What nightmares are lurking inside your twisted mind? Cult of Weird teamed up with the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference to present the summer speculative fiction writing contest!

Contest rules:

  • The story needs to incorporate a paranormal theme somehow. Should fall somewhere in the realm of one of these genres: horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery.
  • The story setting needs to be Wisconsin, but it does not need to be a contemporary setting.
  • The story should be no longer than 1500 words. You can submit previously published pieces if they fit the guidelines.
  • Deadline is September 1 at Midnight.
  • Submit stories as word docs to:
  • Winners will be announced on Sept 15th. Judging will be done by Cult of Weird, Furrow (a UWM literary organization and magazine) and creative writing staff from UW-Washington County.

Prizes include a VIP pass to the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, prize packs full of swag from conference vendors and sponsors (including Cult of Weird), publication in the conference program and more!
Lost in Space

What really happened to Russia’s missing cosmonauts?

The brothers finished setting up, grabbed their head-sets, twiddled the knobs on their portable receivers, hit the record button and listened… 

“Come in… come in… come in… Listen! Come in! Talk to me! I am hot! I am hot! Come in! What? Forty-five? What? Fifty? Yes. Yes, yes, breathing. Oxygen, oxygen… I am hot. This… isn’t this dangerous?” 
The brothers looked nervously at one another. They only fully understood the Russian later when their sister translated for them, but the desperation in the woman’s voice was clear. 

“Transmission begins now. Forty-one. Yes, I feel hot. I feel hot, it’s all… it’s all hot. I can see a flame! I can see a flame! I can see a flame! Thirty-two… thirty-two. Am I going to crash? Yes, yes I feel hot… I am listening, I feel hot, I will re-enter. I’m hot!” 

The most fascinating thing you will read today.

The second supernatural-author portrait I’m bringing to Arisia this weekend is of Montague Rhodes (M. R.) James (1862-1936), Cambridge (UK) don, Biblical scholar, mediaevalist, and author of numerous ghost stories.  Many of these last are in an antiquarian vein, and his short works are considered among the iconic ghost stories in the English language. The earliest were written to entertain friends at Christmas – part of the Christmas ghost story tradition in England which was either started, or developed, by Charles Dickens.

This colored pencil drawing is based on a circa 1900 photograph of James that appears in numerous places on the Web, including Wikipedia. I cannot find attribution for the photo. Online you will find color stills of a gentleman playing James for a BBC TV series that appeared recently. Fortean Times magazine (which I sometimes refer to as “the other British humour magazine”, the other other one being The Economist) published a piece touching on this in the past couple of years.

New labyrinth found

Cornish patterns uncovered

Images: Jeff Saward May 2006 Two carvings of labyrinths in Rocky Valley, between Boscastle and Tintagel in north Cornwall, have been the subject of much discussion over the years, their origins variously ascribed to the Bronze Age, the early Christian period and even the 18th century. When earth mysteries enthusiast David Roberts visited the site recently, he took digital photographs of the two labyrinths. On returning home, he downloaded the photographs onto his computer and noticed a third carving above the two previously known rock-cut patterns.

The hitherto unnoticed labyrinth is much fainter than the other two, leading to suggestions that the two bolder images were re-cut over existing carvings in relatively modern times. An alternative suggestion is that the two known labyrinths were copied from the much older, worn carving. All three labyrinths appear to be classic ‘Cretan’ in style, with seven-fold paths and left-handed entrances, although the ‘new’ carving is indistinct and its details somewhat difficult to establish. The recently identified labyrinth, news of which was published in Cornish earth mysteries magazine Meyn Mamvro, was described by Mr Roberts as “faint but unmistakable
External image

Meyn Mamvro 58, Autumn 2005.