This church felt wrong. I do not say this lightly. Dealers are undertakers of a sort. When a man dies, the undertaker comes for his body, and quite often the dealer comes for the rest. How often I have been left alone to break up the home a man has built up over fifty years, and sell the pieces where I can. As I break up the home, I know the man. I have known a cracked teapot yield enough evidence of adultery to satisfy ten divorce-court judges. I learn that he was mean from his boots; that trapped for ever inside the sepia photographs are seven of his children. From his diary, that he believed in God or the Devil or Carter’s Little Liver Pills. I deal in dead men’s clocks, pipes, swords and velvet breeches. And passing through my hands, they give off joy and loneliness, fear and optimism. I have known more evil in a set of false teeth than in any so-called haunted house in England.

….I couldn’t keep still in that place. It wasn’t just the cold. I thought I’d come prepared for that, with a quilted anorak and three sweaters. No, I kept having, not delusions, not even fears, but odd little anxieties . . . preoccupations. I had the conviction the walls weren’t vertical . . . or was it the floor, that seemed to slope down towards the middle of the nave? Certainly the floor was hollow; no one could walk on it and listen to the echo of his footsteps without realizing that. Then . . . the windows didn’t seem to be letting in as much light as they should. I kept going outside to check if the sky was getting cloudy, but it was still bright and sunny, thank God, and I went back feeling the better for it.

Then I stared at the cross in a side-chapel. It just looked like two bits of wood nailed together. I mean, it was just two bits of wood nailed together; but though I’m not a religious sort, I tend to see any cross as a bit more than two bits of wood nailed together.

And that smell. Or niff, as Henry would have it. It wasn’t strong, but it was everywhere; you never got it out of your nostrils. The only thing I can liken it to was when I got in a new lavatory-bowl at the shop; it had to be left for the sealant to dry overnight, so the builder stuffed wet paper down the hole, but the biting black smell of the sewer filled my shop and dreams all night.

Robert Westall
The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux

The Devil will find you out –

And you!!

You have been warned.

Blood drinking Devil

June 14, 2019

In fact, existing evidence forces us to accept that Vlad the Impaler was not the inspiration for Stoker’s Dracula. Although for many people today the two have become almost synonymous, the nature of the connection is highly speculative. There is no longer any doubt about where Stoker found the name “Dracula.” We know from his working papers (housed at the Rosenbach Museum in Philadelphia) that by March 1890 he had already started work on the novel and had even selected a name for his vampire—Count Wampyr. We also know from the papers that, in the summer of the same year while vacationing at Whitby, Stoker came across the name “Dracula” in a book that he borrowed from the Whitby Public Library: William Wilkinson’s An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia(1820). It contains a few brief references to a “Voivode Dracula” (never referred to as Vlad) who crossed the Danube and attacked Turkish troops. But what seems to have attracted Stoker was a footnote in which Wilkinson states that “Dracula in Wallachian language means Devil”. Stoker supplemented this with scraps of Romanian history from other sources (which he carefully listed in his notes) and fleshed out a history for his Count Dracula. Wilkinson is Stoker’s only known source for information on the historical namesake. Everything else is speculation.

Elizabeth Miller
Coitus interruptus: Sex, Bram Stoker, and Dracula

Sunday read

January 20, 2019

pleasure is pain

December 2, 2018

On the altar of the devil up is down, pleasure is pain, darkness is light, slavery is freedom, and madness is sanity –

the devil

November 1, 2018

Where the devil can’t succeed, he’ll send a woman

Ukrainian Proverb

Awareness grew stronger

April 21, 2018

A witch - Rosaleen Norton

If the Kingdom of Pan had always been with me, it had been mostly in the background, overlaid by what was called reality: Now it had begun to emerge and pervade the latter. Awareness grew stronger and stronger that the tedious world of childhood didn’t really matter, because this held the essence of all that called to my inmost being: Night and wild things and mystery; storms; being by myself, free of other people. The sense of some deep hidden knowledge stirring at the back of consciousness; and all about me the feeling of secret sentient life, that was in alliance with me, but that others were unaware, or afraid of, because it was unhuman. So my first act of ceremonial magic was in honour of the horned god, whose pipes are symbol of magic and mystery, and whose horns and hooves stand for natural energies and fleet-footed freedom: And this rite was also my oath of allegiance and my confirmation as a witch. I remember my feelings on that occasion well, and they are valid today: If Pan is the ‘Devil’ (and the joyous goat-god probably is from the orthodox viewpoint) then I am indeed a ‘Devil’ worshipper.

Rosaleen Norton
Thorn in the Flesh: A Grim-memoir

diabolic abyss

February 23, 2018

The Devil is the border of possibility, and the witch has for his or her playground the whole of manifestation from the solar pole to the diabolic abyss of the otherworld.

Nicolaj de Mattos Frisvold
Craft of the Untamed

while calling the Devil

August 26, 2017

aiguillette:

A knotted loop of thread, also called a ligature, which witches were said to use to cause impotence, and perhaps even castration, in men; barrenness in women; and general discontent in marriage. The aiguillette also served to bind couples in illicit amatory relationships. The phobia of the ligature, or fear of satanic castration, was widespread in 16th-century France. It was believed that at the instant when a priest blessed a new marriage, the witch slipped behind the husband, knotted a thread and threw a coin on the ground while calling the Devil. If the coin disappeared, which all believed to mean that the Devil took it and kept it until Judgment Day, the couple was destined for unhappiness, sterility and adultery. Couples living in Languedoc were so fearful of satanic castration that not 10 weddings in 100 were performed publicly in church. Instead, the priest, the couple and their parents went off in secret to celebrate the sacrament. Only then could the newlyweds enter their home, enjoy the feasting and go to bed. At least one physician, Thomas Platter, concluded that the panic was so bad that there was a local danger of depopulation.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley
The Encyclopaedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca

Something you can rely on…

September 25, 2016

call-me