Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Paranormal Parasites--The Fringe Element of the Paranormal World


In the 1920s, the most famous man in the world was arguably Harry Houdini, stage magician and escape artist. While normally this sort of entertainer would have concentrated on making his audiences believe that he possessed some supernatural power, Houdini was different. Not only did he claim the direct opposite, he went a step further. He claimed that no one had arcane abilities of magic or spirit communication, and he put his money where his mouth was.  After his mother died, Houdini tried to contact her through various psychic mediums, but none of them were legitimate. He began to give lectures on fake mediums. In 1924, he wrote and published a book: A Magician Among The Spirits. All year on his 1925 tour, he offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who proved to him that their purported abilities were real. 


No one ever claimed that money.

At the time, the spiritualist movement was huge internationally. Less than a decade after World War I, too many families in Europe, Asia, and the Americas were still dealing with the deaths of their fathers, husbands, and sons. Europe was still in the throes of severe political upheaval, just a few years after the deposition of Tsar Nicholas and his subsequent execution along with his wife and children and only a few years before fascism took hold of a turbulent post-war Germany. If there were people with the ability to contact the dead, their talents and skill had never been more needed. 

And as with so many issues of faith, that terrible fact attracted the worst kinds of snake oil salesmen and exploitative opportunists. Houdini maintained a one-man war against them and was remarkably successful in his pursuit of frauds. After all, who was better situated to know all the tricks of the trade than a man who'd gotten rich from using those tricks to entertain sold-out theaters every night for months? 

Houdini was a magician, yes. But he was also an honest man, who couldn't bear the dishonesty that was coming between people struggling to survive during the Great Depression and their money--money that should have been used to feed and clothe their children instead of rewarding the lies a fake medium concocted. And Harry is perhaps the forefather of the awareness that around any paranormal community, there's a fringe element. I call the inhabitants of that element paranormal parasites, and they're far more common than you think.

As a paranormal researcher, I've encountered these parasites in all sorts of locations and playing all sorts of roles. So for the purposes of this blog mini-series, I'm going to break these down into several groups of paranormal parasites: fakers or false victims; ghost hunters; paranormal clergy; psychics/mediums; demonology; paranormal tourism; haunted objects and paranormal equipment; and paranormal television.

Yeah. I know what you're thinking. "But...but Celina! Are you saying that ALL paranormal stuff is some kind of scam?"

No. What I'm saying is that paranormal parasites can be found at any level of involvement, and skepticism is necessary not only to understand what's happening around you but to protect yourself from something far  more terrifying than cryptids and poltergeists.

Doesn't matter what you believe in, there's nothing scarier than man.

Each identified area will get its own blog post, along with signs of what to look for so that you won't end up becoming the victim of a parasite.

The only way to verify legitimate paranormal activity is to eliminate any and all potential explanations. Any long-time investigator (or Sherlock Holmes fan, for that matter) will inherently understand and agree with this. It's a fact. The only way you can conclusively determine if something is paranormal or supernatural is to eliminate every other possibility. In the paranormal world right now there are too many people desperate to prove that what they believe is a universal fact when in actuality, that's the direct opposite approach to what investigators should be doing.

What we should be doing is trying to prove that what we witness, capture, or believe has a logical, non-paranormal provenance. Anything else is just a subjective experience--an allegation or a claim. And I'm not immune to that rule. All over the paranormal section of this blog are stories of events that I've experienced, documented, or researched. But those stories aren't evidence. You can't consider them proof of anything. BUT, my subjective experiences and observations do serve a purpose from an investigatory standpoint. The can be roadmaps, perhaps, to help investigators find evidence.

For example, I tell the story of my experiences with the Bell Witch Cave and my earliest paranormal research in the post What A Real Night Investigating in Adams Is Like. A significant portion of that post deals with how the rocks in the Bell Witch Cave should *never* be taken home as souvenirs. Heck, I didn't even TAKE a rock; they just showed up in my car. When I take one I missed back to the cave the next day, this is what happens:

The next morning on my way to class, I noticed that we'd forgotten one of the rocks we'd found piled up in the seats. I skipped my afternoon art history class to drive that rock back to Adams and give it back to Mr. Bims. When I got there, he was sitting outside on his lawnmower, and as I got out with the rock he smiled at me. 
Bims Edens was one of those slow-speaking, polite Southern gentlemen. He was so very kind, but he also had a devilish gleam in his eyes sometimes when he smiled. As I told him what had happened, his eyes got that little twinkle in them and he smiled slowly. "I knew something happened," he said. "You've never left before without telling us goodbye and thank you." 
"The rocks were what freaked me out," I confessed. "That's why I thought I'd better make sure to bring this straight back.""Last night the dead men's lanterns were glowing in the woods," he said, looking in the direction of the Bells' old graveyard. "Things was restless last night. Probably one of those stupid kids on the hayride got things riled up. But she gave you a warning, Celina. Better be careful, girl--she let you know that she knows who you are." 
Mr. Bims took the rock, said goodbye, and headed toward the trail. I knew he was going to put the rock back in the cave--like he always put those rocks that came back in the mail from all over. I should have taken it myself and spared the old man the trip, but I knew he wouldn't let me. He believed Kate had given me a warning, and so he'd given me one too.
That's a pretty scary story but one that's ultimately just a subjective experience. There's no proof that the rocks from the Bell Witch Cave are cursed, right? The post was written in October, 2015 about events that happened in October, 1990. But two days ago, on October 6, 2019, the Fourman brothers released a new investigation on their paranormal channel called Paranormal Nightmares: The Haunting of Jackie Bell. And a significant element of that story has to do with the severe haunting of a family after they visited the Bell Witch Cave and brought back rocks as souvenirs.



Here again--this isn't evidence the proves those rocks are cursed. There isn't any scientific method that will verify the existence of a curse. But these two stories corroborate each other. Two events that occurred decades apart to people with no known connection or association but that have similar results. And what makes all this even more interesting is that the Fourman brothers take an EVP meter to one of the rocks from the Bell Witch Cave, and document extremely high EVP readings.

And that is proof--not of the paranormal, necessarily, but of something unusual and different about that rock that marks it as unusual. Paired with both my story and Katharine Bell's story, the meter readings do seem to confirm that there's some kind of evidential trail that stretches from the Bell Witch Cave to subsequent paranormal activity. Now there may be some way to find proof of the Bell Witch haunting, and that's why I hope to investigate the cave again. Now that there's a concrete link, I can hopefully build off my subjective experience and look for additional evidence that can lead to proof of paranormal activity on the old Bell family land.

There's a trail to follow. Sure, it'd be really easy for me (if I was a paranormal parasite) to sit here and say, "See? That's PROOF." But it's not enough to establish the legitimacy of the paranormal on its own. What is DOES do is give me a direction as an investigator, and that I can pursue.

So I will.

Oh and by the way, if you've never watched any of the Fourman Brothers' investigations, you've been missing out on what is one of the best paranormal research groups out there. Go check out this video, and I'm almost positive you'll be hooked. Seem to be great guys, strong investigators, and outstanding storytellers.  Check out their YouTube channel or the first season of their new Paranormal Nightmares show on Amazon Prime.

So settle down, buckle in, and get ready. We're about to take a cold, hard look at the world of paranormal parasites. Hopefully, this will help any of you who are dealing with any sort of paranormal issues to make your own determinations about things impacting you and your life.


Sunday, October 06, 2019

Theater of Power--A Harlequinade Prequel: Check Out The Excerpt Right Here


Before you learn the ending of an epic story, you need to hear its beginning. In Theater of Power, the prequel to the bestselling Harlequinade series you finally get the real story...the real history of the Chevigny, the Montesquieu, the Duc d'Orleans, and the Harlequin~!




Odette de Chevigny hadn't expected to interrupt a confrontation between her stand-offish neighbor, Charles, Marquis de Montesquieu, and a mysterious character who calls himself the Harlequin when she went to her father's grave one cold autumn night, but for some reason, she's immediately intrigued. After her debut at Versailles a few weeks later, she finally figures out why.

Magic.

The court of Louis XV is accustomed to both social and political power being brokered in those endless corridors and stunning salons. The Marquis's longtime enemy, the Duc d'Orleans, is secretly wielding magical power in his quest for the French throne. When she is betrothed to the Marquis, Odette is drawn into their battle...but she's also drawn further into the Harlequin's sphere of influence.

Can Charles and Odette find a way to stop the Duc and protect the King? Or will the Duc prevail, thanks to the mysterious Harlequin? And what is the Harlequin's true goal? When the Marquise de Pompadour said, "After us, the deluge." she couldn't have known she'd just uttered a prophecy. In the theater of power, anything is possible...even changing the course of Time itself.


Grab your copy today on Amazon~ But first, check out the beginning of the story right here! And get ready for the explosive end of the Harlequinade series. After all: 

The theatre, when all is said and done, is not life in miniature, but life enormously magnified, lifehideously exaggerated. --H. L. Mencken

Theater of Power
A Harlequinade Prequel


Prologue

Montesquieu, near Meaux, France—October, 1756

The wind swirled down from the hilltop in the center of the cemetery, stirring the grasses that grew high on the forgotten graves of long-dead people. Farmers, servants, tradesmen, and soldiers all lay beneath those tangled weeds, sleeping in an endless night. While their tombstones crumbled, their bones moldered and lichen obscured the few pitiful dates that were the final proof those lost souls had ever existed. Only the more-recently dead had well-tended graves, with the grass trimmed closely and flowers heaped against pristine white stones.

I had a pair of scissors in the deep pocket of my cloak. I was here to attend to my father’s grave, alone in the middle of the night. I couldn’t bear to be accompanied or to be found sitting by his tomb during the still-warm autumnal sunlight, so I frequently came well after dark. I only felt close to him here, where he slept beneath the same sheltering angel as my mother.  I could sit beside him, and confide my hopes and fears as I always had, without worrying that some passing traveler would think me mad.

I stood alone over his silent earthen bed until another whirr of wind raised gooseflesh on the back of my neck. I slipped into the shadow of the grieving angel, letting the darkness of her wings conceal me as I glanced uneasily at the ornate mausoleum atop the hill.

My face warmed as fear flashed through my veins, and my nerves began to sing uncomfortably against my skin.

Something was wrong here…threatening.

Usually, my father’s grave was a place of refuge, of safety against a world that too often seemed to crowd ugliness into my life. Usually when I entered the graveyard, my father’s love surrounded me like a cloak, protecting me from all the other emotions a cemetery contained. I had been coming now for over a year—at least once a week since my father’s death. I hadn’t met anyone in the graveyard at midnight, which was why I liked it—and I had never felt anything here other than peace.

Until now.

Aside from the brisk wind that carried the first scent of snow on its fingers, the graveyard was silent and still. The path that stretched in front of my parents’ graves continued up the sole hill in the cemetery, until it reached a veritable palace for the dead perched on its summit. A strained glow of light illuminated the pale columns and pediments of the huge mausoleum—the final resting place of the powerful Montesquieu family—as the moon peeked from behind the scudding clouds overhead. The polished marble gleamed silver as the moonlight strengthened, casting deep shadows beneath the tomb’s wall but illuminating the small plateau before the scrolled iron doors. That glow grew, subtly, and a figure slipped from the inky shadows to stand before the doors.

Surely I wasn’t seeing what I thought I was seeing. A mime stood in front of the mausoleum door, apparently regarding the engraved names there with his head cocked to one side.

No, not a mime. A harlequin.

The red, green, and blue triangular patches of his costume had reminded me of the character’s name. A harlequin was usually funny. I’d loved harlequins as a child in Paris, for their capers were as colorful as their costumes.

But this harlequin was different. As I stared up at him from where I was tucked into the protective curve of the angel’s wing, he turned as if he saw me watching. He wore a half-mask of black, revealing a strong jaw and a sensual mouth. Fear traced a white-hot prickle down the back of my neck.

No, this was not a harlequin. This was the Harlequin. For this fiend, the word Harlequin was a title, not a name. All at once I remembered that despite all his handsprings and jauntiness, the Harlequin was always the character that escorted wrongdoers to hell. His antics were just a disguise for his sinister nature.

“What a little beauty.”

The words were purred suggestively right behind me, the speaker’s breath stirring the tiny hairs on my nape. I spun around to find the Harlequin standing just a foot away. He pirouetted and when he faced me again, his lips were quirked into a triumphant half-smile.

“Welcome to the garden of death, sweet mortal. Welcome to the arena where the Harlequin reigns supreme and humanity stands trial. Welcome to the theater of power.” With a stylized flourish of his hands that I could recognize from any two-sou pantomime in Paris, he bowed, making the obeisance at once a mockery and a threat. When he straightened, his eyes narrowed behind his mask.

Involuntarily, I took a step back from his piercing glare, and the tips of the feathers on the angel’s carved wings dug cruelly into the base of my spine.

“Leave the girl alone.”

The low-growled words came from just behind me and I jumped. For a second time, I turned sharply to find a man in this…garden of death, as the Harlequin had called it. His face was obscured by the shadows cast by the hovering angel.

The newcomer’s voice was both tense and disgusted. “She is too young to play your vicious games. Satisfy your malice by contending with me, not her.”

“You are very concerned for this girl’s safety. What of your brother? Would you be willing to wager your care of him to keep this pretty young morsel protected from my…interest?” The Harlequin cocked his head to the side in an exaggerated gesture of inquiry. “Would you forfeit his soul in exchange for this girl’s safety?”

“Your enmity is for me. Are you too much of a coward to face a grown man and so must slake your thirst for cruelty upon a child?”

Before I could protest that I wasn’t a child, my unknown defender stepped between me and the Harlequin, so that I was pinned in place by the weeping angel on one side and protected by his broad, cloaked back on the other. I peeked around his arm to stare as the Harlequin abandoned his languid pose.

“Take care, mortal. Take great care in how you speak to me.”

“Advice you should probably follow yourself,” the man retorted pointedly, resting his hand upon the hilt of his sword. His other arm he extended, shielding me from the fiend confronting us, and said over his shoulder, “You can go now, mademoiselle. Do not stay in the cemetery. Do not tarry; just run as fast as you can and get away home.”

“Will you flee, Odette?” the Harlequin murmured, his eyes glinting through his mask. “Beautiful Odette, young Odette de Chevigny—will you run from this garden of death to your virginal bed in your grandfather’s chateau? Fly now, sweet Odette—”

“How did you—oh! I don’t care how you know my name!” I sputtered at last, freed from the convulsive fear that had kept me silent so far. “I am here to tend my father’s grave and you are keeping me from doing that, both of you. Now get out of my way and leave me alone.”

The Harlequin danced around my protector, his eyes gleaming as his lips stretched into a nasty smile.
“Odette! What a lovely name. Will you not run as your guard bids you?”

“Run? Why should I run?”

The fiend watched me curiously from behind his mask and the man turned to regard me. As the moonlight struck the high-boned features of his face, I recognized him instantly. My defender was Charles, the young Marquis de Montesquieu, the hero of the Battle of Minorca, home after being wounded as he led our troops in the capture of Port Mahon from the British. Especially favored by our King, Louis XV, the Marquis was my grandfather’s nearest neighbor, a decorated officer, and a practiced courtier. He took my elbow in a strong hand and pulled me down the hillside path.

“You need to go home, child. Run! This thing is not what he seems.”

“I am not a child,” I protested even as his fingers tightened warningly on my arm. “Besides, I can’t leave you here alone—with that. Who is this man dressed up like a pantomime performer? And why—”

“Yes, why don’t you tell the child who I am?” the Harlequin asked mockingly. “Not such a child is she, Monsieur le Marquis—not when she’s nineteen and ripe for a man’s hand, this daughter of Reynard, Vicomte de Chevigny?” He ran a hand lovingly along the letters of my father’s name on the tombstone as he pronounced each word, and my blood chilled within my veins.

The Marquis looked down into my face for the first time, and his eyes were shadowed. “Go home, mademoiselle. I will call upon you tomorrow and explain what I can, but you must leave. I cannot protect us both.”

I regarded him thoughtfully. Charles de Montesquieu was supposed to be a stern, almost forbidding man. Almost everyone who lived in the county or associated with him was afraid of angering him. But his laborers loved him, for he was fair and protective of those who depended upon him, and my grandfather, who’d been a close friend and political ally of his father, respected him greatly—something I could say about few men. Even now, his expression was carefully neutral, but I could see the tiniest hints of strain pulling the muscles of his hard-planed face tight with repressed emotion.

“Very well, I shall expect you tomorrow,” I said at last.

“How easily you fall into the trap so blatantly set,” the Harlequin crooned. “Yes, Monsieur le Marquis, go along to see young Odette tomorrow, and explain to her what the Harlequin means. For now she, too, is playing my game, and it would be well for her to understand the stakes—”

“Go now,” the Marquis urged, ignoring the capering villain behind him as he lifted my hand formally to his lips. As soon as he released me, I went around the angel lamenting over my parents’ graves and returned to the path that would lead me to the home of my grandfather and safety. A burst of maniacal laughter rose behind me as I lifted my skirts and ran.

That was the beginning—of everything. At that moment, I had no idea how much that chance meeting in the graveyard would loom over my life.


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Sorry, Football Scoop and Scott Roussel, But Butch Jones Should Never Coach Again


You know, I've enjoyed a Butch Jones-free life. It's been pleasant. No stupid gimmicks. No lies. No BS. But now that we're looking at the meat of the football season and the football coaching carousel is about to start up again, some benighted folks--and journalists--are going to do exactly what Scott Roussel did in his column today for FootballScoop.com. They're going to look at Butch Jones as a viable option for a major football program, especially now that Nick Saban has applied a bit of shinola to disguise the you-know-what that's currently "interning" at Alabama so he can milk every drop of cash out of the University of Tennessee.

And Scott Roussel, the president and owner of FootballScoop.com, thinks that Butch Jones should be a head coach again.

For someone who states emphatically "Butch Jones will be a head football coach again", I have a lot of questions. First off, has no one at FootballScoop been paying attention the past few years? Did you just miss everything that happened since 2015? Since that seems to be the case here, let me help you guys understand why Rousel's column was so ill-advised. Let's take a look at why the last man in America who should be permitted to be the head coach of any football program is Butch Jones. 

But first off...

You know, Scott...Butch doesn't seem to be all that impatient to get back into coaching. He's content with bringing Saban his coffee and polishing Bama helmets for $35k a year...and so would I be if I had a $6.82 million dollar buyout. 

Stop and think for a moment. Does it seem like he's chomping at the bit to get back on the field? 

No, and there's a reason for that. 

In order to start the new con game, you have to make sure the previous one is forgotten. You know, the one where every year of Jones's tenure at UT there were 25-35 players on the injury list by mid-October, leading directly to those end of season collapses of extremely talented teams. 

Many of those most promising players, the 4- and 5-star recruits Scott was drooling over now no longer play football at all. On any level. Why? Because the Volunteers football program was abusive under Butch Jones. He overruled team physicians and forced injured players to go ahead and play anyway. One of the best examples of this occurred during the 2016 Tennessee-Texas A&M game. Eight players went down in the game. 

Some never came back. Many of those departed players cited the verbal, mental, emotional, and physical abuse they endured under Butch Jones as the reason for their departure.

You think parents want to entrust their 5-star players to a coach whose primary concern isn't their son's health and safety? It doesn't matter if the recruiting classes were great if those players leave mid-career and go somewhere else. 

Or lose their future in football entirely.

Players have reported that they were used like gang members to keep other players in line. Some players who demonstrated too independent a thought process when it came to the health and safety of their own bodies were jumped on the practice field by his teammates while the head coach stood there and watched it happen. In fact, the head coach had ordered it to happen, like a Code Red from the play/movie A Few Good Men. 

Think that's a great look for your program?

Think...really think about that 2016 season, when Tennessee started off ranked in the top five in the preseason. Over the span of thirteen months--from the kickoff of 2016 to Butch Jones's firing in October, 2017--the Vols went from top-five, to a 9-4 season record, and then, incredibly, to the basement of everything with a 4-8 record in 2017. The first time in UT's history that the school was winless in the SEC, and a full one-third of the team had either left the program or were out with injury by mid-season for the third season in a row.

As for never losing to a bowl-eligible team, what a crock! Tennessee lost to bowl-eligible teams every single season under Butch Jones. Alabama. Florida, Georgia. South Carolina. Oklahoma. West Virginia. Did you miss those 4-7 losses UT racked up every year under Butch Jones?

Not a great job of research there, buddy.

Why is it that the University of Tennessee led the nation in transfer requests for several years? Think that speaks highly of Butch Jones's treatment of players? 

Think it speaks highly of his active obstruction in those requests, costing players not only time on the gridiron but time getting their educations? Many former players reported having their transcripts blocked and their eligibility as well for several years after leaving UT.

What good were all those top ten recruiting classes then? Matriculation doesn't result in a collapse like that. A coach's primary job is to make certain that the team has the right elements in place so the turnover between upperclassmen to underclassmen is seamless. But that didn't happen at UT. 

Why is that? It doesn't matter how great a Vols recruiting class is if the majority don't play for the entirety of their collegiate career at UT. Florida had a top ten recruiting class this year and lost many of those players before the season started. Did FootballScoop cover that? 

Everyone else did, and seemed to agree there was something wrong with the program in order for that to happen. Why wasn't the exodus of players from UT  given the same scrutiny? Did you cover that? 

Did you even know?

Why is it that through Butch Jones' five-year tenure at UT, the Vols consistently collapsed after three quarters only to lose the game in the final minutes? Abysmal coaching decisions. 

Why is it that the most loyal, steadfast fan base in America rose up in rebellion against their own school, forcing the firing of Butch Jones and a few weeks later that of then-athletic director John Currie? Does anyone with a functioning brain really think that was just an uneducated mob of fans raising hell for the fun of it? 

I hope not. It's never a good thing to insult your target market. Just saying. The uprising was spontaneous but it was also focused and well-directed, resulting in an event unprecedented in college athletics. That entire fiasco in the fall of 2017 originated with Butch Jones.

So answer me honestly: why is it that anyone, athletic director, fan, or sports journalist, would want to bring such a toxic element into their own football program? Oh and by the way, we're not just talking about Tennessee here. Maybe you should dig into what happened at the University of Cincinnati during Butch Jones's time there while you're at it, Scott.

Butch Jones left the University of Tennessee an absolute disaster between craptastic athletic training, the abuse and torment of his players, the exodus of talent from Rocky Top, and ruining the lives and futures of multiple great players. and one of the most humiliating episodes in sports history If Butch Jones legitimately had something to offer another program, he'd already be riding the coaching carousel (like Urban Meyer already is) and selling himself (again) as the once and future king of great football. 

But he's not. He's grinning like an idiot down in Tuscaloosa, acquiring that Alabama mystique while he milks the university whose football program he ruined of half a million dollars a month. He's not pimping himself because he intends to get every penny of that $6.82 million dollar buyout, thumbing his nose like a child from his bolt hole in Tuscaloosa. 

Nick Saban's Head Coach Rehabilitation program's court jester, who gives zero damns about coaching again until his internship and his buyout end.

After what Butch Jones did to the University of Tennessee, its fan base, and its athletes (which is the most important of the three) he should never be allowed to set foot on any football field in a position of authority ever again. If some poor wretched school does bring Butch Jones in to "turn around" their program, they are placing the eighty-five young men on their roster in the path of physical, educational, and financial ruin. Period. 

And those are the facts. 

I'd recommend you read two books that detail what was happening at the University of Tennessee football program, Scott. Maybe pass it along to your colleagues there at Football Scoop too. Pick up Mark Nagi's Decade of Dysfunction, and you'll get the background of the last ten years of horror on Rocky Top.  Then grab a copy (I'd be glad to send you one) of Empowered: The Fan ReVOLution That Changed College Football by UT Vol historian Tom Mattingly and Celina Summers. 

Read the interviews with players, alumni, boosters, UT officials, and fans. Actually learn what happened under Butch Jones before you start lauding him as a potential head football coach at some other school. 

Suggesting Butch Jones be hired to coach any level of football is the equivalent of handing a suicidal person a loaded gun and dropping them off somewhere in the middle of nowhere. A responsible person would never consider doing such a thing. 

Be responsible, and learn exactly what you're suggesting before you put it in print. At the end of the day, you're recommending that some other school lose its legacy and self-respect. But you're also recommending that a serial abuser be given exclusive access to the lives and futures of more young football players. 

Is that really what you want to be known for? Are you sure? Because if he is hired somewhere and more of the same happens, you'll bear a measure of responsibility for it. You may be one of those journalists who sat on his self-proclaimed throne when UT fans revolted and condemned us as ignorant, uneducated, ill-informed and so forth. I don't really know; I don't really care. But what I do know as a long-time writer, editor, and publisher is that you need to know what you're talking about before you put it down in print. And in this case, you patently had no clue what the reality Butch Jones created really was.

You should have known better than to be this irresponsible. You should have known to check out the facts. After all, you own FootballScoop, right? And you were a VP at the Shaw Group, a Fortune 500 company dealing with road construction, for eight years, right? You understand at least the concept of journalistic and corporate responsibility. Or, at least, you should.

But you didn't. That's the real football scoop here. Just...think about it. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Demonic Hauntings And Why You Don't Want An Exorcist Who Advertises, Part Two



This is the second part of my two-part article on demonic hauntings and why you don't want an exorcist who advertises. You can read the first half of the article here. But if you're ready, let's get into the scariest possibilities of a demonic haunting.

POSSESSION

Before we get too deeply into this part of the discussion, let's take a moment to consider the fact that true possession is extremely rare. With hauntings, only about 5% of the cases paranormal teams investigate are legitimately haunted. Of legitimately haunted locations, only 5-10% are negative in nature--most are residual, too, and don't involve an intelligent haunting. These kinds of statistics are mirrored when it comes to true possessions. In the same December, 2018 article from The Atlantic, the Catholic priests (who all have over ten years' experience as exorcists) that were interviewed all said they'd worked on "only a handful" of true possessions in their careers.

This is for a couple of reasons. First off, the Catholic church has a seriously thorough discernment process before they commit to an exorcism. Father Thomas laid this out in our LiveSciFi interview as well. Before the church risks the spiritual and physical health both of the victim and the exorcism team, the person is subjected to physical examination and then a psychiatric evaluation. Only if the victim gets through both of those will an exorcist consider whether or not the individual is possessed.

If someone claims you need an exorcism and does NOT require medical and psychological competency testing, run away.

Fast.

You think I'm kidding, but I recently witnessed an "archbishop" who frequently shows up on paranormal television shows tell two people in ten minutes that they were possessed and required an exorcism. He didn't know the history of the two people, their medical history, their psychological state, or their motivations. And neither of these people were walking up walls or spitting up pea soup either. But somehow, this "archbishop" was able to diagnose the need for spiritual warfare within minutes of being in the same place at the same time as the people he alleged to be possessed.

Putting it frankly, that's bullshit.

A true possession occurs when the victim finally succumbs to the diabolical influence in their life that's been gradually breaking them down through the infestation and oppression stages we've looked at already. After suffering through infestation and oppression, the victim is extremely depressed by this point and is on the brink of giving up the only thing the demon wants--their soul.

At the end of the day, the struggles against diabolical agents all come down to the same thing. The longer the victim fights against becoming fully possessed, the worse the paranormal activity surrounding him becomes. Bringing in investigators at this point just endangers them. Only legitimate exorcists can help the victims of true possession--and legitimate is the key phrase here. In my opinion, the majority of legitimate exorcists are within the Catholic church--and you can find those exorcists by contacting the diocesan offices your local priest answers to--along with a very few ordained clergy and demonologists outside the Catholic faith. Sure, the clergy from your family's church are a great option when it comes to blessing a person or location. But to do spiritual battle with the demon(s) behind a possession requires special training, like what's offered at the Vatican's Pontifical University of Regina Apostolorum in Rome or its sister school in Chicago. Students do not have to be Catholic priests; the church has opened the doors to exorcist training to practitioners of all faiths. However, there's one place you absolutely do not want to go.

The internet. Why?
Fake Exorcists

Anyone who advertises themselves online as a demonologist or exorcist is neither. Can't be stated any more strongly than that. If an exorcist or a demonologist has to advertise for clients that's a huge red flag. Another huge red flag? They offer "courses" where for $99, you get reading material AND a certificate meant to validate you as a paranormal investigator or a demonologist or an exorcist.

Total BS, folks.

Considering the surge of purported oppression and possession cases in the world, why would an exorcist need to advertise? Exorcist is pretty much at the top of the list of "jobs no sane person wants".  There is NOTHING fun or exciting about confronting a demonic entity. So why would an exorcist need to drum up new clientele?

There are two answers to that question. First, the exorcists who are looking for new clients and more notoriety are the ones who are skulking around on the rotating "guest appearance on paranormal reality shows" list. But second--and pay attention, because this one's the most important--

Remember way up at the top of this article when I quoted the statistics for legitimate hauntings, demonic hauntings, and demonic possession cases? Possessions are extremely rare. So the odds that he'll confront a for-real demon are basically nil. Those odds are always in a fake exorcist's favor. Fake exorcists are snake oil salesmen who exploit their clientele, performing deliverance ceremonies on people who aren't even close to being possessed. They're the equivalent of faith healers who hide chicken livers in their hands and pretend to pull "tumors" from patients' bodies. A fake exorcist demands no medical or psychological exams; they have no real discernment protocols. They are running a huge scam for fame and excitement, which is basically the spiritual equivalent of giving someone chemotherapy for a splinter in their big toe.

Anyone can read from the Roman Ritual--you can download .pdf files online. But the Ritual doesn't have the power to confront a real demon unless the person reading the Roman Ritual has the spiritual backing that ordination in the Church or training and education by the Church or valid religious backgrounds confer.

Beware, too, of variations on the Catholic Church. Learn to differentiate between the REAL Catholic faith, not a fake one claiming to exist because of a schismatic bishop of Utrecht (this digs deeply into dogma, so we'll refrain from getting into this until the paranormal parasites article coming up.) BUT doesn't have a single church he or she preaches at. Seriously. If the "archbishop" who's advertising as an exorcist has no congregation, no link with a legitimate denomination, and if their mailing address is obviously their apartment? That's not a valid member of the clergy. There are purported archbishops out there where the entirety of their religion appears to be an archbishop, three or four bishops, a couple of deacons, and that's about it. They have more clergy than parishioners because there are no parishes. Many fake exorcists claim to be of the OLD Catholic Church. Word to the wise--there is no Catholic Church older than the Roman Catholic Church. There is a schismatic branch called the Old Catholic Church that the Vatican recognizes as a legitimate arm of the Church, but the real Old Catholic Church has things like churches, denominations, Mass, et cetera and doesn't require a mailing address at a strip mall.

So if for some reason you don't want a Roman Catholic exorcist, your best bet is to contact credible paranormal researchers who can set you on the right path.

Like here, for example. Always glad to help. My article on paranormal parasites is coming next, so hopefully I'll be able to help you protect yourself from the diabolical--both human and supernatural. In the meantime, if you have questions or are afraid that you're dealing with a demonic haunting then contact me through this blog or email me through my website: celina(at)celinasummers(dot)com. I'm more than happy to help you find a legitimate paranormal research team and to hook you up with the avenues you need to take to seek help from the clergy.

The REAL clergy.

(By the way, all those cool illustrations? Those are woodcut engravings from 1818's Dictionnaire Infernal by Collin de Plancy--and pretty much the only thing of value to be found in this decidedly fictional demonological lexicon.)

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Demonic Hauntings And Why You Don't Want An Exorcist Who Advertises, Part One

 For some reason, demonic hauntings have been on the rise globally. The Catholic Church is playing catch-up and installing an exorcist in every diocese in the US but still can't meet the demand...

This scenario was unfathomable in 1973, when the film version of Peter Blatty's horror masterpiece The Exorcist was released. In fact, most people were unaware that such things as demonic possession or exorcists actually existed. The Catholic Church had spent a century backing away from any public association with such things, and especially from the rite of exorcism, which had been first been given official guidelines in 1614. Those guidelines weren't updated until 1999, and now twenty years later the explosion of desperate requests for spiritual rescue from the diabolical has rendered the entirety of the process cumbersome and difficult to navigate.

But recently, the Church has been changing its tune. The Catholic Church is in the process of assigning an exorcist in every diocese in the US--all one hundred and ninety-seven of them--which is a turnabout of dogma no one could have foreseen. That's a huge investment of money and time, but even then, it's not enough. The exorcist for the Diocese of Indianapolis told The Atlantic in its December issue from last year that his office had fielded over 1700 requests (and counting) for exorcisms for 2018.

While there are now denominations on the Protestant side of the aisle that perform legitimate rites of deliverance, there's also a swelling preponderance of paranormal parasites that use people's fear of the diabolical to create fame for themselves. If someone suspects the demonic is attacking a friend, member of the family, or even himself, knowledge is necessary to protect oneself not only from the demons tormenting them but from the paranormal parasites that would torment them. Exorcisms are not a game and cannot be taken lightly, because this ritual sometimes leads to the death of the very person who sought help in the first place.

This article is an extremely broad beginner's guide to demonology, one that will hopefully enable readers to arm themselves against diabolical agents--both the demonic and the paranormal parasites. We will discuss the stages  of demonic attacks and their symptoms, lay out the safest options to find help, and the best way to keep yourself from dancing with the devil in the first place.


Three Stages of Demonic Attacks
INFESTATION

There are three universally recognized stages of demonic intrusion into a person's life. The first stage is manifestation or infestation. In this stage, the diabolical agent begins to insinuate itself into its victim's environment. Why does it need to do such a thing?

Because a demon must first be invited into a person's life and then be given permission to remain there.

That doesn't mean sending an embossed greeting card that says, "I invite you to screw my whole world up." A demon can be invited into a person's life in many innocuous-seeming ways. The Ouija board fad that swept through your middle school. Or that faze you went through in high school, when you and your three BFFs started your secret "coven" like they did in the movie The Craft. Or when you decided you'd become a paranormal investigator and without knowledge or training bought equipment and headed to as many haunted places as you could to provoke a few spirits like they do on TV.

I've seen the results of all three of this stories because they are real stories I've been told when investigating an apparent demonic infestation. The consequences of all those innocent excursions into the diabolical realm are severe, life-wrecking, and traumatic.

Satanic worship is, of course, the quick and easy way to catch the notice of the infernal. Father Gary Thomas, exorcist for the diocese of San Jose, CA informed me in a 2017 video interview  I did for LiveSciFi that generational curses (when a whole family is cursed by an outsider or when a mother consecrates her unborn child to the demonic) are more prevalent than anyone realizes. But tragically, a history of sexual abuse also can lead to demonic notice.


(Yep. You can watch the interview right here)

Demons stalk their prey the same way the big cats in Africa do. They usually target the weak...the vulnerable. After zeroing in on the easiest kill, they undertake a strategy to weaken their victim more. The more terrified and hopeless that victim is, the easier it is for the demon to push them into total submission.

A demonic infestation can revolve around a location, like the purported Gary, Indiana "demon house" of the Ammons family. Because the alleged haunting was focused on the home, the Ammons family was able to flee the residence into safety. (Of course, the subsequent owner, Zak Bagans, bulldozed the house after he finished his documentary on the alleged activity, so no one else can validate his alleged experiences there. Quite convenient.) But usually, an infestation is centered around a person, and if that person moves they take the haunting with them to their new residence. During the earliest stages of the infestation, the demon begins to wind itself into the fabric of its victim's world. But even after a demon starts to impact its victim's life, it needs permission to stay. That doesn't mean that you have to physically tell the thing it can stay. It means that you accept its influence within your environment, and more importantly, upon your person.

If a demonic entity succeeds in creating a link with its victim, it can then move forward into the next stage.


Demonic Oppression

Now that the demon has the necessary introduction into the victim's life, it can begin to impact its victim more strongly. In this stage, usually, the innocent-seeming haunting escalates in intensity. The demon begins to attack its victim. Scratches, bite marks, and unexplained bruising batters the person's body. Sexual attacks may also occur. These attacks are designed to a wear a person down, to take away their willpower and make them easier to subdue.

Usually at this stage, the haunting expands as well. The victim's family and home may be terrorized with paranormal activity. That's why this is typically the time when a family brings a paranormal investigation team or a psychic into their home, desperate for some validation of what's happening to them and hopefully some kind of rescue plan. Unfortunately, that's not going to work, for one big reason:

PARANORMAL INVESTIGATORS CANNOT FREE A LOCATION OR PERSON FROM A DEMONIC OPPRESSION.

By the time a paranormal group is called, the demon is already solidly lodged in its victim's life. The demon has been invited in by accident--remember that tarot reading game you "played" in high school?--and then inadvertently given permission to remain. The only remedy at this point is spiritual, and that means the clergy.

But paranormal investigations do provide a very necessary function to the victims of a demonic haunting, and that's documentation. Evidence that's been captured on video or audio equipment can validate the victim's story. You can't just call your diocese, tell them your house is haunted, and an exorcist pulls up in the Ghostbusters ambulance ten minutes later. That's not the way it works. You have to have that documentation just so the Church doesn't dismiss you as being a passenger on the cray-cray train. So yes--call someone in to investigate and hopefully get that validation for you. (Don't do it yourself, though. You're too invested in proving there's a haunting. A legitimate paranormal team isn't.) I'll be delving deeply into how to find a trustworthy paranormal investigation team in an upcoming article.

Let me reiterate: for a true demonic oppression, your only recourse is through a spiritual intervention. The Roman Ritual (aka the Rite of Exorcism) is the clergy's weapon against the diabolical. However, the clergy isn't normally brought into a case until the victim reaches the third and final stage of demonic hauntings.

We'll get into possessions and why you don't want an exorcist who advertises in part two of this article tomorrow. Once it's up, I'll activate the link to the rest of the story here.In the meantime, if you have questions or are afraid that you're dealing with a demonic haunting then contact me through this blog or email me through my website: celina(at)celinasummers(dot)com. I'm more than happy to help you find a legitimate paranormal research team and to hook you up with the avenues you need to take to seek help from the clergy.

The REAL clergy.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Zozo...And A Few Things You Didn't Part Two

Author's note: This is the second part of our look at Zozo, the so-called Ouija Board demon. For part one, head to this page. And as always during paranormal season, DO NOT TRY ANYTHING WE DISCUSS ON THIS BLOG. DEALING WITH DEMONS IS DANGEROUS. LEAVE IT TO THE PROS. Just because you watch people trying to Ouija up Zozo on YouTube doesn't mean you can. Folks like Tim Wood at LiveSciFi know what they're doing. You don't. Okay? And yes, I know--some of you are already ignoring me. Read on for the consequences of that decision.)

Yesterday, we really dug into Zozo's origins on multiple levels, and believe me when I tell you that post could have been one hundred times as long and still wouldn't have scratched the surface. What we discussed yesterday was rudimentary demonology. Today, we're going to sort through Zozo in the modern day, and we'll be getting into some dark and dangerous stuff. Read at your own risk.

Ouija, Spirit, and Talking Boards and Zozo

The first patent issued for a device used for contacting the dead was in the mid-nineteenth century, not for a talking board but a gadget that could be used in automatic writing. The first mention of spirit boards was in 1886 by the Associated Press, when they were touted as the newest and most accurate communication device used in Ohio spiritualist camps. 

The Ouija board as we know it today was invented in 1890 and patented (the planchette was the reason the board could be patented considering that handmade spirit boards were already in common use at the time) by Charles Kennard in 1891. So many people were desperate to communicate with their loved ones following the Civil War and then three decades later for World War I that the Ouija board became an essential part of the grieving process as well as a drawing room's entertainment option. That is...until disturbing coincidences began to pop up in Ouija board communication. Zozo is perhaps the best-known of these today, having earned the nickname of “the Ouija board demon” in the past twenty-five years.

Encounters with the entity that called itself Zozo reportedly began to occur on the Ouija board in the second half of the twentieth century. In the 1960s and 70s, the Ouija board was marketed as a toy, thereby ensuring that most users of the board were under twenty-five. Ouija use had an upsurge in the eighties. As the internet was developed in subsequent decades and became more accessible, Zozo encounters gradually rose and victims began to compare notes. Darren Evans’s website publication in 2008 gave those victims a forum. Once video streaming equipment improved, Zozo videos increased at an exponential rate—particularly in the last four years. 

Of course, the reason for that is easily explained.More people are looking for Zozo.

There are non-paranormal explanations for Zozo as well. Zozo could be the result of a tulpa—an entity or phenomenon created through mental discipline, like the Philip experiment in Toronto, Ontario allegedly managed to do in the early 1970s. For that matter, what people take as communication on a Ouija board could actually be the result of ideomotor movements--involuntary twitches of the hands that propel the planchette across the spirit board in a predictable and repeated manner. 

With escalating visibility on platforms like YouTube, the unsuspecting, or the thrill seekers who "play" Ouija are a rich pool of potential prey for the demonic realm to feed upon.

That doesn't mean Zozo is fake. Tulpas are alleged to exist and take on personalities and agendas of their own. At the present moment, Zozo is a dangerous reality, whether it's hung around for centuries or was created by the subconscious minds of people popping LSD-laced sugar cubes in 1975. The Zozo entity is not only real, but it's growing stronger and being fed by the resulting craze around it.

And oh, how it's grown. Zozo has exploded on a global level, as has the number of people claiming to have had experiences with the entity. The 2012 movie I Am Zozo undoubtedly had a great deal to do with that, as did the 2014 major motion picture Ouija and investigations conducted by the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures show at about the same time. In fact, during the 2014 Christmas season, Ouija board sales were up 300% from the year before

Currently (August, 2019), there are 36.5 million hits on Google when searching for Zozo. That's a lot of people focusing their energy on the same entity or tulpa...a lot of fuel. If Zozo didn't exist before the Dictionnaire Infernal in 1818, it certainly does now. 

Zozo Characteristics/Behavior

Items associated with Zozo: Blackbirds, Louisiana, slavery, Voodoo and other French/African religious blends, the number 28, French/Basque and African etymology, sex or sexual assault, possession of humans, possession of animals, Ouija or spirit boards, death and/or suicide, and haunted locations.

Behavioral habits: When the entity first presents itself, it’s usually pretending to be a dead friend or family member so it can make a connection with the person it’s targeting on the board. Once the relationship between the Ouija user and the entity is established, Zozo announces its presence on the Ouija board when it appears. The planchette either begins to move rapidly from side to side in an arc between the letters Z and O, or it starts an escalating series of figure 8 movements in the center of the board.

But once the bond is established between Zozo and a board user, the entity departs from “normal” demonic behavior. The Zozo entity names itself at the beginning of each interaction. Zozo, Zaza, Zizi, Oz, Ozoz, Mama, and Abacus are all known aliases of the Zozo entity. The entity frequently refers to “paradise” and uses the word “abracadabra” as well, which has a disputed etymological history dating back to ancient times. 


The first known mention of the word was in the second century AD in a book called Liber Medicinalis by Serenus Sammonicusphysician to the Roman emperor Caracalla, who in chapter 51 prescribed that malaria sufferers wear an amulet containing the word written in the form of a triangle. "Abracadabra" has also been attributed to Gnostics, Greeks, and Sumerians, but is almost certainly Hebrew/Aramaic in origin. 

Perhaps the most ominous behavior of the entity is the countdown. The board counts down from ten to one, and that usually prefaces extremely negative paranormal activity.

The most terrifying behavior is its knowledge of things it shouldn't know, like something that happened in a board user's childhood and none of their current friends knows about *or* something as totally invasive as knowing what color a person's underwear is. 

And through it all, Zozo is acknowledged as a demonic entity. I absolutely think Zozo is demonic in nature. So do many paranormal researchers, investigators, and scholars...not to mention clergy.

So why, then, haven’t attempted exorcisms of the Zozo entity worked? In 2017, LiveSciFi founder Tim Wood and I conducted a month-long experiment, trying to learn as much about this puzzling entity as we cold without endangering ourselves, each other, or any of the half a million subscribers on YouTube who showed up nightly to witness our live-streamed investigation. I believe our conclusions from the Zozo experiment explain why this isn't just a demon, but an evolution of something entirely different.

The Zozo Experiment and Subsequent Conclusions

The Zozo demon can’t be exorcised for one very simple reason—Zozo isn’t a demon.We believe Zozo is something entirely different—an alias used by multiple demonic entities in order to gain access to potential victims. 

You can’t exorcise Zozo because it’s not a demon. It’s a gateway. Some kid can ‘play’ with the Ouija board one time and he’s opened the gate and invited whatever’s close by and looking for a victim to come on in. 

You’ve heard of demons or psychics or demonologists talking about Legion, right? Zozo is the revolving door of Legion, and you never know if you just invited the ghost of a pissed-off librarian to haunt your house *or* if you invited Beelzebub to possess your body and feast on your soul.

That’s why exorcisms of the Zozo entity don’t work. Victims of Zozo are actually being tormented by multiple demons who are using the name as an alias. Legitimate exorcisms that are conducted by the clergy of the Catholic church take weeks, months, or even years before the name of the demon is forced from the unwilling adversary. Many oppressions/possessions pit the exorcist against a number of demonic foes. With a Zozo attachment, this proves even worse than usual.

If the person has only the beginnings of an attachment to Zozo, then you just sever the person’s use of the name. Don’t say Zozo anymore or acknowledge it. But if a person has an actual attachment (a demonic infestation, oppression, or possession) then they have to discover the name of the actual demon attacking them and sever their attachment to the name of Zozo and the board. Only then can they have a clearing or deliverance done.

And that exorcism needs to be performed by a legitimate member of the clergy and not someone who started his own "church", maybe claiming it was an Old Catholic church that broke away from the Vatican because they disagreed with the canon of Papal infallibility in something called the Utrecht schism.  Yes, there are legitimate Old Catholic churches out there that did follow the bishop of Utrecht, but those churches have actual congregations. 

Most of the paranormal clergy advertising their services online aren't legitimately Old Catholic. Their entire church consists of several bishops under the dominion of a self-proclaimed archbishop and a deacon or two. No congregations. No physical churches. No parishioners despite naming these bishops as the head of parishes. Best way to tell is easy: Google maps. Put in their physical address and look up the location on street view. If it comes up as an apartment building, a house, a strip mall, or a church that's a completely different denomination? It's not a real church and therefore the archbishops and bishops and deacons aren't legitimate clergy. 

Did I mention the next article I do is about paranormal parasites like these? Okay, good. We'll break down the Utrecht schism and how that works in legit Old Catholic churches in that article. 

But in the meantime--and pay attention, folks. The best and easiest way to not have to deal with Zozo is not to go looking. Regardless of how it's marketed, the Ouija board is not a game. It's a form of conjuration, and opens the door to any kind of interaction with the spiritual world imaginable. But you can't trust what any entity says on the talking board. Not a word, and especially if that entity self-identifies as Zozo. 

By communicating with Zozo, you have invited the diabolical into your life. Once that door is open, it's almost impossible to close--and then I'll get an email or a phone call from a paranormal group trying to help you but that can't. That's the end result of most Zozo-created infestations, and unless there's a legitimate exorcist involved there's no way to know what demonic entities have come through that board. 

So yeah. 

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME.

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME.

AND DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME.

Everything You Wanted To Know About Zozo...Plus A Lot Of Things You Wish You Didn't Part One

The Zozo demon is commonly referred to as "the Ouija Board demon". Because of some paranormal groups' preference for using a Ouija board on investigations, Zozo has been a frequent...and frightening...guest on many videos. But who--or what--is Zozo, exactly? The historic and arcane history of the entity is fairly difficult to track and impossible to document. That is, until the internet's explosion in the late 2000s and early 2010s. 

But what's really terrifying is how impossible the entity is to combat. If Zozo is taken at face value, it's a demonic entity that can't be fought using the tools and methods that have expunged the demonic since Christ exorcised demons and sent them into the bodies of pigs. Two millennia of demonic warfare doesn't get rid of Zozo, and we want to know why.

In this two-part article, we'll break down the roots and history of the so-called "Ouija Board Demon", its growing visibility in modern society, what the diabolical agent seems to really be, and why exorcisms do not and cannot work. That's why my usual warning regarding the diabolical is appearing twice. TRYING TO CONTACT ZOZO IF YOU AREN'T A PROFESSIONAL RESEARCHER/INVESTIGATOR IS THE SPIRITUAL EQUIVALENT OF PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE. Do NOT try any of this at home.

History Of Zozo

The first mention of any entity named Zozo occurred in an 1818 reference guide written by Jacques Collin de Plancy, a self-proclaimed occultist and author, in his Dictionnaire Infernal. The story as related in the Dictionnaire’s entry under the word POSSÉDÉS (Possession, in English) goes as follows:
In 1816, an unmarried girl from a town called Teilly in the Picardy region of France found out she was pregnant. She promptly announced that she was possessed by three “imps”—one named Mimi, one named Crapoulet, and the third Zozo. The girl would walk around the town on all fours or on her hands, and acted as if she was possessed. A Jesuit priest from Spain performed an exorcism on the girl, which was described in the text:  Mimi went quietly; Zozo was more tenacious and broke a window of the church when he tried to escape through the roof. As for Crapoulet, he was pursued in vain, even with the blessed tool (I think this tool is a holy item such as an aspergillum) he could not be removed, and eventually took a position in the genitals of the girl, only leaving at the Jesuit’s insistence. Eventually, the town leaders put the pregnant girl in the hospital and the Jesuit was told that if he did any more exorcisms, he’d be arrested as a fraud.
Nineteenth century France in the wake of the revolution and the ascendance of Napoleon, prided itself on its science and logic and fought against old “superstitions” like exorcism or demonic possession.

That being said, this incident is related in a book written by an author with no particular expertise in research and there’s no way to verify anything he wrote in that book either. In fact, Collin du Plancy was nothing more than a pulp fiction writer, capitalizing on the rise of the spiritual movement to sell more books. And it worked! The only positive thing the Dictionnaire Infernal actually did was to publish probably the greatest collection of early nineteenth century engravings and illustrations of the occult and demonic. That’s about it.

I have found absolutely no references to a demon named Zozo prior to the Dictionnaire Infernal. And despite multiple claims to the contrary, there are no references to a demonic entity named Zozo at any point of history before the publication of that one particular book. Specifically, there are no documented "medieval manuscripts" that list Zozo in the lexicon of known demons, in arcane
knowledge or grimoires, and not even in Church documents which is absolutely where you'd find such a reference. Regardless, one self-proclaimed Zozo-ologist told me personally that not only was there a history of Zozo the demon stretching back to medieval manuscripts in the twelfth century (1300) but that he personally has a copy/has seen a copy of that manuscript.

That, of course, became a challenge from the time we discussed it (in an August, 2017 Live Sci Fi investigation of Goatman's Bridge in Denton County, Texas). I was in the process of writing Stalked by the Zozo Demon with LSF founder Tim Wood and hadn't found even a whisper of a demon named Zozo despite having conducted (and still conducting) years of research regarding medieval demonology and the history of the Inquisition and the witchcraft trials. Fortunately, my background in Latin and Greek, not to mention being brought up in my French mother's bilingual home and therefore able to read/translate French put me in a great position to see what such a manuscript said. That's why I asked to see it. 

Unfortunately, I'm still waiting.

Here's the thing: if Zozo was even a minor demon on the fringes of some obscure diabolical lexicon, I am pretty sure I would have found it by now. That's why I'm a researcher--I know how to research things. Right? Instead of being provided a medieval manuscript or a link to a scan of it (because obviously, a 700-year old manuscript would require expensive protective storage and restoration), however, I found a story which I find fascinating. That story begins with this: 

ZosoThere is a history of “zoso” stretching back (at least) to the sixteenth century in this form, but it’s not used in a book or document as a name for a demon and has nothing to do with what we call Zozo today. Zoso is a sigil, an illustration used to represent the Greco-Roman god Saturn who governs the house of Capricorn in the zodiac--essentially a drawing that can be used as a magical implement. It allegedly possesses arcane power. That's why self-confessed Thelemist Jimmy Page used the sigil on Led Zeppelin’s unnamed fourth album—because he’s a Capricorn, not because there is a demon named Zozo.
  
The earliest verified use I've found of the Zoso sigil is the 1521 (some references list the publication date as 1511, making the 1521 book a second edition) grimoire entitled Le Veritable Dragon Rouge--a book about necromancy that you can download if you really want to. The first well-documented use of the sigil appears in Gerolamo Cardano’s 1557 book Ars Magica Arteficii, which translates roughly to “The Art of Magic” or “The Magical Arts”. Cardano was a mathematician and physician, and in the sixteenth century astrology was an important part of both sciences. So the sigil, at least, appears some five hundred years ago.

But this history, while fascinating, has nothing to do with Zozo, demonology, or spirit boards. The sigil was used in astrology because most people couldn’t read. Most likely, this gentleman researched the sigil after seeing it on the Led Zeppelin album sleeve, found a link online for the sigil, and without comprehending what that actually meant assumed this was a direct reference to the entity. I don't think it was an intentional thing. 

I do think that misinformation, especially regarding the demonic, can be dangerous. 

So, the only real history for the name is linguistic as opposed to historic or religious.You can read more about the Zoso sigil, its meaning, and how it got tangled up with Led Zeppelin and demonology in modern culture on www.zososymbol.com, which is an outstanding resource and links to all the pertinent books, articles, and websites.
ledragonrouge
This 1850 version of Le Dragon Rouge is a reprint of  an earlier 1521 text “The Red Dragon and The Black Hen, including the secrets of Artephius, the secrets of Cleopatra and how to make yourself invisible“. Courtesy of www.zozosymbol.com

Zozo Etymology and the Power of A Diabolical Name 

The linguistic roots for Zozo are combined in both French-based and African tongues. In Haitian Creole, the word ‘zozo’ means bone (also slang for penis). In Louisiana French Creole, ‘zozo’ means blackbird or raven—a word which survived from the medieval Basque language of southern France/northern Spain. During the early twentieth century, French travel guides in Greece referred to
Zozo as an alternate name for the demon Pazuzu, but there is nothing else to support that claim. In Zulu, the word ‘uzozo’ means a wound that never heals, and the word moved into modern slang when the small huts crafted of tin in the poor areas of African cities were known as ‘izozo’ or today’s ‘zozo huts’. In current French slang, ‘zozo’ means nitwit or dude.

However, the linguistic roots of the name do give us a clue about something disturbing.


Every demonologist and exorcist will tell you that demons do not willingly give up their names to anyone, which is why the Catholic Rite of Exorcism is specifically designed to force the demon to name itself. Knowledge of an entity’s name gives the exorcist power over it. That's why any search for a legitimate historical trail involving the entity is pretty much a waste of time, regardless of how many people try to create a history for Zozo. 

Zozo creates a paradox.

Zozo identifies itself by name and claims to be a demonic entity, but demons just don't blurt out their real names to a teenager with a Ouija board.

Demons reveal their names only after long spiritual battles, like exorcisms. So right from the outset, there’s something suspicious about this entity. Zozo is either not a demon at all, or Zozo is just a bluff—an alias behind which one or multiple demons can approach the users in a spirit board session without endangering itself. And no matter what imaginary medieval manuscripts say, there's only one surefire link to Zozo. 

The Ouija board.

(Part 2 of this article is here and it deals with the Ouija board and the modern evolution of the Zozo entity, including observations and conclusions from the 2017 Zozo experiment with LSF founder Time Wood. As with any of my demonic articles, DO NOT TRY ANYTHING YOU READ ABOUT IN THIS ARTICLE AT HOME. If you do it's a really, really, REALLY bad idea. I'll link part two once it goes live, but until then you can check out my other paranormal articles including the Bell Witch series here. )