Thursday, October 29, 2015

Classic Tales For Halloween


Since the Halloween season is upon us, I hope you enjoy these classic & legendary tales:

The Benevolent Goblin

By Gesta Romanorum - In the kingdom of England there is a hillock in the midst of a dense wood. Thither in old days knights and their followers were wont to repair when tired and thirsty after the chase. When one of their number called out, "I thirst!" there immediately started up a Goblin with a cheerful countenance, clad in a crimson robe, and bearing in his outstretched hand a large drinking-horn richly ornamented with gold and precious jewels, and full of the most delicious, unknown beverage.

The Goblin presented the horn to the thirsty knight, who drank and instantly felt refreshed and cool. After the drinker had emptied the horn, the Goblin offered a silken napkin to wipe the mouth. Then, without waiting to be thanked, the strange creature vanished as suddenly as he had come.

Now once there was a knight of churlish nature, who was hunting alone in those parts. Feeling thirsty and fatigued, he visited the hillock and cried out:

"I thirst!"

Instantly the Goblin appeared and presented the horn.

When the knight had drained it of its delicious beverage, instead of returning the horn, he thrust it into his bosom, and rode hastily away.

He boasted far and wide of his deed, and his feudal lord hearing thereof caused him to be bound and cast into prison; then fearing lest he, too, might become partaker in the theft and ingratitude of the knight, the lord presented the jeweled horn to the King of England, who carefully preserved it among the royal treasures. But never again did the benevolent Goblin return to the hillock in the wood.

-----

The Old Witch

By The Brothers Grimm - There was once a little girl who was very wilful and who never obeyed when her elders spoke to her - so how could she be happy?

One day she said to her parents, 'I have heard so much of the old witch that I will go and see her. People say she is a wonderful old woman, and has many marvellous things in her house, and I am very curious to see them.'

But her parents forbade her going, saying, 'The witch is a wicked old woman, who performs many godless deeds - and if you go near her, you are no longer a child of ours.'

The girl, however, would not turn back at her parents' command, but went to the witch's house. When she arrived there the old woman asked her:

'Why are you so pale?'

'Ah,' she replied, trembling all over, 'I have frightened myself so with what I have just seen.'

'And what did you see?' inquired the old witch.

'I saw a black man on your steps.'

'That was a collier,' replied she.

'Then I saw a gray man.'

'That was a sportsman,' said the old woman.

'After him I saw a blood-red man.'

'That was a butcher,' replied the old woman.

'But, oh, I was most terrified,' continued the girl, 'when I peeped through your window, and saw not you, but a creature with a fiery head.'

'Then you have seen the witch in her proper dress,' said the old woman. 'For you I have long waited, and now you shall give me light.'

So saying the witch changed the little girl into a block of wood, and then threw it on the fire. When it was fully alight, she sat down on the hearth and warmed herself, saying:

'How good I feel! The fire has not burned like this for a long time!'

-----

The King of Cats

by Ernest Rhys - Once upon a time there were two brothers who lived in a lonely house in a very lonely part of Scotland. An old woman used to do the cooking, and there was no one else, unless we count her cat and their own dogs, within miles of them.

One autumn afternoon the elder of the two, whom we will call Elshender, said he would not go out - so the younger one, Fergus, went alone to follow the path where they had been shooting the day before, far across the mountains.

He meant to return home before the early sunset - however, he did not do so, and Elshender became very uneasy as he watched and waited in vain till long after their usual suppertime. At last Fergus returned, wet and exhausted, nor did he explain why he was so late.

But after supper when the two brothers were seated before the fire, on which the peat crackled cheerfully, the dogs lying at their feet, and the old woman's black cat sitting gravely with half-shut eyes on the hearth between them, Fergus recovered himself and began to tell his adventures.

"You must be wondering," said he, "what made me so late. I have had a very, very strange adventure to-day. I hardly know what to say about it. I went, as I told you I should, along our yesterday's track. A mountain fog came on just as I was about to turn homewards, and I completely lost my way. I wandered about for a long time not knowing where I was, till at last I saw a light, and made for it, hoping to get help.

"As I came near it, it disappeared, and I found myself close to an old oak tree. I climbed into the branches the better to look for the light, and, behold! there it was right beneath me, inside the hollow trunk of the tree. I seemed to be looking down into a church, where a funeral was taking place. I heard singing, and saw a coffin surrounded by torches, all carried by. But I know you won't believe me, Elshender, if I tell you!"

His brother eagerly begged him to go on, and threw a dry peat on the fire to encourage him. The dogs were sleeping quietly, but the cat was sitting up, and seemed to be listening just as carefully and cannily as Elshender himself. Both brothers, indeed, turned their eyes on the cat as Fergus took up his story.

"Yes," he continued, "it is as true as I sit here. The coffin and the torches were both carried by CATS, and upon the coffin were marked a crown and a scepter!"

He got no farther, for the black cat started up, shrieking:

"My stars! old Peter's dead, and I'm the King o' the Cats!" Then rushed up the chimney, and was seen no more.

-----

The Guest

By Anonymous - A young man and his wife were on a trip to visit his mother. Usually they arrived in time for supper, but they had had a late start, and now it was getting dark, so they decided to look for a place to stay overnight and drive on in the morning.

Just off the road, they saw a small house in the woods. "Maybe they rent rooms," the wife said. So they stopped to ask. An elderly man and woman came to the door. They didn't rent rooms, they said, but they would be glad to have them stay overnight as their guests. They had plenty of room, and they would enjoy the company. The old woman made coffee and brought out some cake, and the four of them talked for a while. Then the young couple were taken to their room. They tried to insist on paying for this, but the old man said he would not accept any money.

The young couple got up early the next morning, before their hosts had awakened. They left an envelope with some money in it on a table near the front door, to pay for the room. Then they went on to the next town. They stopped at a restaurant and had breakfast. When they told the owner where they had stayed, he was shocked. "That can't be," he said. "That house burned to the ground, and the man and the woman who lived there died in the fire."

The young couple could not believe it. So they went back to the house. Only now there was no house. All they found was a burnt-out shell. They stood staring at the ruins trying to understand what had happened. Then the woman screamed: In the rubble was a badly burned table, like the one they had seen by the front door and on the table was the envelope they had left that very morning.

-----

The Legend of Moll Dyer

The story of Moll Dyer, a witch who was driven from her home south of Leonardtown more than 300 years ago, is well known and often repeated in St. Mary's County.

But was she ever real? There are no records of her existence. However, there is a road and stream named after her south of Leonardtown and lands there bore her name since the 1890s.

A large rock, said to be the last resting place of Moll Dyer where she left imprints of her knees and hand on the stone, was moved in 1972 to the front of the circuit courthouse in Leonardtown. The area of Moll Dyer Road was purported to be haunted.

Tradition has it that Moll Dyer was an outcast in the small community between Leonardtown and Redgate. Though she lived in a hut, she survived via the generosity of others through the alms house, located where Leonardtown Middle School is now.

The winter of 1697 was extraordinarily harsh. On March 27 the Council of Maryland proceedings in Annapolis commented on the bad weather: "It hath pleased God that this winter hath been the longest that hath been known in the memory of man, for it began about the middle of November, and little sign of any spring yet. It was very uncertain weather, several frosts and snows, one of which was the greatest hath been known."

Witchcraft was often blamed for such calamitous times. In St. Mary's that year, the legend goes, Moll Dyer fit the description of a witch — a strange old hag.

Witches weren't common, but it was still widely believed they did exist then.

In June 1654, the crew of the ship Charity on route to Maryland from England testified about the hanging of passenger Mary Lee for suspicion of practicing witchcraft, according to the Proceedings of the Council of Maryland.

On Oct. 4, 1659, Edward Prescott was acquitted for "one Elizabeth Richardson hanged in his ship" for witchcraft, according to the proceedings of the Provincial Court. Plaintiff John Washington of Virginia couldn't attend court that day and because there was no testimony, Prescott was released. He blamed John Greene, captain of the ship, for the execution.

In 1674, John Cowman of St. Mary's County was arraigned, convicted and condemned for witchcraft, conjuration or enchantment upon the body of Eliza Goodall, according to an 1885 edition of the Baltimore Times. Cowman was pardoned by Charles Calvert.

On Oct. 9, 1685, Rebecca Fowler of Calvert County was hanged for practicing witchcraft. She was the only person executed in Maryland for witchcraft, according to the 1938 book "Crime and Punishment in Early Maryland."

One story about Moll Dyer says there was careful consultation as Dyer's neighbors decided to force her away after their crops were ruined and their livestock died. Another account says the decision was fueled by binge drinking at the alms house. Both stories say countrymen bore down on Dyer's hut with torches on a cold February night in 1697. Her house set ablaze, Dyer sought refuge in the surrounding woods and the men did not pursue her.

"Nothing was heard of her for several days, until a boy hunting for his cattle in the woods espied her kneeling on a stone with one hand resting thereon and the other raised as if in prayer, or to curse her tormentors, wrote Joseph Morgan of Leonardtown in the 1890s.

"Her life had gone out in the dark, cold night, and she still rested in her suppliant position, frozen stiff with the Winter's cold. The story runs that she offered a prayer to be avenged on her persecutors and that a curse be put on them and their lands," he wrote.

The Beacon newspaper of Sept. 12, 1901, reported the experience of a young man returning to Leonardtown on horseback in the dead of night. "At Moll Dyer's run he stopped to water his horse. He says he noticed that another traveler was at the run and thinking he knew who it was, asked it to move. No attention was paid to the request and it was repeated somewhat more harshly. Surprised at the fright manifested by his horse, he turned and noted that the horseman he thought he knew was riding a headless animal, and while gazing at this unusual appearance he distinctly saw the spectral horse part in the middle and the horseman disappear between the two disjointed ends."

Moll Dyer's Run was cited in a deed from 1857. There were five houses around the run, according to a May 1854 survey of the area, on the east side of Clay Hill Road, which is today's Route 5. The road that later became Moll Dyer Road was already there.

By 1895, 60 acres of land near Clay Hill Road was called Moll Dyer's Hill, just north of Redgate.

In 1968, Philip Love, an editor for The Evening Star, began searching for Moll Dyer's rock. He and his wife found what was supposed to be that rock in the woods of Stephen Foxwell's farm, a farm that is today home of Lil' Margaret's Bluegrass Festival.

But Love was not the first to claim finding the infamous rock. "In a clearing up on Clover Lot, Mr. John T. Yates found in a gully, not far from the run, the legendary ‘Moll Dyer's stone.' The knee prints on the stone are still visible," according to the Beacon of April 13, 1911. According to land records, Clover Lot was then part of Foxwell's farm and is today located at 42660 Moll Dyer Road, home of William and Alice Holly. Next door is Elizabeth Holly, who moved to the first house on the left in 1968.

On Oct. 14, 1972, the local National Guard, which was housed in today's Leonardtown library, hauled the 875-pound rock up from the Clover Lot to the old county jail, owned by the St. Mary's County Historical Society, in front of the circuit courthouse where it rests today.

Elizabeth Holly said she was at work the day they moved the rock, which tore up her driveway in the process. She heard the story of Moll Dyer when she and her husband moved in and was aware of the rock's story, but said recently of the witch, "She ain't bothered us."

NOTE: The Moll Dyer mystery will most likely never be solved. I have heard of the apparitions that haunt the rock and courthouse...but is it Moll Dyer? Witchcraft is a Maryland legacy...so much of the history and legends are the result of people who practiced or were accused of practicing the 'craft'. Though I'm a transplanted Marylander, I was raised just across the Mason-Dixon line in Pennsylvania and familiar with the healing legacy through those who kept the tradition intact...Lon

Halloween: An American Holiday, an American History

The Book of Hallowe'en: The Origin and History of Halloween

History and Hauntings of the Halloween Capital

The Pagan Mysteries of Halloween: Celebrating the Dark Half of the Year


PLEASE SUPPORT 'PHANTOMS & MONSTERS'

 photo canyouhelp_zpscwcoxyp2.jpg

Donations for the 'Phantoms & Monsters' newsletter, blog and subsequent research are essential and always appreciated. You can use one of the donation buttons or go to Paypal.com and use my email lonstrickler@phantomsandmonsters.com as the payee. Thanks again for reading and for your continued support. Lon

Please help support
'Phantoms and Monsters'
Thanks!

'CHICAGO PHANTOM' - FLYING HUMANOID SIGHTINGS

'CHICAGO PHANTOM' - FLYING HUMANOID SIGHTINGS
Have you had a sighting of a flying humanoid or huge bat-like creature in the Chicago, Illinois metro area or nearby? The entity has also been referred to as the 'Chicago Phantom', 'Chicago Mothman', 'Chicago Owlman' & 'Chicago Man-Bat.' Please feel free to contact me at lonstrickler@phantomsandmonsters.com - your anonymity is guaranteed. Our investigative group is conducting a serious examination of his phenomenon. We are merely seeking the truth and wish to determine what eyewitnesses have been encountering. Your cooperation is truly appreciated. You can call me directly at 410-241-5974 as well. Thanks...Lon Strickler #ChicagoPhantom

 photo fortean-reptilian_zpsb0c95d60.png
CLICK TO FORWARD YOUR SIGHTING OR ENCOUNTER REPORT

Chicago Phantom / Owlman / Mothman / Man-Bat - Chicago Metro Area - Witness Sightings Map