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126_Chapter Five – August 16, 2008

There are people randomly scattered through the auditorium as we enter. They could have probably done this event with fewer chairs, but it’s good to see people are here. It is the first Paranormal Conference in the state of Utah, and while the turn-out is better than I expected, it appears it does not quite measure up to the expectations of its host.

I guess it doesn’t matter. Billy and I are here to network with people in a relatively rare field, and we are excited to see what the night has in store. As a formal research group, we are new to the paranormal industry, but we have been investigating the paranormal all of our lives. Tonight, we will follow a path I have not considered in the past. I’m excited to see what’s in store. 

The night has had some exciting and also disappointing events thus far. The host is some guy with a public access show who’s supposed to be an expert in the field. He has not been much more than a complete waste of time to this point. Everything he says is the opposite of the accepted theory, and most of it appears to be nothing more than fabricated delusions meant to feed his blatant insecurity. I know I sound harsh, but it’s a shame he stands on this stage representing the work we do. He’ll likely undermine years of effort put in by countless investigators to legitimize the field.

Wait. What did he just say? I thought I had completely tuned him out, but did he just say something about Mercur? I look at Billy.

“…It is the scariest place I have ever investigated.” 

I stifle a laugh. Besides my experience with the couple, Mercur has always been quiet when it comes to paranormal activity. His story sounds like we’re in for more ridiculous ravings of the ultimate poser. Why would he be so afraid?

A faint sound rolls from the back of my mind to the front, ‘What about the couple?’

I pause for a moment, remembering how they came for me, and I shiver a little. Maybe they weren’t connected to my quest. Perhaps, he saw them too. I can imagine how experiencing them might be for someone like him. For the first time today, he has my full attention.

“We were only there for a few minutes, and I had a horrible feeling about the place…” Billy and I look at one another. It is surprising to listen to someone in this field talk about a haunted place with such fear. Paranormal investigators are accustomed to uncomfortable feelings. They seldom feel this level of anxiety. “…then we heard this buzzing noise..,” 

What?!? I flash a quick look at Billy. I can’t believe what I’m hearing. The buzzing noise he heard must have been the creature I wanted to let into my circle. “…but we didn’t stick around to find out what it was. We got down that hill as fast as we could.”

With these words, he fades to the background once again.

Since my Quest, I’ve worked tirelessly, trying to understand the noise I heard. There was much I needed to learn about vision quests and the Morning Star. It is a far more powerful time than I realized.

 The Vision of Oliver Pahdopony

Oliver Pahdopony was a medicine man. It is said he was the last medicine man of the Comanche People.

Pahdopony had terminal cancer. He was very ill and hospitalized. The doctors exhausted all their tests and treatments and finally told their patient they could do nothing more for him but ease his pain. He discussed his situation with his wife and son, and they decided; since the doctors could do nothing for him, he must heal himself through the traditions of his elders. He would fast and go into the hills on a Vision Quest.

Pahdopony went into the Wichita Mountains on the night of a new moon. Though it was the time of fall and just starting to get cold, Pahdapony brought along only an eagle feather, a blanket, and some tobacco. When he reached his spot, a rise facing Mount Scott, one of the taller peaks in the Wichita Mountains, he sat down and waited. 

For a long time, nothing happened. Near morning, he could hear the rustling of leaves from out in the distance. Looking up, he saw something which appeared to be a flame. As he watched, it started getting closer and closer. Then, he realized this was a creature spitting fire out of his mouth. Pahdopony, who referred to this creature as a visitor, soon realized it was coming after him.

He sat frozen, unable to move, and the visitor, directly in his path, shot a flame at him. Now Pahdopony couldn’t move, talk, or breathe. His heart completely stopped, and he was helpless. 

Then, the visitor spoke in Comanche, asking, “Son, what are you doing here?” 

Pahdopony returned to normal. He could move, breathe, and talk again. He replied, “I am sick.”

“There’s nothing the matter with you,” the visitor replied. “You’re going to be alright. They sent me to take care of a man on a Vision Quest who is really bad off.” 

With that, the visitor started to take off to the West but just before disappearing, he turned around to Pahdopony and said, “Son, did you know this whole world we live in comes to a complete standstill for a short time, just before morning? This is the time when things like me can enter into this world.”

The visitor disappeared into the West, which is often considered to be the direction of death.

Some time later, Pahdopony’s son came back for him. Running up to his father, he asked, “How did you make it through the cold night?”

Pahdopony replied, “What do you mean? Where I was, it was like springtime.”

Leaving the rise, they noticed everywhere had frost on the ground; everywhere but where Pahdopony had been.

Pahdopony returned home. His cancer was now gone. He never had problems with it again. But he knew something else had happened as well, and he didn’t know what to do about it until sometime later.

In a nearby town, an old Comanche lady walked up to him and asked, “Son, what happened to you?”

Pahdopony asked the old lady what she meant, and she told him something changed about him.

He explained the story of his Vision Quest, and she said, “Something like this doesn’t happen to you without receiving a gift. You’ve got a gift, and you don’t yet know what it is, but sometime soon, you’re going to find out. Whatever healed you, is going to give you the power to heal other people.”

Pahdopony started to think about what had happened to him on the hill. Putting it all together, he began to remember the traditional medicine people of his childhood. And he had remembered some of the ways they had doctored people. Pahdopony began to realize what he was supposed to be doing and how he was supposed to do it.

Since the fire had healed him, Pahdopony used this element to treat other people. He would build a fire and let it burn until the coals in it were red hot. Then he would take a piece of the hot coal out of the fire with his fingers and place it into his mouth. This would activate the power to heal others.

Pahdopony saw sickness as fire and would say, “You have to fight fire with fire. But you have to understand what fire is, or else it will burn you.”

Different medicine, men, and women specialize in treating different illnesses. Pahdopony’s specialty was Bell’s Palsy, a facial paralysis where one half of the face becomes paralyzed. He could take the person’s face in his hands and reshape it the way it was supposed to be. Pahdopony would explain it’s like touching wet cement. You could move it around any way you wanted. But once it was dry, it would stay in one position.

Word about what had happened during Pahdopony’s vision quest got out in the Indian communities of Oklahoma. And people from the different tribes started coming to him for help.

I sit here thinking of what Pahdopony learned from his experience with this being from the other side. I wonder if I waited for something like this or if something more sinister was taking advantage of an opportunity to enter this world.

If there is a gift for me in its presence, I will learn it another day. For now, everything comes back to one thing, we need to find out what I let in, so I can send it on its way.

We need to go back to Mercur and return this creature to its world. It doesn’t belong here. I knew it when the creature ‘tracked’ us on our way back to the community. Now, the words of a fearful ghost hunter have confirmed my fears. So many people visit Mercur, people who are now vulnerable. I am what brought this thing here. It is my responsibility to make sure it cannot prey on the people who visit. I must send it back.

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