no diabolical power

February 16, 2019

I need not mention the universally known fact, that no diabolical power can pursue you beyond the middle of a running stream.

Lucky it was for the poor farmer [ he’d witnessed a witches’ dance in the haunted kirk ] that the river Doon was so near, for notwithstanding the speed of his horse, which was a good one, against he reached the middle of the arch of the bridge and consequently the middle of the stream, the pursuing, vengeful hags were so close at his heels, that one of them actually sprung to seize him: but it was too late; nothing was on her side of the stream but the horse’s tail, which immediately gave way to her infernal grip, as if blasted by a stroke of lightning; but the farmer was beyond her reach.

Robert Burns
Letter to Francis Grose, 1790

It is a well-known fact that witches, or any evil spirits, have no power to follow a poor wight any further than the middle of the next running stream. It may be proper likewise to mention to the benighted traveller, that when he falls in with bogles, whatever danger may be in his going forward, there is much more hazard in turning back.

Robert Burns
Footnote to Tam O’Shanter

Ringing Bells

November 28, 2018

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth first, it became popular to ring bells to ward away evil spirits, especially those at the foot of the bed as it was said to frighten them away. They were also rung during prayers to guide departed souls.

The Wiccan’s Glossary

Sweet Spirit Powder Spell

August 26, 2018

To repel evil spirits, while simultaneously beckoning benevolent, kind, protective ones:
1. Grind the following botanicals together to produce a fine powder: frankincense, honeysuckle blossoms, roses, and vetiver roots.
2. Sprinkle the powder onto lit charcoal and burn incessantly, until you’re convinced the danger is over.

Judika Illes
The Element Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells

Ride, ride, ride over the sand
the sun is setting behind Arnarfell.
Round here there are many evil spirits
’cause it’s getting dark on the glacier
Lord, lead my horse,
the last part of the way will be hard

Tssh, sssh! Tssh, sssh! On the (small) hill a fox ran
her dry mouth she wants to wet with blood;
or perhaps someone was calling
with a strangely dark male voice.
Outlaws in Ódáðahraun
are maybe rounding up some sheep secretly

Ride, ride, ride over the sand
There’s getting dark on Herðubreið.
The elf queen is bridling her horse.
There’s not good to meet her
My best horse I would give to
reach Kiðagil

Icelandic Folk Song


January 16, 2015


Larvae was a name used to describe evil spirits in the ancient world. They were once mortal but after death returned to wander the earth and bring torment upon the living, especially during the Roman festival of Lemuria each May.

The name has also been used as a title for the female vampires called Lamia. Philostratus called lamiae by the name larvae in his LIFE OF APOLLONIUS. These evil creatures were also mentioned by the late-sixteenth-century Protestant theologian, Louis Lavater, in his writings. Lavater, of course, was the foremost expert in his day on the undead.