by Doug Parkin (To get a better understanding of some of the events of this story, you may want to read the story “ElsBeth” in this story section)
“Oh no, what on earth have I got myself mixed up in?” were my immediate thoughts as my mind raced trying to make sense of what I had just found. I had two days earlier found a strange inscription on a wall of an old house that I had stumbled upon deep in the Wasatch National Forest. The small cottage was totally enveloped in over growth and would have gone undetected by me if it wasn’t that I saw something strange move quickly through the brush and disappear into the deep forest growth. Unwisely, I just had to investigate and upon pulling aside several large tree limbs and bushes, I could see that I was staring at an old wall of a building structure of sorts.
Of course I have to admit that this wasn’t totally by coincidence that I had found this. I was not alone, but had my son with me and we were searching for this very structure. I had found it many years earlier and now with more disturbing information concerning it, my son had coerced me into hunting for it one more time.
I had written about this in an earlier transcript but with just very basic and incomplete details, because I was only trying to answer a question as to why I had named my new business venture “ElsBeth Lair”.
As we had moved enough shrubbery aside for us to get onto the front porch my son decided to venture in and I stayed outside on the porch. A large hole in the wall just aside the front door allowed me to see quite well inside and I was surprised to see items still left by a previous occupant.
Even though the far left side of this cottage had its roof caving in, there were still spots inside that looked as if it hadn’t been all that long since someone had been living or at least visiting there. My son ventured in and found several items of interest including a chair in a corner that creeped him out. I took pictures from the hole in the wall and after our investigating, came home with an old Mortar and pestle, a necklace and an old bottle.
It wasn’t until the next day as I went through the pictures I had taken that I found something interesting that led me to this moment. In a picture of the back wall, I noticed an inscription. My hair stood on end as it just creeped me out. Not only the inscription but how it was written. Scratched in deep straight lines was the word “Tibb”.
I had no idea what it could possibly mean. The house was thought to have been owned by an old witch named ElsBeth. Locals that knew about her called her Queen ElsBeth. She was a self proclaimed witch that apparently was famous for her dabbling into black magic and very dark witchcraft. She was feared by all that knew her and it seemed by legend that any child that ever disappeared had somehow been linked to this evil witch and to this very area.
I went onto google search and typed in the word “Tibb” and came up with some medical references, but nothing really that seemed to connect anything. Then I decided that since this whole scenario was connected to witches, I typed in “Tibb and Witches”, and thus back to the beginning of my story.
The very first thing that popped up was entitled “Confession of Demdike”. It was the confession of Mother Demdike (as she was known) at the Pendle Hill Witch Trials in Lancashire, England back in the year 1612. Her real name was Elizabeth Southern. Apparently, according to her confession she had a “familiar” or devil as she called it, visit her in the form of a boy who told her that his name was Tibb, and if she would give her soul to him, she could have anything she requested. Tibb had to have been some sort of shape shifter because he visited her frequently in different forms such as a black cat, a brown dog and a hare.
I started to get sick to my stomach as a dark shroud seemed to lurk over me as I continued to read. I found that the name ElsBeth just happens to be a common form of the name Elizabeth.
Thoughts were racing through my mind at this point. What could the connection be? Elizabeth died in prison before the completion of the trials, which I’m sure she “requested”. What other things might she have requested from her “familiar”? Could it be possible that somehow through the evil workings of magic she could have shown up here in America 400 years later?
Okay, I started to calm down because of course that was ridiculous. I sat back in my chair and started chuckling at myself for allowing my thoughts to get so far out of whack to have even suggested that in my mind. But it wasn’t ridiculous to think that possibly another witch may have just as easily met up with and had the same “familiar” 400 years later. Or could the “familiar” be non other than Satan himself?
I didn’t know the answers to my questions, but I knew who might.
I called my son and shared everything I had learned with him. I told him that we needed to go back up the canyon and see if a certain mansion that I had visited many years earlier was still the “Church of Satan.” Completely catching me by surprise he turned the invitation down and told me I should leave the whole thing alone. He advised me that adventure was one thing, but meddling with evil was something entirely different. I absolutely agreed with him and hung up the phone.
The following Saturday I found myself driving up the canyon alone and determined to find some answers. As I parked the car to the side of the road, I noticed that the gates to the mansion weren’t the bright red and gold as they once were when I was a young teenager, but they were still just as ominous. When I approached the gates I found a buzzer at the side of the gate column. Pressing it, it made no sound and I figured it was broken. I looked around and finally figured that I wasn’t going to get any help this day, when suddenly a gentleman appeared from the bushes behind the column. He wasn’t as nice as the gentleman I had encountered years before. He didn’t ask if he could help me or anything. He just said this was private property and to leave.
I told him that I had talked with a gentleman at this gate years earlier and he gave me some information concerning Queen ElsBeth. He stood there stone faced and didn’t make any kind of expression whatsoever except for maybe the look of disdain that I was actually still there.
“Okay, okay, I’m leaving! I was just really hoping that someone could give me some information concerning Tibb.” I stated as I turned to leave. I started heading towards my car when I heard a gruff voice. “What do you know of Tibb?” he shouted. “All I know is that it is inscribed in the wall of the witches cottage.” I called back to him. He looked sternly at me and stated, “Best you forget you ever heard that name. Best yet, you forget everything about that place and go home and live a long and healthy life.” At that he turned and walked away. I knew I obviously struck a nerve and now things became more interesting than ever and I just couldn’t drop it and go home like a fully sane person would have and should have done.
It was still early in the day and two and a half hours later I found myself in front of the cottage in the forest. It was amazing how everything in the sunlight looks less scary. It also gave me a little more confidence to investigate this place a little further.
As I pushed the door open and stepped inside, I suddenly found myself thinking of all those old horror movies where the teenagers are always going exactly where they shouldn’t. You yell at the screen telling them not to go in there, but they never, ever listen. I also didn’t hear anyone yelling at me not to enter and so like a fool, there I was.
It wasn’t half as scary as I was thinking it would be. Actually everything looked quite normal for it being a long forgotten cottage. I had investigated many homes in ghost towns and this didn’t seem any different.
I immediately went straight to the inscription on the wall. It had been gouged deep into the surface. It had also been colored with something leaving it a dark scratch rather than white in fresh plaster. My curiosity got the better of me and I walked into the adjoining room to see the chair in the corner as my son had described it. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about as I found a chair, but it was broken and laying closer to the middle of the floor rather than in the corner.
Against the far wall was a table and above it was a dark cabinet holding bottles and such. It struck me odd to think my son hadn’t mentioned it. He even told me that the room was empty except for the chair. He was surprised to have found what he did, and anything like this I am sure he would have at least wanted to have brought the bottles home.
Right square in the middle of the cabinet was a chalice. It looked hand made and had a pentagram in the face of it. I had heard about witches and their spells and potions and the chalice was a very important tool for a witch to use in her conjuring. I couldn’t take my eyes off of that chalice. To me, even though it was very simple, it was beautiful and intriguing.
As I investigated further, I found something very unnerving. Everything seemed to have a layer of dust everywhere, but as I looked at the base of the chalice, it looked as though it had been moved in the not so far past, leaving darker areas of less dust around the base. Now suddenly I am not feeling so alone and normal. My senses heighten with fear and I start being more aware of every sound that is emanating in the room.
I couldn’t help it, the chalice was one of the coolest things I had seen in a long time and I wanted it badly. I reached out and picked it up. It seemed heavy for its size. You could tell that even though it seemed in great condition, the coloring on the inside showed much use over the years. This was definitely coming home with me and would be added to my collection, but for the time being, I placed it back on the cabinet shelf.
I turned and I could feel the color drain from my face when I noticed things were different. The broken chair that I could swear was near the middle of the room was now in the corner and it most assuredly was no longer broken.
This was a sign that told me I should not be in the room and I shuffled against the wall as far away from the chair as possible, never taking my eyes off of it. With a sense of terror and pure panic I wanted to be anywhere but in this cottage at this moment. Why do I never learn the lessons taught me. Oh, how I wish right now that I had listened to the man at the gate and gone home. But that is where I was heading now, that is for sure.
I looked at the chalice on the cabinet shelf and wanted to reach for it, but was too far away and without any courage to step back closer to it. I resigned to the idea that it was not for me to have. I just kept moving towards the next room and then to get out the door.
There was a horrible thump thump sound that started echoing in the room. It became a little louder and I was just starting to feel light headed when I realized it was the sound of my heart pounding so hard against my chest, and with my mouth open, I could here it inside of the room.
As I approached the other room I turned to quickly head for the door when I noticed a black mass blocking the doorway. I fell backwards and tried to catch my balance but hit the wall and knocked me to the floor. I jumped up and came face to face or face to whatever it was. It didn’t have the shape of a person, but I recognized it as such and it suddenly shot across the room behind a piece of broken furniture. I continued towards the door when I noticed it shoot directly into the room I had just left.
It was no longer a time for me to edge closer to the door, but to run as quickly as I could. Totally panic stricken, I got within a couple of feet of the door when the black mass was suddenly in front of me again. I stopped immediately in my tracks to run another direction. I was way past panicked and found myself running in every direction like a trapped rat looking for an exit.
I reached the opening to the next room that I had just left and I suddenly stopped. Totally paralyzed in fear or maybe my body had just given up hope of moving, but directly in front of me was the chalice. No longer on the cabinet shelf, but in the center of the table. A pentagram had been drawn in the dust and the chalice placed in the center of it. Suddenly there were five candles at each of the points of the pentagram and one by one they lit by themselves.
I was seeing everything develop in front of me, but it was as if my body couldn’t move and my mind couldn’t comprehend what was happening. I just stared at it waiting now for my fate and I accepted the fact that this was the end. All of a sudden there was a sharp pain in the back of my neck, my eyes rolled back in my head and instantly everything went black.
I felt a very uncomfortable chill run across my face when I attempted to open my eyes. Everything was still dark but very cold. I lay there trying to get my bearings when I noticed a bright light begin to come into focus. As I studied it I finally recognized it as the moon. I looked to my sides and saw mountain grass surrounding me. It was dark and it was cold and I was laying out in the middle of a mountain meadow. I sat up and recognized some distant lights down the hill from where I lay. Getting up I slowly straightened myself and started staggering towards the lights. As I got closer I could see that they were coming from the old mansion. It was such a welcome sight because I knew I would only be a couple hundred yards from my car.
I wasn’t trying to figure out how I got there or why. Or what on this earth even happened to me. However, after a little bit of walking, I did stop to check and see if all my body parts were still attached.
Everything seemed to be functioning normally and so I headed quickly to the car so I could get out of there.
Driving home I was trying to figure out what I could possibly tell my wife what had happened. I couldn’t! I didn’t even have a clue what had happened to me. But I did know that there would be no sympathy for me being stupid enough to go out on my own like that.
I was sure that I could get away with just telling her I lost track of time and was sorry for getting home late.
What a welcome site it was to pull into my driveway and head into the house. My wife was surprisingly silent as she just stood there staring at me.
Without a word she grabbed my hand and walked me into the bathroom to face the mirror. To my horror my face was covered with witch symbols. She started unbuttoning my shirt and the further she undressed me the more symbols appeared. I suddenly found myself staring at myself naked in the mirror with every inch of my body covered with symbols.
My wife grabbed a wash cloth and luckily found that it was only an ink or paint like substance. Not much was said as I found myself going into shock. She got me into the shower and scrubbed me down as I just stared straight ahead.
“Damn you,” she finally said. “I know where you went today. You are just like the cat, and you know what curiosity did to it.”
As she dried me off and headed me into the bedroom she said “Get into bed and we will talk about it in the morning!” There was a sound in the other room as if something had fallen and my wife suspiciously left the room to check it out, but she quickly returned and helped me to climb into bed, but as I turned to switch out the light I caught something out of the corner of my eye. Quickly I looked toward the dresser and there sitting directly in the middle of it was the Witch’s Chalice. I shot a quick glance at my wife in total shock. The look in her eyes told me everything and the lights went out.