"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

via Newspapers.com

This account of a particularly sinister haunting appeared in the "Pittsburgh Press," October 12, 1913:
Paris. Oct. 11.--Following the brutal murder at Avignon of a young girl by her brother and sister because they thought her possessed of demons, comes a harrowing tale from Brittany where a terrible spook with an "evil eye" has cast consternation over an entire community.

So much havoc has been wrought by the dreaded ghost that the authorities are taking a hand. An investigation is on.

The Croguennecs, consisting of father, mother, two daughters and two sons, are a well-to-do family owning considerable lands in and about the village of Borgne-Kerranborn. Suddenly their corn dried up on the stalk while a neighbor's corn in adjacent fields flourished to an unusual degree. A strange hand bridled the horses in the dead of night and morning found them covered with lather and almost dead from fatigue. No amount of watching appeared to do an good, while the head of the family, who had been constantly on watch, died suddenly of a strange and malignant disease. He had never been sick a day before in his life.

The day of the wedding of the eldest daughter, the finest horse on the place died without warning. Later, the herd of cattle known all over Brittany for their breeding qualities, became sterile.

Night after night the family went through an inferno of fear; strange noises were heard in every room in the house. A tempest seemed to be blowing outside, the wind shrieking like a million demons, yet the stars were out and the leaves of the trees never stirred. Chains rattled and clanked, and groans came from the chimneys, and every morning it was found that the heaviest furniture in the house had been moved about helter skelter.

In mortal terror, the two sons visited the neighborhood sorceress, but she could not explain the mystery. M. and Mme. Nicholas, a couple living in the neighborhood, came to live with the Croguennecs. to be company for them, but they became so frightened at the seemingly supernatural manifestations that they left the place immediately. Then they both died, suddenly.

Locks on barns seemed no obstacle, for the cattle and horses, securely locked in at night, in the morning were scattered all over the farm, wandering uneasily up and down lanes.

Then, one day Francois Marie Croguennec. one of the sons and as strong as an ox. was assailed in broad open daylight by something or somebody whom he claims he did not see. His back was wrenched so that he is an invalid for life, his nerves shattered.

Finally Alexandrine, one of the daughters, went insane from fear and is now in a madhouse.

Francois Marie Croguennec told an interviewer that the "evil eye" had been on his family for six years, ever since the death of an old aunt who had left them their fortune. Some of the neighbors claim the spirit of the aged woman is wrecking vengeance on the family because of the way they misuse her money. On the other hand the authorities are inclined to believe something more substantial than a ghost is at work on the Croguennec farm, and with this theory in mind the gendarmes are investigating.

There was an article in the July 26, 1913 issue of "Le Matin" which appears to give substantially the same information as the above item.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find anything more about this eerie story.


  1. That's the worst case of supernatural malevolence I've read about. It's especially bad since little reason could have been found for it.

    1. I'm surprised I wasn't able to find more about this story. You'd think something this weird--and deadly--would be more famous.


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