Oct 23, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Paranormal Cats and a Sinister Cult: Put Those Together and Things Get Dangerous and Deadly

Over the years, I have addressed the strange and sinister issues that surround the "Alien Big Cat" (or, rather, ABC) phenomenon in the United Kingdom. It's a phenomenon that I believe has its roots in the world of the paranormal. I don't think, at all, that people are releasing into the wilds of the U.K. I'm specifically talking about the large black cats. For example, in my files I have reports of large black cats that have been seen in Crop Circles. Other such ABCs have the ability to vanish - as into a state of invisibility. Some of the U.K. black cats can stand on their back limbs, walking almost like us, something that I'm sure terrifies people who see them in that stance. There is, however, another angle to all of this. While many people will have heard of the Alien Big Cats, very few will be conversant with a powerful body of people called the Taigheirm. Like so many other secret societies, the Taigheirm is populated by people who crave absolute power, massive wealth, and elite standing in society. It is, however, the way that the members of the Taigheirm achieves their goals that places them in their own, near-unique category. And, the Taigheirm of old has a connection to the Alien Big Cats of this era.

This centuries-old cult, which exists and operates in stealth in the highlands of Scotland, and has done so since at least the 17th century, uses ancient sacrificial rituals to get just about anything and everything it desires. It is rumored that numerous Scottish politicians, police-officers, bankers, actors, doctors, judges, and landowners are just some of the Taigheirm’s many and varied members. Merrily Harpur is a British researcher who has carefully and deeply studied the history of the Taigheirm. Merrily says  - in her book Mystery Big Cats - that key to the success of the members is “an infernal magical sacrifice of cats in rites dedicated to the subterranean gods of pagan times, from whom particular gifts and benefits were solicited. They were called in the Highlands and the Western Isles of Scotland, the black-cat spirits.”

(U.S. Government) This photo of a large black cat was taken by an employee of the U.S. Government

That means the photo is in the public domain.

The process of sacrifice was, and still is, gruesome in the extreme. Isolated and lonely places high in the mountains of Scotland are chosen, chiefly to ensure privacy. Secrecy is paramount. Members arrive, in black cloaks and pointed hats, at the chosen spot in the dead of night, determined at all times to protect their identities and presence from outsiders. Then comes the main event. Huge spits are built, upon which cats are slowly roasted - and while they are still alive – for up to four days and nights, during which the operator of the spit is denied sleep or nourishment, aside from an occasional sip of water. Supposedly, when the ritual is at its height, from the paranormal ether terrifying, huge black cats, with glowing red eyes, appear before the conjurer, demanding to know what it is that he or she wishes to have bestowed on them: money, influence, or something else. In return, and in a fashion befitting the likes of Faust, on his or her death the conjurer agrees to turn over their soul to those ancient, mighty gods worshipped by the Taigheirm.

Without doubt, the one person, more than any other, who was conversant with the terrible rituals of the Taigheirm was J.Y.W. Lloyd, who penned an acclaimed 1881 book, The History of the Prince, the Lord’s Marcher, and the Ancient Nobility of Powys Fadog and the Ancient Lords of Arwystli, Cedewen, and Meirionydd. Lloyd became fascinated by the Taigheirm after reading Horst’s Deuteroscopy, which was the first published work to expose the actions of this heartless group. Lloyd recorded that: “The midnight hour, between Friday and Saturday, was the authentic time for these horrible practices and invocations.” Horst, himself, presented a terrible image: “After the cats were dedicated to all the devils, and put into a magico-sympathetic condition, by the shameful things done to them, and the agony occasioned to them, one of them was at once put alive upon the spit, and amid terrific howlings, roasted before a slow fire. The moment that the howls of one tortured cat ceased in death, another was put upon the spit, for a minute of interval must not take place if they would control hell; and this continued for the four entire days and nights. If the exorcist could hold it out still longer, and even till his physical powers were absolutely exhausted, he must do so.”

It was after that four day period, said Horst, that, “infernal spirits appeared in the shape of black cats. There came continually more and more of these cats; and their howlings, mingled with those roasting on the spit, were terrific. Finally, appeared a cat of a monstrous size, with dreadful menaces. When the Taigheirm was complete, the sacrificer [sic] demanded of the spirits the reward of his offering, which consisted of various things; as riches, children, food, and clothing. The gift of second sight, which they had not had before, was, however, the usual recompense; and they retained it to the day of their death.” As the 19th century reached its end, Lloyd came to believe that while the legend and cruel and cold reputation of the Taigheirm still existed, the group, as a fully functioning entity, no longer did. He recorded that one of the very last Taigheirm rituals was held on the Scottish island of Mull, in the early 1800s. Lloyd added that the folk of Mull “still show the place where Allan Maclean, at that time the incantor, and sacrificial priest, stood with his assistant, Lachlain Maclean, both men of a determined and unbending character.” Theirs was reportedly a frightening ritual held on a cold, winter’s night and under a full moon. Lloyd noted: “Allan Maclean continued his sacrifice to the fourth day, when he was exhausted both in body and mind, and sunk in a swoon; but, from this day he received the second-sight to the time of his death, as also did his assistant. In the people, the belief was unshaken, that the second-sight was the natural consequence of celebrating the Taigheirm.” 

There is, however, intriguing data strongly suggesting that the Taigheirm are still with us, lurking in the shadows and still extending their power and influence. In 1922, Carl Van Vechten commented on post-19th century Taigheirm activity in a footnote contained in his book, The Tiger in the House. It reads: “The night of the day I first learned of the Taigheirm I dined with some friends who were also entertaining Seumas, Chief of Clann Fhearghuis of Stra-chur. He informed me that to the best of his knowledge the Taigheirm is still celebrated in the Highlands of Scotland.” Then there is the account of one Donald Johnson, a man born and bred in Scotland, but who, just like his late father, worked as a butler for a powerful and rich family that had its roots in the ancient, English county of Staffordshire. According to Johnson, his father was invited, by his employers, to join an English offshoot of the Taigheirm in the winter of 1982 – providing that he was willing to leave his old life and friends behind him, and fully embrace the Taigheirm and its horrific teachings. Johnson Sr. was ready to do so, until, that is, he witnessed one of those monstrous sacrifices deep in the heart of England’s Cannock Chase woods, and on the proverbial dark and stormy night, no less. 

(Nick Redfern) Where Donald Johnson found himself involved with the Taigheirm

Johnson Sr.’s decision to walk away – quickly – was not at all appreciated by the Taigheirm, who reportedly made explicit threats about what might happen to him if he ever dared to go public with what he knew and had seen. Such was his fear, he stayed completely and utterly silent on the matter until he told his son, Donald, in 2010 – the latter going public with the story in December of that year, out of fear for his own safety. The society of the Taigheirm, it seems, is still as much up to its terrible tricks as it was four centuries ago. Indeed, power, influence, and wealth are hard to give up or deny – even if one has to enter into Faustian pacts with ancient earth gods and supernatural black cats to achieve them. There is, however, another angle to the paranormal side of the U.K. Alien Big Cats. As you will see now: in early 2008, rumors circulated to the effect that a U.S.-based equivalent of the ancient Scottish order of the Taigheirm was operating deep in the heart of Dallas, Texas. And, as was the case with the original Scottish members, those tied to this Lone Star State-based equivalent were using the rites and rituals to achieve two things: power and wealth. While such rumors were never conclusively proved to be real, the fact is that from 2008 to 2011, there were numerous cases of cat mutilation in the heart of Dallas. And they clearly weren’t the work of coyotes or bobcats. There was method in the grisly, city-wide madness.

It all began in the summer of 2008 when a pair of cats was found – “dissected” was how the local media reported on the affair – in the city’s Lovers Lane. Almost one year later, a cat was found dead – with organs removed with surgical precision – in Dallas’ Lakewood Heights. The unfortunate man who stumbled on the remains of the poor animal said: “The cat was literally cut in half at its midsection. There was no blood on our front lawn, so it appears that the mutilation probably occurred elsewhere and the remains were dumped on our lawn by the perpetrator.” Two more cats were found within days – also mutilated in fashions which suggested the culprits were all too human. As a result, the Dallas SPCA offered a $5,000 reward for anyone who could help solve the disturbing mystery. There was not even a single, solitary taker. A couple of weeks later, Dallas’ Midway Hollow was targeted. The local police said: “We used to think it was a juvenile up to no good. But now we think it might be an older guy who lives nearby, snatches these cats, mutilates them, then takes them back to where he finds them.” Then, in August, local news reported on the discovery of six dead and mutilated cats in the northwest part of Dallas.

(Nick Redfern) Alien Big Cats and Crop Circles: a strange connection

Although 2010 was quiet, 2011 was anything but. It all began again in April of that year when a “surgically mutilated” cat was stumbled on in Wilshire Heights, Dallas. Yet again, a substantial reward was on offer. There was, however, nothing but silence and not a single lead in sight. Without doubt, the most controversial theory surfaced in May 2011. The story, from a local conspiracy theorist, Bob Small, was that the Taigheirm group was allied to the original, ancient cult that had its origins in Scotland. I know that most people in the field of Cryptozoology believe that the Alien Big Cats are escapees from private enclosures. But, the fact is there is an aspect of the ABCs that pushes things down the paranormal avenue. And, the weird ones are always the black-skinned cats - the big muscular ones. They're the ones that vanish in the wink of an eye. They're the ones seen in the Crop Circles. And they're the ones that have supernatural abilities.  And, it's my belief those particular ABCs are tied to the Taigheirm. Having read the the grisly history of theTaigheirm, I'm absolutely sure that is what's going on. Of course, so many people in Cryptozoology simply will not know go down that paranormal path. I really don't know why so many researchers of the controversy back away from the "ABCs are supernatural" angle, but the fact is they do. Rather than just going out looking for the Alien Big Cats, I recommend those who have an interest in the mystery to look deeper into the history and activities of the Taigheirm. That, I believe, is where we will find the answers.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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