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Neil Arnold (Kent, UK)
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The Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Staffordshire
The Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Staffordshire
by Nick Redfern
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strange adventure..., 2 Jan 2014
The 'Mystery Animals of the British Isles' series from CFZ Press is an essential guide to all things monstrous and mysterious when it comes to Britain's oldest and weirdest counties. Whilst countless guide books may talks about essential tourist spots, or the best pubs, the 'Mystery Animals...' series focuses on all manner of oddities such as strange animal sightings, peculiar monsters said to roam specific woodlands, creature-infested marshes and other intriguing tales of escaped animals and animal lore. Nick Redfern and Glen Vaudrey look at many cases, many known, some unknown, in regards to Staffordshire's dark woodlands and dense undergrowth - from rumoured 'big cats' to ghastly, ghostly black dogs, plus as look at the mysterious Cannock Chase environs, this is a must-have book not just for locals, but anyone interested in the peculiar side of a county.


SEA SERPENT CARCASSES: Scotland - from The Stronsa Monster to Loch Ness
SEA SERPENT CARCASSES: Scotland - from The Stronsa Monster to Loch Ness
by Glen Vaudrey
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing insight..., 2 Jan 2014
An intriguing book from the CFZ Press in which Glen Vaudrey looks at cases of possible sea serpent remains from those rugged coastlines of Scotland. Books like this are essential reading for anyone who may consider themselves a monster hunter, but those sceptics among you may also be pleased by the fact that Glen doesn't simply hail each piece of evidence as truly monstrous, and instead he looks at many cases where alleged monster remains have turned out to be nothing of the sort. This is an easy-to-read guidebook that may still leave us wondering why evidence seems to be lacking in support of sea serpents, but the CFZ have done a great job at publishing a book on a much ignored subject. Whatever your belief, the next time you're scanning those shores with your beady eyes, you may think again about that strange blubbery mass you just trod on!


Lizard Man: The True Story of the Bishopville Monster
Lizard Man: The True Story of the Bishopville Monster
by Lyle Blackburn
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Another monstrous read..., 2 Jan 2014
After his fascinating 'The Beast of Boggy Creek' book, Lyle Blackburn has returned with another top-notch investigation, this time in search of the facts...and fiction, surrounding the alleged 'Lizardman' of Bishopville. Once again Lyle, and partner, take to the swamps in order to wade through a mystery that has long remained stagnant but like all good researchers Lyle peels back the layers to reveal that maybe, just maybe something strange did lurks in the murkier parts of Scape Ore Swamp, but also proves that at times the legend isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Whilst it's highly unlikely there ever was a scaly humanoid roaming the boggy bottoms of Bishopville, not all of the reports can be explained so easily, but it's also nice to read about the impact this alleged creature had on local tourism as well as reading about the newspaper headlines and eye-witness statements. Admittedly there is the occasional moment when the book loses itself, but it's always great when an author revisits an old story and sheds new light on it, so whether you are a fan of monster stories in general, or consider yourself a bit of a cryptozoological buff or sceptic, 'Lizard Man' is still a truly monstrous read.


Wildman!
Wildman!
by Nick Redfern
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book on things that should not be!, 14 Feb 2013
This review is from: Wildman! (Paperback)
For centuries there have been sporadic reports in the wilds of Britain of strange, bipedal hair-covered beings, akin to the humanoid known as Bigfoot, often sighted in the Pacific Nortwhest. Although Britain harbours dense woodlands and ancient forest it has never been inhabited by any species of ape - so, what exactly are people seeing? Flesh and blood creature undiscovered by science? Hoaxers dressed up in gorilla suits? Paranormal manimals? Or something far weirder? Nick Redfern has written one of the most important cryptozoological and Fortean books of all time in 'Wildman,' because whilst books regarding American Bigfoot are two a penny nowadays, this quest is something altogetehr more unqiue as Nick delves into the archives, interviews witnesses, and trudges through some of Britain's most inhospitabale - and not so remote - wilds in search of a creature that simply cannot be. And yet the reports persist, a majority describing hulking ape-men with burning red eyes. These figures do not sound like your average monkey that has escaped from a zoo or circus , and yet Nick looks at these possibilities too with numerous cases pertaining to escapees from menageries and the like. Theories are put forward by several dedicated monster-hunters and zoologists as to what these manifestations could be, connecting such forms with age-old legends such as the Green Man, and the Woodwose of Medieval lore. It's as if folklore has come to life. Nick peels back the layers of these incredible mysteries, and covers all manner of surreal and frightening cases from places such as Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk, and the Bolam Lake area of Northumberland where a group of witnesses claimed to have seen a hairy man-beast. No stone remains unturned in 'Wildman', so, if you don't know your Man-Monkey from you Shug-Monkey, then it's time to grab a torch and with stout heart venture into the deep, dark woods of British folklore, and let Nick Redfern be your guide. 'Wildman' is essential reading for any monster-hunter, ghost investigator, paranormal enthusiast, zoologist, cryptozoologist, historian and seeker of all things unnatural. Brace yourself for a hairy ride.


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5.0 out of 5 stars Rock n' roll for your soul, 24 Jan 2013
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Having been a fan of '80s metal, and also early '90s metal, the mid to late '90s and pretty much most of the 00s have been bereft of any true rock n' roll bands. Step forward The Last Vegas with their sweltering hot brand of sleazy rock n' roll that combies a lot of archetype rock n' roll - the result being quite a fiery package. If you like your music swaggering, your vocals spitting attitude, and your riffs juicy then this is an essential album. Vocally Chad Cherry comes across as a venemous mix of Brian Johnson (AC/DC) and Cinderella's Tom Keifer, and these guys know how to write a cool, infectiousw tune too. if anyone has a love for stuff like Buckcherry, Brides of Destruction, et al, then you should own this. If you like watered down corporate metal then look elsewhere...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 8, 2013 1:49 PM GMT


Quest for the Hexham Heads
Quest for the Hexham Heads
by Paul Screeton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.54

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intrguing investigation into a seemingly weird case, 24 Jan 2013
Thank goodness a book has finally been written in regards to the mystery of teh so-called 'Hexham Heads,' the only downpoint being the number of spelling errors within the book. Even so, Screeton still takes us on a journey into the surreal, the terrifying, the coincidental, and the downright normal as we meet a whole host of characters who almost seem as shifty as those in the board game 'Cluedo'! 'Quest for...' is a Fortean feast of fun and frolics, highly recommended.


The Ghosts of Chislehurst Caves
The Ghosts of Chislehurst Caves
by James Wilkinson
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting guide, 7 Jan 2013
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The Ghosts of Chislehurst Caves is a tad expensive for what it is - a nice little guide book (at just over 100 pages - page numbers would have been nice!) concerning the history and legends of the 20-mile stretch of man-made tunnels which wind beneath the borough of Bromley. Author James Wilkinson has clearly put a lot of effort into this volume, and like most local guide books it is essential to any historian, ghost-hunter, researcher and the like. I'd suggest visiting the caves first to get an idea of the stories and the layout of the place. Although a book in the caves gift shop is far more affordable, I'd still recommend this as it's written with a passion - clearly James knows his stuff and he's conducted some in-depth research involving eye witness interviews etc. Although the photographs showing alleged strange phenomena are extremely debatable, 'The Ghosts of Chislehurst Caves is recommended reading for the fireside.


Haunted Kent (Images of England)
Haunted Kent (Images of England)
by Janet Cameron
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.91

2.0 out of 5 stars Read it all before..., 26 Jun 2012
The reason I wrote my books PARANORMAL KENT, HAUNTED MAIDSTONE, HAUNTED ASHFORD etc, was for once and for all to prove that there's more than meets the eye when it comes to alleged true ghost stories. For those of you who've heard about the 'phantom hitchhiker' of Blue Bell Hill, or England's 'most haunted' village Pluckley, then you've no doubt been submitted to years of regurgitation rather than investigation into these reputedly haunted sites. Whilst it's highly unlikely we'll ever prove that ghosts exist, the main problem with so many ghost books is that the authors fail to explore any further than their armchair.

'Haunted Kent' will no doubt sell well, it's an almost beginners guide to hauntings in the county of Kent, and yet clearly it is a book that rehashes a lot of old information, which in turn renders a majority of the covered stories stagnant. Such books make for a frustrating read and as well as several errors, I wonder just how many more books of this ilk we'll read over the years from people who seem to not once step into the field to interview people etc. Pluckley most certainly isn't the most haunted village in Kent, a majority of the stories were made up in the 1950s, meanwhile almost everything written about Blue Bell Hill in print is completely wrong.

I've always been a fan of obscure and atmospheric ghostly tales and folklore, as well as shedding new light on old ghosts, but you'll find none of that here. This is a ghost-by-numbers affair that will leave you cold.


THE BEAST OF BOGGY CREEK: The True Story of the Fouke Monster
THE BEAST OF BOGGY CREEK: The True Story of the Fouke Monster
by Lyle Blackburn
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest monster stories ever told..., 1 May 2012
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Thank goodness 'The Beast of Boggy Creek' has been written. For those of you in the know, 'The Legend Of Boggy Creek' was a '70s drive-in movie that not only terrified teenagers across the world, but also inspired many people to become monster hunters and cryptozoologists. The movie, directed by Charles B. Pierce tells the story, in docu-drama style, of the small town of Fouke, Arkansas, and the rumour of a hairy, bipedal creature ransacking farms and peering through cabin windows before slinking off into the darkness. The film became a cult classic. A film way ahead of its time.

Ever since the film hit small town theatres and VHS players, there has been much confusion and debate as to what actually happened in Fouke to inspire such a film. The name Bigfoot became a household name a few years previous when the famous Patterson-Gimlin film purported to show a real, upright walking man-beast. However, the facts behind the 'Fouke Monster', except with mention in a book by resident Smokey Crabtree, remained foggy, until now.

Lyle Blackburn has written a fascinating account of the 'Fouke Monster' scare. The author has taken the time to traipse through the backwoods and river bottoms of Arkansas in search of myths, legends, eye witnesses, newspaper reports and evidence, and not only does he shed new light on this forever intriguing story but goes a long way in proving that the film, 'The Legend Of...' was just the tip of a very strange iceberg.

Whether you believe in Bigfoot is not the question here, sceptics should find this riveting too, because Blackburn remains focused on the task at hand - that being to dig deeper into the archives and swamps, to strip away the layers of media frenzy, and cast aside the monster hunting mania, and presents a wondrous account of high strangeness. I could not put this book down, and believe that it is the only work to once and for all collate all information available - historical and modern - to present the Boggy Creek enigma as a case file.

The book is littered with impressive illustrations, photo's from old newspapers and archives, and actual photo's taken during Lyle's visits to the area. Lyle writes with incredible atmosphere, and so those who were not appreciative of the 'Boggy Creek' movie at the time will be able to lap up the the scenery as if they've bene transported back in a time warp. Some things are far stranger than the fiction of the media, and in 'The Beast Of Boggy Creek' we have a vital cryptozoological book that, like the eerie film, will stand the test of time. This is the sort of book I'd love to have written, and all praise must go to Lyle Blackburn for giving the mystery the exposure and respect it deserves.


Green Unpleasant Land
Green Unpleasant Land
by Richard Freeman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.18

5.0 out of 5 stars The good ol' days of British horror, 28 April 2012
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This review is from: Green Unpleasant Land (Paperback)
Richard Freeman is a cryptozoologist who has travelled across the world in search of mysterious, half-hinted creatures. He has written about the folklore and reality of alleged monsters, but 'Green, Unpleasant, Land' is his first foray into horror fiction. 18 tales have been collated and for those interested in those spooky childhood drama's of the 1970s and early '80s, you won't be disappointed.

It's no surprise there is a strong cryptozoological theme throughout as Richard weaves several plots around legends and sightings of peculiar and horrendous beasts, from water dwelling vampires and gargantuan mythical fish, to unicorns, hairy man-beasts and fire-breathing dragons. There's also a strong Dr Who influence, again, no surprise considering Richard admits to owing his path in life to the eerie Dr. Who episodes of the '70s and '80s when John Pertwee and Tom Baker were at the helm.

Tales such as 'Going Underground' reek of Dr Who, meanwhile there are also elements of M.R. James in the creepy 'The Yellow Monk', and of course, there's always a trace of Lovecraftian weirdness. With so many bad ghost and horror story adaptations on our television screens, it's a shame that stories of this calibre cannot be made into some type of late night series, because, if done the right way such yarns could bring back those childhood nightmares which plagued us back in the good old days of horror fiction.

If you've ever seen the Nigel Kneale series 'Beasts', then I'd have to compare Freeman's writing to this classic and bizarre series. There is no boundary to the imagination, and after reading 'Green, Unpleasant, Land' you'll be praying that Richard's tales remain embedded in the realm of fiction, but at times these hideous campfire stories are so believable I'd be checking the local lake, derelict house and closet just to make sure.

A fine read indeed, a book most certainly to be absorbed by candleight.


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