Th. Metzger

Th. (aka: Thom) Metzger is a novelist, investigative journalist, teacher, and musician who has lived his entire life in western New York State (called by those in the know “The Burnt Over District.”) For decades, his research and writing has sent him traveling the twisted by-ways and lost highways of homegrown American religion.

Using the name Leander Watts, he has published five young adult novels, all of which delve into the occult lore of his region and all of which are influenced by his career as a musician.

He has played saxophone, guitar, and ontic trombone in a number of bands, including Health and Beauty, (called by one critic “an unholy mating of free jazz and the Marx Brothers”), Mongo Fury, the Badenovs, Nemo’s Omen, The Fabulous Rectotem, The Behemoth Brothers, and the Invisible Stain Removers.

From 1999 until 2006 he was a feature writer and columnist for City Newspaper (Rochester, NY), publishing over one hundred articles, reviews and columns, and 55 installments of his Way Below Radar series, which plumbed the depths of junk food culture.

His interests include: shape note singing (which he has taken part in for twenty-five years), glam rock, the outer reaches of jazz, spaghetti westerns and Hollywood musicals, Mormonism and its roots in folk magic, four-dimensional geometry,  and as founder of the Ziggurat Lodge of the Moorish Orthodox Church he has been instrumental in keeping this esoteric tradition alive.

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The Author’s Wikipedia: Thom Metzger


Big Gurl (Penguin 1989)
Shock Totem (Penguin 1990)
Drowning in Fire (Penguin 1992)
This is Your Final Warning (Autonomedia 1992)
Stonecutter (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2002)
Wild Ride to Heaven (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2003)
Ten Thousand Charms (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2005)
Beautiful City of the Dead (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2006)
Hydrogen, Sleep and Speed (The Poet’s Press 2011)
Meet Me in the Strange (Meerkat Press 2018)
Flaherty’s Wake: Abortionist, Boxer, Lawyer, and Priest (Ziggurat 2023)


Blood and Volts: Edison, Tesla and the Electric Chair (Autonomedia 1996, Underworld Amusements, 2024)
The Birth of Heroin and the Demonization of the Dope Fiend (Loompanics Unlimited 1998)
Select Strange and Sacred Sites (Exit 18 Books 2002)
Undercover Mormon: a Spy in the House of the Gods (Roadswell Editions 2012)
Big Noise on the Astral Plane (Ziggurat 2021)
Hakim Bey: Real and Unreal (mogtus-sanlux 2023)
Strong Songs of the Dead (Underworld Amusements, 2024)