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Dead Time Stories

by Clyde Lewis

As it was in the beginning of this world, it is the same until the world ends a cycle. For everything that is good there is an evil thing and for every happy ending, a tale of treachery rears its ugly head.

When I was in Junior High School, I was lucky to have teachers who believed in challenging us. Their assignments led us to explore beyond the confines of pious histories and dumbed-down reality, discovering the unwashed underbelly that resided just beyond the rose-colored versions of our human story given by religious figures and political leaders.

I was impressed by a report that was given in class by a girl who wanted to expose the true meanings of children's nursery rhymes and stories. I was no more than 13 years of age, and what I was hearing shocked and raised my interest along with an eyebrow.

Her report uncovered the darker side of innocent children's songs and rhymes. It was the first time that I had heard of such an idea.

It was a peculiar feeling to realize that stories from a child's innocence were, in reality, the darkest of all things dredged from some of man's most unholy imaginations.

"Ring around the Rosy
Pocket full foe Posies Ashes, Ashes
We all fall down. "

The Black Death had been known in England for centuries as a ghastly and horrible way to die . The victim's skin turned black in patches, and the inflamed glands or 'buboes' in the groin, combined with compulsive vomiting, a swollen tongue and splitting headaches, made it a horrible, agonizing killer.

Though the disease was originally called the "Great Mortality" and the "Great Pestilence," the name "Black Death" was eventually adopted because of the appearance of black boils caused by dried blood under the skin from internal hemorrhaging.

The first indications of the disease were a red ring that formed around your cheeks. Then you would begin to sneeze as the bacterial infection held you in its deadly embrace. The bacterium would spread to the victims' lungs, causing them to fill with frothy, bloody liquid. This derivative of the disease was known as the pneumonic plague, and would quickly spread from person to person through the air.

In the spring and summer of 1665, an outbreak of bubonic plague spread from parish to parish until thousands had died and the huge pits dug to receive the bodies were full. People were dying at the rate of 7000 per week.

The smell of death permeated the streets, and it was wise to carry with you a pocket full of flowers to give relief the pungent smell of putridity. Physicians used to carry scented herbs and flowers, in front of their noses in an attempt to ward off the plague. Traditional 17th century London physicians wore long robes and a long beaked mask with posies stuffed inside.

The bodies needed to be burned to kill the bacteria before the mass graves were filled, resulting in the phrase "Ashes Ashes". In other versions of the verse, the phrase was "Achoo Achoo", indicating the sneezing associated with the pneumonic plague.

There are many people who have decided that this particular rhyme does in fact have ties to the plague of 1665; however, the first renditions of the rhyme were not written until 1881. This means that, if it were truly a rhyme that was created during the plague, it would have to have been recited for nearly six hundred years. This makes the plague connection suspect.

However, one third of the earth's population, perhaps more, succumbed to the plague and it could have been picked up very quickly as an elegy or a culling verse, taken from something that was created before. It could be a parody of a previous song or verse.

It is also possible that the rhyme was taken from a Hindu ritual. Richard Stoney has researched the possibility of the rhyme's being attached to the destruction and reincarnation ritual, "The Twilight Dance of Shiva." Shiva is known as the god of destruction.

In the ritual, Shiva is encircled with roses. Then a circle of fire moves about Shiva, and mountains flatten and the Universe is burned. The idea is to dance around Shiva until you fall down from exhaustion.

You cough and wheeze "Achoo Achoo ", they all fall down.

I actually know of a Warren Zevon Song called "Monkey Wash Donkey Rinse" where the lyrics sound like a death mantra mentioning the dance of Twilight

Hell is only half full room for you and me
Looking for a new fool Who's it gonna be?
It's the Dance of Shiva It's the Debutantes ball
And everyone will be there
Who's anyone at all

Left eye, right eye Take a look around
Everybody's heading For a hole in the ground
And it's the Dance of Shiva It's the Twilight of the Gods
Thunder and lightning 'Til the break of dawn

The Hindu ritual is used to re-energize life and the cosmos, from destruction. It is symbolic of death, transformation and rebirth. Halloween, or Samhain, occurs during the astrological time of Scorpio. It is the harvest season, when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Scorpio is the sign that represents death and renewal.

It is a time where darkness falls early and the spirits are restless. It is a time where the dead walk among us. There are many spirits who are passive, who merely want to communicate with their loved ones. But there are also spirits who do not rest well because their bodies in life were murdered or defiled in a horrible fashion.

When I was a child, one of my favorite Halloween stories was "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving. It is the story of a spirit unable to rest in the ground because it has lost its head in battle.

"It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head had been carried away by a cannon ball, in some nameless battle during the Revolutionary War, and who is ever and anon seen by the country folk, hurrying along in the gloom of night. The specter is known, at all the country firesides, by the name of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow." --Washington Irving "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Ichabod Crane was frightened by the specter of the headless rider whose horse would breathe smoke and flame as he crossed the bridge. The story was read over and over again at my elementary school, and the story of the lanky schoolmaster being haunted by the headless phantom was tuned into a Disney short film.

I used to think that the gothic tale was unique to the United States. After some research I learned that stories of headless ghouls exist in many cultures, and that many famous writers have told of them as very real and frightening entities.

The Brothers Grimm once wrote a story based on a sighting in 1644 of a headless horseman who rode through a forest near Dresden, Germany, frightening a woman who was gathering acorns. She heard the sound of a hunting horn, and then a huge thud. She saw a headless man wearing a long gray coat and boots. He had his head tied to the horn of the saddle.

Though many revenant ghouls feast upon human flesh, and suck out the souls of the living, the woman was left unharmed.

The headless ghoul or the acephalic monster was written about in William Shakespeare's Othello.

"Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle, Rough quarries, rocks and hills whose heads touch heaven It was my hint to speak,--such was the process; And of the Cannibals that each other eat, The Anthropophagi and men whose heads Do grow beneath their shoulders."--Othello Act 1 Scene 3

Shakespeare also wrote about headless bears, in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

"I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round, Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier: Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound, A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire; And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn, Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn." --Puck From a Midsummer Night's dream Act 3 Scene 1

In medieval legend, there were monsters called the Blemmyae, walking men with no heads. ancient artists would depict these monsters as having eyes where their nipples were supposed to be and mouths in place of their navels.

In the 11th century work entitled "The Wonders of the East", these hideous beings were described as being quite large:

"Then there is another island, south of the Brixontes, on which there are born men without heads who have their eyes and mouth in their chests. They are eight feet tall and eight feet wide."--The Wonders of the east

Even during the reign of the Pharaohs, it is said that their god Set is also identified with a sort of headless demon called the Akephalos whose eyes are placed in its shoulders.

The Blemmyae seem to have shared the same characteristics as another creature that terrorized West Virginia. An acephalic creature with a hairy body and a pair of winged appendages sounds very much like the Mothman, a headless creature with glowing red eyes in its chest that was seen as a harbinger of death. After the creature's appearance the Silver Bridge, which linked the small town of Point Pleasant to Ohio, collapsed, killing 46 people.

The Aztec god Tezcatlipoca would manifest himself as a headless corpse with a large wound in the chest which rhythmically opened and closed. The door would open so that the God could receive its blood sacrifice for nourishment.

Accounts of headless men and creatures exist throughout antiquity. However, accounts of headless women are rare. The most well known headless female was Anne Boleyn, the wife of Henry the Eighth, whose headless corpse haunted the Tower of London.

A more modern case of a headless ghoul involved Dennis Rabbitt, the "South Side Rapist", who plead guilty to his rapes and murders and received five consecutive life sentences. Rabbitt claims that he had had visits from a medieval demon when he was 12 or 13 years old and that it had changed his life. This demon was a woman that got on top of him and had sex.

He made his confession to officers about the macabre encounter.

He claimed that he could see everything on the woman except that she had no head. According to his account, he awoke terrified, got up and took a shower and went back to bed, and the woman came back to rape him again. He also claims that the trauma caused by the abuse of this headless woman produced an uncontrollable urge to attack women he picked at random.

Either Rabbitt is crazy, or he knows something about the Blemmyae.

St. Louis police sex crimes detective Mark Kennedy explained to Rabbitt that what he may have experienced was a visit form a succubus, a female demon who visits men in their sleep to lie with them and have sexual intercourse. The man who is victim to a succubus rape will not awaken during the act but will experience it in a dream.

Intercourse with demons and intercourse with the dead seems to hold a fascination for those who have written stories that have found their way into the hands of the young.

In "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", the Prince was in love with a beautiful maiden whose skin was snow white and whose lips were bright red. He would look upon her face through glass as her corpse lay in a crystal coffin. The story is literally a tale of carnal lust for a corpse. It also seems to be tale of vampirism, as the prince is able to revive his dead love with sexual intercourse.

An Italian story known as "The Crystal Casket" tells of a young maiden named Ermellina who is protected by fairies and elves, similar to the dwarfs of the traditional story. A witch comes and poisons the girl because of her beauty. The fairies and elves are so saddened that they place the young girl in a crystal casket that is placed on the back of a horse. The horse rides from town to town with the body of the young girl on it.

A lonely King happens to see the body of the girl and falls in love with her and tells everyone that she will be his wife. The Kings family does not want to tell the king that his girlfriend is dead, and so they play along and tell the others that the girl is a large doll.

"Then the horse stopped (for those were the words). When the king saw that beautiful girl dead in the casket, he thought no more about his own horse, but took the other to the city. The king's mother knew that her son had gone hunting; when she saw him returning with this loaded horse, she did not know what to think. The son had no father, wherefore he was all powerful. He reached the palace, had the horse unloaded, and the casket carried to his chamber; then he called his mother and said, "Mother, I went hunting, but I have found a wife."

"But what is it? A doll? A dead woman?"

"Mother," replied her son, "don't trouble yourself about what it is, it is my wife." His mother began to laugh, and withdrew to her own room --The Crystal Casket

The King's family are a little concerned because the girl does not seem to be normal. The King tells his family that he will lead a an army to war, and that when he returns in victory he shall marry his girl.

Unfortunately, when the king returns, the body of his young maiden has decomposed a bit. Her skin is dusty and there are flies and maggots that cover her gray flesh.

They went to the king's room and saw that the doll's face and hands were covered with dust and fly specks, so they took a sponge and washed her face, but some drops of water fell on her dress and spotted it. The poor chambermaids began to weep, and went to the queen for advice.

The queen said, "Do you know what to do! Call a tailoress, and have a dress precisely like this bought, and take off this one before my son comes."

They did so, and the chambermaids went to the room and began to unbutton the dress. The moment that they took off the first sleeve, Ermellina opened her eyes. The poor chambermaids sprang up in terror, but one of the most courageous said, "I am a woman, and so is this one; she will not eat me." -- The Crystal Casket

To cut the matter short, she took off the dress, and when it was removed Ermellina began to get out of the casket to walk about and see where she was. The chambermaids fell on their knees before her and begged her to tell them who she was. She, poor girl, told them the whole story. Then she said, "I wish to know where I am."

Understand how putrid the body was; the chambermaids would complain about how rotten the "doll" would smell and so they neglected the body until the King returned. Ermellina recovered and lived again, and the King and his new bride lived happily ever after.

In a more modern turn of events, a true story that is similar to "The Crystal Casket" happened in Florida in 1930.

Dr. Karl Von Cosel was a German veteran of WWI who moved to Florida in the 1930's. While working with a Cuban tuberculosis patient named Elena, he fell in love with her at the hospital and wanted to marry her. But she died suddenly.

He paid to have her body placed in a well conditioned mausoleum that had a telephone so that he could check in on his "bride." Even that wasn't enough for Dr. Von Cosel; he wanted so badly to be near his true love that, in the dark of night, he recovered her corpse and brought it back to his house.

Thirty years later, a police raid discovered her reconstructed and well-maintained remains. They arrived to find a "doll" laying on the bed. Elena's face, breasts, arms, legs, body had been rebuilt. There was also a vaginal tube installed so that Von Cosel could have sex with her corpse.

These tales are ghastly and yet we see stories that are told to our children that have an underlying themes of necrophilia and fetishism.

The development and production of Artificial Human Companions was one of Anton LaVey's fantasies, which he incorporated into the Satanic agenda of his Church of Satan. La Vey believed that if we could build a mechanical corpse for sex, it would outsell televisions or computers.

The reality is that there are such humanoid love dolls. A high end love doll called Real Doll has the touch and feel of real human skin. The doll is molded on a metal skeleton and has a vaginal and an anal tube for sexual intercourse. The dolls are currently being programmed for sexual response. They will eventually have sensitive touch sensors in different parts of dolls bodies. They will respond audibly if you touch them in the right places.

It is sex with a lifeless doll equipped to give the sensation of real sex. Technically the act is with a plastic corpse.

While you may shudder at the thought of sexual intercourse with a lifelike automaton, the response to the doll has been overwhelming, and the creators have been asked to create dolls that fulfill all sorts of fetishes. However, they have expressly denounced the idea of making childlike dolls. The stories of fetishism, rape, and sexual gratification with a corpse appears in children's stories and the repeating theme is that it is a practice that is carried out by the rich and powerful elite.

In these stories, emperors, kings, monarchs, and princes have the power to shape shift before they have sexual intercourse with fair maidens. It is similar to most vampire and werewolf stories, and can actually be part of the reason why we hear from authors like David Icke and Brice Taylor that the elite are shape shifting reptiles that use mind control and other means to rape and kill unsuspecting victims.

The stories seem to repeat themselves over and over.

Sleeping Beauty, who is essentially a corpse, is revived after the King rapes her. In the original story she gives birth to twins while she is still sleeping, but then one day, while the baby is sucking her finger, she wakes up. The King's mother turns out to be a cannibalistic vampire that eats children. She decides to cook both his wife and the children order to eat them . But they are rescued by the cook.

Cinderella loses a crystal slipper and the prince must go door to door to try the on the feet of maidens so that he can find his bride. One of Cinderella's stepsisters is forced to slice off her toes in order to fit into the glass slipper.

After hooking up with her prince, Cinderella later has the magical power of commanding doves to go to the stepsisters' home and attack them by pecking out their eyes.

In the book of Leviticus, the act of necrophilia was condemned, which makes you wonder about how widespread the practice necrophilia was.

"Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother"--Leviticus 21:11

In old writings, it is believed that those who would satisfy their sexual desires with the dead were ghouls. It was said that in order for the ghastly act to take place the predator had to transform into a more vile creature.

There were also beliefs that there were dark secret orders that would meet in caves. Many men of royalty and men of power would meet together and it was in these secret enclaves. they would shift into other beings like vipers or serpents, and in some cases they would change into wolves. In these guises they would rape and kill women.

They would practice necrophilia and then eat the corpses.

Bedtime stories of The Frog Prince, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Little Red Riding Hood are full of fetishism, necrophilia, and shape shifting from humans to serpents to werewolves.

The story of the Frog Prince is the childhood story of an attempted abduction of young girl by a reptilian shape shifter. A creature with bulging eyes and slimy skin "frog" arrives at a time when a young girl is in distress. The reptilian creature agrees to helps her obtain a bauble of great wealth, as long as she allows the "frog" into her bedroom. The frog helps her, but afterward, the girl ignores the frog. The frog continues to stalk her until she finally allows him into her bedroom. Finally the "frog" changes into a handsome man. Most often he is a Prince, or a member of a royal lineage.

During an investigation of a rural ranch in Utah, I became acquainted with the Navajo story of the Skinwalker. It is a creature that strikes fear and reverence into the hearts of the Navajo, and I was told that a white man such as myself should not know of such things. However, I learned about the schism of witchcraft and the Navajo way. In ceremonies the skin of a wolf or a bear is worn and the wearer of the skin becomes the animal.

It is a classic example of shape shifting.

Ed Gein, one of the most notorious necrophiles, experimented with the dead in Wisconsin during the 1950's.

When investigators searched Gein's home, they discovered human skulls on bedposts, scalps, breasts, skinned human face masks, a human heart in a sauce pan, a belt made with human nipples, eviscerated vaginas painted silver and gold, leg bones, a box containing human noses. They found a wastebasket, a knife sheath, some lamp shades, bracelets and a drum, all made from dead human skin. Most of the flesh and bones came from grave pilfering at three local cemeteries.

Gein told police that he had worn some of the skins of his victims. He would make skin suits and wear them in the moonlight. Was he attempting to become someone else? Was the wearing of the female skin an attempt o shift into a woman?

What alien presence was inside Gein? Was he possessed by a devil?

The story of Little Red Riding Hood seems to be a story of an exorcism being given to a shape shifter that prefers the form of a wolf.

The shape changing wolf appears as Grandma, lying in the bed awaiting the arrival of the young virgin girl with the red hood. The girl offers wine and bread. It is symbolic of trying to get the shape-shifting creature to partake of the holy sacrament.

The entity must shift before it attacks, and so the young girl begins to notice the big teeth and large eyes protruding from Grandma's skull. In an exchange with her "grandmother" the girl with the red hood points out how you can tell that you are in the presence of a vile creature.

There are bigger eyes that can see you, bigger hands that can hold you down and bigger teeth that can devour you.

Another question is whether or not the little red riding cap or hood belonged to a girl, or an earnest clergyman doing the work of the church in delivering a soul from the clutches of the devil?

As early as the tenth century a member of the Ccatholic clergy would wear a red biretta. Historically, the biretta was used by all ranks of the clergy from cardinals to deacons and priests.

If we are to believe that these unholy monsters exist, then it would take a man of God to take on the evil of a shape shifting demon that fornicates with the dead and eats their remains.

After all he story of the hero exists in every account of contacts with these unearthly beasts.

Jesus Christ himself performed an exorcism on the demoniac of the Gerasenes, and yet his story is similar to that which was written by Homer in book 9 of the Odyssey.

Notice how the story in the Bible has been reversed.

Both Jesus and Odysseus sail to a strange land and both meet up with a villain that is possessed by some evil spirit. Polyphemus the Cyclops in the Odyssey and the demoniac in the Bible both live in caves; the demoniac in Jesus' case lived amongst the rotting dead and had probably had intercourse with the bodies.

When the Cyclops asks the hero who he is, Odysseus says "I am nobody." When Jesus asks the demoniac who he is, he says that his name is "Legion, for we are many."

Both monsters feed on the animals around them. The Cyclops would feed on goats nearby and the demoniac on pigs. Did the apostle Mark read Homer and make up the story of Jesus and the demoniac?

It is quite interesting how the stories are interchangeable.

In the book The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, Father Damien Karras enters into the bedroom of the MacNeil home to talk with the little girl Regan.

Karras stops as he sees Regan on the bed, arms held down by a set of restraining straps. It seems to be no longer entirely Regan. The possession has changed her face. It is now puffy, scratched and bruised. Karras is momentarily taken aback. Then, reining in his revulsion, he slowly and warily closes the door behind him, and walks around to the other side of the bed.

He asks the girl questions.

Karras asks the girl "Are you Regan?

Regan snaps in a dark voice, "I'm the Devil! Now kindly undo these straps! "

On the movie soundtrack, there are many ethereal voices that accompany the so called devil remarks and you can hear, in both forward and reverse, the words:

"I am no one, I am no one!"

Father Karras then asks "Where's Regan?"

Regan and the demon reply "In here. With us."

This, of course, is the same theme as the demoniac claiming that there are many demons inside him. The other demons saying that they are nobody.

Notice how the story is so familiar. It is an unholy simulacrum of what the Apostle Mark wrote about Jesus, what Homer wrote about Odysseus, and what was written about Little Red Riding Hood.

The character enters the dwelling of the possessed human. The human is changed into a hideous looking creature, and an exchange is given. It is acknowledged that the hero is here to destroy the demon, and later the hero is victorious.

As you can see, when you examine selected popular folk tales and children's stories you begin to see a pattern of death, rebirth and inhumanity. They illustrate basic human problems and appropriate social prescriptions.

They tell us of the constant struggle that plagues mankind, the struggle to remain human and not succumb to the primal urges that are considered demonic.

The darkest questions that remain unanswered lie in the base human consciousness. Are we all capable of becoming cannibals, or vampires? Are there beings on this planet that have the ability to change their frequency and appear like an alien predator in the eyes of their prey?

We are told that it is all a fantasy, yet the stories are told and retold. They are programmed into us in different ways with different interpretations.

We are now living in the dark times as the light begins to fade early in the autumn day. The frost clings tightly to the crops that wait to be taken in the Samhain harvest. It is in this time of the year that the veil between that which is reverent and that which is profane is thinning before the winter storms gather.

As the last page is turned and the storybook closes, we lie back in our bedrooms and stare at the shadows cast by the moonlight. It may be wise to check under our beds to make sure that no dark demon from the lowest levels of hell is waiting to take possession of our souls.

While we are on the floor checking, it may be wise to pray to our gods, or else face the alternative.

Becoming prey to some calculating devil.