Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Released in the summer of 1955 this spoof put the team of Abbott & Costello on the trail of an Egyptian mummy (with marginal makeup by Bud Westmore). A far cry from what many agree is the best horror comedy of all, ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, filmed seven years before.
Monday, September 25, 2017
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Tonight from the dim and dusty vaults of the Mysterious Mansion comes a tale by one of the 20th Century's most masterful short story writers of the weird, Charles Beaumont. It is a modern telling of the arcane art of magic from the July 1959 issue of PLAYBOY.
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Anyone familiar with history (I think there's still a few out there) will know that behind the Nationalist, anti-Bolshevik message of National Socialist Adolph Hitler was his fever dream of transforming the world into an Aryan Utopia. This totalitarian vision was a left-wing, not a right-wing idea, and would be accomplished by any means possible, including the subjugation and eradication of untermenschen (lower races), intellectuals, scholars, teachers, lawyers and any other religion, group or individual that would, or could, stand in the way of his plan. The strange thing was that, for as progressive as this plan was, it was steeped in Germanic paganism, mythology and the occult. It is in this milieu that today's conspiracy theorists and adherents (and even some historians) have created a dark and shadowy, alternate Nazi universe of astrology, satanic rituals, hidden symbols and secret societies, all pointing to the occult origins of what would turn the German Workers Party into the National Socialist German Workers Party and eventually lead the world to war.
The elements of this mad dream are explored by author James Hoar in issue #56 of ALL ABOUT HISTORY. He covers the heavily-trodden ground of Himmler's involvement with creating a mystical SS Order at his castle in Wewelsberg, Hitler's obsession with plundering mysterious religious artifacts from the countries he conquered, such as the so-called "Spear of Destiny" (named from a book by Trevor Ravenscroft that is fascinating but filled with more fiction than historical fact), and the Germanic Runes, hijacked from Germany's own history by a mystic by the name of Guido von List, whose "Armanen" runes, used by the Nazis, were received by him through meditation.
The entire concept of an "occult" Nazi Germany is ironic, since astrology, mysticism, magic, Theosophy, and other occult topics and orders were either suppressed or stamped out in the 1930s by legal mandates of the Nazi Party. One only needs to refer to Freemasonry in Germany during this period, as tens of thousands of devotees were either murdered or sent to concentration camps. Their crime? Germany's own conspiratorial stigma of Freemasonry being heavily comprised of Jews.
Still, it is said that throughout the Nazi regime that Hitler consulted astrologers and was deeply involved with whatever occult power could be tapped from the artifacts being culled from the archaeological world by the Ahnenerbe. Even Heinrich Himmler was allowed to indulge his childhood military and mystical fantasies through his oversight of the SS, by employing the use of runes and magic symbols on SS regalia and the building of Wewelsberg Castle, fashioned after the court of King Arthur, which was to be the center of SS power. Himmler's dream came to a sudden halt, however, when he chose to bite down on a cyanide capsule hidden in his mouth on 23 May 1945, not long after his capture by Allied Forces.
Mr. Hoar's article is a good starting point for learning about the Nazi's involvement with the occult and it is refreshing to see it in the context of a history publication instead of the usual paranormal magazine. It is a fascinating subject, but the way is paved with historical inaccuracies and wish fulfillment. Twilight of reason, indeed!