Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Upon Each Samhain

I miss you most upon each Samhain

When the boundary turns to sheer

I wait until the veil is parted

At the ending of the year.

Sweet spirit, as you walk among us

At the tolling of this eve

I see your face beyond the sunset

And hear your voice upon the breeze.

In the glowing of the candle,

From the shadow on the wall

I watch for you in every movement

And hear your footsteps in the hall.

Can you sit and spend the evening

As the portal opens wide?

Ancestral dead, I bid you welcome

Most recent dead, I pray, abide.

When you come I sense your presence

I put my hand out in the air

A moment, then, we stand united

Palm to palm while waiting there.

I miss you most upon each Samhain

When the boundary turns to sheer

We share these hours until the dawning

Then bid farewell until next year.

1988 David O. Norris

*note* I found this on the Internet, I do not know if it has a copyright on it or not. If for some reason I am not suppose to reprint this poem please let me know and I will remove it ASAP. I thought it was really pretty and wanted to share it. The photos are my Samhain Ancestor Altar for this year. The photos consist of my dad, my grandparents and greatgrandparents. Blessed Samhain everyone

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pumpkin Time

Wow what a busy few days. I can't believe that tomorrow is Halloween/Samhain. I finally got around to picking out pumpkins. We found a local pumpkin patch and got them there. As you can see my grandson and daughter enjoyed helping me choose. We carved out pumpkins tonight. I think they turned out pretty good.
Tomorrow will be a busy day for me. I am working part of the day and then taking my grandson trick or treating. I had intended to post a couple of more stories about Halloween but the days snuck past me and here it is already here. I hope each of you has a fun filled day, and to all my Pagan friends. May you have a Blessed Samhain.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Black Cat Folklore and Legends

Sixteenth-century Italians believed that if a black cat jumped on the bed of an ill person, the person would soon die.

In Colonial America, Scottish immigrants believed that a black cat entering a wake was bad luck, and could indicated the death of a family member.

The Norse goddess Freyja drove a chariot pulled by a pair of black cats.

A Roman solder killed a black cat in Egypt, and was killed by an angry mob of locals.

Appalachian folklore said that if you had a stye on the eyelid, rubbing the tail of a black cat on it would make the stye go away.

If you find a single white hair on your otherwise-black cat, it's a good omen.

In England's border countries and southern Scotland, a strange black cat on the front porch brings good fortune.

In 16th century Italy, people believed that if someone was sick he would die if a black cat lay on his bed.

In North America, it's considered bad luck if a black cat crosses your path and good luck if a white cat crosses your path. In the U.K., switch the colors.

Finding a white hair on a black cat brings good luck. Don't pluck it though, or your luck may turn bad.

A strange black cat on a porch brings prosperity to the owner. (Scottish Lore)

A black cat seen from behind portends a bad omen. (And a black cat seen from the front is a GOOD omen?) explanation here: If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.

If a black cat crosses your path while you're driving, turn your hat around backwards and mark an X on your windshield to prevent bad luck.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Toe of Frog

The Witches Caldron
"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog"
"Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing"

"For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and babble"

"Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn, and caldron bubble"

William Shakespeare

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New Photos

I had a few minutes to kill today when I went to pick my hubby up from work so I stopped in a local shop near his job. The first thing that I saw as I walked in the door was a sign reading All Halloween 25% off. Of course you know I had to look. Ten minutes later I came out $30.00 poorer, but was the proud owner of three new witches.
I took some photos, but my darling husband (said very sarcastically) has been messing with my files and moved the settings around. I can't find the photos now to put on this post. Let me go hit him in the head with a frying pan, and bury the body and I will be back tomorrow to show them off.
If the weather is nice we plan on going to a local state park for a Christmas craft show, so I will try and get photos up from that too.

I found the photos. Sorry they aren't very good but you can at lest see my new lovely ladies. It is the three in front. The next photo is my tree witch that my daughter gave me for my birthday this year, and the last one with the tall witch is from her for my birthday last year.
The weather is not going to hold up to attend the craft show because it is outside so my daughter and I are going thrift store shopping and just out and about to see what catches our attention. Enjoy your day

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Witches Bottle

Thanks everyone for the supportive comments you left for me on the recent rant about my grandsons sperm donor family, Also thanks miss r for a reminder about sending out protection. I always surround him with a protective spell when he has to go with them. I usually just whisper to him that he will be safe and in my mind surround him with that thought. I think now that they are bothering my daughter again it might be time for something more permanat. I have been thinking of doing a witches bottle. When my grandson was very young I got VERY angry at the "sperm grandmother" and I buried a witches bottle in my front front yard. I put a lot of things into that bottle (which I won't revel here) including all my anger. It kept his sperm donor grandmother away from my daughters house/my house for all this time. This past weekend was the first time she had set foot in my daughters space in over 2 years (my daughter usually takes him to her for the visit). My daughter had a very hard time not aguring with her and the vibes were very bad she said. I am thinking it is time for another witches bottle because when my daughter moved this time she left my circle of protection. When she moved things changed and along with those changes it has allowed the protection to thin.
Interested in making your own witches bottle? Here is a brief history and how to make one.

(From Wikipedia)

The witch bottle is a very old spell device. Its purpose is to draw in and trap evil and negative energy directed at its owner. Folk magic contends that the witch bottle protects against evil spirits and magical attack, and counteracts spells cast by witches.

A traditional witch bottle is a small flask, about 3 inches high, created from blue or green glass. Larger and rounder witch bottles, up to 9 inches high, were known as Greybeards, Bellarmines, or Bartmanns. Bellarmines were named after a particularly fearsome Catholic Inquisitor, Robert Bellarmine, who persecuted Protestants and, in consequence, was labeled as a demon by his victims. Greybeards and Bellarmines were not made of glass, but of brown or gray stoneware that was glazed with salt and embossed with severe bearded faces designed to scare off evil.

A witch, cunning man or woman, would prepare the witch's bottle. Historically, the witch's bottle contained the victim's (the person who believed they had a spell put on them, for example) urine, hair or nail clippings, or red thread from sprite traps. In recent years, the witch's bottle has taken on a nicer tone, filled with rosemary, needles and pins, and red wine. Historically and currently, the bottle is then buried at the farthest corner of the property, beneath the house hearth, or placed in an inconspicuous spot in the house. It is believed that after being buried, the bottle captures evil which is impaled on the pins and needles, drowned by the wine, and sent away by the rosemary.

Sometimes seawater or earth are used instead. Other types of Witch-bottles may contain sand, stones, knotted threads, feathers, shells, herbs, flowers, salt, vinegar, oil, coins, or ashes. A similar magical deceive is the "lemon and pins" charm.

Another variation is within the disposal of the bottle. Some witch's bottles were thrown into a fire and when they exploded, the spell was broken or the witch supposedly killed.

This form of "bottled spell" dates back hundreds of years, and were prevalent in Elizabethan England - especially Anglia, where superstitions and belief in witches were strong. The bottles were most often found buried under the fireplace, under the floor, and plastered inside walls.

The Witch-bottle was believed to be active as long as the bottle remained hidden and unbroken. People did go though a lot of trouble in hiding their Witch-bottles - those buried underneath fireplaces have been found only after the rest of the building has been torn down or otherwise disappeared. The origins of this tradition have been dated at least to the 1500s. In ancient times the bottles were made of stone and originally contained rusty nails, urine, thorns, hair, menstrual blood, and pieces of glass, wood, and bone.


First select the Bottle you want to use. Your bottle maybe clear or tinted. Some people say seal with wax, but you can use a spice jar type bottle just as easy. An old mayonaise jar would work fine. I didn't want to dig a huge hole so I chose something small. It is really what feels right for you.

Clean the bottle you are going to use. Wash it with warm soapy water carefully (if you can use a specific soap made for protective purposes, so much the better) and dry it well. You can leave the bottle over night in the light of a full moon to charge it. Choose a place to hide the bottle. For a bottle to be filled as part of a ritual or ritually, it is a good thing to have all the necessary tools at hand, on your alter. You can also construct your ritual and spells and chants beforehand.

On a piece of paper write the situation or person's name you need protection from. Then start adding things like some broken glass ,some needles and/or nails (rusty nails are good too if you can find them), then add protection herbs if you wish basil, bay leaf, caraway, cinnamon, mandrake, mullien, nettle, are just a few.After this, add urine, menstrual blood or semen, or prick your finger with the sterile lancet and add as the very last thing a few drops of your blood. You won't need large amounts, blood and semen are considered potent, so few drops will do. Your bodily fluids being the very last ones as you don't want to store them even for a day. You can collect other items intended for a Witch-bottle over a long period of time, storing them until you have all the necessary items and enough of them. Items found on the ground suit the purpose well.
Fill it full of things that upset you and symbolize your anger and hatred of this person or situation you are involved in.Be sure and seal it tightly or seal with wax.

Bury the bottle in your yard. Put it someplace safe from ever being opened-most times you will want to bury it where it will remain undisturbed. Handle it as though it were toxic waste.
As you do you might say something like this.

From the darkness I conjure light
from the light I summon force,
from the force I invoke the power
to trap that which intends me harm

Let this anger stay in the bottle and believe that the person will get what they deserve from karma and not from you.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How To Hold a Seance

How To Hold a Seance
From Patti Wigington,
Your Guide to Pagan / Wiccan Religion.

A séance is an event that can either be fantastic, or a real mess. Which one it is will depend on how much preparation goes into it. With a little bit of planning and thought ahead of time, you can pave the way for your séance to go smoothly. Certainly, it's a good idea to expect the unexpected -- after all, the dead are hardly predictable -- but by setting yourself a few guidelines in advance, you can make sure that everyone has the best experience possible.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Varied
Here's How:
Plan your guest list: Figure out how many people you're going to have -- and make sure the space you're using will allow them all. If your living room only seats eight people comfortably, don't invite fifteen! Also, be sure that everyone attending is open-minded to the spirit world. People who are adamantly "non-believers" bring a certain amount of negative energy, and this can be disruptive. You may also find that it adversely effects your communication with the spirits during your séance.

Create a Spirit-Friendly Atmosphere: Most people like to conduct a séance at a round or oval table, but if neither is available, don't worry. Drape the table with fabric or sheets -- some people prefer light colors to attract "friendly" spirits, but it's a matter or personal preference. If you use incense, be sure that no one in your group is allergic to it. Place incense somewhere away from the table, rather than on the table itself. Candles are a nice addition as well -- not only do they provide some visibility, but there's a school of thought that believes spirits are attracted to heat and light sources.

Common Sense: Help everyone get comfortable by offering refreshments before you begin. Make sure that guests will be respectful of the spirits, and of other guests. Turn off all cell phones. If anyone needs to go to the bathroom or have a smoke, do so before you begin. Set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature -- remember that spirit activity can cause some fluctuation in levels of cold or heat. Once everyone is seated, you can help everyone relax by doing a short guided mediation, offering a prayer, or casting a protective circle, if your tradition requires you to do so.

During the Seance: Although many people like to do this, you don't have to hold hands to raise energy. In fact, if a séance goes on too long, it can get downright uncomfortable. Whoever is acting as the leader of the séance -- the medium -- should ask the spirits to join the group. If there is a specific spirit you are trying to contact, ask for them by name. For example, now would be the time to say, "Dear Auntie Gertrude, we respectfully ask that you honor us with your presence this evening." In some séances, spirits are summoned by chanting -- this will be up to your medium to decide on.

As long as the spirits seem willing to reply, you can carry on a question and answer session with them. Bear in mind that spirits respond in many different ways. Sometimes there will be a tangible reaction -- a tap, a thump, a soft breeze. Other times -- particularly if you have a room full of very psychically gifted people -- the spirit may choose to respond through another person. This may be the medium, or any other guest. The individual may simply "get a message" to pass along, which they would then share, such as, "Your Auntie Gertrude wants you to know she isn't in pain any more."

Party Time: Sometimes, particularly if you have a group of psychically gifted individuals as guests, you may get several spirits arriving all at once, chattering away. This is not cause for alarm, but it does take some managing, because they've all got something to say. Treat it like you would any other conversation with a large group of people -- let each spirit get their turn to deliver the message they came with, and then move on to the next one. Also, bear in mind that not all spirits are from departed humans -- deceased pets may also have a message to pass along.

Unwanted Entities: Just like at any other party, sometimes a séance will bring an uninvited guest. In this case, when you have a spirit that seems malevolent or mischievous, someone needs to let them know they're unwelcome. Typically, this will be the medium who is leading the séance, who will usually say something like, "You are not wanted here, but we thank you for your presence. Now it is time for you to move on."

If an entity arrives that seems angry or hostile and will not leave, no matter what you do, end the séance. Chances are good that it's been attracted to someone in your group who is dysfunctional.

Closing the Door: When you're done with the séance, it's important that guests thank the spirits for coming to visit. After all, you would do so if you had living guests drop in!

If one of your attendees seems to have slipped into a trance or a sleep-like state during the séance, allow them to return gradually, on their own. Do NOT shake them awake. Chances are they'll have a message for someone once they're back among the group.

Close the séance by telling the spirits farewell, thanking them, and asking them to move along. You may want to offer a small blessing or prayer as a way of ending the formal séance, but bear in mind that some spirits like to hang around after the séance has officially finished. If they do, it's okay. They're probably just curious, and they may return to visit you later in the evening during a dream sequence.

Before you begin your seance, smudge the area with sage or sweetgrass for ritual cleansing.
Make sure you've eliminated potential distractions, such as children or ringing telephones. Interestingly, many pets seem to come and go through spirit activity without causing any disruption. Cats in particular tend to be very curious about what's going on.
Your guests may wish to bring an object that belonged to a deceased person, as a way of strengthening the connection. Photographs are also good links to the dead.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We pause for a moment to....RANT

Ok, so I've been pretty good lately not to use this blog to rant, but sometimes you just have to let off steam, so click close if you don't read rants.

Lets see where do I start...Hmmmm, Ok lets begin with my favorite subject. My grandsons biological dad who I choose to refer to as "the sperm donor". Now if you have read my blog before you already know "the sperm donor" is a loser. I won't take up your time going into details as to why. We will just leave it at that and you have to trust me when I say DEAD BEAT. He only pays child support when the courts get after him with threat's and only checks on his son once in a blue moon when he gets a bug up his butt or his mom gets a bug up her butt to be human, which isn't very often. The last time they remembered there was a kid named Cody was around the 4th of July. Keep in mind now that this is October, and not only is it October but we are pushing the end of the month!

Anyway it must have been one of those rare blue moons last Friday because without warning my daughter gets a call on her cell phone from "the sperm donor".
He left her a message claiming he had been trying to call her and that he wanted to come get his son and keep him from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon.
And get this..if she doesn't call him back he is going to have the police come with him on Saturday morning to pick the baby up.

Are you seeing red yet! Oh let me tell you I came unglued. HOW DARE HE. First of all my grandson does not remember him. He is two..It has been FOUR frigging months since he has seen this man. He has not once called to even ask if he was dead or alive. I told my daughter ignore him. She has moved and he didn't know her new address anyway (she had mailed him a copy of the new address when she filed it with the courts but it had not reached him at this time)and if he showed up around here with the police the only one they would be picking up would be me after I beat the crap out of him. I'm sorry but you just do not come pick up a child that does not know you and keep him over night without some kind of psychological trauma. This man (and his family) have always been told there is an open door policy to see the baby. They are the one who have chosen not to use it. In the two and a half years since my grandsons birth "the sperm donor" has seen him maybe 15 times. This is not a relationship. Now don't get me wrong. It wasn't him wanting to see the baby that pissed me off so bad, It was how he did it. If he had called and asked to spend some time with him, fine, he should, its his kid. He needs to know his dad. but don't come threatening and trying to take him over night when he doesn't know him. If he has asked for a couple of hours or even for the day, fine, it was the over night and the police part that did it.

Anyway my daughter called the "sperm donors mom" and talked with her. (she is another blog post all in itself and I won't bore you with that today but she has only seen Cody about 4 or 5 times in his life and she lives about 10 minutes away. Again her choice)
Long story short her and my daughter came to an understand and she let her come get him for awhile on Saturday afternoon. We do not know if "the sperm donor" saw his son or not.
I personally would be happy to hit him in the head with a shovel and bury him out back but that is against the law and my morals so I will leave his fate up to karma.

Ok on to the next rant...Oh you thought that was enough..Sorry its been one of those weeks again hit close if your bored with me

Rant number 2 is the DR I saw yesterday.
Ok short version of this rant. I have no medical insurance so I got a number for a low cost clinic that works on a sliding scale. ONE MONTH ago I call and get an appointment for yesterday. I get there and wait one hour past my appointment time only to be taken into a room where I wait another twenty minutes. This woman Dr, walks in ask why I am there. I explain, I need meds for high blood pressure and have no insurance I heard about your clinic I need to get established somewhere so I can be monitored. Also I say to her I have high cholesterol I was border line diabetic at one time and I have arthritis in my knee which bothers me a lot and I need something for it because I work retail. Oh and by the way since I work retail can she give me a note letting my job know that I have it and it is recommended that I wear a supportive shoe such as a sneaker especially darning the holidays.

Can I see your knee she says. I lift my pants leg above my knee...She stands across the room and says Yep it looks like you have ostro arthritis.. I asked her can she give me something for it. Nope, take Tylenol she says. She then walks over with the stethoscope listens for two seconds to my heart and lungs and says come on I will write your prescription now. I was stunned. She never even touched the knee. I said to her are we done in this room. Yep she says as if dismissing me. I really wanted to bang her head into the wall.
(are we seeing a pattern here that I am over stressed lol)

So we go into the other office she writes the prescription and says to me..I want to see back in three months. I don't think your sick I think your just tired...well DUH! I never claimed to be sick, I told her why I was there. Then she goes on to say she wants to do a blood test. When I asked her why she said because I told her I was tired..I thought lady you are pushing me. I had told her when she asked how I was that I was tired because I was on my lunch hour and that I work 40 hours a week and that I had a husband a home and helped my daughter with my grandson in my spare time. Damn I guess I am tired. I asked this for chlorestial..Nope, just CBC and thyroid. At this point I am just over it and ready to go, so I agree to the test.
I think it was just her way of getting more money out of me.
So she hands me the papers and there is no note for work about the shoes. I question her and she goes on to tell me that she doesn't recommend special shoes that she is not a orthopedic, and that if I want a note that I will have to go to one of them. Again I am ready to say something but I bite my tongue since jail is not a place I really want to live.
I did ask her if she would at lest write a note saying I have the arthritis and might be more comfortable in a support shoe. That seemed to satisfy her but it took the nurse ten minutes to get the note once all was said and done, by then I had been away from work almost three hours and was trying to get back, so I grabbed it without thinking and left. When I got to work to hand it in along with receipt showing where I had been it had someone else last name on it.
Pass me a shovel please!
I just marked it out and wrote mine there and handed it anyway.
Oh by the way, ho wis your week going


Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Old Witch (A Halloween Tale)

The Old Witch
by The Brothers Grimm

There was once a little girl who was very willful and who never obeyed when her elders spoke to her - so how could she be happy?

One day she said to her parents, "I have heard so much of the old witch that I will go and see her. People say she is a wonderful old woman, and has many marvelous things in her house, and I am very curious to see them."'

But her parents forbade her going, saying, "The witch is a wicked old woman, who performs many godless deeds - and if you go near her, you are no longer a child of ours."

The girl, however, would not turn back at her parents' command, but went to the witch's house. When she arrived there the old woman asked her:

"Why are you so pale?"

"Ah," she replied, trembling all over, "I have frightened myself so with what I have just seen."

"And what did you see?" inquired the old witch.

"I saw a black man on your steps."

"That was a collier," replied she.

"Then I saw a gray man."

"That was a sportsman," said the old woman.

"After him I saw a blood-red man."

"That was a butcher," replied the old woman.

"But, oh, I was most terrified," continued the girl, "when I peeped through your window, and saw not you, but a creature with a fiery head."

"Then you have seen the witch in her proper dress," said the old woman. "For you I have long waited, and now you shall give me light."

So saying the witch changed the little girl into a block of wood, and then threw it on the fire. When it was fully alight, she sat down on the hearth and warmed herself, saying:

"How good I feel! The fire has not burned like this for a long time!"

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A bit of poetry

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.
~Author Unknown

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Friday, October 19, 2007

For a "Chili" Halloween

1 1/4 pounds ground goblin gizzards(ground beef)
1 medium eye of Cyclops (onion)
1 15 oz can soft shelled beetles (kidney beans)
1 29 oz can blood of bat (V-8juice)
1/8 Teaspoon pureed wasp (prepared mustard)
1/4 Teaspoon common dried weed (oregano)
1 dash redtailed hawk toenails (crused red pepper)
2 Teaspoons ground sumac blossom (chili powder)
1 Teaspoon hemlock (honey or sugar)
1/2 cup fresh grubs (sliced celery)
1 Tablespoon eye of Newt (pearled barley)
1 Tablespoon dried maggots (uncooked rice)
Water from a stagnant pond (tap water)

1 brown the gizzards
2.add chopped eye of cyclops and simmer until the pieces becoem translucent
3. add blood of bat and soft shelled beetles: bring to a slow bubbling boil.
4. add the common weed, maggots, toenails, summac, grubs, hemlock, eye of newt and purred wasp.
5.add the common weed, maggots, toenails, sumac, grubs, hemlock, eye of newt and the pureed wasp. As it cooks you may want to adjust the consistency with pond water.

Simmer until done and serve to all your ghoul friends!

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Emergency Missing Child (this is not a hoax please read)

We have a missing child in blog land and I am asking everyone to please visit this page
Mama Kelly of Two Witches Blog twelve year old daughter has run away from home. She lives in New Jersey, but the girl may have left the area. She is with her fifteen year old boy friend. Please Please go to Mama Kelly page. She has links to the news article and also a special myspace page set up. Please pass her link along and lets bring her daughter home.

Both kids were found this afternoon and are home safe! Thank Goodness


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Difference Between Ghosts and Spirits

The Difference Between Ghosts and Spirits

Courtesy of Jennifer
Peninsula Paranormal
Investigators Hampton Roads VA.

Yes, there is a difference between Ghosts and Spirits. GHOSTS are
earthbound spirits that haunt locations or people. They may or may not
know they are dead. Some are intelligent spirits that interact with
the living. Some like to scare people on purpose. Others are just
misunderstood. Some Ghosts are "residual" and don't even know we are
their, it's like a record playing over and over again, which could
also just be their residual Energy from past events. Some ghosts don't
even know they are dead and will hang on to a place. Others hang on
because they have committed suicide and feel guilty and are afraid of
going to hell. Other's have other reasons for hanging on and haunting
an area: They may have cursed a person or place, and pledged to haunt
it, they may be looking for a lost lover, they may be trapped in a
spot because they may have had a violent death, they may have murdered
someone, they may feel guilty about something else and are afraid to
cross over.
SPIRITS that are not earthbound have crossed over, but are not ghosts.
They are not trapped in any spot. They can visit us in dreams or while
we are conscious, and we can see apparitions of them and communicate
with them like a ghost. Their appearance is different than a ghost. A
Spirit that has crossed over to the light will be surrounded by light,
look younger and healthier and vibrant, where as an earthbound Ghost
will look dark like a shadow, or may even still show the scars of how
they died. Also, they walk on a different plane of existence.
Spirits float, because they are not earthbound. Ghosts that are
earthbound, can look like people and their feet are at the same level
as the ground...and don't necessarily float. The other main
difference, earthbound ghosts are restless spirits, unsettled, and
unhappy, tormented, or torn between one place and another and
unsatisfied with themselves. Spirits that have crossed over to the
Light, are full of love and light and are complete in themselves.
Those are the main differences between Ghosts and Spirits.

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Halloween Personality

What Your Halloween Habits Say About You

You love the drama of Halloween. You definitely like to have the best costume around - and everyone noticing you.

You definitely think of yourself as someone who has a dark side. And part of having that dark side means not showing it.

Your inner child is stubborn and a bit bossy.

You truly fear the dark side of humanity. You are a true misanthrope.

You're prone to be quite emotional and over dramatic. Deep down, you enjoy being scared out of your mind... even if you don't admit it.

You are a traditionalist with most aspects of your life. You like your Halloween costume to be basic, well made, and conventional enough to wear another year.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Bit Of Indian Summer

I thought I would interrupt my Halloween post for a little bit of Indian Summer. I was off today, and since it was such a beautiful day my husband and I went to Virginia Beach. We wanted to do something different so we decided to visit the Cape Henry Lighthouse and First Landing Cross.

The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse was built in 1792. The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse is maintained by the APVA and is a National Historic Landmark, serving as the official symbol for the City of Virginia Beach.

It started to crack in 1870 and was replaced with the new Cape Henry Lighthouse only 357 feet away, which is an active aid to navigation and operated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

In the same area is the First Landing Cross

Upon touching the shore of the New World on April 26, 1607 (13 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock) the first permanent English settlers from the London Company set up a cross on the newly named Cape Henry shore in gratitude to God and to affirm England's claim to the site. These settlers later traveled up the James River to Jamestown. Each year a pilgrimage is organized by the Order of Cape Henry to celebrate this milestone. The present-day granite cross was erected in 1935 and is a national landmark.

Just a few feet from the cross are some steps leading to an overlook of the Atlantic Ocean. We spent several minutes there watching the waves and the people down on the sand.

The waves were so pretty lapping up against the rocks.

We looked out across the water and much to our surprise we saw some dolphins playing. I could only zoom in close enough to show the splashing.

It was so peaceful to look out and see water everywhere

While we were watching the dolphins a ship sailed past heading towards open water. If you look closely just beside the ship you can see the Chesapeake Bay Bridge leading to the eastern shore and on up into Maryland.

Well that is about it..
Thank you for coming along on my trip. Tomorrow I will have another Halloween Post for you.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ghostly Photos

Dean and I went out ghost hunting today. We started at the Yorktown battlefield, but didn't have any luck finding any evidence of orbs or unusual things. We did find an old grave yard where slaves are buried. I was told sometimes strange things happen here but it wasn't my day to experience it.
We left the battlefield and traveled a short distance to Crawford Road in Yorktown..
Here is what Shadowlands Haunted Places has to say about this road

Yorktown - Crawford Road - A woman hung herself from an overpass on her wedding day. Her spirit has been seen her spirit, hanging in her wedding dress. Also, African Americans were hung down the road. A lot of spirits dwell on this road. - February 2005 Correction - Formerly listed under - Poquoson - Crawford Rd - There have been other stories about the part of the road where the Tour Road crosses over Crawford Rd. There is a story that on some nights that you can see a black lady in a white dress walk up on the bridge onto the ledge, then she falls off and then she stops in mid air and swings like she was hung. There have also been stories of your car cutting out and not starting. If you drove down it at night you could see someone hanging from the bridge where someone was hung years ago and that cars have shut off underneath the bridge. - December 2006 additional information: Before you come to crybaby bridge that runs about halfway down from the roads entrance on either side of the vast woods lies a fenced off road that actually heads back into a clearing if you're daring enough to cross the threshold. If you enter the clearing, you will find a solitary building that is long since abandoned with no doors. If you watch, there are red eyes that may appear in one of the open doorways (most likely the very last door all the way to the right) 'watching' you as you move around. Should you get close they may end up vanishing before you can locate them. Going into the building itself, however, yields the very eerie feeling of more than one 'being' watching your every move. It has been seen on film of shadow people walking around along the walls without actually anything being in front of the light source (always in the shape of a tall male creeping along). There have also been reports of people feeling like they have had their feet stepped on, voices whispering, and even hands lain upon the middle of their backs. This experience is random, but best done on a clear, moonless night. But you never know what you might find if you actually go to the radio station once the sun is down.

Well let me tell you it was creepy. We did not get out of the car and go walking in the woods there. The bridge was painted with lots and I mean lots of graffiti..We drove under it and kept going..After driving a few minutes and the road not coming out anywhere I told Dean to turn around so we could go back the way we had came. After we crossed under the overpass bridge again I had him stop and this is what we captured on the camera

Enlarge these photos one by one and you will see a bright white light in the first one..Remember we were in front of the bridge and I was standing beside the car shooting BEHIND me towards the bridge, no one else was on the road..So where did the light come from?

Enlarge the second photo and you will see the light has moved forward and now appears as an orb near the car

Enlarge the last photo and you will see several orbs floating around the bridge, also you can see the grafetti

Got ya didn't I...ekkkkkkk
Just as I was proof reading this my husband came up behind me and started talking..He just scared me to death...
I think maybe 31 days of Halloween is 30 to many ha ha ha ha.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Samhain History

Samhain History
From Patti Wigington,
Your Guide to Pagan / Wiccan Religion.

What is Samhain?:
Samhain is known by most folks as Halloween, but for Wiccans and Pagans it's considered a Sabbat to honor the ancestors who came before us. It's a good time to contact the spirit world with a seance, because it's the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest.

Myths and Misconceptions:
Contrary to a popular Internet-based (and Chick Tract-encouraged) rumor, Samhain was not the name of some ancient Celtic god of death, or of anything else, for that matter. Religious scholars agree that the word Samhain (pronounced "sow-en") comes from the Gaelic “Samhuin,” but they’re divided on whether it means the end or beginning of summer. After all, when summer is ending here on earth, it’s just beginning in the Underworld. Samhain actually refers to the daylight portion of the holiday, on November 1st.

All Hallow Mass:
Around the eighth century or so, the Catholic Church decided to use November 1st as All Saints Day. This was actually a pretty smart move on their part – the local pagans were already celebrating that day anyway, so it made sense to use it as a church holiday. All Saints’ became the festival to honor any saint who didn’t already have a day of his or her own. The mass which was said on All Saints’ was called Allhallowmas – the mass of all those who are hallowed. The night before naturally became known as All Hallows Eve, and eventually morphed into what we call Halloween.

Sunset on Samhain is the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The old year has passed, the harvest has been gathered, cattle and sheep have been brought in from the fields, and the leaves have fallen from the trees. The earth slowly begins to die around us.

This is a good time for us to look at wrapping up the old and preparing for the new in our lives. Think about the things you did in the last twelve months. Have you left anything unresolved? If so, now is the time to wrap things up. Once you’ve gotten all that unfinished stuff cleared away, and out of your life, then you can begin looking towards the next year.

Honoring the Ancestors:
For some of us, Samhain is when we honor our ancestors who came before us. If you’ve ever done genealogy research, or if you’ve had a loved one die in the past year, this is the perfect night to celebrate their memory. If we’re fortunate, they will return to communicate with us from beyond the veil, and offer advice, protection and guidance for the upcoming year.

If you want to celebrate Samhain in the Celtic tradition, spread the festivities out over three consecutive days. You can hold a ritual and feast each night. Be flexible, though, so you can work around trick-or-treating schedules!

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Spooky Stuff

I have to tell you a funny story.

My grandson who is two is a bit leery of all the Halloween decorations this year. NOOOO he says when we show him the hanging ghost and goblins..He doesn't like the costumes or the spooky sounds
He clings to us and is a little afraid..We reassure him nothing is going to hurt him but at his age...well you can imagine the following scene

My daughter took him to the dollar tree for Halloween decorations yesterday. She showed him the spider webs and hanging things. She is talking to him about all the fun he will have getting candy, when all at once he breaks loose from her and starts screaming Noooooo. She looks up just in time to see three Arabian women fully decked out from head to toe in black with there veils on and the only thing showing is there eyes.
My grandson is in front of them Yelling Nooooo not that, not that(meaning he doesn't like the scary stuff) and freaking out..How can you explain to a two year old at Halloween that these women are not spooky monsters but only dressed in what is normal for there culture..

What can a mom do...except come home and tell grandma who thinks it is hysterical..
Don't you just love this time of year

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For a change

This little meme is just for fun..

You Are 9: The Peacemaker

You are emotionally stable and willing to find common ground with others.

Your friends and family often look to you to be the mediator when there is conflict.

You are easy going and accepting. You take things as they come.

Avoiding conflict at all costs, you're content when things are calm.

At Your Best: You feel connected, trusting, and fulfilled. You feel at peace with your place in the world.

At Your Worst: You compromise your values to make sure peace is maintained. You give in to bullies.

Your Fixation: Harmony

Your Primary Fear: Causing conflict

Your Primary Desire: To preserve things as they are

Other Number 9's: Marge Simpson, Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn, Jerry Seinfeld, and Abraham Lincoln.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Samhain Barm Brack

We in the United States get our Halloween traditions from Ireland, where the celebration began as Oíche Samhain, or Samhain Night, which signaled the end of harvest and time to settle in for the winter. This “feast of the dead” featured preparing traditional Irish foods, dressing in costumes and carving jack-o’-lanterns from turnips (in the States we substitute pumpkins, which are more plentiful here).
Barm brack is a traditional treat prepared for Halloween in Ireland.
The word barm comes from an old English word, beorma, meaning yeasty fermented liquor. Brack comes from the Irish word brac, meaning speckled - which it is, with dried fruit and candied peel. Hallowe'en has always been associated with fortune telling and divination, so various objects are wrapped up and hidden in the cake mixture — a wedding ring, a coin, a pea or a thimble (signifying spinsterhood). After dark children dress up, often as witches or ghosts in hats and masks and black shawls, light turnip lanterns in the windows and go from house to house collecting fruits and nuts.

Barm Brack

4 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 c. soft dark brown sugar
1 stick butter melted
1 1/4 lukewarm milk
1 egg lightly beaten
1 c. golden raisins
1 c. currents

One each wrapped in foil

Ring/early marriage, or continued happiness if already married
Silver Coin/wealth
Chip of wood/stormy marriage
Rag (or a pea) poverty

Butter two 7 inch round cake pans. Mix the dry ingredients, including yeast in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Mix butter, milk, and egg and turn into bowl with dry ingredients. Mix throughly to make a thick, smooth dough. Work in the fruit and mix well.
Divide and put into pans. Press ring etc. into dough. Cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to an hour to rise. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. When dough has doubled in size bake for 45 minutes or until it is shinking slightly from sides of pans. Remove and glaze. Return to oven 3 minutes

1 Tbps sugar
2 Tbsp boiling water

This cake is served as a means of divination. Finding one of the objects listed is a way of telling your future...

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Birthday photos

I'm not sure if you can tell but this is a opal and diamond bracelet. My husband gave it to me for my birthday. Opal is my birthstone and I really love them. Did you know it is bad luck to wear an opal unless it is your birthstone?

My daughter bought these lovely budda's for me. She knew I collected them and they make a lovely addition to my altar

Don't you just love this witch! Another gift from my daughter. I have never seen one like it and just fell in love when I saw it.


Happy Birthday To Me

Happy Birthday to me..I have to work unil 9 pm..YUCKY
I didn't think ahead about what day my birthday would fall on so I didn't put in to take it off..No big deal. We had a small family Dinner at my ex-husbands last night and he surprised me by baking me a cake. My daughter had already bought me a couple of things and so had my husband. I will post photos after work. Enjoy your day ya'll!


Witches Tea

Witches Tea

Make spice syrup:
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
In a small saucepan bring syrup ingredients to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Cool syrup. Syrup may be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered. I keep mine in a glass bottle, capped tightly in the refrigerator.
Brew up your favorite tea and add a few drops to your cup of tea to taste. You can use a cinnamon stick to stir and add some extra cinnamon taste.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Happy Birthday John Lennon

Happy Birthday John......

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one


Ohhh Pretty Things

Oh I am so excited. I got a package in the mail today. It seems I am the winner of Celtic Woman's autumn giveaway. I just couldn't believe all the wonderful things she sent my way. THANK YOU JULIE! These things are just perfect to decorate my house with..

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Speaking of decorating I have started doing a few things around the house for the holiday. I will show off my brooms

And perhaps a witch or two

Maybe some prety flowers

Also while looking through my boxes I ran across this

It is a mask made as the Autumn "green man"
I had forgot I had him and should have displayed it at the Autumn Equinox (Mabon) along with my other things.
No matter what I do I am sure I will enjoy the day.

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Lady In White (famous ghost of colonial virginia)

Famous Ghosts of Colonial Virginia

Evelyn Bird Legend of 'Lady in White'
and Phantom Coach of Carter's Hall Intrigue
By Priscilla Williams

Westover, where the 'Lady in White,' called the ghost of unhappy
Evelyn Byrd, is said to appear in the gardens

Many Virginians are familiar with the lovely old estate, Westover, the
ancestral home of the Byrds, which overlooks the James River about 35
miles below Richmond, but not every one knows the ghost legend of the
old mansion. Westover was built in 1726 by Colonel William Byrd 2d. He
had been educated in England, and he was so accomplished and so
handsome that he became known as the Black Swan.

The ghost legend, however, is of his lovely daughter, Evelyn, who had
not only inherited her father's gracious bearing but was a great
beauty as well. She was presented at the Court of George I when she
was 18, and it is said that she was the toast of the English nobility.
This is easily understood after seeing the lovely portrait of her
painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller. It was the statesman, Lord Chatham,
who said on meeting her that "he no longer wondered why young
gentlemen were so fond of going to Virginia to study ornithology since
such beautiful Byrds were there."

It was while she was in London that she met and fell in love with
Charles Mordaunt, the grandson of the Earl of Peterborough, but he was
a Roman Catholic and the colonel was a staunch Protestant, and so, so
the story goes, the lovely Evelyn was hurried back to Virginia, to her
home on the James.

She had many suitors in Virginia, but Evelyn remained true to her love
in London, and 10 years later she died of a broken heart. A few weeks
before she died, evidently realizing that she would not live very much
longer, she promised her friend, Anne Harrison, as they were walking
in the garden together that she would return. And she has kept her
promise. The following spring as Mrs. Harrison, who lived on the
adjoining plantation, Berkley, was again walking in the garden, she
"saw her friend dressed in white, dazzling in ethereal loveliness,
standing beside her own grave. She drifted forward a few steps, kissed
her hand to the beholder, smiling happily and vanished.

* * *

Other people have seen the ghost of the lovely Evelyn from time to
time, usually walking in the garden. On one occasion, a guest at
Westover awoke in the middle of the night to find a woman in white
standing at the foot of her bed.

Another time, when there were guests in the house, one of them awoke
in the night and went to the window. While standing there looking out
into the night she saw the ghost of Evelyn Byrd walking in the garden.
The apparition, however, did not wish her to remain at the window, and
it raised its head and arm and beckoned to her to go back into the
room. She obeyed the command for the gesture was imperative, but she
felt no fear, for it seems the lovely Evelyn is a gentle ghost and
never startles nor frightens her beholders.

At Carter's Hall, the first master of the old mansion returns in his
coach with the coachman and footman sitting high on the box. Carter's
Hall was built soon after the Revolution by Colonel Nathaniel Burwell,
who moved to Clarke County from the magnificent estate, Carter's
Grove, just below Williamsburg, and on the site commanding a beautiful
view of the Blue Ridge Mountains built his new home.

Carter Hall, Clark County, where the phantom coach-and-four pays visits

Colonel Burwell was married twice. His first wife was Susanna Grymes
to whom he was devoted, and indeed so great was his grief when she
died that he felt he could not bear his bereavement alone. Looking
about him for a suitable companion with whom to share his loss, a
happy inspiration came to him, and a few months after her death, he
mounted his great coach and went down to Rosewell, the home of Colonel
John Page, where he asked his friend to send for his half-sister, Mrs.
George Baylor, that he might marry her. The widow was young and
beautiful, and as Marguerite de Pont Lee suggests, 'possibly this fact
occurred to the master of Carter's Hall even in the hour of his
deepest bereavement. " The widow came, but she rejected him. Her
rejection, however, meant little to the colonel. "Lucy," he said, "you
do not know what is good for you. Your brother John and I arranged it
all before you came," and apparently that settled it for they were
married. After the ceremony, the bridegroom told his bride, "Now,
Lucy, you can weep for your dear George, and I can weep for my beloved

And now, according to tradition, the old colonel comes back in his
lumbering coach. It is not known whether it is with his beloved Sucky
or the fair Lucy that he returns, but the present owners of Carter's
Hall say that on several occasions they have heard a vehicle arrive at
the door and have later discovered that nothing was really there.

Once when guests were at Carter's Hall, and they were all sitting
around an open fire in the dining room, they heard the sound of a
carriage being driven to the door. Not expecting anyone and wondering
who it could be, all of them went to the door. Not expecting any one
and wondering the house an old-fashioned coach with two large horses
and a coachman and footman sitting in the box. [sic] They could see
some one sitting in the coach. The footman jumped down, opened the
door and let the steps down, but no one descended. He then put the
steps up, closed the door and jumped to his seat beside the coachman.
As the old coach disappeared into the night, the crack of the whip was
distinctly heard.

* * *

Another lovely old mansion with an interesting ghost legend is Castle
Hill in Albemarle County. It was built in 1765 by Dr. Thomas Walker, a
prominent physician of that day. The small panes of glass and the
brass door locks which were brought over from London are still in use
in the older part of the house.

There is an interesting bit of correspondence between Dr. Walker and
Colonel Bernard Moore which was written when Dr. Walker's son wished
to "pay his addresses" to Colonel Moore's daughter, Elizabeth.

May 27, 1764

Dear Sir:

My son, Mr. John Walker, having informed me of his intention to
pay his addresses to your daughter, Elizabeth, if he should be
agreeable to yourself, lady and daughter, it may not be amiss to
inform you what I feel myself able to afford for their support in case
of an union. My affairs are in an uncertain state; but I promise 1,000
pounds, to be paid in 1766, and the further sum of 2,000 I promise to
give him; but the uncertainty of my present affairs prevent my fixing
on a time of payment, the above sums are all to be in money or lands
and other effects, at the option of my son, John Walker. I am, sir,
your humble servant,


Colonel Bernard Moore, Esqu.,
in King William."

The reply to his letter was as follows:

May 28, 1764

Dear Sir:

You son, Mr. John Walker, applied to me for leave to make his
addresses to my daughter, Elizabeth. I gave him leave and told him at
the same time that my affairs were in such a state that is was not in
my power to pay him all the money this year that I intended to give my
daughter provided he succeeded, but would give him 500 pounds more as
soon as I could raise or get the money; which sums you may depend I
will most punctually pay to him.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


To Thomas Walker
Castle Hill, Albermarle County, Va.

* * *

John Walker later married Elizabeth Moore, and they had one daughter,
Mildred. Castle Hill, however, was inherited by Dr. Walker's youngest
son, who married Jane Byrd Nelson of Yorktown, and it is their
descendent, Amelie Rives, the novelist, who now owns and lives at the
beautiful Castle Hill with her Russian husand, Prince Pierre
Troubetzkoy, a well known portrait painter.

There are really two ghost legends of Castle Hill. One is that some
ancestress, reflecting perhaps the lavish hospitality of former days
when Jefferson and Madison were entertained there, floods the
atmosphere with a "marvelous psychic perfume of roses" when the
present mistress, the Princess Troubetzkoy, entertains.

At other times, people have heard footsteps, noises of furniture being
moved in the night and even voices. The other legend is that in one
room the ghost of one of the Princess' great grandmothers appears to
people she does not consider in touch with the atmosphere at Castle
Hill and demands that they go away. On one occasion, a young man was
awakened in the night by a charming young woman who stood and gazed at
him saying over and over again, "You must please go. You must go away.
You must not stay here." The young man had planned to stay several
days, but the next day he appeared pale and agitated and said he must
leave that day. He later declared that he would never again sleep in
that room.

* * *

And still another mansion, with not only one ghost but many ghosts who
dance and revel in the night, is White Marsh in Gloucester County.
During the Colonial period it was owned by the Whiting family, but
after the Revolution it became the property of Thomas Reade Rootes. He
left it to his second wife who left it to her daughter by her first
marriage, Evelina Matilda Prosser. She married Philip Tabb of
Toddsbury and they made their home at White Marsh. Later, as long as
the Tabb family lived there, her ghost, dressed in an old-fashioned
costume of black moire with a white fichu about her neck and a leather
key basket, such as the mistress of a plantation carried, on her arm,
was a familiar figure in the old mansion, where she was frequently
seen by members of the family.

White Marsh, Gloucester County

But more interesting is the ghost dancing at White Marsh. After the
death of his parents, Mr. Philip Tabb who lived in Baltimore, placed
White Marsh in the care of Mr. James Sinclair and came down only
during the hunting season. One night when Mr. Sinclair was returning
to the house, he found the entire house lighted. He immediately
thought that Mr. Tabb had come down and began to wonder how he would
manage. He carried his horse on to the stable, however, but when he
returned all the lights were out. Still thinking Mr. Tabb was there
and expecting to find his things in the hall, he went in only to find
that nobody was there.

The next year, Mr. Franklin Dabney had charge of the place. One night
when he returned late, he not only found every window ablaze with
light, but he heard music and the sound of dancing. He tied his horse
and ran up the steps to join in the fun, but as he opened the door the
lights went out and the music ceased!

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Spirits in Virginia

Spirited Virginia Vacations Produce Hauntingly Beautiful Memories

For a truly spirited fall vacation, consider a trip to Virginia's haunted places that are so inviting some souls never leave.
Be ye fond of phantoms or excited by apparitions, ye are in the right place in the Old Dominion, which may be our most haunted state, according to a Williamsburg author who has written more than a dozen books about the subject.
“I'm not the only one to claim that,” says L. B. Taylor Jr., the preeminent authority on Virginia's ghosts. “But it appears that's true due to the long history of the state and the fact that there has been so much trauma and tragedy here, with the Indian conflicts, the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.
“Couple that with the abundance of old, historic houses here and you have an explanation for all the paranormal activity,” he said. “Ghosts seem to hang around old houses.”
Taylor has compiled reports of ghouls in places open to anyone who craves the ambiance of a tourist spot said to be haunted by spirits both ordinary and famous.
Guides to ghosts
One way to rub elbows with apparitions is to take an organized tour.
Leesburg Ghost Tours bills itself as “the only ghost tour in America led by a paranormal investigator.” Tours leave Friday and Saturday nights from April through November. The tour's Web site says guides “discuss in a scientific way the existence of paranormal phenomena” and warns, “young children do not find this interesting and are sometimes frightened by our stories.”
So many spirits reside in Virginia's first capital city that Taylor needed an entire book, “The Ghosts of Williamsburg,” to chronicle them. A guided tour through the town's colonial section is based on that work. One stop is the home of Peyton Randolph, where a female apparition has been seen, apparently as a guest in an upstairs bedroom. “She appears very agitated, like she's trying to warn people of something,” said Taylor. The tour runs nightly.
Another tour based on Taylor's work highlights ghosts of Yorktown, the site of Cornwallis' surrender. A bus will take you past Revolutionary War hotspots where wraiths of long-dead soldiers are said to dwell. Then, a candlelight walk leads past haunted 18th-century houses and taverns. Included is a stop at the home of Revolutionary War general Thomas Nelson, where the ghost of a British soldier killed there allegedly resides. Taylor said Nelson advised George Washington to fire cannons into his own house. Tours run nightly from June through August, then on Saturdays in September and October.
Ghost tours of Old Town Alexandria are available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from March through November. They start at Ramsay House, home to the Alexandria's visitors' center and itself said to be haunted by the ghost of the town's founder.
On Virginia's Eastern Shore, a walking tour of Cape Charles and its Victorian homes includes tales of The Phantom Schoolmistress and The Ghost of the Old Lamplighter. Tours are held between Father's Day and Labor Day.
In Lexington, home to Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute, ghost tours leave the visitors'center and wind through backstreets and alleyways by candlelight in search of the dearly departed. Tours run from Memorial Day through October.
Haunted hotels, specters of the stage
Apparitions have apparently appeared at several Virginia accommodations.
The best-known is The Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon, a popular hotel due to its Four Diamond rating from the American Automobile Association. Pete Sheffey, a bellman for 51 years, says he's seen ghosts there about 30 times. “I've been touched, pushed and everything,” he said.
Sheffey can spin detailed tales of the supernatural off the top of his head. “It's an amazing place,” Sheffy said of the hotel. “It's an awful lot of fun.”
One of the stories says an apparitional horse roams the lawn looking for its rider, a slain Union officer. Another speaks of a Confederate spy's bloodstains that always reappear where he died, showing through even after new carpet is laid.
Then there's the spirit of room 403.
Her name is Beth. She is, in one version, searching for her dead lover, a Yankee officer. In Sheffey's version, she is pining for the Confederate spy and died from a broken heart a year after his death.
Across the street is the Barter Theatre, which is home to two spirits. One is said to be the founder, Robert Porterfield, who brought unemployed actors from New York to start the theater during the Great Depression. Although Porterfield died in 1971, actors have claimed to see him in the audience. Another spirit, alleged to be malevolent, has been said to chase actors from dressing rooms.
If a bed-and-breakfast is more your style, head toward Urbanna and visit Hewick, a 326-year-old plantation house owned and run by 11th-generation descendants of its founder. Its charms include views of 66 picturesque acres on an offshoot of the Rappahannock River, homemade pecan coffee cake, a family cemetery, artifacts from an archaeological dig on site, and the unofficial title as the most haunted house in Virginia.
“I do believe in ghosts but I've never encountered one,” said Helen Nichols Murphy Battleson, the owner. However, Battleson says she often hears unexplained noises, and intermittently “we do smell the sweet smell of tobacco” in the house for no explainable reason.
Taylor, the chronicler of Virginia ghost stories, says no fewer than seven spirits are believed to haunt the mansion, including a “lady in pink” who appears only every seven years, and a big man dressed in black.
Ghoulish grub
If you'd like to feast with a phantom or share your wine and spirits with a spirit, the Commonwealth boasts several haunted taverns.
Gadsby's Tavern and Museum in Alexandria is a functioning restaurant and a historical archive. Built circa 1785, the tavern's early customers included Thomas Jefferson. Some claim a specter of a young woman in 1800s clothing haunts it. For certain, period clothing is worn by servers. Candlelight tours of the museum are held Friday nights.
Miss Lucy is the resident ghoul of the Old Town Inn in Manassas. She's said to haunt room 52, but roams from rooms 50 through 54 and has been spotted in the tavern.
A ghostly couple is said to haunt the east side of the Cork Street Tavern in Winchester. That's the historic side of the building, constructed around 1830. They are thought responsible for the high number of people who have stumbled around table L-6, says Taylor.
Plantations with poltergeist
Many of Virginia's old plantations claim that a resident of the spirit world still walks the grounds.
For instance, the benevolent spirit of Evelyn Byrd is said to appear at Westover, one of the James River plantations in Charles City County. She fell in love with a man who drew her father's disapproval. That sent her into depression and she rejected other suitors. Those who claim to have seen her say she's a mournful spirit.
Nearby, the ghost of Aunt Pratt has definite ideas on where her portrait should hang at Shirley Plantation. Shirley is noted for its collection of family portraits. Aunt Pratt's picture was downstairs for a number of years, but when the owners decided to move it, her spirit objected. A “mighty disturbance” occurred, according to Taylor, mainly late at night as the sound of someone rocking in the attic. When the portrait was returned to its place, the noise ceased.
Sherwood Forest, another nearby plantation, boasts of the “Gray Lady,” who has been heard knocking in the Gray Room for more than 200 years. She is said to have been governess to a sick child whom she rocked to sleep there. Sherwood Forest was the home of President John Tyler.
Near Fredericksburg, the historic Chatham mansion is said to receive a spooky visitor at seven-year intervals. The story goes that George Washington was a guest the night an English girl tried to elope with her love, of whom the father disapproved. Washington allegedly caught wind of the plan and prevented it. The girl was returned to England and married another, but her deathbed vow was that her spirit would return to Chatham to walk her favorite path on the anniversary of her death.
Witnesses have reported seeing her on that path, now known as the Ghost Walk, every seven years since her death on June 21, 1790.
The spirit of Washington's brother-in-law is said to haunt the Georgian mansion Kenmore, also near Fredericksburg. Col. Fielding Lewis married Washington's sister and was one of Virginia's most successful planters, but lost his fortune in the Revolutionary War. Lewis is said to appear in his office, studying his financial records with a worried look. Government building ghouls
It's said ghosts inhabit the Virginia Capitol. In 1870, the floor of the gallery of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals collapsed. It was overloaded with people waiting to hear a ruling on a Richmond election. About 60 people died. Some claim their moans can still be heard in the building at night.
If you plan to visit haunted sites in Virginia, please note that you will also find an abundance of real people, all friendly and all ready to help make your visit so enjoyable you'll want to stay forever.
For more information on planning a visit, ghostly or other, to Virginia, visit the Virginia tourism website: Visitors who prefer to get a printed travel guide and state highway map can call 1-800-932-5827.

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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Halloween Superstitions

A burning a candle inside a jack-o-lantern on Halloween keeps evil spirits and demons at bay.

To find out of your lover is true. select one of the letters which you have received from your sweetheart, especially one which contains a particularly passionate and important declaration; lay it wide open upon a table and then fold it nine times. Pin the folds together, place the letter in your left-hand glove, and slip it under your pillow. If on that night you dream of silver, gems, glass, castles or clear water, your lover is true and his declarations are genuine; if you dream of linen, storms, fire, wood, flowers, or he is saluting you, he is false and has been deceiving you.

Mashed potatoes offer a method of divining who will be the first to wed. Into the heap of mashed potatoes a ring, a three penny-bit, a button, a heart-shaped charm, a shell and a key are inserted. Then all the lights in the room are turned out, and each guest, armed with a spoon or fork, endeavors to find the hidden charms. The one who finds the ring win marry first; the three penny-bit signifies wealth; the button, bachelorhood or spinsterhood; the heart, passionate love; the shell, long journeys; the key, great success and power.

If a candle suddenly goes out by itself on Halloween, as though by breath or wind, it is believed that a ghost has come to call.

Always burn new candles on Halloween to ensure the best of luck. It is not a good idea to burn Halloween candles at any other time of the year. It may bring bad luck or strange things will happen to you, over which you will have no control.

Gazing into a flame of a candle on Halloween night will enable you to peer into the future.

Girls who carry a lamp to a spring of water on this night can see their future husband in the reflection.

It is believed that if a person lights a new orange colored candle at midnight on Halloween and lets it burn until sunrise, he or she will be the recipient of good luck.

If you hear footsteps trailing close behind you on Halloween night, do not to turn around to see who it is, for it may be Death himself! To look Death in the eye, according to ancient folklore, is a sure way to hasten your own demise.

To cast a headless shadow or no shadow at all is still believed by many folks in the United States and Europe to be an omen of death in the course of the next year.

The old Celtic custom was to light great bonfires on Halloween, and after these had burned out to make a circle of the ashes of each fire. Within this circle, and near the circumference, each member of the various families that had helped to make a fire would place a pebble. If, on the next day, any stone was displaced, or had been damaged, it was considered to be an indication that the one to whom the stone belonged would die within twelve months.

According to an old English folk belief, you will invite bad luck into your home if you allow a fire to burnout on Halloween. To remedy the situation, the fire must be rekindled by a lighted sod brought from the home of a priest.

If a bat flies around a house three times, it is considered to be a death omen.

A person born on Halloween can both see and talk to spirits.

Knocking on wood keeps bad luck away.

If you see a spider on Halloween, it could be the spirit of a dead loved one who is watching you.

Put your clothes on inside out and walk backwards on Halloween night to meet a witch.

You should walk around your home three times backwards and counterclockwise before sunset on Halloween to ward off evil spirits.

In Britain, people believed that the Devil was a nut-gatherer. At Halloween, nuts were used as magic charms.
Peel an apple from top to bottom. The person with the longest unbroken peel would be assured the longest life. If you threw the apple peel over your shoulder, the initial it forms upon landing is the initial of your future mate.

When bobbing for apples, it is believed that the first person to bite an apple would be the first to marry.

If you go to a crossroads at Halloween and listen to the wind, you will learn all the most important things that will befall you during the next twelve months.

If you see a spider on Halloween, it could be the spirit of a dead loved one who is watching you

If you ring a bell on Halloween, it will scare evil spirits away

In North America, it's bad luck if a black cat crosses your path and good luck if a white cat crosses your path. In Britain and Ireland, it's the opposite.

Place cornmeal at the side of a child's bed and ghosts will write the name of the future sweetheart

If a candle flame suddenly turns blue, there's a ghost nearby

There is an old Celtic custom that they used to do on Halloween. They would build big bonfires and wait for them to go out. Then they would make one circle with all the ashes from each fire. Inside the circle of ashes, near the outside, each member of the different families would place a stone. The day after Halloween, any stone that was damaged or out of place, it was thought the person who put the stone there would die within twelve months.

Walking around your home three times backwards and counterclockwise before sunset on Halloween will ward off evil

Place a jack-o-lantern on your porch or in your window to frighten evil spirits away but to welcome deceased loved ones on Halloween.

All journeys by foot, horse, or vehicle must be ended before darkness falls on All Hallows Eve, or the traveler will not reach his destination. If this is not possible then the traveler should carry a piece of bread sprinkled with salt in his pocket. The salt will keep the witches away

Bury animal bones or a picture of a loved animal near the doorway to keep ghosts from entering your home on Halloween

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Friday, October 5, 2007

How to Pick a Perfect Pumpkin

While visiting Halloween Web I found these great tips on How To Pick a Perfect Pumpkin. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did

If possible, go straight to the pumpkin patch and hand-pick your pumpkins right off of the vine. Some farms offer unique varieties such as miniatures and ghost white pumpkins.

Grab some gourds and Indian corn while you're at it and you're all set for Halloween decorating. Not only is it fun, your pumpkins and gourds will be fresh and last longer.

Look for a well-balanced pumpkin with a steady base.

Make sure the stem isn't broken.

Choose a solid, not soft or mushy pumpkin.

The color should be dark and even, with no fungus.

Check the pumpkin for flat spots and molding.

Never pick up a pumpkin by the stem, it may break off.

If you plan on carving your pumpkin, make sure it's not too small. You will need ample room for carving out the face.

After you've brought it home, leave it in the garage for the night if a freeze is in the weather forecast.

Carving a Jack 'O Lantern
Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds.

The rind should be about 1" thick so it doesn't collapse.

Map out your pumpkin face on a piece of paper ahead of time for some ideas.

Draw the lines for your lid before carving. Make a special "notch" so the lid is easy to put on.

When using a stencil, pick a pumpkin that is similar in shape to the pattern you are using.

Use a knife long enough to cut through the rind, but not so long that it cuts the other side.

When you carve out the lid, angle your knife slightly towards the center of the pumpkin. This keeps the lid from falling into the pumpkin.

If the base of your pumpkin sets crooked, consider cutting out the bottom to straighten it out and provide a sturdy base for a candle when you set it down.

Draw the facial features on the pumpkin ahead of time with a pencil or use a stencil pattern specifically for jack-o-lanterns.

Don't cut out the features on your jack-o-lantern too closely together or it's face will probably weaken and cave in.

Your pumpkin will last longer if you use an electric or battery operated lighting device instead of a candle.

If you choose to use a candle, insert an appropriate scented one -- such as cinnamon, spice or "baked pumpkin pie."

Coat the edges of your carving with petroleum jelly to reduce shriveling.

You don't have to carve your pumpkin. Consider using a stencil to draw on the face. Fill in the features with markers or acrylic paint made for crafts.

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Protect Yourself Before You Go Ghost Hunting!

I hope your enjoying my ghost stories. I have lots more to share before the 31st. As I mentioned before I love this time of year. Ghost, goblins, witches, vampires, ghouls..EEEEKKKKK! If you have been reading my blog for awhile then you know I love going to old graveyards and taking photos like the one below. I recently got in touch with a local paranormal group and if all goes well I will meet with them next weekend for a walk around the Yorktown Battlefields in search of ghost...EEEEEKKKK!
I guess I watch to much TV, or maybe not enough depending on how you look at it, but I never really thought about running across a "bad ghost". I am smart enough however to realize that if you believe in this type of thing then you must believe that there are evil spirits out there among the good. The group I am joining recommends a protection spell and or oils and stones before going out on a hunt. This is what they sent to me, and I thought I would pass it along.

*Reprinted with permission from Peninsula Paranormal Investigators (Hampton Roads Virginia)*
Here is a protection spell that uses essential oils:

You will need:

1/8 cup jojoba oil or almond oil
5 drops black pepper oil
4 drops petitgrain oil
1 drop clove oil

Mix the ingredients together to make a magickal protection oil.
Charge the oil by visualizing the energy leaving your body and
infusing the oil. While you do this, chant the following:

I stand here in your guardian light,
Empower this oil with your might.
Protection from harm is what I ask,
Please accept this as your task.

Once your oil is charged with energy, anoint yourself with it.
With a small amount of oil, draw a pentagram on your forehead. (Make
sure you don't let the oil drip into your eyes.)

Here is what My friend from Maine found on Gemstones...
here is what you can put in a protection pouch:
(I always bring a protection pouch)

The employment of Carnelian with Chloride and Ruby Crystals has
been used to eliminate psychic attack and to assist earth-bound
spirits to leave an area. Grinding of these three minerals can
protect one and ones environment form the return of negative energies

You can also have Amethyst, Quartz, Malachite and/or Rose Quartz instead.

What every faith you are, either do a protection spell, bring a
protection pouch, or wear a cross/symbol of your faith and/or say a
prayer for protection.

Safety First!

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