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 7 (Retrieved)
October 21st 1999
Day 7 - Thursday - October 21st
1999 - 6.00 am
We never got out!
I am alone and very scared. No sleep last night. How could I sleep..?
Vanessa is missing.
I believe both Larry and Vanessa, my two close friends, are dead
- murdered by
the beast! I believe I'll fare no better.
I try to understand the events of yesterday. I go over and over that
yesterday, playing back the clip in my video camera recorded by
accident as we ran.
I cry with fear and guilt for in that moment of terror, I failed
my companion and left
her to the beast!
We had made good time, and I was certain our path was true, but the
so rapidly as we picked our way through the words. We must have
when almost complete darkness fell around us and dashed all hope.
Then Vanessa started behaving strangely. She was just slowing down
and falling behind.
I turned to tell her if would b best to keep up. She started walking
towards me very
provocatively me, her face - the expression of one in a daze.
I could have sworn, as I
watched, it seemed to shift and alter for a moment. I don't know
why but instinctively,
I raised my video camera and filmed her.
The moment passed and she seemed to
behave normally again - shaking her head the way a confused waking
By strange coincidence, I stumbled upon something underfoot. When
I looked, I was
shocked to see it was a walking boot -Larry's!
To see it there, discarded, like an object
no-longer required... filled me with dread and worry for my missing
A thick mist came rushing towards us from all sides - an unnatural
thing... as though
we were in a vacuum that all else was drawn towards to fill! Pain
came next -
abrupt and intense - pressure on the ears...
...then I saw it: a huge, shapeless, blackness pushing through the
mist towards us.
We ran... my god we ran...
I could hear Vanessa's desperate sounds beside me, the whip and thrash
foliage as she and I crashed through bramble and sapling, like deer
before the lion... then a rush of noise - a different sound, unearthly
- followed by a
And then I ran alone. Her 'sounds', beside me - gone!
In the panic I had left my camera running and recorded
the terrible moment!
I am back at the tent. I have been here since that moment yesterday.
I have not eaten. I have done nothing but endlessly flick through
Larry's books and read about the witch of Chelsham and checked the
images and video in my camera. I know now - 'tis not
the witch to fear...
but her unholy beast-child.
I will finish recording here the accounts of 1640 to 1645 I
studied in these books. I will not survive this day and if my life
to be consumed - and this my last moment of awareness before
succumbing to oblivion - then let it be one of worth... an understanding
of events here so that truth be known!
October 22nd 1640, Sarah Blacklocke entered these woods - blind,
in fear, a hunted thing - the target of human ignorance and malice.
She did not leave them for 6 months. When finally she emerged,
naked in full view of a congregation leaving a Sunday service at
St. Mary's, she was no longer blind, had aged ten tears, and was
No-one discovered what events and traumas befell her during her time
in the forest. Not a single villager would go near her in the months
years that followed. The fear of her was absolute!
No child was born or ever seen - although when she was seen by those
brave enough to still use the path beside her cottage, her pregnancy
over. She was frequently seen at night, by drunken locals returning
White Lion, entering the woods at late hours. The years passed.
misfortune that befell the village was squarely blamed on Sarah
Blakelocke "...she is a witch that goes to fornicate with
the devil in the
forest, to nurture her imps and familiars, and cast ill o'er
all who spy her!"
In 1645, half the number of people in the village of Chelsham, died!
was rife in Southern England.
Who can understand the anger, fear, and misery of a village so frequently
burying their loved ones? It is easy to see they sought an end to
and a cause to blame! When word spread that Matthew Hopkins, the
infamous witch destroyer in all of England, was 'at work' in nearby
a sum of money was collected, and the witchfinder general was summoned!
The subsequent torture, persecution, trial, and vengeance against
unprecedented in its level and scale.
"...it was decided, by the general, that additional funds be collected
from the village to pay wages for helpers to assist in the work.
men are needed and will be paid an honest sum."
One can imagine the terrible ordeals this woman, still attractive
must have suffered as this gathering of 'hired-hands' were let loose
her away from public eyes and scrutiny.
Few witches in England were actually 'burnt-alive'. Most never faced
fire as 'hanging; was the normal mode of execution. Those, unfortunate
to receive execution by burning, were invariably strangled before
the fire was lit
to save their further suffering.
The night they burnt the witch of Chelsham, no such mercy was applied...
nor - it seems - was mercy a factor in the terrible fate to befall
on many of the
locals gathered on the edge of the woods that fatal night in 1645.
testimony was recorded :-
"... the fire was lit. It was a cold night and we all moved closer
to the flames
for the warmth it gaveth. She, the witch, stared down at us.
I must confess -
I could see why the devil himself be attracted and smitten by
her. She has
shape and skin of a young lass - not that of her years.
My god - the flames rose quickly! None of us had seen a 'burning'
rumour has it there'll be more soon in Essex. The heat scalded
my face even
at that distance from the fire. We moved quickly back - lest
it be us that be
consumed with the witch.
Several next to me were shouting and pointing. 'Twas hard to hear
cry 'gainst roar and spit of the flames. I saw then - the cause
of their excitement..
the witch's hair was ablaze... and her mouth wide open as though
I could see her flinching against the binding knot as the flames
rose up around
her. I watched her head turn as she looked into and towards the
We all heard it : her scream! It was louder than the fire and
rushed like rolling
thunder upon the ear - causing much distress to all.
It 'twas then it happened - a strong wind from where the
forest lay... a sudden
gust that made the fire roar faster and hotter... too quick...
too quick for many
to flee the flame which leapt wide and into the crowd. There
was panic! Woman...
man... child.. many running - most ablaze... and screaming...
the wind fiercer...
driving the flame like a living thing across their clothes, thwarting
attempts to help...
I'd swear in the smoke and heat, amidst the screaming villagers,
I saw a dark shape
moving - and where it rested for a moment - another villager
set alight! I ran. There
was nought to be done but save oneself..."
Sarah Blakelocke, the witch of Chelsham, was buried outside the church
on a rough path crossroad "...that it might confuse her way -
lest she wake and
come in the dark of night with her demon off-spring - and seek
us people of Chelsham"
The crossroad is no-longer there, and the grave overgrown, but she
and this - without doubt - is her woods!
There is a wind rising outside my tent. I hear its roar. The air
is pressing against
the canvas - invading my last and final space... it has come for
me... there is no
hope... but I must run and hide!
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