You know, it’s all fun and games until you burn your own house down trying to defeat vampires. Or shoot someone because you think they’re Bigfoot.
A few days ago, news hit out of Daytona Beach that a Florida man had burned his house down while trying to fend off hallucinatory vampires. According to Local 10 News, on the afternoon of December 23, the man’s wife attempted to have him “committed for mental health reasons.” However, when police first showed up, he was seemingly of sound mind.
A few hours later, the situation changed dramatically.
The man became irate, and started shouting about how “the vampires are going to defend themselves!” The would-be Robert Neville then smashed some of the house’s windows with a cane, before finally “throwing ceiling insulation onto the stove” and igniting the house in a blazing inferno. Both he and his wife made it outside in time, but by night’s end the home was completely destroyed.
If that wasn’t strange enough, another near-tragedy ocurred outside Helena, Montana on December 16, when a man found himself the unsuspecting target of an alleged Bigfoot hunter.
The man was preparing to do some target practice outdoors when suddenly bullets began to fly from a distance. He managed to duck behind a tree, and waited. When the gunfire ceased, he ventured out to find its source: The shooter was an odd, nondescript individual driving “a black Ford F-150,” as the Toronto Sun reported.
Why did the stranger in the truck open fire? “I thought you were Bigfoot,” he told the victim, “If I see something that looks like Bigfoot, I just shoot at it.” He then drove away.
Police still don’t know who the shooter was, but this apparently wasn’t the first time he’d shot at someone near Helena. “It is of great concern that this individual might think it’s OK to shoot anything he thinks is Bigfoot,” the local Sheriff said.
Finally, we have a bizarre situation brewing in Canada. The country recently tossed an old law making it illegal to practice witchcraft (or to “pretend” to be a witch or fortune teller). It was Section 365 of the Canadian Criminal Code, which read as follows:
“Every one who fraudulently (a) pretends to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration, (b) undertakes, for a consideration, to tell fortunes, or (c) pretends from his skill in or knowledge of an occult or crafty science to discover where or in what manner anything that is supposed to have been stolen or lost may be found, is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.”
However, at least one psychic managed to get caught up in the law only two days before it was set to be removed.
The woman in question is known locally as the “White Witch of the North.” She claims she doesn’t actually dabble in witchcraft, but is instead a psychic, and has been since the age of 11. Friends and relatives gave her the witchy nickname, not to be taken seriously.
According to The Independent, police were notified that the psychic had allegedly “promised to protect a client” from danger back in October, in exchange for payment. The psychic insists this didn’t happen, and believes she’s being framed by rival psychics.
This is the third high-profile case of Section 365 being invoked in the past three months (insert quip about the Rule of Three here). In October, two other alleged fortune tellers were charged after being accused of conning thousands of dollars (in one case, $600,000) out of clients seeking their services.
So, all in all, I’d say it’s been a fairly weird month for the paranormal.
Update: Two days after posting this article, another story popped up, this one with a decidedly macabre ending.
You’ve likely seen videos of YouTubers or other personalities trying to scare the public in some way or another. One of my favorites has always been the Scary Snowman.
This month, a YouTuber from Pakistan tried scaring the public himself by dressing up as a ghost and jumping out at passersby in a public park. According to Complex, the prank turned deadly when he approached a family — one of them pulled out a gun and opened fire. The YouTuber died instantly.