« Lore

Episode 94: Hard Rain


Our understanding of the natural world is incredibly advanced compared to our ancestors from a few centuries ago. We have established rules and order to help us frame how everything works. On occasion, though, those rules have been broken, and the results have been absolutely terrifying.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
There's nothing like a good thunderstorm. I say of course, as someone who grew up in the MID West, with a flat landscape and open sky, it was possible to see dark storm clouds role in from a great distance and they always seem to put on Show Charles wasn't born in the MID west like me, but he had a powerful attraction to the net the world if it happened. He wanted to document it and that hunger for knowledge extended to the weather, unusual storms, extraordinary occurrences and unexplainable conditions stories like that made up the bulk of his first non fiction. Work called the book of the damned stories like this one
It seems that a storm blew into the Kansas City, Missouri area, on July, wealth of eighteen. Seventy three, the sky became incredibly dark, the sort of dark that makes you think of apocalyptic movies, and then a torrent of rain was unleashed on the city below rain and frogs living breathing amphibians that fell from the sky and covered the landscape, Charles went on to build a career, you're out of gathering in sharing these extraordinary tales, and while much of the world has forgotten the name Charles Fort, almost everyone has encountered the term for his particular brand of paranormal research. Fourteen, even today, we're still left scratching our heads at the wonders of the natural world. There's so much that we know, and yet, in the grand scheme of things we ve barely scratch the surface Charles Fort documented hundreds of cases of unnatural.
rain, including frogs, but also ants worms and even fish, and while we think we know the true reasons behind them, it doesn't change our fascination with it. All the natural world is a mysterious place. That's why we ve spent thousands of years study in it. The more we know, the less there is to fear at least that's the assumption. The trouble is our thirst for answers has led us into darker territory, where the natural order of things seems to have broken down, and when the rule book is gone, horrible things can happen. I'm Aaron Monkey and this.
Is Lore Albert was one of those people who refuse to fit into a acts. Of course, there was a lot about him that make perfect sense, born Bavaria in the early thirteenth century. He entered the dominican order and began a career in the church which eventually led to him becoming Bishop of Regensburg, but Albertus Magnus, as he would come to be known, also had interests outside the walls of the church at some point in his career. He stumbled upon a reference to a lost work by Aristotle, a catalogue of gems and stones to someone like Albertus, who believe that everything should be studied and written down. This loss of knowledge was tragic, so he set about recreating it on his own. It would be called the book of minerals and he
other his material by travelling all over Germany to visit mines for a first hand, look and how the extraction of gems invaluable or actually worked during one of those two into a german mine. He encountered a rock that completely baffled him. He described it as thin and sharp on one side, almost like an ax, but it's his description of how the rock was formed. That is the most interesting aspect of the story. According to him, this was the type of stone that was black or read in color. That follows from the clouds and splits beams and penetrates walls and is called by the common people, a thunder acts It wasn't a new idea, though six centuries before Albertus, another bishop recorded. A similar observation is a door of Seville, wrote in the early six hundreds about a stone. He called a colossal Petra or literally a tongue rock,
he claimed it fell from the sky during a waning moon and it was said to possess great power magicians. He wrote pose that by means of it, the moon can be made to move. Yet. Another bishop wrote a book about geology in the eleven hundreds Bishop MAR Bode of Wren wrote in his book of stone about Iraq called ceremonious. He claimed it was only found after lightning strikes and that, after falling from the sky like a shooting star, it could be collected and used to protect against future lightning strikes. This idea of a thunder stone that falls from guy wasn't just limited to the european continent. One of the contemporaries of Albertus Magnus was an english writer known as Bartolomeo Anglicans, literally Bartholomew, the Englishman, which is super creative. I know you,
In twelve forty about how these thunder stones were formed. When it thunders horribly, he wrote fire lights, the air when cloud smashed together. This stone falls Over the centuries, more and more of these books of stone were written by scholars. One of the longest was written in the late fourteen hundreds and is still around. Today. It's called the Peterborough lap, a dairy named for the cathedral, it was discovered and its focus is on the magical and medicinal properties of rocks. There is a vast array of fantastical objects written about in this book. Including stones that aid in divination or serve as a protection against witches. Other stones are said to help people speak to the Spirit world, while others give humans power to control demons and tucked inside all, that information is one other stone known ass,
the copyright US copyright is described as a celestial stone that falls to the earth from the heavens above, like other thunder stones throughout history. This rock was said to protect the owner against all sorts of maladies, including misadventure, lustful miss and you guessed it lightning struck together all of these writers and their published works on the nature of stones has left us with over. A thousand years of tales about rocks that fall from the sky is a classic example of how storytelling can be used to explain the parts of our world. They don't seem to fit the known laws of nature earth, air stone and sky. These things are all supposed to stay in their boxes and obey the rules, but the exceptions tell us otherwise. Today
had the benefit of looking back on all those centuries of scholarship with a fresh. I, our tools are more comprehensive and our knowledge more expansive, but deep down we're not much different than Albertus Magnus and his counterparts all those years ago, because just like them were simply looking for the truth.
The world's most deeply strange and unsettling events don't just happen without a reason, something created them formed them in drop them in our laps, so to speak, and that's what makes one particular story so difficult to accept, because if it is true, it's also terrifying, they called it the great island because well, it was big sitting at the mouth Portsmouth harbour were the pathetic, while river divides modern day main from New Hampshire. It was the first thing most travellers would encounter whether you were leaving the area to board a ship east or you were visiting from somewhere else. The great island was on.
edge between the land and the sea. That's where Richard Chamberlain stopped on his way to England in sixteen ninety two. Chamberlain had served as the royal secretary of the colony of New Hampshire for a time but was on his way back to London to report on what he learned there before during a ship for his long transatlantic journey Chamberlain State at the only in on the island. This in slash cavern, was owned and operated by George Walton and was essential to the community taverns. In it nineteenth century were a place where you can get food and drink for sure. But there are also a gathering place for the community courts would be held in local taverns and they served as a nexus for the trade in and out of the area. Spain in Walton Tavern. Wasn't unusual and Chamberlain, never thought twice. about it. On Sunday June, eleventh of sixteen eighty, two chamberlain retired to his room upstairs after a long day of travel
but was woken a short time later. According to his account, which was published in London in one thousand six hundred and ninety eight, he was pulled from sleep around ten p dot m by a loud thumping sound on the outside of it. in structure. Unsure of what might have caused such a thunderous noise, he climbed out of his bed and wander down to the main room below where he was startled, defined Walton and some of his family gathered at the open front door of the tavern. They were looking out into the darkness, whispering among themselves when Chamberlain, approached and asked what all the noise
about the answer. Walton gave him was almost as surprising as the noise, the tavern he was told, had been pummelled by a shower of stones, Chamberlain stepped forward and peered out through the open door to see for himself and sure enough. The ground outside was littered with rocks, most of them as large as fists. All of the people gathered there at the door made the same assumption. Someone or a group of someone's was tossing stones app having as they were talking about it, though to more stones, fell inside the room. Chamberlain saw it happened with his own eyes and said they seemed to fall the direction of the ceiling rather than a window or the open door. Still that didn't make sense, so they did what logic told them to do that
closed, the door if the stones were being thrown at them from the outside. Shutting the door would put an end to the prank, but I didn't in fact it seemed get worse. Stones smash through a couple of the windows and fell to the floor. Others seem to appear from nowhere and knock objects off of shelves to candlesticks toppled off one of the nearby tables, as did a large pewter tankard. Everyone would turn toward a new sound and, as their eyes were taking the damage. Another sound would catch their attention from me. and over and over again they did this strange dance chasing the unexplainable action around the room at some point, the Chamberlain convinced Walton and the others to be more scientific about. It all began to gather the stones and place them on a near by table and noticed that, as he did, that each of them were hot to the touch as if they had recently come out of a fire after a few
hours of constantly dodging the stones and then gathering them up. Chamberlain decided to call it quits and return to bed but running away, wasn't going to spare him from the insanity just as he was drifting off to sleep for the second time that night, a fresh round of thumping rattled the sight of a tavern. two Chamberlain. It sounded as if the new attacks were being aimed directly at his own room a moment later, a stone that would later proved away over eight pounds, crashed against the door of his room so hard that it forced it open. alarmed by the noise Walton and the others rushed up stairs to check on their guest. The stones eventually stop falling on and in the building that night, but the next few days prove to be just as chaotic More stones fell on Monday and Tuesday, but then took a break until Sir today when it resumed at full strength. Stones were
in following on farmers outside and at one point, George Walton himself was pummelled, so severe He said that he received injuries that would plague him for the rest of his life. In the weeks, then he stay At the tavern, while waiting for his ship to arrive, Chamberlain recorded, more and more showers of stones, sometimes as heavy as thirty pounds. It wasn't the only official witness to the events, though other guests at the tavern included Walter Clark, that deputy governor of Rhode Island and a royal customs officer named Edward Randolph, both of whom attested to truth, a Richards testimony. Despite the numerous witnesses, though, the events in and around the tavern continue to defy explanation where they being thrown by a group of prank, stirs with incredibly strong arms, or was it all a hoax put on by George Walton himself? The only thing they knew for sure was that they didn't know anything at all, and that was the most frustrating part
control. What you can't understand and the constant shower of rocks on the area around the tavern was leaving every one feeling powerless and afraid, but all of that was about to change. You see. George Walton had an idea and he wanted to tested out if he was wrong. No harm no foul. If he was right, though, and they had a bigger problem on their hands, witchcraft. It was a hunch really. I mean the House was George Walton planning to explain it. Stones, captain.
raining down on him whether he was outside of his tavern in the fields or safely behind closed doors. It was clearly supernatural, and so he wanted to get to the bottom of it, and that began with an expert meant George and his wife Alice began assembling, but was known as a witch bottle. It was a device of counter magic, a sort of protective warn against the evil powers of which it involved cooking. A handful of bent pins inside a pot of boiling. urine and then pouring the mixture into a small glass bottle to be placed beneath the hearth of their home, except they never got to finish it. The first. Was ruined when a stone flew down the chimney and spilled the part they were using. The second batch was struck by another stone this time. Breaking the handle off and spilling the urine
Their third attempt failed when yet another stone came down the chimney and shattered the pot spilling the mixture of everywhere, but the wantons. This was confirmation, clearly a powerful which was at work and they were trying their hardest to prevent resolution and George knew exactly who that which was too it was his Labour Hannah Jones Hannah was the elderly widow that lived on the property directly next door to the Walton Tavern separated by a strip of Marshal as everyone knew her mother Jane Walter had been accused of being a witch back in the sixteenth fifties, something that plagued her for years. In fact, Waterford had been tried three separate times by the people of great island, but each time it happened. The court's ruled in her favour,
As an aside, I want to add some non essential details here. Not only did Jane Waterford defeat, the accusations of her neighbours, but she also counter sued a number of them for slander and she one maybe it help at the wall frauds were one of the biggest families on the island, or maybe she was just very good at taking her opponents down either way she rolled right over them each and every time, and I love that about her. Her daughter Hannah had lived with that reputation, her entire life, so it's no wonder. George Walton cast his net wide enough to reach her property next door, but even though her families connection to witchcraft was at the top of his list, Walton had another reason to dislike. Hannah Jones
turns out. The two of them had been in the middle of a property dispute for thirty years that strip of marshland between wantons property and that of Hannah Jones had originally belong to Hannah's husband, but Walton had this habit of staking claim to land. He didn't own. building a house on it and then suing his neighbors were possession in sixteen fifty two He tried suing Hannah's husband, but lost and Walton was or to remove his fence at hand the land back over Walton refused and for the next three decades the neighbors went to court over and over again each time ending with the defeat of joy Walton at one point, Hannah went into the area between their homes and too. down a section of Walton spent, so her cows could grace in the marshland. Attentions grew often on this way for years, without far reaching a compromise or resolution now, maybe the courts were just sick and tired of Walton Refusal to
Judge or maybe a new generation of judges had afresh take on the situation neither way in one thousand five hundred and sixty Walton, was awarded the land, but only if he paid Hannah for it. It was a court, ordered sale and it sent- and he was bitter about that. So too was Hannah Jones on Friday August, third of one thousand, six hundred and eighty to the gate, to the fence that separated Walton's land another neighbour John Amazon mysteriously fell off. Amazon said it fell off so loudly that he heard it from inside his house as if someone had fired a big gun. The following day, Walton led some farm hands out to repair the gate and discovered that the damage was more extensive than they had realized. Portions of the fence that divided his land from Hannah's had also been torn, and furious Walton and his men got to work on the repairs, but one
doing so a shower of stones fell from the sky pelting them they ran for cover, but the stones followed them. There must have been a break in the mysterious rain for a little while, though, because at some point the men headed back out to finish the repairs, while other servants begin work in the nearby fields. Soon enough, though rain returned, the damage was extensive. Stones fell with such force that at least three of the sickles used by the servants were broken. One woman was struck nearly ten times by the following rocks while others were injured as well. I get the feeling they bravely plugged away at their work, but I engine. It was painfully slow over the next couple of weeks. The insight says of the stone showers became less and less frequent by Lady ass. They had slipped into the biggest lull sensitive all begun, and it seemed as if the worst was over Walton accusations of witchcraft.
TED landed Hannah Jones in court and his fence was repaired. I think old George was feeling pretty good about himself at that moment, but pride comes before the fall: the fall of stones, that is in September, George saddled his horse and made his way to the fairy so that he can cross the river and attend the Portsmouth councils. Hearing on the witchcraft case, he had been smiling, maybe even humming really gotten her, the old, which was going to hang that's when one final shower of stones descended upon him. He continued through it writing as fast as he could, with the reign of rocks, followed him. One of the stones was so large that it struck his head and split his scalp open, covering his face with a wash of thick blood. I'm sure it hurt, but for a man about this step into the court room and
all his neighbour, a which it was also a bit of fortuitous physical evidence. Much like his fence, though, everything fell apart for George Walton. That day, he entered. The hearing showed the examiners, his split skull and bloody face and explained what had happened and they shot him down. Hannah Jones never went to trial and George Walton went home, frustrated and beaten it. Never rain. Stones on great island again
I think the story of the stone showers of great island is a powerful example of tales that play with our expectations. We expect George Walton to be the victim and for Hannah Jones, his antagonist to finally get what's coming to her, but that mould is shattered by the storing context. It turns out that George Walton was, as the historian Emerson. Baker calls him the neighbour from Hell he was Quaker, in the middle of a puritan community, something that have been seen as a hindrance to the remission of religious purity and he as highly litigious to taking countless people to court over thing see honestly had no claim to, This was a guy who was so upset when public roads crossed a portion of his land that he would dig holes in them to make them unusable. He stole from his neighbors and Odin
large amounts of money to dozens of people on the island and when he wanted town owned com, And land he would just build a house on it and then take the town to court. He was a stone in the shoe of everyone on great island history. At the basic level, is the story of people and events within a larger context. We can talk about the American Revolution without discussing colonial taxation or were too with world war, one everything is connected, no story happens in a vacuum, most What we know today about the events on great island in sixteen eighty to come to us from that observant, Guest Richard Chamberlain, Sixteen years after it all happened, he published a short booklet about it and shared the story with the people of London, but it's him to understand who that audience was by sixteen ninety eight. For decades, the vast majority
people in England were united in their stance against witchcraft. That's why people like the self appointed which find her General Matthew Hopkins, was able to travel the countryside and execute alleged witches with such ease in the middle of the seventeenth century. That was just the accepted norm, but by the sixteen nineties, all of that had changed. The witch hunt, craze was dying, monster sure it kicked and screamed from time to time by early 1700s. It was cold and dead. The seventeen sixteen executions of Mary Hicks and her nine year old daughter Elizabeth, were the last in England and the witchcraft active one thousand. Seven hundred and thirty five put an end to the criminality of traditional witchcraft, sell rich Chamberlain his passionate as he was about the diabolical subject. Elitha Bolgia, the stone throwing devil was preaching to a very disinterested audience.
Maybe he was trying to renew that old hatred, or perhaps he was just a grifter, hoping to make a little money, often dying market, either way. Few people were listening, a word did spread Many months after the great island events, stones fell on a Emily in Hartford Connecticut a decade later. The community in Gloucester experience their own episode of falling rocks. And in the summer of sixteen ninety two, a woman. Sarah coal was accused of using witchcraft shower stones down on the brown family in the town. Lynn call was mobbed with accusations, after that name blame her for everything from illness and supernatural sounds to balls of fire and mysterious animal sightings. As a result, a warrant was issued require her to be examined by the authorities after she was arrested. They transported hurt,
to a new England community that was still in awe of the power of witchcraft, still entangled in its own feverish embrace a community, but I'm sure you ve heard of before the Massachusetts town of Salem. I hope you enjoy this exploration of Lithuania and the events of great island in sixteen eighty two, but there's so much more to explore in fact Stones have held a magical power over us for a lot longer than you think, and one of my favorite examples of this dates back to our old friend Albertus Magnus and an amazing scullery he made I'll tell you all about it. After this short sponsor break.
as and at the top of the episode Albertus Magnus was an industrious and hands on scholar, rather than just building a new book about gems and minerals. By talking with other scholars, he chose, the travel to various local mines seen his subject first hand in its natural elements, gave him a unique perspective on the world. The rocks once as the store, goes Albertus, was inside one of those minds when his escort handed him a large egg shape stone and pointed to a crack along one side, whether the next step, presented to him by the minor or an invention of his own. We don't know, but Albert Displaced, the stone down, took a hammer and then struck it with enough force to break it. Clean the open
inside he was amazed to see the outline of an animal. Its body was curled up the fit the shape of the stone, but Albertus could clearly see the curve of its spine and the long elegant bend of its wings together with feet that he described as shaped like those of a foul it struck. The scholar as very bird like this bird was much larger than he would have expected and never details on the skull that didn't fit his understanding of newborn chicks. In fact, he thought of it as a month. But how it managed to find its way inside Iraq was a mystery to him. The best explanation he could offer was that some life force in the earth had generated life inside a lifeless stone trapped inside the creature clearly died before it could live, and then reverted back to this
it had come from looking back with our modern understanding of the natural world, its clear that Albertus had discovered a fossil, but some lack the understanding to put the pieces together, but that's not the most amazing part of this story, because if his description is any indication, the fossil was definitely not that of a bird. It was a diet For this purpose, the floor was written and produced by me Aaron Monkey, with research by Karl Nellis and music by Chad. Lawson you can find Chad on Spotify by searching Chad, Lawson and kicking back and enjoy. I make another point
It's called errand monkeys, cabinet of curiosities and I think you'd really enjoy it. It's a twice weekly podcast that explore some of the most bizarre events, objects and people in history. Each ten minute episode is a bite, size collection of two short stories that show you just how unex. Annabelle our world really is more exists. Outside of this pine cast to there's a book series, from penguin Random House that's available in bookstores around the country and online and the third book in the series comes out on October night, was an Amazon Prime TV show with a second season preparing on October nineteenth, and you should check them both out. If you want a little bit more lore in your life and you can always learn about Everything going on new and upcoming over in one central place: thou world of more dont come slash now: o n hey. If you're a social media sort of person, lore is
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.