He Who Walks Behind

The mysterious lights are his currency. This is the way how he lures people into the forest in the middle of the night. In some nights he ignites the Black Fire. He who walks behind the trees (The Forest Dark Feature Film Project).

He who walks behind. This is mostly associated with Stephen King’s short story and movie franchise Children of the corn. In King’s story, He who walks behind the rows is a pagan fertility deity commanding the children of a remote city named Gatlin. The town becomes a deadly trap for a couple.

Like many supernatural powers, the idea of He who walks behind has already a tradition before it came in a contemporary culture like the black fire.

The interesting quality of this threatening and extremely dangerous entity is that it is present in many ways but usually cannot be seen. It manifests in many forms and is a shapeshifter. It can exert a hidden influence on humans, nature and things. It manifests in threatening ways but also makes promises.

The tradition of this kind of deities can be found in folk stories about pagan worship and in ritual. Typically this kind of deities demands sacrifice. In folk tradition, the deity is often connected to the power of place. Thus, it appears to be a local deity. However, it is not clear if it is kind of a force which is really a local power or is it one and the same phenomenon which manifests in different places.

Haunted forests appear to be a good place for He who walks behind to manifest. It may be that it is such a kind of unknown force is behind unexplained phenomena and secret ritual. Its most unsettling ability is its influence it can except over humans. It does not only lead them into traps but also makes them doing things.




Something dwells in the darkness. He who walks behind is an uncanny presence which sounds familiar. It is the chaos gods which appear in many mythologies. The places of power are their seats. The Forest Dark is a place where HE is close, closer than anywhere. As Algernoon Blackwood said in his famous story The Willows: “The Gods are here, if they are anywhere at all in the world.”

He who walks behind is the one who hides his face. But who is He? Perhaps it is an abstract form, not human-like but also not a machine. It might be a form of consciousness. He was given many names. In stories, he appears in many disguises. He is the shimmer, the Wendigo, The Colour From Outer Space or The Great Old Ones.

LIGHT AND CHAOS

The Forest Dark Video Instalment No5 – Creation

“From the very beginning, there was light and there was chaos. Both came from far beyond” (The Forest Dark Screenplay).

Black Fire. Dark Energies in the forest. Telluric Forces. Where do they come from? There are many descriptions of the nature of haunted places. There are the remote forests and the mist-shrouded mountains where people vanish. Hidden places where rituals and sacrifices do happen. The region where mysterious lights can be seen. The haunted countryside where unspeakable forces had influenced many generations. There must be a source for this. Somewhere.

The mythological stories of mankind have many tales about something which came from deep within. There is a rich imagination about an underworld. The caves had been populated by the lower gods.

What if it came from outer space? H.P. Lovecraft described an entity in his famous story “The Color From Outer Space”. It is something which has an indescribable colour. Since it set its foot on Earth it is exerting a malicious influence. It never reveals its true nature.

In Lovecraft’s story the “Color From Outer Space” terrorises a strip of farmland. However there might be supernatural forces which are larger. They represent primordial forces. We find reports of “Chaos Gods” in any ancient culture. They are called “Ahriman” or Andra Manyu, destructive spirits, in Zoroastrianism’s hypothesis and Apep or Apophis in Egyptian mythology. Also the Norse mythology and American Indian People do know about the gods which stem from primordial chaos. Mostly these gods reside in the skies. They are opponents of the sun gods or the light.



In our times we tend to envision these forces as the “Great Old Ones” (Lovecraft) which come perhaps from a distant galaxy. But if we think about the cosmic influence it doesn’t necessarily always imply travel.

Albert Einstein who developed the Quantum mechanics described a phenomenon called “Spooky action at a distance”. It refers to the so-called “quantum entanglement”. Entanglement makes it possible to achieve what is not possible in the conventional world.

Entanglement means that if you watch a particle in one place, another particle, which could be light-years away, will instantly change its properties. It suggests that the two are connected.

This phenomenon contradicts ordinary laws of nature. Nothing can travel faster than light. But in the mysterious quantum world, there is long distance communication without any need of time.

Many scientists conducted experiments about the “Spooky action at a distance” and there are more and more results which appear to prove the existence of this phenomenon.

Perhaps the strange places on Earth, the haunted forests, are mysteriously connected with the universe. We could think of them as the cosmic forest, created by forces beyond our imagination. Thus a place on Earth could be directly be connected and influenced by something far away. It could be some sort of intelligence in a nebula or wherever the chaos gods reside.

If we follow the ideas of quantum physics we might also find that our idea of “here” and “there” isn’t any longer valid under certain circumstances. If “they” can be in touch with our everyday world here there could be also windows into the other worlds. In dreams, sometimes, very clear visions of distant worlds pop-up, which hasn’t been seen by any real explorer.

“Forest Dark Video Installment No5 – Creation” is related to the feature film project and hopefully inspires viewers about “Light and Chaos”, “Here and There” and how the forest is connected.

Darkness

“I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Darkness can mean a lot of things. The immediate association is often with sadness, depression and danger. We are afraid of darkness. Particularly in the forest when it is getting dark we don’t want to be there. Perhaps this is our instinct from ancient times. We are not trained to survive in the dark. Newt in “Aliens” says: We‘d better get back ’cause it’ll be dark soon and they mostly come at night.

Indeed we are most vulnerable in darkness. We can’t see. But they can see us. The Forest Dark is no exception. In my story night means danger. But there is more about darkness. It can mean many things. As the philosopher says, there are many things to discover in the darkness. He might refer on the Dionysian side of existence, which is associated with chaos and the unknown but also creativity. 

The forest is the perfect representation of both the bright (the Apollonian) side and the dark and dangerous (the Dionysian) side of reality.  There are purity and innocence when we look at the trees and hear the birds. But darkness is never far away. The forest is a world full of secrets.

The Dionysian view acknowledges the daemonic principle at work. Life is an essential struggle. There is agony, tragic and darkness. We see it in the struggle for survival. It suggests that we live in Purgatory. Stories and films often show us that kind of darkness in their strongest scenes: In David Lynch’s latest Twin Peaks series there is a scene in front of the dinner when Bobby Briggs tries to stop a honking woman shouting in a car after a little boy started to shoot with a gun. This is a moment where we feel that life is purgatory. It is a quiet scene which ends up in pandaemonium. It shows us a supreme reality which is full of darkness.



In the forest, there is incredible beauty and there is unparalleled cruelty – animals get eaten by insects and even fungus. The wanderer is soon in his own struggle for survival if he got lost.

The forest is the place of Dionysian rites and sacrifices. It brings up the Dionysian side of people – this is where drug parties happen and there are secrets about unspeakable things which happen in the night.  

Darkness, however, should not be mistaken. Darkness can be a condition. It is a condition where there is a connection between men and unknown spiritual forces. Something dwells in thick darkness. There is always an ambiguity about darkness. Something can look at us but we can’t see its face. Something which can’t be grasped in simple terms. A mystery which can’t be explained in words.  An experience which can’t be described. The experience of the unknown in darkness is also the previously mentioned black fire

Mythical Fires: Ezechiel’s Vision

The mysterious account of the prophet Ezechiel in the Old Testament is one of the most spectacular visionary experiences in literature. It raised a lot of speculation. Erich von Däniken interpreted the prophet’s vision as an ancient spaceship. A discussion erupted subsequently. The most astonishing development was the investigation of a NASA-Scientist. Josef F. Blumrich wanted to disprove Däniken’ s therory. In the end he changed his opinion and wrote a book “The Spaceships Of Ezekiel”. He not only followed Däniken’s interpretation but did also a plan of the spaceship in 1974. It is indeed very surprising if we look at this model from today’s point of view: It definitely looks like a drone. There are also strong similarities with the later Mars rover. Drone’s weren’t invented in 1974.

Of course, this interpretation wasn’t accepted by theological readers. The prophet spoke of “God’s glory” he had seen.

The visionary account is so interesting because it goes far beyond any simple explanation. It is a truly visionary experience which questions reality. It is something from a higher reality. The technical description which intrigued Däniken is certainly one surprising fact but there is more.

There is an incredible richness in imagination and part of the imaginary is as in other sacred texts the use of fire. The vision begins with a sighting which includes fire: 4 “And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.” (Ezekiel 1, King James Version, 4). The North was often the direction where divine beings appeared. The fire had also a certain color. As mentioned in “Black Fire” certain colours are often important in these mythological texts.

If we go further through the words of the prophet the fascinating imaginary unfolds. As any real otherworldly encounter it has overwhelming and disturbing character:

“5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.” (Ezekiel 1, King James Version). The supernatural quality of the entities is clearly emphasised. These are not the kind of angels we know, this is something we can’t easily comprehend.

And again fire and light becomes an important aspect of the further description of the apparition: “13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning”. (Ezekiel 1, King James Version). The description sounds somewhat like the spaceships in Steven Spielberg’s CLOSE ENCOUNTER. Spielberg’s Ufos appeared mostly as extreme bright lights rather then the notorious discs. Vice versa we could also say that the bright coloured spaceships in Spielberg’s movie had this quality of a divine appearance from the Old Testament. /p>

Perhaps the interpretation of Ezekiel’s vision as a spaceship is too simple. It is a mind-blowing experience, something which goes beyond our understanding. There is one more aspect, which adds to the unique quality. It is also the one aspect which made even the most sceptical readers of Däniken’s ideas wonder: This is the mention of the wheels and their incredible qualities:

“16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. 17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went. 18 As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.” (Ezekiel 1, King James Version). The description of some sort of a machine made of wheels led to the invention of the “OMNI-wheel” in the 70ties. It is really surprising to find such a technical thing in a text from 500 BC. It indeed resembles the mechanics in today’s space probes. However, it is important to see all aspects of the vision: If we look at the whole picture there is more then just a probe or a drone. It reflects visionary encounters in the purest qualities. It resembles also modern sightings and experiences in otherworldly journeys. It is more like the window to another reality opened. Fire is often the harbinger of the arrival of these divine appearance and supernatural encounters. The power of the prophet’s imagination is the fact that it doesn’t allow simple interpretations.

There are more similarities to modern visionaries and their reports: Ezekiel sometimes is described as a possessed person. He shares the destiny of many witnesses (also modern Ufo-witnesses). The vision is a life-changing moment. It is the experience that reality is not what it seems to be.

What we also learn here is that visionary encounters are rich in imagination and there are many variations. But the underlying nature of such encounters suggest that there is one phenomena behind all these incredible stories. The phenomena can appear differently and allows many interpretation, “The Gods exhibit many faces of themselves”.