Eye of newt, toe of alien (for sale)

Today’s theme is items of a haunted nature.

About a year ago, quite by accident, I discovered that eBay has a ‘weird stuff’ category, under ‘collectables’. No kidding. And then it divides into useful sub-categories such as ‘totally bizarre’, ‘quite strange’ and ‘not that odd’ (or titles along those lines).

weirdstuff

What, you thought I was making it up?

Granted, quite a lot of the weird stuff is things ranging from syringe-shaped pens to various adult toys (you want a gimp mask or a decent-but-affordable whip? eBay!), but in amongst those is a load of haunted, cursed and alien objects. Brilliant!

When I first browsed through this category, I found a creepy little pamphlet telling the story of a demon in a church, based on a statue. The picture of the statue had eyes that followed you. It was sort of evil looking – mischievous at best. Against the very vocal advice of various friends, I bid £2 for the pamphlet. I hadn’t really thought this through; very much a case of it seeming like a good idea at the time. I was outbid by about 5p.

I was sort of disappointed. Mostly, though I was relieved, because I’ve read Joe Hill’s Heart-shaped Box and it scared the crap out of me (good book, though. Recommended.)

Since then the standard of haunted and cursed goodies on eBay seems to have risen. Today I found two haunted mirrors in the sold section, and this evening’s search has turned up this fabulous ‘alien’. More effort seems to have gone into the description than the tin-foil alien, though. At least the cursed gypsy ring looked like a very realistic glass eye. (It sold for £107. That’s more than the haunted mirror sold for. I’m also a fan of the way the advert announces that caution can be dangerous – USE A COLON!).

Anyway, as shown by the above example, various witch and gypsy rings are available (or they were today, anyway) – being sold, naturally, by people who cannot control the great power of their rings. That sounded ruder than I meant it to. I love how these ‘powerful’ objects are being hawked on eBay with taglines about how returns aren’t being accepted (because such powerful objects shouldn’t change hands too often) and that buyers buy at their own risk. Such lines appeal to a particular crowd – me included. If I had £100+ to splash out on a potentially haunted object, I’d totally do it.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this at all. I don’t mean any (much) disrespect for folks who wholeheartedly believe these adverts. I can’t hand-on-heart say that I don’t believe in ghosts and the whole fantastic, spirit world – something must be out there, I’m sure. But this whole sub-section of eBay tickles me, and very much appeals to my Buffy-watching teenage (oh, fine, and adult) self. I love the idea of vampires and slayers tracking this stuff down and buying it (maybe there’s something to that ring for people in the know? I mean – £107?), then complaining about how it took too long to be delivered, that the silver was a bit tarnished and that it wasn’t packaged properly for posting.

Yep. The glamorous world of ghostlings and curses.

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Short tri update: this was a week of burnout and illness. The coming days are a recovery week, so I’ll be easing back into slowly and reminding myself that I have ages to train, will be able to get through the race, and don’t need to start worrying about the difficulties of getting to/from Exmoor until after Paris is out of the way.

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Just reread this entry in the cold light of day and realised how disjointed and bracket-filled it is. Sorry, everyone. I’ll do a better job of editing myself next week.

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