Friday, March 18, 2016

The Possession of Amy

Amy was a good kid, a 17-year-old teenager any parent would be proud of. Growing up in a small East Texas town, she made straight A's in school, played flute in the band, was well-liked by her teachers who all said she was a quiet, hard-working student who had never been any trouble at all. She faithfully attended the little country Baptist church with her parents and younger brother every Sunday. She wore her dark brown hair long and favored loose clothing over the tight jeans and low-cut blouses some of the other kids wore. She had complete faith in God. It was very disturbing to her mom and dad when late one Friday night in the early spring of 2006, while in her upstairs bedroom, Amy began screaming, "It's inside me! I can feel it! Make it stop! Please, make it stop!

Her parents rushed into her room and found Amy sitting up in her bed, her hands tightly clenched into fists which she held up to either side of her face while her eyes were wide open, unblinking and staring out in terror. As her mother, Sara, ran to her side, her father, John, frantically searched the room looking for an intruder. Within seconds, Amy began to calm down, to relax. A few minutes later, she quickly went back to sleep. It must have just been a nightmare, a very bad nightmare.

Two days later, during the Sunday evening services at church, Amy was sitting in the pew listening to the sermon when she suddenly became violently sick. She ran to the ladies room barely making it to the toilet before vomiting. Sara came in after her daughter, but could do nothing other than hold Amy's long hair out of the way and apply cool wet paper towels to the back of her neck. Eventually, the dry heaves arrived and Amy felt like she was throwing up her insides. When they eventually subsided and Amy could stand, her parents rushed her to the hospital emergency room. She was diagnosed with food poisoning and sent home with medicine, told to drink plenty of fluids and to rest for several days.

By Wednesday, her symptoms had subsided so Amy returned to school. For two weeks, everything was normal, but then Friday afternoon, Sara received an emergency phone call from the school nurse telling her Amy had been taken to the hospital and she and her husband needed to go there as quickly as possible. Arriving at the hospital and being ushered to the treatment room where doctors were working on Amy, Sara later said, "My first thought was that she had been shot because there was blood everywhere. Her hair was matted with blood and her face was horribly swollen. I could just barely recognize my own daughter." Sara was so distraught she had to be given a shot to calm her. When a doctor was finally able to come see them, he explained that Amy had several large contusions to her head and face. All the blood and swelling made it look worse than it actually was, but she would need to stay overnight for observation. Then the police came.

The police report indicated that a number of students saw Amy's "accident." According to them, Amy was walking to her next class when she suddenly stopped, turned and began repeatedly smashing her head and face into a row of metal lockers. She was hitting them so hard that blood began to fly everywhere even as several of the boys tried to hold her back. They said the was growling like a wild animal and was so strong they couldn't keep ahold of her and every time she broke away, she immediately began smashing into the lockers again. It finally took 3 male teachers and the female school resource officer to finally drag her away and into the nurse's office. As soon as they laid her down on a cot, she stopped struggling and seemed to fall into a deep sleep. Sara sat in silence as the policeman told her what had happened. She could not understand why her once normal, happy child would harm herself.

Several hours later, Amy woke up and asked her mom where she was. When Sara told her what had happened, Amy replied, "No, that's not what happened!" She told her she was walking down the hall when she was grabbed from behind and pushed into the lockers. She said she tried to put her arms out in front of herself to stop, but whoever had pushed her was too strong. This was in total contrast to what dozens of witness's described seeing.

One thing gave credence to Amy's version. As the medical staff was examining her, they found something very strange. Beginning at her shoulders and down both sides of her back were three, long, bloody lines that looked exactly like claw marks; marks that nobody could explain.

After bringing her daughter home, Sara tried the only thing she knew to do - she prayed. Over the next several weeks, their pastor made visits to their home to lead the prayers, but things kept getting worse. Eventually, Amy was expelled from school for acting up. She would stand in the middle of the class and curse the teacher. She began refusing to bathe and never washed her hair. She began to spit on and curse at other students. One day in the middle of a class, the teacher was standing at the front of the classroom lecturing when Amy got up from her seat, walked to the teacher's side, raised her skirt, lowered her panties, squatted down and began to urinate while laughing in a strange voice. She was expelled for the remainder of the school year.

Sara picked up her daughter at school and brought her home. She called the preacher and he agreed to come over that night to help confront Amy and try to find out why she was acting in such a manner. When he arrived that evening, Sara, John, Jim (Amy's 15 year-old brother) and the preacher went upstairs to Amy's bedroom. At first, they didn't see her, but then they noticed her bare feet sticking out from under a desk. When they looked, they saw she was sitting in a ball with her knees tucked against her chest. She was naked and there were bleeding cuts all over her body. Looking closer, they saw she was holding a bloody screwdriver in her right hand and the cuts on her body were actually carvings. They carvings read "Baal."

The preacher whispered, "God protect us" and told everyone that Baal is a high-ranking Christian demon, the right-hand of Satan. He is purported to be in command of 66 legions of lesser demons and is one of the most powerful demons in Christianity. He carries the ashes of hell in his pockets.

As everyone looked at Amy, she slowly raised her head and began to smile. But then her green eyes turned coal black and her smile became a menacing snarl. Before anyone could react, she jumped out from under the desk and with the bloody screwdriver in hand, she ran straight at her brother Jim. Screaming, she drove the screwdriver down toward his face, but at the last split second, Jim moved his head to the side and the tool only grazed his face before burying itself in his shoulder. Amy jumped up on Jim, wrapping her legs around his waist, pulled the screwdriver from his shoulder and tried to stab his face again, but her father grabbed her arms from behind. The preacher tried to pull Amy off her brother, but she managed to get her hand free and slashed him on the side of his neck. When her mother jumped into the fray, she stabbed her in the right arm. After a few seconds, John let go of Amy long enough to grab a pillow, remove it from the pillow case and pulled the case over her head. Within a few seconds, Amy seemed to go unconscious and the men were able to lay her on the bed. The attack had not lasted more than a minute, but it seemed like an eternity to the people in the room who stared at each other in stunned disbelief.

Fortunately, everybody's wounds were minor. Even Jim, who had received the most grievous and painful wound only required three stitches as the screwdriver had not hit anything serious. For the next two days, Amy lay unconscious, but occasionally she would half-way open her eyes and look around the room before falling back asleep. After much discussion and prayer, Amy's parents and their preacher decided Amy was possessed and they needed to conduct an exorcism. They decided it would be safer to perform it inside their little church and they hurriedly transported her there while she was still asleep. When they arrived, two church elders met them and they carried Amy inside, placing her gently on the floor in front of the alter. The five adults then held hands in a circle around her and began to pray out loud.

In the name of Jesus!
I command you to leave this girls body!
I cast you out in the name of Jesus!
Out! Out! Out! Out!

Amy began to move as if she were in pain. Her eyes remained closed, but she began to whimper.

I cast you out in the name of Jesus!
I cast you out in the name of Jesus!
Out! Out! Out! Out!

At his point, Amy began to move her head back and forth and started to foam at the mouth. She spit green, stinking bile at the preacher as he continued to chant. She screamed and arched her back so severely the adults thought she was about to break her spine. Then, in a course, hideous, deep voice, she began to laugh hysterically and Baal spoke:

Your God has no power over me!
I cannot be commanded. I am Baal!

The preacher continued to chant, louder and louder:

I cast you out in the name of Jesus!
I cast you out in the name of Jesus!

Suddenly, Amy screamed and her arms shot straight out from her body; her eyes rolled back into her head; she began to convulse and speak in tongues. The preacher continued to chant. Without warning, those demonic black eyes returned and stared straight at the preacher, Amy's face contorted into a horrific mask and she again spit foul bile at the pastor.

And then it was over. A sharp, whooshing sound was heard and then the breaking of glass. Amy's eyes began to close, but before they shut, the blackness faded and the normal green color returned. She stopped moving and appeared to be in a deep slumber. Her parents took her home and Amy slept peacefully through the night. The next morning, she awoke, smiling, hungry and acting like her old self. When asked, she did not remember a thing that had happened to her.

To this day, Amy doesn't really remember anything about those several months. Her parents told her, but she has a hard time accepting that a demon had taken over her body and mind. She returned to school, graduated from college and is now a high school teacher. She is engaged to be married to a preacher and she is grateful to God for saving her from the demon.

The only evidence Baal left behind was a ruined stained-glass window he had broken as he fled Amy's body and the church. When Amy's parents carried her to the car that night, they looked up at the shattered window. Then, there on the ground, every piece of glass, every shard, had been stacked in neat little piles all in a row. Stacked by an invisible, banished demon on his way back to Hell.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Terrifying Creature of Lake Conway

The woods around Lake Conway where  
Skunk Ape has been seen.
The woods surrounding Lake Conway in Faulkner County, Arkansas are home to a large number of living things, mostly birds, raccoons, snakes and little creepy crawlies. The lake provides some of the best fishing for bass and crappie in the state, but there are reports of a different type of animal that resides there. The kind that comes out after dark. The kind the fishermen and visitors only speak about in hushed tones while anxiously looking over their shoulders in the blackness of night. The kind the fishermen & visitors pray they don't encounter in the dark woods.

The sightings started in early 1970. People began calling in to game wardens and police to report strange observations of something that looked like a man, but obviously wasn't. The witnesses reported the creature as being between 7 and 8 feet tall and ape-like. It was most often seen emerging from the woods to wade in the shallow areas of the lake, evidently looking for food. One thing was common with each of the sightings - the brute was always accompanied by an incredible stench. It was soon given a name - "Skunk Ape."

Near the site where Lee reported his frightening
encounter with Skunk Ape 
One reported encounter proved to be especially disturbing. On a hot and muggy night in August, 1985 a fisherman named Lee was alone in his flat-bottom boat not far from the shore. The fish had stopped biting so he decided to reel in his line and head back to the boat ramp. He heard a sudden commotion behind him in the water and when he turned, he could see something big thrashing around. It seemed to Lee that maybe a large beaver had been under water, had gotten caught in somebody's trotline and was trying to extricate itself from the entanglement. Looking at it more intently though, he realized it wasn't a beaver as it was much to large and had longer hair covering its body than a beaver. As he sat in his boat trying to determine exactly what it was he was seeing, the monster stood up. It was like something from a nightmare! The water was five feet deep and the hairy thing's head was at least three to four feet above the water.

The creature caught site of Lee and seemed to be just as surprised to see him as Lee was to see the creature. The two locked eyes for about five seconds, but it seemed like forever to Lee. Suddenly the beast started moving closer to Lee and his boat, grimacing and making deep-throated, angry growling sounds. Totally frozen with shock and fear, Lee couldn't move or make a sound. All he could do was watch with horror as the beast came closer and closer, never taking its eyes off Lee. When the creature got within about 15 feet of him though, an horrendous stench hit his nostrils and shocked him into action. He turned to grab the .22 pistol he always carried in his tackle box, but as he turned back around with his gun outstretched, he found the monster had quickly covered the distance between them and with a single vicious swing of his powerful arm, knocked Lee out of the boat.

Lake Conway
Not seriously hurt, but disoriented, Lee came up gasping for air and grabbing for something to steady himself. He managed to find the side of the boat and cautiously pulling himself up enough to peek over it, saw that the monster was no longer paying any attention to him. What had caught and was keeping his attention was the stringer of fish that was hanging over the other side of the boat. Fish by fish, it was pulling them from the line and eating them whole in one or at most, two bites. Lee ducked back behind the side of the boat in fear, worried that if he made a break for it, the creature would immediately attack him.

The last of the fish was quickly consumed and the beast began rummaging around in the boat, slamming stuff around, looking for more food. When everything turned quiet for several minutes, Lee could stand it no longer and slowly pulled himself up to peek over the side. As he did so though, the creature was still there and saw the top of Lee's head poking up. Obviously angered, the brute lifted the 300-pound boat clear out of the water as if it was nothing and Lee found himself once again staring into the eyes of the monster!

Fearing for his life, this time Lee reacted at once and began half-swimming and half-running through the chest-deep water as fast as he could for the shore about 75 yards away. As he got near the water's edge, he turned once to look behind him and became weak with fear as he saw the monster was coming after him! Just 10 yards from the shore, but knowing he couldn't outrun it, Lee thought of his family and began screaming at the top of his lungs for help. Somehow he safely made it the last few yards. Running a short way into the trees, he didn't hear footsteps behind him so he turned once again to look. The creature was nowhere in sight. The only evidence it had even been there was the overturned boat floating in the water in the moonlight.

The area of Lake Conway where several sightings
have been reported.
Since that first sighting, there have been numerous reports of the Skunk Ape. Anglers often talk about having a feeling of dread, a sense of being stalked as if something just out of sight was watching them, waiting for them to walk into its trap. Strange noises are often reported coming from the woods in the night. Some have reported hearing the creature scream in the middle of the night as if it was celebrating a fresh kill. They say the sound will turn one's blood into ice water.

So what exactly is the Skunk Ape? The scientific name is hominid cryptid - hominid means "great ape" and cryptid means "a creature that has been suggested, but cannot be scientifically proven to exist." To many around Lake Conway though, that the creature exists is a fact. In certain parts of the lake, most locals will not even go outside after dark. The monster may not yet be proven, but for sure, something is definitely out there.

Reports of sightings still come in several times each year. So if you are brave, or perhaps just foolhardy, break out your fishing gear and head to Lake Conway after dark... and hope the only thing that tugs on your line is a big bass.