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The Flying Cow: A Review by Gary Taylor

In the shadowy confines where the known world melds with the realms of the unseen, lies "The Flying Cow," a most curious volume by Guy Lyon Playfair. This chronicle ventures into the arcane mysteries of Brazilian psychic phenomena, a land where the diaphanous veil of reality is oft rent asunder, revealing the ghastly and the preternatural.

The Preternatural Surgeons

With the precision of a necromancer's incantation, Playfair unveils the sinister practice of psychic surgery, where flesh is purportedly healed by hands unarmed with a

scalpel or blade. Among these spectral healers, Zé Arigó emerges, a figure ensnared by the spirit of Dr. Fritz. The narrative pulses with dark vitality as Playfair recounts surgeries performed with spectral guidance, each account teetering on the brink of the believable. The author, much like a doomed seeker in a Gothic tale, wrestles with the duality of scepticism and credulity, his mind a tempest of conflicting certainties.

The Poltergeist Pandemonium

A cacophony of terror echoes through Playfair’s exploration of poltergeist activity. In the heart of São Paulo, a residence becomes the epicenter of malevolent disturbances, where objects levitate and dance to the whims of an invisible tormentor. This house, akin to the ill-fated mansion of Usher, is besieged by a pandemonium that defies rationality. Playfair’s detailed accounts, as meticulous as the dissection of a corpse, compel the reader to confront the eerie, the inexplicable, the very essence of fear that lurks in shadowed corners.

The Spectral Intermediaries

Venturing deeper into the abyss, Playfair introduces us to the world of spirit mediums, those fragile conduits that channel the whispers of the departed. Chico Xavier, a figure shrouded in spectral mystery, practices automatic writing, his hand a mere vessel for otherworldly dictation. The prose here is suffused with an eerie tension, as if the very spirits he conjures linger on the periphery of our reality, eager to make their presence known through the trembling hand of the medium.

The Psychic Virtuosos

Further still, Playfair investigates the capabilities of psychic virtuosos, those souls tormented or blessed with telepathy and clairvoyance. His empirical approach, reminiscent of a scholar unearthing forbidden knowledge, seeks to unravel the mysteries cloaked in the shroud of the supernatural. Each account, laden with foreboding, draws the reader deeper into a vortex of doubt and wonder, challenging the boundaries of human perception.

A Confluence of Skepticism and Belief

Throughout "The Flying Cow," Playfair treads a perilous path between scepticism and belief. His narrative, a tapestry woven with threads of dread and fascination, ensnares the reader in an inextricable web of curiosity, compelling them to ponder the nature of the inexplicable.

In Conclusion

"The Flying Cow" is a harrowing descent into the heart of the paranormal, its pages resonant with the echoes of the unknown. Playfair's prose, imbued with a sepulchral reverence for the uncanny, beckons the reader to peer into the abyss, question the very fabric of reality, and contemplate the existence of realms beyond mortal comprehension. It is a work that haunts the mind like a spectre wandering a moonlit graveyard, an eternal reminder of the mysteries that lie beyond the veil of our understanding.

Guy Lyon Playfair also wrote This House is Haunted: The True Story of the Enfield Poltergeist

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The Shadow Over Glamis Castle

In the remote Angus region of Scotland stands Glamis Castle, an edifice whose ancient stones are imbued with an atmosphere of dread and mystique. To the uninitiated, it is but a picturesque relic of history, but to those who have delved into its past, it is a place where the veil between our world and the supernatural is perilously thin. It was on a chill autumn evening that I, drawn by both scholarly curiosity and an unsettling compulsion, found myself at its threshold, eager to uncover the eldritch secrets it harboured.

The tale I sought to investigate was no mere legend but a matter of documented history, whispered in hushed tones by the local populace. It centred upon the infamous and grisly murder of Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis, accused of witchcraft and treason, and burned at the stake in 1537. It is said that her spectre roams the castle grounds, her anguished spirit unable to rest. Yet, my research suggested that the horrors of Glamis were not confined to her tragic fate alone. The castle’s labyrinthine halls and hidden chambers held other, more obscure terrors.

Upon my arrival, I was greeted by the current laird, a man whose sombre demeanour hinted at the heavy burden of his lineage. With a nod of assent, he granted me access to the castle’s most restricted areas, including the fabled secret room—a space that, according to legend, was known to all lairds of Glamis but spoken of by none.

The laird’s warning echoed in my mind: “Beware what you seek, for the castle’s shadows are long and dark.”

The first night of my sojourn was uneventful, though I felt a persistent sense of being watched. The castle’s atmosphere was oppressive, the very air thick with an ancient, malevolent presence. As the midnight hour approached, I decided to explore the castle’s extensive library. Among the dusty tomes and faded manuscripts, I found a journal belonging to an ancestor of the current laird, dated 1723. It recounted the sightings of a spectral woman—presumably Lady Glamis—and other, less identifiable entities that roamed the castle.

It was on the third night that the true horror revealed itself. In the dead of night, a series of faint, mournful wails echoed through the corridors. Following the sound, I descended into the dungeons, where the cold stone walls seemed to close in around me. There, in the flickering light of my lantern, I saw her—the spirit of Janet Douglas, her form translucent yet terrifyingly real. Her eyes, voids of despair, met mine, and I felt an overwhelming wave of sorrow and rage.

Glamis Castle

Suddenly, the air grew colder, and another presence made itself known—a shadowy figure emerging from the darkness. This entity, unlike Lady Glamis, exuded a palpable malevolence. It advanced towards me, and as it did, the shadows seemed to come alive, writhing and whispering in a language older than time. The spectral woman’s form flickered and disappeared, leaving me alone with the approaching darkness.

In a moment of sheer terror, I fled, my footsteps echoing through the stone corridors. The shadows pursued, whispering secrets too dreadful for the human mind to comprehend. It was only upon reaching the sanctuary of my quarters that the oppressive presence receded, leaving me gasping for breath and sanity.

I departed Glamis Castle at first light, my curiosity sated but my soul forever marked by what I had encountered. The castle remains a place of beauty and horror, a testament to the thin line between our world and the other. Lady Glamis continues to roam its halls, a mournful wraith seeking justice, while darker, nameless entities lurk in the shadows, waiting for the unwary.

To those who dare to explore Glamis, I offer this warning: some secrets are best left undisturbed, and some horrors are too great to be forgotten. The castle's shadows are indeed long and dark, and they reach into the very soul of those who tread its haunted halls.

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1. The Darkened Streets of Wartime London

In the winter of 1942, London was a city cloaked in fear. The Blitz had scarred its face, but another menace prowled the streets. Gordon Cummins, a Royal Air Force serviceman, moved silently through the blackout, his eyes gleaming with malevolence. The city held its breath, unaware that a predator was among them.

2. The Mutilated Bodies: Victims of Madness

Cummins chose his victims with chilling precision. Their names are etched into the annals of horror:

  • Evelyn Hamilton: A nurse whose lifeblood stained the cobblestones.

  • Evelyn Oatley: A factory worker, her laughter silenced forever.

  • Margaret Lowe: Her throat slashed, her body left to the mercy of the night.

  • Doris Jouannet: A young bride, her dreams shattered by Cummins’s blade.

Their throats were slashed, their bodies mutilated. The streets whispered their names and the Thames bore witness to their agony.

3. The Survivors: Greta and Catherine

But amidst the carnage, two women survived. Greta Haywood and Catherine Mulcahy—scarred, haunted, but alive. Their bodies bore the physical and emotional scars of Cummins’s violence. Their eyes held the terror of those who had glimpsed the abyss and returned.

4. The Unseen Hand: Detective Inspector Frank Harper

Detective Inspector Frank Harper followed the trail of blood. Piecing together the puzzle—the mutilations, the sadistic frenzy—he walked the tightrope between justice and madness. His wife, long gone, whispered to him in the night. She knew the truth—the darkness had not left London.

5. The Condemned Cell: Cummins’s Final Hours

Cummins sat in his condemned cell at Wandsworth Prison. The walls pressed against him, the darkness seeping through the cracks. His family, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, pleaded for mercy. But justice had other plans. On June 25th, 1942, the noose tightened around his neck.

6. The Echoes: Spirits of the Departed

The Thames flowed silently, carrying the echoes of Cummins’s crimes. Evelyn, Margaret, Doris—they lingered, their spirits restless. Harper walked the embankment, feeling their presence. The mutilated bodies were gone, but their pain clung to the fog.

7. The Unfinished Business: The Real Killer

Cummins was just a pawn. The real killer remained hidden, feeding on fear and blood. The war would end, but the shadows would endure. Harper knew—he would follow the river, seeking the unseen hand that pulled the strings.

Epilogue: The Eternal Night

And in the heart of London, where the blackout still lingered, the true horror waited—an ancient malevolence that hungered for more than mortal blood.

Note: The events and characters in this story are based on the real-life crimes of Gordon Cummins.

: Gordon Cummins - Wikipedia: WWII RAF Airman Nicknamed the Blackout Ripper Murdered Four Women in …: Blackout ripper: A killer in wartime London - Crime + Investigation UK : Blackout Ripper: How wartime murderer stayed hidden in history

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