Creepy Fact #5: Black Cat of Killakee

Ireland is famous for its vast mythology, from leprechauns and fairies to banshees and kelpies, the Emerald Isle has at least as many legends as it has real, recorded history. But not every Irish legend is fairy tale material.

The Black Cat of Killakee is an old, legendary creature that has reportedly been sighted for centuries. However, its legend really sprung to life in 1968, when a young couple bought the rundown Killakee House in Dublin and started renovating it. The workers soon reported strange sounds and eerie events, which culminated when a huge black cat with glowing demon eyes started haunting them. The lady of the house first thought the workmen were merely superstitious, but soon, she and her husband started encountering the beast as well, the Black Cat appeared in hallways and areas with clearly locked doors, staring and snarling at frightened witnesses.

Before long, an exorcism was performed in the premises. This took care of the cat, at least, for a few months. An unwitting séance held by a group of actors not only brought the Black Cat back, but also caused the house to be haunted by a pair of ghostly nuns who, claimed by a medium, were the unhappy spirits of two women who had assisted at satanic rituals held by the “famous” Hellfire Club in the 18th century.

Elle. x

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Creepy Fact #4: Feather Death Crown

I love to read about other countries folklore, there are a lot of wonderful yet weird stories out there and I’ve recently discovered this one that I’m just about to tell you.

Death crown, also known as “feather” or “angel crowns,” still amaze people today in the same way that they did just a few centuries ago. This story presumably comes from the Appalachian area, but could have trekked with people from other places.

These feather crowns were known to form in the feather pillow of someone who had died, signifying that the person had gone to heaven. Crowns could also form in the pillows of sick people who were near death. The quills of the feathers are directed inward, and hold themselves together. These odd formations are usually interpreted as a heavenly sign, but skeptics believe that the movements of a dying person, tossing and turning combined with fever sweats, could cause these objects to take form. –HERE– you will find tons of interesting pictures

Skeptic or not, I believe that this is a stunning “folktale” that reminds us of old tradition and belief and also a thought to our beloved ones that are not with us anymore. (Think I went too sad here)

Elle. x

Creepy Fact #3: Necropants.

Looking for a fashion trend? Well, nothing is going to scream “OMG” more than a pair of necropants!

In the 17th Century, Icelandic mystics believed an endless supply of money could be had by flaying a corpse from the waist down and wearing its skin like pants. By placing a coin inside the scrotum, the wearer was promised an endless flow of money.

The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft in Holmavik, Iceland, houses the only known intact pair of necropants (called nábrók), that were meant to be worn day and night by their owner.

The ritual for making necropants is described as follows:

If you want to make your own necropants (literally; nábrók) you have to get permission from a living man to use his skin after his death.

After he has been buried you must dig up his body and flay the skin of the corpse in one piece from the waist down. As soon as you step into the pants they will stick to your own skin. A coin must be stolen from a poor widow and placed in the scrotum along with the magical sign, nábrókarstafur, written on a piece of paper. Consequently the coin will draw money into the scrotum so it will never be empty, as long as the original coin is not removed. To ensure salvation the owner has to convince someone else to overtake the pants and step into each leg as soon as he gets out of it. The necropants will thus keep the money-gathering nature for generations. (Source)

Elle. x

Around the World.

As we’re getting closer to Halloween (less than two weeks!) I was wondering how other countries celebrate this spooky event, so I thought It would’ve been nice getting to know other traditions and share them on this blog so that everyone can have a little peek into another culture.

Let’s start from Europe: Italy (where I live) celebrates All Saints on November 1st and All Souls on November 2nd and here you will find different Regional traditions. From the last day of October until the 2nd of Novembr it is believed that dead people come back to meet the ones who are still living and to receive support and also to give light and hope. We place candles into empty pumpkins. In Sicily, especially in Palermo, All Saints is dedicated to children and it’s a sort of Christmas’s replica, with kids getting gifts in the morning or treasure hunting for them and, once found them, go to the cemetery to thank the dead.

In Austria some people will leave bread, water and a lighted lamp on the table before retiring on Halloween night. The reason for this is because it was once believed such items would welcome the dead souls back to earth on a night which for the Austrians was considered to be full to the brim with strong cosmic energies, while in Germany during the Halloween night, people put away their knives, this is because they do not want to risk harm for the returning spirits.

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The Dybbuk Box

We’re still in the “haunted” field. I’ve noticed, with big surprise, a lot of views to one of my recent posts Haunted Paintings so I guess you might be interested in this kind of topic.

Probably you have already heard of the Dybbuk Box, a small wine cabinet believed to be haunted by a malevolent spirit. Back in the spotlight thanks to the movie The Possession (2012) produced by Sam Raimi, its history is inextricably linked to that of Havela, an old woman of Jewish origin who bought this haunted box in Spain.

Now, you might wonder, what’s a Dybbuk? A Dybbuk is a supernatural being linked to the Jewish tradition. The soul of a deceased who committed the most awful things during his/her life not to be worthy to enter the realm of the afterlife.

During September of 2001, Kevin Mannis attended an estate sale in Portland Oregon. The items liquidated at this sale were from the estate of a woman who had passed away at the age of 103. A grand-daughter of the woman told Kevin that her grandmother had been born in Poland where she grew up, married, raised a family, and lived until she was sent to a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. She was the only member of her family who survived the camp. Her parents, brothers, a sister, husband, and two sons and a daughter were all killed. She survived the camp by escaping with some other prisoners and somehow making her way to Spain where she lived until the end of the war, he then was told that she acquired the small wine cabinet listed in Spain and it was one of only three items that she brought with her when she immigrated to the United States. The other two items were a steamer trunk, and a sewing box. Mannis offered to give the box back to the family but the granddaughter insisted that he take it away. “We don’t want it.” She said. She told him the box had been kept in her grandmother’s sewing room and was never opened because a dybbuk was said to live inside it.

Upon opening the box, Mannis wrote that he found that it contained two 1920s pennies, two lock of hair, a small piece of granite engraved with the Hebrew word “Shalom”, a small golden wine goblet, one dried rose bud and a candlestick with octopus legs. Kevin started to experience a series of horrific nightmares shared with other people while they were in possession of the box or when they stayed at his home while he had it. The box was a birthday gift for his mother who then suffered a stroke on the same day he gave her the box.

After these unfortunate events Kevin decided to put the box on eBay –here– you can see the original ad and everything he wrote about, all the story and all the spooky and chilling details. Iosif Neitzke was the “lucky” winner of the auction and as soon as he received the item, of course, he started to be the victim of some eerie events as well, claiming that the box caused lights to burn out in his house and hair loss. Jason Haxton, Director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri followed Neitzke’s blogs regarding the box and when he was ready to get rid of the box Neitzke sold it to Haxton

This is the book Jason Haxton wrote and stated that he subsequently developed serious health problems. Haxton consulted with Rabbis (Jewish religious leaders) to try to figure out a way to seal the dybbuk in the box again. Apparently successful, he took the freshly resealed box and hid it at a secret location, which he will not reveal.

This story is one of those head-scratching enigmas in the paranormal community and makes us wonder – are curses real? Can spirits get attached to inanimate objects (As we’ve seen –here-)? We can’t really find an answer to these questions but the only thing we know (if you believe) is that there is something, a more subtle line that divides our world from the afterlife. You better watch your back, you’ll never know what you might see.

Elle. x

Ignis Fatuus

Why having explained certain kind of phenomena in a scientific way when you can have a more interesting and fanciful version? In this case folklore does help a lot!

Science explains the Will O’ The Wisp (or Ignis Fatuus – Latin for “foolish fire”) event as atmospherical lights hoovering over marshes, cemeteries and bogs caused by burning gases that develops from the breakdown of organic matter in wet areas.

But, as for me, I really do prefer folkloristic “explainations” when these lights are often attributed  to mischievous spirits attempting to lead travelers astray and where we can read about ghosts, fairies and even the Devil himself. Sometimes the lights are believed to be the spirits of unbaptized or stillborn children, flitting between heaven and hell.

So, lets’ start with Europe: in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Ireland it is believed that these lights mark the location of a treasure deep in ground or water; or as the Finnish mythology says there are spots where an eternal flame associated with will o’ the wisps burns, called Aarnivalkea where you could find fairies gold.

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