The Nightmare Men: “A Doctor, Darkly”
It’s always best to begin at the start, to quote no one in particular. We’ll start with the introductions: my name is Josh Reynolds and I wanted to be a detective when I grew up…no, not just a detective.
I wanted to be an occult detective. I wanted to be Donald Pleasance hunting down the Horse of the Invisible, or Peter Cushing making a cross out of candlesticks and shoving them right all up in Christopher Lee’s fang-y mug. I wanted to be Carl Kolchak, Thomas Carnacki and Dr. Strange. I wanted to bust up eldritch cults, Draculas and devil-worshipping biker gangs.
Unfortunately, my wife won’t let me. So, instead, I scratch the monster-hunting, ghost-busting itch by writing…well, stuff like this. ‘This’, of course, being ‘The Nightmare Men’ (of which this is the first installment, natch), a series of semi-regular essays on the subject of occult detectives; one part introduction, one part analysis, all awesome, all the time. Basically, if you’ve ever wanted a primer on occult detectives, the Nightmare Men is for you. And we begin with the granddaddy of them all…
Sheridan Le Fanu’s Dr. Martin Hesselius.