The Haunting of Your Bedside Table

In this interview, Darby asks the hard questions – we talk about common ghost story themes, racism, and the library copies of my book going missing! Our interview follows Casey’s Halloween reads, starting around the 17:45 mark.

Meet Me in the Stacks is Vancouver Island Regional Library’s podcast. Each episode is unique, but almost always has a book recommendation segment. I’ve added Casey’s Halloween recommendations to my reading list for next year.

Here’s a synopsis of the episode! You can find Meet Me in the Stacks wherever you get your podcasts, or you can listen to the episode by clicking on the image below: Continue reading “The Haunting of Your Bedside Table”

The Missing and Unexplained Podcast with Tyler Hooper

The Haunting of Vancouver Island is four years old! It’s hard to believe. Interest in the book–as well as my perspective on local ghost lore–hasn’t waned as much as I thought it would. This Halloween, I was interviewed for two podcasts and will be doing a large Zoom presentation for kids for Vancouver Island Regional Library on October 26th.

The Missing and Unexplained interview with Tyler Hooper was a lot of fun. It was the first time I’ve spoken about the Valencia story almost exclusively. The Valenica is a legendary West Coast phantom ship. There’s a chapter about her in The Haunting of Vancouver Island. In the interview, I explain the difference between a ghost ship and phantom ship and talk about the haunted vessel the Melanope–as a teaser for the sequel I’m working on, The Haunting of British Columbia (working title). Continue reading “The Missing and Unexplained Podcast with Tyler Hooper”

Halloween Bike Ride in Victoria, British Columbia

Here’s a photograph I took of Graham Street tonight. I don’t want to spoil anything and say it isn’t anything supernatural. It’s too cool of a Halloween image for me to do that.

I was looking forward to Halloween this year. Being the end of the month, I only had 7 km left to make up my 100 km-a-month biking goal. Staying active has been good for me, though it is hard to make my goal some months with my nerve damage, and everything that is affected by that. But I knew tonight would be different than other month ends due to Halloween. If I timed it right, I’d probably get to see some Halloween displays, which to me are works of art. My greatest regret is that I didn’t bring my camera. Just my phone.

I haven’t altered any of these photos except to straighten two crooked ones. Two others at the end of this post are somewhat strange. If nothing else, they’re cool to look at. Continue reading “Halloween Bike Ride in Victoria, British Columbia”

Urban Legend

The Vanishing¬†Hitchhiker by Jan Harold Brunvand defines an Urban Legend as a “realistic story concerning recent events (or alleged events) with an ironic or supernatural twist.” The teller of the story believes the legend is true, and that the events actually happened to someone just out of reach–to a friend of a friend, for example, or to somebody’s relative.

An Urban Legend is not believed to be true by academics or investigators. This is often determined because the same events are said to have happened in several different geographical areas to more than one person. The stories will often be similar to one another, but will have contrasting details such as where, when, and to who the events happened to. Continue reading “Urban Legend”

Ghosts of Mount Tzouhalem and Stone Butter Church

On July 21st, I was in the Cowichan Valley for the filming of Harold Joe’s new documentary, Tzouhalem. Produced by Les Bland Productions and by Harold himself, the film will attempt to unpack the oral stories and urban legends surrounding the near-mythic figure of Chief Tzouhalem, who Mount Tzouhalem is named after.

What makes this project unique is that Harold is a Quamichan traditional Gravedigger. The Quamichan Nation acknowledges the existence of human and nonhuman spirit entities, so strict protocol is observed during funerals in order to avoid problems with either. Harold’s role often calls upon him to repatriate human remains and to help disembodied ancestors find peace.

Chief Tzouhalem had a complicated relationship with this same spirit world. So who better to investigate the legends surrounding him than someone familiar with his teachings? Tzouhalem was a member of the nation Harold is, as well, which means Harold has access to oral histories no other investigator would ever be able to acquire. Continue reading “Ghosts of Mount Tzouhalem and Stone Butter Church”

The Best Ghost Stories in Fiction

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 1843.

Christmas used to be the time of year to tell ghost stories, both in Western cultures and in many other parts of the world during those longest nights of the year.¬† Charles Dickens’ tale of a miserly man who finds redemption through the help of undead spirits is a timeless holiday classic that has never been out of print. Lucky for the equally Scrooge-like amongst you, this haunting novella can be read for free online at several archive sites.

The Turn of the Screw and Other Tales by Henry James (1898). 2010.

Henry James is often said to have been one of the greatest writers in the English language and his ghost stories are still considered some of the best ever written. In Turn of the Screw, a governess looks after two children on a remote estate while their single father works in the city. She begins to see two apparitions on the property, and slowly comes to believe the children are communicating with the ghosts she feels are evil. This Broadview edition includes an introduction and appendixes that will probably haunt you for the rest of your days. Containing samples of James’ relevant nonfiction, his inspirations, reception, and “Study of the Supernatural in Nineteenth-Century England and America.” Continue reading “The Best Ghost Stories in Fiction”