SALT LAKE CITY'S PHANTOM LADIES AS ENCOUNTERED BY STEWART LENNOX III OF KENDAL, CUMBRIA, UNITED KINGDOM.
I, Stewart Lennox III, do hereby swear that these events are true and factual. On the 19th of March, last year at around 10:10 p.m. I was taking respite on my front porch. My home is in the area of 300 south and 900 east, Salt Lake City, Utah. The night was chilly, but not freezing and there was snow cover on the ground from a recent storm. The sky was completely filled with thick, light grey clouds, which reflected the city's lights back down and which, with the snow, created a relatively bright night. Visibility was good. Suddenly I noticed a large black wasp alight on the porch railing about three feet from where I was sitting. I was so caught up in my own thoughts that for the first few seconds I didn't realize the unlikelihood of what I was witnessing. My first thought concerning the wasp was, "That's peculiar. It's a bit early in the season for wasps." Slowly I began to appreciate just how peculiar this was. It was indeed very early in the season for wasps and this wasp was very active— not at all slowed like one would expect an insect to be in such temperatures. On closer examination I found the wasp to be excessively large and completely black with particularly long wings and a large angular head. I had never seen or heard of such a wasp in the Great Basin area of North America. In fact, I had never seen or heard of such a wasp anywhere. I was perplexed but at the same time, filled with an indescribable excitement. Could this be an undiscovered, undocumented wasp? I knelt in for an even closer examination and the wasp took flight, disappearing into the night. A strong smell akin to soured milk filled the air. I took it to be the unwholesome aroma of The Great Salt Lake and it was most unpleasant. I returned indoors and wrote in my journal of the experience.
As March turned into April and spring, I began to see more and more of these wasps more and more often. I scoured books and the internet in the hopes of finding some information, an explanation. In truth, I was hoping not to find documentation of these beauties. I wanted to claim them as my own. I searched high and low. There was nothing to be found that would account for them. I was soon to discover why.
In the evening hours of May 2, while it was still quite light out, I was in my back garden engaged in some light yard work. I began to hear a buzzing sound interspersed with an electric crackle akin to static electricity. Very quickly the garden filled with these wasps.
I could see that many of the wasps were coming from a particular back corner of the garden, from behind a neatly stacked and partly overgrown pile of old concrete blocks. I slowly and carefully made my way to that corner and peered behind the overgrowth that covered it. What I saw shocked me to the core! Built in among the concrete blocks was a large paper wasps nest from which were emerging many, many gigantic black wasp. I just shouted, "NO! No. You are not social wasps! You do not live together in nests." This, of course, had no effect in convincing the wasps that what they were doing was wrong. I was completely at a loss. I felt no fear. I felt blank.
As the light dimmed into night, I was utterly unprepared for the greatest shock of my life. While I stood there in silence staring back towards the garden I witnessed what appeared to be large cylindrical puffs of smoke shooting up from the ground and glide off around the corner of the house. I crept forward for a closer look. I swear by all that is good and true that these wasps would land upon the ground, pop like popcorn into a puff of smoke, and rise into 6 foot tall pillars. From this they would quickly morph into human form —into woman form— into SCARY woman form. Best described as PURITYRANICAL VICTORIAN NIGHTMARE LADIES, they wore entirely black shiny silk dresses from which only the head and hands emerged. I'd guess the costume would be from the 1860s. The shoulders were enhanced giving the slight impression of wings or of medieval armour and the skirts of the dresses dragged just along the ground and judging by the way the ladies glided, the feet of these phantoms could not have been touching it. Each woman had ink black hair, which was tightly and violently pulled back into buns. They very much looked like they'd crawled straight out of a 19th century photograph of the Mormon Women's Relief Society or some such charitable organization of that time period. Their skin was pasty and grayish and appeared as though it would be water soluble. Their fingers were long, bony, and a bit yellowed. They were also constantly twitching. The thin lips were parted slightly (to allow for mouth breathing I suppose) and were pulled tightly back over what appeared to be baby teeth. The ears turned independent of the head or of each other and I'm sure could pick up on the slightest bat squeak of sound.
It was their eyes which were most upsetting. They could immobilize a soul and pin it into place like an insect to cardboard. I'm convinced the ladies could see me though they did not seem to notice me – or at least not to care that I was in their midst. Their eyes were grayed out with the iris barely discernable. It looked like an old photograph where the sitter moved their eyes during the long exposure. The eyes also seemed to be illuminated from within by a dim, unnerving glow. The spooks were accompanied by the hiss sound of a leaking tire with the aforementioned static electricity crackle. They were also responsible for that vile smell of soured milk.
Needless to say, I was paralyzed with fear. I was able only to breathe in short, shallow gasps and watch the proceedings. The anxiety I felt was extreme. I could not get my head around this. I did not want to get my head around this. The wasp ladies would complete their transformation, form rows three abreast, and waft off into the city to do who-knows-what. When the final hellish trio glided away, I was at last able to break out of my paralysis and make a dash into the house. The doors and windows were promptly locked and bolted and I buried myself under a pile of blankets and clothing at the back of my closet. I was not to see the outside world for nearly a week.
At last it occurred to me that if the phantom ladies had wanted to eat me or destroy me, they would already have carried out the task. I also realized that locked doors and a pile of blankets provided no protection whatsoever from the paranormal likes of this spectral relief society from hell. A gargantuan boredom paired with extreme exasperation at subsisting on only pumpkin seeds and manky old tofu drove me from my fortress. My initial impulse was to seek help—most probably of a religious nature—an exorcism, or a casting-out of demons. Then, as I was perusing the sage smudge sticks at a near-by new-age retail establishment, I decided that it was in my best interest not to tell anybody at all of what I had experienced. After all, not one of my neighbors seemed to notice the wasps or the specters—and I'd observed a group of unkempt student types playing the hacky sac while one of these sisters of Satan attempted to join in. The young riff raff had no idea what was enthusiastically flapping up her skirts and chasing the sac around their circle. It was clear they could not see her.
I determined that upon the subject I would remain as silent as the grave. The phantoms appeared with regularity and seemed surprisingly intelligent—mischievous even, with a genuine sense of humor judging by the designs they left in the freshly poured concrete of a neighbor's new driveway. The hacky sac brigade was stuck with the blame for that one. As the months passed, my fear of these creatures eased and developed into rather a fondness for them. It became the awe and respect one might feel for crocodiles, fascinating and beautiful at a safe distance, but you wouldn't want to roll around in their puddle.
I once observed the neighborhood stray cat-thing (which appears to be half cat, half rabbit) rub affectionately up against the skirt of one of these ladies, and noticed dogs seeming to steer clear when in their proximity. Also, very small children appear aware of the creatures, or at least will follow their movement with their eyes. From this I gather these ladies are in fact real and that I am not the only living soul clued-in on their existence.
Such a secret as this cannot be kept and I am now of the opinion that to share it with a chosen few is the most satisfactory action to take. myspace.com/theinversiontrawler