Monday, 27 October 2014

Enter if you Dare!!

Tidying up the workbench in the dirt-floored basement of a two hundred year old house and you feel ancient eyes watching you. 

Camping and fishing with buddies in the woods when you get a strong feeling you have to go home. You arrive to find your wife has been in a car accident.

You wake up suddenly in the night thinking of someone you haven't seen in years. The next morning you get a phone call telling you that person died in the night.

Believe them or not, you hear of these instances all the time.  When my grandfather died my Mom and I went to tell my grandmother. When we got there, before we could say anything, Granny said "Herbie's gone!" We told her yes, he had died in the night. Granny said "I woke up in the night and there was a little girl in pigtails at the end of my bed.  She said 'Don't worry about Herbie, we'll take care of him'.  I thought it might have been a dream."  

Ghosts, witches, graveyards and magik have all become part of modern day Halloween.

And costumes! I loved dressing up. Twice I put together a costume for a Halloween event and no one knew who I was.  Once I was a Chinese gentleman with a floor length gold and blue coat with about a hundred buttons down the front, a pantyhose pigtail and coffee grinds beard. The other time I made a half mask with papier-mâché painted white, a top hat from black cardboard, I wore black pants, white shirt and "the" red-lined waterproof black cape my Mom made me when I was about 15, and I was Erik from Phantom of the Opera. It was hilarious watching friends try to figure out who I was.

 When my kids were young I always made their costumes and my sister would take them out trick-or-treating. I liked to stay home and greet the kids at my door, and see all the imaginative costumes.  I got between 150-200 kids from 4:30 with the little ones to after 9:00 with the older "kids". I loved it!  I was disappointed when I moved away and only got 5-6 trick-or-treaters. My new neighbours tell me we get about 20 here.

To get you in the spirit of Halloween let's delve into the world of witches, heretics, martyrs, ghosts, magik and the occult. (Use any of the keywords in these titles to find other books).

Relevant Links:

The Discovery of Witches (Pamphlet)

Records of the Spanish Inquisition

The Salem Witch Trials

The Wonders of the Invisible World 

More Wonders of the Invisible World

Malleus Maleficarum (1486) : Manual on hunting and punishing witches - translated

The Witches of Warboys - 1593

Heresy Files: The records of Hussite Trials in fifteenth century Poland

The "Two Worlds" portrait of spiritual mediums, workers, and celebrities : with brief biographical sketches - Manchester 1897

Runes - Alphabet of Mystery

Write your name in Runes (PBS)

The Book of Halloween

John Hus, the Martyr of Bohemia

List of people burned as heretics

Joan of Arc

List of people burned for witchcraft (Wikipedia)

Irish Jack O'Lantern

Old English social life as told by the parish register (including superstitions) - 1898

Account of the tryals of several witches lately executed in New England : 1862

A Compleat History of Magick, Sorcery and Witchcraft - 1715

The origin of the werewolf superstition 1909

The occult sciences : sketches of the traditions and superstitions of past times, and the Marvels of the present day - 1855

La magie et l'astrologie dans l'antiquité et au moyen âge : ou, Étudesur les superstitions païennes qui se sont perpétuées jusqu'à nos jours – 1868

Phantoms of the deep, or: legends and superstitions of the sea and of sailors - 1903

New England spiritualists' association - list of officers - 1854

Workers in the vineyard: the progress of spiritualism, biographical sketches - US 1896

The Book of Forbidden Knowledge c1900

Manuel bibliographique des sciences psychiques ou occultes: Sciences des mages. -hermétique. - astrologie, - kabbale. - Franc-maçonnerie, - médecin ancienne. - aberrations de tout order, - curiosités, - mesmérisme. - sorcellerie. - singularites. sources bibliographiques et documentaires sur ces sujets, etc – 1912

List of famous ghosts of the world (Wikipedia)

Halloween (Wikipedia) - History, costuming, games, food, haunted attractions, etc

The Witches' Dream Book and Fortune Teller 1885

The Discoverie of Witchcraft : wherein the lewde dealings of witches and witchmongers is notablie detected... howbeit verie necessarie to be knowne: 1584

Second sight secrets and mechanical magic  1905

Witchcraft & Second Sight in the Highlands & Island of Scotland: 1902

Highland Superstitions : Druids, Fairies, Witchcraft, Second-sight, Halloween - 1901

Second sight explained - 1880

The Other World; or, Glimpses of the Supernatural. Being facts, records, and traditions relating to dreams, omens, miraculous occurences, apparitions, wraiths, warnings, second-sight, witchcraft, necromancy, etc - 1875

Book of Riddles and 500 Home Amusements: Incl games, magic, second-sight, etc: 1863

Costume Ball, Mount Royal Hotel, Montreal 1924 (McCord Museum Photos) 

Historical Costume Reception and Ball, Château Ramezay, Montreal 1898

Photos of costumed party-goers 1800's McCord Museum

Les simulachres et histoirees faces de la mort, autant elegamment pourtraictes, que artificiellement imagines: Lyon 1538 

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