All of our slightly skewed and odd October words will relate to the fine line that fascinates, titillates, and may terrorize our consciousness—that which we call Life.
Scary or Sacred?
As Halloween sneaks up on us, some of you may wonder how its ancient rituals and meanings fit into our modern society.
For all our pseudo advancements, individually, we are still affected by centuries of beliefs—or not—in the spiritual symbols of Halloween …
ENERGUMEN (en’ɘr gyōōʹmɘn) n. – 1) a person supposedly possessed by an evil spirit, demoniac; 2)* a fanatic, or enthusiast. [WW #134]
*Well. That explains the actions of a lot of crazy celeb fans! But for the most us, think The Exorcist. There is no better—and frightening—example in entertainment. Every decade since its 1973 release has produced its own twisted brand of energumen.
Zombies displayed their graceless soul-stomping in 1981’s Evil Dead debut; and in 1995, even the popular daytime soap, Days of Our Lives got in the act with an energumen in a lead character. Fast-forward to today, and we still find energumen storylines in the long-running horror/drama, Supernatural. Yep, gotta love our inner demons!
While a Hollywood film and TV series favorite, spirit possession has plagued history practically since humans took up residency. Whatever your interest—religious history, psychological research, or simply to terrorize on Halloween—the energumen of All Hallow’s Eve and the Irish Samhain (pronounced sah-win), is a spirit to be respected, as the veil lifts between the living and dead.
No doubt, Halloween will spawn its fair share of startling energumens walking the streets, pumpkin bucket in hand, begging for treats. Just don’t let them get too close.
Word Challenge: ENERGUMEN. Demonic possession—is it real or a psychological aberration? Consider its origins, research, and ponder its abject place in society, as you fit energumen into your week of spooky writings.
Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle)
aka Wordy Witch of the West