Attack of the Nigerian Iron God Part 2

About the history of a saw mill in Nigeria which the Nigerians feared as a Iron God.


By now, the Nigerian staff were in a state of extreme fear. Mr. Delany decided to close the mill for the rest of the day and sent for two European experts, one an electrician, the other a sawmiller. They examined the machine, the starter motors, the mains switches, checking in every possible way, only to state that everything was in perfect order and that it was utterly impossible for the band-saw to start up when the mains and starter motor switches were off. Mr. Delany confesses that he was badly shaken by this last incident but still refused to have the witch doctor in because of his natural repugnance to the particular form of sacrifice. He suggested finding blood for the sacrifice from a dead hen or the local meat market, but to this the witch doctor would not agree. The men were persuaded to return to work only by an offer of additional money and the assurance that the machine, [and its parts] were in perfect order, having been checked by the European experts. There was a lull for about two weeks and everyone concerned was beginning to relax when with horrifying and brutal suddenness the "Iron God" struck. The band-saw had just commenced to saw through a log, the 7-in.-wide saw-blade was turning at maximum revolutions when without warning and for no reason the saw-blade started to peel in a thin strip commencing at the rear. Within a second or so a tangled mass of peeled saw-blade burst out and struck the operator in the chest and face, inflicting serious wounds; in fact, he died before he could be carried out to the waiting estate car. Operators are never protected (i.e. caged in with protective mesh) with this type of saw, as normally there is no need, the saws having adequate guards.

A Mr. Stenner of Stenners Ltd. of Tiverton said some time later that never before in his many years of manufacturing band-saws had he heard of such a thing occurring. Mr. Delany then gave way to the demands of his workmen, who would not have worked in the sawmill at any price until the witch doctor had made the sacrifice to the "Iron God." The band-saw stopped operating two years ago, but during the eight years from the date of the operator's death it functioned without hitch. The death of the operator was duly recorded in police records. It is interesting to note that when the United Africa Company opened their very large sawmill, costing several millions of pounds, at Sapele in Eastern Nigeria, the witch doctor was called in to make the appropriate sacrifice to the "Iron God."

Mr. Delany was not of the opinion that the witch doctor himself had caused these accidents by some form of "psychokinesis"--he described him as an amiable old gentleman. He believed that if the occurrences were not simply accidents, then they were caused by the fear of the natives somehow acting upon the saw--a form of negative psychokinesis.

Source: Rasputin and the Fall of the Romanovs by Colin Wilson, published by Citadel Press, Secaucus, N.J., 1964.

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