Book Spotlight: The Demons of Plainville by Daniel R. Mathews


About The Book

Title: The Demons of Plainville: A Survivor’s Story of Storms and Reconstruction

Author: Daniel R. Mathews

Publisher: Lost Legacy Press

Publication Date: May 26, 2015

Format: Paperback – 292 pages / eBook  / PDF

ISBN: 978-0990710745

Genre: Autobiography / Memoir / LGBT / Non Fiction
Buy The Book:


Barnes & Noble:

Book Description:

Some true stories read like fiction, but for those who have to personally live through the experiences, the nightmare is vividly real. Daniel R. Mathews digs into the darkness of his past with his haunting memoir, The Demons of Plainville.

As a child, Daniel struggles to find his footing in an upside-down world. His mother is mentally ill and addicted to drugs; she performs black masses to summon demons, is physically abusive, and plays brutal mind games that make him doubt his sanity and despair of ever making sense of life or himself. Even his father beats Daniel after “rescuing” him from his mother. Thanks to a few unexpected friends, Daniel survives his devastating youth and emerges stronger for it.

But Daniel’s battles aren’t over. Finally free of his abusive parents, he now must face himself and wrestle with his sexual identity in a community that sees nothing wrong with homophobia.

Candid and compelling, this is a triumphant tale of a young man who walked through the darkness, bravely faced his demons, and against all odds carried the faint light of hope with him every step of the way.
Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1: Telling The Truth

Accusations. This is how it always begins. S Screaming follows when my answers prove inadequate. Then come the threats, and finally the misery of surrender.

I was about eight at the time, living in a small red brick apartment building

in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Our apartment was on the basement floor, so

there was not a good view outside, only a few small quarter windows allowing

in some daylight. The building stood on a grassy hill that overlooked Myles

Standish State Forest. Some days I would just curl up on the sun-warmed

grass, staring down into the forest below me and imagining that I was a bird

darting between the trees.

My anger grew as we went through the same cycle day after day. I stood

in our tiny living room facing the yellow sofa with my mother giving me that

disdainful stare that made me feel ashamed. I’d look towards the light tan

carpet, afraid to make eye contact with her. The details of the accusation did

not matter, as I seldom had any idea what she was talking about. Whether

there was a quarter missing from her bureau or the bathroom light being left

on at night, there was no end to the possibilities of accusations. Each day the

school bus dropped me off at the bottom of the hill, I paused at the bus-stop

to gather whatever courage I could muster. I knew that a new accusation

would be awaiting me, starting the cycle anew.

“Stand up straight when I’m talking to you!” She barks at me. “And stop looking

down at your feet. Where is it, what did you do with it?” she screams, finger

pointed towards me.

“I don’t know,” I say defensively, shrugging my shoulders.

“You little fucking liar,” she says, standing up from the couch and slapping my

face. “Now get in your room!”

I would rush into my small room in our apartment, slamming the white door

shut before ripping clumps of my own short blond hair out. I hid the hair

under my giant stuffed bear, which stood up to my waist in height. The bear

was a gift from my maternal grandparents, ever standing ready to accept my

love. I clung to the bear; its soft white and gray fur brought me comfort during

times of sadness or anger.

My mother grew suspicious of the growing bald spot on the top of my

head and one afternoon decided to tear the room apart. Eventually, she found

the tangled lump of blond hair hidden under the bear and challenged me for

answers, answers I did not have. I could not explain the anger inside me, at

least not an explanation I dared speak in front of her. I had begun craving

independence and the seeds of rebellion sprouted forth. She pushed me at

every opportunity, accused and cursed me for anything ranging from theft to

family misfortune. I just did not understand.

My only outlet was to punish myself through self-inflicted pain, just to

release the frustration. My mother took an attitude of open hostility against

me, one that persisted throughout my childhood.

“I’m going to send you to a mental institution!” she screamed at me, her long

dirty blond hair swinging between her shoulder blades as she frantically shook

her head. She wiped the sweat from her flushed brow then paused for a moment

and looked down at me with great disgust waving the fist full of my hair

she found at me. I clung to my stuffed bear, looking up at her.

“If you do not learn to behave, I’m going to send you to a reform school

for boys.” She had hesitated for just a moment longer before her voice shifted

into a menacing tone. “They just love cute little white boys at the reform

school. They will take care of you real good.” Turning her back on me, she

stormed out of the room, leaving me weeping into my bear’s fur while I continued

to hug it with all my strength.

I’d heard of reform school before I was in second grade. However, I was

left pondering the nature of how they would take care of me. Strange feelings

overtook me. At first, heat surged through my body, then excitement.

My heart began to beat faster, and for the first time that day I smiled. The

words take care of you echoed in my mind over and over. Other boys at this reform

school were going to take care of me. My mind reinterpreted her hidden

threat; other boys were going to be touching me. I did not understand what

this might mean, but I wanted desperately to find out. These strange longings

would grow and expand in time. The seed long within me had sprouted. Yet,

it did not grow for a while.

We eventually moved from the basement apartment to my grandparents’

house in the same town. The small ranch style house was nestled in small

groves of pine and oak trees. There were numerous cranberry bogs in the

area and a large waterfront district a few miles east of the house. Small single

engine airplanes frequently flew overhead, taking off and landing at the local

airport just to the north.

The yard was ideal for play, with a large back yard that sloped down into

a small grove of pines and blueberry bushes. The neighbors behind the house

owned a pair of horses that I visited every day. The house had three small

bedrooms. My room was adjacent to the living room, just wide enough to fit

my bed and a small dresser. When in the house I spent most of my time looking

out the large living room bay window watching the cars and trucks drive

by. Otherwise, I sat on the back deck with my grandmother. We would try

to identify the particular birds visiting the feeder using a small field guide to

birds. I went down the stairs and tossed a ball around with my grandfather on

the lawn or helped him weed his small garden.

Because of the influence and presence of my grandparents (my mother’s

parents), my problems decreased. More often than not, my mother would

go off with her cousin Alice, leaving me behind. Alice’s arrival frequently

corresponded with noticeable changes in my mother’s behavior. Alice was

stern yet generally pleasant towards me. However, when they left together,

they would return in a giggly or light-hearted mood, which would come

crashing down a few hours later. I found the sudden mood shifts to be the

most troubling occurrence because it added uncertainty and fear to my already

besieged mind. One afternoon, though, while my grandparents were

out for the day, my mother and her cousin called me into the small bedroom

my mother was staying in at the end of the house.

Mother closes the curtains and shades, leaving just a shaft of sunlight entering the

room. She held a large red case, almost like a toolbox of some sort. She opened

the case and took out some items, including candles, a bell, incense, goblet,

matches, and a book. The book was entitled The Satanic Bible. She placed the

black and red candles around in a pattern that she refers to as a pentagram

with a circle around it. She ordered me into the imaginary circle and told me

to remain silent and not leave the center of the circle for any reason,” or else.”

She and Alice joined me in the circle while they lit a burner and then some

incense. The snaking trail of smoke climbed towards the ceiling. The ritual

was both exciting and frightening. She picked up the book and looked over at

me, smiling. She told me that she would pray to Satan and summon demons,

but the demons were not allowed to enter the circle. As long as I remained

calm, I would be protected.

She began the mass by ringing the bells; she used the book to speak words

I’d never heard before. The ringing echoed faintly in the room, combining

with the sweet smell of the incense. I felt almost dizzy, overcome by a giddy

feeling of excitement.

She proceeded to cut herself with a silver knife with an ornate looking

pearl handle, just enough to draw a steady trickle of blood from her finger, allowing

it to flow into a tarnished bronze colored chalice. Alice took the knife

and sliced her own finger, allowing drops of blood to fall into the chalice. My

mother held the chalice upwards as an offering and mumbled a few words.

After placing it back on the ground, she took a long slender writing instrument

and dipped it into the blood. The blood served as the ink, allowing her

to write on a small blank piece of white paper. I couldn’t see the writing, but

she told me it was an offering for our luck and fortune. She ripped the paper

into small pieces and set it ablaze. The mass finished with a final ringing of

the bells, driving away the demons.

I couldn’t see these creatures, but the air was laden with smoke and darkness.

I was sure the demons were there.

That afternoon was my first introduction to the “Lucifer,” originally the chosen

angel. The year was 1976 but on this otherwise bright summer afternoon,

it might have been 1692. Witchcraft was alive and well in the suburbs of


Mother and Alice repeated this scene several times during the summer,

always when my grandparents were out of the house. Since these rituals were

never performed in their presence, I always wondered what the ramifications

would be if they found out. As strange as it sounds, these were the few times I

felt emotionally close and accepted by my mother, so I was grateful for them.

As October approached, we were on the road once again. My mother,

Alice and I settled down one town over into a small cottage in the woods

of Carver. The cottage was just a ten minutes’ drive from my grandparents’

home, nestled amid lush green pines and small evergreen trees. Alice worked

for the state in Boston and money my mother received from welfare covered

the cottage’s rent. The commute from Carver to Boston was long, so Alice left

early in the morning before I got the bus and did not return home until the

sun had set. My mother spent a great deal of time sleeping during these times,

taking various prescriptions that generally left her tired and moody.

Loving the outdoors and the woods, I approved of our new home’s location.

Surrounded by miles of forest and a large lake that reflected the sunlight

in shimmering ripples of yellow, it was almost a boy’s dream come true. The

dream didn’t last long though.

I started the third grade at age nine that autumn. School became an issue

for me almost immediately. The first day I climbed into the bus, the driver

assumed I was a girl, as did the kids on the bus.

“Who are you?” the bus driver inquired, searching his list.

Before I could answer, he said, “Oh, there must be a mistake. Your name

is Danielle, right?”

I looked at him in surprise, “No, it’s Daniel!” I snapped back. The kids

in the front seat immediately giggled and pointed at me. I looked down and

began blushing.

The bus driver cleared his throat. “Well, Danielle is French for Daniel. So

climb on in, let’s go.”

This led to the unavoidable teasing and taunting one would naturally

expect from such a mistake. I could barely contain the tears of shame though

I did a reasonable job of keeping some composure for the trip to school. My

natural femininity provided a constant source of irritation throughout the

first semester, though eventually the kids forgot about it. Perhaps subconsciously,

I began to isolate myself.

Yet school was only a passing nuisance because my mother’s attitude towards

me changed quickly. She resented my growing desire for privacy and

independence. Away from the influence of my grandparents, my mother’s disposition

soured. The cycle of accusations and threats began to accelerate, taking

on a more menacing tone.
Book Trailer:





Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE
    About The Author

An avid reader of science fiction, horror, and fantasy, Daniel R. Mathews is a novelist and nonfiction writer whose books feature LGBT youth braving danger with honor and dignity, including his personal memoir, The Demons of Plainville, and debut horror novel, The Unseen Kingdom.

For the past two decades, Mathews has worked as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified ground instructor, meteorologist, and a member of the web development and Internet technical support community. He currently lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Connect with Daniel R. Mathews:







 Virtual Book Tour Page

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s