On what might go on happening tonight:

  • the undead might start partying. Beware of crossroads, graveyards and of the woods;
  • the demons and the demonical are throwing a ball themselves, accompanied by witches and warlocks. Avoid crossroads, the woods and derelict churches, to all costs;
  • your neighbors might be rubbing their bodies, doors and gates with garlic, in order to keep spirits at bay – you’d better start doing it too;
  • the strigoi will be stealing the milk, sucking the blood of cows, returning to their (still) living families to take one of their kin to the land of the dead;
  • the moroi buried underneath a home  might be rising from their graves into the the attic, where they may wreck havoc;
  • young women will put some basil under their pillow so they might get a chance ar dreaming their future spouse. They might also place a ring in a water filled glass, placed in ashes and put a candle to the right of the glass and another to the left. After lighting them, a reflection of their future spouse should become visible in the ring;
  • witches get ready to meet their otherworldly lovers, friends and foes by drinking concoctions and rubbing their bodies with henbane, datura or deadly nightshade.

It’s the 29th of November and tonight the feeble border between worlds might just disappear.

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When two worlds collide

I was sitting in line at the ATM, when I noticed an unkempt woman with pretty bad teeth and wearing rags. She was also waiting for something or someone. A child, couldn’t have been older than 10, came out of the bank building holding two plastic glasses of water. In many cases, water is free in institutions. His face was smeared with dirt, and he was also wearing ragged clothes. He cried for his mother, gave her her glass and then the most interesting thing happened. They were standing on the corner of a crossroad and both of them, first the woman, then the little boy, poured water on the ground, before drinking. For the dead, as so often found in Balkan folklore and superstitions.