subway cars, the bigfoot is on the move – and it’s not happy. Can Shay and Vito find and recapture the beast before it burns the Bronx to the ground?
I can’t think of a book cover that is more suitable for Hunter’s Hellions than my upcoming release from Flame Tree Press, FAITHLESS!
Faithless will be out in October this year (when the world will hopefully have it’s Covid head out of it’s ass), but you can pre-order your copy today!
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 behind, 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.
I wrote this book at the very start of the quarantine last March. It was one of the things that kept me sane during those first few months, including booze, watch parties of Joe Bob’s Last Drive-In Show on Shudder, and did I say booze?
Hope you remember how to say your prayers. You’re gonna need them for this one.