PARANORMAL SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT: ON SPIRIT BOARDS

paranormal-supplies-safety

Though mankind has likely attempted contact with its passed ancestors since time began, no method of spirit communication has been as prolific or direct as the spirit board.
The development of this tool is likely traced back to the Victorian Era. At the time, Spiritualism had begun to take hold, first as a thing of parlor games and later growing into a philosophical movement.
By the 1860’s, when the harsh, short lives of the American population and the ravages of the Civil War lead to a fervent interest in contacting the deceased, the movement began growing in America, possibly due in part to popular stage mediums including Anna Eva Fay and the Fox Sisters, and high-profile adherents such as former First Couple Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln and author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The first patent for the spirit board design is credited to Elijah Jefferson Bond, a veteran of the Confederate Army and 1872 Maryland Law School graduate.

Before the advent of the spirit board, the foremost method of spiritual contact were Seances, Automatic Writing, Scrying and Table-Turning (a somewhat reversed version of the spirit board).
But the thought a simple and effective device for contacting spirits without the need of a Medium was appealing to many.
The launch of the spirit board into popular consciousness was precipitated by the atrocities of the first World War, with many Americans losing family members to the horrors brewing in Europe.
By the mid 1920’s, the spirit board was a household tool, and has only been growing in popularity throughout the world since.

However, as with all things metaphysical, misunderstandings and the occasional intentional obfuscation are known to permeate popular culture.
Hollywood depictions and tales of spirit boards leading to demonic possession are well known, and the relegation of the most common brands of board to toy store shelves has stirred the ire of many a moralist.
It must be kept in mind, however, that a board itself is merely a tool, and in and of itself has no more intrinsic power than a pen or hammer – the power all lies with the operator.
The way in which this power is manifested, however, continues to be subject of contention. The two presiding theories currently are:

1. Spirits.
Of course, most who experience the spirit board firsthand are given to attribute its phenomenal properties to the spirit world.
There is much validity to this statement – many messages relayed from the board are messages which either seem so cryptic or so specific that the operator would be unlikely to compose them, no matter how creative.

2. The Ideomotor Effect.
The Ideomotor Effect (also known as the Carpenter Effect, named for W. B. Carpenter who proposed the theory) is the scientific term for the operator unknowingly controlling the planchette.
Those exhibiting the Ideomotor Effect are theorized to be acting from subconscious and unintended muscle movements, thus exhibiting a response that the operator would want to see.
Though Carpenter intended the theory to debunk the popular theories of Spiritualist Phenomena, its validity in the Paranormal sphere can be interpreted towards more Clairvoyant abilities such as ESP.

No matter which theory is correct, we at Paranormal Supplies would never discourage spiritual and physical safety when using a spirit board.
If, as many purport, the phenomena is indeed enacted by spirits, one should of course take necessary precautions to protect oneself.
It must be kept in mind, however, that the spirit board is not dangerous in and of itself, and the ownership of one will almost certainly not open one up to hauntings.
The board is simply a gateway – no more an ambassador of the spirit world than your door is an ambassador of your house – but caution should always be exercised regarding whom you invite in for the evening.

Top Five Horror Rides of 2018

Theme park rides have existed for a little over a century now, which is probably longer than most would assume.
The earliest mechanical rides, monstrous Ferris Wheels and steampunk carousels, came into being during the late 1800’s and have been evolving ever since.
The earliest dark ride, “A Trip to the Moon”, was also probably one of the most quintessential (and debuted at the Pan-American Exhibition in 1901).
It featured elaborate theming to keep true to the plot of the Jules Verne story, actors in Selenite suits, and a chance for riders to stroll about the moon’s surface before being shooed out on a rocket ship.
Of course, we’ve come quite far since then, and today’s rides have diversified into a plethora of new forms, from pretzel rides to VR rides to the towering steel behemoths that exist to give their riders bragging rights.
Here, we’ve gathered five of our favorite horror-themed rides of many different genres for your perusing pleasure. Enjoy!

paranormal-supplies-horror-rides

5. Knoebel’s Haunted Mansion

A classic. The theming, the cheesiness, the just-toned-down-enough-that-it-counts-as-kid-friendly atmosphere, Knoebel’s Haunted Mansion is pretty renowned in the dark ride community.
It’s just… so… classic. There’s an animatronic vulture on the “welcome” sign. That’s how classic horror we’re talking.

4. Screamin’ Gator Zip Line

What could be scarier than flying over a pit of live alligators on a 7-story-high zip line?
Orlando, Florida’s aptly named “Gatorland” promises to be an “entertaining and educational 2-hour experience”.
But flying at 30 mph on a 65-foot high line, over a pit of ravenous reptiles (well, okay, as “ravenous” as any other gator) has more than a few overtones of “Indiana Jones”.
I mean really… that’s some “Raiders” stuff.

 

3. Halloween Hootenanny

Really, almost any Halloween attraction at the famed Knott’s Scary Farm (the fall run of Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA) could probably fit here, so consider this more an example.
They’re pretty well known for a consistent and high-quality rotation of rides, many of which include scare actors to enhance the scream quotient.
The Halloween Hootenanny, aside from being the only time in my life I’ve ever had to type the word “Hootenanny”, was Knott’s spooky log flume ride for the 2017 season.
Killer miners, witches, UFO’s… the theming is rather erratic, but a fun time all told.

2. Saw – The Ride

The UK’s Thorpe Park absolutely stabs the bullseye with its perfectly realized “Saw – The Ride” coaster.
Animatronics, sound effects, and an intensely demented track layout send riders careening through a real-life Jigsaw trap, which at the time of opening contained the world’s steepest drop as its claim to fame.
Fans of the film series (with its myriad installments) and theme parks alike can more than enjoy this game.
If, of course, they want to play.

1. Wicker Man

Sometimes the most obscure choices are the most fitting.
Based off of the classic British horror film “The Wicker Man” of the mid-70’s (yes, the one turned into a sad parody of itself by Cage and co.), Alton Towers’ “Wicker Man” seems to have it all*.
Suitably spooky theming, an exhiliarating ride, even the fact that this coaster is made of wood all lend itself well to the cult concept.
Something something, “not the bees!”

*Alton Towers seems to have a lot of horror-based attractions. When your park name comes from the ancient castle built upon the grounds (still standing to this day!) it’s rather obligatory.
In conclusion, we at Paranormal Supplies would like to posit a question.
Though these are all clearly fine rides, it seems baffling to us that there are so few horror-themed rides outside the “big names” (Disneyland, Universal Studios, et. al.).
Even then, does it not strike anyone else that the world of thrill rides need more… thrills?
To us, horror theming and thrill rides should be a no-brainer, as ubiquitous a pairing as peanut butter and jelly.
Those of us who want to be thrilled surely want that rush of danger, right?
The astute among our readers may note that we stuck to rides using (mostly) practical props and theming for this list, and here’s the reason:
Even the biggest-budget high concept modern rides have given way to, essentially, sitting on a barely-moving track as 360-degree videos play around passengers.
It’s futuristic, sure, but is it really thrilling? Can a 100-foot plunge or in-your-face animatronics truly be replaced by a screen?
Have these practical effects been tried and simply failed, or have they just not yet reached their zenith?
Must a horror themed jaunt give up its uniqueness to be greenlit?
Our closing question, then, is this:

Who is going to create that perfect vector of anxiety and acceleration, that merger of mayhem and mile-per-hour, that singular freak of design that puts the "thrill" back in "thrill ride"?

Stories of the Past

This appeared as a news story in 1882 from the Detroit Free Press. Written in the style of the times, it offers an unusual take on neighborhood life.

Why They Moved.

Detroit has a genuine haunted house.

Not one of the sacred servant girl, bugaboo kind, but one that is haunted by an unwelcomeStories of the past presence and unearthly noises. The writer has no doubt that nine-tenths of those who read this article will exclaim “Pooh!” at the first line, and so would he, a few hours ago, to any haunted house story that was ever written. But he had an occasion yesterday to investigate a reputed case, and no one, had they accompanied him, would have had the slightest doubt remaining. To them who desire to investigate for themselves, he will give the address of entire reputable witnesses; not one only, but a dozen or more.

On S. street there was erected four years ago a neat, pretty, six room cottage, with a grass plat and shade trees in front, and a large, airy yard in the rear. Before the house was finished it became known that it was for rent, and there were plenty of would-be-tenants. A young married couple, with a baby and nurse girl, were the accepted ones. They remained there precisely six days, going away one morning very early and unexpectedly. There was some wonderment expressed, but another family moved in a day or two afterwards, and nothing more was thought of the occurrence in the neighborhood. The new tenants were a middle-aged widow and four grown up children – two sturdy young mechanics and two misses of perhaps fifteen and seventeen years of age.

This family remained in the pretty cottage nearly two weeks, and then quickly departed. To a young lady in the neighborhood, whose acquaintance she had formed during the fortnight, and into whose home she ran at the last moment to say “goodbye,” the youngest daughter said, in reply to an inquiry as to the cause of their leaving: “Mother says she would not live their if the owner would give her the house and lot,” but offered no explanation of the words.

From that day to this the house has been vacant most of the time. Every few days a van of furniture has come up the street, and the articles been carried into that house. For a day or two workmen would be shifting from room to room, putting down carpets and arranging household goods, and the van would reappear in the morning, the furniture would be reloaded and driven off, and the owner would once again tack up the “To Rent” sign.

Of course such frequent occurrences have not passed unnoted, and of late there has been considerable comment thereon, so much so that the house had but few tenants in the past year.

About two weeks ago a Free Press reporter noticed that the home was once more inhabited, and remarked to a German grocer, whose store is nearly opposite:

“Schneider, I see you have some new customers.”

“Yes, py golly, but I don’t drust dhem for notinks.”

“Why so?”

“Pecause dhey sthay long enough. Puddy soon, dhey’ll move right away quick oudt.”

“What’s the reason no one stays in that house?

“How de deuce do I know about dhat!” exclaimed the grocer, testily, as he walked into his store, leaving the reporter on the sidewalk.

Yesterday as the reporter came in sight of the house, there was the same spectacle of workmen piling furniture upon a van. A gentlemanly looking man was superintending the ___, and the reporter was determined to interview him if he got shot for it.

“Is this house to rent?” he inquired of the retiring tenant.

“I presume so.”

“How much per month?”

“Better ask the owner.”

“Have you any objections to telling me how much you have paid, and if you are moving away because your landlord has raised the rent?”

“You had better ask your questions of the landlord. The fact is, I haven’t lived here a month.” Then in a low tone, as if only intended for the ears of his wife, who was standing by his side, “Nor I wouldn’t for a hundred dollars a month.”

“Why are you moving away?”

“Because I do not care to remain.”

“What’s the reason?”

“That’s my business, sir.”

“Pardon me, but for four years I have seen people moving into and out of this house, none of them remaining long enough to get acquainted with their neighbors, and I would like to know the reason. Is the house haunted?”

“Yes, sir, it is.”

“By what?”
“The most unearthly noises man ever listened to. Money would not hire me to remain here.”

“Cannot you ascertain the source of the noises?”
“Oh, yes! In that house there is a boy who is learning to play the accordion, and on the other side there lives a young girl with a very shrill voice, who boasts that she can sing two tones higher than ever Parepa Rosa could, and I am satisfied she doesn’t lie about it. Yes, sir, the house is to rent.”

-Detroit Free Press

The Sun Is Up, the Sky Is Blue, It’s Beautiful and We’re Not Klaatu

That time in the 70’s when we wanted a Beatles reunion so bad that we believed anything

In their minds, they had ability to form
And transmit strange theories far beyond the norm
So read our blog, and learn about a band from yesterday
And how the airwaves gave them unexpected fame

The year is 1977. A revolutionary space opera, Star Wars, is laying waste to box office records. The Commodore PET computer is being slowly shuffled into affluent households (with cassette tape capabilities!). The space shuttle prototype “Enterprise” is taking its defiant first steps into the stratosphere. And amid all these events – brave steps toward a brave new world – a Rhode Island journalist began enticing his readers with a delicious rumor. The Beatles had reunited, and the most popular US single of their newly-named band reflected the spaceward-ho feel of the times: “Calling Occupants (Of Interplanetary Craft)”.

paranormal-supplies-klaatu-beatles

Of course, the radio sector writ large took this rumor and ran with it. Cleveland station M105 is largely responsible for propagating the rumor by actually playing the song, and when the first strains of music hit the airwaves, the public understood the connection immediately. With its swirling “Strawberry Fields Forever” mellotrons, the bridge from “A Day In the Life”, the nearly inhuman catchiness of its composition, and vocals that absolutely must be Paul… or John… or George… well, one of them, anyway… clearly it must be the work of none other than The Beatles!
Die-hard fans, conspiracy theorists and wishful thinkers across the nation began dissecting their newly bought albums for clues.
Meanwhile, a three-man band hailing from the pine-dense wonderland of Canada noticed a strange phenomenon. They had released their first album, entitled 3:47 EST, in September of the previous year. Though critical reaction was lukewarm to moderately positive, their diehard Canadian cult fanbase gave them motivation enough to continue with their (far more ambitious) second album and an excuse to party UK style while recording it in England. But to their shock, in the American Midwest, not only was their latest single 2nd on the Billboard chart, their album was selling like hotcakes to the tune of 300,000 (!) copies in two months. They’d even received a letter from Karen Carpenter, detailing how much she loved their music and that she’d very much like The Carpenters to cover their strange little ditty about space aliens (this actually happened)! Terry Draper, Dee Long, and John Woloschuk, collectively known by the moniker Klaatu*, were seeing their star rise in the strangest of ways.

Back in the states, fans noticed the “small” quirks in Klaatu’s writing style and (non-)image, citing these abnormalities as intentional clues left by the Fab Four to signal their return to only their truest fans. One would think that the “Paul Is Dead” conspiracy would have soured the fandom to such endeavors**, but then again, it was the seventies.
The clues commonly cited by fans were as follows:
First and foremost, the band sounds like the Beatles. Worth noting because no pop band in the mid seventies wanted to sound like the most influential band in history, of course.

Second, the album was released on Capitol Records, the same distribution company responsible for releasing the Beatles’ albums in the States. Capitol being one of the largest labels in the world at the time notwithstanding.
Third, the album’s sleeve gave no recording credit to specific band members, no band photos were included anywhere in the album packaging, and all songs and production were credited simply to “Klaatu”. Theorists asserted that if the Beatles had reunited, surely they’d want their new project to be recognized based on the merits of the music itself instead of riding on hype over its creators (And, for the record, this is probably the least far-fetched of these clues).

Fourth, Ringo Starr had just released his album Goodnight Vienna, featuring a parody of the film “The Day the Earth Stood Still” as the album’s cover. In the scene parodied, two aliens arrive to earth, Klaatu and his robot minion Gort, and in the place of Klaatu is… you know where this is going.

Fifth, a rumor stated that playing “Sub Rosa Subway” backwards revealed the line “Listen, listen, listen/It’s us!/It’s us!/It’s the Beatles!” … it doesn’t. Except, maybe, kind of…

Klaatu’s second album, entitled Hope, was released in ’77 and did little to dispel any rumors (though, being a high-concept prog rock album released during the Noah’s flood of high-concept prog rock albums released in the mid-70’s, sales had started to stagnate). By the release of Sir Army Suit, the band’s third album, the rumor was effectively killed. The band (and their label) included actual photos of the band in their promotional material for the first time, which finally gave the band faces but unfortunately was also the nail in the coffin of Klaatu’s mainstream success. They did carry on for a few more years, however, releasing two further albums before taking off to their home planet (of Toronto) and leaving us with a mostly stellar – if not somewhat puzzling – body of work.
The band broke up in the early eighties, with Dee Long going to work for EMI for a brief time (and even got to meet Paul McCartney, once) before finally moving to producing animation and working on music in his spare time (he even has a Bandcamp!). Terry Draper went back to his roofing business before also embarking on a solo career (more on that here). As for John Woloschuk, he became an accountant but evidently still has a great sense of pride over the band’s work.
To this day, fans debate whether the band’s “Beatle clone” hysteria was deserved and whether the band would have been able to gain popularity without the rumor. But the indisputable fact remains, Klaatu’s moment in the limelight is a fascinating – if a little misguided and frustrating – footnote in the history of rock. And perhaps, it’s a bit of a warning to those up-and-coming musicians out there. The next time someone says your band sounds like the Beatles, well… It could always be worse.

*Editor’s note #1: Klaatu were an absolutely rocking band. I highly recommend, their music is pure nerdy goodness.
** Editor’s note #2: Some theories were crazy enough to blend the two into one mega Beatles alternate universe, so there’s that too. The (massively paraphrased) theory was that Klaatu’s album was created from tapes left behind by “Real-Paul” era Beatles, and shelved until after the rumors about Paul’s death had died down. Also this, from Klaatu’s second album, Hope.

Some would say that this article has nothing to do with the paranormal, and therefore has no place on Paranormal Supplies' blog. I would assert that this article has everything to do with the paranormal, and therefore absolutely has a place on Paranormal Supplies' blog.

Sources:

http://www.klaatu.org/klaatu1.html

Beatles Again

Klaatu’s Official Website

Witch Bottles: An Unbottling

Today, dear readers, we have for your consideration a sort of Paranormal Supplies PSA (Paranormal Safety Announcement). Enjoy!
A concept known since ancient times, Witch Bottles have been historically viewed as charms of protection against witches. But, since modernity marches on, the term (and charm itself) seems to be more frequently used by witches (and those in the metaphysical circle) as a ward against negative energies in general.
Considering that, to outsiders, a typical Witch Bottle is nothing more than a simple glass jar filled to the brim with garbage, it’s far from a glamorous topic. But, if you’re worried about your supernatural safety, this may be just the answer you’ve been looking for!

witch-bottle-paranormal-supplies

The most important, and obvious ingredient of a Witch Bottle is, of course, the bottle. The shape, color, and size of bottle is unimportant, but generally something around the size of a medium-sized mason jar is considered ideal. Glass is the preferred material, since it will not biodegrade and is sturdy enough to withstand burial (this is crucial).

Now that we’ve obtained our bottle, we can focus on the interior and protective properties therein.

The layout of a witch bottle is intended to somewhat resemble a magic circle. Therefore, the first layer of the jar is usually devoted to a salt circle. These are, of course, a recognized ward against malevolent energies. Simply pour some sea salt into the bottom of the bottle, enough to thoroughly cover the base and heel, providing a flat and purified foundation for the rest of your bottle.

The second layer of your jar will consist of a bunch of rusty nails. They don’t necessarily have to be nails per se, just a pile of any rusted, dangerous, sharp metal objects. The purpose behind these objects is to “impale” the negative energies, to shred them and protect the owner from any ill intent. This is probably going to be the widest band of the bottle, fill it about halfway with these objects. But be sure not to cut yourself. Obviously.

The third layer of the bottle is meant to symbolize the bottle’s owner. There are a few ways you can do this, but almost all of them involve a piece of the owner’s body. The most commonly used of these would be the owner’s own urine (we told you this wasn’t glamorous). However, for the more squeamish among our readers (believe us, we understand), anything from finger/toenails to strands of hair to spit to blood can be used as a substitute. This ingredient will essentially act as an identifier, telling the bottle who it’s meant to work to protect. Some have foregone this step, using a tied-up piece of cloth or paper with the owner’s name written on it, but it is not recommended, as in the magic sphere, names have immense power and should not be given out freely (especially in a ward).

The final component of the Bottle itself is the seal. Take the lid the bottle came with and affix it as normal, and seal it with melted wax from a black candle. This will serve as the final layer of banishment, and in effect activates the ward.

After you’ve completed your Witch Bottle, the final step of protecting yourself is storing it. Most practitioners agree that a Witch Bottle is ideally buried, either near your most-used home entrance or the farthest corner of your property. Some prefer keeping their bottles inside of their homes or near the hearth, but this would keep the ward from working until after negative energies have entered your home, so it is not recommended.

In the ever-evolving world of paranormal investigation, sometimes one can forget to look out for their own wellbeing. Perhaps today’s article has opened some minds to some protection methods a little beyond the norm.

So, dear readers, have you any stories or suggestions involving paranormal safety? We’d love to hear from you!

Top 5 Spectres of the Celtic World

Welcome, all ye, an’ prepare to pay honors to all things Seelie and Unseelie.
Today we take a look at our favorite fae beasts of Celtic mythology!

paranormal-supplies-st-pat1(1)

5. Leprachaun

Ah yes, the most famous among all Irish fairies, the Leprechaun.
Though much of their lore is well known in America thanks to Saint Patrick’s Day, it should be known that the diminutive, red-haired, bearded man swathed in green is a far cry from the original concept of the leprechaun. Sort of.
The fundamental lore of the Leprechaun can be broken down into some very basic points:

A. Leprechauns are adept shoe makers, and this is their sole profession. (Get it?)
B. They are known for keeping kettles full of gold at the end of rainbows. As stereotypically “whimsical” as this may seem, it should be understood that they guard these kettles jealously, as the gold therein is the spoils of an ancient war between man and fair folk. Just let that sink in.
C. If captured, they will attempt to fight back. If this does not work, they will attempt to deceive their captors into releasing them. If all else fails, they will grant a wish in exchange for release.

And, finally, and perhaps the biggest misconception:

D. They have different uniforms depending on region. Some do wear green, some dress similarly to what Americans would consider a “gnome”, some wear full bright red military regalia… Think less “Lucky Charms” and more “Sergeant Pepper”.

It should be also known that Leprechauns are not really that prolific of drinkers. That would be their vaguely similar, lazy, distant cousins the Clurichauns*.

*Clurichaun: It’s like a Leprechaun, but drunker.

4. Changeling

Shape-shifting fairies are not uncommon in lores around the world, but in Celtic myth they seem unusually prolific.
Kelpies (which are men who take the form of water-horses), Selkies (women who become seals), and the Puca (a phantom which can become pretty much anything it feels like, usually a horse) are of course among the best well known, but one of the most widespread ancient superstitions involves creatures called “Changelings”.
These fairies function much like the cuckoo bird: they are able to shapeshift into the likeness of a child (or adult), and use this ability to “replace” one in a human home by kidnapping the human and assuming their identity.
It was believed that looking upon someone with envy or admiration would “alert” nearby fairies to their beauty, social status, or the affection of those around them, and therefore mark them as a potential target.
The only way to tell if someone had been replaced with a changeling is to place the accused in the fireplace and light it. If the accused is a changeling, they would fly up the chimney.
In other words, the belief was, that if you place a changeling in fire, they will perform the highly unusual act of… trying to get out of the fire.

This belief was so widespread in earlier days that not only were murders of family members often attested to it, but many murderers were openly acquitted due to having “only killed a changeling”.
One example of this is the 1890’s murder of Bridget Cleary, who was burned alive by her husband presumably due to her strange behavior and his belief that his wife had been kidnapped and replaced with a monstrous doppelganger.
This bizarre behavior was later attributed to pneumonia, just as many other accusations of changelingism are assumed to have been examples of misinterpreted developmental/physical maladies in infants.

3. Dullahan

The Irish Grim Reaper takes the form of a headless horseman, the Dullahan.
They are often portrayed as a ghostly (and usually, but not always) male rider with a whip made from a human spine and a carriage resembling the Sedlec Ossuary – and his rotting head held under his arm.
Much like the also-Irish Banshee, the Dullahan makes a habit of visiting domiciles and screaming the name of an occupant in a shrill voice. Whoever hears his or her name called dies instantly.
The Dullahan do not like being looked upon by mortal eyes – if they are spied on, they employ the use of their whip to blind any who see them, which seems crueller than just killing them, really.
The Dullahan are impervious to mortal weapons, no gates or doorways or barricades can bar their entrance, and the eyes on their decapitated heads can see in the dark for miles in every direction.
The only way to defend oneself against a Dullahan is to carry a small amount of gold visibly upon your person, because the Dullahan fears gold, making them terrifying ghosts but terrible accountants.

2. Dobharchu

No, it’s not a leak from the next Pokemon gen (probably), but in fact the Dobhar-Chu is notable for being one of the few cryptids in existence with a body count.
A being not only seen in folklore but also to this day reported among the rivers and lochs of Ireland, the Dobhar-Chu (pronounced kind of like Doo-waar-koo) is something like a hairy crocodile with a dog face and orange flippers.
Indeed, its name roughly translates to “Sea Hound”, chosen by the ancient Celts presumably because it sounds more intimidating than “Otter-dile”.
And intimidating this creature is, as there are some who would go as far as to postulate that the Dobhar-Chu is a juvenile form of the Loch Ness monster, and some even claiming that the beast has been attacking locals as recently as the late 90’s.
The most recent sighting was by an Irish artist in 2003, and the oldest sightings are from the 17th century.

1. Nuckelavee

Coming in at number 1 is a demon from the Northern Isles known as the Nuckelavee.
Feared as the most inherently evil being in all of Scotland, the Nuckelavee is a walking, roaring, putrid mountain of rage, and there’s nothing more metal than that.
Telling of its ghastly disposition is that only one (1!) person, a Scotsman named Tammas, has ever seen it and lived to describe it, though his description does nothing to alleviate its fearsomeness.
Are you ready for this?

The only numerical reference given for size is a head 3 feet in diameter. Assuming that that the “A human form is 8 heads tall” formula is correct, that would make the Nuckelavee about 24 feet tall.
He’s demonstrably taller than that, however, as this monster’s legs from the waist down are replaced by a proportionally-sized horse.
Not the legs of a horse, like a Satyr, or the body of a horse, as a centaur, but a full-on horse, replete with tail, neck, whale-like maw, and a hellish, glowing cyclopic eye.

Not freaky enough? Understandable. How about the fact that the horse-legs end not in hooves but tendril-like flippers?
Or that he breathes a rancid plague known as the “Mortasheen”, capable of killing livestock and crops and essentially decimating a countryside within a month?
In addition, his knuckles are known to drag the ground… making his arms exactly long enough to claw his way into your nightmares all the way from Scotland.
AND, in order to cement his status as a monster best seen only in fever dreams and death-metal album covers, this sprawling mass of hate doesn’t have any SKIN.
Black blood flows through his yellow veins, and his bulging, sinewy musculature can be seen without an X-Ray or Body Worlds exhibit.

Tammas was clearly a brave soul, but I will have none of what he was drinking.

The Nuckelavee was the most feared being in Orcadian lore, with farmers and working-class families fearing him the most.
This is understandable, as the beast was known to be enraged by pretty much anything – burning seaweed, farming from peasants in hard times struggling to get by, the concept of happiness somewhere in Scotland – all were enough to set the demon on a rampage.
Luckily, the creature was imprisoned in the sea during the Spring and Summer by the Mither o’ the Sea (Scottish Poseidon), and possesses an unabated fear of… fresh water?
That’s rather anticlimactic.

That being said, the most recent alleged activity by the Nuckelavee was during the kelp production season of 1722, which is still far too recent for comfort.

Voodoo and Mardi Gras: The “Mystick” Meeting in New Orleans

Mardi Gras Mask and BeadsIn nearly every corner of the planet, no city is more associated with Mardi Gras than New Orleans. Indeed, the extravagant annual festival is viewed by many as the pinnacle of everything a celebration should be – parades, music, masquerades and general debauchery which can only be stopped by the threat of wartime (and once due to a police protest in 1979). The celebration has continued strong since 1703, in which a small plot of land 60 miles south of what is now ‘Nola was named “Pointe Du Mardi Gras” by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville, a Canadian explorer. But we at Paranormal Supplies would be remiss if we didn’t discuss the more… esoteric side of the festival.

When most hear the term “Voodoo”, it’s understandable that they may think of some of the more outlandish aspects of the religion. Snake symbolism, zombies, mysterious men adorned in top hats and corpse paint – All very much aspects, but not quite to the extent that one might assume. In truth, Voodoo is a fusion between ancient African tribal practices and Catholic doctrine. Slaves brought to the area, though forced by their owners to give up their ancestral religions outright and convert to Christianity, found parallels within the Catholic saints and the animism present in their traditions, eventually merging the two. In addition, Native American tribes and New Orleans slaves displayed marked intermingling, and thus some of their practices were incorporated into the budding religion known as Voodoo (not to be confused with Hoodoo, which is related though not the same, and most certainly a thing.)

In Voodoo practice, veneration of one’s ancestors and the dead are powerful tenants, and post-emancipation practitioners took it very seriously during Mardi Gras festivities. Many chose to honor their Native American allies by hand-crafting elaborate “Indian” costumes from beads and feathers, as well as highly-structured “Tribes” with varying roles such as Flag Boy, Spy Boy, and Queen (if you’ve ever heard the song “Iko Iko” by the Dixie Cups, yes, that’s what it’s about). These traditions still exist today, though some (if not most) who participate don’t practice voodoo.  Really, the Mardi Gras Indians are one of the most instantly recognizable and beautiful aspects of New Orleans Mardi Gras, and a vibrant piece of the puzzle that is New Orleans culture.

 

 

http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/history.html

https://thenarcissisticanthropologist.com/2013/03/16/voodoo-and-mardi-gras-indians-new-orleans-deep-culture/

http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/multicultural/multiculturaltraditions/voodoo.html