The Unknown Province: #3, Goblins Are People, Too!

Goblins are mythical creatures. However, a great deal of mythology is designed to make living mortals more comfortable. If there is mythology about something within the Unknown Province, then that’s good. Mythology means it can’t be real. Right? Wrong! Here’s the catch. If something exists within the Province, and the Province is real, well then, that something is real too. And, the fact is…the Province is very real!

Goblins are grotesque, greedy, phantoms. They have existed within the UP ever since humans set foot, or were placed, upon this planet. The question is not whether goblins exist. Instead, there are two more important questions. The first is: Where do they come from? Note that I say do and not did. They continue to occur each day. The second question is: What are they?

Goblins come from the human population. They are dead people: phantom souls at the cross roads of ethereal life. These creatures straddle the fence. They are in the midst of negotiations with the essential powers of good and evil. They struggle to cut a deal with the devil or to make amends with the highest life force. A goblin’s acts and deeds while within the Unknown Province will ultimately define its destiny.

If a living mortal vacillates between right and wrong throughout life; if the person does good and then evil time and again; then which pathway should he or she take after death? The universe is confused, the jury is still out, and more evidence is needed. And so, this poor, wretched soul passes beyond the gossamer vale and wakes up as a goblin within the Province to stare in awe as all humanity passes by. Sometimes, the not-so-subtle powers of darkness provide a gentle shove, or a hard push, toward destiny. Within the Province, the playing field is very often not level.

Therefore, dear reader, listen carefully if you want to avoid the fate of a goblin existence. To become a goblin is to know misery, madness, and even murder. The stench of a goblin body is not attractive. The face and form of such a beast is a burden to the owner. Much can be learned of goblin life – and even how to avoid it – by understanding the case history of one. I refer to that quintessential example of goblin-hood: Walter Harold Ishmael Prescott Malone. Walter was the well-known Manhattan businessman who became “The Goblin of Central Park.”

I invite you to enter Walter’s world by reading the short story below.

Best wishes, Michael Goldcraft

From Amazon: The Goblin of Central Park

Goblin Cover enh-1by1-6

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The Unknown Province: #2, Frozen Phantoms

Life and death: both are complex. Nothing is simple on mortal earth or within the Unknown Province. So here, dear readers/possible skeptics, I address the subject of frozen phantoms. Admittedly, there are very few of these specters inhabiting the province. Sadly, they are a surprised and unhappy lot.

When a body is cryogenically frozen, it remains alive! That is the whole point of cryonics; it is preservation of a living human (or other animal) at temperatures so low as to sustain life without nourishment. The metabolic rate is so reduced that ‘frozen life’ is possible for an almost unlimited length of time.

Usually, human subjects request cryopreservation when faced with a life-threatening disease for which there is currently no cure. These individuals see their only hope for survival resting some time in the distant future when a cure will be discovered. However, others – as they age – simply want to live forever; they seek eternal life through cryonics. And some misguided individuals might attempt to take an unwilling loved one with them!

Cryogenic preservation is not common. The temperature of the body must be reduced to approximately −180 °C (-292 °F or 93.15 K).

For laymen, we can best envision a condition 292 degrees below freezing!

However, this condition must be accomplished in such a manner that there is no rupture of human cells, a tricky process at best. Furthermore, cryogenic preservation of humans is not reversible at this time. The technology to reversing a cryogenically-preserved human lies far in the future, as does the cure for the patient’s disease.

Currently, less than 300 people have undergone cryopreservation since cryonics was first proposed in 1962. And funding to maintain the cryogenic state must be perpetually at hand through a government agency, or via a hefty endowment from the subject or his trust. This huge sum of money must be awarded to the preservation facility. Once preserved, the subject places ultimate faith in those who will forever maintain his frozen state. But as I’ve said, very few humans are documented to be under cryopreservation. Unless…

Could there be – unknown to the rest of us – some nefarious use of cryopreservation by rogue scientists for purely economic, experimental, or evil purposes? Could these factories of “frozen hope” exist? If so, are they promoting, here or abroad, false hope to wealthy, but desperate, dupes? Anything, I suppose, is possible.

Certainly, this subject is a realm of fiction offering diverse and diabolical plots. Science does not directly embrace the existence of a human spirit or soul because they have no “a posteriori” or empirical evidence to support such. Thus, some scientists could completely disregard — or take a very cavalier attitude toward – the fate that a human spirit might encounter after cryogenic preservation.

If science and corrupt corporations see profit in preservation, such a motivation could lead to a situation similar to the one found in my short story below.

I suggest you keep the furnace turned on, and the comforter pulled snuggly up around you, as you enter my mysterious world of very cold crime.

This little tale, “The Phantom of Hemlocke Hill,” is available from Amazon.

Best wishes, Michael Goldcraft


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Exploring the Unknown Province: #1, The Peregrine Phantoms

Dear Reader. What follows is, almost certainly, fiction. MG

TO BE A PEREGRINE WITHIN THE UNKNOWN PROVINCE is to be a restless phantom. These spirits – for lack of a better term – are wanderers through the time and the space of the earth’s Province. I’ll describe how time works in another message. For now, it’s enough to know that peregrine phantoms exist.

We can envision these beings by reflecting upon the living peregrine falcon: the world’s most widespread raptor. This beautiful bird is found almost everywhere on earth. It covers great distances in its travels…its peregrinations. And it is swift, as are the peregrine phantoms of the Province. Both are fast, very fast. The peregrine falcon is, in fact, the fastest animal on earth. Observers have measured the raptor’s high speed dive; it can descend upon its prey at over two hundred miles an hour!

And as the falcon wants its prey, so do the peregrine phantoms want theirs. They want to come back and they don’t particularly care whom they possess to gain a physical form. However, cases histories suggest that there is a caveat to their return. The key to their postmortem earthly existence lies in some ancestral linkage. They seem most prone to seek out the bodies of descendants of their historic enemies. Thus, they can inflict pain on the descendant. At the same time, they can use their new “mortal husk” as a vehicle for evil.

How do spirits, souls, ghosts, or phantoms become peregrines? Through both the desire to return to the living plane, and through a contract: an agreement with evil. To become a peregrine phantom requires giving one’s eternal soul to the Evil One. It is the first step in the return to earth; it partially opens the portal. Second is the takeover of a person weakened: disabled by fear, and ultimately overcome by that most common of human necessities: sleep. Fear weakens the prey, instills doubt in survival, and causes denial of reality: what is actually happening. Once these defenses are down…sleep is the doorway. And what happens may appear to be a dream, but it is, in reality…the ultimate nightmare! Once the peregrine phantom gains entrance, the human prey remains in a coma-like state. Sometimes, phantoms leave their prey of their own free will; they sometimes desire a more suitable body. Envy is no stranger to a peregrine phantom. Even phantoms want to improve their mortal state. Why occupy the body of a poor girl, when one could worm its way into a powerful politician?

Paranormal research has indicated that there are two types of peregrine phantoms. The first is a soul that has been grievously wronged in the past. The second is an entity that has done great wrong. Both want to come back to the physical earth. The former seeks revenge upon the descendants of those who caused their injury. The latter simply has a dark desire to continue the evil it so greatly enjoyed in a former life.

Take, for example, the documented contemporary profile of convicted murderer, Liesel Brotz, a caring school teacher who lived in Weis Baden, Germany. For twenty years she taught at a private school situated at the outskirts of the city. She won the adulations of her peers and her institution. Liesel was unmarried, but had many friends. She was active within her community and attended church regularly.

However, in the spring of 1999, her students began to complain of a lack of attention by their teacher. She seemed distant, distracted. She would often snatch around her face as if to capture some annoying insect. Then she began to miss her classes. At first, just one a day, toward the end of the day. Faculty members would find her aimlessly wandering around the grounds, staring at the rock walls or even the bark of a tree. When reminded about where she should be, she became suddenly attentive, apologetic, and would race off to her classroom.

As the weeks slipped by, she began muttering and then talking out loud, to a person – a Mr. Mancriver – who did not exist.

But it was on the morning of June eleventh, the day after the spring sessions had concluded, that she entered a garden supply store and purchased a herbicide. Then, at a family reunion, she provided a case of wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine flowed freely and her family members dropped like flies. It was later discovered that the first half dozen bottles were perfect; the second half dozen, as the toasts were raised among rollicking relatives, was heavily laced with parquet. A suddenly devious and determined school teacher, she slaughtered her entire family and a host of friends.

And finally, miraculously, she became her former self at her trial, without a trace of memory about the family reunion. She is, today, incarcerated within a psychiatric holding facility in Romania. Her care costs are being provided by a generous, while anonymous, donor.

Scientists and some interested psychiatrists have not ruled out a paranormal component, which for a brief period of thirty-nine days, completed shifted the behavior of an otherwise caring school teacher. Liesel has maintained that everything is but a nightmare, and nothing is real…except for Mr. Mancriver, whom she loathes.

Peregrine phantoms do exist. For another, detailed case history, I invite you to download the story below. It’s my documentation of Annie P. Parker and her encounter with “The Peregrine Man.”

It’s a short story available as an Amazon e-book.

Best wishes, Michael Goldcraft


Amazon Peregrine Man Cover-330 px

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Thirteen Tales of Eclectic Evil – Short Story Horror Diversity

How diverse is “evil?”  Could a collection of horror tales be combined to create a genuinely eclectic mix?  Could each story be a unique little nugget of terror because of its setting, plot, and eccentric characters?  I believed so, and that was my aim in writing and assembling the scary short stories that became Thirteen Tales of Eclectic Evil.

I started with the word “eclectic.” The word has an elegant sound, tripping off your tongue.

Mr. Webster – a favorite writer of mine – says it means:
to select, pick out, to choose. 1) selecting from various systems, doctrines, or sources; 2) composed of materials gathered from various sources, systems, etc. Noun: a person who uses eclectic methods in philosophy, science or art.

As a writer, I tried to be the person he defined.

Thirteen Tales, an Amazon e-book, is just 250 pages long, but within its covers I hope you’ll find entertainment that will whisk you away from the realities and responsibilities we all face, if even for just an hour or so. With that objective in mind, let me tell you a little about these tales I created.


Do you believe in reincarnation? That’s alright, neither do I. But an old, tough business tycoon, Whip Malone, experienced something like it when his hang-glider hit a horse, and he became The Goblin of Central Park. And reincarnation became reality in my time-warp tale The Predictable Return of Peter Renskill set both in the late 18th century and present day.

Have you ever wanted to see life from another person’s point of view? Well my protagonist, Melody Brighton, did. And that’s why she agreed to participate in Dr. Dangerfield’s First IS Transplant. Melody entered a man’s body and was disgusted by what she found. Be careful when you wish to be someone else. It’s one thing to walk a mile in their shoes, quite another to be trapped in their body. Experimental research? No thanks!

Ira Carson was a nice guy, retired, happy, and sailing the Caribbean with his beautiful wife. Unfortunately, on a glorious day with fair winds, Ira found evil on the high seas. That’s why he was desperately seeking Any Port in a Storm.

Jack Slack was a mediocre Florida writer with big dreams. He just needed a catalyst to jump-start his career and keep his New York publisher happy. Jack found that catalyst, oddly, in an ancient warlock. The Wannabe from Hungary is a humorous story about black magic gone bad because it’s been given to the wrong writer. Never trust a roach on a white carpet!

Young Jonathan Wagoner was rapidly on his way up within the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C. But Wicked Weasel Wagoner went down…way down! When it comes to power politics, one should always be careful of “ships that pass in the night.”

Bob Harper was a great guy, a good friend, and a heck of a fisherman. He just wanted to make his buddy happy. So they took a little fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico and ended up Catching Hell. Danger glides silent and deep and a wicked wind spawns an angry sea. Bob Harper got all wrapped up in a quarter ton of trouble! Maybe he just needed a bigger boat.

It was just an old volume in a musty New York bookstore, but it was such a find! Annie P. Parker couldn’t resist. She bought the book…and began to read. And that’s when The Peregrine Man took over her life. Sometimes, you just can’t afford to fall asleep.

Those of you who’ve read my Darke Lyfe Trilogy won’t be surprised that I introduce my primary villain, the rogue vampyre Harrison Van Gilter, within this collection. It’s just a brief snippet plucked from his long life. The story documents Harrison’s first prey. Set in Black Notting, England in 1776, when he was just thirteen, Harrison tells the tale himself. He selected it from his own perverse collection locked away within Van Gilter’s Vault.

No collection of eclectic evil would be complete without a good ghost story. And Elaine Martin gets guidance from a “loving” ghost that helps her find The Courage to Kill.

I’ve tried my best to “creep you out” with my tale concerning The Mothman Messages. Inspired by the true story and the film – The Mothman Prophecies – which made even the hair on the back of my neck stand up, the mothman tale was pure pleasure to write. I hope you enjoy reading it while you’re all alone at night. Lights on…please!

Within an aircraft at 36,000 feet, cruising 600 miles an hour, a very special passenger gains genuine social perspective when he feels The Gun at His Head. All I can say about this close encounter is that we are not alone…and they are not pleased!

Finally, there’s my tale entitled The Phantom of Hemlocke Hill. It’s a sort of syfy, mystery, what-happened and who-did-it tale. Some people sense unearthly things and envision the future. And sometimes the future is dark and justice is icy cold. Spirits wander when they are unhappy…even when their mortal bodies aren’t dead!

Thirteen Tales of Eclectic Evil is a small buffet of chilling, mysterious, and sometimes even humorous, escape entertainment. If it takes you away for just a little while, I’ll be happy.

Best wishes, Michael Goldcraft

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The Unknown Province – An Introduction

THE TOTAL NUMBER OF HUMANS that has ever lived is approximately 110 billion. Of
those, about 6% or just over seven billion are alive today. Ten thousand years ago – 8,000 BC – there were only about one million humans on earth; that is million, not billion. It takes 1,000 million to equal 1 billion.

So where did 103 billion humans go? Did they simply die and cease, forever, to exist? Were their souls or spirits reincarnated as their own posterity? Did their spirits fly off to heaven or hell? Do we have only this life? And finally, is there any other place – another dimension – having nothing to do with a god or the cosmos, where some remnant of each person lives on perpetually? If there is an invisible – but somehow tangible – place here on earth, it must be well populated with over a hundred billion souls. That would seem to make it likely then, that some of these souls or spirits would occasionally pass through that gossamer barrier here on earth to reach into our contemporary, physical lives for good, bad, or simply companionship.

Many believe in heaven, far away. Most shudder at the images we’ve been fed of hell and its torture…eternal torture. No god I believe in would torture his creation forever because of mistakes made in a scant seventy or eighty years of life. Nonsense! That would be a god more cruel and sinful than any sin even the most heinous of humans could commit. I don’t believe in hell, therefore. I have doubts about heaven. God seems to be “hands off,” at least in this life. And scientific research only expands one’s disbelief as the scientists observe the expansion of the universe itself. Those things said, God created humans, gave them a brain, and – I’m sure – he expects us to use it. Faith and intellect may both be the keys. Who knows? Not I.

But, let’s examine the possibility that those 103 billion people are still here on earth, in some kind of ethereal form, intelligent, observant, but simply not flesh and blood. Let’s think a bit – for just a moment – about a possibility I like to consider and which I’ve named: “The Unknown Province.” The existence of the Province would explain a lot: ghosts, poltergeists, apparitions, even “grandma wandering in the garden each summer solstice.”

Evidence? Well, first, let’s examine the five human senses. Everything we directly know about, comes from those senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. I can see a mountain or a mole hill, I can hear thunder and the crashing of the surf, I can smell the salty sea air and the baking of fresh bread, I can taste a rich, cool beer, a dry red wine, the flavors within a delicious apple pie, and the saltiness of popcorn. And I can feel with my tongue, the popcorn’s texture. My hands can touch and feel the smoothness of a marble counter or the roughness of sandpaper.

All you and I experience is done through our five senses. Physical things send reflected rays of colored light to our eyes, air carries sound waves that strike our ears, air-borne molecules activate the olfactory nerve endings within our nasal passages, chemical molecules stimulate our taste buds, and physical materials – solid, liquid, or even gas – are detected by the nerves in our fingertips, or upon our bare back if cold rain falls upon us at the beach.

But what can’t we perceive with our five senses? Without aid, we cannot see a single virus or individual bacterium. Without aid, we cannot hear a radio wave broadcast. Without aid we cannot observe the television satellite signals beaming back to mother earth. There is so much that we have proven to exist, but that we absolutely cannot perceive with our five senses.

Just 185 years ago, before 1830, there was no radio, no television, no cell phones, no computers, no airplanes, basically no “technology.” If we could bring an American patriot forward from the past (1776) and here today, we could tell him that the air is filled with voices and images – people, animals, huge buildings, steaming jungles. He would not believe it. And he would be terrified at the sight and sound of our military jets racing across the sky above. The point is, he could not conceive of such things from his reference point, and with his limited knowledge, carried with him from 1776.

Are we in that same position? Are we so very certain that the Unknown Province, here on earth, does not exist?

Whirl around quickly! Take in all you see, hear, smell, touch and can taste? Do you feel the presence of a being from The Unknown Province? Can you hear a voice, see a phantom?

No? Well, come back, my friend, and I’ll begin my stories…Tales of things that are happening today and will happen tomorrow. My stories may reveal…The Unknown Province!

Affectionately yours,
Michael Goldcraft

P.S. In the meantime, I invite you to visit my Amazon Page
and glance over my other tales including my Darke Lyfe Trilogy:



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TRIPLE ATTACKS BY A VAMPIRE KILLER – Al Keeling, reporter From the Michael Goldcraft novel ASCENT OF EVIL


        Al Keeling, Panama City Times Crime Reporter

NOVEMBER 29, 1997.  Two local women were found dead and another narrowly escaped death in what can only be described as two heinous and violent murders and a third bizarre and nerve-wracking kidnapping and rescue.

     The mutilated nude body of Elizabeth Parker, 31, a local realtor, was discovered Monday, November 24th, on the shores of Carico Bayou. Some time Sunday night, the woman was raped and her neck was brutally slashed. A subsequent autopsy revealed the slashes were knife wounds. As expected, there was massive blood lose. Curiously, the amount of blood remaining in the victim’s body, when added to the volume spilled at the murder scene, fell short of matching the estimate of Parker’s total blood volume when the woman was alive. “It seems that somehow at least 1.5 liters of the woman’s blood was removed from the crime scene,” stated city coroner, Dr. David Booth.

     On November 25th, the partially nude body of a second victim, Theresa Harrell, 28, was found hideously mutilated in a house at 1120 Raintree Road. Harrell had also been raped. Her neck was also slashed several times with a knife. The woman died sometime the night before. As with the first victim, the blood lost by the second did not correlate with evidence evaluated at the scene or uncovered during the autopsy. Booth stated that he was “baffled by the apparent absence of nearly 2 liters of blood, which are simply missing.” The average woman’s body contains approximately 3 to 3.5 liters. Harrell was an assistant professor of English at St. Andrew College.

      After the second killing, rumors erupted that The Slit Throat Slasher, Manco Bronter, executed at Florida Prison in Starke earlier this year, had made good on his pre-execution promise to return from the dead and continue where he left off, beginning with a sixth victim. Bronter’s grotesque trademark was the infliction of throat slashes on his victims. The number of slashes on each was sequentially increased to document his growing number of victims. Bronter managed to murder five women before he was incarcerated and executed. The Parker woman’s body was mutilated with six throat slashes, Harrell’s with seven.

      However the rumor, chronicled by this paper’s Morning Edition of November 26th, and criticized by some, died a quick death. A copy-cat charade was revealed that very night, when law enforcement authorities responded to the assault of a male victim, Joseph Davis, 69, a private chauffeur who was stabbed and seriously injured in his limousine at the Franklin Center Post Office. Davis, who has recently recovered, swears that the man who stabbed him and left him for dead was a vampire. Davis was abducted earlier that evening behind the Friendly Flagon on Harbor Avenue and forced to carry his kidnapper to Franklin Center, apparently a location pre-selected for stalking a third victim.

        Davis called police from his car phone just in time to report the abduction he witnessed of Susan Shaowong, 24, who was forcibly taken from the Post Office shortly after the attempted murder on the elderly Davis. In a bizarre man hunt that culminated in a chase through Oak Grove Cemetery and the storage grounds of the new Panama City public works facility, police rescued Ms. Shaowong who had been temporarily imprisoned in an underground chamber in the cemetery. Shaken and bruised, but otherwise safe, she was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

    The man responsible for these crimes was not Manco Bronter, who incidentally was found buried at Oak Grove Cemetery. Instead victim testimonies point to a man believed known as Harrison Van Gilter, not of this area, origin unknown. The transient had been sleeping for some time in a coffin within an excavated cemetery chamber. Police surprised the nude Van Gilter in his underground chamber as he was about to assault Shaowong. The assailant fled from the cemetery to the City Works storage grounds, and ultimately managed a daring escape under gun fire. Van Gilter eluded police when a freight train from the Port of Panama City traveled past the storage grounds and he managed to jump aboard. His whereabouts, to date, are unknown.

     Police inspected the contents of the cemetery chamber and eventually replaced the rightful occupant, Frederick Collins, who had been laid to an assumed eternal rest in early November. Apparently when he took over the casket of Mr. Collins, Van Gilter moved his body to the grave of, and placed the body in, the coffin containing the recently-interred Manco Bronter. Both bodies were found one atop the other in the partially-closed casket as investigators were in the process of exhuming Bronter’s corpse early Wednesday evening to end rumors of a Slasher back-from-the-dead rampage. The discovery of Collins’ body led investigators to his grave site where they discovered Van Gilter and Ms. Shaowong.

        Interviews with Shaowong and Davis can be summed up in their responses to a question we asked them: “Is Harrison Van Gilter really a vampire?” Davis: “Yes. He’s a true vampire. He’s real. God help us if he comes back.” Shaowong: “I never believed in vampires before, but now I do. Yes. He is a vampire.” On a happier note, Ms. Shaowong recently married Lawrence Hayes, Jr., the son of Panama City Mayor Larry Hayes. The newlyweds are currently honeymooning in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, the search for Harrison Van Gilter continues. Is he really a vampire? At least two of our citizens believe so. When asked the same question, local law enforcement agents refused to confirm or deny.

Michael Goldcraft’s Darke Lyfe Trilogy is available at Amazon!

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THE DARKE LYFE TRILOGY – A Potential Reader’s Quick Summary

The Darke Lyfe Trilogy, the Award-Winning Trio of Thriller Novels by Michael Goldcraft  Published by and by Amazon Kindle

ASCENT OF EVIL (Tome I) In 1995, Dr. Steven Atticus discovered the preserved corpse of a 1000-year-old Viking priest. But the Viking was more than a priest. He was also the first vampire! Atticus proves the biological reality of “vampyres” and “vampires” (there is a difference). When Atticus learns of a contemporary vampyre plaguing Panama City, Florida, he joins a Task Force of law enforcement and scientists to stop the carnage. The task force must capture and incarcerate Harrison Van Gilter, a rogue vampyre and serial killer who stalks the citizens of the formerly quiet coastal city, now in a state of panic.

INHERITED EVIL (Tome II) Harrison Van Gilter is ultimately captured by the FBI and local law enforcement and tried in Federal District Court, Panama City, Florida. But the cosmic tumblers click into place for Harrison. A raging hurricane changes everything and the worst serial killer of modern day is loose again! And as the mystery unravels, Harrison learns that he has the DNA of a historic monster in every cell of his body. Harrison Van Gilter has inherited evil!

ARCANUM OF EVIL (Tome III) Fourteen years have past. It’s January 1, 2012. A military/scientific/industrial project is underway on the moon when evil events are suddenly catalyzed. And Harrison Van Gilter, rogue predator of the Van Gilter family, is back. But he’s not Harrison! He’s a reincarnated being who possesses the body of a Washington, D.C. federal employee. And all the terrible reality of the 1990s must be relived by those who were threatened, kidnapped, and plagued by Harrison. And now the vampyre has the “Arcanum of Abaddon” to guide him. He has Satan’s book of rules and the powers of Hell at his disposal! But for Harrison, and everyone else, the clock is ticking down to December 21st…and the Mayan Day of Doom!

Michael Goldcraft’s Darke Lyfe Trilogy is available at Amazon


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