The Jinn, also known as "the Black Smoke Monster," seemed to emerge somehow after a binding spell gone wrong. I don't know for certain that was it-- it may have been a coincidence OR it could have been a combination of factors. I had a thriving pagan circle where I was teaching some basics in magick, dodging sticky witch groups with nefarious agendas, and experimenting, a lot, with spellcrafting. Book learning is one thing, but hands on is another. Some things were coming together for me, like understanding how much of magick is psychology that taps into the subconscious mind. I had this bright idea one lunar eclipse (August 8th, to be precise) to bind my own fear. I had a dental appointment coming up and I was dreading my entirely predictable and humiliating meltdown.
What could go wrong?
It's hilarious to me that paranormal experts will decry the use of ouija boards when the truth is that most such things simply don't work, are faked, or require a true medium to "tap in" -- and at the right time when some stray spirit (or whatever) happens by. A binding of an emotion...minor, right? I still don't get it. Also-? My idea bombed. I was still a basket case at the dentist, and-- once more, a totally new guy sent me home with a prescription for 2 pills of Valium, which I was required to take before he attempted to work on me again. I scared him and he declared me "the worst case of dental phobia I've seen in over 30 years of practice!" Lesson learned! THAT idea didn't work!
Regardless, 3 days later I had my first sighting of an entirely new phenomenon-- a small black blob of smoke.
I had started hearing whacks and thumps in random places around the house before this and sighed... we'd been having regular bouts of oddities since getting our own apartment next door to my mother's apartment. I was rather used to such things. I noted it and went on with my life. But then I was at the computer and felt a strange little shift to the air. Nothing big- just a feeling of something off. I was browsing the internet or something and stopped to look around the room. I was in our little office upstairs and all the lights were on.
To my shock, a smallish black thing was sort of float-scooting across the floor! It moved at a good pace and went right by where I was sitting so I had several seconds to just stare at it. What I saw completely confused me...
It was featureless and black, moving like liquid, but it appeared to be made out of opaque black SMOKE. The smoke substance sort of roiled slowly back into itself rather than disappating like smoke would be expected to do. What's more, it moved intelligently, coming out from under the guest bed and into the room, and then turning around to go back under as if it realized I'd seen it! I jumped down to look under the bed and saw nothing, though. I then raced from the room and told Gerick, but he was skeptical. Until a couple days later he saw it the same way-- at night on the internet and looked down, thinking a cat was by his feet (we had a black cat after all!) and found it wasn't what he was thought.
The thumps and whacks quieted a little bit, but I kept seeing a small black thing every couple of days. Always inside the house with us, and generally in a cat-like shape. As time went on, it got bigger and we got more interference with our lights and electrical systems, but beyond that-- no harm at all. It slunk about as if trying to avoid being seen in general. But then it sometimes tapped where it was, and I could turn and look at the source of the sound and see it! Like it wanted me to know it was there. It did not emulate this behavior with Gerick, as he and I continued to compare notes as the weeks wore on, nor did it try to get the attention of any of our guests.
Usually I was alone when I saw it, but a couple of times a member of my pagan circle would see it around during meetings. I shrugged and said it wasn't doing any harm thus far, so... I was letting it go. Eventually, it was the size of a very BIG cat. I started talking to it when I saw it, but it didn't seem able to understand "yes" and "no" and I got the feeling it was very young or primitive. There was a strong sense of curiosity from it though! It's behavior got more nuanced, but it also acted out more and in bigger ways.
By September, our faucets were turning themselves on-- or, rather, we suspected this smoke thing was doing it. It had never happened before and suddenly it was happening every few days! Meanwhile, the thing was growing. And I kept catching it walking UPRIGHT like a person! It was the size of a 3 or 4 year old in human form by the end of our time together (a little less than 3 months). I felt no threat from it though. NONE. If it was a demon or anything of the sort, I reasoned, I should have felt that dark menacing atmosphere that typically comes with evil spiritual entities. It was utterly neutral though.
It seemed to be learning. Watching us and mimicking us, standing up and walking-- using arms to peer around corners. It was kind of cute, actually. I know that seems insane to a person who has lived an ordinary life, but after dealing with aliens and all sorts of astral nasties, this black smoke thing was just adorable in comparison! Just because it was a black color, I didn't automatically assign it a dark motive. Maybe it ate light? Was that the action of the black smoke movement on its surface? Living things need to eat. Light is a form of energy. So... did it eat energy?
I left food out for it. Milk. Honey. The classic fairy foods and nothing happened. It kept getting into the wiring of the house and making the lights blink. Oh-- and BATTERIES. It drained every battery in our house-- over and over again! That 3 month period of time saw remote controls going dead every few days and even brand new batteries in packages went dead within a few days. We had battery testers and kept checking-- fresh batteries didn't live long with this black smoke thing around. I reasoned it was eating that energy, too. But feeding a semi-astral beastie batteries is damned expensive.
And water-- why water? It didn't go after still water. It seemed to crave moving water... If I'd had more money (we were barely keeping up in batteries) I would have set up a flowing fountain for it to eat. Seems like the cheapest way to go! But never got that far.
The water faucets going on became a daily thing by October. Gerick was beside himself to get rid of it and vexed with me for not being more antagonistic towards it. But I was too amazed. It was walking around now! Would it reach full grown human form? And THEN what? It never had features beyond the black smoke in a roughly cat or human-like shape. Would that change? I was fascinated with my troublesome pet! (I am truly a witch I guess...) Gerick was far less charmed.
Then one day all the faucets in the bathroom went on (tub and sink) and I rushed upstairs. To my amazement, the TOILET started to fill and overflow. I watched in horror as the handle on the back of it by the floor turned and turned! I jumped down and closed it, and it turned against my hand, it was stronger than me! SHIT!! I raced out of the townhouse and to the apartment of the manager who also did handyman duty. He came over and tried to turn it off and watched as it turned itself back on again. The sink and tub also came back on. I was freaking at that point (more about floor damage than about a spirit) and he assured me the water pressure was too high-- that's all! So he turned the main line off outside, then back on. And everything seemed okay... for a couple of hours.
So after I got everything cleaned up, I turned the faucet on downstairs in the kitchen on low and left it on and told the thing in my house I'd leave one on all the time but to STOP getting into the pipes and fucking around!
It stopped fucking with the pipes. In fact, it never turned another faucet on again. It understood basic directives now. It was learning English fast, I thought. I tried asking it yes and no questions using tapping again, but it didn't seem to know what it was. Was it a ghost? No. Was it a spirit? No. Was it a demon? No. It said it was not lost, but it liked me and it wanted to stay. Beyond that I could get little information. After a few taps, it would be "tapped out" and cease to answer. Every session pretty much only got this far and no further. But I was intrigued that it could communicate now, even if only a little.
However, it resumed feeding (I assume) off the electrical wiring. It got into my phone line when I was talking to my friend Robin a few times, causing crazy interference. Then... the final straw came one day in late October.
It got into our computer!!
I could hear it making sounds in our office, and then I heard the computer come on by itself and the modem (remember those screeching things back in the 90s?) went on and I flipped out! I ran up the stairs and told that thing to get the FUCK out of my computer, my wiring, my pipes, and my home! It had pissed me off and I was banishing it! I started flinging astral energy all over the place (hard to explain, but by this time, I'd learned a technique or two...) and mostly around the office.
There was a final screeeech from the modem-- and then it all went quiet. Completely quiet. I never saw the smoke monster again. It ended up being so easy to get rid of I was astonished all over again. There was a connection with ME, and I had to be the one to banish it, apparently.
Why do I call it a Jinn? Well, according to Occult World (dot come):
"A Djinn (genii, ginn, jann, jinn, shayatin, shaytan) is in Arabic lore, a type of interfering spirit, often Demonlike, but not equivalent to a Demon."
But more than that, it seems to be equated with shape-shifting and dark smoke in the mythologies. This black smoke entity definitely fits both categories. It made mischief, behaving like an invisible poltergeist most of the time. Jinn seem to only be seen or experienced in desert environments or during dry and low humid conditions (like Oregon late-August/early autumn.)
Further, in more recent reports of black smoke shape-shifting entities, as in Skinwalker Ranch in Utah-- I'm starting to see similarities between Native American communities of the southwestern U.S. and the dry inter-mountain areas and their experiences with the Middle Eastern mythologies. I don't think it's a coincidence the black smoke entities are typically seen in deserts. Interestingly, both widely divergent cultures say that these things are not quite like a regular demon because they make connections and have relationships with humans and can be like a witch's familiar or a sorcerer's lackey. If one knows how to "use" them, they can be handy-- like poltergeists you can boss around.
I did go on a trip to the Oregon desert with my group earlier in June for Litha. We did several rituals out there and had a great time. Maybe, just maybe, I attracted a little jinn to me during that time. It may have taken it a few weeks to manifest into the physical. There is a possible desert connection there. Maybe deserts are just the natural home of these entities...
My smoke monster was connected to ME somehow, and I had to be the one to make it leave. Gerick tried numerous times and had no power over it. Not with sage or chanting. As it never hurt me or my cats, I purposely didn't drive it away, because I was trying to figure out what the fuck it was and why and how it was with me. I leak energy like a sieve, so I'm pretty certain I "fed" it by merely letting it be around me. But as it grew it seemed to need flowing things to feed it-- like electricity or moving water. I was studying my jinn because I found it's existence absolutely fascinating!
That's the only time I think I've ever encountered a jinn. It didn't scare me, I am left intrigued and confused though. Had I the knowledge THEN that I do NOW, I think I could have done a lot more with the little fella!