Book of Ghosts & Ghouls

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Arrival of Book Six!

From ‘The Caller’ – Illustration by M.S.Corley  (Copyright M.S. Corley)

Book Six is coming together fast and here we have the lineup…

Book Six explores the uncanny, the surreal, the dark reaches of the imagination and the space between the ordinary world and the folklore and superstition that hangs around in the peripheries of daily life. In the case of some of these tales, there is almost no difference, both worlds are one and the same.

In Carly Holmes’ ‘Heartwood’, a mother with branches for arms and bark for skin struggles to retain this strange affliction and is betrayed by her son in this dark story. Phil Jones’ ‘An Eclipse of Moths’, a furniture maker discovers some peculiar fungi grown overnight on a cabinet he’s been making, perhaps it’s the stifling summer heat that causes their appearance? But then other things arrive…  On a family visit to the Philippines, Jill, a young expectant mother, becomes convinced she is being pursued by an Aswang – a witch whose long thin tongue will suck out her fetus in ‘Tik-Tik’, Neil Gravino’s contemporary portrayal of this terrifying Philippine folktale. A family bring their mother home to die in Laura Maria Grierson’s story ‘At the Stroke’. The grandfather clock, stopped for a long time, suddenly begins to tick, but why? In Gary McCrossan’s ‘The last Laugh’, enter the seedy world of The Golden Nugget, an amusement arcade at the end of Yorkshire’s Bridley Pier, where an automated laughing clown is linked to Louis the change operator’s disappearance… Bernadette, minding some eerily quiet children, decides to liven things up with a game of hide and seek but in this small terraced house they are nowhere to be found. When eventually they do appear, exactly in the room the game started, everything is altered and she begins to question what she had seen before – and how many children were there, really? In Reggie Chamberlain-King’s uncanny story, ‘Five or Six Children’. Louise Lloyd’s ‘The Dark Circle’, a young anxious widow steps out to attend a séance in the hopes of reaching her beloved husband but ‘the circle’ is less welcoming than she hoped… Robert Davies’ story ‘The Caller’ tells the tale of Marlin James who lives alone on the top of Y Drws. A freezing cold night brings a needy traveller to his door, but should he let her in? Old Sir Edward Culverin lives alone in a run-down stately home, woken by a large cracking noise, driven to find out what could have made such a ghastly sound he finds himself following an old passageway in a mausoleum which leads him down into the hot depths of the earth in Chip Limeburner’s tale, ‘The Folly’.

Pre-orders available soon… or  even better, subscribe now and never miss an issue ever again! Subscribe Here

 

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The Ghastling’s Best Baby Names For Vampires…

 

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So you’ve sucked the life out of each other and now you’re bringing another little blood-sucker into the world. So what do you call them? Here are some ideas for your little horror…

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For Girls:

  1. Carmilla or, Mircalla – the female vampire from Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s early Gothic novella, Carmilla, pub. 1871-72.
  2. Lilith or, Lilitu – from ancient Babylonian. She was considered a demon, often subsiding on the blood of babies.
  3. Ashmodai – Jewish, daughter of the demon king who snatches the breath of a man who has betrayed her.
  4. Lamashtu – Babylonian goddess with vampiric tendencies.
  5. Amaia – Basque for End.
  6. Kali – Indian for Dark Goddess.
  7. Koko – Native American for Night or Black Foot.
  8. Persephone – Old Greek for bringer of death, queen of the underworld.
  9. Malvolia – Italian for ill-will.
  10. Zillah – Hebrew for shade,shadow, gloom.

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For Boys: 

  1. Dip – Catalan myth, evil vampire dog.
  2. Izcacus – Hungarian meaning blood drinker.
  3. Brandeis – German, meaning dweller on a burned clearing.
  4. Brone – from the Irish, meaning sorrowful.
  5. Eilif – Scandinavian for immortal.
  6. Karayan – Armenian for ‘the dark one’.
  7. Lefu – African for Death.
  8. Paris – From Greek mythology, Abductor.
  9. Tariq – Arabic for night visitor.
  10. Riri Yaka – Sri Lankan blood demon. He tore his mother’s breast and emerged into the human world as a demon killing her.

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So many good ones, which one will you choose…?! For more, see here: Vampire names and Vampire folklore

The Ghastling: Proud Sponsors of the Female Ghost, since 2013

Ghastling3_1_cover-04Happy International Women’s Day to all our Spooks & Ghouls! 

Rebecca, Nathaniel & Maria

A Corpse Candle…

 

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Wishing everyone in Wales and beyond a very happy St David’s Day! As some of you may be aware, the Ghastling resides in Wales, a land rich in spooks, folklore and legend. In the latest issue, Book Five, we feature a peculiar Welsh story of the ‘Corpse Candle’ – or Canwyll Corph, a light like that of a candle, which was said to issue from the house where a death was about to occur and take the course of the funeral procession to the burial place.  This was the usual way of proceeding, but this mysterious light was also thought to wend its way to the abode of a person about to die… to read more, click Here to get your copy.

Whatever you’re up to today, we hope it’s full of legends and whispers!

From the land of dragons and leeks,

Best wishes.

Rebecca Parfitt

Editor

Feast Your Eyes on Book Five!

Just a few more days left to preorder this deliciously ghoulish delight… Here are a few pics from the forthcoming issue… guaranteed to scare you! Order your copy Here

 

 

Beguiling Artwork in Book Five

 

 

Our featured illustrator for this issue is Anouk van der Meer, her dreamy and mesmerising images send the reader off into a strange and mystical place: Fairy Glen of Claire Savage’s story ‘the Flame Keepers’ where ghostly apparitions float in the woods at certain times of the year and people are spirited away, or are they taken? Don’t miss this very special issue, you can purchase it Here

Terrify January: Book Five is on its way…

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So in this, the somewhat remarkable milestone of the fifth issue, I am happy to introduce the following stories to you:

In Bryan Marshall’s ‘the Grin Thief’, grief plants a black seed into the mind of a woman who loses her family to a terrible accident and so begins a ‘frightful scheme’… Callum McAllister’s story ‘the Smog Geist’, a young girl loses her way home from school amidst a thick yellow fog, beware the stranger approaching… Parineeta Singh’s ‘Crocuses in Spring, 1958’ tells of a nanny employed to take care of a troubled little boy whose imaginings become unnerving… Enter the heady, strange Fairy Glen of Claire Savage’s story ‘the Flame Keepers’ where ghostly apparitions float in the woods at certain times of the year and people are spirited away, or are they taken? In Joao Morais ‘Corpse Candle’, a young girl is sent to fetch the doctor for her gravely ill father, but her mother has filled her head with tales and warnings of a witch that may obstruct her route through the woods, ‘whatever you do, don’t look back and don’t stop walking. Get out of the woods as fast as you can.’… Enter a Conjurer’s tupenny show where promises of raising the dead before the audience’s very eyes are made in Kristy Kerruish’s story, ‘the Conjurer’. In Mark Blayney’s peculiar tale, ‘Sexistential’: ever wondered what it is like to actually be a ghost, to live eternally as you died? This story explores the complex relationships of ghosts who, ‘cannot get physically ill – but problems of the mind are frequent…’ Renee Anderson’s ‘Medium Black’ tells the story of a tragic death of a Victorian Medium. Ectoplasm, conjurer of spirits, or mistress of invention? But what killed her? In Melanie Marshall’s sad story, ‘His Garden’, an academic mourns the end of a relationship, finds herself wandering the gardens of a large stately home, she meets an old woman and follows her along a dark path. A strange exile from her empty flat, her abandoned life, she wonders, is she ‘fated to be always out in the garden’… Jennie Owen’s ‘Alternative Therapy’ brings a new meaning to ‘carrying your demons’… Catrin Kean’s terrifying ghost story, ‘Blue’, a single mother, despairing, is offered a fresh start, a new home by the sea, when one day a stranger arrives, soaking wet, at her door…

Preorder and get your copy before the ghosts do…

Best wishes for this dark January,

Rebecca, Nathaniel & Maria

 

Wishing You A Ghastling New Year

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Dear Ghastlings,

As it is the last day of 2016, I reflect on the year just about to pass and the year just coming and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has ‘liked’, ‘bought’, ‘tweeted’, ‘contributed’, ‘illustrated’, ‘followed’, ‘submitted’, ‘written’, ‘recommended to a friend’ and ‘subscribed’ to the magazine. 2016 has been the best year for The Ghastling so far and it is all thanks to you. I am very excited to be working on the 5th issue which will be with us very soon and I am very much looking forward to seeing what 2017 will bring.

I would also like to extend my thanks and gratitude to my most marvellous team of spooks: Maria and Nathaniel, whose energy and passion for this project, this beautiful magazine, has meant we have thrived to produce something truly special. We all work very hard to bring this to you and it is always enormously exciting to see you enjoying the finished product.

Sending you blessings for a peaceful 2017 (and of course, a little bit of horror too – of the good kind, mind.) And wishing you and yours a spooky New Year.

Spiders, cobwebs and capes,

Rebecca Parfitt

Editor, The Ghastling

 

Announcement!

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We have been very busy over the last few months preparing and selecting content for Book Five. So we are pleased to confirm that the list of authors are as follows: Catrin Kean, Joao Morais, Mark Blayney, Bryan Marshall, Renee Anderson, Claire Savage, Melanie Marshall, Callum McAllister, Kristy Kerruish, Parineeta Singh and Jennie Owen. Illustrators for this issue are: Anouk van der Meer and Aaron Howdle.

I would also like to thank everybody who submitted work and if you didn’t make it through this time please don’t be disheartened, you are always welcome to try again.

Image above is a sneak peek into the forthcoming issue! Pre-orders will be available shortly after Christmas.

With best wishes,

Rebecca

Editor

The Editor is Reading…

The editor is now down to the shortlist of stories for the forthcoming issue… successful submissions will be notified by the end of the week…

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