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Magic of the Crossroads

Danger Crossroads Ahead!

An intersection of roads. This meaning is used metaphorically as a place where other things — both physical and abstract meet.


Story By Chris Friend

We most think of haunted places being old abandoned houses and graveyards, yet those dreaded intersections known as crossroads are considered in most places to be quite haunted or at least enchanted. In much of the folklore, a crossroad was a place where fairies, witches, ghosts, and all manner of uncanny beings were said to haunt. Throughout the ancient world deities such as the Greek Goddess Hecate were said to be seen wandering over crossroads. Often the ancients left offerings to Hecate at crossroads such Hecate Cakes, sweet cakes decorated with lit candles (an antecedent to the modern birthday cake).

During the Christian era such worship was seen as satanic with the early church villifying all such pagan practices. Soon crossroads became identified with demons and the devil himself. Stories of people selling their souls to the devil became common.

Crossroads Devil

Crossroads Also See: ROBERT JOHNSON’S DEAL WITH THE DEVIL AND THE CROSSROADS CURSE ...

My own theory is that early christians who saw the pagan peasantry worshipping at a crossroads became convinced these were devil wroshippers due to the new prejudice.

Another superstition held that vampires usually attacked people lost at the crossroads. But, a counter belief held that suspected vampires should be buried at the crossroads to confuse the corpse when it rises. The undead have a hard time with directions it would seem. Vampires, suicides, a murderers were usually buried at a crossroads.

Voodoo At The Cross Roads

Among the voodoo faiths of the carribean, this intersection of roads was considered magical with many deities being connected to it. In Cuban Santeria, the trickster Eleggua was conjured at a crossroads as is his Haitian counterpart Legba. In Brazil, the practioners of Macumba still leave offerings at crossroads. Belief in it being a magical place can be found everywhere from Mexico to India. Since a crossroad is ambiguous in nature being not one direction, but actually four, this causes it to be an uncanny place.

The Witches of Hecate

Among ancient people this ambiguity be it the midnight hour or a place such as a door way (or crossroad) was considered especially susceptible to supernatural forces. it should also be noted that New Year\'s Eve held just such an ambiguous nature, and at one time Halloween was the Celtic New Year. So, these ambiguous places and times remain places of uncanny and supernatural forces, even today.

So, this Halloween you might well avoid an intersection of roads, or you might run into Hecate and her wild hunt.

Chris Friend

Cheis Friend

Chris Friend has been publishing his artwork and articles for twenty odd years, Mostly in small press horror and sci-fi magazines. He has had work in such zines as Black Petals, Stygian Articles, Space and Time, and too many to count. He earns his living as a Certified Nurse's Aide and care provider. He also publishes a newsletter Mars.
Chris is 47 years and hopes to acomplish even more.

Check out his web site here: www.chris.michaelherring.net

 

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I have been a ghost hunter and the president of H.P.I. International for 4 odd years now.  Not only am I the President of HPI (with over 375 members and another branch in Michigan and San Luis Obispo), but I have written articles for Haunted America Tours
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