Thursday, April 30, 2015

Spirit Guide: Ghost of Christmas Past


Class VII Corporeal Entity

Also know as: The Spirit of Regret (alleged)

The Ghost of Christmas Present is a spirit which has been known to appear once a year on Christmas Eve. 

The spirit often takes the form of a small child, or an androgynous being which resembles an “ageless child” according to one report. This being is wrapped in a white shroud which seems to flow around it as if it is in water. If there are legs, they are not readily apparent, but regardless the spirit has the moves so fluidly that it either floats or has the appearance of floating. The ghost also emanates white light, ranging from a barely noticeable brightness, to utterly blinding in intensity.  

In terms of powers, there is some debate as to what the spirit can actually do. There are two prevailing theories, and depending upon the actual answer, the specter’s abilities can vary greatly.
The first theory, as advanced by Dr. A.W. Huntley, is that the spirit is not capable of physical feats, but instead draws its power by manipulating the subconscious of the person experiencing the manifestation. That is to say that the individual is taking a journey through their own memories guided by the Ghost.

The second theory would show that the Ghost of Christmas Past is in reality one of the more powerful spirits, as they have the ability to not only manifest extreme powers, but can also transfer those powers to another individual temporarily through touch.  The first of these abilities is the power of flight. It is currently unknown as to the limitations of this power, especially in regards to flight ceilings and duration.  The second ability is much more profound, and that is the ability to travel to the past of the person the spirit is in communication with. According to reports, there is no limitation to how long how far back the travel may go, as many report seeing events from their childhood. During this travel, however, the person is unable to interact with the past.

The most notable encounter occurred in 1842 when he appeared to Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge then told his tale of his appearance to his good friend Charles Dickens, who then fictionalized it into A Christmas Carol. In this particular instance, she was preceded in his arrival by another spirit, that of a presage (in this situation, appearing in the form of Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s deceased business partner.) She was then immediately followed by the Ghosts of Christmas Present and Future.

As far as is researched, there are no known weaknesses for this spirit, including the ability of this manifestation to avoid the usual precautions taken against the haunting of a locality. Given that it usually singles out a single person to convey a warning, the likelihood of those precautions succeeding in barring the spirit are low. However, since this ghost is usually present to provide a lesson or warning, it should not be considered especially threatening. Manifestations are often an hour or two at the most, with no ill reported effects from the visit. Therefore, the Ghost of Christmas Past may be considered mostly benign.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spirit Guide: Blackbeard


CLASS VII Corporeal Entity

Also known as: Edward Teach, Edward Thatch

Edward Teach (1680?- 22 November, 1718), better known as Blackbeard was an English privateer turned pirate operating from approximately 1703 to his death. He was particularly noted for his large beard which was often festooned with ribbons, or during battle, with burning slow matches. These had the effect of wreathing him in smoke, so that he resembled some sort of demon. This early use of psychological warfare allowed him to become one of the most successful and famous pirates of all time. 

The most notorious encounter in Blackbeard’s career as a pirate was his actions taken against the port of Charleston, South Carolina in May of 1718. Lacking medical supplies, Blackbeard and his fleet successfully blockaded the port for six days until their demands were met. Within the time limit, a medical chest was sent to the ships, and the blockade was lifted. The fleet belonging to Edward Teach began to move north to the village of Bath, in North Carolina.

While on the way to the village, where Edward Teach intended to take advantage of a general amnesty offered to all English pirates, his flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge ran aground on a sand bar, and was stripped and broken up.

Following the wreck of the Revenge, Blackbeard received a pardon for acts of piracy in June of 1718. After settling briefly in Bath, according to legend he was sailing a small pleasure vessel near Windmill Point when he set eyes upon a woman by the name of Martha Piver crabbing in the shallows of the Bay River.

With her pale skin, blue eyes, and red hair, Blackbeard was instantly drawn to her, and after an invitation to dine with her at her parent’s plantation, Edward Teach, the once infamous pirate, began to court the daughter of the plantation owner. After a brief time, he asked for her hand in marriage, which she accepted. Plans were begun immediately, but Blackbeard wished to finish some tasks down by the village of Bath. He set out from Windmill Point, but not before promising to return and collect Martha for the wedding. He also claimed that he would have his crew announce his arrival by firing each cannon on his ships, one by one, and that at the sound of the cannons, all manner of crabs and fish would swarm the shallows where they first met.

Shortly afterwards, Teach set out, never to return.  On November 22, 1718, Blackbeard and a crew of approximately thirty men faced off against Lieutenant Maynard and his crew, sent by Governor Spotswood of Virginia.  Lured into hand to hand combat by a ruse, Blackbeard was defeated, and upon examination of the body, it was found that he had received twenty sword cuts and five bullet wounds during the battle. Blackbeard was beheaded, and the head hung on the bowsprit of Maynard’s ship, while the rest of the body was dumped overboard. Witnesses claimed that the headless corpse swam three times around the ship before it sank out of sight.

All of this must have come as quite a shock to young Martha Piver, as she quickly took to bed after hearing the news, never to recover. She died later that year, and was buried on her parent’s property. Since then, on some nights the cries of a woman may be heard by the river, and witnesses have claimed to see an eerie blue light bobbing back and forth, as if someone was looking for something.  It has also been reported for over two centuries now that a booming sound may be heard over the water on regular occasions (always without cause) and when the sounds occur, all manner of sea life crowd the shallows, just as Blackbeard had promised his bride-to-be.

Once Maynard returned to Virginia, Blackbeard’s head was mounted on a spike as a warning, where it remained briefly until it was stolen by the Brethren of the Coast (a loose confederacy of pirates.) In their possession, the skull was stripped of its flesh, and the top of the skull plated with silver and turned into a goblet, incised with the legend “DETH TO SPOTSWOODE.” Following the expiration of his term of office, Governor Spotswood elected to remain in the colony of Virginia, rather than risk capture by the Brethren. 

In addition to the paranormal phenomena attached to the ghostly cannon fire, the headless ghost of Blackbeard has also been seen in the vicinity of where the battle took place, a locality now known (appropriately enough) as Teach’s Hole. He may be either seen swimming under the water during the full moon, or occasionally waving a lantern back and forth on the beach, looking for his head.

While there have been no documented accounts of interaction with the spirit, due to the subject’s fearsome reputation in life, an exceptional amount of caution is suggested when attempting to make contact. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'm Back.

Well, to say things have been turbulent as of late is an understatement, but I have returned. Among other projects that I have going on at the moment is a copy of Tobin's Spirit Guide (as seen in the Real Ghostbusters) that I am developing with several other members of the replica prop forum. As I finish articles, I will be tossing them up here. In addition, I have plenty to catch up on.