Friday, June 26, 2015

Supernatural Friday: Can Weather and Other Things Affect the Paranormal?

With some much I had to do today and the person for my interview couldn’t do it, I am posting this post from August 2011. Appropriate after all the bad thunderstorms we went through here in Virginia past couple of days.
My adult son told me he heard a loud bang last night from the office as we slept and he ran into there, only to find nothing undisturbed. When I said it might be from an aftershock from the earthquake that hit Virginia, he said only heard the bang from one wall and nothing shook. I thought that maybe it was a ghostly presence? And wondered if spirits are affected by disturbances like quakes, hurricanes, and more, like it is said thunderstorms can cause things to do with the paranormal.

As the living here scramble to prepare for Hurricane Irene, do ghosts react negatively or positively to this threat too? Did the quake and its aftershocks make more paranormal activity along the East Coast than normal?

At they talk about how this might suggest the end of the world as prophesized. But my concern is more in how the atmosphere from first the quake and now the hurricane might make phantoms appeared more often than the norm.

I do know that there are spirits who forewarn those of approaching storms, like the Gray Man of Pawley Island, South Carolina. He always appears just before a storm hits the island, warning the inhabitants. When the "Storm of 1822" slammed the area, most perished, except one young girl and her family. According to legends, she was warned by the phantom of her departed lover. A man in 1954 was also warned by a stranger to take his family and flee. The man returned after the storm left the area only to find most of the island in shambles, except for his house. Even the wash was still left on the line! That is another facet of the legend, that those who see the Grey Man means that no harm will come to them.

Another is the "Gray Man" of Hatteras, North Corolina. Legends says that the ghost is of a sailor named Gray, who perished on his ship when it was caught in a hurricane. He hangs close to the lighthouse, warning those of the approaching storms. Those who do not heed his warning are doomed to die when the hurricane hits Hatteras.

So when Irene leaves the East Coast, take notice of anything strange. Do you hear voices when no one is there or suddenly, do things on your shelves fly off ? It would be interesting to check out. And if you see the Gray man, listen to him.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Supernatural Friday: Haunting Summer Solstice Battle

With summer solstice in a couple if days, do ghosts wait for the dark of night, no matter how late? Or do they appear as usual? This original poem I wrote (please share the blog link and not the poem-copyrighted) is about one Civil War battlefield's nightly haunt on the upcoming solstice.

Haunting Summer Solstice Battle
Pamela K. Kinney

Only 19% visible;
the solstice moon
looks down
on the battlefield.
except for crickets
in the humid night.
From both sides
comes pale, wisps of
shades on horseback
and many on foot.
Noise of battle erupting.
Out of sync,
no reality
Blue against gray,
Union against Confederate,
cannon fire and guns blasting.
Their ectoplasmic war began late,
All due to the
longest day
of the year
the cock crows
and phantoms
vanish with the sun.
Until the next night…


Friday, June 12, 2015

Supernatural Friday: Truth on the Living Dead


I want to set some records straight, as I noticed more and more people consider zombies to be flesh eaters, thanks to "Night of the Living Dead," and zombie horror flicks after that. In reality all undead is living dead. 

This goes back to Gilgamesh and maybe even back to caveman times. Vampires in Eastern Europe did not begin just drinking blood, but flesh too. They were also mindless like zombies, coming from their graves to attack their relatives, not everybody. Later this changed to any person could be a victim of the vampire.  Watching an episode of  "Game of Thrones," they had white walkers, but they di not bit or eat the living to change them. Those people died. It took the head walker with a crown on its head and do something--obviously magic--for the new dead to arise. So not all dead eat flesh, but all dead that rise from death are the living dead, or undead.
Zombie was a term a reporter called the ghouls of Night of the Living Dead. Romero thought of them as ghouls, not zombies. A zombie is supposed to be the living dead: people who die and are resurrected, but without their souls. According to legend, a zombi is someone who has annoyed his or her family and community to the degree that they can no longer stand to live with this person. They respond by hiring a Bokor who turns that person into a zombie. They can take orders, and they're supposed to never be tired, and to do what the master says.
Zombies are the product of spells by a voodoo sorcerer called a bokor. The word is believed to be of West African origin and was brought to Haiti by slaves from that region. Slavery was hard and cruel and it coud even be thought that maybe zombies was developed to keep a slave from killing themselves to escape slavery.  To become a zombie was the slave's worst nightmare: to be dead and still a slave, an eternal field hand. There are several ways to destroy zombies in fiction or movies and TV shows (decapitations or gunshots to the head are popular), though according to Haitian folklore the goal is to release the person from his or her zombie state, not to outright kill the person. There are several ways to free a zombie; feed the zombie salt; others say that if a zombie sees the ocean its mind will return and it will become self-aware and angry, trying to return to its grave.
The word "zombi" —spelled for years without the "e"— first appeared in print in an American newspaper in a reprinted short story called "The Unknown Painter" in 1838.  Then William Seabrook wrote about seeing "voodoo" cults in Haiti and the concept of the zombi to many readers. Several film scholars believe the book was the basis of the classic 1932 horror film White Zombie. The most famous studies of Haitian zombies was ethnobotanist Wade Davis' 1985 book The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist's Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haitian Voodoo, Zombies, and Magic. Wade studied the case of Clairvius Narcisse, a man believed to have been turned into an actual zombie through a combination of drugs (including puffer fish venom and toad venom) in order to mimic death. Then they gave him the hallucinogenic drug tetrodotoxin to keep him in a zombie-like state.

So zombie does not mean the undead person is a flesh eater. Let's call the undead what it is-undead, living dead, walking dead. Because that is what they all are.