I was listening to Into the Fray Radio a while back (sorry, can not pinpoint the exact episode) and Sam Sharon happened to tell a terrifying story about waking up and seeing words and images appearing in the mirrored door of the closet in his room (again, this was a while back so please pardon my lack of specificity). At the time, I remembered thinking that the subject of mirrors would make a terrific post.
While I have not had any terrifying encounters with mirrors, I knew people, in my youth who had. Now, I can not be entirely sure that some of these tales were not related to the consumption of controlled substances but I can say that several stories were told to me with right hand raised and the person swearing to me that they were ‘sober as a judge’ when the incidents occurred. My favorite story comes from a young man who I will call Nate.
If Nate had grown up in another generation, people would have called him a goth. He tended toward blacks and dark grays in all his clothing, was known to paint his fingernails black and, for the shock factor, sometimes were dark eyeliner when he was going out to bars. He also, as you might expect, loved Dungeons and Dragons when he was not dabbling in the dark side of the esoteric. Nate stated to me that he swore off any doings with the occult after the following incident.
Nate was a night owl long before he effected the Goth look. If allowed to, he would sleep the day away and rise shortly before dark to commence his activities. On this particular night though, he had to rise the next day for work and so retired at a sedate (for him) time of around midnight or one a.m. Having consumed a libation or two before bed, he woke in the night and stumbled down the hall to his bathroom. There was a large, oval mirror hanging in his hall and, when he passed this mirror, he happened to glance into the surface. Immediately, he stopped, frozen on the spot.
It was not so much what he saw but rather what he felt that terrified Nate that night. In his mind’s eye, or perhaps even to his physical eye, the mirror was filled with smoke. What scared the life out of him, however, was the feeling that he was being drawn into the mirror, pulled by an unseen force into and through the surface smoke and into a layer of cold and darkness beyond. Later, Nate would acknowledge that it was his essence or astral/etheric body that was being pulled but, at the time, Nate felt as if he were being physically sucked through a vortex into the darkness beyond.
Fortunately, Nate’s girlfriend happened to be sleeping over that night and heard something that woke her. She stuck her head into the hallway and found Nate with his face pressed firmly against the glass. Assuming that he was sleep walking, she pushed and shoved him away from the mirror and eventually, he “woke up”, wild eyed and inarticulate until he managed to calm himself enough to return to bed. He did not tell her the full story until the next morning when he took the mirror down and covered it with a dark cloth.
Now, again, I can not attest to the absolute verity of this story. Nate was a person of intellect and imagination and I know for a fact that he had used psychotropic drugs. The thing that convinces me that something happened to him that night was the pallor of his skin and trembling when he told me the story later. Something had genuinely scared the life out of him and whether it was sleep walking combined with dreaming, residual effects from his chemical experimentation or a paranormal experience, it was real enough to him to effect a change in his life. To my knowledge, he got rid of all the questionable occult volumes in his possession (this was in the age before the internet). I moved away from the area shortly after this happened and lost contact with Nate so I do not know if the change was permanent.
If you look at The Practice of Magical Evocation, the classic text by Franz Bardon, you will note that there is a whole section on ‘magic mirrors’ in the text. Bardon notes that mirrors are used in spirit work for a variety of reasons: for scrying (a type of clairvoyance), for transmission of energy into a ritual space, as an energy reservoir, as a telepathic ‘telephone’ and as a protection against undesired influences. Most important for our purposes though is that “The mirror may be employed as a magnetic force for attracting the being that is to be evoked . . .” Now, in the next sentence, Bardon discusses the use of a fluid condenser for bringing about this magnetic force but I would note that, in my experience, mirrors very easily become spirit portals if exposed to those energies over time. Given this young man’s propensity for ‘messing with’ things of a darker nature, he may have set himself up for this scare through his own carelessness: a lesson to those who would dabble rather than taking the time to learn a system and learn it well before calling forth anything. Remember the old adage: never summon what you can not put down.
Returning to Mr. Shearon’s fright, I would be interested in knowing what sorts of energies the closet mirrors in that bedroom had been exposed to. What is the history of the apartment for example? Had someone died violently there or perhaps even performed some magical act that had left an imprint. Artists often have an gift for clairvoyance (known or unknown) so Mr. Shearon may simply have been picking up on something that was ‘left behind’ in the place. If I wanted to get into really wild theorizing, I would wonder what projects, Mr. Shearon was working on at the time of the event? Is it possible that the terrifying event was actually an inspiration for a horror piece that he was working on (or will be working on) transmitted into his consciousness as a vision of sorts? Stranger things have happened.