Monsters of folklore have become both a part of our language and a part of our collective unconscious. Whether these creatures are real or just a reflection of our primal fears, not every mystery has been explained and the unknown still holds the power to strike fear deep in our hearts and minds. As Aaron Mahnke reminds us, sometimes truth is even scarier than lore.
I’ve been a long-time fan of the always spooky Lore podcast, and I was thrilled when I first heard the rumors that Aaron Mahnke, host and writer of the aforementioned podcast, was working on a book series, but I worried that it would never be able to convey the kind of haunting, miasmatic mood and tone that the podcast, with its impeccable music and pacing, had set.
My worries were unfounded.
The writing in these books is spot-on. It’s completely possible to read every line, every word, in Aaron’s voice (you see), and that goes a long way to keeping the mood alive. It’s also got a lot of added humor that the podcast doesn’t – and couldn’t – convey without completely breaking the atmosphere. And while it’s true that the books are missing music, the one thing it’s got that the podcast doesn’t is some incredible art. While the chapter headers themselves are marvelous and spooky, the full-page illustrations inserted throughout are the right parts creepy and whimsical, and they keep the ambiance of the thing that is Lore alive and well. …Or undead and well.
If you’re new to the world of Lore, then welcome. I hope you brought a flashlight. If you’re picking this up after watching the Amazon series, expect something very different; the web series is much darker, much more grim (though still excellent). If you’re a fan of the podcast, this is something you’ve gotta read to believe.
Because some stories, you see, are worth telling again.
Aaron Mahnke collects the incredible true stories of some of the mortals who achieved infamy in history and folklore through horrible means. Monsters of this sort – serial killers, desperate criminals, and notable nobles with a much darker double-life – are, very real.
This eerie tour of lurid landmarks and doomed destinations takes armchair travelers with a taste for the macabre to places they never thought they’d visit in their wildest dreams. Aaron Mahnke explores some of these dreadful places and the history that haunts them.