Years ago I had the privilege of working with a Nigerian, Assamawari. Assams spoke of having watched a "shape shifter." In a village commons, the shape shifter, surrounded by villagers, turned into a large python.
Assams says "Chuck, I am an educated, Christian man and I know it cannot be so, but my memory says I saw him become a snake." No screen, no smoke, no trap doors, no buxom babe for distraction.
While in Nigeria, did you encounter anything like it?
As a matter-of-fact, on more than one occasion.
Mom and Dad were requested to observe a witch-craft trial at a local town.
Bear in mind that in Nigeria at the time, a good number of the important people had been educated at British and French universities. They may have been poor, but they were educated.
The defendant at the trial was a goat.
Witness after witness took the stand to declare that they had seen this man attempt to kidnap a child in the middle of the town market. The child screamed, and the townsmen began to chase the kidnapper. The end of the chase came when the man was cornered ina blind alley, but before he could be seized by the irate townsfolk, in front of their eyes he turned himself into the very goat that was tethered to the defence table.
The goat was found guilty of kidnapping and the practice of bad juju, tied to a stake, blindfolded, and executed by firing squad.
Mobs are funny things, and a mob is a lot more suggestible than the individual people that form it.
Another time Dad needed to clear more jungle to extend the plant. Things were going right ricky-tick until the workers found out that a pig-man had cursed the area. Things came to a sudden and complete halt.
Worker after worker came forward to describe the pig-man and how he changed from pig to man right in front of them.
Dad finally had to track the pig down to a hole under a fallen tree, bring the little bosses of the work gangs to the hole, let them agree that here was the lair of the pig-man, and then Dad stuffed about five pounds of gelignite down the hole and pulled the igniter.
Apparently, Dad's juju was stronger than the juju of the pig-man, because the little fella never showed his snout in the area again.