Here’s a Halloween story for you all. From Histoire curieuse et pittoresque des sorcier, devins, magiciens, astrologues, voyants, revenants, etc., by Mathias de Giraldo

Un pâtre du village de Blow, près de la ville de Kadam, en Bohème, apparut quelque temps. Il appelait certaines personnes, qui ne manquaient pas de venir dans la huitaine. Les paysans de Blow déterrerent ce pâtre et le réinhumererent avec un pieu qu’ils lui passerent à travers le corps. Cet homme, en cet état, se moquait de ceux qui lui faisaient subir ce traitement, et leur disait qu’il avaient bonne grace de lui donner ainsi un bâton pour se defender contre les chiens. La même nuit il se releva, et effraya par sa presence plusieurs personnes, et en suffoqua plus qu’il n’avait fait jusqu’alors. On le livra ensuite au bourreau, qui le mit sur une charrette pour le transporter hors du village et l’y brûler. Ce cadaver hurlait comme un furieux, et remuait les pieds et les mains comme un vivant, et losqu’on le perca de nouveau avec des pieux, il jeta de tres-grands cris, et rendit du sang vermeil et en grande quantité. Enfin on le brula, et cette exécution mit fin aux apparitions et aux infestations de ce spectre.

“A village shepherd from Blow, near to the village of Kadam, in Bohemia, appeared for a while [after his death]. He called upon certain persons, who did not fail to come to him within eight days. The peasants of Blow dug up the shepherd and re-buried him with a steak through his body. That man, in that estate, mocked them, thanking them for giving him a stick with which to defend himself against dogs. The same nite he rose and frightened several people, and suffocated more than he’d done before. They finally gave him to the executioner, who put him on a cart to transport him out of the village and burn him. The cadaver screamed like a maniac, and moved his hands and feet like a live person, and when they pierced him with stakes again, he emitted loud cries, and spewed out scarlet blood, in great quantities. At last they burned him, and that execution put an end to the apparitions and infestations of this specter.”

And a little Halloween Borgesian touch for LI’s far clung correspondent in NYC, Mr. T. This is from Lew Spence’s encyclopedia of the occult. I’d like to find one of these folks.

Almoganenses is the name given by the Spaniards to certain people who, by the flight and song of birds, meetings with wild animals, and various other means, foretold coming events, whether good or evil. "They carefully preserve among themselves," says Laurent Valla, "books which treat of this science, where they find rules of all sorts of prognostications and predictions. The soothsayers are divided into two classes, one, the masters or principals, the other the disciples and aspirants."
Another kind of knowledge is also attributed to them, that of being able to indicate not only the way taken by horses and other beasts of burden which are lost, but even the road followed by one or more persons. They can specify the kind and shape of the ground, whether the earth is hard or soft, covered with sand or grass, whether it. is a broad road, paved or sanded, or narrow, twisting paths, and tell also how many passengers are on the road. They can thus follow the track of anyone, and cause thieves to be pursued and apprehended. Those writers who mention the Almoganenses, however, do not specify either the period when they flourished, or the country or province they occupied, but it seems possible from their name and other considerations that they were Moorish.


roger said…
testing. Is this thing still broken?
it said…
Is it broken? Do you have a copy of the Necronomicon hanging around?
roger said…
IT, far better, I have access to the fifth edition of Collin de Plancy's "Dictionnaire infernal", 1818.

I'd tell you how to gain access too, but I'd have to do it in ancient slavonian, so that the information would not escape into ... the wrong hands. Unfortunately, my ancient slavonian is sorta rusty at the moment.
There are some recipes in it for the use of 'fiente' - poetic enough name from shit - which you might add to the necrotic toxicity you mentioned on your site for a nice party concoction! Fiente of wolf is especially recommended.

Here's one Collin de Placcy thinks is especially appropriate for the ladies out there in the house, raise your hands!

"For preserving beauty, here's a very important secret for the fair sex. Take the 'fiente' of small lizards, some tarter, some white wine, some scrapping of a stag's horn, some bleached coral and some rice farine, in equal measures. Mix it up in a small mortar bowl, and then soak it in water distilled from an equal amoung of almonds, of the snails found among grape vines, and of flowers of the white boil, and after that mix it up with some white honey. Then mix it all together. Preserve the concoction in a vase of earth or glass, and rub it on the face and hands."

Doesn't it make you go down to the local store and put in your order of stag horn shavings? Although I am a little puzzled if any shit from any old small lizard will do.
amie said…
Inspired by a couple of crows - LI and Kafka - I'm going to dress up for Halloween as Odradek.

'What's you name?'. 'Odradek', he says. 'And where do you live?' 'No fixed residence', he says and laughs; but it is only the kind of laughter one laughs without lungs. It sounds rather like the rustling of fallen leaves. This generally ends the conversation. Sometimes you don't even get these answers; he often stays mute for a long time, like the wood he seems to be.
In vain I ask myself what will happen to him. Can he die, after all? Everything that dies has previously had some kind of goal, some kind of activity from which it has worn itself out; that does not apply to Odradek. Does this mean that one day he will still roll down the stairs in front of the feet of my children and my children's children, clucking and trailing threads behind him? He doesn't seem to harm anyone; but the idea that he might outlive me, to boot, is almost painful.
roger said…
Amie, all I can say is: if you meet a single other person dressed as Odradek... you must either marry or kill that person.

Happy trick or treating!