Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Jersey Devil

     The bleak marshes of New Jersey in the USA have never been welcoming to people, and locals tell of strange sightings and chilling cries emanating from unknown sources in the dark. According to many, something evil is out there.
     The Jersey Devil is a creature of legend said to inhabit the Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey. The Devil is often described as a bipedal flying creature with hooves, bat-like wings and the head of a deformed horse topped with two goat-like horns. This inexplicable beast has been terrifying locals for more than 200 years, emerging in the dead of night to kill wild and domestic animals and abduct small children.
     In a single week in January 1909, more than 1,000 people claimed to have come face-to-face with the Jersey Devil, being seen by homeowners, policemen and local officials. So very similar were the separate accounts that local and national newspapers had no choice but to take the story seriously. Newspapers nationwide followed the story and published eyewitness reports. Hysteria gripped the entire state during this terrible week.
  • 16th (Saturday) — The Devil was sighted flying over Woodbury.
  • 17th (Sunday) — In Bristol, Pennsylvania, several people saw the creature and tracks from cloven hooves were found in the snow the following day.
  • 18th (Monday) — Burlington was covered in the same tracks that seemed to defy logic; some were found on rooftops, others seemed to disappear completely. Several other towns found similar footprints.
  • 19th (Tuesday) — Nelson Evans and his wife, of Gloucester, sighted the Devil outside their window at 2:30 AM.
    • Mr. Evans gave the following account: "It was about three feet and a half high, with a head like a collie dog and a face like a horse. It had a long neck, wings about two feet long, and its back legs were like those of a crane, and it had horse's hooves. It walked on its back legs and held up two short front legs with paws on them. It didn't use the front legs at all while we were watching. My wife and I were scared, I tell you, but I managed to open the window and say, 'Shoo!' and it turned around, barked at me, and flew away."
    • Two Gloucester hunters tracked the Devil's seemingly impossible trail for 20 miles. The trail appeared to jump fences and squeeze under eight-inch gaps. Sightings were reported in several other towns.
  • 20th (Wednesday) — In Haddonfield and Collingswood, posses were formed to find the Devil. They watched him fly off toward Moorestown, where he was later sighted by at least two people.
  • 21st (Thursday) — The Devil attacked a trolley car in Haddon Heights, but was chased off. Trolley cars in several other towns began to maintain armed guards. Several poultry farmers found their chickens dead. The Devil was reported to have walked into an electric rail in Clayton, but if this did happen, it did not kill the beast. A telegraph worker near Atlantic City claimed to have shot the Devil and watched him limp into the woods. If so, he was not fazed much, because he continued his assault, visiting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and West Collingswood, New Jersey, where he was hosed by the local fire department. The Devil prepared to attack nearby people, who threw whatever they could find at it. Right as he was about to strike, the Devil flew away. He emerged later in Camden and injured a dog, ripping a chunk of flesh as the dog's horrified owner looked on. This is the first Devil attack on a living creature that was witnessed.
  • 22nd (Friday) — Last day of sightings. By now many towns were in a panic, with businesses and schools closed for fear of the creature. It was, however, only seen a few times this day and didn't attack anything.
     The origin of the beast is a grim tale. It is said that the Jersey Devil was the 13th child born to a Mrs. Leeds, a resident of the Pine Barrens during the mid-18th century. Mrs. Leeds was so upset at yet another pregnancy that after giving birth she exclaimed, "I am tired of children! Let the devil take this one!" What was once a human child immediately transformed into a winged monstrosity. It devoured all the other children and flew out through the chimney into the night.
     What manner of creature is the Jersey Devil really? What is its purpose for attacking the local residents and instilling in them a deep sense of fear and dread?  These questions might not ever be answered, though the beast lurks evermore in the shadows of the Pine Barrens.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Bermuda Triangle

     The Bermuda Triangle (also known as the Devil's Triangle) is a nearly half-million square-mile area of ocean roughly defined by the islands of Bermuda and Puerto Rico, and the southernmost tip of the state of Florida. The Triangle rose to popularity through representation by the mass media as a paranormal site in which the known laws of physics are either violated, altered, or both.
    One well-known case of disappearance in the area is that of Flight 19, the flight of Avenger TBMS that vanished without a trace while out on a training run on December 5th, 1945. Squadron Leader Lt. Charles Taylor reported being in trouble due to disorientation 40 minutes into the flight. The air  controllers at Ft. Lauderdale attempted to offer aid, but lost contact with Flight 19. It has never been found.
     While there is a common belief that a number of ships and airplanes have disappeared under highly unusual circumstances in this region, the United States Coast Guard, among others, disagree with that assessment, citing statistics demonstrating that the number of incidents involving lost ships and aircraft is no larger than that of any other heavily traveled region of the world. Many of the alleged mysteries have proven not so mysterious or unusual upon close examination, with inaccuracies and misinformation about the cases often circulating and recirculating over the decades.
     Everything from aliens to electromagnetic energy has been used to explain the triangles strange properties, though no definite answer has been put forth. Do you believe that the Bermuda Triangle does indeed cause those traveling through it to disappear never to be seen again, or is the area merely the victim of sensationalism?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Black Eyed Kids

     Picture the young innocence of a child. A kid you know probably came to mind. A niece, nephew, that nice neighbor boy who always rides his Power Wheels up and down the street, maybe even a son or daughter. Black eyed children are much like the kid you have in mind, except instead of young innocence you get something much more sinister and dark. A corrupt, evil entity that takes the form of a kid, but with the deepest, darkest, most soulless eyes you will ever see. That is what a BEK is.
     1998 is the year when urban legends referring to Black Eyed Kids began to surface. A journalist by the name of Brian Bethel made a newsgroup posting reporting on his meeting with two unusually confident and eloquent children who attempted to talk him into giving them a ride in his car. Bethel said in his post that he nearly opened the door to admit the children, even though he found them vaguely unsettling, until he realized that their eyes were completely black, with no iris or pupil. He reports that, as soon as he realized this, the children became angry and insistent whereupon he drove away quickly. His posting implies that the children may have been using some form of low-level mind control to induce him to allow them entrance into his vehicle, perhaps a form of neurolinguistic programming judging by what is reported of their peculiar speech patterns and unusual diction.
      Since Bethel's posting, there have been other reports of similar occurrences in other parts of the country. These accounts are similar to Bethel's in that they generally involve the children's request that the teller let them inside their car or house, frequently using an excuse such as "I need to get home to my mother," or something that implies the child is in need.
     Tales involving the Black Eyed Children generally do not explain the cause of the kids' eye color or the origins of the children themselves. Some imply they could be ghosts or demons, specifically vampires: the tales frequently emphasize that the children must be admitted or invited into the house or car in question, and in this way are reminiscent of some vampire legends.
     Should you encounter one of these beings, do NOT permit them entrance. Politely decline and send them on their way. I can assure you their intentions are far from the best.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Solway Firth Spaceman

     On 23 May 1964, Jim Templeton, a firefighter from Carlisle, Cumbria, took three photographs of his five-year-old daughter while on a day trip to Burgh Marsh. The only other people on the marshes that day were a couple of old ladies sitting in a car, and although cows and sheep would have normally been plentiful, they were huddled together at the far end of the marsh.
     Jim Templeton did not see the figure on Burgh Marsh until his photograph, above, had been developed. Analysts at Kodak have confirmed that the photograph is genuine. After the photograph was published, Jim was visited by two men who claimed to be from the government but refused to show their identification. They drove Jim to the place where he had taken the photo. When he explained that he hadn’t seen the figure at the time, they drove away and left him to walk home to Carlisle. Some people have claimed that the figure is someone standing with their back to the camera, perhaps wearing a hat or helmet. However, in the past 43 years, some UFO experts have linked the “spaceman” to the Blue Streak missile tests which were happening in Cumbria when the photograph was taken.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Legend of Bunny Man Bridge

     Clifton, Virginia 1904. An asylum prison for the criminally insane is shut down by successful petition of the growing population of residents in Fairfax County. On the way to transferring inmates to a new facility, the vehicle carrying the prisoners crashes. Some prisoners managed an escape, while others died in the crash. A search party finds all but one of them..
     Shortly thereafter, locals began finding hundreds of cleanly skinned, half-eaten carcasses of rabbits hanging from the trees in the surrounding areas. A second sweep of the area was issued and the police located the remains of  Marcus Wallster left in a similar fashion to the rabbit carcasses hanging in a tree near a bridge underpass known locally as the "Bunny Man Bridge". Officials name the last missing inmate, Douglas J. Grifon, as their suspect and believe him to be responsible for the death of Marcus Wallster as well as the bizarre rabbit hangings.
     It is said that officials finally managed to locate Grifon but, during their attempt to apprehend him at the overpass, he nearly escapes before being hit by an oncoming train where the original transport crashed. Those present at the manhunt say after the train passed they heard a sinister cackling coming from the site. It is eventually revealed that Grifon was institutionalized for brutally murdering his wife and children on Easter Sunday.
      For years after the "Bunny Man's" death, in the time approaching Halloween, rabbit carcasses are said to be found hanging from the overpass and surrounding areas. A figure is reportedly seen standing at the opposite end of the underpass by passersby, though no one has claimed to have seen said figure from up close..