Tour Guide To The Otherworld

In stories with a metaphysical setting as in my The Forest Dark Movie Project, a kind of a professional guide is often introduced. The most prominent example, however, is “The Stalker” in Andrey Tarkovsky’s movie based on the Brothers Strugatzki’s novel.

In “Stalker”, there is a quarantined zone. Inside there is the danger. What happens in the zone is a secret. The government is sealing off the zone.  Entry is forbidden. No one gets in, no one gets out. The idea of such a zone appears also in other stories. A similar concept appears in “Annihilation” but without the guide. These type of stories and ideas go back a long way and most of all these zones do exist. Most people know about the “Bermuda Triangle” or “Area51” but there are zones which are much closer to civilisation and the everyday world:

In an outstanding documentary, “L’Autre Monde” (Otherworld) legendary filmmaker Richard Stanley portrays the magic region in South-West-France around Montsegur. This zone, where the supernatural is pretty alive, “a place where magic still has “currency”, is well known as the setting of the Dan Brown novels and is rich in history. It is indeed labelled as “The Zone”. Stanley and his companion Scarlett Amaris investigated over years and unearthed convincing evidence and disturbing secrets.

Montsegur is not the only place haunted: There are several zones on this planet, some places are forests, like the already mentioned Freetown-Fall River State Forest with the “Bridgewater Triangle”. They are often seen as a portal to other dimensions.

In psychogeography, there are also more subtle zones, not always known as haunted but are loaded with some sort of otherworld energy.

 

Usually, a lot of people who tried to conquer forbidden zones or haunted forests are never come back. But these guides survive somehow. They must have extraordinary abilities or somehow they are connected to the “Zone”. In Tarkovsky’s movie, the Zone is described as sentient. It has itself an understanding of any kind of intruder and it responds. The guide, on the other hand, is also a highly sensible man. It doesn’t mean that he actively communicates with the Zone, but he knows things. In Twin Peaks, it is Deputy Hawk who acts sometimes as a guide person in the mysterious forest. He is a very positive person. Also “The Stalker” has positive intentions, but is a much more desperate person.




Of course, there are many real guides taking people to mysterious places or zones of the supernatural. Both the real persons as the fictional guides cannot be trusted all the times. They are intermediaries between two worlds. In a positive sense, they gain knowledge and teach others what they learned on the other side. Furthermore, they can help to survive in a dangerous metaphysical setting. On the other side, they can not always be trusted. If it is a dark place they might have become corrupted. Or they follow their own agenda.

The “Stalker” movie was a movie with interesting ideas about hidden desires. The “Zone” does know a lot of things about the visitors. If we imagine a haunted forest knowing perhaps the deepest secrets entering such a place can be a dangerous game. You can’t know what kind of “deal” you guide made with the forbidden zone, the dark forest. Perhaps he is trading you for something. Perhaps he is not always under control or can’t control himself. Things could happen.

These human guides are the opposite of the spiritual guides of the “otherworldly journey”.

What if a person wants to be a guide, a shaman, an intermediator between the worlds, but doesn’t have the gift?

You need to have some sort of sixth sense,  open-mindedness and not being a selfish guru-type person to become a positive guide person. Otherwise, such a guide can be a puppet in the hands of the dark forces lurking deep inside a zone of the paranormal.

It is a theme in my story but also, in reality, we know we have to be careful with certain guru-types who returned from who-knows-what kind of place.

Manifestation: TheForestDark Tableau Video Installment No2

Lights, apparitions and other strange phenomena. The otherworld has many faces. It is said that the darker forces seem often to manifest itself in something akin to fire and electricity. This is a force the magicians believe they can use.

Electricity is a common medium. Perhaps there is more than meets the eye. It could be a medium for many things.

Fire is the symbol of transformation. It is important to survive. It can destroy. If it appears in the sky it heralds the coming of supernatural beings. The chariot of fire in the Old Testament is both threatening and awesome.

Fire and electricity play an important part in The Forest Dark. There is fire in the air. Unsettling paintings and reports as those from the time between the Dark Ages and Modern times remind us of the presence of another world.

Fire and something akin to electromagnetic forces appear often before the window to another reality get opened.

Sometimes it is a certain place at a certain time when such windows open. And sometimes there are people looking for these moments and these places.  Some people sense danger when the air is electrified, some not. In my story, I make use of some old legends, that there is a dark force inhabiting places which came to earth a long time ago. In some ways, it is the force which is like Fire and Electricity, but it expresses itself also in images.

The images we see in moments when we are close to the otherworld are often something more like a riddle. It is not like in the folklore stories. In visionary encounters, we see things which could have many meanings. Sometimes they are like symbols changing the course of people’s lives, sometimes they are like the dangerous lights seen in some forests.

It is maybe not what it seems but this force which is like fire and electricity can inhabit an evil spirit as John Milton said:

“Hope elevates, and joy
Bright’ns his Crest, as when a wandring Fire
Compact of unctuous vapour, which the Night
Condenses, and the cold invirons round,
Kindl’d through agitation to a Flame,
Which oft, they say, some evil Spirit attends”

(Paradise Lost)

TheForestDark Tableau Video Installment No.1: Light Of The Otherworld

This is where my story begins: Witch Mountains, a region where „Mountain lights“ have been seen for a long time; strange lights, which have been photographed and videotaped many times in many variations. Nevertheless, they kept their secret. Technical instruments often fail.

Previously, the long tradition of mysterious light beams in descriptions of mythological and religious experiences was mentioned. Light Orbs and strange apparitions are often seen in the haunted forests around the world.

Sometimes these light anomalies are even dangerous. They are the windows to another reality:

A lot of people come and go to see the lights. Many leave in frustration. Some people had an experience they never want to talk about.

Some others see an oportunity to start a business, attracting tourists or selling stuff. Rumors are that a secret cult meets at certain times in the forest. There is a disturbing number of people who vanished in the forest, in this endless sea of trees which messes with the mind.

Strange accidents happen a lot or people losing their memory. It is said that time is running differently. Ufologists are gathering regularly for a conference in an old hotel.

Secrets are kept in the families for generations which have something to do with the lights. Locals avoid the forest for good reasons most of the time because they say it is a „forest dark“.

Some say the lights are not a light at all, instead it is something dark hiding inside the light, but there are people who said they are in connection with the lights.

Inspired by the legends there is a summoning deep in the forest with a fatal outcome.

Is it truth or fiction? The Forest Dark Feature Film Project will become a revealing blend of myth, fiction and reality.

Mind Scanner: Beams Of Light And Telepathic Control

It’s very common that we encounter deep in the forest psychic forces which easily comb through our brain. They already know about our deepest fears and read any memory. What is happening in many stories reflects a lot of real accounts of close encounters both in UFO-sightings as in supernatural encounters. In the darkest places, there is not only telepathic reading of the mind, the strange entities are creating lively scenarios taken from the individual’s memories and driving the victim into madness.

Mind control and “cockpit” intrusion is a theme running through many books and films by Stephen King. The most elaborate description could be found in “Dreamcatcher” (Duddits). The individual human mind becomes the battleground and there is even a strategy to create a safe place where to store secrets in order to protect them from the alien entity.

King develops an interesting concept where we can see our mind as a non-material universe along the normal world. It’s like a building with storerooms with images of the past.

The “rooms” with the memories are always an interesting playground for evil entities. Another very good example is “IT”. Pennywise, the monster, has obviously the same abilities as an experienced psycho-analyst. He finds the weak spots. These dark entities skip through our memories like the files on a hard disk. When the psychotherapist needs years to bring back hidden or suppressed memories they act like a data reader. In a quick scan, they find what’s useful for them.

They have the ability to let these memories overwhelm the victim and they put you on a ride to the darkest corners of your life. They provoke reactions when the memories, for example, lead to a discussion and a fight inside a group of friends. The alien entities create also some sort of “fake news” or “fake memories” they mix with the real memory. They want to activate strong emotions like shame, guilt, and anger. In the end, there is violence and panic.

It can happen in a way that present reality mixes with images from the past. Places, situations, and people enter the reality like ghosts. A new virtual reality is created.

An excellent example is Adam Nevill’s recent successful forest horror novel and film “The Ritual” where the past overwhelms the group of friends in the middle of the forest. Somebody seems to know exactly about their backstories.

The concept appears also in prominent ghost house movies and books. Here is the house or the ghosts inhabiting the house are the mind scanners and creators of tormenting visions of the past.

In “The Shining”, the hotel knows everything about Jack Torrance and what he did to his son and his family. In the “Awakening”, written by Stephen Volk, the hero becomes overwhelmed by her past in a tragic way.

Is this just as convenient concept for any writer? Of course, it is a way which makes it easier to reveal backstories and there is also in my project an element where the forest triggers memories.

This comes not surprisingly since horror is always a road back into our childhood. Horror works best if the creator puts us back into the state of a child. Therefore we see in some stories these journeys back into the childhood but not necessarily. Also, traumatic experiences of adults are often the motive which comes up.

However, this is not something which came with fiction, fiction borrowed from reality. Alien entities that can read our minds are a very common experience.


It is a universal and archetypical experience with a long tradition. We see also similar images and stories which run straight through religious accounts, visionary experience, and modern Ufo-lore. A typical description is the grey aliens with their black impenetrable eyes looking directly into the human soul.

A very prominent motive is the light beam scanning the mind. The light beam originally often appears in a religious context and can be seen in many paintings in churches and illustration. Light beams are a central element in close encounters but interestingly also in visionary experience as out of body experiences. Light Beams scanning an observer are an element in records about dangerous lights in the forest.

Jacques Vallee found an example (in “Dimensions”) in Robert Monroe’s book “Out Of The Body”: “I suddenly felt bathed in and transfixed by a very powerful beam that seemed to come from the North, above 30 degrees above the horizon. I was completely powerless, with no will on my own, I felt as if I were in the presence of a very strong force, in personal contact with it. It had intelligence of a form beyond my comprehension, and it came directly (down the beam) into my head, and seemed to be searching every memory in my mind. I was truly frightened because I was powerless to do anything about this intrusion”.

Here we have all the key elements of this kind of paranormal experience of getting “scanned” by an unknown entity, which also happens in Ufo encounters a lot. There is often the mention of a cold intelligence, not benevolent but also not hostile in a common way. There is something very “technical” about this. Its as if the scanner is sort of a machine hiding behind different masks. Another good example is the Whitley Strieber experience in his book “Communion”, one of the most frightening books I ever read.

We see it also in the near-death experience. The traveler is often scrutinized and a “vivisection” of his character does happen.

Perhaps sometimes cultural knowledge and interpretation of anomalous experiences mix. The “reading of the past” of a person, of the sin or the guilt, is part of the Christian Beyond. When we are dying we will have to face last judgment. Thus, it is questionable what was there in the first place.

As Carol Zaleskis says in “Otherworld Journeys” the experience is often influenced by education. A Christian education with its rich world of images certainly had an influence on the interpretation of visionary experience, particularly in medieval times.

But one thing is for sure. The possibility that some “things” or entities have the abilities to look straight into our mind, data reading our innermost fears, is one of the terrifying aspects when the other world enters our world. Our very concept of survival lasts on the assumption that we can protect our thoughts and our memories. What if we can’t? What if there is right now some supernatural hacker sitting somewhere in a dimension close to our dimension and reading our thoughts like a remote controller? And even more, what if we are not any longer in control of our thoughts and our memories?

In the forest, there are places where a demonic twisting of the thoughts we already have can happen. In Algernon Blackwood’s masterpiece “The Willows” it’s not the physical assault which puts the forlorn heroes in deadly dangers. It is the intrusion into their minds because they stopped in the wrong place, where the veil between the dimensions is thinner. And sometimes there is somebody – the elder gods – sitting on the other side, waiting and listening, looking to find a victim.

There are more disturbing possibilities: What if “knowing somebody’s soul” is meaning more then scanning the mind? Could it mean there is someone out there even knowing about the souls’ past lives experiences and individual character? Sometimes we feel we meet the hidden screenwriter or director of our lives at certain points who doesn’t need a big scan of the mind since he already knows.