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Black Annis



An artist’s depiction of Black Annis. Photo: Fandom

Black Annis is a blue faced witch from English folklore that is said to have a taste for human flesh and a penchant for wearing the tanned hides of children around her waist.

The Legend of Black Annis

Shrouded Hand covers the legend of Black Annis

Once upon a time, in a small village near the Dane Hills, lived a wicked creature known as Black Annis. She was the stuff of nightmares, with long, sharp nails and teeth as sharp as daggers. Her skin was as pale blue, and her hair tangled like the thorns of a rosebush.

Legend had it that Black Annis was a witch who had made a deal with dark forces, granting her extraordinary powers. She would prowl the countryside, especially on moonlit nights, lurking in the shadows, seeking out misbehaving children.
Parents would warn their little ones about the fearsome Black Annis, hoping to keep them safe. They would say, “Stay inside, my child, or Black Annis will come for you! She waits for naughty children who disobey their parents.”

The villagers built a tall fortress to protect themselves from her wicked ways. It was made entirely of sharp thorns, towering over the village like a fortress of brambles. They called it “Black Annis’s Bower.”

One fateful night, a young boy named Jacob decided to challenge his luck. Feeling mischievous, he snuck out of his house, ignoring his parents’ warning. Jacob, wanting to prove his bravery, ventured towards the dark woods where Black Annis was said to dwell.

As he tiptoed through the trees, Jacob soon became lost in the thick foliage. He shivered with fear as the moon’s pale light filtered through the leaves, casting eerie shadows.

Suddenly, he heard a low growl, followed by the sound of rustling leaves.
It was Black Annis, lurking in the darkness, her long nails scraping against the rough tree bark. She let out a wicked cackle, her laughter piercing through the night. Jacob’s heart pounded in his chest as he stumbled backward, desperately trying to escape her clutches.

But just as Black Annis was about to pounce, something unexpected occurred. The thorny branches of Black Annis’s Bower came to life, intertwining like a living creature. The fortress snaked its way towards the witch, encircling her with its sharp thorns.

Black Annis hissed in pain as the thorns pierced her skin, trapping her tightly. The villagers, alerted by the commotion, rushed to Jacob’s aid.

Where did Black Annis Live?

A cave similar to the supposed lair of Black Annis

Black Annis, a legendary figure in folklore, is said to have lived in a cave known as “Black Annis’s Bower.” This eerie cave is to be located within Leicester, England.

Black Annis was said to have used this hidden dwelling as her sinister abode, where she would haunt the surrounding area and instil fear in the hearts of those who crossed her path.

The Wretched Behavior of Black Annis

Legend has it that Black Annis would roam the countryside under the cover of nightfall, searching for vulnerable children who unknowingly wandered into her territory.

Once Black Annis captured her young victims, darkness fell upon them like a shroud of despair. It is believed that she would take them back to her cavernous lair, where she reveled in their terror and feasted on their fear.

Whispers passed down through generations claim that Black Annis had a particular penchant for children’s flesh, gnawing at their tender bodies with her sharp, jagged teeth. It was said that she delighted in the taste of their fear, savoring it like a nefarious delicacy. The terror-stricken cries of her captives echoed through the night, etching themselves into the collective memory of the afflicted townsfolk.

Black Annis is said to have used the children’s hides to craft a darkened garment, which she wore as a trophy. This chilling cloak was believed to grant her unparalleled strength and immortality, enabling her to continue her malevolent deeds for centuries.

These harrowing tales of Black Annis’s atrocities served as a cautionary tale, instilling fear in the hearts of children and reminding them to remain vigilant and cautious when venturing into the unknown.

Possible Origins of the Black Annis Legend

The first known mention of a character called Black Annis was found in an old legal document from the 18th century. This document mentioned a piece of land named after Black Annis. This was reported in a 19th-century book by The Folklore Society, which also mentioned two similar documents from 1764.

There are many theories about where the Black Annis figure came from. Some think it came from Celtic or Germanic mythology. Others, like T. C. Lethbridge, believe it could be based on ancient European mother goddesses, who were believed to eat children. This character is seen as similar to various goddesses from around the world, including Kali from India, Muilearteach from Gaelic tradition, and Demeter from Greek mythology. Some people even think that the story might be a remnant of old practices where children were sacrificed to a goddess.

Ronald Hutton disagrees with these ideas in his book. He thinks that the legend of Black Annis was based on a real woman named Agnes Scott. She was a religious woman, possibly a nun, who lived alone in prayer in a cave and took care of a leper colony in Leicestershire. After she died, she was buried in a local churchyard.

Hutton believes that the legend of Black Annis grew out of distorted memories of Agnes Scott. The stories were either made up to scare kids or came from anti-religious feelings after the Protestant Reformation. Later on, during the Victorian era, the stories about Agnes Scott got mixed up with tales about a goddess named Anu.

The link between Black Annis and Agnes Scott was actually made before Hutton suggested it. For example, an 1842 issue of the Leicester Chronicle mentioned both the grave and the cave connected to the legend. This was also printed in the same 19th-century book by The Folklore Society.

Black Annis’ Home is Destroyed

Black Annis‘s cave was filled with dirt in the late 1800s. Some people thought this could mean the end of Black Annis. But others suspect she is still roaming the area of Dane Hills to this day. Also, by the end of the 19th century, she was known as “Cat Anna” and was believed to live in the basements of Leicester Castle. There was a supposed secret tunnel connecting the castle with the Dane Hills where she used to live.

Black Annis’s old home on the hillside is now filled with houses. So, if she’s still around, she might be hiding in the underground passages. She would have to be sneakier than before to avoid being noticed in the modern world. And maybe, she’s waiting for a time when the world will be more like it used to be, and she can freely roam again.

If you enjoyed learning about Black Annis you might also be interested in the legends of Peg Powler or Jenny Greenteeth.

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Fleshgait: Predatory Mimic in the Woods




A fleshgait is a creature that imitates the voices and appearances of people in the woods, with the intention of luring them away. People who have seen fleshgaits describe them as tall, thin, grey beings with long claws and no hair.

Description of a Fleshgait

Imagine a mysterious creature lurking in the depths of the woods, capable of mimicking human voices and appearances. Meet the fleshgait—a cunning trickster that entices unsuspecting wanderers. Witnesses who have encountered these eerie beings describe them as towering, slender figures, draped in a shroud of grey, with razor-sharp claws and an absence of hair.

Picture this: as you venture into the wilderness, unaware of the lurking danger, the fleshgait slinks in the shadows, perfecting its masquerade. With a supernatural ability to mimic the voices of both people and animals, it skillfully mimics the ones you hold dear, beckoning you deeper into its treacherous domain.

It is widely believed that fleshgaits are dangerous towards humans and often lure them deeper into the woods in order to harm or eat them. Some people also think that fleshgaits are connected to the Missing 411 disappearances, but there is no evidence to support this claim.

The powers of fleshgaits are not fully understood because nobody has witnessed their full capabilities. Based on reports, here are the commonly agreed-upon traits:

Voice Mimicking: Fleshgaits can imitate the voices of both humans and animals. They can only mimic voices and phrases they have heard before. Their calls can be captivating and difficult to resist, even when people know the voice is not from the person they are concerned about.

Super Speed: Fleshgaits are known for their unnaturally fast movement, often disappearing quickly into the woods.

Excessive Strength: Animals found torn apart in areas where fleshgaits are sighted suggest that these creatures possess tremendous strength.

While some reports suggest that fleshgaits can change their shape, not all reports mention this ability. Reports of shape-shifting fleshgaits occur frequently enough for many people to believe in their shape-shifting abilities.

Fleshgait Sightings

The Lore Lodge covers the the legend of the Fleshgait

Angeles National Forest, California – Alex Reynolds, Sarah Mitchell, and David Thompson, had a heart-stopping encounter with a fleshgait almost ten years ago. Despite the scary moment, these brave explorers managed to come out of it without any harm.

On a sunny afternoon, specifically on July 21st, 2013, the trio set off on an exciting adventure deep into the breathtaking Angeles National Forest. Towering trees and stunning views provided the backdrop for an experience they would never forget.

As they went further into the wilderness, a strange feeling of unease settled over them. It felt like the forest was holding its breath, and they sensed something they couldn’t see. Curiosity pushed them forward, unaware of the terrifying encounter they were about to face.

In the heart of the forest, they heard a voice calling their names from all directions. Confused, they looked at each other, trying to figure out where the calls were coming from.

With fear gripping them, the hikers cautiously followed the enchanting yet unsettling voices. Suddenly, in a sunny spot, they saw the fleshgait appear. It was tall and slender, with eerie eyes that seemed to shine from another world. Its appearance matched what others had described—a tall and thin creature with pale skin that stood out against the green forest.

Surprisingly, the fleshgait showed no signs of wanting to harm them. Instead, it seemed curious and watched them with an enigmatic gaze. The hikers watched in both awe and fear, their hearts racing with a mix of emotions.

After a few intense moments, the creature vanished into the forest, disappearing quickly as if it were never there. The hikers were left bewildered but relieved that nothing bad had happened. They hurried back to civilization, eager to share their extraordinary story.

How to Know A Fleshgait is Near

Here are some signs that suggest that a Fleshgait may be nearby:

You hear someone calling your name, but it’s not the person you know. For example, a woman heard her “mother” calling for help in the woods, even though she knew her real mother was far away. Despite the strange voice, she felt a strong urge to follow it. Later, she heard chattering noises and realized something was wrong. She barely escaped.

Your group feels like it has more people than before. People often sense an “extra person” around them before a fleshgait attack.

You see claws wrapped around a tree or a very thin figure that doesn’t look human. Many people witness them with their hands wrapped around trees or standing nearby. Some even describe them as resembling the character Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

There are reports of animals being killed in unusual ways or strange disappearances happening nearby. This makes sense because fleshgaits are predators.

The forest suddenly becomes quiet and eerily still. This often means there’s a predator nearby and creates a feeling of panic in the woods.

Your “friend” starts acting strangely and doesn’t sound like themselves.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to trust your instincts and make a quick exit from the area.

How to Avoid a Fleshgait Attack

Fleshgaits are believed to be attracted to bright colors so it may be wise to wear more dull colors when adventuring in the woods.

Have you ever seen a Fleshgait? Tell us about it in the comments.

If you enjoyed learning about the Fleshgait you might be interested in similar creatures such as El Silbon or La Siguanaba.

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Bélmez Faces




One of the Belmez Faces.

In 1971, strange stains in the shape of human faces started appearing on the kitchen floor of a house in Bélmez de La Moraleda, a little village in Andalusia, Spain.

The Story of the Bélmez Faces

Another Belmez Face

Back in August 1971, María Gómez Cámara noticed a weird stain forming on her kitchen floor. It soon transformed into a creepy face, and to her surprise, the stain seemed to move around.

María tried to remove it, but nothing worked. Her husband and son even tried destroying it with a pick-axe and re-cementing the floor, but it came back a week later, along with more faces.

News of the “house of faces” spread quickly, attracting many curious visitors who wanted to witness this mysterious phenomenon for themselves. Parapsychology experts arrived and considered it a great mystery. They even claimed to have recorded strange voices in the house.

A local urban legend began to spread claiming that skeletons were found buried under the floor during an investigation.

Eventually, a new floor was made, and people thought the faces were gone for good. However, just two weeks later, a different face started appearing, surprising everyone once again.

By Easter of 1972, a large number of people were visiting the house to witness the faces. The Pereira family continued to claim that new faces kept appearing for the next 30 years. These faces were of both men and women, and they varied in shapes, sizes, and expressions.

Investigations into the Belmez Faces

The main researchers involved in the Bélmez case were Hans Bender and Germán de Argumosa. They worked together in Bélmez and Freiburg in the early 1970s when the alleged phenomena began. Surprisingly, neither Bender nor de Argumosa published an official report on their findings.

Bender only mentioned the case briefly in his journal, Zeitschrift für Parapsychologie. He did make some references to the case in his lectures, particularly mentioning the sealing of certain areas of the floor where faces were forming, using transparent plastic material. He stated that slight changes in the faces’ appearance during this sealed period, as documented by a notary, supported their paranormal origin.

In 2014, a TV show called Cuarto Milenio, hosted by Iker Jiménez, conducted a technical analysis to investigate the possibility of a hoax related to the Bélmez faces. The research was carried out by José Javier Gracenea, a chemical engineering doctor and general manager of Medco, along with Luis Alamancos, a forensic criminalist who served as the chairman of Gabinete Pericial Inpeval and director of the Spanish Institute of Applied Criminalistics. Alamancos was later honored with the European Police Cross of Honor.

With the permission of the house owner, Gracenea collected samples from the faces and analyzed them. His conclusion was that the images “were not created with paint” and that there was no evidence of external manipulation or added elements based on scientific knowledge and analysis techniques.

Alamancos attempted to replicate similar images using various methods that had been considered valid in previous investigations, including concrete solvents, hydrochloric acid, and silver nitrate. However, he failed to reproduce the faces and concluded that he was utterly perplexed by the phenomenon.

Skepticism about the Belmez Faces

Super Horror Bro covers the Belmez Faces

According to skeptical investigator Joe Nickell, the Bélmez Faces were intentionally fabricated, and he believes that the faces had a very unprofessional and amateurish appearance in their design.

Similarly, Brian Dunning from Skeptoid has written that investigations revealed the faces were actually painted onto the concrete floor, initially using paint and later with acid. Dunning also suggests that the woman residing in the house was involved in perpetrating a hoax on the public, potentially for financial gain.

In a journal article published in July 1993, Luis Ruiz-Noguez discussed the presence of three pigments commonly used in paint manufacturing: zinc, lead, and chromium. Based on this, Ruiz-Noguez suggested that the use of paint should be considered when it comes to the Bélmez faces, particularly with the suspicion of lead being involved. Here are the reasons he provided:

Lead was commonly used as a pigment for primary colors for a long time.

The analysis showed that the amount of chromium present was too low to be a likely option.

Lead tends to create dark and hard-to-see colorations, unlike chromium.

The most common and inexpensive primary colors are enamels that contain lead, which are widely used in homes because they are easy to apply.

However, Ruiz-Noguez also mentioned some objections to the hypothesis of paint being used based on the ICV (inorganic chemical values) samples. These objections include the fact that alkydalic-type enamels are not resistant to abrasion, paint leaves a visible film that is easily distinguishable from the surface it is applied on, and alkydalic enamels have low chemical tolerance to acids, alkalis, and detergents.

What do you think caused the faces to appear in Belmez? Let us know in the comments.

If you enjoyed learning about the Belmez Faces you might also be interested in other ghostly faces such as the SS Watertown Ghost Faces or faces appearing in an airplane oven on Flight 401.

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