It was my intention to do a "Halloweek" from October 26th to November 1st, with horror-y content every day leading up to (and stemming out of) Halloween, but what do I use to launch it? Well, how about a personal story - swear to Cthulhu this is all absolutely true - about burning possessed Ouija boards in a white magic ritual? Saw Ouija: Origin of Evil last night, and it reminded about that weird chapter of my still unwritten autobiography, so...
Context: In the house where they'd lived before the present apartment, my roommates had conducted basement seances with several Ouija boards, summoning such none-too-nice ghosts of motorcycle gangsters and teenage suicides. I don't know why they had so many boards, nor was I ever present, because Ouija never worked for me (more on this later), but there were maybe a half dozen of them, which my roommates were afraid might have been used to smuggle that creepy old house's spirits into our apartment. (I imagine the fact there used to be a convenience store below us, empty after a cashier was killed in a hold up, didn't help matters.) The other problem was that we knew this guy who had stolen a book on black magic (or I should say OF black magic) from the university library and had been heard to say he was going to use it for nefarious purposes. One of my roommates had borrowed it with no intention of ever giving it back.
What are lunatic students to do faced with this situation? Well, we started planning our own little white magic ritual, which at first we thought we'd perform with five people (the points of a pentacle) in the burnt shell of a rollerama, but schedules didn't match up and that arena was a big muddy hole at that time of year. So we negotiated ourselves down to three, and opted for the beach. We decided everything we would do before hand and pledged not to speak during the performance. You don't want evil spirits latching on to your voice, after all.
Each of the three warlocks had specific powers:
-Jacques came from a family of sorcerers, which I mean in the etymological sense, i.e. sourcerers, i.e. water diviners. He was also a visual arts student and made wizard staves for each of us.
-Donald was the most psychic, and claimed experiences like feeling an electric shock from his grandmother's ring during a Ouija session or something. He was a drama student, which sounds pretty apt at this point.
-I was perhaps the most important because of my power of Atheism. I was, I kid you not, a known "spirit blocker" at the time, and was even invited to "haunted spaces" a number of times to dispell whatever spirits were there with my "non-belief". It was a ridiculous mystical placebo, but it seemed to work for those people. It's a power I'd discovered during what few Ouija sessions I attended completely crapped out as soon as I touched the board. Just the corner of a nail on the edge would be enough to stop the planchette. So my job was to simply be present and NOT BELIEVE so the spirits could never follow the car back to the apartment after we destroyed their "homes".
So on the night we chose (I wouldn't be surprised if it was the Solstice, but I feel like it was later than that), we headed out to a secluded beach in the middle of the night. Silently, we built a bonfire of Ouija boards and lay the book of black magic on top. We surrounded it with a pentacle in which we inscribed Greek letters and retraced the lines in the sad with salt. We set homemade candles around the inner points, and after lighting the fire, stood at three outer points with our staves. Though we had promised not to make any kind of animal sacrificed, Donald threw a seagull feather into the flames before the end, claiming later that it felt right.
The fire did its best to be spooky and cool. As soon as the fire took hold, the wind started turning the book's pages one by one, burning each as it read on.
When it was over, each evil item turned to cinder, we covered the pentacle with sand, making sure not to break the lines with our feet. We got back in the car, and after putting some small distance between ourselves and the site, started talking again. I remember Jacques immediately raving about his third eye being wide open.
I chuckled at that, but then, that was my role...