Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Anatomy of a Horror Setting #2-10: Who Do? You Do.

Any discussion of magic in a horror setting must eventually set upon the one kind of magic that is intrinsically horrific. This particular type of magic isn’t its own school, but more of a subset. It is a small discipline within the framework of invocation magic. This kind of magic is commonly known as Voodoo, which shouldn’t be confused with the religion commonly known as Santeria or other real voodoo beliefs in the real world. Horror voodoo works within a few different veins. Four examples include spirit mounting, curses, voodoo dolls, and zombies. With the exception of spirit mounting voodoo is particularly physical component oriented as far as the casting of spells go. Parts of it also slip into the school of necromancy and others the realm of psychic ability

Spirit mounting is essentially a person allows a spirit to possess them. The spirits range from the possessive’s ancestors, to their gods. This is not very horror oriented, due to the willingness of the possessed, and the goodness of the spirits that are called. Spirit mounting is in line with the Mediumship psychic ability. Alternatively it may be linked to necromancy when they are human spirits. Curses can similarly be more akin to psychic-styled attacks depending on the focus. Symptoms of a plague or disease based curse may be psychosomatic, as can curses of bad luck. They can also be frighteningly real and defy logic and modern medicine. A psychological curse may be beaten by force of will, magic cannot. You don’t need to believe in magic/the supernatural, it believes in you.

Voodoo dolls, referred to as poppets rather than puppets, are common to magic in horror. They require bits and pieces of the person to be affected to be a part of the doll or otherwise attached to it somehow. They were a part of some mystical traditions prior to the creation of voodoo--some tribal, others European. A voodoo doll is always a focus upon which spells are cast, even if such further rituals besides its creation only require concentration and puncturing of the doll with sharp objects or burning it with hot irons. Then there are the zombies of voodoo, which generally are not actually walking corpses, but instead, people held in a state between life and death. Or they may just be the living dominated by magic. Voodoo zombies are always created with the use of mystical powders.

Mood: exhausted.
Music: Wake The Dead by Alice Cooper and Twist My Sister by Murderdolls.

Alice Cooper: Along Came A Spider
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Murderdolls: Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls

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