Lore (2017) s01e03 Episode Script

Black Stockings

1 On June 2, 2009, Caroline Coffey and her husband Blazej Kot went out for a run.
They had recently returned from their honeymoon in Costa Rica.
Caroline, at 28, was settling into her new job as a cancer researcher.
Blazej, 24, was a failing Ph.
candidate working 80-hour weeks for a startup.
The stress was taking its toll.
As he ran with Caroline that day, he was overcome by the unshakable conviction that this woman was not Caroline.
She was someone else, someone pretending to be Caroline, whose intention was to destroy him.
His defense attorney told the jury that Blazej was suffering from Capgras syndrome, a rare psychiatric disorder whose victims suffer from the belief that someone they love has been replaced with someone who looks identical, a deceiver who looks exactly like them.
Caroline's body was found the following day.
She had bled to death.
Blazej explained that he slit her throat so that she would die quickly without too much pain.
I still cannot understand what came over me to lead me to do this.
But I know I have done something terrible and it torments me every single day.
Blazej Kot was sentenced to life in prison after the jury rejected his explanation OF THAT DAY'S EVENTS: that his wife was not his wife but an imposter.
Yet a century earlier, this explanation was surprisingly widespread.
But it wasn't that everyone was in the grips of a psychological illness.
Rather, society itself was gripped by a powerful belief, and its most chilling instance lies in the country OF CAROLINE COFFEY'S BIRTH: Ireland.
I'm Aaron Mahnke, and this is Lore.
When strange things happened in 19th century Ireland, people often looked to magic and superstition for answers.
And they believed that spirit creatures were the cause.
These creatures were a type of fairy called a changeling.
And a changeling could come and take you away.
There's a superstition that if the person you love suddenly seems different, almost like they've become someone else, that it wasn't in fact your loved one at all but a replacement, a doppelganger, a changeling.
Like many of the people in the Irish village of Ballyvadlea, Bridget Cleary had grown up with those superstitions.
She may have even believed some of them, but, unlike many of her neighbors, Bridget was a modern woman, empowered by the Singer sewing machine.
Bridget lived with her husband in a small cottage owned by her father Patrick Boland.
Her husband Michael Cleary was a cooper for the local creamery.
Bridget's dressmaking and egg selling businesses were lifting Bridget and her husband above the poverty line of their neighbors.
Everyone in town knew that the couple increasingly depended on Bridget's rising income.
When I married you, you were a modest, sweet country lass.
You know who I am.
I am the same woman you married who loves you just the same.
We can continue chatting fashion after me egg deliveries.
I'll wake your da.
Oh, let him sleep.
Father's cared for me enough in a life.
Beside, ah, the thought of him trudging up that hill.
Up that hill? Yeah.
To William Simpson's? No.
To Cousin Jack Dunne's.
William Simpson's? Hah.
Shame on you for hearing such gossip about me.
You should be at home.
I have deliveries, Mike.
Come with me.
I don't work for you.
I have a business and a schedule.
You mock, but if you lived as I, you'd follow my road.
And if you had as many customers as I, you'd understand mine.
Mike, I didn't mean it like that.
Bridgie, I know since your mommy died that you've been going to fairy rings hoping to see her again, and we both know the town still gossips how often she'd go to the fairy rings, that she practiced fairy craft, and, because she wasn't careful, the changelings almost took her away.
I warn you, Bridgie, going there is tempting them take you.
You belong to me, Bridget Cleary.
No other man, not mortal nor any man of good people, shall have you.
Only me.
By custom and religion, an Irish wife belonged to her husband.
BUT THERE WAS ALSO A SUPERSTITION: the changelings had the power to steal her away.
The favorite targets of changelings were women, sometimes even children, and that's because they were seen as weak and vulnerable.
But before I go on with Bridget's story I need to tell you more about these mysterious creatures.
Abducted humans would be taken to wraths, which, in fact, were the remains of Iron Age forts.
On old maps these wraths were clearly marked because the local residents viewed them as something else entirely.
They were feared to be portals to another realm, and they were known as fairy rings.
It was from these rings that changelings would emerge in search of humans.
But don't think Tinker Bell.
Think Body Snatchers.
They could slip into our world and transform their appearance to look like their victim who would then be kidnapped and held captive in the fairy realm.
If a child became sick or ill-tempered, the explanation would often be that a changeling had taken its place.
Anyone could be replaced, and a sudden lack of interest in friends and family might be a telltale sign.
There were ways to banish a changeling, remedies that could cure you if they didn't kill you first, like holding a changeling over the fire until it could no longer stand the heat.
Or using foxglove, also known as digitalis, a powerful heart medicine still in use today.
Children might be bathed in a solution of foxglove to purge a changeling.
If that failed, they'd be forced to drink it, and foxglove can be lethal.
One desperate family was driven to the most extreme cure.
One of their children suffered from what we would surely recognize today as epilepsy, but to his distraught mother, this could only be one thing.
The way they saw it, at least there would be one less mouth to feed.
Jack Dunne never showed for two hours.
The weather turned sour.
I'll put you to bed.
I beg your pardon, sir.
I am a married woman.
How do you not know me? Do you know this man? Maybe she caught a touch of the brain fever.
How does she not recognize her own husband and father? Tell us you didn't go to the fairy ring to see your mother.
Did you, Bridget? Did you? Does she look taller to you? If it were a fairy stroke, she'd be having seizures.
She has the shivers, but she's been outside in the cold.
Put it down.
Afraid of the iron.
It's a sure sign.
I think we better fetch Dr.
He should be here tomorrow.
If what Michael believed was true, they had no time to lose because there's one final detail I forgot to tell you.
He only had nine days to rescue Bridget, or she'd be lost to the fairy realm forever.
In small town Ireland, you couldn't keep something like a changeling a secret for long.
Doc Crean's inside.
He finally showed up after a whole week of me trying to get him here.
Michael's gone to lodge a complaint against Dr.
If you had told Crean a bottle of Jameson's needed a doctor.
I've never seen a changeling before.
I brought iron nails to protect us.
Why don't you stay here, brother, till Dr.
Crean leaves? Dr.
You're langered.
Even drunk I make more sense than you.
Old Irishry.
Your home remedies and potions do more harm than good.
Perhaps if the doctor responded when called upon.
She's always been healthy, so no need to be overly concerned.
Bronchitis, hmm? She has bronchitis and nervous excitement.
With some modern medicine and rest, she'll be better in a few days.
See that she takes two spoonfuls of this in the morning and two at night.
Hmm? Hmm.
Oh, hey.
Hey, hey, hey.
If I had my mother I would not be this way.
I'll nurse you back to health, just as she would have.
The doctor says you need to have this.
Mm I demanded he explain why he didn't come when sent for.
And very rude in turn, saying sickly women shouldn't question their doctors.
I hear Michael left before sunrise to lodge a complaint against Doctor Crean.
Mike may has his faults but how many husbands would wander the countryside for days on end tirelessly looking for the doctor? Mike is not one to ever give up.
Per istam sanctam Unctiónem et suam piisimam misericórdiam.
Last rite? Now don't be alarmed.
I do this often, Michael.
It's just cautious.
The distance, should there be a problem and I can't get here in time.
Father, will you make a sign of the cross over this cure? Cure? Is that Dr.
Crean's medicine? I was given this by a fairy doctor in Fethard.
The Seven Sisters Kill Or Cure.
So you went to see this fairy doctor before or after you went to fetch Dr.
Crean in Fethard? I don't know what you believe.
We can't all be right.
But I know that you must forget the superstitions of the old Irishry.
I do, Father, I surely do, but if the changelings have taken Bridget, we've only nine days to get her back, or we lose her to the other world forever.
This is This may be day 7.
There are only two days, or my Bridget is gone.
Then you must put your faith in Christ.
I do, but, you see, with my faith in Christ, Dr.
Crean's modern medicine, and the Seven Sisters Kill Or Cure, every every possibility is attended to, you see? And, Father, everyone knows that a priest and the power of his cross is stronger than the fairies.
So this is sure to work.
Father, in my time I've seen what fairies can do.
I have yet to see what Christ can.
Strong independent seductive empowered.
These Victorian-era photographs depict women who, like Bridget, possessed qualities that could be threatening to the men in their lives.
In fact, they were often considered deviant behavior.
They're the work of Julia Margaret Cameron.
At the age of 48 she was given a camera as a gift, and she became a photographer, a rare vocation for a woman in 1863.
This man was also a photographer.
Hugh Welch Diamond was the superintendent of the Female Department at the Surrey County Asylum.
The women he photographed were his patients, and he photographed them during their confinement in English mental hospitals.
The women who couldn't or wouldn't conform to the constraints of Victorian social rules ran the risk of being declared insane.
Men had the right to have their wives committed to an asylum.
If a husband or father could persuade two doctors that a woman was insane, that's all it took to send her to the madhouse.
It wasn't hard to do, either.
Moral insanity, another term for infidelity, was just one cause for being committed.
Hysteria, a frequent diagnosis, was another.
It's a term derived from "hystra," the Greek word for "womb.
" In other words, a mental disorder unique to women.
Some were given mercury chloride, also known as Calomel, to treat their emotional outbursts, which is ironic because we now know that mercury can cause actual insanity.
There were those, of course, who would be considered mentally ill even by today's standards.
But that only made it harder for the women who really weren't.
Diamond had a therapeutic reason for taking these photographs.
He believed that the site of their own faces would have a healing effect on the women.
Although the intention was to save them through science, in the end they were as powerless as Bridget to control their own fate.
Out of desperation, Michael called for the assistance of Bridget's cousin Jack Dunne.
Being disabled, he couldn't work in the fields.
He spent years learning the secrets of fairy lore and magical incantations.
Before we begin, I'm afraid, Michael, I bring sad news from your family in Killenaule.
Your father has died two days ago.
The death of our family often occurs during the nine days of a changelings abduction, to distract the bereaved family members from getting those taken by the changelings back in due time.
I hear them, Han talking about me.
Jack Dunne's out there.
Don't mind them.
You don't believe them, do you? I don't mind them none.
I fear Mike is trying to make a fairy of me now and in every way.
That fear goes away if you just get better.
I wasn't sure about my wife.
But my dad's death, the timing of it, it being the eighth day It's too much coincidence.
Promise me not to tell this to anyone.
He almost burned me.
Once back, he'd heard I had gone to the fairy fort.
He said that I had to do as he told me.
That he forbid me to go and I needed to listen like when we were first wed.
But you did go.
Being Bridget Cleary, you did because he said not to.
I hoped to see my mommy.
Mike followed me.
Saw me.
And when I got home he held the poker from the fireplace this far from my face.
He told me that the fairies fear nothing more than fire.
So I had to stand there and not be afraid.
But inside That thing in there is not my Bridgie.
And if we don't get her back by midnight, I lose her forever.
I don't give a devil about my father, dead or alive.
He never cared for me.
I care about my father-in-law Patrick.
And we need to get his girl back from these creatures.
Now I want to tell you something.
And please, keep it between us.
I know you do believe.
But as for me, I do not believe.
There are no such things as fairies.
And if Ireland is ever going to become a part of the world, they need to go away.
And it's up to us to make them by trusting in the priests and the Lord and each other, not in the old ways.
The only good people I believe in are people like you.
I have brought with me no more powerful a cure.
Nine In One.
It's nine times more powerful than the Seven Sisters Kill Cure.
It can only be used on the brink of the ninth day.
Once we get this down her, no doubt she'll be cured.
It's bitter and foul.
These herbs have been mixed with urine.
It purifies.
Jim, Pat, you boys will have to hold her down.
Open the creature's mouth! Swallow it, devil! No! No! Don't! Mike, no! This is your wife! This is your wife! - I love my wife.
- No! - I'm trying to bring her back.
- No! Go about your business.
You know nothing of this work.
Michael! No! If you don't want to be hurt let her go! Drink the cure and bring her back! Dad! Why are you doing this to me, Dad? Because I love me daughter and I want her back.
- Don't talk to it.
It lies! - Father, please! Father! Father, please! Please, Father.
Aah! The creature knows that the cure will cast it out.
Three is a holy number to the fir bolgs.
Three times the changeling will deny our questions.
In the name of the Father and the Son of the Holy Ghost, I command you! Tell us your name! Answer him! Open the creature's mouth! Aah! Is your name Bridget Boland Cleary? Aah! See how it feels to answer! That's twice! - Aah! - Ohh! Hold the bitch down, Michael.
- Michael! - Don't listen to it! - I just want my life back.
- Michael! Fifteen minutes to midnight.
We'll have to use the final remedy.
Michael? They're gone.
Let me go.
You didn't answer when I said your name.
I don't know who you are.
You took my Bridget away to the other world.
You're right, Mike.
You are right.
They took me in the fairy ring.
They took me to the other world.
Your mother was there.
I saw your mother Bridget with the fairies.
She wants you to know that she's happy.
You know how she went to the fairy rings when she was alive? I saw her there.
But she knew.
She knew I wanted to be only with you to go back to our home.
And so she let me go.
She let me return to her son.
And now I'm back, Mike.
I'm back for good.
The old Bridget the one you married.
It was the rare man in Bridget's time who could handle a strong woman.
No one understood that better than sharpshooter Frank Butler.
Frank traveled throughout the Midwest betting town folk that he could beat the best among them.
He rarely lost.
When he arrived in one small Ohio town, Butler later recalled that everyone seemed a little too eager to bet against him.
And they didn't tell Butler that his competitor would be 5-foot-tall 15-year-old girl.
Taking her on in direct competition was a risky choice.
How would it look if a professional gunslinger lost in a showdown to a girl? After all, Butler's reputation was his livelihood.
The girl never missed a shot.
But here's the thing.
Butler wasn't humiliated.
He was in love.
He was beaten and smitten all at the same time.
The girl's name was Annie Oakley, and she was smitten, too.
Frank and Annie were soon married.
They became a husband and wife team on the vaudeville circuit.
Frank quickly learned he was no match for Annie's shooting.
He hung up his gun, and he became her assistant.
He's usually portrayed in history as a jealous husband, envious of his wife's talent and fame.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
There's no evidence that he was anything but proud.
He called her his angel.
Nobody in the late 19th century was more famous than Annie Oakley.
She was America's first female superstar.
Her career lasted decades, and Frank was always there by her side.
Annie passed away in 1926.
Frank, broken without his dear Annie, stopped eating and died 18 days later.
In nominae Patris et Filii et Spiritús Sancti.
Father Ryan showed up the next day to check on Bridget.
He performed Mass for the couple and continued to urge them to reject the superstitions of the Old Irishry.
Bridgie, Han and James are here to see you.
I'll take my leave.
It would be nice to get some air.
Put your clothes on.
It's cold outside.
Thank ye.
Oh! Glory be! Ha ha ha! Bridgie! You're a vision! Oh, welcome back.
Is there anything you need, me daughter? Hmm.
What's this, Da? Did the dog get the best of you? Yes.
- Hello, James.
- Bridgie.
Ah, you're you're a sight.
I'd like to go outside.
Have some tea and jam first.
Get your strength up.
- Exactly what I need, Han.
- Hmm.
Three pieces.
You broke the bread into three pieces! I didn't notice I had.
Are you Bridget Cleary? My wife? In the name of God! - Michael! - Quiet! I am Bridget Cleary.
- Eat! - What are you doing? She spat out her communion wafer.
What? I've had bronchitis for a week, Mike! I've been coughing for a week! You yourself said she was back last night.
Jack Dunne agreed.
He went home, he was so sure.
I don't need Jack Dunne to know! My wife does not wear red knickers and black stockings.
Are you Bridget Cleary, my wife, in the name of God? Yes.
I am Bridget Cleary.
You know who I am, Michael? I'm the woman you married, and I always will be.
Swallow it.
I'm not a changeling or a dog or a slave to you! Or to anyone! If you don't swallow it, I know exactly what you are! Aah! Swallow it! Is it down? Is it down? Stop him, please.
Pull him off! Oh, Michael! Michael, don't hurt her no more! Michael, she's your wife.
Bridget is gone! This is an old deceiver sent in place of my wife.
Even fooled the priest today, she did.
But the bitch won't fool anyone no more.
No! Oh! Oh! Oh! Michael, stop! Oh, my God! Michael, don't hurt her anymore! Stand away from her this minute! She's your wife! You'll soon see her up the chimney.
Michael! - No, Michael, no! - Aah! Michael! Michael.
"Are you a witch or are you a fairy? Or are you the wife of Michael Cleary?" A jump rope rhyme you can still hear in the schoolyards of Ireland today.
Michael Cleary was tried for Bridget's murder.
The public devoured the strange tale which newspapers dubbed The Fairy Trial.
Bridget's murder played into the most insidious British stereotypes of the Irish: that they were savages and incapable of ruling themselves.
I'm gonna wait here for her, Father at this fairy ring.
And in three days, a white horse will appear from over there.
They'll have her in her fairy shackles.
I'll break her bindings with my black knife.
And it'll be me.
It'll be me.
I'll be the one to bring my beautiful Bridgie back home.
Sometimes we don't want answers.
We want to reaffirm the world is how we want it to be.
And in the face of a changing world Michael Cleary needed to believe in changelings.
Over there.
Bridget was buried in a shallow grave a cloth sack over her head, still wearing her black stockings.