Witchcraft The History & Mythology

Written by Richard Marshall

The subject of witchcraft has exerted fascination throughout recorded history. Witchcraft The History & Mythology explores the bizarre and often political terrain of the witch’s universe. Tales of vampires and werewolves, legends of fairies and demons can be found here. As can be found the history of the very real and tragic human abominations of the witch burning times and the heroes who stood against these atrocities of madness. Sorcerer’s Merlin, Morgan le Fay, heroin Joan of Arc and villainess Medea, the hysterical youngsters of Salem Mass and the helpless innocence that they accused, are among the many stories and characters contained in its contents. Less well-known victims, men , women and children tortured and accused out of ignorances and ill wills, including the priest Urbain Grandier, who was accused of bewitching a convent with a bunch of roses and was then burned alive. Because the arts of magic and the fears of them are timeless and universal, the scope of this book covers content from all continents and includes many modern forms of witchcraft today. Lavishly illustrated from sources around the world, with engravings, photographs, woodcuts and the art of those with a compelling interest in mythology and the occult.

Witchcraft The History & Mythology provides a comprehensive and balanced account of a sometimes dark and misunderstood subject and sheds light on some of its legends, myths and historical origins.

About The Author

Richard Marshall of Yorkshire England, was educated at St. John’s College, University of Cambridge. He lives in upstate New York. He was the chief contributing writer for Reader’s Digest Mysteries of The Unexplained ( 1982) and a collection of essays published as Strange Amazing & Mysterious Places ( 1993)HarperCollins. The Updated version of Witchcraft History & Mythology includes new material on Wicca and modern witchcraft by contributing editor Clare Gibson. Published 1995 & 2006 by Saraband Ltd. The Arthouse 752-756-Argyke St, Glasgow G3 8UJ Scotland. ISBN-10 1-887354-03-4

Personal Review

I personally own and have read the book and often refer to it while doing research related to paranormal related history and legends. I found it very informative as well as interesting reading and the illustrations and graphics were excellent. I believe that all paranormal researchers should have a copy of it in their library as a reference source. 

this review submitted by Angela L Burke – MSSPI Case & Research Manager

Cover Art courtesy of The Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division of a nineteenth century poster illustration.

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Anatomy Of The Spirit- Book Review

   Anatomy Of The Spirit is an excellent book, written by premier practitioner and internationally acclaimed medical intuitive and motivational speaker Carolyn Myss PhD

Thru her workshops, books, videos and audiotapes, Dr. Myss, who is able to discern illness thru intuitive means, has motivated people from all walks of life to examine their souls and improve their health.

Based on 15 years of research into energy medicine, Dr Myss has presented a unique program for promoting spontaneous physical, emotional and spiritual healing.

Anatomy Of The Spirit shows the reader the links between emotional and spiritual stresses and specific illnesses in the context of the anatomy of the human energy system. Dr Myss teaches the system of energy medicine specific to the emotional, psychological and physical factors that lie at the root of all illness.

Anatomy Of The Spirit also includes Dr. Myss’s model of the body’s seven centers of spiritual and physical power in which she includes the ancient wisdom of 3 spiritual traditions, The Hindu Chakra, The Christian Sacraments and The Kabbalah’s Tree of Life. With this model, Dr. Myss shows you how you can develop your own latent powers of intuition as you simultaneously improve your own personal power and spiritual maturity.

                                                                                                                                                              About The Author-

Carolyn Myss, Ph D is an internationally sought after speaker on Spirituality and Personal Power. She is co-author of  The Creation of Health with C. Norman Shealy, MD, Ph D. ( Founder of the American Holistic Medical Society) She has worked as a Medical Intuitive since 1982.

I have personally read this book and would highly recommend it. It was one of the best examples of explaining the Chakra’s of the human body that I have ever read.  While this book does not necessarily fall under the heading of Dark Literature, it does tend to fall into the category of intuitive discernment and healing, which is also considered a genre of the paranormal community. I felt that even if it wasnt about ghosts, it is about the spirit or soul of human beings and therefore qualified as an appropriate topic. There are many paranormal researchers who find this course of study to be of interest. I would encourage everyone to read this book, whether you study the paranormal or not. I found it very informative and helpful in areas of my own life and I believe that regardless of your personal health status, there is something for everyone to learn or come away with by reading this book.  The book can be purchase at www.randomhouse.com, published in 1996 by Crown Publishers

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Spooked

Spooked

By Angela L Burke- MSSPI

Walking down a crooked hall, doorways looming ever tall.

From dark corners cobwebs hang, unlocked shutters clack and bang.

Cedar, moth balls scent the air, dusty footprints creak the stairs.

An eerie fog creeps neath the sill, swirling round your feet at will.

Distant lightening’s eerie glow, hear the call of night’s black crow.

Cracking thunder shakes the core, you can see the light no more.

In the darkness silent scare, you can feel them standing there.

Hear their whispers, laughs and taunts, feel their tears, regrets and wants.

Bony tree limbs tap the glass, leaves make whirl winds in the grass.

Light of full moon shadows cast, silhouettes of life long past.

Dancing through the willow trees, phantom’s drift on lifted breeze.

In the sky the air is thickened, thumping of the drum is quickened.

Chill of blackness gripping bones, feel the weight of chiseled stone.

Suffocating roses smell, hear the toiling of the bell.

Taste the kiss of death’s sweet wine, step across the veil divine.

Onyx feathers brush your face, then disappear without a trace.

 

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The Ghost of Sweetgrass Field- A Southern Tale

A short story poem about a civil war haunting from the book Hauntings In My Head – A Collection of Ghostly Southern Poetry by Angela L Burke.

The Ghost of Sweetgrass Field
A Southern Tale

Once there was a field of sweetgrass,
Where a lonely oak tree stood.
And underneath it’s branches
Stood a picket fence of wood.
The gate had long been missing.
It’s paint had chipped away.
Four, tiny headstones stood there,
Where, three babes and mama lay.

A little girl named Bonnie,
A little girl named Sue.
And a little babe named Emily,
She lived, nine months past age two.
The three little ones were sisters.
They died on the same day,
In the year of 1863,
The Seventeenth of May.

The Story was, their Papa
Had gone away to fight.
And their Mama, she had begged him
Not to go with all her might.
He kissed each one on the forehead,
He kissed Mama on the lips.
He said “‘ I’ll be back in no time….
It’ll be a real short trip.”‘

” I’ll be here beside you
Before you can blink an eye.
This war won’t last six months…I bet.
Be big girls and don’t cry”‘
But their Papa never came back
And they never heard a word.
Their Mama, she was left alone
To raise her three, small girls.

Times were tough in those days.
There were theives at every turn.
And what those Yankees didn’t steal,
They’d turn around and burn.
A trigger happy soldier
Shot Mama in the chest,
When they tried to burn her house down,
And she tried strongly to protest.

And her three little angels
Hiding underneath the bed,
Were trapped by blinding smoke
And met their tragic deaths.
Their tiny little bodies
Were placed in Sweetgrass Field,
By the same Yankee Soldier
Whom, their Mother, he had killed.

Claimed he hadn’t meant no killin,
Claimed he only meant to warn her.
But when he heard those children scream,
Guilt tore his heart asunder.
So he built a picket fence
In a square around their beds.
And he planted a little oak tree,
For some shade above their heads.

He was found in Sweetgrass Field
With a bullet to his head.
Rumor has it , he’s the one
Who walks among the dead.
They say he guards the graveyard
As penance for his sins.
In hope that maybe someday,
God will forgive and let him in.

You can see him in the moonlight,
Walking with his head hung low.
He cannot leave their graveside.
He has no where to go.
So until the Day of Judgement,
To his punishment he yields.
That’s how I recollect the story
Of The Ghost of Sweetgrass Field.

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The Shack

by Angela L Burke- MSSPI

The Shack

The plank board shack stands empty

Its roof now caving in

Its wooden bones start creaking

As they slow waltz with the wind

Vines of Kudzu climb the chimney

Stalks of wheat grass hide her steps

Torn sheets sway in the windows

No longer shielded by the glass

Its tin roof old and rusty

Its core a hollow shell

Eerily it moans and sings,

To the tinkling dinner bell

As a gust of wind sweeps past the porch

The chairs begin to rock

The crosses in the graveyard

Now intertwined with holly hock

The old front door is missing

Now lying flat upon the floor

It no longer is a refuge

From the dark fields, anymore

The cotton and the cornfields

Are now just fields of hay

Where dairy cows and longhorns

Graze in the grass all day

 No longer do the children play

Or linens dry upon the line

No longer do the roses bloom

Or bask beneath the warm sunshine

Just the whispers and the laughter

And a ghostly fiddle tune

Can be heard upon the breezes

On the nights of the full moon.

This poem is an excerpt from Angela’s book, Hauntings In My Head- A Collection of Ghostly Southern Poetry published 2009. Used with permission.

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The Shadow Watcher

The Shadow Watcher

Sequel to : The Davidson Farm

by Angela L Burke- MSSPI

 

I left Michigan in March of 1993. I was moving back home to be near my family with my two young children.

I was terribly sad to leave my home at the Davidson Farm which I have written about in a previous post. If you have not read that post, I would encourage you to do so as it might shed some light on where I’m coming from with this post.

The first few months back in Tennessee had been uneventful as far as unusual activity, and after about six months, my husband at the time, had decided to move to Tennessee and we were going to make one last attempt at working out our relationship. We moved into a three bedroom ranch on the North side of Memphis. My husband had brought what remained of our furniture and belongings that I’d had in storage in the basement of the previous Davidson Farmhouse.

For 3 or 4 months we attempted to repair the damage done to our relationship, but things changed little for the better and had in fact become much worse. The violent outburst and fighting all the time were more than I could deal with. And we separated again with some resistance on his part. In fact it would be a long and drawn out divorce proceeding.

About a week before I finally called it quits for good, I was home alone. In the front part of the house was a formal dining room that had frosted glass French doors and a frosted glass wall that separated it from the entry way and the kitchen. I was standing in the kitchen, trying to gather up my papers and packing up things I wanted to take with me. It was daytime and the light from the dining room was fairly bright coming thru the frosted glass. I thought I saw something move in the dining room and I looked up towards that direction. I was very startled to see the tall thin shadow of what looked like a man, standing there , facing me from the other side of the glass. It was very scary and for a brief few seconds it just stood there, frozen. Then without any warning it darted into the front wall and disappeared. I very cautiously walked toward the dining room and opened up the French doors, but there was no one there. I thought perhaps it had been a shadow from outside the house, so I walked outside and looked all around the house , but there was no one there either. Later that week I moved out into a nearby apartment.

It was a really nice place and at first I didn’t really notice anything strange, but after about a week, I started to hear footsteps in the hallway. And on a few occasions I would see a shadow go past the bedroom door, I would open it up and look out, but no one was there, I would go check on the kids and they would be asleep in their rooms. This was a bit unnerving, being as I was a single mother , living alone in a new apartment, but I just tried to brush it off as my imagination. On a few occasions over the next few months, I began to notice that every time I had company over, especially if they were male, that my ceiling fan in my bedroom and in my living room would make an awful noise and begin to shake and vibrate erratically. I called the maintenance man and he came out and looked at the fans but could find nothing wrong with them. After about the third time I had called him to come back out, he changed them and put up new fans, but the activity continued. It was sporadic and usually only happened when I had company over. Many of my friends would joke that I had a ghost and that it must not like my friends very much. We all laughed and joked about it, but in private I began to take it seriously. One night after my company had left and the activity had been rather strong that night, I made a comment out loud that I didn’t think it was very polite to rattle the fans like that every time I had company and I turned off the fan. Just about the time I was out of the room, The fan began to turn, faster and faster until I thought it might spin itself plum off the ceiling. I said, Hey, don’t get ugly with me and immediately the fan stopped rotating. I high tailed it to bed and was a little nervous after that every time I would walk under the fan or attempt to turn it on. After about six months, I began dating again and I met a man who I’ll call RM for his privacy, after a several months of dating, he asked me to move in with him. I was having trouble paying for my apartment and trying to raise two kids alone and he was very good with my kids and treated them like his own and so I agreed.

We moved into some old apartments in Millington, TN, very near the Naval base. He was in the Navy at the time and it was very convenient for him. His room-mate had been discharged from the service and had moved all his furniture out and so we used my furniture as a replacement. Immediately after moving in , we began to notice his ceiling fan making the same noises and vibrations that mine had made. He said that it had never happened in the year he had lived there, until I moved in. We also began to notice that the light in the hallway would come on and shut off by itself. It became almost a nightly occurrence. I would see the light come on under the bedroom door and I would get up to look and the kids would be sound asleep and no one would be there. One night it became so annoying that I took the bulb out of the socket and placed it on the dining room table. The next morning I got up to find that the bulb had been replaced and the light was on. I asked RM if he had replaced it and he said, no I’ve been in bed ever since you took it out. I knew that the kids hadn’t done it as they were only about 3 and 5 yr old and they could not have reached it even if they had pulled up a chair to stand on.

After this started I also began to notice things being moved. One night, I wasn’t feeling well and I went to bed without doing the dishes, I got up the next morning and they were all done and put away, I went to thank RM for doing them and he said, I don’t know what you’re talking about, I didn’t do any dishes. My kids of course didn’t do them, and so then it became somewhat of a joke for RM that I had fairy elves helping me with the dishes.

On another occasion I had left a pair of scissors on the dining room table where I had been doing some sewing, I got up to go use the restroom and when I came back the scissors were gone. I looked all around the house and finally found them in the kitchen drawer. There was no one home at the time but me and I had been using them all morning. I know for a fact that I did not put them away as I was still using them.

That same week I was in the kitchen getting ready to cook some spaghetti. I had turned on the stove burner to brown the meat. I had made a plate of fudge and had it in a glass serving dish which I had removed from the refrigerator and sat on top of the stove top. A few moments later I heard someone call me ” Mama, Mama” My kids were in the living room in my view and I thought it was them calling me. I went into the living room and said , what? , and they both turned from their tv show and said, what? we didn’t call you mom. I said are you sure that you didn’t just say Mama or maybe someone said it on TV? and they both said no, just about that same time I heard a large boom come out of the kitchen and heard the shattering of glass. It was so loud I ducked down on the floor on top of the kids, because I thought someone had shot a gun through the window. I went back into the kitchen to find that the plate of fudge had exploded all over the kitchen into tiny glass shards. Apparently I had turned on the wrong burner and the heat from the stove had caused the cold glass to shatter. There was chocolate and glass stuck in the ceiling tiles, blown clear across the kitchen into the sink, and all over the floor, where I had just been standing. if I had not walked into the living room in response to my name being called , it probably would have cut me to shreds or taken out an eye. I sort of felt like, whomever said my name was trying to get me to leave the kitchen, out of harms way and the only way to do that, was to make me think, that the kids needed me.

On another occasion , I had thought I heard someone moving around in the kitchen, I got up and went to look and there was no one there, I went to the kids room to check on them and they were sound asleep. As I was about to come back to bed, I heard a gunshot. It sounded as if it had come from the apartment above me. As I reached to get the phone, I noticed that there was a hole in my ceiling directly above my bed and little flecks of insulation were drifting down from the hole onto my bed. I thought OMG, I have children sleeping down here and what if this lunatic starts shooting thru the floor and hits one of my kids or me?

I called the police and reported the gunshot and they came out and went to the apartment upstairs.The apartment manager came out to see what was going on, when I told them about the gun shot and showed them the hole in the ceiling, they all just looked at each other oddly, the apartment manager informed me that the man who had lived there had moved out unexpectedly over a week ago and that the apartment was empty. The manager went on to say that he couldn’t keep a tenant in that apartment ever since a few years prior when a sailor who had lived there had committed suicide in the upstairs apartment by shooting himself in the head with a pistol. He also said that there had been numerous reports of gun shots coming from that apartment when no one was living in it. I said well, I’ve been hearing someone walking around in there all week but I thought the guy still lived there, I asked him if he could explain the hole in my ceiling and he said that he had repaired the ceiling on 3 previous occasions for the same reason, but no one ever found a bullet. The police checked all the doors and searched the entire apartment and the attic space above it and found no signs of entry or that anyone had been there. It had never been explained, where it came the shots came from or how the hole kept appearing. He said, just between you and me, I think the damn place is haunted.

About a week or so later, RM and I were sleeping on a Saturday Morning, the sun was already up and the room was lit with early morning sunshine, the kids had gone to their dad’s house for the weekend and so it was just the two of us. Have you ever had that feeling like someone is standing over you, staring at you while your sleeping? Well, that’s what I felt. But when I opened my eyes, no one was there, , I saw movement like a shadow walking at the foot of the bed. I turned over to see who it was, as I thought maybe RM had gotten up and was moving around, but I realized he was lying next to me. As I looked towards the door I saw a tall dark grey shadowy figure with a bony hand sticking out of a sleeve and it was pulling the door shut. This really freak-ed me out and I thought maybe I was dreaming with my eyes open or something, so I rolled back over, but I couldn’t go back to sleep. I didn’t say anything to RM at the time, I thought he was still sleeping. When I did decide to get up, I was scared to death to open up the door, afraid that some tall, bony, shadow man would be standing on the other side of it, but there was no one there.

Later that morning RM got up and came to the table for breakfast. Out of the blue he said” The strangest thing happened this morning and I want to tell you, but I don’t want to freak you out. ” I said “what is it?” He said “this morning, I thought I saw someone walking around in our room.” He said ” I saw a bony hand on the door knob, pull the door to but I couldn’t see a face.” He was serious and a little shaken by it. I said, “I saw the same thing, but I thought I was dreaming it.”

He said “are you serious?” I said, “yes, I’m serious, I really did think that I was dreaming it”. He then proceeded to sketch a picture of it and it matched exactly what I saw to a tee. We both just kind of looked at each other with a ” so what do we do now?” kind of look. We finished our breakfast in silence. Then he said, “well I guess if it wanted to hurt us it would have done it by now.” Trying to be the positive one I said, ” “Maybe it’s just trying to look out for us, I mean look at all the times weird stuff has happened just before some event that we could have gotten hurt, like the fudge incident”. . We had no explanation for what we had seen or the things that had been going on since I moved in. He said, “I think you have a ghost or something following you, because nothing like this ever happened here before you moved in”. I felt kind of bad and wasn’t sure if I should take that as just a comment or an accusation. Most of the time, we just didn’t discuss it and would try to ignore the goings on. But it was a little unnerving when RM would leave for duty for a few weeks and I would be there alone. But, I never felt alone, even when I was.

A few months later RM was honorably discharged from his tour in the Navy and we were going to move to Houston. I was going to go and stay with my Dad for a few weeks while RM secured a job and a place for us to live and then he was going to send for me and the kids. He helped me move all our belongings to my Dads and we were going to store our belongings in my dad’s barn until he found us a place. As soon as we opened up the door to the back of the moving trailer, a very thick, sweet-smelling, warm breeze shot out of the back of the trailer the minute we opened the door, it was like standing in front of the heater vent when it first kicks on. It swirled around my head with enough force to move my hair and then it was gone, smell and all. RM and I both looked at each other at the same time, He said,” did you feel that?”, I said “yeah, I did ” and we just looked at each other and smiled but we didn’t say anything to anyone else. We both knew what we were feeling.

I never felt or heard or saw anything else after that. It was almost as if, whatever was there, knew I was safe with my Dad and I didn’t need protecting anymore. I knew when it was gone. The air and the atmosphere around me was different and it wasn’t just me who felt it, RM felt it to. I have never been able to explain any of these incidents, which is yet, another reason, why I study the paranormal. I don’t believe that it was there to harm me, I always felt more like it was just looking out for me and I missed it when it was no longer there. I have always personally believed that one of the spirits from the Davidson Farm, had attached itself to me and followed me until they knew that I was safe. Then again, maybe it was a guardian angel of some kind or the spirit of the sailor who had killed himself,  wandering about, I don’t really know. What I do know is that it was a crazy , hair-raising experience that I don’t regret having, I just wish I knew who or what it was.

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The Ghost of Clara Barton

A creepy experience at a nursing home, where black shadows bring death.

by Angela L Burke- MSSPI

In the early 1990’s I worked as a Charge Nurse at a Nursing Home in Michigan which was named after the famous nurse, Clara Barton. I was working the 11 pm to 7 am shift and it was usually pretty quiet..

Around 3 am on this particular Friday night, I was getting ready to lock up some medication that had been brought in by the pharmacy. The medication cart was parked just outside the nurses station, in front of a long hallway, which was my unit. It was a large unit with approximately 65 beds. I was the only nurse on duty for my unit but, I had several Nurse Assistants working with me that night.

The lights in the hallway were dimmed each night to help facilitate sleep but, there were generator type lights on in the corridor and it was lit enough that you could see anyone who was walking in the hallway.

As I was locking up my medication cart, I happened to look up and at the end of the hallway, I saw a black figure, which was like the outline of a woman in what looked like a long black dress. It darted across the hallway from one doorway to the other. It was so creepy looking that I got chills up my spine. I knew that the room on the left was empty..we used it to store wheelchairs and shower chairs in.

I walked to the end of the hallway and as I got near the end, one of the nurse assistants came out of a room to drop some dirty linen in the laundry barrel and I asked her if she had seen anyone down this end of the hall..she said no and I asked her if she would walk with me to the end and see if anyone had entered the last room on the left as I had thought I had seen a woman go into the room..

She said “ok” and we went to the last room on the left..the door was closed and I pushed it open and reached inside to flip on the light..As I did the room was freezing cold..so cold in fact that we could both see our breath.. I checked the windows ..they were closed and locked..I checked the bathroom there was no one there..I checked the thermostat on the wall and it said that it was 72 degrees in the room ..but there was no way it was that warm…we could find no explanation for what I had seen or why it was so cold…we searched the unit for wandering patients or anyone who wasn’t supposed to be there and there was no one who wasn’t where they were suppose to be.

I went to the other side of the hallway and asked the two gentlemen in the room if they had seen anyone and they both said no..I of course didn’t tell them why I was asking, for fear of freaking them out .

The next morning, I called maitenance to come check out the thermostat and I reported what had happened with the temperature.

The maintenance man walked with me down to the room and when we entered the room, the thermostat was set on 70 degrees but, it was about 90 degrees in the room, so hot that he started to sweat almost immediately. He couldn’t find any reason for the thermostat to register wrong but, he changed it out anyway.

I went home and had the weekend off . When I returned to work on Monday I found out that one of the men in the last room that I had spoken with the previous Friday night, had passed away on Saturday evening. His roommate told me that he was sleeping and all of a sudden, he got extremely cold and thought he could see his breathe..He said he thought he saw someone standing at the foot of his roommates bed and he called out to them and no one answered…so he put his call light on and when the nurse came into the room she had found that his roommate was deceased. No one had come into or out of the room, as the nurse had been only about 10 feet away from the door when he had rang for her. It creeped him out so bad, that he asked for a room transfer and I obliged him, as I knew the anxiety of what he was feeling.

There was never a real explanation, but I did speak to my nurse manager about it several days later and she told me that there had been many reports over the years from the staff of a figure in black lingering in the hallways at night, usually followed by a death in the facility. It was rumored, for lack of a better explanation, that the figure was the ghost of Clara Barton who had came to help those who’s time it was, to pass over,

She said “no one tells the new nurses when they come to work here, because if we did, we would never get anyone to work the graveyard shift.”

 

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