Ghost stories never go away. They just find new ways to haunt our minds, new terrors to inflict on our psyches. If you’re of a nervous disposition, maybe you should skip straight to the psychic challengeat the bottom of this column – some of my subject matter this week isgenuinely unsettling.
Two years after the Blair Witch Project scared us out of our wits, another Hollywood scarefest is unleashed. John Carpenter,creator of The Thing and Halloween, has made Ghosts of Mars with two little-known actors, Natasha Henstridge and rapper Ice Cube.
I saw it in the States a few weeks ago and was chilled that a movie feeding on our fear of spiritual possession, the nightmare that a ghost could take over your body, can be so potent in 2001. We have decoded the human genome, we have rationalised God into a Big Bang billions of years ago, but we still retain that primal knowledge that, at our centre, we are more than just flesh and bones.
We each have a soul. And the thought of anything taking over that soul is horrific.
Three years ago the Vatican issued new guidelines to priests faced with the ordeal of exorcising a demon from a human being.
These blood-chilling rituals are not confined to the big screen, such as the Oscar-winning The Exorcist. ‘The existence of the devil isn’t an opinion, something to take or leave as you wish,’ said Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez
In September 2000 the Pope himself performed an exorcism on a 19-year-old woman who began roaring incoherent obscenities in a deep, booming voice in St Peter’s Square. Whether her personal nightmare was rooted in possession or psychological trauma, the very real nature of the exorcism should be enough to convince anyone who is still uncertain after the tragedies of recent weeks that evil is not an imaginary concept in this life. It exists, and we must use everything in our hearts to combat it.
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“There is no spoon!”
“The world needs your amazing talents. I need them”
“Uri Geller gave an absolutely resonating talk on his life and career. He had every single magician in the room on the edge of their seats trying to digest as much information as they could. Uri emphasized that the path to frame is through uniqueness and charisma and that professional entertainers must be creative in their pursuits of success and never shy away from publicity.”
Tannens Magic Blog
“The man is a natural magician. He does everything with great care, meticulous misdirection and flawless instinct. The nails are real, the keys are really borrowed, the envelopes are actually sealed, there are no stooges, there are no secret radio devices and there are no props from the magic catalogues.”
James Randi (In an open letter to Abracadabra Magazine)
Sir Elton John
“Eternity is down the hall And you sit there bending spoons In your mind, in your mind”
“I Have watched Uri Geller… I have seen that so I am a believer. It was my house key and the only way I would be able to use it is get a hammer and beat it out back flat again.”
“Better than watching Geller bending silver spoons, better than witnessing new born nebulae’s in bloom”