Merry we meet - Merry we meet - Merry we meet
Written and compiled by George Knowles
Dr. Hans Holzer, PhD. was one of the early American writers to play a prominent role in the spread of contemporary Witchcraft, Wicca and Paganism during the late 1960’s and early 70’s. A prolific writer of over 145 books, mainly on associated Occult, Paranormal and Supernatural subjects, his early books on Witchcraft, namely: The Truth about Witchcraft (1969), The New Pagans: An Inside Report On the Mystery Cults of Today (1972) and Inside Witchcraft (1980) were written when few other books on witchcraft were available. As such he did much to boost and pave the way for many future contemporary writers to follow him.
Holzer is perhaps best known as the famed Ghost-hunter and Paranormal-investigator associated with the “Amityville House” horror investigations, which later became the subject of several popular horror films. In January 1977, Holzer working with the well-known trance medium Ethel Johnson-Meyers, entered 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York. In 1974 this had been the place of a horrific murder, when the then occupant “Ronald DeFeo Jr” murdered his own parents and four siblings. After entering the premises, Meyers allegedly made contact the spirit of an old American Indian Chief, who revealed that the site had once been a sacred Indian burial ground.
During his investigation Holzer discovered bullet holes created during the 1974 murders and took some photos, these when developed showed some rather unusual anomalies, for mysterious halos seemed to hover above them. Holzer believed that Ronald Defeo Jr. may have been possessed by the old American Indian chief, and that unscrupulous property developers had built the house on a sacred Indian burial site, a claim that the Amityville Historical Society strenuously tried to discredit. Later while filming the documentary, Holzer managed to get a representative from the property development company to reveal that the property at 112 Ocean Ave. had indeed been built on a sacred burial ground.
Hans Holzer was born in Vienna, Austria on the 26th January 1920. He claimed his interest in all things supernatural developed from childhood stories about ghosts and fairies recited to him by his uncle Henry. After completing his early education, Holzer went on to study Archaeology, Ancient History and Numismatics at the University of Vienna, but with Germany threatening war on his boarders, he left Austria in 1938 and settled in New York.
In New York he entered Columbia University were for the next three years he studied Japanese and Journalism. His main interest at the time was in musical theatre, for which he wrote a short-lived revue called “Safari”, and the book and music for “Hotel Excelsior”, a minor musical about a group of young Americans in Paris, which opened for a brief time in Provincetown, Mass. He also wrote theatre reviews for The London Sporting Review.
To complete his education Holzer then studied at the London College of Applied Science from where he received a Masters degree in Comparative Religion and a Doctorate degree in Philosophy. A year later he was offered a Professorship at the New York Institute of Technology were he specialized in teaching Biblical Archaeology and Parapsychology, he was also a guest lecturer at many other Colleges and Universities.
It was during his tenure at the Institute of Technology that Holzer began his life long pre-occupation and investigations into Haunted Houses. Working with Eileen Garrett, a famous medium and psychic investigator, he received a grant from the Institute to research and investigate Haunted Houses all across the eastern United States. The result of their investigations led to the publication of his first best selling book “Ghost Hunter” published in 1963.
In 1962 Holzer married the Countess Catherine Genevieve Buxhoeveden, a descendant of Catherine the Great, with who he fathered two daughters Nadine and Alexandra. His wife Catherine was an accomplished illustrator/artist and drew many of the illustrations for his future books, but after the birth of his second daughter, their marriage ended in divorce.
Hans Holzer (c.1969)
Holzer spent the next five decades traveling around the world obtaining first hand accounts of paranormal experiences. During this time he authored over 145 books on the occult and other associated supernatural subjects. Throughout the years he has worked with some of the worlds best-known mediums, including: Ethel Johnson-Meyers, Sybil Leek and Marisa Anderson, and interviewed most of the occult worlds leading experts and researchers. Little wonder then that the popular press dubbed him “Father Paranormal”. Aside from his occult books, Holzer also penned several theatre plays, musicals, films and documentaries, and at the same time hosted hundreds of Radio and Television shows.
Outside of his books on paranormal subjects, many modern Pagans may be surprised to know that through the late 1960’s Holzer was one of the early writers to promote contemporary Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism in a new light, and through his books connected hundreds of new seekers with covens and teachers. He also led the way for a skeptical publishing industry to allow other academic Pagan authors, such as Margot Adler and Aidan Kelly, among others, to write serious examinations of what we now call the “Pagan community”. Holzer was himself an initiated High Priest in several pagan traditions, to who he was considered an Elder statesman. His last book on witchcraft is a tome called “Witches: True Encounters with Wicca, Wizards, Covens, Cults and Magick (2002).
Holzer passed peacefully to the other side on the 26th April 2009 at his home in Manhattan in New York. He leaves behind his two daughters Nadine and Alexandra, and five grandchildren. His younger daughter Alexandra Holzer, like her father, is also a noted author, artist, lecturer, spiritual consultant and paranormal investigator.
A select bibliography:
True Encounters with Wicca, Wizards, Covens, Cults and Magick (2002)
Plus to many others to mention.
Written and compiled on the 03rd May 2009 © George Knowles
Best wishes and Blessed Be
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
The Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) / Esbats & Full Moons / Links to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft Resources / What's a spell? / Circle Casting and Sacred Space / Pentagram - Pentacle / Marks of a Witch / The Witches Power / The Witches Hat / An esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism / Pow-wow / The Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / A history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope Innocent VIII / The papal Bull / The Malleus Maleficarum / An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum / The letter of approbation / Johann Nider’s Formicarius / Jacob Sprenger / Heinrich Kramer / Stefano Infessura / Montague Summers / The Waldenses / The Albigenses / The Hussites / The Native American Sun Dance / Shielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Festivals:
The Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Rituals contributed by Crone:
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder
Rocks and Stones:
Stones - History, Myths and Lore
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:
Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Wisdom and Inspiration:
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murdered by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A Kelly / Albertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Doreen Valiente / Dorothy Morrison / Dr. John Dee & Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater - Horrible Herman / Isaac Bonewits / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches / Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred / John Michael Greer / John Score / Joseph John Campbell / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot - "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" / Monique Wilson / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellars / Mrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" / Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) / Rudolf Steiner / Sabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough" / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - (includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) / Thomas Ady / T. Thorn Coyle / Vera Chapman / Victor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest /
Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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