Music for a darkened soul – Depeche Mode’s Violator

Twenty-seven years ago this week, English electronic band Depeche Mode released their seventh studio album, Violator. A darker tone than the band's previous Music for the Masses, the songs were also more personal. There's a narrative point of view to them, as if each is being sung by a man to a woman, attempting to woo... Continue Reading →


Most people have heard of Mediums, individuals with the ability to hear and speak to the spirits of the dead. A rare gift, Mediums were commonly connected to the American Spiritualist movement of the late 19th century. In modern times, Mediums have parlayed their talents into television shows, and there was a long running drama... Continue Reading →

A World Without Ghosts

I wouldn't want to live in a world without ghosts. There may be no such thing in this world, but that there can be doubt makes the dull reality a little more magical. Too many people think science's job is to rob all mystery from the universe, to know all that is knowable. How horrible... Continue Reading →

The Khmunu Manuscript

An ancient spellbook found amongst a museum collection, translated by scientists who discover it is full of funerary rites and exorcism spells - is this the beginning of a horror movie? No, it's what happened a few years ago in Australia as researchers at Macquarie University discovered a papyrus codex in the university's Museum of... Continue Reading →

Locusta of Rome – History’s first serial killer

There have been murderers since the dawn of man, and surely there have been those who made a sport of killing their fellow human beings, but the first person we can definitively call a serial killer was Locusta of Rome. This woman toppled an emperor and founded a tradition of murder. Born in what is... Continue Reading →

The Mother of the Gold

Legends of South American gold brought conquerors from Europe for centuries, many of whom murdered and pillaged their way across the continent searching for treasure. The Mother of the Gold is a ghost that lures these unscrupulous men to their doom. There are no specific descriptions of the Mother of the Gold because no one... Continue Reading →

The Mask gets a facelift

Regular visitors to The Mask of Reason will notice that the site has recently undergone a radical change. While I did like the journal appearance, this new theme for the blog is more modern and much nicer to use. The new header image (featured in this post) is from Tsutomu Nihei, an acclaimed manga artist... Continue Reading →

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