Moment of Transition: Night Is Coming

“Night is coming” is often associated with Revelation or apocalypse. Like the black fire it has ancient roots in biblical sources referring to the Second Coming. Night is coming is used in John 9:4, “While it is daytime, we must do the works of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work”.

There is a long history how this idea was used in many ways. In supernatural fiction it is sometimes a time when something (an apocalyptic event) is supposed to happen. In a movie, this is also often a timelog, which makes it attractive to storytellers. It gives the whole narrative a direction. Somebody takes on the role of the prophet of doom. He is warning the rest of the world, that something is coming. Nobody is listen to him. People do not wake up until it is too late. The moment of “night is coming” is often the climax of the story.

I am convinced that there is not only a tradition in fiction which makes the warning that something is coming so strangely familiar. Furthermore it is not only an idea in theological context. Night is coming: This is real. Something will happen. We only do not know when it will happen and what exactly will happen. If it is the end of mankind we do not know. Neither do we know if it is some sort of ecological catastrophe or a final and last war.

It is some sort of inherited knowledge. Jungian psychologists think this is the archetype of apocalypse. But this is more than rather a psychological development: It is not something happen only on the inside but something will really happen on the outside.  Night is coming: This is a transition moment. Life (if there is one) will be different after this moment. If we explore all the ideas around this, it is transition in the first place. A shift from one dimension to another, not necessarily doomsday.

When we say “Night is coming” it is not always meant in a literal way. It could be darkness but darkness could also mean revelation. Afterwards we see things in a different light.

There is no proof to this, but these changing events happen on a minor scale more often as we think, also in a different and harmless way. The turn of the year is a very good example: If we think rationally it doesn’t make much sense to believe that next year will be different as the year before. Nevertheless for a lot of people the new year is like moving into a new town. There is indeed a huge tradition with mythological background around the turn of the year. Many practices have their roots in magical thinking.  A strong belief is held, that the future can be seen in the “rough nights” between Christmas and New Year. Furthermore the future can be influenced. It is like leaving one dimension and entering a new one. It might be only an emotional thing, but indeed, we often experience every new year in a different way. There are also transition moments in everyone’s individual life when reality appears in a new light. It might be a life-changing event or a long forgotten memory coming back to life.

“Night is coming” is a transition moment on a much bigger scale. It is more like something in the otherworld is changing, and this event has a huge impact in our world. Perhaps we feel the fallout of a cosmic battle between light and darkness, or is it that somewhere somebody changes the rules of the game. If we would actors like the poor guy in “The Truman Show” who doesn’t know that reality is a soundstage, this is the moment when somebody switches off the light behind the scenes and sets up a new situation. This could happen to us.

There might be certain signs as it is predicted in the books about apocalypse. Perhaps the moment of transition is not a short-time span as a full moon eclipse. It could be happen over years, maybe much longer.  What about little shifts in our everyday reality we sense somehow (but which we do not dare to talk about it)? Sometimes it is like we could swear something has happened during the night: We think this was a dream but was way too real to be only a dream.

Later, when we wake up, it feels like the world is different. It is hard to point the finger on it, but there is that certain feeling something has changed. It is like a change in weather but with an element which can’t be named. It can’t be framed what exactly it is. It is like the color of the sky is still blue but different. It is like time is running faster even the clock shows no difference and the length of the day is still the same. It is like people suddenly behaving differently for no obvious reason. They change their opinions but you don’t know why. And aren’t there periods where strange events happen more often? Don’t we see that foreboding signs more often these days?

There is no proof to this. The potential of self-deception is incredibly high. We can only trust our inner voice when we have a foreboding feeling that “night is coming”. People exploring this moments are not necessarily prophets of doom but explorers who want to take a glimpse behind the scenes. This can be a lonely business: If a person wants to explore this ongoing events which happen on another plane that ours in the first place, this person needs to put some distance to the noise of everyday life. This is why some people go deep into the woods from time to time.


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)

The Demonic Forest

In my story the forest is infested with the mysterious forces as described in the last post about the “demonic (principle) which can manifest in men, animals and things even in whole epochs (corporal and incorporal)”.

Of course this is not a very original idea or something new but always worth to be told from a new angle.

Is there anything we could do differently rather doing another “chilling story in the woods”?

As I have mentioned before I am strongly convinced that we should take the ideas of zones of the supernatural and places where the walls between our world and another otherworldly realm alongside our reality are thin and permeable very seriously.

The forest had always many different qualities in our culture in history. Of course the forest is one of the most positive forces known on this planet and everything should be done to protect any forest. The forest itself is not demonic but the demonic element can manifest in nature.

Therefore it is more about demonic places which could make a demonic forest. Cases have been mentioned before here about places which have a weird tendency of letting the same strange thing happen again and again. The demonic element here appears more like an invisible childlike supernatural force repeating the same trick.

The question what could be done differently, what could be told from a different angle is connected with the considerations about the “demonic forces” at certain places (the demonic principle is of course not something necessarily connected with a certain place but it seems there are notorious areas which have sort of a tendency for weirdness).

If we try to avoid stereotypes – for example the stupid killing demon attacking the wanderer – we can get closer to something which rings true to a lot of people.

If we look at most unexplained (supernatural) stories surrounding haunted forests it is more like something is teasing the victims. Even if we hear about dangerous close encounters most of the time the witness is confronted with an mysterious force neither exactly good or bad. However in the end a confrontation with the demonic element could result in a tragic ending. It’s like losing a game with an invisible player.

The mysterious beings in the forest – “The secret commonwealth” like the fairies – are described as paradoxical beings. They are not straight killers but they make people losing their wits.

It might be also a mysterious force behind the “notorious secret rituals in the woods“. Sometimes magic seems to work and perhaps somebody wants you to think that by performing magic you have supernatural powers. However we never had a clue what was really going on.

Our new angle could be something like to admit there are powers we could not reduce to something we know – the best stories or movies like Peter Weir’s “Picnic At Hanging Rock” don’t present simple solutions. They reveal a deeper truth.

“Picnic At Hanging Rock” is a story about the demonic par excellence. It’s disturbing because there isn’t some sort of massacre or any other horrible event revealed. The most frightening side of the demonic element is that we don’t get something bad we can cope with. The most unsettling idea is when we learn something happened which is beyond our understanding.

A “Demonic Forest” is in way like a “Poltergeist”. As soon as we have found a theory what’s going on the phenomenon does something which is like an unexpected twist. In Norway scientists try to understand the “Hessdalen Phenomenon” for a long time – mysterious lights appearing like Ufo’s in a valley again and again, but so far nobody really understood the phenomenon so far.

What the demonic principle can do to us is usually using our curiosity to lure us deeper and deeper into the forest. It needs our strong wish to understand. If we could not any longer understand what’s going on we are lost. Some people vanishing in the forest weren’t attacked by some entity but they lost control.

And perhaps the best trick of the demonic element is to make us believe it doesn’t exist.

Otherworldly Traps

Things. The forest is showing me…
Things…”(The Forest Dark Screenplay)

People getting lost or people losing their wits after they entered a dark place in the forest. Are there supernatural traps hidden in certain places in this world?

In fairy tales the trap is a very prominently motive. Writers were fascinated by these folclore stories. There are famous works particularly in the period of romanticism. An example which was described earlier is the “Runenberg“.

Another well-known trap is the court of venus, “Venusberg”. These traps lure the wanderer into another realm. The man who can’t resist will finally lose everything.

These kind of “erotic traps” use temptation. Of course, this is something which works very well in a number of stories.

However it’s indeed primary a literal motive not a very realistic one.

We don’t expect a beautiful fairy queen tempting us to walk straight into a rift in time and space when we enter the woods.

Otherworldly traps are perhaps something which works in a more subtle way. Nevertheless these kind of traps could be very powerful and dangerous.

It seems that there are places in this world were people lose their orientation or get depressed. The perfect description of this kind of otherworldly trap could be found in Algernoon Blackwood’s “The Willows” where two wanderers get maddened by a supernatural force and one of them is close to committing suicide.

“The Willows” is also a fictional supernatural tale but what happens could be closer to what’s really going on. Every year a number of hikers vanish mysteriously. In most cases there are very rational explanations for what has happened with these persons, but some cases remain unsolved. There are areas which have a reputation for this like “The Bennington Triangle”. According to the Indians the woods are cursed in this territory in Vermont.

I think there are two ways to make you losing your wits. If there are forces which could look deeply into the soul of a person these forces will find the weak spot. They will hit you on the most personal level. The other way is showing you disturbing things, things which are somehow not right, something like H.P. Lovecraft’s “Color From Outer Space”.

These kind of phenomena exist. There were described for example in “Dangerous Lights”. Obviously, they act more on a psychological level. They are happen in a realm somewhere in-between the physical world and the inner-life of a person.

Getting into the mind of a person is the most efficient way how a trap could work. The purpose of the trap it to break somebody’s will. Without a strong will we are an easy prey for whatever lurks in the forest. As soon as we are depressed and disoriented we’re lost. Sometimes the victim returns but is changed forever.

Peter Weir’s famous movie “Picnic at Hanging Rock” describes the mysterious disappearance of a group of girls in the Australian outback. One of the victims returns but cannot describe what happened. The girl is changed and cannot remember anything.

The movie is based on a novel which is fiction but played around with the “based on a true story” pattern. The ending was left open for interpretation but the otherworldy quality of the “Hanging rock”, which exists, is a dominant motive. There are hints that it is the special quality or power of place itself which is responsible for the events.

This story is a very good example for a supernatural trap. It’s like a paradigm. We find similar stories surrounding other notorious place like Freetown-Fall River State Forest. In this case the forest itself seems to be the trap, like the famous woods in the Blairwitch-Movies.