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Nocturnal Origins
 
 
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Old 19 Feb 2003, 09:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Nocturnal Origins

The disturbances at the Lamb hostelry, Lawford's Gate, Bristol, which aroused something more than local interest in the years 1761-62, were not improbably due to witchcraft and caused by the persecutions of a woman who trafficked in occultism of the lowest order, although on the other hand they may have been poltergeist manifestations. The two little girls, Molly and Debby Giles, who were the subjects of these phenomena, were often severely bitten and pinched. The impressions of eighteen or twenty teeth were seen upon their arms, the marks being clammy with saliva and warm spittle, "and the children were roaring out for the pain of the pinches and bites." On one occasion whilst an observer was talking to Dobby Giles she cried out that she was bitten in the neck when there suddenly appeared "the mark of teeth, about eighteen, and wet with spittle." That the child should have nipped herself was wholly impossible, and nobody was near her save Mr. Henry Durbin who recorded these events, and whose account was first printed in 1800, the year after his death, since he did not wish his notes to be given to the public during his lifetime. On 2nd January, 1762, Mr. Durbin notes: "Dobby cried the hand was about her sister's throat, and I saw the flesh at the side of her throat pushed in, whitish as if done with fingers, though I saw none. Her face grew red and blackish presently, as if she was strangled, but without any convulsion or contraction of the muscles." Thursday, 7th January, 1762, we have: "Dobby was bitten most and with deeper impressions than Molly. The impression of the teeth on their arms formed an oval, which measured two inches in length." All this certainly looks as if sorcery were at work. It may be remembered that in Salem during the epidemic of witchcraft the afflicted persons were tormented "by Biting, Pinching, Strangling, etc." When Goodwife Corey was on trial, "it was observed several times, that if she did but bite her under lip in time of examination, the Persons afflicted were bitten on their arms and Wrists, and produced the Marks before the Magistrates, Minister, and others." In The Proceedings of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research, Vol. I., 1927, will be found an account of the phenomena connected with Eleonore Zügun, a young Rumanian peasant girl, who in the autumn of 1926, when only thirteen years old was brought to London by the Countess Wassilko-Serecki, in order that the manifestations might be investigated at "The National Laboratory of Psychical Research," Queensberry Place, South Kensington. The child was said to be persecuted by some invisible force or agent, which she knew as Dracu, Anglice the Devil. There were many extraordinary happenings and she was continually being scratched and bitten by this unseen intelligence. It must suffice to give but two or three instances of the very many "biting phenomena." On the afternoon of Monday, 4th October, 1926, Captain Neil Gow an investigator in his report, notes: "3.20. Eleonore cried out. Showed marks on back of left hand like teeth-marks which afterwards developed into deep weals. . . . 4.12. Eleonore was just raising a cup of tea to her lips, but suddently {sic} gave a cry and put the cup down hastily: there was a mark on her right hand similar to that caused by a bite. Both rows of teeth were indicated." Of the same incident, Mr. Clapham Palmer, an investigator who was also present writes: "Eleonore was in the act of raising the cup to her lips when she suddenly gave a little cry of pain, put down her cup and rolled up her sleeve. On her forearm I then saw what appeared to be the marks of teeth indented deeply in the flesh, as if she or someone had fiercely bitten her arm. The marks turned from red to white and finally took the form of white raised weals. They gradually faded but were still noticeable after an hour or so." Such bitings not infrequent occurred, and photographs have been taken of the marks. It were an interesting question to discuss the cause of these indentations and no doubt it is sufficiently remarkable, but however that may be such inquiry were impertinent here, for it is clearly not vampirism, nor indeed cognate thereto. The object of the Vampire is to suck blood, and in these cases if blood was ever drawn it was more in the nature of a scratch or slight dental puncture, there was no effusion. Again the agent who inflicted these bites was not sufficiently material to be visible, at any rate he was able to remain unseen. The true vampire is corporeal. The vampire has a body, and it is his own body. He is neither dead nor alive; but living in death. He is an abnormality; the androgyne in the phantom world; a pariah among the fiends.
Even the Pagan poet taught his hearers and his readers that death was a sweet guerdon of repose, a blessed oblivion after the toil and struggle of life. There are few things more beautiful and there are few things more sad than the songs of our modern Pagans who console their aching hearts with the wistful vision of eternal sleep. Although perhaps they themselves know it not, their delicate but despairing melancholy is an heritage from the weary yet tuneful singers of the last days of Hellas, souls for whom there was no dawn of hope in the sky. But we have a certain knowledge and a fairer surely for "now Christ is risen from the dead, the first-fruits of them that sleep." Yet Gray, half Greek, seems to promise to his rustics and his hinds as their richest reward after life of swink and toil dear forgetfulness and eternal sleep.
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Old 19 Feb 2003, 11:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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once again man super interesting and cool to read
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