Archive for September, 2016

The village of Hayfield was found first in the Doomsday Book under the name Hedfeld and was a natural clearing in the forest at the foot of the highest point in the Peak District, and the southern-most point of the Pennine Chain. It was a mill village from the 17th Century onward and the village is a popular place for walkers, and visitors to the Peak District. There are a couple of interesting little legends about the area which is why I have picked them for the blog.

There are two churches in the area, St Matthew and St John’s Methodist Church (the third was de-consecrated and currently in use as a library) and St Matthew has existed there since 1386. It was previously at Kirksteads and was not completed until 1405, it was then largely rebuilt in 1817/18 and the remnants of the building are visible in the church crypt. The St John’s Methodist Church dates from around 1782 and claims to be the 13th to have been built, and although the building has been added too, the four main walls are entirely original.

31st August 1745 Dr James Clegg, the minister of a Presbyterian Church at nearby Chapel-en-le-Frith, wrote to the Glossopdale Chronicle (local newspaper) reporting that “hundreds of bodies rose out of the grave in the open air” from the graveyard of St Matthews Church. They then proceeded to disappear leaving Dr Clegg to remark something that sounds rather Lovecraftian or Poe in nature “… what is become of them or in what distant region of this vast system they have since fixed their residence no mortal can tell.”

The village also had its very own witch; in 1760 Susannah Huggin sold wooden weaving pins and bewitching charms. An old sailor brought one of the charms and then shortly afterwards he disappeared, she was then discovered to be back in possession of the charm. The villagers blamed her for his disappearance; she was dragged in front of the George Pub and pelted with rotten fruit and stones, to the point at which she was almost killed. Later on somebody from the Tom Hey’s Farm then took the little charm but after a series of disasters, including milk not churning and animals refusing to eat, the charm was then exorcised by a reluctant Reverend Baddeley.

Hayfield Church 0158.JPG
By Clem Rutter, Rochester, Kent. – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7349638

In Guerrero State, Mexico there is Iguala, and has become better known for a mystery than the peaceful rural life. In September, 2014, 43 students suddenly went missing. The students had travelled by busy from a teacher’s college in Ayotzinapa to state a protest, where the mayor’s wife was speaking. It is said that at some point the police had them at gunpoint on the edge of the city under the mayor’s orders. José Luis Abarca Velázquez then went into hiding along with his wife and the police chief, the mayor and his wife were caught a few weeks later.

On that day two students and three bystanders were killed when the police confronted the students, the shooting then strafed across nearby buildings with their bullets. Supposedly the students were handed over to a local cartel, the Guerreros Unidos. The next day the body of one of the students was dumped in the streets of Iguala, his skin had been removed from his face. The people and local government security forces have been combing the local area trying to find them. During this they have uncovered a number of mass graves and it serves as a horrific reminder about how routine murders appear to have become.

The local mountains around Iguala are locally referred to as a graveyard, and sadly the students have not been located. All around the area there are pictures, placards and posters trying to locate the missing students. The 43 missing students have come to stand for the tens of thousands of other people that have lost their lives in the ongoing Mexican drug wars. It also stands for some as a poignant statement about the lack of government accountability.

It has meant that the governor of Guerrero has been forced to resign, 80 people with over half of those being police have been arrested. There are few signs that the protests will die down any time soon, and when the police started to crack down on the harder protesters this incited further anger. The result is that Iguala now looks like the aftermath of a warzone, and vigilantes patrol the streets looking for the missing, the military and federal police are constantly circling the town’s streets.

Not far away from Iguala in Ayotzinapa the family members have turned the classrooms into communal sleeping areas, there they have a banner over the schools entrance demanding justice. There is an impromptu memorial that was photographed by a blogger that visited, it consists of 46 orange chairs, for those missing and those confirmed as dead.

Hilda Legideño Vargas is one of those with a missing son; he was on his way to Iguala and said he would text on his way home. The text and her son never came and like many she is left with a hole in her life where her son should be, or at the very least some answers…

In September, 2015 after a six month investigation led by a panel of experts assembled by Inter-American Commission on Human Rights released its results. They came to the conclusion that the claim from the Government about them being killed in a garbage dump, having been mistaken for a drug gang, was ‘scientifically impossible’ given the settings of the situation. There are some others that say, however, that this investigation had shortcomings and feel that this explanation is plausible. So the response is that the government will carry out a new investigation and take further opinions about what happened to the students the night they were presumably killed.

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By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44238005