Glasgow Necropolis

necropolis50,000 burials have taken place at the Necropolis and most of 3,500 tombs have been constructed up to 14 feet deep, with stone walls and brick partitions.

On the top of the Necropolis tombs were blasted out of the rockface. In 1877 the Molendinar Burn, running under the Bridge of Sighs, was culverted. This burn in which St Mungo was said to have fished for salmon is now underground on its way to the Clyde.

The Glasgow Necropolis still has a wonderful atmosphere and still attracts many visitors both locally and from all over the world.

Alien Skull?

alien skullAn archaeological discovery of 13 Conehead-shaped skulls in Mexico has people recalling the film ‘Coneheads’.

The bones, which are about 1,000 years old, dating back to 945 A.D. to 1308 A.D., were discovered accidentally during a dig for an irrigation system in the northwest state of Sonora in Mexico.

While it’s not unheard of for archaeological sites to be unearthed during modern excavations, the misshapen skulls discovered on the site are fairly uncommon, especially as far north as Sonora.

Time: Ancient Conehead-like ‘Alien’ Skulls Unearthed in Mexico

It’s Raining Bones

Lee made ten Dracula films, no info sSt Mary’s church in Whitby is falling down the cliff it’s perched upon. Bram Stoker was inspired to use the cemetery as the backdrop for some of Dracula’s horror scenes after visiting the North Yorkshire town in the 1890s.

In the story, Dracula attempts to relocate from Transylvania to England, but his ship runs aground in Whitby in a storm.

Stoker hit upon the idea of the count while reading a history book at Whitby library, and made St Mary’s part of the story after being struck by the way the bats circled the building.

whitby church dracula

The church is now falling down the cliff as the cliff itself collapses, throwing bits of old body parts and coffins down the slopes onto the houses below. Useful if you’re growing veggies in the back garden I would imagine.

Read The Full Story At The Mail Online


The Scariest House In Spain?

The Bélmez Faces are an alleged paranormal phenomenon in a private house in Spain which started in 1971 when residents claimed images of faces appeared in the concrete floor of the house. These images have continuously formed and disappeared on the floor of the home.

Various faces have appeared and disappeared at irregular intervals since 1971 and have been frequently photographed by the local newspapers and curious visitors. Many Bélmez residents believe that the faces were not made by human hand. Some investigators believe that it is a thoughtographic phenomenon subconsciously produced by the owner of the house, María Gómez Cámara.

Here’s one of them here. Spooky.

face in the floor

The Faces Of Belmez on Wikipedia

Vincent – Short Film by Tim Burton – 1982

Vincent Tim Burton FilmI’ve no idea how I missed this after all these years, because it’s awesome. Tim Burton doing his thing way back in 1982, full of all the zany goodness that we’ve all come to love.

My favourite Tim Burton is probably Ed Wood, also my favourite film with Johnny Depp in it.

Anyway, check out this cartoon if you’ve never seen it – there’s worse things to do with six and a half minutes! Not only that, it’s actually narrated by Vincent Price, and as it’s all about a little boy who keeps pretending to be Vincent Price that’s pretty damn cool!

Coda: Ten Questions for The Next Big Thing

coda book(Note: Although Coda was the working title, the novel has now changed its name to ‘Recital’)

As I’ve been telling a few people about my book and hanging out in certain literary circles online, I’ve come to meet other like minded people. So it was pretty cool that another author, Alverdine Farley, asked for some more contributors to her part in The Next Big Thing, which is a blogging chain – you answer the ten questions about your book on your own blog, and then pose the questions to another five authors of your choosing.

These are the first questions I’ve ever answered about my book so I thought it was a great idea. At the end of the blog you can see my next five nominated authors (there might be less than five to start with, I need to find some more!)

So here are my answers to the ten questions.

1. What is the working title of your book?

The working title of the book is ‘Coda’. I’ve also added the tagline ‘A musical horror story’. I think that sums it up pretty nicely. A ‘coda’ in musical terminology is the end part of a piece of music, based on the previous sections but taking them to a final conclusion. The story in Coda is about repeating cycles and for the search for a conclusion, and as the book is centred on the world of classical music it is a fitting title.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’ve had the idea of people being possessed by music in my mind for so long I can’t really remember how the idea started. I’m sure however that it stems from the legends that arose from the performing musical prodigies of the 17th and 18th centuries. Both Paganini and Liszt were thought to have almost superhuman powers in their heyday and some people thought it was the work of the devil and that they played as if they were possessed.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Horror. But as it’s a pretty big genre I’d say it’s at the Steven King end, as opposed to the James Herbert end. Not necessarily gory. But scary. I could also throw in the word ‘gothic’ in there, at a pinch.


4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Apart from The Shining and The Omen, most of my favourite horror films have unknown actors in them. Let’s remember that Alien had the then unknown Sigourney Weaver as the lead actress – it was one of the reasons it worked. My favourite modern horror film of recent times is the original ‘Let The Right One In’, again featuring a cast of unknowns, in the UK at least. So I’d go with great undiscovered talent every time. Although if people like Jack Nicholson (The Shining) and Gregory Peck (The Omen) agree to be in the film of the book, it’s not like you’re going to complain, is it?

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Classical pianist possessed by spirit of deceased composer – alarming consequences.

6. Will your book be self-published or be represented by an agency?

Currently I’m thinking self-published. However, that may change once I hire an editor and get feedback. I’m happy either way. I’m well-versed in self-publishing so it doesn’t bother me.

Backmasking Pentagram

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I’m still writing it. I’ll let you know. I’m aiming to have the first draft by the end of March. You can quote me on that, especially when it’s April.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Not in my genre, but out of it – The Piano Teacher. However, you’d need to throw the film Black Swan at it and sprinkle it with gothic hundreds and thousands.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As a pianist turned composer I’ve spent an awful lot of time with some brilliant performers, and I’m used to the hours of practicing, lessons and commitment that it takes to be any good. This book is a way of exploring some of the more negative aspects of being a classical musician – the hardship, the rejection, the confusion, loss of identity, love-hate relationships with teachers, parents – I could go on. It sounds nice in the concert hall, but once you get to a certain level it can all become pretty weird – and for many people it started being weird around the age of 5, similar to gymnasts who swear they love gymnastics but if truth be told have never known anything different.

gaspard de la nuit

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

If you read my book you may never look at a piano the same way again, let alone touch it.

For the next round of The Next Big Thing I’m tagging my good friend Sally Morgan who has just finished work on her first novel The Psychic Detective Agency, and my other good friend Jon Saint Germain, author of Blood Debt. (I’ll be adding some more names to this list very soon!)

Sex With A Ghost

mummy ghostHave you ever had sex with a ghost? Probably not. Although you might have – what about if it happened in your sleep?

The Succubus and the Incubus are both types of evil spirits that have sex with people. In this fascinating article ossuary expert Paul Koudounaris explains how people use mummys in the real world to help themselves with life’s little dissapointments:

“One of the more outlandish stories is about a guy who got to be called “pene grande,” which means “big dick.” He was a mummy famed in life for having a big penis. People would go down to the Palermo Catacombs and treat him as the patron saint of big cocks. Finally a newlywed woman came to see him because she was married to a guy who was not well-endowed. She took a cloth and rubbed it on the mummy’s dick, and then rubbed it on her husband’s dick. The next time she had sex with her husband, his penis seemed larger and fuller and she was about to orgasm except that at that moment she looked up and saw it was actually the ghost on top of her. Everyone thought she was crazy, but then it happened again the next time she had sex. They had to set up an exorcism for this ghost.”

You can read the full article here: Bones, Ghosts, and Paul Koudounaris

Crossbones Graveyard

Cross Bones Graveyard near Borough High Street in London is a pauper’s burial ground with a legend going back to medieval times. Prostitutes were buried here in the 16th Century as they were forbidden to be buried with the usual rites. They were often stacked on top of each other, and beggars and thieves used to pick through the graves, gathering what little they could of any value from the deceased.

It was also called a ‘Single Women’s Churchyard’ and between the 12th and 17th Century, the whole surrounding area was controlled by the Bishop Of Winchester, and as it was beyond the reach of normal governance all kinds of things were allowed that were forbidden in other parts of the city.

You can read more about this fascinating burial site and the legends surrounding it at the Cross Bones Graveyard site.