A claim that the massive attack on a logging compound in Liberia was supernaturally motivated has sent a stir through the paranormal community with questions being raised about the influence of a third party possibly interfering with industry to protect natural habitations. Of course the idea may sound a bit absurd at first, but those present when the elephant attacked loggers outside Rivercress which resulted in the death of one man say the creature was certainly acting as though it were under the control of a third party.
The incident’s tragedy was compounded with the deaths of one human and the elephant attacking, and then sent shock waves through a community convinced that the mysterious creature had been supernaturally possessed by something more than just animal rage. In the United States there are several traditions that hold that humans can become possessed by supernatural entities, but the notion that an animal could become possessed to act politically by a human seems like something akin to a late night episode of the X-files rather than something conceivable anywhere in the world.
Authorities in the area are convinced that the action was merely a random act of violence by an animal whose habitat had been decimated by logging, and the logging company had the animal cut up and distributed to the local people as a peace offering and to stem rumors of supernatural influence. Elephants are endangered in Liberia, so the incident is considered a disaster for ecological reasons as well. If the attacks continue there is no word on how the logging industry will react.
In Liberia the magical tradition and set of spell practices is known as ‘juju.’ Practitioners of juju sorcery attribute mystical significance onto objects which are either blessed through ritual or naturally mystically significant. Juju is also the actual power or force attributed to these objects. The western mystical tradition known as hoodoo derives many of its practices through juju passed down through the generations.
Is there precedent for a case where an animal is said to be possessed by either demons or influenced and controlled by humans? There certainly is, and there are incidents said to be derived directly from the hoodoo mystical tradition. An old story in southern folklore has even told of a woman who either possessed or transformed into a cat in order to kill those who had wronged her. And in some variations of the old werewolf tale the supernatural nature of the transformation is premeditated by a sorcerer who wishes to be able to move guiltlessly to and from the location of their offense in a form that will be unrecognizable. Other forms of this story once again suggest it to be a cat. And mythology is filled with stories of humans transforming into creatures of the Earth in order to either disguise themselves or combat a foe too strong for their human forms.