Beyond the Looking Glass
Good Evening, my dear playfellows!
Please join me among the dwellers most dark. Enter, Yes! Step beyond the stirring, slithering shadows that mock your every move— playfully, of course! (Wicked laughter)
Shadows, darkness, death… ooh such is the foul smell of sweet putrefaction!
Let us play, my fellow disciples of demonic delights. Come with Nighty as she skips ‘tween the gravestones, admiring the eerie epitaphs. Bask in the darkness of a moonless night and beware the mound beneath your feet, where the soulless vessels lay not in state but in wait, as bloodless worm meat. (There surfaces the poet in Nighty once again, grimly grinning)
Ever noticed, in many a cinematic version of horror at its best; when a death has occurred within the confines of an individual’s home— (poor soon to be haunted soul)— they cover their mirrors, every one of them mind you, with a black sheet of sorts. Have you ever caught that little detail and thought, “Hmmm…”? Well, let Nighty shine a bit of darkness your way. Although, this custom is a more widely honored tradition among the Jewish culture, its practice spans many cultures and religious sects.
The belief here my Playfellows, is that the soul of the departed can become trapped behind the glass’ reflected surface.
Although its origins are not quite clear, the ancients believed in the existence of a double/a twin soul, so to speak;
Myth (not mythes… and no, Nighty has no speech impediment) has it, that gazing into a mirror may invite death, thus capturing your soul.
So, these terrified individuals found any cloth available and covered that reflective glass post haste! Even water filled receptacles were covered!
The Victorians, on the other hand, were a bit more picky about their fabrics! (They were Victorians, after all) Black was the “in” color to use, thus preventing the dear departed from being trapped within the mirrored surface and unable to move on to the afterlife. Can you imagine, you are a newly departed soul and suddenly, you are “sucked” within a mirror and TRAPPED! Oh, dear Hades, NO! In addition to protecting Aunt Loraine’s soul, this aided their own! Oh yes! They were convinced that if for some reason, after Aunt Loraine took her last breath, one decided to saunter over to the nearest looking glass to powder their nose, they soon would join her on the other side! My dear playfellows, take heed…”Never powder your nose in the presence of one so freshly passed on !”
Now, those of Southern descent; New Orleans more specifically, claim this tradition originated with them. They covered mirrors for the “Soul” purpose of preventing Uncle Claude from returning from the dead. You heard me, my dear playfellows, “the living dead.” How could you possibly question the traditions from the land known for it’s knowledge of death? Let me say, you’ll hear no dispute from Nighty!
How many mirrors do you have displayed in your humble abode? Many? Purchased from your friendly, neighborhood antiquarian shop, perhaps? Maybe a family heirloom, passed down through the generations? How many Souls have gazed upon their reflections, in that very glass? Have you looked upon your image as of late? Look again, if you be so brave. Are you alone or is someone else looking back at you from some unknown realm behind the glass? Dare you be vain, my devotees of the damned, lest you perish and be trapped forever with the souls of yesterdays passed— they may not be so thrilled, to find your company on the other side of nowhere.
‘Til next time my dear playfellows, find other methods of fussing with your hair or applying the paint you add to your rosy cheeks— Hades knows, what you may find looking back, as you admire your own reflection. Who knows who or what, may reach a ghostly hand out for you as you turn your back!
Oh what Haunting fun! (howling in delight)
Stay Scared, my dear playfellows… ah yes, Stay very Scared…
(Howling continues… fading in the distance…)