Places that shiver by C.G. Ayling

Places, that Shiver – by C.G.Ayling

We’re all concerned with things larger than life.  For the religious, that translates into belief of a greater, guiding power.  For those lacking the comfort of religion, the same thoughts are troubling.  Regardless of which camp you fall into, each of us knows that there is more to life than, well, just being alive.

Experiencing, firsthand, the power of certain mystic places drives this intuitive knowledge home.  I call such, the places that shiver, and I’ve been fortunate enough to find a few.  Where are they, and why the connection?  I’ll describe several of them, and expand on my thoughts as to what causes the electric shiver that makes these places so powerful.

The first time I experienced a connection was in the country of my origin.  Rhodesia at the time, Zimbabwe now.  I was travelling with my Godfather, who drove us to a small solid granite mound protruding perhaps a hundred feet from the ground.  He never told me what it was, just stopped the car and asked if I felt anything.  I did – a wave of goose bumps on a warm day.  My Godfather pointed out the remains of an uncharacteristic, low stone wall about a hundred yards off the road.  He made no move to approach, and I didn’t feel like moving – not with such an extraordinary feeling washing over me.  After a few minutes of shivering beneath the sun, we got back in the car and drove away.  Apparently, there were hundreds of similar places throughout the countryside, generally avoided by the local tribes, who held them sacred.  After agreeing sacred might be an appropriate description for the strange feeling, I asked what he meant by “generally avoided”.  He replied that we were on our way to visit the most famous one of all – the Zimbabwe Ruins, and that people are often willing to disregard their intuition for pay.

A long time passed before I felt the shiver again, this time during a visit to Spain, where we visited a place called the Alcázar.  It happened again while travelling around Ireland, at a place called the Riasc Monastic Settlement.  More recently, I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial with my wife – though the site is impressive and solemn, I felt no shiver and left somewhat disappointed.

Looking back, I notice several similarities.  Each of them contains worked stone.  Each has a dark past in which I suspect people suffered, and died in substantial numbers.  On each occasion, I accompanied my Godfather.  There are probably more, all of which collapse before logical analysis.  As someone who considers themselves logical, it should be simple to dismiss them out of hand as the working of an overactive imagination.  However, I can’t – you see, I was there, I know what I felt, and I also know nothing had been said beforehand to suggest something strange was about to happen.

Perhaps you’ve felt something similar without need to travel to exotic places.  I’ve experienced the graveyard chill, and it does hold similarities.  However, the creepy feeling we get venturing into a place we know holds the mortal remains of people, is weak in comparison.  Sort of like dipping your fingertips into a cold stream, versus falling into an icy lake you had no idea was there.  The graveyard chill is also quite unpleasant, while the shiver of a mystic place is very strange, but not scary – rather, it serves to focus your mind, which renders you fully alert and open to other possibilities.

Some things are larger than life, and that’s OK.  After all, life is magical, and connected.  I’d love to hear your feelings and experiences, contact me on Twitter where you can find me as @CGAyling, or visit my website.  Till then, search out the places that shiver, in a good way.


With children African, English and American, and myself born and raised in a country of five names, I consider myself… a citizen of the world.
My wife and four children think of me simply as a thorny old man – and thus my symbol…
One of the most influential people in my life was my Godfather. A man of absolute integrity, remarkable intellect, and fine character. He taught me tolerance, and intolerance, together. He showed me that every conflict has are two sides, if not more. It was thanks to time spent with him that I developed a guiding principle in my life, namely that the most fundamental sign of intelligence is the ability to change one’s mind. It is to honor him that I use his name as my pseudonym, yet I know my efforts fall far short of what he deserved.
In my memory, C.G.Ayling lives forever. Is that not as close as any man can come to immortality?
Visit his website at
Find C.G.!


Envision a world ruled by six Divine Laws, Immutable and Absolute.
Liaju is about to receive her twelfth marks – arcane symbols etched within her flesh, by Divine Decree. These mystic marks grant access to her first matching Convocation. Liaju is plagued by troubling dreams… her visions reveal the precipice her people, the Seizen, unknowingly approach – along with a possible path of escape. An obscure path, hidden and locked. Only Liaju holds escape’s elusive key, a key as incomprehensible as it is frightening. Self-sacrifice. Must Liaju relinquish all to secure the Seizen’s survival?
Eden, a mischievous child, succumbs to temptation and leads her cousin astray. Their path leads through terror and death, to ultimate understanding. Trickery reveals treachery – for Eden’s misdeed unveils a monstrous murder.
Thrown into a perpetual, remorseless conflict you soon discover Malmaxa is more about character than place. Sorely troubled, barbaric, complex, and intriguing as Malmaxa is, it remains merely the setting for the true tale – the people, their motivations, and the choices which shape and define them.
Envision Malmaxa, then step inside and experience a world at once astonishingly different, and disturbingly familiar. Experience Malmaxa… experience, enlightenment?

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