The First Wave of Valancourt’s Paperbacks from Hell

Last year, Valancourt books teamed up with Grady Hendrix and Will Errickson to reissue some of the better books featured in Paperbacks From Hell. After reading Paperbacks from Hell, I made a list of the books featured therein that I thought sounded cool and tried to hunt them down. Some of the books I read were amazing, but some were utter shit. In truth, I wasn’t super excited when the Valancourt reissues series was announced. My experience with “Paperbacks from Hell” had been pretty varied, and none of the books in Valancourt’s series had the Devil or a guitar on the cover. However, soon after the series was announced, I bought a cheap copy of The Tribe in a used bookstore. I read it soon thereafter and was so impressed that I knew I’d have to read the rest of these books.

 

 

the reaping bernard taylorThe Reaping – Bernard Taylor
Originally published 1980

This was a very entertaining novel. The writing is excellent, and I found it difficult to put down once I got a few chapters in. The sense of mystery that Taylor develops is awesome, and my only complaint about the book is that it’s too short. I reckon you’re better off not knowing anything about this one, so I won’t give any plot details. I will recommend that you pick it up if you get the chance. Valancourt have put out a few more books by Taylor, and I am looking forward to reading more of his stuff.

 

whendarknesslovesus valancourt

When Darkness Loves Us – Elizabeth Engstrom
Originally published 1985

Woah, I wasn’t expecting this. Don’t let the doll on the cover of this fool you. This is kick in the bollocks horror.

This is actually a collection of two novellas. The first one, When Darkness Loves Us, is about a woman who gets trapped in a cave. A few months ago, I read an utterly awful novel about a bunch of kids getting stuck in a cave, and this story puts that one to shame. This is twisted horror. Engstrom doesn’t rely on a spooky monster to frighten her reader; she uses the frailty and shortcomings of humanity.

The next story, Beauty is…, was a little harder to get into for me. The protagonist is a victim of brain damage, and I didn’t want to read about anything bad happening to her. Again, I don’t want to give away details here, but I will say that this turned out far darker than I had expected.

This was a good collection. Engstrom’s horror is unsettling, but I enjoyed the ride.

 

the nest douglas

The Nest – Gregory A. Douglas
Originally published 1980

The Nest was incredible. Excluding Cujo, the only ‘animal attacks’ horror novel I had read before this was the underwhelming yet ludicrous Fleshbait. My complaint with that novel was that it never went far enough, always shying away from a potentially gory good bit. I can only say the opposite of The Nest. There were a few scenes here where things probably went too far, gloriously grisly scenes of visceral carnage. This book had me squirming every time I sat down with it. Cockroaches are fucking gross at the best of times, and they are particularly frightening after developing a taste for human meat. I consumed this one in audiobook format, and each night I would sit up alone listening to it with all the lights off. This was an excellent way of making myself feel uncomfortable. I thoroughly recommend this book.

 

the spirit thomas page

The Spirit – Thomas Page
Originally Published 1977

I got around to The Spirit last, and this was a bit unfortunate. Of the series, this is the one I enjoyed least. It’s about a killer sasquatch, and unfortunately I had only finished reading Jack Kewaunee’s Psychic Sasquatch book a few days before picking this up. I was well and truly sick of Sasquatches before I even started this one. It’s nowhere near the worst horror novel I’ve ever read, but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as the others in this series.

 

the tribe bari wood valancourt

The Tribe – Bari Wood
Originally published 1981

I actually reviewed The Tribe for a different post last year. It was great. I loved it.

 

This post covers only the first wave of this series, but by now Valancourt have put out a second wave and a bonus title. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this awesome collection. You may have noticed that I’ve been reviewing a lot of books from Valancourt recently. This publisher specializes in underappreciated horror novels, and they have been doing some pretty spectacular promotional offers recently. If you’re reading this blog, you’ll probably be impressed with their catalogue. Go buy some books from them and support this awesome publisher.

The Psychic Sasquatch and their UFO Connection – Jack “Kewaunee” Lapseritis

the psychic sasquatch and their ufo connection - kewaunee lapseritisThe Psychic Sasquatch and their UFO Connection
Jack “Kewaunee” Lapseritis

Wildflower Press – 1998

With a title like The Psychic Sasquatch and their UFO Connection, it was only a matter of time before this book ended up on this blog. Surprisingly, it’s actually more stupid than you’d expect it to be. The basic idea here is that Sasquatches are inter-dimensional beings that can use their minds to speak with people. The reason there are so few pictures of them is that they can go into a different dimension by vibrating their molecules whenever they need to avoid detection. Oh, and they were brought to Earth by aliens. (Oddly enough, this is not the first book to appear on this blog about this topic.)

alien sasquatch

Yup, this is a mad one. It’s more new-agey than I hoped it would be, and it has that whole ‘science is too close-minded to account for this phenomena’ vibe running through it that we’ve encountered a hundred times before. I’d hate to actually meet a person who believed this nonsense. (They’d almost definitely be white and dread-locked with a collection of crystals.)

There’s also a confusing amount of Christianity in here too. I laughed when I read the following line in one of the first chapters, “The next morning I was sitting on the front porch reading the Bible when Bigfoot arrived and began talking to me.” Kewaunee concludes the book with a denial of human evolution too. The Book of Genesis is literally true. A psychic Sasquatch told the author that aliens put Adam and Eve on Earth. The aliens later brought down other people – this explains how we have different races. The aliens had brought Sasquatches down here long before humans though. Oh, and dinosaurs lived at the same time as humans. The author references a bunch of books on ancient aliens to back this up.

sasquatch

The nature of the Sasquatches’ telepathy is hard to wrap your head around. Kewaunee tells the tale of a pregnant Sasquatch telepathing to a woman to ask her to ask Kewaunee to help deliver her baby Sasquatch because he was a “master herbalist”. (Her sasquatch family couldn’t help because they were visiting another dimension.)
Why she didn’t ask the author directly is unclear. Kewaunee was able to receive messages from other Sasquatches, and when the Sasquatch baby was eventually born, Kewaunee was able to telepath to the mother to congratulate her, so distance was not the issue.

Also, apparently telepathy can operate consciously and unconsciously. You can send messages to people’s minds without them knowing about it. The author describes a woman sending telepathic messages to her husband that he simultaneously noticed and didn’t notice. I found this part really hard to understand.

I don’t want to get too involved in trying to explain or debate the absolutely stupid nonsense in this book, so I’ll just share a few interesting tidbits of information that I gathered from it:

  • Aliens and Sasquatches have underground research facilities in the mountains that they let some people visit occasionally.
  • There’s an island on the Connecticut River that is inhabited by a tribe of 50 prehistoric humans. They are roughly 4 foot tall and too fast to catch or photograph.
  • Sasquatch only stink when they’re scared, like a skunk.
  • Mermaids are real, but if you capture one, the American government will take it off you and destroy all evidence that you had it.
  • Sasquatches can trade bodies with people and birds.
  • Despite what many Bigfoot hunters believe, the Sasquatch people are the observers here, not us. If we want to talk to them, we have to act nicely in the hopes that they’ll want to talk to us.
  • The author, a master herbalist, had a herniated disc in his back and liver cancer, but refused allopathic medicine. An alien doctor cured him.
    alien doctor

Although this book was utterly ludicrous, it was also a serious pain to read. It’s very dense, very repetitive and very boring. I strongly recommend that you do not waste your time reading this foolish book of nonsense. Kewaunee has other books, but I probably won’t read them. Look him up on youtube though; he has a rather commendable mullet

Bigfoot: The Mysterious Monster – Robert and Frances Guenette

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Schick Sun – 1975
I’ve stated before that I think Bigfoot could exist. The purpose of this book is to make his existence seem more feasible, but after reading it, I feel a little more sceptical than I did beforehand. That’s not to say that it’s a bad book; some of the arguments in here are quite interesting. The issue is that it was published 40 years ago, and every day that has passed since its publication has added to the likelihood that Bigfoot is either imaginary or extinct. There are too many cameras in the world for him not to have been photographed clearly at this stage. It would be cool, but the fact that they could exist isn’t enough to convince me that they do exist.
The book is based on a film that you can easily find online, and much like The Outer Space Connection, both the book and movie cover the same material. (I’d recommend watching the film before trying to track down a copy of the book.) There’s not really much to say about the content; it’s pretty much what you’d expect. There wasn’t enough material on Bigfoot, so it includes a relatively big section on the Loch Ness monster, and there’s also a part where they tried to use a psychic’s testimony as evidence for the existence of these creatures. That bit was pretty stupid.

 

Mysteries of the Unknown – Time Life (Part One)

2015-08-21 21.17.48I didn’t want to review these until I had read all of them, but that will probably never happen. This is a 33 volume collection of books on the ‘mysteries of the unknown’. Some of the books are very cool, but a lot of them are extremely lame. (I’d say about half of them are about psychics.) They contain a nice mixture of essays and articles, and they’re all full of fancy pictures. It’s a really nice set to have, and I got mine for fairly cheap. I find that they’re quite good if you read them as primers before getting stuck into more difficult/older books on the same topics. I’m going to briefly review three of them today, and I’ll do some more in a few months. 20150821_210412The full collection

Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects
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I read this one a good while ago. It’s probably the best introductory book on secret societies that I have read. That’s not saying much really, as I have only read three such books. What I am trying to say is that this is a far better introduction to secret societies than Arkon Daraul’s piece of shit. It goes into detail on the assassins, the masons, the Rosicrucians and the Golden Dawn. I thought it was pretty enjoyable.

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This is some bullshitty Golden Dawn picture from the book. The bird at the bottom has serious attitude and the lad at the top is wearing a wiggy.

Speaking of the Golden Dawn, I went to the Yeats exhibition last time I was in Dublin, and I took some pictures of his occulting stuff. Here they are:
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Sorry William, but that Angel is fucking lame.

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Another notebook and some dodgy tarot cards.

Transformations
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This one was pretty good too. It’s mostly about vampires and werewolves. It discusses the potential causes of vampirism and lycanthropy without getting too bullshitty. There was also a nice section on Vlad the Impaler, and it has lots of cool pictures, including this saucy snap of Theda Bara.
20150821_211030What a babe!

Mysterious Creatures
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This one mainly focuses on Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. I like the fact that these books give fairly objective accounts: They don’t try to disprove anything, but they don’t feel bullshitty either. I don’t believe in the Loch Ness monster at all, but I do think that Bigfoot COULD exist.
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This lad also made a brief appearance. He is wrecked.

My lovely wife and I recently celebrated our wedding anniversary in Harrison, British Columbia. Harrison is a bigfoot hotspot and home to Sasquatch Park. We didn’t see one while we were there, but it’s a really nice place. I would definitely recommend going if you get the chance.
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20150817_173920The entrance to our suite

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These were in our hotel room. They give some background information and tips on what to do if you encounter a Sasquatch.