Happy Halloween Gibberers! This post brought to you in part by Rick Dyer… Just kidding.
While attending to some research on the Balkan War, Bulgarian student Filip Ganov was called upon to photograph something strange, yet fairly familiar in the local culture. After arriving at Macedonian farmer Trayche Draganov’s home, Ganov was eerily surprised to find a straw bedded wood crate with an almost mummified skull of what Draganov claimed to be a Varkolak, or werewolf.
While tending he field, Trayche said he dug up the wooden crate that, at the time, was wrapped and fastened shut with a gold chain. Fascinated, Granov asked to confiscate the skull for further testing and investigation, but Trayche simply refused allowing only pictures to be taken at this time (This by the way is the cause for the Rick Dyer comment at the head of the post.)
Some of the best theory from officials after looking at the photos claim that it could have possibly been a wolf or K9 of some sort that suffered from Paget’s disease, a condition that can increase skull size and shape. However, until Mr. Draganov decides to submit something for official DNA testing this will remain mystery. So far I have heard nor seen any report as to what the lettering is on the lid of the box. It is believed to be a form of Cryllic script, which is known in the Bulgaria and Macedonia area.
In local folklore, werewolves, or Varkolak’s, were typically found on a Saturday laying about their graves. Upon capture they were decapitated and the body burned for proper disposal and banishment of the monster. By looking at what Trayche has uncovered, this was a successful capture and kill.
Personally, due to the fact that the farmer will not hand over the specimen I have to believe that this is a clever hoax in time for Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I love this, however by looking to the right, you can’t tell me that Draganov’s skull doesn’t kind of look like a baboon skull.
On one final note, I had to laugh at a comment that was recorded by Trayche Draganov, it reads; “Many of my neighbors are angry that I disturbed the varkolak (werewolf), they say that I will be reborn as a werewolf. If that is now my fate, so be it. What is done is done.” – Ancient origins.
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Title: Halloween Tales
Editor: Kate Jones
Publisher: Omnium Gatherum
Number of Pages: 230
Format: Print (Paperback)
Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 stars aligned
Some of the best pens of the Los Angeles chapter of the Horror Writers Association have been conjured by Omnium Gatherum to summon tales of fear and fancy for this Halloween season. 19 tales from literary horror veterans and newbies to the genre that together make a wonderful coffee table read for the season. As you can see by my rating I wasn’t too impressed with the contents of this book, however there are few pieces of sweet fiction in this candy sack that outshine the other sour suckers and kept me going through the collection in hopes of finding other good pieces at the bottom of the bag.
- Lisa Morton – The Devil Came to Mamie’s on Hallowe’en *
- Michael Paul Gonzalez – Worth the Having
- Hal Bodner – Donuts
- Terry M. West – The Hairy Ones *
- Janet Joyce Holden – The Deal
- John Palisan0 – Outlaws of Hill County
- David Winnick – The Cross I Bear *
- Kate Jonez – By the Book
- R. B. Payne – Ankou, King of the Dead
- Steven W. Booth – The Lurker *
- Maria Alexander – Harvest of Flames
- Eric Miller – The Patch
- E.S. Magill – Beneath It All
- Tim Chizmar – Farkleberry Forest Cemetery
- Robin Wyatt Dunn – Halloween in East Hampton
- R.B. Payne – Hollywood Ending
- P.S. Gifford – Johnny Jackson’s School Dare
- Xach Fromson – The Old Magic
- Nancy Holder – Dead Devil in the Freezer
Unfortunately there weren’t many of these stories that left me chilled or stunned. If not for stories like Terry M. West’s “The Hairy Ones“, and bits and pieces of Steven W. Booth’s “The Lurker” I would not have felt those feelings at all. However I must give full credit and appreciation to Lisa Morton’s “The Devil Came to Mamie’s on Hallowe’en” and David Winnick’s “The Cross I Bear. ” Those two tales were two amongst a few that were narrated or seen through the eyes of a child or early teen, and I found those stories to be the most interesting. The innocence in Mr. Winnick’s story really left me in aw, though some have said it was funny, to me it was honest and dark.
Though it’s not a book I would recommend to everyone, I would say it is a nice piece in a collection of stories to have on hand for this time of year. Al 19 tales are easily digestible, and short enough to read in one sitting. True, some are better than others, but that is how a well built anthology is, unfortunately I wish the stories were a little bit more balanced. By that I mean I felt all the greats were in the front of the book and not so much in the middle or tail end. Either way it was good to dive into some suitable fiction for the month and season and am glad to have been introduced to a few of these authors fiction. I will be keeping an eye out for them.
If you have checked out Halloween Tales, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.
Happy late Halloween. It’s not quite “yesterday” anymore, but this gibberer is here to bring you some words about The Drabblecast’s newest “spooktacular” episode, #221 The Year of the Rabbit, by An Owomoyela.
This is the fourth year that we have been fortunate to have DC bring us another great tale to put us in the mood for proper worship and sacrificing… um yeah. It took me a few times to make sure I got what I needed out of the story to make out what I thought of it. So, here it goes. I couldn’t help but notice, that this feature story, along with the past few others have still been sharing that sort of end times feel. This one breaks away in a sense, as it goes, I believe, in the direction of possible alien take over, or a conquering from dark spirits/demons.
The fancy voice work between Norm Sherman and Kimi Alexander, is nothing short of what is expected from the two professionals. With the interview/interrogation style of the reading, I couldn’t help but be reminded of DC episode ~ #155 The Second Conquest of Earth. The description of the darkness being felt, tasted, and smelt was something that caught my attention upon my first listen.
Though it may not be as scary or poked more fun at something, like most DC episodes, it got its point across. Norm’s great rant about nonsensical word play when it comes to this time of year is great. Just want to remind you Norm, it’s only going to get worse until the New Year.
All in all I liked this one, though I feel that the last couple of episodes haven’t really lived up to that standard that most DC listeners might expect. That is solely my opinion, so don’t get your panties in a twist if you don’t agree, just leave a comment so we can discuss it. This one gets 3 out of 5 stars in alignment from me.