Author, storyteller, and supernatural historian Mason Winfield studied English and Classics at Denison University, earned a master’s degree in British literature at Boston College, and studied poetry and fiction at SUNY Buffalo with professor emeritus and MacArthur grant recipient Irving Feldman. For thirteen years he taught English at The Gow School (South Wales, N.Y.), during which time he chaired the English department, won a 50K cross-country ski marathon, and was ranked several times among the Buffalo, N.Y., area’s top ten tennis players. He has written or edited fourteen books, including the regional sensation “Shadows of the Western Door” (1997) and “Iroquois Supernatural,” co-authored with Michael Bastine, on the traditions of the Six Longhouse Nations (Inner Traditions International/Bear & Company, 2011). Several of his surveys of upstate folklore and paranormal tradition may be found at the website of Western New York Wares: www.buffalobooks.com.
An occasional journalist who writes on a range of subjects (including the War of 1812 and Celtic and Iroquois folklore), Mason is also a fiction writer whose short story “The Hunters” won the JobsinHell-Feoamante.com contest for horror fiction (2000) and gained honorable mention in the year’s Best Fantasy & Horror (2000). He is the founder of Western New York’s original supernatural tourism company, Haunted History Ghost Walks, Inc.
While “The Whistlers”’ narrator Ward Courier has overlaps with the profile of Mason Winfield, the latter cautions that the two are not the same. Ward Courier is a psychic detective who has one massive adventure. Mason Winfield studied English and Classics...
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An anatomically perfect human jaw made of diamond-hard quartz crystal is uncovered at a Hopewell burial mound in central Ohio. Soon after it is offered for sale on the underground antiquities market, its prospective vendors are found dead.
A drug suspected of South American origin surfaces in Buffalo, N.Y. Most commonly called savvy, its unprecedented psychotropic effects include the momentary activation of ESP.
Blind, speechless, tattered street people begin to be reported in many parts of the world. An urban legend-cycle – and the name of a murderous old cult, “the Whistlers” – attaches to them.
An archaeological team reports finding a new Crystal Skull at an overgrown Mayan city, then vanishes.
A schoolteacher’s book of upstate New York legends and folklore foreshadows these developments and more, and its author begins a series of cat-and-mouse conferences with representatives of the FBI and DEA.
These are the threads – plus his affair with a maddening woman – that draw narrator Ward Courier into the five-year international adventure of espionage, occultism, Native American spirituality, onrushing prophecy, and outright horror that is “The Whistlers.”
Get used to uncertainty with “The Whistlers.” A riveting prologue traces occult developments from prehistory to the present. The stealthy, sidewinding plot advances in a variety of formats: adventures of teams of American agents in pursuit of the mystery drug and the antiquities ring; the narrator’s interviews with law enforcement personnel; the narrator’s dialogues with a down-to-earth Seneca mystic; the narrator’s episodes and reflections, and even passages of his own published and unpublished literature. The text is utterly steeped in cutting-edge paranormal philosophy and Native American mysticism.
As “The Whistlers” hurtles to its frenetic conclusion, we are ready to believe in an apocalyptic conspiracy that could predate Atlantis and even hail from another world.