Why I believe in Nessie, the Loch Ness “Monster”

I believe in Nessie, Scotland's Loch Ness Monster.

I’m guessing a lot of you have bucket lists. It won’t surprise many of you to learn mine has a separate section just for travel.

One of the longest standing places on that list is Scotland, and it’s not just because I have an affinity for haggis, men in plaid, and Scotland the Brave when played by a piper. It’s all about Nessie, the so-called Loch Ness “Monster.” It’s my dream to sit on the banks of the great lake for hours, waiting for the fabled creature to make an appearance.

Nessie is only a “monster” because of our own xenophobia. She’s simply a creature who hasn’t been officially discovered, catalogued, and researched yet. (Or she’s one we believed to be extinct who has somehow miraculously survived.)

Ever since I began this blog, people have asked me if I really “believe” in this stuff. Honestly? I like to keep an open mind. A lot of the things we now accept as part of our daily lives (powerful computers that fit in our pockets, cars that run on electricity instead of gasoline, prayer being scientifically proven to have health benefits for the ailing) were thought improbable or even impossible not so many years ago.

So, while keeping an open mind is important to me, an even more accurate answer would be…I want to believe.

When I was a child, I was one of the last people in my class to stop sending my wish lists to Santa Claus. One day my best friend came to me with inarguable proof that the great elf was not what he seemed–her parents had told her the “truth.” I was stunned. Shocked. Heartbroken. I confronted my own mother, asked if it was true. Her answer was something I’ve never forgotten:

“Santa Claus will exist as long as you believe in him.”

What a beautiful sentiment. For me, it’s the same with Nessie. She exists if we believe she does, and I don’t know about you, but I personally want to believe. I need to believe, in my heart of hearts, that there’s still magic in the world. There’s still things out there waiting to be discovered, questions we don’t have the answers to. Intellectually, I know that if the original Nessie still called the Loch home, she’d be very, very old. But why not? Parrots and elephants and tortoises can live for an extremely long time. Why not Nessie? As far as I’m concerned, the world is a better place with her in it.

Monsters in Our Wake by J.H. MoncrieffWhen Severed Press asked me for a “sea monster” novel, I had Nessie in mind, which is probably why the creatures in my resulting book aren’t monsters per se, but highly intelligent beings with the right to live in peace. Monsters in Our Wake is unusual for other reasons too–protagonists in this kind of story are usually macho men with more fire power than brains, while mine is a female scientist suffering from anxiety. Needless to say, I wasn’t sure what the folks at Severed would think of a sentient sea creature telling his story, never mind my underdog heroine, so it was a big relief when they said the words writers all live to hear:

“We’d love to publish this.”

Guess there is some magic left in the world after all.

Monsters in Our Wake has been unleashed on the universe in ebook form to start (trade paperback to follow shortly), and it could use some love in the way of reviews and blurbs. Even a sentence or two and a star rating would help tremendously. If you’d like a free copy in exchange for a review, please let me know in the comments. Need a good creature feature on your blog? I’m up for any and all guest posts.

And I’d love to know what you believe in. Have any of you visited Loch Ness? Caught a glimpse of the old girl herself? Please share your experience in the comments. What’s on your bucket list?

“I want to believe” image credit: JBaz

In the idyllic waters of the South Pacific lurks a dangerous and insatiable predator; a monster whose bloodlust and greed threatens the very survival of our planet.

Thousands of miles from the nearest human settlement, deep on the ocean floor, the creatures have lived peacefully for millennia. But when an oil drill bursts through their lair, Nøkken attacks, damaging the drilling ship’s engine and trapping the desperate crew.

The longer the humans remain in Nøkken’s territory, struggling to repair their ailing ship, the more confrontations occur between the two species. When the death toll rises, the crew turns on each other, and marine geologist Flora Duchovney realizes the scariest monsters aren’t below the surface.

The Strange Case of the Reincarnated Egyptian

The strange case of the reincarnated Egyptian Dorothy Eady

Imagine you have a perfectly “normal” child, happy and healthy.

Then, one day when she is three years old, she falls down the stairs, is knocked unconscious, and declared dead by the family doctor.

When the doctor comes to retrieve your child’s body, she is awake and playing again, as if nothing has happened. Wonderful, right? Only problem is, you know she is not your daughter anymore.

This is what happened to the parents of Dorothy Eady in London in the early 1900s, sparking one of the strangest–and most convincing–accounts of a past life.

After her near-death experience, Dorothy pleaded that she be allowed to return home, describing her life in a large building with columns. She began to speak with a strange accent, and had an inexplicable knowledge of an ancient religion. Her parents no doubt dismissed all this as a child’s fantasies…until they took Dorothy to the British Museum a year later.

When they reached the Egyptian rooms, Dorothy ran through the exhibits, kissing the statues’ feet. When she saw a photograph of Seti I’s temple, she exclaimed “There is my home, but where are the trees? Where are the gardens?”

As an adult, Dorothy moved to Egypt and became known by the name Omm Sety. She worked for the Department of Antiquities and settled in Abydos, where Seti I’s temple is located. She spent a good majority of her adult life as the Keeper of that temple. Dorothy was extremely open about her “past life,” and would worship Egypt’s ancient deities in the old ways, claiming to be the reincarnated priestess of Seti’s temple.

As if that weren’t bizarre enough, she made a number of discoveries based on her “memories.” Following her direction, Egyptologists found the temple’s ancient garden–right where she said it would be. To this day, noted Egyptologists don’t deny her discoveries or her astonishing knowledge of ancient Egypt. If you’re interested in her other discoveries, there were quite a few, which you can find on Wikipedia.

Aside from her insistence that she’d been reincarnated, Dorothy appeared quite sane and thrived in both her personal and professional lives until she died in 1981.

As I prepare to visit Egypt myself in just over a week, I find Dorothy’s story especially interesting. What do you think–do you believe in reincarnation? If not, how do you explain stories like her’s? What would you have done if you were her parents?

The Dark Side of Christmas: Beware the Yule Cat and Yule Lads!

Beware the Yule Cat and Yule Lads! #Christmas #legends Yule Cat photo credit diademgrove

Ah, Christmas. When visions of sugar plums dance in our heads, and it’s all about peace on earth and goodwill.

Or is it?

Thanks to a rash of recent horror movies and books, you’ve no doubt heard of Krampus, Santa’s horned cohort who punishes the bad kids. But have you heard of the Yule Lads and the dreaded Yule Cat?

The thirteen Yule Lads (of course there are thirteen of the little bastards) appear in our midst during the last thirteen days before Christmas (there’s that number again). Some are mischievous and some are a huge pain in the keister.

How do you know you’ve been targeted by a Yule Lad? Here are some signs you may have an infestation.

  • Have your leftovers mysteriously gone missing? Blame Pottaskefill, who steals them.
  • Have your spoons been licked? That’s the fault of Þvörusleikir, who takes care of all those cookie batter-caked utensils.
  • Have your sausages been swiped? That’s a true sign of a Yule Lad in action. Bjúgnakrækir hides in the rafters and steals sausages that have been smoked.
  • Feel like you’re being watched? It’s Gluggagægir, the window peeper, who looks into your home in search of things to steal.
  • And finally, beware of Ketkrókurwho will wander your home with a meat hook to steal your Christmas turkey or ham.

These things may seem fairly innocent (or the work of children and pets), but a guy peeking through my windows with a huge meat hook would freak me out a bit–just sayin’.

As bad as these little trolls are, they’re nothing compared to the Yule Cat, a gigantic kitty that lurks outside during the Christmas season and eats people who haven’t received any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve. Ouch! Perhaps there’s a practical use for that ugly Christmas sweater. Or, may I suggest a Christmas suit?

Christmas suit

Just to be on the safe side, stay in on the night of the 24th.

As you may have guessed from some of the names, these are all Icelandic legends, so you may think you’ll be fine if you’re not Icelandic.

But then again, why take chances?

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and best of the holidays to you, no matter what you celebrate! Do you have any fun (or creepy) holiday legends or traditions to share? I’d love to hear them. And if you’re Icelandic, I wish you the best of luck!

Photo credit for this awesome Yule Cat photo goes to Diademgrove.

If you’d like to read a fun horror novella featuring the Yule Lads and Yule Cat, J.G. Faherty’s Winterwood is excellent. I gave it five stars. It’s available on its own as an ebook, or in a trade-paper collection that includes my own novella, The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave. That’s how I discovered it, but it’s not why I love it–it’s just an awesome story.

Scary True Stories: Working the graveyard shift with a ghost

working graveyard shift with ghost scary #truestories

Meet Gordon, who had several spooky encounters with a ghost when he was working at a golf club in the 1970s. This is the first time he’s told his story.

Thanks, Gordon, for sharing it with us.


The sign taped to the clubhouse door said HELP WANTED! APPLY WITHIN. This is exactly what I was looking for after months of job hunting.

“You’re not afraid of ghosts, are ya?” The man laughed.

“No, of course not,” I said.

My new job involved cleaning the golf club from 1 a.m. until 9 a.m. The food-prep lady and the bartender asked me if I’d seen any ghosts, but I figured they were just trying to spook me. I was 17 years old and gullible–or they thought I was.

One night after the bar staff had left, I sat down for a coffee break, hoping to catch a few minutes of a movie on TV. The TV was against the windows that looked over the ninth green. After a few minutes, I noticed the reflection of someone standing behind me in the windows. I quickly checked to see if anyone was there, but I was alone. The front door was still locked, so I thought I’d just imagined it.

A half hour later, I saw it again. This time the figure walked in the opposite direction. Jumping out of my chair, I ran to where I saw the man, but again, no one was there. Maybe I was seeing something outside and only thought it was inside? I put my hands on the window to shield it from the light and peered outside. It must have been a six-foot drop to the sidewalk below. I knew then it hadn’t been anything outside.

A month went by. One night I heard water running in the kitchen. I opened the kitchen door to see the sink’s taps were on. I had finished washing the kitchen an hour before, but hadn’t used the sink. It certainly wasn’t running while I’d been in there.

Then I noticed the boardroom doors were ajar. These doors were always closed and I didn’t even have to clean in there. I pulled them shut.

After tidying up the washrooms, I found the boardroom doors ajar again. Now I thought someone was playing games with me, so I looked inside. It was a sparse room with only a large table and ten chairs. It was cooler compared to the rest of the club house. I pulled the French doors shut again and went on with my business. Those doors became an ongoing problem–every week or so, I’d walk by and they would be ajar.

A month or so later, I heard the startling sound of marbles rolling across the floor directly above me at around 2:30 in the morning. I crept up the stairs, looking for the source of the sound. After about five minutes, I began to walk downstairs when I heard it again, except this time it was on the roof!

Gerry, the weekend guy, told me he saw a man in the changing room wearing a very dated golf sweater and pants tucked into his socks. Gerry told him the building was closed for the day, and the man headed upstairs. Gerry followed him to make sure he’d left, but the man was gone. No sign of him anywhere. There was a 300-foot-long sidewalk to the parking lot and there was no way the elderly man could have made it to the parking lot in a few seconds.

One night after everyone was gone I went to the locker rooms to pick up towels. I went through the changing rooms, picked up a full bin of towels, and pushed the bin into the maintenance office. At 8:30 a.m., I went back to the office to sign out. Towels were hanging off tools and cupboards, the backs of chairs, and piled on the floor. A tingle went up my neck as though someone was watching me. I don’t know how anyone got in there, as the door was locked at all times and I’d been the only one in the building.

The towel incident made me extra nervous for the next few weeks. I started doing my downstairs tasks early, while some of the bartending staff were still around. I don’t know what any of them would have done if I yelled, but it made me feel better knowing someone else was there.

Things were pretty quiet for the next month or so, except for when I found the boardroom doors ajar. This happened every week. Once when I was three steps away they closed right in front of me.

I bolted downstairs and called the police. The cops went upstairs and looked inside, but the room was dark and empty. They said it must have been the wind, but both windows were painted shut. Then they closed the doors halfway to see if they would shut on their own, but they wouldn’t swing closed without a push. At a loss, they said, “Well, must have been the Rossmere ghost.”

Several weeks later, I was taking a break on a beautiful summer evening. Leaning against my car, I enjoyed a cigarette while looking at the building. I could see a mannequin in one of the rooms. Being 17 years old, I thought a mannequin would be a conversation piece and a cool prop. So I waited until the golf pro came in and asked if I could borrow it. He found the key for the room, and as he opened it up, a stale dusty smell filled my nose.

He stopped about halfway in. “What mannequin?”

There was no mannequin in the room. There wasn’t anything that remotely looked like a mannequin.

Blood rushed to my face. “Sorry, I guess I made a mistake.”

I felt sick to my stomach, as I knew I’d smoked a whole cigarette, which takes at least five minutes, looking at that mannequin. It was pale white and didn’t really have any features, just a head and shoulders and torso. I couldn’t see any eyes or nose or mouth. But it was there. The next night I went outside about the same time, as I was convinced I must have seen a reflection. There was no reflection at all.

I quit shortly afterwards.

Some of the men who build the Rossmere Gold course. Credit: Rossmere Country Club

Some of the men who built the Rossmere Golf course. Credit: Rossmere Country Club


In the years since I left, I’ve done some research into the building. It was built during the housing boom, around 1910. By the spring of 1952, Mr. J. DeFehr obtained a permit to operate a funeral parlor there.

In 1956, the Rossmere Golf and Country club was built. The house at 951 Henderson Highway was their new clubhouse. Through the years, many additions were built, but in the center of it all remains the old original house.

What it’s really like to be a ghost hunter

Ghost Scene Investigations at Waverly Hills. Chelsea is the one holding the sunflowers.

Ghost Scene Investigations at Waverly Hills. Chelsea is the one holding the sunflowers.

Welcome to part two of my ghost hunter interview. If you missed part one, where Chelsea, a 25-year-old college student and ghost hunter (formerly of Tulsa’s Ghost Scene Investigations) talks about her experiences at Waverly Hills, click here.

Q. So Chelsea, I’ve gotta ask: how did you get into ghost hunting?

A. I was inadvertently raised to be ‘spookily inclined.’ I grew up watching the Beetlejuice and Addams Family cartoons and paranormal documentaries. It’s what my mom loves and I was always around her as a kid, so it became a part of me. I really thank my mom for ingraining me with this sense of magic for ghosts, ghouls and the mysterious world we live in. The unknown always leaves me with a sense of awe and wonder.

Q. What’s the spookiest place you’ve ever investigated?

A. I think the most active place I ever visited was a wrecker yard. It involves some personal tragedies of the workers, so I can’t say much. It was where I heard my first disembodied voice, which was a faint whistling tune. The scariest experience was probably at a client’s home. It was a possible demonic haunting. Two of my team members heard a growling noise and were touched during a session. At the next rotation, it was my turn to go in that room. Probably was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. And the stupidest. I didn’t tell my mom I went in there when I got home (sorry not sorry, Mom).

 Abandoned stretchers at Waverly Hills, considered one of the world's most haunted sites

Abandoned stretchers at Waverly Hills, considered one of the world’s most haunted sites

Q. What do you say to people who accuse ghost hunters of being fakes or cons?

A. Any team who fakes its evidence or experiences during an investigation should not be investigating. The irresponsible teams make all the good teams look bad. (I have never met or heard of such a team, aside from the ones on TV.)

After I started investigating, I could no longer watch paranormal investigation shows because they are all faked. You just can’t go in expecting something to happen. I think if ghost-hunting TV shows were truthful, they would be very boring and cancelled quickly, so yeah, they have to fake stuff to stay on TV. I’m even wary of paranormal documentaries because I don’t know if I can trust their judgement.

corridor at Waverly Hills by Chelsea Copeland

Q. What do you need in order to be a good ghost hunter?

A. Investigating seems like it’s only right for certain people. Your head has to be in the right place. You can’t believe everything was paranormal and you have to go to certain lengths to disprove the occurrence before you can say it was probably paranormal.

For example, on one investigation, we kept seeing lights on the wall. Just to be sure it wasn’t car lights from the nearby road, one of my team members drove up and down the street as the rest of us analyzed those lights on the wall. You can’t go into this field with a voyeuristic intent, wanting to see something creepy. If you want that, go to a haunted attraction.

You can’t go into this wanting to be on TV, to be scared or whatever else. Unless it’s an incredibly active place (like Waverly or that wrecker yard), the typical investigation is just the team sitting in the dark, talking amongst themselves and listening to each other’s bodily noises. And an active location usually only involves three or four experiences.

Room 502, where a Waverly Hills nurse reportedly killed herself

Room 502, where a Waverly Hills nurse reportedly killed herself

Q. What’s the biggest misconception about ghost hunters?

A. There is so much more work involved in investigations than what is shown. There is the research before the investigation, client interviews, equipment inspection–this all takes several days. During the investigation, you have to set up, which could take an hour, depending on how much equipment there is and how big the location (we had Waverly wired from top to bottom, a feat I can’t believe we accomplished).

Then you have to review the evidence. For every hour of investigation, there are five hours of evidence review. Every time you look away, you have to rewind to see what you missed. Every time you stop listening to the audio, you have to rewind. If your intentions aren’t right, you won’t last the first evidence review.

Q. So if it’s not the lure of seeing an actual ghost, why investigate?

A. Our main motive for investigating is to help and document. Help the people who have to live with the hauntings and maybe even help the spirits themselves. I’m sure it’s incredibly gratifying, after everyone has told you you’re crazy for thinking your house is haunted, to finally have evidence.

Morgue at Waverly Hills

Morgue at Waverly Hills

Q. With advances in technology, it’s strange no one has proven the existence of ghosts. Do you think this will ever happen?

A. I don’t think we’ll ever prove the existence of ghosts. I think it would have too many real-world complications. Religions would fall and our entire lives would change. We base a lot of our decisions with our death in mind. I think we need that unknown in the world.

Does ghost hunting interest you? Would you ever give it a go? Why haven’t we proven the existence of ghosts? Do you have a question for Chelsea?

PS – I’m heading to a writers’ conference, so I’ll be a bit late responding to comments and returning visits. But I will. Please bear with me.

Photos courtesy of Chelsea Copeland

100-word Horror Story

father and daughter

Since tomorrow is Insecure Writers’ Support Group day, I’ll make this post short and sweet.

I was recently challenged to write a 100-word horror story. Feel free to write your own and share it in the comments, if you like.

The questions began every evening. I tried my best to answer them.

 “Daddy, why is the sky blue?”

 I sighed with relief—this one I knew. “It isn’t really—it’s colorless. The reflection of the sun’s rays makes it seem blue.”

 She paused for a moment. Her next question was a little harder.

 “Daddy, where did Mommy go?”

 The thought of her mother still made my chest tight. “Mommy got sick, and the angels took her away so she wouldn’t suffer.”

 Her last question was the most difficult.

 “Daddy, why did you kill me?”

 I wish I had the answer.

The Curse of Tut’s Tomb

Curse of King Tut

An ancient tomb is creepy enough. Add a fatal curse to the mix and you have the makings of a great horror story.

Only in this case, the story might turn out to be true.

British Lord George Carnarvon was obsessed with Egypt, so when archaeologist Howard Carter approached him for a loan, saying he had evidence of an undiscovered pharaoh’s tomb, it was a match made in heaven…or perhaps some other place. Carnarvon of course ignored the warnings of a clairvoyant who told him he would find danger in the tomb. Nothing would keep him from this great adventure!

Carnarvon’s enthusiasm and wealth joined forces with Carter’s skill and knowledge, and eventually the two men found the tomb of King Tutankhamen in 1922. When the tomb’s door was at last opened, a cobra killed Carnarvon’s pet canary. Since the pharaohs wore cobras on their headdresses as a symbol of protection, this was seen as a very bad omen indeed.


Lord Carnarvon

A mere ten days after the men found Tut’s tomb, Carnarvon was dead–from a mosquito bite, of all things. He’d cut the bite while shaving, and it became infected, leading to blood poisoning. Some reports claim that the lights went out in Cairo and Carnarvon’s terrier howled and dropped dead when the lord expired, but that seems a tad farfetched.

However, whether you believe in curses or not, it’s difficult to ignore the rash of mysterious deaths that followed Carnarvon’s. Even those who survived were struck by misfortune. Sir Bruce Ingram, a friend of Carnarvon’s, lost his house in a fire soon after he received a mummified hand from the tomb. When he had the home rebuilt, it was again destroyed–this time by a flood.

A documentary about the tomb reported that 22 people involved in the excavation died from early and mysterious deaths, including the radiologist who examined Tut’s body before collapsing from exhaustion. Another man died from a high fever hours after opening the tomb. Carnarvon’s own wife died of an insect bite. Years later, an archaeologist’s son committed suicide, blaming Tut’s curse for his misfortune. Other causes of death include arsenic poisoning, assassination, and pneumonia.

According to Wikipedia, however, only eight people died within a dozen years. (Still, if I was in a group of less than 60 people and almost 10 were dead in a decade, I’d be nervous.) One of those who survived was Carter, who died of cancer in 1939 at the age of 64. Carter, though skeptical of the curse, was unnerved to see jackals similar to Anubis, ancient Egypt’s guardian of the dead, in 1926. It was the first time he’d ever seen them in over 35 years of working in the African desert.

Howard Carter

Howard Carter

Do you believe there was a curse surrounding Tut’s tomb, or were the mysterious deaths a coincidence? Would you have ignored the warnings, as Carnarvon did? 

PS: If you’re interested in curses, you’ll love reading this story about James Dean’s car.

J is for Jack-o’-Lantern


Traditionally, Jack-o’-Lanterns were not the plump, cheery fellows we know today. Instead, they were designed to scare the shit out of you, as seen above.

Jackie here had an important job. His task was to frighten off uninvited guests.

The spooky gourd got his name from the tale of Stingy Jack, a man who gives new meaning to the term “playing with fire.”

Seems Jack liked messing around with Satan. He invited the devil to have a drink with him, but when the bill arrived, so did Jack’s stingy tendencies. He convinced Satan to turn into a coin that he could use to pay the bill. Apparently the devil wasn’t too bright, and once he was a coin, Jack tucked Satan away in his pocket beside a small cross to keep him from regaining his rightful form.

But carrying the antiChrist in your pocket isn’t the most comfortable thing, as you can imagine, so Stingy Jack set the devil free under the condition that he wouldn’t bother Jack for one year, and wouldn’t claim Jack’s soul once he died.

Once the time of reckoning came a year later, Jack convinced Satan to climb a tree for a piece of fruit. While he was up there, the wily Jack carved a cross into the trunk so the devil couldn’t come down until he promised he’d leave Jack alone for another ten years.

Don’t feel sorry for the antiChrist–he got the last laugh. When Stingy Jack died, God didn’t want him and neither did the devil. So he now roams the night with only a burning coal inside a carved-out turnip to light his way.

The Irish called him “Jack of the Lantern,” which then became “Jack O’Lantern.”

Some believe that the Jack-o-Lanterns originated with All Saints’ Day, and represent Christian souls in purgatory.

This legend is why people in Ireland and Scotland began to make their own versions of Jack’s lantern, carving grotesque faces into turnips, mangelwurzels (whatever they are), potatoes and beets, and placing them by their homes to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits.

Are you familiar with the story of the Jack-o-Lantern? Would you ever opt for a “traditional” version on Halloween? You’d need to give out way less candy.

With files from Irish Central.com

I is for Irish Werewolves


You may be asking yourselves, “Are Irish werewolves really a thing?”

As it turns out, yes!

Back in the 1200s, accounts of werewolves were extremely common in Ireland, to the point the country was known as wolf-land. (This might have something to do with the fact that wolves lived in the Emerald Isles long after they’d been hunted to extinction in England.) The massive Irish wolfhound, which can weigh up to 120 pounds, was bred to deal with the wolf “problem.”

Is that a dog or a horse?

Is that a dog or a horse?

Gerald of Wales, a prominent member of the Christian Church, included one of the most verified Irish werewolf accounts in his Topographia Hibernaie (Irish Topography).

A priest and a boy were traveling from Ulster when the two were stopped by a wolf who could speak like a man. The wolf explained that his village was cursed and that every seven years, two people would turn into werewolves for seven years. If they survived, they would return to human form after the seven years and two other villagers would be stricken with the strange curse.

Unfortunately, the man’s wife–who was living as a werewolf as well–was dying. The well-spoken wolf begged the priest to perform the last rites for her.

The priest agreed, but when he saw the she-wolf, he was reluctant to perform the ceremony on an animal (nice guy). The wolf used his claws to draw the furry skin back from his wife’s head so the priest could see she was an old woman underneath.

After finishing the prayers, the priest and his companion were escorted back to their camp, and in the morning, the wolf man led them out of the forest. As proof of the story’s veracity, Gerald added that the incident was reported to Rome for the pope’s examination. What the pope thought of the tale was unfortunately not recorded, or at least not by Gerald.

Most people know about the infamous witch trials, but werewolf trials are another dark, bloody spot on human history. Between the years of 1520 and 1630, over 30,000 people were accused of being werewolves and tortured until they confessed, only to be staked through the heart. And that was just in France, never mind the rest of Europe!

War and famine in the Middle Ages helped create the evil reputation wolves still suffer from today. Starving animals attacked livestock and feasted on dead soldiers left on the battlefields. Modern scientists blame rabid wolves and dog-and-wolf hybrids for the violent clashes between Europeans and wolves. Healthy wolves will not typically attack humans.

Sadly, we’re a much bigger threat to them than they are to us.

wolf with baby

Do you believe in werewolves? Had you heard Gerald’s wild tale? Do you think it could be true? Are you afraid of wolves?

Check out this amazing video of an Arctic wolf pack visiting some workers in Nunavut, Canada. If you think wolves are vicious and scary, it could change your mind.

H is for (the real) Headless Horseman

Headless Horseman

Many people don’t know the infamous Headless Horseman is not just a legend, but the spirit of an actual person.

In Scotland, members of the MacLaine clan from the district of Lochbuie still cringe in fear when they hear the sound of clattering hooves at night.

Whenever their family sees this spectral horse and its headless rider, it means death will follow on swift heels.

Back when he still had his head, the horseman was named Ewen of the Little Head, ironically enough. Ewen was the son and heir of a MacLaine chief, but he couldn’t wait to get his hands on his father’s loot. As a result, there was quite a bit of infighting between the two.

This was 1538, and in those days, there was only one logical way to resolve familial disagreements of this kind: a battle. During the skirmish, Ewen was beheaded by one of his father’s followers. Since then, and well into the 20th century, many witnesses have seen the Headless Horseman coming to claim the souls of the Lochbuie MacLaines.

MacLaines confronted by the terrible vision of a headless warrior with an upraised sword will not live to tell about it. The hoof prints of the man’s horse are proof that he was there.

When Ewen of the Little Head began stalking his kinsfolk after death, he was immediately recognized. He still rode his beloved dun-colored pony, he wore the same green cloak as he had in life, and he had the same small head, which he now carries with him.

Have you heard the story of Ewen of the Little Head? Do you believe the Headless Horseman exists? What would you do if your own family had the same kind of curse?