Welcome to our little corner of the Abyss. We hope you enjoy what you find here. Please visit often to see what we have bubbling in the cauldron. For more regular transmissions of our current, please follow our Devil May Care Facebook Page. This site is a work in progress and all articles are subject to fine-tuning.
John Carradine in The Sentinel, 1977.
The Nexus of Occult Horror, Religion & Spirituality
As time and conditions permit, we hope to share articles, offer interviews, and present ideas of interest related to the Devilish Films we find intriguing and the Witchy Flicks that we so enjoy. We are not limited to devilish films only, but literary works of related subject matter may be explored. Analysis, symbolism, religious interpretations, reviews, inspirations, art, atmosphere, nightmares… Very little will be taboo, but we like to keep it tasteful.
We hope to serve as a means of offering amusement for occult horror movie fanatics as well as ideas and inspiration for other lost souls who have a thirst for arcane knowledge. The keeper of this site has experience as a spiritual counselor utilizing the Tarot, meditation, art and (as needed) ritual work for self-transformation.
photo: H. B. Gardner
photo credit: KSK Sugao https://www.facebook.com/ksk.sugao
I grew up in the ’70’s and 80’s and was naturally attracted to the occult and horror genre. Books on mythology, witches and vampires intrigued me from my earliest days. I drew pictures of haunted castles and witches and collected supernatural horror comics and monster figures. While other kids wanted to play sports I wanted to play Monsters, or Greek Myths, or Witches. So yeah, I was the weird kid in my neighborhood. An older sister indulged me by making my own black Dracula cape with red lining. After much pleading and begging, my father (God rest his soul) built me my own plywood coffin with a hinged lid so I could “play Dracula”. I was granted permission to sleep in it on at least one or two occasions with the strict stipulation that the lid stay open! Of course, after the lights went out or when playing alone, I would close the lid to experience what it would be like. It was fine as a toy and there was really no serious danger of suffocation, but it really served as a kind of sensory deprivation chamber in which visions would emerge out of the darkness.
I grew up in a rather devout, middle-class, Christian family, so the supernatural – in the form of Protestant experience – was a naturally intriguing and fascinating subject for me. Holidays such as Christmas, Easter (and of course Halloween) were attended to not only by the entire family but by the local community and society at large. When we attended church as a child I truly was in awe at the power represented there as the binding force of our family’s and community’s lives. A pervasive acceptance and belief in the commemoration of magical or supernatural occurrences (The miraculous birth of Christmas, the death and resurrection of Easter) deeply ingrained itself in my impressionable consciousness in a world where a belief in God also entailed a belief in The Devil.
Growing up in the 1970’s and 80’s in America’s Northern Midwest was the perfect time to be impressed by the Devil. The occult boom was steadily rising in full force as pop psychology and alternative beliefs became more and more common. Simultaneously, classic horrors on our local channel’s Saturday night’s Creature Feature soon transitioned into the new wave of cable TV home entertainment which escorted increasingly sophisticated terrors into our home. Some of these can be found on our Satanic Cinema Sommelier; Our Favorite Devilish Films list. We could more easily and frequently stew in frightful nightmares on our TV screen, or in print as store bookshelves groaned with pulp horrors. My fascination with religion and the occult surely has had some influence from these origins.
Our parents took us to church and Sunday school weekly and had a firm faith, so naturally I always wanted to look deeper into the spiritual side of things. I read as much as I could on the occult and the supernatural and spent all my free time at the library downtown or at school. I got my first deck of Tarot cards at age 13 and have been collecting them ever since. I got my first job at the local city library at age 15 where I volunteered (since I spent so much time there anyways) until they could legally payroll me. From there I began to read on not only “the occult” but also Eastern religions and the bourgeoning New Age, occult, Neo-Pagan and Wicca movements (amongst other topics). I have read widely on Hinduism and Buddhism, Eastern Tantric philosophy, goddess traditions and mythology and comparative religion. I studied the occult and analyzed occult horror films while seeking for mystic truths in the world around me. I questioned my family’s and community’s religious beliefs at an early age and began seeking for understanding through the lens of various traditions.
As a proto-goth teen I experienced my own little microcosmic version of the “Satanic Panic” in the Midwestern American city where I grew up. Trips to a school counselor, a psychologist, and a youth pastor from our church did little to relieve my existential and spiritual anxieties. A visit to the high school principal’s office for a discussion regarding rumors of devil worship and my interest in the occult became a defensive proclamation of my religious freedom, etc.. I have been staring into the Abyss ever since; deciphering the Darkness around and within me. With an artist’s mystical eye, I read the symbolic language of life, religion and occult horror.
Kunkali, the Devouring Kali (North India) XVII – XVIII cent. C.E.
Diabolical Horror has been more than a means of amusement for me; it has inspired me to seek deeper into religious beliefs and the psychology behind them, and to compare ancient symbols and philosophies along with a taste for religious art and the art of horror – and the merging of the two. It is impossible to label my beliefs as my own path is fluid and unfixed, but constellates mainly around Traditional Witchcraft, the Tarot, the Cults of Shiva and Dionysus, Tantric Goddess traditions and the Marian Cult of Sorrows within Roman Catholicism.
I Currently live in Osaka, Japan where I tutor English students privately and at a prestigious private Catholic school. I am kept very busy as a father and teacher and writer and artist with mystic tendencies but will try to maintain a monthly article submission on this site, sometimes light, sometimes deep.
p.s. On this site we often choose to use the Royal “We” because, as the man possessed by demons said to Jesus of Nazareth upon being asked his name in Mark 5:1-20, the demon possessed man replied: “My name is Legion, for we are many.”
All articles on this site are written by H. B. Gardner – unless otherwise noted.
Mr. H.B. Gardner reserves the rights (and rites) to all of his articles and writings according to all intellectual copyright laws. Please feel free to share links to, and otherwise tell people about, this website if you find our work enjoyable and/or interesting. Just don’t try to steal, plagiarize or take credit for it in any way unless you wish to be hexed by our protective Spirits!
All images used on this site obviously belong to their respective film and media companies or publishing houses unless otherwise noted and no claims are made for said images, nor are any copyright infringements intended. Consider it free advertising!