In the last couple years I made quite a few witch-jars to decorate with, and I loved them as a light source, but I wanted to adapt them into something new. A monster that served as its own light-source, which led me to the idea of the bog-lights.
Will~o~the~wisps are a well known phenomena in folklore, eerie inexplicable lights seen in inhospitable locations like marshes and cemeteries. I wanted to imagine what they might look like up close, what they might actually be. I'm not entirely happy with how they came out, so I might iterate on them next year, but I am satisfied that I did get off my butt and make them in time for Hallowe'en!
Our group, a fairly jocular assembly of students, researchers, and scientists from the campus of Winchester University in San Locura California, took an interest in the subject because we felt that the usual explanations for the phenomena were insufficient. We also pursued the subject as a lark, most of us being members of the infamous “Rictus Club”, an informal society of like-minded deviants interested in the subversion of the rather banal traditions of campus life. The, so-called, “bog-light” seemed a perfect subject for us, given our predilection for nonsense and snipe hunts. We arranged the expedition, more as a pleasant autumnal camping trip than anything else.
It was the last night of our sojourn into rustic America, and my compatriots had departed already, some by car, others on flights from the local airfield. The cars being full, and I suffering a horror of flying, booked a trip by train for the following morning, which left me a night alone in the small backwater town, with the appropriate of monicker, “Trainsong”.
There was not much to do in Trainsong, and having adopted the habit of taking a long evening constitutional, I set off down one of the winding country roads out of town. It was an agreeably cool and clear autumn evening, and I had gone some way, when I approached a copse of trees, which appeared to bound an abandoned dwelling, near a stretch of bog.
I came upon the bog-lights. I will admit, that I am no more certain now, than I was before encountering them up-close, as to what exactly they were, except that I can attest that they are not self-igniting swamp gasses.
My first impression was that they were some sort of vegetable growth, perhaps a symbiotic culture of mosses, vines, and luminescent fungus. But then, they appeared to have almost recognizable features, faces or an approximation of a face, grinning or leering out of the darkness. It was as if they had grown to vaguely resemble a human being, via some sort of beneficial evolutionary trait. But why? Many plants have been known to develop lures for certain animal species, in order to spread their pollen, or in the case of carnivorous species, to devour them...
Excerpt from the diary of John Stahl
…which lead inevitably to my next speculation: that they may actually have been composed of dead bodies, lured to that desolate location and then, overgrown, absorbed, composted, by the living plant matter. This seemed to be borne out by the litter of bottles and other rubbish woven into their… bodies. On one or two, I could distinctly call out the features of a degraded human skull, and it was at this point that I decided to flee the scene. A sensation of panic had slowly crept up my spine, and I admit that I fled that place immediately. They seemed to be watching me.
And it was that revelation that had urged me to flee: their seeming consciousness of my presence, that eerie impression of dumb hunger. A plant has such limited apparatus of sensation, let alone thought, but these… things… seemed almost cognizant! The leering expressions wrought on those mockeries of a human visage. I felt an overpowering sense of malignancy! It’s virtually impossible to broach the subject in scientific circles, but I swear I doubted, almost instinctively, whether these bog-lights were a “natural phenomenon” at all.
My director was good enough to take some footage of the haunt, and we're planning on editing it together into a short video of all this in action. Look for it!