Hecate a Goddess of the night who stands on the edge of the city of life, she stands at the crossroads leading to unknown lands. The dead are laid to rest in her realm, wild dogs roam scavenging what is tossed away. She speaks to the restless spirits that roam outside the walls who have found no peace. Light and dark, life and death, mundane and magick intersect in her land.
She is strong and silent, speaks only when she has something important to say. Her presence is often all that is needed to get the point across. The dead come when she calls like a siren to move them along from any earthly ties to what awaits them. Her approach can be kind or harsh, but always because she knows it must be down, or no change will happen.
Hecate can also help the living move past difficult ties as well, but with a similar approach as with the dead. She can be kind or harsh, but never sugar coats words or actions. Though she holds the lantern to light the path, one must take the steps along the way for change to happen. She does not suffer fools lightly, but will be patient to a point if they are sincere.
On this day of Samhain (Halloween) that is the fall harvest, to celebrate life before the cold drives us in for the winter. It is also to remember those who have past before us, and celebrate there life as the veil between thins and spirits roam. This night, to remember and celebrate, setup a dinner setting for the dead. A favorite food or a small meal of what you will be serving that night to include them in the festivities.
Possible food Offerings
On this night, if you wish to honor Hecate as well. You can leave offerings for her either at a crossroads (not a busy road) or at your front door entrance, since she is also a Goddess of the gateways. You can also light a candle in her honor and place offerings around it.
Symbols and Offerings to Hecate
– Black candles
If you have problems or things in your life you are having trouble working through. Take a piece of paper and write down the problem you wish to work through and as you make your dedication to Hecate ask her for help. Be sure that you wish her help since Hecate rarely takes the easy and simple route, and hardly painless. Once you have finish, fold the paper and place it under the candle, light asking for her blessing.
A symbol to carry with you as a reminder of Hecate or charged to her is a iron key. This is in connection with her ties to the gateway between life and death and change.
By Eilfie Music
Old dirt roads that seem to go on forever and narrow strips of asphalt that twist around mountains. These paths that man created to get from point A to point B (and everywhere in between) also hold their own treasure trove of ghost stories.
For me, haunted roads with their ghostly hitchhikers and vanishing motor vehicles are some of my favorite tales. They are also some of the most difficult to investigate. Because these are often public roads that anyone at any time can be on, it’s not always the safest place to be. You have to deal with ill lit areas, and even in the deadest of times the occasional traffic. Another problem is police, who might wonder what you are doing out on the side of the road with cameras and recorders in the middle of the night. Just like doing an investigation in a cemetery, it’s always good to inform the local police of what you are doing, just in case someone calls in reporting strange lights on the road.
Almost every state has its handful of local legends about the back roads and old hangout areas. The lonely hitchhiker is a popular one that usually involves a cemetery or stretch of road that a spirit of a man or woman will be seen walking up and down trying to hail a ride. Once some good Samaritan has pulled over to give them a lift, the driver is either instructed to take them to a nearby cemetery or a house address. In some stories the ghost will talk like any normal person trying to kill time, in others they will stay silent the entire ride. Once at the destination, the hitchhiker will either climb out and thank the person for the ride, or the driver will turn around to tell there passenger they have arrived and find an empty seat. The driver will later find out from locals or family members that the person they picked up died years ago.
This is the most popular framework for the haunted highway stories, but another interesting one is the phantom vehicle seen racing down the road and zooming off into the darkness. One that I recently read about was a road dubbed “Hot Rod Haven” for all the nightly car races done on this twisting hairpin turn road. It had also seen its share of deaths from vehicles taking turns too wide and careening off the edge. People would report seeing a pale, luminous 1950’s car zipping along and at times playing chicken with people. Witnesses had also seen this same car seemingly taking the same turn each time and losing control as it tumbled over the edge. The driver of the vehicle is never seen.
A popular story my dad would tell me took place on a stretch of road near Lemont, PA. Supposedly this back road had its own headless rider, but instead of it being a horse like the Hessian in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow it was a motorbike with a headless rider. The story went that a local kid would take his bike out and drive around the back roads in the Centre County area. One night while traveling through one of the twisting roads, he either swerved to avoid another vehicle or lost control going at a speed much higher then the limit and went flying off his bike. His body hit a tree, and his head continued on. They found his head later, nestled safely in the helmet. So after this, every so often people will see a motorbike traveling along with a rider either with a helmet on who vanishes or a headless biker who goes off into the night where he died. Now I don’t know what truth this story had, but it definitely made a fun ghost story when he told it me years ago.
Many of these tales can be counted as just urban legends with kernels of truth. With some roads having high amounts of accidents, it is no wonder we think they are haunted or even worse, cursed. The best part these stories at times is to find the truth behind the tale, so even if you can’t investigate the place physically you can still find out if there is any merit to the tales.
Asfar, Dan Haunted Highways, 2003, Ghost House Books
Article by: Eilfie Music
I’ve noticed a big debate that comes up often in the paranormal world is spirit communication. Not only the general practice of trying to communicate with the afterlife, but the methods used to try and accomplish this. This also opens up a whole other can of worms of what we are even actually communicating with – which I won’t go into for this article. So for the sake of argument, lets stick to the idea that we are communicating with “human” spirits.
In our electronic age of gadgets and gizmos galore, for the average paranormal investigator, there is a wide variety of items now at our disposal to supposedly tap into the other side. We have the classic digital audio recorder that took the place of the analog recorder (though some groups occasionally use the analog as well for comparisons) used to record EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) either during a session with a series of questions being asked, or by leaving the recorder in an empty room rumored to be haunted. The outcome is potentially spirit voices that the human ear cannot pick up at the time, but the recorder possibly can. We then have the K2 meter, a simple EMF detector that is used by asking a question and waiting for the red light to flash in response. Then there is the Frank’s box and the Shack Hack. Both are radios that have been cobbled together or manipulated to allow the radio to do a constant sweep of the airwaves. From this, bits of sound are picked up to form words of, potentially, spirits communicating. Other versions of these two have been coming out lately as well. The Ovilus, which works on EMF, temperature, and pressure change, will throw out a word from its vocabulary bank based on sensor readings. All of these devices are not foolproof, and can be manipulated or break down. They are the updated and electronically rigged versions of the old-school methods of spirit communication.
Before audio recorders and Frank’s box, we had the Ouija board or a pendulum with a circle of letters. Before huddling around a recorder and speaking out into thin air asking for a sign or saying ‘don’t be afraid, just talk into this device with a glowing light,’ we had people sitting around a table in a darkened room asking for knocks and bangs to show signs of a presence. In some ways, people were much closer to the dead. They wanted the spirit to guide their fingers on the planchet or brush a translucent hand along their shoulder. To feel the dead moving these items (such as tipping a table) gave the assurance that they weren’t just talking to thin air. Before EVP sessions, people participating in communication had to rely on the idea that the spirit would vocalize its answers in the air or even channel through someone. People wanted to truly feel the dead and have that connection with them once more. When paranormal investigators started incorporating more electronic devices, it made the capturing of evidence much more possible, but in some ways distanced people from the human connection.
For some people, doing an EVP session feels much safer than using a Ouija board or even being in a séance. A possible reason for this is the mass concludes that it is alright to do an EVP session with a little audio recorder rather than to pull out a Ouija board. People see many paranormal shows where it is a normal part of an investigation. Meet clients, do history, set up tech, do an EVP session – light on or off optional. So when people see this being done by their favorite investigators, it gives that stamp of approval to use an audio recorder and ask the spirits questions. Plus it is such a part of the norm in the paranormal world, not many look at anyone sideways if they see someone whip out an audio recorder in the middle of an investigation and start asking questions.
My question is this though: how is this different from a Ouija board or a séance? Is it that closeness again – the idea that a disembodied spirit is guiding your hands on the board, or potentially talking through someone? Does the audio recorder and shack hack give people that safe distance from experiencing the paranormal without having to put both feet in the water?
In PRS, this is where the difference of opinion comes in. I don’t believe a device to communicate with spirits can be dangerous in and of itself; I think how it is used or misused will determine the outcome. An audio recorder for an EVP session is not any safer than a Ouija board. You may not be using a planchet, but you are still speaking to something you hope is a human spirit. If you become aggressive with it during a session or the spirit becomes angry, the same things can happen. People can be touched, hurt, or have something follow a person home because they opened the channel of communication without properly closing it. The reason there are so many horror stories of people using a spirit board and something bad happening, is because they went in not believing and goofed around, probably didn’t close it right and just let something in. Or they went in afraid, expecting the worst and setting themselves up mentally for something bad to happen.
People should not be afraid to communicate with spirits. That’s the reason they got interested in the paranormal in the first place, I hope. To make that connection. When doing any kind of communication, approach the session with respect. State that you are starting this session and any rules such as (‘no touching’). When communicating, thank the spirit if you do get a response – and there is a difference between getting stern and getting vulgar. Once done, state that the session is over, thank the spirits for communicating, and tell them that they must remain where they are and cannot follow.
It’s one thing to handle the paranormal with fear and put Plexiglass between us and whatever is beyond our front yard. It’s another to approach it with respect and understand this is all theory and we are still just groping around in the dark.
Article By: Eilfie Music
Jewelry decorates and adds brilliance to our form. Throughout history, mankind has created jewelry to beautify, enhance, protect, and distinguish ourselves. Today, jewelry can be very simple and made of cheap material such as plastic, or can consist of precious metals and rare encrusted jewels that need to be insured. Necklaces, rings, charms, and pins can turn a drab outfit into something a little shiner. These items do not just hold meaning to a person, but in a way carry a bit of that person as well. Some haunted objects are ones that are kept close to the owner the most. This is also why the same items can be charged to carry energy for a purpose.
One of my favorite things to do is go antique hunting. I love items from the Victorian age right up to the 1950’s. Some of my favorite things to look for are old jewelry pieces, and not even the pricey stuff but the unique pieces that is often costume jewelry. Energy workers that I have spoken to will talk about how some antique baubles will have the imprints of people still attached to them. They are not necessarily haunted, but carry an impression of the last owner until it’s written over by a new person. Even if someone is not sensitive or looking for a charged object, they will often get impressions off of these trinkets, such as that feeling you get when a ring just calls for you to wear it, or a necklace that looks perfectly nice, but does not feel quite right to have. One of the methods I use to cleanse a piece of jewelry of any unwanted energy is to place it in the sun for the day. You can also place it in a bowl of salt for a few hours, or put it in water with salt in the light; just make sure the item can handle the water.
Not all haunted objects have negative connections. Some of them can be positive or they just don’t do much of anything. Rarely does a conscious spirit haunt an item, but instead you are getting the moments of that person. This usually as strong as the memory was, but will eventually fade over time through the handling of other people. Some haunted jewelry has been known to be more sinister or even cursed. A famous piece is the Hope Diamond. The large cut of blue diamond that has supposedly cause great misfortune to those who possess it through out history, from royalty to socialites. It is currently housed at the Smithsonian. I had the chance once to actually try and look at this amazing stone years ago. For something cursed, many people had no problem wanting to gaze at it, which prevented me from getting a good look at it.
Jewelry can also be created or altered to hold a charge for particular purposes in magick and ritual. Often you will hear about rings crafted with a mix of metals and semi-precious stones to become a magician’s ring of power. The ring is often worn on the dominant hand that is used in magick and is a focal point for the energy. If you cannot afford to have a jeweler to create an item for you, and do not have the skills to do so yourself, pre-made jewelry can be just as effective. Items with symbols that connect with you or have a connection to what you are energetically working with can be charged and used. You can also alter the piece by scratching words of power into the item. The jewelry becomes almost a psychological trigger to remind you of shielding or acquiring something in our life. Before you use a pre-made item, it would be good to cleanse it as you would an antique item so you have a clean slate to work with. This is so you don’t have any lingering energy from previous owners or even people picking it up randomly and admiring it in the store.
Article By: Eilfie Music
At the annual House Kepheru Gathering, while everything was winding down and people were preparing to leave, I started talking shop with some of the various guests. In connection with paranormal evidence such as photography and audio recordings. A topic that came up, which I really was not familiar with, was Japanese Ghost Videos. Apparently if you do a search for “Japanese Ghost Videos” or “Japanese Ghost Images” you will get a bunch of both videos and stills of strange ghostly sightings caught by random people. These were described to me as videos often caught on cell phones while people film each other in goofball moments, or caught on surveillance, but the kickers were apparently the ones caught on TV shows. How much of this is real or faked can be debated. Some of them stood out as some kind of special effect software, while others not so much. What fascinates me more than figuring out whether or not the evidence presented is true (or simply bored people’s way of scaring online viewers) is the true creepiness of the Japanese ghosts.
If you go to Japan (a wishful destination for myself) you will see at times amongst the modern fast-paced everyday life, small Shinto shrines tucked away. Some of these are dedicated to various deities while others are for spirits. These shrines look like small houses with the name of the person or deity written on the front. The world of the dead sits right next to the world of the living in Japan. Many homes have small altars called Kamidana, or “Spirit Shrines”, dedicated to family members who have passed. Food, incense, and prayers are offered daily. If a person who passed is given proper honors and did not die either tragically, suddenly, or with great emotional turmoil attached, they become ancestral spirits who can help the living. If a person has not been given the proper respect after death, or if any wrongs have not been corrected for them, they could become a yurei, or “Faint Spirit”, that has returned to haunt an area, building, or person. Yurei are often describe as faint translucent figures that have long unkempt hair, limp hands, white burial clothes, and faded to no feet. This frightening image is now seen in the horror adaptations of Japanese-based movies that pull much from their folklore and superstition. This shows the fear of someone’s spirit not being at rest and possibly causing harm or death to those who encounter them. What is interesting is the idea that people are not encountering a rational entity, but the raw emotion of someone’s last moments on earth.
Security footage is one of the forms that interested me, since these are everywhere and run 24/7. These emotionless monitors capturing every movement and are designed to make sure no one steals anything of value. They also seem to have become the new eyes for paranormal investigators. They bring up the question of whether, if no one is looking, will a ghost still go about its business? A couple videos that are questionable even show just how unaware of our environment we are. These moments are often lost since people are not looking for spirits while looking over surveillance. The static film shows either people still going about their former living occupations or, even stranger, a figure that does not look quite of this period moving around unnoticed. Many of these have turned out to be faked or some kind of environmental or mechanical malfunction that is mistaken for a wispy ghost passing by.
It is fascinating to see people just filming moments in their lives that they will show to friends and post on public video websites, unknowingly also capturing the faded image of a ghost either caught in the moment of death or trying to contact the living. Even if many of these videos are not real, they engage people’s interest in looking for evidence in the most unlikely places. This also shows us how a different culture views spirits and the afterlife. To people in Japan, a ghost means someone is unhappy or not being cared for properly in the next life.
Even with the frightening nature of these spirits, the method to trying and quell their anger is in some ways more logical than what is done in the western world. With the yurei that is causing trouble to either place or person, the key way to fix this is to find out why they are still around. Most often they have unresolved issues, are tied down due to an intense emotional moment connected to the death, or were improperly taken care of after death. If the reason for the haunting cannot be determined, then food, incense, prayers, and some kind of shrine or remembrance is setup. What anyone wants in life or death is to be remembered: to know they had an impact on the world and did not just fade away.
If you are dealing with a possible haunting, a page can be taken from this culture. Place a dish of food and a candle out in a quiet space that will not be interrupted. If you don’t know what the person likes, then simply bread, fruit, or candy is a good option. You are offering the spirit this substance as a way of acknowledging their presence and feeding the spirit. You can then ask for a pleasant cohabitation of the home and for them not to cause trouble, but to protect the home instead. You may want to continue to give them a bit of food once a week or month so as not to forget them.
Many of these videos are both scary and make you wonder. Even if they are faked, how creepy is it to think that ghosts can be anywhere you go and it just takes one camera at the right time to catch one? A place does not necessarily have to be creepy to be haunted.
Real The Grudge Japanese Ghost caught on security Camera
Japanese ghost (woman hit by train 2009)
おにビデオ 6 (Japanese Ghost Video 6) (TV show)
Ghost Caught on Singapore Elevator Security Camera
Girl’s reflection is Alive
Ghost Girl Spotted Near Vending Machine
Encyclopedia of Spirits:
The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses Judika Illes
Japanese Ghost Stories: Spirits Hauntings and Paranormal Phenomena by Catrien Ross
Tuttle Publishing 1996
Article By: Eilfie Music
In this day and age with the internet, we have an endless supply of information at our fingertips; it is only as limited as human imagination. With this vast source of information, it becomes difficult to tell, at times, what is fictional and what is real. Over the last few years, the style of realistic looking horror has started to pour into the theatres. The shaky cameras and not quite so perfect camera set-ups are starting to become the norm for horror movies that deal with ghosts, demons, and ax-wielding creatures that go bump in the night. These movies often campaign with “leaked” footage and “evidence” to stir people’s imagination. This has become a great way to push movies out into the mainstream. Since people are always intrigued by a mystery, this sparks debate about what has been revealed, and has people talking about it long before the movie comes out.
An early form of using news media to create a false story was with Orson Welles, who did “War of the Worlds” on local radio on October 30, 1938. He absolutely terrified people with the idea that aliens had invaded Earth through mock news bulletins. Later on you had films by William Castle that had people dressed up as nurses with ambulances outside the movie theatre, warning that the movie was so scary people might pass out or have heart attacks.
In 1992, on Halloween night, the BBC UK broadcast a show called “Ghostwatch” – a “live” showing of a haunted house. The BBC had field reporters for up-to-the-minute news of the paranormal activity, experts, and the family members at the haunted house. A studio crew took calls from viewers on their paranormal experiences while watching their fellow journalist on site. This of course was entirely scripted and pre-recorded. The story for “Ghostwatch,” though, was based off an actual haunting that occurred in 1978, known as the “Enfield Poltergeist”. “Ghostwatch” caused quite a stir, since people thought it was real; this might have been because they were using known journalists on the show instead of actors. People called in during the broadcasting complaining about how frightening this was, and “how dare they show it”. Today you can do a Google search and easily find it in its entirety on video websites.
In 1999 Blair Witch was filmed on a small budget in various locations of Maryland. Here you had the early stages of the net really being utilized for promotions. It was portrayed as a story of this old film being “found” and released to the public. It had an entire false back-story and everything. A webpage was created with the “evidence” and information. The SyFy Channel even broadcast a special on the legend of the Blair Witch that was well done and gave a prequel to the movie.
After that, we’ve had many fake documentary/horror films come out on various levels, from independent films to blockbusters. Then “Paranormal Activity” took the idea to another level. They made a horror movie as realistic as possible, with the viewer hardly seeing any ghost or demon – just people scared of an unseen force. Though many people knew this is just a work of fiction, many people also thought this movie was real as well.
Some paranormal enthusiasts enjoy going to these movies and either being scared or finding humor in it. When can you tell whether you’re looking at a viral video of a horror movie or actually looking at someone’s evidence? Granted, it is at times very obvious that someone fabricated evidence for either a movie promo or to try and see if they can get away with it. Other times it is not as easy to see. With all of these media sites, where you can post everything from images to audio files, it becomes difficult to tell the difference between real and fake.