Alright, I admit it, I am a huge fan of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. Those of you who have read these books will know right away what the NeverNever is but, for those who have not discovered the wonders of Chicago’s only professional wizard p.i., let me explain. In the Dresden universe, most of the action takes place in this world, the physical plane, consensual reality or whatever you would like to call it. However, one of the important skills that Butcher’s wizard learns is how to navigate the NeverNever, what I sometimes call the Otherworld.
In the books, Harry Dresden acquires a certain talisman that guides him in the NeverNever and makes him able to navigate to where he wants to be in the physical. In other words, he can take a route through the NeverNever that will drop him in another part of our world. While I have never heard a legitimate claim of someone actually doing this in ‘real life’, I am sure some Fortean somewhere has collected stories of people who have disappeared from one place and reappeared elsewhere. Now that I think on it, it seems to me that there are stories of this nature in faery lore. What is important here is that, when Dresden wants to travel in the NeverNever, he has to magically open a way. In an emergency, he can do this anywhere but then he has no idea where he is going to end up or what might come out to greet him. If time allows, he prefers to go to certain set places in the city and its surrounds where he can open a way onto a known path.
Sound familiar? How many paranormal authors have written about “window” or “portal” areas where high strangeness seems to abound? Linda Godfrey talk about the prevalence of ancient Native American mounds in manwolf sighting areas. Nick Redfern discusses the many incidences of odd occurrences in the area of Cannock Chase and particularly a certain cemetery there. Paranormalists of all stripes have talked about places like the Bridgewater Triangle that seem to have a lot of interesting episodes taking place over a period of time. If the book is to be believed, the place known as Skinwalker Ranch is a hotbed of paranormal phenomenon where scientists have actually witnessed the opening of what appeared to be a portal. Whether the materialist scientists and so-called skeptics want to admit it or not, the Otherworld exists and it can be accessed from this world.
As in the Dresden universe, there are some places where the veil between the worlds is thin and the Otherworld has more ability to intrude into our world – the so called window or portal areas. There are a number of reason why a place becomes such a portal:
1) The area may have been the site of religious or magical ceremonies over a long period of time. Any place where the Otherworld is accessed regularly develops a sort of weak spot where the Otherworld can interface with this world. If you are not sure about this, walk into a very old church with an open mind and see what you sense. Too, in those places where the faery or a particular god or goddess were propitiated, one will also find portal areas.
2) The area may have been the site of a major magical working. It is said that the witches and magicians of Britain banded together during World War II to do work that prevented Hitler from invading the island. I suspect, given the amount of power that would have been raised in this endeavor, that some of the sites where this work was performed have become permanent portals to the Otherworld.
3) There may be earth energies at work in the creation of the portal. This is a chicken and egg argument since magicians tend to gravitate to certain “nodes” of earth energy. Was the way open already or did the magic worked there open it? Either way, the conjunction of several lines of earth energy in a place create the conditions for a portal to be opened.
4) Some portals may be created simply by the concentrated belief that there is a portal in that locale. I can not say whether the Bermuda Triangle existed when Columbus sailed but, after millions of people reading about it and contemplating the alleged disappearances there, it certainly exists today.
5) A portal area may, in some instances, have been opened from the Otherworld by a being powerful enough to walk into this world. If you ever see this happening, I suggest that you hide . . . anything powerful enough to come through the veil on its own, is a force to be reckoned with whether it likes humans or not.
I am sure there are probably other ways that a portal area can be created but these are the ones that I can come up with straightaway.
Such portal areas explain why some areas seem to be hotbeds of paranormal activity but they do not really help us look at random high strangeness happening in random areas. I will explain my theory on some of these occurrences in part 2 of this post.