Cindy is a paranormal enthusiast and author of over twenty books on the subject of true supernatural phenomena.
The Things That Dwell in the Dark
"Demons are like obedient dogs, they come when called." These words by French poet Remy de Gourmont would be comical if not for the grain of truth they hold. For those who call forth the things that dwell in the netherworld—whether by accident or design—the outcome is seldom pleasant.
Some cultures believe that the beings most of us go out of our way to avoid are often inadvertently summoned by the otherwise innocuous practice of whistling. Although perfectly acceptable in the daylight, it is thought that to engage in this joyful practice after midnight, especially indoors, is asking for trouble.
It is in the hours when the world is sleeping that hellhounds and other malevolent entities are said to be capable of breaking through the barriers that separate us from them. Of course, they cannot do so without an invitation. Whistling, but only when it reaches the optimum pitch, is one method that those with foolhardy intentions have used to invoke these instruments of darkness.
Individuals who whistle in the shower during the wee hours of the morning have been known to conjure spirits, all the while blissfully unaware of what they have done. It is a widely held belief among spiritualists that it is this act that accounts for sudden hauntings that take place in homes with no prior history of paranormal activity.
Some who suspect that they were unwitting instigators of such occurrences later claim that they sensed something was wrong right off the bat but chose to ignore the dire reality of the situation until it was, quite literally, staring them in the face.
They Are Always Listening
A Pennsylvania woman who suspects that she may have committed just such a faux pas recalled glimpsing a shadow out of the corner of her eye one evening as she was getting out of the tub. Assuming that she was seeing things, she hadn't thought much of it at the time. This, as it turned out, was her second mistake, whistling in the twilight hours having been the first.
Within a week of the incident, her entire family were witnessing disturbances in the house that they couldn't explain. As the phenomena increased in both frequency and ferocity, she and her children took refuge with her mother in order to escape the constant attacks they came to believe were the work of a poltergeist.
Others who found themselves in similar situations reported seeing lone figures in their homes that had appeared from out of nowhere. For reasons known only to them, these specters were usually spotted standing motionless in corners.
When confronted, they would transform into a mist that would then disappear into the floor or float through the ceiling. After regaining their composure, the shaken occupants would rack their brains trying to figure out why they had been targeted by the otherworldly presence.
After retracing the events leading up to the encounter, they would come to the incredible conclusion that they had invited the unwanted presence into their lives simply by whistling.
At the end of the day, it pays to keep in mind that whistling in the afterhours is an endeavor best approached with caution—after all, one can never be certain who, or what might be listening.
Be Careful What You Ask For
Those who have taken it upon themselves to deliberately summon undesirables claim that they initiated the interaction by turning off the lights and drawing the curtains after the sun went down. With the stage set, they would whistle for thirty seconds straight until they heard a snapping sound. If their efforts proved successful, a burst of hot air would pass through their bodies, warming them to the bone.
Shortly thereafter, the source of the heat was revealed to be a trio of dogs that had manifested in the room. As the hounds—which were much larger than any known species—encircled them, the architects of the summoning scrambled to reverse the spell.
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The ordeal normally ended with the four-legged minions retreating back to where they came from, their curiosity sated. For their part, the petrified conjurer, having gotten a taste of what dwells in the shadowlands, learns the hard way that things that choose to stay hidden do so for a reason.
Occasionally, spirits flip the script and utilize whistling as a means of announcing their presence to the living. One of the most notorious examples is a loathsome entity that has stalked the plains of Venezuela for well over a century.
In life, "The Whistler," as it is known, was said to have been the only son of a local farmer and his wife. Doted on by his parents, the boy grew up thinking that the sun rose and set only for him. In a strange reversal of roles, by the time he reached his teens, he was ruling the roost with an iron fist.
Although there are various versions of how he met his bitter end, the basic premise remains the same. As the story goes, one day, in the mood for venison, the youth had ordered his father to drop what he was doing and hunt him down a deer.
Tired and behind in his work, the older man had refused. Infuriated by the unprecedented act of defiance, the boy had murdered him on the spot. After committing the ghastly deed, he removed his father's organs and took them inside where he ordered his mother to prepare them for dinner.
Thinking that he had butchered a deer, she did as she was told. It was only when she had trouble tenderizing the odd-looking cuts of meat that she realized something was wrong. After confronting her son with her suspicions, he owned up to what he had done with nary an ounce of remorse.
Appalled by the callous act, and possibly fearing that she would be next, his mother fled the house. When she returned a few minutes later, she was accompanied by the boy's grandfather.
As punishment for his crime, the pair tied the teenager to a post and throttled him within an inch of his life. When they were finished, they handed him a sack containing his father's remains and told him to run into the woods and never come back.
As the boy struggled to oblige, the grandfather unleashed his dogs who immediately gave chase. The barking hounds and the murderous teen then disappeared into the brush. A little while later, the dogs returned. Their prey would resurface in time, but not before undergoing a terrifying transformation.
Not long after the harrowing events of that day, mutilated bodies began turning up in and around the area. At first, since the victims were mostly drunkards, no one paid their deaths any mind. It was only when the killings became more widespread that authorities began to sit up and take notice.
Witnesses came forward to say that they had seen a barefoot man standing nearly ten feet tall and carrying a bloody burlap sack emerge from the forest just prior to the killings. They claimed that they had been warned of his presence by a loud whistling that had been carried on the wind shortly before he appeared in the flesh.
In a bizarre world of opposites, it was said that if the sound seemed to be coming from someplace close by, whoever heard it was as safe as a kitten. It was only when the tuneless whistling emanated from a distance that one had to worry. As some unfortunate souls would come to learn, the further away "The Whistler" appeared to be, the greater the risk.
The ever-present sack led some villagers to connect the sinister being to the teenager who had more than likely perished in the woods as a result of the dog attack. It was from that assumption that a legend was born.
The story that was spun held that the unrepentant boy's spirit had been condemned to retrieve souls that were destined for the underworld. He was also said to have been cursed with the burden of having to oversee the care of his father's remains for eternity. As part of this responsibility, he had to stop periodically and count the bones in the sack. If even one was found to have been misplaced, "The Whistler" would be forced to serve out the remainder of his sentence in the fiery depths of Hell.
In much the same vein as the whistling, if people hold up inside their homes heard someone counting outside their door, they could rest easy. If, however, the towering figure inventoried the bones in silence, a member of the household would not live to see morning.
The only way that an individual who had been marked for collection could escape their fate was if the sound of barking drowned out the whistling. Terrified of dogs, even in death, the boy will purportedly retreat if a canine is nearby. While his sense of obligation to the diabolical force that holds deed to his soul is great, it pales in comparison to his paralyzing fear of man's best friend.
"The Whistler" was first written about in 1966 by Damaso Delgado. The noted poet shared that he had encountered the tall, rail-thin presence one evening as he was out walking his dogs. He didn't know if the entity had come for him or someone else and, fortunately, never had to find out. He would never forget how the sound that escaped its lips had made his blood run cold.
He recalled that his dogs had started barking furiously as the ear-splitting whistling pierced the night. As Delgado's protectors stood between him and danger, the intimidating figure had beat a hasty retreat. After reading of his experience, others came forward to share similar accounts. Rather than fading with time, the legend of "The Whistler" has gained momentum with each passing year.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.