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Fallen leaves under their feet resonate with the same satisfying crunch as the chitinous shells of black beetles on a warm summer night. But the summer is gone; replaced by the cold, weary rains of autumn and the dank smell of soon to be winters. They come out only at night. An homage to those who once ruled the dark places and nightmares. Grasping for that last sugary rush before the long hibernation of cold, they seek those who have offerings of chocolate and gummy confections. Soon the night will close in with its blanket of solitude...but until then, the night is theirs.
This week, Conspiracy Journal brings you such trick-or-treating tales as:
- Return to Sleepy Hollow -
- Annabelle: The True Story of a Demonic Doll -
- The Biting Dead -
AND: The Gandillon Werewolf Family
All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
~ And Now, On With The Show! ~
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Exploring the Bizarre - Thursday Nights at 10:00PM EST
Heard Live on the KCOR Digital Radio Network
- OUR HALLOWEEN TRADITION DEPARTMENT -
Return to Sleepy Hollow
By Timothy Green Beckley and Circe
Recently, we deployed our company ghoul and likeable horror movie host Mr Creepo (aka "Mr UFO" - Tim Beckley) along with sexy vamp hunter and Creepo henchwoman Circe (or is that wenchwoman?) to check out rumors of a revival of paranormal activity in the dreamy village of Sleepy Hollow, New York, and neighboring Tarrytown.
Though our budget was small, the researchers managed to drink and eat -- mainly drink -- themselves into a tizzy as if possessed by glutinous spirits. Very much, we fear, like the early farmers whose wives accused them of "tarrying" to long on market day at the local tavern, thus the name Tarrytown was born. In any respect we present their -- pardon the expression - "sobering" -- report.
The cool autumn air sits in just before twilight and a breeze starts to drift in from the Hudson River, just down the road a bit from where legend has it Ichabod Crane was chased by the headless horseman.
Indeed, the bridge and adjacent brook where Crane soiled his pants in an attempt to run for his life still stands, albeit part of the main drag that goes through town, a road now used by truckers, buses and SUV's coming up from Manhattan a scant 40-minute drive away.
Many commuters unwilling to drive in the midst of quite ghostly (I mean ghastly) traffic take to the rails, hopping onboard one of the numerous commuter trains that make the trip from the Big Apple all day and well into the evening hours.
Folding back the pages of the New York Post (we are much to blue collar to read the Times) and gazing out the window one would hardly guess that he area is particularly rich in paranormal lore. But as you pass White Plains and the office buildings start to diminish in height and number you can start to be thankful that Circe is your traveling companion as ghouls know well to leave her be. We figure it has to be the garlic in her bag, but she insists it is the lovely charms she makes and wears to ward off negativity and things that go bump in the night.
But, indeed the truth sometimes can be very strange. For it is along this very route to Sleepy Hollow back in 1982 that thousands craned their necks out of car windows to watch as a silent, giant, black-shaped triangle filled the sky, much like the cloak of the headless horseman is said to have done as the phantom glided through the thickets and glades of this same community in the early eighteen hundreds.
One of our first destinations was the Sleepy Hollow cemetery to visit some of the communities founding members. Circe (made infamous for her role of Muffy in my low budget vampire flix, The Curse of Ed Wood) was perched on a tombstone while I frolicked with the angels near the grave of Washington Irving.
Switching into a serious mode, I remarked how I could recall numerous conversations with fellow researcher Philip Imbrogno whose book Night Siege: The Hudson Valley UFO Sightings fairly well documents the numerous close encounters in the area. I told Circe how Phil, a teacher by profession (strange, wasn't Ichabod Crane also a teacher?) had started out as a conservative investigator of unexplainable aerial phenomena only to end up photographing ghost lights and confronting time distortions (to find out more order my book Our Alient Planet: This Eerie Earth in the Conspiracy Journal bookstore). All within a few square rural miles of where we were now standing.
During the course of our investigation in the area, we drove over into Connecticut to hunt down giant Jack 'O' Lanterns known to be harassing residents near an outdoor farmers market. This was pretty much the same trek truck drivers had been on that fright filled night in 1982 when they rubbed 18 wheelers with a "thing" the size of a 747 that tailed them at less than a thousand feet in the air. Around the same time the mysterious men in black showed up to persuade witnesses to back off from telling of their encounters with the unknown. Many similar tales exist from the time of Washington Irving who also spoke of nightmarish figures cloaked in black who staked those who dared discuss their own paranormal misadventures.
Those who have followed such matters will be able to confirm that often times places that have a reputation for being "haunted" have a long history of paranormal phenomenon.
Indeed, it was Circe that reminded me that Washington Irving had, himself, speculated on this very "coincidence" in his Legend of Sleepy Hollow tale. To prove her point, she cracked opened a copy of Irving's book just purchased at the Kyjuit gift shop on the Rockefeller Foundation estate, scene of the annual Halloween activities that tourists flock to this region along the Hudson every fall season.
To quote Irving: "A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere. Some say that the place was bewitched by a high German doctor during the early days of the settlement; others, that an old Indian chief, the prophet or wizard of his tribe, held his powwows there before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson. Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them t walk in a continual reverie. They are given to all kinds of marvelous beliefs, are subject to trances and visions, an frequently see strange sights and hear music and voices in the air. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions; stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country. . . "
One almost has to scratch their head in disbelief that this paragraph was written two hundred -- give or take -- years ago. It seems like something a contemporary ghost hunter like our pal Joshua Warren might write in one of his scripts for the Discovery Channel.
As we hunkered down for the evening -- after hours of paranormal musings -- we couldn't help but reflect on how the area seemingly abounds in the macabre. In fact, all around us were signs and symbols that a spooky October was in the works for the area just up the river from our vampiric crypts.
THE GREAT JACK 'O LANTERN BLAZE
Three thousand hand carved pumpkins are the decidedly spooky backdrop for a spine tingling event set on the grounds of the 18th Century Van Courtland Manor. You might be a bit too scared to nip away at those pumpkin cookies or sip down that warming cup of hot apple cider, as you experience the SCARECROW AVALANCHE and PUMPKIN PROMENADE.
THE HORSEMAN STILL RIDES!
Join Jonathan Kruk for a lively reading and reenactment of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow at the Philipsburg Manor. For Legend Weekend (October 28-30) there will be candle lanterns and bonfires, and a haunted landscape to set the mood. Say doesn't that fellow with the crooked nose over there look like??? Nah, it can't be!
Sponsored by the Historic Hudson Valley Society, more information can be found at: www.hudsonvalley.org or for ticket information call 9l4-631-8200.
WHERE TO STAY
Numerous bed and breakfasts dot the scenic area. The Doubletree right on the Hudson offers a breathtaking view, but we were stopped at the entrance by the burly ghoul in charge who informed us before we even had time to twist our heads around, that the palatial estate was being renovated and thus closed to all. So I guess even the Horseman won't be staying there on Ole Hallows Eve.
If your budget is up to it and you are looking for really lavish grounds, go ahead and plop yourself down on one of the beds at the Tarrytown House. The restaurant wasn't open when we where there so we had to venture out into the crisp autumn air. This slight incontinence was offset by the use of the heated indoor pool (just call me Creepo the prune) and the fact looking out the window at around 3 AM I thought I saw a specter under the flood lights in back of the complex where we should have been fast asleep and not watching the Sci Fi Channel.
WHERE TO EAT
For lunch there is the Horseman saloon and the Sleepy Hollow Cafe (service is fine but if your seated outside you notice the sidewalk slants more than it does in one of those mystery vortex spots).
For about the best meal ever in an absolutely superb setting stop by Harvest-on-the Hudson in Hasting on the Hudson. Its right on the Hudson (boy isn't that repetitive) and outdoor dinning for lunch will be a treat you won't forget for a long time. Lots of indoor seating as well, and a bar that goes on for miles (thank you, but we had our Bloody Mary's on the lawn).
Thus ended our little adventure...Being psycho -- I mean psychic -- I asked Circe about the vibes. She didn't appear to be scared out of her wits despite the traffic headed home, so I guess the spirits weren't as restless as they might have been.
So do we plan to return to Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown to search for more spirits? It could well be that sometime in the not to distant future we might set up shop to film our own version of Sleepy Hollow -- except it will called CREEPY HOLLOW.
Happy Halloween from Mr Creepo, Circe, and the staff of the Conspiracy Journal
- TOYS FROM HELL DEPARTMENT -
Annabelle: The True Story of a Demonic Doll
By Rob Morphy
The smash hit motion picture “The Conjuring” — based on the harrowing story of the Perron family’s encounter with an evil entity and how they were saved by controversial demonologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren — has earned tens of millions of dollars and spawned as many nightmares worldwide. But while the core story of possession and witchcraft may have propelled the plot forward, it is the allegedly true story of a demonic doll named Annabelle that has left a lingering shadow on the memories of moviegoers across the globe; transforming this arguably inanimate (and ostensibly cursed) object into a surprise pop-culture phenomenon.
Let me be frank right from the outset: “I hate dolls.” Always have.
It started with a dotty old great-aunt, who (of course) lived in a dusty, labyrinthine manor full of long corridors, peeling wallpaper, the lingering scent of mothballs and rooms that all seemed to have at least one porcelain doll with a cracked face that leered menacingly down at me from whatever perch it had made home.
As my beard began to transform from random Klingon-like patches into a cohesive whole and my school days drifted farther and farther into my past, I began to dismiss those childhood fears. I convinced myself that fearing inanimate objects was foolish, but I still harbored an intuitive distaste for dolls; especially old ones.
While looking for curios in old thrift stores and junk shops, I would always grow uneasy when I would catch a figurine or (God forbid) a marionette unmistakably staring at me with its glassy, dead eyes and a bio-electric chill would ripple up my neck. Oh, I’d act cool (especially if I was with my girlfriend) and chuckle and tell myself that it was all in my head, but a part of me knew better… and that’s how I knew, when I hunkered down to watch the aforementioned film, “The Conjuring”, that I had been right all along.
The Original Devil Doll
Like all cinematic depictions of purportedly factual stories, the filmmakers responsible for “The Conjuring” have taken some liberties with the source material. The bizarre case of Annabelle is no exception, as the pig tailed, rosy cheeked, ghastly apparition from the movie was, in actuality, a run of the mill Raggedy Ann doll.
Now, for the seven of you out there who might not know what that is, Raggedy Ann is an adorable rag doll with a triangle nose and a mop of red yarn for hair. The character was created by writer (and marketing genius) Johnny Gruelle when his daughter brought him an old doll and he drew a face on it. Gruelle would go on to feature the character in a series of children’s books he wrote and, following the tragic death of his daughter, as the symbol for a virulent anti-vaccination campaign. On September 7, 1915, he received a U.S. Patent for his Raggedy Ann doll and with it a toy legend was born.
The Birthday Gift
The particular doll in question, the one which would serve as the inspiration for James Wan’s disturbing plaything in “The Conjuring”, was first purchased in an antique shop in 1970, by a woman looking for a unique birthday present for her daughter, Donna.
The woman, who’s name (much like the ark from “Raiders”) has evidently been lost somewhere in the annals of paranormal research, must have concluded that the antiquated, child-sized rag doll would be the perfect gift for her daughter who was just about to graduate from nursing school. Apparently she was correct in her assumption and, even though Donna was not known to be a collector of dolls, she happily brought the object into to the apartment that she shared with another nursing student, Angie. Once there the Raggedy Ann doll was tossed on the bed and promptly forgotten about… for the first few days anyway.
At initial the signs that something was amiss were subtle. From time to time, Donna would notice that the toy seemed to have changed position slightly, but simply attributed it to a jostling of the bed or something equally mundane. As the weeks passed, however, the doll’s erratic movements became more troubling and both Donna and Angie became genuinely alarmed when they returned home to find the rag doll standing upright and leaning against a chair in the dining room, as if it had frozen mid-step when it heard the door open.
It was then that Donna and Angie realized that there was something truly bizarre about the doll. Donna would later describe the unsettling situation to renowned paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. According to Donna:
“I put it on my bed each morning after the bed was made. The arms would be off to its sides and its legs would be straight out — just like it’s sitting there now. But when we’d come home at night, the arms and legs would be positioned in different gestures. For instance, its legs would be crossed at the ankles, or its arms would be folded in its lap. After a week or so, this made us suspicious. So to test it, I purposely crossed its arms and legs in the morning to see if it really was moving. And sure enough, every night when we’d come back home, the arms and legs would be uncrossed and the thing would be sitting there in any of a dozen different postures.”
At times Donna would leave the doll on the bed only to find that it had mysteriously migrated to the living room and was now sitting on the couch with its arms and legs crossed almost indignantly. In other instances, Donna would leave the doll on the couch only to return home to discover that it was now in her bedroom — with the door latched shut! Angie shed some more light on this odd increase in apparently paranormal activity:
“The doll also changed rooms by itself. We came home one night and the Annabelle doll was sitting in a chair by the front door. It was kneeling! The funny thing about it was, when we tried to make the doll kneel, it’d just fall over. It couldn’t kneel. Other times we’d find it sitting on the sofa, although when we left the apartment in the morning it’d be in Donna’s room with the door closed!”
Messages from Beyond
The girls, becoming more and more perturbed by this strange turn of events, decided to confide in a male friend that the Warrens’ chronicle only as “Lou”. Lou claimed that he realized that something about the doll was evil the moment he laid eyes on it. Donna and Angie, though made anxious by the toy’s clandestine mobility, were not prepared to believe that anything insidious was afoot.
That was when curious notes began to appear around the apartment. Donna and Angie both found strips of parchment paper upon which would be scrawled the words “HELP US” or “HELP LOU” in a conspicuously child-like fashion, although in the movie the filmmakers apparently decided that “MISS ME?” would be for unnerving. This startling development perplexed Donna:
“It would leave us little notes and messages. The handwriting looked to be that of a small child… Lou wasn’t in any kind of jeopardy at the time. And who ‘us’ was we didn’t know. Still, the thing that was weird was that the notes would be written in pencil, but when we tried to find one, there was not one pencil in the apartment! And the paper it wrote on was parchment. I tore the apartment apart, looking for parchment paper, but again neither of us had any such thing.”
Lou became convinced that these notes were from the doll, which was attempting to communicate with its human hosts. But the nurses, being women of science, began to wonder if someone they knew might not have come across a door key and decided to have some fun at their expense by playing an elaborate hoax on them.
To that end, Donna and Angie became amateur sleuths and began marking windows and arranging carpets against the doors to reveal if they had any intruders in their absence. Much to their chagrin their traps lay unmoved while the doll continued to have it’s run of the apartment.
Still, the roommates took solace from that fact that while they might have a “living doll” sharing their home, it seemed not to have any nefarious intentions. In fact, according to Donna, that Christmas the odd being even seemed to offer them a small present:
“Christmas, we found a little chocolate boot on the stereo that none of us had bought. Presumably it came from Annabelle.”
Sadly, the state of affairs with the entity living in their home would not remain harmonious for long. Angie recalled another seemingly supernatural occurrence in the apartment:
“One time a statue lifted up across the room, then it tumbled in the air and fell on the floor. None of us were near the statue; it was on the other side of the room. That incident frightened us totally.”
Things would only get worse from that moment on.
The Bleeding Doll
Less than two months after these bizarre events began, Donna and Angie returned home, weary after a long day of school.
Of course, neither of the women were particularly surprised to find that the doll had managed to make its way from the living room back into Donna’s bed, but this time Donna claimed that she suddenly was struck by a feeling that something was wrong and that the doll seemed to have a ominous aura about it.
Hesitantly, the women approached the doll and that was when they noticed that the inanimate object was oozing blood from its hands and chest. Angie described the scene:
“The Annabelle doll was sitting on Donna’s bed, as was usual. When we came home one night, there was blood on the back of its hand, and there were three drops of blood on its chest!”
Added Donna: “God, that really scared us!”
The now terrified roommates decided that they would have to seek the help of someone more experienced in paranormal activity than themselves. It was then that they decided to call in…
Following the “bleeding doll” incident, the roommates resolved to find out just what it was that they were sharing their apartment with.
To that end, Donna and Angie decided to contact a medium in order to conjure up and communicate with whatever was inhabiting the doll.
The unidentified medium agreed to perform a séance in the nurses’ apartment. In Donna’s own words:
“So Angie and I got in touch with a woman who’s a medium. That was about a month, or maybe six weeks after all this stuff started to happen.”
The medium wasted no time in entering a trance and before long she was weaving a heartbreaking tale of a young girl named Annabelle Higgins, whose body was discovered in the field upon which their apartment complex had been constructed. According to Donna:
“We learned that a little girl died on this property, She was seven years-old and her name was Annabelle Higgins. The Annabelle spirit said she played in the fields long ago before these apartments were built. They were happy times for her. She told us.”
The medium was unable to ascertain the details of the girl’s death, but in telling Annabelle’s story, she had inadvertently tugged at the heartstrings of these compassionate, young women. Donna continued to detail Annabelle’s plight as heard through the medium:
“Because everyone around here was grown-up, and only concerned with their jobs, there was no one she (Annabelle) could relate to, except us. Annabelle felt that we would be able to understand her. That’s why she began moving the rag doll. All Annabelle wanted was to be loved, and so she asked if she could stay with us and move into the doll. What could we do? So we said yes.”
Angie would explain the logic behind their decision: “It seemed harmless enough. We’re nurses, you know, we see suffering every day. We had compassion. Anyway, we called the doll Annabelle from that time on.”
There is no way that these kind women could have imagined at the time just how terrible a mistake inviting this apparently innocent apparition to live inside the rag doll would prove to be.
The Nightmare Begins
As things between the newly christened Annabelle and her roommates seemed to be entering a new phase of détente, Lou maintained that he sensed something dangerous about the itinerant doll and admonished Donna to get rid of it.
She refused his request, feeling that getting rid of the doll would be the equivalent of abandoning a child. But even though Annabelle was not removed, it seems apparent that she was not pleased by Lou’s interference.
Lou understood that there was something fundamentally wrong with the doll, but was not prepared for the hellish encounter he would have when it followed him home. The Warrens related the experience Lou had not long after turning in for the night:
“Lou awoke one night from a deep sleep and in panic. Once again he had a reoccurring bad dream. Only this time somehow, something seemed different. It was as though he was awake but couldn’t move. He looked around the room but couldn’t discern anything out of the ordinary and then it happened. Looking down toward his feet he saw the doll, Annabelle.”
Lou continued to recount his petrifying experience:
“While I was lying there, I saw myself wake up. Something seemed wrong to me. I looked around the room, but nothing was out of place. But then when I looked down toward my feet, I saw the rag doll, Annabelle. It was slowly gliding up my body. It moved over my chest and stopped. Than it put its arms out. One arm touched one side of my neck, the other touched the other side like it was making an electrical connection. Then I saw myself being strangled. I might as well have been pushing on a wall, because it wouldn’t move. It was literally strangling me to death, I couldn’t help myself, no matter how hard I tried.”
The Warrens concluded the harrowing tale:
“Paralyzed and gasping for breath Lou, at the point of asphyxiation, blacked out. Lou awoke the next morning, certain it wasn’t a dream. Lou was determined to rid himself of that doll and the spirit that possessed it.”
Lou felt as if whatever was animating the doll was warning him to mind his own business, but out of concern for his friends, he refused to be deterred. It would be back at Donna and Angie’s apartment that Annabelle would strike again.
The following evening, while preparing for a road trip, Lou and Angie were alone, studying maps in in the living room just before 11 pm. Without warning, the pair heard an odd shuffling sound emanating from Donna’s room. Angie was concerned that someone might have broken into the apartment, but Lou feared that it might be something much worse.
Lou, summoning a courage that I’m not sure I could replicate, crept toward Donna’s bedroom door. He paused outside the entrance until the sounds abated, then eased the door open and anxiously flipped on the light switch.
The room was empty, save for Annabelle, which seemed to have been haphazardly thrown into the corner of the room. Lou entered the space and apprehensively approached the crumpled rag doll. It was then that he claimed to have felt a tingling sensation on the back of his neck, as if he was being watched from behind. Lou explained the feeling in an interview with the Warrens:
“But as I got close to the doll, I got the distinct impression that somebody was behind me. I swung around instantly and, well….”
At this point Angie interjected:
“He won’t talk about that part. When Lou turned around there wasn’t anybody there, but he suddenly yelled and grabbed for his chest. He was doubled over, cut and bleeding when I got to him. Blood was all over his shirt. Lou was shaking and scared and we went back out into the living room. We then opened his shirt and there on his chest was what looked to be a sort of claw mark!”
On his chest were seven slices. Four were horizontal and three vertical. Both the Warrens, Donna and Angie confirmed that the wounds existed, but unfortunately no one bothered to take any photographs. Oddly, the Marks (which Lou claimed burned horribly and actually radiated heat) were all but gone the next day and completely vanished a mere forty-eight hours later.
Enter the Warrens
Not sure where else to turn — and now realizing that they were dealing with something much worse than the benign spirit of a lonely child — the trio decided to contact a someone in the clergy. The first man they got a hold of was an Episcopalian priest named Father Hegan. Hegan went to the apartment and allowed the witnesses to explain their dire predicament.
Hegan understood the gravity of their situation, but felt that he was not qualified to deal with it himself, so he referred them to one of his superiors, Father Cooke. It would be Cooke who would contact the most experienced demonologists he knew of — the now legendary husband and wife team of Ed and Lorraine Warren, who were also part of the Amityville Horror investigation — and put them on the case.
The Warrens wasted no time in contacting the group and upon interviewing the three witnesses, Ed Warren (a devout Catholic as well as paranormal investigator) seemed astounded that these young adults were so quick to trust the words of the ghost as spoken through the medium. Ed Warren summed up the situation thusly during his interview with Donna, Angie and Lou:
”To begin with, there is no Annabelle! There never was. You were duped. However, we are dealing with a spirit here. The teleportation of the doll while you were out of the apartment, the appearance of notes written on parchment, the manifestation of three symbolic drops of blood, plus the gestures the doll made are all meaningful. They tell me there was intent, which means there was an intelligence behind the activity. But ghosts, human spirits, plain and simply can’t bring on phenomena of this nature and intensity. They don’t have the power.”
At about this point Lou interjected: “It’s a damn voodoo doll, that’s what it is… I told them about that thing a long time ago. The doll was just taking advantage of them.”
Nevertheless, Donna defended the position that she and Angie had previously assumed in protecting Annabelle:
“It was the spirit of Annabelle we cared about! How were we to know anything? But looking back on it now, maybe we shouldn’t have given the doll so much credence. But really, we saw the thing as being no more than a harmless mascot. It never hurt anything… at least until the other day.”
After completing the interview, inspecting the rag doll, checking Lou’s wounds and confirming that none of the eyewitnesses ever saw the specter of the child in the apartment, the Warrens came to the startling conclusion that it was not a ghost that they were dealing with, but an actual demon.
Even more chillingly, the Warrens postulated that the doll itself was not actually possessed by an evil entity, but that the doll was a conduit between the earthly realm and hell itself.
They also affirmed that the medium had been manipulated in order to gain the trust of the people in the apartment, leading to what they called an “infestation” of the home.
The Warrens further claimed that the “inhuman demonic spirit,“ had preyed upon the nursing students’ intrinsic compassion by pretending it was a lost child. According to Ed Warren:
“…what has happened is something inhuman has taken over here. Demonic. Ordinarily people aren’t bothered by inhuman demonic spirits, unless they do something to bring the force into their lives. Your first mistake was to give the doll recognition, that is the reason why the spirit moved into the doll to draw attention to itself. Once it had your attention, it exploited you, it simply brought you fear and even injury. Inhuman spirits, enjoy inflicting pain, it’s negative. Your next mistake was calling in a medium, The demonic has to somehow get your permission to interfere in your life. Unfortunately, through your own free will, you gave it that permission.”
Adding to the shock that the three friends were no doubt experiencing at that moment, the Warrens went on to insist that following Lou’s attack, the demon’s next movie would be to exit Annabelle and enter one them for the purpose of “complete human possession” followed, almost inevitably, by murder. According to Ed Warren:
“Spirits don’t possess things, spirits possess people. Instead, the spirits simply moved the doll around and gave it the illusion of being alive. Now, what happened to Lou earlier this week was bound to occur sooner or later. In fact, you all were in jeopardy of coming under possession by this spirit, this is what the thing was really after. But Lou didn’t believe in the charade, so he was an ongoing threat to the entity. There was bound to be a showdown. Had the spirit been given another week or two, you might have been killed.”
This, according to the Warrens, left student nurses with just one recourse…
The Rite of Exorcism
The Warrens then decided that the best course of action would be to invoke the power of an exorcism blessing to banish the malevolent monstrosity from the doll.
They contacted an Episcopal priest named Father Cooke who was at first reluctant to get involved with this case, but eventually yielded after the Warrens explained just how dire the situation had become.
Ed Warren explained how the Episcopalian blessing differed from the more famous Catholic rite of exorcism:
“The Episcopal blessing of the home is a wordy, seven page document that is distinctly positive in nature. Rather than specifically expelling evil entities from the dwelling, the emphasis is instead directed toward filling the home with the power of the positive and of God.”
Unlike most cinematic versions of an exorcism, the ritual occurred without much commotion from the demonic doll. Following the sacred ceremony, Father Cooke extended the blessing to Donna, Angie, Lou and the Warrens, then (in what I hope was his best Zelda Rubenstein voice) declared that the demon was no longer going to be able to harm them… The Warrens weren’t so sure.
Following Father Cooke’s exorcism, Ed and Lorraine — still doubtful that the demon had actually been banished from the potentially homicidal Annabelle — suggested they remove the doll from the home. Donna, eager to be rid of the nightmarish entity, readily consented to their request.
Ed then cautiously picked up the hateful doll and handed it to Lorraine, whereupon Father Cooke (who was evidently not completely convinced of the exorcism’s effectiveness either) warned Ed not to drive home on the interstate, lest the inhuman entity managed to linger within the doll and tried to influence the car.
Lorraine then placed the doll into the backseat of his car, buckled up, Ed started the engine and — in what must have been one of the most stressful late night drives in human history — they began their lengthy journey home. Ed took the priest’s advice and stuck to the winding back roads, where few other drivers would be jeopardized by their diabolical passenger… it would turn out to be a wise decision.
According to the Warrens, whenever they approached a sharp curve, their vehicle would inevitably stall, causing the brakes and power steering to fail simultaneously and sending them perilously close to driving off the road. They also had more than one near collision with a passing car. Finally Ed had had enough and he reached into his black bag, removed a vile of holy water and doused the rag doll with the sign of the cross. The doll would behave normally for the rest of the ride.
Once home, Ed (inexplicably) placed the doll into a chair adjacent to his desk. He reported that the doll levitated on more than one occasion, then seemed to fall in an lifeless state. This hiatus lasted only a few weeks and before long, Annabelle was up to her old tricks.
The Warrens claimed that they had locked Annabelle in the outer office building before setting out on a trip, but when they returned home and opened the front door they discovered that the doll was facing them, perched contentedly on Ed’s easy chair, as if mocking their efforts to contain it.
The doll would also, much like in her previous home, randomly appear in different rooms of the house, startling the Warrens.
Finally the Warrens had enough of Annabelle’s unnatural antics and they decided to bring in the big guns; a Catholic priest and exorcist by the name of Father Jason Bradford. By all accounts, Father Bradford did not take to kindly to being called in to deal with this alleged “devil doll.”
According to reports of the encounter, Father Bradford brashly approached the then inert doll and ripped it up from its seat, screaming: “Your just a rag doll Annabelle, you can’t hurt anyone!” At which point he threw the doll back down on the chair. Ed blanched at his vitriolic demeanor and stated: “That’s one thing you better not say.”
Lorraine was also disturbed by Father Bradford’s dismissive behavior and begged the priest to be careful while driving and to call her when he got back to the rectory. The call did not come until late in the evening when the shaken priest told Lorraine that his brakes had given out just as he had approached a hectic intersection. His car was demolished and he and the others involved barely survived the accident.
It was then that the Warrens decided that Annabelle was simply too dangerous to be exposed to the world, so they had a specially sealed case built for the doll — a sort of glass coffin — plastered with a sign which read: “WARNING, POSITIVELY DO NOT OPEN.”
The case, which the demon doll inhabits to this day, was placed in a room full of supposedly cursed objects that the Warrens had taken out of circulation and the door was locked.
Eventually, the Warrens turned their terrifying collection into an “Occult Museum,” which is open to the public. The now incarcerated Annabelle seems to be unable to move, but that does not mean that her nefarious powers have diminished.
Arguably the most disturbing tale associated with this malicious rag doll involves a young couple who were touring the museum with Ed as a guide. After Ed had explained the background story of Annabelle, the young man — full of the hubris of youth and no doubt trying to impress his innamorata — pounded on the glass case and challenged the doll to rise up and scratch him.
Ed wasted no time escorting the couple out of the museum stating: “son you need to leave.” Ed watched as the couple drove off on the young beau’s motorcycle and was, sadly, one of the last people to ever seem him alive.
According to his girlfriend, just after they left the museum, they were laughing about the silly stories surrounding the doll when the man abruptly lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a tree. He was killed instantly and his girlfriend required over a year of hospitalization. While many skeptics would insist that this was nothing more than a sorrowful coincidence, the Warrens were convinced that they had incurred the wrath of Annabelle.
Ed Warren passed away in 2006, and Lorraine, now in her eighties, remains a thoroughly dedicated paranormal investigator. She claims that while Annabelle has not been able to break out from her case, she still manages to shift positions and, on occasion, has even been known to growl at unwary and no doubt terrified visitors.
There’s so much to consider in terms of the legitimacy of this case…
Are we talking about genuine demonic possession or diabolical manipulation? A misunderstood haunting? A bizarre series of events embellished by media darling demonologists? Or one of the most elaborate paranormal hoaxes ever pulled off; resulting in a legend of a possessed doll so terrifying that it makes Chucky from “Child’s Play” look like a Cabbage Patch kid?
The truth, such as it is, remains buried in the memories of just a handful of individuals and is likely never to see the light of day. And while I remain skeptical about this (and most) possession cases, I feel obliged to admit that if I am ever invited to peruse the shelves of the Warren’s Occult Museum and come face to face with Annabelle. I will graciously offer said invitee the chance to “piss off.”
Because no matter how rational I may be sitting in front of this keyboard with the sunlight pouring over my shoulders and a cold brew mere inches from my hand, in my heart of hearts I know that dolls are pure, unrefined, one-hundred percent evil… and no once can convince me otherwise.
And, putting all rationality aside, I shudder to think that the Warrens actually were right and Annabelle (or whatever is inside if her) might just be biding her time, waiting for her caretaker to expire, so that it can be unleashed by less responsible hands onto an unsuspecting world…
In the meantime, I might never go into a toy store again.
Source: Mysterious Universe
- JUST A LITTLE TASTE DEPARTMENT -
The Biting Dead
You often hear of ghosts that physically hurt the living, they are often physically aggressive they hit, bite and scratch certain individuals for seemingly no reason at all. These behaviors are fairly common from what I have found out from many others over the years in the paranormal community. Television does not play up the fact that these situations are what many people express as what a real haunting is all about. The real fear of ghost is not just seeing one but afraid of what they can and will do to you.
Being attacked by someone alive is bad enough, but when unseen entities physically harm you in some way the mental state it puts you in is very unnerving. It happens for different reasons with different ghosts and under different circumstances at different locations.
The literature suggests that biting may be a normal developmental phase for infants and toddlers, with virtually no long-lasting developmental significance. Once a child turns 3 years old, however, biting may indicate other behavioral problems, especially if the biting incidents are frequent. Because of the developmental nature of most biting, experts stress that biting is not something to blame on the child, parents, or teachers (Greenman & Stonehouse, 1994). Stress communication skills is usually the answer to why this occurs. And when a ghost does this to a living being then it is apparent that that haunted soul is in such a state.
Just because a ghosts bites you or scratches you does not mean that it is the ghost of a small child state many psychics mediums's and ghost channelers. Aggression; "Behavior Problems" do as we are aware of to date carry over beyond the grave. A ghost will hit you strike you and even sexually molest you. Many often think or believe this is because of the fact that it is the strongest desires of the ghosts and the only way some of them know how to communicate. You must consider that a ghosts is in a stunted Emotional Development and Nonverbal Communication might be the only recourse this particular ghost you come across has to openly contact you. Personally I was kicked in the ass by a ghosts while doing something I should not have.
Six Reasons Ghosts Bite
ATTENTION - a Ghosts of any age sometimes bite to get attention. When real ghosts are in situations where they are not receiving enough positive attention and daily interaction, they often find a way to make others sit up and take notice. Being ignored is not fun. Biting is a quick way to become the center of attention - even if it is negative attention.
IMITATION - Many ghosts do love to imitate others. Watching others and trying to let them know they are around they show their presence to a haunted location. Sometimes as we all do ghosts see others bite and decide to try it out themselves to see if they can effect the living.
TERITORY - Some believe that real ghosts are trying so hard to show possession of a location. "Mine" and "Me do it" are words that come to mind. Learning to do things independently, making choices, and needing control over a situation are part of a haunting. Biting is a powerful way to control others. If you think about it , it is a quick way to get what you want.
FRUSTRATION - You have to realize that a ghost as being what it is experience a lot of frustration. Being Dead is a real struggle. D consider this when they can't find away to make people hear their words to express their feelings, they resort to hitting, pushing, or biting.
STRESS - A real ghost's world can be stressful, too. A lack of daily routine, interesting things to do, or interaction with loved ones or just another human being are stressful situations for the dead. When a person transits to the other side they also experience stressful events of what they see family members going through. Biting is one way to express feelings and relieve tension. It is also a way to show persons that you do not like what they are doing.
Paranormal Sexual Biting - may also be considered a living persons fetish and not associated with ghosts openly. The feeling of actual human teeth during oral sex, luv biting or nipping of fingers, toes( also see: Real Foot Fetish Ghosts - Oh My Haunted Feet), chest, shoulders, neck, inner thighs, ankles, knees, ears, Lips, feet or genitals. There have been over the years many stories of haunted individuals having these things occur to them in the course of paranormal activity they witness and personally experience. Many paranormal Investigators have experienced these biting ghosts on themselves but too few or willing to come forward because of fear of ridicule.
Biting, scratching and kicking is considered an age appropriate behavior and reaction for children 2.5 years and younger. This is why so manny believe the ghosts that bite you to be of this age. Conversely children above this age have verbal skills to explain their needs and dislikes and biting is not age appropriate. Biting may be prevented by methods including redirection, changing the environment and responding to biting by talking about appropriate ways to express anger and frustration. School age children, those older than 2.5 years, who habitually bite may require professional help.
Odaxelagnia is the paraphilia involving the sexual attraction to biting or being bitten.
The strange part of this is a lot of ghost Hunters and researchers dismiss it as paranormal poo poo unless it happens to them personally. Few will tell you but sexually orientated ghosts and spirits are more common then reported on haunted web sites.
Where, And When A Real Ghost Bites You Is A story In Itself
I have often gotten reports of people being bitten by a ghosts in hospitals, private homes, hotels, cemeteries and even Funeral homes. You have to consider he location and why a ghost is biting you for attention. It is more then likely they want your attention.
Perverted or sexually orientated bites in genital or what many consider private areas of their bodies such as inner thighs genital, necks and breast seem to happen more frequent then many will tell you. Embarrassing to the fact that a ghost is biting a male or female is usually equal. But more woman will come forward and say that a real ghost has bitten them on the vagina them men saying a ghost bit their penis. Many have explained to me that the fear is that they do not want to find out that the ghost is a male or female. Which is to say they not only feel violated but are afraid of the ghosts sexual orientation.
Many people are so frightened when a ghost bites them that they will not talk about it. Those that have this happen to them repeatedly are usually the ones that come forward and will tell you they just want it to stop.
One particular Ghost Tour in Texas reports that many of the male guest on the tour or often bitten through their clothes while taking the daily ghost tour. Bit marks on their "Ass Cheeks" and genital region or often spoken of. The tour guide usually tells them it is a ghost of a famous prostitute just to calm their nerves. And tells them it seems she likes you. But to this day the ghosts true identity has never come to light. Male? Female, well who really knows.
I have in my life also spoken to many Ghost Hunters that have related ghosts that nip or mouth male paranormal and female genitals while they investigate a locations. These individuals usually only share these experiences with others in the field. to date I have not come across any writing or books on the subject. but the general conceptions is that these ghosts have sexual biting on their mind and nothing else. Probably these ghosts were sexual predators in life and still are in death.
If you have been bitten by a ghosts please contact Gina Lanier through her web site www.ginalanier.com or by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Haunted America Tours
- THE STEAMY SIDE OF GHOST HUNTING -
Haunted Lovers - Erotic Relationships From Beyond
Ghostly encounters, on their own, are pretty strange affairs. Yet, a large percentage of the population admits to believing in the possibility in the reality of ghosts and life after death. However, there is one aspect of hauntings that would strain the credibility of most people, and because of its taboo nature, is not often discussed even amongst groups interested in the paranormal. I am referring to people who claim that they have had sexual encounters with ghosts.
On the surface, the idea that ghosts could have physical relationships with the living seems utterly ridiculous. Yet, paranormal history is full of cases that seem to show that such encounters do happen on a fairly regular basis. But because of the sensitive nature of these cases, when they are reported, the cases are often sealed away in a file cabinet and never discussed again.
Fortunately the Internet has allowed a number of these sexual haunting's to be revealed and studied. Reports are often told of everything from victims of these haunting's being punched, slapped, scratched and even further being pushed into forced unnatural sexual paranormal encounters with these very real and terrifying brutish ghosts and or demonic forces.
"Sexual haunting or spiritual molesting visitations seem to have a life of their own manifesting at all hours of the day or night unprovoked." Stated Lisa Lee Harp Waugh at a recent paranormal gathering On the very haunted Queen Mary. "Sometimes they might occur to several individuals then stop occurring entirely for long periods of time." "Many groups directly choose not to investigate such haunting's for the feeling that the stories that haunted individuals are telling them or over the top or out right hoax's or crazed individuals looking for attention." "Or in some cases just too much for the inexperienced team to handle."
In 2005 the China Press reported that a man sought the help of a medium after he got tired of a female ghost who wanted to have sex with him every night for the last 16 years.
The 34-year-old man from Kuala Lumpur, known only as Kelvin, said he felt very tired every night as the long-haired ghost would lure him into making love with her by appearing in different images.
“I have been having bad luck since she appeared in my dream. I have not been able to get married although I have had five girlfriends.
“My employers fired me because I could not concentrate on my work,” Kevin said, adding that he had changed jobs at least 10 times.
Kelvin said his nightmare began when he was 18. He believed that the ghost had attached itself to him when he was at a research institute in Kepong.
When he sought help from a medium, Kelvin was told the ghost was that of a woman who committed suicide after a failed love 30 years ago.
For Carla Moran, a single mother with four children living in California in the mid-1970s, nothing seemed random about the repeated and apparently violent attacks that, like Mary's, felt like rape. Carla sought psychiatric counseling and books on the subject, and while in a bookstore, she happened to meet Kerry Gaynor and Barry Taff, two parapsychologists specializing in haunted-house and poltergeist cases. Gaynor and Taff volunteered to investigate Carla's case. Her story was overdramatized in the 1982 movie The Entity and a book of the same name. Neither treatment was completely factual.
Carla was initially accosted by what she perceived as three entities – two holding her down while the third assaulted her. Over the course of nearly a dozen incidents, the number of perpetrators decreased to just one. Carla reported attacks that simulated penetrating rape in some instances. Her teenage son described a particularly vicious attack in which Carla was thrown by the malevolent force and hit her head. He tried to intervene, but he was also thrown, breaking his arm. ("In the filming of The Entity, the actor playing the son broke his arm in that scene, and the curtains tore from top to bottom without explanation," recalls Gaynor.) Carla later moved to Texas and the attacks subsided and eventually stopped.
Despite on-site investigations by Gaynor and Taff, as well as psychics and professional photographers, the attacks on Carla never occurred in the presence of non-family members. Gaynor observed only bite marks on Carla's neck and bruises on her body. But general paranormal phenomena in the house was observed by many. Strange lights started to appear on the walls. Investigators covered the walls and ceiling with black cardboard and told the light source to move to certain spots. The light obeyed. On several occasions, it floated into the middle of the room, gaining speed and dimension, and formed into a distinct human-like figure before dissolving.
Gaynor remains convinced there was legitimate paranormal activity in the house, but he stresses that there was no evidence of anything paranormal about the attacks. If Carla did experience sexual assault, possible sources could have been a random violent spirit or disturbances in her psyche, such as subconscious childhood abuse memories.
Obscene Phone Calls from Beyond
Paranormal investigator Gina Lanier is currently collecting cases of paranormal sexual encounters and recently came across a situation where a woman was reportedly receiving obscene phone calls from a dead man.
Mary Jansen Cross says a ghosts calls her every few days and gives her the dirtiest phone calls that would make a sailor blush she states. "I know it is from a dead man because he use to call me when he was alive. "I even had a restraining order put against him while he was living and arrested 6 times because of it... When he died I thought it was all over," but I was wrong she tells. "I had my number changed several times when he was alive and even more so since he is now dead."
"The calls are more then just suggestive he openly tells me to do things to myself as well as what he wants to do to me." States Cross."The phone companies cannot trace the calls to any direct source." I can go to someone ones home I just met and their phone will ring a mans voice will ask for me and it is the ghosts calling to have phone sex with me." "How does he know where I am,"She asks?
"You can't live with out a phone these days but I wish I cold live without the dead caller making sexual innuendos to me."
Kyle Rusher A paranormal investigator in Kentucky says the phenomena is more wide spread then one might imagine. In a recent conversation with him he related that he knew of a case where several woman who got phone calls from a dirty caller all received more frequent calls from him since he died. The calls have become more frequent And explicit. He believes that the dead obscene caller now knows that he cannot be jailed for it so his calls have become more numerous since he has died. Rusher also has these obscene calls on tape and I got to listen to them as well as the calls which were taped when the person was alive.
Obscene phone Sex from the dead by Text Messages chilling to say the least. A Client of Tom Bradbury a ghost Hunter in New Mexico says he has discovered a case where a man gets Haunted Text messages from a dead sexual stalker he once knew.
Kevin (not his real Name) told Tom that a ex of his had died over two years ago and still sends him dirty sexual messages via his haunted cell phone. The messages range from down right dirty and obscene to just words like boo!
(Send an email to Gina Lanier if you have had a paranormal sexual encounter: email@example.com)
Actress Lucy Liu once told Us magazine of her sexual encounter with a mysterious spirit. “I was sleeping on my futon,” Liu said, “and some sort of spirit came down from God knows where and made love to me. It was sheer bliss. I felt everything. I climaxed. And then he floated away. Something came down and touched me, and now it watches over me.”
The late Anna Nicole Smith also reported that she had supernatural sexual encounters - mistakenly believing it was her boyfriend making love to her.
She revealed to FHM magazine: "A ghost would crawl up my leg and have sex with me at an apartment a long time ago in Texas. I used to think it was my boyfriend, then one day I woke up and found it wasn't."
Anna Nicole admits she was scared at first, but soon realized she had nothing to fear because the 'ghost' was giving her "amazing" sex.
She said: "I was freaked out about it, but then I was, like, 'Well, you know what? He's never hurt me and he just gave me some amazing sex, so I have no problem.'"
So before you go into that haunted house searching for ghosts, you had better consider that the saucy spirits may have some other ideas about "making contact" with the living.
- REACH OUT AND SCARE SOMEONE DEPARTMENT -
Ghosts Use Cell Phones to Call Friends
A paranormal expert in Britain has claimed that ghosts are trying to contact the living through mobile phones, with the number of mystery calls attributed to them rising by 43 percent in the last four years.
Phil Hayes, a spectre investigator from Paranormal Research UK, believes a third of all haunting are now through mobile phones.
"There is evidence to suggest that ghosts can use phones to communicate, with reports of people receiving phone calls from deceased relatives," the Sun quoted Hayes as saying.
According to him, the calls often feature heavy static and the voice sounds faint and distant, and nine in ten show as "withheld number" or "000000000000" on caller ID.
Statistics show two thirds of all paranormal phenomena feature sounds, with just 20 percent being actual sightings of ghosts and 15 percent based on smell.
The study by Tesco Mobile revealed Paranormal Research UK have seen a 70 percent upsurge in paranormal evidence in the last year due to people using their phones.
"We'd recommend those brave enough to capture any spooky sightings should MMS or email their pics to the paranormal society for investigation," Lance Batchelor, CEO of Tesco Mobile said.
"Keep your camera phone on the highest quality resolution setting and use the recorder to capture the noise of any spectral sounds," he added.
There have been quite a large number of reports of mysterious phone calls that some paranormal experts believe were made by discarnate entities. Some phone calls are just so strange they defy all explanations.
Consider these true stories from people who have had unexplained, puzzling and sometimes downright unnerving experiences with their phones. These stories are from the article "Freaky Phone Calls" from About.com-Paranormal Phenomena.
The Impossibly Cloned Call
Many years ago, when married to my first husband, I received a telephone call at about 4:20 a.m. It was my elder brother telling me he had just gotten married. The call woke up my husband and I spoke with my brother for about five minutes. I hung up and went back to sleep. About a week or so later, I was visiting at my mother's home and this same brother was there with his wife. I thanked him for calling me... and I got this odd stare and his mouth fell open. He told me he had called our mother, but he had never called me at all. I turned to my mother and she related the entire conversation she had had with him, and then I related the entire conversation I had had with him - and these conversations were literally identical and at the exact same time. - Barbara
The Phones That Called Each Other
This strange incident happened in our home at Christmas. My husband had his cell phone on our dining room table and it was turned off for the evening. My purse was in our library, where my husband was playing a computer game with our daughter. In my purse I had my cell phone turned on. As my husband and daughter were playing, my cell phone rang. My husband picked it up and it said the incoming call was coming in from his cell phone! He thought our son was playing a prank on him and ran into the room we were in and told our son to stop messing around with his cell phone. We laughed at him and asked him what he was talking about. He said, "Your phone just rang and it said the call was coming in from my phone!" This is where things get weird! My son and I were both in the same room together talking and neither one of us had left the room. We weren't even in the same room as my husband's cell phone at all. My husband checked his phone and sure enough it was off just as he had left it. We can't figure out how a call came into my phone from his phone when his phone was off and there was certainly no one in the room with his phone! Strange indeed. We were all pretty mystified over the whole incident for sure! - Janine T.
The Phone Call That Never Was
My mum usually picks me up from work and she doesn't work far from me. One Tuesday night, we were driving home when I asked her how my dad's computer classes were going. My dad usually attended the computer classes every Tuesday night. She said she didn't know as she hadn't spoken to him about it. She asked me why. I replied, "Well, when I was speaking to him he said he was having some trouble. They had been given three assignments to complete, but he couldn't finish assignment number two as the computer wouldn't 'save as.' I think he eventually managed to do them all though."
"Oh, right." she said. That night, with the conversation with my mum forgotten, I was sitting watching TV, when my dad knocked on my door. He said, "I was speaking to mum earlier about the conversation you had about my computer class. How did you know we had three assignments and I had trouble with the second one?"
Confused, I said, "You told me that on the phone."
"No, I didn't. There is no way you could have known that because I have just come from my computer class. You had the conversation with mum before I went, and what you told mum happened tonight. I couldn't have known we had three assignments as I missed last week's class."
We both just sat there looking at each other trying to figure out how I knew what was going to happen before it did. I was sure we had spoken on the phone about it, but how could we if it hadn't happened? The strange thing is, I can remember my dad telling me what happened on the phone, but I can't recall how, where and when. - Cian B.
The Call from Grandfather
Sometime in 1999, our phone was out. My mother was at work and I was asleep when the phone rang and woke me up. I answered the phone, but didn't hear anything. I listened and then this man said something that I did not understand. I said, ''What?'' Then the man repeated himself. He said, "Is this the barber shop?'' And I said, ''No.'' Then I didn't hear anything else. The phone sounded dead, so I hung up. But I soon realized that the person sounded exactly like my grandfather, who had been dead for four or five years. The phone wasn't even working at the time it rang, because after it had rung I picked it up and the phone was still out! I'm convinced it was my grandfather. - Judy W.
The Message from the Afterlife
My sister has had some pretty interesting activity on her answering machine and phones. I have heard messages from the other side left on her answering machine. We know someone or something is trying to communicate with her using electronic energy as the mode. What we both want to know is how we can better receive these messages. The messages are sometimes hard to make out, yet some of the words are very clear. These messages are not left by human vocal chords (that much we know). We do not know where to go for this. I mean, it is not like we can call Ghostbusters or anything! She recently has had a good friend pass away, and I also have had a friend pass. It could be one of these two ladies, or it could be any lost soul in need of assistance. Today's message said (as far as we could make out), "I'm calling from the afterlife. Pick up the phone." - Patrice T.
The Anniversary Call
I was asleep one Sunday morning and heard the phone ringing. I tried to wake myself enough to answer it and when I did... it was my father. I was stunned. He had a big voice, like James Earl Jones, so there was no mistaking who it was. He asked me how I was doing. I'd just had major surgery a few weeks earlier and was in recovery. He asked me if I'd heard about the death of two people. I told him I hadn't. He told me that things would get better and to hang in there, he loved me and he had to go. When I hung up the phone, it was as if I stepped from another level back into this one. I immediately called my siblings to tell them daddy called! My father called on September 13 - the second anniversary of his death. - Michelle
The Call That Got Back at the Telemarketers
I worked as a telemarketer to earn a little money before fall quarter started for nursing school. A friend was a manager there and got the temporary position for me. I had been working there for a couple of months. There was a dialogue on the monitor in front of us to read from while talking with people. The computer dials the number, so I had no say in who I call. I cannot remember the last name of the folks I called this one day, so I'll just use the name Smith.
The phone rang and a man answered the phone. I asked to speak to Mr. or Mrs. Smith, please. The man very nicely said, "It depends on what you want." So I went into my spew of mailers for donations for the particular charity we were doing that day - spew being the number of letters they would have to send and what to do with any money they should get back. I asked if I was speaking to Mr. Smith. He answered with a chuckle, "Yes. And just how much in postage would I have to pay? I'm on Social Security, and my wife and I have to watch our money pretty close." I think it was like $3.40 in postage.
As I was explaining the amount of money and options to mailing, a woman comes on the call and says, "Hello." I said, "Excuse me, I was talking to Mr. Smith." The woman said, "Miss, I'm sorry, Mr. Smith has been gone for three years now. He passed away."
I asked, "Is there someone else there I could have been talking to?" She said, "No, honey. I'm here by myself. Can I help you with something?"
By her voice, I believe she was being sincere. Stunned, I said, "No, thank you, ma'am. You have a nice day."
When the call was disconnected, I looked at the girl sitting beside of me. She said, "Terrie, are you okay?" I guess my face was pale and I had a vacant stare on my face. I went out to a break right then, and proceeded to tell my friend, who was also the manager of the floor. She went in and called the main office and asked them to pull my operator number calls for the day. I told her the name and the next day she called, concerned someone may have been in the house with the woman and she didn't know; she sounded elderly to me. The answering machine came on and sure enough, she sounded like an elderly woman to my boss. Shelly left the number to our office and asked that the woman call back and reverse the charges. The woman called back a few hours later and just said she was fine. She recalled the phone conversation and thought maybe I was a prankster. - by Terrie
- I GOT A ROCK DEPARTMENT -
The Lost Meaning of Halloween
By Christan Hummel
All Hallow's Eve, Hallow E'en, Halloween, Day of the Dead, Samhain. By whatever name it has been called, this special night preceding All Hallows day (November 1st) has been considered for centuries as one of the most magical nights of the year. A night of power, when the veil that separates our world from the Otherworld is at its thinnest.
As ubiquitous as Halloween celebrations are throughout the world, few of us know that the true origin of Halloween is a ceremony of honoring our ancestors and the day of the dead. A time when the veils between the worlds were thinner, and so many could "see" the other side of life. A time in the year when the spiritual and material worlds touched for a moment, and a greater potential exists for magical creation.
The name Halloween (originally spelled Hallowe'en) is a contraction of All Hallows Even, meaning the day before All Hallows Day (better known as All Saints Day), a Catholic holiday commemorating Christian saints and martyrs observed since the early Middle Ages on November 1.
It has become commonplace to trace its roots even further back in time to a pagan festival of ancient Ireland known as Samhain (pronounced sow'-en or sow'-een), about which little is actually known. The prehistoric observance marked the end of summer and the onset of winter, and is said to have been celebrated with feasting, bonfires, sacrificial offerings, and paying homage to the dead.
Despite some thematic similarities, there's scant evidence of any real continuity of tradition linking the Medieval observance of Halloween to Samhain, however. Some modern historians, notably Ronald Hutton (The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, 1996) and Steve Roud (The English Year, 2008, and A Dictionary of English Folklore, 2005), flatly reject the commonly held notion that November 1 was designated All Saints Day by the Church to "Christianize" the pagan festival. Citing a lack of historical evidence, Steve Roud dismisses the Samhain theory of origin altogether.
"Certainly the festival of Samhain, meaning Summer's End, was by far the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Irish calendar, and there was a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen," Roud notes, "but however strong the evidence in Ireland, in Wales it was May 1 and New Year which took precedence, in Scotland there is hardly any mention of it until much later, and in Anglo-Saxon England even less."
In ancient times, this day was a special and honored day of the year.
In the Celtic calendar, it was one of the most important days of the year, representing a mid point in the year, Samhain, or "summer's end". Occuring opposite the great Spring Festival of May Day, or Beltain, this day represented the turning point of the year, the eve of the new year which begins with the onset of the dark phase of the year.
And while celebrated by the Celts, the origin of this day has connections to other cultures as well, such as Egypt, and in Mexico as Dia de la Muerta, or the day of the dead.
The Celts believed that the normal laws of space and time were held in abeyance during this time, allowing a special window where the spirit world could intermingle with the living. It was a night when the dead could cross the veils and return to the land of the living to celebrate with their family, or clan. As such, the great burial mounds of Ireland were lit up with torches lining the walls, so the spirits of the dead could find their way.
Out of this ancient tradition comes one of our most famous icons of the holiday: the Jack-o-lantern. Originating from Irish folkfore, the Jack-o-lantern was used as a light for the lost soul of Jack, a notorious trickster, stuck between worlds. Jack is said to have tricked the devil into a truck of a tree and by carving an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, he trapped the devil there. His pranks denied him access to Heaven, and having angered the devil also to Hell, so Jack was a lost soul, trapped between worlds. As a consolation, the devil gave him a sole ember to light his way through the darkness between worlds.
Originally in Ireland turnips were carved out and candles placed inside as lanterns lit to help guide Jack’s lost spirit back home. Hence the term: Jack-o-lanterns. Later, when immigrants came to the new world, pumpkins were more readily available, and so the carved pumpkins carrying a lit candle served the same function.
Festival for the dead
As the Church began to take hold in Europe the ancient Pagan rituals were co-opted into festivals of the Church. While the Church could not support a general feast for all the dead, it created a festival for the blessed dead, all those hallowed so, All Hallow's, was transformed into All Saints and All Souls day.
Among the practices associated with Halloween during the Medieval period were the lighting of bonfires, evidently to symbolize the plight of souls lost in purgatory, and souling, which consisted of going door-to-door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for "soul cakes" and other treats. Mumming (or "guising"), a custom originally associated with Christmas consisting of parading in costume, chanting rhymes, and play-acting, was a somewhat later addition to Halloween.
Again, however, despite the obvious similarities between old and new, it's an overstatement to say these Medieval customs "survived" to the present day, or even that they "evolved" into modern Halloween practices such as trick-or-treating. There's no direct historical evidence of such a continuity. By the time Irish immigrants brought the holiday to North America in the mid-1800s, mumming and souling were all but forgotten in their home country, where the known Halloween customs of the time consisted of praying, communal feasting, and playing divination games such as bobbing for apples.
Today, we have lost the significance of this most significant time of year which in modern times has turned into a candy fest with kids dressing up as action hereos. The secular, commercialized holiday we know today would be barely recognizable to Halloween celebrants of even just a century ago.
Many Christians believe that participating in Halloween is a form of involvement in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness. However, many consider the modern-day Halloween activities of most to be harmless fun.
Many cultures have ceremonies to honor their dead. In so doing, they complete a cycle of birth and death, and keep in line with a harmony and order of the universe, at time when we enter into the cycle of darkness for the upcoming year.
As you light your candles this year, keep in mind the true potency of this time, one of magical connections to the other side of life, and a time to remember those who have passed before us. A time to send our love and gratitude to them to light their way back home.
- HAVING A HOWLING GOOD TIME DEPARTMENT -
The Gandillon Werewolf Family
One werewolf is incredulous enough, but a whole family of werewolves? Such a story happened in the Jura region of eastern France in 1598. In the spring of that year, a boy named Benoit Bidel and his sister were picking strawberries near the village of St. Claude. While Benoit was climbing a tree, a wolf with human hands emerged from the forest and lunged at his sister. Benoit hopped down and tried to stab the wolf with a knife. The wolf tossed his knife away though, and it then bit his neck and ran back off into the trees.
Some near-by peasants who heard the scuffle rushed to the scene. They found Benoit badly bleeding, although his sister was unharmed. Before dying on the spot, Benoit gave a description of the strange wolf he saw. The angry peasants immediately set off looking for the wolf in the forest, but instead they stumbled on a local girl named Pernette Gandillon. The furious mob noticed that Pernette’s dress was covered in blood, so they grabbed her and tore her apart.
Regardless of whether Pernette confessed to being the wolf or not, as some accounts claim, Pernette was a pretty unpopular person to begin with. She and her family lived in the forest, isolated from the rest of St. Claude. They were rumored to be Satanists and witches, so it wasn’t that big of a leap to suspect her of being a werewolf either.
Following Pernette’s murder, her brother Pierre and sister Antoinette were also accused of being werewolves. They were both accused of attending sabbaths, as well as summoning hailstorms and having sex with demons. (In Antoinette’s case, her sexual partner was a goat, who was actually the Devil in disguise.) After being tortured, surely the most reliable method of truth inducement, Pierre cracked and confessed that the accusations were true.
He admitted that the Devil gave his family magical wolf-skins, which had the power to turn the Gandillons into werewolves. Wearing the skins, they couldn’t help but run across the land on all fours, devouring animals and humans alike. Pierre’s son, Georges, also confessed to having an ointment that had the same magical power. With the help of his aunts, he said that he killed two goats while in the form of a wolf.
Unluckily for the Gandillons, the infamous judge Henri Boguet was put in charge of their case. Belief in werewolves might have been widespread during the time, but educated people were generally more skeptical. They thought werewolves were mentally ill, or suffering from delusions caused by the Devil. (Hey, they were close.)
Boguet, on the other hand, took werewolves seriously. He was the author of a best-selling book about witchcraft, and claimed to have sentenced over 600 werewolves to death during his long and, shall we say, distinguished career. While visiting the Gandillons in jail, he noted that Antoinette, Georges, and Pierre walked on all fours and howled. Their faces, hands, and legs were marked with scratches. Pierre was so badly disfigured, in fact, “that he bore hardly any resemblance to a man and struck all those who looked at him with horror.”
The Gandillons never transformed into wolves during their captivity, but Boguet attributed this to a lack of magical ointment. The Gandillons’ behavior in their cells was proof enough for Boguet, and he sentenced all three family members to be burnt at the stake.
Source: Bizarre and Grotesque
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