42. The Phantom Ape
Apologies that last week's installment of the weird and sinister went missing... the author decided to go in search of a phantom ape, but never returned... so, in the style of 'Blair Witch' we bring you his notes for another episode of the bizarre and the obscure.
The story revolves around a Mr Ward, a Hampstead man who during the early 1900s went to Sumatra on an expedition through the sweaty jungles. Whilst there he shot a pig-tailed macaque, and was cursed by the woman who owned it. Local rumour was rife that the woman was a sorceress. Shortly after, Mr Ward was attacked and mauled by a tiger and was then stung by an insect, causing him so much pain that he returned to his London home.
After a few days Mr Ward began to be tormented by a sinister apparition, that of a ghostly primate which prowled into his room and leered at him every night. Friends of Mr Ward suggested that he may have been suffering from a fever and hallucinating, but after several terrifying encounters with the spectral ape, a close friend and a priest stood guard. One night around 1am, Mr Ward screamed in horror and was found unconscious in his room. The priest crossed himself, despite the friend not seeing a thing.
"You do believe me now don't you?" asked the shivering Mr Ward after coming round.
"Something very terrible was in the room," the priest exclaimed. "I saw it very distinctly. It was simian just like you described it, Mr Ward, and very diabolocal. It vanished as soon as I prayed. It won't trouble you again."
After the mystifying and eerie encounter Mr Ward recovered, and was never plagued again by such a creature.
Photo courtesy of gruntzooki's Flickr photostream.