In Japanese folklore, an Ikiryoh is a spirit born from evil thoughts and feelings harbored by a person.

Ikiryoh are energized by hatred. When it becomes powerful enough to leave its source it enters and possesses the person, or animal, etc. the original source hated.


Once it is inside the victim, it will drink all of their energy slowly. Ikiryoh is very difficult to exorcise. To drive the spirit away rights read from the Buddhist sutras are used.

Image from Google search

Deathwatch Beetle

This tiny insect makes a tapping noise when boring into wood.


There are records from the 17th century England telling of the fear people felt for the beetle. In folklore from Britain, Europe, and the United States the sound of the death beetle tapping was a death omen. There are various beliefs depending on the region too some areas believe only three taps counted as a death omen.

Image from Google search


The Horseshoe has long been considered lucky. It’s possible that the crescent shape (like the moon’s) being made of iron (considered magical) and being used by the horse (often linked with being used by the horse. (Often linked with Gods and Goddesses) had a large factor.

It’s best if you find the horseshoe. There are rules of how and where to hang it depending on if you wish to bring luck or protection.

There’s an old Gypsy folktale of a young Rom (male Gypsy) who was out late. He was on his way home when he noticed 4 demons (they were named: Bad Luck, Ill Health, Unhappiness, and Death) were chasing him. One of the demons -Bad Luck- was getting closer when the Rom’s horse threw a shoe and hit the demon in the forehead.

The Rom stopped to pick-up the shoe while the other demons took their dead brother away to bury him.

The Rom told the others what happened and nailed the horseshoe to his Vardo (gypsy wagon). The three demons returned the next day. When they saw the horseshoe they turned and never returned.


The Gypsies to this day believe a horseshoe will keep bad luck away.

***It’s now politically correct to use the term Romani or Roma instead of Gypsy. I’ve always loved the lifestyle and I use Romani, Roma or Gypsy interchangibly.***

***!!! I’ll be running a witch feature next month. If you’re interested in being a part of it -short story, or an article, please get in touch with me.!!!***

The Logie Witches

I’m so honored to have Karen Soutar here again. This post is amazing, and I can’t thank her enough for sharing her homeland’s witches with us.

I so want to go and hangout at Carly Crag. One day I will, and Karen and I will cause chaos and mass hysteria with out love of witches on their own ceremonial land. 

The Logie Witches

A few miles from my home stand the ruins of Logie Old Kirk (Kirk being the old Scots word for church). Situated just outside Stirling, a church was first dedicated in this ancient parish around 1173. The ruins date back to around 1592.

In 1720, the Old Kirk was said to be used by ‘The Witches of Logie’ for their rituals. It was probably already falling into disrepair at this time. The use of churches by those practising the ‘Black Mass’ is well documented. Old, often abandoned kirks frequently appear as the meeting place for covens in Scottish folklore.

Logie Old Kirk 2

Behind the Old Kirk is the hill known as ‘Carly Crag’ or ‘Witches Craig’. Carly, or carlin, is the old Scots word for witch, or old woman (from the Gaelic cailleach). It was on Carly Crag that the Logie Witches were supposed to meet with the devil himself, who took the form of a black dog with burning eyes. He would cavort among the witches with a blue torch attached to his hind quarters. Quite why he needed a blue torch there remains unclear! Also, the Evil One was running the risk of a singed bottom, as torches and lamps burned oil at that time. Maybe, being the devil, he was impervious to flame!
There are several documents pertaining to this local legend:

In David Morris’s (1935) essay on the local township, he told the common story that “an elder in (the new) Logie Kirk was of the opinion that the Carla’ Craig…was haunted.” At the end of the 19th century, Morris remembered a local lady known as ‘Ailie’, who was said by many old folk to be the traditional ‘witch of Logie’:

“Sickly children were brought to her for her blessing. Occasionally people came from as far as Stirling on this errand. Her method of giving the blessing was to blow her breath on the child, and this was supposed to ward off evil. It was also said that anyone buried in Logie Kirkyard on the first day of May, Halloween, or other days of that kind, without her blessing, would not rest in his grave…”

Another legend told to Morris stated that:

“Around 1720 witches were believed to rendezvous with the Evil One who would appear in the form of a large black dog.” This is clearly the most well-known tale relating to Logie Old Kirk and Carly Crag. Again, the devil appearing in the form of a dog crops up more than once in the folklore of Scotland.
Another account of the belief in witchcraft and animistic pre-Christian rites on the crag came from Charles Rogers (1853):

Carly Crag

“About the second decade of last century, there lived in the parish of Logie several ill-favoured old women, to whom the reputation of witchcraft was confidently attached. They were believed to hold nocturnal dialogues and midnight revels with the Evil One, and Carlie Crag was regarded as one of their places of rendezvous. Satan, though he was believed to appear to them in various forms, was understood, in his interviews with the dreaded sisterhood, to appear most frequently in the aspect of a large shaggy dog, in which form it was alleged he had repeatedly been seen by the minister.”

I first heard the story of The Logie Witches when visiting the Witches Craig Caravan Park, where I was testing a new tent, believe it or not! I wondered how the park had got its name, and this led me to the local legend, and my explorations of Logie Old Kirk and the Carly Crag. Do the kirk, and the crag, feel spooky? A bit. Do they feel evil? No. The Old Kirk is now overlooked by several modern dwellings, though they do not detract much from its isolated location. There are several interesting gravestones in the Kirkyard, featuring masonic symbols and the macabre skull carvings which are common on grave markers of this era. There is now a new Logie Kirk, built in the early 1800s and still in use, closer to the nearby caravan park and visible from the modern road. The Old Kirk is further up into the hills, shrouded by trees, so it can’t be seen from the roadside.


I used the tale of The Logie Witches as inspiration for a short story, featuring a modern day version of the coven. I played around with the locations of the various landmarks a little (artistic licence!), as I thought it would be funny if my witches had to contend with the road and the caravan park. There will be more stories from my 21st century witches soon!

If you haven’t read this story yet…… what on Earth are you waiting for? The Zombie Apocalypse? Go read it…. here’s the pretty little link to take you there … I love this story. Abosolutely LOVE it…

The crag is a fine site for ritual magic, and its associated devil-lore may simply derive from Pictish shamanistic practices, remains of which have been found across the Scottish hills. These rites survived longer in the remote areas of Scotland than in other parts of Britain. On the other hand, maybe witches did indeed meet with the devil there. Maybe they still do..?

Logie Old Kirk

Next week: The witches who plotted to kill King James VI…

(References: Morris, David, B., “Causewayhead a Hundred Years Ago”, in Transactions of the Stirling Natural History and Archaeological Society, 1935. Roger, Charles,” A Week at Bridge of Allan”, Adam & Charles Black: Edinburgh 1853.)


Thank you again, Karen, for coming by. I can’t wait to read next week’s guest post.

Vampire Vs Vampire “Vampire Syndrome” Style

Today I have a really special treat for all you vampire-philes!! Daven Anderson from “Vampire Syndrome” agreed to write a special article for Vampire Wednesday. I’m honored to present. . .

“Vampires versus vampires”
Daven Anderson

One of my main motivations when crafting the Vampire Syndrome universe was to create a world where vampires make sense in both scientific and folkloric terms.

This was not an easy task.

Making sense of science’s yin and folklore’s yang ultimately required two types of vampires. Human vampires, and alien vampires.

A spaceship full of carnivorous predatory humanoids crashes in what is now Romania 25,000 years ago. A number of normal humans are suffused with the aliens’ DNA over time, creating mutant hybrids known as human vampires.

Many science fiction authors would say that aliens are a “convenience” for writers, allowing them to explain almost anything scientifically. And they’re right.

But when you analyze existing life forms on Earth, and compare them to many folkloric attributes of vampires, you find many things that simply do not apply to any animal on Earth.

Does any animal on Earth disintegrate to dust in direct sunlight? Does any animal above the jellyfish level lack an “end-of-life” aging sequence in their DNA? Can large animals cling to flat-surfaced walls and ceilings without the aid of claws or tools?

The human body has millions of years of evolved tolerance for direct sunlight. Could even DNA mutation change this (without killng the host)? I don’t think so. Thus, my human vampires can go about in daylight, just as normal human beings do.

The aliens, or “Pures”, are another story. Since the Pures evolved on planet Sek’Met, which has full cloud cover, they have no tolerance for direct UV radiation. Or for acidic plants such as onions and garlic (!!) which don’t exist on their home world.

Ironically, a scientific case could be made for “immortality”, as it may become possible in the future to slow or stop humans’ end-of-life DNA programming through scientific means. In my case, the infusion of the “immortal” alien DNA merely slows down the humans’ aging process to one-tenth its normal rate. A personal choice here, as I could have gone for “immortality” by this means. Folklore is reconciled by the fact that normal humans would not live long enough to see human vampires age very much, hence the presumption of immortality.

The Pures’ immortality reflects the conditions of evolving on Sek’Met, where all life forms are predators. Evolution has gifted them with inner gravitational forces, an important advantage for survival on any planet. An advantage no life form on Earth enjoys.

However, the human vampires’ evolved tolerance for sunlight and normal food (among other things) give them a huge advantage for survival on this planet, consequently they far outnumber the alien vampires.

The human and alien vampires are also metaphors for the vampires of modern fiction and the vampires of ancient folklore respectively. A conflict has arisen in the last century as the vampire has evolved from the revenant to the revered. Many readers long for the “good old days” when vampires inspired terror instead of teenage lust.

With “Vampire Syndrome”, I give my readers human vampires that are fully human, far beyound simply being “goody-goody” paranormal romance tropes. And the fans of the classic “monster” will take delight in the Pures, the human vampires’ terrifying yet realistic foes. The demon bloodsuckers that haunt your dreams, at last reconciled with science.

Vampires versus Vampires. And you, the reader, win.

***Daven Anderson Bio***

On June 13, 2009, Daven Anderson’s life changed. After forty years of reading other people’s stories, the impetus to create finally struck. Daven set about to fill two large “voids” in the field of modern fiction. One; to create a story where a person with special needs is portrayed as a wise, dignified hero, without being bogged down in a mawkish sentimentality that turns many readers away. The other; create a new class of vampire book where the back story makes complete sense in both scientific and folkloric terms. Where the conflict betweent two types of vampires, human and alien, lets readers explore (and debate) what it really means to be “human.”

Daven AndersonMany would see the concepts of “a wise hero with special needs” and “vampires struggling to define and maintain their humanity” to be mutually exclusive, yet “Vampire Syndrome” proves these pair of concepts can be seamlessly integrated, and complementary. People with special needs struggle to define and maintain their humanity on a daily basis. As Daven’s main character Jack Wendell finds out, becoming a human Vampire besets him with a myriad of new problems. The challenges he faced in becoming a record-setting Special Olympics champion athlete pale next to the road he now must run. The hidden world of the Vampires, where even living to see the next sunrise will be a challenge for him. Even if he survives the challenges from other human Vampires, Jack will also have to deal with the alien Vampires.

When Daven first submitted his novel to publishers, his “pitch” drew widespread attention. PDMI Publishing LLC was able to see beyond the single-sentence “Forrest Gump meets War Of The Roses” pitch, and appreciate the true meanings behind “Vampire Syndrome.” To deliver the message of “a dignified hero with special needs” to those who would never read a book like “Forrest Gump.” To build a vampire world free of the “plausibility holes” that pause many readers dead in their tracks. And to be the first book that offers a sensible explanation for the menacing Blue Mustang statue at Denver International Airport. Unlike many other vampire novels, You do not have to check your sense of humor at the door to read “Vampire Syndrome.”

Daven’s writing credo is simply this: “Build the world first, and the writing will follow.” All too many speculative fiction writers build their stories’ universes as the writer goes along, and it shows. As several readers have said, “The scariest part of Vampire Syndrome is that everything makes sense.”

Meet The Vampires

Vampire Syndrome

Vampire Syndrome.org

Muse With Coffee book review

Purchase on Amazon Links:
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Kindle (YA)

The Asiman

The Dahomey people of Africa have a legend of the Asiman.

“Asiman?” you ask.
I can see you sitting there.
“Mari, I’ve never heard of it.” You shake your head from side to side but you hear a little nagging voice. You want to roll your eyes but this voice tells you to listen.
“She hasn’t failed you yet, and today is Vampire Wednesday. Stick around, we’ll learn something new.”it says.
I can see you nod just slightly.

Okay then, now that we’ve gotten over that, let’s get back to the vampires.

The Asiman is what we call a living witch. She eats human food, can be in the sunlight, she’s just like you and me.
Wait let me take that back, she’s not just like you and me; actually, she’s a living vampiric witch. She became a vampire by her magic.

A very specific spell gives her these special evil vampire powers but it’s permanent.

Remember the corpse candle vampires we talked about last week?

Well, guess what. She’s one of those too; she can remove her skin and fly through the air to hunt humans.

That isn’t all, she can shape-shift into animal form too, only while in this form can she be killed.

We’ll look at some more corpse candle vampires next week. Some very similar to Asiman.
Stay tuned!


I wrote a short story for a magazine Witches and Pagans  ( I haven’t heard back yet, I hate waiting. I also don’t have much patience.)

It’s about a young girl -Tessa- who wants to learn witchcraft. She found a mentor (that’s the name “Mentor”) and how she’s learning with her.

I thought that was the end of that story. “Good. Done.” I said nodding to myself. Well, Tessa had different plans. I wrote another segment of her story. Again I thought “DONE” well she still isn’t done with me. I’m in the process of writing the third segment. Here is a paragraph from the first segment. (The one I submitted. )

I sat back down at the table with her. Yet she still didn’t speak so I also kept silent. We sat there for a long time. I tried not to fidget; I wasn’t use to the silence. I had two younger sisters; my house was never quiet. I thought I would welcome the quiet. Yet it scared me in some unknown way. Wanda watched me; I knew she was preparing me. I knew this was another lesson. Maybe it was even a test. I tried to endure the silence, what I should have thought was peacefulness.

So I thought I would share a little bit about witch folklore.

Witches were believed to meet with their coven (strange how witches and Vampires both call their group/family covens, and a lot of folklore believed witches turned into vampires*) from midnight to 2:00 AM on Tuesdays and Fridays at a crossroad.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if I knew when evil witches were meeting, I’d be for trying to stop them. I’d try to set up a trap or something with the other villagers.  (Well, maybe not. I might be too afraid of them.)

There are good witches. (I’ll save that for another post.)

Evil witches could ruin crops, cause life stock illness or death and kill or cause illnesses against humans. They became “hunted” during the time of the Inquisition. Before the Inquisition most areas and their populations believed that witches were good. They were seen as healers, it was the Inquisition that changed the mind of the people.

*Spain believed their witches or Brujas engaged in Vampirism of children. Portugal’s Bruxa and Italy’s Strega were all believed to be living vampires or become vampires after death. Romania believed witchcraft was one of the evils that would cause you to be a vampire in the afterlife.