Davids Basement of the Bizarre

THE BASEMENT’S CABINET OF CURIOSITIES: The Mummified Gnome

Things certainly have changed, some for the better, some for the worst. Back before we had the technology of today, times were simpler and people were much more open to nature and their surroundings. Today, people are so connected to computers, cell phones and video games that they miss the connection to the planet that we once had. Now everything is such that we don’t even have to leave our house, though during a pandemic this is not necessarily a bad thing.

You can now order everything you need online and have it delivered, sometimes within hours of ordering. The only plus side to the pandemic is that people are actually doing more things outside and hopefully, reconnecting with nature and all it has to offer.

Back in the 1600s right up until the 1800s, people were connected to the land, because they relied on it to survive. Their days were spent outside working and in doing so, established a connection to nature that is lost today. Wildlife was plentiful and so were other creatures that have all but been forgotten.

Gnomes, one of the many wee-folk, were once common throughout the world, especially in the European countries. Their diminutive size, usually fifteen centimeters or less and their good nature made them welcome guests around the homestead. Today they are jokes, with yard statues and other novelties to offensively remind us of what once was. Ask anyone today what a gnome is and many will respond with “I don’t know” or “those statues in gardens.”

What people do not realize though is that they do, or did, exist. Either sightings are non-existent or those that have seen them keep the encounter to themselves either out of fear of ridicule or to actually protect them from exploitation. There is proof though they they once were a part of the world.

Just recently something was unearthed that can only be described as unbelievable. This happened in Vermont where a married couple, who wish to remain anonymous, had the horrible task of going through their parents’ belongings after they both passed away. The house has been in the family for many generations and all you had to do was look at the attic and basement to see how true this was. In many places things were stacked floor to ceiling with pathways going through both locations. A dumpster was ordered and they began trying to figure out what was worth keeping.

The couple was about two-thirds through the attic where they came across a small, oblong box that was very old. In fact, it has rusted shut. When they picked it up they felt something shift inside and they wondered what it could be. Using a small screwdriver they were able to carefully pry the box open and to their surprise, there was a little body inside.

They could tell it was very old, and looked very shriveled, almost mummified. It wore clothes that were starting to disintegrate and there was a small pot and walking stick inside with it. The head reminded them of pictures they had seen of shrunken heads and it featured a full beard and what looked like a receding hairline.

The head seemed a little larger in proportion to what a human’s head would look like on a human body. The hands and feet also seemed smaller in comparison as well. Everything within the box smelled musty and though they didn’t know how old it was, they could tell it had been around for quite some time, perhaps a hundred years or more.

At first they thought that this had to be a joke but realized that if it was, it was one planned a long time ago. The more they thought about it, the more they realized that they had found something important. They immediately started taking pictures with their cell phone, in the hope that maybe someone would know what it was. They posted some of them on all of their social media sites and though many people scoffed it off as a joke, they did hear from one person, a scientist, who wanted to study the remains.

They agreed to meet somewhere neutral, just in case this guy was a nut. Before showing what they had to him, they talked with the gentleman, trying to learn as much as they could about him and his background. Just prior to meeting him in person, they searched him on the internet and found that he did in fact have a lot of credentials to back up his legitimacy. After talking to him they were convinced to turn the tiny body over for study.

A few days later the gentleman called them, exclaiming that they had indeed found something spectacular, unreal in fact. He explained that he was next going to have it x-rayed and do DNA sampling. The couple became very excited, not so much at the prospect of making some extra money from this, but by the fact that they had something extraordinary on their hands.

A week went by and when they had not heard back from the scientist, they called, only to get his voicemail message. They left a short message to call them back, expressing their anxiousness of what he had found. A few days later, after not hearing back, they called again. This time they got a message that the phone number was no longer in service. They got very nervous.

They re-did the internet search on him, hoping they could find another way to contact him. This time all the search came up with was “No results found.” They were shocked. It seemed that everything on this guy was erased from existence and there was nothing they could do about getting the mummified body back. Though they still had their pictures, they were also disappointed because this small little man was something that had been in their family for a very long time, and they had lost it.

They still call that number once in awhile and search online, hoping that maybe he would re-appear. To this day they have been unable to reconnect. After going through the rest of the house, they found nothing that compared to the mummified gnome.

Don’t forget to read my other posts in my CABINET OF CURIOSITIES series!

~David Albaugh

If you have any interest in collecting items such as this, visit The Dusty Tentacle’s store HERE!

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