1848 - Franz Josef I becomes Emperor of Austria. The Fox sisters of Hydesville, NY, introduce Spiritualism to the world.
1849 - The Irish Potato Famine ends; between half a million and a million Irish died during the Famine and almost two million more emigrated.
1853-1856 - The Crimean War is fought.
1854 - Emperor Franz Josef I marries Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria.
1855 - Czar Nicholas I dies and is succeeded by Alexander II.
1857-1858 - The Indian Mutiny takes place against British rule.
1859 - Darwin's The Origin of Species is published.
1861 - The Kingdom of Italy is proclaimed with Victor Emmanuel II (previously king of Sardinia) as the first monarch.
1861-1865 - The American Civil War is fought.
1864 - The Red Cross is formed in Geneva, Switzerland.
1866 - The Austro-Prussian War is fought, ending in a Prussian victory that solidifies Prussian dominance over the other German states.
1867 - The Austro-Hungarian Empire is formed, creating a Dual Monarchy where Austria and Hungary are both virtually independent states united under the Hapsburg crown.
1869 - The Suez Canal opens.
1870-1871 - The Franco-Prussian War is fought.
1870 - The Papal States are invaded and annexed by Italy. The Second French Empire is replaced by a Third Republic after being defeated by an alliance of German states.
1871 - The German Empire is formed under the domination of the Prussian Hohenzollern dynasty.
1872 - The Mary Celeste, a merchant ship, is discovered adrift in the Atlantic. No trace of its crew is ever found, nor any explanation for their disappearance.
1875 - Helena Petrovna Blavatsky founds the Theosophical Society, an occultist group, in New York City.
1878 - Vincenzo Cardinal Pecci is elected Pope Leo XIII. A Texan farmer, John Martin, reports sighting a "balloon-shaped" airship traveling at great speed.
1880-1881 - The First Boer War is fought.
1880 - David Lang, a native of Gallatin, Tennessee, completely vanishes in full sight of a local judge and the judge's wife, children and brother-in-law.
1881 - Czar Alexander II of Russia is assassinated by a Polish revolutionary and succeeded by his son Alexander III.
1882 - Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy form the Triple Alliance. Britain occupies Egypt as a protectorate.
1883 - The Brooklyn Bridge is completed and opened to traffic. The south seas volcanic island of Krakatoa explodes, causing massive damage and killing tens of thousands.
1884 - The Berlin Conference aimed at regulating European colonization and trade in Africa begins.
1885 - King Leopold II of Belgium establishes the Congo Free State as his own private possession.
1886 - Sigmund Freud opens a private psychiatric practice in Vienna. The Statue of Liberty is completed.
1887 - Britain's Queen Victoria celebrates 50 years on the throne with a Golden Jubilee. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an English occult group, is founded.
1888 - Jack the Ripper terrorizes Whitechapel, London.
1889 - The current year.
January - Crown Prince Rudolf Hapsburg commits suicide alongside his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera.
February - Japan adopts the Meiji Constitution.
March - Benjamin Harrison is inaugurated as the 23rd President of the United States.
April - French defense minister Georges Boulanger flees Paris to avoid arrest for conspiring to overthrow the republic.
May - The Eiffel Tower opens as the showcase of the World's Fair in Paris.
June - The Great Seattle Fire ravages downtown Seattle; miraculously there are no fatalities. 88 people die in the Armagh Rail Disaster in Ireland.
July - General elections are held in France; the Boulangists fare poorly
August - The Great London Dock Strike breaks out in England.
September - Prince Charles III of Monaco dies and is succeeded by his son Albert I.
October - King Luís I of Portugal dies and is succeeded by his son Carlos I.
November - A coup overthrows the Brazilian Imperial government and replaces it with a republic.
December - English poet Robert Browning dies.
1890 - Vincent van Gogh commits suicide. German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck is dismissed by Kaiser Wilhelm II.
1891 - Pope Leo XIII issues the encyclical Rerum Novarum which deals with the economic concerns of the working class.
1892 - Guido List, a Viennese Pan-German nationalist and neo-pagan writer, publishes Der Unbesiegbare (The Invincible), a 'catechism' of his philosophy.
1893 - The United States overthrows the Kingdom of Hawaii. New Zealand becomes the first nation to grant women the right to vote.
1894 - The Dreyfus Trial takes place in France. Albert Einstein writes his first scientific work, "The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields."
1895 – The Anti-Semitic politician Karl Lueger is elected Mayor of Vienna but refused office by Emperor Franz Josef. The Treaty of Shimonoseki ends the Sino-Japanese War.
1896 - The first modern Olympic Games are held in Athens, Greece. Theosophist Annie Besant reportedly encounters 18th century occultist, the Count of St. Germain
1897 - Bram Stoker's novel Dracula is published. Karl Lueger is permitted to take office as Mayor of Vienna.
1898-1899 - The Spanish-American War is fought, ending with an American victory and annexation of considerable colonial territory from the Philippines to Cuba.
1898 - Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary is murdered by an Italian anarchist in Geneva.
1899 - The Second Boer War begins. The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan is established.
1900 - Harry Houdini, world-famous escape artist and skeptic, tours Europe. King Humbert I of Italy is assassinated by an anarchist and succeeded by his son Victor Emmanuel III. The crew of the Flannan Isles lighthouse in Scotland disappears without a trace.
1901 - Queen Victoria dies at the age of 81. U.S. President William McKinley is assassinated in Buffalo, New York. Nikola Tesla claims to have been contacted by extraterrestrial intelligences.
1902 - The Second Boer War ends with the Treaty of Vereeniging.
1903 - Orville Wright makes the first successful flight in an airplane.
1904 - Britain and France sign the Entente Cordiale, ending centuries of rivalry in order to focus on the threat of an increasingly assertive German Empire.
1905 - The anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is published in Russia. Political and social unrest in Russia after its defeat in the Russo-Japanese War leads to a new Czarist constitution.
1906 - The revolutionary British warship H.M.S. Dreadnought is launched, starting a global naval arms race.
1907 - Britain and Russia sign a treaty of friendship, which leads to the formation of the Triple Entente of Britain, France and Russia.
1908 - Austria-Hungary annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina, exacerbating tensions with Russia. The never-explained Tunguska incident devastates a large part of Siberia.
1909 - Adolf Hitler allegedly sees the Holy Lance at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. Muhammed V seizes the Ottoman throne from his brother Abdul Hamid II. Reports of the dinosaur-like "Nsanga" are transmitted from the upper Congo River.
1910 - British King Edward VII dies and is succeeded by his son, George V.
1911 - Italy invades Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, provoking war with the Ottoman Empire.
1912 - The Qing Dynasty of China is overthrown and replaced by a republic. The occult Germanenorden is founded in Germany; it uses the swastika as its symbol.
1913 - Mad king Otto of Bavaria is deposed and succeeded by his cousin Ludwig III. A group of hunters capture a hairy "snowman" in Chinese Turkestan.
1914 - Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo. World War One begins in August.
1915 - Italy joins World War One on the side of the Allies.
1916 - Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I dies and is succeeded by his grand-nephew Karl I.
1917 - The Czar of Russia is overthrown by the February Revolution, the democratic successor government is itself overthrown by Bolsheviks in October.
1918 - World War One ends with an Allied victory. Emperor Karl I gives up the government of Austria and goes into exile in Switzerland, but does not abdicate his throne.
ANTICHRIST: The False Prophet of the Book of Apocalypse. This counterfeit Christ will deceive many with signs and false miracles, and thus prepare the way for the coming of Satan.
APOTROPAIC: Possessing the power to repel evil (demons, witches and witchcraft, and the like). Many sacramentals and relics are apotropaic.
CHURCH MILITANT (Ecclesia Militans): The Church on Earth, consisting of all the living faithful.
CHURCH SUFFERING (Ecclesia Penitens): The Church in Purgatory, consisting of the souls undergoing purification on the road to Heaven.
CHURCH TRIUMPHANT (Ecclesia Triumphans): The Church in Heaven, consisting of those holy souls eternally enjoying the Beatific Vision.
CONGREGATION: A particular community made up of religious sisters (as opposed to an order, which consists of nuns). The S.I.F. is a congregation, as are, for example, the Marianites of the Holy Cross and the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.
ESCHATON: The end of Creation. More popularly known as Armageddon or the Apocalypse.
HEAVEN: The physical and eternal Kingdom of God, wherein He dwells with the Blessed Virgin Mary, the angels, and all the saints. It is eternal bliss and joy unimaginable to those living on Earth.
HELL: The resting place of unrepentant and faithless souls, where they suffer torment for their mortal sins and experience the consequences of their denial of God's grace.
IMMACULATE FIRE: The preternatural spark or spirit, inherited from Adam and Eve, that both binds body and soul and permits the use of preternatural gifts otherwise lost by the Fall.
LIMBO: The temporary resting place of those righteous souls who died before Christ redeemed mankind, and also the final rest of those who die in infancy before being baptized as well as those non-Christians who, while not part of the Church, are still noble enough to avoid the fires of Hell. The latter, while not a dogma of the Church, is still a widespread belief.
MAGIC: Using supernatural means to influence events and people in the natural world. Magic often involves contact or even bargains with spirits of Hell, and such things are prohibited by the Church.
MIRABILIA: From the Latin for wonders or miracles, used by the S.I.F. to refer to any supernatural or preternatural event.
PRETERNATURAL: That which is above the ordinary nature of a man, or beast, or other living thing, but not beyond those of all that exists. A power to control the wind, for instance, is beyond the normal capacity of man, but wind itself is clearly not beyond creation. Contrast to Supernatural (q.v.).
PRIORY: A type of monastery run by a prior or prioress. Also the colloquial name for a group of sisters of the S.I.F.
PURGATORY: The temporary state of the afterlife where the faithful who die in a state of grace are purified of their venial sins and made ready for Heaven. Prayers for the dead and indulgences can lessen the time spent in Purgatory.
SACRAMENTAL: Those things blessed by the Catholic Church in order to increase devotion and proper respect for the Sacraments, and lift up the piety of the faithful. Sacramentals, which should not be confused with the seven Sacraments, include holy water, rosaries, crucifixes, statues, incense and blessed medals.
SISTERS OF THE IMMACULATE FIRE (S.I.F.): A religious congregation of the Roman Catholic Church which seeks to understand the deeper mysteries of the preternatural world and also to work against Satanic cults and other malignant forces.
SPÖKENKIEKER: A German (Westphalian, specifically) term for someone possessing some form of extrasensory perception.
SUPERNATURAL: That which is utterly beyond nature, and a direct participation of the Lord in His Creation. It can also refer to the interference of the Devil in the world.
SUPREME SACRED CONGREGATION OF THE ROMAN AND UNIVERSAL INQUISITION: The branch of the Church charged with maintaining and defending the integrity of the faith, and examining and proscribing both errors and false doctrine.
THEURGY: A form of mystic ritual which invokes the power of God, directly or via the intercession of a saint or angel. The ultimate goal is a more perfect union with the Divine, but practical theurgy is often used to counter the illusions and curses of Satan and his followers on Earth.
Eph. The Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians
M. Afr Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers)
Matt. The Gospel According to St. Matthew
S.I.F. Sisters of the Immaculate Fire (Red Sisters)
S.J. Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
These books, films and television series were all inspirational in the creation of Sisters of the Immaculate Fire.
Angels & Devils, Joan Carroll Cruz - A lengthy and extremely useful look at angels, loyal and fallen alike, from a Catholic perspective.
A Catholic Dictionary, Donald Attwater (ed.) - An excellent A to Z reference work written early in the 20th century.
The Church and Spiritualism, Herbert Thurston, S.J. - Written by a famous 20th century Jesuit author, this book offers a Catholic view of various supernatural topics.
Dracula, Bram Stoker - A, if not the, classic example of a Victorian-era hunt.
The Exorcist - The most famous and arguably the finest religious horror movie ever made. A great example of how to convey the menace and insanity of a daemonic. The prequel Dominion (not Renny Harlin's Exorcist: the Beginning) is also worth viewing.
Ghosts and Poltergeists, Herbert Thurston, S.J. - Another work by our supernaturally inclined Jesuit.
The John Thunston stories, Manly Wade Wellman - One of the most entertaining literary examples of a supernatural detective. Rowley Thorne is a perfect example of an antagonist for the S.I.F.
Mysteries Marvels Miracles in the Lives of the Saints, Joan Carroll Cruz - Various tales of preternatural and supernatural incidents in the lives of Catholic saints, famous and obscure alike.
Occult Phenomena, Alois Wiesinger, O.C.S.O. - A scholarly examination of ESP, telepathy and other supernatural phenomenon in light of Catholic dogma; the idea of such things being remnants of human abilities lost in the Fall of Adam and Eve used in this work comes directly from Occult Phenomena.
Out of the Silent Planet & Perelandra, C.S. Lewis - Both books, but especially Out of the Silent Planet, contain excellent depictions of what species untainted by Original Sin might be like. Perelandra has an engrossing battle of good vs. evil on both the philosophical and physical planes.
The Physical Phenomenon of Mysticism, Herbert Thurston, S.J. - Yet another Thurston book, this time focusing on the supernatural manifestation of holiness in Catholic saints.
Relics, Joan Carroll Cruz - A detailed study of various Catholic relics.
The Sixth Sense - One of the best films for capturing the mood of a Cacciaturi game, including the burdens involved in being a spökenkieker.
A Treatise of Specters, Pierre Le Loyer - Available in English translation at the Cornell University Library's Witchcraft Collection website (http://historical.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/witch/docviewer?did=165), this is a good resource for a Catholic perspective on the unseen world.