How to make a Ghost: Conjuring Up Philip (The Philip Experiment)

Conjuring Up Philip: An Adventure in Psychokinesis
Iris M. Owen and Margaret Sparrow
Harper Collins – 1976

In the early 1970s a group of Canadians with an interest in the paranormal decided to try to create a ghost. They came up with a name and backstory for their ghost and then spent a year meditating together, focusing their attention on Philip, the character they had created. After a year, Philip started talking to them.

There’s no denying that that is a cool set up for a horror story, and at least two films have been loosely based on the Philip experiment. Copies of this book are hard to come by for a decent price at the moment too. That doesn’t always mean a book is good, but it does add to the mystique. I had to read this.

Unfortunately, this book is the literary equivalent to eating a cooked turd.

Philip chose to communicate with the group by knocking on a table. The group would ask a question, and he’d knock once for “yes”, twice for “no”. Occasionally he would excited and bump the whole table around. Ugh.

The book is a horrible read. It’s incredibly repetitive, and none of the sources it references are trustworthy. It gives the story of the Fox sisters as evidence of real poltergeist activity, but the Fox sisters themselves admitted that they had produced the noises that brought them attention. There was a chapter towards the end that discussed the psychology of poltergeist activity. It was so frustratingly stupid that I literally couldn’t bring myself to read it thoroughly.

I’ve never encountered a table rapping poltergeist, but I have encountered many, many idiots in my life. It’s much easier for me to believe that the people involved in this experiment were morons than it is for me to believe they created a ghost. Also, the whole way through the book, the authors discuss how the Philip experiment is going to have profound effects on the fields of psychology and even physics in the future. Here we are, almost 50 years later, and their work has had no effect on anything.

This is an poorly written, extremely boring book. When I was finished it, I was completely unconvinced in what the authors were saying. Directly after finishing the book, I watched the documentary referenced therein called “Philip the Imaginary Ghost”. This footage was shot during the experiment, and some of the scenes are discussed in the book. If I had watched the video before starting the book, I wouldn’t have bothered. Reading the book, you can’t fully appreciate how lame the people involved in writing it were. The footage is actually hilarious. It’s a bunch of dithering idiots singing at a table and pushing it around, pretending that a ghost is making it move. I genuinely don’t know if they were stupid enough to not realise that it was in fact them moving the table or if they were only stupid enough to think that people seeing them wouldn’t realise that they were moving the table. Part of me hopes that they were fully aware of how dumb they looked and were just acting like fools for a bit of fun. It truly boggles the mind.

Video footage of a “ghost” moving a table.

2022, The Year in Review

Normally, I focus on a book, author or theme in my posts, but once a year I do a post about this blog itself. If that seems goofy to you, piss off until next week. 2022 was a good year for me, but I simply don’t have as much time to blog as I used to. Work and family take up most of my day, and this year I also produced a series of podcasts and got involved in a few musical projects. (I also cursed and un-cursed a youtuber.) I’m still reading as much as ever, but I find it harder to find the time to take and crop book photos, research authors and actually write posts. There were actually a few weeks this year when I didn’t post anything! I have a huge backlog of half-written posts that will appear in the new year.

It’s funny looking at the site’s stats. The amount of visitors on this site has gone up every year, but the rate of growth has decreased substantially over the last year and a half. This blog has been online for almost 8 years now, and there has to be a limited audience for a blog on weird, old books, so maybe it has just reached it’s peak. Then again, the stats reveal more. The amount of on-site comments and likes has decreased dramatically. Maybe the quality of my blog has gone down in the last two years, but I also suspect that people aren’t signing in to to browse through blog posts as much as they used to. I’m not upset at the lack of likes, but it does make me feel a bit old fashioned. Has blogging gone the way of alchemy?

Some of the slow-down might be due to the fact that I’ve pretty much given up on promoting the blog through social media. Being on facebook makes me hate everyone, and twitter is a useless piece of garbage. The more active you are on those sites, the more prominent your posts will be in others’ feeds, and personally, I find this idea abhorrent. They are rewarding loudmouthed fools, and their owners are turds. No thanks. I’ll cut off my own cock before I start a tiktok.

A lot of what I read in 2022 was made up of stand-alone paperback horror novels. These things are usually easy to digest and don’t require serious analysis. Some of them were utter rubbish, but every now and then I’d stumble upon a Throwback or Blood Fever and really enjoy myself. I was delighted to finally read Pierce Nace’s insane Eat Them Alive (while suffocating with COVID), and getting my hands on a copy of Barry Hammond’s extremely rare Cold Front was one of the highlights of my year.

I also did a few posts on specific authors. I read several books by Alan Ryan, Thomas Piccirilli (Part 1, Part 2) and William H. Hallahan. I’m fairly certain that my posts on Kenneth Rayner Johnson and Eric Ericson are the most comprehensive articles about those writers currently available online.

My posts on Robert Bloch and Robert E. Howard finished my series of posts on the weird fiction of the members of the Lovecraft Circle. I also read and enjoyed Asamatsu Ken’s more modern work of Lovecraftian horror, Kthulhu Reich. I’m not sure where I’ll go next with this stuff. Maybe Ramsey Campbell’s short stories.

I did a few non-fiction books in 2022. They were all terrible, but The Beginning Was The End by Oscar Kiss Maerth was so terrible that it became my favourite book of all time. It’s a book about cannibal monkeys, and if you haven’t read my review of it, please do so right now.

Well, there you go. Another year older and grumpier. I wrote posts like this for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 if you want to take a trip down bad-memory lane. You can also check out my index page for individual links to the 500+ books I have reviewed here so far. Email me at dukederichleau666(at) if you have any recommendations or questions. I hope that this blog has been interesting. Happy new year!

Monkeys Ate my Brain: Oscar Kiss Maerth’s The Beginning Was the End

Thomas Ligotti is one of my favourite authors of fiction. He is also an anti-natalist philosopher. He believes that life is inherently bad, and his fiction reflects this pessimistic outlook with dark absurdism. The universes inhabited by Ligotti’s fictional creations are not always governed by the same laws as our own, but this has little effect on the stories’ outcomes. According to Ligotti, any existence is as absurd and bad as all of the others. Oscar Kiss Maerth’s The Beginning was the End reads like a treatise written by a character in a Ligotti story. Not only is it deeply pessimistic, it’s also set in a universe that operates only similarly to the one we inhabit. There is a dark madness in this book.

The Beginning Was the End – Oscar Kiss Maerth
The Scientific Book Club – 1974 (Originally published 1971)

The central premise here is that all of the troubles faced by mankind stem from the fact that his simian ancestors became addicted to eating each other’s brains for the purpose of sexual arousal. Oscar Kiss Maerth believes that human beings are irrevocably flawed, stinking, utterly decrepit mutants. We are deeply unhappy, unfortunate freaks that should not exist.

In ways, this is similar to some of the pseudoscientific stuff that I’ve discussed here before. The author accepts the notions of telekinesis, communication with aliens and a bunch of other kooky ideas. Also, the logic used to arrive at the claims herein is often laughable. But this book stands out from the classics of “fantastic realism” in one important way. Pauwels and Bergier claimed that mankind was on the verge of a miraculous awakening. Colin Wilson believed we were about to unlock the secrets to faculty x. These guys all thought that human beings were about to enter a new glorious age of Aquarius or other such nonsense. Oscar Kiss Maerth believed that humanity was going to be wiped out in an Armageddon of cannibal warfare. This is an extremely bleak read.

The Beginning was the End is presented as non-fiction, but the author does not list his sources. (I think at one point he says he spoke to a real cannibal, and he admits to having tried monkey brains himself.) The lack of a bibliography might have been excusable if this was a book of philosophy, but many of the claims made in here are entirely verifiable and clearly unsubstantiated. Some of them are obviously untrue. The author says that apes never masturbate or engage in homosexual activity and that dolphins and whales can only make noises when they raise their heads above water. (A quick search on youtube will immediately refute these ideas.) Other claims are clearly just exaggerations about things that the author had an opinion on. At one point he claims that mental hospitals are overcrowded because people’s underwear is too tight. This disregard for his audience’s expectations of coherency is both confusing and admirable.

According to the author, only male monkeys ever engaged in cannibalism, and this is why women aren’t as smart as men. Now, there’s a few things about that idea that confuse me, but let’s ignore common sense for now and look more closely at what Oscar Kiss Maerth says about the fairer sex:
“Women can learn and understand philosophical ideas, and even act according to them. But they cannot conceive ideas of decisive significance and effect in this field. For this reason all great thinkers, philosophers and founders of religions were men, and so it will remain. If a woman is exceptionally successful in one of these fields of learning, then there is something wrong with her sex hormones” He continues, “To bring female intelligence up to the same level as that of man by means of education is just as impossible as to bring the intelligence of an aboriginal of New Guinea up to the level of that of a Chinese by education.” (p.66) This guy is basically a 1970s Jordan Peterson.

The way the book deals with race is… problematic too. Some of the stuff in here is shockingly offensive, but it’s a twisted form of racism that’s on display. The author claims that tribespeople from remote parts of the world aren’t capable of learning English or counting past the number 3. He claims that some Polynesian women’s bodies show visible signs when they are in heat. He also thinks that races should not interbreed with each other because “Hottentots” and “Australioids” have tiny brains compared to Europeans and the Chinese. (p. 181) All of this will sound quite offensive to anyone reading today, but you have to keep in mind that one of the main premises of this book is that intelligence is inherently bad. Yes, Oscar Kiss Maerth is saying that anyone who isn’t European or Chinese is extremely primitive, but he means this as a compliment! The less developed a person is, the closer they are to their true nature. He also claims that black people’s hair is curly so that it doesn’t get caught on trees when they are running from predators in the jungle. He concludes his discussion on race with a plea for people to practice strict racial discrimination, but he makes it very clear that he has no time for racial hatred and persecution.

A book for adults with 8 pages of spot-the-difference activities.
(Different editions have the other photos in different orders.)

Copies of this book are quite scarce. Apparently this has something to do with the band Devo being obsessed with it, using its art on one of their album covers and taking their concept of devolution right out of its pages. There has been a pdf copy online for years, but it’s missing half a chapter. (There’s also an audiobook version on youtube that some absolute legend made, but he was reading the pdf version, so his version is also missing the end of chapter 5) I only discovered the missing pages when I was halfway through, and I had to order a copy from a weird Christian university on an interlibrary loan to finish it. The effort was worth it. I had so much fun with this one. I’m completely unconvinced (and utterly appalled) by the ideas in here, but I reckon this is probably my favourite book of all time. Its claims are so bizarre and so transparently false that I couldn’t help but be charmed by the lunatic who wrote it.

An inscription on the library copy I read.

There’s not a lot of information about Oscar Kiss Maerth online. He lived in a mansion and was super rich, but I can’t find any details on how he made his fortune. How does a person go from being a successful Hungarian “industrialist” to writing this utterly insane book in seclusion in a Chinese monastery? His daughter went missing and was retrieved by a psychic in the early 80s. There’s a chapter on this book in Strange Creations by Donna Kossy, but it doesn’t shed much light on Oscar Kiss Maerth as a person.

The Beginning was the End is a remarkably dense and intense piece of writing, and I ended up reading it twice. As I did so, I took notes so that I could summarise it in this post. Unfortunately, to get to the heart of quite how crazy this book is, I had to go into quite a bit of detail. I realise that very few people are likely to actually have the attention span to read my full summary, but I’m going to include it here for my own reference in the future. If you found the above discussion utterly fascinating, then read on. I did my best to keep things coherent, but the source material made this extremely difficult. This gets seriously mental.

Chapter by Chapter Summary:

(Some of the details here have already been mentioned above, but I kept them in the summary for the sake of context.)

Chapter 1: Human beings are relatively new to the Earth, and we are newer still to the realisation that we are not the most important creatures in the universe. Modern science has revealed how we are not the centre of the universe, but we are still unaware of quite how pitiful we truly are.

Chapter 2: The theory of evolution tells us we are the descendants of apes, but the current theory seems to confuse the direction of the descent. We are far worse creatures than our simian ancestors. Apes are better at moving than human beings. Human beings walk more than apes, and this means we’re actually more stupid than apes because animals have to sit down to have truly deep thoughts. Losing our body hair put us at a serious disadvantage. “Any ape living in freedom will always be found to have exceptionally clean, healthy and odourless skin although he never has a bath. Man on the other hand without artificial hygiene is unclean and foul-smelling” (p.28) This is because we don’t have fur to keep us clean. Also, when a female ape is ready to mate, this is made apparent by changes in her body that are visible to potential mates. With the exception of some women living on remote islands in the Pacific Ocean, human females have lost these sex signs. This resulted in humans having too much sex. Finally, our brains got bigger, and this enlargement of the brain was very, very bad for us. Intelligence is a curse. In conclusion, we are worse than apes because we have lost our fur, we have lost our fertility signs, and we have gained intelligence. Oscar sums it up nicely by reminding us that “deficiency and excess are diseased conditions.” (p.35)

Chapter 3: Having learned that man is “a physically and mentally ill creature at odds with himself and with nature, who neither knows nor understands himself” (p.39) we have to wonder, what made him so? What was the catalyst for the great changes listed above? Why has the noble ape devolved into the scummy human? Well, it all started when one ape noticed that eating another ape’s brain made him really horny. The author notes that eating ape brain had the same effect on him. Anyways, the naughty monkey and his mates started eating brains, and then they realised that they were also becoming more intelligent. Eating brains gives you the intelligence of the person who you are eating. Cannibalism also allows the transference of memory. The women monkeys didn’t partake in cannibalism because it would have made them go mad. (I’m not a biologist, but something about that idea seems problematic. How did the females’ brains increase in size if they never partook? Does the author believe that women today are only as intelligent as prehistoric apes?) The author’s theory of cannibalism is proven by the fact that most of the skulls of early humans we find have holes in their skulls. (Do they?) Cannibalism was hugely widespread. It was abandoned once our brains got uncomfortably big for our skulls. This happened in the smart countries first, and wherever cannibalism is still practiced, it’s because the people there still have fairly small brains.

Chapter 4: This chapter is where the book gets utterly insane. As humans evolved, we realised that the changes we were going through were bad, but there was little we could do to stop the harm we were causing ourselves. We needed to keep eating each other so that our cannibal tribes would reproduce more and be more intelligent than our rivals. Originally humans had many sexual partners through their lives, but cannibalism led to male monkeys being more possessive over the female monkeys and this led to marriage and the patriarchy. Masturbation and homosexuality were caused by hormonal imbalances from eating too many brains. The author claims that these “abnormalities were undoubtedly not in existence when man was an ape”. Just in case you didn’t know monkeys masturbate and engage in homosexual activity all the time. It’s a bit shocking that this dude was willing to write a book about creatures that he knew so little about. Circumcision was actually invented so that sex would be less fun, and we’d want to eat less brains.

“Man who began his career as a sex-obsessed ape and who by eating brain wished to make his sex life the source of happiness, has achieved the exact opposite. He transformed it into the source of dissatisfaction and suffering.” (p.65)

The author goes on to discuss the difference in intelligence between men and women. Women are only as clever as men when they are in situations that their monkey ancestors may have faced. “They can’t adapt to the modern world.”

“Women can learn and understand philosophical ideas, and even act according to them. But they cannot conceive ideas of decisive significance and effect in this field. For this reason all great thinkers, philosophers and founders of religions were men, and so it will remailh. If a woman is exceptionally successful in one of these fields of learning, then there is something wrong with her sex hormones” p66

That’s likely to upset modern readers, but it gets worse:

“To bring female intelligence up to the same level as that of man by means of education is just as impossible as to bring the intelligence of an aboriginal of New Guinea up to the level of that of a Chinese by education.”

Now, this sounds bad, but you have to understand, Oscar Kiss Maerth means this as a compliment to both women and the aboriginal peoples of New Guinea. The whole point of this book is to say that modern man is a digusting, insane freak. Anything closer to our ape like ancestors is actually good in Maerth’s book. That might sound like a sketchy excuse, but he actually seems to mean it. This dude sees intelligence as a bad thing.

Cannibalism also gave us a sense of shame. When we think of sex, we think of what made us horny and we feel bad about ourselves. When we think of sexual organs we think of sex, so we needed a way to not see sexual organs. This is why we wear underpants, but underpants are making us go even more insane:

“The supposedly fitting modern underpants have contributed more than a little to the fact that the pride of western culture, i.e. the number of mental hospitals, doctors and medicines, has grown.” (p.70)

We can also blame baldness on another hormonal imbalance caused by the cannibal apes. Baldness isn’t all bad though. Hair contains and releases energy, and “The sum of energy no longer used for growing hair, because the hair roots have died away, benefits either the intelligence or the sex urge, often even both.” (p 91) Bald dudes are smart and/or horny.

Cannibalism gave us curly pubes, and these curly hairs hold in stink.

“No ape or any animal at all on earth suffers from smelly armpits”p93

We only walk upright to keep our long hair out of our faces.

Human beings are miserable, vile, stupid, deformed, horrible creatures.

Chapter 5: As our brains grew, our skulls did too, but only to a point. When the skull stopped growing, the brain didn’t have enough space and started to short-circuit. This is when we lost our powers of extra sensory perception. All animals communicate through ESP. This is why they don’t talk. Our powers are diminished, but some people (Jesus, Buddha…) experience atavist throwbacks. Everyone still has the capability to intercept psychic transmissions, but only subconsciously. This results in mass psychosis. All kinda obvious when you think about it, right?

The speed of thought rays is faster than the speed of light. 50,000 years ago we were in communication with aliens on other planets. Unfortunately, the different races of humans intermixing messed this up.

Cannibalism was first used as an aphrodisiac, but later turned into a way to talk to gods. As we developed more intelligence, we could understand more of what the aliens could say. The phallic statues erected by ancient peoples proclaim “the triumph of the sex obsessed ape: by means of the sex drug, I have become as God.” (p.126)

When humans started realising that our psychic powers were in decline, the most powerful psychics started trying to breed with other psychics to keep the powers alive. This resulted in inbreeding and death which in turn diminished our collective psychic abilities.

The reason we want to explore space so much is that we subconsciously desire to get back into contact with the aliens we used to talk with.

In response to this book, scientists will test these theories on lab animals and make them eat each other’s brains. Unfortunately, some people might try to improve their own intelligence by trying cannibalism. Militaries will be very interested in this, and wars will break out so armies can harvest the brains of their enemies to make super soldiers. Evil scientists will lead us into brain wars. They must be stopped. If we get smarter than we are now, we will all die. That idea is crucial to this book. Intelligence and progress are inherently bad. On page 140, the author claims that, “The greatest achievement is to achieve nothing more.”

Chapter 6: This chapter looks at how language evolved when we lost our ability to communicate telepathically.

The idea that the number of sounds an animal can make corresponds to their intelligence is not correct. Chickens can make more noises than apes. Dolphins and whales can only make a few noises, and they can only make these when they are above water. (p.152) Animal noises are actually just signals telling other animals to get ready to intercept some telepathic communication.

Human beings never gesticulated until we lost the ability to communicate telepathically.

Primitive peoples can’t make the same sounds as civilised people as their tongues aren’t as evolved as ours. That’s why they rely on clicking noises.

There’s more to this chapter, but I don’t want to get into it. Nearly everything the author of this book says about language is incorrect. He has no idea what he’s talking about. This chapter ends with the author claiming that education is detrimental to our wellbeing and reading and writing leads to unhappiness. “Every human being is a poet as long as he does not open his mouth or put a sentence to paper.” (p.164)

Chapter 7: This chapter discusses how the different races of humans evolved from different kinds of apes.

An African ape had sex with an Asian ape. She got preggers and their hybrid offspring was abandoned at birth. It turned into a tough guy and beat up the leader of a tribe of apes. He was so hungry afterwards that he ate this lad’s brain, and this made him so horny that he mated. The offspring of this mating was the first human being. Human beings didn’t turn into cannibals. They came into being through cannibalism.

In India, rich people pay to watch humans having sex with monkeys. If these couplings produce offspring, the hybrids are strangled to death. LOL. I wanted to look this up to see if it had been mentioned anywhere else, but I don’t want that in my google search history.

After a while, the cannibal monkeys realised that the brains of other cannibal monkeys had stronger effects than the brains of vegetarian monkeys.

Because of the warm temperatures near the Equator and the remoteness of some islands in the Pacific, the apes that lived there were the last to turn cannibal and had a harder time cannibalising each other. This is why their descendants are still primitive tribes people who can’t count past the number 3. The women of these tribes still manifest visible signs of their fertility. The author includes a graph showing how small these people’s brains are. He also maintains that these people have retained some of their psychic powers. Black people have curly hair so it stays closer to their heads so it won’t get caught in a tree when they are running from a predator in the jungle. (This is Oscar Kiss Maerth’s idea, not mine!)

Yetis are unevolved, less cannibalistic, psychic apes. Cannibal apes pursued them east until they crossed over from Russia into Alaska. This is where sasquatches come from. (This is not the first time I have come across the notion that Sasquatches have psychic powers.)

Stress increases fertility. (This is the opposite of true.)

Humans prefer missionary sex because it used to be a means of holding the woman down so she couldn’t escape. Women find it easier to escape from a rapist who is riding them from behind. The reason men like looking at ballet and women in high-heeled shoes has to do with the way that the female monkeys’ feet would would while they were being pinioned by the rapist cannibal male monkeys.

Orgy goers are “neurotic members of a mentally sick society.” (p.192)

Measuring the intelligence of different races is as pointless as studying the age of the moon. (I checked google, and the moon is 4.53 billion years old.)

The author returns to his notion that intelligence is a very bad thing. He claims that “the most important task of every nation is therefore to keep their surplus intelligence under strict control.” (p.195) Again, while a lot of what he says is extremely racist by today’s standards, he literally means it as a compliment. He claims that racial and cultural discrimination are absolutely essential to world peace, but that racial hatred and persecution are abhorrent. He believes that racial hatred will lead to a new era of cannibalism. Interbreeding among races should be discouraged as some races are genetically incompatible. We must segregate if we want to live peacefully and philosophically.

Chapter 8: The author takes a look at the book of Genesis from the Bible and attempts to show how this text gives evidence for his theories.

The book of Genesis tells the whole story, but it has been misinterpreted over the years. The fruit of Knowledge was obviously brains. The story had been passed down for eons mentally, and it was written down just before men lost the ability to psychically look back on past events to verify that it was true.

Genesis was first written in hieroglyphs, and it lost accuracy every time it was written into a new language or alphabet. This is why it’s not crystal clear. (Despite this, the author takes very specific quotes in support of his claims.)

Eve was the Asian monkey we talked about earlier. Adam was the African. As you remember, Eve took the first bite of the forbidden fruit. This is why Asian people have bigger brains than Africans. (This is a little confusing though as Eve was a woman and women didn’t partake in cannibalism.)

The tree of knowledge was a man in the original version. It changed into a tree because a hieroglyph of a tree would look a bit like a hieroglyph of a man with a big dick. The dick was mistaken for a root.

Chapter 9: These ideas might seem unbelievable, but overpopulation and environmental destruction will lead people to realise the truth. The world will change, and a new philosophical system will come into power. The author had more details on the imminent downfall of civilization and ways we might survive, and he planned to write two more books in this series. It is a great shame these books were never published.

I’ve been running this blog for almost 8 years now, and I have read many strange books in the process. I’ve come across Nazis in the hollow Earth, Alien Jesus, psychic Soviets, Satanic UFOs and an exorcism in Loch Ness, but nothing I have read has approached the misanthropic insanity of Oscar Kiss Maerth’s The Beginning was the End. You should definitely find a copy of this book and read it immediately.

Basil Crouch – The Making of a God and other Works of Black Art

Basil Crouch – The Making of a God and Other works of Black Art
Finbarr – 2010

It’s been a while since I read a grimoire. Here’s some rubbish.

This is little different from the other Basil Crouch books I’ve read. It’s written from the perspective of the publisher rather than Crouch himself, and although it is never explicitly stated, the narration makes it seem like Mr. Crouch was dead at the time of its publication in 2010. I have it on good authority that ol’ Basil died in 2020, so it’s very likely that this was actually written by him. The ridiculous amount of praise for Crouch in the text seems to confirm this suspicion.

Basil Crouch gave his publisher a book he deliberately made up, but the magic therein worked. The narrator, presumably still the publisher, claims that he prints so many books guaranteeing success and happiness not because they don’t work but because the success they provide is addictive.

Shoon is a magical land in Africa like Shambala, but aliens landed there 10,000 years ago. The Chinese had proof of this, but they hid it. Crouch gives some examples of the magic of Shoon being used to improve the lives of others. I haven’t read Crouch for years, but one of these testimonies, a story about a girl getting hurt at a fair and then being miraculously healed sounded familiar. There was another one in which a thalidomide man used Shoon magic to make his arms grow to normal size.

Make a paper-mache doll and fill it with pieces of junk and build it an altar. Name it after an African deity.

Breath in the doll’s mouth, and it will turn into a god. Talk to it, and give it offerings every day. The next portion of book describes appropriate offerings and prayers for each day.

To enslave another person, buy a doll, draw some shitty symbols on it, and pretend it’s the person you want to bum. Then give it to the fetish you have created. It might talk to you in response.

The effort that went into making these illustrations is breathtaking.

You can also use the doll you made to invoke demons. The idea here is remarkably unclear. I think the demons are supposed to possess it.

Now some instructions on how to get a barren woman pregnant. Crouch knows it works because he knew a 12 year old boy and a 9 year old girl who got pregnant this way. Also, a barren woman who was raped by the leader of an African tribe got pregnant this way. To do it, you draw a circle on the ground, bring your partner into it, strip off and then smoke a cigarette. Blow the cigarette smoke on each other, have a ride, and then go out and buy some maternity clothes.

Next up, a weird story about a man who can make himself invisible by moving his hands a certain way. This is followed with unrelated instructions on how to summon the invisibility demon. It’s genuinely hard to imagine anyone taking this seriously.

An adult made this.

The book ends with a report about a monkey grave being found in Rwanda that Crouch read in a tabloid. It has nothing to do with anything.

Honestly, this text was so incoherent that it’s difficult to analyze. It starts off with a discussion about Shoon, the secret African city, and then goes on to tell how to make a doll that will solve all your problems. I guess the doll is a Shoonish thing, but I’m not sure this is ever explicitly stated.

Pure shit.

Summoning the Candyman (A Curse)

On Halloween night, my wife and I watched the 2021 Candyman movie. We had thought it was a remake rather than a sequel, and my wife had never seen the original film. Afterwards, I was explaining some stuff about the original movie when I mentioned that I had written a blog post on the Candyman a few years ago. I googled the title of that article so that I could show her, and when I saw the results, I was a little surprised to see a youtube video with almost the exact same title as my article.

Note the dates.

My blog has been referenced in books, podcasts, other blogs and youtube videos before, and I am always happy to find out that what I write here is of interest to others. I don’t expect MLA citations or anything like that, but it seems like common decency for content creators to give credit where credit is due. My article was not the first time that Candyman and Purple Aki were mentioned together, but it is definitely the most comprehensive account of their relationship online. If you look back on it, you will notice that I was fairly meticulous about providing links to all of my sources. The youtube video I found was created a year after my blog post went up, and its description references “the theory that Clive Barker’s Candyman was based on the story of Purple Aki”. Now I did not come up with that theory, but I think it’s very safe to assume that anyone researching that theory in 2021 would definitely have come across my work on it. As I watched the video, I was taken back by how much the narrator sounded like me. Yes, he too is Irish, but the phrases he used also sounded remarkably like my own. I checked my blog post, and I discovered that he had basically just read out chunks of my article and presented them as his own research.

Not cool.

I left a comment on the original video, but the coward deleted it. I decided to put a curse on him. I thought the most apt punishment would be to send the Candyman after him. First off, I entered a trance state and did some free-writing. The result was a short-story about this stupid idiot getting his comeuppance. It’s a rather unpleasant piece of writing, so I’ll just link to a pdf so that my more sensitive readers don’t have to upset themselves. I here present Louis meets the Candyman.

Next, I converted the text file into a sound and played around with it a bit. I also created a short video with scenes from the original Candyman movie and some extremely potent images. The writing (or noise thereof) and imagery is really to just charge the curse with emotion. The catalyst for the summoning comes from the plagiarist himself. In the Candyman movies, the murderous Candyman is summoned when somebody says his name 5 times while looking in a mirror. Well, I went through the dirty thief’s video and discovered, much to my delight, that he names Candyman exactly 5 times. I isolated those 5 utterances and mixed them into the video, which is embedded below. This blog post is itself the mirror, reflecting Louis’s lowly deeds. By playing this video, the victim says Candyman 5 times in a “mirror” and thus seals his own death warrant.

I am entirely confident that this will lead to that dirty, little thief getting his muscles squeezed good and hard. Annoying rat voice on him too. Stupid dork.

Right, I’ll be back to posting about books from next week. Had to get this out of my system.

EDIT: After publishing this blog post, I sent it to the intended victim. He was cool about it and listed my blog post as his source of information. I’m not sure if I can stop the curse at this point, but I take back all of the mean things I said about him.

The Devil of DeCourcy Island: The Brother XII. – MacIsaac, Clark and Lillard

The Devil of DeCourcy Island: The Brother XII. – Ron MacIsaac, Donald Clark and Charles Lillard
Porc├ępic Books – 1989

In the 1920s, a weirdo calling himself Brother XII started a commune for his religious order on Vancouver Island. His cult, the Aquarian Foundation, was a variant of theosophy, and it was mainly made up of old rich stupid people. As time went on, things got awkward at the commune, especially after Brother XII started taking his new girlfriends back with him and telling his followers that these women were reincarnations of Egyptian goddesses. One of these women was quite mean to the people living in the commune. The Aquarians started to suspect that their religious leader might have been taking advantage of them. He was living in a big house with his mistress, and they were living in shacks. They tried to take him to court, but when the court date came around, Brother XII was missing. He had sailed away with as much of their money as he could fit into his boat. Nobody really knows where he went afterwards, but some believe he died in Europe a few years later.

Making the story seem more interesting than it really is.

That’s more or less what happened. It’s a moderately interesting story. Nothing about it seems particularly far-fetched. This is story told in the first half of The Devil of DeCourcy Island by MacIsaac, Clark and Lillard. The book’s narration is horrendous, and it constantly goes back and forward in time. I think this might have been done to create suspense, but it fails. It just makes reading the narrative confusing.

The writing is terrible, but the real problem with this book is that the second half serves as a rebuttal to the first half. The authors spend the final 60 pages showing how parts of the story they’ve just told are slightly inaccurate. There’s no major contradictions that I could pick out though; they’re all little fecky things. It struck me as odd that they would structure the book in such an awful manner. Surely the logical approach would be to simply write a single, accurate account of what they knew about the Aquarian Foundation? I reckon the authors did what they did because the interesting version of a truthful story of Brother XII would only take up 60 or so pages.

The first half of this book is poorly structured. The second half is unbearably boring. I had hoped to read about some weird occult rituals, but it was mostly about how different witnesses reported different amounts of money being taken. I’m not going to rule out reading more books on Brother XII in the future, but I’m not going to go searching them out either.

Eric Ericson’s Esoteric Occult Trilogy – The Sorcerer, Master of the Temple, and The Woman who Slept with Demons

Several years ago, as I was reading Sandy Robertson’s book about Aleister Crowley, I came across the following passage:

I am a fan of both occult lore and biscuits, so I knew I had to find and read this promising book. When I looked it up, I found that the author had written 3 occult novels, and not being a coward, I determined to track down and read all of them. It only took 5 years.

The Sorcerer

NEL – 1978
This book starts off with a scientist realising, much to his dismay, that the orgy he is attending is actually a sex magic ritual being performed by a coven of witches. He’s even more annoyed when he realises the ritual is serving as his initiation into the coven.

The coven leader, a man with scarred face named Frazer, takes a shine to the new lad and renames him Thomas. Frazer is a shifty dude, and although his followers respect him, this respect is borne out of fear. Thomas hates him straight away. It turns out Frazer is on the quest for immortality, and he is willing to sacrifice anything to achieve it. He’s a real scummer. The plot from this point is fairly predictable

I had read a few comments online that suggested that the main thing that set Ericson’s writing apart from the writers of other occult thrillers was his knowledge of ceremonial magic. His theory of magic falls in line with much of what I have read of the topic, but the potency of the magic in this book is pretty fantastic stuff. We’ve got festering zombies, soul transference, astral executions and a poo spell. This is fiction though, and if it were more realistic, the book would suck. Also, in order to figure out his magical powers, Thomas has sex with all of the women in the coven multiple times. Cool.

The fact that the protagonist is a scientist made things more interesting. He kept trying to rationalise what was happening and trying to use scientific reasoning to enhance his magical abilities. He failed at the former, but succeeded in the latter. I don’t know if that was supposed to make a point.

This book is only 224 pages long, but it took me 9 days to finish. I didn’t dread reading it, but I didn’t look forward to it either, and I only ever managed a few chapters at a time. It was alright.

Master of the Temple

1983- NEL
When I look up of a book or series of books and find that there’s little to no information about them online, I get intrigued. Aside from a few brief goodreads reviews, I wasn’t able to find anything about Eric Ericson’s books. Might they be forgotten esoteric masterpieces?

No. The reason that nobody talks about these books is that they’re boring as shit. Honestly, Master of the Temple is one of the worst novels I have ever read. It’s so, so fucking terrible. I’m going to summarise the plot here to save you the trouble of reading this utter hog’s shit.

Jonathan is a sales manager for a company that makes biscuits. He’s also a member of The Masters of the Temple, a secret society of sex magicians. The first part of the book describes his business trips around Europe. He’ll meet up with a biscuit distributor, do a little business and then sneak off for a bit to visit the local lodge of The Masters. There he will have sex with a beautiful woman with large breasts. Unfortunately for Jonathan, his boss, a lad called Braithwaite, is always on his case. Jonathan performs a magical ritual to summon the demon Abaddon to deal with his pesky boss, and poor old Braithwaite ends up in hospital with a horrid stomach condition.

With Braithwaite out of the way, Jonathan is promoted and ends up touring the United States trying to increase the biscuit company’s American presence. Things go pretty much the same way that they did in Europe, but the women here have even bigger tits. He meets one with an enormous rack and falls in love.

When he gets back to England, his aunt calls him and tells him that she’s sick. This triggers a flashback to when he was thirteen and his aunt gave him a blowjob. It turns out that she spent 5 years sexually molesting him. This was a bit of a weird turn, but things soon got weirder still.

Braithwaite, the lad he cursed, jumps out a window and kills himself, so Jonathan goes to his old boss’s secretary’s house and repeatedly rapes her until she goes insane.

Some other members of his order find out about this, so they kick Jonathan out of their clubhouse. Jonathan is so upset by this that he drives his car into a wall and kills himself.

My concern here is that I have made this book sound more interesting than it actually is. It’s nowhere near as interesting as I’ve just made it sound.

Here are some problems:

  • While the above story is fiction, most of this book is not. I’d say at least half of the book is an account of the history of Western esotericism. No thanks. I’ve read that stuff before.
  • Sex magic is seriously cringey. I far preferred the biscuit salesman stuff to the extended scenes of Jonathan holding in his cum. Gross. There’s one part where he’s having sex with a prostitute where he says to himself, “I who am a perfect king to the people entrusted to me by god, I who am by God’s command their shepherd, Have never tarried, never rested.” It was a bit like that scene in American Psycho where Bateman is looking in the mirror at his own muscles when he’s fucking a prostitute, only lamer. Honestly, when you think about the arrogance of people who are into this stuff, it’s mortifyingly embarrassing. Human beings are animated filth, and cumming is like shitting and pissing; it feels good because our bodies need to do it. To think that holding in your gip for a while brings you closer to god is downright silly.
  • Unlike in The Sorcerer, the magic in here is fairly realistic. There’s no astral projection or people getting hit with blue lightning. There’s rituals, and these rituals seem to have effects, but a sceptic could put these effects down to coincidence.
  • The main character is a preppy fucking douchebag. The gargoyle on the cover of this book should be replaced with a picture of a red-haired twat wearing a scarf.
  • There is not a single female character in this book whose breasts are not described. The main character of this book is a biscuit salesman, but not a single biscuit is described. I am a fan of tits, but I am also a fan biscuits, and this ratio was fucked up. He should have whipped out a packet of jammie dodgers while he was getting a wank off the old Finnish crone in the sauna. That would have made that scene much more entertaining.
  • It’s sooooooo fucking long.

Seriously, Master of the Temple is a horrid pile of brown, brown scat from a rotten shitter. Avoid it at all costs.

The Woman Who Slept with Demons

NEL – 1980
After finishing Master of the Temple, I waited a few months before starting on The Woman who Slept with Demons. It has a far cooler title, but I assumed it was going to be terrible. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It wasn’t a great novel, but it was only a novel. It thankfully doesn’t include a lengthy history of western occultism.

Andrew, a promiscuous veterinarian stops to help a woman whose car has broken down. Her name is Bianca, and she asks him to drop her off in some field in the country side. He does so, but after he drives off, he gets worried about her, so he heads back to make sure she can get home ok. When he gets to where he had dropped her off, he finds her having sex with a demon. The demon beats him up. Soon thereafter, Bianca sucks Andrew’s dick and by doing so makes him her slave. She also gains psychic control over him, and he can only get hard for her. This aspect of the book was very similar to Russ Martin’s satanic mind control books.

It turns out that Bianca is one of “the Apart”. The Apart are basically people who have been given powers by demons. With these powers comes a general disregard for decency and societal norms. The rest of the book follows Andrew’s descent into a dark world filled with violence, debauchery, child abuse, rape, incest, flaccid penises and sexy fat women. One scene involves an Egyptian pervert being brutally stomped to death by two horny hags who have been tied up and possessed by a demon. When he’s dead, they grab Andrew and have a threesome in the Egyptian’s viscera.

This book is far trashier than either of Ericson’s other novels, and I found this made it far more tolerable. None of these books are clever, but at least The Woman who Slept with Demons seems to realise this. The occultism on display here is of the far less believable kind, and this makes the book far more enjoyable. I disliked Master of the Temple so much that I’m not sure how much I feel about this book was relief and how much was actual enjoyment. It was decent enough though. This is definitely the best out of the three.

Ericson wrote a history of Witchcraft too, but I don’t feel any desire to track that one down.

Tom Piccirilli’s Nameless Necromancer: Pentacle and A Lower Deep

I did a post on a few books by Tom Piccirilli earlier this year, and despite ending that post saying I would avoid his horror fiction for a while, I recently read two more of his spookier books, Pentacle and A Lower Deep.


1995 – Pirate Writings Pub
This is a collection of 7 short stories about a wandering wizard and his familiar spirit, Self. Self is pretty much just a small, sassier version of the Necromancer that follows him around, licking him when he gets hurt and attacking the people who inflict his injuries.

The Necromancer and Self stay at an abandoned hotel, go to a blues concert, visit a mental asylum, an art gallery and a native reservation. They come across demons, ghosts and witches in all of these places, and they rarely make friends. A lot of hexes are thrown about.

Speaking of hexes, I found Piccirilli’s novel Hexes a bit challenging when I read it, but I think it might make more sense if I had read it after this one. While Pentacle is not a sequel or prequel to Hexes, it is set in the same universe. Some of it is set in the same town, and both books feature Panecraft Asylum. They’re both from relatively early in Piccirilli’s writing career, and it seems a bit like he was trying to establish his equivalent of Arkham. I haven’t read it, but another of Piccirilli’s stories is also set in Panecraft.

The writing is very dark, and it reminded me of Clive Barker with its focus of blood and pain. It’s a bit more occulty though. It references a lot of real occult texts and authorities, and a lot of these stories feature real figures from the history of witchcraft. Matthew Hopkins has somehow come back to run the insane asylum. There’s a recipe for disaster.

Overall, I enjoyed this more than the other horror stuff I’ve read by Piccirilli. The writing isn’t super clear, but the short story form makes it easier for me to get through a plot without knowing exactly what’s going on.

A Lower Deep

2001 – Leisure Books

A Lower Deep is basically a novel sized continuation of the stories in Pentacle. This time the Necromancer’s old friend tries to get him to resurrect Christ so they can bring about Armageddon and storm into heaven. (Yes. The protagonist remains unnamed here. Oooooooh, so edgy!) I hated this book so much that I find it hard to believe that I wrote the above paragraphs. I’ve wanted to write positively about Piccirilli’s books for years, but in truth, his horror novels are crap. This book is boring, contrived shite. If you don’t have an interest in the Bible, this will be very confusing. There’s lots of references to the Book of Revelation, the prophet Elijah and the nephilim. Yuck.

This is really a work of fantasy rather than horror. There’s lots of blood and occultism, but nothing scary happens, and I hated every page. Self, the protagonist’s familiar is supposed to add comic relief, but I found him horribly disruptive to the novel’s tone. A one point during the beginning of the apocalypse, he starts speaking with a Jamaican accent. Sigh…

The brevity of the stories in Pentacle is what made them bearable. A Lower Deep is a short novel, but it’s still far, far too long. Honestly, it’s terrible. Avoid it.

I am probably done with Piccirilli. I gave him more than a fair chance, but his horror novels just didn’t do it for me.

Satan Wants Me – Robert Irwin

Satan Wants Me – Robert Irwin
Dedalus – 2019 (Originally published 1999)

I kept a diary from the time I was 14 until I was 17. Reading back over it now is excruciating. When I started reading Satan Wants Me, an occult novel in the form of a diary, I felt the same embarrassment for the narrator that I do for myself whenever I read my own old journals. The self-absorbed tone of a diary keeper is spot on.

At first I couldn’t figure out whether this was because Robert Irwin was a skilled writer who understood his character or if he was actually transcribing his own diaries. Some of it is really cringey, but in retrospect, I’m sure this was intentional. You’re supposed to think the narrator here is a bit of a wanker.

Peter is a hippy, an occultist and a PhD Candidate. The book starts off when one of the leaders of an occult order he has joined instructs him to keep a diary. The year is 1967, and Peter is mostly occupied with drugs, sex and rock’n’roll (in that order). He joined the occult order so that he could see a demon, but that doesn’t work out immediately.

Somebody recommended this book to me, and I picked it up knowing nothing about it at all. I ended up spending a large portion of the novel wondering what kind of a book it was going to be. A lot of novels about occultism veer into horror, and the ones that don’t are likely metaphorical wishy washy crap. This book seemed neither. As the novel progresses, the protagonist becomes more and more convinced of the efficacy of magic, but nothing actually happens that couldn’t be explained away by a sceptic. I quite admired this aspect of the novel. I feel like Robert Irwin understood what he was writing about.

Interwoven into the story are a bunch of different aspects of occult history. This novel manages to pull off what Eric Ericson’s The Master of the Temple fails to do. A person who knows nothing of the occult will learn from this book without getting too bored. The Satanism is important to the story, but it’s not overbearing.

This is a book about Satanism, sex, hallucinogenic drugs and rock music. I don’t know how it took me so long to check it out. I read it when I was on holidays, and it seemed to take me ages to get through it, but I thought it was pretty good. It only occurred to me as I was editing this post that I have also reviewed a book called Satan Wants You. That one was crap, as I recall.

Fritz Leiber’s Conjure Wife

Conjure Wife – Fritz Leiber

Penguin – 1969 (Originally published 1949)

I really enjoyed Our Lady of Darkness (both times I read it), and I felt like it was time to revisit Fritz Leiber. Conjure Wife was first published in 1949. It’s the story of a college professor who discovers that his wife has been practicing witchcraft behind his back. He thinks this is a shameful load of nonsense, so he tells her to stop. Shortly after this, he realises that her magic has been protecting him from the spells of the other witches. It turns out that his wife isn’t the only witch on campus. Actually, most women are really witches.

Now, the title ‘witch’ don’t apply to all women,

but all women have a little witch in ’em

Fritz Leiber

It’s a pretty simple premise, but Leiber makes it work really well. The conflict is mainly psychological, occurring in the protagonist’s head. I read somebody comment that the novel’s description of women isn’t “generous”, but I don’t agree. The tension in the book, and there’s loads of it, is largely created by the unwillingness of the male protagonist to believe what is happening to him. He’s an idiot. The women are running the show here. This book is only demeaning to women if you think of witchcraft as a bad thing.

While some of the magic in here is rather fantastic, a lot of it is the kind of stuff that I don’t entirely disbelieve in. It seems to me that Leiber had a very clear understanding of the nature of magic.

Fritz Leiber was a cool guy. I read somebody describe him as the link between Lovecraft and Philip K. Dick, and apparently he corresponded with both. That itself is enough to impress me, but the books I’ve read by him are awesome too. I’ve heard that his short stories are some of his best work, so I’ll probably look at them next. I don’t know if there’s a specific collection that I should go for. Part of me wants to just read the horror ones, but I’m sure that’s dumb. Let me know if you have any recommendations.