decrepit buildings

Choose Your Illusion: Psychotropic Fungi Spores, Visions, Hauntings, and Ghosts

Could psychotropic mold spores lurking in decrepit old buildings be the root cause of ghost sightings? In this story from The Daily Mail, science, mycology, magic, and myth collide in a bubbling cauldron of epic proportions, and I couldn’t be more excited! As if I need any more convincing that fungi are the masked & cloaked puppeteers pulling the strings of human history, researchers from Clarkson University are implicating the inhalation of toxic mold as a probable cause for visions, hallucinations, hauntings, and paranormal activity in some of New York’s most notorious haunted houses. 

Researchers will be measuring air quality in several purportedly haunted locales across New York State, in order to deduce if there is a correlation between the airborn mold spores and brain inflammation. They will be comparing samples taken from several buildings where ghost sightings have been reported with samples taken from ho-hum homesteads with nary a ghost in sight, to see if there is a difference in the types of fungi between those two locales. “Experiences reported in many hauntings are similar to mental or neurological symptoms reported by individuals exposed to toxic molds,” said Professor Shane Rogers of Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. “Psychoactive effects of some fungi are well-known, whereas the effects of others such as indoor molds are less researched. Although allergy and asthma symptoms and other physiological effects are well established, there has long been controversy over the effects of indoor mold exposure on cognitive and other functioning of the brain. Reports of psychiatric symptoms including mood swings, hyperactivity, and irrational anger, as well as cognitive impairment are prevalent among those exposed to molds.”

No stranger to the far-reaching, miasmic, and often nebulous symptoms of brain inflammation, I can testify to the pervasive power of the altered states one can sink into under the right duress. According to the article, preliminary laboratory research on this subject is emerging that “supports brain inflammation and memory loss in mice exposed to Stachybotrys charatarum, a common indoor air mold, as well as increased anxiety and fear.” Coupled with the subconscious suggestibility that permeates one’s experience in an infamously supernatural locale, we have an environment rife with illusory impressionability for spectral enchantment.

A friend of mine was reflecting on the widespread co-opting of mystical experience by the scientific community, and wondered aloud if it is truly wise and prudent to dismiss something that may be magical as a construct of scientific phenomena. “Too much reality ruins the new eyes of a child,” they ruminated. While I agree, I also believe that fungi and science are inherently magical, and the more mycology I study, the more slackjawed, wide eyed, and agape with magic that I am. Where science and magic intersect is where Botanarchy dwells, and it is in this liminal slipstream where I prefer to hang my hat.

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I got $7 and change
and pen and paper in my pocket
dog tags around my neck 
ragged Converse stuck to my feet
and bit-up fingertips
I don’t look like much
just another face that blends
into the crowd
I am city streets that you have walked on
decrepit buildings you have passed
I am the nature you neglect to see
because you’re too busy searching for beauty
I am one in like… three
average and kind of boring, really

at least on the surface.

I am telling you to give me a chance
to tell you my story
paint you a hundred hues of blue
until you feel so sad you don’t realize
I’m delivering a punchline
let me show you I exist in 
approximately twenty dimensions
one for every single adventure that
can fit into my fingers and my toes 
I am an artist
I turn words into butterflies
and dragons
spit fire like I belong in a circus act
turn air into prose and dirt into poetry
I am a magician
I craft feelings out of every day situations
you tell me about your heartbreak and
I give you another reason to cry
you tell me about love and 
I make you wish you had nothing
I like to turn you upside down
flip your world inside out I want to
melt your heart so I can grow accustomed 
to a warmth that isn’t mine.

I am not someone you would notice
I’ve only ever received zero second glances
and I don’t talk much,
never needed a reason for others to look,
but when they do
I am ready to give them a museum
from the paper and pen I keep in my pockets.
—  My favorite thing about artists
I Was Made For Loving You

Description: Dean X Reader. My first go at something emotional, a hunt goes wrong, need I say more?
Words: 1,296
Warnings: severe injury
Author’s notes: first go at anything emotional, not really sure about it, let me know of any positives or negatives or anything!

Cobwebs brushed across your face as you quietly tiptoed through the derelict orphanage. You grimaced, wiped them off and kept moving forward. You were here on a hunt with the Winchester brothers, the ghost of the old owner had been luring young women to the house before killing the women with a carving knife. You’d had to split up to cover more ground in the massive building whilst you were looking for whatever could be tying her to the place.

You walked over to a set of wooden drawers in the corner of what seemed to be a bedroom. You opened the drawers to find nothing but moth eaten children’s wear. Hunts in decrepit buildings were horrible, you were more likely to jump into action at a spider or shadow than the ghost you were actually here for. You were taking the safest area of the house, if there was such a thing. Sam took the basement and boiler room, Dean took the kitchen and lounge areas whilst you took the bedrooms.

“Guys, I think I found something!” You heard Dean’s voice from the other end of the hall you were investigating. You dropped the ray of your torchlight and retreated to where you’d heard him.

“Dean?” You hissed. When you didn’t hear a response you pushed a large oak door open, revealing the lounge area, you cautiously walked in, with your gun outstretched.

“Woah, Y/N, don’t shoot!” Dean said, grinning from a few feet to the left, arms up in mock surrender. You dropped your gun to your side, giving him a sheepish smile.

“Pays to be wary, Winchester!” You replied. “What did you find?”

Dean walked over to an old painting that he’d clearly lifted off of the wall, judging by the dust free outline left on the wall. Without a word he turned it over to reveal a hand written letter attached to the back of the painting.

“Bingo! It’s addressed to the ex-lover from the ghost herself.” Dean raised an eyebrow as he gently prised it from the frame. He began to read excerpts from the yellowing page. It seemed the husband of the ghost had another lady friend who was ‘destined’ to be with him, jealousy had torn them apart. “Best bit is, it was sealed with a kiss.” He said proudly, pointing to a stain on the bottom of the paper that looked a little like lipstick.

You jokingly started humming “I was made for loving you” by KISS, earning a smirk from Dean. Stowing your gun back in your jacket, you could patted the pocket containing the salt. “So you’re thinking that’s her last tie? Well, I’ve got the salt if you’ve got a lighter?”

“I always come to the party prepared!” He said. He tucked his shotgun under his arm whilst he dug through his pockets.

It was then, that everything happened both very quickly. You saw Dean’s eyes go wide as he looked behind you. You then watched as Dean was flung across the room, hitting a window, before registering this, an invisible force lifted and held you up against the wall where the painting had been. You were able to turn your head slightly to see the silhouette of Sam in the doorway before he was thrown over to Dean, the pair of them ending as a mess of limbs and guns on top of each other. You saw a faint blue glow in the middle of the room as the ghost materialised. She was tall and in her mid-twenties just as your research had found, what research hasn’t told you is how menacing she looked. Her hair hung limp around her shoulders and her clothes were stained in blood, the long carving knife in her hand was the most worrying point, though.

Blinking quickly to bring yourself out of the shock you tried to calculate how you could stall the ghost to allow Sam and Dean to get ahold of the situation. On the positive side, the ghost seemed far more interested in you currently. On the negative side, no one else was moving except the ghost who was moving towards you.

“You don’t have to do this. We can help you.” You halfheartedly attempted the diplomatic approach with the being, who was slowly advancing towards you. The ghost faltered in her step slightly but kept going. “It’s about your husband, isn’t it? Killing people won’t fix anything!”

Over the woman’s shoulder you saw Dean and Sam beginning to stumble upright. They still weren’t going to be quick enough to salt and burn the letter though. She was a few steps away now.

“Why are you doing this? Surely, if you’re going to kill me, you owe me that much?” You voice was shaky now. The woman stopped still, her face inches away from yours. You made eye contract with Dean, Sam was so close the letter with a lighter in hand, now. A few more seconds, you could buy that long.

It was then that the knife struck, you felt it as it pierced the skin and as it went through your lower abdomen. You saw Dean’s face first twist in shock and then crumble. The knife twisted and snagged causing you to cry out. You looked down at the damage as the force holding you let go. A flash of flames and inhuman scream indicated Sam’s success, but it was a few seconds too late. You slumped heavily to the floor as Dean raced to catch you.

“Hey! Hey Y/N, you’re good, you’re good, come on, stay with me,” Dean hands hovered over the knife still in your stomach as panic contorted his face. “Sammy! Get the car started and out front.” His voice breaking slightly as he shouted “Now!”

Sam opened and closed his mouth a few times before sprinting out the door.

“Dean?” You murmured.

“I’m here, I’m here Y/N, don’t talk, save your energy.”

The damsel in distress wasn’t you. But here you were, you couldn’t support your own head, let alone your own weight. Pain twinged through your stomach as you tried to shift in Dean’s arms. His fingers gently held onto just two of your own as if he was scared you would snap. You blinked up through heavy eyelids.

“Shh, Y/N, don’t move, just stay awake, please.”

Dean carried on muttering encouragements as he lifted you gently, desperately trying not to hurt you.

“For me, Y/N. Just stay with me.”

Dean’s voice sounded quieter now as he began to run towards where Sam would be waiting. You felt a tear drop onto your face and you looked up to see Dean’s eyes glistening, the tears making the green in his eyes shine out. You could hear the roar of the impala very close, letting your head roll to a side, you watched as Dean slipped you into the back seat.

“Dean! What’s happening, what’s the damage… Oh” Sam turned to look at you from the drivers seat, confirming what you were trying to ignore.

“I’m fine guys, my fault… Turn on the music?” You stuttered a little more than you’d wanted but it had done the job. Sam reached for the dials, rock music breaking the silence that you were trying to ignore.

“Hospital, Sam, now!” Dean shouted louder than necessary but Sam didn’t need to be told twice. A sudden coughing fit from you was all the inspiration he needed.

Dean clambered into the back seat with you, wiping his eyes with his sleeve and then carefully lifting your head onto his lap so he could keep an eye on you. That was the last thing you remembered seeing that night, Dean’s eyes watching you as you drifted off into unconsciousness.


Nepal’s Home Ministry says at least 71 people have been killed in a 7.9-magnitude earthquake that hit the capital and the Kathmandu Valley on Saturday. Indian officials say at least 20 people have died in India as a result of the earthquake while dozens are injured. The death toll is expected to rise significantly as Kathmandu’s decrepit buildings, crisscrossed by narrow alleys, are home to large families.

It had been three days since Captain America had been declared missing. 

The media kept a constant vigil over the helicarrier crash sites, with helicopters flying up above, like vultures over a new corpse. Steve’s face was everywhere, Natasha had been told, on TV, on posters, spray painted onto decrepit buildings. Have you seen this man?

Natasha herself had scoured the banks of the Potomac along with Sam and what was left of SHIELD was overturning the wreckage; they’d found a handful of survivors, much more than she and Sam had. 

Sam sat–collapsed–down at the shore, his muddied shoes just touching the murky water as it lapped at the bank. He stared out at the water and she followed his gaze, right to the middle of the lake, where the water was still and peaceful. 

In her dreams, she’d see bubbles float up to the surface of that water, she was sure of it.