Satanic rituals were the last thing on my mind when I borrowed $5000 from my mother to start a small pool hall in Seattle. It was 1973 and I was 18 years old. In 1973, $5000 would go a long way.
I rented a small storefront on 50th street just a mile down from the University of Washington. This was a great location and my little business was pretty successful right away.
I owned 2 pool tables, 2 foosball tables, an air hockey table, and contracted for another company to provide 8 pinball machines. I got to keep all the money from my tables and split the profits from the pinball machines 50/50.
There was a very unusual movie theater across the street. It was very small, almost like watching a move in someone’s living room. Remember in 1973, we didn’t have videotapes. This movie theater only held about 15 people. I often wonder how this theater even made a profit.
Next door was a Satanic book store
There was another business next door that sold Satanic books, witch supplies, and other unusual items. I don’t remember the name of the business, but I do remember going into their shop a few times.
Most of the stuff they sold was incents burners, incents holders, crystal balls, and lots of books about satan, Wicca, paranormal, and like subjects. This was really more of a book store than anything else.
The owner of the store was always nice to me, and we never really had any issues, except for one time I had my music too loud.
My little pool hall consisted of several rooms, so I placed games in each room, and named the rooms after the games. Such as “The Pool Room” and “The Pinball Room.” I also purchased a coke machine.
My business was making a profit
After several months, I was earning a pretty good profit from my little business. I went to work every day, more than 12 hours a day. I was generating more than $100 a day, which was pretty good in 1973.
From time to time, I would go next door to the Wicca store and buy incents for my business. I never bought anything else, but I usually took the opportunity to look around.
The satanic store had lots of different kinds of candles, white sage for smoldering burners, Wicca books, a large assortment of daggers, robes of all colors, and a lot of satan and Wicca jewelry.
Different flyers posted in the window at the store made me realize that this is a really different kind of business. This was more than just a store, it was also a meeting place that hosted several different beliefs.
I assumed that the satanic store catered to different beliefs because it increased their customer base allowing them to make more money. Wicca and satanism are two completely different beliefs, however, this store catered to both.
I learned about Wicca
Doing some research, I found a website called Learn Religions @ learnreligions.com
According to them, Wicca is a tradition of Witchcraft that was brought to the public by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s. There is a great deal of debate among the Pagan community about whether or not Wicca is truly the same form of Witchcraft that the ancients practiced.
Regardless, many people use the terms Wicca and Witchcraft interchangeably. Paganism is an umbrella term used to apply to a number of different earth-based faiths. Wicca falls under that heading, although not all Pagans are Wiccan.
So, in a nutshell, here’s what’s going on. All Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccans. All Wiccans are Pagans, but not all Pagans are Wiccans. Finally, some witches are Pagans, but some are not – and some Pagans practice witchcraft, while others choose not to.
So you can see it gets pretty confusing.
Then when you add satanism into the mix, it just gets too muddy to figure out all the different beliefs.
According to Wikipedia: Satanism is a group of ideological beliefs based on Satan. The contemporary religious practice of Satanism began with the founding of the Church of Satan in 1966.
Prior to the public practice, Satanism existed primarily as an accusation by various Christian groups toward perceived ideological opponents, rather than a self-identity. Satanism, and the concept of Satan, has also been used by artists and entertainers for symbolic expression.
Accusations that various groups have been practicing Satanism have been made throughout much of Christian history. During the Middle Ages, the Inquisition attached to the Catholic Church alleged that various Christian groups, such as the Knights Templar, performed secret Satanic rituals.
One morning I arrived at my pool hall and noticed that one of my windows was broken. This particular window was on the side of the building and it had a latch, just like a house window. Once unlocked, the window could be raised and lowered.
Problem with my business.
I noticed that something just wasn’t right when I unlocked the door. Someone had broken into my business and stole about $200 in quarters. They also broke my $400 cash register.
Catching the person responsible was my number one goal. I believed that the person who broke into my pool hall was a customer who knew the layout of the business.
I started sleeping in the pool hall all night long with a gun, I wanted to catch the thief in the act. Looking back on this, it’s probably a good thing the person never robbed my store again.
A very strange night
The last time I slept at my pool hall was on a Friday night. It was raining, as it is most of the time in Seattle. I closed my pool hall that night at 11:00 PM and fell asleep about 1:00 AM.
As I was sleeping, I heard people talking. I couldn’t make out what they were saying, but it seems like a small group of people all talking at once. Like there were several conversations going on at the same time.
I fully woke up and realized that it wasn’t just a dream. There were in fact a small group of people standing outside the front door of my pool hall. I remember thinking “What the hell are these people doing?” “Why are they standing outside my business at 2:00 AM?”
I peeked around the corner of the room that led to the front door and I could see several adults, wearing robes, just standing in a line, like they were waiting for something.
The Wicca shop owner showed up and unlocked the door.
All the people entered the Wicca shop, and within about 5 minutes another small group of people arrived and entered the Wicca shop. There must have been 15 people in total.
I thought to myself “What the hell is this all about?” I could hear the people gathering in the business next door, all of them talking, several conversations going at the same time.
My business had a common wall with the satanic / Wicca shop, and we had a vent that opened up into both businesses because we shared the electric bill and heater.
A fly on the wall
I could hear these people just as though I was in the room with them, as clear as a bell. However, they had no idea I was even there. I was as quiet as a mouse, just sitting on the bare wooden floor in total darkness, listening to the conversations next door. The only light I had was a small amount coming through the shared air vent between our two businesses.
I recognized the owner’s voice. He said, “Lock up when you are through.” I wondered why these people were meeting at 2:00 AM.
Finally, they all stopped talking and turned their attention to one spokesperson, who said “Let’s get started.”
The lights through the air vent dimmed as they turned off the overhead lights and lit candles. It was a flickering light that was very dim.
I realized at that moment that these people were about to do some kind of satanic ritual, and I overheard them talking about Satanism. The wooden chairs sliding on the wooden floor as people adjusted their chairs around the room. I envisioned them putting their chairs in a circle, but I couldn’t really see anything.
I was an uninvited member of a séance
I heard one person say: “Join Hands” Then he started talking in a language that I didn’t recognize. All this time I was just a few feet away behind a common wall, knowing that I didn’t belong there. I also felt that if I were to leave, they would hear me locking my door, so I just stayed.
I knew they were burning some kind of ritual sage because I could smell it through the air vent. It was a musty sick sweet smell. Even today, 45 years later, sometimes I come across that same smell when people burn certain kinds of incents. The smell triggers me into an uneasy feeling of quiet terror.
I heard one person talking about bringing Satan into the circle, and while she was talking, the other people were chanting in a very low voice.
Her voice changed into deep-throated multiple voices, as though someone or something was taking over her body. I could hear sounds coming from the room, it sounded like wind.
I noticed that a dark green cloud type silhouette hovered in the corner of the room where I was at. Like a ghost, just watching me, as to say “Why are you here?”
I felt the room get cold, I was getting cold, and I was shaking in fear. “What the hell am I doing here? How do I get out of here without being noticed?” A lot of thought ran through my head as I listened in on the satanic ritual.
Wishing I was somewhere else.
I sat on the floor for so long my legs were falling asleep and tingling. I remember trying to adjust my legs to get the feeling to come back, but at the same time trying to be totally quiet.
Then I heard a voice that ran ice waters through my veins “There is someone here who does not belong” “There is someone here who does not belong” “There is someone here who does not belong”
I know the satanic voice was talking about me. I don’t even remember getting up and leaving, but I must have left, because I remember driving back home in the rain, trembling all the way.
The Pool Hall for several days. Regular customers who knew me were calling me to see if I was OK.
NO thanks, no demons for me
I never went into the Wicca shop again. The pool hall was sold to an investor a couple of weeks later. I paid back the loan to my mother but never told her what happened.
For weeks after, I had very strange dreams. I kept having the same dream over and over again. I kept hearing the same voice in my dreams. “There is someone here who does not belong” “There is someone here who does not belong” “There is someone here who does not belong” Then I would suddenly wake up and look over at the clock, 3:14 AM.
Just for a split second, I swear that I could see that same green silhouette cloud, then it would quickly disappear. Whatever that was, I knew I didn’t like it.
Now I am 66 years old, I have a respect for other people’s religious faiths, even if I don’t understand them. I know to leave some things alone and not provoke, or cast doubt on other people’s beliefs.
Some people are looking for attention, others are looking for answers. I enjoy bringing mysteries and unanswered questions into the light and presenting them on The Creepy Show Podcast.
I am not a Satanist, and I have never been involved with satanic rituals, except for this one experience.\