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The lusty vampire, the sympathetic werewolf, the tragic banshee are just a few of the dark and frightening creatures you'll discover in Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night. Huffington Post Weird News columnist and author Varla Ventura takes readers on a wild ride through the shadowy hills of rural Ireland, the dark German forests, and along aba The lusty vampire, the sympathetic werewolf, the tragic banshee are just a few of the dark and frightening creatures you'll discover in Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night. Huffington Post Weird News columnist and author Varla Ventura takes readers on a wild ride through the shadowy hills of rural Ireland, the dark German forests, and along abandoned farms and country roads across the world to discover some of the most frightening and freaktacular tales, tidbits, and encounters with all those beasties that go bump in the night. Along with classic pieces from Bram Stoker, Elliot O'Donnell, Sabine BaringGould, William Butler Yeats and many others, Ventura includes: • Famous vampires you may not know • The identity of the author of the first English vampire novel (and his relationship to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein) • Excerpts from the first psychic vampire novel ever written • Stories of 19th century werewolf hunters • Why banshees are the most feared of supernatural creatures


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The lusty vampire, the sympathetic werewolf, the tragic banshee are just a few of the dark and frightening creatures you'll discover in Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night. Huffington Post Weird News columnist and author Varla Ventura takes readers on a wild ride through the shadowy hills of rural Ireland, the dark German forests, and along aba The lusty vampire, the sympathetic werewolf, the tragic banshee are just a few of the dark and frightening creatures you'll discover in Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night. Huffington Post Weird News columnist and author Varla Ventura takes readers on a wild ride through the shadowy hills of rural Ireland, the dark German forests, and along abandoned farms and country roads across the world to discover some of the most frightening and freaktacular tales, tidbits, and encounters with all those beasties that go bump in the night. Along with classic pieces from Bram Stoker, Elliot O'Donnell, Sabine BaringGould, William Butler Yeats and many others, Ventura includes: • Famous vampires you may not know • The identity of the author of the first English vampire novel (and his relationship to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein) • Excerpts from the first psychic vampire novel ever written • Stories of 19th century werewolf hunters • Why banshees are the most feared of supernatural creatures

30 review for Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night: Facts, Fictions, and First-Hand Accounts

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jana

    This was less fun to read than I'd hoped. I learned one new piece of supernatural trivia: there are benevolent and malevolent banshees. Beyond that, it was frequently tiresome and tedious, and above all, repetitive. The information in trivia boxes was often re-printed with slight variations in vocabulary in different chapters, making me wonder if trivia really needed to be included in every chapter. Some of the stories and folklore were entertaining to read. "Dracula's Guest," Bram Stoker's posth This was less fun to read than I'd hoped. I learned one new piece of supernatural trivia: there are benevolent and malevolent banshees. Beyond that, it was frequently tiresome and tedious, and above all, repetitive. The information in trivia boxes was often re-printed with slight variations in vocabulary in different chapters, making me wonder if trivia really needed to be included in every chapter. Some of the stories and folklore were entertaining to read. "Dracula's Guest," Bram Stoker's posthumously-published short story, was as chilling and detailed as I would expect it to be. Two selections from Elliott O'Donnell, "Alleged Counterparts of the Banshee" and "Werewolves in Iceland, Lapland, and Finland," were thought-provoking because they illuminated portions of folklore that were previously unfamiliar to me. Beyond that, the rest seemed to be standard horror-movie fare. The "Other Creatures of the Night" appendix could have used some fleshing-out, as I didn't care for the vaguely ominous and confusing Bogey section. What are "death bogeys," and why will "the sighting of the death bogle...result in your demise," exactly? Why not explain something with such potential for unfamiliarity, when I can guarantee that any casual reader will have a basic working knowledge of the three creatures listed in the book's title? If page-count were a concern, some of the more repetitive banshee stories/trivia could have been cut instead. Chapter 2 or 3 could have been nixed with no harm done. There were only a few typos and occasional word substitutions; "bride" for "bird," "wale" for "wail," etc. When writing about executions, any editor worth their salt should know that people are "hanged" to death, not "hung." This appears to be a finished copy, so that's disappointing. Additionally, the sentence "werewolves are not always wolves" makes no logical sense, because the only thing a werewolf can be is a shape-changing man-wolf hybrid. However, "were-creatures can be in the form of many beasts" is completely accurate. Why, with so much care to list the possible natural "causes" of lycanthropy--meaning the real-world medical issues which were mistaken for lycanthropy--would Ms. Ventura treat modern-day "vampires" as completely credible? I think this shows a definite authorial bias, especially since little effort is taken toward discussing real-life maladies which can be mistaken for vampirism. Instead, we get quotes from participants of groups like the Atlanta Vampire Alliance, complaining (in all seriousness) about negative public perception of their members. If you are curious about "creatures of the night" and want to read something with more of a historical pedigree than modern paranormal novels, this might be useful to you. On the other hand, doing a little personal research on the supernatural creature of your choice might be more illuminating and fulfilling. I received a free review copy of this book through a giveaway on Goodreads.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    I originally purchased this book thinking it sounded pretty interesting, given my enjoyment of the historical aspects of folklore. I will be returning the book. Browsing through the contents, it’s obvious, as other reviewers have mentioned, that this is merely an anthology of writings chosen to be forced within the biased viewpoint of the author. There’s not much analysis of the historical origins of folklore elements so much as pointing at the written material of authors past as though it prove I originally purchased this book thinking it sounded pretty interesting, given my enjoyment of the historical aspects of folklore. I will be returning the book. Browsing through the contents, it’s obvious, as other reviewers have mentioned, that this is merely an anthology of writings chosen to be forced within the biased viewpoint of the author. There’s not much analysis of the historical origins of folklore elements so much as pointing at the written material of authors past as though it proves something. On top of that, five out of nine ‘sources’ in the bibliography at the back (not the original texts compiled into this anthology, those are listed as ‘Volumes of Forgotten Lore 😑 while contemporary texts are ‘sources’) are all books published by Weiser Books, the same publisher that gave us this novel. The author also just so happens to be the ‘curator of the Weiser Magical Creatures and Paranormal Parlor series of e-books.’ I didn’t realize this publisher was, well, a publisher of ‘occult, esoteric, speculative, and New Age subjects.’ This was never going to be a truly historical analysis of folklore; the publishing company’s obvious bias makes that clear. Final complaint? The ‘online sources’ listed after the bibliography. Most of them are search engines. Thanks. Never guessed the New York Times provided news articles, National Geographic a variety of scientific to historical articles, or Wikipedia literally any subject you want. What really gets me is that also listed towards the bottom of this list is WOOKIEPEDIA. That’s right. The STAR WARS WIKI is listed as an online source for people interested in mythical creatures and folklore. That was the moment I knew this book wouldn’t find a spot on my shelf. Wookiepedia. Seriously. Maybe the author read the changeling article on there about that one character in Attack of the Clones. Or are Wookies now a part of urban folklore? Krayt dragons members of the numerous earth dragon legends? Ewoks cousins of brownies?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ismenis_of_The-Moirai

    3.5 stars. It was enjoyable but was mostly other peoples tales of creatures, it would be been interesting if she'd delved into the history a bit more Especially examining the ways they came about in different societies. Definitely Intresting though 3.5 stars. It was enjoyable but was mostly other peoples tales of creatures, it would be been interesting if she'd delved into the history a bit more Especially examining the ways they came about in different societies. Definitely Intresting though

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jbondandrews

    An interesting and an amusing book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Elson

    This review originally appeared on The Magical Buffet website on 1/9/14. When we interviewed Varla Ventura for the website, it was primarily in regards to her role as the curator for a line of ebooks for Red Wheel/Weiser Publishing. After reading her two latest books, “Among the Mermaids: Facts, Myths, and Enchantments from the Sirens of the Sea” and “Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires and Other Creatures of the Night: Facts, Fictions, and First-Hand Accounts”, I can safely say is curating is what Ve This review originally appeared on The Magical Buffet website on 1/9/14. When we interviewed Varla Ventura for the website, it was primarily in regards to her role as the curator for a line of ebooks for Red Wheel/Weiser Publishing. After reading her two latest books, “Among the Mermaids: Facts, Myths, and Enchantments from the Sirens of the Sea” and “Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires and Other Creatures of the Night: Facts, Fictions, and First-Hand Accounts”, I can safely say is curating is what Ventura does best. In a paranormal landscape where it may feel like you’ve read every bit of trivia and tale about vampires and werewolves, Ventura manages to find fresh new takes on the subject matter. And let’s face it, how often does anyone talk about banshees? She even discusses a few other rarely touched upon creatures like Pookas and Changelings. The back of “Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires and Other Creatures of the Night” has a huge list of resources such as books, movies, and websites where you can learn more. For as cool as that was, “Among the Mermaids” is, for me, a million times cooler. I have always been fascinated by mermaids and sirens. Other than a passage here or there in a paranormal or creature encyclopedia I had never found much reading about them. Then Varla Ventura comes along with “Among the Mermaids”, a whole book devoted to merrows, mermaids, and sirens. Again, Ventura finds legends and factoids that you’ll never find anywhere else! At the end, you not only find resources such as movies and books, but also shopping. Looking for mermaid art or jewelry? There are links for that! Looking for your very own, custom made mermaid tale? There are links for those too! As I said at the start, curating is what Varla Ventura does best and the wonderful work she did with these two books proves it. Both books are filled with unique myths and facts that make these must haves for lovers of legend.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    First of all I would like to state that I won this from Goodreads Giveaways. I guess I was expecting a "report" on research from the author on banshees, werewolves, and vampires. However, it was pretty much the author using complete, or mostly complete stories from other authors in the book. The author did do little blurbs on some facts she found, but when she did she had to put in corny tidbits about her personality. I would give this more of a 2 to 2 1/2 stars, but since I felt I walked away w First of all I would like to state that I won this from Goodreads Giveaways. I guess I was expecting a "report" on research from the author on banshees, werewolves, and vampires. However, it was pretty much the author using complete, or mostly complete stories from other authors in the book. The author did do little blurbs on some facts she found, but when she did she had to put in corny tidbits about her personality. I would give this more of a 2 to 2 1/2 stars, but since I felt I walked away with a tiny bit more knowledge than I had before, I'll leave it at 3 stars... If you're expecting in depth research, this book isn't for you, it's mostly stories written by other people about the main title topics.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Isis

    While I did find the historical facts unique and interesting, I didn't care much for the stories that were included. They were long and kind of dull. Overall, I enjoyed the facts provided, and the movies and books suggested near the end. It was interesting to learn about banshees because I had no idea what they were. I don't like werewolves as much as I like vampires, but they were both good to read about. 3.5 stars. While I did find the historical facts unique and interesting, I didn't care much for the stories that were included. They were long and kind of dull. Overall, I enjoyed the facts provided, and the movies and books suggested near the end. It was interesting to learn about banshees because I had no idea what they were. I don't like werewolves as much as I like vampires, but they were both good to read about. 3.5 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I received a free review copy of this book through a giveaway on Goodreads. A huge variety of different creatures that go bump in the night but when it comes right down to it, nothing that I haven't already read or heard about through other media whether it be television or other books. It was also a bit too repetitive for my liking. I received a free review copy of this book through a giveaway on Goodreads. A huge variety of different creatures that go bump in the night but when it comes right down to it, nothing that I haven't already read or heard about through other media whether it be television or other books. It was also a bit too repetitive for my liking.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    This book is a combination of quick facts, quotes, passages from novels and/or short stories, and doodles. While in some places it does drag on, others fly by. Well written, the author comes across as excited and genuinely interested, and that has the effect of seeping into the reader.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tony Parsons

    my fav all of them, luv 2 win/read this book

  11. 4 out of 5

    Roderick Brunt

    A wild sort of monographic anthology, with endnotes; very well done.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Quinn Strange

  13. 4 out of 5

    Robyn Lynne

  14. 4 out of 5

    Meags

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tara

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brie Porter

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kalina

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

  21. 4 out of 5

    S

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brenna

  24. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Scott Parnell

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary-Ann Maronski

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chel S

  29. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

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