It’s Halloween, time for spooky movies, and the new film Paranormal Activity 3 does a terrific job in delivering the spooktacular. If you haven’t followed the series, Paranormal Activity 3 is actually the first story installment of the trilogy giving us the foundation of its Paranormal predecessors.
I won’t give away the plot (big house, bumps in the night, and Ghost Hunter esque videography) but in the climax of the movie, the audience is treated to a glimpse of perhaps why the activity is so paranormal and a tease of things to come. Its a fun film and perfect for the season and with the end of the film, I can only say that there needs to be a pre-prequel to tell the story of the apparition/demon Toby and what really is going on at Grandmas house. But it was the end of the film that I found myself pulling it into the Masonic nexus of freemason symbols.
Neared its end, there came a scene that made me chuckle and find a thread to pull with a link to Freemasonry. In the films transition from a faux cinéma vérité into a DIY shaky camera aesthetic, a la Blair Witch Project, we catch a glimpse of the why the activity is so paranormal. This is the last 15 minutes of the film that Derrick Deane of Fandango.com says “.. will ‘Mess You Up For Life'” which is right about where we find the Masonic connection.
It’s obvious that the sinister Paranormal Activity is coming from somewhere. Its not so obvious from where. Its not the benign ghosts from the Disney Haunted Mansion, or the night vision sleuthing of Syfy’s Ghost Hunters. On the wall, in the manner of the Satanic Panic films from the 80’s, is the Luciferian leverage to make it really creepy.
If you go watch the film, pay attention to the unicorn.
In the blur between the faux cinéma vérité and shakey cam we, from the vantage of the hapless cinematographer and stepfather Dennis, find ourselves looking for the missing wife and step kids amidst a flurry of things that go bump in the night. There, on the all where the cute and cuddly unicorn once rested is a modified Magical Triangle of Solomon followed by a quick camera pan to the infamous Sigil of Baphomet on the opposite wall.
While, neither of the symbols are truly freemason symbols, the Magical Triangle comes out of a tradition of King Solomon, the wise king and one third Master Architect behind the construction of the great Temple constructed in his name to house the ark of the covenant.
Christian tradition holds the wise king was benign and kingly in status, but when you read deeper into the subtext of Judaism and Islam, as Lon Milo Duquette does in his book The Key to Solomon’s Key: Is This the Lost Symbol of Masonry?, we discover a king, prophet, and wizard, on the level of the great eastern Magi. Duquette writes “…he [Solomon] could talk with animals, fly through the air on a magical carpet, and cause others to fly through the air to him.” One other thing Solomon is thought to of done was summon evil spirits. The Triangle comes out of a work called The Lesser Key of Solomon the King or Clavicula Solominis Regis, a work originally translated by MacGregor Mathers who, in occult circles, was a well known Golden Dawn mage and Masonic devotee in the rebirth of magical spiritualism.
As the symbol goes the triangle with the circle, Duquette refers to is as the Magical Triangle within which Solomon commanded evil spirits. As it was used in ritual practice, it was a place on within which the magician inscribed on the ground to hold the demons he summoned. While it looks good in the movie on a wall, the symbols when used to summon “evil spirits” it is to be made 2 feet from a Magical Circle on the ground in evocations.
The Sigil of Baphomet is a bit more abstract in the Masonic landscape. Coming out of the work of French Occultist Eliphas Lévi, the pentagram with a rams head is more a device to illustrate (represent) evil than serve as any summoning symbol. Often the illustration includes the words Samael and Lilith which are inscribed in the middle and come from the work La Clef de la magie noire, by French Occultist Stanislas de Guaita. Guaita was a student of Levi’s work and elaborated in image to Levi’s conception. The Church of Satan website says of the symbol “…oriented in the opposite direction, the pentagrammatic Star is nothing more than a symbol of iniquity, perdition, blasphemy: its two points in the air become the horns of the foul Goat threatening Heaven, and whose head is framed with the stellar pentacle, with its low ears in the side branches, and its beard in disorder in the single lower point.”
Levi’s work, in time, became important in the occult world at the rise of spiritualism in the late 1800’s along side with tarot cards, Ouija boards, astrology, and séances. Evidence of Levi’s influence can be traced into the workings of the Golden Dawn which is in and of itself an extrapolation of Masonic degree work.
So, with those two images at the end of the film, from an occultist’s point of view, it’s easy to see the film maker’s idea of connecting the Paranormal Activity to some form of magical summoning from which the terror ensues. Without a doubt, the two symbols have been absorbed by the black magic community and fallen into the material culture of all things evil, with Paranormal Activity 3 becoming the latest instance. As viewers watch the film and begin to ask themselves the meaning of the two symbols, it makes me wonder if it will incite another decade of Satanic Panic as it did in the 80’s or if the sinister black magic of the cinema will be treated as just another work of cult fiction made to titillate the timid with the evils of witchcraft and black magic shrouded in the horror things that go bump in the night.