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Taken from first-person accounts and historical documents, this book chronicles more than 300 examples of alien encounters, conspiracy theories, and the influence of extraterrestrials on human events throughout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
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Many people in this world are haunted by specters and spooks from beyond the grave, and of course there are those that are haunted and do not know it. But if you might just happen to venture to the roads where evil dwells then you might just sing another song.
BY Bobby Miller
Many believe that crossed roads are where the devil and all sorts of foul evils and unmentionable paranormal occurences occur. Ghost come in all shapes, ages and assorted sizes. Some are headless vauge apparitons while others appear as bright glowing orbs in the darkness. And of course their those that are just invisible to us and cause no harm. Many who collect EVP's beleive they are just whispers in the wind. But as many in the paranomal field will tell ghost are everywhere the living often travel.
Symbolically, the crossroads can be used as a metaphor for the afterlife. Mandala and medicine wheels as the Christian cross for example are metonymic of crossroads and share in their lore. Devils ghost and ghouls are said to haunt these desolet locations as do fiends robbers witches and werwolves. To be seen at a crosroad at night usually meant somone was up to no good. Thieves and robbers are also said to gather there to make thier plans.
A crossroads is a road junction, where two or more roads meet. In British English it is specifically defined as being where two roads cross each other (there are exactly 4 arms). While in American English it can refer to a road intersection with any number of arms. The term is often used metaphorically, as an abstraction of places or occasions where people meet. Unlike the terms road intersection and road junction, crossroads is used in a more figurative or poetic sense (similar to fork in the road). As a metaphor, "to be at a crossroads" refers to any turning point with an unpredictable outcome (the literal meaning of crisis). Crossroads is also a frequent toponym, given to a hamlet located at such a junction.
Historically, burial at cross-roads was the method of disposing of executed criminals and persons who have committed suicide. Cross-roads form a crude cross shape and this may have given rise to the belief that these spots were selected as the next best burying-places to consecrated ground. (There is also the now illegal tradition within England of burying criminals (particularly suicides) at crossroads.) This may have been due to the crossroads marking the boundaries of the settlement coupled with a desire to bury those outside of the law outside the settlement, or that the many roads would confuse the dead. Another possible explanation is that the ancient Teutonic (Germanic) ethnic groups often built their altars at the cross-roads, and since human sacrifices, especially of criminals, formed part of the ritual, these spots came to be regarded as execution grounds. Hence after the introduction of Christianity, criminals and suicides were buried at the cross-roads during the night, in order to assimilate[clarification needed as far as possible their funeral to that of the pagans. An example of a cross-road execution-ground was the famous Tyburn in London, which stood on the spot where the Roman road to Edgware and beyond met the Roman road heading west out of London. Superstition also played a part in the selection of cross-roads in the burial of suicides. Folk belief often held such individuals could rise as some form of undead (such as a vampire) and burying them at cross-roads would inhibit their ability to find and wreak havoc on their living relations and former associates.
Live burial sometimes occurs, in which individuals are buried while still alive. Having no way of escaping interment, they die in place, typically by asphyxiation, dehydration, starvation, or (in cold or hot climates) exposure. People may come to be buried alive in a number of different ways: Intentional: buried alive as a method of execution or murder, called immurement. In ancient Rome, Vestal Virgins who broke their vows were punished in this way.
United States Communities Cross Roads, Indiana, an unincorporated community in Delaware County Crossroads, Missouri, an unincorporated community in Stone County Cross Roads, Pennsylvania, a borough in York County Cross Roads, Texas, an incorporated town in Denton County Cross Roads, Henderson County, Texas, an unincorporated community Crossroads, Bellevue, Washington, a neighborhood Surry, Virginia, former name "Cross Roads" Nicknames Crossroads of America, an unofficial nickname for Indiana
Another interpretation of the crossroad hinted at by some blues songs is that point at which a particular road is taken in life.
Originally the blues "Crossroads" was a literal right-angle crossing of two railroads - "where the Southern cross the Dog" - in Moorhead, Mississippi. The "Southern" was a line of the Southern Railway, sold to the Columbus and Greenville Railway in 1920, and the "Dog" was the "Yellow Dog", officially the Yazoo and Delta Railroad, part of the Illinois Central Railroad system after 1897. This place is mentioned in a number of blues, including the recorded works of W. C. Handy and Bessie Smith. The term remained an important metaphor in the blues tradition, one of the most notable examples is the famous Cross Road Blues, recorded in 1936 by Robert Johnson.
Robert Johnson, blues musician, who some people claimed he met with Satan at the crossroads and signed over his soul to play the blues and gain mastery of the guitar.
Interestingly, there are other contenders in the myth of Robert Johnson's devil-purchased soul -- and the crossroads of US 61 and US 49 in Clarksdale is where most blues tourists pay their respects (the newest Romantics album is called "61/49" for this reason). Of course -- as with ancient Roman tourists setting off to find "sites" from Greek myths -- the location of Johnson's crossroads is not exactly something that can be proven. He was born in Hazelhurst, and his supposed grave is in Quito (near Itta Bena) -- but Rosedale did figure in the lyrics for one of Johnson's most famous songs, "Traveling Riverside Blues".
A "vision", as told by Henry Goodman
Robert Johnson been playing down in Yazoo City and over at Beulah trying to get back up to Helena, ride left him out on a road next to the levee, walking up the highway, guitar in his hand propped up on his shoulder. October cool night, full moon filling up the dark sky, Robert Johnson thinking about Son House preaching to him, "Put that guitar down, boy, you drivin' people nuts." Robert Johnson needing as always a woman and some whiskey. Big trees all around, dark and lonesome road, a crazed, poisoned dog howling and moaning in a ditch alongside the road sending electrified chills up and down Robert Johnson's spine, coming up on a crossroads just south of Rosedale. Robert Johnson, feeling bad and lonesome, knows people up the highway in Gunnison. Can get a drink of whiskey and more up there. Man sitting off to the side of the road on a log at the crossroads says, "You're late, Robert Johnson." Robert Johnson drops to his knees and says, "Maybe not."
The man stands up, tall, barrel-chested, and black as the forever-closed eyes of Robert Johnson's stillborn baby, and walks out to the middle of the crossroads where Robert Johnson kneels. He says, "Stand up, Robert Johnson. You want to throw that guitar over there in that ditch with that hairless dog and go on back up to Robinsonville and play the harp with Willie Brown and Son, because you just another guitar player like all the rest, or you want to play that guitar like nobody ever played it before? Make a sound nobody ever heard before? You want to be the King of the Delta Blues and have all the whiskey and women you want?"
"That's a lot of whiskey and women, Devil-Man."
"I know you, Robert Johnson," says the man.
Robert Johnson, feels the moonlight bearing down on his head and the back of his neck as the moon seems to be growing bigger and bigger and brighter and brighter. He feels it like the heat of the noonday sun bearing down, and the howling and moaning of the dog in the ditch penetrates his soul, coming up through his feet and the tips of his fingers through his legs and arms, settling in that big empty place beneath his breastbone causing him to shake and shudder like a man with the palsy. Robert Johnson says, "That dog gone mad."
The man laughs. "That hound belong to me. He ain't mad, he's got the Blues. I got his soul in my hand."
The dog lets out a low, long soulful moan, a howling like never heard before, rhythmic, syncopated grunts, yelps, and barks, seizing Robert Johnson like a Grand Mal, and causing the strings on his guitar to vibrate, hum, and sing with a sound dark and blue, beautiful, soulful chords and notes possessing Robert Johnson, taking him over, spinning him around, losing him inside of his own self, wasting him, lifting him up into the sky. Robert Johnson looks over in the ditch and sees the eyes of the dog reflecting the bright moonlight or, more likely so it seems to Robert Johnson, glowing on their own, a deep violet penetrating glow, and Robert Johnson knows and feels that he is staring into the eyes of a Hellhound as his body shudders from head to toe.
The man says, "The dog ain't for sale, Robert Johnson, but the sound can be yours. That's the sound of the Delta Blues."
"I got to have that sound, Devil-Man. That sound is mine. Where do I sign?"
The man says, "You ain't got a pencil, Robert Johnson. Your word is good enough. All you got to do is keep walking north. But you better be prepared. There are consequences."
"Prepared for what, Devil-man?"
"You know where you are, Robert Johnson? You are standing in the middle of the crossroads. At midnight, that full moon is right over your head. You take one more step, you'll be in Rosedale. You take this road to the east, you'll get back over to Highway 61 in Cleveland, or you can turn around and go back down to Beulah or just go to the west and sit up on the levee and look at the River. But if you take one more step in the direction you're headed, you going to be in Rosedale at midnight under this full October moon, and you are going to have the Blues like never known to this world. My left hand will be forever wrapped around your soul, and your music will possess all who hear it. That's what's going to happen. That's what you better be prepared for. Your soul will belong to me. This is not just any crossroads. I put this "X" here for a reason, and I been waiting on you."
Robert Johnson rolls his head around, his eyes upwards in their sockets to stare at the blinding light of the moon which has now completely filled tie pitch-black Delta night, piercing his right eye like a bolt of lightning as the midnight hour hits. He looks the big man squarely in the eyes and says, "Step back, Devil-Man, I'm going to Rosedale. I am the Blues."
The man moves to one side and says, "Go on, Robert Johnson. You the King of the Delta Blues. Go on home to Rosedale. And when you get on up in town, you get you a plate of hot tamales because you going to be needing something on your stomach where you're headed."
A deal with the Devil, pact with the Devil, or Faustian bargain is a cultural motif widespread wherever the Devil is vividly present, most familiar in the legend of Faust and the figure of Mephistopheles, but elemental to many Christian folktales. In the Aarne-Thompson typological catalogue, it lies in category AT 756B – "The devil's contract."
According to traditional Christian belief in witchcraft, the pact is between a person and Satan or any other demon (or demons); the person offers his or her soul in exchange for diabolical favours. Those favours vary by the tale, but tend to include youth, knowledge, wealth, or power. It was also believed that some persons made this type of pact just as a sign of recognising the Devil as their master, in exchange for nothing. Regardless, the bargain is a dangerous one, for the price of the Fiend's service is the wagerer's soul. The tale may have a moralizing end, with eternal damnation for the foolhardy venturer. Conversely it may have a comic twist, in which a wily peasant outwits the Devil, characteristically on a technical point. Among the credulous, any apparently superhuman achievement might be credited to a pact with the Devil, from the numerous European Devil's Bridges to the superb violin technique of Niccolò Paganini.
In the folk magic of many cultures, the crossroads is a location "between the worlds" and, as such, a site where supernatural spirits can be contacted and paranormal events can take place. Symbolically, it can mean a locality where two realms touch and therefore represents liminality, a place literally "neither here nor there", "betwixt and between". This is particularly pronounced in conjure, rootwork, and hoodoo, a form of African American magical spirituality. In conjure practice, it is said that in order to acquire facility at various manual and body skills, such as playing a musical instrument, throwing dice, or dancing, one may attend upon a crossroads a certain number of times, either at midnight or just before dawn, and one will meet a "black man," whom some call the Devil, who will bestow upon one the desired skills. Evidence of this practice can be found in 20th century blues songs, such as Sold It to the Devil by Black Spider Dumpling (John D. Twitty). Although many modern listeners believe that the premier song about soul-selling at a crossroads is Cross Road Blues by Robert Johnson, the song may be a description of standing at a cross roads and trying to "flag a ride" or hitch-hike; the sense of foreboding coming from the singer's apprehension of finding himself, a young black man in the 1920s deep south, alone after dark and at the mercy of passing motorists. Others believe Robert Johnson sang this song in regards to the deal that was made with Legba in which Johnson exchanged his soul for his extraordinary guitar skills that seemed to appear suddenly. It should be noted, however that the idea of selling one's soul for instrumental skills pre-dates the American South as several virtuoso classical musicians such as Paganini had stories told about selling their soul for music prowess (and that story may reference back to medieval troubadour doing something similar).
The motif of selling one's soul for guitar power has become a staple of both rock and metal guitarists. In the Vodou tradition, Papa Legba is the lwa of crossroads. Crossroads are very important both in Brazilian mythology (related to the headless mule, the devil, the Besta Fera and the Brazilian version of the werewolf) and religions (as the favourite place for the manifestation of "left-hand" entities such as Exus and where to place offerings to the Orishas). Eshu and Legba derive from the same African deity, although they are viewed in markedly different manners among traditions. For example, Papa Legba is considered by Haitian Vodou practitioners to be closest to Saint Peter, although in Brazilian Quimbanda it is not uncommon to see Exu closely associated with demonic entities such as Lucifer, clad in Mephistophelean attire and bearing a trident.
There is a common motif in Russian folk tales, where a vityaz (Russian knight) comes to a fork in the road and sees a menhir with an inscription that reads: "If you ride to the left, you will lose your horse, if you ride to the right, you will lose your head".
The phrase appears in the Book of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 21:19–23 NRSV). "Mortal, mark out two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to come; both of them shall issue from the same land. And make a signpost, make it for a fork in the road leading to a city; mark out the road for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites or to Judah and to Jerusalem the fortified. For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the fork in the two roads, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the teraphim, he inspects the liver. Into his right hand comes the lot for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to call out for slaughter, for raising the battle cry, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up ramps, to build siege towers. But to them it will seem like a false divination; they have sworn solemn oaths; but he brings their guilt to remembrance; bringing about their capture.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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