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Paranormal Ghost filled tales of voodoo - hoodoo and zombies, Bigfoot, El chupacabra, Banshee's, witches, ghost hunting Cemeteries, the undead, the dead, Cryptids, Vampires, ghouls , Monsters, Ufo's, Haunted Locations, Haunted Buildings, People and objects, Paranormal Phenomena and strange Urban Legends perpetrate a type of folklore or "Fakelore," endlessly circulated by word of mouth through generations, repeated in television news stories, Documentaries, Radio Talk shows, Newspapers, Blogs, magazine articles and distributed by e-mail.
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Taken from first-person accounts and historical documents, this book chronicles more than 300 examples of alien encounters, conspiracy theories, and the influence of extraterrestrials on human events throughout history. Investigating claims of visits from otherworldly creatures, aliens living among us, abductions of humans to alien spacecraft, and accounts of interstellar cooperation since the UFO crash in Roswell, this discussion of the theories and mysteries surrounding aliens is packed with thought-provoking stories and shocking revelations of alien involvement in the lives of Earthling
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Communication with the lost souls of the dead through séance's each year at Halloween
is nothing new. Through this Necromantic exploration
comes many a new haunted scary tale or two to tell your friends on twitter or facebook.
A séance (pronounced /ˈseɪ.ɑːns/) is an attempt to communicate with spirits. The word "séance" comes from the French word for "seat," "session" or "sitting," from the Old French "seoir," "to sit." In French, the word's meaning is quite general: one may, for example, speak of "une séance de cinéma" ("a movie session"). In English, however, the word came to be used specifically for a meeting of people who are gathered to receive messages from spirits or to listen to a spirit medium discourse with or relay messages from spirits; many people, including skeptics and non-believers, treat it as a form of entertainment. In modern English usage, participants need not be seated while engaged in a séance.
One of the earliest books on the subject of communication amongst deceased persons was Communitation With the Other Side by George, First Baron Lyttelton, published in England in 1760. Among the notable spirits quoted in this volume are Peter the Great, Pericles, a "North-American Savage," William Penn, and Christina Queen of Sweden. The popularity of séances grew dramatically with the founding of the religion of Spiritualism in the mid-nineteenth century. Perhaps the best-known series of séances conducted at that time were those of Mary Todd Lincoln who, grieving the loss of her son, organized Spiritualist séances in the White House, which were attended by her husband, President Abraham Lincoln, and other prominent members of society.
Modern séances continue to be a part of the religious services of Voduns, Spiritualist, Spiritist, and Espiritismo churches today, where a greater emphasis is placed on spiritual values versus showmanship.
In modern time necromancy is used as a more general term to describe the pretense of manipulation of death, and generally has a magical connotation. Modern séances, channeling, Spiritism and Spiritualism verge on necromancy when the supposedly invoked spirits are asked to reveal future events. Necromancy may also be presented as sciomancy, a branch of theurgic magic. Because of their themes of spirit contact, the Houdini Seance at Excalibur (nightclub) and the long-running show, Supernatural Chicago advertise their lead performer as "Neil Tobin, Necromancer." In America Today a well known leading Necromancer is Lisa Lee Harp Waugh.
An Encyclopedia of Occultism[
states: The art is of almost universal usage. Considerable difference of opinion exists among modern adepts as to the exact methods to be properly pursued in the necromantic art, and it must be borne in mind the necromancy, which in the Middle Ages was called sorcery, shades into modern spiritualistic practice.
There is no doubt, however, that necromancy is the touchstone of occultism, for if, after careful preparation the adept can carry through to a successful issue, the raising of the soul from the other world, he has proved the value of his art.
Real Halloween Séances to attend this year if you dare!
The Houdini Séance
The Houdini Séance Every Halloween since 1927, a séance has been held to see if legendary magician Harry Houdini would try to contact the living from the world beyond death.
Scranton Poconos Mountains POCONOS: The Halloween Houdini Seance and seance show Internet information Oct 30-Oct 31. The Halloween Harry Houdini Seance During the october Halloween season the Harry Houdini Museum has two seance events. Our psychic paranormalist presentation, "Haunted! Mind Mysteries & THE Beyond." Our yealy famous Halloween Harry Houdini seance tribute both by invitation at our facility, and on the web, we are asking everyone to attempt to contact Harry Houdini sometime during Halloween for the 24 hours of October 31st and email us with any results and lack of results. No kooks please, this is a serious Halloween test and tribute. Official web site houdini.org/seance.html
World-renowned medium, clairvoyant and best selling author James Van Praagh uses his gift of communicating with the beyond during a Halloween Séance with James Van Praagh at The Orleans Showroom, October 30 and 31 each evening at 8 p.m. During this speciAl Halloween Séance with James Van Praagh, the audience will learn to discover the process of mediumship, partake in a guided healing and enlightened meditation and will witness, and possibly receive, random messages from family and friends in spirit. Van Praagh began exploring the spiritual world at the young age of eight and has since become one of the foremost mediums in the world. In the 1990s, he made his first appearance in the mainstream news and entertainment media on the NBC morning talk show The Other Side as the resident expert on the subject of life after death. During the last 25 years, Van Praagh has made numerous appearances on shows such as Oprah, Larry King Live, 20/20, 48 Hours, and Biography to deliver his messages of hope and comfort. He also has hosted his own daytime talk show titled Beyond with James Van Praagh, and has produced several television series including Living with the Dead, The Dead Will Tell and the popular CBS prime time series The Ghost Whisperer starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. As a New York Times best-selling author, Van Praagh has penned works such as "Talking to Heaven," "Reaching to Heaven," "Healing Grief" and many more. Today, Van Praagh contributes to the entertainment newsmagazines Entertainment Tonight and The Insider. He also spends a great deal of time traveling around the world teaching mediumship development classes, hosting cruises to spiritual destinations and conducting sold-out seminars. He says his "greatest satisfaction in doing this is witnessing an instantaneous change in people."
Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are available starting from $49.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 702.365.7075 or visiting www.orleanscasino.com. Save on convenience fees by purchasing the tickets in person at Coast Casinos. About The Orleans Hotel and Casino Located at 4500 W. Tropicana Ave., The Orleans includes more than a dozen restaurants, an 18-screen movie theater, 70-lane bowling center, 827-seat showroom featuring theater-style seating, and a 9,500-seat Orleans Arena. The property has a 135,000-square foot casino with 60 table games including Blackjack-21, Roulette, Baccarat, Craps and Pai Gow.
Guests will also find more than 2,800 slot and video poker machines. Additionally, The Orleans includes a bingo parlor, keno lounge and race and sports book. More information on The Orleans Hotel and Casino can be found at www.orleanscasino.com. The Orleans Hotel and Casino is a property of Boyd Gaming. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Boyd Gaming is a leading diversified owner and operator of 16 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana and Louisiana. Additional news and information on Boyd Gaming can be found at www.boydgaming.com.
A Very Real Paranormal Experiment: "CALLING UP THE LIVE GHOST OF LISA LEE HARP WAUGH!"
LISA LEE HARP WAUGH SET TO DOCUMENT THE NEXT GREATEST PARANOMAL EXPEIREMENT TO DATE! THIS PARANOMAL SPECIAL EVENT IS SET TO TAKE PLACE ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT AT 12:AM EST LEARN MORE HERE NOW!
Waugh the American Necromancer has in recent year made specific attempts to send her living spirit or ghost around the world to be documented by those that call upon her to appear.
Many people in past years have said to either witnessed or felt the presence of Waugh as she astral projects around the world on Halloween night in past years. Many believe they have either photographed her spirit or captured her words on EVP's. a certain few maintain that they have actually seen her full body apparition before them.
If you wish to try to participate in this exciting experiment this year please visit here for details. LEARN MORE HERE NOW!
Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp
Join a Seance table in Cassadaga, Florida
- Mediums give spiritual readings by day and
lead seances by night (not every night, though,
call for details and reservations). The spirits
communicate by turning the seance table or
rapping the wood, indicating a "yes"
or "no" answer. The community's
popular B&B, the Ann Stevens House offers
a seance package (includes tour, dinner and
seance) for $69.95 per person. Room charges
and taxes are extra. Room rates range from
$175 for single occupancy to $290 for triple
occupancy. For more information or reservations
at the B&B (between Daytona and Orlando),
call (800) 228-0310. For information on readings
($50-$80), seances or events at Cassadaga,
call (386) 228-2880.
Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp is a 115 year old community of spiritually-minded people located in Central Florida. We invite you to learn about the history, the religion, and the people of Cassadaga on the pages that follow. And be sure to include us on your next visit to the Orlando/Daytona Beach area.
Haunted Hart House A Ghostly Halloween Séance
Ghostly Halloween Séance at Haunted Hart House A Ghostly Halloween Séance at Haunted Hart House. Presented by. Toronto Psychic Services/Toronto Psychic Reader. Date: October 30, 2010 visit here now!
Halloween Seance at Hotel La Rose with Psychic Jan Kucker and Rob & Joss of Froggy Radio 92.9 Hotel La Rose is 101 years old, and for many years there have been legends of the hauntings of Hotel La Rose. Staff and guests alike have experienced objects moving, cold breezes and even disconnected phones ringing. On Halloween Eve psychic Jan Kucker held a seance with Rob & Joss of Froggy Radio 92.9, along with several of Jan's intuitive friends, and a couple of staff members from the Hotel La Rose. http://www.jankucker.com/Halloween_Seance.html
Necromancy (pronounced /ˈnɛkrɵmænsi/; Greek νεκρομαντεία nekromantía, via Latin necromantia) is a form of magic in which the practitioner seeks to summon the spirit of a deceased person, either as an apparition or ghost, or to raise them bodily, for the purpose of divination.
The word necromancy derives from the Greek νεκρός (nekrós), "dead body", and μαντεία (manteía), "prophecy, divination". The compound νεκρομαντεία itself is post-classical, first used by Origen in the 3rd century. The classical Greek term is nekyia (ἡ νέκυια), in Hellenistic Greek also νεκυιομαντεία, rendered in Latin as necyomantia and in 17th century English as necyomancy.
Sallie Ann Glassman,
The Island Of Salvation Botanica and Magical Pharmacie,
La Source Ancienne Ounfo
Present the 29th Annual*
DAY OF THE DEAD CELEBRATION
Sunday, November 1st
3319 Rosalie Alley
New Orleans, LA.
Ceremony for Gede: 7 p.m., in Rosalie Alley, off of Rampart, between Piety and Desire.
Followed by: Pot Luck supper & procession to the cemetery to feed the Dead.
Please wear white with a purple headscarf, or black and purple for Gede. Bring a dish (not a blond) for the people, and an offering for the Dead or Gede.
Gede’s tastes tend towards peppers, flat breads, rum, cigars, goat stew, crosses, grave-digger’s tools, black cock feathers, skeletons, sunglasses with one lens, hot Creole foods, money, the colors black, mauve, and white. He is syncretized with St. Gerard.
Or you can bring something that your ancestors or loved ones enjoyed in life.
La Source Ancienne Ounfo &
The Island of Salvation Botanica & Magical Pharmacy
La Source Ancienne Ounfo & The Island of Salvation Botanica & Magical Pharmacy peristyle is just one group that holds rituals in honor of Baron, Maman Brigitte, and the Ghedes. The people who come must all be fed, and the lwa who appear are also feasted from the donated food specially prepared for them.
Mambo Sallie Ann Glassman began by saying. "The beautiful city of New Orleans is broken but not beaten, is bent but not destroyed. Slowly, it is beginning to heal." "She is like a grand old dame who is suffering from a serious, life-threatening illness, and she needs every healing effort still." "Who better to call on now than Papa Guédé!"
Asking those present to honor the dead with their offerings, Mambo Sallie Ann also stated that the Loas have spoken to her in many ways since Katrina’s strike and that the spirit world is entreating all of us to be more mindful of the natural world surrounding us.
Following this, Mambo Sallie Ann bends down to the ground where she begins to draw in corn meal the intricate and powerful "veve" -- the otherworldly symbol that in this world is the mirror of the power of the spirit world. As she draws, pinching out the corn meal, her devotees will sing and circulate bottles of blessed water in which the audience is invited to wash their hands.
Ritual Voodoo drumming enticed everyone to dance with happy abandon in the Perystle as the ritual reached it's height. The feverish banda dancing went on long into the night. The artistry of the drummers ass incomparable, and even non-Vodouisants had come out their homes to watch. Just as in ceremonies past, the beautiful singing, drumming and dancing is designed to call Guédé, a powerful Loa, from across the Abyss to be present among us.
Jolie brings her own personal voodoo offreing of a special made Papa Ghede Zombie Spirit Bottle for this night to the La Source Ancienne Ounfo Peristyle.
In the aftermath of Katrina, when all the city of New Orleans still appears to be dead, who, you might ask, would want to hang around this place now?
It would have to be somebody familiar with great heartache desolation, that’s for sure, and not put off by day to day hard challenges. Someone who brings the party with him, so to speak; who knows just the prescription for these one year and 3 months later post-Katrina blues.
Fireworks and dancing marked the arrival of the Guédé among the celebrants blessed intentions through the warm November night and into the world of Spirit.
Possession is a wide-ranging phenomena which is probably the most popular form of union with the divine in human history. Possession-oriented rituals are apparent in ancient Egypt and it has been shown that the earliest forms of Cabbalistic practice were oriented towards this type of experience. Possession was a recognised phenomena in ancient Greece, two examples being the Delphic oracle, and the practices of the Theurgists, defined by Proclus as "... in a word, all the operations of divine possession." Possession is a central feature of Voudoun, Santeria, and Macumba, religions which are gaining increasing popularity, and is apparent in most tribal cultures, from America to Australasia.
When Ghede mounts someone he often singles out people who pretend to be aloof from eroticism. He ridicules them, embarrasses them, exposes them (in more ways than one). He is especially hard on whites since they often have the puritanical sexual attitudes of western culture. Ghede is a clown, an interrupter, a coarse fellow. He is much loved because his appearance always brings laughter and joy, singing and dancing, though much of it is lude. He loves cigarettes and is often seen smoking two at a time. He is neither good nor evil, but is amused by humans and that's why he jokes around so much. He is usually the last to appear at a ceremony.
Another of Ghede's great powers is as the protector of children. He does not like to see children die. They need a full life. Thus he is the loa to go to when seeking help for a sick child. He has the power over zombies and decides whether or not people can be changed into animals. Any such black magic Voodoo must seek the help of Baron Samedi/Ghede.
Possession also appears in early Christianity - particularly with the manifestation of "speaking in tongues" which remains popular in modern-day forms of evangelical Christianity. St. Paul's dramatic experience on the road to Damascus bears all the hallmarks of a sudden divine possession, yet he was worried by the phenomenon, and found it necessary to lecture the Corinthian Christians on the need to carefully manage speaking in tongues:
"If therefore, the whole church assembles, and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? ...do not forbid speaking in tongues, but all things should be done decently and in order" (I Corinthians, 14)
The ability to 'loose control' appears to be a key factor in the possession experience..
This is not of course, an issue, in ceremonies where the entire assembly knows what to expect of the entity manifesting. William Sargant gives an account of a Voudoun ceremony he witnessed in Haiti, where two girls became simultaneously possessed by Ghede, a loa who is known to be particularly sexually active: "They half stripped each other and one girl symbolically raped the other with a masculine type of pelvic approximation. It ended with the total emotional collapse of both participants." Sargant goes on to say that the group was somewhat amused by this episode, and that the girls, who were normally restrained and quiet, had no memory of what they had done. He notes that the only people who were 'upset' by the incident were the boyfriends of the girls, but that they could say nothing, as it was the manifestation of Ghede. This in itself is an important point. In many possession-oriented cults, there is a tacit understanding that whatever a possessed person does, it is the action of the indwelling entity and as such, they cannot be faulted. Furthermore, after the person comes out of possession, they are not told about how they behaved.
The Baron Arrives!
Many awaited the grand appearance of Papa Guédé,who in fact did arrive dressed to the nines. His appearance this November warm night was foreshadowed by a great gust of the north wind and a deathly cold chill in the air. Those who were outside the Perystle felt his approach as the drumming reached a fever pitch inside and many of the dancers slowed from the heat filling the room. That’s when Guédé appeared andwanted to hear another song, have another drink, and eat another meal! The party for the dead really began. With top hat, dark sunglasses with one eye out, to symbolize his power in the world of the seen and the unseen. And with a large thick dark cigar he found with his offerings and with a smile all knew he was very pleased.
Ghede he is a masculine lwa with a nasal voice who carries a walking stick or baton, uses profanity liberally, and dresses in black or purple. He is considered the last resort against deaths caused by magic, because even if a magical spell should bring a person to the point of death, if Baron refuses to "dig the grave", the person will not die.
Ghede may possess anyone, anytime. Baron and Maman Brigitte, are absolutely notorious for their use of profanity and sexual terms and his gyrating banda dance make him unmistakable. There is a reason for this - the Ghede are dead, beyond all punishment. Nothing further can be done to them, so the use of profanity among the normally somewhat formal Haitians is a way of saying, "I don't care! I've passed beyond all suffering, I can't be hurt." In a country where disrespect for authority figures was until recently punished by torture or death, this is a powerful message.
A woman possessed by one of the Gede taunts passersby and swears at them. A New Orleans Voudun initiate is ridden (”possessed”) by Ghede. Photo below.
However, this profanity is never used in a vicious or abusive fashion, to "curse someone out". It is always humorous, even when there is a pointed message involved.
"He is the wise counselor and a shameless trickster; he is especially loving toward children, and is called the patron of children throughout the Vodoun world." "The Guédé family of spirits are the guardians of the dead and masters of libido. Mambo Sallie Ann had told all earlier in the night.
Guédésexual personas arrival caused a disruption to the wild dancing. "He is fond of his liquor Glassman had remarked earlier, especially his favorite brand of rum."Guédésearched for it amongst the many wonderful offerings brought to him this night. "You can count on him to keep you from wallowing in your sorrows," Said Sallie Ann Glassman to the crowd. "Always Guédé arrives when everyone is tired, exhausted and ready to go home for much needed sleep."
Like many other types of magical experience, possession is a learned response. When an individual first experiences possession, it may have far-reaching consequences as a life-changing agent. It may occur suddenly, or gradually, and in some accounts of possession, it can be agonizingly painful. The degree of resistance to the experience is interesting in this light. Sargant notes that often, the more one resists the onset of possession, the more intense the experience actually becomes. I have noticed that, in my own experience of being possessed, whenever I have consciously tried to limit the depth of possession, it has in fact, proved to be much more intense than I expected. With practice, one may achieve a state of possession relatively quickly.
The Baron answered many questions and mingled amongst the many in attendance that filled the Perystle and surrounding grounds, puffing furiously on his large dark thick cigar. Most of all many here wanted to speak to him, because he possess the accumulated wisdom of all that are dead. As the Avatar of Death it is within his power to effect healing, and if ever there was a need for healing, it is here, now in New Orleans.
Ghede is said to be a thief amonngst the crowd. It is true that he appropriates what he likes from anyone, but once the person accedes to Ghede's demands his pilfering is usually limited to a few things very minor such as demanding a dollar bill or two. Glassman recounts that when you make a request of Baron Samedi, you use a something other then your hand, a stick anything but your hand extended in place of your hand. When the Baron is ready to leave, he takes with him whatever he's holding. By substituting something, you don't loose your arm!
Possession remains a powerful form of magical work. It can be used to derive oracular information (as used by the Greeks and Tibetans), to charge magical weapons, to share in the power of the God (as in ritual Masses) or 'live' a particular mythic transformation. In constructing possession-workings, it can be useful to examine magical and religious paradigms where possession is a recognised and culturally-defined technique. The experience itself can be related to wider phenomenon such as religious conversion, hypnosis, and abreactive therapy. As with all types of magical technique, it's use requires careful analysis and evaluation if it is not to devolve into a habituated limitation. In general, magical possession is both useful and enjoyable, if a little hair-raising at times.
At Fet Ghede, Glassmans peristyles followers also cook and bring plenty of food especially for the many of Ghedes which appear unexpectedly and wander through the streets to the ponding call of the drums.
Ghede Is Everywhere!
Many Guédés dressed in top hat and smoked glasses danced, ate cursed and sang into the night.
It seems that some years ago, under the regime of President Borno, there suddenly appeared in the streets of Port-au-Prince a crowd of Ghedes (all of them houngans possessed by Ghede) wearing the "formal" costume of the lord: the tall top-hats, long black tail-coats, smoked glasses, cigarettes or cigars, and canes. An enormous crowd naturally collected about them, and joined them in their march to the National Palace. They all took the guards by surprise, and, singing, swerved throught the gates and up the drive and to the door itself, where they demanded money of the President. President Borno, who is reputed to have been sympatheic to Voudoun ritiual (secretly so) and yet feared bourgeois opininon was in great dilemma. He finally gave in, obstensibly merely to quiet the mob, and the Ghedes with their supporters left the grounds. But Ghede had make his point. Death, who has consumed so many heroes, bows before no man and will remind even the most illustrious that one day he too will be consumed. So Ghede had gotten his money and went off to gorge himself, singing...
from Divine Horsemen by Maya Deren [p107]
Note: If you are visiting New Orleans in the hazy month of June, do not miss this opportunity to experience this authentic open to the public voodoo Marie Laveau ritual hosted by one of the most powerful practitioners of the religion in the South, Sallie Ann Glassman. Featured on the Scifi Investigates Premier.
Ms. Sallie Ann Glassman is the author of Vodou Visions, published by Random House in May, 2000, which has received acclaim from Vodou practitioners around the world. She is co-creator and artist for The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot, published by Destiny/Inner Traditions, and is the illustrator of The Enochian Tarot, published by Llewellyn.
Counted as one of the twenty most active Voodoo practitioners in the United States, And as one of the top ten in New Orleans, Priestess Sallie Ann Glassman is known for promoting positive thoughts through her Voodoo faith. She is also a historian on Voodoo tradition and its roots in Hatian Vodun. Like many native religions, Vodou (often referred to as "Voodoo") has been scorned and ridiculed in mainstream Judeo-Christian communities. "The word 'Vodou' sends chills down the spines of most people, and conjures up age-old terrors of sorcery, black magic, and bogeymen lurking under the bed," writes author Sallie Ann Glassman (New Orleans Voodoo Tarot/Book and Card Set). This enticing compendium of the origins and practice of Vodou makes for a fascinating read, explaining how music, dance, and artistic expression are the heart and soul of this complicated religion. "What I discovered was a vibrant, beautiful, and ecstatic religion that was free from dogma, guilt or coercion," says Glassman, a thoughtful and articulate Jewish woman who first began studying New Orleans Vodou in 1975.
Today in New Orleans All Saints' is more subdued but still an important day for visiting and decorating cemeteries. A modest but steady stream of people makes its way to family tombs in Lafayette or St. Louis No. 1 or Cypress Grove, and Save Our Cemeteries, an organization devoted to the study and preservation of the Crescent City's historic graveyards, has taken to stationing its members in several of the older cemeteries to pass out information and solicit memberships. This is the traditional day for visiting and beautifying the cemeteries of New Orleans. To true New Orleanians this day is as important as Mardi Gras.
In the aftermath of Katrina, when all the city of New Orleans appears to be dead, who, you might ask, would want to hang around this place now?
It would have to be somebody familiar with desolation, that’s for sure, and not put off by challenges. Someone who brings the party with him, so to speak; who knows just the prescription for these post-Katrina blues.
No it ain’t the Big Boeuf of Fat Tuesday! It's Gede' Of Course!
Too dread to be dead and too much of a good time to be kept down, now’s the time to call on Papa Gede for a healing wild abandon.
Known as the Lwa of the Dead in Vodoun, Papa Gede, or Ghede, is also known as the Baron Samdi, and is married to Manman Brigit, mother of all Gedes. Together the Gedes dress in funeral colors of purple and black and surround themselves with graveyard imagery. The Gedes are very wise, Papa Gede most of all, because they possess the accumulated wisdom of all the dead.
Papa Gede usually appears wearing all black, a top hat, sunglasses with one eye out, to symbolize his power in the world of the seen and the unseen. He is a wise counselor and a shameless trickster; he is especially loving toward children, and is called the patron of children throughout the Vodoun world.
You can count on Gede to keep you from wallowing in your sorrows, and he usually arrives when everyone is tired, exhausted and ready for sleep. That’s when Gede will want to hear another song, have another drink, and eat another meal!
Devotions to Gede, who is syncretized with St. Gerard, are carried out during the entire month of November, but most especially on November 1st (All Saints Day) and 2nd (All Souls Day).
During these devotions, Papa Gede will arrive with the entire retinue of Gedes in tow. They eat and drink with gluttony, for, like Death, the Gedes are never satisfied, and they especially enjoy hot, peppered foods and rum that has had Scotch Bonnet peppers soaking in it.
But Papa Gede is not just gluttony and cool clothes. He is the powerful Lwa often called upon for healing. As the Avatar of Death it is also within his power to effect healing, and if ever there was a need for healing, it is here, now.
Each Year La Source Ancienne Ounfo & The Island of Salvation Botanica & Magical Pharmacy present their Annual New Orleans DAY OF THE DEAD CELEBRATION, Voodoo Mambo Sallie Ann Glassman presiding holds a open to the Public day of the dead ritual. Followers wear white with a purple headscarf, or black and purple for Gede. They bring a dish of food for the people, and an offering for the Dead or Gede.
Gede’s tastes tend towards peppers, flat breads, rum, cigars, goats, crosses, grave-digger’s tools, black cock feathers, skeletons, sunglasses with one lens, hot Creole foods, money, the colors black, mauve, and white. He is syncretized with St. Gerard.
Or you can bring something that your ancestors or loved ones enjoyed in life.
New Orleans Day of Holy Obligations
The beautiful city of New Orleans is broken but not beaten, is bent but not destroyed. Slowly, it is beginning to heal. She is like a grand old dame who is suffering from a serious, life-threatening illness, and she needs every healing effort. Who better to call on now than Papa Gede?
He is able to help with grief, and there are many grieving here and throughout the Diaspora that is post-Katrina New Orleans. Gede will also lead the Beloved Dead across the black waters of the Abyss where they can rest, and their loved ones can heal.
In heavily Catholic New Orleans, All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2) have been observed for centuries through rituals celebrating life over death.
During the Yellow Fever epidemics in eighteenth century New Orleans, death always loomed close. It's presence left the lasting impression on this city and its inhabitants that life is a gift, perhaps fleeting, and should be enjoyed to its fullest each day. And so, on All Saints Day and All Souls Day, New Orleanians honor the lives of their dead loved ones by painting tombs with brilliant whitewashes, placing yellow chrysanthemums and red coxcombs on graves and ringing statuary with immortelles (wreaths of black glass beads). On these days, cemeteries throughout the city are alive with the flickering glow from fields of candles, as death is forgotten and lives lived are celebrated.
The most deadly diseases to strike Louisiana during the antebellum period were cholera, smallpox, malaria, and yellow fever. In an epidemic year the mortality rate could reach as high as sixty percent of those who contracted a disease. The death rate in New Orleans ranged from a low of 36 per 1,000 in the late 1820s to a high of 1 in 15 during the summer of 1853. Over 12,000 people died of yellow fever in New Orleans that year, with still more deaths in rural areas in south Louisiana, marking the single highest annual death rate of any state during the entire nineteenth century. Because people died faster than graves could be dug, the popular saying was that pretty soon people would have to dig their own graves.
It is one of the many rich New Orleans' traditions we observe annually at International House, for we can imagine no other city which has turned such tragedy into such a joyous celebration of life.
November 1st, All Saints' Day, is the time when folks in New Orleans traditionally come to pay their respects and leave flowers on the family plot.
Of these older cemeteries, St. Roch's, probably the best kept up, most retains the older air of All Saints' hustle and bustle. Once at the heart of the Ninth Ward's life, it is still visited by many former residents of the neighborhood who have moved to Gretna or St. Bernard Parish or other suburbs. Practically every grave and every niche in the wall "ovens" have flowers. People greet each other, chat with each other, or stop to joke with St. Roch's indefatigable sexton, Albert Hattier, about his own recently completed tomb, which sits prominently guarding the gate to St. Roch's No. 2.. Lower Louisiana is famous for its "Cities of the Dead," the cemeteries of above-ground tombs and wall crypts, or "ovens." Because so much of the area is below sea level, coffins did not readily stay in the ground but rather floated to the top. It only took a heavy rain to raise the dead. To address the problem antebellum authorities at times prohibited interment in the ground. Thus, most south Louisianians were, and still are, buried above the earth's surface.
Burial construction varied by class and faith. Wealthy Louisianians commissioned large, elaborate family tombs, while those with lesser means were buried in small units of ovenlike wall crypts. The very poor who could not afford tombs or crypts were buried below ground, often in unmarked or mass graves. During epidemics the dead were often buried one on top of another.
Jews also interred their dead below ground. According to Jewish belief, the body had to return to the soil and thus was usually buried in the ground in a wooden casket without nails.
But it is only in a few of Louisiana's rural communities, like Lacombe on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, and Lafitte, on Bayou Barataria, where the sublime night-time vigils, once more common, still take place to give All Saints' an especially distinctive aspect. In both of these places, as well as in many others in South Louisiana where All Saints' is observed without the candlelight vigil, the week before is a time of intense preparation. Undergrowth, weeds, and any cemetery trash are cleaned up, and tombs and graves, most of which have copings or slabs or in some other way conform to the South Louisiana style of raised grave structures, are painted (once with whitewash, today more likely with latex)
Antebellum Louisianians mourned the dead by staging elaborate funerals and processions, decorating graves at the time of death and on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, placing black wreaths on doors and black ribbons on door pulls, and wearing clothes and jewelry that symbolized stages of mourning. Many customs incorporated Latin and African elements, a cultural heritage from Louisiana's colonial era.
New Orleans Mourning jewelry is composed in part of human hair. Hair jewelry could be made by the mourner or by artists who specialized in such work with hair clipped from the deceased at the time of death.
The level of subterranean water is high enough that coffins tend to pop up out of the ground. An exception is Holt cemetery, where the graves are in the ground.
"It's a cemetery for mostly people who don't have the money to build those big magnificent tombs. So there are a lot of handmade, homemade tombs, made with found objects, with materials that are just lying around, very impermanent materials. It's a lot of very improvised memorials. Very personalized as well."
Rob Florence is the author of New Orleans Cemeteries: Life in the Cities of the Dead.
"It's one of the things that's very moving about this cemetery. You can tell that people have put a lot of thought and a lot of time and a lot of devotion into these memorials and within a year or even six months, it's not gonna be there."
The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New ... since the franchise had been granted to New Orleans on All Saints' Day. African-American influences on Louisiana mourning traditions included the celebration of funerals with dancing, music, and singing.
The wearing of white at funerals and other celebrations involving the dead had religious symbolism and was most likely an African-American cultural carryover. In 1819 English-born architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe encountered a funeral procession in New Orleans for an old Congo slave woman and wrote:
In going home to my lodgings this evening about sunset, I encountered a crowd of at least 200 negroes, men and women, who were following a corpse to the cemetery. Of the women, one half at least carried candles, & as the evening began to be dark, the effect was very striking, for all the women & many of the men were dressed in pure white. The funerals are so numerous here, or rather occupy so much of every afternoon in consequence of their being, almost all of them, performed by the same set of priests, proceeding from the same parish Church St. Louis Cathedral], that they excite hardly any attention.
In antebellum Louisiana, and even now, celebration of death did not end with the funeral. On or near tombs and crypts friends and relatives placed immortelles, wreaths commonly made of such durable materials as glass and wire.
According to older Latin Catholic tradition, the living also remembered the dead on All Souls' Day (2 November), burial sites, adorned them with flowers and ornaments, and held midnight feasts. Louisianians continue to observe All Saints' and All Souls' Day in much the same way today.
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