A spirit of judgement and punishment
That very special day when the people try to use up all of the most horrible deaths for the coming year.
There are a lot of bad people out there. That is why we must torture you: to keep you safe.
Many and varied are the ways of extracting a confession or ending a criminal’s life, and the one usually follows the other.
"Many strange things may be seen in the Great Swamps, not all real. But I tell you, there was a ship and it was real! Well it was old and all sails torn and had many holes in the hull... but anyway it was hundreds of miles from the Sea! How it came to be there, I can only wonder..."
(If it is not a hallucination, may be inhabited by wererats.)