Welcome. This is my blog, and you're my most coveted guest. If I seem a bit too intense, it's only because I have so much that I want to share with you, and I can see that you're eager to begin as well. So, please...make yourself at home, sip an East India cocktail (I blended the pomegranate juice myself), and sample some of my domestic and imported Arcana: useless, but fascinating information about Victoriana, Steampunk and other favoured topics; music which evokes that dark, lost Lenore sensibility; and other pleasant or, perhaps, unsettling non sequiters whispered in a darkened room. Linger long or short, leave a comment or refrain, but remember to come back soon to play a (shhhh) parlour game.
Velkommen. Dette er min blog, og du er min mest eftertragtedegæst. Hvis jeg synes en smule for intenst, det er kunfordi jeg har så meget at jeg vil dele med jer, og jeg kanse, at du er ivrig efter at begynde så godt. Så kan du ...føl dig hjemme, sip et East India cocktail (jeg blandetden granatæble juice mig selv), og prøve nogle af mine indenlandske o importerede Arcana: ubrugelig, menfascinerende oplysninger om Victoriana, Steampunkog andre begunstigede emner; musik der fremkalderdenne mørke, mistede Lenore sensibilitet, og andrebehagelige eller måske foruroligende, ikke sequitershviskede i et mørkelagt rum. Linger lang eller kort,efterlade en kommentar eller afstå, men husk at komme tilbage snart til at spille en (Shhhh) selskabsleg.
- I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.
Nocturne in G Flat major
Chopin, darkness, light, sand and wind, starlight tread. Beethoven, love, fear, madness, redemption in the night. Liszt, waltzing widows, desperate bargains, pleasure's secret plight. Now, then, before, always, forever. Promises made on lonely beaches, celestial summer's perfect kiss, passions quenched in salty breezes, the lure of distant mist-draped heights. Bitter interlude. Final, private nocturne. Burned down like a candle. Doomed bleeding beauty. Fated sacrificial night.
We love all things dark and mysterious, macabre and obscure, odd and unfathomable. Nothing is too strange or bizarre for our little blog. And although we would never presume to offer definitive answers to the great questions of life, we shall do our best to enlighten, inform and delight our visitors with our whimsical potpurri of facts, anecdotes, trivia and informational outpourings. We strive not to offend, but to edify those who wish to reach beyond their comfort zone and touch the fabric of another time and place, and of distant, but genuine worlds and lives. As Victorian-themed blogs go, ours may not be the most austere, nor the most comprehensive, but we know what we like, and if our readers like it as well, then all is as it should be in this ramshackle corner of our own personal Victorian empire.
A Musical Note
A Musical Note: We feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by one or more of the following musical selections. Then again, we also feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by a glass of absinthe, a bite of lemon cake, and a foot massage (preferably by someone you know). So, to paraphrase the otherwise completely irrelevant-to-our-blog Mr. Aleister Crowley, "Do what thou wilt...but be open to Chopin."
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Saturday, April 14, 2012
FAMOUS CASES OF THE BRITISH SOCIETY FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH: LORD DUFFERIN'S TALE
Every so often in the annals of psychical investigation, one comes across a case that is so odd, and so singular that it seems it must be true. Perusing the vast backlog of cases that have been investigated by the British Society for Physical Research since its inception in 1882, one such case that stands out is that of Lord Dufferin, British ambassador to France, whose nocturnal encounter with an eerie stranger precipitated an incident which has become the basis for a well-known urban legend and has also provided the inspiration for a famous Twilight Zone episode called "Twenty Two" (sometimes referred to as "Room For One More, Honey"), written by Rod Serling and Bennett Cerf, which aired in the series' second season on Feb 10, 1961. The following account is the story as Lord Dufferin originally related it to a number of friends and associates, as well as to investigators from the British Society For Psychical Research after it allegedly occurred in 1879.
In the summer of that year, Lord Dufferin, who was still four years away from his appointment as ambassador, was on holiday in Ireland, where he was staying at a friend's house in the country. There was nothing particularly unusual about the night in question save for the fact that the future diplomat was inexplicably restless. As he lay in bed in a second story guest room, his restlessness increased to the point that he began to feel an intense sense of agitation which bordered on dread. To calm his nerves, he got up and went over to the window to get some air.
Recounting the incident later on, Lord Dufferin recalled that there was a full moon out that night, illuminating the garden below his window, and allowing him to see everything as clearly as though it were daylight. As he stood at the open window, breathing in the fresh air, he was startled to see a short, stocky, rather unkempt-looking man amble into his line of vision. The man was carrying what appeared to be a long box on his back, but as Lord Dufferin looked at it more closely, he realized that it was actually a coffin. All at once, as Lord Dufferin stood staring down at him, the man stopped and looked up, staring directly into Lord Dufferin's eyes. His face was so hideous, Lord Dufferin stated later, that he was at a loss to even describe it. The two men's gazes locked for a long, silent moment, and then the stranger shuffled off with his burden into the shadows.
The next morning, over breakfast, Lord Dufferin related his strange, nocturnal tale to his host and another guest who was staying at the house. Not surprisingly, both men dismissed the story, telling Lord Dufferin that he must have dreamed the entire thing. Lord Dufferin insisted that it hadn't been a dream and pressed his host to try to think of anyone he knew who could have been wandering about the garden with a coffin on his back the night before. But his host was at a loss to explain the incident. And so it was set aside and forgotten. Until....
Four years later, after having been named British ambassador to France, Lord Dufferin was living in Paris. One morning, hurrying to an important meeting with other diplomats, he entered the designated building and was about to step into the lift when he was stunned to see that the lift operator looked exactly like the stranger who had appeared in his friend's garden on that long ago night in the Irish countryside. Lord Dufferin's shock was so great that he froze in place, still trying to make sense of the situation. As he stood there, immobile, the door of the lift closed, leaving him behind. Seconds later, he heard a resounding crash as the cables supporting the lift broke and it plummeted three stories, killing several passengers as well as the lift operator.
The case was investigated by the Society for Psychical Research shortly after it occurred. Despite extensive queries, investigators couldn't turn up any information about the lift operator whose appearance so startled Lord Dufferin, the fact of which, quite possibly, saved his life. The manager of the building insisted that he knew nothing about the man and had only hired him that morning. The case was filed in the SPR logs under "Inexplicable Mysteries." It was never solved.
NEXT POST: FAMOUS CASES OF THE SPR: STRANGE HAPPENINGS AT WILLINGTON MILL