Samhain: Summer’s End

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Hope you all had a great Halloween, whether you partied, passed out candy, binged Stranger Things, went to a haunted house or a ghost tour, marched in a Halloween parade, danced in the grove, or spent a quiet night at home. And who says the fun has to be over? You can curl up with a spine-tingling tale of the ghostly and the Gothic long after all the candy has been eaten and the zombie make-up has been washed away. Halloween may be over, but the dark half of the year is here to stay and it brings with it no shortage of superstitions or the supernatural. Continue reading

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In-Betweens, Thin Veils, and a Ghost Story or Two

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The infirmary at Canterbury Shaker Village, Canterbury NH, photo by Shannon Barnsley, October 2012.

“It was Gate Night, the night before All Hallows’ Eve. Distant memories of the old stories nagged at me. During All Hallows’ Eve the veil between the world of the living and the word beyond was lifted. Our world and their world all blurred together like ink running on a page in my old primer when we schoolgirls would try to run home in the rain, shrieking and splashing up mud all the way.”

– Shannon Barnsley, Beneath Blair Mountain Continue reading

Gate Night: The Veil Grows Thin

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The fairies be out that night and they would take you away with them if you were out at that evil time. It is also said that the devil shakes his budges [fur] on the haws and turns them black and according to the old people if you eat a haw after Hallow Eve night you will have no luck (qtd in “Halloween in Irish Folklore”).

Continue reading

Persephone, Lara Rae, and Other Lost Girls of the Underworld

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Much like Persephone from Greek mythology, Lara Rae Brecken, the main character of Beneath Blair Mountain, finds herself trapped in the underworld after wandering through a crack between worlds one cold October night. Irish mythology was at the forefront when I wrote this tale, but I consciously had Persephone and other analogous tales and figures in mind. Continue reading

Gate Night Storytime

“It was Gate Night, the night before All Hallows’ Eve. Distant memories of the old stories nagged at me. During All Hallows’ Eve the veil between the world of the living and the word beyond was lifted. Our world and their world all blurred together like ink running on a page in my old primer when we schoolgirls would try to run home in the rain, shrieking and splashing up mud all the way.” 

Beneath Blair Mountain

A mix of folklore from the Old and New World, Beneath Blair Mountain makes a great read for Halloween, Samhain, or Día de Los Muertos. Find it on Amazon and Goodreads.

Beneath Blair Mountain (Coming Soon!)

Cover art by Mariya Suzuki

Cover art by Mariya Suzuki

So, as you may know from my last post, my novella, Beneath Blair Mountain, is being published as part of the Summer Writing Project 2015 Collection. The Summer Writing Project is an annual joint venture between 1888 and JukePop, which you can read more about in the link above (or here and here). And isn’t that a damn fine cover? Mariya Suzuki did a fantastic job on all three books in the collection, but I do admit to being slightly biased. Just look at those mountains! If those can’t spirit you away into the pages, the fey folk might as well pack up and go home.  Continue reading