Thursday, April 12, 1984

Is there anybody there?

I went to Lee’s and arrived at eleven to find his mother cutting his hair in the back yard. Jonasz Wiechec was there, prattling on excitedly about the Ouija board he’d brought along. Lee appeared thoroughly bored, subdued and gloomy. We went upstairs, Jonas brought out the board and we proceeded to ‘conjure spirits.’ J. says he’s contacted a spirit known as ‘Sebastian’ and another named ‘Sam’, and he believes implicitly in his power to speak with the dead.

When he began with his “Is there anyone there?” routine I could hardly stifle my laughter, and although nothing happened for half an hour, we persisted. Soon the pointer was sliding around the board spelling out “Hecate,” “Hell,” “Six Times Three,” “Setback” and—quite insistently—“Four” over and over again. We also got the beginnings of “Uxbridge,” which J. claims to have had before in connection with Sebastian.

Although I wasn’t physically moving the pointer I was responsible for the numerous diabolical references, although this was more a case of suggestion—I’d think of the word and sure enough said word was spelled out, which was either a case of me putting the words into each of their minds, or my own unconscious pressure exerted through my fingertips. Lee and I later agreed that the ouija board isn’t in any way a bridge into the ‘world beyond’ and is more a testament to the power of suggestion. Jonasz’s blind belief in the messages we ‘received’ convinces me of this, although I did worry Lee at times!

We grew bored of the ‘séance’ and wandered up Lodgehill Road to the antique shop. Jonasz tagged along but the shop was closed, so he left to go home. Lee and I crossed the road into the park and had tea in Hainsworth Hall. The Print Biennale was being staged (again) and we looked round and even thought of ‘liberating’ a piece of art, but couldn’t find any worth the effort.

We met again at six in Vernon Terrace and went to look round Emsley Cemetery which is being restored after years of dereliction. It’s an amazing place. The monuments to Easterby’s nineteenth century ruling class—various overblown examples of Victorian funerary architecture, neo-Egyptian crypts, and morbid sepulchres—stand blackened and defaced amid the weeds.

We interrupted three teenage girls as they chalked something on a tomb and they sniggered at us as we passed. Lee wanted to find and break into crypts and take photographs but we found just two, already opened: one was empty and the other contained brick sarcophagi.

No comments:

Google Analytics Alternative