Search This Blog

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Southern California Vol. 7 - The Griffith Observatory

Last week, I told you about the curse of Griffith Park and if you haven't read that post, you should.  It's a pretty fascinating story and much of it is documented fact.  However, I want to get away from the sordid and eerie side of Griffith Park in this post and talk about something that I consider one of L.A.'s absolute wonders: The Griffith Observatory.

I've been to it countless times but my favorite was in the fall about eight years ago.  We just happened to be there on a perfectly clear night and all around the grounds of the observatory there were people who had set up their own telescopes.  As we were walking up to the doors of the observatory, one man pulled us aside and asked us if we wanted to see Saturn.  

Hell yes, we wanted to see Saturn!

As I looked into the eye piece, he began telling us about what prompted Griffith J. Griffith to fund the construction of a public observatory and it turns out that we were looking right at it.

Griffith had visited the Mt. Wilson Observatory and was given a chance to look through the telescope at Saturn.  For the first time in his life, he could see its rings himself, just as I was doing.  It blew his freaking mind!  He's quoted as saying, "If all mankind could look through that telescope it would revolutionize the world!"

In particular, he was speaking about the vastness of space and the fact that we are just one small speck in the midst of all of it.  I can tell you from personal experience, looking through a powerful telescope and seeing those distant stars and planets definitely does something to ground a person. Suddenly all that political in-fighting doesn't seem too important, you know?

So Griffith established a trust fund in order to build an observatory on his land in what is now Griffith Park.  He said that it should house both solar and lunar telescopes, a scientific theater and a "Hall of Science" or museum.  More importantly, he mandated that it should be 100% free and open to the public.

To this day, that still amazes me and when you take a trip to visit Griffith Observatory it will amaze you also.  The building is absolutely gorgeous from the murals on the ceiling to the architecture itself it's a wonder. It also houses some pretty great exhibits including:

A Foucault's Pendulum 

A Tesla Coil (which is bitchin' to watch in action)

And my favorite area the hall of the planets.  In the picture above you'll see there are nine stations where people are standing.  Each one represents a different planet and when you walk up to it, the screen in front of you tells you what you would weigh if you were standing on the planet's surface.  You can make believe you don't weigh as much as you actually do.

The observatory also sits right next to the Hollywood sign so if you're looking to get a good photo of it, you can do so easily.  If you're in the L.A. area and have never visited, you really should.

That's it for this week.  Nothing weird about this one.  I just love the place and want to share it.

If you're still looking for something weird though, head over to Amazon and pick up one of my short stories or my book The Wash.  They should satisfy your craving.

See you next time!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

No post today other than to say Merry Christmas to all of you.  If you don't celebrate Christmas, then I wish you a happy holiday season and hope nothing but the best for you in the new year.  

Upcoming Southern California posts will include a trip out to the remains of the old L.A. zoo, but first my daughter and I have to trek out there and take a few pictures.  

See you soon!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Cary's Year End 2017 Music List

I know I'm going to lose some of you right off the bat with this post.  If you don't read any further than this, then let me just say that my favorite album of the year was released in 2011 and I only just heard it for the first time in August.

Nicole Atkins - Mondo Amore

I've played the absolute shit out of this one.  Her new album Goodnight Rhonda Lee is also fantastic.  Do yourself a favor and give it a listen.  

You can find it (and samples of all the others on this list) on YouTube if you're interested in taking a commitment-free listen.

For those of you in for the long haul, on to the real post:

When it comes to music, books and movies, my favorite time of year is probably the end of December.  It's a time when everyone begins publishing their "Best Of" lists in every genre and that means I spend the next month or two catching up on things I've missed.  Those of you who know me, know that I'm an addict when it comes to new music.  Something climbed into my bloodstream at the age of twelve and it's never released its grip (and to be fair, I've never honestly tried to kick it).

So with that in mind, here's my own list of what grabbed my ears in 2017.  I'm only listing a few in each genre because otherwise this would get way too long.  Also, you'll see some genres not represented because I didn't discover anything new that I loved (Blues and Jazz... I'm looking at you) and one genre is on here that you probably never thought I would ever list (K-pop). 

Here we go!


There's more great music coming out of the Americana genre than any other right now and it's without a doubt more "country" than what passes for country these days.  All three of these are fantastic albums, but Jason Isbell's "If We Were Vampires" is the most achingly beautiful heartbreak of a song I've heard in years.  It's about the sadness and terror of being truly in love.  The guy is a master.

  1. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – The Nashville Sound
  2. Whitney Rose - Rule 62
  3. Old 97’s – Graveyard Whistling 

Indie/Whatever you want to call it

I'd actually say that The xx's I See You sits in my top three favorite albums of the year. There has not been a week that's gone by where "On Hold" hasn't gotten stuck in my head at some point.  

  1. The xx - I See You
  2. The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding
  3. London Grammar - Truth is a Beautiful Thing 


It's not often that one of your favorite bands of all time comes out with a stunner late in their career.  It's also unheard of that it would literally be the 100th album release by that band's main songwriter, but that's exactly what Robert Pollard did this year with Guided By Voices' August By Cake.  I've had "5 Degrees On The Inside" on heavy rotation since the beginning of summer.

  1. Guided By Voices - August By Cake
  2. Cheap Trick - We're All Alright!
  3. Chuck Berry - Chuck


I'm not exactly sure where I first came across this new album by Elder.  I'd never heard of them before this year and I'm pretty sure I just stumbled on them, but Reflections of a Floating World is a masterpiece of progressive metal.  The shortest of its six tracks clocks in at over eight and a half minutes so it's not something to put on unless you're ready to commit, but trust me when I say committing is not a bad thing.

  1. Elder - Reflections of a Floating World
  2. Mastodon - Emperor of Sand
  3. Electric Wizard - Wizard Bloody Wizard


I know what you're thinking, but I should tell you now that my 15-year-old daughter listens to k-pop constantly.  I'm too old to get righteously angry over a genre I despise.  Instead, I set my "completely indifferent" ray on stun and blast myself thoroughly in the face until each song is over.  The only one that cut through my defenses was this one.  It's got an insanely catchy whistling melody in part of it.  The song actually sounds like someone wrote three songs and mashed them up, but fortunately two of the three pieces are like ear worms that burrow into your brain.

  1.  BlackPink - "Whistle"

New To Me

These are albums I'd never heard before that overtook my iPod at various times this year.  As mentioned above, without a doubt my favorite album discovery of the entire year was Nicole Atkins' Mondo Amore.  There are so many good songs on here with my favorites being "My Baby Don't Lie" and "Vultures".  Please, please, please check her music out.

Also, the only jazz album on any of my lists sits here after I spent a good part of January listening to Miles Davis albums I'd never heard before.  The result was finding an album that I truly loved.  

The third entry comes thanks to an episode of Rick and Morty.  Chaos Chaos' "Do You Feel It?" became a household favorite for a few weeks.

  1. Nicole Atkins - Mondo Amore
  2. Miles Davis - Sorcerer
  3. Chaos Chaos - Committed to the Crime

And in the interest of transparency here's the ten most frequently played songs on my iPod in 2017.  Not sure why Jenny O. placed so high but "Well OK Honey" does seem to get rotated into a bunch of mixes when I'm on random shuffle.  I'm not complaining.

  1. Well OK Honey – Jenny O.   (36 plays)
  2. Ever South – Drive-By Truckers   (31 plays)
  3. Number Thirteen – Red Fang  (31 plays)
  4. Do You Feel It – Chaos Chaos  (31 plays)
  5. On Hold - The xx  (30 plays) 
  6. Same to You – Lydia Loveless  (30 plays)
  7. Vultures – Nicole Atkins  (30 plays)
  8. 5 Degrees on the Inside – Guided By Voices (30 plays)
  9. Beautiful – The Lemonheads  (29 plays)
  10. My Baby Don't Lie - Nicole Atkins (29 plays)

Monday, December 18, 2017

Southern California Vol. 6 - The Curse of Griffith Park

Whether they know it or not, almost everybody in the world has seen Griffith Park.  Anyone who has seen a photo of the Hollywood sign is looking right at it.  It's a 3,000 acre piece of mostly wild land smack in the middle of Los Angeles that's iconic for a few reasons.

First, of course, is that famous sign.  You can see it from far away but you can also hike up to places in the park that will give you a view of it from above, behind it and to the side.  I don't believe you can hike right up to it any longer unless you plan to do some breaking and entering and I wouldn't recommend that.

Second of course is the Griffith Observatory.  That is a wonder in itself and I'll do a separate post on it because it truly deserves one.  Third is the fabulous Greek Theater, an outdoor venue that is an awesome place to see your favorite band play. Add to those, the tons of trails and other little odds and ends scattered throughout (including a Disney attraction of sorts) and it's just a special place. 

What a lot of people don't know though is that the land Griffith Park occupies was cursed long before Griffith bought it. In the early 1860's the land was owned by Don Antonio Feliz.  It was part of a total of 8,000 acres that he had established a successful ranch on.  Feliz was a bachelor, but he shared his house and land with his blind niece Petranilla.  As fate would have it, Feliz contracted smallpox and in an effort to spare Petranilla from contracting it, she was sent away while Feliz battled the disease.  

Enter this guy: Don Antonio De Colonel.

While Petranilla was gone, he came by with his lawyer in tow and using Feliz's delirium to his advantage, convinced the man to grant Colonel all the land if Feliz should die.

Of course, that's exactly what happened and when Petranilla returned she found out she had nothing.  Now she may have been blind, but she was no pushover and as she was being kicked off the property, she very loudly and very publicly cursed Don Colonel's entire family.  She also included the lawyer (who she said would die an untimely death) and the judge who ruled against her.  She then said that the whole patch of land would be cursed, and that cattle would fall ill, the ground would stop producing food and even the oaks would die.  The last line literally translates from the original Spanish into "The wrath of heaven and the vengeance of hell shall fall upon this place!"

Petranilla was pissed!  And who can blame her?  I'd be pissed off too!

Now, of course none of this would be worth writing about if the curse didn't actually come true and that's what's interesting.  By all accounts, it did.  

First, the lawyer was shot and killed while celebrating the sale of the land's water rights.  Colonel himself lived for quite a while but saw many in his family suffer miserably as members died of accidents, disease or other tragedies.  When he finally kicked the bucket, his wife remarried but her new husband pulled a fast one of his own and tried to divorce her and take her land.  In the end she lost what money she had to lawyers as she battled him in court.

The land was eventually sold to a man named Baldwin who tried to start a dairy farm there.  His cattle sickened and died.  A plague of grasshoppers wiped out his crops and a series of wildfires burned through and left him up to his eyeballs in mortgage payments.  

This is where Griffith J. Griffith (above) enters the picture.  He'd made a ton of money speculating for gold mines.  Griffith did some good things including funding the building of the observatory and eventually donated the park to the city of Los Angeles, but while it may seem like a grand gesture, truth be told he really wanted to unload the land.

During the time he owned it he'd seen his own ranch ravaged by wildfires and floods.  He was also shot in an attempted murder by a business rival and all the while he was hearing people talk of the curse.  In fact, he very famously refused to visit the property at night.  Even after he gave the land away, the curse stayed with him.  Griffith shot his wife in what was later described as "alcoholic insanity".  This despite Griffith supposedly being a sober man.  He did time in San Quentin before coming back to society completely disgraced.  He died in 1919.

Now that the land belongs to L.A., the curse seems to have dissipated, but then again maybe it hasn't.  In 2002, Griffith Park's Chief Ranger was Albert Torres.  He was asked by the L.A. Times about the curse and his response was:

"Frankly I'm not afraid of any make-believe demons as much as I am of some of the living and breathing human monsters who come here.  If you knew even a quarter of the stuff we find within the park's perimeter you'd never set foot in it again.  Animal sacrifices, satanic cults, murders, prostitution... with stuff like that happening on a regular basis it makes a pair of 30-year-old ghosts look like good times."

The 30-year-old ghosts he's referring to belong to a young couple who were killed while making love on a picnic table in 1976.  

A tree fell on them.  

There are a number of jokes I could make about that but I'll leave you all to do it in the comments section.

Speaking of ancient curses, I wrote a book about one. You should check it out. It's called The Wash and you can find it on my Amazon page.

Next time around we'll talk about the Griffith Observatory itself.  See you then!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Night a Lobster Tried to Kill Me

Those of you who know me personally have probably heard this story.  Either way, in the interest of being jolly and having a good laugh I'll tell it here for those who haven't heard it.  

One of the things that my old dive partner, Donna, and I used to love doing was going hunting for lobster during Southern California's lobster season.  It's something you can't do any longer as they've closed the season in recent years due to over fishing.  There was a time though where on any given night, you could pack up your dive lights, throw your gear in the trunk and go out for a nice long swim in the dark with an option to bring back some extremely fresh dinner.

Now, most Americans think that lobsters are slow.  That's because many of us only see them in tanks at seafood restaurants, however if those same animals are in the open ocean it's a different story.  That tail that everyone loves to eat is actually one giant muscle and when it contracts, a lobster zooms out of sight sometimes faster than you can follow.  If you don't believe me, check out this video showing a lobster swimming away from the clutches of a diver.

Now what you see in that video is exactly what Donna and I used to do.  The whole process of hunting lobsters involves being deceptive and quick.  First you sneak up on it by shining your light away from its eyes but near enough that you can still see what it's doing.  If you shine your lights directly on a lobster around here, nine times out of ten it will bolt right away.  However if it thinks you're looking somewhere else it may stick around.  

Then, once you get close enough to it, you have to very quickly grab it and the trick is you have to pin its tail down so it can't contract that muscle and shoot away.  It takes some practice to get it down but once you do, you find you can catch them almost every time.  When Donna and I would go out, we both had measuring devices on our lights so we could easily grab a lobster, check its size with one hand and then either bag it or let it go with the other.  

That's exactly what we were doing the night a lobster tried to kill me.  See, we were diving off the southern end of Laguna Beach in an area with a lot of small rocks and grass.  It was a good night.  The water was clear and there was a bright moon.  As usual, we had the whole place to ourselves.  As I recall it was December or January so most people were scared away by the cold.  We'd happened on a few lobsters but all of them had been undersized so we released them.  

As we came up on the next patch of grass, Donna spotted one standing stock still and trying not to grab our attention.  She maneuvered close to it and quickly got hold of it.  Once she had it secure, she dropped to her knees on the bottom and got the measuring device on it to check the size.  I had come up to the right of her and let myself settle to the bottom on the sand.  She looked up at me, shook her head "no" to tell me it was too small and then released it as she turned to go look for more. 

As it shot away, it hit me...

directly in the balls. 

The immediate urge to spit out my regulator and scream was thwarted only by my jaw clenching in pain.  Tears came to my eyes.  My stomach clenched up in agony.  Meanwhile, Donna was moving on.  There I was doubled over thirty feet below the surface and she was looking for more lobster.  She hadn't seen any of it.

In the end, I caught up with her and we continued the hunt but came up empty-handed.  Looking back on it all, I can't really do anything but laugh about it.  Score one for little guy, right?  However, I'd kill to see a video of it.  I'm sure it would have been a YouTube sensation.

If you're looking for something that's more fun than being hit in the genitals by a wild animal, you should check out my book The Wash.  In fact, there's a scene where someone gets hit in the nuts with a frying pan.  I know you were wondering how I was going to tie this post back to my book.  I've got mad skills.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Southern California Vol. 5 - The Lost Egyptian City in Sand Dune National Park

Would you believe that there's an entire Egyptian city buried in the sand dunes just north of Los Angeles?  I wouldn't have either before I moved out here but it's true and it's a hell of a story.  

The movie business has played more prominently in Southern California's modern history than any other industry.  Over the last century, it's drawn everyone's attention to this area of the country, for better or for worse.  These days it's a fairly regulated and normal business to be in but back when it first started, making movies was a little like ranching in the wild west.  Sure you had big name directors and stars but there were still outlaws about and a sense of "anything goes".

By the early 1920's, there was no bigger name in the film industry than Cecil B. Demille.  The man had made his name as a visionary and when he decided to film The Ten Commandments, he wanted it to be larger than anything that had ever been filmed before.  He commissioned work on building a set like no other.  It would contain an entire, life-sized Egyptian temple.  There would be four gigantic statues of Ramses II (40 tons each).  There would be twelve sphinxes, eight gigantic lions and all of it would be erected in what is now Sand Dune National Park along the Central Coast of California.

To say it was a massive undertaking is short selling it.  The set build alone employed 1,500 carpenters and used 25,000 pounds of nails.  Ultimately though, the sets were built and the movie was shot.  Demille's vision was realized in what is considered to this day one of the greatest cinematic endeavors ever.

Remember though, that this was the wild west days of film making.  Demille knew that if he left his sets out there intact, other directors would lead their own crews out and use them.  So he did the only thing he could do.  He destroyed them.  According to legend, he burned them to the ground himself but in reality, he had his crews demolish them and bury the remains.

And that's the story as it was told to a young freelance journalist named Peter Brosnan back in the late 1970's.  Brosnan had gone to film school and had heard the story there.  He came up with an idea to get an archeology team together to uncover the remains.  He figured he'd film a documentary about it but there was one problem.  No one knew exactly where the set had been erected.  The dunes themselves stretch for more than 30 miles.  It would be like finding a needle in haystack.

Brosnan researched the area at local libraries, asked locals what they knew and did everything he could think of to find it.  Finally, he was put in touch with a man who had driven cattle across the dunes frequently.  He took Brosnan out on the sand and after hiking a mile or so, pointed out an area that he called "The Dune That Never Moves".  Sticking right out of it was a piece of the set.

Unfortunately for Brosnan, he was never able to make his film the way he wanted. Between lack of funding and other problems, he gave up on it for years until circa 2010 when he was able to put together a small team that uncovered a sphinx head.  By that time, the set had been buried for over 90 years.  

Digging still goes on to this day.  In fact, the reason I'm posting this is because just last week another sphinx head was uncovered.  Here's a photo.

You can visit the Dune Center at Sand Dunes National Park, see the pieces they've uncovered and hear more of the story behind Demille's lost Egyptian city.  It's something you'll likely never see again in the modern age of film making where entire worlds are created via computer.  Then again, if you watch the number of names scrolling by in the closing credits of a film today, there's easily more people working on it than even the small army Demille used in his day.

If you think this is cool and like uncovering mysteries, then why not pick up my new novel The Wash.  There's a mystery and yes it does need to be uncovered but there's a whole lot less sand to get lodged in your underwear.

Until next time, adios!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Southern California Vol. 4: Bubblegum and Wildman Warriors

When you think of Southern California, most of the time people are talking about Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County.  The thing is, if you break the state up into thirds, you find that places like Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo and even San Simeon fall into or very close to the southern third of the state.  What I'm saying is that California is huge and so when I include today's column under the "Southern California" heading, I'm stretching that term to it's maximum.  

In 2016, my family and I get this itch to go on a road trip. We'd done a huge international trip two years before and we'd been kind of laying low since then.  At the spur of the moment, I asked for a couple of days off work and my wife booked a trip up to visit the Hearst Castle.  We love that part of our state and rarely get up there.

While planning though, we decided that if we were going to head up for an extended weekend, we ought to hit up any and all of the little weird places along the way that we could.  One of the must-see stops for us was in San Luis Obispo.

Imagine you're chewing gum, it's completely flavorless, your jaw is tired and you just want to get rid of it.  You look around and there's not a trashcan in sight.  Being the upstanding individual you are, you decide not to just spit it out on the sidewalk where someone else may step in it.  What do you do?

Well, luckily you're in San Luis Obispo, so you head down to Higuera Street and once you pass Broad St. heading North, you turn down Bubblegum Alley.

People have been depositing their gum on the walls of the alley since at least 1940.  Some say it started before that.  Either way, there are literally millions of pieces.  Some people chewed multiple sticks and stretched theirs out to spell messages or names.  Others took up the challenge to place their piece as high as they could.  There are even business cards and playing cards stuck to the wall.  It's pretty amazing in a colorfully disgusting way.  

The bonus is that it's in an area of SLO that's pretty trendy and pricey.  Nothing like an alley full of chewed up bubblegum to bring you back down to Earth as you pass hipster bars and coffee shops.  Also, it's great when you can get that "I can't believe you brought me here" look from your daughter.

 Which brings us to the werewolf part of this post.  I could do a whole piece on the Hearst Castle and I may someday.  For those who don't know, William Randolph Hearst was a newspaper magnate who bought a ton of property and built a gigantic house dubbed Hearst Castle.  He's an interesting man and the house itself is amazing but in the interest of just keeping it weird, I want to just show one or two things that stood out on the tour.

As we were being led through the grounds, our tour guide pointed out this magnificent door that had been imported from Europe.  

It's the kind of thing you'd expect to see on a cathedral.  As I looked closer though, I noticed something about the two figures guarding either side of the entrance.  They looked particularly hairy.

These are wildman guardians.  They are Spanish in origin but the guide didn't know much else about them.  The thing about Hearst Castle is it's so far up in foothills above the ocean that it makes sense that a pair of wild men would be guarding the place.  I'd like to tell you there were more odd monster statues and artwork around the place but that would be a lie. Most everything was tasteful and normal.  

Well, except for this picture of a group of demons with faces for genitals pulling a baby out of a sleeping man's mouth.

But otherwise, yeah... tasteful and normal. 

Speaking of tasteful, if you haven't picked up The Wash already I'd love for you to check it out.  Sure, there's some murder in it and yes, there is a talking coyote and the possibility that there may be some demonic activity somewhere in the 250 pages, so it's not exactly normal but I'd argue that it's pretty tasteful overall.  Of course my tastes may not be the same as yours.

See you next time!

Monday, December 4, 2017

How 'Bout Them Dawgs!

I don't talk about sports often on this blog.  In fact, this is the first time.  There's a reason for that.  One, I'm not much of a sports writer and two, when it comes to my team I've found that sometimes I hold victories and defeats a little too close.  

Watching my Georgia Bulldogs lose would sometimes ruin a Saturday for me.  Three years ago, I made the conscious decision to not let my football team's performance effect my life in such a way.  Not writing about them helps me keep that focus.

That said, I watch almost every single game.  I root hard while they're playing and I repeatedly use language totally becoming of the sailor I am. My wife tends to stay on the other side of the room but trust me, she swears too.  

Fifteen years ago, I flew across the country to see my Georgia Bulldogs win the SEC Championship.  That year had been a mixed bag.  We had no shot at all of being the in the National Championship game, but seeing us beat Arkansas and win our conference was enough for me. When we went back three years later and won it again, I couldn't make it to the game but I told myself we'd be back soon enough. I was right but both times we got beat.  Once by LSU and again the following year in what may be the most heartbreaking loss I've every experienced when we came one play away from beating Alabama and punching our ticket to the National Championship game against Notre Dame.

It's been a long twelve years since we've held that Southeastern Conference Champions trophy, which is what makes last Saturday night so sweet.  Watching my Dawgs dismantle Auburn (28 unanswered points) and punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff was a thing of beauty.  I have a lot of friends back in Athens right now who are happier than they've been in years.  

It's a four week wait until we play on New Year's Day.  It'll give us time to get healthy and get ready for what will certainly be the biggest contest we've had all season.  For now though, I hope those players and coaches take a day or two just to let this win sink in.  It's been a long time coming and they've made the entire Dawg Nation proud.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

What's the Scariest Book You've Ever Read?

I know that Halloween is over and we're supposed to be focused on giving thanks at this point and shopping for Christmas, but allow me one more horror-filled post. 

What's the scariest book you've ever read?

Talk about a tough question!  

If you piled up all the scary books I've read over the years and put them on a scale, I'd wager that I've literally read a ton of horror books. It takes a lot to actually scare me though.  More often, I get intrigued and engaged to a point where I can't stop turning pages.  

As a kid, when I was first reading books like Peter Benchley's JAWS and Stephen King's The Shining, I'd get nightmares from what I read.  Then the next day, I'd be back to reading them to find out what was happening to these poor characters! 

I remember reading Shirley Jackson's story The Lottery and really feeling creeped out.  The same with Richard Matheson's short story Duel.  After that one, I thought every semi-truck on the highway was being driven by an insane murderer.  

As I got older though, scaring me to the point of nightmares got a lot harder. The exception is a book that was first published in 1979, but that I didn't read until about ten years ago.  That book is Peter Straub's Ghost Story.  

It starts with these words:

What was the worst thing you've ever done?

I won't tell you that, but I'll tell you the worst thing that ever happened to me... the most dreadful thing...

What spills out from there is a tale of four men in a small town called Milburn, New York.  They've gathered back together because of something they did when they were younger.  It's something they thought was behind them but all the evidence points now to the contrary.

There are two reasons I wanted to bring this book up in a blog post. 

1.  It's scary.  Very scary.  The final showdown between our main characters and the antagonist filled me with so much dread that I didn't want to read further even as my hand was turning the pages.

2.  It's possibly the most original take I've ever read on the idea of what a "ghost" actually is.  So much so, that it inspired me to write my own "ghost story" book, but not using Mr. Straub's idea.  Instead, his book inspired me to jump far outside the normal box people usually write ghost stories in.  When another book inspires you, then it's done more than its job! 

Since I read Ghost Story, I've read one other book that's scared the pants off me, but I'll write about that in another post at another time.  For now, if you've never read Ghost Story, you should pick it up.  I'd be highly surprised if you didn't love it.

And while you're perusing the horror titles over at Amazon, why not pick up my book The Wash.  It will be like a horror drive-in double feature, not that I'm comparing my writing in any way to Peter Straub's.  At this particular drive in, my book is definitely the "B" movie in that billing.  It's still fun though!