At the present time
(1866) there is much excitement and wonder at the marvelous accounts by
respectable individuals, both black and white, given of his Satanic Majesty
appearing to them in bodily form. There seems to be a perfect corroboration in
these statements, which give to them a color of truth; but many are
incredulous. To such let me say, decide not too hastily, for very recently I
saw that which curdled my blood and made my hair stand on end, and made me cry
for help when none was near.
I was wandering down
Chaplin Creek, near the great battlefield [Perryville] of 1862, when I came to a
millpond. Just below the dam, my attention was arrested by a huge anaconda I
have ever read of in history. His length seemed to be about one hundred feet,
his body as large as a hogshead, his eyes as large as common plates, his head in
proportion, forked tail, nostrils distended, and mouth wide open, and his
breathe emitting a sulphurous or snaky odor. I attempted to draw back from his
presence, but found myself powerless, for he had fixed his fiery eyes upon me,
and I was transfixed to the spot; and, notwithstanding my terror, I was charmed
with the variegated color of his scales, which presented all the colors of the
rainbow. But the most remarkable thing about this apparition, ghost, or
whatever else you please to call it, was, that it spoke to me not to approach
nearer; that the strong stench of his breathe was instant death; that he was
only in pursuit of those who had slandered him, saying there was no devil.
After a long colloquy with me, after this sort, he sank down into the water,
which could not have been more than six inches deep, and disappeared. I left
the place with quick step and glad heart, and returned home.
Many who have lately seen
his Satanic Majesty, in different forms and other places, have verified their
statements by affidavits, but where I am known this will not be necessary. If
any are unbelieving, let them remain so; it is no concern of mine.
P.S.—Stop, reader; I forgot to tell you it was only a dream.
“Night visions may befriend;
Our waking dreams are fatal.”
J.J. Polk, Autobiography of Dr. J.J. Polk: To Which Is Added
His Occasional Writings. Louisville, KY, 1867.