Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fodder for the 'Horror Heads"

If I can digress to the last post...I was going through old boxes that take up floor space of the closet in my office; I was looking for evidence of some sort of misadventure from my youth. I came across an envelope labeled "Articles of Interest" (the title being hand-written in crayon, of course). There was an story from the Vancouver Sun about the "Guardian Angels" written in 1981. There was another story from the same era about street kids in Victoria.

More interestingly, though, was an article about a witch in Victoria in 1981. She mentions that she did not make a conscious decision to practice witchcraft, that it was her family chose it for her as she demonstrated psychic tendencies. Her ancestors were witches dating back to the 15Th century and the family practice was handed down from father to daughter, and from mother to son. In this way the name changed constantly and no one name was associated with witches. Her services ranged from exorcising spirits to reading Tarot cards, from reading crystal balls to reading leaves in tea cups (on a side bar--I used to have an old Scottish auntie that read tea leaves...).

And more interesting than that? I found a story out of the old Victoria Times-Colonist (June 19,1982) about rumours of satanist practicing in Victoria. Having grown up there, I had heard plenty of stories about this sort of thing (again, the Urban Legend). The only piece of hard evidence the reporter had was a yellow sheet cut into a hexagram in a local park. It was believed that at least a dozen groups were operating in the city and the police kept a file on satanic activity. Stories of black candles being found in parks was not unusual and a local hospital had been on a state of alert due to rumours that a satanic group was going to sacrafice a new-born infant. What may fuel some of this is the belief that satanist Aleister Crowley lived in Victoria for a while in the 1920's, residing on Fort Street and making movies. Sinister.

Sounds like fodder for a story to me...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alan, was that you performing the Satanist rituals in the park? Is THAT the youthful misadventure you're glossing over?

Funny you should mention Satanists. I got an urge to read some Dennis Wheatley last weekend and various relatives are allegedly digging out some books for me.

Back in the 70s and 80s there were loads of stories about Satanists. The Sunday tabloids were full of them. I don't think it has the same shock value any more.

I liked the witches explanation of why the trade was passed father to daughter or mother to son, so no one surname would be linked to witchcraft. That's pretty cunning.