The world is full of mystery. We see what we are not supposed to see and hear what we are not meant to hear. Tales of life and death, ghosts and aliens dominate our collective conscience. This is a run-down of some of the most potent but obscure mysteries in the world. Here you will encounter UFOs, demons, monsters and witches who make the universe all the more interesting.
1. The Night Dancers of Bukunja
To date nobody has been able to convincingly explain the phenomenon of the night dancers of Bukunja in Uganda. Local folklore says that these are cannibals who are overtaken by the spirits of the dead and travel at lightning speed in the night, destroying crops and defacing property with feces. They stand accused of grinding the bones of babies to make a powerful concoction that is used to fertilize their lands. Others marvel at tales of large acres of agricultural land that is tilled by a single night dancer in a single day by capturing the spirits of the living and putting them to work. These evil beings capture the bodies of the living and force them to eat the flesh of dead bodies. Using a spoon and a human bone, they are able to summon the dead before eating them. When the night dancer is caught, they foam at the mouth and cannot seem to remember what they did. A gory end awaits night dancers if members of the community capture them. They are stuffed with raw bananas in their anus until they die. Psychologists and psychiatrists have tried in vain to explain this phenomenon (of those who fleet from life to death and back) without success. Understandably the night dancers are said to be very secretive about their religion and practices.
2. The Jatinga Bird Suicide
The massive bird suicide of Jatinga in India remains one of the enduring but obscure mysteries of the universe. This small rural community of Assam is deceptively beautiful with plenty of flora and fauna but it hides a terrible story behind the enchanting outlook. Between September and November each year, a number of migratory birds congregate in Jatinga. Their arrival coincides with the monsoon season. Between 7 and 10 pm on the allotted date, hundreds of the avian visitors come down from the sky falling into trees and buildings. They make no attempt to cushion their fall and consequently suffer a gruesome death. Folklore has speculated that the birds commit suicide at the behest of evil spirits who reside in the sky. The scientists claim that it is the monsoon winds that disorientate the birds and cause them to fall because they are looking for the lights in the village. Nevertheless the villagers continue to believe that there is something mysteriously evil going on.
3. Dyatlov Pass Incident
The “mountain of the dead” mystery continues to fascinate and baffle in equal measure. Nine Russian mountaineers met a gruesome death whilst on a skiing trip in the 1950s. It is no secret that these men and women died tragically but the explanation of their death leaves many questions unanswered. Researchers concluded that some unknown compelling force must have devoured the trekkers from the Ural Polytechnic Institute. They had a number of strange signs when they were discovered including broken skulls, missing tongues, fractured chest bones, missing eyes and brain trauma. It also seemed that strips of cloth had been cut from the victims. The authorities were so baffled by the mysterious incident that they barred anyone from visiting the site for three full years until they could ascertain what exactly had taken these young lives. The findings were inconclusive. It could not be said whether humans, animals or some other unknown force had killed the trekkers. We must secretly wonder whether there are life forces that take people mysteriously without us ever finding out what really happened.
4. Hudra the Nordic Troll
If you think trolls are limited to the internet then you can think again. Hudra is a female troll that is said to live in the woods. Beautiful, Huldra hides a terrible mystery that will scare the living daylights out of you. She is said to be very wild but otherwise harmless. Her long cow tail adds to the frightening imagery surrounding her. This menacing tail is hidden when you approach. Legend has it that she was one of Adam and Eve’s children who were cursed to remain hidden forever. Hudra is said to be very flirtatious but neither good nor evil. She is one of the lost souls that are destined to spend the rest of their existence in the underworld. God ordered that that which is hidden will remain hidden. We all secretly hope never to meet her in person.
5. Nicaraguan Vampire Tree
The phenomenon of flesh-eating plants has always fascinated us because we tend to prefer plants as helpless victims rather than aggressive carnivores. Nicaragua has brought us tales of the creepy vampire vine. This harbinger of a horrendous death has been invariably referred to as the “Devil’s Snare” on account of its associations with the evil underworld. Unlike most plants; the vampire tree closely resembles an octopus. The naturalist Dunstan has confirmed sightings during his anthropological travels. He describes a plant that is quite capable of engulfing a dog in its deadly embrace. Using thick fibers and menacing dark barks; the tree was able to entrap the hapless dog. The tree is said to have a series of pores that exude a thick gum that smelled like rotting animal flesh. When Dunstan tried to release the dog by cutting the roots, the murderous tree started to wrap around his fingers. He barely escaped with blistered hands. When the dog was able to escape, it had holes as if something had sucked blood from it. The really terrifying thing is that the plant seems to crave human flesh.
6. The Sick Sacrificial Ice Mummy
The recently discovered Incan mummy speaks of the darker nature of humanity. Apparently the process of preservation had etched the gory details of the poor girl’s death. She had been sacrificed and had a lung infection that had survived all the 500 years since her death. Researchers concluded that she had suffered from Spanish flue but what remained mysterious was how the disease had managed to survive its victim. The dark side of humanity was evident all those years ago when the girl was sacrificed at the Llullaillaco volcano in Argentina. Apparently the body was so well preserve that there was still some lice in its hair. The ancient peoples regularly engaged in this type of sacrifice which they referred to as “capacocha”; a long process that began years before the victim was actually killed. In this case it is estimated that the girl was only fifteen when she met her gruesome death. The idea that apparently civilized human beings are capable of sacrificing one another is not as alien as it seems. We are regularly besieged by horror stories of people who have enslaved and abused their family in cold blood. That poor girl’s soul will have many companions in death.
7. Nökken the Sly Water Creature
Nökken is a water creature whose history is steeped in mystery. His preferred domain includes ponds and other deep freshwater bodies. The dark eyes which creep up the water surface adds to the terrifying spectacle of a creature peering at those who pass by. Sometimes Nökken is able to reappear as a beautiful young man. He uses this disguise to trick gullible women into falling to their death in the water. Nökken is very adept at changing his shape in order to confuse the living. For example he can appear as a white horse and encourage young children to ride on his back. Nökken will then jump into the water in order to drown his precious cargo. The only way to save yourself from the evil machinations of Nökken is to throw a piece of metal in the water. This folk cult figure frightens the child in us and reminds us that nature can be enticingly cruel.
8. The Accursed Island of Daksa
Talk about a property that will not shift….The Island of Daksa in Croatia fits this bill for very mysterious reasons. It is truly beautiful and peaceful. Some would go as far as saying that this coastal paradise near Dubrovnik is too peaceful for comfort. The truth is that it hides a horrendous history in which 48 Nazi sympathizers were massacred. The mayor at the time was part of the gruesome bloodbath. For many years the bodies of the dead remained unburied. Those that have dared to venture to this island of death report hearing eerie moaning during dark stormy nights. Despite repeated price reductions to attract buyers, nobody seems to be interested in this offer. It remains the bloody scene of the ambiguous justice of the victor. Here is a real life horror story with so many tragic and ironic endings. One wonders whether those moaning sounds are of souls in regret and repentance or whether they are haunting calls for retribution in atonement the bloody scenes that once overtook Daksa.
9. The Sea City
There are always tales of the other world which sees us but which we cannot see. A man described how he was sent by his father to live under the sea with mysterious people. Only the children of the chosen ones are admitted. They are then taken through a terrifying ritual of conversion in which they learn all the tricks of witchcraft and other forms of sorcery. He describes it as a beautiful place with supernatural beings that can create paradise and evil in equal measure. The “City under the Sea” has achieved legendary status and has been retold in many different cultures often focusing on those that are greedy for wealth and are willing to do virtually anything to get it. It is a tale of life forms that are alien and frightening to the rest of us. So much remains unanswered and so much is suggested. What do the people live like in those underwater cities? Are they amphibians? We also worry that at any moment our children are going to be captured and sold to foreign lands from which they will never return.
10. The Ouija Board Possessed Girl
There is something almost comical about the tale of a Peruvian girl that became possessed as she played with an Ouija Board App. It is a modern tale of virtual life in which reality is constructed and veers towards terrifying dimensions. This is a story of a demon that is able to use modern technology in order to capture the attentions of the unsuspecting. Patricia Quispe was 18 years of age at the time and was apparently sound of mind. What happened in Chosica would turn her into an urban legend that went way beyond its humble beginnings in Peru. She said that it is her friends who sneakily enticed her into downloading the app and she lived to regret it. The symptoms or stigmata that she experienced included screaming, convulsing and foaming at the mouth. The skeptics are not entirely convinced and argue that she might have been onto something. Everything about her changed. Mystery can come from the strangest places. Technology controls so many parts of our lives that this tale may be the logical conclusion to a world in which we are mere cogwheels in a sequence of technology updates.
A Final Word
It seems that the entire universe has gone mad with all sorts of unexplained phenomenon coming to the fore. These tales come from so many different cultures and in some many different instances that one has to begin to wonder whether there is another dimension of life that is just waiting to pounce the moment we let our guard down. What seems like pure fiction now may become a nightmarish existence when you are next in line for a mysterious event. The skeptics always give us explanations but they are careful never to make them seem certain. It is always left to the imagination to fill in the blanks. Ambiguity is all part of the fun.