Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dabbling In the Dark Side

October is the month the Roses of Prose are focusing on the spooky, scary, and the supernatural. Regarding the latter, I think one of the most frightening things I ever read can be found in a book, titled Crying Wind by Crying Wind (yes, that’s her name). It’s the true story of a Native American (Kickapoo) girl’s journey from darkness into light during the mid-1960s and early 1970s. 

In it, Crying Wind describes an unforgettable time when she was about ten years old. She wrote: 

"I knew that there must be dark, shadowy things, bad things that Grandmother and my uncles talked about when I was supposed to be asleep, but I didn’t know what they were. Even though I was curious, I wasn't sure I really wanted to know everything that went on around the reservation."

Crying Wind goes on to say that a man came to the door one night. He'd been newly wed, but his wife died of pneumonia. So he had gone to the medicine man on the reservation and was told he could raise his wife from the dead if he did the following: 1) Took off his clothes and slathered his body with mud; 2) Waited for the full moon to rise; 3) Went to his wife's grave and covered it with a coyote skin.

The man did this and reported that in the third hour of his waiting, the ground began to shake and something ugly and horrible rose from out of his wife's grave "so terrifying that his mind couldn't grasp it." He knew it wasn't the spirit of his late wife and sensed the spirit was despicably evil. The man went screaming off into the night, the evil spirit right on his heels. He went from house to house, seeking help, but found no escape.

The story continues:

“What’s happening, Shima Sani (Grandmother)?” I whispered as I watched the man disappear.

“He shouldn't have done that,” she said quietly and shut and bolted the door.

*     *     *
Conjuring up spirits? Frightening stuff!

But, all right, I'll admit it. I'm a big honkin' chicken. I can't enjoy Christian thrillers and suspense novels by such authors as Frank Peretti or  Brandilyn Collins without feeling the hairs on my neck stand up and my limbs go numb from fright. I, personally, don't enjoy being scared out of my mind.

But the plain truth is the spirit world is alive and very real. Native Americans especially, I think, are aware of this fact. Crying Wind’s journey ended with her conversion to Christianity and her desire became to share God’s plan of salvation with others. She is featured on Indian Life Ministries web page.Click here to find out more.

This month when store aisles are lined with ghosts and ghouls and enough candy to make my blood sugar soar to the stars, my big honkin' chicken heart can take comfort in the words of my Savior. Christ said, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” (Luke 10:20 NASV) 

No, you won't find me, dabbling in the dark side.

What about you? Will October mark a harvest time or Halloween?


Linda Wood Rondeau said...

Good article, Andrea.

No, I don't dabble either...the devil doesn't deserve the attention!

Peggy Blann Phifer said...

Great article, Andrea. I'm not a dabbler, either. But I do love Brandilyn Collins books! :)

Jessica Nelson said...

Oh my goodness, that is SO creepy but no doubt true. *shudder*
I don't dabble in dark things but at the same time, going house to house for candy is something I loved doing as a child and something I do with my kids too. For me, Halloween is more of an American tradition than a religious holiday (although I'm aware that for a few it's a serious holiday)
Great post! I'd never heard of her but the book sounds really intriguing.

Alison Henderson said...

October is one of my favorite months. It marks my birthday (not nearly as much fun as it used to be), cooler days, and gorgeous fall colors. I'm definitely in the Harvest camp, having never been a huge fan of Halloween. I never could understand people who enjoy being scared to death.

Julie Lessman said...

Great blog, Andrea!!

As a Christian writer, I am sorry to say that at one time I did dabble on the "dark side" quite a bit, and I KNOW just how real--and scary--it is! Mostly because I learned that there is "power" there, power to destroy and devastate lives. Fortunately for me and all of us, God's power is FAR greater and REDEMPTIVE, so for me, there is no contest. Give me peace, joy, light with Christ ... I've had enough of death, darkness and despression with the other.


Brenda Whiteside said...

I've never been much for Halloween mostly because I don't like costumes and not a candy eater. I honestly never thought about the dark side. And I dabbled in the so called supernatural but not the dark side. I think there is a positive supernatural side we just don't understand - although even that scares me. Such a chicken.

Tamara Cooper said...

Wow, what a loaded subject. There are some Christians who think that observing Halloween even to a teeny, tiny degree is dissing the Lord. Others enjoy going house-to-house in their neighborhoods and have harvest-like events, such as a bbq or music-related plans, more focused on the harvest side than the occult side. I'm in the last group. My three boys dress up (nothing ghoulish; I draw the line there) as cowboys, Buzz Lightyear, etc., and we visit each of our neighbors (they LOVE seeing the boys), and we say, "Happy Halloween" instead of "Trick or Treat". We love Halloween because, as Christians, we've changed the focus to family time, to harvest time, and decorate the house with a harvest theme (again, nothing of the occult or a ghoulish nature). I loved your input, Andrea, about the Indian girl. What a great story. Thanks for this post. I really enjoyed it!

Jannine Gallant said...

Crying Wind's story is definitely a shivery tale! For me, Holloween is about hanging with friends at the check in point while my girls trick-or-treat. They're at the age where they don't want mom tagging along, and it's a safe neighborhood. Always a lot of fun!

Patti Shene, Executive Editor, Starsongs Magazine said...

Great post, Andrea. I enjoy the scary books, but don't go seeking after the dark side. I think that, as Christians, we need to read whatever we read with our faith in Christ and our knowledge of what is truth always in sight.

Colleen Connally said...

Love your post. Have to admit though I love a read a scary story. I think because I don't believe in vampires, werewolves, can't say I don't believe in ghost, just not the ones that could hurt you...I'll have to check out Crying Wind's story. I have a tad Native American in me.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

An interesting post. I love something that makes me think. I also love the colors. the harvest decorations and the fall-themed treats of the season.

Jillian Kent said...

Hi there, Andrea,
I love reading suspense and I enjoy some of Ted Dekker's creepy books as well as Mike Dellosso, and Frank Perretti. I remember as a kid in Pa. watching Chiller Theatre and the old scary movies. Anyone remember attack of the 50 Foot Woman. Wasn't it Harry she was angry at? :)

I also loved going out to candy, etc. but dabbling in the really scary dark side of things would not be wise. I connect dark side with evil and there's way too much evil in the world.

Great post. I'd actually like to read this story. My hubby and kids are part of the Cherokee tribe.

Jennifer Slattery said...

Excellent article. And yes, darkness is real, but praise God, Christ is stronger!

Katy Lee said...

I will be in your shoes in a few weeks for my secular blog I partner in. :) You did a fabulous job. You spooked me and gave me hope!

Katy Lee

LoRee Peery said...

Wonderful post. And I think your question is exactly the way I worded mine for a guest blog come Tuesday.
Hmm. I celebrate harvest and am thankful we live in the country where trick or treaters don't venture.

Robin Bayne said...

Thanks for sharing that Andrea!

Teresa Morgan said...

Great post. Andrea, like you, I take no pleasure in being scared to death. Not only do I not watch scary movies, when I was a kid, I used to have to leave the roomm when Lassie or Timmy got into trouble.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

October is my least favorite time to go into stores. Although I do love a good Christian suspense novel, I don't like to be faced with things that are clearly from the dark side of the spirit world every time I enter a store.

What some people consider harmless fun is far from harmless. I pray a lot in October.

Interesting article, Andrea.

Kiersti said...

What a wonderful article, Andrea--acknowledging the reality of darkness but also that Jesus' light is stronger. My current historical WIP is about the Navajo, and I agree, Native Americans tend to be much more aware of the reality of the spiritual world than Anglo Americans like me. I look forward to checking out the Indian Life Ministries page. Thanks so much for sharing! The Lord bless you.