When: Sat., Feb. 18 2012
Clevelander Charles Cassady Jr. is a versatile guy: book reviewer, movie critic, illustrator, video maker, and — oh yeah — a self-described disciple of the Dark Forces who once admitted to dwelling in shadow realms “as a foul, malformed, and tortured wretch … In other words, a fairly typical unemployed journalism graduate.” Still, he has managed to turn his fascination with all things foul into a cottage industry, authoring a series of bizarre, non-fiction reference books on the occult and paranormal. His newest, Paranormal Mississippi, contains much that might be of interest to fans of the Crescent City, particularly in these days leading up to Mardi Gras. Among the stories, legends, and folktales that Cassady has compiled, you’ll find ghosts, vampires, voodoo, hoodoo, human vivisection, and the Devil Baby of Bourbon Street — just to name a few. Yet oddly, Cassady denies ever having had any personal paranormal experiences. “None. Apparently even the spirits find me boring.” On the other hand, he hopes that readers find him fascinating — particularly this evening when he manifests in person at Visible Voice Books for a free talk and signing. “I don’t know what I will be doing there, really. This is the first time I ever worked my way into an actual bookstore, so who knows what will happen.” At the very least, though, he hopes you’ll come away understanding that we are all helpless pawns in a hostile universe, in thrall to forces beyond our control. His point? “There is no free will: You are doomed to buy my book.” Tempt fate tonight from 7 to 9 p.m.