There are many things to be found in Etta Diem’s eccentric attic shop. I remember visiting once where I spent nearly an hour sorting through a shelf full of beautifully crafted bottles — often called Egyptian Tear Catchers. Each of these small and elegantly spun bottles held a small tag that offered a name of the bottle and the properties of the fluids kept inside. One of the most tall and narrow of these bottles, painted an incredibly pearl like black and crimson and extremely beautiful, claimed to contain the tears of a mythical dragon of very old legends. When Etta’s back was turned I did a rude thing on impulse and removed the stopper of the bottle and lifted it to my noise. The smell alone caused my noise to recoil in pain and my eyes instantly watered. Nervously I tipped the bottle a pinch and watched a droplet fall from the bottle and hit the wooden floor with an evil hiss of burning. That one droplet burned clear through the floor, and then through the items that lie in the basement below. I quickly put the bottle back and excused myself from Etta’s shop. So it didn’t even cause me to pause or doubt the strange shopkeep when she showed me her collection of antique and very special scissors. Each elaborately crafted tool that she finds I take up to the Archive and do my best to study and document its cursed or enchanted properties. I drew up the diagram of the individual sheers that Ms Diem currently has in her shop. And below this image I have summed up the things claimed of each sheer. Please admire their eerie beauty, however… I don’t recommend you touch any of them, even for a second… (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘etta diem’
In the late 1900’s at the height of the Spiritualist movement, Huxley Auspex took his place among the movement’s elite by creating and ushering into the world the Auspicmoriscope. The fantastic claims of this invention were simple: the user looked into the eyepiece and turned the handle and the spirit realm became visible within the instrument’s view finder.
The instrument caused a stir among even the most hardened in the community and Auspex became a quick celebrity, embraced by the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He followed this rise to celebrity by creating a variety of variations on his original device, each offering claims more brilliant and fabled than the next. The final version of the auspicmoriscope was a heavy contraption that came complete with a strange scrying board and typewriter like letter box that was meant to allow the user to type in messages or relay the names of those they wished to contact. Auspex claimed the additions to the device allowed for better locating and displaying of those the viewer desired to see.
Though Auspex was a darling of the spiritualist movement and the auspicmoriscope one of its most valued tools, these things only served to make him a vocal point for the debunkers of the movement’s claims. Auspex even came under the wraith and dedicated attention of the infamous Harry Houdini, the renowned skeptic and revealer of spiritualist trickery. Houdini was one of the first to step up and proclaim Auspex’s invention nothing more than a charlatan’s tool and he sought every method and means to prove this theory. The problem was that the auspicmoriscope was not so easy to debunk and expose for the hoax it was seen to be. When most any viewer put their eyes to the eye piece, the simple fact was they did see a vision of this world as it was not seen through normal eyes. The darker shades of the shadows were highlighted and brought into deeper detail. The bright blue skies no longer looked as simple as they did on a spring day. And all too often thick vaporous forms seemed to dominate the viewfinder with no reasonable explanation as to why. What was more disturbing was how these vaporous forms seem to show more definition the longer one viewed them. Faces emerged and bodies slowly became outlined. Even those who were dead set on not seeing anything within these forms came away from the auspicmoriscope with the unsettling feeling that they had indeed viewed something other worldly.