The following stories I translated from the French book Présence des Invisibles by Robert Laffont, 1983. It gives some interesting stories about so-called trickster spirits.
Among the entities of the first category, those which I like to call “jinns” are the most sociable and the most civilized. Even if they are not domesticated, these jinn are not all evil towards man, they do not always systematically try to harm us but, by nature, they are facetious and unpleasant: they are frightful jojos, and living together with them is often painful.
One of their favorite games is to make objects disappear. They have the singular power to bring objects that they touch in a field of vibratory frequency where these objects dematerialize.
When I say that they “touch” them, it is evidently a way of speaking, since they have neither body, hands, nor appearance, but they are capable of provoking, by a process which I can not describe the passage of any object into the invisible world.
Their month of predilection to indulge in such jokes is February. This is not surprising, since all these malicious goblins are of Uranian nature and Uranus is the master of the sign of Aquarius. Among the Etruscans, where they were already spoken of, they were subjected, it seems, to a goddess named North; they were accused of causing familiar objects to disappear in the houses and amusing themselves in changing the furniture of the place, simply to draw attention to them, to show their value. It can be said that they have not changed much and that they are always as intolerable.
I myself have been personally a victim several times of bad jokes of this kind.
What made me most furious was the reappearance of the disappeared object. After having taken a cunning pleasure in seeing me with meticulousness and ardor, the jinns handed it over to me after several days under my nose at a place where I had checked a hundred times and it was not there. Or else in a quite absurd place where it was unlikely that it could ever be found.
It even happened to me one morning, that a ring I had “lost” a week before, was placed prominently in the front seat of my car. Another time, it was a photo that disappeared on my desktop and that I found again a month later by accidentally opening a small dictionary of my library, exactly on page 313 where one can read the definition of the word djinn! Comical, is it not ?
I would never stop talking about examples of this kind. It is commonplace and tedious. Moreover, those who do not believe in the existence of the jinn will not be convinced of it. They will be much less so by the unbelievable anecdotes which I shall now bring up in a few words.
These observed facts (by me and by hundreds of people) can not be accepted by reason. To explain them, any hypothesis will appear more probable than the one that I think is the right one. Judge for yourself.
A store becomes invisible
I knew a shopkeeper, at rue Bobinot in Paris, who had to file for bankruptcy because her store had become invisible. Although she could advertise, distribute her business cards and flyers throughout the neighborhood, not a client would walk through the doorway of her shop, which had practically disappeared. No one could see, at the address indicated, either the sign, the window, or the door on the street that were no longer part of the visible realities.
The young woman who was in charge of this business had many other misfortunes, of which I shall not speak. She was beautiful, charming, but she secreted solitude around her; in this physical and sentimental desert nothing could penetrate. I suppose a malevolent djinn had the ability to extend this desert to the commercial domain; as a good conjuror, he amused himself by making the storefront disappear, which only reappeared at night and on public holidays. At least it was not a more mysterious “invoked portal” open to the invisible. Be that as it may, the mystery remains. I have a personal experience of this strange anomaly. Having made an appointment by telephone with the young shopkeeper, I proceeded at the appointed hour to the address indicated, and walked by it twenty times, by the house number of the Rue Bobillot, where the shop was, without seeing it. Before I gave up my appointment, I decided to enter the building bearing the number on the commercial card. In the inner corridor, beside the concierge’s lodge, there was a glass door which gave entrance to the store which I had sought in vain from the street. On this side everything was clearly visible: counters, merchandise, cash register, telephone, advertising posters on the walls, and the patroness of the place, contemplating with melancholy through the window of her display on the street people who passed on the sidewalk without seeing her.
It is an impression as agonizing as that of the crossing of the mirror; one suddenly feels that there are two sides of things, and that one really is on one side. In this store, I was like a mirror without tin: I could look through it, but I was not seen from the other side. It seemed to me that I too had passed into the invisible world.
[The following text in this book contains the term Pied-Noir. I kept this French term because it is quite specific. According to Wikipedia, Pied-Noir, is a term referring to Christian and Jewish people whose families had migrated from all parts of the Mediterranean to French Algeria, the French protectorate in Morocco, or the French protectorate of Tunisia, where many had lived for several generations, and who were expelled at the end of French rule in North Africa between 1956 and 1962. The term sometimes includes the North African Jews, who had been living there for many centuries but were awarded French citizenship by the 1870 Crémieux Decree. More specifically, the term “pied-noir” is used for those of European ancestry who “returned” to mainland France as soon as Algeria gained independence, or in the months following.]
A farm disappears
My second experience of an analogous fact is even more extraordinary. It is a farm in the Ardèche, where a family of pied-noirs had come to take refuge. This farm was isolated, the nearest village being more than four kilometers away. It must be said that it had a bad reputation in the country. It was said to be haunted! The farm was unoccupied and undeveloped since the war of 1914-1918. That’s why a pied-noir had been able to buy it for a morsel of bread. The name of the proprietor of these lands was not even known, and he had not been bothered to sign the bill of sale with the notary.
Now, a few months after the new owners had moved in, the farm disappeared: not the stables, nor the shed, nor anything of what may be called the commons, but the dwelling-house properly so-called became invisible.
The pied-noirs realized this anomaly, first because the street traders who passed once a week – a baker and a grocer – suddenly ceased to stop at the farm, claiming that it did not exist more; then the craftsmen who came from the neighboring town to help fix up the ruined buildings soon became discouraged, for they could no longer find this mysterious farm, of which there seemed to be no more than a little black triangle on an old Michelin map.
The real drama began when this “disappearance” was recorded in some way administratively: the postman refused to carry the mail to an empty address; the request for the installation of a telephone line was refused because it did not end up anywhere; E.D.F. solicited by registered letter, found, after verification on the spot, that it was a bad joke. The last thing is that the two children of the pied-noirs farmers were the target of the school in the village for the hostility and bullying of the other children who reproached them for living in a farm that did not exist.
Things had come to this when I received the S.O.S. It was the mayor of the village who sent it to me. He knew his new members of the community in flesh and blood, he was quite certain that they existed, and their house too. Therefore, there was another administrative solution to be found to solve this unusual problem.
The case was easily and quickly settled; the “lost” farm reappeared and everything returned to order. But the most difficult thing was to explain to these good people that the “spirit of the place”, which had been without a master for more than half a century in this dilapidated farm, had perhaps tried to prevent the new occupants from settling there and that it had staged this evil magic trick to scare away intruders. Again, an explanation by invoked portal is possible.