Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bizarre Encounter: Leather Gloves and Sunglasses

The following narrative was forwarded to me several years ago in reference to another person's bizarre encounter. The experiencer did not want me to have access to their email address and requested that any information be relayed by their associate. I was given permission to publish their account:

Hello - I was referred to you by a friend who is a subscriber to your newsletter. I recently had an experience that I cannot explain. I was hoping you or someone you know could help with an explanation.

I work for a limousine service in New York City and on 24-hour call. A few nights ago, I received a text message from the dispatcher around 9:30 pm and was instructed to pickup a client who would be arriving at the Westchester County Airport at midnight. Though I'm on 24-hour call, I rarely receive late night calls especially for a pickup outside of the city. I decided to leave as soon as possible since I wasn't really familiar with the Westchester area. I arrived at the gate to the airport and was instructed to park in a waiting section not far off the tarmac. I could see the entire runway from my position.

At 11:45 pm I received another text message from the dispatcher that repeated the client's name and where I would be taking her. I was instructed that I may be in service for 'an extended period' since the client had several errands to make in the city and that I would need to return her to the airport when she was finished. This was very strange since I usually take a client from Point A to Point B, though I will occasionally run across an odd request.

A little after midnight, there was a knock at on the passenger window. I looked over and noticed a young woman with sunglasses. I stepped out of limo and asked if I could help her. It was the client. I was totally confused because no private jet landed and I never saw her walk up to the limo. Anyway, I opened the back door for her. I returned to the driver's seat as she handed me a list of locations she want to stop at. I noticed that all were residential addresses, a total of five locations.

As we started our way back into the city I noticed that she never removed her sunglasses but seemed to be reading a document in the dark. As well, she never spoke and only nodded or motioned her gloved hands. We stopped at the first location which in the Upper East Side. She simply got out of the limo on her on and walked directly into the townhouse. A few minutes later, she returned to the limo and quickly got into the limo by herself. It was the same routine at the other locations - two in the West Village, another in Soho and last residence was in the Lower East Side where she remained for close to 2 1/2 hours. After we were finished, I asked if she wanted to return to the airport and she nodded in the affirmative. I noticed that she act very tired and was more pale than before.

We finally reached the airport around 6:15 am as it was just starting to turn daylight. As I pulled up to the gate, she suddenly opened the door and got out. She walked around to my side and motioned for me to open the window. As I was doing this she reached into her small briefcase and removed five one-hundred dollar bills and handed it to me. I looked up at her as she smiled and spoke in a very weak high pitched voice saying "go home now - remember me." Then she turned around and walked quickly toward the hangers. I was simply dumbfounded. What did she mean?

I started to back the limo out of the access road when suddenly I felt a warm rush of air and a bright flash. The next thing I remember is waking up in bed in my uniform. I rushed out of bed and looked out the window to see of the limo was parked in my driveway. The limo was there as usual, so I went outside and looked inside. On the front passenger's seat lay the five one-hundred dollar bills. When I looked into the backseat, there were a pair of long leather gloves and the sunglasses worn by the client.

Can you possibly explain what happened to me? I have suffered no ill-effects from this incident but feel that something else will happen. What did she mean by "remember me"? Any information you can provide would be most appreciated. SM

UPDATE: I later received a few answers to questions I forwarded in regards to the incident. SM states that he awoke at 7:30 am in his bed in Queens, NY...only 1 hour 15 minutes after his last waking moment at the Westchester County Airport. In fact, his wife was still in bed and did not noticed when he returned home which he said was very unusual since she is a very light sleeper. He also has no recollection of anything during this lost time. SM also states that there was an 'ozone' odor on his clothes...Lon

Phantoms & Monsters: Strange Encounters

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Gallup Skinwalker

I received the following encounter report several months ago:

Hello Lon,

I have read several of your articles about strange things here in New Mexico. I live in Gallup, NM which is surrounded by Native American culture and history. We have many nearby towns and reservations that have been here for a very long time and many of the people claim they are haunted.

My experience takes place right in Gallup on the east side of the city near a very small reservation. My best friend visited her sister every weekend. She lived in the low rental apartments on the east side. Right across from these apartments is an elementary school, the one I actually attended when I was a little girl.

During those weekends I would spend the night with my friend at her sister's apartment. When there was absolutely nothing to do and the kids and parents were asleep, we'd go outside to the park located in the middle of the apartments and hang out. One night we became so bored we actually took off walking. I'd say it was about 2 AM. We were used to being up late and were wide awake. We walked behind apartments where there is no light, tons of bushes and prairie dog holes in the ground.

As we were walking, I sensed that someone was staring at us or following us (I am very sensitive, so when I sense someone is looking at me or following me, I'm usually right). I turned around to look and nothing was there. As I turned to look forward, my friend suddenly grabbed my arm and said in a scared whisper, "oh my god what was that?" I looked into the darkness and saw nothing. The wind was blowing lightly and there were a few trees ahead of us, so I passed it off as the wind moving the leaves. I told her "it's just the wind, chill out" and kept walking. But as I looked again, I saw what looked like a black figure moving through the trees. I stopped and said "I think it might be a drunk crashing out back there for the night."

Just so I wouldn't scare my friend I kept a calm voice, which was awful hard for me to do because I was sensing that this thing in the trees wasn't good, I said "do you want to go back home?" And she said "no we're almost to the store, let's just keep going." So as we kept walking we heard movement in the trees. We started walking faster. I heard something behind us and I looked, and it was like a wounded or hurt dog. I wasn't really scared because where I live there's a lot of that. But what I heard next stopped me dead in my tracks and paralyzed me. I heard this "dog" moan and growl at the same time as if it was ready to attack. I literally couldn't move and my friend was trying to distract me saying "Come on! Come on! We gotta run!" Her screams sounded distant as if I had gone deaf or if she was far away. I had made eye contact with this thing and I knew that that was a bad move.

I closed my eyes and said a short prayer and, without even thinking, I turned around and ran for my life with my friend close by my side. I tried not to look behind us but something was telling me to look. I glanced behind us and a man was running after us! He wasn't just running, he was running on all fours! I screamed and my friend joined in, only because I scared her when I yelled. We finally got to the road where there was light and cars passing. We must have run for about 5 minutes straight and were completely out of breath. I remember our sides were aching and cramping as we stopped to catch our breath. I turned to look behind us and saw the man in the distant darkness running back to where we had come from.

We walked a few more minutes until we finally reached to the store. The lady behind the counter gave us a weird look and asked us "are you girls okay?" We replied out of breath "yes, just a late night run." I could tell she didn't believe us, so she asked "did you girls run from the apartments?" I answered "yeah...why?" and she said "Oooh! Are you girls sure your okay?" We looked at each other and my friend told her "well not really, we just had a horrible encounter with something, we don't know what it is or who it was." The lady said "you girls just ran from a skinwalker. Whoever it was always chases someone he catches walking the road at night. You girls are lucky you made it this far!" As if we weren't shaken up already, what she had just told us struck a nerve. I have heard similar tales from my grandmother.

We didn't have any money but she offered us a bottle of water and a ride back home. She closed down the store and we got into her pickup. As we passed the bushes and trees where we had previously come from, we both saw something running. The lady told us to ignore it and close our eyes.

We finally entered the apartment complex and she asked us "which is yours?" I pointed in the direction of our apartment. As we were getting out of the pickup she told us "you girls stay home at night now. There's no need for you two young girls to be running around at 2 in the morning. Keep yourselves safe, you hear?" We nodded and said goodbye and thank you.

After that night we never left the apartment complex after it turned dark. To this day I am still shook up about what I had experienced that night and I still don't really know what it was that chased us that night. MH


Navajo Coyote Tales: The Curly To Aheedliinii Version (American Tribal Religions)

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Diné Bahane': The Navajo Creation Story

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Saint's Satanist

Gilles de Montmorency-Laval (1404–1440), Baron de Rais, was a Breton knight, a leader in the French army and a companion-in-arms of Joan of Arc. He is best known as a prolific serial killer of children. His name was later connected with the story of Bluebeard.

At an early age Rais distinguished himself militarily, fighting first in the wars of succession to the duchy of Brittany (1420) and then for the duchess of Anjou against the English in 1427. He was assigned to Joan of Arc’s guard and fought several battles at her side, including the relief of Orléans in 1429. He accompanied her to Reims for the consecration of Charles VII, who made him marshal of France. He continued to serve in Joan of Arc’s special guard and was at her side when Paris was attacked. After her capture, he retired to his lands in Brittany.

Rais had inherited extensive domains from both his father and his maternal grandfather (Guy de Laval and Jean de Craon, respectively) and had also married a rich heiress, Catherine de Thouars (1420). He kept a more lavish court than the king, dissipating his wealth on the decoration of his châteaux and the maintenance of a large train of servants, heralds, and priests. He was a munificent patron of music, literature, and pageants, in one of which he figured (The Mystery of Orléans). When his family secured a decree from the king in July 1435, restraining him from selling or mortgaging the rest of his lands, he turned to alchemy. He also developed an interest in Satanism, hoping to gain knowledge, power, and riches by invoking the devil. He was later accused of having abducted, tortured, and murdered more than 140 children.

Rais was arrested in September 1440 and brought to trial in Nantes, first before an ecclesiastical tribunal under the direction of the bishop of Nantes and then before a civil court. At first he refused to plead to the charges, but, when threatened with excommunication, he recognized the court’s authority and declared himself not guilty.

In 1438, according to testimony at his trial from the priest Eustache Blanchet and the cleric François Prelati, de Rais sent out Blanchet to seek individuals who know alchemy and demon summoning. Blanchet contacted Prelati in Florence and convinced him to take service with his master. Having reviewed the magical books of Prelati and a traveling Breton, de Rais chose to initiate experiments, the first being in the lower hall of his castle at Tiffauges, to summon a demon named Barron. de Rais provided a contract with the demon for riches that Prelati was to give to the demon at a later time. As no demon manifested after three tries, the Marshal grew frustrated with the lack of results. Prelati responded the demon summoned, named Barron, was angry and required the offering of parts of a child. de Rais provided these remnants in a glass vessel at a future invocation. All of this was to no avail, and the occult experiments left him bitter and with a severely depleted wealth.

In his confession, Gilles maintained the first assaults on children occurred between spring 1432 and spring 1433. The first murders occurred at Champtocé-sur-Loire; however, no account of these murders survives. Shortly after, Gilles moved to Machecoul where, as the record of his confession states, he killed, or ordered to be killed, a great but uncertain number of children after he sodomized them. Forty bodies were discovered in Machecoul in 1437.

The first documented case of child-snatching and murder concerns a boy of 12 called Jeudon, an apprentice to the furrier Guillaume Hilairet. Gilles de Rais' cousins, Gilles de Sillé and Roger de Briqueville, asked the furrier to lend them the boy to take a message to Machecoul, and, when Jeudon did not return, the two noblemen told the inquiring furrier that they were ignorant of the boy's whereabouts and suggested he had been carried off by thieves at Tiffauges to be made into a page. In Gilles de Rais' trial, the events were testified to by Hillairet and his wife, Jean Jeudon and his wife, and five others from Machecoul.

In his 1971 biography of Gilles de Rais, Jean Benedetti tells how the children who fell into Rais's hands were put to death:

[The boy] was pampered and dressed in better clothes than he had ever known. The evening began with a large meal and heavy drinking, particularly hippocras, which acted as a stimulant. The boy was then taken to an upper room to which only Gilles and his immediate circle were admitted. There he was confronted with the true nature of his situation. The shock thus produced on the boy was an initial source of pleasure for Gilles.

Gilles' bodyservant Étienne Corrillaut, known as Poitou, was an accomplice in many of the crimes and testified that his master hung his victims with ropes from a hook to prevent the child from crying out, then masturbated upon the child's belly or thighs. Taking the victim down, Rais comforted the child and assured him he only wanted to play with him. Gilles then either killed the child himself or had the child killed by his cousin Gilles de Sillé, Poitou or another bodyservant called Henriet. The victims were killed by decapitation, cutting of their throats, dismemberment, or breaking of their necks with a stick. A short, thick, double-edged sword called a braquemard was kept at hand for the murders. Poitou further testified that Rais sometimes abused the victims (whether boys or girls) before wounding them and at other times after the victim had been slashed in the throat or decapitated. According to Poitou, Rais disdained the victim's sexual organs, and took "infinitely more pleasure in debauching himself in this manner ... than in using their natural orifice, in the normal manner."

In his own confession, Gilles testified that “when the said children were dead, he kissed them and those who had the most handsome limbs and heads he held up to admire them, and had their bodies cruelly cut open and took delight at the sight of their inner organs; and very often when the children were dying he sat on their stomachs and took pleasure in seeing them die and laughed”.

Poitou testified that he and Henriet burned the bodies in the fireplace in Gilles' room. The clothes of the victim were placed into the fire piece by piece so they burned slowly and the smell was minimized. The ashes were then thrown into the cesspit, the moat, or other hiding places.

On 15 May 1440, Rais kidnapped a cleric during a dispute at the Church of Saint-Étienne-de-Mer-Morte. The act prompted an investigation by the Bishop of Nantes, during which evidence of Gilles' crimes was uncovered. On July 29, the Bishop released his findings, and subsequently obtained the prosecutorial cooperation of Rais's former protector, Jean V, the Duke of Brittany. Rais and his bodyservants Poitou and Henriet were arrested on 15 September 1440 following a secular investigation which paralleled the findings of the investigation from the Bishop of Nantes. Rais's prosecution would likewise be conducted by both secular and ecclesiastical courts, on charges which included murder, sodomy, and heresy.

The extensive witness testimony convinced the judges that there were adequate grounds for establishing the guilt of the accused. After Rais admitted to the charges on 21 October, the court canceled a plan to torture him into confessing. Peasants of the neighboring villages had earlier begun to offer up accusations that since their children had entered Gilles' castle begging for food they had never been seen again. The transcript, which included testimony from the parents of many of these missing children as well as graphic descriptions of the murders provided by Gilles' accomplices, was said to be so lurid that the judges ordered the worst portions to be stricken from the record.

The precise number of Gilles' victims is not known, as most of the bodies were burned or buried. The number of murders is generally placed between 80 and 200; a few have conjectured numbers upwards of 600. The victims ranged in age from six to eighteen and included both sexes.

On 23 October 1440, the secular court heard the confessions of Poitou and Henriet and condemned them both to death followed by Gilles' death sentence on 25 October. Gilles was allowed to make confession and his request to be buried in the church of the monastery of Notre-Dame des Carmes in Nantes was granted.

Execution by hanging and burning was set for Wednesday 26 October. At nine o‘clock, Gilles and his two accomplices made their way in procession to the place of execution on the Ile de Biesse. There, Gilles addressed the throng of onlookers with contrite piety, and exhorted Henriet and Poitou to die bravely and think only of salvation. Gilles' request to be the first to die had been granted the day before. At eleven o'clock the brush at the platform was set afire and Rais was hanged on a gibbet above a pyre, but when the fire burned through the rope the body was snatched from the flames by several ladies of his family, who prepared it for burial with their own hands, and it was then interred in the Carmelite church close by. His two associates were also hanged, their bodies being burned and the ashes scattered.

On the spot where Gilles was executed his daughter erected a monument, to which came all nursing mothers to pray for an abundance of milk. Here again is a strong suggestion that he was regarded as the Incarnate God of fertility. Another suggestive fact is the length of time - nine years - which elapsed between the death of Joan and the death of Gilles. This is a usual interval when the Incarnate God is given a time-limit.

NOTE: In the title Blood Red, Sister Rose, Thomas Keneally's fictional account of Gilles' and Joan's special relationship, some suggest that there is more truth than speculation. By all historical accounts the bond between Gilles and Joan was a very close one. She obtained permission from the King to choose whom she would for her escort; her choice at once fell on Gilles, for she would naturally prefer those of her own faith. He held already a high command in the relieving, force, and added the protection of Joan as a special part of his duties. Later on, even after he had reached the high position of Marshal of France, he still continued those duties, remaining with her all day when she was wounded at the assault on Paris. For more information on the relationship may I suggest you read The Saint and the Devil;: A biographical study of Joan of Arc and Gilles de Rais There is also a very good reference at Monster or Victim? ...Lon

The Trial of Gilles de Rais
The Black Baron: The Strange Life of Gilles De Rais
Satanic Alchemy: Atrocities Of Gilles de Rais
Real Bluebeard

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