Coming up in this episode of Weird Darkness… I’ll be sharing numerous stories, all written by Weirdo family members. Some may be moribd, some creepy, some just dark… but they are all interesting.
One Sunday morning in April 1943, during the dark days of WW2, four teenage boys made a terrifying discovery that would baffle the police and remain a mystery for over 70 years. The boys were searching for birds nests at Hagley Woods, a private estate near Birmingham in England’s Midlands. Climbing up an ancient old wych elm tree, 15-year-old Bob Farmer saw something truly terrible. Looking down the hollowed out trunk, Farmer noticed a strange object staring back at him from the dark interior. The teenager was horrified when he realized it was a human skull.
When the Martians first land on Earth in the 1996 sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks!, for a moment it appears all will be fine. “We come in peace,” says their leader, as the music swells and a dove soars overhead. Seconds later the Martian pulls out a laser gun and opens fire on a crowd of human onlookers. Yet another blockbuster alien invasion has begun. That’s Hollywood, of course. But the melodrama underscores one of humanity’s most widely held fears: that if and when we do encounter extraterrestrial beings, they will wreak all kinds of havoc, much as they do in the movies. Or will they?
IN THIS EPISODE: A dream home becomes a house of nightmares… A woman living alone hears a raspy man’s voice speak to her in the dark… While exploring a haunted ship, a woman gets burned – literally… A non-believer in the paranormal becomes a believer… in his own house… Howard Carter became the first person to peer inside of the tomb of King Tutankhamen in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. It turned out to be the discovery of a lifetime and the start of an ancient curse. *** The Wendigo… a shapeshifter, a cannibal, and many believe it to be completely real. *** Puzzling loud booms have been heard in many locations this year and despite lots of speculations no-one knows what’s behind this disturbing phenomenon. *** Why would something want to possess a department-store mannequin? *** Samuel Clemens – better known as Mark Twain. There is a part of his life that is all too often ignored by historians and biographers. Most scholars ignore the fact that Twain had a lifelong interest and fascination with the supernatural. *** Plus, if you’re a fan of cryptozoology, you’ll love my last story… a creepypasta called “The Fairies”.
“This is the Zodiac speaking”. With those words, written in a letter to The San Francisco Examiner, a killer was christened and a mystery born that continues to this day. The letter, received by the newspaper on August 4 1969, was claiming credit for 2 sets of recent murders in the Bay Area around San Fransisco. It was the second letter from someone claiming to be the killer, but this time he gave himself his soon to be legendary name — ‘The Zodiac’. More murders would follow, along with more letters to local newspapers and police. The Zodiac’s terrible crimes were being publicly played out in the nation’s newspapers, with each twist and turn holding the American public under a grim spell. And then he stopped. Less than a year after his first murder, the Zodiac killer simply stopped killing. But did the Zodiac killer actually ever exist?
Everyone was welcome at the People’s Temple. Young and old, black and white, over 900 of them lived together at an idealistic socialist commune in the jungles of Guyana called Jonestown. By November 1978, they were all dead. Captured in one of the most chilling audiotapes ever recorded, Jonestown’s eponymous leader, charismatic preacher Jim Jones, could be heard urging his followers to commit an act of what he called ‘revolutionary suicide’. Each member was to drink a cyanide concoction out of paper cups full of soft drink kool-aid. Jonestown residents, largely consisting of blacks, women and children, seemingly obeyed their leader. Within 5 minutes, their bodies fell to the earth, dead. Jones would die too, apparently from a self-inflicted bullet to the head. 913 Americans perished in all, thousands of miles from home, their socialist paradise in the jungle turned into the blackest nightmare imaginable. It remains the worst mass death of its kind in modern history. But what Jim Jones labelled revolutionary suicide, others regard as mass murder. Over 200 young children were injected or forced to drink the poison, effectively murdered by their own parents and carers. Other residents were been held against their will or had become brainwashed by Jones’ constant night and day preaching. That at least some of the deaths were murder is obvious, but was something even more sinister at work? Dark suspicions that the events of Jonestown were some kind of CIA mind control experiment began to circulate.
Little grips people’s imaginations like stories of what might have been, alternative histories where zeppelins fill the skies, the Nazis won WW2 and JFK was never assassinated. One such speculative tale revolves around a subject already heady with conspiracy and legend — the Apollo moon landings. We can only imagine what alternative history would have unfolded if the program hadn’t been cancelled, but continued to explore the Moon. But one man claims the program was not canceled. In fact, he claims that Apollo 18, 19, and 20 did, in fact, go to the moon despite what was reported. And what Apollo 20 found was beyond incredible – it was downright unbelievable. On the other side of the moon, a crashed alien spacecraft – complete with the dead bodies of its crew. I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Bad omens – to most it’s just as silly to believe them as to believe in flying monsters or that a solar eclipse will bring about the end of life as we know it. But when looking at the correlations between odd or strange events, and the Mothman, you might begin to wonder if bad omens may be real after all. Which just might also give you a bit of a hesitation and a few goosebumps when you experience the next solar eclipse.
IN THIS EPISODE: Following the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp, American troops felt an urge to personally punish the camp’s guards. What exactly transpired still isn’t known. (How Dachau Concentration Camp Guards Got Their Comeuppance) *** When someone in her town was ill, Bertha was to first to pick up her medical bag and rush to the scene to try and help the sickly individual. It never failed though – shortly after her visit, Bertha’s patients would pass away. (The Horrible Bertha Gifford) *** The Chicago Water Tower is one of the oldest buildings in the Windy City. Is it also one of the most haunted? (Chicago’s Haunted Water Tower) *** A bell ringing team in England is plagued by phantom footsteps. (The Phantom Footsteps That Haunt Our Church) *** The crate was picked up and delivered to the docks. It was scheduled to leave for New Orleans that afternoon, but inclement weather kept the boat and crew in port for a week. That’s when sailors began complaining of a foul odor coming from the hold. (The Corpse In The Shipping Crate) *** In the already exceedingly odd history of mysterious encounters with unexplained entities, there are sometimes some that stand out as particularly bizarre, to the point of being almost ludicrous. And I’ll share a few. (Absurd Entities) *** Just because you’re working in a busy office in the middle of the day doesn’t mean you can’t be disturbed by the paranormal. (The Haunted Office) A restaurant owner sees a man standing outside in the rain – but none of his employees can see the man. (No Entry!) *** Surrounded by sunny beaches, lush palm trees, and warm sand… and still one man is terrorized by an entity. (I Think My Hotel Room is Haunted) *** If you plan on staying at a strange hotel, be sure it wasn’t built on a sacred burial ground. (The Ancients Walk at Night) *** Just because your family doesn’t know of a death taking place in your house in the past, doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. (A Visitation From The Great Beyond) *** A girl babysits a group of children, but feels she’s not the only one awake in the house. (The Other Babysitters) *** A man is pelted with candy by an unseen entity. (The Poltergeist Who Won’t Leave Us… Ever) *** Can a house be haunted by… a smell? (A Ghostly Smell) *** A man checks in to a hotel he had no idea was haunted – yet the hotel staff knew. (The Crying Ghost of Galveston) *** A girl’s dorm room becomes haunted on her last day at school… but upon arriving home, she discovers the phantom has followed her. (The Voice) *** At the end of the podcast, a full chapter from the audiobook “Into Darkness” by Jason R. Davis!