PULP HEROES: SILVER JOHN – THE WARLOCK JOSS KIFT AND CRAYE SAWTELLE’S HELL-HOUND

I’m continuing my look at Manly Wade Wellman’s pulp hero Silver John, the roaming singer and guitarist who fights supernatural forces in the Appalachian Mountains of long ago, sort of like a countrified Orpheus meets Kolchak. He’s called Silver John because of the silver strings on his guitar and the silver coins he carries in his pockets. For more details click here: https://glitternight.com/pulp-heroes/

I CAN’T CLAIM THAT – With Silver John and his beloved Evadare married now (and if you missed the landmark tales depicting those events click here – https://glitternight.com/2011/06/03/pulp-heroes-silver-john-four-for-friday/  )   the stories stopped going in chronological order, jumping around Silver John’s life past and future. Set BEFORE John’s marriage, this vignette features a warlock named Joss Kift who seeks revenge on our hero for exposing him. A black rooster with its throat cut, a voodoo doll and a black dog hanging from a tree are all signs that the warlock is moving in for his revenge …

THE SPRING – In a short story set before Silver John met Evadare our wandering balladeer discovers that water from a high mountain spring has power to cure all ills when he uses it to save Zeb Gossett. Gossett makes his home by the spring to guard over it and use if for good works among the mountain folk, which doesn’t sit well with a sultry, seductive worshipper of darkness named Craye Sawtelle (do you serve red wine or white wine with Craye Sawtelle?). Craye begins a campaign of terror against Silver John and Zeb Gossett, aided by the Hell Hound sent by her Dark Master to destroy John so that the power of the spring may be used for evil purposes instead.  

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “PULP HEROES: SILVER JOHN – THE WARLOCK JOSS KIFT AND CRAYE SAWTELLE’S HELL-HOUND

  1. I think when serving Craye Sawtelle one would prefer the red! Cool!

  2. Ha! Thanks! You saved me from a dinner faux pas.

  3. Monica

    You make these stories sound fun! They sound scary but not so scary that I couldn’t read them and not get too terrified.

  4. I’ve loved the Silver John stories ever since I got a Science-Fiction Book Club collection of them in the 80s. He’s still one of my all time favorite heroes. I even got Joe Bethancourt’s recording of songs from the stories. Apparently there’s also reprints of The Long Lost Friend, John’s anti-witchcraft manual, floating around on the net. I may have to get one. You never can tell when you’ll run into Druids sacrificing people deep in the mountains.

    Thanks for posting about John. It’s cool to see old friends getting such nice coverage.

    • Thanks for checking in like this! You’re the first Silver John fan to find me. The other people have been new to Silver John, which is fine by me since my purpose with this blog is to introduce my obscure interests to people who aren’t familiar with those subjects.
      I’ll have to look around for The Long Lost Friend!

  5. Penny

    Awesome! I could go for a guitar-playing hero who fights monsters and witches!

  6. That dog would look awesome on a screen adaptation.

  7. Maria Anderson

    Very spooky stories!

  8. Craye Sawtelle was great!

  9. The woman with the hellhound would make a good movie.

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