Saturday, November 29, 2014
During her most recent guest appearance on Arcane Radio, dream expert Rosemary Ellen Guiley detailed how to interpret dreams and some of the criteria in her workshops. She also recounted her early experiences with dreams and what it has meant to her personally and for her career.
Dreamwork for Visionary Living, a practical guide to pro-active dreaming....and using your dreams in targeted ways to improve day-to-day living. This guide defines the power to transform your life...emotionally, spiritually, and even physically.
Rosemary has gathered techniques and wisdom from ancient times to the present, giving special emphasis to dreams that transcend ordinary reality and address our biggest spiritual questions: who we are, why we are here, where we are going, and what life’s journey means.
The book features 37 innovative dream labs, easy and practical ways to apply pro-active dreaming to any aspect of daily and spiritual life. I found the concepts very easy to follow and comprehend...and intrigued by the narratives added with the dream labs.
Some of the more fascinating chapters, in my opinion, dealt with healing, psychic dreaming, using dreams in the spiritual realm and out-of-body dreaming. I soon developed a divergent perception of ordinary daily routines. This has improved my focus while conducting research and writing. There are other techniques in this guide that I plan to implement into my life, especially the intriguing use of dreams for healing.
I highly recommend Dreamwork for Visionary Living for those who are interested in developing alternate means of self-help and for understanding how you can expand your sense of reality.
Dreamwork for Visionary Living
By Rosemary Ellen Guiley
Visionary Living, Inc., 2014, paperback, 240 pgs.
You can order your book directly through Visionary Living, Inc.
More titles by Rosemary Ellen Guiley:
The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology
The Encyclopedia of Angels, Second Edition
Dream Messages from the Afterlife
Monsters of West Virginia: Mysterious Creatures in the Mountain State
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
I grew up in a bedroom community outside of New York City. It was the 1970's and all the Father's in the neighborhood commuted to work while our Mothers were stay-at-home 'Moms'. All the Moms were busy-bodies and basically had their noses in each other's business. The talk of the neighborhood was the family that lived beside us - the Smiths.
The Smiths were very strange. There was Mr and Mrs. Smith who looked like they were in their 40's and their kids, a son and a daughter. The kids were early teens - and we never knew their names! They didn't go to school so we assumed they were home-schooled. The only time we saw them was when the whole family would walk single file to the garage in the back of their house and drive away in their Rambler station wagon. My Mom talked to Mrs. Smith once right after they moved in, but that was it. They never answered the door and there was no telephone listing.
Mr. Smith never drove to work and Mrs. Smith was never seen shopping or doing any chores. The yard work was taken care of by two men who would drive up in a gray service truck once a week during the spring and summer. They would cut the lawn and trim the hedges. There were no flowers or trees - no lawn furniture - nothing.
One of our neighbors called the Mayor's office about the kids and school - but we never saw anyone ever come to the house. In fact, they never received mail (the postman told us) and there were never any deliveries.
The Smiths lived there for about 4 years. We didn't even know they had left until another (normal) family moved in. They told us that the house had been on the market for several months and that it was purchased through a Government auction - but that seemed strange as well.
Here's another strange neighbor account:
I've got a strange story for you. The people who live across the street are either into something weird or the house is haunted. They moved in a few months ago, a husband and wife. I'll call them Jack and Jill. Every night we hear loud 'hums' coming from the house. There are never any lights on inside or outside. Also my dogs and my neighbor's dog start to howl when the hums begin. I can't get my dog to shut up. It's so bad I have to keep him in the basement at night. The hums go on for about an hour.
I confronted Jack one day about the hums. He looked at me like I was nuts. He then got real nasty and told me to mind my own business. My neighbor got fed up and called the police. The police showed up and told them to stop. The hums continued so the police searched the place and found nothing. The hums continue. Any idea what it is?
NOTE: about a year later I received another email from this witness who said the neighbors moved out and the hums stopped...Lon
How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird
Bow-Wow's Nightmare Neighbors
People of Walmart: Shop and Awe
Astral Perceptions & Astral Perceptions Universal. Regardless of the obsessive clamoring & invidious claims by others, I am simply making an effort to help people with those abilities that have been afforded to me. It is apparent, through the testimonials of my clients, that there have been positive results.
Astral Perceptions Universal is a 'not for profit' organization. Our clients are never asked or pressured to compensate us for the services we provide. My goal is to provide a professional and confidential resolution, including continued personal support and guidance.
Thanks again for your faith in me...Lon
I can be contacted here
Astral Perceptions Universal is a 'not for profit' organization. Our clients are never asked or pressured to compensate us for the services we provide. My goal is to provide a professional and confidential resolution, including continued personal support and guidance.
Thanks again for your faith in me...Lon
I can be contacted here
Saturday, November 22, 2014
1. Don't Walk Under a Ladder: After researching this superstition for a year at the British Library in London, Oliver says the belief's most-cited origin points to "a ladder forming a triangle with the wall and the ground, suggesting the Holy Trinity." Apparently, walking through that triangle would show disrespect to the Trinity and therefore bring bad luck. Another possible (and much simpler) origin: Where there's a ladder, there's usually someone working on top and walking underneath could lead to all sorts of cartoonish accidents, like a hammer falling on someone's head.
2. Black Cats Bring Bad Luck: Oliver says black cats are notoriously linked to witchcraft, which is why some people think they're unlucky. However, there are two sides to this one. Allegedly, if a cat crosses your path it's considered unlucky, but if a cat walks toward you, it's a good omen. Should the first scenario happen, though, Oliver says the "only way to avert the back luck is to spit."
3. Never Light Three Cigarettes With the Same Match: This superstition originated in military circles and dates back to those long nights in the trenches during World War I. "If three soldiers smoked at once, enemy snipers would easily detect them," says Oliver. "If they used the same match to light all three cigarettes, snipers would notice the match burning after the first one and would have enough time to load guns, aim and fire at the unlucky third smoker."
4. Carrots Are Good for Your Eyesight: Though some studies have shown that the vitamin A in carrots is good for the eyes, the vegetable alone isn't enough to spark 20/20 vision. Oliver says this old wives' tale -- or smart attempt by parents to get their children to eat their veggies -- originated as a myth during World War II. "That's when British pilots where rumored to be eating enormous amounts of carrots to see from high altitudes and in the dark. The rumor was widely spread to throw the public off from the fact that radar had been invented and was being used against the enemy," he says.
5. Cross Your Fingers: If you look hard enough, you can see this superstition has religious roots. Oliver says that crossing your fingers is a type of holy protection because the two overlapping fingers form a "slanted cross." This "good luck" ritual varies around the globe -- in Switzerland, people fold their thumbs in and wrap their other fingers around them instead of the standard index-and-middle-finger combination.
6. Don't Open an Umbrella in The House: The origins of this belief are simple -- what's designed for the outdoors should remain outside. While today's version of the old umbrella superstition is said to simply bring "bad luck," Oliver says there used to be a much darker cloud hanging over the belief in ancient times. "In earlier versions, opening an umbrella inside was an omen of death," he explains.
7. Always Have Something in the Oven: This old Jewish superstition could be considered "family friendly." Supposedly, leaving an oven empty will cause one's family to go hungry in the future. To avoid famine, it's enough to leave a baking sheet or a pan in the oven at all times as a precaution. "This belief is linked to ancient rituals in which food was left for household gods in order to ensure protection of the family," Oliver explains.
8. Wear Underwear Inside Out: When having a bad day, superstition suggests that turning your underwear inside out can make it all better. Oliver isn't quite sure where this odd belief came from, but we wouldn't be surprised if originated on a wild college campus somewhere, perhaps during a post-party "walk of shame."
9. Kiss a Mustachioed Man, End Up a Spinster: There are more superstitions revolving around marriage than we can count, and that includes "kissing a dark-skinned man at a wedding." If a woman does this, she'll supposedly get a marriage proposal shortly thereafter. But watch who you're smooching, ladies. If a woman kisses a man with a mustache and finds a stray hair on her lip after, she's destined to be a spinster.
10. Don't Praise Babies in China: If you're in China and you come across an adorable newborn baby, do not under any circumstances compliment the little one. In China, it's considered "unlucky" to praise babies because it "attracts the attention of ghosts and demons." Instead, Oliver says it's customary to "talk badly about babies" to keep evil entities away. Rather than getting upset, parents are told to convert those insults into praise quietly in their heads.
11. Don't Chew Gum at Night in Turkey: Even if your breath stinks, popping in a stick of gum after dinner in Turkey is a bad idea. "It's thought that if you're chewing gum at night in Turkey, you're actually chewing the flesh of the dead," says Oliver. Gross.
12. Lucky Four-Leaf Clovers: Because of how scarce four-leaf clovers really are, just finding one in a field is lucky in and of itself. Oliver says the rare leaf represents everything one could possibly desire in life: "wealth, fame, love and health."
Unlucky 13: The number 13 -- and Friday the 13th -- are considered unfortunate in many places, and the reasons go back to the Bible. Remember, Jesus had 13 disciples until one of them -- Judas -- betrayed him. - AOLNews
Sunday, November 16, 2014
In Webster’s dictionary, witchcraft is defined as the act or instance of employing sorcery, especially with malevolent intent: a magical rite or technique. The religious will say if you believe in God, and believe in what the Bible says, then you must believe in the powers of evil as well. You cannot take one side and then completely discount the other side...basically, evil power is real and witchcraft is the use of it. In reality, though, there is a very fine line between good and evil.
When it came to folk magic or witchcraft in my neck of the woods, Pow-wow was the preferred mystic art. Pow-wow is a unique combination of Christian theology and shamanistic belief. Shamanism is the oldest form of religion and the belief is that there is one Supreme Being...that all is derived from this and is interrelated. In Europe, Shamanic practitioners were persecuted as witches in the name of orthodox religion. It is still practiced in some rural areas of Pennsylvania, though it has been outlawed for several generations. In spite of the name, it is not of Native American derivation. The name comes from the book Pow-wows, or, The Long Lost Friend, written by John George Hohman and first published in German as Der Lange Verborgene Freund in 1820. The subtitle of the booklet hints at the breadth of its contents...a collection of mysterious and invaluable arts and remedies for man as well as animals with many proofs of their virtue and efficacy in healing diseases, etc. It was recognized mainly by Pennsylvania Dutch hex-meisters but after the translation to English in 1846, it had a tremendous influence on the commoner folk magicians of the Appalachians. This little book includes healing spells, binding spells, protective spells, wards and benedictions. Though I’m not a religious person, I am spiritual (and a bit superstitious...I’ll cover that later) and always have my copy of 'The Long Lost Friend' near me...it’s my personal talisman.
All religions have an upside and a downside. The downside of the Judeo-Christian tradition is Satanism. The downside of Pow-wow was corruption by practitioners, the hex-meisters, who would cast spells or hexes on anyone for a price. Hex-meisters were deeply feared by most people from all walks of life. These German immigrants came to Pennsylvania during the late 1800s and unlike the regular practitioners of Pow-wow, who were mainly of lower class and came here for religious freedom, these newcomers were of the middle and upper classes. There was, at the time, a revival of occultism in Europe, some of which was Satanic. This first wave of immigrant Germans brought this influence with them and became better known as the Pennsylvania Dutch.
In 1895, John Blymire was born in York County, Pa...into the world of witchcraft, magick and superstition. His father and grandfather were Pow-wows and he inherited their healing abilities, but not the strength of their skills. When Blymire was five, he suffered from opnema, a wasting away of the body that was believed to be caused by hexes, but was usually caused by poor diet and malnutrition. Neither his grandfather nor father could cure him, so they took him to a powerful Pow-wow healer named Nelson Rehmeyer who eventually cured him. (Note: Nelson D. Rehmeyer was a distant relative through marriage on my father’s maternal side. Several generations of the Rehmeyer family and my grandmother’s family attended the same church)
At age seven, Blymire attempted his first cure and was successful. He was of limited intelligence, homely and only modestly successful as a Pow-wow. People avoided him, except when they needed his Pow-wow skills. Because of this, Blymire was very lonely.
When he was thirteen, he quit school and worked in a cigar factory in York, Pa. He kept to himself, but word got out that he could heal. He supplemented his cigar factory earnings by accepting voluntary offerings for his work as a Pow-wow.
One day, there was an incident that should have made his reputation as a powerful Pow-wow. When work was done, Blymire and the other workers were leaving the factory when someone screamed that a "mad" dog was approaching. A collie, foaming at the mouth, was coming toward them. People tried to go inside the factory, but those leaving blocked their way. Blymire stood between them and the rabid dog, uttered an incantation and made the sign of the cross over the dog's head. The dog's mouth stopped foaming and it seemed to be cured of rabies. Blymire patted it on the head and the dog, tail wagging, followed him as he walked down the street.
Shortly after this incident, Blymire suffered from the opnema again. He was convinced someone had put a hex on him, possibly a jealous Pow-wow who did not want him to be successful. He quit his job in order to discover who had hexed him. He worked in odd jobs and practiced Pow-wow for financial survival and lived in rooming houses. It was at a rooming house where he met Lily, the woman who would become his wife. His health gradually improved and he found a regular job. His Pow-wow clientele steadily increased and it appeared the hex was removed or no longer worked.
Then disaster struck...Blymire's first child died within a few weeks after birth. Then a second child passed away three days after birth. In the meantime, his health declined and he lost his job.
Again, Blymire consulted with other witches to find out who had hexed him. One was Andrew C. Lenhart, a powerful witch who was feared by many police and city officials. Lenhart stated that he was hexed by someone close to him and Blymire was convinced it was Lily. She began to fear him and her father hired a lawyer who had Blymire evaluated by a psychiatrist. The diagnosis was borderline psychoneurosis. Blymire was committed to a state mental hospital from which he escaped by walking out of the door. There was no effort to recommit him.
In 1928, Blymire returned to work at the cigar factory where he met 14-year-old John Curry who had a cruel childhood due to abuse and believed he was hexed. Shortly after this, they met a farmer, Milton J. Hess who believed he was hexed. He and his wife were of Pennsylvania Dutch stock. They obeyed all of the regulations and rules hex-meisters gave them. Milton had been a successful farmer...crops flourished, chickens laid the right amount of eggs and the cows' milk was plentiful. His wife, Alice had a stand at the farmer's market, where she sold vegetables, flowers and fruit.
Hess explained that in 1926, for no apparent reason, things took a downward spiral. Crops began to fail, chickens were stolen and those that weren't did not lay eggs, cows would not eat and no longer produced milk. Milton's health was also severely affected. Wilbert, his 17-year-old son was also affected, psychologically, by hearing his father complain about the failures and lack of money and his mother changing from an energetic cheerful woman into a sad and silent one who withdrew from communicating with family. The family was convinced they were hexed. Hess got a job as a truck driver and Alice still had her stand, now, out of financial necessity.
In June, 1928, Hess met Blymire who lived in the Widow Detwiler's boarding house in an alley. They would talk daily and the conversation, eventually, turned to hexes. About this time, Blymire consulted Nellie Noll, who was known as the ‘Witch of Marietta’, also as the ‘River Witch’ in the attempt to discover who had hexed him. She told him that it was the ‘Witch of Rehmeyer Hollow'...after much coaxing from Blymire, she named Nelson D. Rehmeyer.
Hess invited Blymire, as a ‘Pow-wower’ or ‘Braucher’, to his farm where the witch could see its condition for himself. He asked Blymire who had hexed the family, but he could not remember the name, so he visited Nellie Noll again. Again, she named Nelson D. Rehmeyer and added that Rehmeyer had also hexed Curry. She told him that all they had to do was to get Rehmeyer's copy of John George Hohman's 'Pow-wows or Long Lost Friend' and burn it. If they could not do that, they must get a lock of his hair and bury it 6 to 8 feet underground.
Once Blymire, Curry and the Hesses knew who had hexed them and what had to be done, there was a conference. Attending this meeting were Blymire, Curry and Milton, older brother Clayton and Wilbert Hess. Soon, plans were made for Blymire, Curry and Wilbert Hess to visit Rehmeyer and get a lock of hair or the book, do as they were directed and the hex would be removed. Clayton, the only family member who had a car, would drive them to the hollow. As events happened, Wilbert said he did not feel well and did not want to go. Blymire said it was OK if he did not. He and Curry would get the book or the lock of hair and would do what they had to.
The following information was taken from trial transcripts and records:
Nelson D. Rehmeyer, the 'Witch of Rehmeyer Hollow'
When they got to Rehmeyer's house, they discovered he was not home. They walked to the witch's ex-wife's house and saw a light through the window, so they knocked on the door. The duo was told that Rehmeyer was probably at his lady friend’s house. They walked back to the witch's house and noticed a light on the second floor.
Blymire knocked on the door. Rehmeyer opened the door...he was much larger than Blymire remembered and was mean looking. Blymire asked if they could come in and Rehmeyer led them to the parlor where they sat and started to talk.
Blymire asked Rehmeyer if he had seen the book. The response was yes. The next question was if he had one. Again, the answer was affirmative. Blymire was satisfied with the answers. The conversation, then, turned to more mundane topics. Finally, Rehmeyer asked them why they had stopped by. Blymire told him that he had cured him of the opnema when he was a child and he had worked by picking potatoes for him.
Blymire, while they talked, try to mentally will Rehmeyer to hand over the book, but this was not effective. After a while, Rehmeyer said he was going to bed and they could sleep downstairs if they wanted to.
Curry quickly fell asleep while Blymire stayed awake trying to will the old witch to give them the book. Finally, he woke Curry and told him that he could not control Rehmeyer's mind. Should they try to use force and make him give them the book or a lock of hair? Blymire decided against this because the old witch was a big man and could easily overpower them. He decided they needed help.
That morning, Rehmeyer got up early and made the duo breakfast before they left. At some point, they bought a 25 foot length of strong rope and cut it into lengths of about 14 inches.
On Wednesday, November 27th, 1928, the night of the full moon and eve before Thanksgiving, Clayton drove the trio to Rehmeyer's Hollow. The three walked to Rehmeyer's house.
They demanded that he give them the book. He threw his wallet at them. Then, the three attacked Rehmeyer. Blymire wrapped a length of rope around Rehmeyer's neck. The trio fought savagely with the old man...Curry got a block of wood and hit Rehmeyer in the head. The old man was kicked in the head and the stomach and his face was battered. Blymire said he groaned, took a few breaths, then died.
They ransacked the house and found a small amount of money. The trio decided they had to get rid of the evidence that would tie them into the murder. Curry thought setting fire to the house would achieve this. They lit matches and dropped them in the house to set the fire. The house was smoldering when they left.
The house did not burn as they thought it would. A neighbor, Oscar Glatfelter, was passing by Rehmeyer's house on November 30th and heard his mule braying. When the man checked on the animal, he saw it had not been fed. Glatfelter knocked on the door and there was no answer, but the door was unlocked. After the neighbor entered the house, he saw Rehmeyer's corpse lying on the floor.
|The Rehmeyer House during the murder investigation|
It did not take the police long to arrest Blymire, Curry and Wilbert for the murder of Rehmeyer. All three confessed and Blymire said he was at peace now that he had killed the witch. The newswire services informed the public that a practicing witch had been killed in York County, Pa.
The trials began on January 9th, 1929. Judge Sherwood presided. District Attorney Amos W. Herrmann represented the commonwealth. Public defenders Walter W. VanBaman represented Curry and Herbert B. Cohen, Blymire. The Hess family could afford to hire Harvey A. Gross, the best criminal defense attorney in the area.
Judge Sherwood decreed that all mention of hexes and witchcraft in the confessions be edited out before they were admitted to records. The attempts of the defense attorneys to make hexes and witchcraft a matter of record via testimony were quashed.
Herrmann made his opening statements, avoiding all mention of witchcraft and hexes and forgot to mention the motive for the murder that the judge wanted. He was sharply reminded of this. The decreed motive was robbery and, then, was stated.
When Cohen tried to bring out testimony about witchcraft, the judge thwarted his efforts.
The trials were the some of the speediest in Pennsylvania history. By obstruction of justice, the judge got what he wanted, guilty verdicts, Blymire and Curry, murder in the first degree and Hess, murder in the second degree.
The sentences were handed down on January 14th. Blymire and Curry were given life in prison and Wilbert was given 10 to 20 years. In 1934, Hess and Curry were paroled and lived quiet lives in the York area. Curry became an artist and died in 1962. Blymire was finally paroled in 1953, returned to York and worked as a janitor.
|The Hex House in Rehmeyer Hollow, East Hopewell Township, York County, Pa.|
This case has always intrigued me...especially after I read Arthur Lewis’ account of the incident in his book ‘Hex’. I also remember the tales of paranormal activity in Rehmeyer Hollow and the reports of strange apparitions, said to be Nelson Rehmeyer’s spirit, roaming the property nightly.
During my senior year in high school, I decided to make a short trip to Rehmeyer Hollow to see what all the fuss was. I had found a copy of Pow-Wows: Long Lost Friend, a Collection of Mysteries and Invaluable Arts and Remedies and decided to carry it with me. Like I said earlier, I’m a bit superstitious and thought the book may protect me in some way.
I made the journey alone in mid October 1975...it was late afternoon when I arrived at a locked gate that was suspended over the access road that had a ‘No Trespassing’ sign attached to it. At that time, the sparse open areas were overgrown with briers and high weeds. The woods were very thick and dark and as I started walking on the road I could make out the roof of the small house jutting over the trees. As I approached, I noticed what looked like an older man in dark pants and a jacket standing on the road near the bend that led to the house….I estimated he was about 150 feet in front of me. It looked like he was searching for something because he was looking face down in a peculiar manner.
I stopped walking and stood for a few seconds watching this person go back and forth across the road, never raising their head. So I decided it was time to find out if this was a caretaker or if it was OK for me proceed any further even though I knew was trespassing.
I shouted “hello...sir”. No response. So I was about to shout again thinking this person was hard of hearing or possibly ignoring me. Just as I began to open my mouth to shout, this person quickly looked up and....
Now, I realize that I was a fair distance away but this ‘person’ that, I swear to this day, had no facial features. No eyes, no mouth, no nose...just a head. I spun around and hauled my butt back to the car. The ghost hunt was over. I wheeled my Mustang out of that hollow onto the main road in record time. Honestly, I don’t remember the drive home. I was absolutely stunned by the experience.
A few days later, my girlfriend and I were in my room and she found ‘The Long Lost Friend’ on my desk. I was lying on the bed with headphones on when I looked over and saw that she was looking in the book. As I watched her, I noticed that there was writing on the book cover. I had purchased the book as new, had never written in it or had it anywhere other than when I was at Rehmeyer Hollow. As I looked closer, there was an “NR” written in pencil.
The next day, I lit the grill in the backyard and promptly burned the book and buried the ashes. I wasn’t leaving anything to ‘chance’. A few weeks later, I purchase a new copy of ‘The Long Lost Friend’ and it’s been with me since.
The following is a description of how the Pow-wower applied their skills in 20th-century York County, as noted by Arthur H. Lewis in his 1969 book Hex:
Except for two days a month, the Rohrbaugh Convalescent Home in rural Spring Grove, York County, Pennsylvania, is about as quiet a spot as you're likely to find anywhere in the Keystone State. But on the first and sixteenth, it becomes a mecca for scores of ailing men, women and children who flock to this tiny village, there to be powwowed back to health by Mrs. Leah Frank.
Mistakenly, I assumed there was some significance in the choice of the two days on which Mrs. Frank practices her profession.
"When I reached ninety, and that was four years ago," Mrs. Frank explained, "I thought maybe I'd better quit altogether; it's so hard on a body. But my people wouldn't let me, tole me they needed me. So, instead of workin' every day, I tole 'em I'd 'try for' two days a month and I picked the first and the sixteenth. Then people will know when to come and not be disappointed in between. That's all there is to it."
Through the windows of the second-floor bedroom she seldom leaves, Mrs. Frank can view the soft hills of York County where she has lived all her years. As a matter of fact, the aged powwower spends most of her daylight hours in an old-fashioned Morris chair facing the east. "I'd rather see the sun come up than go down," she says gently.
Except for a slight diminution in hearing and arthritis, only lately beginning to cripple the long, tapered fingers she needs for "laying on" ill or otherwise troubled patients, Mrs. Frank remains in excellent health. Her cheeks, though wrinkled, have a healthy glow; her teeth are her own, and her sharp blue eyes still regard with abiding interest that small portion of the world she sees.
"Prettiest part of the world, though I wouldn't know much about the rest of it," Mr. Frank said in a clear voice with a strong Pennsylvania Dutch inflection. "Born and raised ten miles from here and never been no further away than forty. But you don't have to travel to learn things and how to take care of 'em that needs you, do you?"
She smiled and went on.
"I've been tryin' for people for a long, long time. I always know'd I had the power but I learned how to use it from a veterinarian who practiced powwowin' too. That was back in 1904; I've been doin' it ever since.
"Course that's not all I ever done. I just used to try for people on the side like most of us faith healers do. From the time I was a little girl 'till I was seventy-seven years I worked in a mill and I worked hard, too. Anymore I don't work so hard. Now I'm so old I only powwow."
What troubles Mrs. Frank is the current shortage of apprentices willing to undergo the rigors of training in order to become worthy practitioners.
"I don't mean those that don't have the power inside 'em 'cause they'll never learn no matter how much they want to. Some of 'em try but I always say to 'em, 'If you can't stop blood, you'll never be a powwower, so don't waste your time.'"
"What I'm referrin' to is those that got the power but don't want to use it. It ain't easy; you have to work hard and it makes you mighty tired to try for people.
Mrs. Frank did not elaborate upon the curriculum required before the neophyte can become a full-fledged practitioner. She did say, however, that after "blood stopping," which, incidentally, she claims can never be taught and must be known congenitally, the next training step is wart removal. After that come the many other branches of the discipline concluding with cures for the opnema, St. Anthony's fire and finally tumors.
Mrs. Frank also holds to the orthodox belief, one shared by the majority of her colleagues, that an instructor in powwowism or witchcraft may impart his knowledge only to members of the opposite sex.
"A man shouldn't teach another man or boy and a woman can't teach another woman or girl," claims this nonagenarian necromancer. "I'm helpin' train a young man who lives 'round here and he's doin' all right. But I sure wish I could teach my granddaughter. She was born with the power but she don't know how to use it. She could do wonderful good."
I asked Mrs. Frank what would happen if she attempted to teach the profession to her granddaughter. She shuddered.
"Oh, my goodness! That would be terrible. I'd suffer for it the rest of my days and maybe lose my own power if I tried."
Like the Willow Street powwower, to whom she is not related, Mrs. Frank is aware of the present of evil area witches. However, she does not subscribe to Clair Frank's depressing theory that practitioners of the black art are getting smarter as well as increasingly numerous.
"Not many of 'em 'round as there used to be," Mrs. Frank said cheerfully. "And they're getting dumber and dumber all the time. But when I was a girl!"
NOTE: In 1988, the film Apprentice to Murder was released and starred Donald Sutherland, Chad Lowe and Mia Sara. The story was based on the Rehmeyer Hollow Murder...Lon
Lewis, Arthur H., 'Hex' (1969) - Trident Press
Yronwode, Catherine, 'Hoodoo in Theory and Practice'
Georg Hohman, Johann, 'Pow-Wows or The Long Lost Friend' (1820)
Murder and Mayhem in York County
Apprentice to Murder - Movie Poster - 11 x 17 Inch (28cm x 44cm)
Pow-Wows: Long Lost Friend, a Collection of Mysteries and Invaluable Arts and Remedies
Hex and Spellwork: The Magical Practices of the Pennsylvania Dutch
The Red Church or The Art of Pennsylvania German Braucherei
The Realness of Witchcraft in America: Witch-Doctors, Apparitions, Pow-wows, Hexerei, Angels, Devils, Hex, Sex
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
A few weeks ago, I received an interesting inquiry referencing an incident that occurred in the vicinity of Baltimore, Maryland in June 1992. The information was forwarded by a now-retired attorney who continues to live in the area. At the time of the incident, he (who I will refer to as MB) had a private practice with several offices in the Baltimore / Washington DC metro area. He also provided pro bono legal services for the State of Maryland, particularly representing clients with mental disabilities. Since receiving the first email, I had 2 more conversations with MB...which were recorded with his permission. I am going to write his allegory as it was given to me...the resulting statement was approved by MB. Many of the specific and personal details will not be included for MB's confidentiality and privacy:
Statement - MB - Baltimore, MD - 4/5/2013
* In June 1992, I was assigned a pro bono case / client who was being housed, by court order, in one of the State Hospitals located in the metro Baltimore area.
* I interviewed the client at the State Hospital facility. I informed him that he was facing a weapon possession charge (a vintage Marlin Derringer handgun and ammunition were found in his pants pocket) and other local vagrancy violations.
* The client told me that he went by the name Morris Winthrop. He stated that he was from New Jersey and lived most of his life in New York City. The file showed that there was no record of him residing in the State of Maryland.
* When arrested, Morris wore a high collar white shirt and a brown frock coat and pants. I examined the clothes...later I would discover that these were very similar to Victorian era men's clothing from the 1870-1880s. He also possessed a silver metal case...similar to a cigarette case. Inside the case was a square piece of black colored material that resembled hard plastic. He was allowed to retain this object while at the facility.
* Morris looked to be in his early 30s, though there was no hair or stubble on his face...just thin eyebrows. He had wispy blond hair and a very pale complexion. The eyes were very deep blue...almost violet in color.
* During the interview, he would look directly at me and smile. He answered few questions other than his name, that he was living in New York City and that he didn't know how he arrived in Baltimore.
* The physician at the hospital stated that he may be suffering from shock and that there may be some memory loss. I didn't get that impression while in Morris' presence. It seemed to me that he knew exactly what was transpiring. To this day, I still do not know why I felt that way.
* At the end of the interview, I told him that he was being held at the facility under court order and that I would seek a hearing date. Morris' reply to me was 'thank you for your service. I will contact you...I promise.'
* The next day I was contacted by the Baltimore County State Attorney's office and informed that my services were no longer needed in this case. No further information was provided.
* I contacted the physician who was treating Morris. He stated that Morris was no longer at the facility. I asked where he was taken and told that I would need to contact the State Attorney's office.
* For almost 2 years, no official information was available in regards to Morris.
* In 1994 I was approached by an attendant who had worked at the State Hospital during Morris' brief stay. I was told that Morris had suddenly disappeared from the ward after his late meal. There was a thorough search conducted without results. Morris' clothes were retained by the State Attorney's office. All other items, including the silver metal case, were missing. I have never found out where the weapon was stored...though I assume it is at State Police headquarters.
* At that time, I conducted a private search for Morris Winthrop. I hired a private investigator who found very little information other than that a single 32-year-old man named Morris Winthrop had resided in New York City in 1877...until he went missing without a trace. All his property (in Manhattan) had been left behind. The police found no evidence of foul play.
* After 19 years, I never found another reference to Morris Winthrop. This has become a bit of an obsession for me. I have hired other private investigators over the years but nothing has been found. If Morris was a 'time traveler', I wonder if he'll contact me as promised? MB
NOTE: Like I stated before, this is the final statement approved by MB. Could this be a case of 'time travel?' I would have preferred more information but MB is quite wary of how others would interpret his quest into Morris' identity and deposition. He asked me not to conduct a private inquiry. It seems his long-term investigation has ruffled the feathers of a few local and state officials over the years. Lon