The Marassa Twins: When one and one make three

My standard apology for featuring anything in voudou: I have a hard time finding reliable resources. Someone write a book for us, okay? (I’ll picking up http://amzn.to/WojigG when it’s out in January.)

Also, like many other spirits I feature here, loa/lwa are not demons. They’re sort of like gods, sort of like saints, and sort of like neither in a way I don’t really understand. Any way you slice it, best not to piss them off.

 ****

The Marassa Twins are powerful lwa in the voudou tradition, and if you are a twin, or have had twins in your family, you’re required to serve them.

This might not be an easy task. The twins are children and act as volatile as children. They cry, they whine, they refuse to act. And they insist on being treated exactly the same. EXACTLY. So don’t put an extra Skittle on the left plate, or offer one of them a blonde doll and the other one a brunette.

Unlike some kids, the Marassa Twins love to eat. But like most kids, god help you if you offer them a vegetable. They also love toys, so that’s a good offering.

The concept of ‘twins’ seems to be a lot more fluid in Haitian society, where the Marassa Twins come from. Not only are you required to serve the twins if you are a twin, but if you have an extra finger, it’s assumed you were a twin and you ate your twin in the womb. And if you are born with webbed fingers or toes, you must serve the Marassa.

Plus, in most of the world, twins are defined as two kids born together. Triplets are a different thing. Not for the Marassa. They are portrayed both as twins and triplets, and both male and female. It’s very fluid.

The twins represent love, truth, and justice, or faith, hope, and charity. Despite being children, they’re responsible for astrological learning.

Marinette-bra-chéch: If you hadn’t already got the message that dealing with the devil is bad

My standard apology for featuring anything in voudou: I have a hard time finding reliable resources. Someone write a book for us, okay? (I’ll picking up http://amzn.to/WojigG when it’s out in January.)

Also, like many other spirits I feature here, loa/lwa are not demons. They’re sort of like gods, sort of like saints, and sort of like neither in a way I don’t really understand. Any way you slice it, best not to piss them off.

One of the youngest voudou loa/lwa is one of the scariest.

In 1791, Haitian slaves were rebelling against their French rule. Legend has it that on August 14 of that year, a voudou priest named Dutty Boukman led a voudou ritual of the darkest kind. The priest, or bokor, and a female priestess, a mambo/mamba, called on Satan through the sacrifice of a black pig. All the attendees drank the pig’s blood and swore their allegiance to the devil for 200 years if he would help them overthrow their masters, kill them, and destroy all their stuff. The pact is known as the Boukman Contract.

The revolution was a success and independence was declared in 1804. In fact, it’s the only slave revolution in history that resulted in the establishment of an actual government, under Jean-Jacques Dessalines. The revolution also slipped up Napoleon’s foothold in the New World, which could have seriously affected the outcome of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe and the War of 1812 in North America.

But there are other legends.

One of them says that the mambo who actually slit the pig’s throat suffered an evil fate. After her death, she became a lwa herself. Her name was, you guessed it, Marinette. She’s sometimes known as Marinette-bra-chéch or Marinette pied chéche, which is a patois of the French “Marinette bras/pied séc”, or Marinette of the dry arms/feet. This suggests she has a skeletal form (or so I read).

Marinette is very powerful and very feared. However, the flip side of her personality is that she frees people from their bondage. So, she does have her devotees.

Marinette’s aspect is that of a screech or barn owl. She’s also associated with werewolves—some say she’s the queen of the Haitian werewolves, and that they all follow her. I read one resource that said she hunts humans while in her werewolf form, but then I read some stuff on that resource that says it’s full of crap.

Sigh. What’s a researcher to do?

The sacrifices she likes most are black pigs and black roosters plucked while still alive. That possibly-unreliable resource says she wants her sacrifices buried in the ground so that other lwa can’t find them and steal them from her.

Why anyone, even another lwa, would think it’s a good idea to steal anything from this lady is unexplained.

The Slender Man

Warning: This post rates 4.5 out of 5 on the creepy scale.

Have you ever seen the Slender Man?

Perhaps not. But if you examine some of your old photos as a child, you might find something surprising in the background.

The Slender Man, as he is called, is a mysterious figure who often appears around children, though he has been spotted by others.

He is an naturally tall figure with arms that reach down to his knees and fingers like the twigs of a tree that has lost its leaves for the winter. The black suit, white shirt, and thin black tie can’t completely camouflage his oddness, but they allow him to move freely among humans.

Modern sightings of him date from the above photos from 1986, noted for happening the week before the Stirling Library Fire, in which 14 children died. The photographer, Mary Thomas, herself disappeared in June of that year.

His face has never been seen. Some speculate he is featureless, that his face is a blank space of skin.
An additional detail is unclear. Some who have survived an encounter with the Slender Man, or a figure like him, claim that he has additional tentacles that extend from his back during an attack. This has lead researchers to connect the Slender Man with the German legend of Der Großmann (The Tall Man) which dates back to the 16th century. And possibly to this woodcut:

An encounter with the Slender Man, if you’re lucky enough to survive, can leave you with the symptoms of “slendersickness”, memory loss, insomnia, paranoia, coughing fits. The Slender Man also has the power to distort photograph/video and to teleport–though that last one is in debate.

To read more, or if you have an encounter with the Slender Man, you can consult the http://slendernation.forumotion.com/

Some say that the Slender Man legend informed Steven Moffat’s invention of The Silence on Doctor Who (who are possibly just as scary as the Weeping Angels, I can’t decide…). More here:

Here’s a blog by the brother of a man who had to be hospitalized after the rest of his unit disappeared after an encounter with a mysterious figure in Iraq: http://jafool.wordpress.com/

There are also many documentaries and blogs referring to the Slender Man, or something like him. Just google it.

In the end, we only know one thing for certain about the Slender Man. It’s a load of hooey invented on June 11th, 2009, by a guy named Victor Surge on Something Awful (SA) Forums with some clever image manipulation. (Even the Der Großmann stuff is made up, though not by Surge.) You can read more on http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/slender-man

Feel better? I do.