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Paranormal Ghost filled tales of voodoo - hoodoo and zombies, Bigfoot, El chupacabra, Banshee's, witches, ghost hunting Cemeteries, the undead, the dead, Cryptids, Vampires, ghouls , Monsters, Ufo's, Haunted Locations, Haunted Buildings, People and objects, Paranormal Phenomena and strange Urban Legends perpetrate a type of folklore or "Fakelore," endlessly circulated by word of mouth through generations, repeated in television news stories, Documentaries, Radio Talk shows, Newspapers, Blogs, magazine articles and distributed by e-mail.
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Taken from first-person accounts and historical documents, this book chronicles more than 300 examples of alien encounters, conspiracy theories, and the influence of extraterrestrials on human events throughout history. Investigating claims of visits from otherworldly creatures, aliens living among us, abductions of humans to alien spacecraft, and accounts of interstellar cooperation since the UFO crash in Roswell, this discussion of the theories and mysteries surrounding aliens is packed with thought-provoking stories and shocking revelations of alien involvement in the lives of Earthling
There or of course certain times of the year when the appearance of ghosts and other strange paranormal phenomena seem to occur more then any other time. Here are the 'Top most haunted days' of the year when ghosts' seem to be more likely active as a collective.
How much do you know about what day is the creepiest most haunted days of the year?
Monday's ghost has no visible human face.
Tuesday's ghost walks through walls with flair and grace.
Wednesday's ghost loves to be hunted and chased.
Thursday's ghost to be on the go, and can't be erased.
Friday's ghost is frightfully, spiteful and down right mean!
Saturday's ghost works hard at haunting the living day and night,
But the ghost who is haunting on the Sabbath Day Is bonny and blithe and good all day.
Monday's Child is one of many fortune-telling songs, popular as nursery rhymes for children. It is supposed to tell a child's character or future based on the day they were born. As with all nursery rhymes, there are many versions.
Do you believe in the existence of ghosts? Do you think their is a particular day of any given year when interaction with the dead is more then possible? Or is it all superstition?
Ghost Hunting and paranormal investigation today is practiced worldwide. The personal haunted experiences at many locations have most certain days that seem to be more haunted then others. Through out history certain days have special meanings and reasons why a ghost might want to haunt. From the ghosts perspective it might just be a learnt trait or the fact that a particular day holds special meaning for them.
We all know to some degree that Witches, Werewolves and Vampires are also known to haunt more so in fierce weather. Also on full moon or dark of the moon nights. Where Devil Babies, Zombies and many ghosts can pop up on a moments notice. These creatures can sometimes haunt you then abruptly stop.
Seasonal hauntings and the investigation of such paranormal manifestations often bring out the best of all us.
St. John's Night
St. John's Night (June 23-24) on the Lysa Hora (Bald Mountain), near Kiev or Brocken in Germany is where witches and the dead and infernal spirits are said to gather... Midsummer refers to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice and the religious celebrations that accompany it. Midsummer-related holidays, traditions and celebrations, many of which are non-Christian in origin (apart from the designation "St John's Day"), are particularly important in Denmark, Finland and Sweden, but found also in other parts of Germanic Europe and elsewhere. St. John's Eve, is the eve of celebration before the Feast Day of St John the Baptist. The Gospel of Luke states that John was born about six months before Jesus, therefore the feast of John the Baptist falls on June 24, six months before Christmas. This feast day is one of the very few saint's days to mark the anniversary of the birth, rather than the death, of its namesake. Historically, this date has been venerated in the practice of Voodoo. The famous Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau was said to have held ceremonies involving Voodoo ritual on the Bayou St. John in New Orleans, commemorating St. John's Eve. Modern day practioners of Voodoo have kept the tradition alive.
The Feast of St John coincides with the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, which can technically occur anywhere between June 20 - 26th. The Christian holy day is fixed at June 24th but, in the old way, festivities are celebrated the night before, on St. John's Eve.
Solstitial celebrations still center upon 24 June, which is no longer the longest day of the year. The difference between the Julian calendar year (365.2500 days) and the tropical year (365.2422 days) moved the day associated with the actual astronomical solstice forward approximately three days every four centuries until Pope Gregory XIII changed the calendar bringing the solstice to around 21 June. In the Gregorian calendar, the solstice moves around a bit but in the long term it moves only about one day in 3000 years.
Mid-Summer has been Christianized as the feast of Saint John the Baptist: notably, unlike all other saints' days, this feast is celebrated on his birthday and not on the day of his martyrdom, which is separately observed as the "Decollation of John the Baptist" on 29 August. That more conventional day of Saint John the Baptist is not marked by Christian churches with the emphasis one might otherwise expect of such an important saint.
As for his solsticial birthday, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Nativity of John the Baptist (June 24) as a Solemnity, which is the highest degree a liturgical feast can have. It is even one of the few saint's feasts that is celebrated even when it falls on a Sunday; typically the feast of a saint is superseded when it falls on a Sunday. There is hardly any way that the feast of St John the Baptist could be given more emphasis in the liturgical calendar.
The celebration of Midsummer's Eve was from ancient times linked to the summer solstice. People believed that mid-summer plants had miraculous and healing powers and they therefore picked them on this night. Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southwards again. In later years, witches were also thought to be on their way to meetings with other evil powers.
In Sweden Mid-summer celebration originates from the time before Christianity; it was celebrated as a sacrifice time in the sign of the fertility.
The solstice itself has remained a special moment of the annual cycle of the year since Neolithic times. The concentration of the observance is not on the day as we reckon it, commencing at midnight or at dawn, but the pre-Christian beginning of the day, which falls on the previous eve. In Sweden and Finland, Midsummer's Eve is considered the greatest festival of the year, comparable only with Walpurgis Night, Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve.
In New Orleans since the time of Marie Laveau a large ritual has taken place on the shores of Bayou St. John. In current times a large several tiered altar is set up against the railing on one side of the old foot bridge that has for years crossed the Bayou in front of Cabrini High School. The altar is decorated with candles, flowers, incense, food offerings and other items; a worn and obviously much-loved statue of Marie Laveau stands proudly on the highest tier. By the end of the ceremony, the statue will be almost entirely obscured by offerings too numerous to name, placed there by devotees of Voodoo and of the woman who made this island religion – and her hometown of New Orleans – famous for generations.
Today, these devotees keep the religion alive by following in the footsteps and instructions of another powerful and charismatic Mambo, Sallie Ann Glassman. Sallie Ann is the founder of La Source Ancienne Ounfo, a private Vodou society that has served the Lwa (the voodoo spirits) and the New Orleans community for over 25 years. Mambo Sallie Ann and the Ounfo practice a unique and vibrant form of Vodou based upon the traditional Haitian beliefs but filled with, as Sallie Ann has said, “ongoing inspiration and innovation.” Sallie Ann and her extended vodoun family are at the heart of the genuine practice of Real Voodoo so often sought but seldom found by visitors to New Orleans.
“The more people that participate the more of an experience we have…the more spiritual it gets, the more energy we have here with us.”
Litha is one of the eight solar holidays or sabbats observed by Wiccans, though the New Forest traditions (those referred to as British Traditional Wicca) tend to use the traditional name Midsummer. It is celebrated on the Summer Solstice, or close to it. The holiday is considered the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest. Among the Wiccan sabbats, Midsummer is preceded by Beltane, and followed by Lughnasadh or Lammas.
The term derives from the name of a month in the ancient Celtic calendar, in particular the first three nights of this month, with the festival marking the end of the summer season and the end of the harvest. The Gaelic festival became associated with the Catholic All Souls' Day, and appears to have influenced the secular customs now connected with Halloween. Samhain is also the name of a festival in various currents of Neopaganism inspired by Gaelic tradition.
Halloween has origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (Irish pronunciation: [ˈsˠaunʲ]; from the Old Irish samain, possibly derived from Gaulish samonios). The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year". Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient Celtic pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The ancient Celts believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the living and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to copy the evil spirits or placate them.
Season of the Spontaneous Investigator
“How to Stay Safe and Still Have Fun Ghost Hunting This Halloween Season”
By: Greg Myers of Paranormal Task Force, Inc.
ARTWORK RICARDO PUSTANIO
As the trees shed their leaves, the nights get colder, and All Hallows Eve approaches, many catch a “haunted fever”. The primary symptom of such fever is curiosity about exploring the unknown, specifically the paranormal. Whether sneaking into an old cemetery, exploring an urban legend, or blowing the dust of of an old Ouija Board in the closet, it seems many at this time of year seek a “cure” for their curiosity. Many believe that cure comes in the form of recklessly pursuing a euphoric experience with the paranormal, even against the advice of others’ caution.
I cannot stop someone from seeking to quench that curiosity, but I would like to offer advice that may help smartly and safely satisfy that curiosity without bringing danger to oneself or others. Common sense is sometimes forgotten when the fever hits so here are some basic suggestions to keep safe and out of trouble this Halloween Season or anytime the spontaneous urge to explore paranormal realms arises.
Basic Ghost Hunting Protocols
Here are some basic protocols to follow when seeking to confirm ghostly tales or ghoulish experiences:
NO TRESSPASSING – Always get permission from the owner before going on their property. This also includes cemeteries. Just because a cemetery is old and dilapidated with no posted signs does not mean it is legal to be there without permission. Some may be old family cemeteries on privately owned property or owned by an entity such as a church, or historical association. In some cases, the county or municipality may have taken possession of it. Remember, if you do not own it find out who does and ask for permission. Preferably, ask in writing if possible. If the area is public property, such as a park, make a call and see when the public is allowed on the property. Trespassing is not only a violation of the law that can get you arrested or fined, but it can also endanger you and others. A couple of years ago a group of teenagers in Ohio trespassed into an old vacant farm house and one of them was shot and killed by the property owner.
NOTIFY AUTHORITIES – If you get permission to go to a property or vacant building where people normally do not go, call the local law enforcement and let them know when you plan on being there and that you have permission. This can avoid a neighbor or someone else calling the authorities on you.
NEVER GO ALONE – Always use the “Buddy System” and take a friend with you. If you are injured, you will have someone there to help you.
TELL SOMEONE – Always tell someone else who is not going with you where you plan to go, who you are going with, and when you expect to be back. This ensures that, if for some reason something goes wrong, someone will know where to send authorities to lend assistance if needed.
IDENTIFICATION – Always carry photo identification. If something happens to you then someone would be able to identify you. In addition, if for some reason local law enforcement is called then you have proper identification to show them as well.
CELL PHONE – Ensure you or someone in your party takes a cell phone in case there is an emergency.
FIRST AID KIT – If you will be in a more rural area or a place with potential hazards and dangers then a basic first aid kit is a good item to bring.
DAYTIME VISIT – If you are making plans to go somewhere at night that you have never visited before then it is a very good idea to visit the location during daylight hours. This will allow you to properly identify and note any hazards or potential dangers at the location and enable a safer visit at night.
FLASHLIGHT – If you are going when it is dark, make sure you have a flashlight or other lighting and carry plenty of new or freshly charged batteries.
ENVIROMENT – Remember to adjust what you take to include environmental factors. If the forecast may be calling for rain then take gear to keep yourself and your equipment dry. If going to an outdoor wooded area, wear boots or comfortable shoes. Yes, there was one time I had such an outdoor investigation planned and someone showed up in fancy high-heeled shoes making it impossible for them to walk in the area we were investigating! If you are going to an area where insects or wildlife may be a problem then take insect repellant and possibly pepper spray.
RESPECT – Always show respect. Respect the area you will be at and do not litter or vandalize it. It should be left the same as when you arrived. Respect others around you and even those unseen elements of which you are seeking proof. Provoking the unknown can bring harm to you and others. Regardless of what others may say on television shows about the paranormal not being able to harm you, I know first hand that ghosts, spirits, demons and other things out there can be potentially dangerous and capable of causing injury. Always be cautious. If something has the capability of pushing someone when they are on a stairway, injury or even worse can result.
CALMNESS – Even if you encounter something that prompts you to want to soil your pants, remember to stay calm. Remove yourself and others from the situation calmly and rationally. So many people looking for ghost or experience forget the rule “to expect the unexpected”. When they finally encounter the paranormal or just get spooked, some become panic stricken and lose all common sense. The worst thing someone can do is a screaming arms akimbo run through the dark in an unfamiliar location. Dude, walk!
Remember the above protocols are only basic ones to ensure you have a safe adventure and return. Do not forget common sense in any situation!
Common Ghost Hunting Items Around the House
Every Halloween Season entices paranormal potatoes that watch ghost hunting shows and movies to hop off their couches and into the field for a night or two of hands on adventure. We have another frequent question that is many times asked; “What can I use from my home to hunt ghosts or document a paranormal presence?” This is a good question since not all are part of a Paranormal Research or Investigative Organization or have access to a collection of specialized equipment.
There are many things you can find around your home or acquire inexpensively from a local store to hunt ghost or document paranormal activity. Here is a list of some of those more common items.
SENSES – The easiest tools to use are your own senses. There are five basic human senses: seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling (touch), and tasting. Sometimes sitting at a location purported to be haunted and using your natural senses is the best way to experience and document such. Though many are not normally aware of it, most people have what is called a psychic or sixth sense that can be used as well. This sixth sense may differ in ability from one person to another, but in many cases can help guide you to a more active area of a haunting or alarm you that something may be in close proximity.
NOTEBOOK & PENCIL - If you want to document your experiences and things you or others witness, you may want to bring a writing instrument and something to write on. You can also use this to draw a diagram of the area you are investigating. Some investigators even lay out a pencil and a piece of paper with a written question for a potential ghostly answer.
WRIST WATCH – Almost everyone has something to tell time with. This can be valuable to take with you to document properly the times that events may occur. You will also want a timepiece with the ability to tell seconds to help document accurate intervals between or the duration of such events.
COMPASS – If you dig around in your camping items or go to your local department store, you should be able to find a magnetic compass. These types are normally used for finding your way around in the woods and other places. There are many theories involving the disruption of magnetic fields when paranormal activity is present. A basic compass when used can react erratically to such disruptions and sometimes spin out of control. Not everyone has access to the EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) meters seen on television shows and a magnetic compass provides an inexpensive substitute.
MAGNET - A simple bar or horseshoe magnet can also assist in detecting disruptions within the magnetic fields at a location. You can tie a string to the center of the magnet and suspend it from a doorframe or something else stationary within an area purported to have paranormal activity. Sometimes if the magnetic fields are disrupted enough, the magnet will move considerably on its own or even spin quickly as well.
CAMERAS – Almost everyone has access to some type of camera. Many even have built in ones on their cell phones. Taking a picture or recording video of a visual anomaly seen with your own eyes or when something out of the ordinary happens can really help document and validate possible paranormal activity at the location. Do not forget to use your sixth sense. If you have that feeling something is watching you, behind you or nearby then use that as an alarm to take some pictures. You just never know what you may capture!
VOICE RECORDERS – Many homes have tape or digital voice recorders around in a drawer. The most common content of a haunting is audible or what is heard. Using something that can record audio at a location not only helps document such noises, but can even capture the disembodied voices from the dead which is called Electronic Voice Phenomena or EVP. Audio recorders can also be used to record verbal notes or experiences of those at the location in lieu of a notebook and pencil.
POWDERS – Even baby or talcum powder can be very useful in some investigations. Many times, it is reported that footsteps are heard or that certain objects are moved in a haunting. Various surfaces in reported areas can be lightly dusted with such powders to document movement of such objects. You may even capture a foot or hand print of the unseen as well!
TAPE/STRING – Household tape such as scotch, masking, electrical and others can be very useful when investigating the paranormal. Placing such from a closed door to its frame or to other objects can be a way to see if certain doors were opened and closed or if certain objects were moved. You can also add string or yarn to the equation as well for this purpose. Tape can also be used to mark where an object is sitting so you know if it was moved off that mark as well.
COTTON BALLS – Many times there are reports of unexplainable cold drafts or even gust of winds inside locations where a haunting is reported. Using cotton balls and documenting where they were placed may help determine direction of such drafts or gusts if they are moved.
THERMOMETERS – Almost every home has a thermometer to tell the temperature inside or out. They can also be used on investigations to document temperature changes in an area as well.
MEASURING TOOL – Having something to measure distance with is very good to bring. If an object gets moved then you can measure and document the distance of such movement. If you visually see something and make a mental note of where it came up to on a doorway or wall then you can measure for an estimated height of the anomaly you witnessed.
TOYS & GAMES – Even toys, game pieces, puzzles, and other similar items may assist in your investigation. If there are reports of children ghosts then you may be able to place a ball, doll, or similar object that a child may want to play with. Mark where you place it and see if it gets moved. The small letter pieces from a Scrabble game may allow an intelligent spirit to leave a worded message. In addition, an Etch-n-Sketch or Magna Doodle may produce interesting results as they are affected by magnetic properties. If a video camera is used in the investigation then you can place such items in view of the camera for further documentation.
The above is not an all-inclusive list of the common everyday things sitting around that you may be able to use. If you find other things and have a creative imagination concerning how to apply them in the field to help further validate and document paranormal activity then by all means give it a try and share your results.
Another important area to cover is Spirit Communication. This can be done in several ways though many have a number of opponents objecting and ridiculing their use. At the same time many of these methods have produced very interesting results and I feel have been very valuable towards the advancement of paranormal research. Such methods may include scrying, séances, use of talking boards (Ouija), and many other methods depending on ones spirituality or cultural background. The most common method used today is the good old Ouija Board which is still found in many households abroad collecting dust in the closet until the seasonal time comes.
In my personal belief, the Ouija Board when new in the package is just a piece of wood or plastic adorned with letters, numbers, and an accompanying planchet. A new Ouija Board in itself is not “evil” and will not manifest demonic spawns or other entities from it. However, there is always a “Catch 22”. This comes into play when individuals use the board and planchet in hopes of communicating with a spirit or long lost family member. At this point they are touching the planchet and inviting “anything” to enter them and use their bodies to move the planchet over various symbols to communicate. Once something does communicate, this is the point that you do not know for sure who or what you just invited into your body and what recourse it may have. Spirits, demons, and other entities are not always “good” and they can lie, deceive, or pretend to be others for their own benefit. This is also the point that I believe the Ouija Board through the will and invitation by individuals may actually open a doorway or portal and connect to something that could potentially be “evil”. This connection may be the point that the Ouija Board becomes tainted by acting as a permanent portal or doorway for other entities to come through. Alternately, it could allow what came through to stay at the location where the board was used.
I do not believe the Ouija Board in itself causes this, but rather the will of those who invited something through it by using it. This will and invitation could be applied to a piece of paper, doll or anything and still achieve the same results. With this in mind, is it a good thing to do? How many times have you heard of a séance, horror movie, possession, or haunting that started with an Ouija Board session go badly?
I know of an account of a group of friends who thought it would be entertaining to have an Ouija party in one of the friend’s home. As they played, the planchet suddenly began to move and spell out messages on the board indicating that a demon was present. One of the group members, a skeptic, decided make light of what was occurring by taunting the entity. After the party was over, the homeowner soon discovered that the malevolent entity had decided to take up permanent residence in the basement of their home. No one including the family dog would go into the basement from that point and the haunting became so bad that the family eventually fled their home.
I do believe that some individuals who are devout enough in their beliefs and spiritual practices may be able to use such spirit communication devices safely without ill effects. Use of such devices should be left to them and not the amateur looking for a seasonal thrill.
I will not preach any certain religion or faith, but, in closing, will state that being devout in whatever faith you believe in and practice is possibly the most important factor for your safety when becoming involved with paranormal realms. I hope that you have found these important safety tricks and tips useful to temper your case of “haunted fever”. Have a safe and sensible Halloween!
Old hand made ouija planchette.
AND PLEASE GHOST HUNT RESPONSIBLY!
HUNGRY GHOST MONTH
The Gates Of Hell Are Open
A MONTH OF HUNGRY GHOSTS (鬼节)
In East Asian religions, a hungry ghost is a kind of ghost associated with hunger, common to many religions. Hungry Ghosts are often thought as just haunted tortured lost souls from Buddhist iconography who suffer from their greed, envy and jealousy. And this they make known openly to the living.
By Kennth Jacob Meyers
Preta, प्रेत (Sanskrit) or Peta (Pāli), Tibetan yi.dvags, is the name for a type of supernatural being described in Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, and Jain texts that undergoes more than human suffering, particularly an extreme degree of hunger and thirst. They are often translated into English as "hungry ghosts", from the Chinese, which in turn is derived from later Indian sources generally followed in Mahayana Buddhism. In early sources such as the Petavatthu, they are much more varied. The descriptions below apply mainly in this narrower context.
Pretas are believed to have been jealous or greedy people in a previous life. As a result of their karma, they are afflicted with an insatiable hunger for a particular substance or object. Traditionally, this is something repugnant or humiliating, such as human corpses or feces, though in more recent stories, it can be anything, however bizarre.
The word preta is Sanskrit, derived from pra-ita-, literally "(one who is) gone forth," and originally referred to any of the spirits of the deceased - compare the English use of "the departed". It later became confined to a type of unhappy or malevolent spirit, and as such it was taken up by Buddhists to describe one of six possible states of rebirth.
Yu Jia Yan Kou - A Buddhist ceremony to help the spirits of the hungry ghosts find salvation.
Pretas are invisible to the human eye, but some believe they can be discerned by humans in certain mental states. They are described as human-like, but with sunken, mummified skin, narrow limbs, enormously distended bellies and long, thin necks. This appearance is a metaphor for their mental situation: they have enormous appetites, signified by their gigantic bellies, but a very limited ability to satisfy those appetites, symbolized by their slender necks.
Pretas are often depicted in Japanese art (particularly that from the Heian period) as emaciated human beings with bulging stomachs and inhumanly small mouths and throats. They are frequently shown licking up spilled water in temples or accompanied by demons representing their personal agony. Alternately, they may be shown as balls of smoke or fire.
Pretas dwell in the waste and desert places of the earth, and vary in situation according to their past karma. Some of them can eat a little, but find it very difficult to find food or drink. Others can find food and drink, but find it very difficult to swallow. Others find that the food they eat seems to burst into flames as they swallow it. Others, if they see something edible or drinkable and desire it, it withers or dries up before their eyes. As a result, they are always hungry.
In addition to hunger, pretas suffer from immoderate heat and cold; they find that even the moon scorches them in the summer, while the sun freezes them in the winter.
The sufferings of the pretas often resemble those of the dwellers in Naraka, and the two types of being are easily confused. The simplest distinction is that beings in Naraka are confined to their subterranean world, while pretas are free to move about.
Pretas are generally seen as little more than nuisances to mortals unless their longing is directed toward something vital, such as blood. However, in some traditions, pretas try to prevent others from satisfying their own desires by means of magic, illusions, or disguises. They can also turn invisible or change their faces to frighten mortals.
Generally, however, pretas are seen as beings to be pitied. Thus, in some Buddhist monasteries, monks leave offerings of food, money, or flowers to them before meals.
In Japan, preta is translated as gaki (Japanese: 餓鬼, "hungry ghost"), a borrowing from Chinese e gui (Chinese: 餓鬼, "hungry ghost").
Since 657, some Japanese Buddhists have observed a special day in mid-August to remember the gaki. Through such offerings and remembrances (segaki), it is believed that the hungry ghosts may be released from their torment.
In the modern Japanese language, the word gaki is often used to mean spoiled child, or brat. In a game of tag, the person who is "it" may be known as the gaki.
A "Festival of the Hungry Dead" is held by many cultures throughout the world in honor or recognition of deceased members of the community, generally occurring after the harvest in August, September, October, or November. In Japanese Buddhist custom the festival honoring the departed (deceased) spirits of one's ancestors is known as Bon Festival. In Inca religion the entire month of November is Ayamarca, which translates to Festival of the Dead.
In the 21st century European traditions often mark the celebrations of Halloween, All Saints and All Souls' Day as three different events. These usually begin on Halloween and continue until November 2nd, All souls Day. In many cultures a single event, Festival of the Dead, lasting up to 3 days, was held at the end of October and beginning of November; examples include the Peruvians, the Hindus, the Pacific Islanders, the people of the Tonga Islands, the Australians, the ancient Persians, the ancient Egyptians, the Japanese, ancient Romans, and the northern nations of Europe.
Megalithic people of Western Europe left dolmens, mysterious chambers of unhewn stone, typically capped with a larger stone. These dolmens were the burial places of great heroes, or markers to honor the spirits of faerie, who were believed to dwell within the hollow hills, a very strong connection to the underworld, and thus death. Food is still left out for the Faeries in parts of Ireland (and in many other places) today. The association between the Fairies and the spirits of the dead is still not fully researched.
Later Celts were known to offer a princely burial for their dead. The earliest Celtic graves of Hasltadt, Austria were found to have great stores of shields, swords, and torques — collars and armbands of metal. The Celtic culture originated much of the modern Festival of the Dead, as their great feasting holiday of Samhain (sow-en), complete with political gatherings of the day and rituals to the spirits of faerie, remains the foremost holiday in modern Witchcraft.
In ancient Egypt, funerary processions made their way along the river Nile, making offerings of food and wealth to the dead and to their pantheon of funerary gods and goddess. The dead were mummified to preserve the body, which was wrapped in the finest of linens, ointments, and perfumes, and bedecked in gold, copper, and jewel-encrusted garments. The deceased were provided with the treasures they enjoyed in life: tools and utensils, books, fine garments, art, magical amulets, and even great wealth of gold and gems.
Among the Native American Dakota Tribe, great mourning and wailing accompanied death. Women slashed their bodies until they bled. Men blackened their faces with ash. After the period of wailing had ended, tribes-people prepared a scaffold on which to burn the body of the deceased (the Norse had a similar method of sending their dead into the next world). The dead were clothed in their finest attire, their faces painted blood red to symbolize the power of life.
In Victorian era England, Death’s harvests were spun into gold. Ornate keepsakes were crafted from hair clipped from the newly deceased. Bereft widows and mothers of the day would weave at death’s loom creating intricate artwork rich with sentiment and honor. Mourning jewelry would be the final entombment of their lost loved ones. Death grinned from gilded cases studded with gems, on display in tiny mausoleums of crystal and gold. Perhaps the most enduring deathly contribution of the Victorian age is the Spirit Board, also known as talking board or Ouija board. This parlor game provided a way for both the expert and the novice to communicate between the living and the dead.
Turn of the century coffin makers carefully prepared their crafts by gathering up all of the shavings and saw dust, placing them within their morbid creation. For some believed that if any part of this final resting place should be brought into the home before its time, death might come calling before proper preparations could be made.
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is celebrated each year in Mexico. Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the New World to find Meso-Americans of the area practicing a ritual, thousands of years old by that time, that seemed to mock death. In truth, these native peoples saw death as the extension of life, a passage to the next world, and thus it was not a mockery but a celebration. Festivities were held to honor the departed, not to belittle them. Unable to eradicate these practices, the Spaniards moved the ritual to coincide with the Catholic “festival of the dead,” All Hallow’s Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day. The festivities, however, remained. Catholics inherited their own days of the deceased from the Celtic Festival of the Dead at Samhain, which was a time of great festivity and feasting. Mexican people still honor the festive celebration of the dead inherited from both their Meso-American and European ancestors.
In old New Orleans, European, African, and native customs of the dead were also mixed. “Touissaint,” French for All Saints Day, is the only remaining American celebration of the old European Day of the Dead. Immortelles (elaborate mourning wreaths), candle burning, and dining with the dead are still held in New Orleans cemeteries on this day. Salem and New Orleans share a unique connection. Both vie for the title of number one Halloween celebration city and each share a historical link with both Voodoo and European magic. In New Orleans, where a history of frequent disease and death prompted celebration and festivity, funerals were often accompanied by much revelry, evolving into such customs as “The Jazz Funeral,” “Death Watch,” the ever lively Wake — similar to the Irish Wake - and the Zombi.
Customs of the Dead are still practiced today by modern cultures. The dark hearse is an example. It is still considered by some to be extremely bad luck (and poor taste) to break this solemn procession. The dead command great respect even in today’s world. You can still visit a cemetery to find offerings of flowers, candles, and food.
The Ghost Festival (simplified Chinese: 中元节; traditional Chinese: 中元節; pinyin: zhōngyuánjié) is a traditional Chinese festival and holiday, which is celebrated by Chinese in many countries. In the Chinese calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Ghost Festival is on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month.
PLEASE ALSO SEE -- Ghost Month Taboos And Ghost Photos ... Other Hungry Ghost Month Taboos From around the World: ... The hungry ghosts are said to make men impotent and women sterile for 5 years if ...
www.hauntedamericatours.com/ghosthunting/GhostMonthTaboos.php - Similar pages
The Ghost Festival in Malaysia is modernized by the 'concert-like' live performances. It has its own characteristics and is not similar to other Ghost Festivals in other countries. The live show is popularly known as 'Koh-tai' by the Hokkien-speaking people, performed by a group of singers, dancers and entertainers on a temporary stage that setup within the residential district. The festival is funded by the residents of each individual residential districts.
In Chinese tradition, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. During the Qingming Festival the living descendants pay homage to their ancestors and on Ghost Day, the deceased visit the living.
On the fifteenth day the three realms of Heaven, Hell and the realm of the living are open and both Taoists and Buddhists would perform rituals to transmute and absolve the sufferings of the deceased. Intrinsic to the Ghost Month is ancestor worship, where traditionally the filial piety of descendants extends to their ancestors even after their deaths. Activities during the month would include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, and burning joss paper, a papier-mache form of material items such as clothes, gold and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors. Elaborate meals would be served with empty seats for each of the deceased in the family treating the deceased as if they are still living. Ancestor worship is what distinguishes Qingming Festival from Ghost Festival because the latter includes paying respects to all deceased, including the same and younger generations, while the former only includes older generations. Other festivities may include, buying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water, which signifies giving directions to the lost ghosts and spirits of the ancestors and other deities.
The Ghost Festival shares some similarities with the predominantly Mexican observance of El Día de los Muertos. Due to theme of ghosts and spirits, the festival is sometimes also known as the Chinese Halloween, though many have debated the difference between the two.
The Ghost Festival is celebrated during the 7th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar. It also falls at the same time as a full moon, the new season, the fall harvest, the peak of Buddhist monastic asceticism, the rebirth of ancestors, and the assembly of the local community. During this month, the gates of hell are opened up and ghosts are free to roam the earth where they seek food and entertainment. These ghosts are believed to be ancestors of those who have forgotten to pay tribute to them after they had died, or those who have suffered deaths and were never given a proper ritual for a sendoff. They have long thin necks because they have not been fed by their family, or it is a sign of punishment so they are unable to swallow. Family members would offer prayers to their deceased relatives and would burn joss paper. Such paper items are only valid in the underworld, which is why they burn it as offering to the ghosts that have come from the gates of hell. Like in the material world, the afterlife is very similar in some aspects, and the paper effigies of material goods would provide comfort to those who have nothing in the afterlife. People would also burn other things such as paper houses, cars, servants and televisions to please the ghosts.
Families would also pay tribute to other unknown wandering ghosts so that these homeless souls would not intrude on their lives and bring misfortune and bad luck. A large feast is held for the ghosts on the 15th day of the 7th month, where everyone brings samplings of food and places them on the offering table to please the ghosts and ward off bad luck. In some East Asian countries today, live performances would be held and everyone was invited to attend. The first row of seats are always empty as this is where the ghosts would sit. The shows were always put on at night and at high volumes as the sound would attract and please the ghosts. Some shows include Chinese opera, dramas, and in some areas, even burlesque shows. These acts are better known as "Merry-making".
For rituals, Buddhist and Taoists alike would hold ceremonies to relieve ghosts from suffering, many of them holding ceremonies in the afternoon or at night (as it is believed that the ghosts are released from hell when the sun sets). Altars are built for the deceased and priests and monks alike perform rituals for the benefit of ghosts. Monks and priests often throw rice or other small foods into the air in all directions to distribute them to the ghosts.
During the evening, incense is burnt in front of the doors of each household. Incense stands for prosperity in Chinese culture, so families believe that there is more prosperity in burning more incense. During the festival, some shops are closed as they wanted to leave the streets open for the ghosts. In the middle of each street stood an altar of incense with fresh fruit and sacrifices displayed on it.[
15 days after the festival, to make sure all the hungry ghosts find their way back to hell, people flow water lanterns and set them outside their houses (a practice mostly found amongst the Japanese). These lanterns are made by setting a lotus flower-shaped lantern on a paper boat. The lanterns are used to direct the ghosts back to the underworld, and when they go out, it symbolizes that they found their way back.
A Month of Hungry Ghosts is a 2008 film about the seventh-lunar-month Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore. A Month of Hungry Ghosts is directed by Singapore-based American director Tony Kern and produced by Genevieve Woo, a TV news anchor and producer with Channel NewsAsia, and Tony Kern. The film was released locally in Singapore on August 7, 2008. The film is distributed by Golden Village Pictures, and premiered at Golden Village VivoCity, Golden Village Plaza and Sinema Old School.
In parts of Asia each year, during the seventh lunar month, it is believed that the gates of Hell are opened and all the souls are set free to wander the Earth. At this time, many spirits roam around trying to fulfill their past needs, wants and desires. These are the "hungry ghosts". Numerous religious rituals and folk performances, like street operas, take place during the seventh lunar month in order to try and appease the spirits.
This film captures the seventh-lunar-month rituals in Singapore, a world-class centre of business and culture inhabited by many different immigrants from other Asian countries. While the hungry-ghost rituals originated in China and are still practised throughout South-east Asia in various forms, they are slowly dying out in many countries or may only be performed for several days of the month.
Singapore is unique in that the rituals are brought to life throughout the entire seventh lunar month. At the same time, the immigrants in Singapore have brought their own native rituals to the small island nation where the hungry-ghost month still thrives. A Month of Hungry Ghosts captures these rituals and performances throughout an entire seventh lunar month in Singapore.
Tony Kern - Director/Producer
Tony Kerns works include narrative, documentary and animated films and videos. He owns a stock footage company TK Time-Lapse and won a Silver Award at the 2004 International Promax and BDA Awards and an Audience Choice Award for The Spooky Incident at the 2002 World Horror Film Festival.
Genevieve Woo - Producer
Genevieve Woo is a TV news producer-anchor with Channel NewsAsia and anchors the channels highly-rated Singapore Tonite every weekday at 10pm. She was formerly a copywriter in advertising and an newspaper editor. She also owns Vintage Bunny, an online jewerly store specializing in original handmade and authentic vintage jewelry.
Hungry Ghost Month Taboos From around the World:
Never wash your clothes at night or your grand children will suffer there whole life's long.
Do not allow small pets into your bedroom at night to do so will make the ghosts that come to visit annoyed with you. (Some Pets warn of ghosts in homes) They the ghosts will often strike you with serious illness that will last one year to the day.
Do not under any circumstances comb or brush your hair with anything but your hands and fingers. To do this spells real trouble. The hungry ghosts are said to make men impotent and women sterile for 5 years if you do not follow this dire warning.
Only take a full bath on Wednesday of each week. Wipe your body down with a damp cold rag each night steeped in green tea and rose petals. If you do not heed this you will suffer from great headaches and loss of being able to speak for one year or more.
Do not bare your shoulder or bare arm except on Tuesdays of the month.
Do not get any tattoo's or piercing this month they will never heal and you may die from it.
Only wash your hair with clear water and vinegar the entire month. to not do this spells loss of control of your bowels for the rest of your life.
Do not wear perfume or deodorant.
Do not cry this month. Hold back your many tears. If a ghost see's you cry then it will take your soul or possess you. If a child cries though their s no effect if they are under the age of 10.
If anyone dies this month have them immediately cremated and do not morn them until December. Pretend it never happened or their soul will go to hell forever for your misdeed.
Do not put trash out of your house to be picked up the entire month . One should wait until the month is over to throw something out of your house. This spells disaster that your children will not find happy marriage or wealth.
If a young girl does not pray each night from 7:PM until 10:pm she will surly never conceive a child of her own.
Young Boys and all men up to the age of 50 should not masturbate the entire month. To do so means the hungry Ghost will curse you to never father a son.
Yin Fu Dian 陰-福-殿 Ritual for the buried At Choa Chu Kang cemetery on 08.09.07
The most "Feared" And Haunted Day!
February, March, November of 2009 all have a Friday the 13th, So does this have any haunted or paranormal significance? In Necromancy it is a day dedicated for me to contact real ghosts, Spirits and sometimes demons and get as many predictions of the future I can! Many wiccan covens meet this night. as do those that hold seance's and Bone Conjurers.
Many ghost hunting groups, Mediums, Psychics and Paranormal investigators go out knowing this is the day you will be in contact with the dead whether you want to or not.
By Lisa Lee Harp Waugh The American Necromancer
I personally have celebrated this day as a special day of the dead for many years. In my feelings and belief a special year is one that has one Friday the 13th and on Friday the 17th. I use to celebrate the day when I lived in Marshall, Texas by shattering mirrors, and looking for black cats and ladders. Call me crazy but one should seize the day! Any other time of the year I could not stand people breaking mirrors.
Image of Lisa Lee Harp Waugh in a Friday the 13th Spirit Trance.
Friday the 13th is considered a day of bad luck in English-, French- and Portuguese-speaking countries around the world, as well as in Austria, Germany, Estonia, Finland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Republic of Ireland, Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and even the Philippines.
Similar superstitions exist in some other traditions. In Greece, Romania and Spanish-speaking countries, for example, it is Tuesday the 13th that is considered unlucky. In Italy it is Friday the 17th which occurs in October only this year.
Friday The 13th
IS TODAY ONE OF THE MOST GHOST HAUNTED DAYS OF THE YEAR
Friday the 13th
The veil is lifted between the worlds on a Friday the 13th.
Ghost and all that is evil is brought forth to haunt the world. From New Orleans to Haiti this day is feared! New Orleans Voodooist hold this day very holy in some secret society's. This is the day that the most evil of Ghede are released when some fool stumbles upon the Gate of Guinee.
In some cultures, Friday is considered unlucky, especially regarding Friday the 13th. This is particularly so in maritime circles; perhaps the most enduring sailing superstition is that it is unlucky to begin a voyage on a Friday. In one story a Royal Navy ship (HMS Friday) was laid down on a Friday, launched on a Friday, captained by a Captain Friday, and was never heard of again. As told by comedian Dave Allen on the BBC in the 1970s, however, this superstition is not universal, notably in Scottish Gaelic culture:
"Though Friday has always been held an unlucky day in many Christian countries, still in the Hebrides it is supposed that it is a lucky day for sowing the seed. Good Friday in particular is a favorite day for potato planting—even strict Roman Catholics make a point of planting a bucketful on that day. Probably the idea is that as the Resurrection followed the Crucifixion, and Burial so too in the case of the seed, and after death will come life." (Reference: Dwelly’s [Scottish] Gaelic Dictionary (1911): Di-haoine) The use of the Gregorian calendar and its leap year system, results in a small statistical anomaly, that the 13th of any month is slightly more likely to fall on a Friday than any of the other seven days.
Chronomancy is divination of the best time to do something, determination of lucky and unlucky days, especially popular in ancient China.
Chronomancy stems from the word chronos (meaning time), and it is generally a fictional and sensational school of magic. Although the school is based on quantum physics and certain scientific theories, there is no concrete evidence of the perfected use of time manipulation. The most historically known human that has been believed to possess the powers of chronomancy is Saint Germaine, a philosopher, alchemist, and spiritualist. He has been believed to transcend time by reincarnation and eternal youth.
Many Paranormal Investigators will often tell you "More Ghost Photos" will happen on a Friday 13th then any others. Certain Cities ghosts become more active on this day also. New Orleans, Owensboro, Kentucky, Miami, Hollywood, and New York. I think from questioning ghost the best answer is that they so believed this when they were alive that they made it the day when all the dead remember to come back and haunt the living. The same follows very true with a February 29th.
Many Satanic cults hold special initiation rituals into the Unlucky 13 Club, In Galveston, Texas a local Satanist says an unspoken old tradition is to find a new woman to be the human altar they practice their Black Mass on. And allow neophytes to move up the ranks. This year 80 more new Satanist were baptized into the Religion alone. And 200 more have put in an application to join.
The Voodoo cults of Galveston plan a Hurricane ritual to ward off any impending storms ahead. This year is the 11th Hurricane Protection Voodoo Ceremony that will be performed in a quiet Galveston suburban neighborhood this year. This particular Voodoo ritual has been done each time a hurricane forms in the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico and is to summon the protection of the spirit world against each hurricane individually. Each time there is a hurricane we perform the hurricane ritual at a moments notice. Each year it is practiced with special prayers and chants to their Vodoun, the Loa Agwe. The personification of the ocean, and the patron of sailors and fishermen.
Rituals for Agwe, (Agoue) are held near the bay, and offerings to him are floated on hand made rafts or small boats. Agwe is associated with the catholic St. Ulrich.
The two of my favorite events I attended last year were The hurricane Blessing and Voodoo Hoodoo Head washing ceremonies at Galveston, Bay held at midnight. The Hurricane Ritual will be held on Friday the 13th this year near the strand.
Just Silly Superstitions?
Before the 19th century, though the number 13 was considered unlucky, and Friday was considered unlucky, there was no link between them. The first documented mention of a "Friday the 13th" is generally listed as occurring in the early 1900s.
The name Friday comes from the Old English frigedæg, meaning the day of Frige the Anglo-Saxon form of Frigg, the Germanic goddess of beauty. In most Germanic languages it is named after Freyja—such as Freitag in Modern German, vrijdag in Dutch, fredag in Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish—but Freyja and Frigg are frequently identified with each other. The word for Friday in most Romance languages is derived from the name of Venus such as vendredi in French, venerdì in Italian, viernes in Spanish, and vineri in Romanian. In Hindi, Friday is Shukravar, named for Shukra, the Sanskrit name of the planet Venus. Russian uses an ordinal number for this day of the week-- piatnítsa, meaning "fifth." Similarly, the Portuguese is sexta-feira.
In Japan, Friday is Kin-Youbi: "Gold Day" or "money day", and in many Asian cultures, as in The US, paydays are on Fridays.
After the United States acquired Alaska from Russia in 1867, Friday October 6 was immediately followed by Friday October 18, adjusting to the adoption of the 1582 Gregorian calendar changes by the British colonies in 1752, and the shifting of the International Date Line. Prior to that change, Alaska began Russia's day, with the date line following the partially-defined border between Russian Alaska and British North America, including the colony of British Columbia.
The Jewish Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday and lasts until sunset on Saturday.
In Christianity Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. It commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.
Some Catholics and Prayer Book Anglicans will refrain from eating the meat of warm blooded animals on Fridays, and will often choose fish instead.
Quakers traditionally refer to Friday as "Sixth Day" eschewing the pagan origins of the name. In Slavic countries, it is called "Fifth Day" (Polish piatek, Russian piatnitsa)
In Islam, Friday is the day of public worship in mosques (see Friday prayers). In some Islamic countries, the week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday, just as the Jewish and Christian week. In most other Islamic countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, the week begins on Saturday and ends on Friday.
In most countries with a five-day work week, Friday is the last workday before the weekend and is, therefore, viewed as a cause for celebration or relief. In some offices, employees are allowed to wear less formal attire on Fridays, known as Casual Friday or Dress-Down Friday.
In the Spanish-speaking world, it is Tuesday the 13th (as well as Tuesdays in general) that brings bad luck; a proverb runs En martes, ni te cases ni te embarques, ni de tu familia te apartes. (on Tuesday, neither get married nor start a journey, or separate yourself from your family).
However, documentation aside, many popular stories exist about the origin of the concept:
The Last Supper, with stories that Judas was the thirteenth guest, and that the Crucifixion of Jesus occurred on Good Friday.
That the biblical Eve offered the fruit to Adam on a Friday, and that the slaying of Abel happened on a Friday (though the Bible does not identify the days of the week when these events occurred). Many believe that Satan and the horde ofdevil's or fallen angels fell from grace on Friday.
That it started on Friday, October 13, 1307, the date that many Knights Templar were simultaneously arrested in France, by agents of King Philip IV.
However, historically, there is no true date that the Friday the 13th superstition can be linked to.
In the case of Greece, Tuesday, April 13, 1204 was the date that Constantinople was sacked by the crusaders of the fourth crusade. The first ever fall of the richest then Christian city, and the looting that followed, allegedly gave Tuesday 13 its bad meaning. Ironically enough, Constantinople fell for the second time in its history on Tuesday, May 29, 1453, to the Ottoman Turks, a date that puts an end to the Byzantine empire, and to Greek sovereignty for several centuries, and therefore reinforcing Tuesday as an unlucky day in the Greek world.
Bad Luck There are many things to avoid on Friday The 13th
The number 13 (many buildings were built without a designated 13th floor when numbering their floors for this reason, skipping from the 12th floor to the 14th floor)
The number 4 (in China, the word's pronunciation in Mandarin and Cantonese is similar to "si", which means death. A similar belief is present in Japan and Korea.)
A black cat crossing one's path (the opposite belief prevails in Great Britain and parts of Ireland)
Stepping on a crack (doing so would cause your mother's back to break; rhymed as "step on a crack, break your mother's back")
Stepping on a line in pavement or floor cover (similar to above, rhymed as "step on a line, you'll break your spine")
Breaking a mirror (seven years of bad luck)
Spilling over salt (dates to when salt was more precious than gold, if one spilt some it was believed to mean that a demon was trying to steal one's salt, but by appeasing it with a little salt over the left shoulder, the demon would leave)
Putting a hat on a bed
Opening an umbrella indoors
Killing a ladybug/ladybird
Killing a spider in one's home
Walking underneath a ladder (when being hanged, the condemned man would often be made to pass underneath a ladder before climbing it and onto the gallows)
Replying "thank you" to someone wishing good luck
Picking up a penny face-down (can be avoided by giving the penny away)
Putting shoes on a table. In the UK, this is considered to bring extremely bad luck, traditionally the death of a person in the house. This is sometimes specified to only be unlucky when new shoes are put on a table
In the British Navy it was traditionally considered unlucky to have a woman on board ship, although this may be a more practical matter. Having a naked woman on a ship was considered good luck, however.
Among sailors it is considered unlucky to kill a porpoise or an albatross (see The Rime of the Ancient Mariner where the title character is cursed for killing this bird)
Among sailors it is considered bad luck to have anything blue aboard
It is also considered very bad luck to launch a ship on a Friday
When launching a ship by breaking a bottle on its hull, a failure of the bottle to break is considered bad luck.
Saying "good luck", especially to an actor going onstage (the preferred expression is: Break a leg)
In theaters, "Macbeth" must not be uttered by anyone unless it is necessary to the show. For example, if the company is performing Shakespeare's Macbeth, one says "the Scottish Play" and refers to the characters as "Mackers" and "Lady Makers"
Sinistrality (being left-handed)
Seeing one magpie
A bird flies into one's window (a person in the family will die today, or has died last night). In some variants, it is believed to only be bad luck if the bird dies.
Using a Ouija board; it is believed by some to attract bad spirits
In Japan and China putting chopsticks upright in rice is considered very bad luck (since it resembles the incense used in offerings to the dead)
In some areas it is believed to be bad luck to kill a mockingbird; this becomes a part (albeit not a large part) of the story To Kill a Mockingbird, as well as inspiring the title.
Cutting your nails at night
Turning a horse shoe upside down is said in Britain to drain the good luck from it and bring about bad luck: in Italy, horse shoes are turned upside down explicitly to contain the good luck they bring
Avoiding eye contact when toasting with another person
Shaking your leg while sitting
Saying 'rabbit' on the Isle of Portland
Saying "Bloody Mary" (you will supposedly see the queen, Bloody Mary, covered in blood
In Russia if you sit on a table top, one of your relatives will die
Paraskevidekatriaphobia As the word itself suggests, superstitions concerning Friday the 13th combine two distinct bad-luck assocaitions - fear of the number 13 (Triskaidekaphobia), and the day Friday. The combination of these two elements creates the hybrid monster of extreme unluckiness that is 'Friday the 13th'.
PREDICTIONS FROM GHOSTS, SPIRITS AND DEMONS FOR FRIDAY THE 13TH 2008 AND MORE PLEASE VISIT THE IMAGE LINK BELOW.
Some events are intentionally scheduled for Friday the 13th for dramatic effect. They include:
Black Sabbath's self-titled debut album was released in the UK on Friday, February 13, 1970.
The 13th book in A Series of Unfortunate Events was released on Friday, October 13, 2006 by Lemony Snicket, also known as novelist Daniel Handler.
Friday the Thirteenth, a gathering for motorcycle enthusiasts held in the Canadian beach town of Port Dover, Ontario every Friday the 13th.
The 2008 film The Happening is planned to release on Friday, June 13, 2008.
The first TV special on iCarly, "iCarly Saves TV" is planned to be aired on June 13, 2008.
The remake of the original Friday the 13th is planned to release on Friday, February 13, 2009.
Due to the large number of events that happen in the world, a similar list could be compiled for any combination of day of the month and day of the week.
The Black Friday bushfires in Victoria, Australia occurred on Friday, January 13, 1939.
The Uruguayan Rugby team infamously crashed in the Andes mountain range on Friday, 13 October 1972
Hurricane Charley made landfall near Port Charlotte, Florida on Friday, August 13, 2004.
The "Friday the 13th Storm" struck Buffalo, New York on October 13, 2006.
UNIX time will reach 1,234,567,890 decimal seconds on February 13, 2009 at 23:31:30 GMT.
The asteroid 99942 Apophis will make its close encounter on Friday, April 13, 2029.
The longest period that can occur without a Friday the 13th is fourteen months, either from July to September the following year (e.g. in 2001/2002 and 2012/13), or from August to October in a leap year (e.g. in 2027/28).
Patterns for non leap-years:
First month occurring
Patterns for leap years:
First month occurring
Each Gregorian 400-year cycle contains 146,097 days (365 * 400 = 146,000 normal days plus 97 leap days), 146,097 / 7 = 20,871 weeks, and 400 * 12 = 4,800 months. Thus, each cycle contains the same pattern of days of the week (and thus the same pattern of Fridays the 13th), but no day of the month up to the 28th can occur the same number of times on each day of the week (because 4,800 is not divisible by 7). The 13th day of the month is slightly more likely to be a Friday than any other day of the week. On average, there is a Friday the 13th once every 212.35 (212 and 241/688) days.
June 13 th Events
* 1525 - Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora, against the celibacy doctrine decreed by the Roman Catholic Church on priests and nuns.
* 1625 - King Charles I is married to the French princess Henrietta Maria de Bourbon
* 1774 - Rhode Island becomes the first of Britain's North American colonies to ban the importation of slaves.
* 1777 - American Revolutionary War: Marquis de Lafayette lands near Charleston, South Carolina, in order to help the Continental Congress to train its army.
* 1798 - Mission San Luis Rey de Francia is founded.
* 1805 - Lewis and Clark Expedition: Scouting ahead of the expedition, Meriwether Lewis and four companions sight the Great Falls of the Missouri River.
* 1871 - In Labrador, a hurricane kills 300 people.
* 1881 - The USS Jeannette is crushed in an Arctic Ocean ice pack.
* 1886 - A fire devastates much of Vancouver, British Columbia.
* 1886 - King Ludwig II of Bavaria is found dead in Lake Starnberg south of Munich at 11:30 PM.
* 1893 - Grover Cleveland undergoes secret, successful surgery to remove large, cancerous portion of his jaw; operation not revealed to US public until 1917, nine years after the president's death.
* 1898 - Yukon Territory is formed, with Dawson chosen as its capital.
* 1917 - deadliest German air raid on London during WWI carried out by Gotha G bombers and results in 162 deaths, including 46 children, and 432 injuries.
* 1927 - A ticker-tape parade is held for aviator Charles Lindbergh down 5th Avenue in New York City.
* 1934 - Adolf Hitler and Mussolini meet in Venice, Italy; Mussolini later describes the German dictator as "a silly little monkey".
* 1935 - In one of the biggest upsets in championship boxing, the 10 to 1 underdog James J. Braddock defeated Max Baer in Long Island City, New York, and became the heavyweight champion of the world.
* 1942 - The United States opens its Office of War Information.
* 1944 - World War II: Germany launches a counter attack on Carentan.
* 1944 - World War II: Germany launches a V1 Flying Bomb attack on England. Only four of the eleven bombs actually hit their targets.
* 1952 - Catalina affair, a Swedish Douglas DC-3 was shot down by a Soviet MiG-15 fighter.
* 1953 - Hungarian Prime Minister Mátyás Rákosi is replaced by Imre Nagy
* 1955 - Mir Mine, the first diamond mine of the USSR, is discovered.
* 1956 - Real Madrid win the inaugural European Champion Clubs' Cup final, defeating Stade de Reims 4-3 at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
* 1966 - The United States Supreme Court rules in Miranda v. Arizona that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.
* 1967 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson nominates Solicitor-General Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
* 1970 - "The Long and Winding Road" becomes the Beatles' last Number 1 song.
* 1971 - Vietnam War: The New York Times begins to publish the Pentagon Papers.
* 1977 - Convicted Martin Luther King Jr. assassin James Earl Ray is recaptured after escaping from prison three days before.
* 1978 - Israeli Defense Forces withdraw from Lebanon.
* 1981 - At the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London, a teenager, Marcus Sarjeant, fires six blank shots at Queen Elizabeth II.
* 1982 - Fahd becomes King of Saudi Arabia upon the death of his brother, Khalid.
* 1983 - Pioneer 10 becomes the first manmade object to leave the solar system.
* 1994 - A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, blames recklessness by Exxon and Captain Joseph Hazelwood for the Exxon Valdez disaster, allowing victims of the oil spill to seek $15 billion in damages, and the famous neil was born on that day
* 1995 - French president Jacques Chirac announces the resumption of nuclear tests in French Polynesia.
* 1996 - The Montana Freemen surrender after an 81-day standoff with FBI agents.
* 1997 - A jury sentences Timothy McVeigh to the death penalty for his part in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
* 2000 - President Kim Dae Jung of South Korea meets Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea, for the beginning of the first ever inter-Korea summit, in the northern capital of Pyongyang.
* 2000 - Italy pardons Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981.
* 2002 - The United States of America withdraws from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
* 2005 - A jury in Santa Maria, California acquits pop singer Michael Jackson of molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo at his Neverland Ranch.
* 2007 - Al Askari Mosque bombed again.
Holidays and observances
* Roman Empire – Quinquatrus Minusculae held in honor of Minerva
* Roman Empire – seventh day of the Vestalia in honor of Vesta
* Saint Anthony of Padua, priest, confessor, Doctor of the Church
* Saint Agricius, bishop of Sens, confessor
* Saint Leo III, pope
* Saint Onuphrius, hermit, confessor
* Blessed Thomas Woodhouse, martyr
Holiday Real Ghost Hauntings
AS FAR AS MOST ARE CONCEREND ANY DAY THAT A REAL GHOSTS HAUNTS YOU IS THE MOST HAUNTED DAY OF THE YEAR .
When preparing for real haunted holidays, keep in mind that the most important part of the holiday is family and friends gathering together to celebrate this special day. Do what you can to help make everyone feel comfortable and welcome including the ghosts that come to haunt your home each year.
Many people wonder why ghosts and hauntings hit such a dramtic high at this time of the year.
Walpurgis Night is a holiday celebrated on April 30 or May 1.
Story by Terry Avery Art By Gillian La Hoya
The Bram Stoker short story "Dracula's Guest" takes place on Walpurgisnacht: "Walpurgis Night was when, according to the belief of millions of people, the devil was abroad -- when the graves were opened and the dead came forth and walked. When all evil things of earth and air and water held revel.
Walpurgis Night (or Walpurgisnacht in Germany) is a holiday celebrated on April 30 or May 1, in large parts of central and Northern Europe. Inyeresting note: Halloween (which falls six months to the day either before or after Walpurgis Night).
Beltane or Bealtaine is an ancient Gaelic holiday celebrated around May 1. Historically, this festival was celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. There were similar festivals held at the same time in the other Celtic countries of Wales, Brittany and Cornwall. The festival survives in folkloric practices in the Celtic Nations and the diaspora, and has experienced a degree of revival in recent decades.
GHOSTS AND THE OCCULT
Something wicked this way comes. Macbeth (4.1.45-6), Second Witch
There was considerable grea tfear of hell, fire and damnation in the not too distant past. And many even in the Bible beleieve that witches communicated open and freely with the dead. Saul’s encounter with a witch from Endore. It would be helpful to read the account – I Samuel 28:3-25 The Witch of Endore
3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.
4 The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all the Israelites and set up camp at Gilboa.
5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart.
6 He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets.
7 Saul then said to his attendants, "Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her." "There is one in Endor," they said.
8 So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. "Consult a spirit for me," he said, "and bring up for me the one I name."
9 But the woman said to him, "Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?"
10 Saul swore to her by the LORD, "As surely as the LORD lives, you will not be punished for this."
11 Then the woman asked, "Whom shall I bring up for you?" "Bring up Samuel," he said.
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, "Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!"
13 The king said to her, "Don't be afraid. What do you see?" The woman said, "I see a spirit coming up out of the ground."
14 "What does he look like?" he asked. "An old man wearing a robe is coming up," she said. Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.
15 Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" "I am in great distress," Saul said. "The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has turned away from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do."
16 Samuel said, "Why do you consult me, now that the LORD has turned away from you and become your enemy?
17 The LORD has done what he predicted through me. The LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors--to David.
18 Because you did not obey the LORD or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the LORD has done this to you today.
19 The LORD will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines."
20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel's words. His strength was gone, for he had eaten nothing all that day and night.
Some impression from the Valborg (Walpurgis night) celebrations in Uppsala 2005. Valborg is celebrated to greet spring. (more)
The festival is named after Saint Walburga (known in Scandinavia as "Valborg"; alternative forms are "Walpurgis", "Wealdburg", or "Valderburger"), born in Wessex in 710. She was a niece of Saint Boniface and, according to legend, a daughter to the Saxon prince St. Richard. Together with her brothers she travelled to Franconia, Germany, where she became a nun and lived in the convent of Heidenheim, which was founded by her brother Wunibald. Walburga died on 25 February 779 and that day still carries her name in the Traditional Catholic Calendar. However she was not made a saint until 1 May in the same year, and that day carries her name in the Swedish calendar.
Historically the Walpurgisnacht is derived from Pagan spring customs, where the arrival of spring was celebrated with bonfires at night. Viking fertility celebrations took place around February 25 and due to Walburga being declared a saint at that time of year, her name became associated with the celebrations. Walburga was honored in the same way that Vikings had celebrated spring and as they spread throughout Europe, the two dates became mixed together and created the Walpurgis Night celebration. The main mascot of Walpurgis Day is the witch.
THE GHOSTS OF SPRING
In Germany, Walpurgisnacht (or Hexennacht, meaning witches´ night), the night from April 30 to May 1, is the night when allegedly the witches hold a large celebration on the Blocksberg and await the arrival of Spring.
Walpurgis Night (in German folklore) the night of April 30 (May Day's eve), when witches meet on the Brocken mountain and hold revels with their Gods..."
Brocken the highest of the Harz Mountains of north central Germany. It is noted for the phenomenon of the Brocken spectre and for witches' revels which reputably took place there on Walpurgis night.
The Brocken Spectre is a magnified shadow of an observer, typically surrounded by rainbow-like bands, thrown onto a bank of cloud in high mountain areas when the sun is low. The phenomenon was first reported on the Brocken.
—Taken from Oxford Phrase & Fable.
A scene in Goethe's Faust Part One is called "Walpurgisnacht", and one in Faust Part Two is called "Classical Walpurgisnacht".
In some parts of northern coastal regions of Germany, the custom of lighting huge Beltane fires is still kept alive, to celebrate the coming of May, while most parts of Germany have a derived christianized custom around Easter called "Easter fires".
In rural parts of southern Germany it is part of popular youth culture to go out on Walburgisnacht to play pranks on other people, like messing up someone's garden, hiding stuff or spraying messages on other people's property. Sometimes these pranks go too far and may result in serious wilful damage to property or bodily injury.
Walpurgis (sw: Valborg) is one of the main holidays during the year in both Sweden and Finland, alongside Christmas and Midsummer. The forms of celebration in Sweden vary in different parts of the country and between different cities. One of the main traditions in Sweden is to light large bonfires, a custom which is most firmly established in Svealand, and which began in Uppland during the 18th century. An older tradition from Southern Sweden was for the younger people to collect greenery and branches from the woods at twilight, which were used to adorn the houses of the village. The expected reward for this task is to be paid in eggs.
Today in Finland, Walpurgis Night (Vapunaatto) is, along with New Year's Eve, the biggest carnival-style festivity that takes place in the streets of Finland's towns and cities. The celebration is typically centered on plentiful use of sparkling wine and other alcoholic beverages. The student traditions are also one of the main characteristics of "Vappu". From the end of the 19th century, "Fin de Siècle", and onwards, this traditional upper class feast has been co-opted by students attending university, already having received their student cap. Many people who have graduated from lukio wear the cap. One tradition is drinking sima, whose alcohol content varies. Fixtures include the capping of the Havis Amanda, a nude female statue in Helsinki, and the biannually alternating publications of ribald matter called Äpy and Julkku. Both are sophomoric; but while Julkku is a standard magazine, Äpy is always a gimmick. Classic forms have included an Äpy printed on toilet paper and a bedsheet. Often the magazine has been stuffed inside standard industrial packages such as sardine-cans and milk cartons. The festivities also include a picnic on May 1st, which is sometimes prepared in a lavish manner.
The Finnish tradition is also a shadowing of the Soviet Era May Day parade. Starting with the parties of the left, the whole of the Finnish political scene has nominated Vappu as the day to go out on stumps and agitate. This does not only include right-wing parties, but also others like the church have followed suit, marching and making speeches. In Sweden it is only the labour and socialist parties which use May 1 for political activities, while others observe the traditional festivities. The labourers who were active in the 1970s still party on the first of May. They arrange carnivals and the radio plays their old songs that workers liked to listen to. The labour spirit lies most in the capital of Finland, Helsinki.
The First of May is also a day for everything fun and crazy: children and families gather in market places to celebrate the first day of the spring and the coming summer. There are balloons and joy, people drink their first beers outside, there are clowns and masks and a lot of fun. The first of May includes colourful streamers, funny and silly things and sun. The first of May means the beginning of the spring for many people in Finland.
Traditionally May 1st is celebrated by a picnic in a park (Kaivopuisto in the case of Helsinki). For most, the picnic is enjoyed with friends on a blanket with good food and sparkling wine. Some people, however, arrange extremely lavish picnics with pavilions, white table cloths, silver candelabras, classical music and lavish food. The picnic usually starts early in the morning, and some hard-core party goers continue the celebrations of the previous evening without sleeping in between. Some Student organisations have traditional areas where they camp every year and they usually send someone to reserve the spot early on. As with other Vappu traditions, the picnic includes student caps, sima, streamers and balloons
The tradition which is most widespread throughout the country is probably singing songs of spring. Most of the songs are from the 19th century and were spread by students' spring festivities. The strongest and most traditional spring festivities are also found in the old university cities, like Uppsala and Lund where both current and graduated students gather at events that take up most of the day from early morning to late night on April 30, or "sista April" ("The last day of April") as many people call it. There are also newer student traditions like the carnival parade, The Cortège, which has been held since 1909 by the students at Chalmers in Gothenburg. In Sweden, Valborg is especially notorious because of the excessive amounts of alcohol people consume on that day.
For the Celts, Beltane marked the beginning of the pastoral summer season when the herds of livestock were driven out to the summer pastures and mountain grazing lands. In modern Irish, Mí na Bealtaine ('month of Bealtaine') is the name for the month of May. The name of the month is often abbreviated to Bealtaine, with the festival day itself being known as Lá Bealtaine. The lighting of bonfires on Oidhche Bhealtaine ('the eve of Bealtaine') on mountains and hills of ritual and political significance was one of the main activities of the festival.
Beltane is a cross-quarter day, marking the midpoint in the Sun's progress between the vernal equinox and summer solstice. Since the Celtic year was based on both lunar and solar cycles, it is possible that the holiday was celebrated on the full moon nearest the midpoint between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. The astronomical date for this midpoint is closer to May 5 or May 7, but this can vary from year to year.
When looking for A hellhound May Day might be the perfect day to spot one. These Devil dogs or evil dog of Hell, Are found in mythology, folklore and fiction. Hellhounds typically have features such as black fur color, glowing red eyes, super strength or speed, ghostly or phantom characteristics, and sometimes even the ability to talk. Hellhounds are often associated with fire, and may have fire-based abilities and appearances. They are often assigned to guard the entrance to the world of the dead or undertake other duties related to the afterlife or the supernatural, such as hunting down lost souls or guarding a supernatural treasure. As legend goes, if one happened to see the hellhound three times, he or she will die an abrupt and unseen death.
In Irish mythology, the beginning of the summer season for the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians started at Bealtaine. Great bonfires would mark a time of purification and transition, heralding in the season in the hope of a good harvest later in the year, and were accompanied with ritual acts to protect the people from any harm by Otherworldly spirits, such as the Sídhe. Like the festival of Samhain, opposite Beltane on Oct. 31, Beltane was a time when the Otherworld was seen as particularly close at hand. Early Gaelic sources from around the 10th century state that the druids of the community would create a need-fire on top of a hill on this day and drive the village's cattle through the fires to purify them and bring luck (Eadar dà theine Bhealltainn in Scottish Gaelic, 'Between two fires of Beltane'). In Scotland, boughs of juniper were sometimes thrown on the fires to add an additional element of purification and blessing to the smoke. People would also pass between the two fires to purify themselves. This was echoed throughout history after Christianization, with lay people instead of Druid priests creating the need-fire. The festival persisted widely up until the 1950s, and in some places the celebration of Beltane continues today. A revived Beltane Fire Festival has been held every year since 1988 during the night of 30 April on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland and attended by up to 15,000 people (except in 2003 when local council restrictions forced the organisers to hold a private event elsewhere).
Wiccans and Wiccan-inspired Neopagans celebrate a variation of Beltane as a sabbat, one of the eight solar holidays. Although the holiday may use features of the Gaelic Bealtaine, such as the bonfire, it bears more relation to the Germanic May Day festival, both in its significance (focusing on fertility) and its rituals (such as maypole dancing). Some Wiccans celebrate 'High Beltaine' by enacting a ritual union of the May Lord and Lady.[
The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos, Día de los Difuntos or Día de Muertos in Spanish) is an ancient Aztec celebration of the memory of deceased ancestors that is celebrated on November 1 (All Saints' Day) and November 2 (All Souls' Day) .Five hundred years ago, the Spanish Conquistadors that landed in Mexico encountered natives practicing a ritual that seemed to mock death. It was a ritual that the natives had been practicing at least 3,000 years and is today known as Día de Muertos. The natives, unlike the Spaniards, viewed death as life continued. Instead of being afraid of death, they celebrated it.
Though the subject matter may be considered morbid from the Anglo Saxon perspective, Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead joyfully, and though it occurs at the same time as Halloween, All Saints' Day and All Souls Day, the traditional mood is much brighter with emphasis on celebrating and honoring the lives of the deceased, and celebrating the continuation of life; the belief is not that death is the end, but rather the beginning of a new stage in life.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS
The attitude towards death evidenced in the quintessentially Mexican holiday of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) might be puzzling for some. It isn't difficult for foreigners to interpret dancing skeletons, candy skulls and general drunken revelry as disrespect for the dead and grief at human loss. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The holiday is especially popular in Mexico where it is a national holiday, and is celebrated in the Philippines, in Mexican-American communities in the United States and specifically in New Orleans, and to a lesser extent, in other Latin American countries. It is a public holiday in Brazil, where many Brazilians celebrate it by visiting cemeteries and churches, bringing flowers, lighting candles and praying.
The original celebration can be traced to many Mesoamerican native traditions, such as the festivities held during the Aztec month of Miccailhuitontli, ritually presided by the "Lady of the Dead" (Mictecacihuatl), and dedicated to children and the dead. In the Aztec calendar, this ritual fell roughly at the end of the Gregorian month of July and the beginning of August, but in the postconquest era it was moved by Spanish priests so that it coincided with the Christian holiday of All Hallows Eve (in Spanish: "Día de Todos Santos.") This was a vain effort to transform the observance from a profane to a Christian celebration. The result is that Mexicans now celebrate the day of the dead during the first two days of November, rather than at the beginning of summer. But remember the dead they still do, and the modern festivity is characterized by the traditional Mexican blend of ancient aboriginal and introduced Christian features.
But the November 1 Noche de Muertos ritual goes on whether tourists come or not. On the remote island of Pacanda on a lake in Michocán, as well as Yunuen, one rarely finds a tourist.
Plans for the festival are made throughout the year, including gathering the goods to be offered to the dead. During the period of October 31 and November 2, families usually clean and decorate the graves. Most visit the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried and decorate their graves with ofrendas, or offerings, which often include orange marigold called Flor de Muerto, Spanish for "flower of the dead", or zempoalxochitl, Nahuatl for "twenty-flower", a term that has been carried into modern Mexican Spanish as cempazúchil which are thought to attract souls of the dead to the offerings. Toys are brought for dead children (los angelitos, or little angels), and bottles of tequila, mezcal, pulque or atole for adults. Families will also offer trinkets or the deceased's favorite candies on the grave. Ofrendas are also put in homes, usually with foods such as candied pumpkin, pan de muerto or sugar skulls and beverages such as atole. The ofrendas are left out in the homes as a welcoming gesture for the deceased. Some people believe the spirits of the dead eat the "spiritual essence" of the ofrenda food, so even though the celebrators eat the food after the festivity, they believe it lacks nutritional value. The pillows and blankets are left out so that the deceased can rest after their long journey. In some parts of Mexico, such as the towns of Mixquic, Pátzcuaro and Janitzio, people spend all night beside the graves of their relatives.
Some wealthier families do build altars or small shrines in their homes. These altars usually have the Christian cross, statues or pictures of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pictures of deceased relatives and other persons, and scores of candles. Traditionally, families spend some time around the altar praying and telling anecdotes about the deceased.
Public schools at all levels build altars with offerings, usually omitting the religious symbols. Government offices usually have at least a small altar, as this holiday is seen as important to the Mexican heritage.
Those with writing talent sometimes create "calaveras" – short poems mocking epitaphs of friends, sometimes with things they used to do in life. This custom originated in the 18th-19th century, after a newspaper published a poem narrating a dream of a cemetery in the future, "and all of us were dead", proceeding to "read" the tombstones. Newspapers dedicate calaveras to public figures, with cartoons of skeletons in the style of José Guadalupe Posada. Theatrical presentations of Don Juan Tenorio by José Zorrilla (1817–1893) are also traditional on this day.
A common symbol of the holiday is the skull (colloquially called calavera), which celebrants represent in masks, called calacas (colloquial term for "skeleton"), and foods such as Candy Skulls, which are inscribed with the name of the recipient on the forehead. Other holiday foods include pan de muerto (or "bread of the dead"), a sweet egg bread made in various shapes, from plain rounds to skulls and rabbits often decorated with white frosting to look like twisted bones.
The traditions and activities that take place in celebration of the Day of the Dead are not universal and often vary from town to town. For example, in the town of Pátzcuaro on the Lago de Pátzcuaro in Michoacán the tradition is very different if the deceased is a child rather than an adult. On November 1 of the year after a child's death, the godparents set a table in the parents' home with sweets, fruits, pan de muerto, a cross, a Rosary (used to pray to the Virgin Mary) and candles. This is meant to celebrate the child’s life, in respect and appreciation for the parents. There is also dancing with colorful costumes, often with skull-shaped masks and devil masks in the plaza or garden of the town. At midnight on November 2, the people light candles and ride winged boats called mariposas (Spanish for "butterfly") to Cuiseo, an island in the middle of the lake where there is a cemetery, to honor and celebrate the lives of the dead there.
In some parts of the country, children in costumes roam the streets, asking passersby for a calaverita, a small gift of money; they don't knock on people's doors.
Today in New Orleans All Saints' is more subdued but still an important day for visiting and decorating cemeteries. A modest but steady stream of people makes its way to family tombs in Lafayette or St. Louis No. 1 or Cypress Grove, and Save Our Cemeteries, an organization devoted to the study and preservation of the Crescent City's historic graveyards, has taken to stationing its members in several of the older cemeteries to pass out information and solicit memberships. This is the traditional day for visiting and beautifying the cemeteries of New Orleans. To true New Orleanians this day is as important as Mardi Gras.
In the aftermath of Katrina, when all the city of New Orleans appears to be dead, who, you might ask, would want to hang around this place now?
It would have to be somebody familiar with desolation, that’s for sure, and not put off by challenges. Someone who brings the party with him, so to speak; who knows just the prescription for these post-Katrina blues.
No it ain’t the Big Boeuf of Fat Tuesday! It's Gede' Of Course!
Too dread to be dead and too much of a good time to be kept down, now’s the time to call on Papa Gede for a healing wild abandon.
Known as the Lwa of the Dead in Vodoun, Papa Gede, or Ghede, is also known as the Baron Samdi, and is married to Manman Brigit, mother of all Gedes. Together the Gedes dress in funeral colors of purple and black and surround themselves with graveyard imagery. The Gedes are very wise, Papa Gede most of all, because they possess the accumulated wisdom of all the dead.
Papa Gede usually appears wearing all black, a top hat, sunglasses with one eye out, to symbolize his power in the world of the seen and the unseen. He is a wise counselor and a shameless trickster; he is especially loving toward children, and is called the patron of children throughout the Vodoun world.
You can count on Gede to keep you from wallowing in your sorrows, and he usually arrives when everyone is tired, exhausted and ready for sleep. That’s when Gede will want to hear another song, have another drink, and eat another meal!
Devotions to Gede, who is syncretized with St. Gerard, are carried out during the entire month of November, but most especially on November 1st (All Saints Day) and 2nd (All Souls Day).
During these devotions, Papa Gede will arrive with the entire retinue of Gedes in tow. They eat and drink with gluttony, for, like Death, the Gedes are never satisfied, and they especially enjoy hot, peppered foods and rum that has had Scotch Bonnet peppers soaking in it.
But Papa Gede is not just gluttony and cool clothes. He is the powerful Lwa often called upon for healing. As the Avatar of Death it is also within his power to effect healing, and if ever there was a need for healing, it is here, now.
Each Year La Source Ancienne Ounfo & The Island of Salvation Botanica & Magical Pharmacy present their Annual New Orleans DAY OF THE DEAD CELEBRATION, Voodoo Mambo Sallie Ann Glassman presiding holds a open to the Public day of the dead ritual. Followers wear white with a purple headscarf, or black and purple for Gede. They bring a dish of food for the people, and an offering for the Dead or Gede.
Gede’s tastes tend towards peppers, flat breads, rum, cigars, goats, crosses, grave-digger’s tools, black cock feathers, skeletons, sunglasses with one lens, hot Creole foods, money, the colors black, mauve, and white. He is syncretized with St. Gerard.
Or you can bring something that your ancestors or loved ones enjoyed in life.
New Orleans Day of Holy Obligations
The beautiful city of New Orleans is broken but not beaten, is bent but not destroyed. Slowly, it is beginning to heal. She is like a grand old dame who is suffering from a serious, life-threatening illness, and she needs every healing effort. Who better to call on now than Papa Gede?
He is able to help with grief, and there are many grieving here and throughout the Diaspora that is post-Katrina New Orleans. Gede will also lead the Beloved Dead across the black waters of the Abyss where they can rest, and their loved ones can heal.
In heavily Catholic New Orleans, All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2) have been observed for centuries through rituals celebrating life over death.
During the Yellow Fever epidemics in eighteenth century New Orleans, death always loomed close. It's presence left the lasting impression on this city and its inhabitants that life is a gift, perhaps fleeting, and should be enjoyed to its fullest each day. And so, on All Saints Day and All Souls Day, New Orleanians honor the lives of their dead loved ones by painting tombs with brilliant whitewashes, placing yellow chrysanthemums and red coxcombs on graves and ringing statuary with immortelles (wreaths of black glass beads). On these days, cemeteries throughout the city are alive with the flickering glow from fields of candles, as death is forgotten and lives lived are celebrated.
The most deadly diseases to strike Louisiana during the antebellum period were cholera, smallpox, malaria, and yellow fever. In an epidemic year the mortality rate could reach as high as sixty percent of those who contracted a disease. The death rate in New Orleans ranged from a low of 36 per 1,000 in the late 1820s to a high of 1 in 15 during the summer of 1853. Over 12,000 people died of yellow fever in New Orleans that year, with still more deaths in rural areas in south Louisiana, marking the single highest annual death rate of any state during the entire nineteenth century. Because people died faster than graves could be dug, the popular saying was that pretty soon people would have to dig their own graves.
It is one of the many rich New Orleans' traditions we observe annually at International House, for we can imagine no other city which has turned such tragedy into such a joyous celebration of life.
November 1st, All Saints' Day, is the time when folks in New Orleans traditionally come to pay their respects and leave flowers on the family plot.
Of these older cemeteries, St. Roch's, probably the best kept up, most retains the older air of All Saints' hustle and bustle. Once at the heart of the Ninth Ward's life, it is still visited by many former residents of the neighborhood who have moved to Gretna or St. Bernard Parish or other suburbs. Practically every grave and every niche in the wall "ovens" have flowers. People greet each other, chat with each other, or stop to joke with St. Roch's indefatigable sexton, Albert Hattier, about his own recently completed tomb, which sits prominently guarding the gate to St. Roch's No. 2.. Lower Louisiana is famous for its "Cities of the Dead," the cemeteries of above-ground tombs and wall crypts, or "ovens." Because so much of the area is below sea level, coffins did not readily stay in the ground but rather floated to the top. It only took a heavy rain to raise the dead. To address the problem antebellum authorities at times prohibited interment in the ground. Thus, most south Louisianians were, and still are, buried above the earth's surface.
Burial construction varied by class and faith. Wealthy Louisianians commissioned large, elaborate family tombs, while those with lesser means were buried in small units of ovenlike wall crypts. The very poor who could not afford tombs or crypts were buried below ground, often in unmarked or mass graves. During epidemics the dead were often buried one on top of another.
Jews also interred their dead below ground. According to Jewish belief, the body had to return to the soil and thus was usually buried in the ground in a wooden casket without nails.
But it is only in a few of Louisiana's rural communities, like Lacombe on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, and Lafitte, on Bayou Barataria, where the sublime night-time vigils, once more common, still take place to give All Saints' an especially distinctive aspect. In both of these places, as well as in many others in South Louisiana where All Saints' is observed without the candlelight vigil, the week before is a time of intense preparation. Undergrowth, weeds, and any cemetery trash are cleaned up, and tombs and graves, most of which have copings or slabs or in some other way conform to the South Louisiana style of raised grave structures, are painted (once with whitewash, today more likely with latex).
Antebellum Louisianians mourned the dead by staging elaborate funerals and processions, decorating graves at the time of death and on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, placing black wreaths on doors and black ribbons on door pulls, and wearing clothes and jewelry that symbolized stages of mourning. Many customs incorporated Latin and African elements, a cultural heritage from Louisiana's colonial era.
New Orleans Mourning jewelry is composed in part of human hair. Hair jewelry could be made by the mourner or by artists who specialized in such work with hair clipped from the deceased at the time of death.
The level of subterranean water is high enough that coffins tend to pop up out of the ground. An exception is Holt cemetery, where the graves are in the ground.
"It's a cemetery for mostly people who don't have the money to build those big magnificent tombs. So there are a lot of handmade, homemade tombs, made with found objects, with materials that are just lying around, very impermanent materials. It's a lot of very improvised memorials. Very personalized as well."
Rob Florence is the author of New Orleans Cemeteries: Life in the Cities of the Dead.
"It's one of the things that's very moving about this cemetery. You can tell that people have put a lot of thought and a lot of time and a lot of devotion into these memorials and within a year or even six months, it's not gonna be there."
The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New ... since the franchise had been granted to New Orleans on All Saints' Day. African-American influences on Louisiana mourning traditions included the celebration of funerals with dancing, music, and singing.
The wearing of white at funerals and other celebrations involving the dead had religious symbolism and was most likely an African-American cultural carryover. In 1819 English-born architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe encountered a funeral procession in New Orleans for an old Congo slave woman and wrote:
In going home to my lodgings this evening about sunset, I encountered a crowd of at least 200 negroes, men and women, who were following a corpse to the cemetery. Of the women, one half at least carried candles, & as the evening began to be dark, the effect was very striking, for all the women & many of the men were dressed in pure white. The funerals are so numerous here, or rather occupy so much of every afternoon in consequence of their being, almost all of them, performed by the same set of priests, proceeding from the same parish Church St. Louis Cathedral], that they excite hardly any attention.
In antebellum Louisiana, and even now, celebration of death did not end with the funeral. On or near tombs and crypts friends and relatives placed immortelles, wreaths commonly made of such durable materials as glass and wire.
According to older Latin Catholic tradition, the living also remembered the dead on All Souls' Day (2 November), burial sites, adorned them with flowers and ornaments, and held midnight feasts. Louisianians continue to observe All Saints' and All Souls' Day in much the same way today.
In the Philippines, it is called Araw ng mga Patay (Day of the Dead), Undas or Todos Los Santos (since this holiday is celebrated on November 1, All Saints Day, designated by the Catholic Church), and has more of a "family reunion" atmosphere. It is said to be an "opportunity to be with" the departed and is done in a somewhat solemn way. Tombs are cleaned or repainted, candles are lit, and flowers are offered. Since it's supposed to be about spending time with dead relatives, families usually camp in cemeteries, and sometimes spend a night or two near their relatives' tombs. Card games, eating, drinking, singing and dancing are common activities in the cemetery, probably to alleviate boredom. It is considered a very important holiday by many Filipinos (after Christmas and Holy Week), and additional days.
Feast of All Souls; Defuncts' Day; Commemoration of the Faithful Departed. What ever you call it it is the day the dead from all the ages are closes to us. Next to Shrove Tuesday the Devil's day and Yule. Of course it is one ogf the best days and times to hunt for real ghosts to investigate.
All Souls' Day is also known as the Feast of All Souls, Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed. The official Latin designation Commemoratio omnium Fidelium Defunctorum, on which this last name is based, is rendered more literally in PortugueseComemoração de todos os Fiéis Defuntos and many other languages. Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos or de los Difuntos) is used in Spanish-speaking countries, and Thursday of the Dead (Yom el Maouta) in Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.
The Western celebration of All Souls' Day is on 2 November and follows All Saints' Day, which commemorates the departed who have attained the beatific vision. If 2 November falls on a Sunday, the Mass is of All Souls, but the Office is that of the Sunday. However, Morning and Evening Prayer (Lauds and Vespers) for the Dead, in which the people participate, may be said. In pre-1969 calendars, which some still follow, All Souls Day is instead transferred, whenever 2 November falls on a Sunday, to the next day, 3 November, which is the case for this year in 2008.
The Eastern Orthodox Church dedicates several days throughout the year to the dead, mostly on Saturdays, because of Jesus' resting in the tomb on Saturday.
Demons and Devils and evil of all kinds are said to haunt the living on this day also. sometimes taking human shape and preying on the innocents that long to connect with a poor lost soul.
The custom of setting apart a special day for intercession for certain of the faithful departed is very old. But the celebration of general intercession on 2 November was first established by St. Odilo of Cluny (d. 1048) at his monastery of Cluny in 998. The decree ordaining the celebration is printed in the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum (Saec. VI, pt. i. p. 585). From Cluny the custom spread to the other houses of the Cluniac order, which became the largest and most extensive network of monasteries in Europe. The celebration was soon adopted in several dioceses in France, and spread throughout the Western Church. It was accepted in Rome only in the fourteenth century. While 2 November remained the liturgical celebration, in time the entire month of November became associated in the Western Catholic tradition with prayer for the departed; lists of names of those to be remembered being placed in the proximity of the altar on which the sacrifice of the mass is offered.
Feeding the dead!
Feeding the Dead. Some cultures consider food to be so important that they continue to feed a person even after death. The nourishemnet of life keeps them closer to us many belive. There is a strange unreal logic to this. If our spirits live on after death and suddenly we find we can no longer partake in the privileges of being alive, such as eating, we might miss being able to do so!
A legend became associated with the institution of the celebration. According to Jesse Voyles in his Life of St Odilo, a pilgrim returning from the Holy Land was cast by a storm on a desolate island. A hermit living there told him that amid the rocks was a chasm communicating with purgatory, from which perpetually rose the groans of tortured souls. The hermit also claimed he had heard the demons complaining of the efficacy of the prayers of the faithful, and especially the monks of Cluny, in rescuing their victims. Upon returning home, the pilgrim hastened to inform the abbot of Cluny, who then set 2 November as a day of intercession on the part of his community for all the souls in purgatory.
Among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians there are several All Souls' Days during the year. Most of these fall on Saturday, since it was on a Saturday that Jesus Christ lay in the Tomb, and are referred to as Soul Saturdays. They occur on the following occasions:
The Saturday of Meatfare Week (the second Saturday before Great Lent)—the day before the Sunday of the Last Judgement
Saturdays throughout the year are devoted to general prayer for the departed, unless some greater feast or saint's commemoration occurs.
Catholic teaching regarding
prayers for the dead is bound up inseparably with the doctrine of purgatory and the more general doctrine of the communion of the saints, which is an article of the Apostle's Creed. The
of the Council of Trent (Sess. XXV), "that
exists, and that the
detained therein are helped by the suffrages of the
, but especially by the acceptable
", is merely a restatement in
teaching which had already been embodied in more than one authoritative formula -- as in the
Waldenses by Innocent III in 1210 (Denzinger, Enchiridion, n. 3 73) and more fully in the profession of faith accepted for the
Palaeologus at the Second
Council of Florence in 1439: "[We
] likewise, that if the truly penitent die in the love of God, before they have made satisfaction by worthy fruits of
for their sins of commission and
, their souls are purified by purgatorial pains after death; and that for relief from these pains they are benefitted by the suffrages of the
in this life, that is, by
, prayers, and almsgiving, and by the other offices of piety usually performed by the
for one another according to the practice [instituta] of the Church" (ibid., n. 588). Hence, under "suffrages" for the dead, which are
and efficacious, are included not only formal supplications, but every kind of pious work that may be
benefit of others, and it is in this comprehensive sense that we speak of prayers in the present article. As is clear from this general statement, the Church does not recognize the limitation upon which even modern Protestants often insist, that
prayers for the dead, while
and commendable as a private practice, are to be excluded from her public offices. The most efficacious of all prayers, in Catholic teaching, is the
public office, the Sacrifice of the Mass.
Coming to the proof of this doctrine, we find, in the first place, that it is an integral part of the great general truth which we name the communion of saints. This truth is the counterpart in the supernatural order of the natural law of
are not isolated units in the
, any more than in domestic and civil
. As children in Christ's Kingdom they are as one family under the
of God; as members of Christ's mystical body they are incorporated not only with Him, their common Head, but with one another, and this not merely by visible
bonds and external co-operation, but by the invisible bonds of mutual love and sympathy, and by effective co-operation in the inner life of
. Each is in some degree the beneficiary of the
activities of the others, of their prayers and goodworks, their
and satisfactions; nor is this degree to be wholly measured by those indirect ways in which the law of solidarity works out in other cases, nor by the
agents. It is wider than this, and extends to the bounds of the
. Now, as between the living, no Christian can deny the reality of this far-reaching
; and since death, for those who die in faith and
, does not sever the bonds of this
, why should it interrupt its efficacy in the case of the dead, and shut them out from benefits of which they are capable and may be in need? Of very few can it be
that they have attained
holiness at death; and none but the perfectly
are admitted to the vision of God. Of few, on the other hand,
they at least who love them admit the
thought that they are beyond the pale of
and mercy, and condemned to
separation from God and from all who
to be with God. On this ground alone it has been truly said that purgatory is a postulate of the Christian
; and, granting the
of the purgatorial state, it is equally a postulate of the Christian
in the communion of saints, or, in other words, be helped by the prayers of their brethren on earth and in heaven.
is King in purgatory as well as in heaven and on earth, and He cannot be
to our prayers for our loved ones in that part of His
, whom he also
while He chastises them. For our own consolation as well as for theirs we want to believe in this living intercourse of
with our dead. We would
it without explicit warrant of
, on the strength of what is otherwise
to the promptings of
affection. Indeed, it is largely for this reason that Protestants in growing numbers are giving up today the joy-killing doctrine of the Reformers, and reviving Catholic teaching and practice. As we shall presently see, there is no clear and explicit warrant for
prayers for the dead in the
recognized by Protestants as
, while they do not admit the Divine authority of extra-Scriptural
. Catholics are in a better position.
The Office of the Dead is a prayer cycle of the Liturgy of the Hours in the Roman Catholic Church, said for the repose of the soul of a deceased. It is the proper reading on All Souls' Day (normally November 2) for all souls in Purgatory, and can be a votive office on other days when said for a particular deceased. The work is composed of different psalms, scripture, prayers and other parts, divided into First Vespers, Mass, Matins, and Lauds. The editor is not known, but the office as it exists today is no older than from 7th or 8th century. A well known refrain from the cycle is Timor mortis conturbat me, "The fear of death confounds me" or, more colloquially, "I am scared to death of dying". The word dirge comes from it.
In Tirol, cakes are left for them on the table and the room kept warm for their comfort. In Brittany, people flock to the cemeteries at nightfall to kneel, bareheaded, at the graves of their loved ones, and to anoint the hollow of the tombstone with holy water or to pour libations of milk on it. At bedtime, the supper is left on the table for the souls.
In Bolivia, many people believe that the dead eat the food that is left out for them. Some claim that the food is gone or partially consumed in the morning.
HAUNTED BY HOLIDAY GHOSTS!
Story by A. Pustanio
“As the last stroke ceased to vibrate, [Scrooge] remembered the prediction of old Jacob Marley, and, lifting up his eyes, beheld a solemn Phantom, draped and hooded, coming like a mist along the ground towards him…
The Phantom slowly, gravely, silently approached. When it came near him, Scrooge bent down upon his knee; for in the air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery.
It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand. He knew no more, for the Spirit neither spoke nor moved.
‘I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come? Ghost of the Future! I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. But as I know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was, I am prepared to bear your company, and do it with a thankful heart. Will you not speak to me?’
The Last of the Spirits John Leech
Full-page illustration for Dickens's Christmas Carol: The Last of the Spirits 1843
It gave him no reply. The hand was pointed straight before them.
‘Lead on! Lead on! The night is waning fast, and it is precious time to me, I know. Lead on, Spirit!’”
Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol” (1872)
Like Samhain before it the Christmas season -- the pagan Yule -- is another time when the veil between this world and the next becomes thin; as the Wheel of the Year groans slowly in the Winter darkness, beings from the supernatural plane often take the opportunity to enter the world of the living.
Among the Victorians of Dickens’ day, the telling of ghost stories was a favorite Christmas tradition and these stories, though often imbued with more hope than the horror of their Halloween counterparts, harked back to an ancient, wilder time when mankind shivered in the bleak dearth of Winter around the light of a feeble fire, little protection from the ghosts, ghouls and other supernatural beings that prowled the frosty night. At once envious and hateful of the light, these creatures nevertheless would crowd around the households of the innocent and righteous to warm themselves in the glowing memories of home and loved ones and Christmases long past – of life itself.
But as most students of the paranormal know, visitations by the dead at Christmas time and intrusions by malevolent spirits from the dark heart of winter are not simply the stuff of history. In fact, a large portion of ghostly encounters occur at holidays such as Christmas or at other times when families gather to celebrate their own unique traditions, a fact that lends some credence to the theory that many dead relatives and friends take advantage of the holiday welcome mat time and time again.
Yuletide visitations by the unquiet dead have been reported since the earliest times and are not solely limited to the Christian celebration of Christmas. Pagan peasants throughout the black forests of Europe knew Winter as a time of rekindling connections long before the advent of the faith of Christ – some of these connections could be otherworldly, as well. Unexplained knocks at the door on Christmas Eve, the appearance of lovingly hand-tooled toys and crafts, even the mysterious consumption of large quantities of mulled Christmas wine, all are events that have come down through generations as linked to this special time of year.
Not only is the veil between the worlds tenuous during this time of feast and rejoicing, but some spiritualists have suggested that whatever “rules” apply to the forlorn world of the dead are somehow relaxed amidst the Yuletide joy, allowing the dear departed to return and make their presence known among the living.
A Christmas Phone Call from the Dead
“My mother passed away three years ago. We were very close and I miss her daily. Last Christmas evening, I went to bed and woke up to the phone ringing. I answered it and a voice that was very familiar to me said, ‘Hello there!’ It was my mother’s voice. The line had a static noise and it sounded to cut in and out. I said, ‘This can’t be you, mom! You’re dead!’ She said, ‘Oh, come on now!’ She sounded a bit agitated and then we were cut off. My 16-year-old daughter was sleeping in the next room and also heard the phone ring that night. I know it was my mother’s voice: she had a Norwegian accent and it was her!”
Some connections between the dead and the holiday season persist for generations. For instance, the ghost of Anne Boleyn, the ill-fated second wife of England’s King Henry VIII, has been sighted at Christmas gazing forlornly from the bridge over the River Eden, not far from Hever Castle, site of a Boleyn ancestral home. The Queen is said to toss a sprig of Christmas holly into the icy river before disappearing into the frosty night.
The ghost of a lost lady is sighted walking along the lonely roads outside Brigg, Lincolnshire. She is said to be the ghost of a lonely old woman who left her home to beg money to buy a Christmas lunch but became lost in the snow and froze to death somewhere along the road she now haunts. Appearing dressed in ragged clothing from the early 1800’s, she has been known to approach strangers asking for directions or begging for money. It is said that to refuse her money is extreme bad luck.
In Gloucester, Massachusetts there is a home dating from Colonial times whose current owners continue a long tradition of leaving food and drink at the back door for their Christmas ghost. Said to be the wretched soul of a young fisherman lost at sea, the legend is told that one Christmas night, generations ago, the house was roused by knockings on the back door. When the door was opened, there on the stoop, shivering and dripping wet, as if just plucked from the Sea, was the thin, frail figure of a boy, barely in his teens, standing barefoot on the snowy stoop. Brought inside and seated by the fire, the drenched young man was covered in a blanket and given warm punch to drink; the cook set about getting some food. But when the mistress of the house returned with dry clothing for the boy she cried out in alarm – the chair by the fire was empty, the blanket and mug on the ground. The boy was gone. Nor had any seen him leave when just outside the door the hall boy was gathering wood to stoke the fire. “Tis a ghost have been here!” the cook said flatly. And from that time, in that house, the tradition has been kept to feed the poor lost fisherman who returned from his watery grave one Christmas long ago.
These days encounters with the dead at Christmas are not often so dramatic, though they are sometimes equally as unsettling. One woman’s true story involves the quaint holiday tradition in her home of watching “White Christmas,” the movie starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye that made Irving Berlin song of that name even more popular.
“My mom and I used to always watch it, every year,” relates Sylvia, a New Orleans native. “We never missed a year.” Except for the Christmas that came after the death of her beloved mother: “That year I tried to avoid watching it,” she said. “I just didn’t want to get even more depressed.” Having successfully eluded the movie, Sylvia, alone in the house, was preparing for bed when she heard the familiar sound of Bing Crosby’s voice coming from the sick room where her mother had spent her last days. Sylvia, standing in the hall, distinctly heard the sound of Bing Crosby crooning “White Christmas,” but when she went to investigate she found the room dark and undisturbed, just as it was when her mother had died. “I even went over to the TV in there to feel if it had been on,” said Sylvia. “I don’t know why that would make any sense, but there was just no way to explain it.” Unless, as Sylvia now believes, her mother was just watching her favorite holiday movie one last time…
Some people have claimed that departed relatives have returned to finish wrapping gifts, to baste the holiday turkey and even to attend church services with their loved ones. Others have discovered departed relatives appearing as shadows and ghostly images in Christmas photos and even videos. One family submitted an interesting tale involving capturing what they believe is a dead relative on video.
“Our kids were getting to that age, you know, where they were a little more creative in trying to figure out their Christmas presents,” said Dean from Baton Rouge. “So I set up this small web cam on my computer and focused it on the tree and the presents.” Hoping to catch his kids in the act, when Dean viewed the camera footage the next morning he discovered a shadowy vapor moving slowly around the tree, hovering around the gifts. “At one point the tree moves ever so slightly, and then there’s this disturbance, like a mist on the lens or something.” Interestingly, Dean’s father had passed away earlier that same year and his presence was, according to Dean and other family members, “very strong that year. He loved Christmas and there’s no doubt in my mind that he came back to check out the tree and the gifts we were giving his grandkids!”
“Christmas Eve was a time for human feasting – and for something else. In Scandinavia, people said, the ghosts of the dead returned in the night to visit the homes they had loved. Their descendants welcomed them: After the meal of the living was finished, food was left for the dead. Then the living retired, so their ancestors might come into the warmth and the light to make their old Christmas revels once more.”
Old Scandinavian Folk Belief
GHOSTLY BELLS AT CHRISTMAS
“Hear the sledges with the bells –
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells bells,
Bells, bells, bells,
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells!”
-- from “The Bells” by Edgar Allan Poe
The sound of ghostly bells pealing in the still Christmas night is a frequent odd occurrence of the season reported throughout England and in parts of rural America. Tolling bells heard at night are most often associated with death of someone nearby, however, at this magical time of year the sound of ghostly bells is not at all so ominous.
Still the experience can be disconcerting. In England, for example, there have been many reports of the sound of bells ringing out on Christmas night from the sites of monasteries and cloisters destroyed in Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. During the destruction of Evesham Abbey the huge church bells were cast into the nearby river. In the succeeding years there have been several reports of the sound of bells resonating under the water on Christmas Eve night.
Locations where villages once stood have also been reported as haunted by ghostly bells at Christmastide. Places where little evidence is left of human settlement, villages and towns that were wiped out by plague or famine, are said to still hold the memories of happier times and in the still Christmas night, when all the world rejoices, the clear ringing of long lost bells still sounds out.
Incidences such as these have been reported in the New England states and throughout rural America. Buildings that once served as makeshift churches in the founding years of America still experience the ghostly sounds of bells ringing at this special time of year, even though the bells have been long removed.
Clapboard churches that once stood in rural areas across America, particularly in the South, but that have since been abandoned or destroyed, have been said to come to life with this strange phenomenon every Christmas Eve.
One story comes to us from the edges of the Chickamauga battlefield in Tennessee where, according to legend, there once stood a small, unadorned building on a farm that came to be used for worship by the Confederate troops garrisoned nearby. A makeshift bell was donated for use by the farm’s owners and was hung with pride on a makeshift frame outside the building. Its clear ringing would summon the faithful to worship. But as the days grew darker and defeat drew near, very often the bell would toll in mourning for the loss of a soldier or other local.
After the Union defeat of the Confederates in September 1863, the church was abandoned. In time, after the surrender of the South, the little townships around Chickamauga returned to a semblance of normalcy. The family that farmed those lands in the days before the war now had considerably less land to farm, though this did not trouble them. Too many times the plow or the hoe would turn up more than soil in the green fields of the South.
One frosty, clear Christmas Eve night, after all the family festivities were over and the house stood still and silent, there came a sound heard only by the eldest daughter who sat up in bed at the strangeness of it: a bell, ringing in the cold night. Curious, the girl got out of bed, shivering slightly as she pulled on her dressing gown and shoes. She tip-toed gingerly through the gravely silent house where her family lay slumbering and quietly opened the front door. Now there was no doubt: the bell was ringing clearly in the night.
Thinking there was some service called the somehow her family had overlooked, the girl followed the sound of the distant bell and came at last upon the ramshackle remains of the old Confederate church. But to her surprise, the once blank and dark windows were aglow with the feeble light of candles; shapes moved to and fro and the door stood ajar, casting a beam of yellow light onto the snow covered ground.
As she approached, still hearing the ringing of the bell, now nearer though she could not see it, she became aware of a low humming, as if people inside were humming a hymn. She crept stealthily to the opening in the door and held her breath. She peered inside.
What met her eyes was a scene so shocking and otherworldly that she scarce could contain her gasp of shock. In a strange glow that came from neither candle nor lantern she saw, seated row upon row, the shapes of ghostly soldiers – some in states of decay, others mere grinning skeletons in ragged clothing – assembled there for a Christmas service scheduled by some ghoul of supernatural world. And before them, standing with a shredded bible in his hands, was the parson – and this the farmer’s daughter knew for certain, for he had come home from the battlefields in a wooden box, having done his good offices even to his own death.
Defying all the laws of the natural world, called together in the spirit of the season, these remnant ghosts had come from indignant ends in forgotten hollows, from shallow graves near abandoned and unused roads, and from mass burials across the fields of Tennessee, to keep faith together and celebrate the season of light in the dead of winter. They had heard the clarion call.
The farmer’s daughter, it is said, was found wandering the snowy woodlands as Christmas morning dawned, entirely insane and babbling about the ringing of the Christmas bells.
THE CHRISTMAS FETISH
Many people might cast a vote for the baby in the manger or the angel singing “Gloria!” as the most likely candidates for a Christmas fetish, but there is one object that really wins the vote hands down: the Nutcracker Doll.
Functionally and decorative “nutbiters” were produced in Germany and Europe as early as the 14th century but really emerged as an art form in the 15th and 16th century. During this time, the modest rural appliance invented to separate the shell of a nut from its meat, began to take on magnificent proportions, richly carved and embellished.
The Brothers Grimm first mention the device by the familiar “nutcracker” name while compiling their anthology of fairy tales and folk sayings of the Bavarian peoples in the 1830’s. The nutcrackers were often cleverly carved or designed to represent prominent townspeople such as kings, burgomasters, and noble men and women. These objects quickly grew in popularity among folk art collectors of the day.
It wasn’t until a generation later that the humble Bohemian “nutbiter” would become forever associated with Christmas – the perfect fetish of the season.
The Christmas Nutcracker Doll began its life in 1816 in a play entitled “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” written by German writer E.T.A. Hoffman, the tale of an unhappy girl named Marie whose only love was a nutcracker doll.
In 1845 famed French novelist Aleandre Dumas adapted the play into a story more suitable for children and, in 1891, this happier version of the story was chosen as the basis of a Russian ballet scored by the illustrious Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The ballet opened in St. Petersburg on December 17, 1892.
The ballet tells the tale of a girl named Clara who is given a nutcracker doll for Christmas by her mysterious godfather, Drosselmaier. That night, Clara falls asleep and is disturbed by an attacking army of mice led by the Mouse King who wants to take Clara away to his kingdom forever. She is rescued by soldiers of the Nutcracker who, having become a prince, takes her to his own kingdom, a land full of sugarplums, snowflakes and dancing flowers. She awakens the next morning with only the doll and memories of her Christmas dreams.
Though popular in Russia, the Nutcracker ballet was not staged outside of that country until 1934 when a production was mounted in London. Since then numerous versions have appeared with American choreographer George Balanchine’s 1954 production arguably the most successful. Since reaching popularity in America in the 1950’s the ballet is probably the world’s most popular ballet and is especially loved at the holiday season.
Not as popular, however, are other, darker endings of the Nutcracker tale in which the original Maria (or the reinvented Clara) is actually the prize in the battle between the Mouse King and the Nutcracker Prince. The Nutcracker, having won, takes his prize to live with him forever. Maria (or Clara) awakes to find not delightful memories of sugarplum dreams and snowflakes, but the reality of being trapped forever in a doll house castle, ruling a kingdom of toys, her wooden captor ever at her side, while her family seeks for her in vain.
A NEW ORLEANS CHRISTMAS ORIGINAL
“Jingle, jangle, jingle! Here comes Mr. Bingle!
With another message from Kris Kringle!”
Boys and girls growing up in New Orleans in the early 1960’s and beyond will fondly remember a Christmas fetish that rivals any Nutcracker Prince: the lovable Mr. Bingle!
Originally a stringed puppet appearing in between afternoon cartoons during Christmas time, designed to coax the kiddies to get their parents to shop at his department store sponsor, Mr. Bingle quickly became a New Orleans icon.
Children sat with glazed eyes through antics by Bugs Bunny and Mighty Mouse, waiting patiently for the Mr. Bingle breaks when the lively winged snow-cone would visit with Santa and his friends and remind everybody to “Shop at Maison Blanche!”
Maison Blanche, a popular department store located in the heart of New Orleans, helped Mr. Bingle’s icon status when it began the tradition of erecting a 40-foot version of him outside its Canal Street store. From this high vantage point, Mr. Bingle spread Christmas cheer over generations of New Orleans children.
In recent years, that 40-foot icon has seen a renewed interest, fueled in large part by the desire to rebuild New Orleans after the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. The generation that made Mr. Bingle a household word has pulled him out of mothballs, refurbished him, and set him out for all to see at Christmas in the Oaks, another favorite New Orleans pastime in yet another New Orleans icon, the great City Park.
Mr. Bingle shines in the memories of all who grew up with him and while Nutcrackers might oogle sternly down from mantelpieces and other high places at Christmas time, the “cuddle factor” of a stuffed and snowy Mr. Bingle far outweighs the appeal of that European interloper. And Mr. Bingle keeps those Christmas ghosts away, too!
Here, in full, for your Christmas enjoyment, is the story of Mr. Bingle, our humble Christmas gift to all of you!
THE STORY OF MR. BINGLE ™
“When Santa left his shop one day
He found a snowman by his sleigh.
‘You’ll be my helper now,’ he said,
And tapped the little fellow’s head.
The snowman found that he could talk;
‘Look, Santa, I can even walk!’
And then he gave a little sigh…
‘Oh, how I wish that I could fly!’
So Santa gave him holly wings;
Then looking through his Christmas things,
Found ornaments the very size
To make a pair of shining eyes.
Then Santa said, ‘You need a hat;
An ice cream cone’s just right for that.
And keep this candy cane with you;
You’ll see what magic it can do!’
The snowman laughed and sang a jingle,
So Santa named him Mr. Bingle.
That’s how it happened. Now he’s here
For us to enjoy throughout the year!”
The many old haunted cemeteries, houses, castles and abbeys that that are reported to be infested with real ghosts. But, at a number of haunted locations such as buildings, Hotels and B&B houses, you might also get to see a little bit more than you bargained for.
Several properties are rumored to be happy hunting grounds for an assortment of spooks. And many have their own anniversary of hauntings also. Certain ghosts might haunt a location on the anniversary of their death or birthday. Many ghosts have their own special time of the year to haunt the living also.
Happy Haunted New Year
New Year's Day is the first day of the year, in the Gregorian calendar, falling exactly one week after Christmas Day of the previous year. In modern times, it is January 1. In most countries, it is a holiday. It is a holy day to many of those who still use the Julian calendar, which includes followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches, and is celebrated on January 14 of the Gregorian calendar due to differences between the two calendars.
January 1 marks the end of a period of remembrance of a particular passing year, and of the bad luck that has chased or haunted you all year.
This day is traditionally a religious feast, but since the 1900s, has become an occasion for celebration the night of December 31, called New Year's Eve. There are often fireworks at midnight. Depending on the country, individuals may be allowed to burn fireworks, even if it is forbidden the rest of the year. The custom was first used to dispel the bad luck or bad spirits or ghost that haunted you all year long.
Resaerchers of the occult, paranormal and unexplained often believe that this is a time when spirits gather to haunt the living..
Originally observed on March 1 in the old Roman Calendar, New Year's Day first came to be fixed at January 1 in 153 BC, when the two Roman consuls, after whom - in the Roman calendar - years were named and numbered, began to be chosen on that date. However in AD 525, Dionysius Exiguus set the start of the Julian calendar at March 25 to commemorate the Annunciation of Jesus; a variety of Christian feast dates were used throughout the Middle Ages to mark the New Year, while calendars often continued to display the months in columns running from January to December in the Roman fashion.
Mardi Gras Day
If you just happen to be in New Orleans on a this day you could find a special gate that lets you communicate with the dead directly. The Well Known Secret New Orleans' Voodoo Cemetery Gates Of Guinee, The Portal To The Afterworld. Many say it's strongest time to be found is on Mardi Gras Day. The gate they day comes open to this world two times a year. Mardi Gras and Halloween, The Crossed roads play an important part of Hoodoo at Mardi Gras. They are said that this is where the spirits gather to watch the living. Many locals place their own statues of Ellegua on street corners on Lundi Gras and of course Mardi Gras Day so they can see the people go by and gain great strength from the energy and excitement that is in the air. Remember New Orleans Mardi Gras Parades do cross many great historical haunted crossroads in the city where spirits are said to dwell. With over 30 Cemeteries nearby the party seems to be going on in both worlds.
Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is the high point of Carnival followed by the quiet of Ash Wednesday. It is good to remember that Carnival literally means "Farewell to Flesh" (Carnis= LATIN: "flesh" and vale= LATIN: "farewell"). And isn't that what we do when we die?
Carnival is a celebration of great excess. It is a time when the flesh and all of the material pleasures that it apprehends are set ablaze in the passion of the moment. The fat, so to speak, is in the fire and one is left with the ashes on Wednesday. Because of this that is why many believe the dead draw so close so near. Reaching out from the grave for the reaping of life. And as they say, "Only in New Orleans".
New Orleans Mardi Gras Voodoo Hoodoo
Ghede' is a very wise man for his knowledge is an accumulation of the knowledge of all the deceased. He stands on the center of all the roads that lead to Guinee, the afterworld. To find these mysterious gates in the city of New Orleans might take a little detective work. Some Locals say if their open when you find them... beware! If you then enter you will never return to the real world.
The exact location of the haunted cemetery gates isn't really ever told to outsiders of the Secret Societies. New Orleans Tour Guides and Haunted Cemetery or ghost tours will skirt around the issue, or just look at you like they don't know what your talking about, so never mention it (seriously). They say just to talk about the accursed cemetery gates spells doom to those that ask or search for it or speak of it openly to anyone. Those who know feel it is inviting them , "The Ghede" to take you away. Only someone pure of heart with only one burning question to be answered by the dead is ever told the whole truth. A unnamed New Orleans Voodoo priestess says quite bluntly, search and you shall find them rusted shut, or worse they will certainly find you and be wide and opened.
To find these gates, they say is to find the way to communicate openly with the dead. And not just the spirits of those that have died in New Orleans. Local Voodoo followers of Marie Laveaus' Secret Society profess that anyone can come to these gates of Guinee if you can find them.
Speak the name of the deceased you wish to speak to aloud five times through the bars, and they will come and speak to you from the other side. One real warning though, if the rusted shut heavy gate opens do not enter. For you will be one of the living trapped in the world of the dead forever. If you arrive and the Guinee gates are open turn and walk away crossing yourself three times as fast as you can and don't look back. www.hauntedamericatours.com/HOLIDAYS/HALLOWEEN/dayofthedead/neworleans
The Wheel of the Year is a Wiccan metaphor and calendar for the cycle of the seasons. It consists of eight festivals, spaced at approximately even intervals throughout the year. These festivals are often referred to as Sabbats (Sabbaths).
In Wicca and Wiccan-influenced forms of Neopaganism, natural processes are seen as following a continuous cycle. The passing of time is also seen as cyclical, and is represented by a circle or wheel. The progression of birth, life, decline and death, as experienced in human lives, is echoed in the progression of the seasons. Wiccans also see this cycle as echoing the life, death and rebirth of the God and the fertility of the Goddess.
The system of eight yearly festivals held on these dates is unknown in older pagan calendars, and originated in the modern Wiccan religion. Many Wiccan believe that this is when spirits of the departed are closest to them and able to bridge the gap to this world. Many witches are said to be intouch with the afterworld directly, just as psychics and mediums claim.
The eight festivals are distinct from "esbats", which are lunar-based festivals falling on a full or new moon.
Samhain, Last Harvest, Blood Harvest, Ancestor Night, Feast of the Dead 1 Nov (alt. 5-10 Nov) ˜ 15°Scorpio
Yule, Alban Arthan, Midwinter, Winter Rite 20-23 Dec (winter solstice) 0° Capricorn
Imbolc, Brigid's Day, Candlemas, Bride's Day, Brigantia 2 Feb (alt. 2-7 Feb) ˜ 15° Aquarius
Ostara, Alban Eilir, Lady Day, Festival of Trees 19-22 Mar (spring equinox) 0° Aries
Beltane, May Day 1 May (alt. 4-10 May) ˜ 15° Taurus
Midsummer, Alban Hefin, Aerra Litha, Mother Night 19-23 June (summer solstice) 0° Cancer
Lughnasadh , Lammas, 1st Harvest, Bread Harvest, Festival of First Fruits 1 Aug (alt. 3-10 Aug) ˜ 15° Leo
Mabon, Alban Elfed, Harvest Home, 2nd Harvest, Fruit Harvest, Wine Harvest 21-24 Sept (autumn equinox) 0° Libra
Daily Ghost Sightings From All Across The World
Real life ghost sightings and strange happenings are a daily occurrence to many. For those that chase or hunt ghosts it sometimes proves they are more myth then materialized. But we as those that believe know it's true and if others have to resort to special days places or haunted things to find a real ghost then thats jst the norm for the.
Some ghost don't look at a calander, nor or they aware of what day of the week it is said a researcher at a recent Paranormal conference. He further went on to say that he thought they did not even know what time of the day it was that they should or should not show themselves. Residual haunting or intelegent haunting he said made no difference. A spirit or Ghost he went on , is only aware of it's sourrondings as we are and it will randomly do what irt will do when it's ready .
The "Top Most Haunted Places" 100 places to see a real ghost and have a Paranormal Encounter.
Please visit here!
Some of these Top 100 Most allegedly haunted places are known for their haunted cemeteries, houses, buildings, Roads, hotels, & battlefields and churches. And in some cases a city may be listed and in other spots a haunted hot spot. Please feel free to use this as a Paranormal Travel Guide when planning your next haunted destination ghost hunt or vacation. There are literally thousands of haunted places around the world, and this list only compiles a small number of them.
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