Robert the Doll

Robert is a world famous, mysterious and mischievous entity that dwells inside this 115 year old doll in Key West, Florida. Over the years he has been blamed for many misfortunes: divorces, injuries and even an outbreak of the Yellow Fever. He is even allegedly the original inspiration for Chucky from Child’s Play. You have to ask his permission before taking a picture, or he will seriously mess your life up. Letters are received all the time apologizing to Robert for this faux pas, often lamenting the misfortunes that came as a result of their rudeness.

The history of Robert and his original owner Robert Eugene Otto is lengthy and very mysterious. Recently Amazon dedicated a special episode of Lore to Robert and his first family. According to modern legends, Robert sometimes moves from place to place. He can cause all kinds of mayhem. People who visit him today who make flippant remarks often regret it in the end.

I have wanted to meet Robert ever since my first time in Key West when I was 13. When we finally did meet this year, I was just as excited then as I was 20 years ago. I was elated when we laid eyes on each other, and I told him all about the first time I learned about him and what a fan I was. He gave me really friendly vibes as I very politely asked his permission to make this post. For a while afterwards I was stuck in a sort of obsessive day dream about being friends with him. There is definitely spiritual power inside that doll! You can learn more about him at his own website.
Thanks again Robert!

Happy Hallowe’en!

Happy Hallowe’en! For visiting today, I give you this blessing.

Tonight with the setting of the Sun, may all thy troubles be undone.
And may the stars in sweet repose, shine light upon all sorrow and woe.
When the waning moon does appear, so shall the waning of thy tears.
The spirits who in darkness dwell, grant thee the power of this spell:

“A year of good fortune, happiness, joy.
May all thy works and charms employ
The very best of all thy skills,
And ‘ere the perfection of thy Will.”

So be it!

Sigil2

Pbr6kWVCredit: Austin Pardun

 

Medieval Torture Museum, St. Augustine

In the nation’s oldest city there is a new exhibition of replica and restoration torture implements popular from antiquity up to 1939 (the last public execution by guillotine). Even though the dummies are pretty kitschy and the fake torches very campy, the torture devices and demonstrations offer a boldly visual exposition on how barbarous humanity can be. Of course you KNOW I focused most of my attention here on the trial and punishment of witches and sorcerers, about which I was not disappointed. Contemplating on these instruments of brutality and pain is a very powerful way to remind yourself of the needless suffering religious tyrants have caused in the past, and will continue to cause in the future unless we stop them.

Shame mask for an eavesdropper
Collection of shame masks for different offenses, gluttony, gossip, eavesdropping, adultery and so on. A 16th century invention.
Clamps, chains, brands and the Breast Ripper (center)
The Pear of Anguish. Just Google it.
Heretic’s fork. This is what happens when your belief doesn’t match mine!

Catherine wheel. Particularly nasty, and used since ancient times
Iron Maiden. Did you catch their last tour? Ghost was opening for them it was spectacular. 

All about that time when I got super stoned and went ghost hunting

Picture it! Last weekend, St. Augustine, Florida. About 3 drinks, 2 bowls, and a very potent THC edible settling nicely in my tummy. This was the night of the trip I’d been waiting for, our paranormal investigation and ghost tour through the historic city. While for most of the group, it was an entertaining story time, for me there was a moment of pure fear.

Castillo de San Marcos, built starting 1672.

St. Augustine has been a continually occupied settlement since Spanish explorers set up camp there in 1565. It’s 450 year history means it’s a great place for antiquities, archaeology, and local legends.

Spanish conquistadors land in Florida on the feast of St Augustine, detail of stained glass window, St Augustine Church, Gainesville FL

About 30 minutes into the tour, my brain was total mush, so all the facts I learned about St Augustine ghosts I had to read about later. However one stop I remember in vivid detail was at Antiques and Uniques on Aviles St. This part of the town has been developed ever since the first Spanish period. The building we entered was once the City Jail, and prior to that had been part of a military hospital complex. Archaeological evidence found in the 21st century revealed human remains under the building. According to legend there were also ghosts of children who haunt the place, so instead of calling out to the rapists and murderers, we decided to try to communicate with the kids.

The creepiest collection of clown dolls and other junk in town, which my stoned ass decided entering in the middle of the night would be a good idea.

We powered up our KII EMF meter and took our dowsing rods. As we all crammed into a narrow closet, which was at one time the alley behind the jail and a site of more than one grisly murder, the silence overtook the place. With a single flashlight we filed in and tried to call the child ghosts by name. Now, being in the middle of an edible session, my mind went all kinds of weird places. Time stood still. I became claustrophobic and paranoid. All of that I could easily attribute to the THC. But then shit started getting too real.

There are at least 5 ghosts in this photo alone!

The flashlight begins flickering (of course), sending a thousand memories of scary movies flooding through my head. A creak in the distance and footsteps clamoring above us strike momentary fear into my heart. It feels like I am being watched. My boyfriend decides to go in deeper to the closet (I was too afraid, and relieved that he was standing next to the murder hole and not me). After a while, we ask the kids to manipulate the dowsing rod. Slowly, the rods begin to separate out at 180 degrees from each other. Our KII meters are spiking left and right near the rods, the flashlight is fucking with my peripheral vision and now I’m seeing things that are hopefully not there. I take my KII meter and move it around the other meters that are spiking off. The activity stops about four feet above the ground–right about at the height of a 10 year old child. I am having a legit paranormal experience, and I am almost paralyzed with fear. Well, fuck me. Even though I study and do magic and all that entails, this experience is just a little too real for my stoner brain. I was definitely relieved when the 3 hour investigation (which was actually only 20 minutes) was over.

Other fun highlights from the tour, after the jump.

Continue reading “All about that time when I got super stoned and went ghost hunting”