Celebrating John Bellairs

The Gargoyle in the Dump

The Gargoyle in the Dump

The Gargoyle in the Dump is a recently discovered, never-before-published 24-page story by John Bellairs. The adventure tells the tale of Michael, David, and Alphonsus Jr. (aka Fonsy) who are spending the summer trying to blow up the town dock and playing marathon Monopoly games. On the brink of death-by-boredom, they head to the local dump in search of treasures but instead find the head of a grinning stone gargoyle with shifty eyes and a long snout. The fun arrives September 2015 from Open Road Media.


Saint Fidgeta at Fifty

Sweet Fidgeta, deliver us!

Fifty years ago this summer the miraculous and humorous story of Saint Fidgeta ("Virgin and Martyr") was first printed in the Catholic publication The Critic. It changed the lives of parishioners everywhere as well as forging the career of the man who would come to identify himself as the "famous author."

Forging Fidgeta (1965) | Fidgetine Miracles (1966) | Posts | Reviews


Meet Brad Strickland

Keeping the faith alive for 20 years, Brad Strickland is the author or co-author of over 60- novels, short fiction pieces, and poetry. After the death of John Bellairs, Strickland was approached to complete four books and went on to write the further adventures of Johnny Dixon and Lewis Barnavelt. He keeps busy writing outside of New Zebedee, too: from pirates and astronauts to terrifying detectives and detecting terriers.

Strickland News | Discussion | Bellairs-related news


the books, the covers, and the collectors

The Books, The Covers, and The Collectors

It’s been a topic of discussion ever since Dial Publishers chose Edward Gorey to illustrate John’s books (about 30 years, by our count): where do I find hardcover editions that feature the wrap-around dust-jackets with art created by Gorey? The Internet has made tracking such things down easier but it can still be a tricky hunt, especially when it comes to knowing how much to spend. We have book collecting resources to let you know what you've found and a discussion group dedicated to your questions – complete with many answers.


The Figure in the Shadows

The Figure in the Shadows at Forty

Celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the second adventure of Lewis Barnavelt and his best friend, Rose Rita Pottinger, as they learn about lancers, uncover eerie amulets, and come face-to-face with an all too evil figure in the shadows.

Posts | Reviews


Magic Mirrors

High Fantasy and Low Parody

Magic Mirrors (2009) contains Bellairs’ three books from the 1960s - Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies (1966); The Pedant and the Shuffly (1968); and The Face in the Frost (1969) - plus an incomplete seven-chapter sequel to The Face in the Frost, entitled The Dolphin Cross.


John Bellairs Mural

John Bellairs Mural

Downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts is where you'll find artist Shelia Foley's John Bellairs Mural, a seven-by-three foot mural created to look like the stained glass windows of Canterbury Cathedral and is part of that city's revitalized downtown area.



The books of John Bellairs and Brad Strickland have long had their fans and over the years we here at Bellairsia have heard from many of them: up-and-coming authors and illustrators as well as musicians, book collectors, teachers, historians, film makers, and web designers. The boisterous and enthusiastic outburst from John's fans is what we call Fandæmonium (rhymes with "Pandæmonium."

Interviews | Book reviews | Commentaries | Guest posts | Polls


The Unwonted Artiste, Edward Gorey

Edward Gorey (1925-2000) was the most popular illustrator of John Bellairs' books, as well as a well-known author and illustrator in his own right. Gorey's bizarre stories and macabre black-and-white illustrations reflected an elegantly morbid sense of humor in books, on television, and on the stage.

News | Goreyana


John Bellairs Walk

John Bellairs Walk

Established in 1830 and expected to become the state's capital, Marshall, Michigan has become one of America's largest historic districts. Resident and Bellairs fan Ann LaPietra researched a walking tour of Bellairs' hometown and how it was transformed into memorable locations from his books.

Locations | About New Zebedee, Michigan


Notre Dame Quiz Bowl team (Mar. 8, 1959)

"Go Bellairs, Quote Chaucer!"

It’s the words that would make any English major's heart beat proudly! In March, 1959, Notre Dame undergrad John Bellairs participated in the College Bowl program and surprised the nation by quoting Chaucer's Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. In perfect Middle English. These four horsemen easily won out over their competitors that week and were welcomed back to Indiana as champions, complete with their own massive pep-rally.


Scholastic: the Spirit of Humor

For the 1958-59 school year, Notre Dame seniors John Bellairs and Charles Bowen joined the writing staff of the Scholastic, the university's student magazine, to alternate each week as columnist for the weekly humor column, "Escape." Both kept the subject matter light, with witty and irrelevant observations about life in and around Notre Dame and South Bend, in general.


Once Upon a Midnight Dreary

Made-for-Television Fun!

Yes, Virginia, The House with a Clock in its Walls was made into a 20-minute television program in 1979 and, yes, it is about what you’d expect. And then someone got the idea to sort-of do the same thing to The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn. Yikes!


The House with a Clock in its Walls

1,261,440,000 Seconds and Still Ticking...

2013 marked the fortieth anniversary of the beloved tale of Lewis Barnavelt moving to New Zebedee, of meeting his uncle Jonathan, of discovering the magic of Mrs. Zimmermann, and of the house with a clock in its walls.

Posts | Reviews


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