Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Baron Samedi Veve Meaning

Baron Samedi Veve: Baron Samedi is probably the most recognizable loa of all. He appears in a black or white top hat, wearing a formal tuxedo and smoking a cigar. The Baron has hollowed-out eyes and ghastly white skull-face with a skeletal body. He wears dark glasses and cotton nasal plugs that associate him with the corpses in the graveyard. Sometimes Baron Samedi twirls a cane or walking stick. Samedi actually looks like one of his own dead. He spends much of his time in the ghostly realm with recently departed souls since he is their guide into a mirror world left in shadows— a mysterious place the dead slip into and one Baron Samedi is familiar with.

The Baron is an ancestral loa who helps departed souls cross over. He is a guardian not only to those living but also the dead. The Baron rules over ghosts, an afterlife called “Guinee” (also represents the African homeland) and the underworld. The center cross in this veve symbolizes a graveyard cross and also the crossroads, a mysterious place where two roads meet, form a cross and human beings are tested by dark, spiritual forces and no human rules apply. The coffins show that Baron Samedi is the leader of the Guede who are not only spirits of the dead but also other forms of non-human ghosts. The coffins signify the twilight world of the zombies, a place where those passed on are not quite dead but neither are they truly alive.

But these zombies do not kill or eat flesh. They have no real powers except to become slaves for the living through Baron Samedi. One cannot die and become a zombie unless Baron Samedi digs your grave. But sometimes a zombie can be given the gift of prophecy by Baron Samedi when and if the zombie is able to talk at all. However, when the zombie speaks it is usually the nasal, tinny voice of this creeper guardian of cemeteries named Samedi.
Baron Samedi goes by different names, such a Papa Guede, Baron Cemetiere, Baron La Croix, and an even darker aspect, Baron Kriminel. In his more positive aspects he can be called upon for healing or to help cross over those near death. Baron Samedi is a shape-shifter and a magician. Despite some of his obscene gestures and ribald jokes, he is a very wise loa.

As offerings, the Baron prefers rum, tobacco, pungent cigars, tops hats, and anything made of silver pleases him.

Story of Baron Samedi: On Halloween night, or the “night before the holy day,” Baron Samedi can be found at the crossroads welcoming the recently departed into the land of Guinee, or Voodoo afterlife. The Baron stands betwixt the worlds of life and death, and is represented by a wooden cross dressed in a tail coat or top hat and his symbol of the crossroads. During Voodoo rituals this facsimile of the Baron Samedi is carried into the graveyard to represent him. They know when the ghost of Baron Samedi has arrived as the clothes attached to the cross will start to whip in the winds. Those who are psychically attuned may even glimpse the image of Baron Samedi as a tall, lithe black man, with face that glares like a skull and hollow black eyes whose centers glitter under the moon. It’s easy to recognize the Baron’s lesser spirits because they dress exactly like him.

The first burial of a man in a cemetery is dedicated to Baron Samedi and one cannot become a zombie unless the Baron digs the grave first. Thus, if the Baron refuses to dig the grave, a zombie cannot be made. He stands at the cemetery gate that leads into the underworld. He is the spiritual father not only the ghosts in the graveyard but spirits all over. Baron Samedi is called upon to the help the sick, and those who are beyond help, he will assist them into crossing over into the land of the dead.

Baron Samedi is the loa of sex and resurrection. He can act crudely during Voodoo ceremonies as he makes obscene gestures, and shares vulgar jokes about sex and human elimination. As a spirit of extremes, he finds humor in sex and death both. Baron Samedi reminds us of our limitations while living in the human form, as we cannot move about like a spirit as he is able to do. The Baron is also a trickster, shape-shifter and a great magician. He is helpful with magic spells and loves playing with children. In fact, Baron Samedi shows a gentler side toward the very young. Baron Samedi is married to the female loa Maman Brigitte where they act as King and Queen lording over zombies.

As a loa, the image of the Baron is familiar in the United States as the spirit guardian of New Orleans. He often appears at Mardi Gras with grinning skull-face, twirling a cane and in his top hat. There are other stories that link Baron Samedi in New Orleans. One story tells that the Baron’s zombie trance was taught to Voodoo Priestess Marie Laveau and her follows by Baron Samedi himself in the 1800s.

The Devil baby, who is said to torment visitors along Bourbon Street is thought to be the spawn of Baron Samedi. The Devil baby was born of a young Creole woman whom the Baron had lusted after for a long time. On November 1st or All Saints’ Day (the holiday of Baron Samedi) she visited her mother’s grave. It was while she was grieving over the tomb that the Baron impregnated her without her being aware of it. Maman Brigette found out about the Baron’s sex act with the Creole girl and cast a spell. The baby was not born dead but as a Devil baby who still floats throughout the French Quarter scaring visitors and bringing bad luck on those who do not respect Baron Samedi by not taking his powers seriously.

Baron Samedi Meaning: “Samedi,” is French for Saturday so the Baron’s name actually means “Baron Saturday.” This is quite fitting since “Saturday” means “Saturn’s Day,” a day given to the Roman god Saturn, who acts as a reaper and clears away waste, what is old and outworn or what cannot be used any longer. Some pictures show Saturn holding a scythe, which he gets rid of what cannot be used any longer, cutting it off and all over with a new life.

When the Baron Samedi veve comes up in a reading, the old way is going by the wayside and the deck is being cleared for new action. You can expect the changes to be dramatic, but not necessarily quick. There will be a death to something that has worn out and is no longer useful, and a new beginning will break through. 

However, in one way, these changes will tend to drag on and you may feel some frustration over time. Passions, jealousies, obsession or being the object of some obsession will likely figure in into the course your life is currently taking.

This is the time for making firm decisions, burning your bridges and not looking back. Sexual ardor may figure in but not usually with any softness, tenderness or sympathy. Instead, it will seem that something very deep is driving the connection and it is one of great passion, and also tempting and unforgettable.

Probing for the truth and gaining a focus also comes with this card. Facing the darkness and standing alone, especially because of your most deep principles and beliefs is another major part of putting this veve card. It indicates willpower and powers of all kind, including supernatural powers. Ghosts may speak to you or you may suddenly become aware of spiritual presences in your life.
The taboo and the darker side will intrigue you. Having gained a radar, while “sizing up” a situation for what it truly is, will not let you down, because in what you are now sensing is real and you’re not crazy. You may develop a stronger temper than the norm or may be provoked into standing up for what you believe.

Baron Samedi rules over finances and gambling because he endows good luck to gambler at the crossroads especially on Halloween night. Goods of the dead, what the dead leaves behind, inheritances, hidden resources are represented by this card. You may feel unusually seductive and sexual. The mystery of love and what can be found in sex, as in being transformed through the sex act is connected to this card. Now is the time to rely upon instinct and gut reactions.

Magic spells, charms and enchantments fall under this card. Exerting force, making things happen, and personal magnetism are all at your disposal. Never forgetting an insult and quietly riding it out until you can make your move and strike back are also properties of this card. You may give off an energy that is independent and “hands off” for the time being. This may be a time where you do not want to show emotion because of a deeply-rooted vulnerability. You are feeling secretive and are unable to show love openly. You may feel alone or lonely while staying aloof and pushing others away.

You will have an increased awareness of all things paranormal, and may witness for yourself true spirit contact. You may suddenly gain the ability to see into the future or have precognitive dreams. Deceased persons may give you messages in dreams. If so, take them seriously. You will want to shy away from any kind of manipulative behavior, whether or not it comes from you or another person. Lay all of your cards on the table and expect the same from your partner.

Doors are being for you into opened into unknown territory. This change will involve risk and will call upon all of your powers and strengths. If you are involved in a romance at this time, it will be either be tempestuous or very consuming and deep, one that is life-changing. Your sexual relationship may be on that is very rewarding or jealousies and insecurities may intervene. At this time, it would not be a good idea to make your partner jealous to test his or her love. Be careful of relationships that start to become passionate too soon.

At this time, you will notice an increased focus, more inner strength and more commitment. You will be shining a light in the darkness for others to see as Baron Samedi will surely show you the way.

Things that are associated with the Baron Samedi card: Vampires, ghosts, zombies. Look into what is hidden is misunderstood. There is a partiality toward anything paranormal and the darker the better. The colors maroon, egg plant, scarlet, orange and black. Darkness, midnight, the dead of night. Graveyards, occult bookstores, stagnant water and sewers. Feeling haunted or afraid come out of nowhere. Feelings of unease, being closed in, sensing what is there and what might not be there. Not showing love openly for out of fear. Waking up feeling dead or unable to move. Feelings of being pressed and suffocated. Experiences so unusual others may not believe them, they are so strange and incredible. Psychic powers to a scary degree may be a part of your life now. All of these matters are under the ruler-ship of Saturn, and more faintly, the planet Pluto.
Catholic Saint: Saint Andrew (who was nailed to a cross).
Egyptian Deity: Anubis
Colors: Black, Plum, deep Red.
Day of the week: Saturday
Astrological archetype: Scorpio
Planet: Pluto
Tarot card: The Devil
Holiday: November 1st, All Saints Day, and October 31st, the night before, traditionally a time when the dead are allowed to return to visit with the living.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fantastic Creatures & Other Magical Monsters Part 2

by Susan A. Sheppard


It may come as a surprise that originally vampires were neither romantic nor attractive. Vampires were hideous graveyard creatures in the process of decomposing, cold, clammy, oozing with gore and with the stench of decay on their breath. But unlike the Zombie, another reanimated corpse, the vampire retained some consciousness of his former life. Originally vampire tales can be traced to places like India, Greece, the Middle East, most 
especially Scythia (northern Middle Eastern countries) that made their way into Eastern Europe, brought by the Gypsies or Romani peoples migrating out of India, where the vampire saga gained momentum, unfolding its legend like the multi-petals of a blood-red rose.

In the beginning the vampire was little more than a shade or a ghost, or at least an energy thief coming in the guise of a vexing spirit. Usually this ghost was thought to be someone who had recently died, one who missed his family and tried to return by leaving his grave at night.But after one died, the spirit of the deceased could change into something much more malevolent. Often, the vampire would attack those who were sleeping, feeding upon their vital energies, crushing and paralyzing his victims with supernatural strength. Since the walking dead or the vampire had become a demon of sorts, crucifixes were placed above headboards of beds, and garlic wreaths were put in strategic spots in the home, such as over doorways or in windows to ward off the afflicting fiends.

Sleep Paralysis, or the Old Hag Syndrome as well as beliefs in “Elf pressing” and being “Hag ridden” may explain what is really behind ancient tales of vampirism, when its victims woke up tired and depleted of energy while remembering the presence of an evil spirit having visited upon them the night before.
At the same time, vampires were capable of transforming very much like witches and fairies that are transformed through their fairy-witch glamoury powers. The vampire was thought to turn himself into a bat, a wolf, a rat or a mist that could seep under doors or through openings in the windows. Also, like the living, the vampire needed sustenance, preferably human blood.

Yet, it is implied that it's the vampire’s control over his victim that is most important. The vampire is a monster who has gained mastery over himself and his urges. He is not an emotional wreck of a monster like the werewolf He chooses his victims to suit his purposes. The vampire may be cursed but he is not at the whim of his curse and really rather likes being a vampire.

Like most parasites, the vampire is mostly concerned with self-preservation, at least in the tales that have developed around his legend. As a preternatural being, the vampire is only vulnerable while he is sleeping. Somewhere between a ghost and a ghoul, vampires are commonly referred to as revenants, from the French word revenir meaning “to return.” In this way, it is easy to see how the vampire remains a type of carnal ghost.
In India, the Churel is a malefic ghost of a woman who dies in childbirth. Typically, the woman is from a lower caste and suffers from resentment toward other classes whom may not have been as poor as she once was. The Churel ghost is recognized by her reversed feet, her lacking of a mouth and she haunts areas that are in ruins and places that are filthy. Some sources say that if the Churel does have a mouth, she has fangs and a long, lashing black tongue.

The Churel can sometimes project the image of a beautiful, seductive siren, capturing men and never releasing them until their hair is completely gray or white. She feeds upon the men she was once in love with and then moves on to others. In this way, the Churel is somewhat like the European vampire and can be gotten rid of similarly, by breaking the ankles of the corpse, fixing an iron nail in the four corners of the burial ground or placing seeds on the road between her grave and home.

(The idea of placing beans or seeds with a corpse is a universal one – it is believed the ghost will spend the night compelled to count them, and thus, will NOT be able to haunt or bother human beings.)

In parts of India, women who die on the streets are buried face down so they, or rather their spirits, will not turn into the dreaded Churel ghost.


“Clootie” is a Scottish name for the Devil or some other diabolical imp that is intent upon pestering human beings. Clootie simply means “cleft-footed” alluding to the Devil’s hoof. Also called “Auld Hornie” it is likely Clootie is a remnant of the older god Pan or other pagan gods denigrated by the church as fallen angels or demons. However, the Scottish believed Clootie was the Devil himself.

Interestingly, “clootie” is also the name of prayer rags tied to Hawthorn trees near holy wells in Ireland and Scotland. It is theorized the clootie rag is derived from the old Scottish word for cloth, however, in common folklore God and the Devil as actual beings that are never very far apart.

The cloven-footed god Pan was the one who tended flocks and sheep in early mythology. With his horns and pointed beard, the one who peacefully herded sheep, just like Christ, otherwise known as Clootie, or Pan in the Mediterranean world, came to be a symbol for the Christian Devil.

The “Clootie Croft” in Scotland is an untilled area of land that is left over as a gift to the Devil to occupy him so he won’t cause trouble for humans.
Old Bloody Bones

“Old Bloody Bones” is the tale of a Lancashire or Yorkshire, England spook or wraith that hides in deep ponds and other dark, murky waterways. With his long white fingers Old Bloody Bones will pull and tug unsuspecting children (especially those who misbehave) under the water, sometimes drowning them in the process.
“Old Raw Bloody Bones” is also an African-American folktale from West Virginia that tells of a disobedient boy named John who brings bad luck on his family. As John continues with his mischievous antics, Old Bloody Bones soon appears and turns him into a spot of jam on the tablecloth. The boy then promptly goes to sleep but awakens when he hears his mother come into the room ready to wipe the table. He yells and his mother hears him before the table is wiped clean. Soon John springs back to his original form and promises to always obey his mother from then on. After that, he is no longer afraid of “Old Raw Bloody Bones.”

“Dhampir” is what the Romani, or Gypsy peoples called their vampires or walking dead. Dhampir differed from other vampires because they were born from the union of an actual vampire, or revenant, and a human mother.

Dhampir boys born became the vampijerovic and the girls were lampijerovic. The Dhampirs were not completely vampires because they were mortal and did not live forever like the preternatural vampires.The Dhampir’s humanness made him an excellent vampire hunter who was able to detect other vampires by using his shirtsleeves for a telescope, whistling in the dark and other hidden techniques to seek out the undead.

Once a vampiric family was detected, the Dhampir would conduct a ceremony where he would wrestle with the invisible fiends, and eventually, after a great struggle, he would declare he had killed the vampires and set their souls free. In most instances, the struggle with the vampire was an invisible one. Afterwards, the Dhampir would collect his fee until another vampire invasion prompted his skills of vampire killer of being needed again. In Kosovo in 1959 a public Dhampir ceremony was held. Performed by Yugoslavian Gypsies, it was the last one on record.

The Chepi is a type of a ghost or fairy believed in by the Algonquin Indians, Narragansett tribe of what is now Connecticut and Massachusetts. The Chepi, like fairies once were, were also thought to be potentially jealous spirits of the dead. However, it was believed that if they were placated by the right offerings and rituals they would impart wisdom and special blessings upon the living.

The Chepi spirits most often appeared in female form. They could sometimes seek vengeance upon those who commit evil acts therefore those who do bad things should always fear the eventual wrath of the Chepi. These spirits usually communicated through the pawwaw, or rather, a spirit medium.


Lemure” was the Roman name for their ghosts. However lemures were graveyard spirits more similar to vampires or ghouls. Greatly feared, the Romans held rites to banish or appease the lemures – thought most active in the month of May. Lemures were also thought to haunt their own descendents and neighborhood graveyards. It was speculated that the lemures were human souls that had died tragically and were bitter about it.
The Romans celebrated a “Feast of the Lemures” held on May 9th, 11th or 13th was called Lemuria. During the festival, the Romans performed banishing rites to rid their houses of spirits of the dead. The larvae were especially a malignant form of the Lemuria, having some similarity to vampires and pretas or “hungry ghosts.” Salt cakes were eaten to banish malevolent ghosts. Black beans were also burnt in the home to keep the lemures away. The Romans believed in evil spirits which they called lares and other ones they called manes. It was not determined if the manes were good or evil, but they were considered ghosts of individuals who had died.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fantasic Creatures & Other Magical Monsters: Part 1

by Susan A. Sheppard


“Werewolf “ comes from the Old Saxon word wer, meaning man, coupled with the word “wolf" literally translates as “man-wolf.” But unlike ghosts or spirits, the werewolf is a corporeal beast. One could turn into a werewolf just by being bitten by a wolf. Add wizened gypsies, a great full moon and some henbane, and voila, another werewolf is born.

During the Middle Ages, werewolves were looked upon pretty much the same as witches, or mortal human beings who made a pact to the Devil, ones who rubbed magical ointments on their bodies in order to fly, and were capable of transforming themselves into animals, such as a wild a cat, in order to gain power over others or visit evil upon them. They did not start out as a shade or a ghoul in legend as the vampire did. Instead, the werewolf was a brute of a beast whose only magical ability was shape shifting.
According to Hollywood movies, the werewolf is cursed and suffers because of it in his human form. The werewolf strives to defeat or contain his bestial nature, whereas, the vampire may know he is cursed, but does not wish to change and has no remorse over his beastly acts. The werewolf begs to be locked into a room upon oncoming night to contain his savage nature, especially during full moons, while the vampire gladly leaves his coffin for a night on the town under the very same circumstances.

Early 20th Century writer, Montague Summers firmly believed in werewolves and wrote and published his book “The Werewolf’ in 1933. But Summers concluded much as others did in Medieval times that Lycanthrope was the result of some dealings with the Devil, thus, werewolves, and witches too, were practicing a form of Satanism.

And yet, stories of werewolves abound in almost every society, every country, including non-Christian ones and places without wolves, such as Japan, might have Were-foxes, thus, stories of werewolves as beastly creatures of the night, pre-date Christianity by a few thousand years.

In ancient Greece and the Baltic regions, a number of cults worshipped werewolves, or at least canine creatures very much like them. The earliest Germans believed that their ancestors returned to them as wolves. Later in Germany, the hide of a hanged criminal could transform a man into a werewolf, if he chose to wear the skin during the Full Moon. At least, it was thought.

The dates of Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are both linked to the werewolf Children born during Christmas or New Year’s Eve had a better chance of becoming a werewolf it was believed, especially if the baby was born having teeth already. A baby at birth wearing a “caul” (or membrane sac over the face) was also a possible werewolf.

Chthonic Deities

Chthonic (from the Greek khthonios, of the lower earth) deities were spirits of the underworld, minor gods that were first thought to be ghosts of the dead or ancestral spirits among the ancient Greeks. Chthonic deities were sometimes referred to as “tomb snakes,” slithering things from beneath the earth. Many early Greek gods and goddesses had chthonic attributes such as snakes for arms, legs or hair. Most chthonic deities were barely more than twisted ghosts and were never given names.
Any spirit associated with the Underworld is considered a chthonic spirit such as Hecate and Persephone. Chthonic deities were not necessarily evil or malignant, but were unpredictable and usually had both positive and negative components.


The “Alfar” are Germanic elves that balance the forces between darkness and light according to Teutonic mythology. They are a balancing of opposing elements, but not necessarily as in good and bad. Alfar, itself, stems from the Indo-European word root word albus, meaning “white.” The Liosalfar are the elves of light and can often be mistaken for ghosts since they appear at night, in a nimbus of light, or appear as shiny.
Dokkalfar are the black elves who are less friendly toward humans. They are said to sit on the sleeper’s chest at night and whisper bad dreams into his ears. The Dokkalfar are known to be openly malicious, but once they make a promise or an oath, they cannot break it.


In Celtic lore, “Ankou” is the driver of a spectral cart whose appearance brings about the certain death to a household where his cart pauses or stops. Greatly feared, Ankou appears as a tall, gaunt figure with long, straggly white hair or hair of flames. He is sometimes seen as a skeleton with a revolving or spinning head able to see what goes on before or behind him.
Ankou is also able to view the past and the future with his twirling head. As a skeleton ghost, the French believed Ankou traveled at night, riding a creaking wagon with four black horses leading him. This links Ankou to another Celtic phantom, the Irish Banshee whose hearse is said to be led by black horses, sometimes headless. Sometimes two figures are witnessed walking on each side of Ankou’s cart, ready to open to the gates of the underworld where Ankou escapes before the sun rises just like the Slavic Nosferatu. Daylight is the only safe time that Ankou isn’t spreading his misery throughout the countryside.


In Celtic lore, the “Badb” meant “the fury,” and is a raven or crow-like goddess that lords over the outcome of war and battle. The Badb goddess primarily spreads evil and carnage, inciting violence wherever she travels. In ancient times, battlegrounds were often referred to as “Badb’s lands” by the Celts. She was also called the “Scald-crow,” usually taking the form of a crone or a hag with oily black hair with strands that floated like the feathers of a crow. Her other name, Badb Catha means “battle-raven.” Babd was also thought to sometimes take the form of a wolf. During Celtic and Teutonic wars it was claimed she roamed the battlefields, wringing out the bloody clothes of the dead, somewhat like her counter-part the Bean Sidhe or Banshee.


The “Banshee” is a good example that fairies do not always bring goodness and light. These ancient Irish-Scottish death fairies bring omens of doom to certain Irish and Scottish clans. The Banshee is most well known for her wailing cries, usually heard along waterways, where she washes out the bloody clothes that belong to members of her clan. The Banshee or Bean Sidhe among the Irish is literally translated as “woman of the hills.” The sidhe, or “the good people,” have long been thought to be fairies.

With long, streaming, red hair, milk-white skin and green, woolen clothing, the only way you can tell the Irish Banshee is a messenger of doom is her eyes remain blood red thought to be caused by her constant crying for her Irish dead. Although the Banshee is more often seen than heard, she is sometimes glimpsed combing her long hair with a silver comb by a lake or a stream.

The Bean Tidhe, or the fairy housekeeper, is the Scottish version of the Celtic Banshee. The Scottish Banshee appears as an old crone, dressed in funerary rags, and is often preceded by a black hearse with two headless horses leading the way. Some call the Banshee “the washer at the fords” because she is associated with bodies of water, across which her bloody cries are often heard. Some describe the Scottish Banshee as a hideous hag, with only one nostril, sitting stiffly on her horse, appear almost sexless from her advanced age.
On rare occasions the Scottish Banshee is sighted as a beautiful raven-haired woman in a shimmering green dress who rides a white mare. Some believe the Banshee steals souls and returns them to Celtic Fairyland where all Celtic souls come from. Likewise, the Banshee shares the power of “glamoury” (shape-shifting) with mortal witches, so she can project any age, image or vision that she wishes.

Although there are hundreds of Irish surnames who have attendant Banshees tied to their clans, a few stand out, such as O’Kennedy, O’Reagan, and O’Lennon. These names were later shortened to Kennedy, Reagan, and Lennon, three famous men of Irish descent who were felled by an assassin’s bullet in the 20th Century – only one survived. It is important to note that the sidhe, or fairy people, may be based on actual human beings that populated Ireland and Scotland before the Celts. Sidhe simply means “powers” or “fairy powers.”

(The above purple-red-eyed Banshee is the wonderful art of Ricardo Pustanio, to illustrate my story "The Banshee of Center Point, which is an area in Doddridge County, WV.)

Billy Binn

“Billy Binn” is the name of a household spirit in the English countryside. He is a type of a ghost that watches over manors and old homes. Also found in Scotland, Billy Binn can be both helpful and mischievous. He works hard, but sometimes revolts against the owners so cannot be trusted. He will vandalize homes of owners who make him unhappy. In many ways, Billy Binn is much like a poltergeist, knocking ghosts or psychic energies that raise havoc in a home.

Bloody Mary

Popularized as an adolescent game played during slumber parties, the “Bloody Mary” legend seems to have first surfaced in the 1970s. The initial idea was to go to a mirror (usually the bathroom mirror) where the light would be switched off and the door closed to make the room pitch dark. Players are asked to take a candle, hold it up to their faces, and chant the phrase “bloody Mary” exactly thirteen times, no more and no less. In an instance the face of the alleged Bloody Mary is said to appear in the mirror whose face is seen by the light of the candle.
The participant should then drop the candle immediately and run from the room, for as legend has it Bloody Mary has been known to pull her victims into the mirror never to be heard from again. Even worse, she will slit their throats and they will die bleeding on the bathroom floor.
No one claims to know who Bloody Mary really was or how the legend really started. Some say Bloody Mary is the ghost of a woman who was burned as a witch and other stories tell she is the spirit of a young woman killed in an automobile crash. She is sometimes also called Mary Worth.
As most folklore believed in by adolescents and some adults, Bloody Mary holds most power over the human imagination, and no doubt will be part of sleepovers for a while. She may have a real historical basis. Mary I, daughter of Henry the VIII, and Catherine of Aragon, was also called “Bloody Mary” for her persecution of Protestants in England. Hundreds died under her reign which ran from July 19, 1553 until her death on November 17, 1558.


The Boggart is an ugly fairy related to boogers and gnomes of old English fairy lore. They are said to have flat feet, wearing a dirty red cap and tattered clothing. Boggarts are said to inspire mischief in small children, and other kinds of troubles for rural families especially. They are said to blow out lamps with their foul-smelling, farty breath, wake up sleeping babies, cause hens to stop laying eggs, break farm equipment, cause spills and create any number of annoying stresses in the household. A markedly homely fairy, this is upsetting to the Bogart, because, after all, he is a fairy and fairies are known for their vanity no matter how unappealing they are. Just like other fairies Boggarts do react positively to flattery it is told. In households where the Boggart is appreciated, he becomes helpful, showing great skill in his work around the farm, just like his cousins the Brownies.
It is believed that when you see curtains moving in the room as if by an invisible wind, a Boggart has just passed you by.


The word booger stems from the Welsh word bwg. Boogers are bog creatures that are lumbering and clumsy, rather than evil and cunning. They seem to have an indirect link to Shakespeare’s Puck, as in the fairy Pooka, but their origins were much plainer. Puck was originally considered to be a spirit of the forest. The Pooka aspect of the Booger associates him with nightmares and the Wild Hunt since Pooka was sometimes said to lead the Wild Hunt and kidnapped people out of their beds at night. Boogers are where our concept of the “Boogie man” comes from. Another related word is bogy, meaning nasal mucous, hence “boogers” are the evil leaving one’s body after one sneezes.

Cait Sith

In Scottish folklore, the Cait Sith is a fairy cat, nearly-solid black, large than a fox, but with a small, white spot on its breast. Whenever portrayed in art or drawings, the Cait Sith is usually shown as a Halloween cat, with back arched and bristling.
The Highlanders believed that the Cait Sith were actually witches temporarily transformed into black cats. Some came to believe the Cait Sith was a demon cat.
In reality, there is evidence that the Cait Sith is may be a large cat roaming rural Scotland, a species known as the “Kellas Cat,” a hybrid cat of local feral cats and Scottish wild cats. Others believe that the Cait Sith belongs to the realm of the fairies since none have ever been captured, although there are photographs of the Kellas Cat.