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A Gothic Cabinet of Curiosities and Mysteries header image
Chapter One: Megalithic mysteries and my appointment with destiny at Avebury circle and henge thumbnail

It’s 1972 and I’m eleven years old, hanging out in the Carmi Public Library, which is about the only place I’m allowed to hang out. I find a book on the shelf, plain black with a bit of red trim. Mysterious Britain is the title, and Janet and Colin Bord were the authors. I open it, skim through the - Click to read more

Chapter Two: A megalithic darkness descending on Stanton Drew stone circles and cove thumbnail

"There among the stones they committed unspeakable acts. On the stones, against the stones. Their cloaks barriers to the storm of nature that raged around them, they were thrown aside and as two beasts they met in the circle in rut, in heat, in pure primal desire. It was a ritual of sorts, a wedding - Click to read more

Chapter Three: The Ghosts of Avebury: Avebury’s Lady In White and My Lady In Black thumbnail

Hair stands high on the cat's back like a ridge of threatening hills. Sheepdogs howl, make tracks and growl --- their tails hanging low. And young children falter in their games at the altar of life's hide-and-seek between tall pillars, where Sunday-night killers in grey raincoats peek. Down to the stones where old ghosts play - Click to read more

Chapter Four: Lucifer’s neolithic home, Devil’s Den stands vigil near the Avebury circle complex thumbnail

It is naturally the subject of many legends in the district, and few, we imagine, of the people about would care to find themselves too close to it at the solemn hours of midnight, though one of the stories necessitates such a state of things; for we were told that if any one pours water - Click to read more

Chapter Five: A wishing tree, a church, a henge and the plague at Knowlton Church and Earthworks in Dorset thumbnail

In men and women alike it first betrayed itself by the emergence of certain tumours in the groin or armpits, some of which grew as large as a common apple, others as an egg...From the two said parts of the body this deadly gavocciolo soon began to propagate and spread itself in all directions indifferently - Click to read more

Chapter Six: Climbing Glastonbury Tor in search of the divine thumbnail

“Avalon will always be there for all men to find if they can seek the way thither, throughout all the ages past the ages. If they cannot find the way to Avalon, it is a sign, perhaps, that they are not ready." ― Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon + + + I came - Click to read more

The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen thumbnail

The Great God Pan, a novella by Welsh born Arthur Machen (3 March 1863 – 15 December 1947), was cited by Stephen King as maybe the best horror story in the English Language. Originally decried for its strong sexual and horror content, it is almost tame in comparison to today’s literature of the same genre - Click to read more

A historic home in Salem finds its way into Lovecraft’s fiction thumbnail

The Crowninshield Bentley House c.1727-30. Click here to view larger and more images from Salem, Massachusetts. Part of the Peabody Essex Museum and available for tours, June through October126 Essex Street at Washington Square “I lied when I said she had gone away. I killed her. I had to. It was sudden, but we were alone and I was in my - Click to read more

Jerusha Howe’s bedroom at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn thumbnail

Room 9 is the room to get when staying at Longfellow's Wayside Inn outside Sudbury, Massachusetts. It's said to host the spirit of Jerusha, who has been known to snuggle up to male guests during the night, when they stay in the room alone. But don't come expecting much in the way of modern entertainment - Click to read more

Piracy in Charleston, S.C.: The adoption of the gentleman pirate, Stede Bonnet thumbnail

A town with an ugly past, trades debauchery for a more genteel reputation, and in the process adopts the gentleman pirate to keep pirate tourism dollars growing. Intentional or not, it seems to be working.