Halloween Extravaganza: A.S. Chambers: What Lurks in the Shadows of Lancaster?

A.S. Chamber’s popular main character, Sam Spallucci, is a paranormal investigator in Lancaster (UK). Here he explains to us why this character works so well in that particular place.

A question I am frequently asked is, “Why have you set stories about a paranormal investigator in Lancaster of all places?”

When I first moved to this hidden jewel of the North West, tucked away to the side of the M6, I was but a mere university undergraduate. Living on the campus a few miles south of the city, I rarely ventured into town. However, when I did, it was normally at night time to frequent the pubs and clubs. I was soon drawn into a world the like of which I had never experienced before. Having grown up in a small market town which had undergone numerous rejuvenations, I had only ever heard of these mystical little routes between buildings known as alleys and had never actually seen them up close.

Lancaster was (and still is) full of them.

The city’s heyday was in Georgian times when the majority of the hoi polloi wandered around on foot. Only the rich had access to carriages and, as a result, most of the main roads were narrow and the small footpaths that connected them were even more of a squeeze. Wandering around as a bright-eyed fresher, I could not help but be attracted to these tiny veins and arteries of my new home. As I passed one in the middle of the night, I could easily imagine what creatures might lurk down its shadowy depths and I would automatically cross to a lighter side of the high street to avoid being dragged away for some nocturnal creature’s midnight snack.

Time and familiarity tend to eradicate childish fears. So it was that, in my twenties, I started to see these little footpaths as less a potential lair for the undead and more a quick shortcut home from work. They lost their edge and became just like everything else in my early working years, part of the norm. I would stroll down them without giving a thought to ghosties or beasties that might have dwelt along their cobbled paths.

Then, when I stumbled rather bemusedly into my thirties, I began to hear tell of stories regarding Lancaster’s past. Tales that portrayed the city as less of a sparkling diamond, but more of a mysterious dark orb. There were ghosts that wandered the dressing rooms of the Grand Theatre. There was the screaming head that rolled down Castle Hill.

And who, in Lancashire, has not heard about the fate of the Pendle Witches? Members of two families whose feud boiled over into allegations of Satanism and witchcraft, leading them to be incarcerated at Lancaster Castle before gruesome deaths and executions.

So it was that I started to re-evaluate my sanitised view of my city and began to once more regard its shadowy alleys with a dose of caution and a certain amount of trepidation. These were footways that had known history, and not just the peaceful type where every-day folk merrily went about their business. There were murders, deaths and destruction that had bled their way into the very cobblestones upon which I walked.

So, when I get asked the aforementioned question, I tell those who enquire to come to Lancaster. Visit this place steeped in blood-stained history and walk down its alleyways at night. Then they will see how it might just be possible that there is a werewolf roaming Williamson Park, that a vampire might happen to run a local comic shop or that maybe, just maybe, the crazy woman singing on the street corner could very well be descended from the Pendle Witches.

Lancaster’s master of the macabre is well known for marking his home town’s place on the horror map of the United Kingdom. His Sam Spallucci books, with their quirky blend of urban fantasy, film noir and dry humour, have gained a cult following over the last few years with fans journeying from around the country to see where reality meets an ever expanding universe of vampires, werewolves, angels and a plethora of other supernatural characters.

He has a dark and brooding website.

Children of Cain: A Vampire Omnibus

For the first time, A.S.Chambers collects the popular stories of the vampires that feature in the expanded universe of his paranormal investigator, Sam Spallucci. Follow Justice the Wild West gunslinger as he tries to come to terms with his newfound supernatural abilities and heavy weight of being a king in waiting. Then, when finally reunited with his father and newborn sister, tragedy strikes. Accompany Nightingale, the all too human regent, as she creates her first offspring before attempting to train him to shrug off his own human nature. Go out for a night on the tiles with party-loving Scorpion and Tigress, the mute blonde and the bouncy redhead, as they hunt down an unsuspecting victim, before travelling back in time to when their supernatural lives crashed into the peaceful solitude of a medieval craftsman.Also includes a new foreword by the author.

Songbird: A Nightingale Story

Follow a young Nightingale through the late Victorian era as she escapes from abject poverty to become the ruler of the secretive vampire society known to its members as the Children of Cain. She travels from begging on the streets to a life of servitude under a sadistic parish priest before being liberated under the light of the moon by the vampire king, Doulos. With her new father, she travels to the Wild West in search of her older sibling, only to be cast into a tale of tragedy and bloodshed. 

Songbird – A Nightingale Story is set in the same universe as the Sam Spallucci series and is penned by Lancaster’s master of the macabre, A.S. Chambers.

Sam Spallucci 1: The Casebook of Sam Spallucci

Welcome to the world of Samuel C Spallucci; whiskey drinking, chain-smoking, trumpet playing, sci-fi watching investigator of the paranormal.

When we start a new job all we normally encounter is overbearing managers, jealous co-workers and a dodgy toilet that needs that certain wiggle to make it flush. During Sam’s first week, based in the small university city of Lancaster, he is abducted by a cult of Satanic actors, has to baby-sit a new-born vampire, investigates a teenage poltergeist and escapes the clutches of a werewolf that works in a local zoo.

Not your usual first week on a new job, but certainly one you will never forget.

Contains the stories:
The Case of the Satanic Suburban Sitcom
The Case of the Vexed Vampire
The Case of the Fastidious Phantom
The Case of the Paranoid Poltergeist
The Case of the Werewolf of Williamson Park

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