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Eastern State Penitentiary Ghosts

Eastern State Penitentiary is known as one of the most haunted places in the world and has earned its reputation due to the supernatural sightings and incidents that have occurred there. The Eastern State Penitentiary opened its gates in 1829. It was a prison which was designed by architects to keep around 252 prisoners each with their own solitary confinement cell. Solitary confinement is one of the harshest punishments given to a man intending to fill them with remorse and guilt, the result causing many prisoners to go insane.

In the early times the prisoners were unwanted women and men from society with murderers and killers alongside them. However, with the help of Benjamin Franklin, prisons were made to be reform centres rather than houses for the unwanted. Eastern State Penitentiary had running toilets, sky lights to let in sunlight, heat and a bible.

However, the loneliness was too much for the prisoners to bear. Even when they worked around the penitentiary, prisoners were forced to wear big and heavy masks around their face which led to no talking or communication. It was too much to bear for some prisoners which is why they often took their own lives.

One of the most famous prisoners was the notorious criminal and gangster Al Capone. He was put into prison for hiding a deadly weapon and carrying it. This led to his arrest. In the prison, he had a nice cell with a desk and furniture and even a radio. Even then he believed he was haunted by the ghost of James Clarke, who was a victim in the St. Valentines massacre which Al Capone was part of. This showed how solitary confinement started to play with the minds of even the most hardened of criminals.

In the 1920s and 1930s, a prison warden named Herbert Smith was in charge, nicknamed “Hardboiled” because of his harsh and strict treatment of the prisoners. At this time, the prisoners were not in solitary confinement, instead each cell was shared between 2-3 prisoners. Hardboiled’s way of punishment was tough. He would dunk prisoners into cold water and then hang them onto walls for the night. This was harsher during the winters and he even sometimes constricted inmates to chair, not letting them move for days. It even included starvation.

There were two murders of guards at the prison and people say that their spirit now haunts the prison. Today the prison is open to tourists all through the year. It is a prison that is known for its haunted stories, however, if it really is haunted or was it in the prisoners’ mind is still unknown.

Practicing Shamanism

Shamanism is a practice or a set of beliefs that people hold, which suggests that a shaman is a person who holds healing and restorative powers, while he is someone who can travel between the realms of the spirit world and the actual physical world. Shamans are said to have a huge role to play in society and are known as higher beings by those who believe. However, the practice of shamanism comes with a few dangers that can be harmful to our society.

It is not a belief that can be taken lightly. The shaman needs to have a deep and comprehensive knowledge of the techniques used and how to ground themselves. If they do not, it could result in various disasters. People believe that when a shaman spends too much time out of their body and in other realms, they may find themselves feeling disconnected and ungrounded from the physical world and the life they lead here. This will then lead to an imbalance between the energies of the two worlds, hence causing trouble for the shaman. This is why having a proper balance between the two worlds is essential for shamans to maintain. This will keep them connected to both the worlds and keep them grounded on Earth.

The main risks, however, arises when a shaman in training believes that they may be ready to implement a technique, but they are not. This can not only hurt the shaman themselves but also the person they are trying to heal. It is best that the shaman is fully trained before they practice on people, to protect themselves and others from any harm they might do. The practice would then require them to be concentrated, have discipline in their life and be doing this for a purpose.

It is suggested that people who do have a history of psychosis or neurosis should stay away from shamans and the concept of shamanism as it can easily be triggered and lead to something worse. This is because the feelings of discomfort and being out of control may seem to take over the person’s body. This may be a very threatening situation to some and can trigger some non-benevolent beings in some other realm.

Shamanism

Shamans are known as beings with spiritual powers and reach. They can have powers which are beyond this world and they use those powers to cure people and enhance other’s connection to the next world. They can even converse with the spirits of the deceased in the other world. They have the ability to see energies and visions. They tend to use energy and fire as a medium for their communication. Within this context, shamanism is a concept which emerges from such practice. It is a collective traditional belief which some may even call a religion. People believe that a shaman can cure and heal the sick and is able to converse with spirits. Shamans are even credited with controling the weather, give dream interpretations and travel between spiritual worlds. It is said such traditions have existed for a long time and can even be found in pre-historic times.

There are various forms of shamanism which can be found around the world and there are different ways to practice it. Shamans are said to be similar to priests within their religion, except they are initiated as shamans due to a personal tragedy, such as being struck by lightning, or due to a near death experience. People believe when a person goes through something tragic like this, their spirit is reassembled again in the spiritual world, which is how they are able to connect with the other world. However in many other places, shamans are either chosen through dreams, through ancestry, or merely as a career choice. 

Shamans are known as healers, which transverse the axis Mundi to gain knowledge from the other world. Then they are able to enter the body of the patient, find what is making them sick and remove that cause from their spirit to help them heal. Shamans are also known as people who can kill. Shamans in most societies are given a high and prestigious role. They enjoy people’s respect and care for them and their high status.

There are some methods that shamans use to alter the states of consciousness which include singing, drumming, through sweat lodges and even dancing. Shamans are usually men but some societies do have female shamans too, as seen in Old Norse religion.  To practice shamanism, Shamans have to practice different rituals. They sometimes have special diets and fast for days. This helps their powers and they make sure to eat food high in serotonin and low in tyramine.

The Clockwork House – OUT NOW

I am trilled to announce that my standalone book – The Clockwork House – is now available to download from Amazon.

Ava Cortez has always felt adrift in the world, as the only daughter of a flower child she’d spent her entire childhood drifting from town to town living in different communes, dreaming of a normal life… dreaming of a home to call her own…a place to belong.

When her mother passes away, Ava is shocked to discover not only that her mother had a significant amount of money which she concealed from her but also an old rambling Victorian house situated on the small island of Midnight, off the coast of Maine. The place where her mother was born.

Unable to contain her curiosity Ava sets out to discover her family history and the past her mother was obviously running from, but what started out as a curiosity soon begins to consume her, the more secrets she uncovers, the more she realizes how closely entwined her family is with the dark history of the island itself. 

With the help of a local man named Kelley Ryan she delves deeper into the past leading her back to one fateful night in 1919, to the worst storm on record and the sudden disappearance of dozens of children. 

The more they dig into the history of the house, the more they come to realize that sometimes the deepest foundations hide the darkest secrets.

OUT NOW

Catoptromancy

Catoptromancy is a coveted art and practice of deviation. Divination is gaining knowledge about the future through supernatural means. Through this practice you can use divination to find out about your past, present and future. This is done by looking into a mirror, usually positioned at the perfect angle to reflect moonlight. Some other names given to this practice are enoptromancy, caloptromancy and mirror gazing.

Historic Origins:

Pasuanias was a famous Greek traveller, who recounted his stories to the people he met. He recalled that at the Temple of Ceres of the goddess of agriculture, fertility and motherly love, that was located at Pataras was a fountain. This fountain was separated from the temple and at the side separated by a wall. This fountain was not for regular people to use, but only for those who were sick and suffering who wished to know the future.

However, to perform the ritual the sick person would need to pray to the Gods and specifically to the Goddess and had to provide a sacrifice or incense. The process of the ritual was such that the sick person would lower down a mirror until it touched the surface of the water. After this, it was positioned in a way that it reflected the moonlight. In the mirror the sick person would look at his or her face. If the face reflected blood, old age or a ghastly expression, then the person was likely to die and would not lead a long life. However, if the mirror showed a face with a smile, which was healthy and fruitful, then the person was likely to recover from the sickness and get back his health.

Catoptromancy is a very old and aged form of crystal gazing. This technique was heavily used by the Greeks and Romans. However, even now it is practiced by women on Halloween at midnight to see her future husband over their left shoulder.

Roman and Greek Catoptromancy

It is said a technique for Catoptromancy used by the Roman and Greek followers was a little different. They would look at the reflection of the moon for answers and not their own face. They believed that the answers appeared on the reflection of the moon in characters of blood. They then followed those and were usually likely to be true for them

Newer Catoptromancy

A newer and more reliable method said by people who practice this art is when a woman is waiting for matrimony. The woman will gaze at a mirror and the reflection of the moon and count the time it takes for a cloud or a bird to cover the reflection. The amount of minutes that pass by while looking at the reflection represents the number of years a woman will need to wait before she gets married.

Sanatoriums in the USA

The first ever sanatorium that was built in the United States of America was by a man called Edward Livingstone Trudeau in 1885, and was located in Saranac Lake in Adirondacks. Trudeau like many others who supported the sanatorium movement was inflicted with a disease called tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a disease caused by bacteria that attacks the lungs and may even effect other parts of the body.

In the 1870s, Trudeau went up to the mountains and believed that the healthy environment and fresh air cured him of his disease and its symptoms. He applied a similar strategy in the sanatorium he founded. He encouraged a healthy regime for the patients and required it to be located in a reclusive area so the air isn’t polluted and the scenes of nature help the healing process. He required residents to spend hours outside in the daylight, conducting activities such as horseback riding, walking and more. He also required his patients to take at least 3 large meals and 3 glasses of milk per day. He also prohibited habits such as smoking, drinking, cursing and even enforced a strict dress code. By the 1900s, Trudeau had collected enough money to build many small cottages near Saranac Lake which were part of the sanatorium including a library, church and center for research on tuberculosis. However, Trudeau died an ironic death. Even though he kept claiming that he was a model for cure from the illness, he died of tuberculosis in 1916.

There were various different reasons that can be seen in history why sanatoriums and other such institutions were needed by the people at that time. For example, to contain a disease and stop it from spreading to the public, a sanatorium was the best place. If people inflicted with a disease were kept together away from other people and their disease was researched, they could be cured without other people being affected. However, that did mean that experts had too much control and regulation over those who had contracted the disease, making it very hard for them to live their life according to their own means. Every aspect of their routine would be monitored. The sanatoriums suited both the goals of physicians and social reformers as they were able to isolate and contain disease as well as experiment and try to find a cure or slow the disease down.

However, in the end, sanatoriums really did not provide a comprehensive solution to the disease of tuberculosis. The biggest short coming was that not everyone with the disease was admitted as they were unable to pay for the extended visits or were too sick to get admitted. Many people with the disease even gave the state false information as they did not want to be separated from their families. This is why the disease wasn’t contained as well as it was hoped.