SPIRIT WORLDS

the human mind is keyed to the weird. 

For the entirety of our history, we've looked at our surroundings and found them teeming with gods and ghosts. A fleeting glimpse of a face in the trees; a shiver on the back of the neck; a momentary sense of something eternal and profound; these are the raw stuff of belief, and belief has the power to shape the world around us.  In the stories that follow, you'll find old folklore and new religions, and explorations of the ways they shape people's lives.

Not always for the better... 



1

HAUNTINGS

Just Because It Doesn't Exist, DOesn't Mean It isn't real

Narrative

Honky-tonk haints

Bitter Southerner                 September 2015

Murders. Ghosts. Demons. Everybody thinks Bobby Mackeys Music World is the most haunted bar in America. Everybody, that is, but Bobby Mackey.

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portrait

LA LLORONA RETURNS

Texas Observer                     February 2015

The weeping woman of Hispanic folklore has surprisingly ancient roots. But one thing hasn't changed: don't let her catch you by the river alone.  

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portrait

Jewish exorcists

Tablet Magazine                    October 2014

Among the Jews of Medieval Europe, the question of "What's gotten into you?" has a frightening answer.          

 


The Llorona of most anecdotes appears as an uncanny visitation before a family death, a terrible noise outside the window, or a flickering apparition glimpsed in the distance along the waterline.
— La Llorona Returns

2

STRANGE RITES

all faiths are uncanny, from the outside

 

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narrative

The road to tama-re

Oxford American             
Fall 2016

The disappearance of a high school classmate sparks an investigation into the Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, its enigmatic founder, and the  Georgia town that watched it fall. 

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narrative

The Pentecostal Serpent

Bitter Southerner           
September 2014

They are widely scorned. They risk death every time they pray. But what does it truly mean to take up a rattlesnake for God? 

 

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internet archeology

the final fantasy 7 house

Vice
June 2015

A young woman turns a group of video-game-loving fans she met online into an abusive mini-cult.


“You come close, she’ll strike at you through the glass and smash her mouth up. She’s done that a couple of times already, you see? That’s why we’ve got the rope. She’s an angry snake.”
— The Pentecostal Serpent