Friday, April 29, 2011

Something in the Storm...

This year we in the United States have had a more aggressive winter than usual.

Depending on your geographical location you may have experienced a few feet to a few inches when you otherwise would have not experienced little or no snowfall whatsoever.

Here in Erie PA, we usually get our fair share of white out conditions and blizzards. In fact snowfall is so commonplace that many of the local residents do not even shovel their driveways until at least 6 inches fall. You get used to living and driving in many feet of accumulated snow.

But you never get used to the blizzards.

For we have Lake Effect Snow here in Erie, it is common place to have a foot or more of accumulated snow overnight multiple times during the season. But every decade or so this area gets blasted with a massive storm that shuts down the entire community. Even though equipped with fleets of government snow removal vehicles and scores of private snow plow businesses, these operators cannot keep up with the overwhelming snowfall.

This year the storms were bad, but in the mix there was no storm of a lifetime. Though snowdrifts of 7 feet or more were scattered throughout the region, there have been times that a rough wintry blast has left drifts up to 12 feet or more in many places. However what this season's storms lacked in volume, they made up with sheer force. The violent winds and driving snow brought down trees, damaged buildings and prevented anyone but the foolhardy or daring and resolved emergency workers to venture forth into the tempest's grasp. I was one of those, delivering medicine to hospice patients during the heart of the storm, and I have to say that it was one of the worst conditions I have ever experienced. The driving wind blew the light snow that had already fallen and mixed it with the flakes that were still coming down to limit visibility to only a foot in front of my vehicle. I was surreal to suddenly see a jack knifed tractor trailer emerge from the blinding snow. It had tried to take a shortcut from the closed highway and landed in a 45 degree angle across three fourths of the road. The wind had blown it across the road and the ice prevented it's brakes from stopping it from ending in the ditch. My car shuddered throughout the whole trip, being hit by barrage after barrage of gusts from the mighty storm.

In the midst of it, knowing you were experiencing an unusual storm there were times you could feel like there was some willful force behind the gail. A destructive force of chaos that mercilessly cut a path across the country. Of course one would think this is a natural response, being faced with the raw poawer of nature is an awesome experience.

However within the last month I have received two e-mails that makes one suppose that perhaps there was something in the storm that was not wholly natural, at least as to what norms of nature that we are accustomed to. From "Jacob"

"...It was on this past December 19th, just less than a month ago. It was early morning and I always check on the chicken coop first thing. The wind was whipping hard and there was a huge pile of snow on the side of the shed. The wind had pushed almost all the snow from the field up to it. The wind was making a loud wild sound, and as I came up to the barn, I was sure that I was hearin something strange in the wind. I stopped there since I thought it could be a neighbor or some other stuck outside since it sounded like a human scream. It was not right though. It seemed really wrong, like wounded animal crying at the top of it's lungs but with a man's voice. All I could think of was someone stuck out in the storm, so I walked out to the field to see where the screaming was coming from. "

Jacob then recalls how he wandered into the field, and the location of the screaming voice seemed to always be out of reach. It seemed to always dwell just outside the edge of sight in the storm, and every time he turned away to give up in his search, the voice became more frantic. So he kept on his quest only to find himself caught up and lost in a blinding blizzard. It was then as his panic set in he believes he saw the source of the screams:

"It was like a big shadow in the blowing snow, I knew it was the person i was lookin for so I ran to it. then I saw how big it was. It was like a giant, almost twice the size of a man, but with a man's shape. It was either covered in fur or wore an animal fur coat because I could see the hair moving in the wind. As I got to it, the screamin became louder and louder, and from the sight of it and the sound of it I knew that this thing was just wrong. I had to get away from it as fast as possible. I ran as fast as I could and made sure the screaming thing was behind me. After a few minutes the snow was not coming down as hard and I found myself back in the field behind the shed. It was then that the screaming voice had stopped... I don't know what it was out there, but I knew I was in danger of my life, and that thing was not of this world. I think it was pure evil..."

Jacob was not sure what he had encountered last December during thst storm, but he is resolute ass to the reality of what he saw. He was sure he was not hallucinating or observing amirage due to the blinding snow.

Something evil was in the storm.

Something that tried to lure him to his doom.

So what was it? There are a lot of possibilities.

Immediately to me it brings to mind the mythological Sirens as portrayed in the greek classics of Homer and Ovid. However what Jacob saw was not a beautiful seductress, but a hideous monster like unto Typhon. Since this encounter happened in old Seneca Indian territory perhaps we should look into Native American mythology and the destructive wind spirit Dagwanoenyent of the Iroquois.

It's appearance is similar to a Sasquatch as well. Pennsylvania certainly has its fair share of Sasquatch sightings according to the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Societies reports.

Perhaps an exact nomenclatural designation for the creature is moot; as spirits do assume a different persona depending upon the circumstances. Be it Typhon, Dagwanoenyent, Set or Thor; the names may change but their mythological archetype speaks to us in the same basic way.

There is something in the storm. Something powerful, dangerous, and malevolent.


Could this have been the legendary Wendigo? The creature seems to possess most of the characteristics common to the way the beast is portrayed in legend. But perhaps we'll never know...

My personal thanks go to Reverend Robin Swope, the Paranormal Pastor, for graciously allowing me to borrow this article from his blog, which may be found at Something in the Storm (The Paranormal Pastor).

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Popobawa

Zanzibar, Africa (although it has also been reported in Tanzania).


The name popobawa comes from the Swahili that translates literally as “bat-wing” (from the Swahili popo, “bat,” and bawa, “wing”). It is also known as Imran, Khalid Khanzada, or zain haiders.

Vital Stats

The Popobawa is variously described as a ghost or a demon with a single eye, gigantic bat wings, and an enormous penis (said to be up to six feet in length). It is thought to be a shapeshifter, appearing as a normal man by day and changing into a batlike demon at night.


The Popobawa is much like an incubus, but unlike that particular demon, the Popobawa attacks men in their own beds. As a result, many men take to sleeping outside of their houses in the streets or on their porches. The creature attacks the men while they sleep, overpowering them. Then, it holds their faces to the floor and forcefully sodomizes them for up to an hour (an extremely painful experience for anyone). It then threatens the victim with repeated and longer attacks if they don’t let friends and neighbors know of their experience. It then flies off into the night to search for another victim. The creature’s presence is usually detected by the sound of scraping claws on the roof and a sharp, pungent odor (although some report that there is a puff of smoke as well). It is thought by skeptics that these attacks are the result of sleep paralysis, not a homosexual bat-creature.

The Popobawa, being a spirit, is able to take possession of human bodies. It becomes very angry if its existence is denied, and dire consequences usually follow. Usually, the Popobawa attacks skeptical men.


The Popobawa is, as mentioned earlier, a shapeshifter. It is able to take on multiple forms, but it prefers human form. The Popobawa has a supernatural degree of strength, which makes overpowering full-grown men easy, and it is also able to fly at considerable speeds for great distances. It may also be able to become intangible and glide through solid objects.

It is thought that, by smearing oneself with pig’s oil, one can repel an attack from the Popobawa. Being an evil spirit, the Popobawa may be repulsed by salt and iron. Salt would keep it at bay, while the iron (which must be pure or cold-forged, preferably both) might actually harm the creature, and perhaps even kill it. For some reason, it is believed that the Popobawa cannot attack an individual who sleeps outdoors. Many also believe that the creature can be exorcised, kept at bay with charms, or placated with sacrifices.


The legend of the Popobawa is a fairly recent one. One popular story says that during the 1970s, an angry sheikh released a djinni to take vengeance on his enemies. However, he lost control of the creature and the djinni took to evil ways.

Another theory states that, because Zanzibar was once the site of Arab slave market, the Popobawa is the vengeful spirit representing the collective pain of the native people. Perhaps the creature is some sort of thought-form (but this is doubtful).

Recent Sightings
Unusually for a demon, the reports of the Popobawa’s attacks and sightings of the creature rise and fall with the election cycle in Zanzibar (although the spirit’s victims argue that the Popobawa is apolitical). The number of attacks rose dramatically in 1995 (the same year that the Chupacabra attacks began in Puerto Rico), and further attacks were reported as recently as 2007, when a series of attacks were reported in Dar es Salaam.


The Popobawa may be related to another mysterious creature, El Chupacabra.


More research is forthcoming!

Demonic Possession

Demons, being spiritual entities, are able to take possession of human bodies, whether living or dead. Basically, demonic possession occurs when a demon or an evil spirit forcefully inhabits a human body (although some people are deranged enough to willingly comply with the possession). But the Roma people (Gypsies) believe that demons can also possess animals, the dead, plants, and even inanimate objects. The oldest known references to demonic possession come from the ancient Sumerians, who believed that all diseases, of both the mind and the body, were caused by "sickness demons" called gidim. Fortunately, these priests (known as ashipu, or sorcerers) were well-versed in being able to exorcize these spirits.

Most major religions and all cultures worldwide have some concept of demons and demonic possession, but these beliefs vary considerably, as do the beliefs regarding how to remove the possessing spirit. Symptoms of demonic possession include (but are not limited to):
•Missing memories.
•Convulsions and fits.
•Speaking in tongues (other languages).
•Unnatural strength.
•Access to and knowledge of previously unknown information.
•Drastic changes in tone of voice and facial expression, as well as in mannerisms and personality.
•Unexplained injuries (bites or scratches are common).
•Piercing eyes (sometimes said to be entirely black).
•Uncharacteristic aggression and antisocial behavior towards others.
•A blatant disregard for one's personal modesty or the modesty of others.
•An aversion to and a hatred of religious objects (i.e. crosses or a crucifix, as well as saintly medals).
•Self-mutilation (i.e. cutting or puncturing their own skin, just for the thrill of it). May be in the form of writing or specific symbols.
•Foul language (need more be said?).
•Exhibition of various supernatural abilities (i.e. precognition, telepathy, retrocognition, levitation, etc.).
•Multiple voices emanating from a single source (i.e. a person) simultaneously.
•Compulsively sinning or lying to others.
•Flinching at the spoken name of God (Deus or Christo in Latin).
•Unnatural sexual desires (necrophilia, bestiality, rape, or incest).
•Uncontrollable rage and violence.
•Mental or emotional problems (which may have attracted the demon in the first place).

Although this list is far from complete, there are innumerable physical and mental signs of possible possession. For those who understand such things, demonic possession is never a good thing or a positive experience. It is immensely harmful, both to the possessed individual (known properly as a demoniac) and their family, friends, and loved ones.