The Book of the Damned is the first, and most famous, nonfiction book by Charles Fort. Published in 1919, it begins with a memorable description of his intentions: to present "a procession of the damned", all data reliably recorded but dismissed by science. The following chapters present, in his distinctive style of writing, masses of data, interspersed with his possibly tongue-in-cheek explanations, and attacks on the pat explainings-away by people who had not investigated the phenomena closely. This style would be maintained in his three following books, New Lands, Lo! and Wild Talents.
Fort did not title his chapters; the following notes are a synopsis of chapter contents.
- "We shall have a procession of data that science has excluded."
- Blue moons and green suns; hail; meteors; object rains.
- Science; coloured rains.
- Gelatinous rains
- Science; fibre rains; food rains; falls with hail.
- Rock rains; salt rains; rains of ashes, charcoal etc.
- Frog rains; fish rains; the Vicksburg turtle; other animal rains.
- Meteors in storms; thunderstones; shaped stones.
- Meteors; embedded objects.
- Engraved falls; mysterious coins and other artefacts; Roman and Greek coins in America; hebrew stones; other buried engravings; the Chinese seals of Ireland.
- Giant axeheads and giant footprints; tiny artefacts; vitrified forts.
- Stone throwing; pebble rains; strange hail; falling ice; strange rains.
- lights and objects on other planets; Vulcan, lights on the Moon; space birds.
- Cup and ring marks.
- Lights in space; objects in front of the sun.
- Shadows on the Moon; eclipses; mysterious darknesses; tornadoes; earthquakes.
- "The New Dominant."
- Birds; more falls.
- Flying objects
- The Persian Gulf wheel; marine luminosities.
- The Lady of the Lake incident.
- More falls.
- Flying torpedoes.
- Groups of lights.
- Red rains; icy falls; flesh and blood rains.
- The Devil's footprints.