Hairwolf Craydar: Soul Miner’s Daughter
By Nate Balding
Art by Jason White
Published Issue 100, April 2022
Once again spring comes tearing around the winter bend hauling the evergreen promise of renewal like Hasil Adkins brain-soaked with moonshine ripping divots in the backwoods Appalachian mud on a psychobilly drunk-drive. Not unlike the dead man survived by a musical legacy perennially rediscovered by fresh young ears, the season of rebirth spurs a line of questioning that inevitably ends with a deep, pondering look inward, asking: “If trees can die every year and come back to life, does that mean I can die and come back to life too?”
Cue exhalation of vape-flower.
While it may seem a frivolous bit of philosophical musing from a first year seminary student, the question isn’t baseless. According to Pew Research some 33 percent of Americans adhere to the belief in a second at bat on the material plane after the Grim Catcher gloves their mortal pop fly. And since you’ve asked, in this metaphor, generational wealth does indeed count as RBIs.
A multitude of celebrities are doubly famous among the spiritual second chance crowd for their supernatural endurance. Conan O’Brien supposedly carries the soul of Union soldier Marshall Harvey Twitchell who, in addition to flaunting the progenitor of the naturally occurring pompadour, successfully infiltrated a Confederate camp cosplaying as a masturbating bear. His ruse came undone when he was pressed by a few lonely graybacks to listen to the Good Book where it compels men to do unto others. In 2013, television psychic Sharon Prasad claimed that Prince George, first-born of Killiam — or for the prudes from across the pond, Kate and Prince “Ten Extra Teeth” William — is the reincarnation of Diana. Which makes complete sense if you ignore the entire science of genetics and lean David Icke level hard into the theory that all current royals are reptilian clones built from the disinterred body of the Peoples’ Princess, with the sole purpose of manufacturing this solar system’s most elegant croquet player.
Ukrainian human Barbie (her words, not mine) Valeria Lukyanova has claimed to contain legions. In her time on Atlantis her name was Amatue which roughly translates to either “Goddess of Light” or “I’m Sorry, Come Again? I Thought You Just Said Something Fucking Crazy.” She also contends her metaphysical lineage includes the rather unsavory history of Viennese occultist Maria Orsic, the woman who claimed responsibility for introducing Hitler to the concept of Aryan superiority. In reaction to this admission, Mattel’s Barbie Dream Bunker playsets no longer come with a learn-to-read copy of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Now here’s where reincarnation gets really creepy.
Hundreds of claims exist of parents having conversations with their young children that reveal them to be the vessels of a previously-lived individual who just couldn’t keep their ghostly mitts off of the new merchandise. Professor Jim Tucker, currently of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, has made it his multiple-life’s goal to uncover the secrets of reincarnation through the study of these objectively unnerving youths. Over the course of many years, several books and I’m guessing daily microdoses of ayahuasca, he’s documented a wide variety of weirdnesses among these nascent humans. There’s the story of Sam, son of and phantom-dad to Ron. One sunny morning Sam mentioned to his progeny/paterfamilias in passing that, “When I was your age, I changed your diapers.” While that could be a simple case of kids say the darndest things, continued quips became increasingly pointed and hinted at knowledge the 18-month-old couldn’t possibly have. He once noted that he’d had a sister who was turned into a fish by some bad guys and died. Ron’s late father’s sister had been murdered 60 years prior and found floating in San Francisco Bay. Asking the child if he knew how he died he smacked himself in the head, indicating the cerebral hemorrhage that felled the OG Ronfather.
Seattle-born Sonam Wangdu crawled into the terrible twos claiming to be the reincarnation of Dezhung Rinpoche I, a Tibetan lama who died in 1987 after informing his acolytes that he’d be reborn in the Emerald City just in time to hear the first Hum record. If this was a hustle perpetrated by the world’s youngest con man it paid dividends. At 5 years old Wangdu, now refusing his birth name in lieu of Trulku-la — literally the word for reincarnation — absconded to Nepal to bunk with monks and bask in the praise befitting an undead guru.
Could there be an immortal spring chewing on its own tail across the expanse of time? Are you merely the current sum of a near-infinite collection of wastrels and sovereigns? Who knows, maybe all those times you dreamed of being violently gunned down by a melting man with a dog for a head it was your past life, non-consensually clawing its way into your subconscious to tell you about the time they tried to buy a black market shih tzu from Phil Spector.
Have questions about the paranormal?
Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @WerewolfRadar.
It’s a big, weird world. Don’t be scared. Be Prepared.
Nate Balding is a freelance humanoid who occasionally manifests in print and can most likely be seen at Werewolf Radar. Should you wish to hear him manifest audibly you can do so at the aforementioned Werewolf Radar’s associated podcast on Spotify and Apple, and if anything ever becomes humorous again, on a variety of stand up stages around the nation. If you’re truly craving further content there’s always @Exploder on Twitter — even if it is only a form of digital self flagellation at this point. His one thing that he considers actually accomplished was this time he was published in the journal Nature and then later collected into a volume called Futures from Nature, still available in places that have things.
Jason White is an artist living in the suburbs of Chicago. His favorite mediums are oil on canvas and pencil & ink drawings. When he was a kid he cried on the Bozo Show. His work varies from silly to serious and sometimes both. Check out more of his work on Instagram.
Check out Nate’s March install, Werewolf Radar: The Chaunic 2000, and Jason’s companion art to Brian Polk’s Idle Chatter, Ins And Outs, And Various Other What-have-yous, or head to our Explore section to see more from these talented creatives.