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Episode 165: On the Line

2021-03-01 | 🔗

Some places seem to straddle the boundary between one world and another. It’s a feature than can often generate charm and beauty, but sometimes it creates darker things, as the history of these historic islands demonstrates so well.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
In long, history of human civilization, few pathways have been as important as the silk road. Of course, the silk road isn't a single stretch, a flat land or even a road, in the sense that you or I might imagine, but this network of trade rats changed the world by connecting one distant hard to another for over two thousand years. The silk road served a dual purpose. On the surface. It was an economic machine enabling trade between those who travelled it and the settlements along the way, but it also allowed disparate cultures to connect in a way that was before possible and no better location represents this connection and the Terran Basin in western China archaeology,
You go digs in the Terran Basin, have uncovered now extinct, indo european written languages and beautifully preserve mummies that don't fit our idea of chinese culture. They are tall with blonde or Herr, fair, skin, long noses and clothing made of tartan fabric? That looks and often lot like patterns from Scotland? Some places are just too you need and nuanced to be one single thing: blur the lines and break the rules. They stand with. One foot in a world we expect, but there are, is It firmly in the unforeseen whether by chance sore design. These locations have refused to be labelled as purely one thing and then duality has become their defining characteristic. But there is one place in the world that straddles more than just two cultures. It also manage is to walk the line between the past and the present in a powerful way. No matter
tragic or horrifying, that past might be, and if Europe, for it, I'd like to take you there, because the places where two worlds collide can also be removed. frightening I'm Erin Mahnke, and this is lower. It is fair to say that people are really good at ignoring the little things engender we love big cars, big houses and big ideas, but in the pursuit of the bigger things in life we missed the nuance and few places represent that better than the channel islands. When we discuss european history, we tend to talk
Those big areas, for example, France and England, are easy targets for any story, teller with plenty of drama and excitement across the pages of their collective history, but caught right between the channel islands are forgotten. Wonderland, folk, lore and dark history to overlook them is to miss out on some truly amazing tales burst. Let's get some Basic Geography out of the way, everyone knows that the north West of France and the southern edge of England are separated by a stretch of water, known as the english channel. Think of it as the connective tissue that, when's, the Atlantic Ocean and the North sea? So when I say channel islands, that's the channel their connected to its technically an archipelago, a cluster of small islands, all peace Station close together, there are more than a dozen islands in the collection, but only a handful of them are inhabited and of those the most and into our Jersey, Guernsey, all journey and Sark
History of humans on the channel islands looks a lot like that of its neighbours. Archaeologists seven covered Evan, of human settlements dating back at least two hundred fifty thousand years, but the past fifteen hundred years or so have been. The busiest Caltech Britain settle where's, where there is early as the fifth century followed by christian missionaries, a few generations later. and in nine hundred thirty three they fell under the control of the Normans. Century after that, William the conqueror sailed across the channel and became king of England and for a while all of those laws and fell under one crown century later, though, that kingdom was broken into pieces despite being closer to Normandy than When did the channel islands stayed under english rule and have been considered
possession of the crown ever since, because of this back and forth history, it's probably not surprising to learn that the people who live there are ethnically both british and Norman French in a very real sense. The people of the channel islands live on the blurry line between two distinct worlds. The dirty war war to that line became even more fuzzy thanks to this successful invasion by Nazi, forces if at most people forget that it even happened, but the invasion of the channel islands represented the only known instance of Germans occupying british territory during their five year.
On the island of all journey. The Nazis built a number of work and concentration camps, which honestly just blows my mind: a Nazi concentration camp on british soil and all those tragic stories you know from the continent's had little counterparts on the channel islands to Jews were rounded up just like they were in other european countries. Rebels were stamped out. and citizens were harassed and abused, one local, a woman named June Sinclair, was said to have slapped nazi officer who made unwelcome advanced toward her, and she was sent to a concentration camp as punishment. You never left the king, alive when the war was over the Nazis left, but their impact was felt for decades. The economy had been destroyed. and all over the landscape were physical reminders of the occupation like camps in bunkers the people of the channel.
Islands went from living on the boundary between France and the UK to straddling the line between a painful past and an uncertain future. But few stories illustrate that duality as well as that of the underground hospital. Even on these remote islands, the Nazis seem to be obsessed with building underground structures sometime around one thousand eight hundred and forty two. They begin construction on a series of tunnels and bunkers that would eventually grow to over seventy thousand square feet. This concrete network was designed to serve as a shelter a medical facility and a munitions depot, but creating it came at a steep cost during construction. It said that roughly forty people passed away either from working conditions or accidents on the job. There are also rumours that the Nazis didn't have enough tools to go around, so some of the workers were forced to dig with their bloody hands and that mixture of violence, pain and death, as left people whispering ever since
They say the tunnels are hunted by those lost souls and visitors to the place have claimed to hear screams and footsteps in the distance, as if the events of the past are still playing out here in the present. Clearly, it's a place that has One foot in another time, but amazingly the details of the nazi occupation, aren't the most frightening stories to drift around the islands. In fact, if you know where to look, there are countless tales that offer fresh glimpses of a darker past tragedy and death. It seems have been part of life. There were a very long time its everything you would expect.
considering how many boundary lines are blurred on the channel islands. It shouldn't be a surprise that the one separating the natural and the supernatural is also unfold display and the stories and have come out of that. Duality are absolutely thrilling. on the island of currency. There are still legends of something that sounds and feels very english at its core berries. Far to the west out toward the end of a short peninsula is a small cavern. While its really a cave in reality, its neolithic tomb, that's been there for thousands of years, but all that time, plus the power of the elements and the human imagination have transformed that tomb into a home for ferries and of first. There are stories about it. The most common legend states that if one were to walk toward the back of the tomb, they would find a hole in the back wall just large enough for a groan, adult declaimed through and passed. It is a larger, more spacious chamber. Local still claim that this deeper room contains a tape.
Set for dinner with cups and plates and everything else one might need for a feast. It's the fairy Banquet Hall and it's right there waiting to be explored. The trouble is no one has had the courage to go in there, which begs the question: how does anyone know if the stories are Another story, whispered and Guernsey is that of a monstrous black dog. Again, that's this. Of legend that would fit in right at home to the north in England, showing how portable folklore can be when culture is move from place to place. But the black dog stories on Guernsey Island have their own distinct flavour. Some have explained the black dog stories by claiming that ancient human sacrifices in the ritual burials that went with them left spirits to roam the land and the spirits come out at night off in the form of black dogs. The wonder and hunt in none of these are as frightening as the stories of LE back to the tour. The beasts of the tower it's a story: local to the capital of currency, the city of sing
Peter port long ago the city was like many of its day, surrounded by a fortified wall and at intervals along that wall tall towers were built useful for keeping an eye out for trouble long before it arrived, and one. Then don't right above a hill were heretics in witches were executed long ago. Was the Beauregard Tower for centuries locals who lived in the shadow of that tower claimed to hear terrifying sounds at night chains being dragged across cobbled streets, cries of pain and, of course the unearthly sounds of a monster. Those who found the courage to look out their window for the source of the growls, always reported the same thing and enormous black dog as big as a bear with eyes, glowed red in the darkness, and if the local, legends or true, we know who that bees to really was it's a story that starts way back in the late thirteenth century, when a rich man named Gaultier, Dude Asada used his power and wealth to frame
One of his neighbors for a crime the man didn't commit. It seems that the two men shared a fresh water. Well, although it was located on the South property The neighbour, however, had a legal right through some old agreements with a previous owner to walk onto the South land and fetch water whenever he needed to and being a greedy and controlling man Marcel hated this Of course he tried to offer the neighbour money to end the agreements he tried, refusing him entry, but over the years nothing worked so to solve this problem, Lasalle plotted something darker and no, he didn't begin to plot the man's murder, but he did set the wheels in motion for the author
It is to do it for him. The cell took two of his nice, a silver drinking cups and hid them deep inside one of the bundles of corn stocks in his field, then certain that a search of his home would never locate the cups. He called on the authorities to report a fact that never actually happen and who was the thief. They asked his neighbour. Of course the neighbor was quickly arrested, tried before a jury that was favourable to the wealthy and powerful new cell and then sentenced to death steep. I know, but it was a common punishment at the time for crimes like that and soon enough, the community was preparing for his execution that morning, Lasalle left home to travel to Saint Peter Port, to watch the hanging of his neighbor. You plan to celebrate his victory in only the way, a twisted greedy man really good ass. He was leaving. He made sure that his servants had their instructions for the day include bringing the corn harvest for the winter
a short while later in the cell phone himself, seated in the courtroom, ready to follow the magistrates and prisoner out to the gallows that had been prepared for him. But before the procession could begin, one of LE cells servants burst through the door holding two silver cups high above his head. They are found, he shouted the cops are found. In that moment the magistrates realised the mistake they had made. A quick investigation confirm their suspicions and the south found himself taking his first place at the gallows after his death, the crown claim LE cells land and ever since its been known as Vila Ruah, the village of the king and in the fields, were once formed by his servants, it was said that a large black dog began to appear terrorizing. Anyone who encountered it
Many of those early reports actually described the beast as headless, which might sound frightening. I know, but I can't help wondering how that made it more dangerous without a mouth bite, but that's the beauty of folklore, isn't it there's character and texture and more than a bit of mystery, and sometimes, as is the case with one location on Guernsey, that mystery hides a deadly crime. It was the screams that kept them away. Yes, on the surface, the small little beach known as petty port was a beautiful little patch of sand and gentle waves South Eastern Tipp of Guernsey, but in the early eighteen hundreds locals, avoided it because of the screams they claimed. They could hear down there
They could only be heard at night and naturally, that sort of mystery deserve an explanation. Thankfully, the pages of currencies, history books provide two possibilities and the first involved the man named Richard, do damage who Richard had fled the french revolution, something his wealth and social position allowed him to do to get away. He sailed to Guernsey and purchased a law our house there not too far from the beach in question, and it honestly could have been the view that drew him. Their petty port is They reach a bull by descending, hundreds of steps from the cliffs above and the view from up. There is breathtaking. It said that Richard love taking long walks along those cliffs gazing out at the ocean and his former homeland Beyond one evening, though, as he began one of his long walks, a group of men noticed him and began to follow. They were three brothers from
large family and known in the area as troublemakers. It didn't help the Richard lived and dressed in a way that screamed wealth and privilege, making him an easy target to spot. It said the brother managed to get ahead of Richard, hiding in a spot along the path it was thick with bushes and trees and as the well the new Comer pass through. They attacked and killed him stealing, jewelry and a gold pocket watch burying the body beneath a pile of stones. Of course, friends were worry when Richard failed to return home. One colleague a doctor who had stayed behind in Paris but corresponded with Richard by letter, frequently became so concerned that he started his own investigation, but no clue ever turn up years later, though, while walking through the streets of Paris that doctor claim that he spoke, a gold pocket watch hanging in a jewelry shop after stepping inside he enquired about where it had come from the shop owner.
happy to inform the good doctor that the watch had been sold to him by some men from Guernsey brothers. In fact, the mystery ended with the doktor taking his own trip to the island, contacting the authorities and helping with the arrest of all three of the murderous brothers. Soon after they confessed and the location of Richards body was discovered, allowing for a proper burial in nearby churchyard. And that story some say was the reason behind the nightly screams down near the beach, but others disagree. To them. The answer to the mystery of the screams and groans can only be explained by a story of love and betrayal, and yet another piece of jury a century before the brothers were killing Richard. There was another wealthy family in the area, the museum He lived in the parish of Saint Martin, where they ran and estates and raise their children, including Rachel. now. Rachel had recently become engaged to a young man named John Gordy. I lived on
near by Island of Jersey. It was assumed that once married couple would live together near her parents, but until then he made frequent trips to currency to see her always coming ashore at the beach of petty port The trouble was the moon business Clerk, a young man named gang are had fallen in love with Rachel, had made constant proposals to her, but Rachel and her family politely told him. No. She was engaged to another, of course, and he needed to stop by gay, Ard, refused and because of that, the family terminated his employment One day, not long after Rachel's, fiance John sailed to Guernsey for one of his visits and she left the house to go meet him after waiting in their usual meeting place for far too long, Rachel went home. Disappointed John had never fail to show up before, and it left her feel. Worried the following morning: Rachel's family, let a search of the area, including the beach, to look for signs of Johns arrival hours.
their hunt, a group of children who had joined the effort, shouted for help and everyone converged on the small seaside cave. They were near inside lay the cold dead body of John Rachel upon hearing the news fainted where she stood In the days there followed her family began to talk about the future. John had been a wonderful man, but with his death came the question of who Rachel should marry and although he had been pushed away before the former clerk seemed like a good backup option. Now it came from a wealthy family. He understood their business and adored Rachel, so she gave gay ard a chance. Ass time went on the young clerk did his best to win Rachel's heart. He even gave her and oddly shape necklace, a lovely gift and one that she took to wearing at once. Things were looking up or the unlikely couple, but then
Johns mother came to visit. She had lost her son to tragedy, so maybe visiting Rachel and her family was away of easing that pain, or maybe she came looking for clues to his murder. Never it was that brought her to guarantee that day. She fell into conversation with Rachel and that's when she noticed the necklace. Where did you get that Johns mother demanded from Gay Ard, Rachel replied no, the mother, said that was made by a jeweler near me high By my son, as his gift to you at, words. The legend says the Rachel fainted. Yet again only this time, she never woke up whether frightened to death by the implications or crushed beneath the weight of her own Can heart the revelation of the necklace had come from John pushed her too far and she died as a result. Naturally Rachel's family was furious, had already lost a future son in law and other daughter was gone as well after
during the story from Johns mother about how her death had happened, Rachel's parents were shocked to learn about the necklace, so they confronted guard the young Kirk denied the claims. Of course he had purchased the necklace himself as a gift. Rachel and the accusations were insulting best, but Johns mother refused to be swayed taking the necklace from Rachel's parents, she held it up for gay, Ard and the others to see turning it over. pointed out an odd piece of decoration on the back of the necklace which moved when she pressed it in Lee a hidden door popped open the necklace it seems with something more. It was a locket it an inside was all the proof. The family needed to know the truth. A portrait, a portrait of her dead son, John
there's something attractive about places that sit between two worlds. The tourism of Europe stands as proof of that. Whether through guided tours backpacking trips are those fancy river cruises millions visit Europe each year, just two: variance a bit of the old world tucked in with the new. In a lot of ways, the channel islands really do exist in two worlds right there in the tension between the past and the present between painful tragedy and bucolic hope between the natural and the supernatural, real life is taking place and it always seems to be colorful. Take a recent story from August of nineteen. Ninety that was winning. Employed french nuclear physicist name, Andre Yard arrived on one of the smaller islands Sark with an odd mission. He was there to declare himself Lord now. Sark is tiny compared to its neighbour
Guernsey, in Jersey. In the ninety Ninetys, there were barely more than six hundred people living there again I believe that he was the rightful heir to the island, so he set sail and began his own one man invasion. He carried weapon. of course, a semi automatic among them, but he went I did in what can only be described as an unusually polite manner. He attacked up some posters in town declaring his purpose, and then he marched back and forth in front of the Manor House, where the real Lord of Sark, known as the Senor lived, but apparently all at work, tired, Mr Gay aren't out so after just a couple of hours, he took a seat on a near by bench nets where one of the few constables who worked on the island found him and the two men struck up a conversation. After complementing gay yards semi automatic rifle the invader handed it to the constable. So he could get a better look at it a moment later that constable had tackled the man and the invasion that never really happened was over without bloodshed.
Oh and the weapon Gay Ard plan to use in his invasion. It seems that the authorities of Sark viewed it as an interesting part of their history, they put it where they believe an object of cultural significance truly belonged. They put it in their museum, There is more to the channel islands than tales of monsters and murder. In fact, a lot of its character comes elements that are a lot more ancient and because of that, much more fascinating and there is no better way to explore them. Then, through a story, I've dug up to share with you stick around after this brief sponsor break to hear all about it.
sometimes stuff that inspires the most story. Are those things around us that leave us scratching our heads and on the island of Guernsey there's nothing more mysterious, An unexplainable than all the stone monuments scattered around remember human settlements on the channel islands, especially the big ones like Guernsey Day back thousands of years. And while most of what they built, is gone thanks to the elements and time the more durable pieces are still visible, such ass. The neolithic tomb, that's rumoured, to be a fairy banquet hall that I mentioned a while ago. but there are more stone relics to be seen in boy did they have some stories attached to them their technically called cromlechs. Stones of various sizes that had been stood upright, but there's not much that we know about them today. They might have marked important graves orb served alters, they might have even been used as astronomical tools. We just don't know so, of course,
Lot of legend has flooded in the fill the gaps, because that's what people are good at doing. For example, a common warning, from Guernsey, locals in years past, has been to avoid standing stones. If possible, because if you were near one and saw goblins dancing around it, it was imperative that, u turn and run away, otherwise the goblins would catch you and force you to join them dancing until you died from exhaust back in the MID eighteen. Hundreds one stone was discovered in the field by some farmers with an inscription on it. According to the story, the people were able to translate the ancient character and learned that it bore a message to him who turned me up, I say: is labour won't be thrown away, it sounded to them like an invitation to dig beneath the stone, possibly in search of buried treasure so some of the men got to work. They struggled for hours and hours, of it, but eventually managed to flip the stone over when they did they discover second inscription on its underside
of lying on one side to get turned over I've long tried. I think it's fair to say that the men were pretty upset Clearly, they had been duped by a long dead farmer with a flair for practical jokes, but there's one last story about the stones of Guernsey that won't leave us laughing. If that's, if it's true, I think it gives us more than enough to be afraid of, and it all begins in the parish of Vail on the northeastern corner of the island. They called it love case on a rock that sings. That was because of the sound the stone would make when struck with a hammer ringing out like a church bell. It had been part of life there near castle for as long as anyone could remember it clearly predated european settlers on the island, but just how old it was. No one really knew By the mid eighteen hundreds though, the rock that sings was on private land, in fact it stood in the middle of a field recently purchased by a man named her
and her car shocked everyone else in the community when he announced his plans to build a new home on that land and break the stone into pieces that could be incorporated into the structure. Naturally locals begged him. Not to do it, but there's always that a person in the crowd, who can't seem to see the value in something that is so obviously valuable and her car was that sort of man? even when some predicted misfortune, her car, simply shrugged and carried on with his plans and soon enough, the deed was done. The rock that sings was no more One of the pieces of the stone was used as the lintel of his new house that small piece of frame at the top of a door opening other pieces were incorporated else and eventually the house was finished, but on the day that all of
cards. Belongings were being moved in a fire broke out and spread far too quickly to stop within a few short hours. His entire home was an ashes and a number of his servants were dead. Maybe hooker recognise the misfortune and wondered if his neighbors had been right, what if breaking up the ancient Stone monument the best idea, and now those pieces carried a curse. Smouldering remains of his home, certainly begged for an explanation and. Since no natural cause could be determined its easy to see how he might have wondered.
Whether or not her car was superstitious man. We do know that he was a bit hard up for cash thanks to that fire. So he took some of the remaining pieces of stone and put them on two separate ships bound for England. His hope was that he could sell them there and earn back a bit of money that he lost, but his hopes were pointless on the short voyage to England, both of the ships mysteriously sank, taking the stones with them to the bottom of the gentle and according to the story. That's when Hooker simply gave up his dream of life on Guernsey, you packed up what little he had left and sailed the short distance to another of the channel islands. The tiny island of aldermen. No. I dont know how long he spent there, but it said that he tried building a new home for himself only to have that one burned down as well, and while I can't be certain, I think this new tragedy was the final straw for him. Oh car sales, south once more south to Guernsey. Now here's my assumption so take it with a green assault.
A car had no reason to return to Guernsey, maybe he still owned the land there and wanted to either seller or find a new use for it. Or maybe he finally realised what sort? Of course he had brought upon himself by cutting up the rock that sings. Maybe he thought that he could track down the remaining pieces of the stone like some sort of Indiana Jones Film and put them back where they belong what is certain is that he boarded a ship bound for Guernsey. He lost two homes to mysterious fire, he'd lost too valuable pieces of stone that could have put a bit of coin back into his pocket and he lost the respect of his neighbors and his sense of safety. So he can't have been a happy. Man asked that ship
ass the cold waters of the channel. That day soon enough, though, the northern short of currency was in view on the horizon, but before his hopes could sore before he could sigh with relief and plan his next chapter, a stiff wind pushed hard across the ship, and as it did it, not the piece of rigging those from one of the sales above that rigging could have landed anywhere. But I think we all know where it did. It crashed into the top of hookers head breaking his skull and killing him instantly. Was it the curse of the rock that sings or a wild coincidence, after so many other random tragedies, while it's impossible to know for sure, I think we,
All agree on the larger truth. History is worth holding onto even when its value isn't always clear, because the road ahead of all of us is doomed without one foot in the past. This episode of law was written and produced by me, Erin Main with research by Marcel Crockett and music by Chad. Lawson more is much more than just a pod Ass, though there is a book series available in bookstores in online and two seasons of the television show on Amazon, prime video check them both out You want more lore in your life. I also make an executive produce a whole bunch of other podcast, all of which I think you'd enjoy my production company grim and mild specializes in shows that sit at the intersection of the dark and the historical You can learn more about all of those shows and everything
going on over in one central place, grim and mild that come you can also follow the show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, just search for lore podcast, all one word and then click that follow button. And when you do say hi, I like it when people say hi and as always, thanks for listening.
Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.