Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Sammy Davis Jr – Dancing With The Devil

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Super group Led Zeppelin. Lead guitarist Jimmy Page harboured an intense interest in Aleister Crowley and the Occult.

Magician David Fox investigates…

They say the Devil has all the best tunes – and maybe there is an element of truth in this well-worn cliché. Many of the finest rock acts over the past half century are clearly indebted to the infernal influence of Old Nic himself…

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Sammy Davis Jr was an early member of the Satanic Church.

Would you sell your soul to The Lord of Darkness for temporal gain? The late great Sammy Davis Jr was a celebrity member of the Church of Satan. Founded in 1966 by Anton Szandor Lavey, the legions of Lucifer have boasted several world famous luminaries among their congregation – the most recent being Antichrist Superstar Marilyn Manson!

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Anton Szandor Lavey founded the Church of Satan in 1966.

Indeed, the 1960s heralded a new age of rebellion and decadence. Civil-rights protests, a growing spiritual re-awakening – and of course Rock and Roll music – are defining hallmarks of the era. The Rolling Stones classic ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ controversially portrays the Prince of Evil as the perennially misunderstood anti-hero. The Beatles also chose to include the self-proclaimed Great Beast 666 Aleister Crowley on the cover of their multi-platinum ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album in 1967.

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The Beatles multi-platinum selling album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band‘ (1967). Crowley can be seen at the top left.

Led Zeppelin’s lead guitarist Jimmy Page developed a deep interest in the Occult, and most notably Aleister Crowley. The English mystic’s doctrine of Thelema (Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law) seemed to resonate strongly in the mind of the musical genius. Page duly purchased Crowley’s former home – Boleskine House on the banks of Loch Lomond in Scotland.

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Aleister Crowley’s libertarian doctrine of Thelema appealed to musicians such as Jimmy Page, David Bowie and Ozzy Osbourne

The Beast had conducted a complex magical operation at the spacious manor at the turn of the twentieth century known as the Abramelin Ritual. Consequently, it was widely believed to be haunted by ghosts and demons – a terrifying legacy of Crowley’s diabolical dabblings! Curator Malcolm Dent, a close friend of Page who lived at Boleskine for several years, frequently spoke of supernatural phenomena at the residence. Visit link: Malcolm Dent at Boleskine House.

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Jimmy Page at Boleskine House near Loch Ness.

Black Sabbath would define the genre of Heavy Metal with their ground-breaking self-titled album in 1970. Deliciously dark, menacing and sinister, the riff to the title track is played in the spine-tingling tritone of G to C# which incidentally was banned by the Medieval Church for fear of summoning daemonic forces. Bassist Geezer Butler harboured a deep interest in the supernatural, and the lyrical content throughout their best known work reflects his fascination.

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Black Sabbath would define the Heavy Metal genre with thunderous tracks such as NIB, Black Sabbath and Paranoid.

A new wave of heavy metal groups and rock bands from the 1970s onwards continued to explore the darker realms of our existence. From British Black Metal fore-runners Venom, to Los Angeles Thrash legends Slayer, the lyrics became more intriguing, disturbing and down-right shocking. The Devil seemed to be lurking on the periphery at all times, casting his anarchic authority over the proceedings like an ominous orchestral conductor subtly manipulating the creative strings.

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US legendary Thrash Metal band Slayer. Pushed the boundaries throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

In recent years, Rock and Roll music has enjoyed a sensational resurgence and is now appreciated by fans of all generations. Old Nic has been firmly accepted as part of our main-stream culture. Contemporary acts such as Queens of The Stone Age and Royal Blood frequently pay homage to icons such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin – politely recognising their common infernal heritage! The Devil clearly works in mysterious ways – but is he really such a fearsome fellow? After all, ‘Lucifer‘ is actually Latin for ‘bringer of light’ or ‘The Son of the Morning Star’.

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The archetype of rebellion. Perhaps the Devil simply represents the belligerent streak which resides in each and every one of us?

The author of the article is David Fox, a professional entertainer and freelance writer who currently resides in the UK.

Visit David’s new website at: www.davidfoxmagician.co.uk or contact him at: email@magician-midlands.co.uk

Abraham Lincoln, JFK and The World Trade Centre – Premonitions of Doom

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Is it possible to predict the future? And how much control do we truly have over our destinies? We have all experienced the often unsettling phenomenon of deja-vu at some point in our lives. Could the hand of fate intervene at critical moments to warn us of impending danger?

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Lord Dufferin, British Ambassador to France, late 19th Century

The 19th century statesman Lord Dufferin was well respected in Victorian high society. Nonetheless, he frequently recounted a chilling brush with death. Whilst staying with a friend in Ireland one stormy evening, Dufferin was alarmed to see the ghost of a hideous demonic figure carrying a coffin outside his bedroom window. The ghoulish face would return to haunt him in his dreams for many years to come.

In the 1890s, whilst acting as British Ambassador, Dufferin was about to step into a lift in a luxurious Parisian hotel. Suddenly, to his horror, he noticed that the lift operator was the very man he had seen all those years ago on that sinister evening in Ireland. He promptly stepped back and refused to enter. A few moments later the cable snapped and the lift plunged several floors – killing everyone inside!

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Who was the strange man Lord Dufferin saw in Ireland and Paris?

A shocked Dufferin made inquiries about the identity of the lift operator. All that was known was that he had started working there that day – but his identity was a mystery. Whoever he was, his sudden appearance had clearly saved the ambassador from certain death.

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President Abraham Lincoln appeared to have dreamed about his own fate.

Unfortunately some are not so fortunate – despite being granted a warning of impending danger. President Abraham Lincoln spoke of a vivid nightmare he had several days prior to his assassination in 1865. In his dream he encountered a group of mourners gathered in The White House. When he asked them who had died, they told him it was the President.

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President Kennedy seemed to have sensed impending danger on the eve of his fateful trip to Dallas.

President John F Kennedy, who would succumb to the same fate as his predecessor, also made an ominous statement which came to pass. Before his fateful trip to Texas in 1963, JFK is reported to have said: ‘if someone wants to shoot me from a window with a rifle, nobody can stop it, so why worry about it?’

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Miraculously, Barrett Taylor avoided attacks on the World Trade Centre in both 1993 and 2001.

The most defining moment of our modern era is arguably the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre, New York, in 2001. Since the atrocity, many people around the world have claimed to have experienced premonitions before the tragedy occurred. However, perhaps the experiences of financial executive Barrett Taylor, who was employed at the Twin Towers, are the most startling.

Taylor twice evaded disaster. In 1993 (the year the World Trade Centre was bombed) he felt a mysterious urge to return home just before the explosion. The same eerie sensation would return to grip him on the morning of September 11th 2001 forcing him again to avoid the Trade Centre! He is not the type of person who believes in the supernatural and fails to comprehend the mysterious ‘force’ which spared him from both atrocities.

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Albert Einstein appreciated the complexities of time itself. Foreseeing the future, as well as time travel, are concepts we must consider.

To date, science can offer no sufficient explanation as to why we experience such premonitions and indications of future threats. Albert Einstein appreciated that time itself is something much more profound and mysterious than we care to imagine. Time is not merely the seconds, minutes and hours which appear on the face of a clock… Could it be that our destiny is in some way pre-arranged and decided before we live our lives?

So, the next time you experience a vivid dream, curious hunch or strange sensation, pay very close attention to it. The hand of fate may be delivering an important message for you…

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The author of the article is David Fox, a professional entertainer and freelance writer based in the UK. For more details about David, please visit: www.davidfoxmagician.co.uk

Do you have any strange stories or experiences you would like to share with us? We would be delighted to hear from you. Please email these to: email@magician-midlands.co.uk

Superstition and Football – Bizarre Beliefs of the Beautiful Game

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Zidane is well-known for his curious pre-match rituals

The great Bill Shankly famously stated that football is ‘much more serious’ than a matter of life and death. Perhaps this is the reason why superstition abounds within the realms of the beautiful game. From Zidane and Maradona’s much publicised pre-match rituals, to Johan Cruyff’s charmed chewing gum, footballers the world over are well known for embracing the weird and the wonderful in the hope it will ensure good fortune once the white line is traversed.

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Elland Road was said to be cursed.

Leeds United’s legendary manager Don Revie was renowned for his lucky blue suit and superstitious nature. However, on receiving a letter from a gypsy in 1971, Revie decided to take things a stage further. The author insisted that Elland Road (Leeds’ stadium) was cursed as a group of gypsies had been forced off the land prior to its construction. Suffering from an unexpected loss of form at the time and dropping points, the manager duly invited a gypsy to the stadium in order to remove the curse. ‘Now you’ll start winning things’ she said after conducting a peculiar ritual on the pitch. Leeds would subsequently go on to produce some of the finest displays of Revie’s tenure and secure three more major trophies. Did the gypsy work her magic, or was it merely coincidental?

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Bela Gutman. Did he curse Benfica?

Perhaps Portuguese giants Benfica should take note of Revie’s faith in the supernatural. In the early 1960s the club was a major superpower and won the European Cup twice under the management of the mythical Bela Guttman. However, after achieving such incredible success, the Hungarian impresario was incandescent when the board denied him a pay rise. On leaving the club, he angrily proclaimed that Benfica would not win another European trophy for one hundred years. To date, the Portuguese side have been losers in eight major finals. Many Benfica fans now firmly believe that their club has been cursed.

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The great Pelé insisted his lucky shirt be found and returned

Even items of clothing take on mystical properties in the high pressure world of professional football. The sensational Pelé’s dramatic decline in form over several matches during the mid 1960s was attributed to the loss of his ‘lucky shirt’. The Brazilian master had kindly presented this to an adoring Santos supporter after a match. A close friend was hastily called upon to track down the special jersey. On its return, Pelé felt rejuvenated and his genius swiftly reappeared. Little did he know that his concerned companion had committed an act of chicanery by procuring another used shirt and pretending it was the lucky one!

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England Captain Bobby Moore

England’s World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore always insisted on being the last player in the changing room to put on his shorts, whilst striker Gary Lineker requested a shirt change at half time if he had yet to find the net. Both players boast a combined total of 188 international caps between them, so perhaps there really is a mysterious link between superstition and success?

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Raymond Domenech openly declared his belief in astrology.

Nonetheless, no matter how much footballers may be willing to embrace the irrational to win matches, they clearly do have their boundaries, as French international manager Raymond Domenech discovered. His reliance on astrology when selecting which players to include in his squad frequently attracted ridicule. The dramatic fall out between Domenech and his team at the 2010 World Cup finals ultimately lost him his job. Another international manager who would fall foul to sceptics was Glenn Hoddle. His policy of calling upon the services of faith-healer Eileen Drewery (who had assisted him with a knee injury as a young player) left him open to scathing criticism.

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Kolo Touré insisted on being the last man out.

Touching wood, putting a right boot on first and sporting a lucky charm are all common-place superstitions. Indeed, the same habits will be repeated in dressing rooms across the land throughout the highs and lows of the footballing season. One such belief, strangely held by many players, is that they will have a good game if they are the last man out of the dressing room. Arsenal defender Kolo Touré took this to the extreme during his side’s 2009 Champions League clash with Roma. Team-mate William Gallas was receiving treatment at half time and Touré insisted on waiting until this was finished. His obstinance resulted in Arsenal starting the second half with nine men and him receiving a yellow card for entering the field of play late without the referee’s permission. Fortunately for Touré, Arsenal finished 1 – 0 winners.

Do you have any strange superstitions or unusual stories you would like to share? Why not email them to us at: email@magician-midlands.co.uk

The author of the article is David Fox a professional entertainer and freelance writer based in the UK. For more about David, visit his website at:

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