The Trick-Or-Treatise: On the Evolution of A Custom.

The origins of Halloween are pretty well-known to most fans of anything even remotely other-worldly.
It’s technically “supposed” to be called Samhain (pronounced Sah-When) and is derived from the pagan Celtic festival which took place around the solstice.
Of course, other traditionally spooky celebrations such as Walpurgisnacht (although that’s in April) have been mixed in, and in recent years Halloween has become Christmas’ hyper-commercialized spooky brother.
But that’s another article.

The celebration of Halloween has today become inseparable from ghost hunts, revealing costumes, and binges of equal parts alcohol and horror flick.
Today, however, on this fantastic holiday, we will look at something a bit more kid-friendly: Trick-Or-Treating.
How long has it been a thing? And why?
Sit back, dear reader, for today we learn.

Cat girls

Trick-or-Treatise part I: The Conquering
The Holiday of Halloween, of course, has pagan roots. Samhain was celebrated on the first of November and was meant to venerate the harvest (and drink).
They also associated the darker half of the year… from fall to winter… with death and decay, and believed that the spirits would become active on the day before Samhain.
In an attempt to ward off the less kind of these ghosts, and to pay tribute to fallen relatives, they left out small meals and loaves of bread and other small treats.
Thus, Halloween has managed to stay true to its roots of horror and partying for millenia.

Near the end of the Roman Empire, great areas of Celt land were overtaken and conquered.
During these ages, the practice seemed to continue, such was the appeal of Halloween even in ancient times.

Trick-or-Treatise part II: The Souling
Near the 8th or 11th century, The Catholic Church had gained control of the area. The Church’s calendar contained two holidays, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
All Saints Day was intended to honor fallen saints, and observe the importance of their martyrdoms. A feast was mandated to be held on the 13th of May as commemoration.
All Souls Day, unsurprisingly, is meant to venerate passed loved ones and ancestors, and became linked with a practice known as “Souling”, which consisted of leaving out small sweets and treats on All Souls Night.
Incidentally, this is where the similar practices observed in South America (known as La Dia De Los Muertos) originated.
All Souls Day was originally observed sometime in the Spring, and later sometime in Winter, but always intentionally directly after the feast of All Saints.
This eventually led to the amalgamation of the two into All Hallow’s Eve, which occurred overlapping Samhain, likely because it was most convenient for all observers.

Trick-or-Treatise part III: The Guising
Since the Celts are wont to set trends for Halloween, the final piece of the Trick or Treat puzzle falls into place in the 16th century, based in the Scottish practice of “Guising”.
Guising is essentially the same as trick-or-treating as Americans would know it, with children donning outlandish costumes and going door-to-door to collect treats, with the exception that the child is often expected to actually perform a trick.
Associated rituals, such as “mumming” developed in other countries (and included essentially the same practices) but not necessarily set on Halloween.
However, in America, a phrase shouted by mischievous kids on their neighbor’s doorsteps became widespread and included reference to the other well-known Halloween practice of extreme pranking:

"Trick or Treat!"

CREEPERS, AND THE TOP 5 SONGS ABOUT THEM

You know, when it comes to love, the only difference between “romance” and “stalking” is attraction. A multitude of lists have been made about the “Top Ten Spooky Love Songs OMG!”, but these seem to be about 20 of the same songs on repeat. (Yes, we all know that “Every Breath You Take” is creepy, it’s not a surprise anymore!)
So here, I’ve decided to dig up some of the less commonly-mentioned creeper songs. Some you may know, some you may not, but all of them are worthy of this list. So ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present our favorite obsessive stalker songs.

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5. LUDO – THE HORROR OF OUR LOVE (2008)

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A very interesting group indeed, the Saint Louis- based rock band LUDO scored some minor hits back in the 00’s with songs such as “Love Me Dead” and “Good Will Hunting By Myself”.
However, one of their more obscure tracks – an album cut off of 2008’s “You’re Awful, I Love You”- holds up as an almost excessively beautiful song… about excessively un-beautiful things.
The Horror Of Our Love presents a narrative that alternates between different horror scenarios, all with the common theme of a twisted love story taking place.

4. THE CURE – WHY CAN’T I BE YOU? (1987)

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THE CURE? Writing a song about an obsessive stalker?
… Well I never.
If you can’t tell by the title, this song is a frantic plea from the singer to his… I think “crush” is putting it mildly… about how “simply elegant” and “delicious” and “intelligent” and “wooooooo!” she is.
I just can’t help but think the subject of this song doesn’t exactly know what he’s thinking. Or, probably, that he even exists.

3. FALL OUT BOY – SUGAR, WE’RE GOING DOWN (2005)

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Alright, I’ll admit this doesn’t quite fit the “lesser known song” criteria, but why is it that nobody seems to acknowledge that this is an absolutely creepy song??
A monstrous hit released at the height of the mid-00’s pop punk craze, “Sugar, We’re Going Down” by FALL OUT BOY details the progression of a remarkably shallow one-night stand that eventually culminates in a verse like this:

Is this more than you bargained for yet?
Oh, don’t mind me, I’m watching you two from the closet
Wishing to be the friction in your jeans
Isn’t it messed up how I’m just dying to be him?

…. Yeah. That’s about as blatant a verse about stalking as I’ve ever heard. Good song though. Next!

2. DR. HOOK AND THE MEDICINE SHOW – SYLVIA’S MOTHER (1972)

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Has no invention served as a stalker’s go-to method more than the telephone?
DR. HOOK AND THE MEDICINE SHOW‘s first single, “Sylvia’s Mother”, tells a maudlin little story about a man calling his ex, named “Sylvia”, only to be answered by his ex’s mother, “Mrs. Avery”, and pleads with her to give Sylvia the phone.
But the real selling point of what makes this song so… stalkery, is the vocal delivery of the singer. He whimpers the (very obviously) Shel Silverstein-penned lyrics with an agonizing amount of conviction.
Knowing the band’s discography and sense of humor, this song may have been meant as a parody of melodramatic breakup songs, but regardless, I imagine it must have been terrible to be named Sylvia (or Mrs. Avery, for that matter) circa 1972 due to this song.

1. ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA – TELEPHONE LINE (1977)

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So here it is, my personal top pick.
I don’t care how pretty it is. I don’t care that it’s a classic. I don’t care that the chorus is the most bubblegum I-VI-IV-V chord progression in history.
ELO‘s forlorn breakup song, “Telephone Line”, is a song about a jilted lover who incessantly calls his ex-girlfriend, regardless of whether or not anyone answers.
He also seems to relish in the fact that his ex can’t seem to keep a steady relationship, and still he calls her.
Letting the phone ring.
Forever.

 

So we've tried a bit of a different idea this time, what did you think?
Let us know your favorite songs about unhinged love.

On Fri. Oct. 13, 2017

Human society has long been known to ascribe significance to certain days.
We have holidays, for example. These include Christmas, Labor Day, Beer Can Appreciation Day (which also happens to be my birthday), and my personal favorite, Halloween.
Sometimes we hold anniversaries in high regard, birthdays, or even simply “a good day”, in which nothing particularly negative happens within a 24-hour span.
But there is one day that, to many (barring a few fans of a certain horror franchise), is regarded with a certain air of dread and avoidance.

Paraskevidekatriaphobia* – because everything has scientific name – is the complete and paralyzing fear of Friday the 13th.
Often, we attribute phobias to an innate and understandable fear. Spiders, snakes, heights, clowns… these are all phenomena that, though not everyone shares the fear of them, everyone can at least understand why they would be scary to some.
Spiders likely feasted on our primordial ancestors, and on top of that, just look terrifying. Especially the Maratus Personatus. Google if you dare.
Heights are inherently dangerous, and doubly intimidating if you’ve ever seen Vertigo.
Clowns are… well, needless to say, research has been done.
But why have we in the Western Hemisphere all agreed to be afraid of a single, seemingly random day out of the month?

13th

Perhaps this superstition has its roots in numerology. Many cultures regard a certain number as cursed or unlucky.
In Japan, the number 4 is often regarded with a similar solemnity, as the word for 4 in Japanese (“Shi”) is a homophone for the word for death (also “Shi”).
But in America, it is known as a fearful number. Probably even the most dreadful, aside from possibly 666 (the numbah! of! the! beast!). But why?
“Death” and “thirteen” don’t bear much resemblance, I would argue that 79 is far more intimidating, and no-one can seem to trace the origins of exactly why it’s meant to be unlucky.
The ancient Turks are said to have absolutely loathed the number – avoiding its use in all but the most necessary situations – and the ancient Vikings and Indians associated it with death.
The Vikings may have associated it with bad luck due to the God Loki (of course), who crashed a dinner party of twelve gods and consequently conspired with the god Hod there to murder Baldur, who was killed by a lance of mistletoe puncturing his heart… Man, Norse mythology is brutal.
The Indians believed that the 13th member of any gathering was sure to die by the end of the year.
There were 13 disciples at the Last Supper, one of which betrayed Jesus and caused his death (which occurred on a Friday).
I would argue this example has less to do with the number of people at the table and more about Judas’ motivations, but I’ll move on before this gets all Andrew Lloyd-Weber.

Our fear of Friday, however, has more of a tangible basis.
Though I personally like Friday – weekends are nice – the day is regarded as an unlucky one in Christian cultures.
Evidently, Adam and Eve were ousted from the Garden on a Friday. Thus, it is the weekly anniversary of mankind falling from grace.
As was mentioned before, Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
In English, it is named after Frigg, the Norse Goddess of – you guessed it – death.
So, uh, T.G.I.F? I feel like such a wet blanket when I research this kind of thing.
By the way, the oldest tale I could track down based on the well known day was the aptly titled novel “Friday, the Thirteenth” which was released in 1907.
It’s about bank fraud, or something. So, you know, exactly like the film.

So, do you laugh in the face of fear? Shroud yourself in Superstition? Or perhaps you have some interesting anecdotes about the Unluckiest Day in the Western World. If you do, send us your story, we'd love to hear it!

 

SOURCES:
https://www.thoughtco.com/why-is-friday-the-13th-considered-unlucky-3298238
http://bismarcktribune.com/news/columnists/keith-darnay/origins-of-friday-the-th-may-be-ancient/article_d90455b5-8af6-59bd-831b-833183b8ed46.html
https://www.tofugu.com/japan/number-four-superstition/
http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/09/the-origin-of-friday-the-13th-as-an-unlucky-day/
*”Paraskevidekatriaphobia” was coined in the early 90’s by a Dr. Donald Dossey, 1934-2016.

What Is Automatic Writing?

Its Origins and History

In the 1800’s epidemics were prevalent throughout America. Cholera swept through towns, villages and cities, killing thousands. Modern medicine was in its earliest stages and often ran the risk of doing more harm than good for the patient. Tuberculosis was common and deadly. In the later decades of the era, the horrors of the Civil War saw many casualties on the battlefield. Out of this backdrop of sorrow there came a deep need for survivors to communicate one last time with loved ones. Automatic Writing was one method that became popular to facilitate this communication.

Automatic Writing is a form of communication with the supernatural or paranormal world, in a similar vein to scrying and spirit boards. It has existed in many ways for centuries, from the shamans and mystics of ancient times to the more modern Spiritualist and Surrealist movements. In this more recent method, participants must lightly hold onto the specialized planchette while asking questions, and the results are relayed to them through the writing instrument as it makes contact with the writing surface.

Used by writers, artists, and paranormal investigators alike, Automatic Writing has produced not only possible insight into the world beyond, but also beautiful stream-of-consciousness poetry and other artistic works.

Paranormal Supplies offers you the chance to investigate this method of divination and communication with the Paranormal Supplies Automatic Writing Planchette available on Amazon or on our site at Paranormal Supplies store

Have you ever attempted this form of divination? We would love to hear about your experiences with this tool, which is now available again in the form of the Paranormal Supplies Automatic Writing Planchette. Check it out


	

Stampede Mesa

Article II

 

Sunset 007

Our second foray into ghostly animals brings us to Crosby County Texas.
A local legend of vengeance begetting vengeance could best sum up the events of “Stampede Mesa”.

It is said that the Mesa, a 200-acre plot of land mounted on a high, flat peak (hence “Mesa”), was a popular site for cattle drivers to set up camp in the mid to late 1800’s.
One fateful night, a group of cowboys and their foreman sought refuge on the Mesa, but were there met by an old nester, leisurely letting his 40 cattle graze on the fruitful land.
Along the north end of the mesa, the old man had built a crude barbed-wire enclosure.
This mesa was his now, as far was he was concerned, and the arrival of a stranger’s cattle was not exactly an appealing one.

Approaching the foreman, he said bluntly:
“It’ll cost ya 2 bits a head to put up pasture here.”

The foreman, with his nearly 1500-head herd and small brigade of cowboys under his employ, suddenly found himself facing a delicate tactical decision.
Should he pay the old man this ludicrous charge? Or, given the circumstances…

“We’ve got 1500 head and you’ve got some boards and wire. Cut out or it’s your carcass.”

And so, the old man permitted them, but not for long.
As dusk fell, the old man, donning a slicker and mounting his mule, decided the foreman and his cowboys would pay for stiffing him, in one way or another.
Under the cover of night and brush, the man found his way to the outer boundaries of the foreman’s herd.
When the deadest, stillest hour of the night struck, the old man began firing his rifle and howling at a wolf’s pitch.

The cattle were, understandably, shaken.

The Mesa, being a mesa, offered many perilous pitfalls and a sheer, suicide drop on three sides.
The startled herd ran to its doom over the edge, leaving only 300 alive and taking with them a couple of the foreman’s men.
When the foreman and his remaining men took stock of their situation, they decided the treacherous nester would reap exactly what he’d sown.
Spending what may have been days tracking the old man down, they quickly brought him back to the Mesa.
They bound his arms and legs, and tied him to his mule.
The mule was blindfolded.
A couple of shouts and rifle shots, and the frightened beast charged over the ledge, taking his murderous owner with him.

Evidently locals say the eerie sounds of this century-old event can still be heard to this day, trampling hooves and ghostly herds charging about in the middle of the night.
But of course, we at Paranormal Supplies have never been there. 
So, if you have a Stampede Mesa story, share with us your paranormal experiences!

 

Sources:
http://www.texasescapes.com/CFEckhardt/Stampede-Mesa.htm
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txcrosby/misc/stampede.html
http://lubbockonline.com/stories/031600/spe_0316000012.shtml#.Wab-kemQzIU

A Post From the Editor

Article I

I would imagine we’ve all had some encounter or another with an apparition of some sort, regardless of whether we realized it.
I also think that ghostly animals are a fairly common sight. Domestic animals, such as cats, dogs, and birds, appear to be especially prevalent.
Perhaps it’s that these creatures were so friendly with humans in life, making them less shy about appearing to us afterwards?
Here, we will begin a series looking at ghosts, animals, and ghostly animals.
I’ll share with you an experience I had in early childhood, one that is particularly vivid even all these years later.

I was very young, probably not even five, and visiting my grandparents’ house.
I must have fallen sick, or had a severe headache (these were, and often still are, frequent events for me).
Whether my physical condition was relevant to this story I do not know, but I do remember that it was very late, as the only light in the house was coming from the bathroom, where my grandmother was searching the cabinets for medicine for me.
I stood in the doorway, facing out into the darkness of the hall, when I noticed a large and pitch-black cat slink out of the shadows.
I clearly remember seeing its eyes shimmer as it looked at me, and the pink of its tongue as it hissed and ran away. I never saw it again.
My grandparents did, at the time, keep a pair of cockatiels, but no animal on four legs ever lived in that house.

Has anyone else encountered such mysterious beasts? We'd love to hear your story.

 

Sharing the world of the Paranormal

We are committed to examining all aspects of the Paranormal in the true sense of the word. Anything that is beyond the “normal” reality of the physical world is open for inspection and sharing. From the “other” worldly to the “outer” worldly, we invite you to share your opinions, experiences and your view of the Paranormal world. We will attempt to bring you news and items of interest from all areas of the Paranormal experience to expand our understanding, stimulate conversation and become your source for All Things Paranormal at Your Fingertips.