Vermont Invaded

A Report of the Boston Occult Society

(Fall, 1920)

Submitted by Alasdair Charles "Charlie" McNish

Since the earlier matter of the haunted house, the Boston Occult Society has closed the downtown office and business is now conducted exclusively from Ontario House, which is also the residence of Alasdair Charles McNish and his personal secretary of the B.O.Soc., Miss Betty Sands, to whom he is affianced.  The B.O.Soc.'s Fokker F.II monoplane is maintained at an airfield nearby.

    I am contacted by a Mr. Whitaker from Duke University, who was referred to me by Mr. Michael Danning in his usual fashion.  It happens that Mr. Whitaker was at school with a gentleman called Christopher Dayvault, who is now engaged in the occupation of Postman in the town of Jennings, Vermont, where he lives with his wife and two children.  Apparently Mr. Dayvault was on his rounds recently when he was attacked by a crazy hermit man who lives in the woods in the town.  There are rumours of the occult, involvment in rituals on a hilltop, bonfires, goat sacrifices, and so on.  There are suggestions that there are devil worshipers, or some connections with the Old Gods.
    I discussed preliminary matters with Mr. Whitaker, and then arranged that Mr. Whitaker would arrive at Boston by train, whereupon he would be met at the station and brought to Ontario House, where he will have a guest room assigned.  These arrangements procede as planned.
    Those associated with the B.O.Soc. meet for a short preliminary assessment, and are invited to formal dinner at the House that evening.

Thursday 9th September, 1920

    A formal dinner is hosted at Ontario House by Miss Sands and myself.  Attending are Mr. David Klondike (private investigator), Mr. Samuel Hargett (lawyer), Father O'Reilly, and Mr. Whitaker.  The matter which Mr. Whitaker has brought to the attention of the Society is discussed and appropriate action determined.

Friday 10th September, 1920

    I fly the group to Jennings, Vermont.  On arrival, we rent a motor car and drive to the town of Jennings, where we arrange accomodations at a boarding house.  The town appears small and friendly.
    The investigation begins at the Post Office.  Christopher Dayvault is there, and invites us to dinner.  Apparently he was badly beaten up in the attack.
    In the afternoon, the drugstore is visited but no new information results.

    We attend dinner at the Dayvault's that evening.  Joan Dayvault is a little harried but friendly; the children are two girls: Betty-Lou, age 4, and Charlena, age 2.  Apparently the beating resulted thus: Mr. Dayvault went to see the hermit, whose name is Harnie, about a mail route.  Harnie was a bit disturbed and caught him by surprise, in a rage, so Mr. Dayvault ran back to town.  There are rumours about goat sacrifices and the hermit.  The local plumber, Jeff Walker, told him about the hermit, and found out where he lives.

Saturday 11th September

    We leave a message at the station for Joe Patroni, informing him where we are staying.  Father O'Reilly and Bud Whitaker visit Jeff Walker.  They get no information, but he's hiding something -- but he is relieved when he finds that they are here to talk about Harnie.
    Back at the drugstore, I find out that Jeff Walker's house is the local speakeasy.
    O'Reilly discovers that the soda jerk went up near Harnie's place and watched one Friday night.  He saw "things" gathered around a bonfire on the mountain.  The things were big crawdads with scrunched up faces, and were red like they'd been roasted.  Apparently this is repeated every Friday night.

    We drive around Harnie's place, dropping David Klondike off nearby, and eventually parking at Blue Mountain where there's a good view of Harnie's Mountain.  The chosen spot is an overlook, a good way (about 1 hour) out of town.  It is apparently the local "Lovers' Leap."
    There's a cleared spot on the top of Harnie's Mountain, with a circle of large cylindrical stones around the cleared area.  Bud reckons that this is a ceremonial place -- this is a fairly common occurance in the occult.  The stones are twice man height, 3' diameter, as seen from the airplane.  The whole area is covered in frost, which is quite unlike the other mountains.
    We then drive back to pick up David Klondike, who has met Joe Patroni at the train station after scouting around harnie's place. David says that it's too cold up the mountain, but he did see Harnie at his cabin -- he looked like just an "old guy".  When he met Joe, he also picked up Frank Alister (mid 20's, with a slight limp, a Master Sgt.).

    Back at the boarding house, we let slip that we would like to visit Jeff Walker's place tonight -- Mrs. Skinner says to tell him she sent us.

    Frank, David, Bud, and I walk to Jeff Walker's place, and go back through to the bar.  The place is a real neighbourhood bar, and there are already eight people here.  In conversation it is revealed that Harnie is never friendly.  He used to come to the town and the bar, but he's not friendly any more.  The opinion is that he is getting weird and old.

    When it gets late, there's a bang at the door, and a man bustles into the bar.  The newcomer is a stranger, who's just come into town. He says he's Bob Barker.  He produces a bottle of Cognac.  He says he's a brush salesman, but the only "samples" he has are clearly his own personal things (the hairbrush has hairs on it).  He drives off in a nice car, which has Mass. plates.  David and Frank get the number, and continue back to the boarding house, while the rest of us remain at the bar for a while.

    We eventually all return to Mrs. Skinner's, where Frank has left a note telling us the licence number.

..Page (3)
   All go to sleep?

   That night some of us have a common dream, of which my experience
is representative:


    It's black -- light from horizon, as if sun had set, but electric, and from all around.  Enter the Dreamlands through the Gates of Slumber and to the woods beyond.

############## <add details here> ##############################

Sunday 12th September, 1920

    At breakfast it is revealed that some of us had strange dreams.  Bud did not find the stairs, whereas Frank, Samuel Hargett, and I (as has been related above) went through to the woods.  O'Reilly and David had a different dream -- of a snowstorm (in this valley, perhaps?) with children crying, and blood on the snow.

    These experiences are strange to the newer associates of the B.O.S., and the nature of Michael Danning and the Society is explained by those more familiar with it.  David gives a rational explanation, as he of course does not accept parapsychology.
    Tomorrow, we will fly to county seat and research the history of this place.

    It being Sunday, we all go to church, except O'Reilly who performs mass for Samuel.

    I send a telegram to Betty:


    I then spend all afternoon giving plane rides to the locals.

    Meanwhile, Samuel, O'Reilly, and Bud visit the oldest resident to try to get some local history.  The resident is 96 (born in 1824).  He talks about Harnie's Mountain, saying that the stones were put there by Indians.  They have had snow storms here, and in the olden days, children may have been lost, perhaps, but he has no idea of the significance of "blood on the snow".  He is not sure when Harnie moved there, but it's been called Harnie's Mountain for a while.  It was called Standing Stone Mountain before that.  When he was young, there were Indians around, but they didn't bother them much.  The extreme cold on the mountain is new.

    Back at the boarding house that evening, we all sit around the radio and drink tea.

   To bed, to sleep, etc.


    The archway is part of a huge oak tree, and as we look around, we see that everyone else is there.  Each believes himself to be the last to come out of the tree.  Bud wears a riding outfit; Frank is naked; O'Reilly is in his normal clothes; Samuel is wearing his pyjamas; David is in robes resembling a smoking jacket; while I am dressed as an Egyptian priest.
    Some of us eat mana, and experiment with concentrating hard to get what they want.  Frank manages to get some clothes, O'Reilly a Bible, and David (who wanted a gun) gets a catapult.
    There's a note pinned to a tree, from Michael Danning: "I know you're probably confused.  Don't be."  It continues, telling us to go straight ahead in the Enchanted Wood, and advises us that we should not turn, and should not listen to whisperings and chirpings.  There is open land beyond, and we should find a road or cottage and ask directions to Ulthar, where he promises to meet us.

    We walk off into the Enchanted Wood.  As we procede, we hear faint fluttering flute-like noises, and gibbering.  We walk for some time, with a distinct impression that we are being followed.  Sometimes one of us catches a motion sometimes if he looks at the noise.

    Eventually the woods end, and we come upon a delightful pastoral scene of woods, fields, a river, and cottages.  We proceed to the nearest cottage, where we ask the woman who opens the door for directions to Ulthar.
    She says we should follow the river Skai downstream to the village of Near and cross a stone bridge, whereupon we will then see Ulthar.
    We are invited in for breakfast, and sit down at a large table. The breakfast consists of gruel and mushrooms, which we also share with the many children.  O'Reilly chooses not to eat.
    We are told about the Enchanted Wood.  The noises are made by the Zoobs, which can be very dangerous; they can eat people, and perhaps their minds.
    Ulthar, we are told, is an amazing city, in which there are many cats, some of which are quite huge.  We are advised not to hurt them. It is a day's travel to Ulthar from here.

    We leave and go to the blue river, which we follow downstream. There are fish in the river.  After about an hour, we reach the tiny village of Near, where there is indeed a large stone bridge.  As we cross, Bud hears a scratching noise, but we don't see anything.

    We continue on, and finally arrive at Ulthar!  The city is surrounded by farms, cottages, and rolling countryside.  It has the look of a medeival town, with peaked roofs, cobbled streets, and a hall in the centre.  There are indeed lots of cats, and we go out of our way to be nice to them.

    Mike Danning is apparently a guest of Atal, at the Temple of Elder gods, which is the tallest and best building in town.  The Temple is a circular tower, with ivy growing on it.  The door is open, and we can see someone waiting inside.  All but O'Reilly enter.

    An acolyte leads us through to a meeting room.  Another acolyte brings food and drink.  After a while, we taken to a shrine, where there is an old man in flowing robes on an ivory throne.

    Mike Danning is, we are told, on his way to his home in Celephais. He did leave us a note and some money.  We are advised to hire a ship to Celephais, and when asked the old man says (rather dreamily) that he would take a silver ship.

    I seek out books, and spend an hour reading a pleasant fairy story. It has a happy ending, but it is not exactly the sort of book I had in mind.
    The rest go to an inn, where they eat and drink.
    I join them later, and we eat and drink some more.

    The landlord suggests we should take the ship "Daybreak," run by a Captain John Smith, who is himself from Celephais.  It's not a silver ship, but the landlord says he may once have seen a silver ship in the distance.

    We go to the port, where we hail the "Daybreak."  Their captain, however, is not on board; he is to be found at the Broken Key.

    We ask an old man at the dock whether he has seen a silver ship, and he says he has -- it had weird crew, tall shining people, who had faces with big smiles.  We notice that the cats don't like the old guy.

    Since we are still convinced we want a silver ship, we decide to ask around at an upper-class bar near the docks.  I choose to dress appropriately, as Nelson would have done.  We go into the Silver Goblet.
    At this point, creationary fever strikes the group again.  Bud wishes a voluptuous waitress into existence, but she soon vanishes.
    David wishes a note into existence from Danning, which says to take the "Green Dolphin".  The captain of this ship is at the bar, but he is not headed for Celephais, although the "Daybreak" is.
    We are advised when we pay for our drinks that created money vanishes in several days.  Some of us look guilty and hurridly pay with "real" money.

    When we go outside, we see a ship coming in -- the "Silver Drippings."  Since this is the closest we have yet seen to a silver ship, we hail it.  The ship is available, and will take us to Celephais for suitable payment.  We are to meet the captain at the Days Inn (near Purple Merchant).  The inn has a restaurant, and charges 5 gold for the overnight stay.
    Captain Wilfred of the "Silver Drippings" shows up.  He too is a dreamer, like us.  He tells us that Celephais is a main trading centre, and is full of bizarre customers.  It is 2-3 weeks sailing. The city is of blue marble, with statues all over the place.
    We have a good evening, and stay the night.

    Next morning, we have breakfast then go to the ship.  On boarding, Joe pays him with a bag of jewels.  He pays city guards with some "innocence fees" to cover our indiscretions with the "counterfeit coins".

    We have a nice boat ride,. and indeed arrive in Celephais.
    We find Michael Danning's house, which has a special room with 43 mirrors on wall -- there is a creature that watches the mirrors and answers the door. This "manservant" is conical with eyes on tentacles.
    We are told that Michael Danning is not in fact here, but should return in a few days.  In the meantime, we are to avail ourselves of his library.

    Mr. Danning does not return before we wake.

Monday 13th September, 1920

    After breakfast, Frank, Joe, O'Reilly, David, and I fly to the county seat.
    We check the library, but find nothing on standing stones.  When we search for Indian myths, particularly those relating to lobsters, we do find out that there is such a creature called a Mi-Go.  Mi-Gos are demons that come from the stars, and are associated with cold.
    Frank buys a shotgun, and we all stock up on cold-weather gear.
    We then fly back to Jennings.

    After dinner, Frank, O'Reilly, David, Joe, and I go to Jeff Walker's again.
    A "Gypsy" woman walks in.  The bartender yells at her to get out, but she wants to talk to the strangers.  The barman tells us she is a local woman, not really a gypsy, called Lucinda.  She is described variously as a floozy, harlot, and prostitute but all agree that she causes trouble.  We decide to follow her to find out what she wants.

    We go out into the street and head off through town, following her out of the town and into some woods.  David and I keep an eye on her, while the others drop back.
    After a while she arrives at a cabin, and goes in.  The lights are on, shining through the red curtains.  We knock at the door.
    "Come in," she says. We go in.
    The interior is set up in the style of a gypsy fortune-teller's tent.  There are silks, rugs, and jewelry.  The predominant colours are red and black, and there are many areas of shadow.  She is sitting at a crystal ball.  She tells us to sit down, and then starts doing things over the ball.  When she holds out her hand, a dollar and a $10 bill are placed in it.
    "Can tell you are men of power," she says.  "I see snow, lots of snow, blood everywhere, children screaming.  Mountain -- frozen on top.  You've got to stop him -- don't understand, don't know.  Harnie -- bad friends.  You've got to stop him."
    She breaks out of her trance, grabs me, and says "Did I pass out?" She apologises, and says she doesn't remember.
    We are told about the creatures.  They're demons.  They fly from outer space.  They have wings.  They come every Friday to perform a ritual, dancing around a fire by statues, very late at night.  She saw in a dream to talk to us -- saw the blood and the snow.
    Lucinda knows Harnie, and says he has new friends, demons which fly in from darkness of sky.

    Frank rejects her advances, we promise her a plane ride, and we return to the boarding house, to bed.

Tuesday 14th September, 1920

    At breakfast it is revealed that for once we all slept well, without any remarkable dreams.

    Frank visits the general store, where he buys a pair of binoculars.

    Joe and I walk down to Lucinda's cabin, and bring her back to the boarding house.  The three of us then fly to the county seat, where Joe buys some gelignite.  We fly back.

    Meanwhile, Frank has made a map of Standing Stone Mountain from Blue Mountain and other surrounding overlooks; O'Reilly has visited the drugstore and talked to the chap there.

    Dinner, cake, sleep.
    David takes some cake to Lucinda, and wants to set up to see Harnie with her sometime, but she wants him to go alone.

Wednesday 15th September, 1920

    After breakfast I send a telegram to Betty:

    Frank gets lost in the woods.

    David visits Harnie (Joe drives), invites Harnie for a plane ride, but he doesn't want to.  Chat, then mentions frost on mountain. harnie says "Always been cold here, don't know why."  Say fire on maintain, things dance.  "People will tell funny stories, won't they?" Trying to do article, so why so people say that?  (no info) Need anything?  "Like what?"  Anything.  "Could use a new hound dog.  He died."  David staying in doorway.  Harnie pulls out the shotgun that he has been covering him "You a revenooer?"  No. "Proove it- bring me brandy."

    David comes back to town, to Jeffs.  Not open -- working!

    Frank does not show up to dinner.

    To bar: David buys a bottle of gin to take to Harnie.

    Back to boarding house.

Thursday 16th September, 1920


    David goes to Harnie (Joe drives).  H takes the gin, takes a swig, and invites D in.  Thye drink.  D says he's a private investigator, and a friend of a friend is the postman who says he attacked him.  Got here, and weird stories, so why not see what the facts is.  "Who told you there are lobsters dancing round ????? ?"  Several people say go up Blue Mtn and see things.  "Can't see shit from Blue Mtn."  Well, who knows what they see.  "Friends know things that nobody knows. Real smart.  Don't look so pretty, but real smart."  they drink.  Met this creature once, kind of big at bottom, long thin neck.  "really." Yep.  In a dream.  "Oh. really.  I seen weirder things in real life. Tentacled heads.  Wings, too, big wings that fly.  Noise -- buzzing noise -- cos don't have no mouths?  What are airplanes like?"  Cars that fly.  "Why don't wings fall off?  How do they stay in air?"  Big rotor on front that spins, like a fan.  Don't understand really. "Friends would.  Wouldn't want to meet them.  Don't like strangers, don't tell 'em, don't tell nobody nothing.  Friendly but private. Needed any mountain.  scientific experiment."  Frost up there.  "I know,.  It's my friends.  they can do amazing things.  Can your scientisits make mountains cold, make crops grow better?  Twice as fast, even in cold.  Used dog for experiments, though.  Needed dog to help get their friends here -- trying to call their ?????  -- Ithkar, Ilkar, something like that.  Think they would like you."  Booze ran out.  They chat a bit longer, H invites David back to work on farm. David will come back tomorrow.  saturday, try to find a dog.  H gives D a bottle of white clear liquid (corn liquor).  D leaves.

    they get back to town.

    In the evening, Frank finally returns.  He explains that he was lost in the forest, and had to spend the night there.

    At 11, leave for explosives.

Friday 17th September, 1920

    Joe, Charlie, O'reilly, David, Bud drive to harnie's Mtn and walk up to top with 2 cases of explosives and fuses.
    It's cold.  THe moon is bright.  We get up there at 4:30 a.m.

    There's a ring of huge stones.  6' x 3' ??????, carved to that shape.

    Charlie looks around -- lots of marks -- that are footprints, but not human -- claw prints.

    There's an area where ther should be a bonfire, but more frost where fire was than anywhere else.
    The ground is too hard to dig down to topple stones, so alternate plan -- put them at the base of each stone to reflect blast in, and a bunch under the bonfire.  Fuses go out to hiding places.
    Finish at sunrise, 6:30.
    Go home.

    Breakfast.  8:00.


    Buy a 12 gauge double-barrelled shotgun and in afternoon frank gives simple instructions on how to use it.  2 boxes (24 each) -- 1 to keep in car.
    O'Reilly makes Molotov cocktails (will mix at top)

    Bottom of mtn at 6, top at 10.

    3/4 way up, fill up Molli's -- Charlie 2, frank 2, Joe 2, O'reilly 5.  Dynamite -- Charlie 3, O'reilly 3, Joe 15.

    11 at top.  Hide.

    THe MiGo arrive from above -- 7 of them -- land.  Some ?wearing? shining green nets, carry metallic and driftwood.
    One looks at O'reilly and points its stick -- shoots out cone of rolling fog (at 30mph (15 yds/sec)).
    David sets off the fuse.

    BOOM!  2 live, ??? are blown out.

    Molys thrown, give more light, but don't hit anything.

    they get up.  More shooting, etc.  Frank goes down by the fog-stick.  The Mi-Gos die.

    We pull the MiGos into a pile, strap the dynatmire in there, pour Molotovs over them, light it.

    Blowed-up MiGos is disgusting.

    harnie knocked out by blast.  O'Reilly treats him -- he's confused.

    Take the sticks -- 2 good ones, couple broken.

    Down to car, deliver harnie, drive to airfield.  Take off, damage plane.

    Rough landing.  Damage plane.  Plane fixed.

    Back to Boston by various routes.

DIAGNOSIS MiGo invasion by assisting the populace.
ACTION Blow up landing site and landing party.  Accomplished according to plan.
ASSETS ACQUIRED 2 MiGo sticks in good condition
2 broken MiGo sticks