Halloween: As Above Poem

HalloweenStoriesAs Above So Below

Deep in the shadows

Of what we harvest

We see

Death laid bare

Lands once rich

Stripped of their shine

Greenery is long gone

Instead the great fields stretch barren

Another season has died

The world has continued to push forward

If the season is dead

Why does the world carry on?

Have you ever asked?

Have you ever wondered?

What is it that keeps us moving forward after life surely seems done?

Thoughts of little importance.

Only in the things grasped.

Have you ever asked what comes to us at the last?

When the future arrives and dances with the past?

The gathering of things once forgotten

As above

So below

Is this true?

Of the time we wished we still had?

In the shadow of harvest

Life and death are laid bare

Hand in hand they walk

Delighted with the world they share

For one night

All is one

Creatures dark and bright

Walk amongst

Both the pure and the jaded

For just this night

As above

So below

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Halloween: One Night

HalloweenStoriesUntitled
One night
To waver in the shadows
Of time
Of loss
Of sorrow
Send word
To our beloved dead
Our thoughts carried
To the heavens above

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31 Days of Halloween: Divinations

31daysofhalloweenIf a candle flame suddenly turns blue, there is a ghost nearby.   If the candle then begins to smoke, the ghost is trying to communicate with you.  Grab a piece of paper and hold it over the smoke (be careful not to set the paper on fire)  Randomly move the paper around in the smoke while opening your mind to what the spirit is trying to say.  A picture will form in soot on the paper from which you can divine the spirit’s message.

halloween divinations

People were warned not to sit under the Hawthorn tree on Halloween lest they be kidnapped and carried off by the little people.  And anyone tossing a bucket of water out the window must be sure to yell “Seachain” as a warning to fairies and ghosts to move away lest they get drenched.  You didn’t want to make them mad!  One way to protect yourself from them (and the other frightening creatures that roamed this night) was to turn your pockets inside out – something that was certainly done by anyone brave enough to go to the crossroads this night.  Crossroads are special places to witches.
However, if one did linger there on Halloween long enough to listen to the wind, it was said that he would hear all the important events of the coming year whispered

Looking into a well on Halloween night was another way to see the future for the next 12 months.

Oatmeal and salt were placed on children’s’ heads to protect them from evil.

Walking around your home backwards and counter clockwise three times before sunset on Halloween warded off evil spirits and protected those who lived there.

halloween mirror

Mirrors have always been considered as portals to the shadow world.  In a house where someone has recently died, all mirrors must be covered – lest the person’s soul becomes trapped inside. At midnight on Halloween, light two candles and gaze into a mirror. Brush your hair. An image of your future lover will appear behind you in the reflection.

The custom of bobbing for apples was originally another form of divination.  Called “aipple dooking” in Scotland, a tub is filled with water and apples are floated on the surface.  The first person to grab an apple with their teeth (no hands allowed!) would be the first to marry.  They might then peel the apple and toss it over their shoulder to see who the person would be.

halloween


Another form of this game would be to hang the apple from the ceiling by a string.
If a girl had several young men courting her and was undecided as to which she should choose, on Halloween she could take apple seeds, naming one for each boyfriend and stick them to her face.  The last one to fall off  was the guy she should pick.

Peel an apple so the skin comes off in one piece, then using your right hand throw it over your left shoulder. The shape it lands in is the initial of your true love.

halloween

If you have more than one suitor, designate some nuts for each of them and place them in a fire. The suitor represented by the first nut to pop is the truest. If you are in a relationship, burn nuts with your partner to see your love’s future. If they burn calmly together, you will both stay true. If one is engulfed by flames, the owner of that nut has the strongest feelings. If one cracks or explodes, the owner of that nut will be unfaithful.

halloween

Take a ball of yarn and toss it so it unravels. Begin to wind it up, and an apparition of your future lover will appear to gather the end. Or drop it out of an open window and ask the night who is holding the other end. The wind will whisper their name to you.

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Poetry: Hallowe’en

HalloweenStoriesHallowe’en

Hallowe’en begins with the ringing of the bells

Celebration for our long since dead

The ringing bells

Expel those whom seek to harm

Candles light the windows

Reflecting dancing flames

Warding off witches

Burning ‘til midnight

Keeping evil influences at bay

The streets are filled

Row on row

They walk with torches of straw

Lighting souls through purgatory

Those who linger between heaven and hell

The end of summer

Connects us to the next world

The veil

So thin

You can feel a breath

From a love long since dead

Hallowe’en

The hearthstones are swept

The candles glow red

We welcome and rejoice

The return our beloved dead

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Autumn Eats: Pumpkin Pancakes With Hot Cider Syrup

Autumn RecipesPUMPKIN PANCAKES WITH HOT CIDER SYRUP

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 c. flour
2 tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coriander, ground
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 c. milk
1 c. canned pumpkin, mashed
4 egg yolks
4 oz. melted butter
1 tbsp. vanilla
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

HOT CIDER SYRUP:

1 1/2 c. apple cider
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. corn syrup
2 oz. butter
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Grated rind from 1 lemon
2 apples, peeled, cored & thinly sliced 

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, combine milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, butter and vanilla. Pour combined liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Carefully fold in egg whites. Cook pancakes on a light oiled griddle. 

In a small saucepan, combine apple cider, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon rind. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add apples. Heat for several minutes more. Serve over pancakes.
Serves 6.

Pumpkin pancakes

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Halloween Horror: The Eye 3

 In Thailand, Chong-kwai welcomes his friends Ted, May, Kofei and April from Hong Kong. While on a tour, they see an accident on the road and start telling ghost stories when they return to Chong-kwai’s house. Chong-kwai shows them a book titled The Ten Encounters, that describes ten ways to see ghosts and spirits. Chong-kwai had purchased the book from a strange man, who offered him a discount, saying that karma had led him to it, but Chong-kwai discovers later that he had been scammed. They can begin the “game” on any of the ten methods, but must complete it or else they will be haunted forever. Out of curiosity, the five of them start playing.

They start with the spirit glass game but only Kofei sees the ghost. Chong-kwai’s mother, a spiritualist, appears and warns them about meddling with the supernatural. The next step involves them going to a road intersection at night to attract hungry ghosts. All except May are able to see the spirits, and the frustrated May insists that they continue the game even though they are already freaked out. They go to a forest to play hide and seek with a black cat, that will supposedly break the charm and allow them to see the missing person. However, Kofei had disappeared mysteriously and the cat is found dead. In anguish, April tries rubbing dirt from a grave onto her eyes, but they fall out from the sockets and turn fiery-red. She sinks into unconsciousness and Chong-kwai’s mother saves her by cleaning her eyes, warning her that she was very close to the purgatory world. Chong-kwai’s mother tells them to leave Thailand immediately but April stays behind because she wants to find Kofei (her boyfriend). One night, April tries one of the methods and brushes her hair in front of a mirror at night. Her fate is uncertain.

Meanwhile, back in Hong Kong, Ted and May continue to experience weird encounters. One rainy day, May finds an umbrella held by an invisible being while in the subway and she runs away. On the bus, her umbrella suddenly opens and she sees a basketball rolling back and forth. She steps over it and it turns into a human head, that starts biting her ankle. She screams in horror but her fellow passengers tell her that it is only a ball. While she is back at her apartment corridor, she sees the ball again and it starts to follow her. She performs a “peek-a-stoop” and sees a boy with a rotting face dribbling the ball. She dashes into her apartment in fear and calls Ted to come. While waiting for him, she receives a call about April’s disappearance. Ted encounters many spirits on the way to May’s apartment and he kicks the ball in the corridor and is possessed by the ghost. He jerks and twists his body and appears to be breakdancing. A pair of gangsters see Ted and think he is challenging them to a breakdance battle. Ted starts to walk on the wall and stand on the ceiling, while the horrified dancers and observers flee. Ted recovers and grabs a girl in the hallway, telling her to follow him into May’s apartment, but she is nowhere to be seen later. After watching a video recording, they realize that the girl is actually the victim of the accident they saw in Thailand and her spirit disappears after Ted “peek-a-stoop” to see her.

Back in Thailand, Chong-kwai visits the bookstore to get answers from the man who sold him the cursed book. He sees that the drawings of characters in the book have been replaced by images of himself and his friends. His mother pulls him away before he can find out anything. At the same time, Ted and May return to Thailand to complete the game, hoping that the curse will be broken after doing so. They perform the last step, which is, to sleep while dressed in traditional garments for the deceased. Before that, Chong-kwai tells them that they have a limited time in the purgatory and must go towards a light when they hear a bell ring. In the ghost world, Ted and May encounter several ghosts and find Kofei who was behind a ghost boy. After being surrounded by ghosts April appears and helps them escape. All three ask April how she came to the ghost world and she tells them what happened. While doing the hair brush at midnight method she thought Kofei was dead so she commits suicide by slicing her wrist, then shows them her wound on her hand, showing them that she is now dead. Kofei decides to stay with April in the Ghost world and tell Ted and May to escape. Ted and May attempt to escape towards the light, apparently succeeding, but they find out later that they have become spirits too. Chong-kwai and his mother attempt to revive Ted and May but fail. Before the film ends, the sinister bookstore owner is seen selling another copy of the cursed book to an interested teenager.

 I love this movie. Don’t be lazy and not watch it because of subtitles. It is genuinely one of the creepiest movies ever. It’s complete with methods to seeing a ghost from the Ten Encounters book.

TEN METHODS TO SEE A GHOST

1. Getting a corneal transplant from a donor who has psychic abilities

2. Attempting suicide during pregnancy

3. Playing the Spirit Glass game

4. Tapping chopsticks on a bowl filled with enough food for three at a road intersection to attract hungry ghosts

5. Playing hide-and-seek at night while carrying a black cat

6. Rubbing dirt from a grave on your eyes

7. Opening an umbrella indoors

8. Brushing your hair at midnight in front of a mirror

9. Performing a “peek-a-stoop” (bending over and to look back between your legs)

10. Sleep while dressed in used traditional garments for the deceased to fool the dead into believing that you are one of them

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Halloween: Book Review: A Good and Happy Child


A GOOD AND HAPPY CHILD by Justin Evans

1600108_10152164384975908_207743490_nThirty-year-old George Davies can’t bring himself to hold his newborn son. After months of accepting his lame excuses and strange behavior, his wife has had enough. She demands that he see a therapist, and George, desperate to save his unraveling marriage and redeem himself as a father and husband, reluctantly agrees.

As he delves into his childhood memories, he begins to recall things he hasn’t thought of in twenty years. Events, people, and strange situations come rushing back. The odd, rambling letters his father sent home before he died. The jovial mother who started dating too soon after his father’s death. A boy who appeared one night when George was lonely, then told him secrets he didn’t want to know. How no one believed this new friend was real and that he was responsible for the bad things that were happening.

Terrified by all that he has forgotten, George struggles to remember what really happened in the months following his father’s death. Were his ominous visions and erratic behavior the product of a grief-stricken child’s overactive imagination (a perfectly natural reaction to the trauma of loss, as his mother insisted)? Or were his father’s colleagues, who blamed a darker, more malevolent force, right to look to the supernatural as a means to end George’s suffering? Twenty years later, George still does not know. But when a mysterious murder is revealed, remembering the past becomes the only way George can protect himself–and his young family.

1600167_10152164384800908_58508561_n

A psychological thriller in the tradition of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History–with shades of The Exorcist–the smart and suspenseful A Good and Happy Child leaves you questioning the things you remember and frightened of the things you’ve forgotten.

This, is without a doubt one of the creepiest books I have ever read. Justin Evans delivers his all with this debut novel. All the questions you are left with eat away at your brain. This book is just darn creepy. It has hints of demonic possession that leaving you trembling with fear. The use of paedophobia is brilliant and plays a huge role in the novel…Read it, you’re in for a good scare! Afterwards, you find yourself fearing the dark, and every sound that goes bump in the night. Exactly the kind of reaction a GREAT novel leaves you with.

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