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Paranormal experiences and brushes with the world beyond our understanding seem to happen to people from all walks of life, all levels of education, and all ages. There is no real certain group of people who are more or less likely to have such experiences, and accounts run the gamut across the board, often coming from very reliable people. Of course the reports we most pay attention to are those that come from our favorite actors, musicians, and other celebrities, and some of these are just about as strange as you’re likely to find. From ghosts, to witches, to meetings with beings from another world or dimension, some of the oddest reports from the famous show us that the paranormal does not care whether you are a celebrity or not when it makes an appearance, and that sometimes these larger than life personalities are just as susceptible to the strange and frightening as anyone else.
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, my newsletter, to connect with me on social media, and more!
Coming up in this episode…
A prayer for food resulted in fish raining down from the sky in Yoro, Honduras. And now it happens regularly – sometimes twice a year – with still no definitive explanation. (Cloudy With a Chance of Sardines)
Is it possible that UFO sightings and sightings of the Chupacabra are somehow related? Even stranger – is it possible the strange dog-lizard-like creatures came from crashed spaceships? (UFOs And The Chupacabra)
Weirdo family member Laura tells a strange story about a candy store – and its resident ghost. (Haunted Candy Store)
Don’t try and tell some celebrities that ghosts don’t exist, because they’ve seen all the paranormal proof they need to believe. (Celebrity Encounters With The Paranormal)
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
STORY: CELEBRITY ENCOUNTERS WITH THE PARANORMAL=====
Many strange celebrity brushes with the world of the paranormal involve encountering various ghostly phenomena, and there is a surprisingly large number of such cases. Famous Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher had some bizarre experiences in the time after her close friend R. Gregory Stevens died of a drug overdose at her Beverly Hills home. She claims that in the days after his death she heavily felt his presence lurking everywhere, as well as had the sensation of being watched and even touched by an unseen presence. Even spookier was that lights and electronic equipment would turn on and off for no reason, and she would describe her experiences with Vanity Fair in 2006, saying: *****Lights would go on and off and I had this toy machine that when you touched it, it would (curse) and it would go off in the night by itself, in my closet. I was a nut for a year.*****
Sticking with actors for now, actor Matthew McConaughey found that a new home he had purchased was haunted shortly after moving in. The spirit is described as a middle-aged woman dressed in blue, which he calls Madame Blu. One evening, he claims that he heard anomalous noises downstairs in the middle of the night and no one was there, and she was apparently glimpsed or heard rummaging about the home on several occasions. On another occasion, he got so sick of her antics after hearing her making a ruckus in another room that he actually confronted the spirit, of which he would say: *****I was not even under the influence and she was there. She wasn’t that happy, it didn’t seem like she was going to be much fun to hang around or have in my house, so I went ahead and stood my ground. I opened the door and said, ‘You can move around all you want but I’m not going anywhere.’ For weeks everyone that came to the house said the same thing: ‘There’s someone down in that hall, there’s somebody down in that hall.’*****
Another Hollywood megastar, Keanu Reeves, has also related a rather surreal paranormal experience he once had as a kid. The very strange incident supposedly happened just after having moved into a new apartment in New York, and involved seeing a disembodied suit flying around through the place with no one in it one evening while he was home alone with his nanny at the time. Reeves has explained of this incident: *****There was a doorway, and all of a sudden, we’re looking over there and this jacket comes waving through the doorway, just empty — there’s no head, there’s no body, there’s no legs. It’s just there, and then it disappears. I was a little a kid, so I thought, ‘That’s interesting.’ And then I looked over at the nanny. It was her shocked face that made me realize what we had just seen was real.*****
Another actor with quite a strange tale to tell is the esteemed cinema and theater actor Patrick Stewart, who saw an apparition at the notoriously haunted Theatre Royal Haymarket while performing Waiting for Godot with fellow thespian Sir Ian McKellen. As they were in the middle of performing Act 1 of the play, Stewart alleges that he saw off in the wings a man standing alone in a beige coat and twill trousers, who stared and then proceeded to just vanish. It was all so startling that Stewart was actually flustered and missed a line, and when McKellan asked him during the interview what had happened, Stewart simply said, “I just saw a ghost. On stage, during Act One.”
It would soon become apparent to them after talking to stagehands and the theater director that the theater had a long history of being haunted by the alleged ghost of a Baldwin Buckstone, who had been an actor himself, as well as a playwright and eventually the manager of the establishment back in the 19th century, before dying in 1879. Ever since then, the spirit of Buckstone has been seen from time to time by both actors and stage hands alike. In an article in The Telegraph, the modern director of the theater, Nigel Everett, said of Stewart’s sighting and the haunting: *****Patrick told us all about it. He was stunned. I would not say frightened, but I would say impressed. The last time an actor saw him would have been I think Fiona Fullerton, playing in an Oscar Wilde, 10 or 12 years ago. The ghost tends to appear when a comedy is playing. I think Buckstone appears when he appreciates things. We view it as a positive thing.*****
In addition to film actors, some movie directors have had inexplicable brushes with the paranormal as well. Acclaimed director Peter Jackson, well known for his Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies of fantasy films, has apparently had his own odd experience. At the time, the director had been staying with his wife in an apartment across from the St. James Theatre, in London, when one night he woke to find an apparition of a woman at the end of his bed, with a face that seemed to be frozen into a scream. The frightening entity then allegedly hovered across the room to disappear through a wall. When he told his wife what he had seen the next day, he said of her reply: *****She asked ‘Was it the woman with a screaming face?’ We had never spoken about it. She had seen the same ghost two years earlier. So I do believe in some energy, a spirit or a soul. They say she manifests herself in the theater with a screaming face. Sometimes she’s seen — the same ghost. She needs to learn to smile a little.*****
Besides actors and filmmakers, there are plenty of famous musicians who have their own harrowing supernatural tales to tell. The very well-known pop singer Miley Cyrus apparently had a rather frightening experience with some sort of paranormal entity while staying in an apartment in London in 2009 during a concert tour. Things started with a scary encounter relayed by Cyrus’s sister within the flat’s bathroom, and Miley would also see the spirit, which seemed to take the form of a little boy. She would say of these events in an interview with Elle UK thus: *****One night, my little sister — it sounds crazy to tell you — but she was standing in the shower and all of a sudden, I hear her scream. I run in there and the water had somehow flipped to hot but it was still…It wasn’t like the water had just changed, the knob had turned but she hadn’t turned it and it was burning her. She was really red. I thought I had seen a little boy sitting on the sink watching me take a shower so I felt really freaked out. I was sitting there the next night and maybe I’m crazy, but I could have sworn I could see this little boy sitting there on the sink, kicking his feet. We found out that there was this older man that owned it [the bakery] and his son lived with him there, and I guess the wife died or something, she had gotten sick. So it was just the son and the dad that lived there in the bakery, and then the dad died and the son took over the bakery, and I thought I was seeing the son. I’m not even kidding. I had to move. That’s not a lie. I will never stay there ever again.*****
Another famous pop musician, Ariana Grande, had an even scarier experience while visiting an old castle and cemetery in Kansas City, in the United States. While there at the notoriously haunted Stull Cemetery, Grande and friends came across what seems to have been perhaps an actual demon. It started as they were driving through the cemetery and she felt overwhelmed by an intense, unshakable feeling of pure dread and anguish, after which she smelled sulphur and saw a fly buzzing about in the vehicle. This was scary enough that she decided to leave, but not before apologizing to any spirits in the area and snapping some photos, and this is where things get really weird. Grande has said in an interview with Complex magazine: *****Then I took a picture, and there are three super-distinct faces in the picture — they’re faces of textbook demons. The next day I tried to send [the picture] to my manager, and it said, ‘This file can’t be sent, it’s 666 megabytes.’ I’m not kidding. I used to have a folder called ‘demons’ that had pictures with all the screencaps in it, but then weird things started happening to me, so I deleted it.*****
She also said that a few weeks before the interview she had the most frightening demonic experience of all, claiming: *****I had just gotten off the phone, and as soon as I closed my eyes, I heard this really loud rumble right by my head. When I opened my eyes, it stopped immediately, but when I closed my eyes it started again with whispers. Every time I closed my eyes, I started seeing these really disturbing images with, like, red shapes. Then I opened my eyes and got back on the phone and was like, ‘I’m really scared, and I don’t want to go to bed tonight.Then I scooched over to the left side of my bed, because that’s where the best service is in my room, and there was this massive black matter. I don’t know what it was… I started crying. I was on the phone like, ‘What do I do, what do I do?’ and they said, ‘Tell it to eff off.’ I thought, I’m not going to do that. It’s going to upset it, so I’m just going to chill and not feed into it, because all it wants is fear. It feeds on fear. I watched it move to the front of my bed, and then I fell asleep on the phone. I woke up, and it was gone.*****
It is all pretty intense, and one wonders just what to think of it all. She should make it into a song at the very least. Perhaps the most bonkers case of a celebrity’s experience with the paranormal is the bizarre odyssey of the weird undertaken by the famed late music artist David Bowie. For a large portion of the 1970s, Bowie was absolutely convinced that he was being stalked by a coven of witches, who he was quite sure were after his sperm. He was so terrified of these witches and the black magic spells he was sure they were casting that he took to carrying around an assortment of magical protective talismans and often obsessively lit black candles in an effort to ward off malicious spirits. As for why they wanted his sperm, writer Mark Spitz, author of the biography Bowie, has said: *****Increasingly Bowie was convinced there were witches after his semen. They were intent on using it to make a child to sacrifice to the devil, essentially the plot to Roman Polanski’s 1968 supernatural classic Rosemary’s Baby.*****
Bowie also turned to magical spells, pored over numerous books on white magic and psychic self-defense, and got into the habit of scrawling protective images and pentagrams all over his home in order to protect himself from the malevolent forces he felt were closing in on him from all around. During this dark time he also became convinced that his swimming pool was infested with demons, to the point that he would not go anywhere near it nor let anyone else go in it. In the end, out of desperation Bowie apparently turned to a white magician by the name of Walli Elmlark, who went about magically cleansing the pool and trying to cast out these dark forces. Spitz would say of this: *****Elmlark quickly and successfully exorcised the pool. Angie (Bowie), who was living there at the time, noted that it started to bubble and smoke, and that it only rained outside David’s window while the rest of the L.A. sky was clear. Elmlark wrote a series of spells and incantations out for Bowie as he continued to wrestle with the forces of darkness.*****
Bowie would go on to credit Elmlark with saving him from the supernatural danger and salvaging his soul. It is important to remember that all of this was happening during a troubled time in the musician’s life when large mountains of cocaine and other drugs were the order of the day, so whether any of this was due to the being stalked by witches or the tripping of balls is anyone’s guess. Speaking of hard partying rockers, some other musicians have supposedly had encounters with something even more otherworldly than ghosts. One notable case was an experience supposedly had by none other than the legendary John Lennon, of The Beatles fame.
The account comes from noted magician and psychic Uri Geller, who was friends with Lennon and claims that the artist once relayed to him a very surreal and outlandish encounter that he had had. According to Geller, Lennon told him that one day in the early 1970s he had looked outside of his apartment after seeing an anomalous bright light, and that he had seen strange, bug-like creatures milling about outside, which repelled him with some invisible force when he tried to get closer. Lennon would reportedly explain of this: *****They did something. But I don’t know what it was. I tried to throw them out, but, when I took a step towards them, they kind of pushed me back. I mean, they didn’t touch me. It was like they just willed me. Pushed me with willpower and telepathy.*****
The next thing Lennon knew, he lost consciousness and woke up in his own bed. It might have all been written off as a weird dream if there hadn’t been an alien mechanical metal egg sitting there in his hands. Lennon would purportedly pass it to Geller and say, “It’s too weird for me. If it’s my ticket to another planet, I don’t want to go there.” It is unclear what happened to this egg-like device after this, as far as I know. Almost as weird is an incident experienced by the “Red Rocker” Sammy Hagar, perhaps most well known for once being the frontman of the rock group Van Halen. He claims that in 1967 he was visited by aliens as he slept, which he says plugged him into some sort of complex machine and began pumping his brain full of strange numerical codes and information. Hagar would say of this: *****I was just lying in bed when I felt something weird going on, like someone was tapping into my brain…I didn’t know how to fu***** explain it. But they were downloading or uploading – that’s the simplest way to put it. Oh, I could see them…they were playing with a numerical code but it wasn’t from our numerical system. And then, suddenly, this telepathic connection broke…It scared me nearly to death. It was an experience I couldn’t understand.*****
After this connection was broken, Hagar says he screamed and managed to pull away, after which he claims that he woke up and there was a loud popping sound, after which his room went entirely white. In the days after this mysterious event, Hagar became convinced that those aliens had uploaded some sort of important information into his head, and would even go as far as to credit them with his success later on in his career, saying: *****My ego was telling me: They’ve programmed you to be a rock star! So I used it as a tool to write songs about outer space and the future…songs like “Crack In The World” and “Silver Lights”, which is about the second coming of Christ – Jesus coming back in a spaceship.*****
Will & Grace star Megan Mullally believes a house she and husband Nick Offerman once lived in was haunted by the spirit of Nicole Brown Simpson, the wife of former NFL star O.J. Simpson who was murdered in 1994. “It wasn’t the same house, but it was on the same property where had once stood a house that O.J. Simpson had rented for Nicole Brown Simpson,” Mullally said on Busy Tonight. “We would have in that house, in one corner of the house, like maybe where the bedroom used to be in the old house, we would have all these sounds and weird things all the time. I would be like, ‘That’s Nicole and she’s pissed because Nick doesn’t get it.’”
Mullally believes the spirit was settled down after Offerman watched documentaries and the American Crime Story series about her murder. “Ever since then, no more sounds,” she said. “She just needed Nick to understand what happened.”
Kendall Jenner revealed to Vogue magazine, “I do believe in ghosts. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one, but I’ve experienced some pretty ghost-y situations.” According to her, the home of matriarch Kris Jenner is haunted by an otherworldly presence. “In the house my mom lives in, Kylie and I would always hear footsteps on the roof while no one was home,” she said. “Kylie’s shower used to turn on all the time and we never knew why. So yeah, I’m convinced it was a ghost.”
Gigi Hadid told Vogue magazine, “I’ve had a lot of unexplainable experiences with the supernatural. When we were kids, we lived in this really old house, and I was given the attic as my room. We used to hear this weird sound in the closet, and then we asked my dad, and he said this old lady used to live in the house.” Instead of getting freaked out, the Hadid family made friends with the spirit: “We convinced ourselves, and we would talk to her. We’d be like, ‘Girl, we’ll bring you some tea.’”
Years ago, Chloe Sevigny and a boyfriend spent the night at the Massachusetts house where Lizzie Borden allegedly killed her father and stepmother with an axe in 1892. “I kept hearing all these weird moaning and groaning noises, but there wasn’t anybody else in the house. It was terrifying. It was pretty early and [my then-boyfriend] was like, ‘I have to leave,’” she told Entertainment Weekly. The eery experience inspired Sevigny to produce and star in Lizzie, the 2018 film that reimagined the infamous crime.
In an episode of The Dale Jr. Download, his podcast, Earnhardt Jr. opened up about a strange encounter when the conversation shifted to ghosts and spirits.
Earnhardt Jr. recounted, “When I wrecked in the Corvette in 2004 in Sonoma and it caught fire, somebody pulled me out of that car.”
“And I thought that it was a corner worker because I felt somebody put their hands under my armpits and pull me out of the car,” continued Earnhardt Jr. “I didn’t get out. I don’t have any memory of myself climbing out of the car.”
“And I remember sort of moving like in motion, like going to lean forward and try to climb out of the car, and then something grabbed me under the armpits, pulled me up over the door bars and then let go of me. And I fell to the ground, and there’s pictures of me laying on the ground next to the car. I know that when I got to the hospital, I was like, ‘Who pulled me out of the car? I gotta say thanks to this person,’ because it was a hand! It was physical hands grabbing me! I felt it.”
“And there was nobody there,” he said. The moment, he said, “would be probably the closest thing” to a paranormal encounter that Earnhardt Jr. has experienced — “if it’s real.”
While appearing on Chatty Man in 2014, actress Kate Hudson revealed that she and her mom, Goldie Hawn, “see dead people.” “It is not really seeing, it is feeling a spirit,” she clarified. “A fifth energy. I believe in energy. I believe our brains can manifest into visual things.” The actress added that she once saw “a ghost of a woman with no face,” and shared some tips for dealing with a ghostly situation. “When you see something, you are supposed to tell the energy what year it is and that they don’t belong there,” she said.
Jessica Alba had a terrifying experience with an unseen force as a child. “I had no idea what it was. I felt this pressure and I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t do anything,” she recalled, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. “Something definitely took the covers off me and I definitely couldn’t get off the bed, and then, once I did, I screamed, ran to my parents’ room and I don’t think I spent many nights in that house ever again … There was definitely something in my parents’ old house — I don’t know what it was. I can’t really explain it. But they got it blessed and they burned sage and stuff since then.”
“I have a ghost in my house,” Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale revealed to Hollywood Teen’Zine, explaining that her coffee maker once came on by itself at 1 a.m. “Doors close, not slam, but they close. And I have a motion sensor that lights up in my apartment and I swear it lights up sometimes when there’s nothing under it. And my dog barks a lot. I don’t feel threatened, that threatened, but it definitely freak me out.”
Initially a skeptic, actress Laura Linney became a believer after meeting one of the famed ghosts of Broadway’s Belasco Theater. “It’s absolutely haunted,” she told James Corden on The Late Late Show of her former workplace. “I was not a believer. I had been told about the ghosts at the Belasco …There was a mysterious death of a chorus girl [at the theater]. Legend is that final dress rehearsals, that’s when the ghosts come out. I had forgotten this, and I was doing a play with Jane Alexander, and I turned to Jane Alexander, and I looked up to the upper balcony — there are two balconies there — and the upper balcony you can only get in from the outside, and those doors were locked; and I looked up, and there was a woman standing in the front row looking over with a blue dress and blonde hair. I just thought, ‘Well, hello!’ I looked back at Jane, and I looked back up, and she was gone.” Linney was further convinced that it had been a paranormal experience when she confronted the theater’s house manager. “I went to the house manager and I said, ‘Joe, I think I saw a ghost.’ And he went, ‘male or female?’ I said, ‘female.’ And he went,’blue dress, blonde hair?’ “
While giving Architectural Digest a tour of her Tudor mansion in England, supermodel Claudia Schiffer revealed her family shares the home with residents from beyond the grave. “We had a medium go around, and she told us that actually all the ghosts in the house are lovely. No one needs to be scared,” she said. “We welcome all the ghosts, basically.” According to Schiffer, the ghosts’ haunting habits are creepy, but pretty harmless. “We hear creaking noises and strange things happen sometimes, like the music comes on.” Casper, is that you?
During a 2014 appearance on Late Night With David Letterman, actress Emma Stone revealed that she’d had ongoing beyond-the-grave interactions with her late grandfather. “There’s a long family history with quarters. My grandfather leaves quarters. It’s him. It’s absolutely him,” she explained. Although Stone never met her grandfather, she insisted that she simply knows he is the cause of the phantom coins. “It’s not a logical thing, it’s magical,” she said.
“Hands to Myself” singer Selana Gomez confessed to her paranormal believer status during a 2015 visit to The Tonight Show. “I believe in ghosts, so I have a ghost app … I believe that spirits can tap into technology. Why not, right?” she told host Jimmy Fallon. According to Gomez, the app has detected otherworldly presences around her in the past: “Look, I was in a venue and it actually said people in my life by name.”
In 2003, actress Alyson Hannigan told San Francisco Gate that she shared her California home with an unexpected resident. “I have a ghost in my house. I saw him a couple of months ago. I don’t think he died there because there’s a law in L.A. that when you buy a house, if somebody’s died there they have to disclose that. And nobody did. So I don’t know why he’s there. But he’s very friendly,” she said. “My friend saw him first one night. She said, ‘I don’t mean to alarm you but I just saw a man follow us out of the house.’ And I said, ‘Well, at least he’s gentlemanly, he let us go first.’ Later that night, I saw this silhouette of a man standing in the bathroom doorway. I was like, ‘Sweetie, what are you doing?’ I thought it was [then-fiancé] Alexis [Denisof]. But then I looked and Alexis was asleep next to me.”
Singer Demi Lovato shared that her childhood home in Texas housed a ghost in a 2013 article she wrote for Buzzfeed. “My house in Texas is so ridiculously haunted. Not by a bad spirit, but a little girl. I think her name is Emily. I’ve had a medium come over and ghost hunters, and they both told me the same name, Emily. There were so many times that I saw her when I was growing up,” she wrote. “I believe that everyone can tune into that part of their mind. I think I have a really strong connection to the afterlife … When I walk into a room, I can tell if something has happened there or not, or if a hotel is haunted.”
Former first daughter Jenna Bush-Hager believes that the White House is home to some mysterious spirits. “I heard a ghost,” she claimed on The Tonight Show in 2009. “I was asleep, there was a fireplace in my room and all of a sudden I heard 1920’s music coming out. I could feel it. I freaked out and ran into my sister’s room. She was like, ‘Please go back to sleep, this is ridiculous.’”
“I believe in everything,” actress and model Megan Fox told MTV News in 2014, going on to say that although she has never seen a ghost, she has heard them. “I was just in Mexico at my hotel and it was a bedroom, living room, bedroom … I had pre-ordered breakfast for 7:30, and at 7 a.m. I hear them come in with the table, I hear them pouring the coffee … Thirty minutes later, at 7:30 I went in there, no table, no coffee, no food, no nothing, no one there. Door bell rings, I open the door, it’s room service with my food … Brandy the nanny comes out later and says ‘Why did room service come at 7 when we told them to come at 7:30?’ So you can’t tell me I’m crazy, because two people heard it.”
What in the world did these various famous people experience? Was there anything to this or is it just hallucinations, misunderstanding, and/or drugs in some cases? Although their celebrity status gives their accounts more exposure and perhaps weight, in the end it is no clearer with these cases than with anyone else whether any of this really happened or not, yet it is interesting to see that it is not always nobodies living out in the boondocks who have these weird experiences, and it indeed adds to the great big pile of weird that is the world of the paranormal.
A prayer for food resulted in fish raining down from the sky in Yoro, Honduras. And now it happens regularly – sometimes twice a year – with still no definitive explanation.
Is it possible that UFO sightings and sightings of the Chupacabra are somehow related? Even stranger – is it possible the strange dog-lizard-like creatures came from crashed spaceships?
These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns.
STORY: UFOs AND THE CHUPACABRAS=====
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s reputation as the number-one resting place for alien entities with distinctly bad flying skills is legendary in UFO research circles. Insiders and whistle-blowers talk about off-limits hangars and the The Blue Room. Supposedly, they are rooms, buildings, and underground bunkers that are home to the carefully-preserved remains of numerous dead extraterrestrials – if one has the correct, high-level security. If the stories are true, of course.
It turns out that, for years, Puerto Rico allegedly had its very own equivalent: the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station. But it wasn’t alien bodies that were cryogenically housed at Roosevelt Roads. Nope: it was a bunch of dead chupacabras. There just might even have been a couple of living ones there, too. So, at least, I was told on several of my excursions to Puerto Rico, between 2004 and 2015. I was not surprised to find that sifting fact from fiction, and legend from rumor, proved to be a very difficult job when it came to trying to unravel the controversial truth about Roosevelt Roads’ chupacabra stash.
The origins of Roosevelt Roads date back to just one year after the end of the First World War. It was 1919 when the then Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy visited Puerto Rico. That man was none other than a future American president: Franklin D. Roosevelt. The visit was no vacation, however. Roosevelt was there on a secret mission. He was focused on finding a suitable location where a military facility could be constructed, one that could act as a strategic outpost for Uncle Sam in the Caribbean. Roosevelt toured the island, finally pinpointing a northeast town called Ceiba, which was founded back in the 1830s, and that, today, has a population of around 13,000.
At the time, while the creation of such a base – with an airfield – could have been beneficial, it was not perceived as absolutely crucial. Things changed dramatically, however, when crazed, evil nutcase Adolf Hitler came to power in 1930s-era Germany. The world was soon to face complete and utter carnage, the likes of which it had never before seen, or since. Steps had to be taken to combat the Nazi threat. One of those steps was the creation of Roosevelt Roads, which began in 1940, one year before the terrible events at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii occurred. Roosevelt Roads ultimately became the biggest U.S. Navy base on the planet and the headquarters of the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO). It remained so for decades.
On our visit to Puerto Rico in July 2004 with a crew from the SyFy Channel, monster-hunter Jon Downes and I heard a story of a UFO crash in the hills of Canovanas in 1957, one which reportedly, and quickly, led to gross mutations in the local populace. On his first trek around the island, back in 1998, Jon himself was given a number of independent accounts of this 1957 event. One of Jon’s sources was a man named Reuben, a Puerto Rican brought up in New York, but who returned to the island as an adult. Arguably, Reuben was Jon’s most significant source, since he personally took Jon and a team from the U.K.’s Channel 4 TV crew to the very spot in Canovanas where, he claimed, the craft from another world slammed into the ground, back in 1957.
Jon told me that they came to a big clearing where the path became narrow, and, on one side, disappeared altogether, into a huge saucer-shaped arena. This, according to what Reuben had to say, at least, was where the UFO had crashed. Admittedly, there was a huge indent in the side of the mountain, said Jon. No trees grew there, and it did look as if some huge object had crashed into the mountain, scooping out trees and vegetation and leaving a bare area intermittently covered with patchy grass. Returning to 2004…
While on Puerto Rico, Jon and I met with a woman named Norka, a Chupacabra witness and someone who had heard of this 1957 tale, too. This was not surprising, given that it’s hardly an unknown case among the people of Puerto Rico. Norka told us that most people identified the location as a steep hillside in Canovanas, one that military forces quickly sealed off, for a period of around three weeks. Time constraints unfortunately prevented us from taking Norka to the location identified by Reuben back in 1998, but Norka’s description of the place strongly suggested they were one and the same. There was something else too: most of those that had commented on the incident – specifically when I returned to Puerto Rico in 2008 – said that when the UFO was accessed by the military they found within it the dead bodies of a number of unearthly creatures: Chupacabras.
I had to remember that although the crash report had been around for decades, the Chupacabra aspect of the story surfaced specifically post-1995, when the Chupacabra phenomenon began in earnest. The Chupacabra link to the 1957 crash was fascinating, but it would have been even more fascinating had it surfaced prior to the 1995 outbreak. That it specifically didn’t, kept me very mindful of the possibility (maybe even the probability) that this was an elaboration, a new twist, on an old tale.
There is also a story of a UFO crashing in the heart of El Yunque in February 1984. I know that, because the basics of the account have reached me on three occasions over more than the past decade. It was early one morning when a large, circular-shaped object slammed into the ground, immediately after flying over the rain forest in a decidedly erratic fashion. To prevent people from learning the truth of the matter, a diversionary tactic was put into place that the UFO was a meteorite. Military personnel were soon on the scene – in part, to scoop up the pummeled body-parts of a couple of dead chupacabras, whose lives came to sudden and bloody ends when the alien craft hurtled violently into the forest at high speed. That’s how the story goes, anyway.
To this day, I don’t really know what to make of all this. Some of the people I spoke with came across as completely truthful and credible. Others admitted that their stories were not just second-hand, but third- and even fourth-hand, which is definitely not a good thing. I still find the stories interesting, but it will take a hell of a lot more to convince me that there are dead Chupacabras secretly hidden somewhere on Puerto Rico. Or deep below it…
STORY: CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SARDINES=====
Sometime in the 1850s or ’60s, the Spanish missionary Father Jose Manuel Subirana visited Yoro, Honduras. After he witnessed how poor and hungry the locals were, he prayed for three days and three nights that God would provide them with food. A dark cloud soon formed in the sky and in answer to his prayers, fish began to rain from the sky and feed the town. This was the first recorded instance of the phenomenon of Lluvia de Pesces or Rain of Fish — at least, that’s how the legend goes.
Fish raining down from the sky? Weird as it may sound, residents of Yoro experience this at least once or twice a year. What’s even more interesting is the fact that Yoro is actually miles away from the ocean.
Reportedly, Lluvia de Peces, takes place in this little town during the months of May and June after a big storm. After the storm passes, the ground is covered with live fish.
Villagers know to eagerly grab their baskets and head into the streets where sardine-like fish have been littered. Weirder still, those fish have been found to not even be indigenous to Yoro’s local waterways.
The villagers hold that the fish must have come from none other than the sky in a miraculous show of divine intervention. “It’s a miracle,” one local reported. “We see it as a blessing from God.”
Indeed, for many, it is a blessing as it is the only time of year that they are able to afford and eat fish.
Poverty is still prevalent in the region. Families live in small mud-brick homes. For some, whose usual diet consists of corn, beans, or other crops they have grown themselves, this is the only time of year they get to eat fresh seafood. For them, the Rain of Fish is, indeed, a miracle.
In the 1970s, a team of scientists from National Geographic were fortuitously on assignment in Yoro when they experienced the Rain of Fish.
The team didn’t witness the “rainfall” per se, but they were able to observe the fish on the ground following a large storm. From this, they provided what is the most likely explanation for the so-called annual phenomenon.
Curiously, the team realized that all of the washed-up fish were completely blind. The scientists hypothesized, then, that the fish must live in underground rivers or underwater caves where their inexposure to light had rendered them blind. They figured then that the intense rainstorms and subsequent flooding would have forced the subterranean fish above ground.
Another theory to explain this rain of fish posits that waterspouts are responsible.
Waterspouts are funnel-shaped clouds that form over bodies of water and rotate around an axis point like a whirlwind or a tornado. The waterspout sucks condensation into the air and they are powerful enough to lift small animals from the water and then carry them onto the mainland. This theory is thin, though, as waterspouts aren’t known to be able to carry fish long distances and the fact that the fish that flood Yoro’s streets aren’t from their native waterways.
The fish could possibly come from the Atlantic Ocean, more than 100 miles away, which is way too far for a waterspout to have traveled with them in tow.
“Fish rain” or “animal rain,” has been reported in other parts of the world too, including Mexico, China, Thailand, and Australia. Fish and frogs are most common, but there have also been reports of spiders, birds, snakes, mice, and jellyfish.
There are no photographs of the phenomenon taking place and this is because, according to the residents, no one would dare go outside during such serious weather. So while there is no photo evidence of the fish rain as it’s happening, there are photos and videos of the strange, slimy aftermath.
Indeed, considering the lack of witnesses to attest to actually having seen the fish fall from the sky, it seems flooding rivers or underwater caves may be the most logical explanation for why all these little, blind, fish have appeared on the streets of Yoro after heavy rain the last 100 or so years. But this explanation, of course, is far less fun for the residents.
Every year the town, which has a population of about 93,000, has a festival to celebrate the Rain of Fish. The date depends on the first major rainfall. The subsequent activities include a carnival, a parade and a competition amongst the women for the title of Senorita Lluvia de Peces — or, Miss Fish Rain. The winner will ride one of the parade floats dressed as a mermaid.
Many of the locals’ explanation for the Rain of Fish remains close to the story of Father Jose Manuel Subirana in the 19th century.
“It’s a miracle,” said local Lucio Perez, in 2017. “What we say here in Yoro is that these fish are sent by the hand of God.”
Locals are prohibited from selling the catch as the fish are believed to be a blessing of the lord. Instead, the community shares. Those who collect more fish than others redistribute some of their catch to families who didn’t make it in time to the streets and fields.
Whether you believe the fish come from underground or are miraculously dropped from the sky, these residents still see it as a gift from the Lord regardless.
When Weird Darkness returns, Weirdo family member Laura tells a strange story about a candy store – and its resident ghost.
STORY: HAUNTED CANDY STORE=====
Our final story comes from Weirdo family member, Laura. Here’s what she writes:
The last few years I worked my summers away at this cute amazing candy store in a sleepy little tourist town in Wisconsin. Ironically the place was actually haunted, as the original store front used to be a house; but sadly I never really had any personal experiences with any spooky happenings. The only thing notable was hearing the aftermath of a ceramic jar getting thrown across a neighboring room at a coworker. This coworker however, is the source of this story.
For this I’ll simply call her K. Now, K was a very fun and interesting coworker to have, and I loved every chance we had to talk, which wasn’t extremely often as we worked opposite ends of the store.
When we had time, I loved talking with K about the haunting of the store, and personal experiences, and it was interesting because K always seemed to be a magnet for spiritual/paranormal activity. This we attributed to the fact she was a Canadian tribeswoman, with her family having a strong line of people with ‘sight’ in regards to the spiritual realm.
Now I’ve always believed various things about spirituality and the paranormal, one being that children, animals, and the elderly are more prone to seeing paranormal things, and that native cultures know what they’re talking about when addressing the paranormal.
This being said, one day we got the chance to talk, and began sharing experiences back and fourth, mostly K, as I had very few experiences to tell. Ever since I was young I’ve been horribly dense when it came to sensing anything, all i really had to tell were of 3 instances of seeing shadow figures shortly after family members died. But then, I told her of a repetitive dream I had from as early as I could remember until about age 6-7.
This dream I usually would have cast off as childhood anxieties, if it hadn’t been for it happening like clockwork, on the same day every year until it suddenly stopped with no explanation, and I haven’t had it since.
This dream I remember happening every Christmas Eve, a time when children should be excited and dreaming of opening presents the next morning, but this was the total opposite. I remember the dreams vividly, in all but the very last time I had this dream, I was floating in a black staticy void, always 1st person, always weightless but grounded at the same time.
Now in this void nothing ever appeared, it was just a persistent pulsing black. But all around me were incoherent whispers, of which I could never understand then, nor now thinking back on it, but it was distinctly speech. However as the dream went on, these whispers got louder and louder until these still indistinct voices were just screaming at me. As they crescendoed however this pressure always formed around my chest, like whatever these voices were in the dark were just closing in on me.
Every time I woke up absolutely terrified and ran to sleep with my mom for the rest of the night.
The only change was the final time I had the dream, it wasn’t a black void I was floating over, this time it was almost like a overhead view of like a storage or wear house yard for some reason. Same voices, same pressure, same terrified awakening, but after that last night; to this day I’ve never had that dream again.
As I finished telling K this story she had this look of understanding and said, and I quote, “Oooh, yeah, the voices. It’s a good thing you didn’t listen to them.”
She then went on to explain she believed it was likely the reason I was so inept at sensing anything spiritual or paranormal was because I had probably unconsciously blocked myself off entirely at that young age after having those repeated experiences of…something trying to get through to me. Though obviously that something wasn’t a benevolent force.
Rarely can I say I had chills go up my spine because of something like that, but this was certainly one.
Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! And please leave a rating and review of the show in the podcast app you listen from – doing so helps the show to get noticed! You can also email me anytime with your questions or comments through the website at WeirdDarkness.com. That’s also where you can find all of my social media, listen to free audiobooks, shop the Weird Darkness store, sign up for the newsletter to win monthly prizes, find my other podcast “Church of the Undead”, and more. Plus if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY – or call the DARKLINE toll free at 1-877-277-5944. That’s 1-877-277-5944.
All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true (unless stated otherwise) and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.
“Celebrity Encounters With The Paranormal” by Brent Swancer
“Celebs Who Have Had Ghost Encounters by Lydia Price
“UFOs And The Chupacabra” by Nick Redfern
“Cloudy With a Chance of Sardines” by Panchali Dey
“Haunted Candy Store” by Weirdo family member, Laura
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music.
Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” – Proverbs 13:10
And a final thought… “Your life isn’t your own if you constantly care what others think.”
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.