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Norway's Demon Wall

Atlas Obscura reveals the existence of a strange wall in Norway called The Demon Wall. Read this to understand its history:

The demons are tiny, and legion. Scowling, tongue-flicking devils, no bigger than a thumbnail, and strange animals pile together in a tangle of dog legs and rabbit ears, each smaller than the next. The lines of the painting are so fine that the tiniest figures seem to pull the viewer into an infinite Satanic menagerie.

The story of how the demonveggen, or demon wall, came to be is as strange and disturbing as the mural itself. It’s a tale of scandal, fraud, and possible madness that begins with Gerhard Gotaas, one of Norway’s leading conservators of the mid-20th century. His work preserving and restoring medieval church art was wide-ranging and respected. But in 1940, when he entered a small village church in Sauherad to restore centuries-old artwork, he saw demons. Researchers determined earlier this year that, instead of reviving a 17th-century painting, Gotaas actually spent two years creating a monstrous mural from his own imagination. That revelation is just part of the story, however. Scant and contradictory clues only deepen the mystery of what might have possessed him to create the hellish image.

“We couldn’t believe it. We were shocked by how much he really did,” says Susanne Kaun, a conservator at the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage (NIKU). Kaun undertook the demon wall investigation with her colleague, art historian Elisabeth Andersen. Through archival research and scientific analysis of the mural itself, the team discovered not only that Gotaas invented the demons, but also that he destroyed all remnants of the original art, painted more than 300 years earlier. “That’s really the most shocking thing, from a conservator point of view,” says Kaun. “He found something there that was old, and he painted over that. He changed what he found. He has to have known what he did.”


The Dybbuk Box

GhostsDybbuks are thought to be malevolent spirits that haunt the bodies of the living and make them crazy. For some this is a total superstition but for others .... who knows? Using this fear in some people, some entrepreneur created what he called "A Dybbuk Box" ostensibly holding the aura of one of these spirits. And there begins the tale .......

 

Finally, the truth behind the 'haunted' Dybbuk Box can be revealed
By Charles Moss for Input

In Jewish folklore, a “dybbuk” is a trouble-making spirit that possesses the living. An old cabinet that came to be known as the Dybbuk Box was bought by Kevin Mannis in 2001. Eventually, the “cursed cabinet” spooked more than a few people and sparked the inspiration for a Hollywood film. Charles Moss has the old cabinet’s origin story, from the man who sold it on eBay in 2003.

Here is more from an article in Input Magazine

 


Word of the Day - Pishogue

I like to improve my vocabulary with interesting words for this blog. The latest is

pishogue

PRONUNCIATION:
(pi-SHOHG)

 

MEANING:
noun: Sorcery; witchcraft; spell.

 

ETYMOLOGY:
From Irish piseog (witchcraft). Earliest documented use: 1829.

 

USAGE:
“You have totally glamoured me with your pishogue.”
N.E. Tovell; Tides of the Undead; iUniverse; 2011.
 
 
Thank  you Word A Day by Anu Garg

Makeshift Subway Shrine to Mercury

Subway-shrine-nyc-untapped-new-york1Mercury, the planet of communication is also one for travelers. Now during the pandemic, a shrine to Mercury has been spotted in Brooklyn in a subway station. Let's hope this helps us get to our destimations safely and on time.

Untapped City reports -

When you are running late and waiting for the subway, you may find yourself praying for it to arrive quickly. Well, it looks like one subway rider has taken their plea for timely service to the next level by creating a cardboard subway shrine. This makeshift ode to the god Mercury was spotted by straphanger Russel Jacobs in the Utica Avenue A/C stop in Brooklyn.

 


Halloweek Experiences Programs

HalloweekAtlas Obscura is offering virtual Halloweek Experiences. Here is their listing:

Join us for a virtual Halloweek—a full five days of otherworldly online experiences that you can Zoom into live, or watch later, with the lights on. Celebrate Victorian Hallowe’en with Nina Nightingale, embark on some scary spelunking with Tyler Thrasher, and talk tomb-raids and stolen bones with Erin Thompson and Kylie Holloway. Get your tickets now; it’s possible they may, at any moment, disappear into the night.

With the human world possibly more chilling than the spirit realm, Halloween festivities will likely look a little different this year. But for those with an affection for the mysterious and the morbid, a soft spot for seances, or a passion for the paranormal: we’re here to get you into the SPIRIT of the safe, socially-distanced season!

Beginning next Monday, join us for a virtual Halloweek—a full five days of otherworldly online experiences that you can Zoom into live, or watch later, with the lights on. Celebrate Victorian Hallowe’en with Nina Nightingale, embark on some scary spelunking with Tyler Thrasher, and talk tomb-raids and stolen bones with Erin Thompson and Kylie Holloway. Get your tickets now; it’s possible they may, at any moment, disappear into the night.

ONline Experience

A Victorian Hallowe’en

Wed, Oct 28 | $10 per device

Nina Nightingale's Charm School is in session, and for this Halloweek edition, we’ll be exploring Victorian Halloween, where you’ll learn how to create your very own divination mirror as well as mock Daguerreotypes, using household and recycled items.

 

Monster of the Month

Mon, Oct 26 | $12 per device
What's hiding in those woods? Is there something under your bed? Join author Colin Dickey for Monster of the Month, a new online show where we'll explore various cryptids, ghosts, and other creatures that lurk just below the surface of polite debate.

 

 

And many more - check the link above.