A while back, I finally had the opportunity to read Linda Godfrey’s latest book, The Michigan Dogman, and thoroughly enjoyed it. As you might expect, if you have been reading this blog for a while, I took some notes along the way so that I could share some thoughts with you. For this post, I would direct the reader who happens to have this book to p. 52.
Godfrey has just finished describing an incident in which a manwolf was reported off the exit ramp of a highway. She goes on to say:
This very odd cluster of sightings reminds me of an incident from Hunting the American Werewolf, where three young women saw what they thought was an abandoned dog on a ramp to Interstate 94 in Brookfield, Wisconsin in December, 2000 . . . These incidents make me wonder whether off-on ramps are the new version of traditional crossroad, which have long been known in almost every culture as the haunts of malign spirits. Author and researcher Paul Devereaux wrote in his book, Haunted Land, that “as well as deities, all the supernatural creatures of the night were associated with crossroads.” He added that “crossroads were special haunts of the travelling spirits of ecstatic witches and werewolves . . . “
In magical thought,crossroads are traditionally one of the places that can be between the worlds, since they are neither here not there. This is particularly true at certain times of the day and night, and certain times of the year. Some magical practitioners, especially those who work in Southern Conjure and Hoodoo, make extensive use of crossroads for their workings. There are a lot of very accomplished magicians doing this type of magic and with very good results.
As I pointed out in my post entitled The NeverNever, part 2, for better or for worse, the information age has given knowledge that was previously confined to relatively small groups out to a massive audience. At the same time, individuals are not being trained as they were traditionally but are often cobbling together their magical practices from disparate sources or simply looking up something that looks like it might work online and “going for it”. Many of these sources, whether they are derived from Hoodoo, neo-paganism, shamanism, Voudoun or any of a score of other possible traditions, are going to have practices that occur at crossroads. The crossroad is probably the most easily accessible “in between” spot for most modern spell slingers. Take into account the following thoughts:
1) crossroads are inherently magical, “in between” places.
2) magical practitioners of varying stripes and levels of experience and power are making use of crossroads for their work.
3) Many of these practitioners are not accomplished at their craft and do not know basic magical etiquette such as the idea of closing any doors you have opened before you leave a spot, dismissing spirits that have been summoned or, at the least, inviting them to come with you rather than hanging around where they were summoned.
Again, as I discussed in more detail in The NeverNever, part 2, you can see how, very easily, this can result in the sort of window or portal opportunity that many paranormal authors have discussed in their books. If you leave a door open long enough, something may come through and those somethings can vary in the degree of their manifestation from invisible to quite solid, perhaps even physical, depending on the entity and its level of congruence in our world (does it have a readily available form or must it develop one), the amount of energy available for manifestation (a group working vs. a single person ritual, for instance) and other variables up to and including the types of incense used in the spell or ritual. The portal or window does not even have to be at the on-off ramp in question; a being that had manifested in this reality might tend to “hang out” at spots it was familiar with i.e. other crossroads or a modern equivalent, the highway ramps mentioned above.
In the case of the Wisconsin Manwolf listed above, given that, according to Ms. Godfrey, these incidents tend to occur in conjunction with the many Native American mound structures in that area, I suspect that the mounds are already areas of “weakness” in the veil between the worlds through which these beings are manifesting. Any additional magical working in the area only enhances the thinness of the veil and increases the likelihood of a Manwolf sighting since this seems to be the type of creature that lives directly on the other side of the veil in that area or it may be, as Ms. Godfrey has theorized, that these beings are relic guardians of the mounds.