Posts Tagged ‘goth’

Pendle Hill Witch #10-

Pendle Hill Witch #10-

It  is  irrelevant  how I  ended up   staying  at  a  ritzy hotel in New Jersey  back in March of  1990.  Suffice it  to  say, I  was  sick with a  head  cold  and  was ordere  by a  doctor not  to fly  back to California.  My  first night on the East Coast  had been spent in a  chain motel without  incident.

So I  was  very  sick with a severe head cold, sore throat  and  fever when I  checked into  the Victorian era, ivy -covered stone building.   I was dizzy and fatigued  and  craved soup and sleep.

I  was sharing a  room with my  mother.   As  we  made our  way down  the corridor, I  noticed  the  Laura  Ashley  motif  covered  everything from  the walls  to  the  seat cushions  to the  comforters  on our  beds.   I  ordered   room service: duck  wonton  soup   and   lemon- lime  soda  for my  throat.  I took a hot  shower, put on my  pajamas  and  crawled into bed.  My mother  was  concerned, but let me  be.

In  the  darkness hours later, I  awoke to  find  an old  woman with long grey  hair  in an old fashioned  night gown  trying to smother me  with a pillow.  Behind her  were  four  other  women  dressed in similar nightgowns. The look in this woman’s  eyes  was frightening.  She  seemed possessed.   The  women behind her were chanting “kill her! Kill her!”  I  struggled  with the apparition and  screamed “NO! NO! NO! NO!”. I knew  my mother  was asleep in the  bed next to me, and  when I screamed “NO! ”  the third  time, she  turned on the light  and  rushed to my side .   I  pointed  and  said ”  there  was a woman in this  room  who  just tried to kill me!”   My mother shook her head and said  “No.  You were dreaming.  You  have a  fever and a head cold.”  I  responded ” I  know I am dealing with a  head cold, but  what I experienced was real.”

The  doctor  had explicitly  told my mother  I  was not  to fly  for another  four  days.    My step father  was coming to meet us  after attending a conference in Boston,  which  meant I  had  to  move  into my  own  room  down the hall.  I  was scared.  I  told my mother ” this hotel is haunted.”  She   laughed  at me.    My new  room in the  hotel was  decorated  exactly  like the  first  one;  patterns of   blue  peonies  and pink  carnations  were  everywhere.   My mother had told me  I  could order  room  service and watch cable  T.V.  News of the  tragic Happy land  Dance hall fire   in Brooklyn, which  killed  several  dozen  people,  was  splattered on all the  stations. I kept going  back to watching music  videos  to forget what had  happened the night  before.

Maybe it  had been a bad dream.  Tonight  would be better,  I  told myself.   I  turned off the  T.V. and  then the lights.  I  don’t know  how long  I had been  asleep  when I awoke to  find  yet  more women  with the  same night  gowns in my room. I  quickly  turned on the lights & the  T.V. Splashing  water on  my  face , I  realized  the  next few  ays were going to  be rough.   There  was  no way I was going to  be able  sleep without the lights on.

I  asked  someone  in the hotel   if the place  was haunted.  They  just  shrugged.  I vowed  that one day I would find out the truth.

Maybe I could  discover it  in Public Records, some kind of history of the building  before it was a hotel.   These  were the  days before  the Internet .  The  incident  never left my psyche.  Someday.  Someday.

Several  years later I  moved to the East Coast.  I was living in Philadelphia and was at a church rummage sale.   I noticed two older women  who appeared   to be in their  early seventies sitting  in a  corner of the room.  I went  over  and sat next to them.   They smiled and said hello. I asked them  where they lived.  They  mentioned the  town  where the hotel was located.  I asked them if  they  had heard  of the hotel.  They nodded.   I paused, unsure if  I  should tell them  the story.    But I  knew what  I  had experienced  had not been the result of a  feverish head cold or a common  nightmare.

I  expected  laughter to  erupt.  Instead the faces  of the  women had a look of  compassion and kindness.  “We  believe you” they said  in unison.  The hotel  had been a  residence for homeless and mentally ill women at the turn of the Century.   As they shared the history of the hotel,  I felt  myself go pale and my legs started  to  shake.

Several  years  later   I moved to  the  suburbs.  One of my neighbors  was fascinated  by the paranormal.  I  shared  my  story with her, and when I  mentioned  the hotel and  it’s  location, she  got very excited.  ” I have  a cousin who lives  in that town! I ‘m  going to call her right now and    find out  if she knows anything about this hotel.”

For  years I had tried to  do research on the hotel.  A  well -known  travel rating  site  didn’t mention the hotel being haunted , but it did mention  the lovely  rooms..  Ten minutes  after  my  neighbor left  to go home, she called me on the phone  ” I  just talked to my  cousin”, she  said. ” That  hotel is  VERY haunted.! It’s an open secret.  Everyone who lives in that town knows that.”

Since that time, I  occasionally  google the  hotel to see if  anyone has mentioned if  it is haunted.   No on has.  I toy with this idea of going  back  for  an overnight stay at the hotel.

A  few weeks ago, I  created a series of witch paintings   I dubbed  THE PENDLE HILL WITCHES.  The last  witch- witch number ten closely  resembles the  apparition who tried to smother  me with a  pillow.

Happy Halloween.























The Saturday  four o'clock showing  of  the Korean  film POETRY at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute on March  26, 2011  was no ordinary screening to me . By the time the ending credits rolled, I was literally on the floor sobbing the  big ugly cry. What was even more tragic than my tears, was the  absence of emotion from the little old white haired Mainline  ladies  slowly walking up the aisle giving me a passing glance of  mild disgust.  as they teetered past my seat.   Maybe  they   didn't understood  the  film. I know for a fact the director of the theater didn't. She introduced the film and said that the director ( Lee Chang -Dong) " enjoyed luxuriating in the mysteries of the film". She then corrected that sentence with the statement ,"luxuriate isn't the right word".  POETRY isn't  about a mystery or mysteries. There was nothing vague or ambiguous about the story.  The film is about  mysteries being revealed in a  major way to the main character- an elderly woman named  Mrs. Yang (   played brilliantly by Yoon Jeong-hee).   Mrs. Yang  has a just one goal- to enroll in a poetry class and learn how to write a poem.   Yet  if I had to assign an astrological planet to represent  this film it would have to be  Pluto .   I know  the idea of writing poetry is very Venuian ( Venus- the planet of love and beauty ) .  I mean  that's probably what you are thinking.  Yet  the foundation of   Mrs. Yang 's  seemingly stable world  is on the verge of collapse; a sure sign of Pluto's presence.   Pluto  is the planet  that rules deep and hidden issues.  When  the reality of these  issues   ( or secrets) comes to the surface either intentionally or unintentionally, the results are explosive and chaotic.  Change  arrives.  All that was is now swept away in the rage of  this planet's destruction.  Destruction  then clears the debris .  The slate is wiped clean.    Mrs. Yang's goal  to  write just one poem opens up a Pandora's box which  cannot be closed. I went back and  watched the film again a few days later.  Unfortunately, the film has  already   disappeared from the theater  ( it was there for only a week) .  Lee Chang-Dong  wrote and directed  POETRY . I consider this film to be a masterpiece.  I know it has recently won  awards at  a few film festivals around the world.   I'm not certain of  its timing to be considered for next years Academy Awards.   It  deserves  to  win  best foreign Film.  If it were up to me I would give it  an  Oscar  for best film -period.   I  wept as much   seeing it the second time as the first.  Days later, the film stayed in my psyche.  It unleashed  feelings within me that have been buried.  Instead of pushing away my sadness, I allowed myself to be.   POETRY  has become a catalyst for me in many ways, the ripples of which are just starting to emerge.   I wasn't surprised to find out Lee Chang-Dong was born on  July 4, 1954 (  astrological sign: Cancer).  Cancers are one of the most emotionally  sensitive signs of the zodiac.   Thank you Lee Chang-Dong for changing my world!  


And speaking of  change,  after  almost  forty years of having an aversion to Indian  food, I recently gave it another chance and now  I'm  a changed woman.  Blame my five planets in Taurus ( read: stubborn- o.k. very stubborn) for  my slow response to  change.  Oh sure over the years I have eaten curry rice and curry chicken but  no one could convince me to set foot in an Indian restaurant (  until recently).  Despite my long standing rejection of Indian cuisine, I  have always  been attracted  to  Indian culture.  I enjoy exploring  Little India in NYC.  I was   giddy with joy when I discovered  A light  up Lakshmi ( Laxmi) Goddess Altar  that plays twenty  Bahjans ( devotional chants) to the Goddess of Love and money in an Indian Bazaar as well as a wall full of  exotically scented Indian soaps- Cinnamon, musk and clove for a  dollar each.  I enjoy watching Indian films (  and I'm  slightly  embarassed to admit I love Bollywood musicals).  Indian textiles, clothing and colors catapult me into a creative frenzy.  And I love tooling around in my car chanting ( off key) to  George Harrison's Goddess chants; Govinda Jaya Jaya.     I'm obsessively  addicted  now to Chana Masala (  chickpea stew).  It is vegetarian, inexpensive, healthy, tasty and  I think it may be helping  to dissipate  my perimenopausal hot flashes.  I found a recipe online but have modified it by  introducing a can of vegetable broth.   I also recommend eating  Chana masala  like a chutney; thickly spread  over a  flour tortiilla  topped with a fried egg.  Heaven ! I'm telling you it is so good.

In addition to Chana  masala,  I'm   addicted to  two Indian food products.  I can't  tell you where I'm buying MAYA KAIMAL SPICY KETCHUP locally because I promised to keep it a secret  to the person who   turned me on to it ( it is available online).     I can only eat this ketchup  now;   regular ketchup tastes like crap to me now .  It is excellent on eggs and  french fries and  it is perfect on TRADER JOES VEGETABLE MASALA BURGERS ( in the frozen food  section at Trader Joes).  scrambled eggs with  the  vegetable masala burgers topped with spicy ketchup= perfect.


Now back to mysteries or rather one  mystery in my life which has been solved.  Ed Basner, the  artist of the  small zen rock sculptures ( as I labelled  them), contacted me last July.   I did my best to solve the mystery myself.  I encountered  four  different people who gave me four different accounts of the mysterious creator.   Ed has his own blog and lots of photos of his  sculptures.   I have  put the address on  my blog roll.  Check it out.   He  is populating the Mainline with his sculptures.  I'm sure  everyone living on the mainline has now seen  a few of his babies.    Whenever I see  another sculpture  of  his crop up in a new  location,  it immediately makes me smile.  Thank you Ed! 


Last Saturday ( April 2, 2011), I was lucky enough to see the  musical BAT BOY  at Villanova University Theater.  The play was FANTASTIC and the cast and crew  did an incredible  job.     It was also outrageously  funny.  I couldn't stop laughing.  Michael Kane Libonati 's portrayal of  Edgar  (Bat Boy) was phenomenal.  His singing and acting blew me away.   I was inspired to create a  couple of paintings. from the musical    I have seen several  theatrical productions at Villanova.  BAT BOY  was by far the best and most satisfying  play/musical I have seen.    The paintings small – 7 x 10 inches.  Mixed media- pen and ink on 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper.


Writing continues to be a challenge  for me.  I have so much to say but  writing  so much of the time feels  like swimming through peanut butter ( extra chunky), congealed  from hanging  out in the fridge.    Oh well.  


Hope you all are enjoying  the cusp of spring.  I'm excited about seeing the cherry blossoms bloom.








Bat Boy paintings