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Digging around my apartment this week, I found a mirror under my kitchen sink. A rather large one. The one that should be hanging over my bathroom sink.
I know, I know, how could I miss a large mirror under my kitchen sink in my brand new apartment? Because I'm afraid of "swamp roaches," that's why.
Swamp roaches, Louise? I thought we were talking about mirrors. We are, I'm getting there.
"Swamp roaches" are what I call the particularly nasty, stinky, hardy roaches that live in the dark and damp recesses of a kitchen or bathroom. In my current apartment they are holding their own little cockroach drum circle under my sink where apparently all the humidity in Hong Kong gathers.
It doesn't help that when my apartment was renovated before I moved in, the construction folks decided to jam all remnants of the previous tenant — from mirrors to a Walkman to old socks (gag) — under the kitchen sink and call it a day. The entire apartment is clean and new, but opening up the cupboard under the sink is like gazing into the gaping maw of Hell.
So I pretended it didn't exist.
My avoidance tactic was working splendidly until recently when the roaches ran out of the shit of their elders to eat (yes, roaches survive on the poop of other roaches), and came out to hunt and gather.
Long story short, I had to break the seal on the Hellmouth, and clean out under the sink. That's when I found the mirror that had been missing from our bathroom since we moved in. Hooray, right?
Leave it to my mom, who is quickly becoming another character here in the Creepy Corner, to make me question all that is bright and beautiful in this world.
"Mom! I found a disgusting mirror! I'm going to hang it in the bathroom so I don't have to keep looking at my face in the 1'x1' IKEA mirror I suction cupped over the sink!"
"Uuu-aauugh, you sure you should do that? Maybe it's under the sink for a reason. Hidden. Have you looked in it yet? Remember when you hid your mirror?"
I really need to talk to my mom during daylight hours.
"Remember the time we tried to do the seance with the mirror? You got so scared! Where is that mirror now? You hid it!" She laughed and laughed.
"Didn't we see something? Why did we do that? That wasn't too smart was it?"
This coming from the woman who thought that playing "chicken blood Chinese Ouija Board" with her young daughter was a good rainy day activity. (I'm not saying she was entirely wrong.)
I do vaguely remember being around 12, sitting on the floor of my bedroom in the dark with my mom, holding up the hand mirror I kept by my bed in order to pop zits, and seeing if we could see "ghostly things" in the mirror. I "swore" I saw shadows (probably my own enormous permed hair at the time), and if I remember correctly my mom laughed back then too when I turned on the lights.
Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure my mom said, "Well I never want to see THAT again." I really hope she was just talking about my hair.
I hid the mirror under a bookshelf, never to be seen again.
So when mom brought up all this talk of spooky mirrors, I decided to leave the "swamp roach" mirror where it was for the time being. To be honest it's less that I'm afraid that it's a "conjuring mirror" and more that I'm afraid of unleashing more swamp roaches. One can't be too careful.
But you know how when stuff like eerie ghost mirrors get stuck in your head, you can't stop thinking about them?
When daydreaming at my computer, avoiding work, I've caught myself Googling "ghosts," "mirrors," and "conjuring" on more than one occasion. Maybe it's just my Creepy Corner subconscious, maybe it's the MIRROR UNDER THE SINK EXERTING ITS POWER OVER ME.
As part of Greg Newkirk and Dana Matthews' The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult, the mirror has black tinted glass that its previous owner used for scrying.
What is scrying? It's essentially the big sister to what my mom and I tried to do with my zit mirror.
Scryers will use a reflective surface like a glass, mirror, pool of water, or crystal ball to try and communicate with spirits. Very often this communication involves seeing the future, or even affecting it. Having been around for centuries, scrying has been connected to everything from witchcraft to Joseph Smith, and is even the basis for the Bloody Mary urban legend.
Even the Warrens have an opinion on scrying or "conjuring mirrors" (of course they do). In Ed Warren's, "The Demonologist" he writes of a Mr. Zellner who became obsessed with a conjuring mirror. Apparently Zellner began using his conjuring mirror-powers to take revenge on people; the revenge carried out by "inhuman spirits" he assumed were at his beck and call.
But according to Warren, Zellner didn't think of the one "sticking point" in his conjuring. Yep, you guessed it — THE DEVIL.
Zellner forgot to thank the Evil One for pushing his enemies down the stairs and he got himself a nasty ol' demon infestation. Warrens to the rescue!
By the way, whether you believe in the Warrens' hijinks or not (I myself am quite skeptical), "The Demonologist" is a pretty spooky read — be it fact, fiction, or a little bit of both.
But back to the Dark Mirror.
Coming to the conclusion that the mirror was "evil," the daughter of the mirror's first owner donated it to Newkirk and Matthews.
According to Newkirk on Week in Weird, "For about a week, the mirror sat on the mantle, no different than any other frame in the house, save for its black veil."
However, things started to change when they took the mirror on the road with the museum. Invited to hold and/or look in the mirror at their "own risk," a few museum visitors started claiming to have unsettling experiences.
One woman claimed to see, "...my own decomposing corpse looking back at me," while others claimed "strange visions, warping faces, and a general sense of dread".
As the Dark Mirror continued to tour, the reports of strange activity seemed to intensify. A woman in Pennsylvania "watched her mouth whisper to her even though we could all vouch that her mouth had never moved." Another woman claimed she could feel "her mouth filling with blood."
But what really spooked me about the story of this mirror, is what Newkirk and Matthews said happened when they were at home. Somehow the mirror, usually kept covered by a black veil, kept unveiling itself.
No matter how many times Newkirk covered the mirror, it would come uncovered. Newkirk calls the mirror a "bad influence."
"Suddenly and for the first time, many of the objects that were presented to us as haunted are starting to actually act that way; the Haunted Painting has finally tossed itself from a wall, the creepy doll named Ruby has mysteriously disappeared, and while neither of us have seen it, we’re pretty sure we’ve heard the charred Ouija planchette sliding around in its glass display case late at night."
While I find all these accounts of the Dark Mirror to be delightfully spooky — whether you see them as true or just truly good storytelling — what I find most interesting is Newkirk's belief that the mirror isn't really haunted.
He calls the mirror a "battery" that has been gaining charge from all the interactions it's had with people. That could explain why the activity ramped up the longer the mirror was in the museum's possession. It even took the previous owner, the scryer, some time before it really had an impact on her.
Whatever you think of the Dark Mirror and haunted objects, I do give some credence to the idea that objects can hold energy. Such energy can be perceived as ghostly or paranormal. I would assume that making the leap to "ghost" or "entity" would be an easy leap to make given the suggestion of visiting an object at a museum devoted to "the Paranormal and the Occult."
Or the Dark Mirror could just be haunted.
Apologies for babbling on about "this creepy thing I read about on the Interweb," but in light of all my mirror goings-on (thanks mom), the Dark Mirror is what has been keeping me spooked at night. So of course I had to share the fun.
What do you think? Do you agree that the mirror could be a "battery"? Could there be something ghostly going on? Or do you find all this "ghost mirror" hocus-pocus to be questionable?
But wait! Before you go...
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