April 26, 2017
They see, it is said, men who have been dead for several months, come back to earth, talk, walk, infest villages, ill use both men and beasts, suck the blood of their near relations, make them ill, and finally cause their death; so that people can only save themselves from their dangerous visits and their hauntings by exhuming them, impaling them, cutting off their heads, tearing out the heart, or burning them. These revenants are called by the name of oupires or vampires, that is to say, leeches; and such particulars are related of them, so singular, so detailed, and invested with such probable circumstances and such judicial information, that one can hardly refuse to credit the belief which is held in those countries, that these revenants come out of their tombs and produce those effects which are proclaimed of them.
Antoine Augustin Calme
Traité sur les apparitions des esprits et sur les vampires ou les revenans de Hongrie, de Moravie, &c.
(Treatise on the Apparitions of Spirits and on Vampires or Revenants of Hungary, Moravia, et al.)
April 22, 2017
Most people have never seen a ghost, and never want or expect to, but almost everyone will admit that sometimes they have a sneaking feeling that they just possibly could meet a ghost if they weren’t careful―if they were to turn a corner too suddenly, perhaps, or open their eyes too soon when they wake up at night, or go into a dark room without hesitating first.
Come along with me
April 17, 2017
Alright. So I’m surprised this hasn’t been addressed for the witchy/occulty community on here yet. So I’m gonna lay down some common misconceptions about demons, because I want all my witchy babes to be well informed.
1. “Don’t do ____, or you’ll ‘accidentally’ summon a demon!”
Oh honey, no. It takes so much more to summon demons than that. You can’t ‘accidently’ summon a demon with a Ouija/spirit board, or by just simply drawing a sigil, or doing some kind of baneful magic. It takes extensive rituals to even spark the interest of a demon. I can promise you, if a demon was a result of a session with a spirit or Ouija board, chances are that it’s been around for a lot longer than that. Demons can be incredibly powerful entities. They don’t just sit up one day and suddenly decide they’re going to go fuck with some teenager with a Ouija board. They have to be intentionally summoned, or they hang around heavily negative areas. Like, heavily negative. All you may get from a spirit or Ouija board is a douchebag poltergeist. Even then, that’s pretty rare.
2. “Weird things are happening in my house, must be a demonic haunting!”
Believe me, you’ll fucking know when you’re dealing with a demon. They don’t fuck around. It’s go big or go home with them. Chances are, you’re just dealing with a poltergeist, which usually aren’t violent. Poltergeists just want you to know that they’re there and to pay a little attention to them. Big red flags for demonic hauntings are:
• Immense harm
o I don’t just mean little scratches or the occasional pinching or pulling hair. Demons get nasty. I’ve been to the E.R. twice because of a bout with one. I’ve got about 3 or 4, 4 inch scars because of one that gouged me. They will leave deep cuts, push you down stairs, throw shit at you, whatever they can do to entice fear. It’s what they feed off of.
• Nasty Smells
o This includes the smell of sulphur, rotting eggs, rotting meat. It’ll make you fucking gag, it’s nasty as hell. It is legitimately the smell of death.
• Growling/other very terrifying noises
o Now, I’m not talking about little creaking noises or the occasional whispers. This is very audible, very sinister growling. It will sound like a canine’s, though they can sound however they like. Scratching, slams, whatever they wanna do to scare the shit out of you. Demons are incredibly deceptive, they’re masters of mimicking voices or taking on different shapes. They like to take on shapes of someone you care about.
o Again, I’m not talking about just normal little shadows moving. They will be incredibly intense shadows, literally the epitome of darkness. Think of the darkest thing possible. It’s darker than that. You will very rarely be able to see through these shadows.
3. “So and so got possessed by a demon and they didn’t do anything to get possessed!”
Fun fact: Demons have to be invited into a body. Similar to a vampire being invited to a home. They can’t just take over a body, they’ll have to wait until that person says okay. Now what they like to do, is to wear the person down, both emotionally and physically, until that person’s will has crumbled. When it gets to be too much for a person, they’ll often give in and just let the demon take over. Then you’ll have to do an exorcism which is a very tiring and lengthy process that may not even work. Exorcisms can take hours to days to weeks. And sometimes it just doesn’t work. Sometimes the person has just completely given up or the demon is just a total jackass set on this person’s death or soul.
Last bit of advice: Don’t get involved with shit you can’t handle.
Believe me, I know how interesting demons are, and the allure to it. But these are not entities to take lightly. Getting involved with these guys without knowing how to protect yourself or fight them could legitimately get you killed. Do not make deals or pacts or whatever unless you are 100% sure you know what you’re doing. I’ve been studying for about four years now, and I wouldn’t even think about summoning one. Because I know how malicious these guys are. They don’t fuck around. Do not fuck with shit you don’t know how to handle. Even if you think you can, I guarantee you still don’t have enough experience. Just don’t fucking do it. Best case scenario, you’re haunted for the rest of your life. Worst case? You’re fucking dead. They are beings compared to gods, do not treat them like little nasty spirits, because they are not.
(Peedeel says: Ouija boards are not toys, Boys and Girls. Don’t mess with them. They ARE a doorway, and unless you have experience of dealing with the spirit world, you have no idea who or what is communicating with you. You’ve opened a door, and called to them. Which is a little like playing Russian roulette with an automatic pistol).
April 14, 2017
Some people think that our brash modern world with its mechanism, its cynicism and its materialism has ousted the ghosts which used to dwell among us. On the contrary, they mingle with us more than ever before.
Gone are the days when they could wander in peace in some ancient castle or stately home. Now they are driven out of these places by coachloads of gawping tourists who stare at them without seeing them, and make mock of them with imitation shivers when the touring guide describes a haunting.
So now, virtually evicted and with an almost insoluble housing problem, the ghost have moved in among us.
They mooch about in hospital outpatients’ departments: they meander up and down the gaudy gangways of the supermarket; they sit on couches in the airport departure lounge; they join the crowd coming out of the factory gates; they tack themselves on to bus queues; they travel on commuters’ trains; they haunt Underground platforms and passages, bringing with them strange gusts of strange-smelling air.
And in all these activities they do us a great service. For even if visibility suddenly comes upon them (an accident which may happen to any ghost at any time) they may be seen, even heard – but they take up no material space. They are part of the crowd, yet do not make it thicker.
So how can you tell which member of a crowd is a ghost which has come-over-visible? You can’t, unless you bump into him and feel absolutely nothing. Then you know. And you are afraid, because it’s a weird feeling. But that is not the poor ghost’s fault. He can’t help being unsolid any more than you can help being solid.
Introduction to the Sixth Ghost Book (book one)
April 12, 2017
Man lives between the world of silence from which he comes and the world of the other silence to which he goes – the world of death. Human language also lives between these two worlds of silence and is upheld by them. That is why language has a double echo: from the place whence it came and from the place of death.
Language receives innocence, simplicity, and originality from the silence whence it came, but its short duration, its fragility, and the fact that language never entirely corresponds to the things it is describing, come from the second silence, death.
The World of Silence
(trans. Stanley Godwin)
April 6, 2017
Thy soul shall find itself alone
‘Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.
Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness – for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.
The night, though clear, shall frown,
And the stars shall not look down
From their high thrones in the Heaven
With light like hope to mortals given,
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.
Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
Now are visions ne’er to vanish;
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more, like dew-drop from the grass.
The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token.
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!
Edgar Allan Poe
March 27, 2017
Although it no longer has a body
to cover out of a sense of decorum,
the ghost must still consider fashion –
must clothe its invisibility in something
if it is to “appear” in public.
Some traditional spectres favour
the simple shroud –
a toga of ectoplasm
swirling around them.
While others opt for lightweight versions
of once familiar tee shirts and jeans.
Perhaps being thought-forms,
they can change their outfits instantly –
or if they were loved ones,
it is we who clothe them
like dolls from memory.
March 22, 2017
Diary 21st / 22nd March
Lots of criticism of the concept of grammar schools lately. They’ve always been anathema to the socialists. And yet an entire generation of writers passed through them: Angela Carter, Ted Hughes, William Golding, John Carey, Tony Harrison, Alan Bennett – Angela Carter even went so far as to suggest they helped create a genuine British intelligentsia: ‘’a class of people who didn’t believe they were born to rule, who had no stake in maintaining the class-bound structure of British society but who made their livings through dealing with ideas.’
Carter, unlike other socialists, didn’t believe in ‘throwing the educational baby out with the bathwater.’
A weather forecast, or rather pastcast: rain, rain and more rain; mostly this miserable soaking drizzle. For two days last week the moor was clotted with fog (low cloud), its granite slopes melting into white; its ancient hidden secrets further obscured, and the sheep and cattle became simple shapes in the murk: bedraggled and pissed off, no doubt – probably suicidal, even: but of course lacking hands they cannot take a razor to their throats, unlike us.
Then, on Tuesday, a cold front rolled in off the Atlantic. The rain turned sleety. It’s s’posed to be the beginning of spring…!
On a more hopeful note, last Sunday I heard a lark singing. It probably wasn’t ascending, but the sound brought a smile to my face.
Some people have desires that can only be hinted at…
As I grow older I become more forgetful. I’d give you some examples but I’ve forgotten them already.
Notable events over the past week: lunch at Notter Bridge last Friday (this after an unexpected telephone call from my sister which I finally, rather rudely had to interrupt after almost an hour’s conversation, saying: ‘must go, we’re meeting friends for lunch…’)
Drinks with Henry B Saturday. He has an unending repertoire of anecdotes and a spontaneous humour that is the envy of us all. He is also currently persona non grata with the local BDSM group after last Christmas, and that unfortunate experience with D F. Still, his shoulders are broad and he handles his ostracization with casual good humour. He is, in short, unrepentant and imperturbable. For my own part, I have this indelible memory of Henry two years ago in lurid lycra, being flagellated mercilessly by an Asian lady in John R’s sitting room at St Mabyn.
Sunday I became quite intoxicated by the end of day. I managed to prepare food for us all. But afterwards fell asleep on the living room sofa.
Monday I finished my short story “Rats”. It’s a tale of a woman with a deep-seated fear of rats. It has a very unhappy ending. In part, I s’pose (and this with hindsight), the idea behind the story originated with a news report two or three years ago which concerned a woman who had a terrible fear of monkeys. This phobia meant she could never visit a zoo, and never even watch a wild life documentary on television if monkeys were involved.
She decided to seek help. She attended sessions with a therapist weekly for most of that year. Then she visited the monkey house with her family at London zoo. All okay. Her fear was gone, dissipated. She was cured.
The following year she went on holiday to Kenya with her husband and children. On the second day of this vacation she was attacked and torn apart by a group of angry baboons.
Tuesday was a hospital appointment and then shopping. Sleeting like mad when we left the hospital; peeing down with rain at the supermarket; bright sunshine on arriving home. All the seasons in the one day.
Talking, too, about the moor: how it can give substance to your dreams and nightmares. Ghosts on the moor, for certain. But then who’s to say that one or more of the people standing with you at the bus stop aren’t ghosts? That woman in a white raincoat and headscarf, for example?
I was reminded yesterday of a party in Hampshire ten years ago. A young man taking the part of Nijinsky, dressed as the faun in ‘L’Après-Midi’, dancing behind his shimmering gauze, cock stiff and swaying for the delectation of all. What a wild, unruly night that became.
‘Real artists are not nice people,’ W H Auden once wrote. ‘All their best feelings go into their work and life has the residue.’
So let that stand as a warning to us all.
March 4, 2017
Spiritualism and mediums
In the turbulent, revolutionary year of 1848, a new religious movement emerged from the melting pot of upstate New York. The young Fox sisters had claimed to have come into contact with the unquiet spirit of a murdered man in their house, who communicated with them by loud knocks on wood. This very local sensation (later shown to be a fraud) was the origin point for the Spiritualist movement, which elaborated a method of communicating with the dead in séances through mediums. Mediums were often women because they were deemed to have more delicate, sensitive nervous systems than men. Men who were mediums – such as the famous D D Home who so enraged Robert Browning that he was the source for his poem ‘Mr Sludge’ – were often abjected and despised. Although communication with spirits was strictly forbidden in the Bible, this became a popular form of dissenting belief, a ‘proof’ of the survival of bodily death in an era that demanded empirical testing and experiment. The spirits would exchange banal but comforting messages with loved ones; some would elaborate extensively on the social and political institutions of the afterlife, called Summerland by some.
In 1852, the American medium Mrs Hayden came to London to conduct séances with many of the great and good of London society: this was one of the bridge-heads for the spread of Spiritualism to England. It found particular favour in the industrial north of England, where dissenting religion was already strong. Importantly, Spiritualism contested doctrines of eternal damnation for a much more liberal conception of the afterlife. Many men of science were also converts, most famously the evolutionary theorist Alfred Russel Wallace, partly because Spiritualism was consistently figured in terms of new magical technologies like the telegraph or telephone.
The Victorian supernatural
March 1, 2017
The supernatural is a key defining element in the Gothic. Whether they invoke the supernatural directly or rely upon the imagination of the reader to provide it, Gothic writers use the supernatural to build suspense, and create special effects for the reader. This is not a Gothic invention; literature has a long history of exploration of the supernatural. Gothic writers need only look back to the examples of Shakespeare’s ghosts, fairies, and sorcerers to see evidence of the supernatural in English literature and lore. Even during the height of their popularity, Gothic writers did not hold a monopoly on the supernatural; it can also be found in Romantic poetry of Samuel Coleridge and Sir Walter Scott.
It is interesting to consider the two different approaches to the supernatural adopted by Gothic writers. On the one hand, some novels rely upon the ‘accepted supernatural,’ in which case the supernatural is simply assumed to be part of reality, and no other explanation is given. One example of this would be the presence of the Bleeding Nun in The Monk. She does not prove to be some servant in a disguise, or a trick of the light or a creaky floorboard. She is as real as anyone else in the novel, and she is a ghost. Her presence is accepted, and never explained using any other type of reasoning. Some Gothic novels, however, use the ‘explained supernatural,’ in which case the scary supernatural effects of the story are later explained and have perfectly scientific and rational causes. Often attributed to the female Gothic, the ‘explained supernatural’ is exemplified in Ann Radcliffe’s Romance in the Forest, in which scary things happen, but when explained, are less horrific than they originally seemed. For example, the heroine Adeline thinks she hears spirits in the night, but it turns out that she has simply been reading the wrong things, and her imagination has caused her to hear ghosts in what were really just the servants’ voices.
Glossary of the Gothic: Supernatural