Always on Call
The Orion Circle
With Halloween just around the corner, focus turns to the things that go bump in the night. Many believe that the veil between the physical world and the spirit world is at its thinnest on October 31. I could go on and on about Halloween traditions and how they were designed to confuse the spirits who crossed that veil. Fear has always played an enormous role in human civilization. Sometimes it amazes me that some of the things scaring us now are the same as those which plagued our ancestors centuries ago. It takes nothing more than a quick look through the Orion Circle archives to realize just how similar we are to our forefathers.
The Orion Circle was established in the year 1633 in the British Colonies in the New World. Their original purpose was to hunt down and destroy anything paranormal. Mainstream belief back then was that the paranormal was an affront to God… thou shalt not suffer a witch to live and all that. Most members were prominent Church officials and townsfolk. Back then the main paranormal worry was witchcraft. Anyone with special or odd abilities was under constant surveillance. After the Salem witch trials, the Orion Circle disbanded—completely disillusioned, having been a major influence in the deaths of innocents.
Then something intriguing happened. Members of the supernatural community picked up the moniker, using it for their own organization. What better way for witches and wizards to hide than behind the banner used to persecute them? As time progressed, so did science and over time, society became ‘enlightened’. Belief in the paranormal faded until it became nothing but a flight of fancy at best, or in more cases, insanity. From the late 1800s through the mid-twentieth century, Orion Circle members spent more time helping people with paranormal abilities escape from insane asylums than any actual investigations. The one exception was the rise of the spiritualist movement which provided a cover for some of the supernaturally afflicted around the turn of the century.
During this time, the USA was expanding at an astronomical rate. Towns cropped up overnight in areas previously devoid of human existence. This drove the supernatural creatures farther away resulting in fewer sightings, which led to eventual myth status for these creatures. The smart ones learned to adapt and flourish in human society. Those unable to pass as human hid in the national parks. I doubt the government realized what an incredible service they provided to the supernatural community with the inception of the national park system.
It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the Orion Circle was finally able to function in the capacity its supernatural founders intended: Investigation into the paranormal. This research continues to this day. Doctors, scientists, and philosophers call the Orion Circle home. They study and ponder the origins of paranormal creatures. What turns someone into a ghost? Why are there so few considering the number of dead people throughout the ages? Are zombies corpses re-animated through voodoo magic? What was the origin of the vampire? The werewolf? —So many questions that lead to more questions.
In order to find time to research the paranormal, Orion Circle officials realized that they needed an army of investigators to provide raw data and to handle the day to day issues. Though they wouldn’t admit it, Scooby Doo, was a major inspiration—a group of teenagers hunting ghosts (well crooks dressed up as ghosts). There were hundreds of talented high school and college students all over the USA, dying for adventure. Add in the mystique of a secret society and the Orion Circle had its warriors.
Today the Orion Circle has chapters in all major universities and many high schools in the larger metropolitan areas. The members usually have supernatural abilities or highly honed technical skills. In Tortured Souls we meet the San Antonio chapter of the Orion Circle. Texas is a hotbed for supernatural activity, keeping these members quite busy. Ghosts, witches (the dark ones, not the nice, normal Wiccans), werewolves, and vampires are all normal investigative fare for the Circle. Many members are avid cryptozoologists, searching the country for supernatural creatures thought to be myth.
So the next time an eerie noise wakes you up in the middle of the night, or you find some strange looking paw prints in your yard, be sure to contact your local chapter of the Orion Circle.