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Fact, Fictions, and the Forbidden Predictions of the Amazing Criswell

Read the forbidden predictions of the Amazing Criswell! Unmasked and revealed for the first time! By Edwin Lee Canfield.

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NOMINATED
Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards
BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023 (NON-FICTION)
Criswell head

“We are all interested in the future for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives, whether we want to or not!”

Jeron Charles Criswell King, better known simply as Criswell, can rightfully be described as one of the first pop celebrity psychics. His bizarre predications — 87 per cent of which came true, he claimed — appeared from the 1950s through the 1970s in newspapers and magazines, while the flamboyant showman hosted his own Los Angeles television show, guested on national TV and in Ed Wood movies, including Plan 9 from Outer Space, alongside Vampira and Bela Lugosi. Unsuccessful attempts to find fame on Broadway and Tin Pan Alley did not prevent him from co-authoring three books on how to succeed in these fields.

A member of the hidden Hollywood gay community, the story of Criswell, his triumphs and defeats, is one of fame and hope.

FACT, FICTIONS, AND THE FORBIDDEN PREDICTIONS OF THE AMAZING CRISWELL is the first full-length biography of Criswell. It is the result of 20 years of research by number one fan, Edwin Canfield, and includes interviews, new information, and many startling predictions.

“The world as we know it will cease to exist on August 18, 1999!”

Further Infomation
  • Book cover art by Mitch O’Connell, “the world’s best artist”;
  • Criswell’s career touches many bases, from the occult, outsider artists, cult filmmaker Ed Wood and ‘camp’ stars  Vampira, Mae West, Bela Lugosi;
  • LGBT interest — Criswell was a married, closeted bisexual, and member of the hidden Hollywood gay community;
  • Includes many of Criswell’s own predictions, from bed bugs in Boston, through global nudism and the end of the world in 1999;
  • Television has created an army of celebrities who are “famous for being famous” — Criswell has the dubious honour of being one of the first;
  • Criswell was fearless in putting himself in the line of ridicule;
  • Sheds light on the American dream and aspirations that most people share;
  • Criswell’s story asks, explores, but cannot answer the eternal question: What is the true measure of success?
  • A willingness to “make things up”, pass them off as the truth and proclaim himself a success, is ‘fun’ but may be considered the origins of harmful, unrestrained fake news and conspiracy theories;
  • Criswell is the antidote to the blurring of news and entertainment fiction in the late-twentieth century.
Paperback Edition

Title: FACT, FICTIONS, AND THE FORBIDDEN PREDICTIONS OF THE AMAZING CRISWELL
Author: Edwin Lee Canfield
ISBN: 978-1-915316-00-4
Street Date: February 2, 2023
Category: Celebrity, Film & TV
Retail Price: UK £22.99 / US $27.95
Binding: Paperback
Size: 216mm x 140mm
Pages: 396 
Illos: 84 B&W photos and ads

Special Hardback Edition

As the trade paperback, except the special hardback edition comes with an additional 12 colour plates and is printed on heavier paper.  

This special NO-ISBN hardback is exclusive to this website. Because it carries No ISBN number, this edition of the book is off the grid in as much as it doesn’t appear on any database, in any library, cannot be ordered through mainstream bookshops or online retailers. 

Fortean TimesMike Pursley
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“Criswell completists will take heart in the information gathered, and in some ways the pulpy presentation fits its subject. Criswell’s shtick concerned the world of tomorrow, and indeed he presaged a certain type of B-list fame that has only grown in the intervening years.”
The Folklore Podcast Episode 138
“On the anniversary of his birth, we delve into the life of the cult American pop culture 'psychic' with a knack for failing to make accurate predictions, The Amazing Criswell. Leading us on this journey is Edwin Lee Canfield, who has spent the last two decades researching Criswell's life and interviewing those who knew him.” [Interview with author Ed Canfield]
Adrian SmithCinema Retro
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“An unconventional biography and no doubt Criswell himself would be pleased [...] An accuracy check of Criswell's predictions is just one of the pleasures reading this highly-recommended book offers.”
Hilary WilsonThe Folklore Podcast
“This biography is a true gem. Ed Canfield gives credit where it is due to the predictions that did come true, some of which were truly startling. He accentuates just how much Criswell was a showman ahead of his time, and a character with a professionalism and sharp insight that many to this day can still admire. Criswell predicted many things. I predict readers will enjoy this book.”
Rod LottFlick Attack
“If you’ve never read a Criswell prediction — as bold and brazen as they are baffling — Fact, Fictions has plenty loaded in its chamber. Readers definitely get a full sense of his soothsaying showmanship … and wonder not only how anyone could take it seriously, but if it were all an act. You’ll find the answers — and more! — in this thick ’n’ quick read. For close to 400 pages, Canfield cannily celebrates Criswell’s bullshit while pulverizing right through it.”
Steve PuchalskiShock Cinema
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“Edwin Canfield has certainly done his research [...] This is a fascinating glimpse into a pioneering showman who laid the groundwork for far too many drab, third-rate copycats.”
K. W. Jetercyberpunk and steampunk author
“For people who grew up in Los Angeles back when it was the old weird L.A., our imaginations were not just filled, but overfilled by The Amazing Criswell. In this obsessively researched chronicle, Canfield documents the atomic era’s most fascinating charlatan. There should be a movie about Criswell, and not just Ed Wood, and this is the book the movie should be based on.”
The Amazing Kreskinmentalist and author
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“I foresee that you will find it difficult to put down a book about a man who dared to predict on national television, while he sat next to Johnny Carson, that there would be an onslaught of ‘bed bugs in Boston.’ His public demeanor remained hilarious, flamboyant, and outrageous. I am so pleased that Ed Canfield has seen fit to share with us this colorful figure.”
Warren Beathauthor of The Death of James Dean
Read More
“Criswell is fortunate to have found his biographer in Ed Canfield. The result of years of research, the mysterious Criswell finally emerges in all his campy glory for the reader in this affectionate biography. Canfield's writing is snappy and entertaining. He makes Criswell live again. A rewarding and enjoyable read, a must-have for all fans of Ed Wood and the surreal.”
Charles Coulombeauthor, lecturer, theologian
“At last, one of 20th century America’s greatest and most bizarre showmen gets his date in court. Criswell is known primarily for his association with such figures as Edward D. Wood, Jr. and Bela Lugosi; veteran writer Ed Canfield finally does justice to a man whose loyal fans included such stars of the Silver Screen as Mae West and Virginia O’Brien. He brings to a life a figure whom no one who knew can ever forget!”
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Edwin Lee Canfield

EDWIN LEE CANFIELD is a writer whose fascination and obsession with the life of the amazingly eccentric Criswell originated after seeing him in Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space and reading the book, Criswell Predicts From Now to the Year 2000! When not researching and working on “laid bare” biographies, he spends his time watching obscure films and exploring ghost towns.

Fact, Fictions, and the Forbidden Predictions of the Amazing Criswell

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