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Posts Tagged ‘BernhardtJHurwood’

I have a hashtag on Instagram called ShitInMyStudy, where, when I’ve got nothing better to do/say/etc., I post a picture of an item in my study. Hence, shit in my study. Thought I’d use that same basic gameplan over here on the ol’ blog, except I’ll actually tell you about the shit in my study. I will also — if anyone is reading this — answer questions about the shit in my study. This, however, is not to be mistaken as an invitation to swing by and take a shit in my study, as has been suggested on Instagram by more than one of my stupid friends. Just to be clear.

I have a bunch of shit in my study that is weird, and no one ever sees it because, well, it’s in my study and that’s where I work.

Today’s shit in my study is this book, Monsters and Nightmares by Bernhardt J. Hurwood, published in 1967 when my father was 25 years old. This is relevant. My dad was a relatively conservative, no-nonsense sort of guy. So, the fact that he procured this particular book at any point in his adult life is notable. Sometime in, I’ll guess, 1985, my father gave this book to my older brother (not this book, this is another copy I bought much later — the original is fragile and in a box, yes, in my study). Very shortly afterward, my brother passed it to me.

Bernhardt J. Hurwood was a weird dude. Here is the abstract for the Bernhardt J. Hurwood Collection at Bowling Green State University:

The Bernhardt J. Hurwood Collection, 1926-1987, is comprised of fifteen linear feet of correspondence, research files, literary productions, printed materials, photographs, and audiovisual resources chronicling the eclectic career of this popular writer of sexual and supernatural literature. Portions of the collection were first donated to the Browne Popular Culture Library beginning in 1974. After Mr. Hurwood’s death the remainder of the collection was transferred between 1989-1990, by his wife Marci Vitous-Hurwood. Eric Honneffer processed the collection and finished preparing the finding aid in April 2014.

You can imagine my delight in learning that there was, indeed, a Bernhardt J. Hurwood Collection at any university; I would love — love — to write a biography of Mr. Hurwood. A “popular writer of sexual and supernatural literature.” What’s not to love? With titles like Vampires, Werewolves and GhoulsGhosts, Ghouls and Other HorrorsHaunted HousesVampires, Werewolves and Other DemonsChilling Ghost Stories, and Eerie Tales of Terror and Dread — some of which I own. And The Girls, The Massage, and EverythingThe Sensuous New YorkerJoys of Oral Love, and The Whole Sex Catalogue — none of which I own, regrettably. But I’m always on the lookout for Hurwood titles. He also dabbled in fiction, one of which I own, a vampire novel called By Blood Alone.

So, anyway, when I was about ten years old, my brother gave me the book our father gave him. Reason: It was “too scary” for him. He was apparently reading it one evening, went to sleep, and was hassled in the night by a particularly vivid werewolf-related dream, the details of which he declined to mention. There are some things that are too “too” for my brother. One was this book, and another was a couple years later, when he handed me a cassette — Metallica’s Master of Puppets (single best version of this song, hands down)– and said “This is too heavy for me.”

Lucky for my brother, I was only too happy to take both off his hands.

I mean, look at that table of contents. You can’t go wrong with a book that opens up with something called The Monstrous Maggot of Death (not to be mistaken for the Mongolian Death Worm, which is obviously where your mind went…obviously). That’s a favorite, along with The Legend of the Screaming Skulls, The Horrible Legacy of the Cannibal Chef (not this guy), The Demon Drummer of Tedworth, and Voluntarily Buried Alive. And really, The Necrophile Who Did a Good Dead? The Holy Prepuce and the Miracles? (Best band name ever.) One simply cannot go wrong.

No joke, when I was a kid, and well into my teens, I’d return to this over and over. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read these stories, and I still love them. The cover is awesome, too.

That’s it. That’s the story of this book. No, not riveting, but it’s some…shit…in my…study.

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