The last episode of True Detective, HBO’s new crime drama starring Woody Harrelson and Matthey McConaughey, ended with the promise that life is like a dream that sometimes has a monster at the end. I have been free of nightmares since the True Detective promotional department at HBO sent me a home-made hoodoo talisman called a Devil Trap.
I’m pretty sure HBO sent them out to all the True Detective reviewers. I don’t know how they’re sleeping. I do know that one reviewer sold his on eBay. He sold it as a promotional item and got under 30 pounds for it. What he should have done was sold it saying it was a magickal figure that cast some kind of show business spell. He would have gotten more for it. His eBay picture also showed the Devil Trap upside down.
Now, when I say that HBO’s devil’s trap promo piece is stopping the nightmares, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re protecting me, as I said in an earlier piece on the topic. I’m not seeing the True Detective monsters at the end of my dreams, but I’m not sleeping. You can’t have nightmares when you don’t sleep. Some preacher told Matthew McConaughey’s character on True Detective that the Devil Trap is something you put by the bed to keep the devil away. I put that Devil Trap by the bed and slept on the couch for a week. I didn’t mean to sleep on the couch, but there was always something that held me from getting to bed.
At first I thought the Devil Trap considered me some kind of demon that should be kept from under the warm sheets during a frozen spell. Actually, at first I didn’t think much of it at all. I stayed up all night the way I usually do and wrote. About the Devil’s Trap. I studied it. I asked around. In a previous piece on this I quoted a witch named Dove Macob who uses natural magic. She confirmed what I originally thought, that the Devil’s Nest was “a fetish of some type” that had its origin in “some type of hoodoo or folk magick.” Dove said the figure “most likely represents a 'male' energy placing dominance over female.” My first reaction was to ask for a few strands of hair from Mike Cecchini’s contact at HBO so I could magically charge it myself so she’d send me more free stuff. Mike hasn’t asked her yet.
On True Detective, the victim in the case that Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are following is displayed in a ritualistic way. The Devil’s Nest is found at the scene. I happen to have an item in my possession that was found at the scene of what I believe was a satanic ritual. My grandfather used to be the gravedigger at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn. Holy Cross is a Catholic cemetery that’s part of a church and is considered sacred ground. Hallowed ground.
When I was a kid my grandfather found a makeshift temple and altar in the graveyard. At the center of it was an album by the band Coven. Yeah the “One Tin Soldier” band from the Billy Jack movies. Only this was before that. It was 1969, which, if you arrange the letters right, makes a natural 666 and Coven only had one album out.
Coven’s Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls was a satanic album. Side one was full of darkly spellbinding songs. Songs only took up half of part two. The other half was the first-ever recording of a full Satanic Mass. It pre-dated the one recorded by Anton Szandor LaVey by a few months. When I was six years old I was mesmerized by the woman on the cover, Jinx Dawson. She was only 17 when she recorded the album. She is known to be an expert on all things occult.
I contacted the singer, showed her the picture of the Devil’s Nest, with no details, just the picture. Jinx said she recognized it. She said “I have seen these as far back as a small child. The house Obeahs made them. Part of their spells and rituals. Similar to a Hoodoo doll, but made with natural elements. I understand they go way back in time. They can either be used to ward off spells or heighten a spell depending on the type and the casting. Hails.” As I said before, Nic Pizzolatto, the True Detective screenwriter, did his homework.
I put the Devil Trap back in the living room and intend to go to sleep tonight. Maybe I’ll have a nightmare. I like nightmares, they’re like horror movies only more real.