Tuesday, March 3, 2015


News of the apparition spread like wild-fire through the dormitories, before too long, not a single child was able to sleep for fear of  being confronted with the phantom of the dread Lady Hesketh.

Before that night ended, many of the younger boys would have become familiarised with that name.

A ghost constituted an element of initiation into the culture of the school.

Briefed by their seniors, who were only too willing to share their knowledge, they would be able to put a name to their night terror.

Not one of the boys was actually able to give a reliable first hand account of actually meeting a wraith; it was that which made it far, far more terrifying.

Lady Hesketh, was a weapon of the elders. They had ownership of the spirit. She was theirs.

Phantom menace 

I remember years of institutional meetings which seemed to have only one purpose: to remind us all of impending doom.

We were constantly assaulted by news of vague threats, of powerfully unknown enemies.

Fortunately, we had among us those experienced fear-mongers who awakened us to such dangers.

Fortunately, we had some sort of protection...

I have come to recognise the tone of voice, the lowered volume of exposition, the acceleration of breathing, the long serious looks. 

There are those, it appears, who develop their power thanks to a privileged access to a spirit world.

We are in the presence of Shaman.

"Shamanism (/ˈʃɑːmən/ SHAH-mən or /ˈʃmən/ SHAY-mən) is a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to encounter and interact with the spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world.[1] A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.[2]"


It is curious how harbingers of fear are often those we turn to.

Perhaps, they really are effective channels for elemental emotions which move us.

There are those who always know better than us.

They will protect us.

“I trust that every animal here appreciates the sacrifice that Comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra labour upon himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure! On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”
George Orwell, Animal Farm

Apparition credits:
Hamatsa Ritualist 1914
Edward S. Curtis Library of Congress.

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