Does the spirit of place control the creative process?

Writer Alan Moore expresses in an interview with The Daily Grail an unusual experience about writing and the creative process. Alan Moore is one of the writers of a new anthology “The Spirit of Place”.  He believes that the reality behind the writing and the creative process is a lack of control. He speaks of a “common misapprehension” that a writer has an idea and then writes it down. He believes that “writing is generated by the act of writing itself”. Writers are not “god-like creators” but vehicles. And he says that we can realistically “speak of a place” exerting its influence. The power of place can put a writer (or an artist) under its spell. This may sound unusual but it fits not only with the premise of The Forest Dark but has a strong reliable background.

Is there really a remote control?

Alan Moore believes in a predetermined universe. We don’t need to get that far but there is a real uncanny experience when it comes to the creative process of a movie project or a writing project or an art project. This also encompasses the research. There is a feeling there is some sort of invisible director in the background. There is an influence. Thoughts or ideas suddenly pop up. We don’t know where ideas come from. This is not a personal or singular experience. Famous filmmakers and artists like David Lynch or Stephen King mentioned these kinds of experiences. David Lynch emphasized that we don’t know where ideas come from. Further on he talks of the creator like some sort of fisherman waiting for ideas (big fish). Stephen King said the writer is a radio. Thus we are people who are writing about something, which comes from a mysterious source.  But there is more: There seems a sinister influence in our everyday lives, which is connected with the project. There is resistance when it comes to important revelations. Suddenly unexpected information or events occur which are somehow connected with the project.

An important distinction

There are big differences. Of course, some stories are created in a more rational or even technical way. It is impossible to distinguish between the logical result of the effort of the research or that mysterious or sometimes even magical influence. Indeed, our logic doesn’t play a role in this when it happens that a story is suddenly “not based on true events” however the exact opposite happens: Events are created in the process of storytelling. One example is the so-called synchronicity. Synchronicity means related events, which are both exist in a psychological realm and the outer world. To accept this we need to abandon our modern idea of reality.

A long tradition

The observation that ideas are not created but are already there comes from a long tradition. It is the Platonic world of ideas expressed in the “theory of forms”. We don’t know where this realm of ideas exists. But perhaps it is not a question of “here” and “there”.  The place, for example, is an idea itself. When we try to grasp the spirit of place we try to express a certain idea. There is another tradition, which might be helpful to get a better understanding: This is the theory of archetypes. Archetypes cannot be seen itself. Thus it is nearly impossible to tell exactly what an archetype is. But we can feel or see its influence. Psychologists like C.G. Jung thought that men can be under the influence of a certain archetype.  Why there shouldn’t be places which are under a certain influence? If we understand that the material world or the visible universe is only the surface of a deeper reality we get a glimpse of the mechanics and the principles at work.

No fatalism

We might think this would lead to a fatalistic worldview. There is no reason to think there is no control. This is a big difference.  A sailor in rough seas might be a good image. The sailor can’t control the elements. Nature is always stronger. But he can control where his ship is going. The same applies to the creative process. There is a lot of influence from many sides. And, yes, there is influence from forces many people believe they don’t exist. But there is some control in which direction the ship (our project or our book) is sailing.  

Series Of Mysterious Events And Dimensional Rifts

One of the best moments in John Carpenter’s legendary horror movie THE FOG is the set-up. It is in the middle of the night.  A group of children hear a campfire tale. Antonio Bay sleeps. Then a series of paranormal events happen in a short time frame. Car honks. Lights are switched on automatically. A petrol cock falls to the floor, etc. The tension rises. The Fog is fiction. There are real cases too.

We know about many situations where there was not only a single sighting or some sort of unexplainable event but a lot of things happen within a short time span. The real stories sound even more fantastic as fiction stories in books and films.

It seems that a series of paranormal events is a common thing. Things happen simultaneously. Sometimes it is a very different kind of phenomenon happen at the same time (within hours or a few days).


It adds to the high strangeness of these cases: Sometimes a mysterious vanishing is connected with a weird weather event. Ufo sightings are connected with sightings of mythical creatures. Clocks stop without explanation. Cars stop by themselves. The same time a sighting is reported they find later animal mutilations. There are really amazing coincidences here. Dreams play an important role. They happen to people who maybe not the victims or the witness of a close encounter. But they dream what happens to somebody else. Weird “glitches in reality” happen at the same time as accidents. Strangers or “Men in Black” are reported at the same moment somebody sees orbs of light. There is also a term for strange things happen at the same time. Psychologist C. G. Jung labelled it synchronicity.

It is the same with religious wonders. The events of Fatima are a whole series of miracles and strange events. A well-known series of paranormal events are the Happy Camp Events in California. These series of strange events are often connected with a certain place like the Skinwalker Ranch. This ranch seems to be like a real theme park of the paranormal. There was a huge sized wolf, light orbs, cattle mutilations, ufos.

Seismic activity

The reports of researchers appear often a bit like the descriptions of a volcanologist. These scientists do research about a seismic activity or – an outbreak. It seems there is a kind of similarity here.

It is also interesting that a series of paranormal events in a certain region occur in certain periods, for example, every 30years or so (an example is the Bennington triangle). This is another parallel with phenomena in nature. There is a rhythm.

Perhaps these different strange mysterious events are belonging to one phenomenon. It is a phenomenon that is connected to certain places or areas. And it is a phenomenon which repeats itself periodically. There are times of less activity or stronger activity. This is, for example, the case for the Hessdalen Lights phenomenon in Norway.

What is it? It appears a bit like a mechanism or like seismic activity or some sort of force of nature but one which is intelligible. Paranormal phenomena are often said to be connected with “portals.”

“Paranormal Plate Tectonics?”

A dimensional rift might be an interesting option to consider. Perhaps there is something similar to plate tectonics. What if we are caught in the middle of overlapping dimensions? We can’t know because we can only assume that there are higher dimensions populated with otherworldly entities. But a dimensional rift which is created when dimensions overlap or a rift which opens and closes at certain times would make some sense.

If we think of our world being a Matrix as in the famous movie franchise, simultaneous events could also be created by “reprogramming”. If somebody lives in a 3D virtual world but doesn’t know it is a virtual reality, any change of that matrix would appear as a wonder or mysterious event.

Maybe these alternative dimensions are different creations of reality. Then both models make sense. We don’t know what’s really going on. However, we can get a feeling for these kinds of development.


There is only a little percentage of people who become witnesses of mysterious events as close encounters or poltergeist phenomena. But there is a chance to train awareness for little shifts in reality. It is a bit like the changes in the weather. Suddenly there is a different atmosphere. Something is odd. And it is not always the weather. It is like the colours somehow appear different, the air feels different. It is like things working a bit different. Of course, this is always the individuals’ perceptions. But sometimes a lot of people feel the same way: Something is not right. Perhaps there are indeed many dimensions, which are more or less similar with little difference but we drift from one plane of reality to the next plane without being aware of it.


Portals are very common in science-fiction and fantasy. There is even a preset in a compositing software for an interdimensional portal. They are a popular explanation for paranormal phenomena. Portals can be many things. Popular examples are wormholes connecting distant places. They are doors into the unknown. Most of all they question our idea of reality. Portals suggest that reality is not what it seems.

For a long time portals were only an idea both in fiction and scientific theories. Then NASA found them – in some way. NASA discovered so-called X-points connecting Earth directly with the upper atmosphere of the sun. According to NASA, they are “Mingling lines of magnetic force from the sun and Earth criss-cross and join to create the openings. “X-points” are where the criss-cross takes place. The sudden joining of magnetic fields can propel jets of charged particles from the X-point, creating an “electron diffusion region.” But what do these portals? What are the effects? The scientists say that portals can heat the upper atmosphere or create impressing auroras.

The X points of NASA are electromagnetic portals which still exist in our known realm of science. If they exist there is a good chance that there are other portals out there as shortcuts or opening to other dimensions. If we think of the portal to explain unknown phenomena like the Bennington triangle we can use the known portals like the X points as a model.

The effect of interdimensional portals

Thus, we should think again what a portal does? It is a door, but also a gateway. It has a certain effect. Subsequently, a traveller from another place could visit our place, our neighbourhood, our dimension. Vice versa somebody entering a portal from our side could travel to another place, another dimension, perhaps a different time. Portals are often mentioned in connection with mysterious vanishings. Some people think portals could be an explanation for the missing 411 cases.

Portals as displays

Portals are not only shortcuts and “black holes” where something can vanish without a trace. They seem to appear as reality shifters. Portals seem to change the normal world in certain places. They might be behind certain Ufo-sightings and supernatural phenomena. We know about many areas where not only people disappear or there are sightings but where everything seems “wrong”. There is something wrong with time, there are disturbances in gravity and any kind of spooky things happen. Skinwalker Ranch is an example as a place where many weird things happen at the same time. The same applies obviously to Glastenbury. This is also what the forest dark is: In these haunted areas everything is different. Here, our ordinary reality is a mask and some uncanny otherworld is the real face. This suggests that portals could work as a kind of display, like a TV-screen showing us glimpses of another world. However, unlike our TV-set the other world is not really separated. It is a display which connects directly with our realm. Maybe it is more like a holo-deck. Of course, it is difficult to prove this kind of portals. The problem at the bottom is our ability to understand portals. It is a bit like cat and dogs watching TV. They do actually watch TV. Obviously they only have a different interpretation of the display. Cats sometimes look at what is behind the TV-set.

The zones are the portals

We often hear that there are portals within the well-known zones like the Bridgewater Triangle (Free-Town Fall River State Forest). For example, a witness in the excellent documentary based on David Paulides 411 missing cases of hunters said that he even heard something like a giant steel-trap. Thus, there is a tendency to think that this might be hidden doors in a certain place. However, if we look at the whole picture we see that we have certain places or regions which appear somehow disconnected from ordinary reality in some way. We hear about the same constellation of phenomena. Often there are light orbs, sightings of monsters and mysterious vanishings. This is like one giant glitch in the matrix. Perhaps it is more accurate to think of these zones as the portal. We don’t need to search for the portal in a zone because the zone itself is the portal. Of course, this is a theory – perhaps fiction. But if we remember the definition of the NASA discovery of the X point portal this idea makes some sense: The portal creates a tunnel where particles from the sun have an effect (heating up the upper atmosphere, geo storms etc.). Now, what if we have portals opening a gate for other particles or even entities? They could create any kind of effect – something which we see as a supernatural phenomenon or even influence human behaviour. We know that the Free-Town Fall River State Forest has a sad history of crime. Even it is wild speculation, it is worth to think why certain places have such a high crime rate. Maybe one day we will discover an influence we haven’t thought of in our wildest dreams. There is an interesting observation in the collection of the missing 411 cases about mysterious vanishings in the forest: It happened in places where there is no wildlife. Animals, as we know, have a very good instinct.

Forest Survival And Strange Missing Cases

Forest Horror is often about strange disappearances. It is about survival. People die because they are scared to death. Some stories claim that they are based on true events. But is there a real background? According to many sources, it is and what happens goes sometimes beyond our imagination.

Survival in the forest can mean a couple of different situations. A survival situation develops very quickly. People get lost. People lose orientation or get hurt. People get sick. Wild animals could pose a serious threat, even this is not the wilderness of former days with many bears or mountain lions. (Statistically, the most dangerous animals in our times are ticks as carriers of diseases). Of course, in a tropical forest, there are still deadly snakes. In the Northern hemisphere encounters with bears could still go wrong. Wolf attacks are very rare but they exist too.

Throughout history, there are numberless accounts of alleged supernatural attacks. Are they real? There is probably a very thin line between fear, self-deception and hallucination and real unexplainable events. If we leave civilisation and if we are alone in an unfamiliar environment our mind can easily trick us but sometimes the danger is very real. Several missing person cases lead to disturbing conclusions.

Surviving a supernatural attack means not only physical survival. Dion Fortune described in her book “Psychic Self-Defense” different types of psychic attacks. These attacks do not automatically pose a life-threatening situation. However, people could become sick. Many people have psychological problems. This applies particularly to close encounters. Survival means not to lose your wits. If we look at the mysterious circumstances of some cases of missing persons or people returned and appeared changed, these circumstances suggest some form of psychic attacks.

Lost in the woods

A survival situation is always about real problems in the first place. One of the biggest problems is dehydration. People need water. You can longer survive for some time without food but water is essential (in a warm and dry environment you wouldn’t last more than a few days without water but theoretically three weeks without food). Lucky survivors collected in some cases rainwater.

If you find a stream or a spring it is important to know if the water isn’t polluted. There are ways to get some food: Most of the time of the year there are wild berries and plants in the forest. Knowledge is important since there are numerous poisonous plants like belladonna or yew trees. It happens sometimes even to experienced bushcrafters that they mix something up and get sick. Many plants look very similar.

Exhaustion is another reason why people die in the forest. The sheer experience of losing orientation leads to physical and psychical stress. People wandering around in a panic, desperately seeking a way out. We are used to mobile phones helping us to find a street in the city but what if there is no signal? Using digital maps or GPS needs some experience. Surviving in an unknown forest territory means to have some skills. If the sun is shining it helps to navigate. In a clear night, the stars are helpful if you know how to find for example the North Star. In the northern hemisphere moss mostly grows on the north side of trees. Sometimes you can follow a stream or spruce. With a little sense of orientation, a wanderer will find the way back to civilization.

Even then a situation can get quickly out of control.
Weather conditions can change quickly particularly in mountain forests. Nights are getting very cold. It could rain for days. It doesn’t take much and you are suffering from hypothermia. It requires some experience to find or to build a shelter. The same applies to make fire. Forest terrain often poses dangers because there are ditches, roots or sharp branches. Cuts, broken legs or other injuries have fatal consequences. Dramatic situations not only happen in the vast and endless wilderness of Alaska or Siberia. Accidents in the forest or people getting lost happen everywhere but with significant differences. According to unofficial accounts, about 1600 people have gone missing in the U.S. in national and state parks. There are clusters with more people gone missing. A lot of people getting lost in the woods return safely, but there is a real mystery out there.
It is a mix of missing person behaviour, tragic circumstances (like falling off a cliff or a sudden weather change) and indeed unknown mysterious reasons, which makes us wonder. There is a lot of high-tech available today but there is still this number of unsolved cases.

Getting lost in the woods can happen easily: First you don’t see a trail marker for some time and suddenly the trail thins out. Even experienced hikers get fooled. It is sometimes an intersection of trails, which leads you in the wrong direction or a short moment of disorientation. One reason why tourists or visitors of national parks get lost is probably their inability to distinguish between an urban environment and the wilderness. This is an experience which mountain search and rescue teams in the Austrian or German alps often tell: Hikers get in a dangerous situation because of their ignorance. They don’t understand that this not a playground and that there is a real danger out there. Sometimes a helicopter rescue mission is necessary because people climb a mountain in light summer clothes. When a sudden change in weather surprises them (in the Alps you can have snowfall in August) they are in deep trouble.

Survival depends strongly on the first decisions after getting lost. Indeed, responders find most persons gone missing in the woods within 24 hours. But then, there are types of cases where something terrible must have gone wrong. In some cases, the investigation suggests that people must have vanished immediately and were found later in “phenomenal distances” or in “incredible places” (as David Paulides said in an interview). Nobody can explain how they got there.

Unexplained disappearances

There is still a lot of mindboggling cases where either lost persons were never found, or there are unexplainable circumstances like a body appearing at a place where searchers have looked a dozen times. Sometimes a simple explanation occurs by coincidence. But then there are mysteries like the one in the forest dark feature film project, which provoke other ideas. There are many real stories about forest survival. In these stories, the researchers must confront the unknown.

One example is real cases based on fact book series and a documentary called Missing 411 about strange disappearances. They match in an amazing way with ideas expressed in the forest dark feature film project. The writer and researcher David Paulides, a former police detective, did extremely valuable and reliable research about highly unusual cases in North America and beyond. He researched a high number of unsolved cases where victims disappeared in unusual circumstances. In some cases, he found strange commonalities: If a body was found it was in an impossible location which was impossible for the vanished person to reach. K9 dogs or cadaver dogs weren’t able to find any trace. The reason for death is not clear. Sometimes it was declared they were “scared to death”. Interestingly Paulides identified 28 clusters with a high number of cases in the U. S. National parks. There is an interesting tendency that the map shows more cases in territories where water isn’t far as rivers or lakes. This is a very valuable insight even it might sound very strange for some people. However, again and again, in all mysterious forest stories a certain topography plays a vital part. There must be zones, areas, places and sites which are somehow connected to another world.

In interviews, Paulides emphasises that he has no theory about what happened. It looks like he identified a phenomenon which has very strong similarities with previously on this website described phenomena like the “black fire” and close encounters. In an interview, he spoke of an “overreaching intelligence, that is far beyond our comprehension”. This a very good expression since most of the unexplainable experiences in forests point into that direction.

There is a particularly interesting field of research here which deals with the disappearance of hunters. Hunters are usually experienced people and not likely to put themselves in dangers. Instead many of the strange circumstances match the excellent research done by Jacques Vallée in his book “Confrontations”. In South America, there are several cases of sometimes deadly encounters with so-called “Chupas'”: Chupas are objects which emitting strong beams of light. Some hunters were hit by these strange lights near the city of Parnarama in Brasil and five people died. The cause of their death remains a mystery. It even looked like some vampirism was at work here, since the bodies appeared bloodless. This story is similar to the “elf-stroke” in medieval times.

Even in some cases, a mundane explanation seems possible there, is strong evidence for the unknown phenomenon described in previous posts in the forest dark. There is one thing where there is a strong similarity between the Missing 411 cases and the alleged close encounters: People were found in different locations and there is no explanation of how they got there in the first place. We know many UFO-cases where it appears that some sort of “Teleportation” happened. This happened also in Ezechiel’s story.

The long tradition of cases

There is indeed a long tradition for this type of missing person cases and strange forest survival stories. The modern cases have similarities with stories from medieval times where people vanished or were abducted by fairies. A good description of these historical cases was written by Reverend Kirk, The Secret Commonwealth, who became himself a mysterious case in the end.

Forest horror stories deal with survival and unexplainable elements. They are often about the mysterious and the supernatural. If we look at the many real cases it seems there is often a lot of realism in forest horror.