When it comes to modern story-telling, it’s quite the over-used trope – the ‘who did it to me’ mystery, where the departed influences an investigation in order to reveal the details of their murder – bringing to justice the unsuspected killer. However, when it comes to folk lore and legends involving ghost stories, it is a theme which appears time and time again, a theme which is essentially as old as time. In fact, when it comes to such stories, it is almost unavoidable. It seems that often, justice is the only thing that will finally allow the dead to be at rest.
The stories of werewolves which we know today, mostly date back to the 15th and 16th centuries, however stories of humans transforming into wolves, goes much further back. It is a theme which pops up in ancient stories, mythologies, and legends time and time again – and is almost as old as history itself.
For all of history, magic has often been employed by those in power, in attempts to secure political positions, admonish enemies, fuel war and its desired outcomes, and alter the state of countries and even entire civilizations. In some way or another, magic and the occult has been a force quietly at play in the shadows, used by those in power, and it always seems to play a role in the wars they so often try to bring about.
Daniel Dunglas Home is still considered one of the most renowned psychics not only of the Spiritualist movement, but in history altogether. During his time he was never publicly proven to be fraudulent, and it was said there was simply not a person who could prove beyond a doubt that his abilities were anything other than legitimate.
Throughout history there have been an overwhelming number of people who have met the fate of being buried alive. It’s no surprise that taphophobia, the fear of being buried alive, is still something that creeps into our collective consciousness. It skates about in the shadows, a nightmare scenario that still even to this day has some merit. An entrapment that there is often no escape from.
There is no shortage of tales of haunted waters, of small patches, where the waters seem to be in a constant state of unrest, waters which seem eager to swallow up any vessel which crosses over. Its appetite unsated. Waters so tumultuous where even their sunken collections seem to be at unrest, where spirits haunt and ghostly ships set sail. Waters which many swear to be cursed.
While the winter solstice was often a time of feasts and celebration, many of these celebrations were in part to counter the negativity which lurked about during these long dark nights. It was a time for magic and ritual, a time to balance out negative forces at play, and a time when protection was needed. In Western culture, many of our winter holiday traditions have origins in these magical solstice celebrations – especially those celebrated by the Celts and Vikings.