The LORD will guard you from all evil; he will guard your life. The LORD will guard your coming and your going, both now and forever. R. Our help is from the Lord (Psalm 121)   On Monday I binge-watched three episodes of The Exorcist, the new Fox show, and when I was done I had to face the dark hallway that led to my dark bedroom, where my children were asleep, as usual, in my bed. I made it to the… Read more

Like most of you, we are horrified at the progression of this presidential election. It’s unsettling, scary and hard to process. It’s one of the reasons why we’ve turned Sick Pilgrim over to the spooks this month. Because, really, these kind of scares can be cathartic when real life stresses us out so much we’d rather not get out of bed. So, if you need a good movie (or movies) to watch, Jess and I came up with a good… Read more

I am at my grandmother’s house, sitting with her at the kitchen table that’s been there since before I was born, a glass-topped table with a yellow-painted wrought iron base. I am an adult and visiting by myself, and, as she’s done many times before, my grandmother is sitting in her spot at the table and telling me things. She tells me that recently she’s had a quite vivid dream of my grandfather, and as she describes the feeling of… Read more

  (Possible Spoilers Ahead)  As a supernatural thriller writer, I’m asked all the time about my favorite scary books. My answers always surprise them, because most of my favorites are not recent. In fact, the only modern horror writers I read are Stephen King, Dean Koontz or Peter Straub. And, maybe more shocking, I’m not a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft at all. All of the things he supposedly does well can be found in the works of earlier and… Read more

I’ve never been much for being scared out of my mind by horror flicks or haunted houses. I don’t need trumped up Halloween lure to find myself terrified. And I am hardly fond of demon talk and exorcisms and such. Yes, I know it’s all true and real and all that. But my mind does of a heck of a good job of scaring me on its own. Want to scare me to death? Put me in front of that… Read more

Sick Pilgrim reader Julia Kriz Dzierma sent in today’s totally true ghost story. If you want to submit your own, email Jonathan at In October 2011, my mom and I went to a family gathering. My mom’s favorite cousin, Carol, related to my mom and me a story that happened that past summer. I’d never heard anything like this before from what I would consider to be a likely legitimate source. Carol had a cousin on the other side of… Read more

(So, we here at Sick Pilgrim love all things spooky, weird and strange. We thought it was pretty fitting to tell real life stories of the strange and unusual, especially during the month of October. It reminds us there is an Unseen world to consider and try to understand. Plus, as Catholics, we have a long history and tradition of the Weird Tale. It’s kind of our thing. Feel free to read these at night…alone…in the dark…..and have your rosary beads… Read more

I’d wanted to purchase a little sailor suit for him to wear to church, because unlike most cats, mine is relaxed enough to be carried around in my arms. In the car, through crowds, among dogs, he lounges with perfect equanimity. He has rarely transformed himself into a furious, scowling, arching puffball. He is happiest perched upon a shoulder, rubbing his face insistently against a human chin and cheek, poking his nose into a human ear. With some pride I… Read more

As someone who watches Catholic media for a living, it’s hard to ignore the mass panic among various outlets about young people leaving the church. A recent article in OSV illustrates the point. In response to those surveys, people try to come up with different answers for how to address the problem.  A variety of solutions have been proposed. Many people think making the church more “relevant” is the answer. In an article for U.S. Catholic, Jess vehemently disagreed.  I’m not against… Read more

UPDATED! Sick Pilgrim has partnered with the University of Notre Dame to create a new conference that we hope will invigorate and inspire contemporary Catholic writers and artists. On June 22-24, 2017, “Trying to Say God” will bring together both well-known and emerging writers, artists and musicians for a new kind of Catholic literary conference–one that is open to, but not limited to, those working in academia. Our confirmed featured speakers include: Keynote Mary Karr, New York Times best-selling author of The… Read more

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