One of the first themes that we looked at in Solace was the supernatural. Thought I'd regale the story of a few odd things that happened that month. So, are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...
WARNING: this story is a tad freaky.
We decided it would be cool to explore this theme as, well, it would be cool. Afterall, when was the last time you heard a sermon preached on demons, magic, the occult etc? It proved a very interesting subject.
Odd thing that happened 1:
After deciding on this particular theme in this particular month, we were contacted via the website - completely randomly - by a group of spiritualists. They informed us that they were very interested to learn that another 'spiritual' group was meeting at Dempsey's (the pub we called home at the time), as there was a legend connected with the very room we used. Back in the 16th century, two sisters - the Stapletons- were accused and found guilty of witchcraft and were being kept in Cardiff castle dungeon, just across the road from the pub. On the night they were due to be executed, the sisters escaped their prison and fled to Dempsey's, where they were to rendezvous with their husbands. Once the four of them were together, they made a suicide pact, killed themselves and it is said that their ghosts still haunt the place. The group of spiritualists asked us if we would like them to come to one of our meetings and try to contact the Stapleton sisters.
We said no ta.
Odd thing that happened 2:
Meanwhile, I was chatting to a minister friend of mine who also does a bit of psychological illusion on the side. I asked him if he would be up for coming and doing a few tricks for us at Solace, by way of setting the scene for the stuff we would be talking about. He was very happy to, in fact he told me he had just recently come upon a new trick that he was eager to give a crack. The trick, called channelling (if I remember correctly) was apparently the signature trick of two sisters who lived back in the 16th century, so my friend had read.
The Stapleton sisters.
Now at this point I want to stress that NONE of this is made up or embellished. Baptist minister's honour.
Odd thing that happened 3:
For the 'main event' of the evening, we had arranged for a local minister to come and lead a discussion based on his 'deliverance ministry' experiences (casting out demons and the like).
This was shaping up to be an interesting night.
So, there we were, sat rather pensively, keeping one eye on the shadows and waiting for who-knows-what to happen.
My illusionist friend (call him Jim), performed his stuff with not much going wrong at all, in fact it was all incredibly impressive. Well done Jim. However, the same can't be said for the deliverance guy's talk.
About half way through, just when he had us on the edge of our seats with some demonic type stories, there was out of nowhere an almighty BANG and suddenly the room was plunged into darkness.
I couldn't make this crap up if I tried.
Needless to say, given everything that had happened in the run up, this turn of events was a tad disconcerting. We found out later that one of the mini floodlights that we used to provide atmosphere had fallen over (never happened before or since), fusing the lights in the entire pub.
The fuse was quickly changed, the lights came back on and the talk continued, with only minimal trouser soilage (I speak for myself).
Thus ends the first of Solace's tales from the bar. Hope you enjoyed!