The Black Eyed Man

In 1972, the retired Vicar of Chidick, in the west county of Dorset, England, apparently came to Loch Ness to ‘exorcise’ the Loch Ness Monster. Reverend Donald Omand, a doctor of philosophy, and a man rather bizarrely said to have been held in particular high ‘esteem by circus people throughout Europe,’  for his ‘Ability to spiritually de-louse potentially dangerous places such as big tops, and wild animals,’ according to paranormal researcher Ted Holiday, arrived at Loch Ness to rid the Lake of the infamous giant water-monster, and the BBC came along to record it on film for posterity.

On the shores of the Lake, the Vicar, dressed in his ecclesiastical robes, entered a small rowing boat alone and rowed out to the middle of the cold water of Loch Ness. Once he reached a spot in the middle of the Lake, the vicar promptly stood up in the rowing boat and began his exorcism: “Let devil worship and all nefarious magic cease!” he said in a loud voice. The BBC reporter commentates; “It’s a strange mission indeed that’s brought the Reverend Omand on a 700-mile journey from his west-country home to the shores of Loch Ness. Dr. Omand, just retired as a Vicar of Chiddick, has an appointment with the monster. It’s a coming together the 71-year old Doctor of Philosophy doesn’t expect Nessie to particularly enjoy; because Dr. Omand is here to get the monster to change its ways. Many men would shrink from such an assignment – after all, monsters might be expected to give short shrift to elderly vicars who come along interfering in their business. However, Dr. Omand, his canonicals fanned by the breeze, seems to have no qualms as he heads for the centre of the Loch. It’s there he will perform the ceremony which he confidently expects will mark the end of a million years of monstrous behaviour.

The vicar says, “I adjure thee, thou ancient serpent….”

Says the BBC reporter; “The Vicar’s theory is that the Loch Ness Monster is not a pre-historic beast that somehow slipped through the evolutionary net and lived on in the vast depths of the Loch. He maintains that Nessie is an apparition: a spirit, and an evil one at that; so much so that it’s having a bad effect on the locals, driving them to drink, foul tempers and black magic. It’s a ceremony the Vicar has performed on many occasions in other haunted spots and now Dr Omand is exorcising Loch Ness of the evil spirit of the Monster.”

The Vicar continues; “Depart to the place appointed them, there to remain forever.” The Vicar is standing precariously in the small rowing boat. “Grant that by the power entrusted to the unworthy servant, this Highland Loch and all land adjoining it may be delivered from all evil spirits, all vain imaginations, projections and phantasms, and all the deceits of the evil one. Be gone thou hideous demon, unto thine appointed place and return no more to plague the servants of almighty God.”

With the exorcism now complete, the vicar sits back down in the rowing boat and rows back to shore where the BBC awaited his safe return. When the reporter asks him what does he think the monster is? He replies, “I think it is something that thousands or even millions of years ago was in this place. I think it was possibly what we knew in those days as a Dragon. The Dragon, which really of course is the Devil – it means that. You may not know that in Sweden there is a lake that was just as famous as Loch Ness, for its monster. I’ve been there and I’ve also seen it in a Fjord in the North of Norway. And, in both these places, I have found that it has an injurious effect upon people – people who see it, people who live near it, people particularly who go searching for it. I’ve known one very bad case of turning to drugs, numerous cases of alcoholism, and I have known marriages broken in the most unexpected ways – marriages that had stood the test of time, broke after this. It seems a terrific coincidence that these things should have happened in people who were closely associated with the spectre of the monster or whatever we like to call it.”

Of his Loch Ness Monster exorcism, he says, “I believe it is a success – as through my Highland mother I get a certain sense of things, and when I performed the exorcism, I had that feeling of weakness which almost invariably goes with success in exorcisms.”

Actually, it would seem that this exorcism filmed by the BBC was in fact a re-enactment or a repeat of the exorcism which it appears was actually carried out a couple of days earlier, in the presence of paranormal researcher Ted Holiday and a Captain, called A. Artus, a serving artillery officer.  

Researcher Ted Holiday had become fascinated by the earliest reports of the Loch Ness Monster in the 1930’s, and he was so captivated by them that he would go on to devote the rest of his life to investigating Nessie, as a member of ‘The Loch Ness Investigation Bureau.’ He spent hundreds of hours at the Loch, attempting to spot the monster and he claimed to have had 4 separate sightings of it. He also said rather cryptically, “I was involved in a peculiar incident that could easily have drowned two of us in the loch.” 

A little like Reverend Omand, Holiday also believed in Dragons and he even believed there could be the relationship between ancient dragons and the modern UFO phenomena! At their first exorcism, with Holiday and Reverend Omand, prior to the BBC’s arrival, Holiday describes how, ‘A chill wind blew up Loch Ness and cast two-foot waves onto the beach. Omand asked us to kneel, one by one, for a protective ceremony. This consisted of a brief benediction followed by the application of holy water in the form of a cross to the foreheads of the participants.’ Then, the Reverend rowed them all out to the centre of the Lake.

There, above the 700 feet depths of the Loch, Holiday says, ‘I expected the appearance of the monster – or something much worse – coming up under the boat.’ What could be worse than the monster itself! That did not happen, fortunately for them, but Holiday also claims to have had some other very strange incidents happen to him at Loch Ness, after the exorcism; and the final incident that happened to him seems sinisterly to have been an omen to his subsequent sudden death, which happened shortly after.  His final encounter, with something not of this world, apparently seemed to be the climax of events leading up to his death. The strange sequence of events, he said, began on Saturday 2nd June 1973, when Holiday accompanied Reverend Omand to the exorcism of the Loch Ness monster. Three days after the exorcism ceremony, according to both Ted Holiday’s own book, ‘The Gobblin Universe,’ and the ‘loch ness monster blog,’ Holiday was at the farmhouse of his friends, Mr Cary, a Wing Commander, and his wife Mrs Cary. It was evening time, and the group were sitting in the lounge chatting when suddenly the wind outside whipped into a frenzy so extreme that it felt as though a tornado was assaulting the farmhouse, with violent lashings, crashing, thumps and bangs. It was terrifying and most unexpected – because Britain does not really ever have anything like tornados and hurricanes and yet this is what it was. The noise was deafening and the violence of the wind was terrifying.

Holiday said, ‘There was a tremendous rushing sound outside the windows, and what looked like a whirl mass of dark smoke appeared.’ Inside the house, ‘A series of heavy thuds shook the walls and for an instant I thought the corner of the house was collapsing. A rosebush outside the window seemed to be trying to tear itself out of the ground.’ 

Accompanied by this extreme phenomenon, Ted also claimed he saw a ‘pyramid–shaped column of bluish smoke’ the height of which he estimated to be 8 feet, ‘revolving in a frenzy’ until a few seconds later, it abruptly ended. The account of Mrs Winifred Cary, the owner of the farmhouse, was that “Suddenly there were terrific crashes just outside the window by the front door as if something was hurling itself at the door. I got the impression there was something at the window although I didn’t see exactly what it was. I saw a beam of white light that shot across the room from the window on my left. It gave us an awful fright. I said to my husband, “What was that?” He said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.  I never heard a thing.”

The beam of bright white light that had suddenly appeared seemed to be covering Ted’s forehead. It was shining on his forehead and the origin of the light was coming from outside the window he was sitting close to. ‘The area where the light became visible to Mrs Cary was where the holy water had been applied during the protective rite (the exorcism) said Holiday. ‘Incredibly strangely, although Mrs Cary and Ted had felt themselves to be in this vortex of the most tremendously violent storm, the like of which they had never experienced in their lives; Mrs Cary’s husband Basil said he saw, heard, and felt none of it!

The following night, said Holiday, there was ‘distinct knocking on doors for which no cause could be found.’ It did not end there. Much in shock from the strangeness of the last couple of nights, the next morning it got even weirder. Holiday recalls it in ‘Goblin Universe,’ which was actually published after his untimely death; ‘Before breakfast, I decided to step to the caravan to collect some oddments from my suitcase. As I turned the corner of the house, I stopped involuntarily. Across the grass at the top of the slope leading down to Loch Ness, at which the caravan was, stood a figure. It was a man dressed entirely in black. Unlike other walkers who sometimes pause along here to admire the panorama of Loch Ness, this one had his back to the Loch and was staring at me, fixedly, as soon as I turned the corner.’ Ted did not know quite what to make of this. ‘To all appearances, he was waiting for me. We were about thirty yards apart, and for several seconds I just stared back wondering who the hell this was.’

Ted was befuddled by this strange character. ‘I felt a strange sensation of malevolence, cold, passionless. I walked forward warily, never taking my eyes off the figure. He was about 6 feet tall and appeared to be dressed in black. He wore a helmet and gloves and was masked – even the nose, mouth and chin. His eyes were covered in goggles but on closer approach I could not detect eyes behind the lenses. The figure remained motionless as I approached. It didn’t speak and I could hear no breathing.’ It was as though it was not human.

‘I drew level and hesitated, uncertain what to do next, then walked past at a range of a yard. I stopped a few feet beyond him and gazed down for perhaps 10 seconds. Something in the figure seemed abnormal and I felt the need to test whether it was real. I started to turn. As I was turning my head, I heard a curious whispering sound and I swung round.’ The figure had vanished entirely, as though instantaneously. ‘In two steps I was on the road. There was about half a mile of empty wide road visible to the right and about 100 yards to the left. No living person could have gotten out so quick. Yet he had gone. I told no-one about this for months – as it seemed logically impossible.’

Holiday suffered a heart attack at the Loch a year later very near the exact spot he had encountered this darkly-dressed, sinister, eye-less and breathless in-human stranger. Another heart attack after this finished him off. Then, not long after Holiday’s death, the co-author of Holiday’s book, another researcher called Randall Pugh, destroyed the manuscript he was working on for his own latest book and walked away from the subject entirely, declaring it was “too frightening to talk about.” He refused to say any more than that.

When Monsters come to Life