Log Date: August 8, 1806
It has been three weeks since we set out from Saint Michael’s, and until now we had yet to find any luck in locating a suitable place to lay foundation. The northern country is not made for the hospitality of man, it would seem. At every turn is another rocky cliff face or brine soaked sandbar, and each of these miserable locales are punctuated with endless miles of dark aspen woods. All of our crew longs for the warmth and sunlight of the southern conquests, but God’s will continues to push us northward.
It was only today that our crew discovered a place where our fledgling order might take root. Pocketed between a sprawling range of hills and the ocean we discovered a small clearing of strangely hard packed dirt. Some of the men are claiming it’s providence that such a ready-made foundation for building could crop up in the center of the wild, but secretly, the place sets me at unease. Even as I write I cannot help but feel as though our crew is being judged with invisible eyes, as if something lurks just beyond the treeline. We must soldier on, however; as a missionary I have already chosen the judgment of the invisible as my life’s work, after all.
Log Date: August 13, 1806
Construction is already well underway for what will soon become the Saint Anna Mission of Christ. The lumber in this wood is denser than we had anticipated, and the heavy, dark material should make for sturdy building. Although I have yet to make a formal introduction to the local population, I have heard contact has been made elsewhere. Some of the others reported to me this morning they had seen a small host of natives watching them from the edge of the clearing, but they had fled when we greeted them. A few of the other priests are worried over the tribe’s apparent skittishness, but I would prefer a fearful lot to a warmongering one. Even as far out into the wilderness as we are, there have been rumors coming about other missions being massacred by savages; I would be made a liar to say that it does not make me nervous.
Log Date: November 18, 1806
Everything is going better than we could have hoped. In spite of the bad weather that plagues this part of the continent, our freshly finished complex holds fast against any and all manners of wind, rain, and sleet. Conversation with the natives is still a slow process, but we have, at very least, established some sort of connection with them. The language is not unlike the other tribes found in the area, although we have encountered an odd word or phrase intermixed. One in particular we hear muttered more often than others appears when the seemingly paranoid natives are at their most frightful: “jintos”. Our group of scholars has yet to discern its meaning.
Log Date: February 25, 1807
A breakthrough! Today one of the scholars managed to get a local to agree to an extended interview about the surrounding area and its people. Through this endeavor, a wealth of information has been supplied to us. To start, it would appear that the locals are not a complete tribe, as we had thought, but rather a small core of holy men split off from the main group, who live farther inland. We had wondered why their numbers seemed so few, but this explains it. The man went on to tell us that he and his comrades were a sort of retainer; apparently, the “jintos” we have been hearing so much about is actually the name of the land on which we’ve come to live, and is protected, as the man has told us, by a host of guardian spirits.
This is a truly exciting development. Knowing that these men are others like us, isolated from their families in the name of their beliefs, has planted a seed of kinship in me. Each passing day I look forward to working alongside them more and more.
Log Date: May 3, 1807
An attack by wild animals left three of our own killed last night. We awoke to find the men, part of the original construction group, strewn about our lawn, dismembered and maimed by whatever beasts lurk in the woods. The Jintil, as we have learned the locals call themselves, are even more disturbed by this than we are. They tell me this is the spirits’ doing, and we should repent as soon as possible. I assured them that I would turn to my own God, and that He would see us through this dark time. That did not seem to alleviate their concerns, I’m afraid.
Log Date: October 9, 1807
The fall harvest is ruined. Some blight has fallen upon it and has left it nothing more than a breeding ground for the insects. I can see the fear in superstitious men’s eyes, but more pressing is the logical fear that comes from this wretched turn of events; our food supply has been severely diminished. We must brace ourselves for a long and difficult winter.
Log Date: October 31, 1807
The Jintil are leaving. It saddens me to see them go, but I understand their reasons. The whole valley has fallen to rot, and the boughs of the trees sag under the weight of swarms of mosquitos. In all my years as a priest, I have never seen a plague of this magnitude.
I managed one last conversation with the natives before they departed. I asked them if anything like this had ever happened here before, to which they replied with a down-struck “no”. I then inquired as to why this place was so important to their tribe, even when none lived here. The response I got keeps me awake tonight as I write this.
Jintos is the entrance to the world of the dead.
Log Date: November 4, 1807
We are beset on all sides by monsters. Not more than a single night after the Jintil’s departure, the beasts of the wood have grown as bold as to score our windowpanes and doorways with tooth and claw. We spend our nights huddled together, spades and hoes in hand, just waiting for whatever lurks in the shadows to finally burst in and take us.
Between this, and the hunger, I don’t know how much longer Saint Anna can last.
Log Date: November 18, 1807
God help me.
Over half of us are gone now, dragged into the woods by horrors known only to Hell. Just today I watched an insect the size of a horse descended upon us, vivisecting at least three my comrades before my own eyes. I do not understand where these abominations come from, only that they emerge in waves from beyond the dark corners of the wood.
I know now Saint Anna is doomed. I can only hope this record gets back to the church, and that any parties who come to us hereafter know to turn and run.
The preceding journal is the only known record of the failed Saint Anna Mission of Christ. Discovered in the Spring of 1808 by travelers, the book was found sitting on a desk in the main building of the seemingly abandoned complex. Even up to the present day, however, the book’s authenticity is called into question. No corpses, dismembered or otherwise, have ever been discovered at the Saint Anna mission site, so it is more likely that the missionaries simply left when supplies ran out.
The Saint Anna Mission of Christ is a protected historical site by the state of Oregon, and can be visited during guest hours Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 7 PM. For more information, please contact the Santa Aria Historical Society at (540)215-8807.