Tag Archives: occult

Almanac – January 26

1788 – The birth of Thomas Whittle, son of Thomas Whittle snr, of the Royal Marines and, er, Mrs. Whittle.
He was effectively the first white Austrailian, born as the ship carrying his parents entered what was to become Sydney harbour.

.

1908 – Stéphane Grappelli born. French jazz violinist who founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France with guitarist Django Reinhardt in 1934 – one of the first all-string jazz bands. He has been called “the grandfather of jazz violinists“.

.

.

1920 – Hans Holzer born. Austrian-born, American pioneering paranormal researcher and author. He wrote well over 100 books on supernatural and occult subjects for the popular market as well as several plays, musicals, films, and documentaries, and hosted a television show, “Ghost Hunter“.

Holzer’s most famous investigation was into The Amityville Horror case. In January 1977, Holzer and spiritual medium Ethel Meyers entered 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York.

Meyers claimed that the house had been built over an ancient Native American burial ground and the angry spirit of a Shinnecock Indian Chief – “Rolling Thunder” – had possessed the previous occupant, Ronald Defeo Jr., driving him to murder his family. Photographs taken at the scene revealed curious anomalies such as the halos which appeared in the supposed images of bullet marks made in the original 1974 murders.

Holzer’s claim that the house was built on Indian sacred land was, however, denied by the local Amityville Historical Society and it was pointed out that it was the Montaukett Indians, and not the Shinnecocks, who had been the original settlers in the area.

However, Indian burial sites have been found all over Long Island, including Amityville, so no one has been able to confirm or deny the burial of an Indian chief on or near the 112 Ocean Avenue property. Holzer went on to write several books about the subject, both fiction and non-fiction.

.

1932 – Coxsone Dodd born – Clement Seymour “Sir Coxsone” Dodd,   Jamaican record producer who was influential in the development of ska and reggae in the 1950s, 1960s and beyond. He received his nickname “Coxsone” at school: because of his teenage talent as a cricketer, his friends compared him to Alec Coxon, a member of the 1940s Yorkshire County Cricket Club team.

In 1954  he set up the Downbeat Sound System, being the owner of an amplifier, a turntable, and some US records, which he would import from New Orleans and Miami. With the success of his sound system, and in a competitive environment, Dodd opened five different sound systems, each playing every night. To run his sound systems, Dodd appointed people such as Lee “Scratch” Perry, who was Dodd’s right hand man during his early career, U-Roy and Prince Buster.

In 1963 he opened Studio One on Brentford Road, Kingston,  the first black-owned recording studio in Jamaica. During the late 1960s and 1970s, the ‘Studio One sound‘ was synonymous with the sound of ska, rocksteady and reggae, and Dodd attracted some of the best of Jamaican talent to his stable during this time, including Burning Spear, Ras Michael, Delroy Wilson, Horace Andy and Sugar Minott.

.

.

A&A forum banner

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac

Almanac – December 06

1877 – Thomas Edison, using his new phonograph, made one of the earliest recordings of a human voice, reciting “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.

.

.

1890 – Dion Fortune born.   British occultist and author. Her pseudonym (she was born Violet Mary Firth Evans) was inspired by her family motto “Deo, non-fortuna” ( “by God, not fate”).

Of her works on magical subjects, the best remembered of her books are; The Cosmic Doctrine, a summation of her basic teachings on mysticism, Psychic Self-Defense,  a manual on how to protect oneself from psychic attacks and The Mystical Qabalah,  an introduction to Hermetic Qabalah which was first published in England in 1935, and is regarded by many occultists as one of the best books on magic ever written. Though some of her writings may seem dated to contemporary readers, they have the virtue of lucidity and avoid the deliberate obscurity that characterised many of her forerunners and contemporaries.

She also  wrote about the “Magical Battle of Britain”,[ which was a purported attempt by British occultists to magically aid the war effort during World War II. Her efforts in regard to this are recorded in a series of letters she wrote at the time. The effort involved is said by some  to have contributed to her death shortly after the war ended.

.

.

1933 – U.S. federal judge John M. Woolsey ruled that the James Joyce‘s novel Ulysses is not obscene.

.

.

1949 – Leadbelly died. Huddie William Ledbetter, American folk and blues musician, and multi-instrumentalist, notable for his strong vocals, his virtuosity on the twelve-string guitar, and the songbook of folk standards he introduced.

.

.

1969 – Meredith Hunter  killed by the Hells Angels during  Rolling Stones‘s concert at the Altamont Speedway in California.  During the performance by , he  was punched by Hells Angels  serving as security guards. He subsequently drew a gun, and was stabbed to death by Hells Angel Alan Passaro.

Some claim it happened while the Stones were playing Sympathy For The Devil,  thus giving it an extra frisson, but it was actually while they were performing Under My Thumb.

Many commentators have seen this event  as the symbolic end of the Hippie dream, such as it was.

.

.

1 Comment

Filed under Almanac

Almanac – September 24

1534 – Guru Ram Das born. The fourth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism, one of his main contributions to Sikhism was organizing the structure of Sikh society. Additionally, he was the author of Laava, the four hymns of the Sikh Marriage Rites, and he was planner and creator of the township of Ramdaspur which became the Sikh holy city of Amritsar.

.

1541 –  Paracelsus  (Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim) died.  German-Swiss Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist. He is also credited for giving zinc its name, calling it zincum, and is regarded as the first systematic botanist.

.



.

1893 – Blind Lemon Jefferson born. American blues singer and guitarist from Texas. He was one of the most popular blues singers of the 1920s, and has been titled “Father of the Texas Blues”.

.

.

1930 – Angelo Muscat born. Maltese-born film and television character actor,  he appeared in 14 of the 17 episodes of the sixties cult television series The Prisoner, as the notably mute butler. Only 4 ft 3 in tall, he played an Oompa-Loompa in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), and also appeared in the Beatles‘  Magical Mystery Tour and  Doctor Who.

.


.

1993 – A Jehovah’s Witness buttonholed actor James Purefoy outside his London flat. They began a friendly conversation, but then   “I just said I thought it was odd that the Bible doesn’t mention dinosaurs, and he punched me in the face.”

“At first I tried to laugh it off, but that just incensed him and he kept hitting me.”

Finally, Purefoy lifted his assailant into the air and threw him to the ground, shouting: “I hope Jehovah witnessed that !”

The actor came out of the theological discussion with a black eye and a slipped disc, causing him to have to pull out of Noel Coward’s  Present Laughter at the Globe Theatre.
The fate of the JW isn’t recorded.

.

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac

Almanac – July 27

1880 – The Battle of Maiwand, one of the principal battles of the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Under the leadership of Ayub Khan, the Afghans defeated two brigades of British and Indian troops under Brigadier-General George Burrows.

 Doctor  John Watson, companion of Sherlock Holmes, was wounded in the Battle of Maiwand, as described in the opening chapter of A Study in Scarlet, which led to him being invalided  out of the military and into a life of  a fictional detective’s side-kick.

1890 – Vincent van Gogh shot himself  (and died two days later).



1949 – Robert Rankin, born.  British humorous novelist. His books are a mix of science fiction, fantasy, the occult, urban legends, running gags, metafiction, steampunk and outrageous characters.

Mr. Frankenstein

*******

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac