Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ghost Story #5: Le Nain Rouge or a Mere Rogue Spirit?

The Detroit Free Press, October 11, 1872

Synchronicity should never be dismissed as face value happenstance nor irony as anything but a working cog of the great Karmic machine. The fact that I re-found this article on the eve of the Marche du Nain Rouge is proof of that sentiment.

The legend of The Nain Rouge, a mythic and grotesque harbinger of tragic events, dates back to the days of Cadillac and some 300+ years of Detroit history. To re-hash the legend and the historical consequences of his appearances would be a greater tragedy than the catastrophes that followed the purported sightings of this gnomish devil, The Red Dwarf.

Instead, I'll try to add to the allure and mystery of an enduring and endearing folklore with a short addendum in the mythos, though minus a MacGuffin it sadly falls short.

Jane Dacy of East Elizabeth Street was at home performing errands on a Wednesday night in October of 1872 when she entered a dark room and saw what the Free Press describes as a ghost. However, the description of "blood-red eyes, long teeth and rattling hoofs" sounds more akin to the famed Nain Rouge. The fright of seeing the creature caused Dacy to faint and become bed-ridden the next day.

Even though I morbidly wished for some tragic event in the days after the sighting--it's not like I can change the past-- there were none to be found. Outside of the typical murders, assaults and the fact that a nearby suburban village, Farmington, nearly burnt to the ground the previous night, I can find no local disasters, tragedies or weather events that occurred to further support the legend. Though it should be noted that he has appeared before only to menace some unlucky person and not primarily to precede a cataclysmic event.

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