Archive for July, 2010

Miss Martha (at approx. age 45?)

Coop here,

In Wes’s previous interview with the homeless boy, Chris, he mentioned his intention to find and interview “Miss Martha” as a possible resource to help uncover these urban legends. Hunting specifically for that interview, I finally found it hidden away in a CD-ROM file (no thanks to Wes’s lousy organization/file labeling skills). I’ve met people like Miss Martha and they give me the creeps, especially when they claim to know the will of God. Here’s Part 1 of the interview…

After a couple of weeks I located the woman mentioned by Chris during my recent interview with him. Miss Martha (last name omitted) was not exactly what I expected. She is in her late 60’s, quite rotund and holds the distinction of being the only Caucasian woman in a predominantly African-American neighborhood. The interior of her home looked like a Christian gift shop had exploded its merchandise all over the walls and tables. Everything was “Brand: Jesus” and a strong smell of vinegar hung in the air as if the house contained a cellar full of overflowing pickle jars. Miss Martha wore thick glasses, a hair-do straight out of 1938  and a floral patterned muumuu. She very politely invited me into her home and offered me some iced tea.  Since she didn’t seem keen on me taking pictures, I took quick shots of a photo of her on one of the tables and a painting of her on the wall while she was getting the tea.  After correcting a misunderstanding that I was not a Mormon and did not need a hard-sell conversion to Southern Baptist, I explained who I was and she agreed to answer some questions…

Wes: I understand Chris stayed with you for awhile.

Martha: Oh yes, Chris was one of the many troubled children that have been in my foster care over the years. That’s how I get along, you see. I take disability from the state and also adopt disadvantaged children who need a caring and disciplined home life. I’m afraid Chris was one of them hard cases that didn’t stick. He wouldn’t behave, he used vulgar language, blasphemed a lot and he ran away first day I tried to give him an education. He’s living a hard life for a 15 year-old. I have no doubt he’ll end up dead by a bullet or a knife if he don’t hurry up, reform and find the Lord.

Wes: There must be some mistake. The Chris I’m talking about is only 10.

Very quickly we compared notes and determined she WAS talking about the same Chris.

Martha: No, he’s 15 now. At first I though he was a late bloomer but his case worker told me that he had some severe infections in his infancy and it stunted his growth. He tells people he’s 10 so they’ll feel sorry for him and give him extra. He even talks like one. That boy is a little con artist. Looks like he fooled you too, didn’t he?

Wes: Yes, well the reason I interviewed him is because he said he had seen The Boy in the Corner. Are you familiar with that urban legend?

Martha: (laughing) My, my, my… what has you interested in that old tale?

Wes: For research purposes. I’m an aspiring journalist.

Martha continues laughing for what seems like a full minute, even dabbing her eyes with a red handkerchief before she settles down. I’m not sure what amused her more, the idea that someone was asking her about the legend or the idea of me being an aspiring journalist.

Martha: Oh my, that is something. Well, the story of the Boy has been around since I can remember. My Momma used to tell me she would lock me in the closet with him if I was bad or didn’t say my prayers.

Wes: Yeah, Chris said you had said something similar to him.

Martha: Well, the boy is a shameless liar and I reckon if he said he saw the Boy, he’s lying to you once again.

Wes: What do you know about The Boy in the Corner?

Possibly an old portrait of Miss Martha in her youth?

Martha: He was a wicked boy who received the punishment of God… Condemned to sit in the corner forever and ponder all of the terrible things he did until the Rapture.

Wes: So this is like a fable then? A morality tale to scare children into behaving?

Martha: Children should fear the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Not demons in the dark.

Wes: Then you don’t believe in the legend?

Martha: Oh I believe, but I do not fear. I fear the Boy no more than I fear the “Valley of the Shadow of Death”.

Wes: I see, and what is the purpose of the Boy? What does he do?

Martha: He is like the Devil offering the forbidden fruit of knowledge. You may ask him questions, about anything in the heavens and the Earth, and he must answer truthfully.

Wes: Absolutely anything? That is pretty amazing.

Martha: (serious tone) Only God should know such things. Men are not meant to know the Lord’s secrets without paying dearly for it.

Wes: Chris says the Man Behind the Door shows up if—

Martha: —The Man Behind the Door is the right hand of God.

Wes: Pardon?

(To be continued in PART 2)

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Speaking of riddles (in the next to last post), I found this riddle that fell out of a folder in Wes’s files.  It immediately drew my attention because it was written on a cocktail napkin.  I did some searching and it looks like France could be the origin of this particular riddle.  Try to solve it yourself before revealing the answer…

There is a man behind a door.

Another man comes and knocks at the door.

The man behind says “six” the other man says “three”.  He comes in.

A second man knocks at the door.  The man behind says “seven” and the other man says “five”.  He comes in.

I knock at the door , the man behind says “one”.

What number should I say as to come in ?

 

ANSWER:  (in “invisotext”, highlight below to learn the answer)…

Three. The doorman lets in those who answer with the number of letters in the word the doorman says.

 
I continuously see references to “knocking” in Wes’s notes so I’m guessing this riddle has some significance to “The Man Behind the Door” that the name of this site refers to.  In one reference to “knocking”, Wes had the web address to this post about a man experiencing phantom knocking at his home.  In this case, the number “3” was also a factor.  On another link, an urban legend from Detroit about “Knock-Knock Street” is cited.  I’m unsure how or if that post is somehow related.

-Coop

P.S.  THE IMAGE AT THE TOP-LEFT SIDEBAR:  Notice the distinct similarities between the painting at the beginning of this post to the photographic image that accompanies the “start from the beginning…” logo.  The shape of the shadowed figures are nearly identical!  That can’t be a coincidence.

Found the link to this video in Wes’s notes.  It’s a short film titled “The Thing in the Corner”.  It’s pretty cheesy but Wes had it listed as possibly influenced by “The Boy in the Corner” and “The Man Behind the Door” legends…

More info on the movie HERE

He also included another link to a video and next to it wrote “FAKE” but also cited it as possibly being influenced by these legends…

-Coop

Within Wes’s notes I found what looks like a poem, possibly translated from another language.  I’m coming across some vague references to the “Vile Enigma” and “Yohtorozu” but my research isn’t uncovering much on either.  When I entered the search terms “Vile” together with “Enigma”, I discovered this forum about “vile vortices”.  The only thing I can find close to the word “Yohtorozu” is a company named “Yorozu” which specializes in the manufacturing of automobile frames. 

Here’s the (untitled) poem…

An ambitious and unscrupulous man was once tricked by the “Vile Enigma” Yohtorozu

The Enigma vowed to bestow upon the man a great prize if he could solve an elaborate riddle

The nature of the riddle forced the man to defile and murder his wife, children

and all of his kin in order to discover the answer

In the end, the despair of what he had done

made him no longer wish for the great prize the Enigma had to offer

The Enigma delightfully bestowed it upon him anyway

Non omnis moriar

The Latin quote, “Non omnis moriar” is the only thing I could dig up in my research.  It’s a quote by the Roman poet Horace (65-8 B.C.) which means, “Not all of me shall die.”

Could this be an obscure poem by him or someone else entirely?  “Yohtorozu” sounds close to a Japanese term/name but Japan was undiscovered by the Romans and the Western world until much later in the Anno Domini (A.D.) time period.

-Coop

 

Coop here again,

Pardon me for getting personal here, but I’ve had a few emails from site visitors asking how I know Wes Cotten.  Not sure if these guys are friends or family but I encourage them to contact me again if they are (wescotten@live.com).  As for my relationship with Wes, that’s a valid request since I’m running his site now. 

Here’s how I know Wes…

This was back when I was living in Los Angeles around September 11, 2001. After the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, things were looking pretty grim. Most of my business deals were being dropped like a hot potatoes and newspapers stopped printing my articles so they could focus on the national crisis. My old bar/hangout wasn’t the same anymore so to ease the misery, I started haunting some other venues. At a dive bar in the San Fernando Valley, I met Wes.

I was in the middle of my first Guinness when he barreled into the mostly empty bar and loudly announced that he was in North Hollywood and had just seen a UFO being chased by police helicopters. I instantly thought he was a nut but it made me laugh. He seemed disappointed that no one seemed interested in what he had witnessed, but I offered to buy him a beer to calm his nerves. After awhile of talking, I told him about the time I saw an octagon-shaped UFO fly over the Sunset Strip when I was at the Cat Club attending Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke’s birthday party. My only fellow witnesses: Two stoners sharing a joint (man, I wish that story WASN’T true because it’s embarrassing to tell it). He got a kick out of that and we made a decent night out of a strange one.

Soon I was meeting up with Wes on a regular basis at various spots around the Valley to grab a beer, trade stories and philosophize about what was becoming of the world we lived in. He cared little about politics but could easily win a debate. He hated pretense, but had no difficulty putting a literati in his/her place. He made hanging out fun again. So when he started talking about weird stuff, I enjoyed every minute of it.

A couple of years later, we had established a strong friendship (this was before all the craziness of “Myspace” and “Facebook”… something that he never bought into). We hung out regularly but never with eithers’ social circle. We were autonomous, independent and always ended up in strange locations, talking to the weirdest people due to our interests.

Eventually, Wes had to move due to monetary constraints, so he chose to go back to Memphis around 2005. He had a passion for helping underage and underprivileged youths, coming from a similar background himself.  He felt he could make a difference in his hometown.

When I returned to the mid-south myself, I had limited contact with him. An email here, a party invitation there… but we were hard pressed to reconnect.

Before his disappearance, I got an email from him:

Coop,

Only you might dig this, but I’ve found something pretty cool up here. All that crazy shit we used to talk about isn’t as crazy as half of the stuff I’m finding now. I want you involved. Get in touch, man.

-Wes

After a few missed opportunities we finally reconnected.  I went up to ElvisTown and met Wes and his brand new girlfriend, Sarah. Wow. What a knockout. Wes was a ladies’ man but I never saw him with a girl like Sarah. I can’t even begin to describe what a perfectly impossible woman she turned out to be, even on a first impression. No wonder Wes liked being back in Memphis so much.

Over the course of the night, Wes kept telling me about info and stories that he absolutely HAD to tell me about, but we never had the aside time to discuss it.  The night was young, Sarah was all over him and the drinks were flowing freely.  By the end of the night, he and I promised to get together soon and have a constructive pow-wow on the info he had in mind.

That’s the last I ever saw of Wes, or Sarah for that matter.  Almost a year ago.  

As for the material Wes left behind for me, he found a lot of interesting stuff… but it’s epic in volume.  It’ll take me a good while to sort it all in my free time.  It’s creepy, it’s neat and I’m going to post what I can from this hodgepodge of notes and interviews (?) he has amassed.  He’s got some videos too, I’ll get to those when I get a solid nerd to fix my comp so I can view them.  Apparently my system doesn’t respond well to this “Divx” crap.  I’ll definitely include the unsettling images and artwork he scanned into most of these posts.

I was worried at first about Wes disappearing, but not so much now.  He’s the kind of guy with an active passport, no ties, a taste for the weird and a sense of humor.  I’m going to dig through what he’s left for me and post it.  I’m positive that’s what he wants me to do, and if my browsing his crazy material is any indication, I’m SO down.

Stay tuned to The Man Behind the Door for updates.

-Coop

Coop’s site: (http://www.smalltowncritic.com/)

Wes’s interview with Chris (Part 2)

—Coop here again… I get the impression that Wes fully intended to post the rest of this interview, so I’m doing it for him. I’m merely breaking the surface of whatever research he was conducting and I gotta say he was right. “Spooky” doesn’t cover it. He’s got hundreds of documents and some CD-ROMs full of electronic files. It’s kinda like piecing together a big puzzle. I don’t know if it’ll help find his whereabouts but I’m going to try to figure it out best I can in my spare time. In the meantime, here’s the rest of the interview with Chris (along with a bit of accompanying artwork that Wes had collected… as blog illustrations maybe?)—

 

Part 1 of the interview HERE…

 

My questions about the “Boy in the Corner” seemed to unnerve Chris a bit, but questions about the “Man Behind the Door” nearly caused him to shut down completely…

 

WES: You ever see this Man Behind the Door?

 

CHRIS: Shit naw! You see HIM and you gone forever!

 

At this point, Chris became agitated and tried to leave even before I gave him the money I promised. I offered to give him a little more if he would stay and I changed the subject away from the Man Behind the Door. He seemed more open talking about the other people who may know about the subject…

 

WES: So who else knows about this kind of stuff?

 

CHRIS: Fools all around here know. From the ghetto… the bums, the bitches, the cops, even some rich folks.

 

WES: What rich folks? Like reporters? News people?

 

CHRIS: Naw like Germantown fools with gold watches and shit… and they from other rich places, know what I’m sayin? Like out of town. Sometimes bangers say white folks come walkin up into the hood like they ain’t scared askin about the Boy. Them bangers beat those suckers down, rob em and they keep comin back. One gangster, “T-Blow”, killed a white bitch for walkin into his hood askin about it. He messed her up. Got her nekkid and had his crew run a train on her and she died.

 

WES: Where is T-Blow now?

 

CHRIS: Dead. His momma found him. Killed hisself with a shotgun in his face, even after cops cut him loose cause they couldn’t find no (the woman’s) body. His crew don’t bother no rich folks that goes to the hood asking shit no more. They said they just ain’t gonna talk to em.

 

WES: Who else could I talk to that knows about this stuff?

 

CHRIS: Rodney. He’s the bum that smells like shit down around that house on Poplar I was sleepin in.

 

WES: The house you saw the Boy in?

 

CHRIS: Yeah. Rodney talked to him. He says the Boy is smart like he knows everything in the whole world, but Rodney’s crazy. Rodney likes to put shit on things. Like he puts doo-doo on walls and shit. Ain’t knowbody knows everything. He’s a crazy, nasty-ass bum.

 

At this point, Chris described what Rodney looked like and where I might be able to find him. I made a note to try to locate and interview Rodney.

 

WES: How about cops? Any cops I can talk to?

 

CHRIS: Man, I don’t be talkin to no cops. For real. Those motherf**kers always harassin me, frontin… (various additional profanities)

 

WES: Alright then how about just regular folks?

 

CHRIS: Martha. She ain’t scared of no bangers, cops or nothin. I stayed with her till she try makin me go to church. Always preachin Jesus around the hood. She real mean but she knows. She tell me she put me in the corner with that Boy if I got bad.

 

I learned from Chris that Martha a neighborhood lady in her 50’s that would take in hard-luck cases from the street and try to reform them through tough love and preaching. No one stayed with Martha for long for this reason. I figured she’d be easier to find that Rodney so I decided to interview her next. I could tell my questions had worn out their welcome and Chris about was ready to cut loose.

 

WES: Anything else I need to know about the Boy, the Man or the Qwatha?

 

CHRIS: Nuh uh.

 

WES: You sure?

 

CHRIS: (hesitates)… You already know.

 

Chris would not elaborate on this remark and quickly took his money in a hasty departure. Afterwards I went over to see Sarah (my girlfriend). She doesn’t get this whole project and says I should drop it, but I find this stuff really intriguing. She might gripe about it about a bit but this might make a good story for a magazine or a book. I’m going to keep with it starting with this Martha woman. More updates soon!

 

-Wes

 

Part 1 of the interview HERE…

 

 

Coop Cooper here from The Small Town Critic website.

I now have access to Wes’s blog that he created over a year ago and suddenly stopped using. The reason being that Wes Cotten has been missing since at least June of 2009. The Memphis Police Department has released some of Wes’s personal effects to me since they are having trouble locating surviving relatives and some of the documents investigated by the police list me as an emergency contact.  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Wes myself in well over a year.

Apparently the police only recently started investigating Wes’s disappearance due to the fact that no one came forth to declare him missing. His elderly landlady,  folks at his volunteer job and friends at his paid job thought he had simply left town or eloped with his girlfriend, Sarah Reynolds… who is also missing.

This is a long shot, but if anyone knows any information, please contact me through Wes’s old email address: wescotten@live.com

Although the police couldn’t make much sense of it, I will be going through Wes’s things to see if there is anything that can help locate him. If I find anything of interest (for any friends out there who may be worried about him), I will post it here.

Let’s pray that Wes and Sarah are on an island beach somewhere starting a new life and having a blast.

Thanks,

-Coop