A Compendium of Creeps


To be released in paperback and eBook April 4th! Preorder the eBook here.

A Compendium of Creeps is a book for fans of folk horror and world folklore. Provine and Sullivan bring together nonfiction accounts of the creepiest locations around the world, contemporary essays on folklore, and original horror fiction inspired by urban legends and creepypasta.

Have you heard about the Man-Eating Tree of Nubia?

I’m sure you’ll want to visit the Dream Beach in Sao Paolo? Or will it be a crowded nightmare?

Is there something more sinister in the Masoala Forest of Madagascar than cute lemurs and fossas?

Even the most well-read of legend trippers will find new locales to investigate, creepy lakes of the dead, unheard of cryptids that will come as a most pleasant surprise.

And once you’ve perused our extensive list of supernatural sites, there are essays on the variety of Romanian creatures from Transylvanian writer Alex Woodroe, the true mystery of New Orleans’ own Voodoo legend Marie Laveau as told by a local expert, an exploration of Black American folklore told through the lens of the 1995 movie Tales from the Hood by horror writer RJ Joseph.

To end the compendium we have an anthology of never before released horror stories from 14 excellent writers. Check out the table of contents below:

“Water Wench” Corey Farrenkopf

“Beware of Banana Trees” Joni Chng

“The Side Room” Sarah Budd

“Sunny Day Grocery” Sadie Hartmann

“The Knock-Knock House” Elford Alley

“The Car that Takes People to Heaven” Greg Sisco

“Once You See It” Joe Koch

“The Perfect Recipe for Homemade Bread” Kenzie Lappin

“Mirror Mirror” Mark Allan Gunnells

“Seven Minutes in Heaven” Vivian Kasley

“Lost Grad Class 2003” Laura Keating

“The Tattoo” Katie Young

“He Followed Me Home” Brennan LaFaro

“The Hags of Merricktown” Yolanda Sfetsos

The Northern Lights – Greenland

Broad bands of color light up the nighttime sky, glowing green, red, blue, and yellow in streaks across the northern horizon. Sometimes the light comes as a single, straight ribbon like a nocturnal rainbow. Other times, the sky lights up with multiple waves twisting, turning, and even shooting off into space in brilliant spiky rays. Many cultures had explanations, whether the goddess of the dawn slipping eastward to the Greeks and Romans, thousand-mile-long dragons to the Chinese, or the Norse seeing reflections from the armor of the Valkyries escorting heroes for Ragnarok. To the Inuit people of Greenland, the northern lights aren’t reflections but the literal souls of the departed.

The aurora glows as a path marked by ghostly torches that show the way to heaven. Just as hidden caves allow people who can find them to climb below the earth, these lights mark the passages through the sky that will allow a soul to ascend to heaven. Only those who accept their deaths, dying with honor or victimized with violence, can follow the path laid out by the guardian spirits and other souls waiting on their families. The souls who died while weighed down by evil will lose their footing in the sky and fall back to earth or even to the dark depths of the underworld.

Many of the souls along the path are those who did not have a chance to live a life at all. Stillborn children wander the skies to dance and play games that they otherwise would miss out on. Their favorite game is one akin to modern soccer where they kick and throw a ball back and forth across the sky, leaving great ribbons of light in their wake that we living see as the aurora borealis. Careful listeners can even hear the whistles of their songs and smacks of the balls as the unborn spirits play.

Though it may seem innocent, Greenlanders warn to never whistle back at the aurora or otherwise catch its attention. At first, it will seem innocent as the aurora will grow bigger, closer and closer. Soon the round faces and long spectral hands of the spirit-children become visible, smiling and laughing as they approach. Their impossibly outstretched arms will reach for the person who called out to them, but instead of a hug, the spirits’ grip settles around the person’s head. With an unbreakable grip, they wrench the head off the person’s neck, letting the blood drain so that they can take it back into the sky as a new ball for their game. The newly dead, lingering over its body, is left in the dark.

The aurora borealis, as skeptics may say, is the phosphorescent glow of ionized particles from solar wind striking our magnetosphere. More than light, the aurora can be heard making the sounds of whistles and crackles just as told in the Inuit stories. For centuries, scientists believed these sounds to be a myth, saying there must be other explanations such as breaking icebergs echoing in the extreme cold. When researchers finally distinguished the sounds of the aurora from local sources, it proved that folklore is often more real than we think.

-Jeff Provine, editor of A Compendium of Creeps

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