Thursday, February 16, 2017

Real Paranormal Experiences: The Legend of Wizard Clip by SpookyLady InSanDiego

When I was a little girl, my family in West Virginia would take me to Wizard Clip where we’d pick “field diamonds” from the soil (more on those below). Though there are various versions of the story the one I tell below is the one I’ve heard since I was a child. It’s been called “one of the most wonderful manifestations of God’s benevolence during the struggles of the primitive Church in these United States.”

In the late 1700s in southern Berkeley County, Virginia, among the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains there was a village named Smithfield. It’s now located in Jefferson County, West Virginia (West Virginia became a state in 1863) and is known as Middleway.

A farmer named Adam Livingston moved to Smithfield with his family in the 1790s; his wife, three sons and four daughters. Adam was considered intelligent, hardworking and kind-hearted. The land he owned and worked was along the Opequon Creek.

All was well and quiet with the Livingstons until one stormy night. The rain came down in buckets and the wind howled through the trees. The moon and stars were completely blacked out by clouds. During that awful storm a knock came on the door of the Livingston house. A soaked and weary traveler stood at the door. As with anyone needing help, the Livingstons welcomed the man into their warm, dry home.

Just a few hours after everyone went to bed the stranger asked for Adam to come to his bedside. The man was very sick and wouldn’t survive the night. Though he begged Adam to find a Catholic priest who would give him Last Rites, Adam refused; he hated the Church and wouldn’t let a priest into the house. Unfortunately, at midnight the unnamed houseguest died. His body was buried in unconsecrated ground.

Since the stranger’s burial bizarre and mysterious things began to happen to the Livingstons. Their cattle died of an unknown illness. Every piece of crockery in the house was broken. Logs leapt from the fireplace, threatening to burn the house down. Chickens and turkeys ran around the barn with their heads chopped off. The constant sound of clipping, though from a large pair of shears, was heard around the farm day and night. Nothing was safe from the invisible shears: clothing, saddles, animal fur, human hair, bed linens, curtains…everything was incessantly cut, always in a crescent shape. This went on for around three months.

Adam had a dream where a man finally came to help him end their torture. One Sunday his wife insisted they attend Mass as a family. When Adam saw the priest, he began to cry, telling his wife, “That is the man I saw in my dream!” They told the priest their story and he agreed to visit the Livingston farm and consecrate the ground where the stranger was buried.

The priest came to the Livingston farm, blessed the house and the dead man’s grave. As soon as he finished everything stopped and the unseen shears stopped their clipping. Some versions of the story say that the farm had to be blessed more than once to end the Livingston’s nightmare. The family was immensely thankful; Adam even gave 40 acres of his land to the Church. The land is known as Priest’s Place and it is still owned by the Church. Visitors of Historic Middleway can see signs depicting a pair of scissors and a crescent: these mark places in the Adam Livingston story. The stranger’s grave is still there as well as a memorial to Adam Livingston.

I haven’t seen many other stories out there that mention the field diamonds. They’re small, looking a bit dirty, rough and yellowed crystalline rocks in the shape of an octahedron. My guess is they’re fluorite, which is common in the region. They typically surface after it rains – near the area where the stranger was buried. The image below is a fluorite octahedron that resembles one of the field diamonds from my family’s collection. The legend goes the diamonds were never there until after his grave was consecrated.

Information from The Middleway Historical Conservancy; original pamphlet printing dated 1936 from the press of Robert Smith.

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