Not too long ago, I used to be joined by my colleague Chris Heyes, a scholar on world religions and Fortean anomalies, throughout an look on The Church of Mabus radio program with hosts Jeffery Pritchett and Man Weddle. The subject we had been discussing was an idea that got here to me some time in the past, which I name “Fortean Folks Devilry.” This considerably summary method to cryptid creatures and spectral beings offers primarily with cultural interpretations of scary phenomenon that lead to very odd “excessive strangeness” components changing into related to already bizarre happenings.
A superb instance of this was featured at my weblog The Gralien Report a couple of weeks in the past, involving a Wild man-like creature referred to in a biographical work referred to as “The Lifetime of David W. Patten.” On this textual content, the creator describes coming upon a “man” whose “head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle.” The entity wore no clothes, however was lined with hair and had pores and skin that “was very darkish.” Patten requested the mystery beast “the place he dwelt,” and acquired this startling reply: “he (stated he) had no dwelling, that he was a wanderer within the earth and traveled backward and forward. He stated he was a really depressing creature, that he had earnestly sought loss of life throughout his sojourn upon the earth, however that he couldn’t die, and his mission was to destroy the souls of males.”
Although what this account particulars for us sounds very like a stereotypical description of a Wild man, the witness felt that he had actually met the cursed, dwelling personage of the Biblical Cain, left to wander the Earth for all eternity. The sighting ends with Patten invoking the title of Jesus, and upon rebuking the fiend, it left his firm.
Forteana is rife with such tales. Chehalis natives close to Harrison Lake, British Columbia, have advised tales of Wild man creatures which are actually able to talking to them in Chehalis dialects which are centuries older than ones utilized in fashionable occasions; Sioux Indians within the center western elements of the U.S. describe “Strolling Sam,” a 15-foot-tall entity that friends in home windows at folks that’s related to teenage suicides; and naturally, on the subject of scary beings changing into related to dangerous luck and catastrophe, maybe none matches this “folks satan” class higher than the notorious Mothman of Level Nice, West Virginia.
One other distinctive character from the annals of Forteana is Spring Heeled Jack, who was featured just lately in a submit on the Magonia weblog within the submit titled “Making Myths: Spring Heeled Jack, Rendlesham, and the Abductionists.” Creator John Rimmer notes how early stories of Spring Heeled Jack handled a mystery beast researcher Mike Sprint has collectively referred to as “The Barnes Creature.” Rimmer notes that creature was described as “being within the form of a giant white bull which had attacked quite a few ladies. Later visitations in South and South West London got here within the type of figures in steel armour, bears and, approaching the later type, ‘a satan with iron claws’.” Certainly, it’s scary that the fruits of encounters with the fiend that turned generally known as Spring Heeled Jack dealt extra with an armored satan with extraordinary leaping prowess: particularly since lots of the accosting creatures within the early stories had been described both as bruins or bull-like.
In Sprint’s estimation, media portrayal of the phenomenon, together with a level of witness exaggeration, might have slowly constructed up a fable surrounding this character, comprised of solely partial truths. Although maybe not outright lies, may it’s that the methods folks interpret their environment whereas beneath excessive stress or psychological duress may trigger such exaggerations to happen, generally leading to a kind of corroboration between witnesses who hope to seek out commonality between their separate encounters? Regardless of the circumstances might really be, it appears apparent that the mysteries related to humankind’s ongoing interplay with scary beings all through historical past might have as a lot to do with the way in which people themselves function as they do the bizarre encounters we expertise every now and then.