Friday, April 29, 2011

Supernatural Friday-May Day Legends and Truths

It's only today and tomorrow and then it's May 1st, or "May Day."

May Day, is a celebration of Spring. It's also a day of political protests, a neopagan festival, a saint's feast day, and a day for organized labor. And in many countries, it is a national holiday.

Cultures, like those in India and Egypt, had spring fertility festivals. The Roman festival celebrated Flora, goddess of fertility, flowers, and spring. This was celebrated from April 28 through May 3.

But in medieval England, people celebrated the start of spring by going out to the country or woods—"going a-maying.” They gathered greenery and flowers—"bringing in the may." Another English tradition is the maypole. Some towns had permanent maypoles that would stay up all year; others put up a new one each May. In any event, the pole would be hung with greenery and ribbons, brightly painted, and otherwise decorated, and served as a central point for the festivities.

Beltane kicked off the merry month of May. This fire festival is celebrated on May 1 with bonfires, Maypoles, dancing, and lots of good old fashioned sexual energy. The Celts honored the fertility of the gods with gifts and offerings, sometimes including animal or human sacrifice. Cattle were driven through the smoke of the balefires, and blessed with health and fertility for the coming year. In Ireland, the fires of Tara were the first ones lit every year at Beltane, and all other fires were lit with a flame from Tara.

Another tradition on May Day concerned May Birchers. A group of villagers who made up the May Birchers tore branches off trees and place them above doors. These branches were said to match the characteristics of the households—a broom for a groom and a plum for someone who was glum.

May Day was also a time for morris dancing and other dances, often around the maypole. In the 19th century, people began to braid the maypole with ribbons by weaving in and out in the course of a dance. Other later traditions include making garlands for children and the crowning of the May Queen.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Supernatural Friday--Easter Myths and Legends

Easter has myths and legends behind it, just like any other holiday. And be honest, haven’t you ever wonder how a rabbit delivering colored eggs in a basket, along with candy, has much to do with Jesus Christ rising from the dead? Or even with the Jewish Passover, which is celebrated at this time too.

To start, we celebrated the rites of Spring at this time of year, with the perfect balance of light and darkness, called the Vernal Equinox. Vernal Equinox occurred March 20th this year for the Northern Hemisphere. For the Southern Hemisphere, this is the moment of the autumnal equinox.

Rituals and traditions surrounded the coming of spring centuries ago, as early peoples celebrated that their food supplies would soon be restored. The date is significant in Christianity because Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. It is also probably no coincidence that early Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising Sun on the day of the vernal equinox. The first day of spring also marked the beginning of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. This celebration lasted thirteen days, rooted in the 3,000-year-old tradition of Zorastrianism. With the Greeks, there was the sacrificing of virgins and the worship of fertility gods and goddesses including Pan, Isis, Demeter, and Ceres. The goat god Pan, representing the force of life, is god of the forest and of shepherds, and was said to grant new life on earth every spring.

The Easter Bunny evolved from a mythic German goddess named Ostara, (Oestre / Eastre), the Germanic Goddess of Springtime. In ancient Anglo-Saxon myth, Ostara is the personification of the rising sun. In that capacity she is associated with the spring and is and is considered to be a fertility goddess. She is the friend of all children and to amuse then she changed her pet bird into a rabbit. This rabbit brought forth brightly colored eggs, which the goddess gave to the children as gifts. Ostara is identical to the Greek Eos and the Roman Aurora. Recent research suggests that the Ostara myth was potentially invented during a mischievous moment by the Venerable Bede. This well-known monk mentioned her in connection with the pagan festival Eosturmonath in a book written in 750 A.D. -- but extensive research has failed to find a trace of her prior to that. Imagine: a famous monk makes up a weird story about a goddess who never existed - who turns a bird into a rabbit that lays colored eggs -- and it morphs into a mega-watt holiday celebrated the modern world over.

In Northwest European folklore the "Easter Bunny" indeed is a hare, not a rabbit.The Easter bunny or hare was introduced to American folklore by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s. The arrival of the "Oschter Haws" was considered "childhood's greatest pleasure" next to a visit from Christ-Kindel on Christmas Eve. The children believed that if they were good the "Oschter Haws" would lay a nest of colored eggs. The children would build their nest in a secluded place in the home, the barn or the garden. Boys would use their caps and girls their bonnets to make the nests. The use of elaborate Easter baskets came later as the tradition of the Easter bunny spread through out the country.

Bringing Easter eggs seems to have its origins in Alsace and the Upper Rhineland, both then in the Holy Roman Empire, and southwestern Germany, where the practice was first recorded in a German publication in the 1500s

The Dogwood:
Long, long ago, when Jesus walked upon the earth, the dogwood tree was tall and proud. Its trunk was as large around as an oak tree and its wood was hard and strong.Near the city of Jerusalem grew an especially lovely dogwood tree. When Jesus was to be crucified, the Roman soldiers looked at the tree and decided it would be just the right kind of wood for a cross. They cut down the tree and made a cross for Jesus.But the dogwood tree was very sad and ashamed to be put to such a terrible use. Jesus knew the tree was very unhappy and he felt sorry for it. He promised the dogwood that it would never again grow large enough to be used as a cross. And then, to give the world a reminder of the tree's history, Jesus gave it a very special blossom. This blossom would be a sign of Jesus' death. That is why the dogwood's four white petals form the shape of a cross. On the outer edge of each petal there is a dark red stain, as a reminder that Jesus was offered on the cross for forgiveness of sins. And in the center of each bloom is a tiny crown of thorns.

Easter Lily:
In the Garden of Gethsemane, there were many beautiful flowers, but the loveliest of all was the pure white lily. The lily knew it was very beautiful, and it proudly lifted its head to show itself to anyone who happened to pass by the garden. On the night before he was crucified, Jesus came into the quiet Garden of Gethsemane to pray. As he prayed and wept there, the flowers of the garden bowed their heads in pity and sorrow too. But the proud lily would not bow its lovely white head. The next day, the lily discovered that Jesus was going to be crucified. The flower felt so miserable about how it had acted in the garden that it bowed its head in shame. To honor the Lord Jesus and to show its sorrow, the lily has grown with a down-turned blossom ever since that first Good Friday of long, long ago.

Pussy Willows:

These are picked at Easter in England and Russia. Then people would tap each other on the shoulders with a branch of the pussy willow for good luck.

And if you can’t think of any creepy story connected to Easter, there’s Black Annis. In England, she’s a blue-faced hag who lives in a cave in the Dane Hills, Leicestershire. The cave, called "Black Annis' Bower Close" was dug out of the rock with her own nails. She hides in front of it is a great oak and leaps out to catch and devour stray children and lambs. Every year on Easter Monday, it was customary to hold a drag hunt from her cave to the Mayor's house. The bait was a dead cat drenched in aniseed.

Whether you celebrate it for its Christian designation or for celebration of Spring, or even color eggs and eat a chocolate bunny traditionally, Easter has its myths and legends like the other holidays--some are sweet and some are scary. It's all about enjoying the day with family and friends, and isn't that what any holiday should really be all about?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Be honest. If this Easter bunny delivered to you your Easter basket you would been creepeed out! Reminds me some of the Bunnyman from the Bunnyman Bridge in my book, Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Supernatural Friday-Seance and Paranormal Investigation at Stories Comics April 12, 2011

On Tuesday, April 12th, I drove to Stories Comics on Forest Hill Avenue in Richmond to attend the seance that I was invited to. It would be held from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. I got there early, so I took a couple of pictures of the cool telephone booth with a standup of Clark Kent inside changing to become Superman in it, then I saw a friend, Shara Lanel. I got out of my car, got my stuff, and locked it, joining her.

Someone else joined us and we chatted until they let us in about ten minutes to nine. Once everyone that would be there had arrived, we paid our fees and listened to Elizabeth Bissette as she talked to us.

First would be the investigation, which took place in the back room of the used bookstore section of Stories. Earlier, when I had went back there it had been comfortable, but the second time we all walked right smack into freezing air. Chilled, we proceeded with checking out to see who or what haunted the room. I even used my Frank's Box. One male spirit kept saying gun and yes a couple of times, while a female one said yes once. My drowsing rods I used pointed out an entity was behind the employee of Stories that was filming us. Later, as you can see from the photo above I caught a man-shaped shadow directly behind him!

Besides this, I felt something making the sleeve of my T-shirt on my left arm move, plus chilling temps that surrounded me off and on. When I asked the ghosts to make the temperatures go down on my temperature gauge, they responded well, going down as far in one instance to 33!

We left the room after a while and headed back to the front of the comic store where Elizabeth began a seance, using candles at first, and when that didn't work, other means. We learned that at least nineteen, maybe more, entities were with us that night. In the last photo above, you can see a lot of shadows hanging around Elizabeth.

Finally, it was after eleven, and we left for Cheryl Pryor to lock up. Did the spirits watch us go, and were they happy we left? Or sad about it? Whatever the case, I had gotten a T-shirt from Stories that says: "I Did Not Survive the Haunted Comic Store." but really I did survive it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I saw Lady Gaga trip over her shoes in a video yesterday on Hoda and Kathie Lee and these shoes bring to mind the wierd, very high-heeled ones she always wears. Would you wear these boots?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Supernatural Friday-What Would Be the Ending for This Story?

Watching Terminator 3 (nothing else to do tonight) while I tried to think of a subject for Supernatural Friday to get put up Thursday as I'll be leaving for Ravencon tomorrow morning, it came to me. What would we humans do if suddenly another species that have been living among us suddenly decided it was time for them to inherit the Earth? This species may be shapeshifters, vampires, or even demons as our ancestors called them. Whatever they may be, what would we do? Our militaries would be called out, of course, but maybe these beings would destroy many of the soldiers and sailors. Then they would come after the humans. City by city, humans might be massacred and buildings end up empty and silent, except for the monsters. Armageddon would be the cry on our lips. What do you think those few surviving members of humanity do against these beings of supernatural strengths and magic? Tell me how this story might end in your comment..

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Monday, April 04, 2011

Ravencon April 8th Through 10th

I'll be a writer guest this upcoming weekend at Ravencon 2011, held at the Holiday Inn Koger 1021 Koger Center Blvd. Richmond. The science fiction, fantasy and horror convention starts Friday, April 8th and ends on Sunday, April 10th. You can find out more on the details at That includes panels, full weekend prices at the door or prices each day, workshops, performances, and much, much more. I will be doing a book signing for an hour Friday evening. Plus panels all three days.

Friday, April 01, 2011


It has been discovered that Bigfoot does exist! Yesterday on CNN, a breaking news story revealed that a Sasquatch was shot when a hunter and his son were hunting deer in the Blue Ridge Mountains and thought a bear was attacking them. But when they checked the carcass to make sure it was dead and found not a bear, but something they had never seen before. Of course, this is exciting news for crypto experts everywhere.

Scroll down for more about it. . .