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

Tutbury Ghost Captured on Film?

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Captured during a photo-shoot in Tutbury, Staffs, is the figure a ghost or supernatural being? Copyright 1993 Brenda Ray.

Who is the mysterious cloaked figure?

The idyllic village of Tutbury, Staffordshire is a popular haunt for day trippers who come to savour its unique charm and famous castle. Mary Queen of Scots was incarcerated here in the 16th century, and it has developed a reputation as one of the most haunted places in the British Isles.

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Appearing only once in a series of shots, the figure represents a peculiar puzzle! Copyright 1993, Brenda Ray.

In 1993 Brenda Ray captured the image of a peculiar cloaked figure in the village whilst conducting a photo shoot. This has since been the subject of much speculation, and the story surrounding the mysterious apparition is truly incredible. Indeed, perhaps at some time in the future, Brenda may decide to publish an account of her extraordinary experiences.

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An award-winning short-story writer, Brenda has been interested in the supernatural since childhood.

The supernatural is a subject which has interested Ms Ray since childhood and often features within her literary work. An award winning author, Brenda has recently published two collections of short stories: ‘The Siren of Salamanca’ (2008) and ‘Gondwanaland’ (2013) to much critical acclaim.

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Humorous, mysterious, thought-provoking and highly entertaining – Brenda’s recent collections of short stories.

As someone who was brought up on a diet of Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft and Roald Dahl, I could identify and appreciate Brenda’s genius immediately. Haunting, vivid and tantalising, her stories often leave the reader with more questions than answers. After all, there is nothing more mysterious than the unresolved…

For more details about Brenda and her work please visit: Brenda Ray Writes

Visit Brenda’s Amazon Page to obtain copies of her books: Brenda Ray Amazon

David Fox is a professional entertainer and freelance writer based in the UK. Visit his website at: www.davidfoxmagician.co.uk

 

 

Belmez Faces, Spain – La Casa de las Caras

Since the early 1970s thousands of inquisitive souls have paid a visit to an undistinguished house in Bélmez, Andalusia, Spain. The reason for their peculiar pilgrimage is truly fascinating and represents one of the most sensational supernatural stories of modern times.

The terrifying tale began in August 1971 when Maria Gómez Cámara witnessed what appeared to be a human face mysteriously materialising upon the concrete floor of her kitchen. She was so petrified that her husband and son forcibly removed the menacing visage with tools, and hastily re-concreted the area.

An innocuous house in Andalusia was the site of an incredible supernatural occurrence.

Alarmingly, several days later the same face reappeared. This time it was much more vivid and wore a hauntingly distressed expression. The family began to speculate that some sort of supernatural entity might be at work. News of the phenomenon quickly spread throughout the local community and the Mayor suggested that the flooring be carefully extracted for scientific investigation.

The mysterious happenings in Bélmez attracted international media attention, as well as the interest of scientists, clairvoyants and psychical investigators. More spectral images began to form upon the kitchen floor which further fueled speculation. Indeed, when the room was finally sealed off for investigation, cameras recorded the faces eerily forming upon the concrete by their own accord. An unseen spectral hand seemed to be fashioning the images from out of the ether! Microphones also detected unnerving disembodied voices and unexplained sounds around the house.

Scientists have conducted painstaking research into the strange faces.

Sceptics argue that there must be a logical explanation for the faces and it is merely a highly sophisticated hoax. As a result of the weird occurrences, Bélmez has enjoyed much welcome publicity and an increase in passing trade. The possible presence of a ghost can indeed bring many economic benefits to an otherwise isolated location and motivate the unscrupulous.

The house was built upon a medieval cemetery and clairvoyants believe witchcraft and sorcery was practiced in the area.

Nonetheless, no conclusive explanation has been presented to explain the mystery. One notable parapsychologist has even suggested that Thoughtography (the ability to transfer one’s thoughts onto a solid surface) may have created the images. Furthermore, several clairvoyants who have visited La Casa de las Caras (The House of the Faces) have all cryptically agreed that a tragic event associated with witchcraft occurred there during medieval times. Strangely, workmen who dug beneath the house unearthed the remnants of a cemetery dating back to this period. Could the spectral faces be a desperate message from the other side?

The Casa de Las Caras now functions as a museum. The address is: Calle Maria Gomez, 5, 23568 Bélmez de la Moraleda, Jaén, Spain.

The author of the article is David Fox. A professional entertainer and freelance writer based in the UK. Visit his website at: www.davidfoxmagician.co.uk. Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/davidfoxmagician

 

The Ten Spookiest Churches in the World

Are you brave enough to read this? Are you easily ‘spooked’ out? Would you dare to visit one of these spine-chilling churches late at night? Because… when the congregation’s away, the ghosts come out to play…

  1. Newby Church, North Yorkshire, UK

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A hologram of the Emperor from Star Wars? No, it’s the ghost of a medieval monk! Conclusive evidence that some spirits are not camera shy. Taken in 1963 by the Reverend Lord, this spectral snap-shot continues to perplex experts the world over. Psychics have speculated that it may be the ghost of a 16th century friar who treated plague victims.

  1. Westminster Abbey, London, UK

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Westminster Abbey may be an iconic British landmark, but with over 3000 burials registered on the site, it boasts an impressive array of terrifying tenants! Notable inhabitants include: a Benedictine monk who mysteriously materialises in the early evening, and a sombre soldierly spirit (said to be the ghost of the ‘Unknown Warrior’ who is entombed inside the abbey itself).

  1. Christ Church, Alexandria, Virginia, USA

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The perfect setting for Stephen King’s next blood-curdling blockbuster, Christ Church, Virginia, is sensationally spooky! Sinister sightings of spectral civil-war soldiers in the graveyard are commonplace and ensure that this national monument is a popular haunt for avid ghost hunters. Thirty four Confederate troops were interred in a mass grave, and some tourists even claim to have captured their armed apparitions on celluloid.

7. Borley Church, Essex, UK

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Borley became world famous thanks to ghost hunter extraordinaire Harry Price. Mysterious tapping sounds and unexplained footsteps around the building have been reported by witnesses. But perhaps the most disturbing phenomenon of all has taken place in the crypt. Investigators have been unable to explain how coffins have been bizarrely moved from their original positions despite the door being locked!

6. Most Holy Trinity Church, New York, USA

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Anyone who has seen ‘Poltergiest’ will know the occupational hazard that comes with disrespecting the deceased. The spirits of those interred in an old burial ground beneath the school of Most Holy Trinity Church are said to linger after dark. Spine-tingling tones of eerily ethereal voices coupled with disturbingly disembodied footsteps resonate. Lights in the gym hall mysteriously switch on and off, as if the dead protest a denial of dignity.

  1. Frauenkirche, Munich, Germany

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The black sinister footprint at the doorway of the Frauenkirche in Munich is said to have been made by the Devil himself! Legend has it that he offered to pay for the building of the church provided it had no windows. The builder accepted his satanic salary and slyly positioned the columns so that the church windows cannot be seen from the Devil’s position! When the wind howls eerily around the Gothic towers it is believed to be Lucifer expressing his anger.

  1. Church of St Wystan, Repton, UK

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From the ghoulish goblin who lives atop the spire, to the peculiar misty spirits who dwell in the graveyard, St Wystan’s Church is a hive of weirdness. Locals speak of strange supernatural figures appearing during the witching hour around the church. The spirit of a seventeenth century grave-digger is also said to linger among the tombstones.

  1. Basilique du Bois-Chenu, Domremy La-Pucelle, France

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Dedicated to Joan of Arc who was burnt alive at the stake after being accused of witchcraft by the English, the Basilique du Bois-Chenu is a well known spooky hotspot. Joan was said to have experienced divine visions as a young girl living in the village. Her ghost has been sighted on numerous occasions around the church, returning to visit her childhood home.

2. Mont Saint Michel, Normandy, France

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Divine intervention played a role in the building of the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel when the Arch Angel Gabriel appeared before the Bishop Aubert of Avranches and instructed him to build a holy structure. Mysterious monks and the ghost of Captain Louis d’Estouteville (who defeated the English in 1434) now haunt this unique location. The ghost of the soldier is often sighted guarding the ramparts, loyally performing his duty to the King of France.

1. Lucedio Abbey, Trino, Italy

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Terrifying tales of torture, murder and dark rituals prompted the Pope to close Lucedio Abbey in the eighteenth century. Its horrifying history is equally as disturbing as the weird inexplicable fog which appears around the building, and the sinister evil ‘presence’ which can be experienced in the crypt. Several monks were found buried in a perfect circle and were all seated! Even more bizarrely, their bodies were naturally preserved. Italy’s most haunted place… were the abbots practising some sort of sinister sorcery?

The author of this article is David Fox who is a freelance writer and entertainer based in the UK. Visit David’s website for more details: David Fox Magician.

Harry Price: Dweller on the Threshold

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‘Harry fought a long, lone battle against, on the one hand, the Victorian educated scientists who derided the occult and, on the other, fanatical believers in spiritualism whose favourite mediums he exposed as frauds.’

Dennis Wheatley

Harry Price (1881 to 1948) is remembered today as perhaps the most famous ghost hunter and psychical investigator of all time. The intrepid scientist’s study of Borley Rectory in Suffolk, purported to be ‘The Most Haunted House in England’, from 1929 until his death brought him international recognition and cemented his reputation as a colossus within the field of occult research. Nonetheless, this extraordinary figure became an object of both acclaim and disdain during his lifetime. Some commentators viewed Price merely as a sensationalist who sought publicity by courting the supernatural, whilst others championed him as a genuine truth seeker – selflessly dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of the universe.

Indeed, Price’s commitment and dedication to the investigation of preternatural phenomena cannot be understated. He founded The National Laboratory for Psychical Research, compiled one of the largest libraries of the occult in the world, and was one of the first scientists to apply a rigorous and methodical approach when testing the authenticity of psychics and hauntings. Price utilised state-of-the-art technologies such as pressure sensors and infra red photography in his quest into the unpredictable and inhospitable shadow realm of spirits, poltergeists and demons. His capacity and appetite for conducting painstaking research – in often freezing and isolated locations in the dead of night – has set the bench mark exceptionally high for all psychical explorers. In Borley Rectory alone Price recorded no fewer than sixty different types of supernatural occurrence.

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Borley Rectory in Suffolk – The Most Haunted House in England.

 

Contemporary ‘ghost hunters’ frequently pay homage to Price’s considerable influence and achievements, but few are actually aware of his background in the art of conjuring and legerdemain. A lifelong member of the prestigious Magic Circle, his interest in this amazing art form began at an early age when he witnessed a performance of The Great Sequah in Shrewsbury market place. The young Price was mesmerised by the magician and this profound experience clearly catalysed an inner yearning for the mysterious.

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‘The Conjurer’ by Bosch. Magic and the Occult have always been closely linked.

 

Thus, like the great Harry Houdini (who successfully debunked numerous fraudulent psychics in the US), an understanding of the art of magic allowed Price to deduce what secret artifices or methods, if any, were being deployed by supposed soothsayers and mediums during his research. The story of the famous ‘spirit photographer’ William Hope is well documented and is an example of one of Price’s many skirmishes with Spiritualists who normally felt threatened by his research. The scientist was more than aware of how accomplished magicians can surreptitiously ‘switch’ objects, undetected by audiences, in order to achieve startling outcomes. This was precisely what Hope was doing with the photographic plates, and Price quickly concluded that his ‘spirit images’ were actually frauds. Indeed, this damning revelation set the tone for most of Price’s investigations into Spiritualists and clairvoyants. He attended hundreds of séances and was rarely convinced by the authenticity of the spectacle. Lifelong friend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes – but himself an ardent Spiritualist) frequently expressed his anger at Price’s findings and urged him to be more sympathetic towards individuals of a psychical disposition.

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Like the Great Houdini, Price’s knowledge of magic helped him ‘debunk’ fraudulent mediums.

Nonetheless, in the midst of a seemingly incessant tide of fraudulence and deceit, Price did encounter some incredible individuals who genuinely appeared to possess exceptional extra sensory talents. The most notable is perhaps Ms Stella C who, unlike the majority of clairvoyants and mediums, did not accept money for conducting séances and was not interested in forging a career in this field. Price and others observed the occurrence of genuine telekinetic phenomena in her presence, and she also incredibly predicted (with an uncanny accuracy which startled even Price) what would appear on the front page of The Daily Mail several weeks in advance.

Price was further led to speculate that it may be ‘highly probable’ that some individuals actually can communicate with the deceased. A séance in 1930 with the clairvoyant Mrs Eileen Garrett, who was not a Spiritualist, provided some of the most extraordinary results ever obtained in the field of psychical exploration. Garrett claimed to be in communion with Flight-Lieutenant H Carmichael Irwin, the captain of the doomed R101 Airship which had tragically crashed in France two days earlier. All the crew and passengers had been killed, but the psychic was accurately able to relay intricate details about the sequence of events which led to the fatal accident. Specialised technological information about the airship itself, of which Garrett could not possibly have known, were also provided. Price contacted the RAF with his findings and they concluded that 70% of Eileen Garrett’s account was exactly precise, 20% was ‘most likely’ and the remainder was rather confused.

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The medium Eileen Garrett recounted intricate details of the R101 disaster.

Such examples of Price’s work reveal that as well as earning a reputation as a sceptical man of science, he did have a sensitivity towards psychics and was prepared to reveal instances of what appeared to be genuine ‘supernatural’ phenomena. Indeed, his feud with fellow magicians the Maskelynes would reveal how he was often prepared to defend psychics who he believed were genuine. Nevil Maskelyne had long claimed that his brother Clive could duplicate all types of ‘supposed spiritual phenomena’ a medium could create in a séance. However, Price challenged this statement and alleged that he had witnessed events in séance rooms which even the most accomplished of conjurers would struggle to produce.

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Magicians can amaze audiences with seemingly ‘psychical phenomena’.

Enigmatic and complex, the life of Harry Price is arguably even more perplexing than the mediums, spirits and poltergeists he documented along the way. It is intensely intriguing when a talented and highly intelligent individual is drawn to devote his entire life to the study of a fringe subject such as the occult. They run the risk of being ostracised, condemned and ridiculed by their peers. So why did Harry Price decide to embark upon such an atypical and arduous journey which would ultimately lead him to the bowels of desolate dilapidated mansions, the icy spectral solitude of cemeteries, and the sinister sultry environs of fraudulent medium’s séance parlours? Was he merely a deluded moonstruck eccentric shying away from the harsh realities of life? Or should we celebrate him as a heroic pioneer who conducted invaluable research into an area which has been largely ignored or overlooked by many of the greatest minds over the centuries?

 

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Psychical researchers can easily become objects of ridicule. Why did Price choose this path?

For an interview with Harry Price click the link: Harry Price Interview YouTube.

A radio production about Price’s life: Are You There Harry Price?

The author of the article is David Fox, a professional magician and freelance writer.

www.magician-midlands.co.uk

Harry Houdini – Spiritualism or Swindle?

Magician David Fox explores…

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‘What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes’

Harry Houdini, 1874 – 1926

It was a dark and dreary mid-winter evening several years ago in Derbyshire. I had been invited to entertain guests at a corporate function in the distinguished setting of Breadsall Priory. The evening was going very well, and my repertoire of card magic, illusion, and sleight-of-hand was clearly having a positive impact on the proceedings. An opportunity soon presented itself for me to conduct some mind-reading and psychological routines (known as ‘Mentalism’ in magical parlance).

In one such effect I invite an audience member to think of someone they know well. It could be a family member, friend or work colleague. In this instance the lady in question happened to think of someone who had recently passed on. Needless to say, when I later revealed the person’s identity, the participant thought something supernatural had taken place.

As magicians we are well aware of the possibility of creating powerful effects which will leave a profound and lasting impression upon an audience. Indeed, magic and the supernatural have long been inextricably intertwined. The priests of ancient Egypt often used the art to mesmerise and frighten their subjects. In more recent times the case of the great French magician Robert Houdin (from whom Harry Houdini took his name) is well documented. Houdin managed to scare a group of tribal insurgents in Africa by using a simple magical effect in order to quell colonial insurrection. It is for this reason that the contemporary prestidigitator must be responsible and respectful when entertaining any audience.

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On hearing the word ‘magic’ we automatically think of Harry Houdini. This sensational individual needs little introduction and, almost a century since his death, he continues to amaze and inspire both magicians and lay persons the world over. Houdini helped to raise the profile of magic considerably throughout the early twentieth century with his wonderful stage performances and death defying stunts. His boundless charisma, formidable work ethic, and strength of personality, all combined to create one of the world’s first international superstars. However, most people are unaware of Houdini’s close association with spiritualism during the latter stages of his life.

On losing his beloved mother, Houdini began to ponder the possibility of an after life throughout the 1920s. Like many vulnerable souls who find themselves in such a time of emotional turmoil, he sought solace in mediums who had become more prevalent around the industrialised American towns since the ‘Occult Renaissance’ of the late nineteenth century.

Sadly, Houdini was bitterly disappointed by the séances he attended, and quickly developed the point-of-view that spiritualists, and those that claimed to be in league with the dearly departed, were merely charlatans. Thus, he set out on a moral crusade to disclose, or ‘debunk’, the fraudulent activities of such persons. Houdini’s revelations are masterfully presented in his 1924 work entitled ‘A Magician Among The Spirits’. The great magician demonstrates much of the chicanery utilised by purported spiritualists in order to extract hard-earned cash from the unwary.

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Spiritualism grew in popularity from the mid nineteenth century onwards.

But what of Spiritualism? Can we fully accept Houdini’s warnings, or is there really some kernel of truth in the possibility of communicating with the deceased? Adherents of the multitude of contemporary Spiritualist churches which exist throughout the world would refute his accusations. Indeed, one commentator has calculated that there are currently over thirteen million followers of this faith throughout Europe and North America alone. Perhaps like many belief systems Spiritualism has attracted its share of charlatans over the years, but are there mediums amongst its ranks who possess a genuine ability to contact the dead?

The eminent philosopher Carl Jung appreciated that human beings possess a subconscious desire to believe in some form of higher force, or divine purpose, to life. The prospect of living a meaningless existence with no prospect of an afterlife is, to say the least, frightful. Many magicians often scoff at those who readily accept the existence of spirits, but in my humble opinion this is a rather arrogant stand-point to assume. Granted, given a sympathetic enough context, we can create effects which may appear to defy reality.

A variety of elements combined that wintry evening all those years ago in Derbyshire such as the gloomy weather, dim lighting, and the fact that we were on the site of a medieval abbey which is rumoured to be haunted, to create an effect of almost supernatural proportions. However,  there are indeed many things which contemporary science in all its wisdom still cannot fully explain such as: premonitions, photographs and recordings of unusual phenomenon, and telepathy.

As for Houdini, he promised to send a coded message to friends and family after he shed this mortal coil. To date, we are still waiting to hear from the master…

David Fox is a professional award winning magician who performs his unique brand of magic throughout the world.

Visit David’s new Corporate website at: www.davidfoxcorporatemagic.com

Telephone number: 07946 686 258

Dennis Wheatley – The Devil Rides Out

The mysterious world of Dennis Wheatley…

David Fox explores

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‘Should any of my readers incline to a serious study of the subject (Occult) and thus come into contact with a man or woman of Power, I feel that is is only right to urge them, most strongly, to refrain from being drawn into any practice of the Secret Art in any way.’

Dennis Wheatley (1897 – 1977) was one of the most prolific, widely-read, and successful authors of the twentieth century. Throughout his colourful career, Wheatley penned over 50 novels, a multitude of short stories, and produced a variety of non-fiction texts. His association with the British military is well documented, and he contributed to the war effort during the 1940s. Indeed, his involvement with the War Office, and the planning of the Allied invasion of northern France, would provided the basis for much of his future fictional work.

Wheatley’s character: Gregory Sallust (the protagonist of several of his best-selling thriller novels) is now regarded as a fore-runner to Ian Flemming’s James Bond. Both authors came from a similar background and naturally shared both the dominant values and world-view of their generation. These are evidently reflected within their works of fiction. However, despite only producing several novels of an Occult orientation, Dennis Wheatley has become synonymous with the supernatural and Black Magic. Why has a man who sold over 50 million books in his lifetime gained such a mysterious reputation?

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‘In every age there have been secret societies, and the greater part of them have been brotherhoods concerned, to a greater or lesser degree, with magic.’

It could be said that Wheatley’s association with matters of a preternatural nature began during his time at prep-school in the early 1900s when he was convinced that he had seen a ghost. As he states in one of his works of non-fiction ‘The Devil and All His Works’ (Hutchinson 1971): ‘It has long been maintained by many thinkers of many nations that Homo Sapiens is endowed with a sixth sense.’ Clearly Wheatley appreciated that such matters resonate strongly within the collective consciousness of mankind, and in the 1930s he had the opportunity to draw upon this fascination to cement his reputation as a highly engaging and readable author.

‘The Devil Rides Out’ was published in 1934 and became an instant success. Wheatley’s inter-war readership were evidently mesmerised by the exotic themes of black magic, ritual, sacrifice and secret malevolent societies. Indeed, he always researched the background of every novel meticulously prior to producing a first draft. Notable occultists of this era such as Aleister Crowley, Rollo Ahmed and Montague Summers were all consulted by Wheatley on matters of the ‘Old Wisdom’.

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‘None of us can hope to lead perfect lives. But, if we follow the Right-hand Path, we shall be armoured against the temptation to do evil.’

Wheatley’s detailed descriptions of occult ceremony, practice and philosophy within his novels have lead many to speculate whether or not he was a practitioner of the ancient arts himself. Although he denied ever having been involved with a secret society during his life-time, it is patently obvious that he possessed a profound understanding, appreciation and respect for the Occult. For example, ‘Strange Conflict’ (published in 1941) describes the curious ability of adepts to wage combat upon the astral plane against the backdrop of the Second World War.

Sceptics would of course scoff at Wheatley’s suggestions, but it must be borne in mind that many of the leading Nazis were deeply influenced by the dark arts. The so-called ‘Magical Battle of Britain’ has been discussed in Dion Fortune’s fascinating work of the same name. It should also be remembered that governments old and new (from King Saul’s dealings with the Witch of Endor in the Book of Samuel, to Queen Elizabeth’s reliance on the magick of John Dee, and Margaret Thatcher’s government’s consultation with astrologers prior to the Falklands Conflict) have called upon the powers of the unseen during times of national crisis.

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‘Today the world is threatened with a new age of Darkness.’ 

A fitting testimony to the enduring appeal of Dennis Wheatley’s work is his perennially increasing cult following. His novels remain very popular, and the Hammer Horror productions of his Occult stories are much revered by Horror fanatics. Wheatley’s geo-political stance and seemingly unswerving loyalty to Queen and country may be antiquated and somewhat ridiculous to some, but there is much within his works of great value to contemporary readers and those who approach them with an open mind.

To find out more about the author David Fox, visit his website: David Fox Magician.