CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is
Featured Book
The Young Wizard's Hexopedia
Search Site

Breathing Circle
Music Box Moment
Cautious or Optimistic
King of Hearts of War and Peace
As I Was, As I Am
Perdition Slip
Loves Me? Loves Me Not?
Wacky Birthday Form
Test Your ESP
Chess-Calvino Dictionary
Is Today the Day?
100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water
"Follow Your Bliss" Compass
"Fortune's Navigator" Compass
Inkblot Oracle
Luck Transfer Certificate
Eternal Life Coupon
Honorary Italian Grandmother E-card
Simple Answers


A Fine Line Between...
A Rose is a ...
Always Remember
Annotated Ellipses
Apropos of Nothing
Book of Whispers
Call it a Hunch
Colorful Allusions
Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up?
Disguised as a Christmas Tree
Don't Take This the Wrong Way
Everybody's Doing This Now
Forgotten Wisdom
Glued Snippets
Go Out in a Blaze of Glory
Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore
How to Believe in Your Elf
How to Write a Blank Book
I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought
Images Moving Through Time
Indubitably (?)
Inflationary Lyrics
It Bears Repeating
It's Really Happening
Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands
Miscellanies of Mr. Jonathan
Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led
No News Is Good News
Non-Circulating Books
Nonsense Dept.
Not Rocket Science
Oldest Tricks in the Book
On One Condition
One Mitten Manager
Only Funny If ...
P I n K S L i P
Peace Symbols to Color
Postcard Transformations
Presumptive Conundrums
Puzzles and Games
Letter Grids
Tic Tac Toe Story Generator
Which is Funnier
Restoring the Lost Sense
Rhetorical Answers, Questioned
Rhetorical Questions, Answered!
Semicolon Moons
Semicolon's Dream Journal
Separated at Birth?
Simple Answers
Someone Should Write a Book on ...
Something, Defined
Staring at the Sun
Staring Into the Depths
Strange Dreams
Strange Prayers for Strange Times
Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out
Telescopic Em Dashes
Temporal Anomalies
The 40 Most Meaningful Things
The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine
The Only Certainty
The Right Word
This May Surprise You
This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea
Two Sides / Same Coin
Uncharted Territories
We Are All Snowflakes
What I Now Know
What's In a Name
Yearbook Weirdness
Yesterday's Weather
Your Ship Will Come In


June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006


Magic Words
Jonathan Caws-Elwitt
Martha Brockenbrough
Gordon Meyer
Dr. Boli
Serif of Nottingblog
Joe Brainard's Pyjamas
Ironic Sans
Brian Sibley's Blog
Abecedarian personal effects of 'a mad genius'
A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
February 19, 2018

Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore (permalink)

The Most Exclusive Seance Parlor Outside Hollywood

What parlor is more exclusive than the Houdini Seance Chamber in Hollywood's Magic Castle?  (As difficult as it is to get into the Magic Castle, of those select few who know the secret word to whisper to the carved owl on the sliding bookcase, only a smaller fraction ever see the Houdini Seance Chamber.)  More exclusive than that is the macabre sitting room where the host of "Tales of Midnight," Spooky Brucey, divines the truths behind the most sinister legends on record.
Through our network of masked contacts in arcane circles, we came into possession of previously uncirculated blueprints and photos of the Tales of Midnight parlor.  As this room is filled with age-old secrets, we thought to analyze it through the sage-colored glasses of ancient Chinese necromancy, as detailed in Seance Parlor Feng Shui.  And we discovered more than a few surprises.


The old wizards of Feng Shui overlaid an esoteric map onto an area to see how the arrangement harmonized with the elemental flow of existence.  When we overlap that map upon Spooky Brucey's parlor, we see a stroke of genius right off — the placement of the fortune telling automaton, Lady Audley, in the room's upper left corner, exactly where the Chinese ancients identified the space of "Fortune."  Lady Audley is not merely at home in this corner; it is here and only here that she can truly thrive as a prophesier.  Incidentally, this automaton survived a boardwalk fire in 1964, the blaze having been set by a man who felt that Lady Audley enslaved him with a strange power and who sought to break the spell via purifying flames.



A most intriguing revelation is the location of the "Beast's Hole in the Wall."  This niche, partially sealed off with weathered boards, contains a carnival sideshow abomination that was rescued after being swallowed by a sinkhole in Florida.  This beast sits in the "Wisdom" section of the room, prompting the startling suggestion that Spooky Brucey acquires knowledge from a seven-foot tall monstrosity that was first captured while it scavenged in a ruined Turkish necropolis dedicated to the god of the dead.  This insight is perhaps one that Spooky Brucey would prefer to remain private, so we'll take that particular issue no further.



The crystal ball and its table are positioned in the "Career" area of the map, which indicates that Spooky Brucey has a calling to foresee, to foretell, and perhaps to forewarn.  Interestingly, the two chairs at the seance table cross over into the "Wisdom" and "Mentors" areas.  Whichever chair Spooky Brucey himself may sit in is therefore auspicious — if the "Wisdom" chair, his crystal ball readings will be shrewd, and if the "Mentors" chair, his interpretations will be strengthened by the guides and confidants at whose feet he has studied.  Note that the "Mentors" section also features the door to the parlor, meaning that Spooky Brucey is open to learning from new sources that enter into his life.



A table holding occult objects lies in the "Creativity" area, meaning that Spooky Brucey's original ideas are inspired by rarefied dinguses (or dingi).  But more intrigue is found in the "Partnership" zone, where we find a wooden crate.  Dare we wonder who — or what — constitutes Spooky Brucey's partner?  Is the crate newly arrived from some exotic locale, is it being prepped for shipment, or is it a permanent fixture and merely cracked open occasionally?  These are questions we may not ask.



We mustn't overlook a rather profound paradox that exists in the Tales of Midnight parlor.  The fireplace is in the "Career" zone, whose ruling element is water.  This suggests that the fireplace is perhaps ornamental or that the chimney is so corroded that it's unsafe for burning.  Yet things are decidedly odder, for opposite the fireplace, in the "Reputation" zone ruled by fire, sits a vaudevillian magician's ventriloquism dummy found nailed in a trunk at the bottom of a lake.  And so in this seance parlor, fire and water are inverted.  There may be some sly technique behind this inversion, for if Spooky Brucey has concerns that incendiary gossip by tricky dummies may harm his reputation, he has dampened such fires with something decidedly soggy.  And if the flow of his Water-ruled career is intended to get steamier, wasn't it the three witches in Macbeth who said, "Fire burn and cauldron bubble"?  So even these two seeming violations of Feng Shui betray a seance parlor "on the ball," as it were.



Only two zones remain.  "New Beginnings" auspiciously features a window, symbolically a portal to another world.  The center of "Well-Being" is the only zone bereft of objects, suggesting that the dead center of the room is where Spooky Brucey finds the most happiness, encircled as he is by the uncanny artifacts he has curated.  The center of the room, being ruled by the Earth element, is here surrounded by its own zodiacal constellations, each with a unique story and intrigue.

(To learn how to create your own magical seance parlor, see Seance Parlor Feng Shui.)

> read more from Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore . . .
#seance parlor
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Pinterest

Original Content Copyright © 2020 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.