Witnesses in the vicinity of a Southern Illinois town claim to have witnessed a bizarre ritual taking place in a field at 12:30 AM October 12, 2012. The town is of mixed European settlement, and has a bit of age to it – old even for the long-settled Mississippi valley. It is marked by houses built in the old and simpler – more organic, perhaps – municipal plan of the late 1880s through early 1900s. This is the sort of place troubled by less intense matters, or at least it appears to be upon cursory examination. But it is a sinister place by night, the old cemetery in particular. This is a place of curiosities and quaint ghost stories. A red lady is supposed to walk the upper stair of an insurance office that was once a small hotel. Lincoln is said to have visited the place. So too, Alexis d’ Tocqueville. It is a place with a former Governor’s residence, and it sports a significant university. It is also said to be haunted by escaped slaves who did not quite make it to freedom. In the vicinity, a massacre is said to have been carried out by American settlers against the indigenous inhabitants.
It has also been plagued since the late 1960s – so say locals and resident law enforcement professionals – by devil worship.
The Vicar is not one to put much store in tales of Satan-worship. All too often, these are the product of fevered fundamentalist imaginations, mistaking the weird late night romps of college kids for more significant rituals. Worse yet, it is not uncommon for the uneducated and uninitiated to conclude that a pagan ceremony is targeted upon contacting the Devil. Ignorance is bliss, except when it leads to witch hunts and bigoted agendas.
The ritual in question is however a disturbing one. If true, the event is said to have been connected to harvest and drought; the witnesses perhaps strayed too close for comfort. Kathy (a Nurse) and Maya (a CNA) are mother and daughter, and they reported to the Vicar that they had gone out in search of their dog Sasha, who frequently escapes from their yard to romp in nearby fields. These same fields have been ravaged by the country’s most significant drought in 56 years (the mystical 11) and it perhaps should come as no surprise that a community so closely tied to farming for so long might harbor remnants of a harvest-centered cult. Rumors of this sort of thing run deep in the American consciousness, thought we rarely concern ourselves with such things in an age where most people think food comes from big-box grocery and retail outlets.
Careful research will lead the curious to the conclusion that produce actually grows in the ground, and it has to be carefully tended before considerable labor goes into harvest and transport. Farmers make up a tiny percentage of America’s workforce these days, and the labor working those farms is often neither legal nor English-speaking. But the rhythm and rhyme of the wheeling seasons goes on apace. We are no less bound to the land than were our distant ancestors.
The mother and daughter duo report that they discovered Sasha had squeezed out through the broken gate of their back yard sometime after 11:00 PM. This was not an odd occurrence, certainly, so they grabbed flashlights and set off in the direction she usually went.
“She usually runs off across Route 4,” Kathy told our investigator, “so we just worry about her getting hit. But that late at night, there isn’t much traffic.”
“Across Route 4” in this case means that the dog goes from a quiet subdivision to a series of corn fields backed by dense stands of trees. This is typical Southern Illinois country, and those readers who have traveled the region will understand that by night, this can be scary territory. Kathy and Maya are used to chasing their dog under these circumstances, however.
The two women proceeded into the fields, where they soon found they could hear Sasha barking. These sounds led them about a mile into the corn field, near the edge of a stand of trees. The dog seemed to have continued into the woods, probably following the scent of other dogs or small game. “She’s an English Setter – a hunting dog,” Kathy said. “My ex-husband trained her.”
The two women led our investigator into the trees for perhaps 500 yards to the point where a group of large, expensive homes are situated along what the women describe as a “private road”.
“It’s not really private, though,” Maya stated. “It’s more that nobody comes down here except the people who live back here. We don’t really know these people. I think [redacted] the one lawyer with the office on Main Street owns one of the houses.”
What drew the women into the area on the night of the 12th was the fact that a large bonfire could be seen burning in another, more secluded stand of trees to the east of the “private” neighborhood. Sasha was nowhere to be found by this point, and they could no longer hear her barking. But the women were motivated by something else.
Kathy told our investigator that they thought they could see people around the fire, and they wondered if someone – perhaps the rich folks living in the vicinity – were having a bonfire party. They concluded that Sasha may have been drawn to the people, and they could probably get away with a bit of trespassing if they were searching for the dog. They decide to walk the additional mile or so to the next clump of woods.
“That was not a bonfire party,” the older woman informed our investigator. Both women are of a scientific mindset, the result in part of their professional training. Kathy has been a nurse at a local hospital for more than 11 years; before that she worked in medical offices as a receptionist and a CNA. Her daughter is following in her footsteps. “We go to church,” Kathy said, “but I don’t think either of us ever worry too much about the dark side of spirituality. I don’t really buy a lot of the ghostly stuff and exorcisms and demons I really think are just silliness. I still do. But what we saw was a group of people who must feel differently.”
The mother and daughter describe a lurid and weird scene, with around a dozen black-robed figures surrounding a fire in the midst of a small clearing in the copse. According to the women, these individuals wore white masks, largely featureless, and had their hoods drawn up. Maya remarked, “It reminded me of Eyes Wide Shut.”
The group was apparently engaged in a fairly standard summoning ritual, as one individual brandished a ceremonial dagger and chanted phrases. When asked if they could recall what was said, both women indicated that a lot of it did not sound like English. The phrases that they did catch include, “Spirits of Earth and Sky” and “Dragon of Damuse”.
Our investigator asked about pictures, assuming that both women had taken along cellular phones. In response, Kathy stated, “Oh, I thought about it for about ten seconds. But then we looked at each other and we were both like, ‘not a good idea’. We pretty much turned and ran the other way.”
Maya added, “This town gets weird around Halloween. I didn’t think it would get that weird, but either way, I don’t want to know any more about it. We both swore we wouldn’t even discuss it but my mom ended up bringing it up to Dr. [redacted] at [redacted] University. And then there was that UFO out in Freeburg just the other day. We thought maybe it was connected.”
An associate of the Vicar’s at the local University made a referral, since biology departments do not accept the validity of occult rituals as a general rule. While the mother and daughter noted the use of the phrase, “Spirits of Earth and Sky,” connecting the latter usage to the timely appearance of the UFO – not just in Freeburg, IL, but also seen in Hecker, Milstadt, Mascoutah, and as far south as Pickneyville – a different phrase caught our perhaps more esoterically trained ears. It is this single phrase that makes the whole episode worth investigating and reporting on, since it is unlikely to have been added if the experience was the result of running across weird revels in the night. It is equally unlikely that it would have been thrown into a fabricated account.
“Dragon of Damuse” is likely a misinterpretation of the phrase, “Dragon of Tammuz”. The women claimed to have been in the trees, perhaps 30-50 yards from the ritual they briefly witnessed. The Dragon of Tammuz seems to be a reference to kin of the celestial dragon slain in Babylonian myth by Marduk. The serpentine monster, often called Tiamat, is in some occult sources the mother of a whole race of demonic entities. Some of these include harvest or planting oriented creatures and the use of the term Dragon of Tammuz almost clinches the connection. Tammuz was the Babylonian god of the harvest. His “dragon” could well be a simple way of identifying a serpent-like monster that hunts the corn fields – which would be a fair mythic rendering of the Midwest’s recently surfaced Corn Demon. The creature described by some migrant witnesses is a serpentine being clearly related to Maya depictions of a similar entity. Investigations and reviews of relevant literature carried out by staff here at the Lamp in August and September yielded an interesting connection between harvest and planting sacrifice ceremonies in hundreds of early cultures, and the tendency even today for murderers to deposit bodies in cornfields and for individuals to go missing in the vicinity of the same. The conclusion: If any phenomenon has ancient roots, it’s the notion that farm fields are inhabited, controlled or patrolled by spiritual entities with interesting tastes and appetites, including a need for human sacrifice.
On the heels of this report from Southern Illinois that a strange ritual occurred in the fields, a well-publicized news report was logged by KSDK.com of a mysterious light in the sky:
The upshot? It was a satellite, of course. These things always are, when they aren’t a weather balloon or a secret US Air Force project…
Our dear friends at ATS spotted the same story from a different angle, here:
The obvious question is whether or not the ritual these women claim to have witnessed was a legitimate occult summoning. The idea that a group of people in a small Midwestern town might engage in occultism is neither surprising nor particularly scary; interest in this sort of entertainment goes back to ancient times and there is very little that has changed within human beings that we should expect the death of mysticism. If what they saw was a summoning, then it stands to reason that it runs a small percentage chance of being effective, since we have no idea as a species what it really means when our witch-doctors and wizards speak of “summoning a demon” or “contacting spirits”. Literature abounds on the matter; it is always possible that the mystical means of summoning contact entities from off-world taken by our ancestors to be spiritual forces or divine beings.
This is a topic we have often visited and revisited here at the Lamp, sometimes to the delight – other times to the dread – of our readership. It remains an important point: In a nearly infinite reality, we cannot rule out possibilities of any kind, no matter how sharply Occam’s Razor may cut. It’s an uncomfortable, utterly statistical argument that skeptics cannot stand because it cannot be refuted, which makes it all the more potent.
If – and we are almost always dealing with big IFs in this business – the ritual was real, then the next question is obvious: Did the UFO manifest in response? And will a new Corn Demon sighting be forthcoming? Or has the damage already been done by the Corn Demon, and we are merely treading along in the wake of Tammuz’s Dragon? This kind of activity may indicate that a group of unknown size and uncertain purpose has been controlling or attempting to control ancient occult forces linked to agriculture. On the surface, that seems absurd. But the power to cause drought is simultaneously profound and well-attested. Francisco Maria Guazzo collected thousands of these stories in the course of his career as a Papal investigator of the Malficarum. And he drew heavily on secondary sources, which often drew on secondary sources of their own. While few serious researchers will take ghost stories from the Middle Ages at face value, the sheer weight of human belief in these phenomena manifests a corpus of proof all its own.
What caused our long drought? What is causing climate change? Understanding meteorologic forces is fine, but the function of Science is not and has never been the establishment of Truth. Rather, Science deals in Fact and the Facts collected are not ever assumed to have instant and perfect linkages to other factors of a query. The whole point of Science is to describe the what and the how of things. Causes and larger questions of why a thing occurs are a separate issue, except for the unimaginative. Knowing how the Sun burns is not the same as knowing why it is where it is and what it thinks about the planets that circle it.
The essence of a materialistic time is the certain and dogmatic article of faith that there exists a division between the animate and inanimate. But this is not the basis of the Occult systems that underpin the magic of rulership. If one accepts the concept that the elites have among their number cadres of Occult practitioners, then it is almost a certainty that these belief systems are survivals and reinterpretations of the pagan mystery cults. As such, they are methods for ruling the remaining 99% of the earth’s populace. These methods are both overt and covert; no one can doubt the power of monetary control coupled with the capacity for violence represented by military hardware, soldiers and police forces. But it is the covert mechanisms that rob free peoples of courage and integrity.
Kongzi taught that “Symbols rule the world, not rules and not laws.” Mastery of symbols and their power is the core of real magic. Those who master the symbols rule the world, and may even influence the forces we think of as natural and timeless.
At the very least, someone may be trying to summon and control the power of an ancient and potent occult spirit with dominion over our fields and our food supply.
Or some nuts out in the boonies were having a weird good time.