Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

“There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told.”

Note

I will not be able to post for 10 days or so because I will not be present here (holidays).

Sea Monsters

Sea monsters are sea-dwelling legendary creatures, often said to be of immense size. The most common descriptions are sea dragons, sea serpents, and multi-armed beasts. They can be slimy or scaly and are often pictured threatening ships or spouting jets of water.

History

Historically, decorative drawings of heraldic dolphins and sea monsters were frequently used to illustrate maps, such as the Carta marina. This practice died away with the advent of modern cartography. Nevertheless, stories of sea monsters and eyewitness accounts which claim to have seen these beasts persist to this day.

Sea monster accounts are found in virtually all cultures that have contact with the sea. Hans Egede, a Dano-Norwegian missionary, reported that on a voyage to Gothaab/Nuuk on the western coast of Greenland he observed:


A most terrible creature, resembling nothing they saw before. The monster lifted its head so high that it seemed to be higher than the crow’s nest on the mainmast.  The head was small and the body short and wrinkled. The unknown creature was using giant fins which propelled it through the water. Later the sailors saw its tail as well. The monster was longer than our whole ship.

Other reports are known from the Pacific, Indian, and Southern Oceans.

There is a Tlingit legend about a sea monster named Gunakadeit (Goo-na’-ka-date) who brought prosperity and good luck to a village in crisis, people starving in the home they made for themselves on the southeastern coast of Alaska.

A more recent development has been the two mysterious noises “Bloop” and “Slow Down” picked up by hydrophonic equipment in 1997 and not heard since. While matching the audio characteristics of an animal, they were deemed too large to be a whale. Investigations thus far have been inconclusive.

Legendary Sea Monsters

  • Kraken - a sea monster of giant proportions said to dwell off the coasts of Norway and Greenland. Since the late 18th century, kraken have been depicted in a number of ways, primarily as large octopus-like creatures, and it has often been alleged that Pontoppidan’s kraken might have been based on sailors’ observations of the giant squid. In the earliest descriptions, however, the creatures were more crab-like.
  • Leviathan - a sea monster referenced in the Old Testament. 
  • World Serpent (Jörmungandr) - asea serpent that grew so large that he was able to surround the earth and grasp its own tail.
  • Scylla  a six-headed, twelve-legged serpentine that devoured six men from each ship that passed by.
  • Yacumama - fifty paces long, believed to inhabit the mouth of the Amazon River and the nearby lagoons. The Yacumama is believed to be the mother of all creatures of the water. According to the legend, the Yacumama would suck up any living thing that passed within 100 paces of it.

Currently Reported Sea Monsters

  • Chessie of the Chesapeake Bay  Over the years there have been many alleged sightings of a serpent-like creature with flippers as part of its body. Most sighting reports describe it as a long, snake-like creature, from 25 feet (7.6 m) to 40 feet (12 m) long. It is said to swim using its body as a sine curve moving through the water. There were a rash of sightings in 1977 and more in the mid-1980s.
  • Cadborosaurus (North America) - itis said by witnesses to resemble a serpent with vertical coils or humps in tandem behind the horse-like head and long neck, with a pair of small elevating front flippers, and either a pair of hind flippers, or a pair of large webbed hind flippers fused to form a large fan-like tail region that provides powerful forward propulsion.
  • Champ of Lake Champlain - Two Native American tribes living in the area near Lake Champlain, the Iroquois and the Abenaki, had legends about such a creature. The Abenaki called the creature “Tatoskok”. There have been reported over 300 sightings.
  • Lusca (Carribeans) - A gigantic octopus, far more larger than known giant octopuses of the genus Enteroctopus
  • Morgawr (Cornwall)First sighted in 1906, various theories have been proposed for as to the identity of this sea serpent, ranging from a hoax to a mistaken identity, to the suggestion that the creature is a surviving species of Plesiosaur or that it is a previously undiscovered species of long necked seal.  It has been photographed and even caught on tape.
  • Ayia Napa Sea Monster (Cryprus) It is known by the local fishermen as “To Filiko Teras”, which translates as “The Friendly Monster”. There have been no reports of it causing any harm, although it has been reported at times to rip and drag away fishing nets. There have been countless sightings of the “Creature from the Depths”, with some local newspapers calling the mystery the “Cyprus Loch Ness”. It has been speculated to be something like a crocodile or serpent.

Talismans

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A talisman an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck.

History 

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The stories of crystals go back to the very beginnings of recorded history and reveal a long tradition of seemingly magical artifacts used by kings, queens, bishops, popes, sultans, and ordinary folk to improve luck or prosperity, or to cure diseases.

The history of talismans and amulets, made by alchemists, priests, magicians, magi, shamans, and witches, goes back as far as we have records. George Kunz reports that Pliny wrote in the first century about some of their uses and that poems and epics of the third and fourth centuries paint a rich pattern of the uses of crystal based elixirs, potions, talismans, and amulets.

Albertus Magnus, writing in the thirteenth century, elaborated on the uses of herbs, plants, and minerals for both protection and health. All through history, curative, protective, and divination powers have been attributed to rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and virtually every other precious stone. The records of virtually all Western and Eastern civilizations provide extensive reports on the use of all kinds of crystal talismans for a seemingly inexhaustible list of needs.

Medieval Talismans

  • Bells were another form of Talisman used in olden days, the traditional idea being that any great noise would terrify the Devil and all evil spirits, so that bells were attached to the heads of horses and to the playthings of children to protect them from harm; and were also hung in church towers to scare the ears of demons, whilst the Gargoyles struck terror to the eyes of the evil ones
  • A Badger’s Tooth sewn inside the right-hand pocket of the waistcoat is also a well-known Talisman for luck at cards.
  • Gold Nuggets are considered lucky charms for speculators in mines, and miners; and Leap Year Pennies should always be kept in the kitchen to bring unexpected windfalls to the house.
  • A four-leaf clover has always been considered a lucky talisman.

    One leaf is for fame, 
    And one leaf is for wealth, 
    And one is for a faithful lover, 
    And one to bring you glorious health, 
    Are all in the four-leaved clover.

Gemstones As Talismans

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Crystals and gemstones have been used as amulets and talismans for thousands of years. It is believed that people wore earrings and necklaces before they started wearing clothes. During the Crusades, many soldiers carried talismanic stones carved with runic messages. They also carried bloodstones because this type of stone was associated with Mars, the god of war. The soldiers felt that bloodstones would make them brave in battle and protect them from harm. 

  • 1. RED: Red stones relate to passion, enthusiasm, and energy. Examples are ruby, garnet, and red jasper.
  • 2. ORANGE: Orange stones relate to close relationships and personal satisfaction. Examples are citrine, carnelian, and orange sapphire.
  • 3. YELLOW: Yellow stones relate to expressing the fun-filled, joyful aspects of life. Examples are yellow beryl and topaz.
  • 4. GREEN: Green stones relate to hard work and accomplishment. Examples are emerald, peridot, and tourmaline.
  • 5. BLUE: Blue stones enhance clarity and perception, and aid in goal-setting. Examples are lapis lazuli, sapphire, and blue tourmaline.
  • 6. INDIGO: Indigo stones relate to caring for others. Examples are sodalite and iolite.
  • 7. VIOLET: Violet stones relate to spiritual truth and the higher consciousness. Examples are amethyst, garnet, and purple ruby.
  • 8. PINK: Pink stones are stimulating and energizing. They enable progress to occur. Examples are rubellite tourmaline, rose beryl, and rose quartz.
  • 9. CLEAR: Clear stones symbolize pure energy. They are nurturing, loving, and ultimately successful. Examples are clear quartz and diamond.
  • 11. SILVER: Silver stones are peaceful and gentle. However, they also possess great power, and provide enormous potential. Hematite is a good example.
  • 12. GOLD: Gold is for achieving goals. Gold knows no limits. Examples are pyrite, pyrite-sun, and tiger’s-eye.

Dragons

A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that appears in almost all cultures around the world.

Dragons In Slavic Mythology 

  • East Slavic Dragons have three heads, green, walk on hind legs and spit fire.
  • South Slavic Dragons have a division on what they call them, but basically they are the same creature. They are considered intelligent and wise, possess superhuman strength and are proficient in magic. Aside from breathing fire, they are also known to lust over women with whom it can produce offspring. In Bulgarian and Serbian folklore, these dragons were seen as defenders of crops and fighting against a specific demon – Ala, whom they shoot with lightening.
  • Their abilities vary depending on location. Some believe the east slavic dragons can re-grow their heads if chopped off. They exhale fire, which is dangerous to anyone in the way. Their enormous size makes them just as deadly.

Behind the legend of the downfall of medieval Serbia, lie fairy-tales about a good dragon who failed to save his people from the hands of the malevolent Ala, or Azdaha.

Thus, the Ottoman conquest and the famous Kosovo Battle of 1389 resulted in a battle not only fought by people, but by dragons as well.

According to oral tradition, the participants of the bloody battle became semi-gods, mythical creatures whose dragon origins often appear in folk tales and epic poems.

Serbian cultural expert Sreten Petrovic, through his books, has attempted to prove the existence of a dragons “pantheon” in Serbian medieval culture, called the “Jastrebacki panteon”.

This Pantheon was crowned by the Jastrebac Dragon, Zmaj od Jastrepca, and included various heroes from Serbia’s medieval epic poetry.

Many legends and folk tales in Serbia feature these lusty and brave dragons, which defended Serbia’s skies and lands from the Ottomans, and from bad weather as well.

  • The natural habitat of Serbian dragons was typically considered to be on mountaintops, such as Jastrebac near Krusevac, rivers, mountain streams, or the woods. Many of these places still bear the name “Zmajevac”
  • Zmaj' (meaning dragon) was a title given to the most fierce and powerful warriors in Serbia and other South Slavic countries.

Dragons In Norse Mythology 

Norse mythology, in general, is dark and tragic, like the cold and icy wastelands the Norse traversed. Whether on land or sea, the Vikings were threatened by dragons.

Dragons are a central part of Norse mythology, as are those who battle them.

The Vikings believed in this structure of their universe to be the nine worlds and in the great cosmic tree, Yggdrasil, which held all things together. Norse mythology taught that dragons were under the ground and at the bottom of the ocean.

To the Norse, dragons and serpents were the same creatures and not differentiated. Viking mythology is largely based on tales of the sea as they were seafarers, and dragons were commonly found in many aspects of their lives.

Dragons were often carved on the bows of ships to protect the seafarers. These sea-serpents were symbolic of the Viking prowess, and were used to heighten the berserkers sense of self, and to frighten potential opponents. The dragons on the bows of their ships were also believed to scare away the serpents in the depths of the ocean.

Dragons In South American Mythology 

Close to Mexico City are the pyramids of Teotihuacan.  They are carved with many things – including a dragon called Quetzalcoatl.

Quetzalcoatl was not an evil dragon. He was the ancient cultural hero among the Aztec, the Toltec and other Meso-American peoples.  He taught them how to write and explained agriculture to them.  He introduced the calendar, monotheism, music, dance and so on – in essence he civilised them.

The Maya knew him as Kulkulkan, and the Quiché called him Gucumatz.  The same god appeared in Zuni rituals as Kolowisi and a Hopi ritual named him as Palulukong. All of these have the same meaning: “plumed serpent”.

In his dragon form he ruled the wind, the rain and the fertility of the earth, the cycles of human sustenance. As a celestial and terrestrial being he was man’s magical connection to the mysteries of heaven and the sacred earthly realm.

Quetzalcoatl was an integral part of the creation of each of the worlds/cycles/suns of the Aztecs.  The fifth age was initiated by Quetzalcoatl in 3,113 B.C. and is due to complete its cycle on Dec. 21, 2012.  Just prior to the age of the fifth sun, Quetzalcoatl created man by going to the underworld and retrieving the bones of an earlier human incarnation.  On his return journey he stumbled and fell, breaking the bones, and therefore the resulting people came out in all different shapes and sizes.

When he was driven away by war he promised to return to his people one day. Some accounts have him leaving in a dragon boat or on a raft of serpents.  Some believe he sacrificed his human body and flew off into the sky to become the bright planet we know as Venus

Dragons In Japanese Mythology

Japanese dragons are similar to those of China, but are more serpentine in shape, have only three claws on each foot, and fly less frequently. The reason why they have three toes/claws is because the Japanese believe Eastern dragons originated in their native homeland. Their belief was that when the dragons began to leave Japan, they gained toes. The further the dragons went, the more toes they gained. Which explains why the Chinese and Korean dragons have more toes.

The most familiar type of Japanese dragon is the Tatsu or Ryu, which is a descendant of a primitive three-toed variety of Chinese dragon. Japanese dragons are traditionally associated more with the sea than rain. This is because Japan is less vulnerable to drought-related disasters as compared to China. Therefore they didn’t feel the same need to pray to rain-releasing dragons.

The Ryu originated from Buddhist religion and is one of the four divine beasts from Japanese mythology (the other three being the phoenix, turtle and kirin. Kirin is the Japanese unicorn). It is frequently the emblem of the Emperor or the hero.

The dragon is chief among the ideal creatures of Japan. It is seen carved upon tombs, on temples, dwellings, and shops.

Wizards

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A wizard is a man (or woman) who has magical powers, wizard is a term derived from the Anglo-Saxon (Old English) term “wysard,” which means “the wise one.” Wizards are often said to learn their craft and spells from long hours of studying and meditation.

History 

Origins of wizards however begin even earlier and some believe have roots in the ancient Druids. Due to the nature of secrecy of this elite society in ancient times, stories have arisen. The concept of a heavily educated and practiced magic user remains a common theme for those deemed as wizards.

Besides wizards of the west, with European origins, there have been origins of magic wielding men and women across other continents.

Shamans, also known as “witch doctors”, have similar characteristics as western wizards, and roots across the world. Stories of Shamans include their ability for healing in their tribes, as well as spellcasting and physical transformation.

In India, the origins of Fakirs lies. Stories of these wise men focus on the power of meditation as the path to attaining magical wisdom.

Arabian Sages and Eastern Masters have their roots in the other societies across the world, proving no ground remains where stories of magical powers in men was not explored.

  • The traditional role of the wizard is portrayed as prophet, visionary and master of nature’s elements.
  • Wizards are also seen as keepers of secret knowledge and seekers of arcane knowledge and truth, who share that knowledge with their responsible apprentices in order to pass on that precious knowledge they have acquired.
  • They keep alive their ‘knowledge trust’ for future generations to benefit the community they serve, and they are truly guardians of human ingenuity, and protectors of practical wisdom.

Druids

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Druidic magic was very ritualistic and heavily steeped in ceremony.  Rituals were performed at specific ceremonies, especially those having to do with the lunar and solar cycles. The changing of the seasons was an especially important ritual period for the druids, as was the middle point of each season.  For a society heavily based on agriculture and hunting, their magic was geared towards the planting, harvest, and hunting cycles, seen in the festivals of Imbolc (Disting), Lammas (Loaf-Fest), Yule (Jul), Eostre (Ostara), Samhain (Winternights), Beltane (Walpurgis), Mabon, and Midsummer (Litha).  Minor rituals were held at the new and full moons, and at important events during the year (birthing and death rituals, etc.) The new and full moon rituals occurred roughly every 14 days.  The new moon ritual was considered the “inbreath” cycle of nature, when the energies flowed back into the Earth.  The full moon ritual worked with the “outbreath” cycle, when the energies flowed from the earth back to the spirit.  The two-week period of time involved for each cycle was called a “fortnight,” (14 nights), and to this day, this is still a time reference used by the British

Believing (correctly) that the Earth had meridians of power on its surface called “ley lines” or dragon currents, the Druids used massive standing stones known as dolmans (flat table rocks) and menhirs (vertical stones) embedded in the earth as points of energy concentration.

Druids were also schooled in practical magic. They employed magical herbalism on a regular basis, as well as work with magical symbols such as runes and oghams (pronounced OY-ams), carved on wood or stone. The oghams and runes functioned as alphabets as well, because the druids believed that the true essence of magic was carried by the word; the essence of thought transmitted through language. Each one of the oghams represented a tree energy, which could be tapped upon by the druid by the use of focussed concentration

Other Types

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Bards, (known as Skaldr among the Norse and Teutons) were wizards skilled in the use of magic through music and poetic form. As entertainers, they were superb; as wizards, they employed the magic of the spoken word, rhyme, tempo, cadence, and melody to weave their powerful spells. A bard had to know three things: how to make people laugh, how to make people cry, and how to put them to sleep (often to escape from persecution). 

  • Among the Norse, spae-workers were classified by the gender of the magic involved. Galdr-workers invoked the masculine, outward, proactive energies, symbolised by the runes, and most often were men, although there were female runic vitkis as well.
  • Seith (Seidhr)-workers invoked the feminine, receptive energies of nature, and was involved in shamanic travel (astral projection), shape-shifting, and soothsaying. 
  •  Females were most likely to be seith-workers, although a few males also practiced the art.
  •  It is rumored that Odhinn taught Freyja the arts of Galdr, and she taught him the arts of Seith. 
  •  In order to do this, each one had to ritually “become” the other gender for a period of time to be able to grasp the mysteries
  • For the uninitiated and unenlightened, this was considered to be a point of derision, against nature, and thus spae-workers were often shunned and feared, or made jest of. 

The Adept is the wizard that is most concerned with outward manifestation of magical energy. Most textbook wizards (the “pointed hat and wand” variety) tend to fall into this category, although it is not the predominant wizard type.

Adepts tend to work consciously with the manipulation of magic through the use of ritual and ceremonial evocation.  Adepts pull energy from the outer world through their instruments, and relay it back to the outer world in their manifestations. They are concerned with the form and style of magical expression, and they glean their powers through focused study and active ritual meditation.  Adepts actively seek to bring the unmanifest into physical expression, and are interested in the mechanical process by which the unmanifest may be evoked. 

Adepts are rarely solitary practitioners and seek the protection of a ritual organization or lodge. Many such lodges exist to this day, including Freemasonry, Argenteum Astrum, and the Rosicrucians. Those who practice solitary adeptship tend to be drawn towards the darker manifestations of the energy.

Types of adept magic include theurgy, goetia, and qabbala. 

The mystical tradition of magic relies heavily on meditation, intuition, and insight. Like the Druid, the mystic performs as a healer and teacher. Unlike the Druid, though, the Mystic is less inclined toward practical manifestations and seeks spiritual perfection through union with the Divine. Eastern traditions of magic, including Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, are more inclined toward mystical practices and the intention to transcend physical boundaries to achieve spiritual union.

The mystic pulls inner meaning from his or her own equipment, and embodies it within themselves. Mystics tend to be the quietest and most introspective of the wizards, as they tap into and help create the vast repositories of information available to all of humanity. 

Types of mystical magic include all forms of yoga, transcendental meditation, Taoism, Buddhism, empathy, clairvoyance, faith-healing, EST, and theosophy.

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Many people equate shamanism with the spiritual practices of the Native Americans, and it is true that they tend to manifest their energies in the shamanic tradition of healing practices. However, Shamanism has its roots in Siberia, in the Altai region, where it was practiced in neolithic times

Shamans are intermediaries between the physical and spiritual planes. They are both healers and diviners. Shamans work directly with discarnate beings (spirits), either allowing them to manifest through his or her physical equipment to work out prior karma, or to glean information from them about the spiritual realms and to provide healing or answers to problems of others. Spiritual healing is predominantly a Shamanic art; the Lakota term for “magic” and “medicine” are the same word.

Shamans tend to be the most predominant of all the wizard types, being found in many ethnic cultures. Types of shamanic magic include native American shamanism, voudoun, curanderia, psychopompos (those who assist the dying with their transition to the spiritual plane), spirit work, vision questing, and divination.

Darker forms of shamanism, associated with lower energies and older magical practices, include shapeshifting, demonology, and necromancy. Such practices are no longer needed in the higher energy vibrations.

Thaumaturgy, in many ways, is an integration of all other forms of magic. Literally meaning “miracle-workers”, thaumaturgists transcend physical reality through the practices of their art. The goal of the thaumaturge is to abrogate or bend physical laws to bring about conscious creation. Next to adepts, thaumaturgists are what most people think of when they think about the concept of “wizard.”

One of the most famous examples of thaumaturgy is in the Biblical story of the Wedding at Cana, where Christ changes water into wine. Most of Christ’s miracles were thaumaturgical in nature, including the ability to walk on water, curing of lepers, healing the deaf and blind, multiplying the loaves and fish to feed the multitude, and bringing Lazarus back from the dead. Earlier in the Bible, Elisha evidences similar thaumaturgical practice in performing miracles of multiplication (creating more oil for the widow in debt), raising of the dead (as in Jared’s daughter), and the neutralization of poisoned well water. Levitation is another thaumaturgical practice, practiced by many saints, as is illusion (the ability to seemingly dematerialize; to become invisible, or to project images into others minds).

Of all the magical arts, thaumaturgy is the most difficult to master. Those who do are considered to be of a very high origin; saintly or holy, in that Divine energies of manifestation are working directly through them

Types of thaumaturgical practice include conjuration, telekinesis, illusion, and transformation of matter.

The Wizard of Alderley Edge (Legend)

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Tradition says that a farmer from Mobberley was taking a milk white mare to sell at the market in Macclesfield. Whilst walking along the Edge, he reached a spot known locally as “Thieves Hole.”

Suddenly an old man clad in a grey and flowing garment stopped him. The old man offered the farmer a sum of money for his horse but the farmer refused, saying he could get a better price at the market. The old man told the farmer that he would be at this spot again that evening when the farmer returned, not having found a purchaser for the horse. The farmer failed to sell the horse and, cursing his luck, made the journey back home along the Edge.

At the same point, the old man appeared again, repeating his offer, which this time was accepted. The old man told the farmer to follow him with the horse. As they approached an area just past Stormy Point, the old man held out a wand and muttered a spell, and, to the farmer’s shock, the rock opened up to reveal a pair of huge iron gates, which the wizard – for such he clearly was – opened by casting another spell. The frightened horse threw its rider, and the farmer knelt before the wizard and begged for mercy.

But the wizard assured him he would come to no harm, and told him to enter. The farmer did so, and was led through the gates into a large cavern. In the cavern, the farmer saw countless men and white horses, all asleep. In a recess there was a chest, from which the wizard took the payment for the horse, which he gave to the farmer. The astonished farmer asked what all this meant; the wizard explained that all these sleeping warriors were ready to awake and fight should England fall into danger. He then ordered the farmer to leave; the farmer complied, and the gates slammed shut and the rock face returned to its previous state.

Though the farmer told his friends of his experience, when he returned with them the following day there was no sign of the mysterious iron gates. 

Doppelgänger

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The Germanic doppelgänger, equivalent to the Irish fetchis a double of a living person and sometimes portrayed as a harbinger of of bad luck. In some traditions, a doppelgänger seen by a person’s relative or friend portends illness or danger while seeing one’s own doppelgänger is said to be an omen of death.

Folklore

the doppelgänger is sometimes said to have no shadow or reflection, much like vampires in some traditions.

In many cases, doppelgängers appear to people shortly before their deaths.

Although this German word is of relatively recent origin, first appearing in English use in 1851, the concept of alter egos and double spirits appears in the folklore, myths, religious concepts, and traditions of many cultures throughout human history.

  • In Ancient Egyptian mythology, a ka was a tangible “spirit double” having the same memories and feelings as the person to whom the counterpart belongs. In one Egyptian myth entitled, The Greek Princess, an Egyptian view of the Trojan War, a ka of Helen was used to mislead Paris of Troy, helping to stop the war.
  • In Norse mythology, a vardrøger is a ghostly double who precedes a living person and is seen performing their actions in advance.
  • In some myths, the doppelgänger is a version of the Ankou, a Breton personification of death.

True Doppelgänger Encounters

  • Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon  who was supposedly seen walking through the drawing room of his family home in Eaton Square, London at the same time he had gone down with his ship, HMS Victoria after colliding with HMS Camperdown.
  • Guy de Maupassant the French novelist and short story writer, claimed to have been haunted by his doppelgänger near the end of his life. On one occasion, he said, this double entered his room, took a seat opposite him and began to dictate what de Maupassant was writing. He wrote about this experience in his short story “Lui.”
  • John Donne, the 16th century English poet whose work often touched on the metaphysical, was visited by a doppelgänger while he was in Paris - not his, but his wife’s. She appeared to him holding a newborn baby. Donne’s wife was pregnant at the time, but the apparition was a portent of great sadness. At the same moment that the doppelgänger appeared, his wife had given birth to a stillborn child.
  • Queen Elizabeth I of England was shocked to see her doppelgänger laid out on her bed. The queen died shortly thereafter.
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley, still considered one of the greatest poets of the English language, encountered his doppelgänger in Italy. The phantom silently pointed toward the Mediterranean Sea. Not long after, and shortly before his 30th birthday in 1822, Shelley died in a sailing accident - drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.

Dimensional Time Shifts

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In a case that suggests that doppelgängers might have something to do with time or dimensional shifts, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the 18th century German poet, confronted his doppelgänger while riding on the road to Drusenheim. Riding toward him was his exact double, but wearing a gray suit trimmed in gold. Eight years later, von Goethe was again traveling on the same road, but in the opposite direction. He then realized he was wearing the very gray suit trimmed in gold that he had seen on his double eight years earlier. Had von Goethe seen his future self?

Immortality

Immortality is eternal life, the ability to live forever.

In religious contexts, immortality is often stated to be among the promises by God (or other deities) to human beings who show goodness or else follow divine law.

In Alchemy

The Elixir Of Life - a mythical potion that, when drunk from a certain cup at a certain time, supposedly grants the drinker eternal life and/or eternal youth. The ancient Chinese believed that ingesting long-lasting precious substances such as jade, cinnabar, or hematite would confer some of that longevity on the person who consumed them.
Comte de St. Germain an 18th-century nobleman of uncertain origin and mysterious capabilities, was also reputed to have the Elixir and to be several hundred years old. Many European recipes specify that elixir is to be stored in clocks to amplify the effects of immortality on the user. Frenchman Nicolas Flamel was also a reputed creator of the Elixir.

The Philosopher’s Stone - a legendary alchemical substance used for turning base metals into gold, also helpful for achieving immortality for whoever possesses it.

Claimed Immortals

  • Leonard “Live-Forever” Jones  (1797–1868), an eccentric who ran for President of the United States in every election between the late 1840s and 1860s on a platform of immortality. He believed that mortality was simply a matter of poor morals, and with prayer anyone could live forever. He died of pneumonia at the age of 71.
  • Sir Galahad  (dates for his life fall between the 2nd century and the 6th century), one of the three Arthurian knights to find the Holy Grail. Of them, Galahad is the only one to have achieved immortality by it.
  • John The Apostle one of Jesus’s followers. Interpreted biblical scripture found at John 21:21-23 to mean that John will tarry or remain on the earth until the Second Coming.
  • Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel (15th century AD), alchemists who were reputed in later manuscripts to have acquired immortality through the use of the Philosopher’s Stone.
  • Several originally mortal men and women whom the ancient Greeks considered historical figures, like Achilles, Ino, Helen, Memnom, Menelaus, and Peleus, achieved physical immortality through the intervention of the gods.

The Fountain of Youth

It is a spring that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. Tales of such a fountain have been recounted across the world for thousands of years, appearing in writings by Herodotus  (5th century BC), the Alexander romance (3rd century CE), and the stories of Prester John(early Crusades, 11th/12th centuries CE). Stories of similar waters were also evidently prominent among the indigenous people of the Carribean during the Age of Exloration (early 15th century), who spoke of the restorative powers of the water in the mythical land of Bimini.

  • According to legend, the Spanish heard of Bimini from the Arawaks in Hispaniola, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.
  •  The Caribbean islanders described a mythical land of Beimeni or Beniny (whence Bimini) , a land of wealth and prosperity, which became conflated with the fountain legend. By the time of Ponce de Leon, the land was thought to be located northwest towards the Bahamas.
  • The natives were probably referring to the Maya.
  • Sequene, an Arawak chief from Cuba,  purportedly was unable to resist the lure of Bimini and its restorative fountain. He gathered a troupe of adventurers and sailed north, never to return.

Herodotus mentions a fountain containing a special kind of water in the land of the Macrobians, which gives the Macrobians their exceptional longevity.

The Icthyophagi then in their turn questioned the king concerning the term of life, and diet of his people, and were told that most of them lived to be a hundred and twenty years old, while some even went beyond that age- they ate boiled flesh, and had for their drink nothing but milk. When the Icthyophagi showed wonder at the number of the years, he led them to a fountain, wherein when they had washed, they found their flesh all glossy and sleek, as if they had bathed in oil- and a scent came from the spring like that of violets. The water was so weak, they said, that nothing would float in it, neither wood, nor any lighter substance, but all went to the bottom. If the account of this fountain be true, it would be their constant use of the water from it which makes them so long-lived.

Gates of Hell

The gates of hell are various locations on surfaces around the world which have a legend and reputation as being an entrance to the underworld.

Legends from both Greece and Rome tell stories of mortals who entered or were abducted into the netherworld through such gates.

Locations

  • The Gate to Hell in Egypt is located under the left paw of the great Sphinx. 
  • The Gate of Hell in Asia is located near the Great Temple Mount in Israel. The gate is called Satan’s Front Door. Some scholars argue that the door once came from Rome and was moved to the Holy land when Israel Became a State on 14th May 1948. It is was believed it took 2000 legions of demons to move the great gate because it is the most powerful and strongest doors that Satan has for gaining souls.
  • The Gate to Hell located in Europe is thought to be in Pere Lachaise Paris Cemetery, Paris. It is said to be a grand gate with very notable significance. This gate is said to be the one that all great heads of state must enter through when they die. And through this gate world leaders must be judged by the Devil first, and then God.
  • The North American Gate is Located at or near the Tomb Of the Great Voodoo – Hoodoo Queen, Marie Laveau.
  • The Gate in Australia is said to be located in the Rookwood Cemetery, Greater Sydney.
  • Legends and Lore of Illinois Vol. 3 Issue 1 tells that Lebanon Road is home to the “7 Gates to Hell,” seven railroad bridges (guarded by ‘hell hounds’) that allegedly lead to the underworld. Nighttime interlopers along Lebanon Road have woven a tale that a portal to Hell can be unlocked by passing through all seven bridges by midnight.
  • Located in the middle of the Roman Forum is another entrance, Latus Curtius, where according to a medieval legend, a Roman soldier, named Curtius, bravely rode his horse into the entrance in a successful effort to close it, although both he and his horse perished in the deed.
  • Into the medieval period Mount Etna on Sicily was considered to be an entryway to hell, and during this period Icelanders believed their own Mount Hekla was also a gateway. The most famous of medieval gateways, however, was St Patrick’s Purgatory in Lough Derg, County Donegal, Ireland.
  • In China, Fengdu has a long history in the Taoist tradition of being a portal to hell.
  •  Hellam township near York, Pennsylvania, has the problematic reputation of being the home of the Seven Gates of Hell.

The Seven Gates of Hell

There are two popular versions of the myth, with numerous variants of each. One states that a mental institution used to be located on either Toad Road or Trout Run Road, depending on the source, in Hellam Township, Pennsylvania. It was set in a remote location so as to isolate people deemed insane from the rest of the world. One day in the 1800s, a fire broke out and, due to its remoteness, firefighters could not reach the hospital in time to save it. Many patients died in the flames, while others escaped and were soon beaten to death.

The gates’ role in the story is disputed. Some say that the gates were put up by the local search party to trap the remaining inmates. Others say that, completely unrelated to the asylum story, an eccentric physician who lived on the property built several gates along a path deep into the forest. Both accounts agree on only one gate being visible during the day, but the other six can be seen at night. According to the legend, no one has ever passed the fifth gate, but if they passed all seven, they would go directly to hell.

Another story about the gates of hell is of a man in the 1950s who murdered his wife and children with a shot gun and impaled their corpses on the spikes of one of the gates. Before the house was torn down, bullet holes were visible in the garage door and in the wall on the side of the house where the garage door was located.

Kuchisake-onna

Kuchisake-onna, meaning ‘slit-mouthed woman’ is a figure appearing in Japanese urban legends.

Legend

The original story of Kuchisake-Onna comes from the Heian period of Japan’s history, roughly 1200-800 years ago.  A beautiful woman, either wife or concubine to a samurai, was extraordinarily vain.  She cheated on the samurai. When he discovered her treachery, he slit open her mouth from ear to ear, giving her a glasgow smile, and asked her, “Who will think you are beautiful now?”

  • According to the legend, children walking alone at night may encounter a woman wearing a surgical mask, which is not an unusual sight in Japan as people wear them to protect others from their colds or sickness.
  • The woman will stop the child and ask, “Am I pretty?” If the child answers no, the child is killed with a pair of scissors which the woman carries.
  • If the child answers yes, the woman pulls away the mask, revealing that her mouth is slit ear to ear, and asks “How about now?” If the child answers no, he/she will be cut in half. 
  • If the child answers yes, then she will slit his/her mouth like hers.
  • It is impossible to run away from her, as she will simply reappear in front of the victim.

Rumours

When the legend reappeared in the 1970s rumours of ways to escape also emerged:

  • Some sources say she can also be confused by the victim answering her question with ambiguous answers, such as “You are average” or “So-so”. Unsure of what to do, she will give a person enough time to escape while she is lost in thought
  • Another escape route is to tell her one has a previous engagement; she will pardon her manners and excuse herself. 
  •  In some variations of the tale, she can be distracted by fruit or candies thrown at her which she will then pick up, thus giving the victim a chance to run. 
  •  She will also be at an advantage to run toward you if she has the chance.
  •  Another way is for the child to ask her if the child is pretty; she will get confused and leave.

True Name

A true name is a name of a thing or being that expresses, or is somehow identical with, its true nature. The notion that language, or some specific sacred language, refers to things by their true names has been central to magic, religious invocation and mysticism (mantras) since antiquity.

Folklore

  • In folklore, knowledge of a true name allows to magically affect a person or being.
  • Such names could give the person who knew them power even over gods in some beliefs, and the effect is used in many tales.
  • Much of Renaissance demonology is based on the idea of achieving power over a demon by knowledge of its true name

History

The idea that true names give control over something goes back to the Old Testament. Adam had the power to name the animals, and so had some power over them. The Roman naming system had ‘private’ family names and public names partly because of this idea. European cultures gave babies secret names and used nicknames for them in infancy to protect them from harm. Native American cultures gave multiple names to children.

Folklore Examples

  • In Rumpelstiltskin and all its variants, the girl can free herself from the power of a supernatural helper who demands her child by learning its name.
  • A legend of Saint Olaf recounts how a troll built a church for the saint at a fantastic speed and price, but the saint was able to free himself by learning the troll’s name in a walk in the woods.
  •  Similarly, the belief that unbaptised children were in particular danger of having the fairies kidnap them and leave changelings in their place may stem from their unnamed state.
  • In the Scandinavian variants of the ballad Earl Brand, the hero can defeat all his enemies until the heroine, running away with him, pleads with him by name to spare her youngest brother.
  • In Scandinavian beliefs, more magical beasts, such as the Nix, could be defeated by calling their name.

The Undead

It is a being that is deceased yet behaves as if alive. A common example is re-animated corpses. The undead may not have a physical body (like ghosts) but can also have a physical body (like vampires, zombies, and ghouls). The undead are featured in the belief systems of most cultures.

Living corpses include:

  • Draugr - (Icelandic) Draugar live in their graves, often guarding treasure buried with them in their burial mound. They are animated corpses - unlike ghosts they have a corporeal body with similar physical abilities as in life.
  • Ghoul - (monster or spirit) associated with graveyards and consuming human flesh.
  • Revenant - it is a visible ghost or animated corpse that was believed to return from the grave to terrorise the living.
  • Lich - (Germanic) Often such a creature is the result of a transformation, as a powerful magician  or king striving for eternal life uses spells or rituals to bind his intellect to his animated corpse and thereby achieve a form of immortality. Liches are depicted as being clearly cadaverous, bodies desiccated or completely skeletal. Liches are often depicted as holding power over hordes of lesser undead creatures, using them as soldiers and servants.

Incorporeal Spirits include:

  • Ghost - It is the soul or spirit of a soul or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living. 
  • Phantom - a type of ghost that closely resembles the living. It can appear to be completely human in form and appearance, but is in fact, a ghost.
  • Spectre - an unpleasant ghost. In mythology, a spectre is a phantom, apparition, ghost or an unreal appearance. It is common in some types of folklore. It can also be a mental representation of some haunting experience.
  • Wraith - a ghost or ghostlike image of someone, especially one seen shortly before or after their death.

Supernatural Abilities

Psychokinesis

It is the ability to move or manipulate objects with the mind. Examples of psychokinesis could include moving an object, levitating, and teleporting.

There are written accounts and oral legends of events fitting the description of psychokinesis dating back to early history, most notably in the stories found in various religions and mythology.

In the Bible, Jesus is described as performing various miracles that have been described by parapsychologists as psychokinesis, such as turning water into wine.

Mythological beings throughout history, such as witches, have been described as being able to levitate people, animals, and objects.

Telepathy

Telepathy is the ability to communicate with others with the mind. 

An individual is aware of the danger to the other person from a distance. Instances comes in different forms:

  • Dreams
  • Visions
  • Hallucinations
  • Clairaudience
  • Words that appear in the mind

There are several forms of telepathy:

  • Latent telepathy, formerly known as “deferred telepathy”,  is described as the transfer of information, through Psi, with an observable time-lag between transmission and reception.
  • Retrocognitive, precognitive, and intuitive telepathy is described as being the transfer of information, through Psi, about the past, future or present state of an individual’s mind to another individual.
  • Emotive telepathy, also known as remote influence or emotional transfer, is the process of transferring kinesthetic sensations through altered states.
  • Superconscious telepathy involves tapping into the superconscious to access the collective wisdom of the human species for knowledge.

Clairvoyance

Clairvoyance is the transfer of information without the use of the senses – it differs from telepathy in that there is no transfer of information from one person to another. Clairvoyants often say that the information comes from the spirit world. A related ability is called Clairaudience – which is the ability to internally hear information that is passed from the dead

Clairvoyance is also the ability to see ‘the hidden world’, with the belief of being able to see the fae

Some crystals are believed to help develop the gift of psychic vision:

  • Dumortierite - it clears mental fog, enhances concentration, and unblocks energies.
  • Labradorite - it is an inter-dimensional stone enhancing clairvoyance, telepathy, communication with spirit guides, psychic abilities, access to Akashic records, past-life recall, and increasing “coincidence control”, self mastery, inner awareness, creative expression, and psychic protection.
  • Angelite - to connect with the ‘unseen’ realm.

Psychometry 

It is the ability to “read” information from objects. Supporters assert that an object may have an energy field that transfers knowledge regarding that object’s history.

Precognition

This is the ability to foresee events. It can also be seen in dreams.

Users have the ability to foresee possible futures and observe what may happen. As knowledge of the future invariably causes that future to change, visions of the future are subject to frequent shifting. While not being able to select futures or travel through time, these visions may assist in possible courses of action.

Bilocation

It is the alleged ability to be in two places at the same time. St Pio of Pietrelcina, the famous stigmatic, was said to have this ability. It is said to be a physical, rather than spiritual ability, which makes it different from astral projection. Friends of Aleister Crowley, the occultist, claimed that he had this ability, though in situations were he was meant to have bilocated, he was unaware of it. Although it is uncommon, bilocation is an ancient phenomenon. It is claimed to have been experienced, and even practiced by will, by mystics, ecstatics, saints, monks, holy persons, and magical adepts. This is also normally the explanation given for the tales of people appearing to loved ones just prior to their death.

The Language of the Birds

The language of the birds was considered a secret and perfect language and the key to perfect knowledge, sometimes also called the langue verte, or green language. It is a language used by birds to communicate with the initiated.

Recent research into bird song has revealed a certain amount of combinatorial phonology, an aspect shared with human languages.

History

Birds played an important role in Indo-European religion, used for divination by augurs, and according to a suggestion by Walter Burkert, these customs may have their roots in the Paleolithic when during the Ice Age, early humans used to look for carrion by observing birds. From the Renaissance, it was the inspiration for some magical priori languages, in particular musical languages.

Whistled languages based on spoken natural languages are also sometimes referred to as the language of the birds. Ukrainian language is known as “nightingale speech” amongst its speakers.

According to Apollonius Rhodius, the figurehead of Jason’s ship, the Argo, was built of oak from the sacred grove at Dodona and could speak the language of birds. The language of birds in Greek mythology may be attained by magical means. Democritus, Anaximander, Apollonius of Tyana, Tiresias, Melampus and Aesopus were all said to have understood the birds.

The concept is also known from many folk tales (including Welsh, Russian, German, Estonian, Greek, Romany), where usually the protagonist is granted the gift of understanding the language of the birds either by some magical transformation, or as a boon by the king of birds. The birds then inform or warn the hero about some danger or hidden treasure.

In medieval France, the language of the birds (la langue des oiseaux) was a secret language of the Troubadours, connected with the Tarot, allegedly based on puns and symbolism drawn from homophony, e. g. an inn called au lion d’or “the Golden Lion” is allegedly “code” for au lit on dort “in the bed one sleeps”

In Mythology

In Norse mythology,  the power to understand the language of the birds was a sign of great wisdom. The god Odin had two ravens, called Hugin and Munin, who flew around the world and told Odin what happened among mortal men.

The legendary king of Sweden, Dag the Wise, was so wise that he could understand what birds said. He had a tame house sparrow which flew around and brought back news to him. Once, a farmer in Reidgotaland  killed Dag’s sparrow, which brought on a terrible retribution from the Swedes.

The ability could also be acquired by tasting dragon blood

Huldufólk

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The Huldufólk are the ‘hidden people’ in Icelandic folklore. According to these Icelandic folk beliefs, one should never throw stones because of the possibility of hitting the huldufólk. They are also a part of folklore in the Faroe Islands.

The Icelandic Elf School, or Álfaskólinn, is a school in Reykavík that teaches students and visitors alike about the huldufólk, specifically the 13 kinds of elf that exist within Iceland.

History

Iceland was settled by the Norse in the 9th Century. When Viking settlers came from Scandinavia, they brought with them their Norse language, culture, and religion. Due to Iceland’s location, being isolated at quite a distance from Europe, old Norse religion survived much later in Iceland than elsewhere. Even after Christianisation, the cultural climate in Iceland was such that the old ways were allowed to survive alongside the new religions.

General

  • In Faroese folk tales, Huldufólk are said to be “large in build, their clothes are all grey, and their hair black. Their dwellings are in mounds, and they are also called Elves.”
  • They also dislike crosses, churches and electricity.

Many believe that there are in fact two nations living in Iceland – humans, and the hidden people. A phenomenon widely understood by many Icelanders and not often discussed with outsiders, huldufólk are an accepted part of life; as commonplace as birds and trees. 

Cautioned with stories as children, they are told not to throw stones so as not to injure one of the hidden people, not to wander too far from human habitations, and that certain rock formations are not by accident, as they make up the houses and cities of the elves, and to respect the landscape around them.

 Described as being of human-like appearance, only more beautiful, many Icelanders believe they have in fact been witness to their magic as children, but then told they are imaginary friends by others, they begin to lose the ability to see the huldufólk as they grow older and society and education taints their ability to perceive the supernatural.

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"The imaginary elves and hidden people are another fascinating projection of the Icelandic psyche upon nature. These creatures live in the underworld right under the beneath of the ground in rocks and hills. Icelandic folklore contains two accounts of the origin of elves. One claims that they are the unwashed children of Eve that she wanted to hide from God, thus, symbolically representing aspects of the human personality that the self regards as unwanted. As an omniscient God knows everything, however, he decided that whatever humans try to hide from him, he would hide from them. The other account of the origin of elves holds that these creatures were created at the time when God created a woman for the first man, Adam. As the woman turned out to be exceedingly difficult to manage (for both Adam and God), God changed his plan by creating a man for her, equal to her untamable nature, and named him Alfur. She was named Alvör, and all elves and trolls are descended from them. Both stories point towards a male tendency to blame women for their provocation, as well as the repression of unaccepted tendencies. Many things indicate that the hidden people originate in our unconscious: They resemble us in many ways, though they are more spirit-like and invisible, and to see the elves, must to either be given permission by them, or have a special ability. They can have supra-human capacities; and they can be both better and worse than humans. To provoke their anger means trouble but to help them in times of crisis means blessings as a result they are powerful, respected and feared. The hidden people have various human attributes, and even though they live longer than we do, they are born and they die just as we do. They eat and drink, play instruments, have lights in their houses, go fishing, move residences, and keep animals, though they are more productive than those of humans. Traditional belief holds that there are both good elves and bad elves, light elves and dark. Light elves live closer to the gods and are Christians. They worship in churches that can be identified in formation of rocks or in domelike caves. The dark elves live in the ground. The hidden people live not only in hills and stones, but in the ocean and lakes as well, and even in the air. The elves do not live in burnt lava for it is the dwelling of evil spirits and death. It is possible to learn magic (how to influence the unconscious of others with psychological powers) from the hidden people. They can be very seductive, though if you don’t do what they want they turn against you — and if you do accept what they offer (or identify with the psychic contents that they represent) you run the risk of becoming insane."

Communication

Icelandic Elves communicate with humans in various ways. They can express dissatisfaction in ways that are non-verbal, but never the less blatantly communicative. For example they may cause rock slides and other natural disasters to let it be known that human activity has angered them. They can also cause illness in humans, failure of crops, and disease in livestock.

When the Elves are pleased, however, they may bless a farmer with an abundant harvest, or grace their region with pleasant weather and smooth sailing seas.

Dreams are another mode of communication for Elf to human contact. One Icelandic builder reported that as he was making plans to have a boulder on his project site moved, the Elven resident who lived inside it came to him in a dream. She asked that he give her family some time to gather their belongings and find temporary lodgings until the boulder was relocated, at which point they could move back in. The builder stalled the relocation of the boulder for a few days, delaying construction. When questioned on this, the builder refused to change his mind. Treating the Elves with respect was only the right thing to do.

Goatman

A goatman/shapeshifter being. It preys on the weak. Accompanied by a metallic smell like pennies or blood or a god awful rotting smell. It can change form to something human like to trick its prey, although in appearance its human its actions are not. It has trouble with motor functions in this form and can’t seem to make thoughts that we can comprehend on its own. It imitates what it has seen you do thinking it can blend in. Its movements are jerky.”

Huay Chivo

The Huay Chivo is a legendary Mayan beast. It is a half-man, half-beast creature, with burning red eyes, and is specific to the Yucatán Peninsula.

 

  •  It is often said to be an evil sorcerer who can transform himself into a supernatural animal, usually a goat, dog or deer, in order to prey upon livestock.
  •  In recent times it has become associated with the chupacabras.
  • Alleged Huay Chivo activity is sporadically reported in the regional press.
  •  Local Maya near the town of Valladolid, in Yucatán, believe the Huay Chivo is an evil sorcerer that is capable of transforming into a goat to do mischief and eat livestock.
  • The name Huay Chivo combines Spanish and Yucatec Mayan terms Huay or Uay comes from Waay in Yucatec Maya, meaning sorcerer, spirit or animal familiar, while Chivo is Spanish for goat, literally meaning sorcerer-Goat.

The Goatman of Maryland

According to legend, Goatman is an axe-wielding, half-man, half-animal creature that was once a scientist who worked in the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.

  •  The tale holds that he was experimenting on goats, the experiment went awry, and he began attacking cars with an axe, roaming the back roads of Beltsville, Maryland.
  • A variation of the legend tells of Goatman as an old hermit who lives in the woods, seen walking alone at night along Fletchertown Road.
  • Apparently, the doctor confessed to creating the Goatman by crossing the DNA of a goat and his assistant William Lottsford, but the experiment wen terribly wrong and result was the malicious, genetic atrocity known as the Goatman. As patently ridiculous as this origin story may be, it bears remarking that is very similar to that of the CHUPACABRA, which was also allegedly created in a now long abandoned U.S. lab located in Puerto Rico.

Lake Worth Monster

It is a North American cryptid reported to live in and around Lake Worth, just outside of Fort Worth, Texas.

  • Numerous sightings in July 1969 led to the belief of a half-man, half-goat creature living in Lake Worth in Texas.
  • Terry Deckard, a reporter, wrote an article about it in the newspaper, which made the front page. The headline read: “Fishy Man-Goat Terrifies Couples Parked at Lake Worth.”
  • The couples that reported the sightings described it as a half-man, half-goat, with fur and scales.
  • A man named Tommy Burson soon after reported the creature landed on his car after jumping out of a tree. An 18-inch scar on the side of his car was shown by Burson as proof. The police at this point decided to investigate. Up until then, they had laughed at any reports they received, thinking it was a hoax.
  • The following night, reports came in of the creature hurling a tire from a bluff at overlooking bystanders, which was reportedly witnessed by up to 10 individuals.