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IN THIS EPISODE: You might think you’d be able to outrun a vampire that only had one leg – but you’d be mistaken if you come across Columbia’s hateful La Patasola. (One-Legged Female Vampire) *** Eight women were mysteriously murdered in Jennings, Louisiana from 2005-2009 and as the investigation progressed, the small town’s dark secrets began to unravel. (The Jeff Davis 8) *** In 1924, five prospectors abandoned their site in a panic after what they described as a horrible, terrifying night-long battle against some strange, violent Sasquatch-like creatures, barely making it out alive. (The Mountain Devils of Ape Canyon) *** When Father Rocco Facchini was given his first parish as a young priest in Chicago, he was excited and anxious to spread the gospel to anyone who would listen in the Windy City. Unfortunately, the church he was sent to was haunted – and that was only the beginning of his tragic story. (Muldoon)
“How I Came To Believe In Ghosts” episode: http://weirddarkness.com/archives/4410
STORY AND MUSIC CREDITS/SOURCES…
“One-Legged Female Vampire” by A. Sutherland for Ancient Pages: http://bit.ly/2lsgq9b
“The Mountain Devils of Ape Canyon” by Garth Haslam for Anomaly Info: http://bit.ly/2ljOKU3
“The Jeff Davis 8” by Tim Ott for Biography.com: http://bit.ly/2mSE9Q7
“Muldoon” from Chicago Hauntings: http://bit.ly/2ljsrhj
Weird Darkness theme by Manuel Marino (http://bit.ly/2JLBRKp). Background music provided by EpidemicSound and AudioBlocks with paid license. Music by Shadows Symphony (http://bit.ly/2W6N1xJ) and Midnight Syndicate (http://amzn.to/2BYCoXZ) is also sometimes used with permission.
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***WeirdDarkness™ – is a registered trademark of Marlar House Productions. Copyright © Marlar House Productions, 2019.
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” — John 12:46 *** How to escape eternal darkness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IYmodFKDaM
She is a dangerous, malevolent vampire and an enemy of men that only hates and spreads terror. This female vampire is feared by settlers, hunters, miners, farmers, walkers, lumberjacks and among them, she especially torments and lures unfaithful husbands. She has supernatural powers and can change her appearance at will. Disguised as a beautiful and seductive, young woman, she attracts an unsuspecting man or a walker and lures him away from his companions to the deepest places of the jungle. There, she reveals her true, hideous appearance and vicious vampire-like lust for human flesh and blood. She is La Patasola – the one-legged vampire.
…I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – this is Weird Darkness. Here you will find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode of Weird Darkness…
You might think you’d be able to outrun a vampire that only had one leg – but you’d be mistaken if you come across Columbia’s hateful La Patasola.
Eight women were mysteriously murdered in Jennings, Louisiana from 2005-2009 and as the investigation progressed, the small town’s dark secrets began to unravel.
In 1924, five prospectors abandoned their site in a panic after what they described as a horrible, terrifying night-long battle against some strange, violent Sasquatch-like creatures, barely making it out alive.
When Father Rocco Facchini was given his first parish as a young priest in Chicago, he was excited and anxious to spread the gospel to anyone who would listen in the Windy City. Unfortunately, the church he was sent to was haunted – and that was only the beginning of his tragic story.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
MOUNTAIN DEVILS APE CANYON
On July 12, 1924, a very strange story was reported by The Oregonian, newspaper of Portland, Oregon, USA. Five prospectors had arrived the day before in Kelso, Washington, stating that they had abandoned their claim near Mt. St. Helens after a night-long battle with “Mountain Devils.”
The men involved were Marion Smith, his son Roy Smith, Fred Beck, Gabe Lefever and John Peterson, and they had been working a claim on the ‘Muddy,’ a branch of the Lewis River, about eight miles from Spirit Lake. They stated they had seen tracks that displayed feet 13 to 14 inches in length, with four short and stubby toes, off and on over six years in the area; and that they had heard stories of “Mountain Devils” from local Native Americans for sixty years (presumably the oldest member of the party said this).
Sometime recent to the reported attack, the men had seen a large animal at four different times that looked like a huge gorilla, covered in long, black hair… except this creature also had ears about four inches long that stuck straight up, it walked erect, was about seven feet tall, and was presumed to weigh around 400 pounds. One of the Smiths said he had a close encounter with the beast, and had fired at it with his revolver; but that’s not what started the trouble.
On Thursday, July 10, Fred Beck shot the strange creature they had been seeing, and it fell off a cliff.
That night the new cabin the prospectors had just built came under assault. The men said that large rocks were thrown at the cabin, some taking chunks out of the wood and some falling in through a hole in the roof. Beck was struck by two of the rocks that came in, and was unconscious for nearly two hours. Later reports claimed that up to thirty of the strange creatures had been hurling stones at the cabin, and that the men escaped only after the sun had risen.
One of the Smiths (presumably the older man, Marion) stated that he believed the cabin was near a cave occupied by the strange beasts, and that he knew the location of the cave.
Newspapers across the country soon picked up the story, spreading it far and wide. The public at large was, to say the least, skeptical; but the men stuck to their story, stating “We expected people would disbelieve us. But we ran into the beast — whatever it was — four times and left a perfectly good mine to get away from it.” An expedition was thrown together to go investigate the scene.
Four days after the first article, on July 16, The Oregonian followed up with a feature written by Jorg Totsgi, of the Klallam Tribe, explaining what the Native Americans in the area felt the prospectors had encountered.
The attackers were identified by Totsgi as members of a tribe called the Seeahtik (or also Seeahtkeh), a group that Northwestern Native Americans were said to have been keeping quiet about for two reasons. First, the existence of the Seeahtik was a sort of tribal “skeleton in the Northwestern Indians’ closet,” as the newspaper described it; second, the Native Americans basically knew the White settlers wouldn’t believe the stories about the Seeahtik anyway. This second assumption appears to have been valid, as the newspaper then reported that they checked with three other tribal representatives to confirm agreement on what Totsgi was claiming.
According to this strange report, Seeahtik adults typically ranged in height from seven to eight feet, and they were entirely covered with hair. They possessed many supernatural powers, such as the ability to kill game entirely by hypnotism, or to communicate long distances telepathically, and could make themselves invisible with a combination of a strange ointment and their hypnotic powers. They were also ventriloquists of such skill that they could fool the local Native Americans who were accustomed to tracking animals in the woods. The Seeahtik had a keen sense of smell, could imitate any bird of the Northwest, spoke almost every Northwest tribal language of the Native Americans… and had a tendency to steal dried meat, salmon, and women from said tribes.
There was some disagreement on where the Seeahtik lived — either in or near Mount Ranier, or at Vancouver Island, B.C. — but if the tales are true, then it could be supposed there were more than one group of these unusual beings. It was believed that the tribe lived mainly underground in caves that were reached from secret tunnels. It was felt by the Oregon and Washington Native American tribes that the Seeahtik were “just about extinct,” as it had been fifteen years since their tracks had been seen at the Brinnon River where they fished for salmon. Given the Seeahtik’s abilities to vanish, the Native Americans were predicting that the then-current searches would turn up nothing.
If left alone, the Seeahtik were harmless… but if one of their number was killed, they would kill twelve of their enemies in retaliation.
I don’t know what the canyon was called before the prospectors reported their strange encounter, but the place was soon named “Ape Canyon” afterwards. This event is now often credited as one of the earliest and best attested encounters with what are called ‘Bigfoot’ or ‘Sasquatch,’ a proposed race of hairy humanoids believed to still live in the wilds of North America.
Of course, most modern reporting on this matter tends to shave out details that don’t match modern ideas about these hairy wildmen… such as the ears pointing straight up. What is undeniable is that this incident appears to be the event that first started people actively going out to search for evidence of giant hairy humanoids in the North American wilds. I’m still digging for more information on how the initial investigation went; but it doesn’t seem to matter, as the whole story was given two new spins years later.
The first new take on the incident was published in 1952, in the Seattle Times. The Times article revealed that two men, Orville Hunt and Al Coleman, were claiming to have led two troops of boys from a YMCA camp located just a quarter mile from the location of the prospectors’ cabin along the Pine Creek Trail on the night of the assault… which happens to travel on the cliff just above the very cabin in question. Hunt stated that the boys in the second group had started throwing rocks down onto the cliff, and that had started loose rocks tumbling down; he claimed that this was what the whole “attack” was.
The same article also claimed that the ‘footprints’ were easily duplicated by a Forest Ranger with the knuckles and palm of his hand. While many people have touted the YMCA explanation since this article was published, they generally ignore that the men also reported seeing and shooting one of the hairy humanoids during the day before the attack, either assuming the prospectors were mistaken or lying… which is a very convenient attitude for trying to disprove the story.
The next re-emergence of the story came in 1966. Fred Beck — one of the original prospectors — was interviewed, and his telling of the event was published in the oddly titled book “Do Abominable Snowmen of America Really Exist?” The reason for the odd title was the then-popular accounts from the Himalayas and Tibet that appeared to support the existence of a tall hairy wildman in those snowy regions, called by newspapers “The Abominable Snowman”… so the book was trying to relate the lesser known reports of the North American hairy humanoid to the better known Asian one.
A read of the interview with Beck shows new details that must be noted. Beck claimed that for two years previous to the attack, they had all seen big footprints in the area; and that he knew a man who had been fishing in the area when he encountered a “hairy great fella.” Beck also stated that he and the other prospectors had heard noises like whistling, and something pounding on its chest (a behavior commonly attributed to actual apes at the time of the interview).
More extraordinary, Beck claimed to have been with Marion Smith when one of the hairy humanoids was shot by Smith at least three times in the head… yet the creature still escaped, making leaps of up to fourteen feet. Beck estimated that the footprints were about 19 inches in length, which is greater than was originally reported; which raises the question of whether Beck’s memory was changing over time and with re-tellings.
Two important changes turn up first in this telling of the story. Beck claimed that the beasts were actively trying to get into the cabin, and that the prospectors shot at them; some got on the roof, and they fired up through the ceiling to chase them off… which is not mentioned in any way in the earlier 1924 sources. The other big change — and one not reported in the modern tellings of the story — is that Beck claimed that he only shot a hairy creature after the night attack, in the morning when the men were packing up to leave. In all previous tellings of the account, Beck shooting the individual creature was the event said to have started the attack.
So overall, Fred Beck told a new version of the story when interviewed… a more exciting version, but one that contained questionable additions and changes. It should be noted that if the men were actively attacked by the beasts and shot back at them, then the YMCA camp story is proven wrong; unfortunately though, the earliest sources for the event do not mention the active attack or the shooting back, so it’s possible Beck added these details to discount the YMCA story.
The gist of Beck’s new version of the story was included in “Do Abominable Snowmen of America Really Exist?” along with photos, maps, and newspaper clippings. And then something happened that not only made the book sell very well, but also got more of the interview printed, and even led to Beck releasing his own short book on the incident.
You see, the author of the 1966 “Abominable Snowman” book, the person who interviewed Fred Beck, was none other than Roger Patterson… who, along with Robert Gimlin, became famous just a year later in October 1967 when the two men claimed to have filmed a ‘Bigfoot’ as it walked away from them into the woods, a piece of controversial evidence now known as the “Patterson-Gimlin Film.”
The release of this film to news services turned the claims for Bigfoot into what they are today: something that just about everyone knows. The overnight sensation of the Patterson-Gimlin Film meant that just about anything Patterson wrote on the topic of Bigfoot was instantly given extra special attention by both believers and skeptics… and the 1924 Ape Canyon encounter was definitely part of that, because the reason Patterson and Gimlin were in the woods with a movie camera to begin with was to create a film based on the Ape Canyon story!
This media explosion mostly repeated a trimmed down version of Beck’s newest telling of the Ape Canyon story, so most modern sources now claim that the beasts tried to get into the cabin, and that the men shot back at them… but the new re-tellings also stick to the earliest version of the story in that they claim Beck shot one of the beasts before the attack began. I suspect that Patterson’s book, which didn’t include the full interview, may not have repeated Beck’s new claim about when he shot a beast.
So, strange as it seems, one of the earliest documented claims of a Bigfoot encounter led to the capture of the most famous evidence for the existence of the strange creatures… and that evidence, ironically, insured that the 1924 encounter story would not be forgotten!
You might think you’d be able to outrun a vampire that only had one leg – but you’d be mistaken if you come across Columbia’s hateful Patasola.
Eight women were mysteriously murdered in Jennings, Louisiana from 2005-2009 and as the investigation progressed, the small town’s dark secrets began to unravel. (
These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns!
This October is the 4th anniversary of Weird Darkness – and I have some great stuff planned! =There is already special 4th anniversary merchandise in the online store, I’ll be starting up the monthly Weird@Work drawing where I send Weird Darkness stuff to your place of business, the entire month of October we’re raising money to overcome depression and anxiety, and there’s also the LIVE SCREAM taking place on Halloween night at 6pm Central Time – a live video stream of me narrating Weird Darkness while interacting with the trick-or-treaters as they come to my house. Keep an eye on the website for details on all of it at WeirdDarkness.com.
ONE LEGGED VAMP
In Colombian folklore, the Patasola (‘La Patasola’) is a female monster living on the summits of the plain. She has only one leg but can move with amazing speed.
People claim to have seen her jumping on one leg, through saws, ravines and roads, screaming mournfully. It is the soul in pain of the unfaithful woman who roams mountains, valleys and plains, who dishonored her children and failed to respect her husband.
She is a dangerous, malevolent vampire and an enemy of men that only hates and spreads terror. This female vampire is feared by settlers, hunters, miners, farmers, walkers, lumberjacks and among them, she especially torments and lures unfaithful husbands. She has supernatural powers and can change her appearance (also into animals, like a cow or large black dog) by crying for help.
Disguised as a beautiful and seductive, young woman, the Patasola attracts an unsuspecting man or a walker and lures him away from his companions to the deepest places of the jungle. There, she reveals her true, hideous appearance and vicious vampire-like lust for human flesh and blood.
The Patasola is not only harassed by an old guilt and possessed by hatred, she also has an ugly appearance. She has wild and fuzzy eyes, disproportionate mouth showing feline teeth and hair disheveled and entangled like the lianas of the jungle that falls on her face to hide her ugliness. In other descriptions, she is described as possessing bulging eyes, catlike fangs, one breast, a hooked nose as Baba Yaga in Slavic mythology, and big lips.
But her most distinguished feature is her one leg.
Roaming the forests and wild, uninhabited and uncultivated areas, she spends her time looking for her next victim to attack and devour the flesh or sucking his blood.
As a vampire, she hates the blue skies, water and the sunrise. Her kingdom belongs to the twilights and the dark nights. Sometimes, the Patasola forgets her bad feelings and begins to sing or waits for the appearance of the moon in the sky.
Tradition has it that the Patasola or ‘one foot’ was once a beautiful married woman with children. Her husband, however, had some serious reasons to be jealous, so he decided to find out whether his wife was really disloyal to him. He unfortunately discovered that she indeed disrespected their wedding vows. He was so furious and jealous that he struck her lover with an axe and unintentionally also mutilated her by chopping off one of her legs, as if it were the branch of a tree.
Then, he took their three children, set the house on fire, and fled the town. The Patasola’s ghostly apparition was claimed to be seen in the woods; she was jumping on her one leg, groaning and moaning: Wandering through lonely farms, forests and jungles since that terrible night, the Patasola has only one goal: revenge.
Another version of the story says that the Patasola was a mother who killed her own son, and was then banished to the woods as punishment.
Others described her as sexually alluring woman who repeatedly seduced or manipulated others; besides, she was also cruel to both men and women, and for this reason they mutilated her with an axe. She died of her injuries and became a malevolent ghost who haunts the forests and mountain ranges.
JEFF DAVIS 8
On May 20, 2005, the decomposed body of 28-year-old Loretta Lynn Chaisson Lewis was fished out of a canal on the outskirts of Jennings, in the Jefferson Davis Parish of southwest Louisiana. Known to turn tricks as she battled a crack addiction, her death was seemingly the fallout of the drug trade that ran along the highway I-10 corridor and left areas like South Jennings desolate.
Chronicled in the book Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8?, less than a month later, on June 18, another prostitute, 30-year-old Ernestine Marie Daniels Patterson, was discovered in another canal off a highway south of Jennings. Two men were held for second-degree murder, though the charges were later dropped.
On March 18, 2007, a third victim with a similar profile to the others, 21-year-old Kristen Gary Lopez, was found in yet another canal. Again, two suspects were arrested – Jennings pimp Frankie Richard and his niece Hannah Conner – but were released due to lack of conclusive evidence.
Over the next year and a half, the bodies of four more prostitutes – 26-year-old Whitnei Dubois, 23-year-old Laconia “Muggy” Brown, 24-year-old Crystal Shay Benoit Zeno and 17-year-old Brittney Gary – were found in or near Jennings. Most were decomposed and displayed virtually no sign of trauma, their deaths believed to be the result of asphyxia.
In December 2008, Jefferson Davis Parish Sherriff Ricky Edwards announced the formation of a task force culled from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate the murders. While reassuring to some, the beefed-up scrutiny wasn’t enough to prevent an eighth death – in August 2009, 26-year-old Necole Guillory was spotted off I-10 in nearby Acadia Parish.
That fall, Sheriff Edwards publicly acknowledged for the first time that the deaths were possibly the work of a “common offender,” and the task force more than doubled the reward for information leading to the killer of what became known as the Jeff Davis 8.
Meanwhile, the saga had expanded past the realm of local coverage and into the national media. A January 2010 New York Times article reported on the fear and frustration felt by family members of the slain women, as well as the missteps of local law enforcement in charge of solving the crimes.
In one instance, the Times noted, the chief investigator bought a pickup truck from an inmate known to be friends with one of the victims. A witness later said she saw Lopez, the third victim, in the truck on the day of her disappearance, but by then the vehicle had already been washed and resold.
The investigator was fined and removed from the case – and placed in charge of evidence at the Parish sherriff’s office.
The article caught the attention of New Orleans-based writer Ethan Brown, who ventured to Jennings to conduct his own investigation beginning in mid-2011. Through extensive interviews with families, suspects and taskforce personnel, and careful examination of public records, Brown uncovered evidence that pointed him away from the serial killer theory and toward a more complex cover-up orchestrated by authorities.
The victims, he wrote on Medium, not only knew each other well and shared similar woes with their drug addictions and financial problems, they had all served as police informants. According to relatives, many seemed excessively anxious or frightened before they disappeared, with the article making it clear that they couldn’t rely on protection from police.
In December 2007, two inmates told Jennings Sergeant Jesse Ewing on tape what they knew about the truck from the Lopez case being sold to the investigator and scrubbed clean of evidence. Suspicious of his colleagues, Ewing sent the tapes to a regional FBI office, only for them to be relayed to supervisors on the taskforce. Soon afterward, he was out of a job.
Even more alarming, one member of the sherriff’s office, David Barry, was fingered as a murder suspect by multiple witnesses. One of them described how Barry would cruise the seedy south side for prostitutes with his wife, after which they would drug the prostitute with a spiked drink and bring her home to their sex room. Despite the numerous allegations, Barry sat for only one interview with the task force before his death in 2010.
At the center of it all was Richard, the pimp and former strip-club proprietor who was also allegedly an informant and claimed to have been sexually involved with most of the women. Despite his lengthy rap sheet and allegations that placed him in connection to some of the murders, he was free to walk the streets and talk openly with Brown about his involvement with the victims.
Thanks in part to the near-simultaneous debut of True Detective, with its first-season storyline of murder investigations in backwater Louisiana, Brown generated enough buzz with his Medium article to land a book deal.
He also generated pushback from the Jefferson Davis Parish law enforcement, with new Sherriff Ivy Woods denigrating Brown as an “author of fiction stories.” Worse, the malicious undercurrent that had killed the eight women and silenced the witnesses was threatening to come for him next. After one of his contacts told him that he’d “heard more than once that you’ll never get that book out. You can take that however you want to,” Brown was leery to return to Jennings to complete his interviews for months afterward.
Still, he managed to finish his work. The September 2016 release of Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8? fleshed out the reporting featured in his Medium article and delivered a new bombshell: A field representative for Louisiana Congressman Charles Boustany owned a notoriously seedy Jennings hotel where Boustany allegedly had sex with three of the victims.
Amid a tight battle for a Senate seat, Boustany filed a defamation lawsuit against Brown and his publisher. He dropped the lawsuit in December, after losing the race.
Beyond the backlash from those named in its pages, Murder in the Bayou drew a largely positive response en route to becoming a best-seller.
“To me … justice is nobody having to live the way in which these women lived. That’s a greater justice to me than just, OK, we’re going to slap some handcuffs on people,” Brown told The Advocate. “This is not to say that people didn’t love them. … It’s to say that the way in which they lived, this life so beyond hardscrabble — Where do I get a cheese sandwich today? Where do I rest my head today? — that nobody has to live that way again. That’s, to me, the true justice.”
WHEN WEIRD DARKNESS RETURNS…
When Father Rocco Facchini was given his first parish as a young priest in Chicago, he was excited and anxious to spread the gospel to anyone who would listen in the Windy City. Unfortunately, the church he was sent to was haunted – and that was only the beginning of his tragic story.
Plus, we’ll step into the chamber of comments!
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When Rocco Facchini was given his first assignment as a young priest in Chicago in the 1950s, he was full of fervor to save souls and minister to the people of the Church, whereever he was sent..
Tragically, Rocco couldn’t have asked for a worse assignment. Facchini, who had grown up in Chicago with Italian immigrant parents, was one of only about two dozen Italian American seminarians in the Chicago Archdiocese at the time. Most seminarians were expected to be Irish, German or Polish, and the rest were considered kind of the “bottom of the barrel.” Undeterred, Rocco had gone through Quigley Seminary, the gothic grey fortress near the Water Tower, and after twelve years was ready for duty.
Rocco longed for an assignment to an Italian American parish, preferably one on the Near West side of Chicago, where he had grown up with most of the other Italian families in Chicago. What happened, instead, proved to be extremely fateful for his vocation—and not in a good way.
Rocco was sent to serve at St. Charles Borromeo near Western Avenue and Roosevelt Road– a once thriving Catholic parish which was by now almost empty of parishoners; the neighborhood had greatly transitioned since the church’s 19th century erection, becoming predominantly African American and decidedly not Roman Catholic. The pastor of the church—Charles Kane—had fallen out of his faith. Agnostic, his only concern was the weekly public bingo game hosted by the parish, which brought in money for the coffers. But Rocco was undaunted. He was full of “piss and vinegar” and ready to convert the surrounding neighbors to members of the Catholic flock, dreaming of filling the church again as it had once hummed with life.
From day one, life at the church was . . . well… Hell. Fr. Kane was even worse than expected. He’d serve meals, giving a small portion to Rocco and the rest to his dog, speak boldly about his disbelief in the Gospel, padlocked the refrigerator and openly reveled in a relationship with the rectory housekeeper. Rocco found no support from the pastor when he voiced his hopes to proactively convert the non-Catholic people of the area. All he cared about was the bingo money being counted.
In addition to his issues with the current pastor, Facchini had another priest to deal with in the rectory of St. Charles: one who had been dead since 1927.
By the time of his assignment, the rectory of St. Charles Borromeo was already known to be “haunted,” and tales of its resident ghost had been eagerly traded at seminary by Rocco’s classmates and teachers. Rocco knew well that former pastor Peter Muldoon, who had gone on to become one of the most influential bishops in Chicago, still walked the halls of the old rectory, as he had lovingly built the church himself so many years before. In fact, Muldoon had planned to be interred at St. Charles upon his death, and chose a spot behind the altar for his tomb.
Bishop Muldoon had been a crucial figure in the cohesion of the Irish American faithful in Chicago. A deep division existed between the foreign born Irish and the American born, the former jealously guarding the administrative positions in the church. Muldoon, though American born, knew how to smooth over relations, and proved himself quickly as a gifted leader. By 1901, Archbishop Feehan had named Muldoon auxiliary bishop, bringing him to live in the archbishop’s mansion in Lincoln Park.
Less than a decade later, Muldoon was sent to Rockford, Illinois to found the Rockford Archdiocese, after his image was smeared by a jealous foreign born Irish priest who concocted atrocious lies about Muldoon, even publishing a book about them. Though Feehan had every faith in Muldoon’s innocence, he felt forced to send him away to preserve the integrity of the Chicago Church.
Muldoon went to Rockford and served well. There, in 1927, he died. Though he had longed to be buried behind the altar at St. Charles in Chicago, he was laid to rest in Rockford, among his adopted flock.
A final wish of Muldoon was that his episcopal ring be sent to St. Charles Borromeo, but before it arrived, it disappeared.
It was not long after Facchini’s arrival at the parish before he made the personal acquaintance of the ghost of Bishop Muldoon, who made himself well known by slamming doors, walking heavily up and down the halls at night, moving furniture and turning on radios in empty rooms. Sometimes, the heady scent of lilacs would waft by, filling the room or hall with an overpowering scent, and the pastor’s dog would bark and wail at unseen somethings. Returning home from outings, Rocco would often find his locked door standing open. Rocco began to speak to his invisible colleague:
“I’m your friend, Peter,” he would whisper. “Talk to me.”
One day, a visiting friend entered the rectory and noticed an older priest writing in his office. When Facchini later pointed out a large, framed portrait of Muldoon hanging in the hall and told him the ghost stories, the young priest went pale, saying, “That’s the priest I saw writing in the office when I came in.”
But while Facchini felt no fear from Muldoon, Fr. Kane lived in terror of the bishop’s ghost. When the large framed portrait of Muldoon, bolted to the wall, was found on the floor one day, Kane exclaimed, “It’s Muldoon! He’s out to get me!” The pastor would lock himself in his room at night, his dog standing guard at the door, convinced that Muldoon walked the halls seeking his doom.
After 15 years, Rocco Facchini left the priesthood and married, going on to raise two sons. In 1967 St. Charles Borromeo church, rectory and school were razed. Today the area, which was largely burned down over time during its impoverished era, is home to the FBI’s Chicago field office, hospitals and research facilities, and the Cook County Juvenile Courts, which stand on the site where the steeple of St. Charles once towered. Next door to the courts, where the rectory once stood, is the court parking garage.
Bishop Muldoon’s ring has never been found.
We’ll step inside the Chamber of Comments in just a moment. But if you made it this far, you can count yourself as part of the Weirdo Family. If you like this episode, please share it with your friends and family on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and your other social media. Or message them and tell them to give the podcast a listen! Do you have a dark tale to tell of your own? Click on “Tell Your Story” at WeirdDarkness.com and I might use it in a future episode. Also on the website you can find the Weirdos Facebook group, paranormal and horror audiobooks I’ve narrated, the Weird Darkness store, links to my social media, and more. And if you listen to the podcast at the office, be sure to check out the “Weird at Work” page! Your business might get a shoutout in a future episode – and maybe even get a delivery of something weird and/or dark at the office from me!
Now… let’s step into the chamber….
Here in the Chamber of Comments I answer your emails, comments, podcast reviews, tweets, letters I get in the mail, and more. If you want to email me, you can do so at email@example.com.
(Comment from Shyrdan1): Darren I just wanted to let you know you’ve gotten me through some dark nights recently and I want to thank you for that and let you know how important you and what you do is for some of us!!!!
(REPLY: Thank you so much for taking a few seconds to be so thoughtful and encouraging. I’m really glad to hear the podcast is helping you through some tough times. I created the podcast to help people escape from the world for just a little while. Glad to know it’s doing that for you.)
(review from Leighla of Rois): I used to really like this podcast, however , for some reason the last few downloads have made the narrator sound like a gerbil on speed. It’s so bad that I can’t stand to listen to it. I don’t know what the issue is but I hope it gets fixed.
(REPLY: Leighla, I hope you are listening to this and I don’t sound like a gerbil. But if I do, it’s likely your podcast app – you probably have it set to listen at a higher speed. Most podcast apps have a listen-back speed option – 1x, 2x, half-speed, etc. My guess is that you are on 2x speed.)
(Comment from Mike Smith on “How I Came To Believe In Ghosts”): When i started to get my first evp’s in my home that changed me i was the guy who said all these people were crazy or making it all up but not now since crazy stuff is going down in my home should have never done evp in my house.
(REPLY: Now that’s interesting, Mike. I’m a firm believer that you should never invite an entity into your home – meaning no Ouija boards, no seances, no psychics trying to channel paranormal energies, etc., but I’ve never heard of taking a simple EVP recording opening someone up to torment. That is completely new – and disturbing considering how many people do that every weekend for a hobby! Yikes!)
(Ayase from YouTube) You’ve got some new fans from Melbourne today. Was listening to this on phone while taking the train to the city and my fellow passengers were interested in what they were hearing. I informed them of your YouTube channel and Weird Darkness podcasts. They absolutely love your content and narration style. They were delighted to have discovered dark and entertaining content, and I was very happy to have made new friends (despite being very shy or introverted) and happy adding more fans to the Weirdo Community. Thank you for making my train ride so eventful and for always producing such enjoyable cures for boredom Darren. God bless you and your loved ones.
(REPLY: Thank you, Ayase! I need about a thousand more people just like you, listening in public for all to hear! That’s great! There’s always room for another Weirdo in this family of ours we’ve created!)
I’ll answer more of your emails, comments, and more next time! You can find all of my social media on the website, you can find my physical mailing address on the contact page, or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All stories in this episode are purported to be true, and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes:
“One-Legged Female Vampire” by A. Sutherland for Ancient Pages
“The Mountain Devils of Ape Canyon” by Garth Haslam for Anomaly Info
“The Jeff Davis 8” by Tim Ott for Biography.com
“Muldoon” from Chicago Hauntings
Weird Darkness theme by Manuel Marino.
WeirdDarkness™ – is a registered trademark of Marlar House Productions. Copyright © Marlar House Productions, 2019.
Now that we are coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light…
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. ==Romans 12:9-10
(AND A FINAL THOUGHT)
The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.