The Howard Phillips Affair

A Report of the Boston Occult Society

(Late Fall, 1921)

Submitted by Alasdair Charles "Charlie" McNish,

direct from operatives' notes

Monday, November 20th, 1921

    Housekeeper for Howard Phillips calls - has documents.  HP just died, and has documents that are interesting.

    Moderately wealthy house.  - I receive documents.
    Walk through dishevelled areas to master bedroom - bed stand up against a wall - in space is a pentagram and a circle with a flame coming out of it in the centre - body of dead man hit with bullet.  It is drawn in HP's blood from <hand?head>

    (I recognise HP as the "brush salesman" from Jennings, VT)

    Last night while housekeeper away.
    HP worked for Danning...
    Burn marks on wall between living room and here, and upstairs along hall and into room.
    Father O'Reilly arrives - has heard of Dr. Petersdorf.
    Offer housekeeper to stay with us.
    Leave - back to house.

    Betty to contact Martha Collins (and her associates), and the hypnotist from long ago, and Samuel Hargett (lawyer).  Ms. Collins' associates are Dr. McGuinness, occult professor at NYC Univ., and Karen Clements from Radcliffe.


    Introduce over sherry.
    Read letter.

Dearest Friends,

    Matters here have gotten worse since my last note.  The problem still lives, and I will have to deal with it directly.  I may be uncontactable for some time.

    I consulted an associate of mine, who has a knack for these things, regarding your interests in the near future.  She was unable to determine specifics, but was able to produce the enclosed list.  My guess is that they are (or may soon become) investors in interests similar to our own.  They may also be competitors in the coldest sense of the word.  Remember the total failure of my last major investment.

    In closing I wish to introduce you formally (I believe you have already met) to Howard Phillips.  He will be of as much help to you as he has been to me.

 -- Michael Danning

    Attached is the following list:

Sarah Winchester San Jose, CA
Yurek Chodak Bangor, Maine
Dr. Alfredo Monteverdi Cairo, Egypt
William A Barton New York, NY
Karl Von Petersdorf *** Boston, MA
Count Mikhail Andreivich Kurosov Moscow, Russia
Nicholai Tychevski Athens, Greece
Nick Smith Sydney, Australia
Bona Chun Moon Seoul, Korea
Martin Collins Boston, MA

*** Click, one found, 8 to go.  Looks like he was on our side.  Hopefully he knew where he was going.  - H.P.

    Mrs. Sarah Winchester (widowed) is of Winchester Rifles.

Page 2

Tuesday, November 21st, 1921

    All go to look up info.

    Sarah Winchester - husband + daughter died in hunting accident, developed interest in spiritualism.

    Samuel will make excuse to see Dr. Petersdorf's property before the auction.

    Dr. McGuinness arrives - he will make list of Ancient Egyptian manuscripts, artifacts, etc. that Samuel will present as possibly stolen to look at (or hold from) auction.

    (HP - Paper report - howling from house in early morning.)
    Hypnotist looks up al-Qusi - sure finds nothing.

    Afternoon - more library use
    nothing on Yurek Chodek.

    Dr. Alfredo Monteverdi has written several papers

    McGuiness makes the list - they say they will call back in an hour - apparently they do have one manuscript.
    Appt to look at item - tomorrow at 9:00

    Evening - viewing of "New York at Dusk"

Page 3

Wednesday, November 22nd, 1921

    9:00 - McNish, Hargett, and McGuinness go to von Petersdorf mansion

    Guard (name) doesn't want to let us in!  Mr. P'dorf lawyer has vanished.  We bribe him $100 (apparently we're not the first).
    Room - 20 items.
    Painting, scrolls, manuscripts, artwork.
Take notes

    (on way out, case the joint)

Martha speaks to Mrs. Winchester - did not know HP or any of the people on the list - interested in spirit world - in light of husband's death + profession - to stay in touch to (reopence?) unfortunates.  Doesn't know Michael Danning.  Invites Martha to drop by if in CA>
    Martha gets Ph. no. + address for Yurek Chodak in Bangor, ME. also William A. Barton, etc - all US on

Page 4

    Martha takes list to occult bookstore + look for list as authours (something by Monteverdi).

    Father O'Reilly finds book by Monteverdi in library - theories are fairly conventional + scientific - about Egyptian Rites - talks about physical - what, how, where they got stuff, scientifically why, no religion stuff.

    Algie tries another club (another drink, $20) - Sarah Winchester believes husband and daughter dies as result of other hunting accidents w/Winchester rifles, + into spiritual stuff to try to make amends.

    McGuinness - al Qusi ? the <Qusi>
    Karen - al Qusi means "the silent"
    McG "The silent One" - Egyptian - Darlak - associated with dove (for head).

    Father O'Reilly looks up the circle-and-flame symbol in centre of pentagram, but finds nothing.

    Samuel Hargett calls Edward Grayson + says bring money to auction, then look in library + call Egypt, Cairo police, but no-one speaks English.  Will visit an egyptology professor and ask about items in morning at 8 am.

Page 5

Thursday, November 23rd, 1921

    Samuel + Karen go see Dr. Fluff.  Discuss auction + items - he was planning to attend.  (Dr. Fluff doesn't like Samuel.)  The dagger is one of a kind.  Scarab could be v. valuable or nothing depends on quality.  He will help look over if items on long-term loan, plus money.  Univ. most interested in sarcophagus, study would cost $1000 (sarco., could be $500-$1500).

    To Dr. Petersdorf's house - Samuel, Karen, Edward, + Algie.

    30 people, inc. Prof. Fluff
    Algie walks in, complains about the sherry (none) +

Page 6

    Bidding begins (want to bid on dagger, Book of Dead, Sarcophagus)
      Brutus goes up to Edward and congratulates on dagger, + offers $6000 for it. - no money today but could get soon.  Not interested yet.
    A man picks up the dagger, slips into pocket, and walks fast to door.  Karen jumps him, yells, bonks him with her dagger - he pulls out a gun and shoots into air + tried to get away.  He shoots her and runs.  She grabs for the gun, he shoots her again, she falls unconscious.
    He was the mafia guy who ran off with the dagger.

    Talk to Brutus (has heard of Phillips - lying?) - invites dinner at 6 (algie) at expensive restaurant. + a (lawyer?) (the one who (neutral?) HP as well)

    Get stuff back to Charlie's place.  Karen at hospital.
    Algie briefed by Charlie.

    Dinner w/Brutus Al Qusi - then to meet Charlie at mention of Michael Danning.

    Dagger - should be kept in v. safe keeping - for everyone's protection.
    - family artifact - family not quite as old as the dagger, but the family has had it as long as the family.
    There are people who could use it to do about anything.  Mafia hired to obtain it?

    AQ approached von Petersdorf to buy + take back - amenable.
    which side? Monteverdi not a player yet.

    Book of Dead dangerous, but not usable.

    George DeVita in phone book.

    AQ leaves, will contact in morning.

    Lawyer in club - talk about mafia - will have appt. w/DeVita himself or this name if that doesn't work.  We need to raise money.

    Lawsuit vs. estate for negligence - sum of $5000.

Page 8

    Lawyer calls DeVita - no answer.  Drive to his house (2 lawyers, Algie).  Police are there. - they have the dagger?  Sgt. Bailey has it - at police station.
    DeVita is dead.
    talk to cop at site.  next morning, will see Sgt. Bailey.

    Charlie looks at Egyptian Book of the Dead -- will study it (months?) (loses 6 SAN).

Friday, November 24th, 1921

    (About to go see Sgt. Bailey at station).

    AQ calls - he's at police station but won't give him dagger, so want someone there.
    Algie + lawyer (Edward Gregson) drive down there.  meet AQ.  Sgt Bailey - hands over dagger.
    (Kennedy?) and Bailey rushed over to DV's house - stank - body crisped (burnt) window open - two guys diving down fire escape (???) - head to docks - Kennedy shoots tyre on car - crashes - driver vanishes into docks - passenger dead.  Kennedy died of heart attack while searching docks - DV lying - face up - front half burnt

    Back to Charlie's.  Lunch.  Clifton Jordan turned up (was watching over Karen).  Brutus wants to buy it to take it back.

Page 9

    Jean Duvalier arrives - joins meeting.

    Lawyer has a fit and is out for about 1 minute.  Wakes up.  "Was flying over jungle down a river"
    Hypnotist (Louis Vendredi) hypnotises Edward - recalls "dream" in excessive detail.

    Brutus says he can explain. - he is a Coptic Monk. - fighting (spound?) of satanic cult (and worship unspeakable demon) - dagger is important in their rituals - here to get dagger - dagger has cursed Edward - brother - Egypt can remove curse - should leave right away.
    - go to Ashmunayn, via Alexandria and Cairo.

    Boat leaves tomorrow.  (will be met at Alexandria by a Fokker (and a pilor/mechanic) for rent for a while)  Will take shotgun, tropical gear, one of the two Mi-Go sticks.

    (Mid-afternoon Edward has exactly same vision)

    Edward takes dagger. (tries to melt it - flashes violently into vision - can see further - into desert).  Repeat expt. - jungle shifts to desert (view) city of mud brick - some white w/symbols of man + animals.  Don't wake yet.  (loses 8 SAN)

Page 10

Saturday, November 25th, 1921

    Wake Edward  and find him - break down door - Ed on floor w/candle and dagger - wake him up.  He takes dagger, wrapped in bible.

    3-weekd trip to Alexandria.

    Algie, Edward, Louis, O'Reilly, Duvalier, Brutus.

    Algie leaves Egyptian

Sunday, November 26th, 1929

    Louis talking to lawyer when has another fit - same vision as last time (4 minutes)

Monday, November 27th, 1929

    Afternoon - another vision. [jungle - desert - city - some of houses are reed huts - brown skinned folk working in field, shapes w/stone (introunds?).  White birds in fields]

    Days go by.  Vision every afternoon.

    [5th day, vision longer - j - d - city - people - column of men walking through town (brick building) in finely embroidered robes]

Page 11

    Next day, lunch, lawyer doodles some of pattern on napkin at lunch.  Duvalier recognises - upside down holy symbol of ancient Egypt (upside-down ankh).  Brutus: symbol of cult they're fighting, - leaves to speak w/captain.

    Duvalier will investigate - ritual - Edward is cursed (not possessed) spirit does run off to other world - happens while in ritual - processional - heading to building - 2 15' stone statues - squatting animals of some type (monkey?) - now about 15 mins in visions.

    Dinner - Brutus gets up - a few minutes after he leaves - horrible scream!
    An animal - a huge snake with wings - it scream, takes Brutus (dead), and flies off.

    Duvalier throws darts  - hits but doesn't hurt.  Edward attacks it with the dagger - misses - it knocks him down with tail.
    Algie shoots it with MiGo stick - it screams, drops Brutus, and flaps off.

    find another Egyptian to (come?)

    The inscription on the knife is translated: "not dwell in Osiris's heaven in peace"?

    few uneventful days, then vision progresses.  About 1 1/2 weeks into - up to about an hour.

Page 12

(Edward SAN now down 19 pts)

    Vision - takes ankh + knife into vision - in for an hour. - now in tempte - demons and creatures (statues)
    j - d - city - temple (long hall, tall white columns, statues of gods + demons, priests with symbols on clothing).
    Knife "disappeared" during vision (i.e. Duvalier + O'Reilly took it away from physical body).

    few days later

    Dinner - one of sailors reaches and grabs dagger and runs
Duvalier shoots w/dart - Algie chases and catches - thje man cuts his own throat.  Blood everywhere.  Algie takes dagger, gives to Edward.
    Edward questions the Captain - gets name of sailor.

    Vision progresses - j - d - city - processional - temple - worshippers go to rear - secret panel - (and?) guard w/face identical to monkey statues - clawed hands, hairy body, deformed stance - procession walks past guard and down into a maze of corridors.

    More days (vision ~2 hours)

Page 13

    Vision (saines?) on - down into tunnels and follow through particularly long tunnel - altar in front of statue of man with ibis head (Thoth?  Thoth has apes of Thoth).
    Ceremony w/chanting + bizarre rituals, human body on altar.
    4 hours - 12 hours to recover

    Approaching end of journey.
    - go through customs - $12 (500 (pnntos?)) smooth the passage.  Guns confiscated - need permit.
    The man who has been teaching Algie Arabic will act as guide - Mikhay'el Sufyanni.
    Gun permits would take a long time, so go to meet hte plane - airport.  As arrive - man (Mohammed) comes up and says (Englihs) that he's an excellent dragoman and wants to enter employ.
    He is very anxious - he is clean shaven (!) but so were the priests in the vision!
    We hire him - excellent worker

    Fly to Cairo - Vendredi hypnotises Mohammed on the way - "Ibis is peace, monkey is war.  Knows no active sults of ancient religions."

    Verdict is that the guy is OK.

    Land at Cairo.

Page 14

    As he comes out of trance - weird, like maybe he was never hypnotized....?

    Perfect landing in Cairo.

    Hotel - fairly posh

    Mikhay'el translate inscription?  Although possibilities - "There is no peace at the place of judgement" - v. evil dagger.

    Will try to find person on list here.  (Mohammed looking into it)

    Algie spends evening in bar

    Morning - Mohammed suggests going to Nat. Museum to find the Egyptologist that used to be in Boston (no sign of man on list). O'Reilly + Louis go there.

    Algie stays in bar
    Mikhay'el is also a Coptic monk - + hooks on with us after Brutus died - + now has decided to trust him - Brutus had told him a lot - Algie tells him a lot

    The Haitian mystic, Duvalier, looks to find out about Egyptian mysticism - goes to Museum with O'R and Louis Vendredi.

Page 15

    At Museum - contact Frank Williams - who knows person on list - Italian (Alfredo Monteverdi) - world famous egyptologist (Egyptian religion) - go see him.
    - collab w/Petersdorf on latest book - has copies of drafts of ms
    Monteverdi has trouble believing us, but ... Knife found in dig at (Ashmaneyn?) - was used in cultist ceremonies in ancient Egypt.  dagger devoted to Thoth - supposed to have powers in connection with him.  Thoth is messenger of gods - mind and heart of Ra - symbol is moon - related to Greek Hermes - had an older name Nyarlathotep - were cults that worshipped in evil ways - sacrifice - secret societies - that worshipped Nyarlathotep.
    Tell him about winged snake, and screw who sacrificed himself to get knife.


    mid-morning - early lunch at hotel, to airport, and leave.

    During flight - Vendredi hypnotises Edward for his afternoon vision.

    Land in Ashmanag(i?)n.

Page 16

    Go to only decent hotel.

    Algie, Mikhay'el, Vendredi, O'Reilly, Duvalier go to bar.  Evening passes. - Bartender is good sleight of hand, + tricks + stuff around bar.

    Algie dragged out to meeting - Duvalier + O'Reilly + Mohammed - Duvalier communed w/spirits - Mohammed is good guy and actually Coptic monk, Mikhay'el is bad guy + not human possibly, maybe wants to sacrifice us.

    O'Reilly gets dagger (only thing that will hurt Mickey).

    Jump him, gag him + bind him (so he can't summon snakes) + Duvalier stabs him w/dart + passes out.

    Duvalier's ritual - where should be getting some inkling of spirits - getting nothing - protected? Isn't human?

    Mohammed stands at foot of bed - "If you fear the evil, I would look away" he says.  He holds the dagger up ceremoniously - speaks some words - horrifying sight - as huge thing w/lots of teeth + long fingers + claws materializes next to bed + looks at Mohammed ("Father Shayeda") + Mohammed says something in Arabic + the thing scoops up body and walks into nothingness.  He says "It's all over".
    Algie takes knife - must go to temple to remove the curse.

Page 17

    Beast was a Dimension Shambler.  Algie now has witnessed a Cthulian event!

    Return knife to lawyer.  Go back to bed.


    Mohammed now is "Father Shanuda" openly.

    Off to ruins.

    Led into the desert a short way, come to lots of "ruins" - sand-covered - to one + into + underground - + he casts a spell - summoning a guide to lead us to temple - a ghoul.
    After some chanting - a ghoul arrives. - leads through catacombs.  It's dark - lights candles and torches.

    Catacombs dark musty damp - wall niches with moulding corpses.  Being live here - rats snakes, scorpions, etc. - unnaturally large - Occasionally attacked - deal w/using the Bang-Stick.  Bloated enormous deformed rats.  Crocodiles.  Ghouls.

    Coming down hall towards is something v. large.  Black - lots of gross noises.  Ghoul stops.
    "Friend or foe" Algie calls.  Stick has no effect.  Fire again - it goes away round a corner.

Page 18

    Lawyer begins to recognise things - the street leading to temple - the temple.  Lawyer is grossed out.

    in front of temple - Shanuda says something to ghoul - ghoul demands payment.  Shanuda says wave dagger quickly at ghoul - lawyer does - ghoul leaves.

    Into temple - lawyer remembers secret door behind altar + opens it (no monkey guard!) + Shanuda heads down into tunnel.
    2 stone (baboon?) statues inside - huge temple - the "real" one - as going down tunnel, lawyer passes out (has never been here in vision.)  O'Reilly drags the lawyer along (he sort of walks) O'Reilly has the dagger now.

    Temple is simple - far end is altar, + statue of Crawling Chaos as a black sphinx with smooth oval instead of face - unspeakable carvings - blank face "watches" us.

    Walking out from behind altar is a man - Shanuda recognizes him + cringes in fear.
    Man says "hello, + welcome to my temple."  Thanks for dagger.

    Algie asks him to explain.  He is Thoth -

Page 19

    his dagger.  Thanks.  As reward, we can leave.  Will not free lawyer - he is Thoth's

    O'Reilly rushes him w/dagger and tries to stab him (crit's! 01!!!)  Nyarlathotep begins to steam, shrink, and wither until nothing left.  O'Reilly has blown away a god!

    Algie + O'reilly pas out from the smell.

    Shanuda says should do ceremony to awaken cursed one. (he didn't realise that the god woul be here) + destroy dagger.  He takes dagger to altar - he explains to them that they have potential for "(gratus?)" and this ritual will remove some of that - the alternative is that the lawyer will go away w/god that has been driven away.  The agree (Duvalier reluctantly).
    Takes some of their blood from finger, chants, and carves and elder sign (pentagram thing) + fills line w/blood - shoves knife into altar - fuses in - + lawyer wakes up.


Page 20

    Invite to monastery to recover.  Stay a couple of weeks to recover from injuries during the fight in and out of temple vs. rats, etc.