Lex “Lonehood” Nover is a master storyteller. He’s had years of experience penning plays and articles capturing the imaginations of audiences. Since 2002, he’s worked as the Web Producer for Coast to Coast AM, one of America’s highest rated overnight radio shows. In his first full-length non-fiction book, Nightmareland: Travels at the Borders of Sleep, Dreams, and Wakefulness, Nover thoroughly documents the strange occurrences we encounter when we sleep.
Nover’s writing skills pay off in this exhaustively researched and eerily entertaining book. Nover weaves folklore and anecdotes with scientific research regarding sleep, sleep disorders, and sleep behavior. Nover’s sense of humor is reflected in such subtitles as “Beware the Ambien Zombies,” “A Salad of Sound,” and “Back at the (Paranormal) Ranch.”
Rosemary Ellen Guiley, who died this past July at the age of 69, states “A must-have book!” She’s correct; however, people interested in general sleep issues not just paranormal enthusiasts will find value inside. Nover retells stories of average people experiencing the weirdest things while asleep. Then Nover attempts to explain what happened! He completes the story by adding context and science. How incredibly novel in the paranormal field!
Illustrations accompany each of the nine chapters. All are in black and white and operate as artwork inspired by the chapter’s focus. The book feels like the field journal of a scientist attempting to unpack the complexity of sleep, contemplating every possible theory.
Nightmareland is a compendium on sleep. It should be on everyone’s bookshelf.
Paranormal News Week of February 19, 2018
ParaNews for the Week of February 19, 2018.
- Season 3 of Paranormal Lockdown debuts in the UK on March 1st. Co-star Katrina Weidman tweeted out the news. Paranormal Lockdown airs on Destination America, which is owned by Discovery Communications, LLC. The show will air in the UK on Quest Red TV.
- RH Stavis’ Sister of Darkness: The Chronicles of a Modern Exorcist debuted as Amazon’s #1 New Release in the Demonology and Satanism category. It presently sits as #14 in the Occult and Paranormal category. Read my review.
- Russian police were called to a residential home the Maraksa village in Siberia when a couple reported possible paranormal activity. The married couple has a 15-year-old adopted son. The family of three experienced 2 days of strange activity before calling. They reported furniture falling and items moving about. A priest from the Russian Orthodox Church prayed with the family and blessed the home. He stayed the night. Initially the prayers worked; however, the police report the activity has resumed.
Sister of Darkness: The Chronicles of a Modern Exorcist
“I’m just Rachel Stavis, the exorcist next door.”
Self-professed “Goth Barbie” is not your stereotypical exorcist. She’s not a Catholic priest. In fact, she’s non-denominational. She’s incredibly likeable. But most importantly: She’s genuine.
Exorcists need not be Catholic priests. Hollywood likes portraying exorcists as male priests. It’s an oversimplification yet one that audiences expect. Peruse any motion picture listing of movies on exorcisms, and you will find males taking the lead. In reality, women are fully capable of performing exorcisms. Enter R.H. Stavis.
Rachel Stavis breaks the mold and her semi-autobiographical book highlighting some of her most interesting cases showcases her skills as a modern-day exorcist. Sister of Darkness: The Chronicles of a Modern Exorcist, published this month, is part biography, part educational reference book. Every paranormal investigator should own a copy highlighting the invaluable information contained within.
Stavis is a professional writer. She has authored 4 books under her initials R.H. Stavis. She is most known for creating the backstory for Lara Croft, Tomb Raider. Yet, something kept tugging her into the paranormal realm.
From an early age, Stavis has seen entities, abstract smoke or blobs floating or attached to humans. She pushed these images aside until finally giving in and embracing whom she would become: Professional Exorcist.
Sister of Darkness: The Chronicles of a Modern Exorcist is a refreshing look at the work an exorcist performs. Stavis offers sage wisdom explaining her classification system on the entities she sees. And it makes sense. All of it makes sense.
Sister of Darkness is well written, as well as, well laid out. Stavis’ chatty nature makes for an enjoyable read, even though the topic is extremely serious.
Stavis’ book is a cautionary tale about the dark powers continually working to devour and to disrupt. Heed her warnings. Most importantly, practice what she preaches.
Sister of Darkness: The Chronicles of a Modern Exorcist is available online in hardback and electronically. Follow Rachel on Twitter @RHStavis to see where she is signing books.
The Best Christmas Gifts Evoke the Horror of Christmas’ Past
The Spirits of Christmas: The Dark Side of the Holidays, written by Sylvia Shults, debuted last month, appearing in independent bookstores across Illinois. It can now be purchased online directly from the publisher, American Hauntings Ink (https://squareup.com/store/american-hauntings-ink) for $16. The 240 page compendium is overly ambitious—bulging with tales. However, book lovers live by the adage: More is actually, well, more—and the more tales the better! This book is packed with domestic and international folktales and historical events occurring around the Christmas season. Each of the sections could stand as its own title. But for the 2017 Christmas Season, Ms. Shults’ book will warm the bodies circled around the hearth celebrating “the weirdness that has swirled around the Christmas season for many centuries.”
Ms. Shults rarely delves into any paranormal events circulating around these horrific stories. Instead, she leaves that to the reader. She does, however, include a lot of background information for most of the stories. The organization of the contents is as important as the stories themselves. Ms. Shults groups the stories into themes: traditions; creepy characters; things that bump in the night; natural disasters turned horrific because of the season; ghost sightings; and finally ghost stories inspired from Christmas. Some are true stories written to encourage readers to Google the events themselves. Others are folktales that were believed at the time by the people who experienced the phenomena. All are fascinating. The lengths vary as to the topic.
Sylvia Shults is a gifted storyteller. She probably honed her skill by working as a Library Assistant in her busy public library system. Library staff often “booktalk” titles, a practice of giving a brief overview of a book ending with a teaser to hook the reader to check it out. Booktalks are incredibly popular and very easy for a natural-born storyteller. Ms. Shults has a knack for telling stories. Unfortunately, I would have preferred hearing more stories in her voice instead of the original source material.
The book acts as a condensed encyclopedia of horror tales set in December. They cover centuries and continents. While reading, I was drawn to America’s worst hotel fire at the Winecoff Hotel, in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 7th, 1946. The fire paved the way for better fire safety measures; however, it took the death of 119 people—some high school students—for these changes to be enacted. I reside in Atlanta and know much about this tragedy and hotel. (It has since reopened and is a gorgeous boutique hotel.)
Equally interesting was the story on the Silver Bridge Collapse on December 15, 1967. This event is widely seen as the last credible sighting of the West Virginian legend Mothman (see my blogs regarding this geographically-contained phenomenon).
The book also contains quite a few unsolved mysteries and murders. These tales may be the ones to keep readers up at night.
Ms. Shults takes creative license by embellishing some stories; however, they are done to humanize the victims. Further, I wished the citations for sources corresponded with the tales instead of in a bulk listing at the end. That’s the academic in me!
This is the perfect gift for any paranormal enthusiast or history buff who is fascinated by unsolved mysteries or horrific events.
For more information on the author: https://sylviashults.wordpress.com/
To purchase the book online: https://squareup.com/store/american-hauntings-ink