You are here: Kaedrin > Imaginary Archive > imaginary places > The Crossroads

ia | imaginary places

The Crossroads
Source: The Vampire in Legend and Fact Editor: tallman
Info: Though practices might vary from country to country, the beliefs of many peoples in former times associated the place where two or more roads crossed with witchcraft, wizardry, magic and all manner of evil practices. In England, for hundreds of years, it was the practice to bury those who had committed suicide at crossroads (in addition to driving a stake through their heart). The stake was thought to keep them from wandering abroad at night, while the crossroads were meant to confuse the ghosts if they did manage to get out. Authorities from that time argued that if a ghost or demon issued from a grave positioned in the crossroads, then the apparition would find 4 footways stretching out before it. In which case it would be confused as to which path to take and might remain there undecided until dawn, when it would be compelled to return to its grave. Naturally, any person who happened to venture near a crossroads after dark was thought to meet with great danger.

In both the Goethe and Marlowe versions of Faust, the physician made his infamous bargin with the Devil after conjuring the evil spirit by calling upon him thrice at any crossroads. Even in the East, crossroads are feared, as well as in Russia.
Further Reading: The Vampire in Legend and Fact by Basil Copper has a chapter on crossroads.

Copyright © 1999 - 2002 by Mark Ciocco.
No part of this page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission.