Tag Archive | "occult"


Looking For A Particular Demon? Look No Further!

Posted on September 8, 2015 by

Encyclopedia of Demons in World Religions and Cultures by Theresa Bane
There have been an awful lot of demons mentioned in the bible, the Koran, the Torah, in classical literature, and elsewhere. You practically need a scorecard to keep track of all of them. McFarland & Company Publishers has produced a massive volume cataloging the numerous evil entities from the void, The Encyclopedia of Demons in World Religions and Cultures.

Collected by Theresa Bane, this work includes a vast array of not only demons, but includes references to and entries for angelic entities, as well as a few with less clearly defined loyalties. These entities were written about in the religious texts of such diverse faiths as Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Ashurism, and from such ancient cultures as Sumeria, China, Scythians, Mayans, and many African cultures.


Enter to Win a Spooky Contest from Tor Books

Posted on October 1, 2012 by

It’s no secret we, at FR Press, love a good ghost story. Not only did we publish Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror last year, but we also enjoying playing games like Wraith: the Oblivion or watching films like The Others, Sixth Sense, and The Haunting in Connecticut.

If you like ghosts as much as we do, then you’ll want to float over to Tor Books today. From now through midnight on Halloween, you can enter to win not one, but ten books, ranging from anthologies to novels.


Carnacki: Heaven And Hell Review

Posted on August 3, 2012 by

I’m a fan of Carnacki. The somewhat stuffy British paranormal investigator, whose adventures were first cataloged more than a hundred years ago in Carnacki The Ghost Finder by his creator, author William Hope Hodgson, have fascinated me since I was urged to read them by a good friend. I was curious, therefore, when I discovered that another author, Scotsman William Meikle, had taken up the mantle of telling some new Carnacki tales in Carnacki: Heaven and Hell by Dark Regions Press. I tried to be objective going in, but my fondness for the character had me pretty excited to read some new adventures.

Steven Dawes

Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows Review

Posted on November 16, 2011 by

Blair Witch 2 holds a special place in my black heart. No so much because of the movie itself, it happens to be the first movie my wife Lilly and I went to see together (somewhere along the lines of a 3rd of 4th date.) We were both fans of the 1st film (me more so than her), and as it was the autumn/ Halloween season so seeing a scary movie seemed like the thing to do at the time. It was incidentally the inaugural “dinner and a movie” date ritual that became a cornerstone of one of our favorite things to do together to this day. During the few times I’ve watched it since, I get a twinge of nostalgia, and did so again during this last watch for reviewing purposes. But does nostalgia a good movie make?

Monica Valentinelli

The Element Encyclopedia of Signs and Symbols Review

Posted on June 22, 2011 by

Published by Harper-Collins, The Element Encyclopedia of Signs and Symbols: the Ultimate A to Z guide from Alchemy to the Zodiac is not one book, but several smaller books that range from the language of flowers to numerology and, of course, symbols.

Normally, I find there are two challenges a book like this has to overcome. First, there’s the issue of gravity. Books in this vein can either be lighthearted, with more of a pseudo-magical feel to them, or serious and grounded in fact. This particular tome is squarely in the middle. While it does offer an aura of mystery in some respects, The Element Encyclopedia of Signs and Symbols also offers a comprehensive resource guide at the end of the book.


The Crimson Pact Anthology Preview

Posted on June 13, 2011 by

The Crimson Pact Cover ArtFlamesRising.com is pleased to present you with a preview of The Crimson Pact Volume One. Twenty-six authors wrote stories in this demon-themed eBook anthology and samples of three of them are available for you to read below.

The Failed Crusade
Written by Patrick M. Tracy and Paul Genesse

News of our victory came not in the happy shouts of the freed multitudes, but in the groaning voices of the animate dead. Ours was a victory that none would confuse with triumph. The best half of us lay broken within the Rusted Vale, the rear guard left to puzzle out the events that had been no more than far-off echoes within the smoke and crashing iron. We knew only that we had finally won, that the Crimson Pact was redeemed, that we could all go home. Tired as we were, no man lifted a fist to celebrate. No Blessed Woman smiled. No church Catechist recounted the litany of our good fortunes. The cost had been too high, the wager of battle too awful. In that moment, winning didn’t seem to matter. It would not be long before we found that even the brief illusion of victory would tear away like fog before the wind.


Revere: Revolution in Silver Review

Posted on February 22, 2011 by

Mash-ups are all the rage; whether it be Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, or any number of lesser-known works, putting two seemingly unlikely things together has become a literary obsession recently. Revere: Revolution in Silver carries on this growing tradition, positing that, in his spare time, Paul Revere was actually a werewolf hunter and member of an occult organization dedicated to defending the world against supernatural threats.

With the early days of the American Revolution as the backdrop, Revere: Revolution in Silver takes this premise and runs with it. Doing an interesting bit of world-building, writer Lavallee and artist Bond create a whole new mythology around the famous American revolutionary.


Zombie Week: The Cold Ones Review

Posted on December 9, 2010 by

The Cold Ones is a novella by award winning author Elizabeth Donald. In Cold Ones, we meet Sarah Harvey, small-town bookstore owner with a secret: she’s not really a bookstore owner. It’s her cover; she’s part of a secret organization doing who knows what in this small coastal town. At least one other shop owner is another member of her team; their jobs are to keep an eye on the town and cover the rest of the team. The story begins with a scream as someone is attacked in the street by what turns out to be a quick, ferocious, zombie-like man, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, it represents only the beginnings of the trouble ahead…

The Cold Ones is a well-crafted tale; I was instantly sucked in and stayed up too late reading it. Ms. Donald does a very good job making her characters believable while avoiding most cliches found in supernatural fiction these days. This team of covert operatives is skilled and fairly bad-assed, but they are also fallible – they screw up occasionally and sometimes make poor choices.


History of the Tarot: Part Three – Modern Day

Posted on October 24, 2010 by

Halloween is right around the corner, and many people read tarot cards to celebrate the holiday. In this three-part series of articles, FlamesRising.com turned to tarot card expert Paula Dempsey to talk about the history of the tarot. In the last article of this series, Paula discusses tarot and how we use and think about it in our modern day.

The History of Tarot: Modern Day

Finally, this whistlestop tour of the tarot brings us to the twenty first century. My question for modern times is: Is the tarot still truly occult? There are hundreds, possibly thousands of modern tarot packs, many of which are easily obtained from bookstores or online retailers. Books on how to read the cards may be borrowed from public libraries and tarot courses are offered in most cities. For those uncomfortable with the occult connotations, there is even a Jesus Deck.

The broken-hearted or inquisitive amongst us can phone or text a tarot hotline at any time of the day or night and instantly get an answer to “Does she love me?” or “Will I get that great new job?”


The History of the Tarot: Part Two – Occult Revival

Posted on October 23, 2010 by

Halloween is right around the corner, and many people read tarot cards to celebrate the holiday. In this three-part series of articles, FlamesRising.com turned to tarot card expert Paula Dempsey to talk about the history of the tarot. In this first article, she discussed its mysterious origins. Today, she talks about the occult revival.

The History of Tarot: Occult Revival

The late 18th century saw Western society immersed in the Age of Enlightenment and on the verge of the Industrial Revolution. Paradoxically, this era of scientific rationalism also saw a rebirth of magical traditions. Druidry was reinvented in Great Britain by William Stukely and others. The end of the Witch-craze in Europe and the USA meant that those claiming to practice magic could do so without fearing a noose around their necks and to many, magic had an undeniable romance to it.


The History of the Tarot: Part One – Origins

Posted on October 22, 2010 by

Did you know that Halloween is a popular time of year for divination? One way that many people celebrate the holiday is to have their tarot cards read. In this three-part series of articles, FlamesRising.com turned to tarot card expert Paula Dempsey to talk about the history of the tarot. In this first article, she discusses its mysterious origins.

The History of Tarot: Origins

Once Upon a Time…

… in 48BCE to be exact, when the Roman Empire was at its height and Julius Caesar’s troops laid siege to the Egyptian city of Alexandria. The custodians of the Royal Library of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, knew they didn’t have much time before enemy forces broke through and destroyed their precious scrolls forever. Fortunately they had made a plan. Decks of cards were small and portable, so they prepared special decks rich in symbolism carrying much of the spiritual and magical guidance from the Library, if one knew how to read them.


The Affinity Bridge Review

Posted on October 14, 2010 by

So, here we are readers, another late night at the old computer, another review, but this time it is a slightly different affair. Upon completion of George Mann’s “The Affinity Bridge” published by Tor, I happened upon a realization, OK, well not really a realization, more of a revelation, and not one in the biblical sense mind you, more of a traditional something that I hadn’t seen before until I opened my eyes sort of thing. Confused? Well, it seems as if you aren’t the only ones, because I am as well. So here we go with the admission stage of feeling guilty.

Monica Valentinelli

Why “13 Ghosts” is a Classic Horror Film. New at Crackle.com!

Posted on October 7, 2010 by

Crackle.com | Free Movies and TelevisionWhile every day is Halloween for me, this time of year brings out the best in a lot of free television and movie websites like Crackle.com.

During the month of October, I’m writing about horror movies for Crackle.com from a fan’s perspective. This week, I take a look at the classic horror film 13 Ghosts, which was produced by William Castle.


Johannes Cabal the Detective Review

Posted on September 6, 2010 by

Ah yes, here we go. So when I was at Wizard World Chicago, see previous blog article on said adventure, prior to going into the actual convention I met up with Matt, our very fair minded and –not to be a kiss up, but really, in to in fact be a kiss up-wonderful editor handed me a box, which he so apply and verbally labeled as a “Christmas Present.” I asked as we stood in the lobby of the hotel, whether or not “Johannes Cabal the Detective,” was in the box or not? To which, of course there was the obvious reply, yes. But the man wears sunglasses to obfuscate his eyes, which I believe hide his own supernatural abilities. Point being, I am scared of him, so I didn’t press the subject.

Monica Valentinelli

Girls of Gore: Women of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Posted on May 13, 2010 by

Girls of GoreWhen considering different candidates for the “Girls of Gore,” you can’t help but think of the women in BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Although there was a movie that predated the popular television show, most people think of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s version of the blonde high school student who has a natural talent for killing vamps. With the help of her friends, Buffy overcomes evil time and time again.

Buffy is often at odds with herself, her friends and her family, because she is the reluctant heroine. She doesn’t want to be the slayer, but she does it anyway. She is a very “human” character, unlike some of the ever-so-perfect pulp heroes that seem to have it all. Buffy doesn’t have it all, because it’s difficult for her to find love while kicking all kinds of ass.

Monica Valentinelli

Changes (Dresden Files) Review

Posted on March 8, 2010 by

After I got done reading CHANGES by Jim Butcher, the twelfth novel in the Dresden Files series, the first words that popped into my head were, “Holy hell.” First? There is absolutely no way that I can review this book without spoiling something for someone, so consider this a warning – if you don’t want anything spoiled for you, then don’t read this review. Second? If you’re a fan of the Dresden Files, then this is “the” book for you.

Okay, now back to the review. The first chapter opens up with a sucker punch to the gut. (You can read the first chapter of CHANGES on the author’s website.)

Monica Valentinelli


Posted on February 5, 2010 by

straub cover photoWhen I first sat down to read A DARK MATTER, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Sure, I had read Peter’s work before and I’m pretty familiar with modern horror, but I didn’t know anything about this particular story other than one, little tidbit. In our interview with Peter Straub, he had mentioned that he was inspired by his experiences in Madison, Wisconsin. That little morsel made me curious, because I went to school in Madison and could see how he got the idea for this book. Madison is unique from the rest of the state, because you can study or pursue just about any religion, philosophy or political group in this college town. I could imagine that those same gurus that Peter saw in the 60s might be strolling around State Street today. Needless to say, the concept piqued my curiosity.


Ask Peter Straub a Question! More on A DARK MATTER

Posted on January 24, 2010 by

straub cover photoIn just a few weeks, A DARK MATTER will officially debut. FlamesRising.com is able to not only give you an inside look into this new horror novel by New York Times Bestseller Peter Straub, but we’ve got a few other goodies in store for you, too.


Evil Ways fiction review

Posted on September 10, 2009 by

They had me at the giant demonic bats.

Evil Ways is a suspenseful dark fantasy novel by Justin Gustainis. Black magic and occult investigators are mixed together skilfully creating a exciting plot. It’s a very entertaining book… so long as you don’t mind jarring geographic errors and odd attempts at dialect.

The second book in the “Morris and Chastain” investigations, Evil Ways (published by Solaris Books) presents its protagonists with a problem: someone is killing children and stealing their organs, and this means dark magic is afoot, and a lot of it. Quincey Morris is an paranormal detective with skills in a variety of areas, including burglary; Libby Chastain is a white witch with experience in taking out some pretty nasty guys.


Urban Gothic Fiction Review

Posted on September 8, 2009 by

I’ve not been privy to the works of Brian Keene before this past week, nor had I ever even heard of him. I’ve got plenty of reasons as to why Brian has flown under my radar, ranging from my recent urban fantasy kick (I’ve been on a mission to complete The Dresden Files and The Mercy Thompson series lately), making an earnest attempt at reading more of the books my friends ask me to read (recently wrapped up The Lovely Bones to discuss with a gal-pal of mine), to boning up on my ghost hunting & ghost story lore to finish up some of my freelance work for Palladium Books. For these reasons and others I’ve not read a horror novel in what feels like way too long.

But the other week I was hanging out with a buddy who had a copy of Urban Gothic chilling atop a box of books he calls his “finished and ready to trade in” box. Curiosity got to me and I glanced it over, catching various notes of praise like “Brian Keene is the next Stephan King”, “Post-apocalyptic… blunt and visceral” and “One of horror’s most impressive new literary talents.”


11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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