Welcome to crazy town, guys and ghouls. The closer we get to October, the higher my stress levels climb. I’m full tilt into pre-writing a trilogy, I’ve got two short stories left for this site, a Halloween showcase story on deck, and a stack of books to read that is threatening to topple.
Without further ado, I bring you a collection of curated oddities for your enjoyment since even this series of posts has been suffering due to my other obligations.
A Collection of Curiosities – Part IX
This series of posts are meant to inspire and titillate — they are creepy, fantastic, strange, bizarre, and wonderful articles from a variety of sources around the web that I’ve curated for your enjoyment. In this month’s collection, I present to you five collected articles of supernatural, paranormal, creepy, unusual, and macabre origins. In this edition, we touch on changelings, ancient burial rituals, some super fun ancient magical texts, the rules and regulations of mourning in Victorian England, and the Huldra from Scandinavian folklore.
The rest of the collection is shared at the bottom of this post, and as always, you can subscribe to the blog for future updates.
Stay tuned for more. 😉
Changelings: Friend or Foe? via Icy Sedgwick
“Changelings occupy quite a prominent role in folklore, and I thought I’d turn my focus to them in this post.
Any Google search will throw up different folklore for different nationalities, but for the purposes of space, I’m sticking to the UK.
Changelings are beings left behind to replace stolen children. Humans blamed both faeries and trolls for stealing the children. Apparently trolls thought their offspring would be more respectable if raised by humans.”
The Most Fascinating Ancient Burial Rituals
“The ways that contemporary societies bury their dead are diverse and countless, ranging in method and meaning all over the world. As our global community grows increasingly technologically advanced and environmentally conscious, even our burials are shifting with new and sustainable burial practices. But do you ever wonder what kinds of traditions existed before the ones we commonly see today? What did the ancients do? Why did they do it? Well, wonder no more! Qeepr has done some digging on your behalf, so here are the most fascinating ancient burial rituals that we unearthed!”
Magic of the Ancients: Five Incredible Texts of Spells, Curses, and Incantations
“As long as humanity has had beliefs in a higher power, the use of magic, spells, curses, and incantations have featured widely across cultures. A number of influential texts or ‘grimoires’ (textbooks of magic) were developed over the centuries, many of which became the books of choice for secret societies and occult organizations that endured well into the twentieth century. Here we feature five manuscripts that provide a fascinating window into the magic of the ancients.”
The Rules And Regulations Of Mourning In The Victorian Era
“Mourning the dead in the Victorian age was a very strict and formal event with many rules and regulations.
By the 19th century, mourning behaviour in England had developed into a complex set of rules, particularly among the upper classes. For women, the customs involved wearing heavy, concealing, black clothing, and the use of heavy veils of black crêpe. The entire ensemble was colloquially known as “widow’s weeds” (from the Old English waed, meaning “garment”).”
Huldra, Folklore’s Lady in the Forest
“In Scandinavian folklore, the huldra (Norwegian, derived from a root meaning “covered,” “hidden,” or “secret”) is a very elusive and seductive creature of the forest. The huld-rå being is a rå, which is a keeper or warden of a particular location or landform. The different species of rå are sometimes distinguished according to the different spheres of nature with which they were connected, such as skogsrå or huldra (forest), sjörå (freshwater) or havsrå (saltwater), and bergsrå (mountains).”
Want more? Check out the other wunderkammer-themed posts:
“I’ve heard a few times that it’s unwise to look at a writer’s search history. It gives the uninitiated the impression that you are either deranged, morbid, or psychotic. While this may very well be a possibility in certain cases, I can assure you that I purge that cache regularly. Try and catch me, coppers. Moo hoo ha ha.”
“I was half in love with Victorian England before I began writing Wake the Dead ages ago. It’s a particularly macabre period in history, largely due to the fact that the entire country was thrust into mourning following the death of Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert. It marks a period in history that is attributed with heightened ritualized action surrounding death, commemoration, and grieving that is so intense that it’s frequently referred to as a cult of death.”
“Stuff! Being the third collection of curiosities, oddities, and wonders discovered online — I’ve got some new stuff for you. I tend to aggregate a bunch of weird and wonderful saved links as I’m researching and I often have nowhere to put them beyond my bookmarks, where they’re eventually forgotten. I figured some time ago that it might be best if I put them to use, sharing the interesting and bizarre stuff I come across from my collection of writing inspiration.”
“I might be late to the party, but I suspect that’s the fashionable way to handle these things. I like scheduling these “wunderkammer of the web” type posts for the 27th or the 28th of the month, so technically I’m a day off. What this is: I’ve always had a longstanding fascination with the occult, the subversive, and the alternative: give me a good ghost story or chunk of folklore, and I’m off and running. My mind likes to live in the weird, and accordingly, it’s often where I gather inspiration from.”
“You may have noticed that it’s been a bit quieter in these parts as of late. I’ve noticed a turn in the venues I use for output as the sun comes out from hiding all winter. This is to say my writing efforts fork in two directions: writing the blog and writing fiction.”
“Oh hai. Let me tell you: it has been a busy few weeks around these parts. I’m in the final leg of preparations before I move, and my life is in boxes. I can’t find anything. I’m wearing old, achey flip-flops and a rotation of outfits that are heat-tested for the insane weather we’ve been experiencing in Montreal. I’m barely living at my apartment, which is serving as a storehouse for all my worldly possessions (and especially my books.) We take possession (pun) of our new home on June 1st, with another ten days before all of our stuff follows us.”
“Back to your regularly scheduled programming, as they say. I’m tackling my to-do list with a newfound ferocity, and may you reap the benefits of my web browsing as a result. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you back to the blog and my ongoing alternative research to feed my horror writer’s heart and muse with A Collection of Curiosities – Part VII.”
“In this edition, we touch on urban legends from North America, Victorian post-mortem photography (one of my favourite things), we revisit Corpse Roads (I talked about them in conjunction with Corpse Lights in My Creepy Search History not so long ago too), check out some contemporary horror comics, and learn about the serial killer from New Orleans that inspired Kathy Bates’ character in American Horror Story: Coven.”
Until next time, guys and ghouls. 😉