Anomalie No. 435

{For archival purposes, contributions to this document made by Robert Baker were notated by Reverend Baumann. In the digitization we have honored this by coloring these sections red for the sake of differentiation.}




~ 22nd of September, 1882 ~

Bounty Attributes:

Lethality Concealment Desirability Priority Status
6 8 5 (Protectorate) 6 C

Bounty Commissioner: ​Director Mose Currie
Expedition Leads: Sergeant Robert Baker, Reverend Horace Baumann



By request of Hunters Baker and & Baumann, those visiting Cochise County are to avoid secluded crossroads as much as is reasonable.


just ask ned beatty

Hunting Guidelines

At the outset it is important to understand the nature of the infernal phenomena you will encounter should your aim be to in some way apprehend or retard this particular anomalie. Those in contact with these queer forces have given accounts of visions both mundane and strange. Imperative to keep your wits about you, though even more essential to keep your faith close to your breast. Devilish presences wilt before a strong willed heart, fortified by faith in The Holy Spirit. Some solace can be found when repeating a phrase in your thoughts. Methods of that nature can bolster one's focus, stop you from losing yourself.

These manifestations will be personalized, so it is imperative that above all else, you know yourself before you go hunting. Every thought can and will be used to your detriment, so be weary of your own weaknesses.

As far as firearms go, of course I recommend always keeping your trusty sidearm of choice with you at all times. However, considering the nature of this particular Anomalie is rather ethereal, it is very unlikely physical violence will be the greatest hinder to your efforts. As far as your required equipment is concerned, there are a few concrete recommendations:

  • #1 Food, and Water: This anomalie will test your endurance, and if you are not prepared you may find yourself up shit creek. Ultimately, the danger is largely mental, and you don't want to be stuck out of your mind starving to death.
  • #2 Lighting: Many recountments of this anomalie portray it as largely nocturnal, however certain aspects are partial to the transitionary periods (dawn and dusk). Either way, you do not want to catch yourself in a fight blind, under any circumstances. So whether its a gasoline lamp or the candles your mom makes, make sure you have control of your sight.
  • #3 A Partner: Should be self explanatory for an anomalie expedition, but so often I see cocksure hunters go missing, thinking they could go it alone. FOr No. 435 especially DO NOT HUNT ALONE! Nothing is more helpful when your mind is being tampered with than another human being to ground you.
  • #4 Barbiturates: This may be the most important, be sure to pack sleeping pills from the local chemist if you wish to hunt this anomalie. It may seem odd, but think for a moment. If the danger is largely mental, nothing is more protective than putting one's mind to sleep. Have them on hand, and if you feel yourself begin to slip to anomalous presences, knock yourself out. By the time you are awake, it will probably have passed.

Equipment for the purposes of documentation may also be helpful. Writing things down not only assists in the documentation of the anomalie, but may keep you grounded in the event of psychological manipulation.

Stay safe out there.

Nature of the Anomalie

What we have come to call Anomalie No. 435 is in reality a group of occurrences which has plagued the entire Southwest region for decades. What we have found is that similar events to what you will see described have been going on both on the page and in the real word for generations. If you've ever been told you can make a Deal with the Devil at a crossroads, that was somebody telling you about Anomalie No. 435 whether you knew it or not. The series of phenomena came to the Axton Hornby Society's attention following a number of queer incidents surrounding the crossroads in Statler's Field, which has been the subject of legend among the denizens Cochise County for several years now. Namely due to a number of tragedies that have befallen the small community of Ogden adjacent to the field. The people there have an awareness of the abnormalities, but it appears that they are ignorant to its true extent.


Photograph of the Statler's Field crossroads, courtesy of the Gazette.

We believe that these manifestations of No. 435 are possible because crossroads themselves can act as a pathway to infernal planes of existence. Often those who have experienced No. 435 describe visions and a certain discombobulation consistent with others who have travelled "beyond", though we haven't found anyone with memories of the other place they visited.

What makes this particular phenomenon intriguing is the fact that there are a number of commonalities that all those who have experienced such manifestations have described. There are two specific subsets of affected individuals with different symptoms, outlined below.

  • The first subset all describe a calling of sorts that starts out slow and then increases gradually. This manifests aurally in most cases, as singing on the wind or a distant howling of wolves. In most cases the affected will perceive the stimuli as a distinct coercion, offering to grant one's desires if only they come to the crossroads.
  • The second set will usually have no memory of ever having been called, but will appear at the crossroads after a period of disappearance, unable to remember any incident at all. Following an occurrence of this nature, the affected often suffer from lapses in memory and personality. This is also the only subset that report sightings of a Phantasm.
  • Those in this second set often begin to experience periods of exaggerated misfortune and tragedy, which seem almost spontaneous. This often ends in some form of self destructive behavior. Such events are what called attention to No. 435 in the first place.

Individuals among the second subset often also experience a level of loneliness as they possess an inability to relate to the world they exist in.

The Phantasm is the name given to a creature which while originally believed to be a hallucination brought on by delirium, we now know it is as real as any creatura obscura. It has been spotted by a number of Ogden citizens, and is in most cases described by those affected by No. 435 in the second subset. The phantasm is reported by these individuals during the period of misfortune. Often they say that it whispers strange things to them in the night, though it never directly harms them. As of right now we are unsure what it is actually attempting to do with these people. But we'll find out.

Recountment: Ned Beatty Case

Though certain manifestations of the phenomenon referred to as No. 435 have been plaguing towns such as Ogden for generations, the Axton Hornsby Society's attention was turned toward it as a result of the events surrounding Ogden farmer Ned Beatty and his family.

Over the course of the previous months, Ned Beatty's psychological state began to decline, and on August 8th he murdered his wife and two sons utilizing several kitchen utensils. This incident horrified the Ogden community, a predictable result considering Beatty's place as the town farmer. The larger community could not fathom how Ned could have committed such heinous acts. Newspaper reportings of the episode intrigued Society Officer Mose Currie, who commissioned a Protectorate Ranger to act as Expedition Lead. A recent transfer to the Tombstone Residency from the Society was also selected as secondary Expedition Lead.

Following the funerals for the Beatty family, the Society offered the Ogden Sheriff's Department financial incentive to allow the Expedition Team to investigate. Ogden's Sherriff White refused. Succeeding a number of repeated similar attempts, the Society eventually opted to send the team to Ogden as independent investigators.

Upon the team's arrival, it became obvious the Sheriff's department had neglected the case. There was little for the Expedition Team to truly utilize, aside from a single case file which included a summary of events and an indication of Ned Beatty's Plea of Guilty. Despite the setbacks, the team was welcomed by the larger Ogden community, and was able to eventually gather some usable data, included below.

Questioning of Deputy Sherman

~ 17th of August, 1882 ~

Author Note: We couldn't understand why the Ogden Sheriff's Department was so uninterested in the Beatty case. He had already been sentenced to hang by the time we arrived in town, and none of the officers were willing to cooperate with us, save for a single Deputy Sherman. He seemed to have been friends with Ned, so it seemed apropos to question him on the goings on of the situation.

Qu. Thank you for meeting with us. I know the sheriff seems to want nothing to do with the case, so we're in dire need of some information.

Ans. Well, I hope I can provide it, if'n you think you can help us out.

Qu. How long have these occurrences regarding Statler's Field been an issue?

Ans. In Ogden? Damn near since I was a kid. Hell, my grandpa settled here, and he'd tell me stories about it.

Qu. Well, just how old is the crossroad?

Ans. None of us are sure. Some say the pioneers built the roads, but you never know with these things.

Qu. Had Ned ever had a run in with something like this before?

Ans. Not really, I mean he was always a little loose up top, but never… He'd, y'know… Not like this.

Qu. I understand.

Ans. He's just such a character around here. Y'know how people are, we all liked Ned. Town farmer is a town farmer. He even had a run-in with the rebels when they tried t'come 'round here. Goddamn, you shoulda seen Johnny Reb run when he, oh, well. What I'm tryna say is he's a good man.

Qu. When did he start hearing voices?

Ans. You know, now that you say that, about a year or so back he did talk about a pack of wolves bein' in his farm, but we could never find anything. Then right before he disappeared he talked about some ol' deal or wish or something. Said he'd finally get what he always wanted. I thought he had bought somethin' in a catalog y'know?

Qu. He disappeared?

Ans. Yeah, for 'bout a day or two. His wife was beside herself. But we eventually found him, that was when he sort of went off.

Qu. He was different once he came back, wasn't he?

Ans. I don't know what it was, he just… wasn't the same. Meaner. More ornery. He told the Sheriff off once, hell they had a big ol' feud over it. That's why he's all aloof.

Qu. Would you say it was delusion, or something else?

Ans. I think it's real. Whatever happened to him, it ain't mental or whatever they call it. Sirs, forgive me for sayin' but the man in that cell ain't Ned Beatty. At least. Not the one we knew. Listen I've got to head back, is there anything else you want to know?

Qu. Did he ever get what he wanted? Out of the deal?

Ans. Tell you what, you go in that cell and see him for yourself. Then you tell me if he did.

Questioning was concluded when Deputy Sherman left the premises.

Questioning of Ned Beatty

~ 17th of August, 1882 ~

Author Note: Sergt. Baker and I were able to convince Sheriff Moore to allow us a short audience with the accused prior to the execution. Mose Currie didn't have as much pull as we had hoped, however it just so happened that Moore and Baker had served under the same superior officer during the war. Or at the least we were able to convince him they had.

Qu. Hallo, Ned. Apologies for waking you. I understand you've been in that cell for a few days now. I pray you are comfortable, but we would like to ask you a few questions for the, well, you know, newspaper. The Gazette.

Ans. Huh?

Qu. The, well, the Ogden Gazette.

Ans. We got a Times. Not a Gazette. You a foreigner?

Qu. Well, that's not really-

Ans. Shoot, with that accent ya sure ain't from 'round here are ya? You French? Or English, or some ol' thing? Cuz I tell ya, we really needed yall's help to win that war and you just went and-

Qu. We're here to ask you about the killings.

Ans. Ah! A Yank? In Ogden? Big shot too, lookin' at that medal. Why'd you come all th' way out here for some nobody farmer like ol' Ned Beatty?

Qu. Some people would like to know why you killed your entire family, Ned.

Ans. Well shoot, that ol' thing?

Qu. Well, yes. It was quite a shock to your community. And the Sheriff doesn't seem no interested in the case, frankly.

Ans. Y'all wanna know about that, then I'll tell ya. But ya won't understand.

Qu. We'll try our best.

Ans. Arright well, first things first, they ain't my family.

Qu. It was your wife and two sons, are you saying they weren't blood related?

Ans. Well hell, they certainly was Ned Beatty's kin, just not mine.

Qu. I don't follow.

Ans. Well they ain't real. They's dead all along. Them, this whole world, it's empty. Just me, by my lonesome.

Qu. So it was alright for you to go and cut them into pieces? To go and do something so horrible?

Ans. Look, the place I came from, ain't this one. I ain't the real me. I'as thrust into this facade, when Ned Beatty made his choice.

Qu. At the crossroads right? When he heard the singing on the wind, the howling of wolves?

Ans. I sometimes dream of his choice, the hounds, the fire.

Qu. Your vocabulary seems to have spontaneously improved. Do you believe you may be under the sway of a demon, or devil? There was a time, when something like this could be solved so quick, just a priest and a bib-

Ans. There's nothing inside me, 'cept cinders. And when I go, this whole place is comin' down with me.

Qu. You know, demons are often associated with images of fire and brimstone. What do you know about the calling? The voices?

Ans. You'd have to ask Ned Beatty.

Qu. Well, anyway, we'd also like to ask you about the Phantasm-

Ans. The shadow?

Qu. If that's what you call it-

Ans. The shade that stalks, the oily-cloaked beast of gnarled wood and bone, wind and ash? He who whispers in the night, the bringer of smoke, stoker of the flame, he who chose?

Qu. I mean-

Ans. I've seen it, yea.

Qu. What does he whisper to you?

Ans. Oh you know, that my kin were plannin' t'kill me.

Qu. Why would they do that?

Ans. Cause they could tell I wasn't me. Shoot, dam near everybody can. Even you two. Imagine what it's like, the real you is out there, living, wandering. And you're just here, blind. Living in his nightmare.

Qu. Well, I think we have what we need. Baker? Just one more. Ned?

Ans. Yea?

Qu. What did he look like?

Ans. The shadow?

Qu. Yes.

Ans. Why, he looked like Ned Beatty a'course!

Questioning was concluded at the insistence of Reverend Baumann.

Recountment: Lady Yewa Case

While unorthodox, it may be pertinent to address the reader in a more personal manner at this juncture. This recountment is one I collected alone, as the subject was someone known to me, who I sought out for this particular investigation. A part of my reasoning for volunteering to be a Protectorate Liason in Tombstone was its proximity to the small community of Hickersville, a mostly negro town further south towards the border.

One resident of Hickersville close to my own self, as a woman who goes by Lady Yewa. My acquaintance with her is rather circumstantial, though we have exchanged communication consistently. Her nephew served under me in an all negro brigade during the war. That boy saved my life at Gatlinburg, and as such I felt he deserved honors for his heroism. He's since been stationed in the Caribs, lord knows what he must be up to, but his aunt Yewa and I have formed an intermittent friendship.

Yewa is, to the chagrin of my partner the Reverend, a self-described "hoodoo priestess." Practicing the rites and incantations of the old negro witch doctors. She is quite popular in Hickersville, many say she can heal, or see the future or some such. Now, I myself am a God fearing man, this hokum rarely does much to spook me. But I remember Yewa once described to me a very sacred symbol to her practices, a cosmogram that resembles a crossroads. She has said that the crossroads are important to hoodoo. Considering the nature of my current expedition, I find it relevant to glean perspective from her on this.

Discussion with Lady Yewa

~ 1st of September, 1882 ~

Author Note: Under normal circumstances official audiences with the Lady are not free. However I was able to be granted a session free of charge considering our previous entanglements. There will be no charge listed on the Protectorate balances.

Qu. Praise Be, Lady Yewa. Would you like to give me a reading?

Ans. Oh, hush up honey! Don't act like you ain' know me Bobby, come here!

Qu. I must say, it's good to see you Bertie. There's been a whole spell of trouble in Tombstone, has me rather perplexed.

Ans. I'll tell ya about spells honey. The first is a day o' changin'! What's been troublin' ya?

Qu. We've been dealing with deals at crossroads. And I won't lie to you Bertie, it's been affecting me. You know what I mean.

Ans. No no no! You ain't be doin' that! Dem crossroads ain't for you or anybody Bobby. They is bad places out there, don't be so stupid.

Qu. You've got to understand, we don't know what it is we're dealing with really, what I'm dealing with.

Ans. I don't need ma' walking boy to see ya future if you jus' gonna let this happen, Bobby. Dem spirits know how badly you want it, that's how they get ya!

Qu. There have been people disappearing, they're seeing strange creatures, hearing voices, I-

Ans. You been the one hearin voices ain't ya? I know what you want, Bobby. If'n you want to beat this, you gotta let those wans float on down the river. Let 'em go. The spirits in that place feed on your sin.

Qu. What do you see Bertie? What's there that I can't see?

Ans. When ya go through that threshold, walkin' along the branches, passing by you'self, they will make you see. Goin' to that crossroads, your shadow walks beside you. On th' other side, you'll be walkin' beside you'self.

Qu. I can't let it go, Bertie. You know I can't.

Ans. It's up to you. The choice is already written in the bones, honey.

Qu. What do they ask for, in return?

Ans. More than you've got, Bobby.

Qu. You know that's not true.

Ans. Pride is a small boo hag, Bobby, but a strong one. Gives the others all they need. Can't change what's already been written. Jis what's fo' you, you'll git it.

Qu. Then I guess you already know it has to happen.

Ans. It makes me cry, Bobby, but I do know. I try to give ya' everytin' I can. But yo' branch curling towards ya now. Ya' gonna have ta' grab on.

Qu. I appreciate the advice.

Ans. You goin?

Qu. There's nothing else I need. Thank ya Bertie, I'll see ya again.

Ans. Just don' be too hard on you'self honey. He's got it hard enough.

Session was ended early, regarding a conflicting engagement.

On Further Safety and Concealment

Over the course of the investigation, the expedition team has concluded that concealment of the Anomalie may be nigh impossible. Far as the general populace are concerned, the thought that one can strike a deal with the Devil at any crossroads is generally considered a tall tale of sorts. To conceal No. 435 from the public the Auctoritas at large would need to devise some great scheme to discredit the phenomenon as utterly nonexistent on the cultural consciousness. But this is, at least by current means, not possible.

Best that can be done is to encourage a populace to reject their own deepest desires. Whatever devilish presences are calling to these people, it is evident the entities are drawn by the strength of one's dream. They're always listening for it

Suppression of desire is a deceptively simple task, it can be done through the use of any number of pressures be it social, cultural, or philosophical. However, no entity currently has the means by which to suppress it to the degree that is required to keep No. 435 concealed. Passions of the heart are unsupressable.

Conceptually, human beings are fallen creatures. We are plagued by notions of simple solutions. Our wants must be fulfilled, yet we are compelled by Sloth and Pride to believe there could be ways to achieve this easily. We must believe that there are avenues by which even our most elaborate and acute devotions might be fulfilled for us. What must it feel like.

As such, considering that concealment of No. 435 requires a deliberate change to human nature itself, it is the conclusion of the expedition team that total concealment is impossible.

It's inevitable.

Discernment Regarding State of Robert Baker

To those reading this document for the first time, who have not been made privy to the inner workings of the investigation, I do regret to inform you of the following events.

It's no secret that Sergt. Baker was to some degree affected by the nature of Anomalie No. 435. It may not be clear unless one can pinpoint his specific contributions to the project, but he had been experiencing and struggling with the phenomenon for a long time. Whatever it is he desired so, it must have been important enough for the sustained contact with Statler's Field to be too much for him.

Around the third of September Sergt. Baker began to act out in a queer manner. Myself and Mose Currie found him rather disoriented the morning of the fourth, and following that he has not returned to any state of normalcy. His symptoms are consistent with the second subset, he has lapses in memory, his personality is far different. It has made the work rather difficult, as the majority of the research regarding No. 435 he is unable to remember.

I'm fine

To me his efforts are still incredibly respectable. Despite the challenges he has attempted to adjust as best as he is able to a place he no longer feels he belongs.

In an attempt to perhaps reawaken his lost memories, I invited Lady Yewa back to Tombstone to see him. He did not recognize her. He said he never befriended her nephew, that he and the whole colored brigade died at Gatlinburg. She struck him. There was a struggle, and Baker heavily injured her.

Certain efforts of mine have seemed like they are of some assistance. I urged him to record his dreams, reminiscent of the questioning of Ned Beatty he didn't remember. The recountment is included here, but it has helped little. He says he has begun to see the Phantasm. As more incidents of turmoil occur in his life I have done all I can to bring him back, to return Tombstone's favorite Ranger to them, but I cannot.

He has put all his energy into adjusting, but I worry how long he will be able to sustain it.

Account of Related Dream by Robert Baker

~ 20th September 1882 ~

Two nights prior I had a dream that I remember quite vividly. I was under the impression that I was merely in a state of grieving, but upon describing the dream to Baumann, he related it to one Ned Beatty had mentioned. I don't remember it. Looking upon my and the Reverend's work here there is so much I can't remember. But this dream is so clear to me.

In the dream I am myself, and yet someone else. A Robert Baker, but one that is only slightly foreign to me. I could sense a restlessness in my spirit. A deep yearning. One I recognized. The change was sudden. In a moment, the whole world was singing. The wind, the trees, the soil. It spoke to me in such beautiful tones. The harmonic howling of a thousand invisible hounds. When the voices sang to me, I felt something else as well. A deep, yawning hunger. A yearning, like mine. The voices told me they could give me my greatest desires. That they could fulfill the ache in my bosom, if only in return I sated theirs. To do this, though, I must meet them halfway. I must follow the singing to the point of crossover.

I did. I followed them all the way out into a large field. To a crossroads, where a small, leafless tree grew in its center. The setting sun cast a long shadow under the tree, and the shadow ended at my feet. It was beckoning me. The voices were as well. So there I followed, and I entered the crossroads. The place between.

Here, the crossroads remained. But there were others. Parallels. Millions and millions of crossroads stretching to the horizon, like a grid. But they were not uniform. The paths were twisted, gnarled, knotted over top one another like branches on a great tree. In fact there were several trees, the paths were amid a forest of them, all larger than I could scarcely imagine. There was a mist obscuring the distance, and a great hollow wind. Aside from this, a deathly silence. I looked down, to the trunks of the trees. Blanketed in darkness, and oily shadow. There was movement, though. Immense things writhed underneath the bare canopy. I was compelled to move on. To walk along the branches.

As I walked, there were disparate sounds, echoing. A howl, a murmur, a scream. It was my voice screaming.

After some time I came upon a large clearing, wringed with walls of cut stones. Like a vast fire pit, filled with ash. Amid the bricks, were the remains of plants, branches that had grown over and through the stone, and since died. This place was older than I could know. It was then than the chill arrested me. The freezing wind suddenly manifesting, chilling me to the bone. I began to shiver feverously. There, in the shivering, it came to me. The shadow rose up from the ash. It offered the choice.

Though the voices called it a choice, once it is given to you, it becomes clear there never really was a choice.

I accepted the terms. And in an instant the clearing erupted in flame. The ashes began to turn a boiling red as the fire consumed the whole pit. The shadow fell back into the din, gone. I was burning. I felt the heat, the pain. It was consuming me. The last thing I remember before I awoke, was looking up, seeing the smoke of the fire staining the branches of the canopy.

Though there was peace for a moment, I noticed suddenly that it was there. The phantasm, the shadow. It was there, in the corner, watching me. I attempted to awaken, to apprehend it, yet I remained motionless. It crept closer to me. Its visage now inches from my own eyes. It had my face.

He whispered to me. Told me of the things outside, the hounds. The voices, the ones who wait, hungry. Who can feel your every want, desire, dream. The singers that guide you to them, always waiting to help you satiate their hunger. They prey on the ache, the emptiness you feel, the very thing you've always hoped to change. They are always listening.

As quickly as it came, it was gone. The only evidence of its presence, my bedroom window, slightly ajar.

I don't know yet if I am truly awake.

Further Discernment Regarding Robert Baker

Property of the Axton-Hornsby Exploration Society’s Anomaly Records

in collaboration with

The Ranger’s Protectorate Committee

Document Digitized: 08/11/2003 - OIRS

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