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See you in Chicago on June 8!

For the first time, I’ll be speaking at the Chicago Paracon on Saturday, June 8, 2024. The low admission price of $1.00 per person gives you access to 80 vendors peddling ritual candles, occult items, oddities, weirdness, mysticism, and more. Also in attendance will be tarot, angel card, and tea leaf readers, plus psychics, and paranormal investigators.

No Midwest event would be complete without food, raffle, and music.

Besides yours truly, the other speakers are:

Allison Jornlin: Allison developed Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s first haunted history tour in 2008. Since then, she has presented at paranormal conferences across the U.S. and contributed paranormal essays and research to several popular books. Allison currently works as a professional weirdo, researching and writing for AmericanGhostWalks.com. Allison will discuss fairy folklore and fairy encounters.

Larry Eisler: Author of Ghosts of the Black Hawk War, filmmaker, historian, paranormal researcher and winner of the Annual Telly Award. Larry will discuss the advent of artificial intelligence and its effects on the paranormal community.

Bob Anderson: Bob is the host of the paranormal podcast Bob After Dark. He has been a paranormal enthusiast since he was a wee-lad. Bob has dabbled in many aspects of the spooky world from both research and investigations. He is sort of a Swiss-Army-Knife in the occult world, knowing a bit about not only ghostly hauntings, but cryptozoology, and demonology. Bob will discuss the true paranormal accounts behind horror films.

Barnaby Jones: Barnaby is the founder and lead investigator of C.A.P.S.: Cryptids, Anomalies, and the Paranormal Society. He is also the host of Whispers From the Dark podcast and Monsters on the Edge* on Untold Radio Network. Barnaby will discuss the scientific understanding of paranormal phenomena.

*I will appear on an upcoming episode of Monsters on the Edge!

See you at the Countryside Banquets & Conference Center, 6200 Joliet Rd, Countryside, IL 60525!

Milwaukee Paracon 2019: The Day After

Greetings from Grafton!

I’m sitting here in my office after a particularly busy weekend. I’m two days removed from the Friday the 13th/Full Moon Downtown West Bend Ghost Walk, where we had the largest, most enthusiastic group ever. Washington County’s dedicated support of their paranormal history never ceases to amaze me.

Bright and early the next day (Saturday the 14th for those keeping track), I headed down to Averno College in Milwaukee for the 2019 edition of the Milwaukee Paracon. I was fortunate enough to present at the inaugural event back in 2015, and I’ve been able to appear at all but one, which I had to cancel due to personal strife.

The event is always a highlight of my year. I got to see a lot of beloved local colleagues, such as Allison Jorlin (milwaukeeghosts.com), Mike Huberty and Wendy Lynn Staat (See You On the Other Side podcast), Jay Bachochin (Finding Jay Bachochin), and MPC mastermind Tea Kurlos (Monster Hunters) to name only a few.

I had originally been scheduled to do a Washington County Paranormal presentation to celebrate the re-release of my first book, but I quickly found myself swept up into a Paranormal Author’s panel with new friends Shetan Noir and Tobias Wayland. While getting a chance to talk about my process for writing Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? I also had an opportunity to learn some methods used by Noir in her new book Lake Monsters and Odd Creatures of the Great Lakes and Wayland’s soon-to-be released book on the Great Lakes Mothman who recently terrorized Chicagoland.

My presentation about Washington County Paranormal did indeed happen, and I had a great time talking about Goatman, and the Old Courthouse Museum’s electrifying spirit “George.”

The biggest highlight was meeting all the enthusiastic people that dropped by my vendor’s table. The nicest thing about being in this field is meeting people and learning what inspired their interest in topics that a lot of people look down upon.

If you missed this year’s conference, please keep an eye on Milwaukeeparacon.com for information on the 2020 event!

J. Nathan Couch at Book Signing in West Bend, Wisconsin

Just a quick note to folks in and around West Bend! I’ll be making an appearance at the West Bend Farmer’s Market on September 28th, 2019 from 7:30am to 11:00pm!

Drop in to All In Books and visit with me! The store will also be holding a raffle for two free passes to the Downtown West Bend Ghost Walk! See you there!

Details:
Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 7:30 AM – 11 AM
All In Books
136 N. Main Street
West Bend, WI

Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? a Critical Success

Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? by J. Nathan Couch

Though Thanksgiving already seems like a distant memory in the midst of this Arctic-like Wisconsin January, I believe I’d be remiss if I didn’t publicly state how thankful I am that Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? has thus far been a critical success.

I was a nervous wreck immediately following the publication of Goatman on October 07, 2014. My one previous full-length book Washington County Paranormal: A Wisconsin Legend Trip, while available both nationally and internationally, was of mostly local interest, and was read by individuals who likely viewed it through rose-tinted glasses, since they were likely reading about their respective home towns.  Goatman was my first attempt to write a book intended for a broader audience than one Southeastern Wisconsin county.

Goatman was also a vastly different topic then I’d ever attempted. This was no mere collection of ghost and monster stories to put into order. Instead it was a complex mess of folklore and Fortean phenomena that needed to be sorted out and made sense of. Needless to say, it was a huge relief when positive reviews began to trickle in.

Sean Whitley, director of the documentary Southern Fried Bigfoot commented that “this was a very entertaining read and an incredibly thorough look at one of America’s urban legends. Highly recommended.”

Michael A. Kleen, author of Haunting Illinois declares that “Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? is a solid and original work in a genre where substance and originality is increasingly difficult to find.”

Lyle Blackburn wrote in his Rue Morgue column, Monstro Bizarro that ” Couch’s writing is smooth and easy to read while maintaining a good balance between skepticism and open-mindedness. He goes where the research leads, allowing his conclusions to reflect only that which can be drawn from the evidence.”  He continued that Goatman is an “enjoyable read that provides new insight into these cases whether you’re interested in the cryptid aspect or simply monster folklore.”

Dr. Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog at Strange History claims, after a lot of thought provoking musing, that “one of the reasons that the book works so well is that the author is not just a Fortean, he is also a folklorist (by temperament if not by training). And a case like this is a wonderful example of where Fortean techniques come, unassisted, crashing to the ground: in a case like this the Fortean approach is, frankly, a blunt stone trying to open a can of beans. Folklore reminds us, instead, how humans create myths as spiders spin webs.”

Ken Gerhard, author of  Encounters of Flying Humanoids, declared “… Thoroughly enjoying this book at the moment. Extremely well researched and written. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in mysterious and seriously weird creature accounts.”

John Rimmer of Magonia writes “[J. Nathan Couch] understands the liminal landscapes in which these creatures lurk, and knows that a suburban lot can hold as deep a terror as the remotest forest. This is a fascinating account of a search for mystery, a real search involving the author travelling to some of the weirdest spots in the US, not just clicking ‘search’ on a computer screen. This is Fortean writing at its finest, and recommended to all… ”

Monster Hunters author Tea Krulos writes “Couch does a good job of entertaining the [legends], but not endorsing them as them as fact. Because the idea of a half goat, half human stalking through the woods to head butt you is ridiculous…(wait a minute—do you hear that horrible bleating sound?)…or is it?”

And most recently, Loren Coleman, author of Mysterious America and the director of the International Cryptozoology Museum placed Goatman on his list of the Best Cryptozoology books of 2014, bestowing it with the title of “The Best Weird Cryptid Book of 2014.”

If you’ve read Goatman, and would like to offer your opinion, please consider leaving a review at your favorite website. Reviews (either negative or positive) would be appreciated at Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, or GoodReads.com.

Thanks everyone, for all the support, and I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful 2015.

Goatman: Published

Tonight has been an extremely satisfying night. The latest proof copy of Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? arrived almost a week early. After what likely amounted to my 100th reading of the material, I finally realized the book was now ready for humanoid consumption. With a light heart and a nervous stomach, I gave the go ahead for publication.

As of this moment Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? is now on sale at my store and on Amazon.com

Within 14  days the book with be available on Kindle.

Within 6-8 weeks (but likely much sooner) the book with be available at Barnes and Noble, and just about anywhere else books are sold.

They say there are seven stages of grief. I believe there are also seven stages to writing a book. For me they are, in order:

1) Skeptical enthusiasm

2) Fanatical dedication

3) Bleak disillusionment

4) Sickening self-doubt

5) Euphoric enthusiasm

6) Crippling anxiety

7) Complete and total relief

I am presently at stage seven. There’s a lot of people who deserve recognition for making this project a reality, but I’ll save that for the book’s acknowledgment page. But I would like to use this space to thank everyone who’s believed in me and followed my other projects. If you’ve ever attended one of my talks, tours, or presentations; if you’ve ever liked something of mine on social media; If you’ve ever told a friend about one my projects; if you’ve ever pretended to laugh at one of my terrible, terrible, terrible jokes, you’re responsible for Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? being written.

I hope you’ll all enjoy it, or at the very least, mumble to yourself “That Couch fellow knows a lot about weird stuff” as you shove the book into the box marked “Goodwill.”

Thanks one, thanks all.

-J. Nathan Couch
October 07, 2014.

J. Nathan Couch with a zombie
J. Nathan Couch. And a Zombie. Dahlonega, Georgia, 2013.

Finalized Goatman Cover

Greetings everyone! It seems that Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? is nearly complete. I just got the finalized exterior files in my email. Below is the front cover. Take a look and let me know what you think!

Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? book cover
Finalized Goatman front cover.

I have to say this cover looks better than I could have ever imagined. The goat-man on this cover is, in my humble opinion, not only the creepiest Goatman ever rendered, but the most adorable. There’s something innocent and inquisitive behind those black, dark pools he has for eyes. Only the amazing Eau Claire artist Amber Michelle Russell could have achieved such a feat! I want to cuddle the guy, but I know he’ll just murder me and leave me stuffed in a hollow tree somewhere for my trouble.

The logo and exterior design (you know, all the heavy lifting) is by Mental Shed Studios, who designed my previous book, Washington County Paranormal. Mental Shed specializes in horror-oriented design work. They also operate a few swell websites like CultOfWeird.comWisconsinSickness.com, and WisconsinFrights.com.

I know you’ll all be pleased with the visuals of this book once you get a copy in your hands! It looks so good that my only concern at this point is, will my humble words do the exterior justice?

Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? Cover Art!

Hi everyone! I hope you’re digging the new site. I’d become extremely negligent of my old website WashingtonCountyParanormal.com in the last year or so. Partly because I was expending so much energy writing Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?, but partly because I knew a new website was just around the corner. Now that this snazzy new site by Mental Shed Studios is up and running, I plan to post much more frequently.

This website was a long time in the making, and because of that I believe my first new post here needs to be special (all the older posts were imported from the WCP site). In my opinion, no other post could be as cool as this one. That little thumbnail below this text is the cover art work of Goatman! I believe it’s perhaps the most impressive take on the monster I’ve ever seen, and it’s by a beautiful Eau Claire, Wisconsin artist by the name of Amber Michelle Russel. For more information about Amber and her work, please visit www.AmberMichelleRussell.com.

To get a much better look at the artwork click the thumbnail for a larger view. To see the artwork minus my dorky looking text/watermark/advert, well, you’ll have to wait until this fall when Goatman hits bookstore shelves!

Goatman book cover art by Amber Michelle Russel
Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?

Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?

Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?
New Book Available October 2014!

Big News! I’m hard at work writing my second book Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? ! The book will delve into legends and sightings of this bizarre Satyr-like beast from all across the United States! The Goatman has many names: Lake Worth Monster, Pope Lick Monster, Sheepman, Sheepsquatch, Old Foamy, and of course, some just call him the Devil! The book hopes to provide a state-to-state history of Goatman, while trying to determine the animal/legend’s origins along the way! The Goatman’s presence in pop culture will also be examined!

I’ve put up a bare-bones page about the book on my website. Right now the page is just a graphic with links to various social networking sites, but the page will evolve along with the project. You can keep up-to-date with the project via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and a new Mailchimp e-mail list specifically for the new book!

Please spread the word about the project! My first book Washington County Paranormal was successful because of amazing readers like you telling your friends! The book will be available to purchase by October, 2014!

Amber Michelle Russel
Amber Michelle Russel

Amber Michelle Russel to Paint Cover!

Eau Claire, Wisconsin Artist Amber Michelle Russel has agreed to design and paint the cover to the book. Amber, besides being an absolutely gorgeous and amazing person, is also a self-taught, prolific artist. Amber’s work has been featured in galleries across the country and one of her paintings was recently used on the cover of the Thomas M. Malafarina edited book “Undead Living.” Hopefully my content can measure up to her artwork! Visit Amber’s website to sample her amazing art (FYI, she does custom work).