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The Weiser Book of Horror and the Occult

Reviewed by J Simpson

Unless you are fortunate enough to have been raised in a coven or born to a jackal, the odds are good that your first introduction into the worlds of magick and the occult probably came from the realms of fantasy and horror.

This was the case for esteemed occultist Lon Milo DuQuette, an Enochian expert, demonologist, and member of the Ordo Templi Orientis. In the introduction to The Weiser Book of Horror and the Occult, DuQuette discusses a typical rebellious childhood in the American Heartland of Nebraska in the 1950s: a world of Aurora Monster kits, paranoid sci-fi thrillers radiating from black and white cathode rays, and the subconscious darkness that has always haunted the American psyche.

DuQuette started reading horror out of protest. He had been swept away from the cutting edge of the Space Age, Southern California in the early ’50s, and transplanted to the dreary, backwards cornfields of Nebraska. The American Heartland proved to be an ideal setting for the author to discover the creeping thrills of classic horror, ploughing his way through Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination Vol. 8, armed with an Oxford dictionary and the World Book Encyclopedia.

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