Tag Archives: supernatural

Almanac – March 03

1756 – William Godwin born. English journalist, political philosopher and novelist. He is considered one of the first exponents of utilitarianism, and the first modern proponent of anarchism.

 Godwin is most famous for two books that he published within the space of a year: An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, an attack on political institutions, and Things as They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams, which attacks aristocratic privilege, but also is the first mystery novel. Based on the success of both, Godwin featured prominently in the radical circles of London in the 1790s.

 In the ensuing conservative reaction to British radicalism, Godwin was attacked, in part because of his marriage to the pioneering feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft in 1797 and his candid biography of her after her death.

Their daughter, Mary Godwin (later Mary Shelley) would go on to write Frankenstein and marry the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

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1765 – William Stukeley died. English antiquarian who pioneered the archaeological investigation of the prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury, work for which he has been remembered as “probably… the most important of the early forerunners of the discipline of archaeology”.

Becoming involved in the newly fashionable organisation of Freemasonry, he also began to describe himself as a “druid“, and incorrectly believed that the prehistoric megalithic monuments were a part of the druidic religion. However, despite this he has been noted as being a significant figure in the early development of the modern movement known as Neo-druidry.

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1863 – Arthur Machen born.  Welsh author and mystic of the 1890s and early 20th century. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. His novella “The Great God Pan” (1890; 1894) has garnered a reputation as a classic of horror (Stephen King has called it “Maybe the best [horror story] in the English language”). He is also well known for his leading role in creating the legend of the Angels of Mons.

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1951 – Jackie Brenston, with Ike Turner and his band, recorded “Rocket 88″, often cited as the first rock and roll record, at Sam Phillips‘ recording studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

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2006 – Ivor Cutler died. Scottish poet, songwriter and humorist. He became known for his regular performances on BBC radio, and in particular his numerous sessions recorded for John Peel‘s influential radio programme, and later for Andy Kershaw‘s programme. He appeared in The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour film in 1967 and on Neil Innes‘ television programmes.

The hallmarks of Cutler’s work are surreal, bizarre juxtapositions and close attention to small details of existence, all described in seemingly naive language. In performance his delivery was frail, halting and minimally inflected. His writing sometimes edged into whimsy or the macabre. Many of his poems and songs are in the form of conversations delivered as a monologue

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Almanac – February 24

1909 – August Derleth born. American writer and anthologist. Though best remembered as the first publisher of the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, and for his own contributions to the so-called Cthulhu Mythos genre of horror, as well as his founding of the publisher Arkham House (which did much to bring supernatural fiction into print in hardcover in the US that had only been readily available in the UK), Derleth was a leading American regional writer of his day, as well as prolific in several other genres, including historical fiction, poetry, detective fiction, science fiction and biography.

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1942 – The Battle of Los Angeles, also known as The Great Los Angeles Air Raid, was the name given by contemporary sources to the rumored enemy attack and subsequent anti-aircraft artillery barrage which took place from late 24 February to early 25 February 1942 over Los Angeles, California.

The incident occurred less than three months after the United States entered World War II as a result of the Japanese Imperial Navy’s attack on Pearl Harbor, and one day after the Bombardment of Ellwood on 23 February.

Initially, the target of the aerial barrage was thought to be an attacking force from Japan, but speaking at a press conference shortly afterward, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox called the incident a “false alarm.” Newspapers of the time published a number of reports and speculations of a cover-up.

Some modern-day UFOlogists have suggested the targets were extraterrestrial spacecraft.

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Gwrach y Rhibyn, or Hag of the Mist.

Another Welsh supernatural being associated with water was the Gwrach y Rhibyn.  She was supposed to reside in the dripping fog, but was seldom, if ever seen.  It was believed that her shriek foretold misfortune, if not death, to the hearer, and some even thought that, in a shrill tenor, and lengthened voice, she called the person shortly to die by name.

Yr Hen Chrwchwd, or The Old Humpbacked, a fiend in the shape of an old woman, is thought to be identical with this Gwrach y Rhibyn.

In Carmarthenshire the spirit of the mist is represented, not as a shrivelled up old woman, but as a hoary headed old man, who seats himself on the hill sides, just where the clouds appear to touch them, and he is called Y Brenhin Llwyd, or The Grey King.  I know not what functions this venerable personage, or king of the mist, performed, unless it were, that he directed the mist’s journey through the air.

Full forum thread –  http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=125

 

 

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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.

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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“.

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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.

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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.

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Almanac – August 4

1577 – A supernatural Black Dog disrupted a service at the church of the Holy Trinity, in Blythburgh, Suffolk.

“A strange and terrible tempest” struck the building and toppled the spire through the roof, where it shattered the font. Three people were killed and others badly scorched. Claw marks were subsequently discovered on the church door.

The entity then went on to Bungay church, where it left two worshippers “strangled at their prayers” and a third “as shrunken as a piece of leather scorched in a fire.”

 

 

1693 – Date traditionally ascribed, erroneously,  to Dom Perignon‘s invention of Champagne.  He was a French Benedictine monk who made important contributions to the production and quality of Champagne wine in an era when the region’s wines were predominantly still and red. Popular myths frequently  credit him with the invention of sparkling Champagne, which however  didn’t become the dominant style of Champagne until mid-19th century.

The famous champagne Dom Pérignon, the préstige cuvée of Moët & Chandon, is named after him.

 

 

1792 – Percy Bysshe Shelley born. One of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language.  The novelist Mary Shelley (née Godwin) – creator of Frankenstein –  was his second wife.

 

1901 – Louis Armstrong born. American jazz trumpeter and singer,  coming to prominence in the 1920s as an inventive cornet and trumpet player.  Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the music’s focus from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable deep and distinctive gravelly voice, he was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also greatly skilled at scat singing (vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics).

1940 – Timi Yuro born. American soul and R&B singer-songwriter,  considered to be one of the first blue-eyed soul stylists of the rock era and creator of one of my all-time favorite Northern Soul  tracks,   “It’ll Never Be Over For Me”.

 

 

 

 

2007 – Lee Hazlewood died.  American country and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer, most widely known for his work with guitarist Duane Eddy during the late 1950s and singer Nancy Sinatra in the 1960s.

Hazlewood had a distinctive baritone voice that added a resonance to his music. Hazlewood’s collaborations with Nancy Sinatra as well as his solo output in the late 1960s and early 1970s have been praised as an essential contribution to a sound often described as “Cowboy Psychedelia” or “Saccharine Underground”.

Mr. Frankenstein

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Mummified Cat Found In Knaresborough

Workmen converting a building in Castlegate, Knareborough, North Yorkshire, into a restaurant have uncovered a mummified Cat in “a purpose-built tomb next to the fireplace” [how they knew that it was purpose-built is not stated.]

The building itself is said to date from as early as 1450.

The owner said that they had considered putting the cat back in the wall but because the works weren’t going to be finished for seven to eight weeks they decided to give it a decent burial nearby – a course of action I hope they wont come to regret. These creatures were there for a reason, and removing them without deactivating them first sometimes results in things happening.

If it had been me, I’d have put it back in its hole, along with some kind of offering as an apology for disturbing it.

Actually, its interesting to note how many times building work seems to activate supernatural activity. I’ve always supposed it to work on the same principle as a pond where all the silt has settled – the building work acts in the same way as someone coming along with a big stick and stirring everything up. Bits and pieces that have long lain dormant on the bottom are brought to the surface, activated, and things happen.

In time, the silt will settle again and things will stop happening.

This has always seemed a reasonable working hypothesis, but I wonder if in some cases activity is triggered because renovation work has inadvertently removed some protective talisman – be it a mummified Cat or something less obvious.

The practice of secreting mummified Cats in buildings seems to have been quite widespread at one time. As far as I know [and I’m willing to be corrected on this point] no-one ever wrote down any instructions or rituals regarding the practice, but it’s not difficult to imagine how it may have originated.

In times when houses were far more vermin-ridden than today, a good Cat would have been invaluable. When a noted mouser died, it could have been buried under the hearth or wherever, in the hope that it would continue to exert rodent control measures from the spirit world.

In time they came to represent luck and protection in a more general sense.

 

Mr. Frankenstein

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