were written by Mol Smith to friends and associates during the week October
15th 1999 to October 22nd 1999.They form a 'field-record' of events which
took place near Chelsham, on the Surrey, Kent, borders - England. Not all
were received. I have indicated those emails written, and found on the
recovered lap-top, which Mol was unable to send due to exhausted power
he mentions digital 'stills' or 'video', I have linked to these from the
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Day 5 part
October 19th 1999
Day 5 - Tuesday - October 19th
1999 - 4.30 pm
This email will not be sent. I hope to bring it back with me to form
a record of
events here. My batteries for the phone are almost depleted and
message must be a warning. I worry now that I may never escape the
darkness and mists of this camp. Maybe by continuing to record events,
I may preserve a last semblance of logic and positive thought, and
the torrent of confusion in my mind.
The events of last night are still strong in my thoughts. Maybe -
there upon the
bank, events lasted but seconds before they were over and
an eerie calm
and silence pervaded, but to us - it was an aeon... a frozen moment...
all one's experience, habits, expectations, and knowledge, is suddenly
replaced by the crushing realization that all this life-time wealth
'itself' - illusion!
There is a reality we never see: nor should we!
We walked back through the wood to the tent. Not a word was said,
sound made beneath foot, as our tired and defeated gait, trampled
leaf that relented silently - too scared to 'crack' - lest its unwary
broke the spell of calm... and call into the darkness for chaos
Vanessa fell into deep slumber - the 'sleep' of the exhausted!
It was Larry's tired voice that broke the silence. I listened
I were priest and he - the troubled confessor. What he told
me, I had not
known till then. Only Larry and Vanessa knew the long reputation
and folk-law of this area.
I record it here briefly.
He spoke of time long ago, long before the middle ages and the hysteria
of witchcraft which spread, darker than the plagues, throughout
Europe for three hundred years. He spoke of pagan rites and the
foothold here - close to Chelsham - of a tribe hunted and hounded
their beliefs and differences with those of an emergent Christian
Around the turn of the century - this group, decimated and reduced
number by the constant persecution and murder of their creed,
a final stand. Surrounded and out-numbered - a single last rite
held to call for forces and support rom outside the world of man.
It was a night of slaughter: first - the hunted, and then the
Few survived. Of the group that came to slay the pagans, but two
men of one-hundred-and-nineteen, emerged, shocked and dazed,
on the far edge of the woods. Their account is recorded. Larry
me the narrative (translated to modern English) in one of the books
in the tent:-
"...we found them on the far side of the woods... near the stream
ragged group of men, women and children huddled together. There
was no resistance... not a cry... no movement... as ran upon
and in a merry mood - slaughtered them like lambs.
We burnt their wooden idols, their belongings, and threw their
bodies to the fire. Not one thing was taken by any man in our
for his own. All was left to burn.
The smoke from the fire was arid - it filled the wood and confounded
our journey back through the trees to the village. Our number
divided as each lost there bearing and their way.
Then it began... a wind that rushed... and a dark looming shape
swallowed mist and brother. I ran, ears pained and heart filled
Care not did I for the others, their screams and panic all sides
of me, as
I ran against thorn and tree, fell, and ran again in my desire
But once I stopped to look back into the mist - towards the chorus
scream. I saw a beast, a demon, massive and of the devil himself..."
Larry said the church, St. Mary's, had been built on the spot where
the men had come out of the woods. The villagers, back then, saw
as a holy-gate, a fort, a defence - should the 'demon' follow the
survivors out of the woods to the village, where they feared it
Accounts of 'trouble' and disappearences of people, who strayed into
wood, seem to be sprinkled throughout historic local records from
moment on up until the year 1644. This is where new accounts of
woman being a witch, and her visits to the wood, begin.
Larry went on to tell me more before giving a long weary sigh and
that he would go and get help. I told him we had the cell-phone.
We tried it
several times but either the signal was too erratic or the batteries
weak to connect to the cell.
He left around 5.00pm - swearing me to mind Vanessa, and vowing -
to return within a few hours with help.
Vanessa is waking. I must get her some soup.
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