Other Realms Contact Seekers
The civil war “rebel yell,” the Japanese war cry of “Bonzai,” the creepy shout of “Alala” by formations of Ancient Greek troops meant to spook enemy horses, the chanted “barritus” of the Roman legions, the Zulu battle cry “Usuthu” to name a few, battlefield warriors utilized vocalizations to both instill courage of purpose and intimidation in the hearts of the enemy. But, have you ever heard of the Aztec “death whistle?”
It is known that the Aztecs would often create ominous and imposing sounds when marching into battle in order to intimidate their opponents. The Aztec were a highly militaristic society. Spanish documentation has indicated the Aztecs marching into battle with hundreds of drums in cadence. The Spanish records detail the terror that these drums could very easily create. And then there is the “death whistle.” It was a hand carved, hollow whistle-like object that when blown, made the sound of a human bellowing in screaming pain. Believed to have been used as a tool of psychological warfare at the start of battle to frighten an enemy, the use of these whistles in unison by hundreds of attacking Aztec warriors would have been a most frightening spectacle to behold, contributing to unhinging and undermining the resolve of an enemy.
It would be a disservice to the reader not to check out the following links to hear exactly how just one of the death whistles would sound. As you listen, try and place yourself as a defender against a charging enemy and hearing this sound produced by hundreds advancing on your position.
Another good place to listen: https://youtu.be/I9QuO09z-SI
Due to discovery of two skull-shaped whistles found clasped in the hands of a sacrificed male skeleton, it is also believed these whistles were also used just before the sacrificial victim was killed in the belief of guiding the soul to the afterlife or underworld, and at other times even used as a part of a cermonial healing method, helping to put patients into a sort of ritualistic trance.
Those opposing the Aztecs had a lot to consider in the first moments of impending attack. Adding to the fact that if captured and not killed in battle, it was most likely you were doomed to become a blood sacrifice, the “death whistle” enhanced the fear factor of an advancing, merciless foe.
If you are interested, the following is more info on the Aztec way of blood sacrifices. I’ll start by setting this mental image for you to visualize.
Using an obsidian (volcanic stone) blade, the Aztec priest directs several helpers to hold down the very much alive sacrificial victim. He then slices open the victim’s chest and removes the still beating heart above his head for others to see this offering to their gods. The body of the victim gets tossed down the steps of the temple, but not before decapitating him/her and subsequently taking their skull, with holes bored on either side, and sliding them onto tall wooden poles or placed on large racks for display along with countless others. This description has been documented by Spanish conquistadors, found in pre-Hispanic art and evidenced in archaeological excavations.
Historical research indicates an estimate of thousands of people being sacrificed every year. Both people within the Aztec empire and outsiders captured in battle were used for human sacrifice. These sacrifices were not in themselves of mindless, sadistic intent, but rather coincided with various calendar events serving the believed purpose of reversing or preventing things such as famine, drought, etc. The display of the skulls were a kind of trophy exhibition and reminder of the strength and encompassment of their empire. You may be surprised to learn that not all went unwwillingly to a blood sacrifice to their god Huitzilopochtli. It was accepted as a great honor and guarantee of passage to the afterlife to do so, and as some hoped, to be enlisted in the sun god’s army to fight against the forces of darkness.
Strange as it may seem, after sacrifice, the bodies were sometimes gifted to distinguished members of their community whereby body parts were cooked in large pots for consumption. This practice was partaken in the belief that consuming the flesh of the sacrificed was akin to communing with the gods themselves. It would have been considered normal practice and also one of great honor to participate in this ritualistic meal.
In relation to the paranormal, there are numerous reportings of a particular apparition dressed as an Aztec from pre-Conquest times. Purported to inhabit the seemingly endless subway tunnels of Mexico City, this spirit is always dressed in indigenous clothing and occasionally speaks to witnesses in the Aztec language “Nahuatl” which has survived in modern times as the second most widely spoken indigenous language in the Americas, only surpassed by the Inca language itself. It is interesting to note how various foreign languages might sometime come into play with spirit communication attempts made in paranormal investigations, and here is a claim of a spirit using a specific language other than English, even if it is coincidentally and conveniently associated to that area.
Lastly, mentions of real flesh and blood giants can be found in an ancient text (Codex Ríos) that details the Aztec fighting & capturing what is referred to as Quinametzin” (translation: one of the old ones), who are also said to have built the great pyramid of Cholula. Yet, one of these giants, Tzilacatzin, was also immortalized in Aztec lore as having help defend against the Spanish conquistadores, documented in the Florentine codex. Giants weren’t real you say? hhhhmmmmmm…
Terrifying Ghost Whistles, human sacrifices, dismemberments, ghostly apparitions, giants… “Weirdness” before the term ever became popular.
Until next time…