Monday, 2 December 2013

Ruickbie certainly knows his stuff

From The Vampirologist blog:
It features another excellent article, by Leo Ruickbie. Readers may recognise him as the author of A brief guide to the supernatural (2012).
A brief guide serves as a classic example to why you (ok, I) shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I was expecting a threadbare pop-culture treatment, but it's incredibly well-researched. Ruickbie certainly knows his stuff.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

A Brief Guide to the Supernatural featured on The Ghost Club website.

The perfect introduction to the world of all things eerie, inexplicable and otherworldly.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Good Ghost Guide

Magonia Review of Books: A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting
With more than 300 pages of text and more than 50 of endnotes, this book is not really a ‘brief’ guide. Combining practical assistance on preparation, equipment and investigation techniques and protocol, including the all-important health and safety advice, with a brief history of ghost hunting and a sociological analysis of ghost hunters, and a roundup of the various theories about ghosts, this is clearly quite comprehensive and remarkable good value for the price.


This is an interesting and useful book one can recommend to ghost hunters and psychical researchers.

Monday, 4 November 2013

A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting on YouTube

A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting now has its own youtube video...

It looks and sounds like a computer generated video for

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Approved by Egon Spengler

Egon Spengler Would Approve: A Review of Dr. Leo Ruickbie's "A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting"

Dr. Leo Ruickbie may be a specialist in the field of witchcraft, but if A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting is any indication, the man knows he way around a haunted house as well.


Whether you believe in ghosts or not, it doesn't really matter as far as this book goes, because the catalog of information is just a banquet for the imagination.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Friday the 13th

You'll want to stay at home tomorrow after you read this (maybe): by yours truly (of course).

Monday, 2 September 2013

More Evil and Wickedness for 2014

[CFP] 15th Global Conference: Perspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness

Saturday 22nd March – Monday 24th March 2014
Prague, Czech Republic

Call for Presentations

This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference seeks to examine and explore issues surrounding evil and human wickedness. In wrestling with evil(s) we are confronted with a multi-layered phenomenon which invites people from all disciplines, professions and vocations to come together in dialogue and wrestle with questions that cross the boundaries of the intellectual, the emotional and the personal. Underlying these efforts there is the sense that in grappling with evil we are in fact grappling with questions and issues of our own humanity.

The complex nature of evil is reflected in this call for presentations: in recognising that no one approach or perspective can adequately do justice to what we mean by evil, so there is an equal recognition that no one form of presentation ought to take priority over others. We solicit contributions which may be

~ papers, panels, workshops, reports
~ case studies
~ performance pieces; dramatic readings; poetic renditions; short stories; creative writings
~ works of art; works of music
We will also consider other forms of contribution. Successful proposals will normally be given a 20 minute presentation space. Perspectives are sought from all academic disciplines along with, for example, those working in the caring professions, journalism, the media, the military, prison services, politics, psychiatry and other work-related, ngo and vocational areas.

Key themes for reflection may include, but are not limited to:

-what is evil?
-is there ‘new’ evil, or are evil acts/events pretty much the same across time with only our interpretive lenses changing as cultures shift?
-the nature and sources of evil and human wickedness
-evil animals? Wicked creatures?
-the places and spaces of evil
-crimes, criminals and justice
-psychopathic behaviour – mad or bad?
-villains, wicked characters and heroes
-vice and virtue
-choice, responsibility, and diminished responsibility
-social and cultural reactions to evil and human wickedness
-political evils; evil, power and the state
-evil and gender; evil and the feminine
-evil children
-hell, hells, damnation: evil and the afterlife
-the portrayal of evil and human wickedness in the media and popular culture
-suffering in literature and film
-individual acts of evil, group violence, holocaust and genocide; obligations of bystanders
-terrorism, war, ethnic cleansing
-fear, terror, horror
-the search for meaning and sense in evil and human wickedness
-the nature and tasks of theodicy
-religious understandings of evil and human wickedness
-postmodern approaches to evil and human wickedness
-ecocriticism, evil and suffering
-evil and the use/abuse of technology; evil in cyberspace

The Steering Group also welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals.

What to Send

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 10th October 2013. All submissions are at least double blind peer reviewed. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 17th January 2014. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract f) up to 10 key words

E-mails should be entitled: Evil15 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs

Stephen Morris

Rob Fisher

The conference is part of the At the Interface programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.

For further details of the conference, please click here.

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Britain's Spookiest Places

Just had my first article published in the Daily Express:

THE UK is blessed - or cursed - with the greatest number of haunted places imaginable. From the crumbling battlements of ruined castles and grand royal palaces to cosy country pubs and individual houses, ghosts have been sighted, heard, felt and sometimes smelt the length and breadth of the land.

Read the full story here:

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Dave Evans

Just received this in the email this morning from Mandrake. Very sad news.

Dear All

In case you've not already heard, the founder(?) of this list [Society for the Academic Study of Magic] and the one time journal JSM just died after a long journey with illness,

here's a post from Al Cummings:

"Today I found out that a good friend of mine - the teacher, writer, and magician, Dave Evans - has died.

Dave had been terminal for some time - something he seems to have kept from the vast majority of people who knew him, myself included. Faced with a choice of debilitating treatments with slim chance of helping in a hospital bed, or going on a massive adventure round the world seeing beautiful natural wonders, Dave understandably chose the latter.

I met Dave when I first moved to Bristol. A former student of my supervisor - not to mention himself an academic and an occultist - Dave was an incredibly supportive friend to me. He leant me books, introduced me to other lovely fascinating people, put me up on academic email lists, cooked some amazing curries, and shared some brilliant stories. He helped me publish one of my first articles.

Dave was a passionate, funny, independent, and kind person. He was a good man.

I will be very, very sorry not to hear from him again, but I am very pleased to have known him, and glad he left on his own terms happy with his decisions.

Eleutheria and all that. Free at last.

Take care, mate. xxx


You can read an interview with Dave here

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Call for Chapters

Following on my work on witchcraft accusations against children, I've teamed up with Simon Bacon to work on an anthology exploring the many issues surrounding children/childhood and conceptualisations of monstrosity and evil. We're particularly keen to open up a wide-ranging debate from cinema to the criminal courts. If you've got an idea, send it in!

Book Project. Title:

Little Horrors: Representations of the Monstrous Child

Gone is the Victorian innocence of childhood. We have entered the age of the monstrous child, the little horror.

Each historical period can be seen to have prioritised a different facet of the child, the Victorian era idolised the innocence of the pre-pubescent child, the twentieth century the disaffected teenager, whilst the early twenty-first sems to be that of the monstrous child. Whilst global organisations such as UNICEF and Save the Children promote the sanctity of childhood as a fundamental human right, popular culture and empirical, sociological data would intimate something else. Here children are not configured as the wealth of the family and the community, but are seen as an economic burden, a luxury or even a parasite. Far from being the repository of all society holds dear about itself, the child becomes something at once uncontrollable and monstrous, not to be loved and cherished but feared and expelled. Whether supernatural or just plain wicked, the child becomes a liminal being caught outside of normalised categorization; not mature, not socilaised, not under the rule of law and not conforming to adult nostagia over what they should be.

Is there a relationship between the declining birth rate in the West and the increasing representation of children as an alien other? However, as witchcraft accusations against children in Africa and representations in the Asian horror film genre show, this is not just a Western phenomenon. So just what are the underlying reasons, if any? This volume aims to assemble the evidence from history, psychology, sociology, literature and media studies to map the extent and meaning of this representational development.

Topics to include:

Witch children, witchcraft accusations against children, children using witchcraft accusations
Magical children: children with magical or superhuman powers, the wunderkind
Werewolves and other shapeshifters: children as animals
Fairies and changelings: the folklore of strange children
Undead children: vampires, zombies and others
Ghosts and demonic children: children possessed, children as demons
Child crime and culpability: moral evil and legal responsibility
Monstrous children through history: physical deformity and mental health issues
Children as embodiments of other aspects of supernatural horror
The monstrous as a new role model for children
Children as adults and adults as children
Society and children and public and private spaces Immigration, post-colonialism and foreign adoption
War children and child soldiers

A brief bio and abstract of circa 300 words should be sent to -

For literature and media studies: Simon Bacon (baconetti [at] googlemail [dot] com)
For history and social sciences: Leo Ruickbie (leo [at] ruickbie [dot] com)

Deadline for abstracts: 1st September 2013

There's no project page as yet, but you'll find these same details at