Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Dark World with Toni Sweeney

Paranormal Road Trip: Washington D.C. with R.S. Belcher

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.

This week's stop is Dark World and our special guide is Toni V. Sweeney author of A BIT OF THE DARK WORLD.

Dark World's Top 5 Spooky Places

In A Bit of the Dark World, Mother-to-be Lisa Chambers has the misfortune to lose her husband in an auto accident. Occurring on Land’s End Island, where he’s accused of trespassing. When she finds herself being pursued by the owner of the island, she has no idea what she’s getting into for Drexl von Dorff claims he’s other than human, the child of a creature out of Time and Space, and that Lisa’s child is also his.

When her son is born, Lisa refuses to believe the evidence of his otherworldly origin. Unfortunately, in her attempts to escape, she finds herself in Colfax Harbor, the heart of where it all began, and discovers the truth behind Drex’s claims and the place young Robbie is expected to take in the plans of the creature’s worshippers.

Colfax Harbor and its neighboring towns of Arkham and Dunwich have always had tales of mystery and horror surrounding them. Land’s End Island and its nearest island, St Simons, are equally filled with gory deed, if of a somewhat more historical nature.

1. Arkham

Even before Arkham lent its name to a popular comic book and a television series, the city was known for dark unspeakable deeds.

According to the brochure supplied by the Arkham Chamber of Commerce (which does try to play down its supernatural aspects), the city is located in Essex County, Massachusetts, a little north of Boston. It is home to Miskatonic University, established in 1691, named for the nearby Miskatonic River, and the site of several unsavory occurrences which the town fathers would prefer to forget. At the behest of the Reverend Cotton Mather and Judge John Hathorne, its Department of Occult Sciences came into existence after the Witch Trials in nearby Salem, in order to further study and explain the phenomenon of ‘demons and their possession of mortals.’

In keeping with its motto of Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam, Ex Luce Ad Tenebras, (Out Of Ignorance Into Wisdom, Out Of Light Into Darkness), the university is well-known for its
collection of rare books on the occult, including one of the few existing copies of the Necromonicon by Abdul Alhazred, as well as Unaussprechlichen Kulten by Friedrich von
Junzt, the Coultes des Goules, Der Vermis Mysteriis, A Treatise on Certaine Prodigies Super-Naturall (of which the only other known existing copy was owned by Drexl Von Dorff of Land’s End Island, Georgia), and a fragment of the Book of Eibon. Recently this collection was moved to the basement of the library after a break-in which resulted in the death of the attempted thief and severe mental and psychological traumas affecting the security force discovering him.

There are many prominent families in Arkham, whose geneaological trees are filled with names of relatives whose existence the current members are not allowed to talk about or even mention.

To prevent her location in Colfax Harbor being discovered, Lisa Chambers drives to Arkham to use a pay phone when she wishes to call her aunt in Georgia.

2. Dunwich

Dunwich has always been associated with dark and eldritch happenings. Many of its people appear strange in appearance, batrician, even serpentine. There are tales of the captains of the clipper ships which sailed to the South Seas and beyond, bringing back odd creatures which adapted well to the dark and brooding atmosphere they found in Dunwich’s rugged, inhospitable climate. Indeed, even now, there are some areas where even the townsfolk will not venture at night, blasted heaths and abandoned houses which they say aren’t safe to enter without a weapon, and even then that may not be of any help.

3. Colfax Harbor

A small town near Dunwich and Arkham in Massachusetts, Colfax Harbor is the home of the so-called “sane” Whateleys as well as other citizens attempting to escape their unhealthy heritages by moving there. It’s a small community, attempting to carry on the task of living mundane lives, in order to live down the reputation of the larger towns from which it was settled. The one indication of Colfax Harbor’s existence to passersby is the Sunset Motel, located on the highway running from Boston northward.

It is at this hotel, owned by Marian Whateley, that Lisa Chambers stops when she attempts to run away from the memories of the events occurring on Land End’s Island.

4. Land’s End Island

An unnamed land projection already marked by mysterious stories and superstitious whispers, further enhanced by its mist-enshrouded shores and the bleak moss-draped terrain, the island is accessible from the Georgia Mainland only by a single bridge which bears a “No Trespassing” sign. Native tribes abandoned the area because of a shadow in the water, believed to be a being imprisoned beneath the waves, a thing sometimes briefly shaking off its slumbers and clawing its way to the surface, only to be dragged downward again by its chains.

In the early years of the first century of settlement, Henrich Wilhelm von Dorff, a man accused of wizardry in his native Austria, purchased the land from the Yamacraw, the tribe claiming ownership. Later, the new owner disappeared, and the Yamacraw declared he was killed after making an unholy pact with that undersea being. Some say the latest owner of Land’s End is the child of that underwater creature. Drexl von Dorff chooses neither to deny nor substantiate the rumors but even now, only the master of Land’s End Island dares swim unafraid in the waters pounded against its shores.

There is a manor house on the island, now in ruins after a fire, and an village, abandoned after the inhabitants, descended from the serfs von Dorff brought with him from Austria, fled. Also located on the island is a Stonehenge-like creation called the Ring of Stones, inside which it is believed various esoteric rituals were carried out by the owner. The Ring was partially destroyed during an electrical storm.

5. Bloody Marsh

In 1742, close to the time Land’s End Island was purchased by Heinrich Wilhelm von Dorff, the British settlements at Fort Frederica on nearby St. Simons Island were attacked by Spanish forces. Thinking they were safe from attack because they had the marsh on one side and a forest on the other, the Spanish were fired upon by British troops hiding in the trees.

Two hundred Spanish were killed within a short time, the marsh running red with the blood of the dead and dying. Panic-stricken Spaniards, refusing to listen to their commander who attempted to rally them, ran futilely into the woods in an attempt to avoid musket-file, only to run directly into the waiting enemy. It is said creatures rose from the depth to devour many of the bodies.

Thank you Toni for giving us such a haunting tour of Dark World! 

You can add A Bit of the Dark World here on Goodreads.

A Bit of the Dark World horror by Toni V Sweeney

What did you think of Toni's picks for spooky places?

On our last Paranormal Road Trip we visited Horry County, South Carolina with Jay Wilburn.  Next time we will be visiting York, Maine with J.E. Taylor.

Join us for another spine-tingling Paranormal Road Trip...
if you dare!


  1. I've read this book, and it is a mysterious and sometimes disturbing trip with page-turning action. There's even romance in it!

  2. Thanks, Linda. Guess we Southern girls know our spooky places, don't we?