Monthly Archives: July 2014

History in Present Time

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Merry meet all,

As you can see, I have picked a place for my story setting that means a great deal to me. Pleasant Bay is a rich, magickal, at times unsettling, and hauntingly beautiful place. Of course, I want to use the setting for a ghost story. I have seen whales splash in the water, the Northern Lights, watched herds of grazing moose, and spied rabbits and foxes. I braved a marshy bog, tried fishing, gone on nature trail hikes, and roasted marshmallows on a rocky beach with friends and family. I even published a letter in the Letters to Editors section of Witches & Pagans magazine about how awesome the Cape Breton Highlanders National Park is. 

The picture which I took myself is the location for the story. Doesn’t the view look beautiful? I stayed in the chalet for a weekend. 

Besides the fact that there are no stories written in fiction about Pleasant Bay, which would make it stand out, it does lend itself to ghost stories. In one scene in Between the Worlds, my main character walks through the very woods that I have walked through. Just going for a walk there is an experience. My sister has a cabin at the house that years ago we helped my grandfather build. The wood on the cabin steps was rotting. She stepped up on the stair case and her foot fell through the wood. She didn’t hurt herself. But depending on where you go, you can get a great jaunt through the woods. 

But at the other house my sister rents out to tourists, the woods there have an eerie unsettling creepy energy. I braved a ravine there and explored the woods. The old Indian Trail is inhabited by birds- and fairies. They visited me. The woods are older than time. It would be like walking through the Mirkwood of Lord of the Rings. The place seems haunted and old. The energy sends chills on my limbs and makes the hairs on my neck stand up.  Here is a picture: can you spot the orb?

Dead trees pic

The scent of the older than time spruce trees fills your nostrils. Pinecones and twigs crack underfoot. The ocean roars in the distance. Squirrels screech and break the silence. Eagles soar over the ocean surface, searching for mackerel. Ahead the perilous cliff warns you to stay away. The trees are thick and sharp.  Moose scat covers spots of earth on the forest floor. A sense of peace fills you. The wild brush is so thick you don’t know if you are ten or twelve feet from a moose. 

Pleasant Bay has no gas station, only seasonal restaurants, no hospital. If you need anything, it is a forty-five minute drive to Cheticamp. That is in the summer. In the winter, it is highly doubtful you can get any gas for your car at all, or even see a human soul. I am talking, total isolation. 

My main character, Rosemary Bell, who grieves the passing of her beloved husband, moves to Pleasant Bay, in the dead of winter. It is October and nearing Samhain. Her grief and wish to be alone drives her to move to the isolated coastal town. She is unaware that the home is haunted by a vengeance craving lonely misunderstood ghost. The scent of seaweed trails in the air. Seaweed mysteriously appears in the basement. And what is the ghost guarding so vehemently? Why don’t the other townspeople talk about the Eldritch Ghost? What really happened on that fateful night in August 1947? Rosemary explores these questions and more and gets more than she bargained for when she moves into her home. 

So it proves that you can write about any place, if you have explored it and learned its history. I have been visiting my grandparents since I was twelve. My grandfather was born there in October 1919. The land is being kept in the family. I look forward to my next visit and to have more to post about here. Soon I will record some of my grandparents’s stories when they were younger. 

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch 

 

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Lone Sheiling

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Merry meet all,

A huge spot of interest to curious tourists is the Lone Sheiling Trail, located in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Cape Breton. The Lone Sheiling is a primary national park in the Maritime Provinces. The Scottish crofter’s hut is also associated with a Scottish theme. It is one of the earliest structures in the park and demonstrates the traditional heritage of the Scottish settlers. 

The Lone Sheiling is an example of a shelter known as a ‘bothran’, a seasonal dwelling traditionally used by shepherds in Scotland. They herded sheep and rested in the ‘bothran’.  The building has a simple form and looks rustic. There is quality stonework detailing and timber and thatch roofing. The Thatch Cottage was built in the design of the buildings on the Isle of Skye Scotland. 

The plaque reads: “The Lone Sheiling of the Misty Island, mountains divide us, and the waste of seas- yet still the blood is strong,  the heart is Highland, and we lay in dreams behold the Hebrides.”

The Lone Sheiling was built in accordance with the will terms of Professor McIntosh in 1934. He expressed a wish that “the Government of the Province will maintain a small park at the Intervale and will build there a small cabin which will be constructed in the same design or plan as the lone sheiling on the Island of Skye, Scotland.”

Site: http://www.waymarking.com/ 

 

The link: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-req/place. 

Can you imagine standing in the Scottish hut, hearing the ghostly voices of the past, and sensing how the Scottish people lived back then? This lends to a simpler time, when there were no fancy Ipads but fire and heat and food were your daily worry. They were struggling to survive. I have myself visited the Lone Sheiling years ago. 

Explore the cool landmarks of your own area and see if you can sense some residual energies there or sense spirits. Happy ghost hunting!!

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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History of the Cabot Trail

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Merry meet all,

I am going to carry you away on a historic journey through Pleasant Bay’s uneasy beginnings. Pleasant Bay is the setting for my ghost novel. The rural unruly natural setting and town has an interesting history. The Cabot Trail was named after the Italian explorer John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto), who reached the shores in 1497, on a sailing mission for King Henry VII of England. The name also honours the meeting of the Cabot and the Mi’kmaq people, who inhabited the island over 500 years ago. 

The municipal government felt a need to create a loop between the northern communities in 1924. This created jobs for men who used picks, shovels and dynamite to create the highway. The Cabot Trail was completed in 1932, and connected the previously isolated fishing villages for an approximate 300 kilometre loop. Some of the communities are Acadian, Irish and Scottish settlements. 

Pleasant Bay is a supreme place for whale watching areas. Pilot, humpback, minke and finback whales are frequently sighted off the coastline and the nearby communities. There is also a wonderful Whale Interpretive Centre, and I have visited the Museum myself. The best tour offered for whale watching is Mark Timmons’ Capt. Mark’s Whale and Seal Cruise. Here is the link: http://www.whaleandsealcruise.com. The tours are offered seasonally. You can use a hydrophone to hear the whales underwater.  

It was dangerous driving over the early Trail. People drove in Model T Fords then.  The Trail was regularly visited by moose, and hairpin turns and steep hills made driving difficult. Rushing sixty miles an hour was unheard of there. Here is a photo to show you what it was like:

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The website for the photo is: http://www.cabottrail.com/history.htm. 

Now, where I visit with my family, I can also show you a before and after photo of the Lower End, as we fondly call it. 

Then:

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This picture was taken in 1951. The men built over 100 boats back then. It was tradition for a man to hit the bow of a boat with a hammer. He would say, “Now that’s the last one.” But of course, they would continue to build boats. 

Now: 

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I took this photo and the place is absolutely magickally beautiful!! Well worth a visit!!

 

Credit given to this site for photos and information: http://www.cabot-trail-communities/pleasant-bay/

 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Edgar Allan Poe pop-up book.

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Merry meet all,

Today I bought an unusual book. If you are an Edgar Allan Poe fan like me, then this won’t seem weird. The book is titled The Illustrated Edgar Allan Poe Unabridged pop-up book. I am an Edgar Allan Poe fan. I own a beautiful leather bound book of all of his work and a tribute cd from Nox Arcana about him. 

I love his macabre stories that never fail to send a spin down my spine. Oh the horror of rats, locked up corpses, and melancholic ghosts. Poe wrote with a unique style and voice. The book includes four of his famous spine-chilling tales- The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Pit and the Pendulum, and the The Cask of Amontillado. Each tale has a pop-up picture. There are six pop-ups in all. The book is bound in smooth hardcover and beautifully illustrated. 

I have not finished reading the book yet. Of course, buying the book dooms me to eat nothing but ramen noodles for a whole month but hey, it’s worth it. How often do you find a pop-up book of Edgar Allan Poe tales? Right, not often. 

I shall post more here when I have read the entire book. But that won’t take long. I love his stories and poems. 

There came a rapping at my chamber door…

No, never mind, that’s my guinea pig not a gothy raven attempting to spout sonnets but failing miserably..

 

Here is the Amazon link if you are interested-

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1607108968/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dpd_iaaYtb0FNKMSJTBBBlessings

Lady Spiderwitch

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Mediums

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 Merry meet all,

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.

Blessed be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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What Makes a Good Ghost Story?

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Image Orb and Reflection Originally Thought to be Paranormal – Harper’s Ferry, WV

We had another oddity in our household last night. Maybe it was over active imaginations or we bumped into something paranormal in the night. In this house, it could be either or both.

It is not unusual for me to get bolted awake about 2:30 – 3:00 in the morning on a regular base. Sometimes, it becomes annoying enough to stay awake past the 3:00 hour just to prevent the jolt.  Tonight I’m staying awake to write this blog and straighten my office.

I think I have mentioned in the past that this house has some unusual things happening from time to time. Things that paranormal researchers would call residual haunting such as snippets of conversation in the same location between two people we can’t see.

Then there is what they call intelligent haunts. There is a woman…

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Proof of Ghosts

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Merry Meet All,

Do you ever get the creepy feeling there is something behind you or that you are being watched? I am fascinated with ghosts. Indeed, ghosts have intrigued people since time immemorial. What is it about ghosts that is so interesting?

I think it is because they represent the unknown, and that is frightening to most people. We have charted the seas, the stars, and the rest of the earth and our galaxy and beyond. The hardest place to conquer for us yet though that we all cannot ultimately escape is death. Death is the unknown and has remained unknown to us. It is hard to say what it is like, or what happens to us because it is so hard to come back and report the experience. A few have experienced near death experiences and are changed forever. That is for the few.

For the rest of us, death remains unknown. Ghosts however, are about the other side. They have died and in that, have accomplished death. The soul has endured and the flesh is no longer necessary. This is my perspective and it is not carved in stone. It is hard to talk to a ghost and find out what it thinks about death. Mediums and psychics are able to connect with earthbound spirits. The majority of ghosts are earthbound spirits that wander the earth for eternity. I think that is a rather bleak future for eternity. We can’t say whether there is a light that spirits cross over into. I haven’t seen it yet.

Some spirits or ghosts may remain on the earthly plane because they are attached to an area, whether that be a battlefield or a home. There may have been a tragic event that pins them to the place’s energy. These spirits may require the aid of mediums or may be trapped to the energy of a place.

Some earthbound spirits are of a lower energy. They may have a dark energy and/or aura. These spirits feed on the energy of whatever is around them, preferably people. I have encountered this and I was unfortunately frightened, which benefitted the spirit, not me. If you have this happen to you, be brave. I know that now. Bravery is best. A ghost cannot actually harm you. They may cause things to move but cannot harm you.

Ghosts may not be that frightening. They do deserve respect. The movie Poltergeist is partly about the ghosts unleashing revenge on the family’s home being built over graves. Bad idea. Profit over peace of ghosts? There might be many graves covered over or destroyed and suburbs built over them. The people who live in those homes may not all be experiencing a haunting to that level, but it is still good to be respectful.

I said earlier that some ghosts could be attached to an area’s energy. I lived in a supposedly haunted home for years. The home was Victorian in style, which didn’t help matters, at least with me. The eerie green stone on the fireplace and the goat head seemed remniscient of the Exorcist. Same with the green door with the small black handle in the servant’s room. Then if that wasn’t enough, in the servant’s room were a low ceiling for people who weren’t tall and made you stoop down. The room was HOT in the summer and FREEZING in the winter. There were no windows in the room. The little black handle took strength to close and open. It slammed shut on a few occasions of its own accord. I leave it to your imagination.

Many other things occurred in that house. We felt watched, heard knockings at night, whispers, saw small falling lights, objects rolled in an unusual way, cupboard doors opened and closed, voices hushed when I opened the door to the CREEPY basement, we felt chased up the stairs to the main level from the basement, the bathtub faucets turned on by itself. Once I heard drumming but there was no drummer in sight. The servant’s door opened and closed by itself. The creepiest was when I was a little younger and I would be wide awake, very still and feel all my hair on my body stand on end as I would listen all night long to sounds when I knew my family was in bed. I heard footsteps go up and down the stairs at night. I saw faces on my posters on my wall. A voice told me to never come up to the attic. I told the ghost, “You’ve got a deal.” Indeed, I had to be almost paid to ever enter the attic. Our dog then Ozzie would stare at something we couldn’t see. I leave it to your imagination.

People often want to convince themselves that there are spirits present. We are capable of scaring ourselves more than any spirits. It is important to be grounded and centered and realistic to determine whether ghosts are present. The taps or steps might just need repair.

If there is a ghost, then say ‘Hello ghost’ and be on your way. I have the ability to sense energies and yes, ghosts but most of them do not and cannot harm you. Good thing to remember.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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