Hollywood story guru Dr. Stan Williams caps off 10 years of research, and writing about a well-documented and intriguing event in Early American history.
— Rev. Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin (aka Fr. Smith)
MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, September 14, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — After ten years of research and writing, historical researcher, filmmaker, and author, Dr. Stan Williams, will take his 5-star novel, “Wizard Clip Haunting,” on a book tour to the locale where the early American events actually took place and are still celebrated.
Between October 7–17, 2023, Williams will present talks and sign books in West Virginia’s Middleway, Shepherdstown, Charles Town, Martinsburg, and in Virginia’s Winchester, and Pennsylvania’s Loretto—all locales noted in the history of the Wizard Clip and now woven into a full-length literary novel. The multifaceted tale chronicles the many lives and vulnerable families that became unwittingly involved into the “gripping” tale of human versus a demonic entity that wagered life for freedom.
Williams’s talks will focus on the religious persecution in Europe, the British Colonies, and the Early American states and how such animosity opened the door in what was then Virginia for spiritism, hauntings, and the first documented exorcism in the United States. Williams will also be Rob Mario’s in-studio guest on Martinsburg WRNR’s morning talk radio show October 9, 2023. The interview will be broadcast on Facebook live and locally on AM 740 and FM 106.5.
The book tour schedule of dates, times and venues can be found at the top of the book’s website. Because of the novel’s historic perspective on Catholicism in the late 18th century, a “History of the Catholic Faith in the Americas Conference” is planned for the evening of Oct 16, and then all day on December 9, 2023. Both conference events will be held at Priest Field Pastoral Center in Middleway.
As a sought after writing coach who’s movie projects have earned over a billion dollars at the box office, Dr. Williams based the structure of Wizard Clip Haunting after the structure of the most successful motion pictures. Such structural elements require an imperfect protagonist, who pursues an impossible goal, in an ironic setting, against a ubiquitous and omnipotent antagonist. Williams’s work in Hollywood is based on his best selling Hollywood trade book: “The Moral Premise: Harnessing Virtue and Vice for Box Office Success” from Michael Wiese Productions.
While a work of historical fiction, a great many of the characters and events in the novel are real. The main characters: Adam and Mary Ann Livingston, their neighbors Richard and Anastasia McSherry, and Fr. Denis Cahill actually lived through the hauntings. Further, at the request of Bishop John Carroll, the events were investigated by none other than Rev. (Prince) Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin, who founded the town of Loretto, PA. Gallitzin came to be known as the Apostle of the Alleghenies, and is under consideration for canonization by the Catholic Church; his current status is “Servant of God.” Williams will spend October 16 in Loretto where he will be hosted by St. Francis University. There he will visit classrooms for Q&A during the day and that night present a public lecture.
During his life time, Fr. Gallitzin wrote of the Wizard Clip hauntings: “After three months of investigation, I was soon converted to a full belief of them. No lawyer in a court of justice did more than I, nor procured more than your unworthy servant.” Consequently, Gallitzin becomes the narrator of the Wizard Clip Haunting novel.
The story Gallitzin tells is not one but four, woven into a colorful, and at times, tragic tapestry of American history along with real and fictional characters. The first story involves a 35-acre plot of land that becomes the site of a deranged murder, a forged land deed, and a curse that results in its ownership being contested for a 100 years. Today, the plot of land fulfills Adam Livingston’s wish that it be used for the care and feeding of a Catholic priest. It is the Priest Field Pastoral Center in Middleway.
The second story involves Adam Livingston and his family who are forced to deal not only with the hauntings, but their own imperfections that lead first to disturbing, and then to catastrophic consequences.
The third story is that of a heroic but renegade Irish priest, Fr. Denis Cahill. Having escaped anti-Catholic Ireland and finding his way to the Early United States by a circuitous but necessary route, he begins six parishes before there’s even a bishop to oversee him. The rebel cleric falls out with America’s first bishop John Carroll, in part over the haunting events at Livingston’s farm. But the residual anti-cleric sentiment left from England’s penal laws, bring Cahill often close to death, to say nothing of a particularly attractive Irish siren, Leticia.
The fourth story is the source of the now famous hauntings, a persistent demonic poltergeist with a real name. Commonly known as the Clipping Wizard for its proclivity of cutting crescent moons from cloth, the demon does not hesitate to lash out with vengeance when its existence is threatened by the presence of Christian ministers who have come to exorcise it.
Today, over 200 years later, the village of Middleway, West Virginia continues to celebrate its place in history with wood badges on building fronts depicting a crescent moon, a pair of scissors, and a magician in a top hat. The village, to some, is still remembered as Cliptown.
Stan Williams is a writer, Hollywood script consultant, and filmmaker based in Michigan with occasional forays to Los Angeles and Europe. Stan has worked with Will Smith who calls Williams’s book “The Moral Premise,” the “Most Important Tool in my new tool box.” In their free time, Stan and his wife, Pam, enjoy sailing on the Great Lakes aboard their 41’ ketch, Family Ties. They have three children, and ten grandchildren living nearby. Stan holds degrees in Physics (BA), Mass Communications (MA), and Film Studies/Narrative Theory (PhD).
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