Monday, October 27, 2014

Walking with the Dead - Almost?

Jacks of the Lantern
J and L have been fortunate enough to travel extensively to bring stories and photographs back for our readers to enjoy but with Halloween just around the corner we thought we may add our own idea about this peculiar horriday.

The origin of Halloween as we know it today is still a bit of a mystery as many scholars refer to it as All Hallow's Eve or the Eve of All Saint's Day, it is the time of year we mere mortals use humor to confront the power of death. Most of these historical experts believe October 31st was tamed by the Christians to take away the power of the Celts and their Gaelic Samhain feast day (and was actually celebrated on a different day altogether). Why allow the Druids (the original tree huggers) a day of visiting strangers and demanding cakes (the original treat), candy or anything else of value from strangers when anyone could get into the mix and nix the pagans.  Of course, with any theory, there are skeptics who believe it was Christian all along - very few but they exist and doesn't the sound of Druids, Celts (kelts), Gaelic, and Samhain give a better ring for Halloween? Sounds almost spooky and ancient.

Druids - original tree huggers
 Well, maybe not ancient but pretty darn old since the first mention of All Hallow's Eve didn't show up in the Old English language until 1556. In geologic time that may not sound ancient but when it's hard to remember sometimes what one had for lunch yesterday it is indeed a long long long time ago.

Whenever the term or terms became part of the yearly festival of dressing up like ghosts, ghouls, zombies and ex-spouses it has stuck and became part of a worldwide culture. Billions are spent each year for this one special day around this globe and grows more every 364 days until the next neighborhood haunting.

It's truly a day to go out, for both adults and children and dress up to try to give the person next to you a heart attack and then laugh when the defibrillator doesn't function properly. Probably just another trick to obtain that elusive Snicker's Bar.

On a serious note - if there is one here - we at J and L tend to be a bit suspicious about supposed hauntings since we've visited countries such as France, Spain, Italy, England, the Caribbean, South America  where legends abound of ungodly things happening within the walls of houses, castles and cemeteries. Nada. Not even the creep of a hair on our necks.

In San Diego, California we visited the Whaley House (supposedly the most haunted site in California) but yet when John jumped up and down on the stairway where the most 'feelings' were of other worldly spirits the only feeling he got was he would be exited from the building. Though, to be completely honest as written in another blog we did have an uncomfortable feeling and the photographs showed 'something' unusual in a downstairs room that we could not explain. Stairs batting zero and room batted us almost out of there in a hurry - even got a cold chill.

Whaley House San Diego - Nice digs for a ghost
But nothing could have prepared us for the 'night ghost walk through Dublin'. Sure, it was almost dark, the sky glistening a long lasting sunset in the summer but as our tour guide (yes, sometimes you have to take a tour to see certain things) moved us from place to place visiting ancient Viking residences to the more mundane things of only a few hundred years ago we knew there was something special waiting for us.

No not that - ghostly sighting!
Sure enough we found that 'special something' where a poor lass named Darkey Kelly who had become involved with a married man of some note in Dublin in the 18th century and ended up pregnant. Now, Darkey Kelly didn't have a pristine past since she was once a girl of the night turned madame of her own business but nonetheless she was pregnant, single and coming from the darker side of Dublin. The father of her child fearing for his reputation (whatever that meant), was terrified others would find out declared that Kelly was in fact a witch (that being enough to seal anyone's fate, especially during such a superstitious time in society). That was all it took to have Kelly dragged by the hair up forty stone steps to the churchyard of St. Audoen's where she was summarily tried, convicted and burned alive along with her unborn child.

Laureen scared - not really - just a cartoon
Rumors, myths and tales tell of people hearing a young woman moaning in the night about the loss of her child or others say they have seen her spirit walking the churches grounds in search of something that no longer exists - her child, her innocence, her lover, or the people that murdered her on a lie?

We listened and took photographs and felt sorry for her. But upon returning home to the states and looking at the downloaded pictures something jumped out at us. While taking multiple photos of the area where this poor woman was mercilessly dragged to her ultimate death we had shots of an empty pathway, an empty gate and then suddenly two photographs taken a split second apart were totally different. One was dark showing the gated area and the next one showed the same gate but eerily there seemed to be an orb of light to the right of the gate. We put it down to a number of things but always coming back to it we quite couldn't put our finger on what we were looking at.

Research began. Don't take anyone's word for something - research first! Other blogs that referenced what we may have photographed.

3/13 - 4girlsandaghost - "I took a photograph from up on the churchyard steps, looking down towards the entrance gate. Not being a big believer in orbs, I disregarded it for the moment. Very shortly after I took the picture, the tour guide went on to say that the apparition of Kelly was often spotted just inside the gate."

6/09 - ghostcatcherie - "Upon analyzing my photos from the tour I found a very unusual shape in one of the photos taken on the 40 steps. I brightened this to see more detail and shape seems see through. I initially thought it to be a shadow, as it is transparent, but the colour and positioning seems odd. It was also taken with no flash in very little light. Although I cannot say this was a ghost, it is still a very interesting photo indeed."

A Dark Corner
A Darkey Kelly?

Compare the photos we took of the place Darkey Kelly was brought and you decide. We're open to any explanations but the hairs did stand out on our necks on that tour, and what was a rather warm day for Dublin suddenly turned very cold as we stepped through the gate where many years ago a young woman was dragged to her death.

So, Happy Halloween and remember the ghosts, goblins or whatever visiting your doorstep may not be mere humans dressed up for the night but could be those who haven't decided if it is their time to leave this blue planet?

Who knows for sure but isn't that the haunting fun of such a night?

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