On June 29, 1967, the woman who was one of America’s top pinup girls died a horrible and violent death along a lonely roadway near Biloxi, Miss. Her death had a sobering effect on the Hollywood film community and also strange repercussions in the occult community of the time, as well. Her death was said to have been caused by a curse gone awry, but was the “curse” nothing more than a publicity stunt arranged by the “high priest of the occult” in the 1960s? Stranger still, could her mysterious death be the reason that her former home was rumored to be haunted by her restless spirit until it was destroyed in 2002? Tonight, along with many other stories, we’ll be looking into the tragic death and subsequent haunting of Jayne Mansfield.
IN THIS EPISODE: Is it true that Jayne Mansfield’s death was caused by a curse? (The Tragic Death and Haunting of Jayne Mansfield) *** In 1966 over 300 children and staff from a Melbourne school reportedly witnessed multiple UFOs silently flying through the sky before landing in a nearby field. So why are we only learning of it now, more than 50 years later? (300 Children Saw a UFO) *** We’ve all heard horror stories of people being buried alive. It’s become a trope of television and film. But for Barbara Mackle, it was very real – and three days of a pure nightmare. (Barbara Mackle Was Buried Alive) *** Funerals can bring out the worst in some people, especially family members. (Window View)
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STORY CREDITS AND/OR SOURCES…
“The Death and Haunting of Jayne Mansfield” by Troy Taylor: https://www.facebook.com/authortt/posts/1757849647645347
“Barbara Mackle Was Buried Alive” by Kara Goldfarb: https://allthatsinteresting.com/barbara-mackle
“The UFO Seen By 300 Children” by Alley Foster: https://nypost.com/2018/08/07/hundreds-of-school-kids-who-saw-a-ufo-and-their-story-was-ignored-for-50-years/
“Window View” written by Maggie: https://www.yourghoststories.com/real-ghost-story.php?story=25524
On June 29, 1967, the woman who was one of America’s top pinup girls died a horrible and violent death along a lonely roadway near Biloxi, Miss. Her death had a sobering effect on the Hollywood film community and also strange repercussions in the occult community of the time, as well. Here death was said to have been caused by a curse gone awry, but was the “curse” nothing more than a publicity stunt arranged by the “high priest of the occult” in the 1960s? Stranger still, could her mysterious death be the reason that her former home was rumored to be haunted by her restless spirit until it was destroyed in 2002? Tonight, along with many other stories, we’ll be looking into the tragic death and subsequent haunting of Jayne Mansfield.
…I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos. This is Weird Darkness. Here you will find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained. If you have a dark tale for me to tell, you can share it with me at WeirdDarkness.com. Be sure to subscribe if you’ve not done so already so you don’t miss a single episode! And if you already consider yourself a part of the Weirdo family, please help me get the word out by sharing a link to this episode with friends, family, and others on your your social media. And thanks in advance for doing so!
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Coming up in this episode of Weird Darkness…
In 1966 over 300 children and staff from a Melbourne school reportedly witnessed multiple UFOs silently flying through the sky before landing in a nearby field. So why are we only learning of it now, more than 50 years later? (300 Children Saw a UFO)
We’ve all heard horror stories of people being buried alive. It’s become a trop of television and film. But for Barbara Mackle, it was very real – and three days of a pure nightmare. (Barbara Mackle Was Buried Alive)
Funerals can bring out the worst in some people, especially family members. (Window View)
Is it true that Jayne Mansfield’s death was caused by a curse? (The Tragic Death and Haunting of Jayne Mansfield)
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
COMMERCIAL BREAK #1
STORY: THE TRAGIC DEATH OF JAYNE MANSFIELD
She was born Vera Jayne Palmer in Bryn Mawr, Pa., on April 19, 1933 and spend most of her childhood in Phillipsburg, N.J. When she was three years old, her father, Herbert, died of a heart attack while driving in a car with his wife and daughter. After his death, her mother worked as a schoolteacher and in 1939, Vera Palmer re-married and the family moved to Dallas, Texas. Jayne’s desire to become an actress started at an early age and after high school, she studied both drama and physics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
In January 1950, Jayne secretly married Paul Mansfield. She spent the next couple of years juggling motherhood and college classes while her husband was in the army. In 1953, she discovered her love for acting and appeared in a stage production of “Death of a Salesman.” Living in Texas, she won several beauty contests, but few had any idea about just how smart she was. She had an IQ of 163, spoke five languages, and was a classically trained pianist and violinist. She later admitted, though, that she knew the public didn’t care about her brains, they were more interested in her looks and the size of her breasts.
Paul Mansfield had hoped that Jayne would lose interest in acting, but when she didn’t, he moved with her to Los Angeles to try and start a movie career. Between working at a variety of odd jobs, Jayne studied drama at UCLA. Her film career began with bit parts at Warner Brothers, which had signed her after one of its talent scouts and seen her in a production at the Pasadena Playhouse. She started with small roles and then won a larger part in a dramatic film called THE BURGLAR. It wasn’t released until two years later, when Jayne’s career was at its peak – and she was known for much different kinds of roles.
Her big break came from a stage production – “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?” – in which she first appears wearing nothing but a towel. After that, she starred in a camp, comic film, THE GIRL CAN’T HELP IT, in 1956. She played an outrageously voluptuous, tone-deaf girlfriend of a retired racketeer. The film features some early performances by Fats Domino, The Platters and Little Richard, successfully introducing rock-n-roll to many movie audiences.
In May 1956, she signed a contract with 20th Century Fox and played a straight dramatic role in the John Steinbeck-based film, THE WAYWARD BUS. She tried to get away from the “dumb blonde” image and establish herself as a serious actress. She won a Golden Globe for New Star of the Year, beating out Carroll Baker and Natalie Wood. In 1957, she reprised her stage role in WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? With Tony Randall and Joan Blondell and this film, along with THE GIRL CAN’T HELP IT, remains a favorite among Jayne’s fans. They were hugely successful and cemented Jayne’s image as a blonde comic relief. She would find it impossible to escape.
In January 1958, Jayne divorced Paul Mansfield and married actor, bodybuilder, and Mr. Universe title holder, Mickey Hargitay. Their marriage lasted for just five years and Jayne got a Mexican divorce in Juarez in May 1963. The divorce was initially declared invalid in California, and the two reconciled in October 1963. After the birth of their third child, Mansfield sued for the Juarez divorce to be declared legal and won. Their acrimonious divorce battle had the actress accusing Hargitay of kidnapping one of her children to force a more favorable financial settlement. During this marriage, she had three children — Miklós, Zoltán, and Mariska, an actress currently known for her role as Detective Olivia Benson in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
At this time, Jayne’s career was still at its height. She realized that she was stuck in the roles that people loved her for and sought publicity in whatever she could find out: through her beauty and her famous breasts. She repeatedly – and successfully – managed to expose them in carefully staged “accidents.” On the “Tonight Show,” host Jack Parr introduced her as “Here they are, Jayne Mansfield!” and in 1957, her breasts were part of a notorious publicity stunt that was arranged to deflect attention away from Sophia Loren during a dinner in the Italian star’s honor. Photographs of the encounter were published around the world. One image showed Sophia Loren raising an eyebrow at Jayne, who was sitting between Loren and Clifton Webb, as she leaned over the table, allowing her breasts to spill out of her low-cut dress and exposing a nipple. During a film festival party in Berlin, Mickey picked her up so that she could bite some low-hanging grapes from a vine and both breasts “accidentally” popped out of her dress. The photograph of the incident became a sensation, appearing in magazines all over the world with the word CENSORED hiding her exposed breasts. Tacky? Sure, but it worked and it kept Jayne in the movie magazines.
Even so, most of the good roles for Jayne had dried up by 1959. She did a lot of independent and foreign films – usually scantily clad – until she decided to slow down and try and rejuvenate her career. She announced that she planned to study acting in New York, so that she could attract more serious roles, but by then it was too late. Her racy publicity had brought her fame, but it became her downfall. Fox did not renew her contract in 1962.
But Jayne kept working. In 1963, she was the first mainstream American actress to appear nude in the film PROMISES! PROMISES! Nude photos taken on set were published in Playboy magazine, which resulted in an obscenity charge for Hugh Hefner. The film ended up being banned in Cleveland, but enjoyed success across the country. She appeared in more foreign films, but good roles became harder and harder to find. Later in life she appeared in a number of dismal, low-budget films like THE LAS VEGAS HILLBILLYS and PANIC BUTTON. They were a disaster and embarrassment for a woman who deserved better.
After her divorce from Mickey Hargitay, Jayne was linked romantically with singer Nelson Sardelli, but in 1964, she married an Italian-born director named Matteo Ottaviano. They were divorced in July 1966. Jayne was in a bad place. Her career was in tatters and she was supporting herself and her children doing burlesque and dinner theater.
Then, in late 1966, she took another step to revive her career. Whether this was a serious attempt to find herself, or merely another infamous publicity stunt, remains in question. Whatever it was, Jayne joined the newly formed Church of Satan, founded by Anton LaVey. According to LaVey, Jayne had a real interest in exploring the occult, while friends say she was simply curious about it. It’s also quite possible that she was merely attaching herself to LaVey for the publicity and the attention. The Church of Satan had recently been making headlines and appearing on magazine covers. LaVey was a dashing figure and had become notorious in a short time. Even those who disliked him respected him as being a great showman and promoter. Other celebrities, like Sammy Davis, Jr., were photographed with the country’s leading Satanist and Jayne may have been looking to get a little free publicity for herself.
LaVey was entranced with Jayne – he likely saw a connection with her as good publicity for himself – but took an instant dislike to Jayne’s boyfriend and attorney, Sam Brody. Over the next few weeks, they clashed several times and the story goes that LaVey put a curse on Brody, telling him that he would be dead within a year. LaVey later said that the “curse” was supposed to protect Jayne from Brody, who was violent and abusive with her. He warned Jayne to stay away from Brody, fearing that she might be affected by the curse.
But Jayne didn’t listen. Soon after, Jayne and Brody were involved in two separate auto accidents. A month later, Jayne’s son, Zoltan, accompanied her to Jungleland in Thousand Oaks, California, where she was supposed to pose for publicity photos, and he was mauled by a supposedly tame lion. While in Japan, a collection of her prized jewelry was stolen from her hotel room. In England, she was publicly humiliated and her show was canceled after she was falsely accused of skipping out on her hotel bill. She was charged with income tax evasion in Venezuela, robbed in Las Vegas, and attacked by a mob at Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, which stripped her of all of her clothing.
On June 22, 1967, Brody was on his way to pick up Jayne from a charity lunch when his vehicle was struck by another car. It was badly damaged and Brody was hospitalized with a broken leg and cracked ribs. But this didn’t stop Brody from going with Jayne on a tour of southern supper clubs a week later – a decision that would be fatal.
Jayne was performing at Gus Steven’s Supper Club in Biloxi, Mississippi, in late June. After the show, she decided to drive to New Orleans, where she was supposed to appear on a television talk show on the morning of June 29. They left the club after midnight. Jayne was accompanied by Brody, the club’s 19-year-old driver, Ron Harrison, and the children, Miklos, Zoltan, and Mariska. Jayne’s signature pink luggage was loaded in the car and Jayne got into the front seat with Brody and Harrison. Jayne sat next to the passenger door. The children were asleep in the backseat as they started driving west on Route 90. The road was shiny and slick from a light rain that had fallen earlier. Ahead of the car, Harrison spotted a white cloud that was coming from a mosquito-spraying truck ahead of them on the highway. He slowed down and followed the truck for several minutes but then became impatient, accelerated and drove around the truck into the fog. It was now 2:25 a.m.
Unable to see clearly, Harrison had no idea that a slow-moving trailer truck was ahead of the mosquito sprayer until the front of his Buick slammed under it. The roof of the car was sheared off and the metal rolled backwards like an opened can. Sam Brody died instantly when he was thrown from the car and Harrison suffered the same fate. The children, lying down in the back, sustained injuries, but they survived the crash.
When the truck driver, who was unhurt, jumped down from his cab, he immediately spotted the bodies of the two men on the pavement. Glancing back through the Buick’s windshield, he saw the battered body of a woman in blood-soaked clothing. Legends state that Jayne was decapitated in the crash, but later reports from police officers who investigated the scene discovered that what the truck driver thought was her severed head was actually one of Jayne’s blond, and now bloody, wigs.
The news of death stunned fans across the country. Some were quick to cash in on it. Anton LaVey announced that Jayne was “a victim of her own frivolity.” He had warned her about the curse and she ignored it. During a memorial service held in her honor at the Church of Satan, 30 people reported that a series of amber-colored bulbs suddenly flared up without explanation, but never shattered. LaVey said that it happened because “Jayne wanted to let us know she was still with us.”
Others connected to Jayne reported strange happenings. Linda Mudrick, Jayne’s personal maid for many years, often heard Miklos, who had been injured in the accident that took his mother’s life, talking to someone when she knew he was alone in his room. He told her that he had been talking to his mother and Mudrick believed that Jayne was somehow communicating with the boy from the other side.
Weird happenings occurred around the “Pink Palace,” Jayne’s former home in Beverly Hills. She had bought the house, a 40-room, Mediterranean-style mansion that had once belonged to singer Rudy Vallee, in November 1957. Jayne had the house painted pink, with cupids surrounded by pink fluorescent lights, pink furs in the bathrooms, a pink heart-shaped bathtub, and a fountain spurting pink champagne. Mickey Hargitay built her a heart-shaped swimming pool. Soon after Jayne’s death, Mickey was involved in a bad accident just after driving out of the gates of the Pink Palace. Matteo Ottaviano, Jayne’s third husband, was plagued with troubles. His father had a heart attack, legal problems closed his nightclub, and his best friend was killed. Victor Huston, a young man who worked as Jayne’s road manager and who was a constant visitor at the Pink Palace, died suddenly. Linda Mudrick was also involved in a terrible car accident. It got worse. Jayne’s son, Miklos, and a friend were playing in a toy electric car one afternoon at the Pink Palace and the little girl leaned back and somehow, her long black hair entangled around an axle. All of the hair on the back of her head was torn out by the roots. Had there really been a curse that surrounded Jayne Mansfield, still working overtime?
Others believed the Pink Palace was haunted. Bursting water pipes ruined many pieces of furniture and plumbers who came to repair the damage were allegedly frightened off by moving objects. One painter said that when he was working in Jayne’s old room, he felt that someone was watching him and several times he felt someone touch him on the shoulder. Eerie moaning sounds were often reported and servants refused to stay on. New ones were hired, but often left after only a few days in the house. Even Linda Mudrick, Jayne’s long-time companion, finally quit, stating that, “I never want to go in that house again.”
Many came to believe that Jayne was still around, angry over the fighting that was going on over her estate. Her spirit, they said, wanted to insure that her children received their inheritance. Unfortunately, the Pink Palace was sacked by Ottaviano, Jayne’s third husband, and his attorney. They locked out the children and Jayne’s parents and then sold the place.
The first occupants of the house were a bank president and his family. Right after they moved in, the banker’s son found a pink Honda that the late actor Nick Adams had given to Jayne during a brief affair. The boy started it up and took it for a spin around the estate and then decided to try it out on the road. Just as he was roaring out of the gates and onto Sunset Boulevard, he was struck by an oncoming car and was killed. The banker and his family allegedly moved out the same day.
The singer Cass Elliot, of the Mamas & the Papas, later bought the house and moved in with her husband. She went to London to record some television commercials and left her husband behind to oversee the redecorating of the mansion. Cass’s death occurred while she was away.
Another occupant of the house also claimed to experience strange phenomena, as well as the urge to dye her hair blond and to dress in clothing that had once belonged to Jayne, which she had found in storage. After going to a plastic surgeon for a breast enlargement, she was questioned by concerned friends, but could give no explanation for her strange behavior. She became obsessed with Jayne Mansfield and began spending thousands of dollars to purchase any memorabilia of the actress that she could find. She didn’t stay in the house for long, though. One night she claimed that she heard a woman’s voice begging her to “get out.” Aware of the fate that had befallen the two previous tenants she packed up her belongings and fled the Pink Palace.
The next occupant of the mansion was Beatle Ringo Starr, who had been a fan of Jayne when she was alive and had been a good friend of hers. Although Ringo mostly used the house for parties and only actually lived in it for a short while, he had the exterior of the pink mansion repainted white. Soon though, the house began turning pink again. Some said that this was because pink was a hard color to cover, but others claimed that it was Jayne’s presence making herself known. The house was repainted again, using a sealer and two coats of paint, but it turned pink once more – much to the bewilderment of paint consultants and chemists. Eventually, though, the house was successfully repainted and remained white until it was torn down.
The singer Englebert Humperdinck, who had once been romantically involved with Jayne, purchased the house in 1977. Before moving in, he had the house blessed by a Catholic priest and issued a statement about the haunting in 1980. He did not believe that the house was haunted any longer, but he did admit to a few unsettling moments. Once, after an earthquake, he discovered a section of the yard had settled into the shape of a heart — Jayne’s favorite design. Although he first believed that perhaps Jayne had returned after all, it was discovered that the heart was a filled-in wading pool that Jayne had built for the children. He likely breathed a sigh of relief.
In 2002, Humperdinck sold the house to developers, and it was demolished in November of that year. Since that time, there have been no further reports of Jayne’s ghost and it seems that the haunting, like many memories of the vivacious actress, has faded away.
STORY: BARBARA BURIED
In the winter of 1968, kidnappers seized college student Barbara Mackle very early in the morning, sealed her in a box underground, and demanded a ransom for her return. Mackle would then wait in silence for over three days until she was rescued.
As miraculous as Mackle’s survival was, equally unbelievable was the destiny of her kidnapper.
It happened as Christmas approached in 1968. Barbara Mackle, a 20-year-old senior at Emory University in Atlanta and real estate heiress, had been hit with the Hong Kong Flu that had been circulating on campus. Mackle’s mother had driven to Atlanta to take care of her ailing daughter before bringing her back to their home in Florida for Christmas break.
The two were staying just a few miles from the campus at the Rodeway Inn in Decatur, Ga. At around 4 a.m. on Dec. 17, 1968, there was a knock on the door of their room. A man wearing a policeman’s cap claiming to be an officer told Barbara Mackle that her boyfriend Stewart Hunt Woodward had been in a car accident.
Once Mackle opened the door for him, the truth became clear. The man was no cop. His name was Gary Stephen Krist, a 23-year-old from Miami who was a research assistant at Sea World. And as it turned out, he had been stalking Mackle for months.
“He was looking for a rich, tough-minded female,” Krist’s parole officer, Tommy Morris, said later. “Someone who could stand up to the trauma of being buried alive.”
Krist and his accomplice, 26-year-old Ruth Eisemann-Schier who was disguised as a man, rushed inside. The two criminals chloroformed Mackle’s mother which knocked her unconscious before tying her up. They then forced Barbara Mackle at gunpoint into the back of their waiting car, drove her to a remote pine forest about 20 miles away, and had her climb into a trench they had previously dug.
At the bottom of the trench was a strategically engineered fiberglass box. It had a pump and two plastic pipes that gave Mackle air from outside. It also had food, sedative-laced water, and a lamp.
Krist took a photograph of Mackle lying down in the trench while holding a handwritten sign that read “KIDNAPPED” to be used for a ransom note. Then, shoveling two feet of mud on top of the box, they buried her alive. Barbara Mackle would remain there for three days.
In the 1972 book 83 Hours Til Dawn, Mackle recalled the experience. “I screamed and screamed. The sound of the dirt got farther and farther away. Finally, I couldn’t hear anything above. I screamed for a long time after that.”
Barbara Mackle’s father Robert was a wealthy developer in Miami. Krist and Eisemann-Schier contacted him and demanded a ransom of $500,000 (the 2018 equivalent of $3.5 million) in exchange for his daughter’s safe return.
In the note, the kidnappers specified that the ransom was to be put in a suitcase and that Robert had to make the drop in the woods alone. Additionally, he was to put a classified ad in the Miami Herald reading “Loved One – Please come home. We will pay all expenses and meet you anywhere at any time. Your family.”
Robert Mackle did as instructed. In return, Krist gave the F.B.I. – via a switchboard operator – the approximate location of the burial site.
After the ransom drop, the kidnappers took the money and fled by foot. Over 100 FBI agents then spread out in the area.
On the morning of Dec. 20, after being underground for 83 hours, Mackle’s burial site was located by searchers. Frantically, they dug up the box, and Barbara Mackle emerged and assured everyone that she was unharmed – a factor that may have spared Krist the death penalty.
Krist and Eisemann-Schier split up after they took off and still hadn’t been located. Unfortunately for Krist, he wasn’t particularly stealthy when it came to covering his tracks.
F.B.I. agents were able to track down the Volvo that Krist had abandoned. Paperwork inside the car led them to identify both Krist and Eisemann-Schier.
Within 24 hours, Krist was captured off the coast of Florida in a speedboat he had purchased with a portion of the ransom money. Eisemann-Schier was captured soon after. She was eventually sentenced to seven years in prison before being paroled and deported to her native Honduras.
Two months after his capture, Krist was sentenced to life in prison. But the story didn’t end there.
After 10 years, Krist was released on parole. That wasn’t all, though. He was allowed to attend medical school in Grenada and Dominica, eventually obtaining a medical degree. He attempted to secure a medical license in Alabama, but the state rejected it.
However, in December 2001 he was approved by the Indiana Medical Licensing Board because Indiana law didn’t prevent convicted felons from obtaining medical licenses. The license was probationary and the board put a number of restrictions in place.
Krist worked as a physician in Indiana until 2003, when he failed to disclose a disciplinary action he received, thus costing him his license.
In 2006, he was arrested off the coast of Alabama when police found over 30 pounds of cocaine in a sailboat he was chartering. He pleaded guilty to drug smuggling and, despite his prior history, was only sentenced to five years in prison.
As for Barbara Mackle, she wound up marrying her college boyfriend, Stewart Hunt Woodward. The couple had two children and were married for 43 years until Woodward’s death in 2013. After the 1972 book, Mackle hasn’t spoken publicly about her kidnapping.
When Barbara Mackle was asked how she had endured the harrowing experience, she claimed she knew she wouldn’t die in that box, and imagined spending Christmas with her family.
COMMERCIAL BREAK #2
STORY: WINDOW VIEW
Greetings! I thought I’d share something from the day of the last funeral I attended. I’ve told y’all the story of my husband, in ‘The Skeptic’ and this will touch briefly on that.
My husband’s grandmother died a while back and I was required to attend that funeral. No getting out of that one to prep the after dinner and basically avoid the whole, not good with dead people thing I have going on. I did not like Jerry’s grandmother. I respected her for what she did for my husband and for the strength it took to raise her 6 kids after her husband took off on her, but sahe was bigoted, prejudice, and just plain mean in the way only an old lady could be. She also felt it was okay to hit my kids if she didn’t like what they were doing/saying. I didn’t then and don’t now, ascribe to that school of thought. I could/would give a spanking if they did something dangerous, because a little pain versus a lot of pain or death was acceptable. Smacking my six year old across the mouth hard enough to cut her lip, because she dared to say no? That was unacceptable to me and I made very sure she knew that – and that to call people of color or diverse ethnic or religious backgrounds bigoted names would ensure she would not see my kids for weeks.
Suffice to say, we did not get along while she was alive. We tolerate each other now that she’s dead.
Her death was fast, but not unexpected or sudden. We knew for a couple weeks she was going. The next part of this is hard to write and may be hard to read, but please bare with me. While she was dying – and I mean that literally – in the last hours of her life, I stopped by to check on her house and grab a few things that my mother-in-law (who was by her mother’s side at the hospital) needed. I was shocked to find that my Aunt-in-law and her two daughters were at the house, going through the things there. My mother-in-law lived there – it was and IS her home, and Viola and her two girls were tearing through the house like it was a fire sale. They were grabbing stuff and putting it in large bags. My mother-in-laws coats, shoes, pictures off the wall, the computer I gave them for christmas. I was completely shocked. “What the hell?”
Vi said “Oh, you need to get out of here. Mom hates you and I don’t want you in my house.”
“I think this house belongs to Mary – not you – she’s been paying the taxes and mortgage on it for 20 years. You need to put that stuff down and get out or I’m calling the cops.”
“Mom said I could have anything I wanted. The girls are helping me.”
“Vi, Fern can’t give you what isn’t hers. Besides she’s been in a coma since before you got here. When could she tell you anything? Get out or you can tell the cops.”
They left after calling me choice names.
I got the stuff Mary needed and went to drop it off at the hospital. I stayed by my hubby’s side for the next few hours until Fern passed. They went back to Mary’s house to find it completely ransacked, everything gone, including the antique, 1890’s front door. Since neither Vi nor her daughters showed up at the hospital, I knew exactly what happened. They waited for me to leave and came back. When I said that and said what had happened earlier, they didn’t really call me a liar, but they made their disbelief known. I just shrugged and went home.
Vi showed up at our house that night, drunk as a skunk and screaming at my house. I didn’t open the door or acknowledge her except to say leave or I’m calling the cops. Later I found out that she showed up at the house and when confronted, said that she hadn’t done it, but her daughter April was wearing one of Mary’s sweaters – one I got her for mother’s day from a specialty boutique in Key West that was hand made and an original. When Mary recognized it she called Vi on it. They took off and disappeared. They showed up at the service and left before anyone could speak to them. Jerry spent the three days before the funeral replacing the door and appliances and stuff they stole.
Funerals bring out the worst in people I guess.
Back to the funeral – It was sparsely attended, which surprised me. She had been a member of the largest church in the area and had attended there for over 50 years. I expected at least a token showing from the church. I found out later that the church had made a mistake on the announcement card and put the next day’s date on it, even though they were hosting the after funeral lunch and that was setup and prepared correctly.
I did get a sense of her, but what I got was just, older lady, tired, ready to sleep. Sad, a sadness linked to family. At least that was my perception. The funeral and after services went well and Mary seemed to be coping. My children and husband were exhausted mentally and emotionally, so I suggested we go home for the afternoon, and that we would be back later – I would make dinner for everyone and bring it with us.
My husband forgot his wallet and had to go back in to the house. My daughter was sitting next to me in the car and I looked over to watch for my husband, and there, standing in the window, plain as day, was Fern, the woman we’d just seen buried. My daughter gasped and not taking my eyes off the window where the white-haired woman stared back at us, I said “You see her?”
“Great Grandma’s dead but… She’s in the window.”
“I know sweetie. She’s probably just letting us know she’s okay or maybe she just wants to visit with her kids before she moves on.”
“It’s okay honey, just wave like you used to and then turn and talk to your brother. It’ll be okay.”
My son Chris shrugged, “I don’t see nothing, but yeah, come look at my Pokemon Silver.”
She did, and I watched for a while longer. She didn’t really move, just stood there, like I’d seen her do a hundred times before. Then when my hubby walked out, she turned her head and looked at him as he strode towards us up the walkway, she disappeared. Now, let me explain about this window. It is north facing, about 4 feet long and 3 feet tall. It has horizontal blinds that are always kept up and heavy green drapes that frame it inside. Fern always wore blue, black or brown. Her hair was bright blue-white and haloed around her face in waves. She was very clearly visible. 4 feet in front of the window from the inside is the television set. Nothing is allowed to be on top of the TV, nothing. On the outside small violets were planted in neat rows. The glass is untinted, untreated, single ply glass. It has a clear view in and out. I could clearly see the family moving around behind the glass, including my husband, But, just as clearly I saw Fern standing there watching our car. She used to do it all the time when we left. It was like she was seeing us out/away.
I didn’t mention it to anyone at the time, but, occasionally, over the years, I have seen her, standing and watching. I am not sure why I thought I was the only one to see her, but I did think that, and I was wrong. Not long ago, when I was dropping off chicken and dumplings for Mary, one of the new neighbors came over and asked Mary who the woman in the window was. He’d seen her this afternoon.
Mary had been at the doctor’s office, which is why I had made her supper, and she was all up in arms about some strange woman in her house. I went in and got Fern’s picture and brought it to the new neighbor. “Is this who you saw?”
He recognized her immediately. I was at a loss to explain, but Mary said, “Oh that’s Momma. She normally doesn’t stop by if I’m not here, but she visits to check on me all the time. You’ll see her sometimes. Don’t worry about it.”
She didn’t explain that the visitor was dead… And I didn’t know how to explain that the Window View wasn’t quite what it seemed. On a side note, that was the appointment that lead to the discovery of cerebral blockage in her brain. She’s had 2 very dangerous surgeries since them to remove the blockages. I have to wonder if Fern was there because she knew something serious was happening with Mary and wanted to show support and caring.
STORY: UFO 300 CHILDREN
In 1966 over 300 children and staff from a Melbourne school reportedly witnessed multiple UFOs silently flying through the sky before landing in a nearby field.
It is the largest mass UFO sighting in Australia yet hardly anything was reported on it at the time.
Over the years there have been differing reports about the exact details of what happened on April 6 at Westall High School, such as people claiming there were three saucer-like objects, while some thought there was just one.
In the 52 years since the incident occurred, there has been worldwide speculation about what people saw, with some believing it was absolutely an alien encounter and others pointing the finger at the government testing new technology.
Throughout all the years of speculation, there has been one particularly interesting piece of audio that’s been greatly overlooked.
An American physicist known for his research into UFOs, Dr. James E. McDonald, conducted an interview with a science teacher from the Westall school, Andrew Greenwood, who witnessed the event.
McDonald then recorded himself describing their meeting and the creepy details Greenwood gave about his experience. “Greenwood told me the UFO was first brought to his attention by a hysterical child who ran into his classroom and told him there’s a flying saucer outside,” McDonald says on the recording.
“He thought this child had become deranged or something so he didn’t take any notice, but when the child insisted that this object was in the sky he decided to go out and have a look for himself.”
When Greenwood went outside he noticed a group of children looking towards the northeast area of the school grounds and as he approached them he claims he saw a UFO hovering close to the powerline.
Greenwood described it as a round, silver object about the size of a car with a metal rod sticking up in the air.
According to McDonald, Greenwood then told him that five planes came and surrounded the object as more people began gathering to watch the scene before them.
“He called it the most amazing flying he had ever seen in his life,” McDonald said.
“The planes were doing everything possible to approach the object and he said how they all avoided a collision he will never know.”
“Every time they got too close to the object it would slowly accelerate, then rapidly accelerate and then move away from them and stop. Then they would take off after it again and the same thing would happen.”
This game of cat and mouse reportedly went on for about 20 minutes and by this time Greenwood said 350 children and staff were watching on.
Suddenly the UFO shot away and vanished within seconds and it was at this point that the headmaster came out and ordered everyone to go back to class.
Over the years there were reports that the government tried to cover up the incident and stop witnesses from talking, but Greenwood claimed it was the headmaster that first tried to squash discussion of the incident.
“He gave the school a lecture and told the children they would be severely punished if they talked about this matter and told the staff they could lose their jobs if they mentioned it at all,” McDonald said.
The teacher claimed the headmaster was so “scared” and “disturbed” by the incident that he refused to come outside until the object was gone.
“When the Royal Australian Airforce contacted the headmaster he told them to ‘go and jump in a lake,’” McDonald said.
There have been claims from several witnesses that sharply dressed men in black suits visited them and warned them from speaking about the incident.
This lines up with a few experiences Greenwood had when he tried to speak with other witnesses about what they saw.
“At the time of seeing the UFO he was a complete skeptic himself. He has never even considered the possibility of their existence,” McDonald said.
“When he asked the physical education teacher to describe what she had seen herself so that he could compare it with his own observation she just wouldn’t say anything.”
Greenwood then reportedly spoke to one of the older students who described the event in great detail exactly as he had seen it but when he spoke to her again half an hour later she wouldn’t say a word.
Greenwood didn’t think it had anything to do with the headmaster’s threats as no one usually took him seriously and he knew for a fact that the student he spoke with didn’t attend the meeting where he made the threats.
McDonald’s description of his interview with Greenwood offers a rare insight into the events from the eyes of someone who was an adult at the time.
There continues to be speculation over what actually happened and the site of the encounter has been turned into a memorial park to reflect the 1966 Westall UFO incident.
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The following stories from this episode are purported to be true, and you can find links in the show notes:
“The Death and Haunting of Jayne Mansfield” by Troy Taylor
“Barbara Mackle Was Buried Alive” by Kara Goldfarb
“The UFO Seen By 300 Children” by Alley Foster
“Window View” written by Maggie
MUSIC PROVIDED BY Midnight Syndicate and Shadow’s Symphony. Find links to both in the show notes.
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Now that we are coming out of the dark, remember…
1 Peter 5:8-9… “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”
I’m your creator/host, Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.