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It seems reasonable to assume that for as long as tassels have existed, concurrently there have existed persons terrorized by them.

The Greeks seem not to have had tassels, or else never named them, and therefore there is no proper suffix with which to attach the term 'phobia,' making it so that those with a fear of tassels have long gone unnoted in the journals of parapsychology. One must wonder if the Greeks made a choice not to provide a name, knowing that to name something is to give it power. How many persons throughout the eons may have therefore struggled to define the woven, octopuslike manifestations that lurked around them?

Tassels will not only attach themselves to certain persons, but also to certain pieces of furniture, such as the ornate chair upon which the boy above doth cower.

We may never know the extent to which human evolution and history has been shaped by such hauntings. Only since the creation of film have we been able to capture such supernatural acts of menace.

Let us now peer into another world, a misty place where strange hauntings occur. When it comes to parting the proverbial curtains that separate the netherworld from our own, nothing keeps them tied apart better than tassels.

Although undeniably real, we should examine how a devious mind might go about faking such photographs. In actuality it is quite easy, employing the process of double exposure, such as dubious photographers famously did for mock séances, whereby a picture was taken of some longing widow or other hopeful victim, and while the film took time to develop (several minutes for some cameras during the device's technological infancy), the hapless widow would be whisked away and the photographer himself would stand behind the chair were she had previously sat, his image thusly appearing faintly on the film.

Although the photographers of tassel hauntings obviously hold themselves to a higher standard, it is plausible that by some means of mentalism they might have levitated a tassel behind where their mark sat, meaning nothing extraordinary would have occurred at all. Yet the possibility of a handful of charlatans should not eclipse the sheer volume of such instances captured on film. One must remember that simply because a phenomena can be accomplished through fakery, that does not guarantee that all such instances are fake.

As paranormal research is concerned, those of us studying this phenomenon are often considered to be on the fringe.

The serious point is that we, unlike those who have but a blurry and suspect photo of Bigfoot or Nessie, get little respect, and worse yet, receive no research grants. While those who seek magnificent monsters are considered to be undefeatably romantic and endearing in their eccentric obsessions, we whose coffers are filled only with cobwebs are looked down upon like the hobos of the pseudoscientific world. Eccentricity is for the rich while the penniless can only afford to be crazy.

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Were we to say that aluminum hats could keep away the tassel ghouls, then we could at least be bumped up to mad, mad being (if not more prestigious than crazy), something that at the very least keeps the neighbors from being too chatty with you; although it may make those same neighbors more prone to torch-lit, pitchfork mobs.

Alas, we know too well that no sort of hat can keep these fiendish tassels at bay.

Among the many theories regarding these manifestations, not all are sinister. Some have gone so far as to suggest that tassel phantasms come to benefit mankind, and that they are a form of spirit guide, or angel, or helpful fairy. Some would witness the picture above and imagine that the tassel is trying to aid a youth in smiling. This might almost seem reasonable, were it not for the fact that the tassel, like all its fellows, it obviously quite frightening. I have presented this theory only in an attempt to provide a balanced and diverse treatise of opinions, as is the purpose of any intellectual approach, yet I take no responsibility for promoting its obvious foolishness.
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Someone told me once (I forget who, but he had glasses and a beard and therefore seemed quite knowledgeable), that Serbian folklore had something to say about such hauntings. They tell how such tassels are a part of a person's own being, his or her daemon. Accordingly, such materializations have much to tell about the life a soul will live, as the number of strings corresponds to the number of years a person will live.

As we can see on the above, this set of twins appear to be haunted by two separate but conjoined tassels. If these tassels do represent the souls of these twins, then perhaps they separate over time as these two infants become individuals, or else remain joined in the manner that some twins are joined psychically.

As seen above, tassel phantoms often prefer the sneaky manifestation to stark revelation. They can be as frivolous as they are devious.

Of the many photograph depicting tassel hauntings (only a smattering of which am I able to post on this site), a large amount appear to involve men with thick mustaches.

Could it be that tassels are attracted to such a feature for manliness as this burly mustache featured on the right? Certainly we have all heard the tales of tassel succubae. Though scientific minds try to dismiss the phenomena as mere sleep apnea, those who have experienced such rape are left to struggle with the aftermath. Often this leads to antisocial types of behavior.

In the words of Conrad Trimp, who in nineteen forty-nine was arrested for assaulting the popular burlesque diva, Lucy Deverau...

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"Following the molestation of my manly mustache by a tassel, I believed myself to have been cured by the ensuing psychiatric treatments (a combination of cold enemas coupled with repeated smacks in the face with assorted tassels). But when Lucy dipped her fan to reveal the pair of tassels that tipped her ample breasts, I lost all sense of reason.

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When, with the expert shimmying of her trade, she caused both tassels to swirl in unison it was as if another force took over, and I could not help but rush onto the stage and wrest the offending accoutrements from her."

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Sometime we come across a picture such as that on the left, in which it is difficult of reason what exactly is going on. The lady's dress suggests a formal occasion, but what, is she about to be married, or receive her first communion?

And what is the intention of the tassel hovering near her? It's droop could be suggestive of sadness, that is, if tassel actually feel anything aside from great hatred. Even so, it is not the only tassel in this photo, for there is another, barely visible, dangling from the lady's book.

Perhaps, some might suggest, the levitating tassel is being protective of its offspring, which is trapped as a mere book mark. Tassels do not like that sort of thing, not at all, that much is certain.

Or, might this be a case of a tassel wanting to possess this woman picture above, not as a demon might possess a person, that would be silly, rather, as one seeks to possess a mate? Although the tassel would in actuality have little use for her, that has never stopped the dragon or giant ape from wanting to possess a lovely woman, or ugly woman such as one may be.

Just as when one graduate with a degree he will move the tassel on his cap to the opposite side, my hope is that having learned more about this phenomena you likewise have shifted your awareness of how dastardly tassels truly are.

Professor Chas Bogan
Expert of the Supernatural


Postscript 11/9/05

As often as I pray it will be over, it never ends.

I find this picture of a young lad, and I wonder what manner of man he grew to be. A strong warrior of the dark spiritual forces that tormented him, or did he grow to be frightened, forever darting his eyes this way or that in anticipation of seeing another tassel haunting his vicinity?

For my own sake, I awake each morning hoping the madness will end. I, who himself has never seen spectral forces taking the form of levitating tassels, am nevertheless tormented by these pictures, which seek me out, demanding that I tell the truth of this phenomena. This picture shown above was found in a cheap picture frame, lurking behind the luridly happy image of a man and woman bike riding down a tree-lined road. Why must I be the one chosen to warn the world of this evil? Why does this emptied whiskey bottle give me no succor, no answers, no hope?


All images © Carnivalia, 2004