Thursday, November 04, 2010



ABOVE: Typical Halloween night bullshit

I know some pagans get upset if you don't refer to it as Samhain, but, according to Catholic doctrine, Halloween is the night that all the ghosts, ghouls, satyrs, demons, fauns, poltergeists, vampires, zombies, lycanthropes and hoochie coochie men get together and throw a massive party, before the shutters come down for All Saints' Day. It's basically like a load of ravers being banned from Glastonbury and setting up a DIY festival in an adjacent field. Incidentally, Samhain started off as a joke among Irish druids - it's true! It was a way of scaring the bejayzus out of the 'warrior class', who'd usually have spent the night drinking heavily, cussing the druids and bragging about how many heads they'd collected. Each Samhain saw these berserkers retreat early to their huts for a restless, sleepless night, while the druids got trolleyed, ran around screaming and honking on vuvuzelas ((possibly)) and reduced the hardest men in the village to quivering wrecks.

Now, some smartarses like to crack out the Waddington's OUIJA BOARD at Halloween, reasoning that the high volume of spirit traffic is bound to net them a few lively ((erm...)) ones. They then cry their eyes out when the ouija board bluntly tells them to "FUCk oFf PEniSbREAtH LoL", flies across the room and starts a house fire! Duhh - what did they expect? Using a ouija board on Halloween is the equivalent of setting up an unmoderated forum about PUA techniques; somebody's gonna troll it to death in 60 seconds flat. Shit, if I end up trapped between worlds when I cark it, I'll be hassling the 'ouija set' at every given opportunity. Be honest with yourselves – your dead grandmas have absolutely NOTHING to impart to you... and anyway, would you really drag them back to THIS?? This festering compost heap?? Where a specimen like george osbourne not only avoided being strangled at birth, but actually managed to get through this month in one piece?? Do you honestly think your grandparents would thank you?? Just look at some old photos, for Christ's sake...let sleeping dogs lie. And if you try it on with my grandparents, you're liable to get a slap, my friend.

Still, if some of you insist on dabbling, you might as well know what you're getting into. So here's a brief guide as to who'll be pulling your planchette on the night:

The Devil

AKA 'Auld Clootie', 'Old Nick', 'The Goat of Mendes...the Devil himself!', etc. Not many people know this, but the Devil wrote the first ever fanzine. It was hilarious, and he rightly mouthed off to his fellow angels about how good it was – 'til God cast him out of Heaven for the sin of pride. It's highly unlikely that the Devil will bother to attend your ouija session, unless you have some very pretty Catholic schoolgirls taking part. Of course, rogue spirits may claim to be the Prince of Darkness, cos they know that saying that'll make you shit yourself, but don't take all brags at face value. The Devil also likes to appear as the Virgin Mary, from time to time, 'for a laugh'. However, for some unknown reason, he can't get human feet right, so it's a dead giveaway when Our Lady of Fatima turns up with cloven hooves, demanding a barrel of Watneys Party Seven ((also, the Blessed Virgin doesn't listen to Discharge)).


Poltergeists are the Hells Angels of the spirit world. They started off in Germany, wrecking peoples' kitchens, but over the past 30 years they've established chapters across the world, united by an unspeakable hatred of inanimate objects and humanoid lifeforms. A poltergeist rarely engages in detailed ouija chatter - you'll probably get a couple of 'NO's before your wok mysteriously rockets out of the kitchen and proceeds to beat you around the head with great gusto. Contrary to most exorcists, there is only one way to get rid of a poltergeist. It's to lie in a foetal position on the floor, beneath a mountain of broken plates and saucepans, sobbing and moaning, until the spirit gets bored and wanders off to fuck up somebody else's oven. Still want to crack out that ouija board?


Spectres are pretty weedy, in a physical sense - they certainly don't have the power to smash your precious dubstep collection to pieces, or hurl babies from their cots. But they are remarkably good at psychological intimidation. Think of whatever bothers you most - this is all you'll be hearing about from these wind-up merchants. Your ex died in a tragic car accident, and you still have nightmares about the taxi ride to the hospital...that's right - the spectres will conveniently inform your circle that you had a wank on the morning of the accident and not let the subject drop, 'til some other spectre barges in. Oh, if it's any consolation, you do get other supernatural types butting in and taking over proceedings - so you won't be stuck with the same piss-taker all night. Unfortunately, they do tend to get more spiteful and creatively twisted as the evening draws on. Other common tactics include pretending to be your mum ("U R NOT MINE") or informing you when you'll die ("B4 X FKTR").


AH HA, WOULD YE LOOK AT THE WEE FELLAS? THE WEE LASSIES WITH THE WINGS? Pixies think they're well cool, but even a novice ouija dabbler would have to be a complete waste of oxygen to take this mob seriously. They're fond of playing word games and acting mysterious, but it's just the supernatural equivalent of a Divine Comedy fan lulling around on a beanbag, spliffed out of their brains, and trying to catch you out with passive aggressive sarcasm. Tell pixies to fuck off. Yes, from me, if necessary. Otherwise, watch your ouija session degenerate into an episode of Give Us A Clue.

Dead Pop Stars

There's a time of foolishness in every youngster's life, when the manipulation of an ouija board to contact a dead musician seems like a swell idea. Perhaps Kurt Cobain might pop along, to offer some profound relationship advice? Or Sid Vicious will say hello, and give you tips on being the only rebellious teenager in Wing? ((it's a village near Leighton Buzzard, seriously, look it up)). What you don't realise is that, if these characters were egomaniacs when they were alive, how swollen d'you reckon their heads are now, after years of adulation and being blu-tacked in poignant, monochrome poses on bedroom walls across the world? Pretty fucking swollen, I'll let you know. I mean, the last two are probably bad enough, but imagine getting the Gibb brother who died, or Karen Carpenter. I contacted Ian Curtis once ((using a JetStar 12" cover with the letters and numbers scribbled on in felt tip, and an upturned whiskey glass with a horse's head on it as a planchette)) and all he did was moan about his Factory contract and how he hated playing down South. IMPORTANT WARNING - Rick James became a poltergeist, do NOT piss around invoking him.


I don't speak Arabic, fuck knows.

Nan Clark's ghost

Here's some NW London psychogeography for you. In Mill Hill, there's a street called Nan Clark's Lane. It's basically one of the richest places in the UK, flanked by 7-bed houses worth about £5 million, twee cottages and lots of foliage. It also happens to be the stomping ground for a ghost. I've heard scores of variations on this, but the background's basically that Nan Clark was a housemaid for some big wig and one night she got stabbed to death by a maniac / by her employer / by her employer's wife, while leaving her employer's house for the night ...either way, a sharp knife was involved. I mean, people as far away as Colindale talked about it. Apparently, if you go up Nan Clark's Lane at night (which is pitch black), you get to hear manic sobbing and screaming and, if you're really unlucky, Nan jumps out, still sliced up and gutted, and fondles you with a clammy, ghostly, bloody paw. You're sitting there smirking at such superstitious nonsense NOW, but I bet you haven't ventured up there on your own at midnight.

Subsequently, Nan Clark is a real prize ouija catch - it's the only way of finding out what actually happened on that night of blood-soaked terror, and who carved her up. Unfortunately, if she doesn't stray from Nan Clark's Lane, you're unlikely to get in touch with her from your flat in Michigan. But if you do, let us know. Cos my dad swore she hung herself.
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