RICHARD FREEMAN highlights three terrifying encounters with strange animal-like apparitions that seemed to emanate pure evil.
In the 1950s writer Joan Forman was working in the village school in Goodhurst, Kent. During the first few days of the summer holidays, she was sleeping alone in an old part of the school. One night she awoke to find a weird creature crouching in her room. It was the size of a corgi but had large, lemur-like eyes that seemed to emit a glow. It turned its eyes to her.
‘I think it was the most revolting gaze I ever had to endure,’ she writes, ‘for what emanated from that thing was an atmosphere of extreme malevolence and obscenity. With all its exudation of evil it was at the same time mocking.’
It held her in its thrall until the first rays of dawn were upon it, when it vanished like a ghost.
In his book Realm of Ghosts Eric Maple describes another case of a malevolent and bestial apparition that occurred at a very old farm known as Devil’s House on Wallasea Island among the marshes bordering the River Crouch. A labourer working in the barns heard his name called several times and felt a cold sensation come over him, followed by on overwhelming urge to kill himself. In a trance, he picked up a length of rope, fastened one end round his neck and walked towards a ladder with the intention of fastening the other end to a beam. He said he heard a voice saying, ‘Do it, do it, do it.’
Looking up, he saw an ape-like beast crouching on one of the beams. It had black hair and slanted glowing eyes. The sight of the thing broke his trance and he fled from the barn.
A particularly weird case was recorded in The Powers of Evil by Richard Cavendish. It involved a couple Cavendish referred to as ‘the Smiths’. One evening in 1940, as she was chatting to her husband, Mrs Smith said, quite out of the blue: ‘It will come over the hill when it comes’. Afterwards she had no recollection of saying this, even though her husband insisted that she had.
Shortly afterwards she became nervous about being in the house after dark. About three months later she awoke her husband one night and told him that the thing from over the hill was nearly upon them. They heard one of the outside doors opening and a heavy, wet tread upon the stairs. As the Smiths clung together, the door swung open and a hideous thing waddled in. It was bloated and naked with skin blotched green, purple and yellow. It had a head that almost came to a point at the top, long earlobes that nearly reached to its shoulders, webbed feet and a thick bull neck. It crossed to the window and vanished.
Mrs Smith later recalled: ‘It was horrible and the absolute essence of evil… I have never experienced anything so dreadful before or since and I hope I never shall, God willing. I still experience the same horror when I talk about it or write about it as I am doing now. I have never been able to discover why I saw it and I have never been able to find out what it was.’
What is going on here? Can these creatures really generate fear? Some seem to be outlandishly horrific in appearance, almost as if by design. Such creatures rarely cause physical damage but push fear to intense levels.
Could we be dealing with some kind of inter-dimensional predator that somehow feeds off or is charged by fear? Perhaps the dimension these predators inhabit was given a name millennia ago which today we are still all familiar with – Hell.