Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Witch Watch: Tempt your honey with love apples

Redford Observer, August 28, 1975 (enlarge)
Not those kind of apples but tomatoes. Which were long considered inducers of love but other than their brilliant flavor all I've ever gotten from them were massive canker sores. Well, from tomato sauce and ketchup anyway and not so much the actual fruit.

As for eggplant, carrots, green peas and asparagus: well, you'll just have to read about it yourself because the topic of food in history is of little interest to me.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Witch Watch: Ghost came with the furniture

Redford Observer, January 15, 1981 (enlarge)
I'm going out of order of my previous declaration to finish off the Witch Watch articles from 1975 but since I've been working so much lately it's a wonder that I'm posting at all. This is the first column from 1981 that I've come across and is a pretty good story of a haunting.

Donna and her friend Gerri were co-workers and roommates in Southfield in the late 1970s. They furnished their apartment with ornate furniture that they bought from the classifieds along with some jewelry in a strange box. The apartment gave off a weird vibe, the cat didn't like it there and there were strange banging, scratching and crying sounds. Both women had experiences with a female apparition that mournfully opened the jewelry box and held one of the purchased necklaces.

During a week of violent thunderstorms both women experienced noises in the living room where they slept during a power outage. The next morning the trunk they had purchased was flung open and its contents scattered about the room. They decided to consult a Ouija board to see if they could communicate with and assuage the ghost. Hopefully there is a follow-up to this.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Want Love? This Witch's Potion May Help

Akron Beacon Journal, April 9, 1972
This article from the Akron Beacon Journal details a Free Press Action Line column which gave out Gundella's address with the intent of having readers write her for a spell.

A Flint high school cheerleader named Cathy Paradis asked for a spell to help her team win an important game and Gundella replied with a gift packet containing all the necessary things for their success. Unfortunately, the spell wasn't followed properly and her team lost.

Others generally asked for love spells with the second most popular request being for money spells. Her friend Marcello Truzzi studied these correspondence requests and they are part of his collected papers at Eastern Michigan University.

Spells for both money and love are included at the end of the article.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Witch Watch: Cats bring both good, evil according to superstitions

Redford Observer, July 21, 1975
The superstitions of man and beast are many. Those of cats abound to excess. Cats have been feared and beloved from Biblical to modern times. In ancient Egypt, Bast the cat-headed goddess was worshiped and killing a cat was punishable by death. Conversely, the Christian Church in the late Middle Ages saw the cat as a purveyor of evil. They were attacked and killed on the belief that they could turn into witches. Like the witches many were burned and buried alive. That ill-sentiment must have persisted for many centuries as they are not once mentioned in the Bible.

But let's not get mired in human history and delve right into his superstitions towards the cat. Most of these I have never heard of because I'm only a descendant of insane English and Polish people and not a practicing kook.

1. The first person a cat looks at after it sneezes is soon to be kissed.
2. When a cat washes by licking its paw and rubbing behind its ear it means company is coming.
3. Sailors used to take cats aboard ship because they believed a cat placed on deck under a large pot could raise a wind. But to throw a cat overboard was a dangerous thing, for this could cause an unholy storm.
4. Actors believed the presence of a cat insures success for their show.
5. Kicking a cat causes the worst possible bad luck.

Gundella, at the time of this article, had a cat named Sally which noted to be fat, friendly, funny and sometimes foolish. Sounds a bit like all of us at times.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Spirit keeps things lively in Forester

The Times Herald, April 9, 1990
This is an update on a previous story where Gundella was protested before a seance for Minnie Quay in Forester, Michigan in 1988. Tee seance never happened because 40 member of the Faith Gospel Tabernacle in Bad Axe led by Rev. James Willett blocked their access to Quay's grave by circling it.

Gundella had been contacted by Bill Clugston, owner of the Forester Inn, about conducting a ghost tour in the town which would end with a dinner at his establishment. She agreed and the events, which included sight seeing of old building between Detroit and Forester, a horse drawn carriage ride in the woods, meals and a seance, went off as planned until the protest thwarted the spirit session.

A few days later Gundella arrived with two more busloads of ghost seekers. This time they were met with a circus atmosphere that included people lined along both sides of the highway in parade spectator fashion to see the clash of the protesters and Gundella's brood. The church members carried crosses and marched down the road and later took over the inn to block the witch's planned festivities.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Witch Watch: Tarot's Food Fool card represents journey of life

Redford Observer, August 7, 1975 (enlarge)
Now this is interesting! A typo in the headline which completely alters the tone of the content. I went from totally dreading the topic of food to only semi-lamenting my ignorance of the subject at hand.

The Fool in tarot, as explained by Gundella but open to individual interpretation, is a seeker, wanderer and dreamer who is not always aware of his Earthly bindings. Dogged is his determination to find escape and the pratfalls which await his dreamy feet and head. Dream but not to the detriment of reality. Your time to fly with the angels or dig with the devil is coming soon enough but your time in the flesh is the main concern in the human sphere. Always the practical witch was she.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Ghost stories of the Thumb

The Times Herald, April 9, 1990
If you recall the story that I posted a week or two ago about Gundella's tours to the grave of Minnie Quay then you know that Billl Clugson was the owner of the Forester Inn which sits across the road from the dead girl's home. Clugson was convinced that not only was the Quay home haunted but so was his establishment.

Clugson was a dinner guest of James Johnson who owned the Quay home and one night witnessed a strange incident that convinced not only the participants of the party but the homeowners that there was a spirit among them. During the dinner a glass chimney on a kerosene lamp suddenly exploded. Johnson cleaned up and vacuumed the mess and went back to his dinner guests. Five minutes later the vacuum started up on its own.

Likewise Clugson thought the Forester Inn was haunted. A woman in western garb appeared at the bar several times in 1988. Clugson, through the speculations of older patrons that frequented the bar before he bought it, assumed that it was the ghost of Jean Green who was a longtime regular up until her death.

Gundella disagreed with Clugson's theories. I'm not sure how she suddenly got interjected into the story but their past dealings must have played a part. Gundella thought that the hauntings at the former Quay house were caused by the ghost of Mary Shaw, a former resident of the home whom disliked Clugson due to the crowds from the bar making noise and carrying on late into the night.

She was also a skeptic of the entire Minnie Quay folklore. According to her research Minnie had probably been in love with a sailor but she did not commit suicide. In fact, she claims that the girl fell into the water and survived a few days before succumbing to pneumonia. Although, I have come across newspaper articles which claim that Quay did commit suicide but that there is no truth to the rumors of an illicit love interest. Maybe I should go to the Garden City Historical Society one of these days and read some of the Minnie Quay book that she was writing.