The Blood Trilogy was born with the first book taking shape in August 2014, titled Blood Moon over Africa. The driving force behind the birth of this novel was my loving wife, Lucille who pushed me to put my idea down on paper.
- Africa in general is steeped in Superstition, and Supernatural beliefs. The local people both in the rural and urban areas of Africa have a very deep rooted belief in witchcraft, and even a common cold can be attributed to a spell being cast on them.
- The Hyena is to the African, what the Black cat is to Europe. The wide spread belief is that the Hyena is used by the witch doctor to ride to meetings deep in the bush.
- The Wambugwe of Tanzania believes that every witchdoctor possesses one or more Hyena that is branded with his mark, and referred to as his “night cattle”.
- A common belief around the Hyena is that the animal gives birth in the witchdoctors hut, and the owner milks them once a day.
- There are no free Hyena…The belief is that all Hyena are owned by witchdoctors.
- In BMOA I took the cultural belief in the witchdoctor/hyena working hand in hand, and joined the two in order to create my creature. I also used the Superstition of the full moon to act as the trigger.
These reasons took me even deeper into the darkness and mystery that makes up Africa, and hot on the heels of Blood Moon over Africa, came Blood Spoor in the Dark, where I took fact, put it into a cooking pot, stirred in a touch of fiction, and my second novel was born.
Here are some interesting facts regarding the facts behind Blood Spoor in the Dark.
- The first really serious outbreak of leopard cult murders in Sierra Leone and Nigeria occurred shortly after World War 1 between 1914 -1918.
- The Leopard Men were supposedly suppressed by the white administrators at the time as many members were captured and executed, but in fact the cults went underground and continued to perform ritual murders over the next two decades.
- In 1946, the Leopard Men cult became bold and a total of 48 murders and attempted murders were attributed to the cult in that year alone.
- Much like the Mau-Mau in Kenya, the Leopard Men began directing their attacks against white men in an attempt to convince the local population that the cult had no fear of the police or the white rulers at the time.
- In 1947, there were 43 know ritual killings performed by the leopard cult.
- In 1948, 73 initiated members of the cult were arrested. 39 of them received the death sentence and were hanged in Abak Prison, which was witnessed by a number of local tribal chiefs, so they could testify to their people that the Leopard Men were not immortal.
- To my knowledge they no longer exist, but then as history will show, cults have got going underground down to a fine art, and you never know when they just might surface again, after all this is Africa, and stranger things have gone bump in the night.
- Like many African beliefs, even in this day and age, they believe in certain rituals and “brews” made up by a witchdoctor will make them immune to bullets and in some case invisible to authorities. Body part murders play a large part in the preparation of this mixture which is then drunk by the participants, and in some case eaten.
- Body part murders still take place in Africa (normally children) where various parts of the body are used for a variety of “spells”.
- Hard to believe, this is Africa in the 21st
Number three of The Blood Trilogy, Blood Demon-Revenge followed quite naturally after Blood Spoor in the Dark, and just led me down a dark path of superstition, belief in demons, ritual murders and the hunger for power that some people have with no regard for the lives of others.
Firstly, let me say that the Blood Demon is a figment of my imagination, but the belief in witchcraft is strong and widespread in Africa. With Fear comes Power.
- Is witchcraft myth or reality? Do witches and Demons actually exist or are they imaginary entities?
- Traditionally, African people attribute anything they do not understand (or do not want to understand), any incident or occurrence they are unable to explain, to witchcraft.
- Due to this strong belief in things that go bump in the night, certain practices like ritual sacrifice, which involves the killing of animals and sometimes human beings and using their body parts to prepare some mixture, or perform a ceremony is still practised. This is done in the belief that the mixture or ceremony will placate or sway the imagined supernatural forces.
- In some cases Africans associate certain traits or behaviour like stubbornness, talking in your sleep, sleep walking, aging, albinism, and hallucination, with magical powers.
- It is also believed that the body parts from someone who has albinism carries more power and thus the spell to be used or the mixture is far stronger.
- This misconception is common among the so called African elite and is at the root of the problems associated with belief in witchcraft in Africa.
- Most Africans still hold onto this irrational belief and harmful practice. Millions of people continue to suffer and die as a result of witchcraft accusation and related injustices. Ritual killings or murders for body part medicine and for the use in witchcraft are still wide spread today.
- People can suspect anyone of engaging in witchcraft, it is mostly vulnerable members of the population who are openly accused, confronted and persecuted. In Malawi women with grey hairs and red eyes are branded witches. Old women, particularly those who are childless, are often accused of witchcraft in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Burkina Faso and Tanzania. In Congo DRC, Nigeria, Angola, Central Africa Republic, children are branded witches and wizards.
- Witchcraft accusation is a social poison, it is a silent killer in Africa, and is the beginning of a process that leads to torture, persecution, maltreatment and, sometimes, death of the accused. See 10 as an example.
- In 2004 a Nigerian killing of 27 men and women took place due to the belief they were witches and warlocks. They were forced to drink a mixture that was expected to detect witches. All of them died, leaving the superstition that witches do die of the mixed drink.
This is my world; this is Africa, shrouded in mystery, locked into ancient beliefs. A people struggling to come to terms with the 21st Century, yet still locked in the past where superstition, witchcraft, spells and ghosts that walk in the night are as much a part of their day as bacon and eggs are a part of ours.
Africa, a land of intense beauty, but where death can be lurking in the shadows.
All three books that make up The Blood Trilogy are now available in Print as well as in the e-book formats. If you should wish to travel into the darkness, visit www.vhpbooktours.com for all the links.