With Squaw Valley becoming Palisades Tahoe now I figured what better time to revisit this neglected 1879 horror story which deserves to be as remembered as Sleepy Hollow, House of the Seven Gables and others.
THE SQUAW HOLLOW SENSATION (1879) – The Squaw Hollow Sensation was originally published in serialized form in the California newspaper The Mountain Democrat from May 31st to July 26th, 1879. The story was set in Squaw Hollow, California, near Placerville in present-day El Dorado County. In fact the El Dorado County Historical Museum was where I obtained my copy of the story for this review.
Our main character is Berlin’s Doctor Loerder Von Herbst, a man trying to prove that ancient Egyptians migrated across the Atlantic Ocean and that the Aztecs were really a colony of Egypt. His studies have led him throughout the American West, northern Mexico and part of California, wherever he believes the legendary region of ancient Aztlan to have been. Von Herbst theorizes that the preserved figures called Aztec Mummies are not corpses but rather living beings who were put into a centuries-long sleep and can be revived.
The good doctor has created a special chemical solution that in experiments has restored body parts from dissected corpses to a condition resembling living tissue. He believes he can use this chemical solution as part of a procedure to bring an Aztec Mummy back to life. Ancient papyri refer to “Heaven’s fire” and Dr Von Herbst is convinced that means lightning and so he plans to use electricity generated from a Daniell’s Battery to aid in the resuscitation process.
With the aid of various assistants the doctor investigates an Aztec tomb uncovered by mining operations. Inside that subterranean tomb are 50 mummified Aztec bodies that are over a thousand years old. With this bonanza on his hands Doctor Von Herbst sets up a laboratory in the massive burial structure and sets to work, carefully keeping a secret of the bodies he and his assistants have discovered. He begins by soaking the mummies in large vats full of his restorative chemical solution which replenishes the bodily fluids of the dehydrated bodies. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues with this look at two neglected werewolf legends from Detroit.
I. Jacques Morand – Roughly 300 years ago Jacques Morand was in love with Genevieve Parent. Unfortunately for him Genevieve decided to join a convent. When Morand could not change her mind through pleading he turned to threats, which drew warnings from Genevieve’s father and brothers.
In desperation Jacques sold his soul through one of the White Witches of the Woods. In return he gained the unholy power to turn himself into a werewolf after dark. After preying on Genevieve’s father one night he followed that up the next by picking off one of her brothers. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues …
THE DALTON CHANGELING – In late 1700s Massachusetts a malevolent witch replaces the infant child of the Dalton family with a changeling spawned by a dark ceremony. Can the Freemasons of New England devise a way of dealing with the monstrous child or will it be free to roam the countryside on nightly reigns of terror? CLICK HERE Continue reading
Halloween month continues with six more neglected American horror legends.
THE DEAD DANCE BY MOONLIGHT – Manetti the mad violinist terrorized the New England states in the late 1700s. His favorite instrument was made out of enchanted wood from the forests of the infamous White Mountains. When Manetti chose to he could play his violin in such a way as to bring the dead up from their graves and make them do his bidding. FOR THE FULL STORY CLICK HERE
THE MARQUETTE MONSTER – This horrific monster was sighted by Jacques Marquette in the 1670s near what is now Alton, IL. Native Americans of the region called it the Piasa Bird and had been making artwork depicting the beast since around 1200 AD according to archaeological findings. The creature was supposedly the size of a horse with the torso of a cougar, huge wings like a bat and a human head sprouting deer antlers. FOR THE FULL STORY CLICK HERE Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues with this look at a variety of forgotten or neglected horror legends from American lore.
THE RED GNOME OF DETROIT – A supernatural figure that was once a servant of the Native American deity Glooskap. When the Red Gnome’s efforts to drive off the increasing numbers of newly-arrived Europeans failed it settled in to torment the newcomers whenever it could.
The Red Gnome preyed on the Cadillac family, British and American military units and on romantic couples consisting of any Native Americans and white-skinned people. Fires, drownings and all-out massacres have been laid at the door of this malevolent entity. FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE
THE CORPSE-SMITH OF CONNECTICUT – Also called the Cadaver Master and the Carrion Engineer this mad scientist of Eastern European descent was the cause of the many vanished graveyards from Connecticut’s past. The Corpse-Smith scandalized 1770s America with his brilliant but macabre uses for every single resource he could possibly harvest from the bodies of the recently deceased.
Eventually the deranged genius was driven (literally) underground, where he set up a subterranean laboratory beneath the first of the Connecticut cemeteries he would plunder. The Corpse-Smith and the mechanical servants he created from human remains hollowed out a labyrinthine tunnel network that facilitated their grave-robbing efforts and their increasingly macabre experiments. Gravediggers and sextants feared the Corpse-Smith, who often hungered for fresher meat than he was used to. FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE Continue reading