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You never fail to amaze me with what you know Mauro :) . Maybe we should be featuring this in the Mysterious World section.
Can't agree more with Ian here: I did not know there were 2 stories of moving coffins either.
I like the mad theory about a giant mushroom moving the coffins, I have a bit of knowledge of mycology (I like to eat wild ones) but that idea must be only marginally more plausible than a disembodied spirit, unless there is a tropical version of the giant puffball.
Thanks, you do me too much honour!
I am currently researching a couple of stories about moving coffins in England (one in Suffolk), though the sources seem few and far between.
The most interesting explanation about the Chase mystery is that it originated as a kind of joke among Barbados Freemasons and quickly got out of hand, taking a life of its own. I am not very much into Freemasonry but it would appear that the original history contained many references which even the lowest ranks could easily identify. But again we have to be super-cautious when the word "Freemason" is used since they have been linked to pretty much everything.
I have no idea to sure which mushroom they were talking about. I only remember references to a giant type found in Central America, usually in caves. My knowledge of mushrooms is limited to the ceps I buy dried and the chanterelles I buy during fall to make a delicious venison stew...
"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"
-Kalevala, Rune XIII-
I remember listening to Lionel Fathorpe mention one of the moving foriegn moving coffin cases when he gave a talk at the Muncaster Paranormal Conference (cough, cough, quick plug for the future). Didn't know of any British cases though, I'll see what I can dig up. Can't comment on it being a Freemason joke, I wouldn't know [wink].
Mauro & Dan - great, now I am drooling on my keyboard at the thought of mushrooms and venison stew
I'm intrigued by the Freemason angle. So often the Freemasons (and teh various other fraternal organizations) are credited with creative and vaguely odd schemes, and I'm never quite sure how much to believe. Mark Carnes' book persuaded me that it's easy to believe all sorts of schemes which never actually existed simply because a few of them did.
This site has some interesting anaylsis re: the pros and cons of the different possible explanations for this story.
Wayland's Smithy is one of the most impressive and atmospheric Neolithic burial chambers in Britain. Read More »