Saturday, September 11, 2010

Loftus Hall: A Haunted Hotel in Ireland

According to the hall was bought by the Loftus family in 1666 and has long been known for its supernatural activity. And they've had a celebrity visitor. From the site:

"On a stormy winter's night as the family relaxed before a roaring log fire, a stranger arrived on horseback, and was invited to stay the night. After the refreshments he participated in a game of cards. During the game a card fell upon the floor. A lady who bent down to retrieve the fallen card was shocked to discover that the stranger had a cloven foot! Immediately she screamed in terror. The "stranger" vanished through the ceiling in a puff of smoke."

(Note: Originally uploaded to Flickr by "Wexxie," and reposted through the Flickr's "share" function. Click on the photo to get the full image on Wexxie's album.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Making a Pact with Satan

A few posts back I described an alleged contract with the devil in a 17th trial which resulted in a burning at the stake. Nowadays we're much more casual about the matter. One of the more well-known "Spiritual Satanists," Venus Satanas, describes the ins and outs of infernal pact-making in an essay on her website, and in the video below.

A Spiritual (or Theistic) Satanist is one who believes in the reality of Satan (though they tend to believe the poor fellow has been maligned by more traditionally-minded religious folks). This is in sharp contrast to members of the Church of Satan, who are atheists and believe in Old Scratch as a symbol of radical freedom and funny costumes and freaky sex and whatnot.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Satan's Coat of Arms

This image is from a Wikimedia contributor named AnonMoos (See other images from his gallery here.)

According to Wikipedia it comes from a 13th century Biblical text called the Douce Apocalypse, citing The Heraldic Imagination by Rodney Dennys as its source. I can not independently confirm this, and I love Wikipedia like you love the drunken uncle who has all those stories, but you don't necessarily believe all of them. Supposedly the images come from the Book of Revelation:

And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
-Rev. 16:12-14
The website of the Library of the Medieval Institute at Notre Dame has some wonderful, creepy images of the Douce Apocalypse. Learn more about the End Times here, kids.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

All the Lost Days

Every day has a thousand ways to slip away from you.
Every day is an artist of escape.
Some walk right beside you
on certain gray sidewalks,
you’re certain you’ve seen before.
But they trick you. They distract you.
They make getaways you never even see.
You’re in the blind alley thinking Houdini, whodunnit,
or how did it come to this?
They’re hiding behind the false wall, snickering.

Some have already left you,
and still they talk about you,
in midnight meetings when they know you’re asleep.
They break at dawn and arrange themselves
into years and decades,
like teams of con men in a square.
They know what is beneath each shell, each card
they slide across the table.
They know the insides of your pockets,
the contents of your wallet,
and they fleece you for even thinking you could have secrets
worth remembering.

But most days just invite themselves into your house,
with their boring friends,
their minutes and moments like fat old men.
They trap you in your easy chair;
they tell stories until you’re dizzy, until you nod off,
nodding as politely as you can –
the last thing you see, the minutes slapping each other on the back,
spilling on the carpet,
and the one drunk day
hiking up his shirt to show you the scars.

You wake up alone,
the fridge is cleaned out and the cupboards are bare –
they made off with everything.
You go to the doorway,
the door left open and swinging in the cold night air, and through it:
only the lights on the highway have come out to greet you
along with the bright, sharp stars.
And somewhere in those hills,
all the lost days are making their way through old roads
and forgotten shortcuts,
nodding to each other as they pass in the dark,
none afraid,
linked arm in arm with your dreams like wives in an old-time promenade.

And whatever they whisper to each other
is gentle,
and in a perfect confidence
that you will never know.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

More Help Hunting the Witch of Pungo

It has bedeviled me for awhile that I had not located Witchduck Point, the precise spot where Grace Sherwood endured her trial by water to determine whether she was in league with the Prince of Darkness. The City of Virginia Beach comes to my rescue with a historical trail map. It has plenty of interesting details about the area.
While we're on the subject, perhaps you'd like to read an article (with a sketch) of the trial which appeared in a 1934 issue of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
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