This week’s historical werewolf tidbit comes from the Nomenclator of Hadrianus Junius, the 1585 edition of which can be found online here. A topical dictionary, the book contains the following entry for “Incubus”:
A kinde of disease called the night mare or witch, being a certeine pressing down and strangling of the bodie, hindering both the voice and the breath of free passage.
This is clearly a description of what would now be termed sleep paralysis, but what caught my eye is what accompanies the definition.
First, the book includes excerpts from classical sources in Latin and Greek, citing the thoughts of authors like Dioscorides Pliny on the phenomenon. And then, after the excerpts and just before the definition, the phrase “Le loup garou.”
Continue reading “Werewolf Wednesday: Loup Garou, Incubus or Sleep Paralysis? (1577/85)”
Even someone familiar with the genre must surely find it remarkable how broad a spectrum extreme horror has successfully covered with spraying viscera. Many stories up for the Splatterpunk Awards have made a point out of staying away from reality: whether this is done through supernatural fantasy or cartoonish absurdity, the effect is to constantly remind us that, no matter how graphic the subject matter may be, it remains far removed from anything going on in the real world.
Then, at the other end of the scale, we find Ross Jeffery’s Only the Stains Remain.
This novella tells the story of Jude, a survivor of child abuse who, as an adult, revisits the area where he and his brother Kyle grew up, including “the campsite where our childhoods were erased by calloused hands and cruel intentions”. As he does so, he begins a series of reminiscences that start with the final days of his terminally-ill mother.
Continue reading “Only the Stains Remain by Ross Jeffery (2022 Splatterpunk Awards)”
In the penultimate instalment of my WWAC series on female vampires in nineteenth-century literature, I’m looking at something of an outlier. Ivan Turgenev’s 1883 novella Clara Mílitch: It’s a classic in Russia; it seems largely unknown in the English-speaking world — but is it a vampire story? Read on…