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The Mysterious Demon’s Road of Texas

Brent Swancer December 4, 2020

Meandering out through a dusty, lonely rural area outside of Huntsville, Texas, is a weed choked, pothole riddle stretch of dirt road that most people wouldn’t think much of at first glance. It is such a narrow little unassuming slash of decrepit road that it doesn’t even show up on some maps, and most people could drive right on by it without giving it any thought at all. It is officially known as Bowden road, but if any of the many tales of the paranormal that surround it are true, then it has more than earned its more common local name of “Demon’s Road.” Even without tales of ghosts and other strangeness, Demon’s Road is undeniably a creepy and spooky place. Besides its brush tangled, forlorn façade and its remote location that makes it impossible not to pray one doesn’t break down there, it also wanders through an old cemetery from the 1800s known as Martha’s Chapel Cemetery, which is full of crooked trees, eerie old weathered gravestones, and is itself considered to be one of the most haunted places in Texas. Let’s take a trip down this lonely stretch of road, and delve into some of its frightening mysteries.

One of the creepiest stories from Demon’s Road is that of a spectral little boy who supposedly roams about here. Described as a young boy of only 6 or 7, he is said to have glowing eyes and to ride along the dirt road on a red, old-fashioned tricycle that can often be heard squeaking and clanking along even before the witness actually sees it. Despite his rather malevolent appearance with his gleaming eyes, the boy is apparently not known to be particularly evil or aggressive if your heart is in the right place. In fact, most witnesses seem to say that the wraith will usually either vanish into thin air or conjure up a bank of thick fog to conceal himself when seen or confronted, but if you have committed a violent crime in your past or are of bad character he will either attack you or torment you in your dreams. Even in the best case scenario, a little glowing-eyed freaky kid on a squeaky old-timey tricycle would be enough to scare the daylights out of quite a few people driving through. Another phenomenon reported from along the road is that of tiny handprints appearing out of nowhere on the windshield, although whether this is connected to the tricycle boy is anyone’s guess. Who is this boy supposed to be and why is he there? Who knows?

Demon

Demon’s Road

Other spirits and demons along the road don’t seem to be as nice, and there have been people who have reported being actively chased by shadow people or orbs of menacing red light. These red lights are often said to appear in the same number as there are occupants of the vehicle, and get brighter the more scared one is. One commonly reported frightening occurrence is that of people having their car’s rocked by unseen hands, or even being slammed with some invisible force that leaves actual dings and dents behind, as well as tires that get punctured for no discernible reason. Perhaps even more terrifying is a demonic beast occasionally encountered here, which appears as a tall, pale humanoid with reptilian skin and no face except for a wide mouth full of needle-like fangs. It apparently likes to jump out in front of passing cars, and has been blamed for more than one accident on the road. It is supposed to be almost unbearable to look at, inciting a profound, primal fear that allegedly makes some people go mad, and which one resident who saw it rather colorfully describes as “like glimpsing the fires of creation, the pit of hell, and a vast dimension where the laws of physics are used by elder gods as toilet paper.” It is not only this pale demon, that seems to lurk along the side of the road, and it appears that driving down Demon’s Road one is liable to have any number of ghosts and monsters jump out in front of them, including hooded dwarfs, black demon dogs, and others. One witness named Robert Rhodes has said of his own encounter:

It’s not bull me and my friends went down there we did not see anything when we first went but we videotaped the experience when we went back over the videotape a red figure ran out in front of my car right before we entered the cemetery oh and it’s not faceless like some people say it has yellow eye’s it looked right at us as it ran across the road in front of my car!!!

If ghost boys, malicious phantoms, and pale eldritch horrors aren’t enough for you, still other reports tell of picking up spirit attachments along the road or in the cemetery, with the ghosts subsequently appearing to follow them home and haunt them. One pretty bizarre tale comes from the site Texasescapades, from a woman who claims that she had been visiting the cemetery with her husband when she saw a man who seemed to be just sort of wandering about. At the time she thought it was eerie but didn’t think too much of it. In fact, she had almost forgotten all about it when she was getting into the shower a few days later and saw the same man looming in the shadows. Just as she was about to scream he allegedly just vanished into thin air like he was never there at all. In another report from Reddit, a poster explained that after going through Demon’s Road she was visited in the night by a shadow figure that lurked about her house and even tried to strangle her one night before vanishing to leave her breathless and very afraid.

 

CourseOf course there are also the requisite tales of Satanic cults operating in the area carrying out strange rituals and sacrifices, and it sure is a lot of bizarreness for such a nondescript little dirt road. One of the strangest things is that it doesn’t even seem that there has ever been any sort of major tragedy or bloodshed in the area as far as anyone knows, making it all the more baffling that it should be so intensely permeated by this weirdness. Is there some secret history we don’t know about it? Or maybe there is something about the land itself? Does it lie on some sort of energy vortex or spiritual nexus, as some have suggested? Is the land just sour somehow? Or maybe it is just some eerie urban legends that have sprouted up around an undeniably creepy little road? Next time you are in the area of Huntsville, it might be worth checking out for yourself. You never know what you might find.   Mysterious Universe

Adult Ouija Board Combines Séance and Sex

Paul Seaburn December 4, 2020

The pandemic shutdown and holiday restrictions are making Christmas look depressing and gift-giving looking like a gift card exchange. However, staying at home with the one you love (or the one you’re with – thanks, Stephen Stills) or buying a gift for your equally frustrated paranormal friends doesn’t have to be difficult this year. A company called Kheper Games offers a sex-oriented Ouija board called “The Spirits Want You To Have Sex!” that lets the otherworld tell you how to rock whatever world you and your partner are stuck in. Warning: this story and the links are NSFW.

“The planchette reveals your love-making positions! You and your lover place your hands upon the planchette, with it centered on the game board. You then ask the spirits to help you figure out what sex positions to try tonight. Let them guide your hands as you move the planchette across the board. You can also ask the board Yes or No questions about kinky things you think your lover might want to try. When you reach “Good Sex”, carry out your chosen sexual actions and positions.”

Any questions? You can see the illustrated X-rated board (link here) at the Kheper web site. Kheper specializes in adult games and novelties for gag gifts, bachelorette parties, romantic nights and occasions when you actually need some urging to get high on your favorite pot products. The Seattle company has been in publishing since 1995 and the adult games business since 2000, so you may have heard of “The Spirits Want You To Have Sex!” or its other products before. However, HiggyPop thought it was time to remind people how much fun the occult can be and posted a blurb about it recently that is undoubtedly catching the eye and the fancy of a lot of paranormal people looking for love, looking for fun, looking for gifts or looking for a variation on the same old Ouija board that may not be enough to counteract the year 2020.

“I’ve always been skeptical of spirits, ghosts, and anything of the afterlife, until I found this spectacular product! At first, I had bought it as a joke to mess around with a friend ;). After a few minutes the pointer started moving and I was SHOOK AF! One thing lead to another, and soon the ouija board of my dreams helped me get laid! I won’t go into details of the account, but I’ll let you know that $14.05 plus overnight shipping (thanks amazon!) is well worth the night of your dreams.”

If you need convincing, “Jane Doe” gave that 5-star review at Amazon with the headline: “The spirits helped me lose my virginity!” It’s simple to play/use: there are 27 erotic illustrations of a couple in various sex positions – some you’re familiar with and some that make you hope the spirit you contact is of the kinky kind. Where the traitional Ouija board says “yes” and “no”, this one has the obvious “yes, yes, yes” and the to-be-avoided-at-all-costs “not right now.” Where the traditional boards say “good bye,” this one says “good sex” – which also means good-bye as you head to the bedroom, couch or floor with your spirit-recommended position.

Find a partner and try the other one, honey.

Is this sex Ouija board for real? Well, is the other kind for real? There are plenty of scary stories of Ouija boards leading to demonic possession, psychological problems, open portals to the underworld for demons to escape from, and the like. There are more than few studies showing the boards don’t work in blind tests or the planchette is moved by the subconscious (or in the sex version — conscious and possible self-conscious) mind, so it’s wise to use it in the spirit it was intended – as an ice-breaker, a novelty, a gag gift or a rekindler of whatever might need rekindling.

And if you get one for Christmas and don’t want it – don’t be offended or afraid … it makes great kindling for a nice warm holiday fire with the one you love … or the one you’re with.

Mysterious Universe

Poltergeists, Demonic Possessions, and a Witch Trial in Ireland

Brent Swancer December 5, 2020

Located on the east coast of County Antrim, in what is now Northern Ireland, is a quaint, rural little seaside town called Islandmagee. It is a quiet, peaceful place dotted with rustic buildings, charming little roads, and historical buildings, and there is very little on the surface that would hint at anything sinister or dark. Yet back in the 18th century this little coastal hamlet would become the center of strange supernatural phenomena, witchcraft, and demonic possession, that would all spiral into the bizarre and end with the last witchcraft trial Ireland would ever see.

It all began in 1710, with a humble local woman by the name of Ann Haltridge. She mostly kept to herself and had never made any problems, but one day she allegedly began to experience very strange and intense paranormal phenomena. She would claim that she was being held under siege by some unseen entity that would throw objects across the room, rip her bedcovers away at night, hurl rocks at her, and bang on the walls, the floor, and ceiling to keep her awake all night long. Most terrifying of all is that she would say that she was often menaced by the spectral apparition of a young boy that she described as “demonic.” This boy would apparently throw rocks at her, claw at her, and once even supposedly dug a hole in the yard that he told her was her grave. The house servants saw the apparition too, and would often chase the boy to have him vanish into thin air and reappear somewhere else. When Haltridge’s son James came to live with her, the paranormal phenomena became even more violent still, and the evil little boy would pronounce that he had been sent by the Devil. Mrs. Haltridge told her friends and neighbors of this supernatural assault, but no one really believed her until one night when she could purportedly be heard screaming that someone was attacking her. Servants and neighbors ran to her aide to find her bent over in pain complaining of stabbing pains in her back and saying she had been attacked by a knife. As there were no actual wounds she was sent back to bed, but the next morning she would be found dead of mysterious means. At the time the incident generated rumors that the death had something to do with the paranormal activity Haltridge had been experiencing, and it would get weirder from there.

Island

Islandmagee

Around a year later, Anne Haltridge’s daughter in law, a Mrs. James Haltridge, was visited by her cousin, an 18-year-old woman by the name of Mary Dunbar, who had come to help her run the house and stay with them. Shortly after arriving, Dunbar also claimed to be beset by strange, unexplainable, and often terrifying occurrences, claiming to be pelted by objects flung at her from shelves and struck by unseen hands. She also said that her clothes would constantly be strewn about her room, and that she would find strange arcane symbols scribbled on the floor, bizarre charms of some kind left in her room, and would hear her name whispered from the shadows. In more sinister episodes she claimed that she felt sharp pains all over her body, as if someone were attacking her with a knife, but which did not leave behind any physical injury. Dunbar even described the same demonic little boy stalking her, and added that she also often saw another apparition, this one of a woman she called “Mistress Ann.” This all soon graduated to what seemed to be some sort of demonic possession, with Dunbar at times falling into fits and convulsions, shouting, swearing, snarling and growling like a wild animal, and occasionally vomiting up all manner of strange objects such as feathers, needles, buttons, nails, glass and wool.

In her more lucid moments, Dunbar would describe how she was being tormented in her dreams by a total of eight witches, who came to her in “spectral form” to threaten her, and used their black magic to conjure up the demons attacking her. She claimed that these women had made a deal with the Devil, and told authorities that she remembered the faces of these women and was certain that they lived right there in Islandmagee. They managed to bring in eight women who Dunbar fingered as her tormentors, and the word of this young woman was enough to have them locked away to await trial for being suspected witches. As soon as word got out, the jail was besieged by angry mobs of people who wished to bypass the whole trial and kill the “witches” right then and there, allegedly resulting in one of the accused actually losing an eye.

The women somehow survived this animosity and in 1711 were put on trial and accused with the charges of “harming by magical means” and “bewitching,” although not with the more serious charge of consorting with the Devil, which Dunbar insisted they were doing. The trial itself was a bit of a farce, with the evidence against these women amounting pretty much to Dunbar’s word, the fact that none of the accused were able to recite the entire “Lord’s Prayer,” and some silly business in which a blindfolded Dunbar would go into convulsions of pain when the accused touched her, yet not when someone else did. The accused women were also known for drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco, which is evidence of witchcraft? I guess? This was all seen as enough to convict the accused, and all eight of the “witches” were found guilty. It would be the last witch trial ever held on Irish soil. It is unclear what fate awaited the witches after this, nothing known about what happened to them or to Mary Dunbar after the trial, as the records have been lost to time, possibly destroyed when the Public Records Office was burned down during the Irish Civil War (1922-1923).

Case

The case of the Islandmagee Witches has been discussed and debated ever since. One of the big questions is what exactly happened to Dunbar and why did she accuse these eight women who she didn’t even know? The main idea is that Mary Dunbar simply made the whole thing up. As to why she would do this, it could have been for attention or fame of some sort. After all, witch trials had always been very rare in Ireland, so this might have been her way of making a name for herself. Andrew Sneddon, author of the book Possessed by the Devil: The Real History of the Islandmagee Witches and Ireland’s Only Mass Witchcraft Trial, has said of what he thinks is the possible reason:

Ironically, she’s doing the same kind of things that the witches she’s accusing are castigated for, but because it’s not her fault, there’s no moral responsibility. It’s someone else who is doing it to her, so she can break the type of behavioural constraints placed upon her as a female at the time. I think Dunbar was invisible in this community. She had the opportunity because she’d just arrived in this place, and she saw a chance to become visible within this community and this family, and to act in ways that were usually socially unacceptable.

The case still holds some mystery, as the paranormal element remains to some extent, never really explained and leading us to wonder if Dunbar really did experience some poltergeist activity of some sort, and whether it was connected to the witches or not. There is also the fact that Ann Haltridge had also experienced paranormal phenomena in the same house, so what are we to make of this? Did any of this happen at all? If so, what connection did it have to the “witches,” if any? Whatever the case may be, the trial is curious in that the eight convicted women even in modern times have never been acquitted of their supposed crimes, and remain officially guilty of witchcraft, even though even some of the witches of the more famous Salem trials have been retroactively absolved of guilt. Unbelievably, a memorial that was proposed by the author Martina Devlin was rejected because some politicians believed that is was akin to putting up a “shrine to paganism” and was “anti-god,” so it looks as though the witches of Islandmagee will probably remain guilty for some time. In the end, whether the paranormal aspect was ever real or whether these women were witches or not, it remains a bizarre historical oddity that has mostly been lost to the mists of time.  Mysterious Universe