Monthly Archives: September 2012

Autumn Energy – Mediumship

Merry Meet All,

As I type, it’s early in the morning. Birds fly overhead, cats patrol their decks, and dark clouds threaten rain. Leaves and spider webs shiver in the wind. It feels like autumn. It’s almost October! The countdown to Samhain is posted on my blog page, for you keeners! The Harvest moon is here. It’s time to bring in herbs. Pumpkins are turning up everywhere in grocery stores.

You can view the earlier blog entries for inspiring suggestions on how to celebrate the Full Harvest Moon. Perhaps you can celebrate it outdoors! It may be your last chance to. So be sure to check out the full moon entries.

I attended a poetry reading with Open Heart Forgery at Just Us Cafe on Spring Garden Road. The readings were wonderful. The readers have a lot of talent and creativity. I mustered the nerve to get up and read a section of my ghost story. They liked it and didn’t want me to giveaway the ending! I guess they have to read it if it gets published to know what happens.

I recently bought the book Buckland’s Book of Spirit Communications. It is a large red book and is all about mediumship. There are exercises and lots of fascinating information. I haven’t read the book yet and when I do, I will review it on this blog.

Mediumship – “a person sensitive to the vibrations of level two: the spirit world. By adjusting his or her vibrations – consciously or unconsciously- a bridge is established between the two worlds, enabling spirit to communicate with those of this world. Mediumship is an ancient practice, found throughout history in all parts of the world.”
(Definition from Buckland’s Book of Spirit Communication, page 245.)

The definition above explains mediumship perfectly. I have mediumistic abilities and I studied with the Spiritual Science Fellowship – Spiritual and Psychic Development Levels to 3. It was an intense eighteen-week course. One night, we performed a seance. If we felt like we did not want to try to channel spirit anymore, we had to raise our hand. I will not lie that I was nervous. I was. So I raised my hand. After, another student told me that spirit indeed came through me. Apparently, I turned my head and the student saw only black where my head was. The spirit that came through me was a man with a big scar on his face. They asked if I knew the spirit. No, of course, I didn’t. That is why in the earlier entry, I advised you to be careful of what spirits you attract during a seance. You may attract an unwelcome and nasty spirit. Another student asked to be smudged with sage after the seance was over. I agreed with that, because I certainly did not want to be bringing home that energy. The leader was not going to smudge us and wanted us to smudge ourselves once we arrived home. However, that is still carrying the energy with you. If possible, bring your own sage and smudge yourself with it if you are attending a seance at a friend’s place.

The next several blog entries will focus on mediumship, so stay tuned for some great reading. If you are so inclined, you can buy these lovely reading socks right now at Chapters for under $30.00. Put on the kettle and your reading socks!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )0( Harvest Moon Blessings!

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Harvest by the Luminous Moon

Merry Meet all,

Open the Spell of your Soul, Magic will be revealed. Victoria Pettella

Tonight is the Harvest Moon. The Full Moon reigns tonight high in the sky. The Harvest Moon occurs in late summer or early fall, after the autumnal equinox, which has just passed. The Harvest Moon is also known as the Barley Moon or Hunter’s Moon. Farmers use the ample moonlight to complete their gardening. Gardening by the light of the moon is an ancient practice. I am proud to tell you I harvested organic mugwort from my garden recently!

Two things to consider when gardening by the moon are the phase of the moon and the astrological house the moon is in. Now the autumn equinox has passed, and that is a time for endings, harvests, and contracts. Friday is ruled by Venus. Love spells correspond with Friday and Freyja. Diana is the Roman Goddess of the Hunt. Invoke her before performing a ritual.

Wiccans celebrate the aging goddess from Maiden, Mother to Crone, and the death of the God as he makes way for the Holly King. Grain is burned or ritually eaten in many faiths. Bake a batch of granola to symbolize the God’s death.

A Celtic harvest moon ritual was to gather a key, a ring, or a flower, a bit of willow, a small piece of cake, a bread crust, and 4 cards (the ten of clubs, nine of hearts, ace of spades, and the ace of diamonds.) Wrap these items in a handkerchief and place under your pillow.

As you lay in your bed, say
“Luna, luna, every girl’s friend,
to me, your clarity you will lend.
Let me this night in visions see
Emblems of my destiny.”

If you dream of storms, trouble is ahead. If the storms end, a calm fate after strife. If you dream of a ring or the ace of diamonds= marriage.
bread = a good job
cake = prosperity
flowers = joy
willow = treachery in love
spades = death
clubs = traveling to a foreign land
diamonds = money
keys = great power
birds = children
geese = more than one marriage

Many blessings to you on the Harvest Moon
Lady Spiderwitch

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Kitchen Divination

Merry Meet All,

Divination in the kitchen is a tradition that dates back centuries. Tealeaf readings have been performed for people in kitchens and parlors around the world. Tealeaf readings are popular again today. Information on how to do tealeaf readings and other types of divination are included in this entry.

Botanomancy is a form of divination using herbs by burning the herbs, leaves, and tree branches. The Druids practiced botanomancy with oak and vervain. They worshipped the spirits in the trees. They carved words onto the bark of the tree to divine the future. Seeds were cast to the wind. The seeds that didn’t blow away revealed the answer. They burned pieces of wood and determined the auguries and omens from that. Botanomancy was similar to pyromancy. The Druids sacrificed certain objects to the flames, then watched the flames, and interpreted the omens from the flames.

Have you ever picked a flower then plucked off each petal, while thinking, “he loves me, he loves me not.” That is one of the oldest forms of divination. Other forms are making a wish then blowing on the seeds of a dandelion on a windy afternoon. Spilling seeds then counting them while concentrating on a wish is a form of divination.

Herbs that correspond with divination are bay laurel, chamomile, cinnamon, mugwort, and sage. The priestesses of Delphi chewed on bay laurel leaves to aid them in divination and prophecy. Mugwort can be used to wash divining tools and aid in heightening psychic awareness. Sage cleans the area of any negative energy prior to performing divination. Sage can alter your awareness, making you more receptive to divination.

How to give Tealeaf readings

Tealeaf readings, known as tasseography or tasseomancy, the art of tealeaf readings. It dates back 5,000 years ago in China, when they read the leaves in cups for symbols of meaning. Turkish coffee and other types of coffee grounds have been used for tealeaf readings.

Use loose-leaf tea for tealeaf readings. Use a plain cup without markings as this gives more accurate readings. Place loose leaves in the bottom of the cup and add boiling water. Let the leaves settle to the bottom of the cup. Enjoy the cup of tea or your querent can enjoy the cup of tea and save a small amount of water. After the tea is finished, clear your mind and pick the mug up in your hands.

Say aloud or mentally say a prayer to your guides or deity, or Divine Spirit for guidance during the reading. Take the cup and swirl the leaves clockwise three times. Quickly flip the cup over, bottom side up and put it on the saucer. Tap the bottom of the cup three times. Three is the magickal number. Begin to examine the leaves remaining in the cup. The mug should be free of any pictures on the inside of the cup. You cannot derive an accurate reading from pictures on the inside of the cup.

It is a tradition to read the leaves from the rim of the cup to the handle of the cup, spiraling downward to the bottom of the cup, which represents the future. Strive to have an attitude of service for others. You can perform tealeaf readings for others should the opportunity arise. Make sure to deliver a message for the person’s Highest Good and respect their free will. Be tactful when advising the person of the messages. Be honest and grateful for the opportunity to read for them.

Scrying

Scrying is a type of divination that can be performed with crystals, smoke, mirrors, bowls of water, or flames to induce visions. Scrying can be defined as peering into a surface to see into the future. I am going to talk about two methods of scrying: pyromancy, with fire and crystals and olive oil divination.

Pyromancy is divining with fire. If you have ever sat around at a campfire, and gazed into the flickering flames then you have practiced pyromancy. Pyromancy is commonly performed with candles.

Light a candle of any size, color, or shape and gaze into the flame. Soften your gaze as you watch the flames. Allow yourself to be open to whatever messages or images you receive. When you sense that you are finished, close your chakras and thank Spirit or your chosen deity for their assistance.

An alternate method is to light candles setup on two candleholders and gaze between the two candles. Again, you have to open your mind and allow yourself to be open to the impressions you receive. When you are done and before you begin, remember to ground and center yourself. Close your chakras and put out the candle flames.

Some fun divinations to perform involve the use of herbs and a cauldron. Select an herb appropriate for divination. The herb should be dried and crumbling to the touch. Bay laurel, lemon balm, mugwort, or sage is ideal.

Light the charcoal disc in the cauldron. Wait until the charcoal disc is ready and cast the herbs onto the charcoal. Meditate on your wish and see how fast the herbs burn. If the herbs burn slowly, then your wish may take longer to manifest.

Sympathetic magick is one of the oldest forms of magick. The idea is that like attracts like. Again, you will need a cauldron and charcoal. Write down your wish on a colored piece of paper with a similar color of ink. Red is for love or energy, green and brown are for earthy related matters, blue is for intuition and dreams, and purple is for spiritual matters. Orange is for creativity and energy. Yellow is for intellectual pursuits. Cast the paper with your wish on it in the cauldron and watch how fast it burns. That will determine how fast your wish comes to you. If it burns slowly, your desire may take longer to manifest. Maintain a positive attitude to draw it towards you.

Olive Oil divination

There is something magickal and romantic about gazing into a cauldron on a moonlit night. This divination is simple yet powerful. Prepare yourself to perform the divination by cleansing yourself and your space. Meditate before hand to be in the proper mindset for the divination. Ensure that you will not be interrupted during this divination.

Arrange your space by placing a small silk scarf on the table. On the fabric, place a clear quartz crystal, a cauldron and a bottle of pure olive oil on the table. Work near a window if you want to catch the moonlight lands in your cauldron. Light some sandalwood incense.

Ask for a reading of the future and fill a cauldron with water. Pour a few drops of the oil onto the cauldron. The drops rise to the surface. Gaze into the cauldron and try to interpret what the oil droplets mean. This divination can be done with pure spring water or essential oils.

If the droplets seperate, you may have a big change coming into your life. If there are certain number of drops of oil, like three or four, trouble may be coming or more than one opportunity in love or employment related matters. If the oil drops spread over a surface, that is a good sign that troubles are behind you. If you keep practicing these divinations, you may become adept enough to perform readings for others. Below are a few more divinations you can try.

Fill a cauldron or bowl with spring water and scry with the water. Do this on a full or waning moon night with the best results.

Thorn apple seeds are a common magickal element. Use nine thorn apple seeds. Pass the seeds through wormwood smoke then rest them on a tray. Interpret the images in the smoke. Burn incense in a cauldron or a clamshell and interpret the images in the smoke.

Divination in the kitchen is a time honored tradition. Enjoy trying out these types of divination in your home alone or with friends. They are easy to do with practice and fun. Enjoy yourself, knowing you are keeping a time-honored tradition alive.

Blessings,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Forerunners

Merry Meet All,

We don’t have many castles in Nova Scotia unlike Ireland, but as I’ve pointed out, we do have our share of ghost lore. Nova Scotia is famous for its grim history and ghost stories that is related to the history here.

There are stories of forerunners here. A forerunner is a sign of an impending death. Here is an account of a forerunner from the book Bluenose Ghosts by the most celebrated folklorist Helen Creighton.

Imagine that its a dark foggy night in Halifax. You are returning home from work one night and you see a dark tall figure carrying a lantern ahead of you. You pause to take a closer look. His legs are so long you could walk between his legs. The closer you get, the more scared you are. He turns, and without a sound, you see that his face is your own. The apparition is a foretelling of your impending death.

The man who told this story to Helen Creighton did die a few months later. That is eerie. So a warning: If you see a dark figure that bears a strange resemblance to you, turn the other way and run!

Now you do not always have to see an unusually tall man to have an experience or a sign of impending death. This is what happened to me. No one died or was harmed. But I did have a vision of someone in pain before I ever saw or talked to the person.

It all began one night when I was at home with my family. I had a strong feeling that something was wrong, in my solar plexus chakra. I had a vision of my brother’s friend, bent over in pain and surrounded by a fiery red and orange aura. I knew he was in trouble and told this to my family, mystified by my vision. I did not understand then why I was having this vision.

Fifteen minutes later, my brother’s friend Thompson Rahr arrived ill and in pain. We would learn later that his kidneys had failed him. His mother arrived at our house and they all went to the hospital together. I realize now Spirit was sending me a message. I had not conversed with him that day or seen him. He has since recovered well.

Thompson’s incident stirred my mediumistic abilities. Since then, I have always sensed things before they happened. Its known as second sight, intuition, and clairvoyance.

Forerunners are signs of impending death. Maybe that’s why I had the vision- to help save Thompson from an undeserved fate.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Ghosts and Hauntings- Leap Castle

Merry Meet All,

I look out my kitchen window to a sunny autumn morning. The blue sky is a welcome relief from the relentless rain we have had the last few days, and the sun shines on the trees. Leaves are turning and dew clings to the boughs. It is a beautiful autumn morning.

Word on the Street was wonderful. I arrived in the morning and signed in for my volunteer shift. I ushered the authors to their reading tents and helped people all day. I attended a reading, and talked to my friends and visited the Fierce Ink Press booth. I like the cover and title of the book The Night has Teeth by Kat Kruger, and once I have read that book, I plan to post a review of it on this blog. The setup of Word on the Street was wonderful. I found everything easy to find and the sun shone for the whole time of the festival. Volunteers were allowed to select a book for free for their efforts and time. I was tired at the end of the day, but I felt great.

I bought a book recently for research purposes and entertainment, we all love a ghost story. The book is entitled The Element Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Hauntings by Theresa Cheung. I love this book. I like the cover of the book. The book does have one drawback and I have noticed this of other books about ghosts. It leaves out one of the scariest ghost stories I have ever heard of.

I will share the story then return to the book review. Leap Castle is a castle in Ireland with a bloody history. The castle was built by the O’Bannon family.
The O’Bannons were the “secondary chieftains” of the area, and were subject to the ruling O’Carroll clan. The Earl of Kildare tried to seize the castle but were unsuccessful and tried to seize it again within three years. By then, the O’Carrolls had regained possession of the castle.

Mulrooney O’Carroll died in 1532 and after that, the family was plagued with troubles. A rivalry for leadership broke out within the clan. The bitter fight tore the family apart. One of the brothers was a priest. The priest was holding massfor his family in what is now called The Bloody Chapel. While the priest was chanting the holy rites, his rival brother stormed into the chapel, and murdered him with a fatal blow from a sword. The butchered priest collapsed on the altar and perished in front of his family.

In 1659, ownership of the castle fell into the Darby family. But before that, there was another hidden source of true evil- an oubliette. That is the french word to forget. The ubliet (dungeon) was found near the bloody chapel. It is a room with a spike. You were put there to be forgotten about, pushed into the room, and die a slow agonizing death. A window let a person suffering in the ubliet to be able to see people walking merrily about below. That is torture. In 1900, workmen found the skeletons piled on top of each other. It took three cartloads to remove the bones. One of the workmen found a pocket watch from the 1840s but was unsure if the dungeon was in use then.

Due to its bloody history people avoided Leap Castle. It always had a reputation for being haunted. Most people avoided it at night. Leap Castle was boarded up and padlocked for seventy years. The gruesome dungeon discovery stirred a psychic disturbance. The elemental spirit emerged from the dungeon. In 1659 ownership of the castle passed to the Darby family. The Darby family renovated the castle and turned it into a family home. Mildred Darby was into the occult, and dabbled in it, unaware of the elemental’s ferocious velocity.

Mildred Darby wrote a story for the Journal Occult Review, which described her eerie encounter with the elemental. “I was standing in the Gallery looking down at the main floor, when I felt somebody put a hand on my shoulder. The thing was about the size of a sheep. Thin gaunting shadowy…, its face was human, to be more accurate inhuman. Its lust in its eyes which seemed half-decomposed in black cavities stared into mine. The horrible smell one hundred times intensified came up into my face, giving me a deadly nausea. It was the smell of a decomposing corpse.” (Mildred Darby, for the Journal Occult Review.)

The elemental is believed to be a primitive ghost that attaches itself to a particular castle. It can be malevolent, terrifying, and unpredictable. After her experiments with the occult, which proves she was most unwise, things in the castle were never the same again. A sinister energy haunted the castle. The Darbys were driven out by the Irish struggle for independence. The castle was destroyed by bombs and was looted. A shell of the castle remained afterwards.

Leap Castle changed ownership again in the 1970s, as an Australian man purchased the castle, and had a white witch brought there to exorcise the castle. She explained that the spirits haunting the castle were no longer malevolent, but wanted to remain there. In the 1990s the castle was sold to the current owners. They knew about the castle’s dark troubled history.

In 1991 the restoration of the castle began. A ‘freak accident’ left the owner with a broken kneecap for a year, and one year later the owner was back at work to restore the castle. He was up on a ladder when the ladder he stood on tilted backwards. He fell several stories and broke his ankle. That same year the owner’s daughter was christened in The Bloody Chapel. The castle was full of happiness and love for the first time. Perhaps the sour spirits have finally found peace.

So my book may not include this macabre tale, but it is not a tale for the faint of heart. I would never live there but I would make a short visit. I hope the castle has found happiness, after its’ long dark bloodstained history. Do you dare to roam the halls of Leap Castle? I saw a video about the elemental that haunted the castle, and will never forget it.

The Element Encyclopedia is a great book otherwise. It does include a huge amount of other paranormal lore and phenomena. It includes stories of poltergeists, ghost hunts and famous mediums. I do find this book to be a reliable source for information, if I need to research or check something for my ghost story. The book is over 550 pages.

Blessings,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Mabon

Merry Meet All,

Today there is lots of excitement. Word on the Street is today, despite the ominous threat of rain, and many witches out there are also sure to be celebrating Mabon.

Read on to learn how to dress a Mabon altar. Look to nature for inspiration. The trees are turning to those loved bright colors of crimson and gold. Reflect those colors in your design. Use yellows, oranges, golds and browns. Use candles in the same colors.

Use symbols on your altar such as corn, sheafs of wheat, scythes, sickles and baskets. Fill some baskets with pinecones, chinese jack’o lanterns, pinecones- clean them first and dry them in an oven, and acorns. Walnuts and almonds are good to use, too. Use small pumpkins and other root vegetables such as squash and gourds. Tuck them into a cornucopia basket and pause to reflect on the bounty that nature shares with us and say a gratitude prayer.

Light the quarter candles on your altar and you are ready to begin your ritual! Since the equinoxes are about balance, consider using black and white candles or yin and yang symbols which represent balance.

Symbols of Mabon:

Wine and graps
Apples
Pomegranates
Corn
Pumpkins
Gourds
Corn dolls
Squashes
Seeds and seed pods
Baskets
Deity Statues

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Book Launch and Autumn Equinox

Merry Meet All,

Many Autumn Equinox blessings to you all! Last night, I attended yet another book launch, this one was for the author Kat Kruger, and her novel The Night has Teeth, published by a new company in Halifax called Fierce Ink Press. I saw some new faces and some familiar faces. I had a great time.

The pagan Ezine Eternal Haunted Summer posted my essay on the Clay Goddess. Here is the link: http://eternalhauntedsummer.com/issues/autumn-equinox-2012/the-clay-goddess/. I am happy to be included in the autumn issue of Eternal Haunted Summer.

Tomorrow is Word on the Street, the event I have been waiting for. So many autumn blessings to you all.

Blessings,
Lady Spiderwitch</
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Helen Creighton Bluenose Ghosts

Merry Meet All,

Today we are going to look at another legendary master of folklore, Helen Creighton. She wrote the awesome book Bluenose Ghosts. She also wrote the book Bluenose Magic, both of which I own.

Bluenose Ghosts by Helen Creighton was an instant hit when it was published and is still a great book now. The ghost stories are told by ordinary people from Nova Scotia told over a period of thirty years. The book is blood chilling. It was first published in 1957. Helen Creighton is one of Canada’s most respected and renowned folklorists.

Bluenose Ghosts is in its second edition, with a foreword by Clary Croft, another folklorist from Nova Scotia. I love this book and admit that I was scared to read some parts of the book. The ghost stories were that scary. The stories are about forerunners, phantom ships, devils and angels, headless ghosts, animal ghosts and strange lights, haunted houses and poltergeists.

Bluenose Ghosts is an excellent book for anyone interested in local folklore, or for who likes to get scared by ghost stories. Here is a tale about a headless ghost: “Liverpool (Nova Scotia) is the scene of our next story. “At Cape LaHave a headless man had to go out at twelve o’clock at night on the first day of March to put a buoy down. From the same village another man went out at the same time to mow a swath, and what you moved was your own piece. Well, this night as they were going to their different businesses they met, and it was at the spot where there is an old cannon. They both swore they saw an old-timer sitting on top of the old cannons in old-fashioned and no head on. He was wearing an old split-tail coat.” (Page 158.)

Creighton effortlessly captures the voice of the people and their personalities. You hear their voice in the pages as you read, spellbound.

The quote above brings to mind the story of the Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hollow. This book is almost like a textbook on how to write local ghost folklore. It is considered a definitive work and is one of the best in its field. Her other book is Bluenose Magic, which contains tales about forerunners and poltergeists, and treasure. fairies, the Mi’kmaq, witchcraft and enchantment, dreams, divination, superstition, and home remedies. They are both excellent books. Bluenose Magic is a thicker book, but contains the magic and mystery that is characteristic of Nova Scotia. I would recommend both these books to eager readers. Bluenose Magic also has a foreword written by Clary Croft.

I hope you enjoy reading the books I have posted about in my blog and perhaps find a ghost story or two of your own.

Blessings,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Local ghost folklore from a master storyteller

Merry Meet All,

Three times a bridge over these waves shall rise
built by the white man, so strong and so wise,
three times shall fall like a dying breath
in storm, in silence, and last in death.
Anonymous poem from the Halifax Herald

LOCAL FOLKLORE AND GHOST STORIES

For every wave that washes ashore, there is a ghost story.

A local author and friend of mine, Steve Vernon, has published some excellent books on the local folklore of Nova Scotia. He learned the art of storytelling from his grandfather. He narrates the book well because he blends fact, history, and folklore into a collection of compelling tales. The books are about folklore, brought to life by the skilled author Steve Vernon.

The first book is Haunted Harbours Ghost stories from Old Nova Scotia. If you read the most recent posting, the ghost lore is connected to the local history. The book contains a map of Nova Scotia. Each tale is set in Nova Scotia. The map aids the reader to know where each tale is set. He writes with a bone-chilling believability that might keep you awake at night or on edge seated around the campfire.

What is great about his books is how he brings the stories to life. You are right there with the characters, living the stories as chills creep up your spine. Ghosts roam Sable Island, the ghost ship The Teazer haunts Mahone Bay, and phantom pipers lament for lost loves. When I read this, I was delighted to find an author after my own heart- by that, I mean, someone who loves spooky macabre tales and local folklore as much as I do.

His next book, Halifax Haunts- Exploring the City’s Spookiest Spaces, is another collection of wickedly delightful spooky tales of local lore. This excellent book focuses more on the local tales of Halifax. The previous book focused on the folklore from around Nova Scotia. For every wave that washes in ashore, there is a ghost story. One tale tells us of the window at St. Paul’s church. The window has been replaced numerous times yet always bears the silhouette of a man. One of the stories is about the cursing of the MacDonald bridge. The bridge was cursed three times from a Mi’kmaq man in a jealous passionate rage. The curse caused the bridge to fall twice. A chieftain removed the curse and he buried a hatchet on the site. We can hope the curse is removed for the wellbeing of those who dare to cross it. The quotation above relates to the tale here. Another tale that was a favorite of mine is the story of the famous haunted restaurant, The Five Fishermen. The Five Fishermen restaurant is successful. The hauntings are not stopping customers from dining on excellent cuisine. This book is well worth reading, whether you are from away or a curious Haligonian, you will enjoy these tales.

The next book is entitled The Lunenburg Werewolf and other stories of the supernatural by Steve Vernon. He has an uncanny talent for digging ghost stories up from their graves, so to speak, and telling them so well. The Lunenburg Werewolf is his best book yet. The cover is amazing. This book was snappy, scary, and spine-tingling. The tale of the foolish naive young girl in love who walks backward over a watery bridge in the middle of the night on Samhain, carrying a mirror, and bumps into the devil made me jump out of my seat. He knows how to set a reader’s heart racing with his imagination, pacing, and vivid imagery. These tale encompass most of Nova Scotia. I marvel at the way he can dig up so many stories and yet in all the books, every tale is unique and well told.

Maritime Murders is his latest book. Maritime Murders is his most bone chilling yet. I read books about local ghost lore by other authors. Steve Vernon grips you and keeps you gripped even as you are horrified. The book is about the nastiest crimes committed from 1770 to 1938 in the Maritime area. You can read about a woman who poisoned her children with matchheads or the man who was hung three times. The murders are grisly and even though you want to look away or stop reading, you can’t.

Steve Vernon does his research for each tale and it shows in the tales. The way he blends fact with the macabre in his stories make these books unique. So sit down on a misty foggy evening in a quiet old tavern for the appropriate atmosphere, and read these books. After, you may think you saw a shadow flicker out of the corner of your eye. Or is it your imagination?

Next, more local lore from another master of lore, Helen Creighton.

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Ghosts of the Halifax Explosion

Merry Meet All,

Halifax, where I live, has a fascinating and grim history. The Halifax Explosion is one piece in the puzzle of many grim stories. It is also a ghost story. Halifax, or Nova Scotia particularly, is full of ghost stories.

The Halifax Explosion is the largest manmade explosion since the bomb exploded in Hiroshima. In 1917 Halifax was bustling with activity. Many people moved to Halifax to benefit from the prosperity war offers. The fateful morning of December 6 at first was no different than any other morning. Children were on their way to school and boats were loading and unloading.

At 7:30 am the French freighter Mont Blanc and the Norweigan ship Imo both weighed anchor from the Bedford Basin heading for the Narrows and points beyond. The Mont Blanc was heavily loaded with a volatile mix of wet and dry picric acid, TNT, gun cotton, and benzol, bound for the European arena. The Imo under ballast was destined for New York. At approximately 8:40 am they collided as the Imo struck the bow of the Mont Blanc. Fire broke out immediately on the Imo. The captain and crew wasted no time escaping on lifeboats. They rowed to the Dartmouth side of the harbor. The Mont Blanc burned for twenty minutes and came to rest by Pier 6 of Halifax’s north end. Curious onlookers, unaware of the deadly danger they were in, stopped to observe. The ship disintegrated and exploded into fragments decimating population and property. Over 2000 people died, over 4000 injured, and 1630 buildings were reduced to rubble, and 12000 damaged. The explosion was powerful enough to be felt in Cape Breton, 240 miles away. People were killed, blinded from falling glass, wounded, and lay on the snowy ground, shivering from the cold.

Ever since the Halifax Explosion, the silhouette of a man’s head in a window of St. Paul’s church has been seen, the oldest Protestant church in Canada. The window has been changed many times to banish the shadowy reminder, but every time it reappears as a reminder of the horrors of the explosion. No one knows exactly how the man died, but the silhouette remains. See photo below.

The Five Fishermen building was built in 1817 as part of the First National School- the first school in Canada to offer free education. It later became the Halifax Victorian School of Art, managed by Anna Leonowens and was changed to a funeral home. Before the Halifax Explosion, was another great disaster- the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. The Snow funeral home became the place for the final arrangements of the many Titanic victims. Five years later the Snow funeral home was the macabre scene of stacked coffins piled high row upon row from the Halifax Explosion. In 1975, the building became and remained The Five Fishermen restaurant. Stories of flying silverware, and arguing voices after the doors are locked. An elderly gentleman wearing clothing from another time is spotted walking into and through a wall mirror. Two Victorian ladies climb a staircase and vanish. People feel cold spots, and locked bathroom doors open as if by themselves. Paranormal investigators frequent The Five Fishermen restaurant, as it is a magnet for paranormal activity. Now I plan to have a meal there and see this for myself. The Snow funeral home as it was in 1917 is shown below. If I see any paranormal activity, I promise to report all about it on this blog. Here is a link to learn more about the hauntings at The Five Fishermen restaurant: http://fivefishermen.com/about/hauntings.htm

I went to the Five Fishermen restaurant to see if it was haunted. I sat down to enjoy a lovely meal of seafood salad and wine. As I ate, I kept glancing at the wall of wine bottles across the room. I sensed nothing downstairs, and there was so much hustle and bustle of people entering and exiting the restaurant. After I paid for the meal, I confessed to an employee why I was really there. I was given a tour of the upstairs area of the restaurant. We chatted as we climbed the stairs. Halfway up I felt like someone was dancing over my grave. My chest felt tight. We climbed the stairs and reached the top floor. I became uneasy. We went into a small room full of wine bottles. I sensed something almost angry, oppressed, and unhappy. I wanted to leave. I was told this was a very haunted room of the restaurant. I realized that was why I kept glancing at the wine bottles downstairs. I could not remain long in that room. I told the spirit, maybe an old sea captain, I meant no harm. I sensed he was curious about me. We then went to the private dining room- the employee and I- though maybe the ghost followed us. I could almost see people from another time seated at the tables and dining. I was told a lot of mediums have entered the dining room and have wanted to leave. I sensed a spirit or two haunted that room, too.

The Five Fishermen serves excellent food. It is a haunted restaurant and needs a good spiritual cleansing. The Halifax Explosion has created a lot of residual energy that is stagnant and stuck and unable to move on. I hope I have the chance to cleanse the energy there of the residual energy.

The Halifax Explosion and The Five Fishermen restaurant are but two of many ghost stories about Halifax’s grim history.

Blessings,
Lady Spiderwitch

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