Abracadabra!


Magician_g

It’s the magic word of conjurers and magicians. Today, it’s often associated with stage magicians, and it’s typically uttered in jest, Abracadabra. However, the word abracadabra has a complex history. The origin of the actual word is unknown. Some believe that it came from the Aramaic words Ab (Father), Bar (Son) and Ru’ach Acadach (Holy Spirit). There is evidence of the word abracadabra being used by Cabalists in the second century CE to ward off negativity and evil spirits.

 

During the Middle Ages, a protective amulet with the word ‘abracadabra’ written as an upside down pyramid was worn around the neck. The word was written out eleven times, first the full word, followed by an instance with one letter being dropped each time. These amulets were often written on paper and were thought to cure fevers, toothaches and a variety of illnesses, bad luck, and were thought to protect against the plague.

 

After wearing the amulet for nine days it would be discarded over one’s left shoulder before the sunrise into a stream, preferably that flowed west to east. The left side was used as it’s believed the left is related to the Devil, and the west to east water flow was believed to symbolically carry evil and replace it by the good created by the rising sun.
In addition to wearing the amulet, some people also believed that simply saying the word abracadabra out loud could summon supernatural energies.

Abracadabra

So, the next time you feel evil energies creeping up on you, or you feel the hot breath of the Devil on your neck just utter the magic word Abracadabra! And poof, all evil will be vanquished.

 

-Gravedigger



We are well into another year and have news!


picture-of-rosemarys-baby-photo

So we’ve been playing catch up, lots of it as the holidays left us scrambling. There are a few announcements and a few changes.

The most important change is that we will not be publishing a Gothic Blue Book this year.

This year, we will publish one new short story per month. However, now, our monthly short story author will receive payment for their story.

We do apologize that there is no Gothic Blue Book planned for this year, and we have a very reasonable excuse that we can’t quite disclose publicly yet.  It’s good news, life changing news, and we will share soon.

Additionally, weekly blog posts will increase, and we will continue the focus in discussing all things folklore, legend, superstition and myth.

The submissions listings will be updated shortly.

We thank you for understanding.

-Gravedigger

 



GOTHIC BLUE BOOK V: THE CURSED EDITION IS NOW AVAILABLE!


cover 333 500It’s here! GOTHIC BLUE BOOK V: THE CURSED EDITION!

First, I have to say I can’t believe this is our 5th book. When we started Burial Day Books 5 years ago we did it to give people a platform where they could share their traditional horror tales. Now, here we are, 5 years later and we have continued to grow. Each year we see more submissions and each year I get less and less sleep in reading your great stories, fighting with the Undertaker as to which story to publish, and of course formatting and editing the books.

I do admit, it’s gotten harder each year, but each time I step back and look at the finished product I’m so proud; I’m proud of our writers and I’m proud of myself that I can put this together so quickly. As many of you know, we take submissions, read them and publish the edition in less than a year’s time – a pretty fast turnaround for publishing.

We are excited to have a wonderful collection of poetry by Stephanie M. Wytovich, and fantastic fiction by Maria Alexander, Max Booth III, K. Trap Jones, Jennifer A. Smith, Kerry G.S. Lipp, and so many more.

Again, I’d like to thank our authors, and I especially want to thank all those that submitted and our supporters. I’m beyond thrilled that we’re still here after 5 years, and I’m thrilled that you all have continued to reach out to us, say hello, submit your stories, and enjoy our collections.

Print Edition

eBook Edition

Thank you so much.

Cynthia (cina) Pelayo
Gravedigger/Publisher
Burial Day Books

 



GOTHIC BLUE BOOK V: THE CURSED EDITION IS NOW AVAILABLE!


cover 333 500It’s here! GOTHIC BLUE BOOK V: THE CURSED EDITION!

First, I have to say I can’t believe this is our 5th book. When we started Burial Day Books 5 years ago we did it to give people a platform where they could share their traditional horror tales. Now, here we are, 5 years later and we have continued to grow. Each year we see more submissions and each year I get less and less sleep in reading your great stories, fighting with the Undertaker as to which story to publish, and of course formatting and editing the books.

I do admit, it’s gotten harder each year, but each time I step back and look at the finished product I’m so proud; I’m proud of our writers and I’m proud of myself that I can put this together so quickly. As many of you know, we take submissions, read them and publish the edition in less than a year’s time – a pretty fast turnaround for publishing.

We are excited to have a wonderful collection of poetry by Stephanie M. Wytovich, and fantastic fiction by Maria Alexander, Max Booth III, K. Trap Jones, Jennifer A. Smith, Kerry G.S. Lipp, and so many more.

Again, I’d like to thank our authors, and I especially want to thank all those that submitted and our supporters. I’m beyond thrilled that we’re still here after 5 years, and I’m thrilled that you all have continued to reach out to us, say hello, submit your stories, and enjoy our collections.

Print Edition

eBook Edition

Thank you so much.

Cynthia (cina) Pelayo
Gravedigger/Publisher
Burial Day Books

 



My Novel Santa Muerte Mentioned in Academic Paper


On occasion I google my name, mostly to see if there are any mentions of me and my works anywhere I should be aware of. Yesterday, I came upon this find and I’m surprised I did not find it sooner.

 

Back in 2014 a student at the University of Miami mentioned me and my novel Santa Muerte in his thesis for his Master of Arts. Armando Rubi III wrote the below about my novel in his thesis Santa Muerte: A Transnational Spiritual Movement of the Marginalized.

 

I have not yet read the entire paper, but I did enjoy his analysis of my usage of Santa Muerte.

The below is an excerpt from Armando Rubi III’s thesis Santa Muerte: A Transnational Spiritual Movement of the Marginalized.

 

“The abuse of the power of Santa Muerte for personal gain and nefarious purposes such as drug cartels, violence and criminality is endemic in the media portrayals on either side of the border. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in inner-city Chicago, Cynthia Pelayo has won the International Latino Book Award for her young adult novel, Santa Muerte. The novel centers around Ariana Molina, a young woman whose father works for the authorities in Mexico combating the drug cartels. “Ari” begins to have visions and dreams of Santa Muerte and finds herself being targeted and kidnapped by the cartel that seeks to eliminate her father. Throughout the book, Pelayo connects Santa Muerte to the drug cartels yet at the same time criticizes how the system of belief has been corrupted and abused. In a flashback, Ari’s mother states:

 

Santa Muerte wants to be worshiped and praised and she has found that in the people on the edge; prostitutes, drug dealers, thieves and murders [sic]. They have brought the passion that she has longed for since the conquerors left. Lust, power, death, and revenge. These are the things she oversees and these are the things that her followers are begging for Ari, 32 but I want you to beware. There are those who abuse their gods. There are those who do not know for what they ask because they think that their earthly indulgences are all that matters, but the gods are no fools. Our god of death is commanded by no one. (181)

 

Ari’s mother has restated that the marginalized are the people that Santa Muerte attracts yet is highlighting the criminal or illegal practices of the marginalized. Prostitutes or thieves may not be violent wrong-doers, but their activities are considered illegal and on the fringes of society, highlighting their criminality both in the present and the colonial experience.

 

It is to be noted, however, that there is a criticism of those who abuse Santa Muerte’s gifts. In the conclusion of the novel, Santa Muerte herself recruits Ari as her agent among the living and tells her: “You will find my betrayers, find my detractors. I’ve been abused long enough by the living. The living do not command me. I command the living and I want death to those who have abused my powers and my strengths” (221). Pelayo has clearly constructed a unique Santa Muerte worldview in her novel, having a young girl serve as her living agent. Santa Muerte states that she wants death to those who have abused her, signifying that she alone does not choose who dies. The more neutral or benevolent beliefs of Santa Muerte are that God the Father is who decides when it is a person’s time to die and that Santa Muerte is only the messenger who claims the soul. The more malevolent beliefs of Santa Muerte–which Pelayo insinuates in her novel is abuse of the religious system–do teach that if devotees are sincere and make adequate offerings, they can persuade Santa Muerte to kill or cause harm to an enemy.”



Now contributing for TheRichest.Com


I haven’t written much journalism and I missed it. I missed researching and writing articles. So, I’m  back to writing articles thanks  to www.therichest.com.

My first few articles are available to read. I aim to submit 4 articles per month. So, please read my articles and let me know what you think over at twitter @cinapelayo.

10 Great Places to Visit for Dark Tourism

10 Shocking Movies That Are Said To Be Cursed

Thanks!

-Cina



Beyond  the Written Word


The publisher of Post Mortem Press, Eric Beebe, approached me the other day to see if I would be interested in being a co-host on a podcast. I was totally all for it. I was honesty just honored that he thought I knew enough about the publishing and writing world and that my opinion mattered enough to share it. So, I said yes. Our fellow co-host is Brad Carter who has written quite a few books. See here. Brad lives in Arkansas where he works in a library and I’ve never spoken with him much before, but I really do enjoy his thoughts and opinions.

 

Our first show can be heard at the link below. I enjoyed speaking with them and enjoyed the topics we discussed. Among the topics we discussed for our first show was Amazon’s updated pay out criteria for authors, Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman and whether or not formal training helps a writer.

 

I look forward to chatting more with these guys in the future, as well as other authors and publishers.

 

Let me know what you think of the show on twitter @cinapelayo.

 

Episode 1: Beyond the Written Word Podcacst

 

-Cina

 



#100HorrorMoviesfor100Days Day 24


Amityville

 

Day 24: The Amityville Horror (1979)
Writer: Screenplay Sandor Stern, based on the book by Jay Anson
Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Year released: 1979

 

The Amityville Horror is like The Exorcism for me in that the very first time I saw each I felt like I was punched in the stomach. I watched The Amityville Horror for the first time when I was a kid with my cousin. My cousin needed to make a point throughout the film to remind me each time something terrifying happened that the movie was based on true events. Honestly, no one knows exactly what happened those 28 days the Lutz family lived in the home. Both George and Kathy Lutz are dead and the only people who remain are their now adult children. One son appeared in a documentary, seeming tortured by both the events in the home and the follow up media attention. Regardless of what actually happened in the home we can at least say that the Lutz family believe something demonic plagued them for nearly a month.

 

Overview: A couple moves into their new home with their children and soon after they are plagued with violent manifestations related to a previous series of murders in the home.

  1. Both leads in the film went on record saying they did not believe the account given by the Lutz family.
  2. The studio fabricated stories of strange occurrences happening on set in order to increase public interest in the film.
  3. The movie was originally scheduled to be a made for TV movie until the rights of Jay Anson’s book were purchased.
  4. Rumors maintained that the film crew were too frightened of the home to film actual scenes there. The truth is the town of Amityville did not allow any portion of the movie to be filmed within their area in order to distance themselves from the occurrences.
  5. The famed evil eye windows of the house were replaced with standard windows and all tenants to this day after the Lutz family have reported no activity.


#100HorrorMoviesfor100Days Day 23


Reanimator_poster

 

Day 23: Re-Animator
Writer: Screenplay by Stuart Gordon, based on the story Herbert West-Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft
Director: Stuart Gordon
Year released: 1985

 

I first watched this movie on late night television when I was a kid. It pretty much disturbed me so much that I still have a slight aversion to zombies. Maybe it’s not an aversion so much as an annoyance and I know that by writing that the zombie fandom may now have turned their back on me. Look, zombies are fine. I get it, zombies occupy this space between horror and sci-fi, but honestly I’ve never been much into sci-fi. Sci-fi is either your thing or not. It’s hard to let sci-fi grow on you. My preference of the zombie narrative is the traditional Vodou zombie. I can watch something on Vodou zombies all day, but put on the Walking Dead and I’ll tune out in about 10 minutes. I honestly just don’t care. I’m not scared of a bumbling monster. They’re just no fun. There are few exceptions to the zombie genre that I enjoy: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, H.P. Lovecraft’s Herbert West-Renaimator, George Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead and Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend. Any narrative beyond those involving the zombie are just not gripping enough to capture my attention. Now, this movie is special mainly because it does have some b-movie quirkiness to it, and the gore is outstanding. Am I happy I rewatched it? Definitely. But I have had enough of reanimated corpses for at least a few films.

 

Overview: A medical student conducts strange experiments on the reanimation of dead tissue.

  1. The movie is loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story, Herbert West-Reanimator.
  2. Meat products and lots of fake blood were used for some of the scenes.
  3. Glow stick liquid was used for the “Re-agent.”
  4. Originally, the creator’s wanted to follow H.P. Lovecraft’s story as closely as possible, but instead it became a parody of Frankenstein.
  5. The sequels Bride of Re-Animator (1990) Beyond Re-Animator (2003) followed.


#100HorrorMoviesfor100Days Day 22


319px-Plan_9_Alternative_poster

 

Day 22: Plan 9 From Outer Space
Writer: Ed Wood
Director: Ed Wood
Year released: 1959

 

As I started watching this I thought ‘Who the hell wrote this thing?’ and now I see it was Ed Wood and it all makes sense. If you don’t know who Ed Wood is Google him. He is a, in a way, the king of camp and cult. This film is often referred to as a cult classic and after watching it I completely agree.

 

Overview: Aliens resurrect the dead to stop a bomb.

  1. Plan 9 was Bela Lugosi’s last film appearance.
  2. Bela Lugosi wore his own costume, one of the capes from when he portrayed Dracula.
  3. Plan 9 has been called one of the worst films ever made, and that distinction may have generated its cult-like following.
  4. A few actors and film crew tried to distance themselves from involvement with the film after its release.
  5. Ed Wood maintained that he was most proud of this project.