“SINISTER SECRETS OF THE SALLIE HOUSE” and more True Horror Stories! #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: Can you perform an exorcism using your smartphone? The Catholic church now says you can! (Exorcism of Demons by Phone) *** Does the ghost of a murdered child haunt East Lake Park in Birmingham, Alabama? (Child of the Lake) *** A young female college student vanished into nowhere in December of 1946 and became a mystery that would haunt the sleepy town forever. (The Disappearance of Paula Jean Weldon) *** An elderly woman requests to be buried upon her death, but the family cremates her instead. And that is when the vampire arrived. (The Wallasey Vampire) *** Orbs, late-night taps on the window, shadow figures, and more haunt a new home. (Creepy Happenings In The Middle of the Night) *** John Kraft noticed the neighbors, the Jacob Wolf family, had left their laundry on the clothesline overnight and their horses untended. He went to investigate and stumbled into what might be the most horrific crime scene in North Dakota history. (The Wolf Family Murders) *** Was the creature real? Where was it hiding? Why had only some people seen it? The Snallygaster terrorized Maryland and Washington in the 1730s – and we begin there, first! (Surprising End To Legend Of The Snallygaster) *** Mainstream journalists, the Travel Channel, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel have all investigated a certain home in Atchison, Kansas due its paranormal activities. What secrets lie within the Sallie House? (Secrets of the Sallie House) *** How can thousands of people instantly vanish without a trace? (3,000 Soldiers Vanish Into Thin Air) *** A child’s mother slowly dies of lung cancer at home – then continues to live there after her passing. (Sounds In The Night) *** Was the death of Meriwether Lewis a murder or a suicide? This early 1800s mystery continues to baffle historians and detectives alike. (The Death of Meriwether Lewis) *** No one knows the motive of a mysterious murder that took place in 1866 New York. In fact, they still have no suspects. (A Mysterious Murder) *** The gift of a cross to protect a couple from a poltergeist, ends up creating more unusual events. (Poltergeist – The Disappearing Cross)
SOURCES AND REFERENCES FROM THE EPISODE…
“Surprising End to the Legend of the Snallygaster” by Ellen Lloyd for Ancient Pages:https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/4mfk3kdw
“Exorcism of Demons by Phone” from Earth Chronicles of Life: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/4y9x7v4w
“Child of the Lake” from GhostsNGhouls.com (link no longer available)
“The Disappearance of Paula Jean Weldon” by Doug MacGowan for Historic Mysteries:https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/2b8ujh84
“The Wallasey Vampire” by Tom Slemen for Wirral Globe: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/c9p28b2u
“Creepy Happenings in the Middle of the Night” by Malcolm Deanings for MyHauntedLifeToo.com:https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/jzbystwy
“The Wolf Family Murders” by Troy Larson for Ghosts of North Dakota: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/5xh9swyk
“Sounds In The Night”: (written by an unknown author – link no longer available)
“The Death of Meriwether Lewis” by Doug MacGowan for HistoricMysteries.com: http://bit.ly/30vvYZp
“3,000 Soldiers Vanish Into Thin Air” by Ellen Lloyd for MessageToEagle.com: http://bit.ly/2YBUWEM
“Sinister Secrets of the Sallie House”: (written by an unknown author – link no longer available)
“A Mysterious Murder” by Robert Wilhelm for MurderByGaslight.com: http://bit.ly/2LXIfm8
“Poltergeist – The Disappearing Cross” by Keith Linder for MyHauntedLifeToo.com: http://bit.ly/2Jt2ZQI
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Paranormality Magazine: (COMING SEPT. 30, 2023) https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/paranormalitymag
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The snallygaster legend is very old and long-lived. The first sightings of this giant, fearsome bird took place in the 1730s. Later, in more modern times, there were reports of how the snallygaster brought fear and terror to Maryland and Washington. Many people claimed to have seen this mysterious creature; but sometimes not everything is at is appears to be… as was the case with the snallygaster.
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.
Coming up in this episode…
Can you perform an exorcism using your smartphone? The Catholic church now says you can! (Exorcism of Demons by Phone)
Does the ghost of a murdered child haunt East Lake Park in Birmingham, Alabama? (Child of the Lake)
A young female college student vanished into nowhere in December of 1946 and became a mystery that would haunt the sleepy town forever. (The Disappearance of Paula Jean Weldon)
An elderly woman requests to be buried upon her death, but the family cremates her instead. And that is when the vampire arrived. (The Wallasey Vampire)
Orbs, late-night taps on the window, shadow figures, and more haunt a new home. (Creepy Happenings In The Middle of the Night)
John Kraft noticed the neighbors, the Jacob Wolf family, had left their laundry on the clothesline overnight and their horses untended. He went to investigate and stumbled into what might be the most horrific crime scene in North Dakota history. (The Wolf Family Murders)
How can thousands of people instantly vanish without a trace? (3,000 Soldiers Vanish Into Thin Air)
A child’s mother slowly dies of lung cancer at home – then continues to live there after her passing. (Sounds In The Night)
Was the death of Meriwether Lewis a murder or a suicide? This early 1800s mystery continues to baffle historians and detectives alike. (The Death of Meriwether Lewis)
No one knows the motive of a mysterious murder that took place in 1866 New York. In fact, they still have no suspects. (A Mysterious Murder)
The gift of a cross to protect a couple from a poltergeist, ends up creating more unusual events. (Poltergeist – The Disappearing Cross)
Mainstream journalists, the Travel Channel, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel have all investigated a certain home in Atchison, Kansas due its paranormal activities. What secrets lie within the Sallie House? (Secrets of the Sallie House)
But first… was the creature real? Where was it hiding? Why had only some people seen it? The Snallygaster terrorized Maryland and Washington in the 1730s! (Surprising End To Legend Of The Snallygaster)
If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, my newsletter, enter contests, to connect with me on social media, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re struggling with depression or dark thoughts. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
The Snallygaster legend is very old and long-lived. The first sightings of this giant, fearsome bird took place in the 1730s. Later, in more modern times, there were rapports of how the Snallygaster brought fear and terror to Maryland and Washington.
Many people claimed to have seen the mysterious creature, but sometimes not everything is what it appears to be. This was the case with the Snallygaster.*************
The Snallygaster is giant bird that according to legends terrorized people and animals in Maryland, USA. It was no ordinary bird. This dragon-like beast that dived silently and unexpectedly down from the sky. It stole animals and children from horrified farm folk.
Those who had seen the dangerous bird described it as half-reptile, half-bird with a metallic beak lined with razor-sharp teeth, occasionally with octopus-like tentacles.
Legends of enormous birds responsible for frightening people are not unusual in North America. The Snallygaster is somewhat similar to the Piasa bird, described earlier on Ancient Pages.
Native American legends convey how the “Piasa bird appeared in America thousands of moons before the pale face came.”
The legend of the Snallygaster appears to have emerged for the first time when German immigrants settled down in Maryland. They called the monstrous bird a Schneller Geist, meaning “quick spirit” in German. It was said that, just like a vampire, the Snallygaster sucked the blood of its victims. The Snallygaster was afraid of the Heptagram, a seven-pointed star and people started to paint the symbol on their barns.
As many other mythological creatures, the Snallygaster had an enemy known as Dwayyo and these two had many vicious encounters.
The Snallygaster would most likely have remained in the realm of mythology, but in the beginning of 1900, Marylanders started to report sightings of a shape-shifting, mammoth winged creature near South Mountain.
Suddenly, journalists gave the creature attention and several newspapers wrote about the Snallygaster. One of them was Maryland’s Valley Register. Reports of Snallygaster sightings started pouring in from various places such as Ohio, Washington, West Virginia, and New Jersey.
Local newspapers ran stories drawn from the Snallygaster mythos well into the early 1950s.
Though the description of the winged creature varied, everyone was convinced they had actually spotted the evil Snallygaster.
The creature became so famous that even President Theodore Roosevelt and the Smithsonian Institution expressed interest in these sightings. Scientists started looking for traces left behind by the Snallygaster. Various scientific theories about the mysterious creature were presented.
Was the creature real? Where was it hiding? Why had only some people seen it?
Whether the Snallygaster really existed at some point in time, or was only a terrifying mythological giant bird, no-one knows. However, what has been confirmed is that Snallygaster’s alleged existence was used for financial gain. It was later revealed that the 1909 reports of the Snallygaster were part of a hoax crafted by Middletown Valley Register reporter Ralph S. Wolfe and editor George C. Rhoderick in an effort to increase readership for their regional publication.
Later investigations uncovered evidence that the newspaper used motifs of German folklore, including dragon-like creatures who snatched children and livestock to fabricated stories about the Snallygaster.
According to folklorists, the legend of the Snallygaster falls within the realm of what folklorists call fakelore.
Readers of Ancient Pages have observed that many myths and legends are based on true events. Mythology and legends can be a work of fiction or relate happenings that are eventually confirmed by science. Sadly, in the case of the Snallygaster, myths and legends were used to perpetrate a hoax, fool innocent people, just to earn money.
STORY: EXORCISM OF DEMONS BY PHONE=====
As you know, progress can not be stopped, and new technologies seep into places where their existence is difficult to imagine. For example, in the rite of exorcism by a Catholic priest.
For more than ten years, the Roman Catholic Church has been conducting exorcism courses, whose visitors are learning to recognize the devil, to distinguish obsession from mental illness and to cast out demons. And this year it was decided to make life even easier for future exorcists. Now they can carry out the ritual on a mobile phone. Progress has reached here.
According to Reuters, one of the teachers at the courses, Cardinal Ernest Simonyi, believes that reading the prayer that drives out demons by phone is equivalent to carrying out the ritual in person. “They call me, we say, and so I’m doing a ritual,” explains Simonyi.
Officials of the Catholic Church claim that the number of incidents involving demon possession is growing, as is the number of requests for exorcism. Probably, this is what motivates the technological improvement of the ritual. This year about 200 people visited the courses on the expulsion of demons. It lasts only a week, is held in Rome, after which the students receive a certificate that they listened to the course. True, he does not give the right to cast out demons, only priests can do this, and receive a direct permission from the bishop. But Catholics with a certificate, not ordained, can become “exorcist assistants”, giving moral support to the priest during the ritual.
However, modernity penetrated into the ritual not only through telephone communication. Last year, the Catholic Church officially allowed the translation of the text, expelling demons, from Latin to English. “Since Latin is not as well known as it used to be, even among priests, such a step opens the possibility of conducting a ritual to a greater number of clerics,” says Father Andrew Menke.
STORY: CHILD OF THE LAKE=====
Legend has it a murdered child haunts East Lake Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Could there be truth behind the chilling tales? Or are the stories nothing more than myths inspired by horrific murders that haunt Birmingham to this day?
On December 4, 1888, two boaters discovered a young girl’s body in Birmingham’s East Lake. The body belonged to May Hawes (left), the seven or eight-year-old daughter of railway engineer Richard Hawes. A coroner determined she’d been murdered.
Soon after the grisly discovery, authorities began searching for May’s father who had recently traveled to Mississippi to marry a young woman. The only problem? Richard was already married to May’s mother, Emma, and both Emma and May’s sister, Irene, were missing.
As luck would have it, soon after the inquest, a local newspaper received a telegram announcing Richard’s marriage in Mississippi. The telegram also listed the newlyweds’ train itinerary, and authorities arrested Richard Hawes when his train stopped in Birmingham. Richard’s new wife was reportedly “prostrate with grief” when she discovered her husband was not single as he’d claimed and was accused of murdering a daughter he’d never told her about.
Shortly after Richard’s arrest, police discovered Emma and Irene Hawes’ battered remains in the Lakeview Park waterway (now drained and part of the Highland Park Golf Course). Both had been beaten and weighted down with railway ties. A jury ultimately found Richard and two accomplices guilty of murder, and Richard was publically executed on February 28, 1890.
May Hawes may be long dead, but she isn’t forgotten, or even gone. According to local legend, May now haunts East Lake, wandering the shoreline at twilight and calling out for her lost mother and sister. Some witnesses have seen the drowned child floating above, or just under the water, while others have spotted her caressing the lake’s geese. It’s these stories, and others, that prompted locals to dub May Hawes the “Mermaid of East Lake” or “Child of the Lake.” Her spirit is so well known within Birmingham that locals gather at the lake on Halloween to place lighted Jack-O-Lanterns along the shore and toss flowers into the water (right). They say May prefers carnations.
When Weird Darkness returns… a young female college student vanished into nowhere in December of 1946 and became a mystery that would haunt the sleepy town forever.
An elderly woman requests to be buried upon her death, but the family cremates her instead. And that is when the vampire arrived.
Orbs, late-night taps on the window, shadow figures, and more haunt a new home.
Plus, John Kraft noticed the neighbors, the Jacob Wolf family, had left their laundry on the clothesline overnight and their horses untended. He went to investigate and stumbled into what might be the most horrific crime scene in North Dakota history. These stories and more are coming up.
STORY: PAULA JEAN WELDON=====
The small town of Bennington, Vermont, is an odd place to have multiple mysterious disappearances. But between 1945 and 1950 five people vanished from the area. Victims ranged from an eight-year-old boy to a 74-year-old hunter. Arguably the most famous of the disappearances, one particular case led to the formation of the Vermont State Police in 1947. Paula Jean Welden vanished into nowhere on the first day of December 1946 and became a mystery that would haunt the sleepy town forever.
Paula was a sophomore at Bennington College studying art (although she was considering changing her major to botany) and there was nothing out of the ordinary about her. She studied hard and worked at the college cafeteria and got good grades.
But on December 1, 1946, she told her roommate that she was going to take a break from studying and go for a walk on Vermont’s “Long Trail” near the college. The Trail ran for more than 270 miles and cut through forests and woods to the north of Bennington until it reached the Canadian border.
Several people spotted Paula on her way to the Long Trail, including a group of fellow hikers. One of them warned Paula that the clothes she was wearing, blue jeans and a parka, were not warm enough for a hike. She went anyway, heading north. She was carrying no money with her and she had even left behind an uncashed check from her parents.
No one saw Paula Jean Welden again. When she hadn’t returned by the time her roommate went to bed, the roommate thought Paula was pulling a late night of studying at the college library. But the roommate became concerned the next morning when it was clear that her roommate had never returned from her walk. Her bed was undisturbed. The roommate contacted the college officials, who organized a small search party to look for Paula Jean somewhere within the campus grounds. The college had a system where students had to sign out if they were going to be off campus late in the evening, but Paula’s name was not on the sign-out list.
When the college couldn’t locate Paula, they called the local sheriff. Gossip soon ran wild throughout the campus and small community. Theories for Paula’s disappearance included suicide, amnesia, and murder. The college officially closed for several days so that students and professors could help to look for Paula Jean. But they found nothing significant. Firefighters and the National Guard eventually joined the search.
The search effort was hampered by the fact that at that time, there was no statewide law enforcement agency in Vermont. Thus, the various attempts to find Paula were self-directed teams that often went over the same ground several times. In doing so, they wasted precious time and energy. Eventually, they called in the neighboring Connecticut State Police to provide more assistance.
Investigators found a man who stated that he had seen Paula soon before her disappearance. This young man became a suspect when he told differing stories about where he had spent the evening of December 1st. Allegedly, he also told at least two friends that he knew where she was buried. He later claimed that he was only kidding around.
The search continued but nobody has ever found Paula or her remains. There was only positive aspect about this case – if one can find anything positive in such a tragic story. The bungled handling of the search by multiple agencies led to the creation of the Vermont State Police the following year.
STORY: WALLASEY VAMPIRE=====
In the early 1980s a 20-year-old woman named Natalie lost her beloved grandmother Susan to a long illness, and, against the wishes of ‘Nanny Sue’ (as Natalie had always called her), Susan was cremated at the Landican Crematorium after the funeral service at St Hilary’s Church in Wallasey.
Nanny Sue had always told Natalie that she wanted to be buried because she believed that one day, Jesus would return and, as the Bible promised, all of the dead who had believed in Christ would be resurrected.
Nanny Sue believed there’d be nothing to resurrect if she was cremated.
Natalie had told her father and mother about her nan’s wishes but they took no notice.
Now Natalie kept the urn conatining her nan’s ashes in her room, and her sister Abbey thought this was a barmy thing to do.
Natalie identified with the burgeoning Goth movement and she slowly turned her back on Christianity and most of the organised religions.
She painted the walls of her bedroom at her home on Harrow Road, Wallasey, a dark purple, installed red and blue spotlights in the matt black ceiling, and lit joss sticks to create a mystical atmosphere.
Natalie also started to devour books on Black Magic – and lots of wine – and she toyed with the idea of forming her own coven.
In the bedroom next door to hers, 17-year-old sister Abbey was the very antithesis of Natalie.
Her walls were bright yellow and orange, and she listened to Buck’s Fizz, Modern Romance and the likes of Duran Duran, whereas the music emanating from Natalie’s ‘Sanctum’ (as she called it), was usually the caterwauling voice of Siouxsie Sioux or something by The Cure.
Then one evening as a thunderstorm raged over Wallasey, Natalie decided to try a spell for raising the dead from an old book on ritual magic that she’d bought in a jumble sale.
The controversial spell required the ashes of a person who had been cremated, and Natalie decided to use the ashes from her nan’s urn.
She put a chair to the door in case anyone came in, and then she started the long invocations as the thundering skies opened and pelted the roof with heavy rainfall.
At the end of the ritual, nothing happened. Natalie swore – and then she noticed the shadow of a thin man on the door – which, being red, was the only thing a shadow could be visible upon in this room of black walls.
She was stunned and a little afraid, but when the ghostly shadow vanished she told it to come back.
That night, Natalie went to bed at midnight, and she fell asleep.
She had a vivid dream that the ghost of a naked young man had come into her room through the ceiling.
He told her his name (it sounded like ‘Salin’) and he said he had come to her because she had tried that rite to raise the dead.
Salin said he was from the ‘world beyond the grave’ and that if Natalie did what he said, he’d give her eternal life and even reunite her with her deceased nan.
“I am the only way to everlasting life,” he told Natalie, and he explained that he’d have to make love to her and draw off some of her life force to initiate her into his ‘cult’.
Around this time in the waking world, Natalie’s sister Abbey was awakened from her sleep by the rhythmic sound of bed springs and a thumping on her wall.
She thought that Natalie – who was single – had brought some boy home, and the sound of lovemaking became so loud, Abbey’s father got up, went to his daughter’s bedroom door and knocked.
There was no answer and he suddenly heard Natalie cry “Get off me!”
Abbey peeped from the doorway of her room and saw that her father had now been joined by her mum.
There was a scream, and Natalie’s father burst in.
He and his wife saw a shadowy figure fly up from his daughter’s bed and pass through the ceiling.
Natalie got up, and wrapped a blanket about her naked body, but she had blood trickling from a bite mark in her neck.
Her father said he was going to burn all of her books on the Occult, as he believed that Natalie had conjured up something demonic with her cavalier dabbling, but at least once a night after that, the shadowy Salin would return and assault Natalie in her bed and draw off blood from various parts of her body.
Abbey went to several priests and told them about the bloodthirsty ‘ghost’ but the holy men said it was more a case for a psychiatrist than a clergyman.
A young reverend in the area named Daniel heard about the attacks and visited the family at Harrow Road.
He said he had heard of similar attacks and told Natalie’s parents that Salin was a real-life vampire who had been active since the 1930s.
He had been a pillar of the community but behind closed doors he was an occultist who craved eternal life.
He was buried in a certain grave in the churchyard of St Hilary, and his dark vaporous ghost was seen to rise from this grave on some nights when he went in search of ‘prana’ – the life force vampires feed off in human blood.
Daniel eventually contained the vampire by burying an old Norse amulet with the potent ‘Gibu Auja’ protection rune engraved upon it, and he and Abbey even staked out the cemetery and saw Salin rise from his grave.
However, in 2007 there were reports that Salin was active again in the Wallasey area.
Whatever your religion is – may your God protect you…
STORY: CREEPY HAPPENINGS=====
Many years ago, now my mother, who has been widowed for years, moved into a new home. She’s getting older so I decided to move in with her to help take care of her on a day-to-day basis. I have trouble sleeping and have been orbs of light in that house. I’ve heard taps on the windows, and one time while I was lying in bed I thought I saw a figure standing at the bottom of the bed.
I’ve also had issues with the phone in this property. Sometimes, out of the blue, it’ll start ringing and when you pick up the phone—no-one will be on the other end. I’ve also heard voices and echoes in the house.
One time I went downstairs during the middle of the night and thought I saw a figure standing in front of the kitchen window. I often catch movement from the corner of my eye. I constantly feel as though I’m being watched.
My sister came to visit us for a few weeks and she said that she has also heard voices, and saw a figure standing at the bottom of her bed. My mother says she hasn’t seen anything out of the ordinary. I don’t think it’s anything too ‘creepy’ but I do think someone has been left behind in this house.
STORY: WOLF FAMILY MURDERS=====
One of the worst crimes in North Dakota history occurred April 22, 1920 on a farm just north of Turtle Lake.
It was a gray, overcast day and light rain had been falling. Local resident John Kraft noticed the neighbors, the Jacob Wolf family, had left their laundry on the clothesline overnight and their horses untended. He went to investigate and stumbled into what might be the most horrific crime scene in North Dakota history.
Jacob Wolf and two of his daughters were found murdered in a barn. In the basement of the farmhouse there were five more bodies — the rest of Jacob’s family plus a chore boy, Jacob Hofer, son of a neighbor. They were brutally murdered with shotgun blasts and a hatchet. The only surviving family member was Emma Wolf, just nine months old, who had been confined to her crib for more than a day with the rest of her family dead.
John Kraft called the authorities who soon zeroed-in on neighbor Henry Layer as chief suspect. The Minot Daily News published a story in 2008 which describes the events of the murder, during which Jacob Wolf would be killed with his own shotgun, like this:
The killings happened when Henry Layer, another neighbor, had an argument with Jacob Wolf about his dog biting one of Layer’s cows. When Layer ignored Wolf’s orders to leave his property, Wolf got his double-barreled shotgun and put two shells in the chambers. Layer grabbed for the gun, and in the ensuing struggle, the gun discharged twice with one shot killing Mrs. Wolf and the other hitting the chore boy through the back of the neck and killing him.
When Wolf fled into the yard, Layer reached into a dresser drawer for more ammunition, fired at Wolf, hit him in the back and again at close range. Maria and Edna fled screaming to the barn, where they were pursued and shot by Layer. Bertha, Lydia and Martha were screaming wildly in the house. Layer silenced two of them with the shotgun and Martha, the youngest to be killed, was hit on the frontal bone with the broad side of a hatchet.
Layer then dragged Jacob Wolf’s body to the barn and covered it and those of his daughters with hay and dirt before returning to the house and pushing the other bodies in the cellar.
Layer was arrested two weeks later, convicted, and served five years of a life sentence before he died in prison. Emma Wolf lived first with relatives, then eventually a benefactor until she was an adult. She later married Clarence Hanson and died in 2003 at the age of 84.
If the toll of eight victims isn’t tragic enough, the alleged killer’s family was torn apart when he was sent to prison and four of his children were sent to an orphanage. One of them, Berthold Layer, was killed in a farm accident when he was run over by a beet truck, his death announced in this 1922 Fairmont Sentinel story which describes him as a six-year-old “inmate” of a ward home. It seems even Mr. Layer’s family paid for the evil deeds he allegedly committed.
Coming up… how can thousands of people instantly vanish without a trace?
A child’s mother slowly dies of lung cancer at home – then continues to live there after her passing.
But first – mainstream journalists, the Travel Channel, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel have all investigated a certain home in Atchison, Kansas due its paranormal activities. What secrets lie within the Sallie House? These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns.
STORY: SALLIE HOUSE=====
There are a lot of haunted houses all around the world, and such structures really do spark the human imagination.
For some people haunted houses are scientific anomalies which require scientific investigation, while others regard them as centers of paranormal activity that must be revered or even feared.
Whatever the truth may be about haunted houses, it’s undeniable that many of them have terrifying reputations.
Among the most notorious haunted houses in the world is the Sallie House located at 508 N. Second Street. A lot of people in Atchison, Kansas believe that the Sallie house contains evil spirits, while others believe that the entities within are simply lost souls seeking help.
Despite people’s opinions about the matter, the Sallie House has become one of the most important attractions of Atchison, Kansas and has been the subject of many TV documentaries.
This simple 19th century house originally got its name due to the haunting of a little girl, who was later given the name “Sallie.” The couple who owned the house believed that the little girl was trying to warn them about the evil spirits which dwelt within the house.
Due to the numerous sightings of the little girl, the haunted house became known to both local residents and investigators as “the Sallie House.” Over the years however, the house began to exhibit other hauntings besides that of the little girl.
These hauntings lead observers to conclude that other entities may be inhabiting the house or perhaps some other force was at work within the area.
People have always wondered about the entities which inhabit this house. Are they simple ghostly visitors, or are they lost souls trapped within the house? Were they looking for help or were they just malevolent entities that seek to do harm on the house’s human occupants.
This is not an easy question to answer, but for those who seek clues to the nature of the Sallie House, it’s important to look at its long and interesting history.
The House that will later be known as The Sallie House was first built in 1867. The land on which it was built on was purchased by one Michael C. Finney, who moved in with his family to start a new life.
Finney had a wife, two sons and daughter, and the house remained in the possession of the family until the death of Agnes and Charles Finney, both of whom were Finney’s descendants, in 1939 and 1947 respectively.
When the Agnes and Charles died, the house was rented out to various boarders. However, people never stayed long in the house and for whatever reason, there were few records on the people who stayed there.
The only person who seemed to tolerate the house’s peculiar characteristics was one Ethel Anderson, who lived in the house until the early 90’s.
After Ethel Anderson, Tony and Debra Pickman moved into the Finney home, that’s when the Sallie House’s notorious reputation began to become quite popular.
Aside from Sallie appearing to Tony and Debra, numerous attacks were also carried out on anyone who lived inside the house or investigate its mysteries.
Tony Pickman, for example, sustained several injuries back when he and his family owned the house in the early 90’s, while investigators who visited the house reported sustaining minor injuries, such cuts and burns, during their stay.
What’s most disturbing however, is the fact that investigators of house have endured cuts and burns while gathering paranormal data from the house.
Although such attacks are usually directed at certain groups of people, it has lead a lot of people to believe in the hostile nature of house and the possibility of demonic presence within its walls.
In addition to the attacks, visitors and witnesses also reported full bodied apparitions, flying objects, phantom furniture, sounds of strange animals, human voices and mysterious items appearing and disappearing at random points throughout the house.
In addition to witness accounts, a surprisingly large amount of Electronic Voice Phenomenon was also recorded of strange voices from men, women and children, not to mention strange smells emanating from various areas around the house.
These data is yet to be authenticated, but over the years a surprising amount of legends and theories has sprung up about the nature and secrets of the Sallie House.
The first major investigation on the Sallie House was carried out in the early 90’s by the Television show, Sightings. Since that time, several psychics and paranormal investigators have attempted to uncover the secrets of the house.
With them came technicians and other researchers who were also interested in learning about anomalies which occurred within the house.
In addition to paranormal investigators, mainstream journalists, such as the Travel Channel, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel have also investigated the house to gather materials for their own shows and articles.
Even Paramount Pictures visited the house in order to gather information for a movie adaptation.
Those who have investigated the Sallie House have used a variety of equipment to determine the nature of the hauntings. Among the tools that were used were digital voice recorders, laser microphones, infrared video cameras, electromagnetic measuring devices, and even radiation meters.
Those who were less inclined to use technical devices used Ouija boards, crystals, and pendulums to contact the unknown.
These psychic devices were used by paranormal investigators and due to their findings and experiences, some of the psychics believe that demonic entities may be inhabiting the house.
Other investigators incorporated ESP and other psychic phenomenon in their investigations.
Given the frequent appearance of paranormal and supernatural activity in the house, various groups and investigators have begun using the area around the house as a kind of testing ground for paranormal experiments.
Thanks to the unusual and inexplicable phenomenon found in the Sallie House, not only have the researchers understood the complex history surrounding the house, it has also helped them better understand the nature of certain psychic and paranormal anomalies.
Even today, new materials and data are still being gathered on the Sallie House, and as far as many psychic investigators are concerned, their work has only just begun.
STORY: 3000 SOLDIERS=====
There are many odd stories about people who mysteriously disappeared. The unexplained Nanking incident is about 3,000 soldiers who vanished into thin air, never to be seen again.
What happened to them? How can people just vanish from one spot without any trace? There are some theories that could explain this unusual disappearance, but there are no definite answers that solve this mystery.
It should be pointed out right from the start that the disappearance of the soldiers is not related to the Nanjing Massacre that took place in 1937. The Nanjing siege was over and resolved by mid 1938, over a year earlier.
On December 9, 1939, during the horrors of the Japanese aggression against the Republic of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-45), a newly-arrived battalion of Chinese soldiers was assigned to a two-mile stretch of foothills as reinforcements in the area of Nanjing. The commander of the battalion was colonel Li Fu Sien and the Chinese army was ordered to prevent the Japanese from getting out of the city
Several hours later 3,000 Chinese soldiers were gone without a trace. There were no signs of any battle and their guns were found stacked beside their cooking fire. With the exception of a handful of troops stationed at the bridge on watch, there was not another single soldier to be seen.
Who could an entire army just vanish? One theory is that the Japanese had attacked and dragged the soldiers away, but colonel Li Fu Sien and his aides had not heard any sounds during the night.
The few remaining soldiers were questioned, but according to their testimonies they had not heard any sounds of combat. They had absolutely no idea what could have happened to the missing battalion.
Had the Chinese decided to surrender to the Japanese? If they so, they could have had to cross a bridge into the area occupied by the Japanese, and this bridge was under constant observation. Peasants living in the area reported they had not seen anyone crossing the bridge, nor had they had any gunfire.
It is unlikely that the soldiers had deserted because there were no hiding places in an area where vegetation was so sparse. Three thousand soldiers would be detected sooner or later, and it these people were never found.
According to reports that came later from the Japanese, they had not engaged any such group of Chinese soldiers in battle during that time.
An alternative theory is that the soldiers vanished into a parallel universe. If our reality is surrounded by a number of invisible parallel worlds, isn’t it possible for a person to enter one of those unknown realms simply by mistake?
If that happens, the person in question would find him or herself in a different reality, probably unable to ever get back to our own world.
There are many speculations and no real answers. The fact remains – 3,000 soldiers vanished into thin air and their disappearance remains an unexplained mystery.
STORY: SOUNDS IN THE NIGHT=====
“Before my mother died of lung cancer, she suffered in our living room. My dad got a hospital bed from somewhere, and that’s where she stayed, getting her morphine.
At night, my mother often felt incredible pain and cried. Because of that, my father ordered us to keep our doors open and wake him up when she cried so that he could take care of her. However, when my mom got weaker, her crying was not loud enough to reach upstairs to our rooms. So, my father got a little stick, which was made out of some kind of light wood. And when my mother hit the stick against her bed frame, it was loud and clear and we could hear her.
That time was the worst of my life. Imagine the psychological torture of hearing your mother crying and suffering all the time. It was especially bad when she had had her dose of morphine, but still suffered. Then, my dad told us to ignore her because we couldn’t do anything and she would soon go to sleep.
Some days before she passed, my mother cried and suffered even louder, and sleeping was more difficult. By then, we had to ignore her crying most of the time. My sister slept on the sofa in my bedroom because my older brother and his wife moved in temporarily, some weeks before my mother passed, to support my father. They stayed until a few weeks after my mother’s death.
One day I had had enough of this depressing version of Full House, and I stayed at my cousin’s home over the weekend. After hours of playing video games, my cousin and I went to sleep. That night was the night my mother finally lost her fight against the cancer.
One or two days after her death, I came back home. That’s when the creepy stuff started. Since my mother was dead, I was glad to close the door of my room again because I am one of those people who doesn’t like to sleep with an open door. But my sister wanted the door to stay open. I was annoyed but left the door open. Shortly after that, I fell asleep.
I don’t know what time it was, but I remember waking up to the sound of my mother slamming her wooden stick against the bed frame. It was loud and clear. I thought I had just lost my mind during that stressful time. I blamed it on my mind so I had a reason not to be creeped out as fuck. But then, through the dark, I heard my sister asking if I heard the banging. That’s when I got really scared. I ignored her, hoping that she would stop asking. She kept asking. Then I shouted at my sister, insisting that there was nothing, that it was her imagination and that she needed to shut up because I was trying to sleep. Later, I heard my mother crying, just like she had when she was alive and suffering.
I think that lasted a few days. This is where my memory gets strangely blurry. I can still recall the sound of the stick slamming on the bed frame, but when I try to remember how long it lasted, and if she was crying more or slamming more, my memory gets so foggy. I think that my sister got up one night and asked my dad to check the living room. But I don’t know if this happened for real, or if my mind just made that up. I only remember the first time the banging sounds started, and the time that they stopped. I remember lying in bed at night, my eyes closed, both waiting for the banging and dreading it. However, a few days after my mother’s death, the sounds stopped. But not for long…
Today, I hear strange sounds coming from the living room at night, low and frequent banging. Since my dad sleeps on the couch in the living room, I often tell myself that it is him making the noise. But then again, the banging happens even when my dad isn’t home. I thought I was the only person who heard the banging, but my girlfriend noticed it one night. I told her it was something outside. If I told her this story, she would never come over again.
I’ve never told anyone this story. I was 16 when my mother died. I am 25 now. When I hear the noises, I often imagine going downstairs and telling my mom that I love her and apologizing for letting her cry alone because I was too scared to help. I would thank her for everything. I still miss her so much. But the idea of seeing my dead mother is too frightening.”
Coming up… was the death of Meriwether Lewis a murder or a suicide? This early 1800s mystery continues to baffle historians and detectives alike.
The gift of a cross to protect a couple from a poltergeist, ends up creating more unusual events.
Plus… no one knows the motive of a mysterious murder that took place in 1866 New York. In fact, they still have no suspects. (A Mysterious Murder) These stories when Weird Darkness returns.
STORY: MERIWETHER LEWIS=====
Was the Death of Meriwether Lewis a Murder or Suicide? That question hangs heavily over the remains of historic explorer Meriwether Lewis. As any school history textbook will tell you, Lewis (and his fellow explorer William Clark) made a two-year journey into the northwest of the United States in search of a water route to the Pacific Ocean, the fabled Northwest Passage. When they returned from their expedition, they were seen as heroes by most everyone, even though they had not found the Passage. But what happened in the following days is a mystery. This is the story about the death of Meriwether Lewis and the possibility that it was a murder rather than a suicide as everyone had once thought.
They were rewarded by President Jefferson with notable honors: Clark becoming a brigadier general and
After returning from the expedition, Lewis became the governor of the Upper Louisiana Territory. And that’s where and when Lewis’s downward spiral began. While most men of the era would have been honored by such an important job, Lewis hated it. He preferred clearing a path through the wilderness over the mountains of paperwork such a job required. Additionally, not long after taking office, there were rumors of financial mismanagement, and Lewis could not tolerate having his honesty questioned. In late 1809, he decided to go to Washington DC to settle matters in person.
He originally intended to make the journey by sea from New Orleans, but he was disturbed about reports of enemy British ships along the route. He decided to make the journey over land. There were several routes he could have taken, but he chose the Natchez Trace: a curious choice, as it was infamous for bandits and harsh terrain.
On October 10th, he stopped in the middle of nowhere — a ramshackle inn called Grinder’s Stand. Later, one of Lewis’s companions would testify that during this journey Lewis’s mind seemed to be disturbed. Mrs. Grinder would later confirm this, saying Lewis spent much of the time under her roof pacing back and forth and talking to himself.
The Grinder household went to bed that evening at their regular time.
In the early hours of the 11th, Mrs. Grinder was awoken by gunshots. One version of the story states that she went into Lewis’s room immediately and found him bleeding from two gunshot wounds, one in the head. Another version says that she waited two hours, out of fear, before investigating the cause of the gunfire.
Either way, the result was the same. Famed explorer Meriwether Lewis died before sunrise.
Almost immediately, everyone believed the death of Meriwether Lewis to be a suicide. His “deranged” behavior and unhappiness with his current life pointed that way. Even his fellow explorer William Clark said that “I fear the weight of his mind has overcome him.”
But soon after, there were doubts. Knowing the reputation of the Natchez Trace, some believed he could have been the victim of a robbery. He was known to have left on his travels with $120 (a huge sum at the time), but that money was never found on him or among his possessions. Could Mrs. Grinder have killed him and taken the money? Or had he taken a late night stroll outside the inn and been overcome by thieves?
Others plainly stated that it was not in his character to commit suicide.
Yet more reasons for doubting the death of Meriwether Lewis were the wildly differing statements of Mrs. Grinder each time she was called to testify to the events of the night in question. One version of her story said she was alone when she heard the gunshots, however, in other versions her children were with her. She told yet another story that Lewis crawled outside after his injuries. She would later state he stayed inside for the entire time. In one tale she had awakened the servants and Lewis’s companions right after hearing the gunshots, but she would later contradict herself and say that she hadn’t awoken anyone. Even Lewis’s last words were different from one telling to another.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t until 1848 that a doctor examined Lewis’s remains. That doctor stated that the wounds were consistent with that of murder.
So was the death of Meriwether Lewis murder or suicide?
Nobody knows and the question is still alive today. Progeny of Lewis’s sister want their famous ancestor cleared of the suicide charge. They want his remains exhumed so that they can be analyzed by modern forensic scientists. They have received some support for this, although the owner of the land where Lewis is buried, the National Park Service, has refused to grant permission.
The issue is going through legal channels, and until a decision is made, we may never know if this courageous explorer died by his own hand or by that of another.
STORY: A MYSTERIOUS MURDER=====
The body of an unknown man with a gunshot wound to the head was found on the corner of 100th Street and 2nd Avenue in New York City, the evening of March 7, 1866. At the time, it was a lonely and isolated corner with no houses nearby; the murder could have been committed after nightfall without any witnesses. Near the wound was a large quantity of powder, indicating that he was shot at close range.
The man was about 30 years old, about five feet seven inches tall, with light brown hair and a goatee. He was fashionably dressed in a dark blue overcoat, light brown jacket, black woolen vest, black and white mixed woolen pants, white linen shirt with black silk tie, and fine calfskin boots. Robbery did not appear to be the motive because one pants pocket contained fifteen dollars in U.S. Treasury notes.
At the section of 2nd Avenue where it crossed 100th Street was an eight-foot embankment with a small stream of water running through the low grounds on the other side. The body was lying in the creek and wagon tracks and men’s footprints were seen in the mud nearby. A thorough search of the site produced a Colt Navy revolver, and the man had a box of Colt’s pistol caps in his overcoat pocket, but suicide was ruled out because the revolver was fully loaded and had not been fired. It was believed that the man was killed in another part of the city and was thrown into the creek to avoid detection. After the coroner’s inquest determined that the unidentified man had been murdered, the mayor offered a $500 reward for the apprehension of his killers.
In spite of the widely published description of the dead man and the mayor’s substantial reward offer, it does not appear that he or his killers were ever identified.
STORY: POLTERGEIST DISAPPEARING CROSS=====
My cousin flew down from Dallas TX and stayed with me and my girlfriend up near Seattle, WA, in a small town called Bothell. My cousin had been aware of our ghost sort of speak – meaning she knew just enough to still want to come. To be safe, she bought a cross with her, a gift for me and my girlfriend. Hopefully, this cross will protect all of us. Written on it were the Chapters Joshua 1:9, Phil 4:13, Psalm 28:7 and Matthew 19:26; each verse spoke about maintaining one’s strength, one’s faith during troubling times. My girlfriend and I had been having strong poltergeist-like activity so reading something was extremely helpful. When my cousin arrived she handed me the cross; we prayed over it and placed in our bedroom. That’s where my cousin said it would protect. Keep it above your bed in your bedroom.
A month later, the cross went missing. Understand missing objects (religious objects especially) is not a new phenomenon in our house. Things get taken all the time. Sometimes they return; sometimes they don’t. The items that do return are never found in their original spot. This cross would be no exception. The question my girlfriend and I ask ourselves when an item such as this goes missing is, what the heck is going on? I mean we’re talking about a sizable cross her. Six inches long, four inches wide. It’s not something you can misplace. How could we? We nailed it high above our bed, on the wall. It’s gone now.
No use looking for it, there’s only two people living in the house. My girlfriend and me.
Fast forward to Saturday morning. The cross has been missing for over a week now. I began doing my laundry early that day, earlier than usual. I figured its best to get my chores done if I’m to go to the movies later on. I’m excited. I’m going to see Marvel movie with one of my best friends. Let me get this laundry done ASAP.
I began my first load of laundry: colored clothing. My girlfriend, Tina, is walking around the house doing her own thing. I decided to go to my office and watch TV and wait for my clothes to wash. About an hour later, I noticed something peculiar. My first load of clothing was still washing. Now I know there are long wash cycles but this was weird – my brain knows how long it takes for my clothes to wash. I’m pretty sure I didn’t set the washing machine to the long wash cycle. It’s taken exceptionally long this time. That’s unusual.
I glance toward the washroom, hoping to hear the beep. You know the noise the washing machine makes when it’s done. So I glance at the washroom and look at the clock on my computer. I think to myself what’s taking my clothes so long to wash.
A few minutes later I hear this knocking sound. You know, the sound the washing machine or dryer makes when something big is inside, like a shoe or something. The noise I’m hearing is clearly coming from the washing machine. Once again, I’m glancing up from my PC and look at the washroom. What could be making that noise I wonder? At this point, the wash cycle had been running for nearly an hour far too long for what I put inside. Normally I would get up and see what the commotion was about. I didn’t this time. I kept watching TV.
Finally – the washing machine beeps informing me that the load was complete. Time to remove the clothing. I’m being passive as passive can be, no hurry what so ever. As I was pulling out my clothes and tossing them into the dryer. I immediately grabbed hold of something solid. Not clothing. Not shoes. Not anything except a metallic-wooden cross. I didn’t know what it was until I pulled it out of the washing machine. There in my hand in two pieces is the cross my cousin gave me.
Now some might say, “Well maybe the cross was in there, to begin with.” Not so. As I mentioned prior, the would have been heard early on, the thumping noise I mean. The knocking noises I heard began 15 minutes before the washing was complete. Secondly, the washing machine was empty when I used it. Some might say, “Maybe you accidentally put the cross in the machine when you loaded in the clothes.” Wrong again. I sorted my clothing carefully meaning items went into the machine almost one at a time. Across this size was not going to be grabbed by mistake. Even it was, I would have heard the bumping noise way sooner than I did.
Maybe your girlfriend put it in by mistake. My girlfriend was nowhere near the washing machine that day, and I never left my office. The washroom sits right outside my office. She wouldn’t stop my wash load regardless. I do my own laundry. She does her own laundry. It’s important that I get those particulars out of the way for fear of people gravitating towards the obvious explanation. And that is understandable. Now allow me to paint the picture near perfect as possible because it even hasn’t begun to get weird yet. In my hand is the cross my cousin gave me. it took a sort of a beaten in the washing machine, it’s broken up now. I then call my girlfriend to the room. We both examined the cross from top to bottom. Here it is again, after being gone for about a week.
Religious items in our house began disappearing in 2012. Some have never returned. This cross would disappear and get thrown a few more times before finally being left alone.
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 I’ve narrated, shop the Weird Darkness store, sign up for the email newsletter to win monthly prizes, find other podcasts that I host, and find the Hope in the Darkness page if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or dark thoughts. Plus if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY.
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.
“Surprising End to the Legend of the Snallygaster” by Ellen Lloyd for Ancient Pages
“Exorcism of Demons by Phone” from Earth Chronicles of Life
“Child of the Lake” from GhostsNGhouls.com (link no longer available)
“The Disappearance of Paula Jean Weldon” by Doug MacGowan for Historic Mysteries
“The Wallasey Vampire” by Tom Slemen for Wirral Globe
“Creepy Happenings in the Middle of the Night” by Malcolm Deanings for MyHauntedLifeToo.com
“The Wolf Family Murders” by Troy Larson for Ghosts of North Dakota
“Sounds In The Night”: (written by an unknown author – link no longer available)
“The Death of Meriwether Lewis” by Doug MacGowan for Historic Mysteries
“3,000 Soldiers Vanish Into Thin Air” by Ellen Lloyd for Message To Eagle
“Secrets of the Sallie House”: (written byh an unknown author – link no longer available)
“A Mysterious Murder” by Robert Wilhelm for Murder By Gaslight
“Poltergeist – The Disappearing Cross” by Keith Linder for My Haunted Life Too
Again, you can find link to all of these stories in the show notes.
WeirdDarkness™ – is a production and trademark of Marlar House Productions. Copyright, Weird Darkness.
Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?’” – Hebrews 13:5-6
And a final thought… “You matter….unless you multiply yourself by the speed of light squared…then you energy.” (Sorry – I saw this in someone’s signature in an email and I just had to share it!)
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.
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