“TERRIFYING TRUE STORIES OF GRAVEYARD WORKERS” and More True Scary Stories! #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS WEEKEND ARCHIVES EPISODE, ORIGINALLY AIRED JANUARY 08, 2020: A Major in the U.S. Air Force says they captured and held an extraterrestrial creature at New Jersey’s McGuire Air Force Base. (Alien Captured By Air Force) *** Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he was pulled from a flaming car by a paranormal entity. Did a ghostly specter save this NASCAR driver’s life? (The Race Car Angel) *** William Dunham was ill-tempered, ready to fight at all times – especially when drunk. He owned two less-than-reputable establishments. So it shouldn’t be a surprise people would want him dead. But when one has so many enemies, it’s not easy for police to find out who the person was that murdered you. (The Dunham Murder) *** I’ll share an account of something very disturbing seen in Michigan – a strange creature… a grayish-colored entity more man than beast, but more paranormal than normal. (Michigan Humanoid) *** Visiting haunted houses, cursed lands, driving on ghostly roads… they all can be scary. Stepping into a hospital at night is incredibly spooky. But image what kind of stories you’d have to tell if you were a night-shift employee at a cemetery. (Creepy Stories of Cemetery Workers) *** In all of their different incarnations, the Men in Black usually have one main purpose: to muzzle witnesses of strange, paranormal phenomena. That’s exactly what happened to one UFO hunter while researching what is now known as the Rendlesham Forest incident. (MIB Threaten UFO Hunter)
ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE…
John Guerra’s book “Strange Craft”: https://amzn.to/2QVW0RO
Lieutenant Halt memo about the UFO incident: https://tinyurl.com/yj63gmzp
“There’s a Creature On The Wing!” episode: http://weirddarkness.com/archives/3649
TRANSCRIPT FOR THIS EPISODE (if available): Visit WeirdDarkness.com, search for the title of this episode, click on episode photo, then scroll down the blog post. Transcript will be at the bottom of the blog post.
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STORY AND MUSIC CREDITS/SOURCES…
(Over time links may become invalid, disappear, or have different content. I always make sure to give authors credit for the material I use whenever possible. If I somehow overlooked doing so for a story, or if a credit is incorrect, please let me know and I will rectify it in the show notes immediately.)
“The MIB Mythology” by Justin Sablich for History.com: https://tinyurl.com/y87o5ux9
“Alien Captured By Air Force” by Cynthia McKanzie for Message to Eagle: https://tinyurl.com/ygu8nrod
“The Dunham Murder” by Robert Wilhelm for Murder By Gaslight: https://tinyurl.com/yxju4wxk
“The Race Car Angel” by Brett Tingley for Mysterious Universe: https://tinyurl.com/yg9cpztw
“MIB Threaten UFO Hunter” by Laura Rowton for Paranormal Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/yhrefxoc
“Michigan Humanoid” by SG, posted at Phantoms and Monsters: https://tinyurl.com/yj8gdrj7
“Creepy Stories of Cemetery Workers” by Bailey Brown for Graveyard Shift: https://tinyurl.com/y37zbv6p
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music Library. Background music, varying by episode, provided by Alibi Music, EpidemicSound and/or AudioBlocks with paid license. Music from Shadows Symphony (https://tinyurl.com/yyrv987t), Midnight Syndicate (http://amzn.to/2BYCoXZ), Kevin MacLeod (https://tinyurl.com/y2v7fgbu), Tony Longworth (https://tinyurl.com/y2nhnbt7), and/or Nicolas Gasparini/Myuu (https://tinyurl.com/lnqpfs8) is used with permission.
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It’s possible that the story of the Men in Black, the mysterious figures that would become the subject of fascination in UFO conspiracy circles and eventually break into mainstream popular culture, can be traced back to one day: June 27, 1947. It’s quite possible that it all started with a man, a boy and a dog on a boat. As the story goes, Harold Dahl was on a conservation mission on the Puget Sound near the eastern shore of Washington’s Maury Island, gathering logs, when he saw six donut-shaped obstacles hovering about a half a mile above his boat. Before long, one of them fell nearly 1,500 feet, followed by raining, metallic debris, some of which hit Dahl’s son, Charles, on his arm, as well as the family dog, who didn’t survive the ordeal. Dahl was able to take some pictures of the aircraft with his camera, which he later showed to his supervisor, Fred Crisman. A skeptical Crisman went back to the scene to look for himself and saw a strange aircraft with his own eyes. The following morning, Dahl was visited by a man in a black suit. They end up at a local diner, where the man was able to recount in extraordinary detail what Dahl had just experienced. “What I have said is proof to you that I know a great deal more about this experience of yours than you will want to believe,” the man said. Dahl was told not to speak of the incident. If he did, bad things would happen. The supposed events of Maury Island have continued to fuel conspiracy theories to this day. But the Men In Black know no boundaries – as one woman in Suffolk, England’s “Rendlesham Forest” area found out first-hand in 1980 after doing her own digging into a UFO incident.
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained. If you’re new here, welcome to the podcast – and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes! If you’re already a Weirdo, please share the podcast with others – doing so helps make it possible for me to keep doing the podcast! While listening, be sure to check out the Weird Darkness website so you can find me on social media and drop me an email.
Coming up in this Weekend Archive episode…
A Major in the U.S. Air Force says they captured and held an extraterrestrial creature at New Jersey’s McGuire Air Force Base. (Alien Captured By Air Force)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he was pulled from a flaming car by a paranormal entity. Did a ghostly specter save this NASCAR driver’s life? (The Race Car Angel)
William Dunham was ill-tempered, ready to fight at all times – especially when drunk. He owned two less-than-reputable establishments. So it shouldn’t be a surprise people would want him dead. But when one has so many enemies, it’s not easy for police to find out who the person was that murdered you. (The Dunham Murder)
I’ll share an account of something very disturbing seen in Michigan – a strange creature… a grayish-colored entity more man than beast, but more paranormal than normal. (Michigan Humanoid)
Visiting haunted houses, cursed lands, driving on ghostly roads… they all can be scary. Stepping into a hospital at night is incredibly spooky. But image what kind of stories you’d have to tell if you were a night-shift employee at a cemetery. (Creepy Stories of Cemetery Workers)
In all of their different incarnations, the Men in Black usually have one main purpose: to muzzle witnesses of strange, paranormal phenomena. That’s exactly what happened to one UFO hunter while researching what is now known as the Rendlesham Forest incident. (MIB Threaten UFO Hunter)
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
MIB THREATEN UFO HUNTER
Reports of men in black date back to at least the 1940s. Described as dressing in all-black suits and black hats, these shadowy figures are said to deliver veiled threats to those who dare to discuss publicly the existence of UFOs and aliens. Who there are is a mystery, with speculation ranging from government-backed agencies charged with keeping extraterrestrial secrets out of the hands of ordinary citizens, to extraterrestrials themselves, intent on observing those with connections to alien activity.
Hidden in the depths of Rendlesham Forest, in Suffolk, England is RAF Woodbridge, a small airfield used in the 1940s by distressed aircraft returning from overseas raids. Despite its importance in providing a haven for aircraft needing to make emergency landings in wartime, the airfield is better known in relation to the Rendlesham Forest incident of 1980 and claims of UFO landings.
On the nights of the 26th, 27th and 28th December 1980, United States Air Force personnel stationed at the airbase reported sighting a series of strange lights over the forest. It is said that several spaceships visited the airbase, and that attempts were made by the UK’s Ministry of Defense to suppress files relating to the alleged extraterrestrial visitations.
In 2002, files relating to the incident were released for public inspection. Included in them was a memorandum from the base’s deputy commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt, to the Ministry of Defence. In the memo, Halt described how three USAF patrolmen “reported seeing a strange glowing object in the forest”, which was “metallic” and “triangular in shape”.
***** “It illuminated the entire forest with a white light. […] As the patrolmen approached the object, it manoeuvred through the trees and disappeared. […] The object was briefly sighted approximately an hour later near the back gate [of the airbase].” *****
Two nights later, Halt reported that the object returned, appearing as a “red sun-like light” before breaking into “five separate white objects” and disappearing. (You can see a screenshot of the actual memo from Lieutenant Halt by clicking the link in the show notes.)
Described as the United Kingdom’s equivalent of Roswell, the Rendlesham Forest incident attracted a following of dedicated researchers in the years after. Despite decades having passed, the interest has only intensified. One such ufologist is Brenda Butler, who, according to a 2002 newspaper article, visited Rendlesham Forest at least twice a week since the controversial UFO landing, hoping to uncover evidence.
In 1984, she and two co-authors wrote Sky Crash, a book which questioned why UK authorities tried to conceal the incident. And indeed, Brenda claims to have plenty of evidence of government officials trying to conceal the events of December 1980. Asides from the known suppression of files, Brenda has claimed to have suffered personally, after attracting the attention of men in black, suited officials who have tried to intimidate her to stop her research.
Speaking at a UFO conference in 2015, to mark thirty-five years since the famous sightings, Brenda described how she and her two co-authors had been hounded by Ministry of Defense officials and police. She claimed that, on one occasion, the MoD tried to make her and a fellow investigator sign a contract to silence them over their findings.
Another time, she was supposedly chased by an “army jeep” down country roads at 80mph. Even so, she returned to the forest that same night and captured strange photographic anomalies on camera. All the while, a police car and police helicopter were observing. As she left she was told not to come back again.
During the conference, Brenda revealed to the audience that people had also come to her home and stood in her driveway, trying to intimidate her.
***** “We have had phone calls, been followed and threatened. The police came to check our car numbers.” *****
Later, during a telephone conversation with a journalist, Brenda claimed that her phone had been tapped in the past, and that her co-authors had received anonymous phone calls, warning them that if they did not stop researching the alleged UFO incident, they may “end up at the bottom of the ocean”.
For all attempts at intimidation, Brenda resisted the threats, and continued to share her findings. The question remains, why, after more than three decades, is information still being suppressed by “men in black” in regards to the Rendlesham Forest incident?
ALIEN CAPTURED BY AIR FORCE
Imagine the headlines if the world was told an extraterrestrial creature was captured by the military. Unfortunately, chances that the public would learn about the incident are small, to say the least.
A retired Air Force Major says that this is exactly what happened back in the late 1970s. He states an extraterrestrial creature was shot and killed at McGuire Air Force Base. He also says the public doesn’t know anything about this event because the whole story was quickly covered up.
This intriguing information comes from retired Air Force Major George Filer who was an intelligence officer at McGuire Air Force Base (now part of Joint Base Dix-McGuire-Lakehurst) in the 1970s.
George Filer is a familiar name among those interested in UFOs, and he is the subject of a book authored by John Guerra titled, “Strange Craft: The True Story of An Air Force Intelligence Officer’s Life with UFOs.”
The book relates how Major Filer years spent tracking and reporting UFO’s for the military in his role as an intelligence officer.
According to Major Filer the incident took place shortly after midnight on January 18, 1978. An army military police officer at neighboring Fort Dix chased an odd, low flying aircraft through wilderness, when the craft stopped and hovered. The headlights of the officer’s vehicle captured a weird creature.
Major Filer says the alien was four “feet tall, with dull-colored skin, long arms, large head and big black eyes.”
“It’s what’s called a ‘gray,’” Major Filer said.
As Burlington County News reports, “the sentry, perhaps panicked, fired five rounds from his .45 into the thing.
“It scrambled, and either climbed over or crawled under the fence that separated the two bases,” Filer said.
Two men found it — an Air Force security guard and a New Jersey state police officer, whom the guard had admitted onto the base after the shots were fired and a search ensued, Filer said.
“My job was to brief the generals every morning,” Filer said. “Briefings were like giving them the morning news, only it’s news that’s classified.”
He arrived on base at 4 a.m., his usual time. Something was amiss. He saw flashing lights of emergency vehicles near a runway. Gate guards, who usually waved him through, stopped him and asked for his identification, he said.
When he got to his office, the base was buzzing with wild rumors. A sergeant took him aside.
“He said, ‘An alien was shot and is dead on the runway.’ I said you mean an alien, like a Mexican alien? He said, ’No, no, this thing’s from, you know, outer space. They want you to brief Gen. (Thomas) Sadler. I said, ’It’s a joke, right? Sadler doesn’t have much of a sense of humor.”
Filer said he began making calls inquiring about an “intruder” shot and killed on base.”
“So, I called the wing command post and they confirmed it. I called the security police command post, they confirmed it…The medical team was out there to see if they could save the life of the alien but he apparently was, you know, actually dead,” Major Filer says.
“It happened, all right,” said Filer, 84, who lives in Medford.
U.S. Air Force Major George Filer belongs to the generation of pilots and airmen who first became aware of the strange aircraft showing up in the Earth’s atmosphere after World War II. These men – military professionals who flew planes, commanded ships, served as radar operators and air traffic controllers at air fields around the world – began to whisper amongst themselves about encounters with suspected extraterrestrial aircraft.
During secret debriefings at U.S. bases, pilots and air crew told their commanders of seeing strange lights at night and in the daylight, groups of saucer- or cigar-shaped craft that easily paced them just a few yards off their plane’s wingtip.
Award-winning investigative reporter John Guerra spent four years interviewing Filer, a decorated intelligence officer. From objects in the skies over Cold War Europe to a UFO overflight during the Cuban Missile Crisis to strange lights over the DMZ during the Tet Offensive, Filer leaves nothing out about his Air Force UFO encounters, providing Guerra all the amazing details of his six decades investigating extraterrestrials and their craft. Filer’s most memorable case – the shooting of an alien at Fort Dix Army Base in 1978 – is fully recounted for the first time in this book.
Filer – who readers have seen on countless UFO documentaries – is also a member of the Disclosure Project, the famous panel of military experts, astronauts, and scientists that urges the U.S. government to release all it knows about UFOs to the public. Then, in the fall of 2017, the Pentagon released the F-18 gun camera footage of what can only be described as an extraterrestrial vehicle outperforming U.S. Navy fighters off San Diego.
For the first time, after decades of denying what its intelligence officers, pilots, base commanders and air traffic control personnel know to be true, the military finally admitted to what Filer describes in this incredible book.
As Guerra writes in the book (which I have a link to in the show notes), “today, Filer is well-known and respected in the small society of career military men who know how common UFOs are in the world, men who have come to understand that these strange craft have been shadowing our aircraft and overflying our bases in the decades since World War II.”
Filer currently oversees the New Jersey chapter of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), a nonprofit UFO research organization
“I get calls virtually every day about UFOs,” Filer says. “We’re trying to get the information out that at least some of the UFOs belong to aliens and that they’re here.”
When Weird Darkness returns…
Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he was pulled from a flaming car by a paranormal entity. Did a ghostly specter save this NASCAR driver’s life? (The Race Car Angel)
I’ll share an account of something very disturbing seen in Michigan – a strange creature… a grayish-colored entity more man than beast, but more paranormal than normal. (Michigan Humanoid)
But first… William Dunham was ill-tempered, read to fight at all times – especially when drunk. He owned less than reputable establishments. So it shouldn’t be a surprise people would want him dead. But when one has so many enemies, it’s not easy for police to find out who the person was that murdered you. That story is up next. (The Dunham Murder)
THE DUNHAM MURDER
William H. Dunham owned a roadhouse on Washington Avenue, in Belleville, New Jersey, that catered to the roughest citizens of that town and was a noted stopping spot for sporting men and fast women from Newark and Passaic. He owned a second roadhouse—referred to as the “upper house”—near Nutley which had an even worse reputation. Dunham’s own reputation was not so good either; he was a short, stoutly built, ill-tempered man of 38, who was ready to fight at the slightest provocation, especially when drunk.
He was drinking heavily the night of Wednesday, December 23, 1891, and was in a particularly ugly mood. The usual bartender, William MacMahon, was taking the night off and Dunham ’s wife, known as “Diamond Kate” was to tend bar and she was late. Kate had been working at the upper house all day and Dunham took her late arrival as an excuse for a quarrel. She was too fond of the men at the upper house, he said, naming one man in particular. Kate told him that the man had not been there and appealed to Patrick Phelan, the hostler who had driven her, to support her story.
Phalen told Dunham he was wrong, and Dunham turned his rage on Phalen, calling him a damned liar. The argument turned to blows and the two men fought until Dunham pulled a pistol. Two cardplayers at a table nearby, Whaley Brown and William Kennedy, jumped up and disarmed Dunham and dragged him to a chair in the kitchen. Kennedy returned to the game and Brown stayed behind to talk Dunham out of his bloodthirsty sentiments. Brown told him that some sleep would do him good. Dunham agreed and decided to take a nap where he sat.
Brown had barely entered the passageway to the barroom when he heard a pistol shot and the sound of breaking glass. He went back to find Dunham sitting with his head fallen forward on his chest and blood spurting from a wound behind his left ear. Dunham was already dead. A broken window behind him showed that the shot had been fired from outside.
The police arrived soon after and arrested everyone in the bar. When Mrs. Dunham learned what had happened, she went into hysterics and did not recover until the following day.
It would not be easy determining who had killed William Dunham, he had accumulated numerous enemies in the various stages of his life. At one time he was an honest button maker living in Newark with his wife, Rachel, and their child but he gave them up hang out at low saloons with loose women. He deserted his wife and child to live with Nettie Aarons, who owned a dive in Newark; Dunham worked there as her bouncer. In 1887, Nettie Aarons died and Dunham calmly appropriated her money and valuables and opened a saloon of his own.
Around 1890 he met a pretty blonde named Catherine Heinzer, aka “Diamond Kate,” and three weeks later they were married. She did not know that Dunham was already married until Rachel Dunham showed up and had him arrested for bigamy. For $500 she agreed to drop the case and apply for a divorce.
Though happy to be rid of Rachel, Dunham did not exactly cherish his new wife. He treated Kate shamefully; he beat her, tore her clothes, and pawned her jewelry. He was insanely jealous and accused her of cheating while at the same time he was seeing other women. On the day of the murder, he had a drunken tryst with a “beautiful young woman of questionable character” named Blanche Curran.
Patrick Phelan was the first suspect in the murder since he and Dunham had been fighting just moments before. It was first thought that Dunham was killed with his own pistol, a five-shot 32-caliber revolver with one chamber empty, found behind the bar. Detectives determined that the gun hand not been recently fired and the bullet that killed Dunham was a 38-caliber. Patrick Phelan could not have been the killer because he had not left the bar between the fight and the murder. Phelan was released along with everyone else arrested that night.
County Prosecutor, Elvin Crane, told reporters that he was satisfied that Mrs. Dunham and Patrick Phelan were not involved in the crime. But he said he had found a man who had given him a valuable clue related to Dunham’s past life and confidently asserted, “I will have the murderer in custody in a few hours at most.”
Apparently, the clue did not pay off. Two days later Prosecutor Crane and his men joined the mourners at William Dunham’s funeral and as soon as the coffin was in the ground, they arrested five people—Mrs. Dunham, one other woman, and three men. They were questioned separately for three hours then all five were released. It appeared to be a last-ditch effort by investigators who had run into stone walls on every phase of the case.
In early January, Prosecutor Crane admitted that his schedule would not allow him to continue the investigation and handed the case off to the Newark police. Though Bellevue was outside their jurisdiction, Police Superintendent William Brown agreed to take up the investigation.
On January 13, the Newark Police arrested a man named George M. Fuller who was Dunham’s rival for the affections of Blanche Curran. Fuller reportedly said he had uncovered a conspiracy between Blanch Curran and William Dunham to put Mrs. Dunham into an insane asylum so Blanche could take her place. Fuller took Blanche for a buggy ride the day of the murder and insisted that she not go and live with Dunham. He left town when he learned the police were looking for him; they caught up with him in Little Falls, New Jersey and arrested him there.
Fuller was intensely questioned for more than three weeks before the Newark Police announced that they were convinced that he was not guilty. They kept Fuller in jail just in case. However, the police also announced that they were “confident that they would have the real murderer in custody in a few days.”
On February 10, Inspector Thomas Byrnes, head of the Detective Bureau of the New York City Police announced that he and his men would be investigating the Dunham murder and “they expect to have the murderer in custody within forty-eight hours.”
George Fuller was released after he was able to prove conclusively that he had been sleeping in Brooklyn the night of the murder. The New York police announced that they were searching for a man named Patrick Byrnes (no relation to the Inspector) who had recently moved in with Kate Dunham. He had allegedly called at the side door of the roadhouse the night Dunham was shot. Since the murder, Mrs. Dunham had sold the roadhouse in Belleville and was living with Byrnes in the Nutley roadhouse. Byrnes fled when he learned he was a suspect; Mrs. Dunham remained under surveillance.
Patrick Byrnes was never arrested, and the case turned cold. The Dunham murder all but disappeared from the newspapers, mentioned only when the discussion turned to unpunished New Jersey crimes.
RACE CAR ANGEL
For better or worse (you decide), celebrities have been coming out of the woodwork lately to share their own paranormal experiences. From Kurt Russell describing how he witnessed the Phoenix Lights firsthand ahead of his last space-themed movie release to Rob Lowe sharing his Bigfoot encounter conveniently just in time for his sons’ paranormal hunting reality TV show, the unexplained seems to be in vogue right now and celebrities are taking advantage of it.
The latest celebrity to seemingly jump on the paranormal bandwagon is Dale Earnhardt Jr., although his experience isn’t the typical alleged UFO or Bigfoot encounter and actually sounds a bit more intriguing. During an interview during the “Texas Terry” episode of his weekly Dale Jr. Download podcast released on August 14, 2018, Earnhardt admitted that he believes there are perhaps hidden layers of existence beyond or separate from the physical realm:
“I do believe in paranormal activity. … That’s so bad, oh my god. I do believe in that stuff. I think that our personalities and our souls have so much — we’re so much more than just blood vessels and bones and muscle, ya know? And I feel like that it’s quite possible that, in certain situations, when we die — our bodies die — that maybe there’s a spirit capable of continuing on. In certain situations, not all the time.”
The show’s host Mike Davis pressed Earnhardt Jr. for more details about his beliefs, prompting Dale Jr. to share a near-death experience which the two-time Daytona 500 winner believes was a brush with some sort of supernatural entity:
“When I wrecked in the Corvette in 2004 at Sonoma — 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. 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 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.”
Earnhardt says he had a difficult time believing no one had pulled him from the car due to how viscerally he recalled the sensation of someone pulling him from the burning car. Dale Jr. didn’t elaborate on what – or who – might have pulled him from the car, but come on, everyone knows it was most likely the ghost of the Intimidator himself: North Carolina legend Dale Earnhardt.
Earnhardt Sr. died in 2001 during the final lap of the Daytona 500, prompting NASCAR to make a series of rule and equipment changes. Earnhardt Jr. even told 60 Minutes interviewer Mike Wallace in 2013 that he believed his father pulled him from the car. Could the ghost of the Intimidator have saved Dale Jr. from a fiery death?
To provide some context, this took place about a year ago (more accurately October/November of last year), near my home in Michigan. For reference, I’m about an hour away from Detroit. A used-to-be small town that’s become more densely populated over the last decade, with a lot more hustle and bustle. However, where I live, I’m -at least- one mile away in all directions from any commercial zones or more modernized residential areas that tend to be a bit congested. It’s one of the last stretches of slow, old farm country in the town that hasn’t been overrun with cookie cutter subdivisions. My house was built in the 70’s by my grandfather, with whom I still reside, along with my husband, daughter and aunt (we are his caretakers, while we save up/finish school to afford our own home). There’s a sizeable lot or three of land between our house and our neighbors on either side. Might be worth mentioning that growing up, my friends always said my house looked like a house you’d see in a horror film, due to its setting amongst dense trees. Some of the trees have been cut down to prepare for more houses but fortunately for us, the builders violated multiple codes, I guess, so now there’s a bit of overgrown, expansive field. Anyway, I’m rambling, just an inherently descriptive person trying to paint as detailed of a landscape possible for anyone else who might find it helpful.
So, it’s an autumn Sunday evening and the sun had been down for a bit. Most of the leaves had fallen by now but I recall it being an unusually ‘warm’ night, for that time of year. Everyone in my house was winding down for the night and preparing for the work/school week. I’d say around 10:30, I decide to let my dogs out one last time before turning in for the night. I go to open our back door, which is a giant glass sliding door-wall window, and my dogs are right at my feet behind me, ready to bust out of the door as soon as it opens wide enough. I’m glad I didn’t let them out because I guarantee if they saw what I briefly did, they would have both charged toward it and it would have just been bad news bears. I open the door and where the edge of our yard ends and the brushy field begins (keep in mind, this brush is a bit taller than I am, I am five feet tall exactly) a pale, grey-ish figure is standing amidst the brush at the edge of the yard. The only reason I noticed it in the first place was because the noise my door made seemed to have startled it, so it made noise in the dry, fallen leaves, which then caused me to direct my attention towards this noise. Which is when I saw it, fleetingly, duck down and take off further into the field behind my house. It’s difficult to describe but due to what I saw, being familiar with coyotes, feral cats, and other animals I’m used to seeing around the property, it had remarkably ‘human’ characteristics, given its height and how it crouched over before moving in bound-like strides into the field. That’s another thing I noticed was that it didn’t make the sound of what a human would, or any animal that is native to this area for that matter, would make in retreat. The pace wasn’t quick, multiple steps like a human, deer or coyote. They were like… lengthy, bounding strides. And the sound it made hitting the ground had weight to it. The tread was not light, I guess is what I’m trying to say. It sounded big.
It kind of took my breath away and I was left startled myself but due to what I did see, believing what I saw to bear resemblance to a human, I sheepishly call out, “Hello? Is someone out here?” I’m still standing in my door way, kind of frozen in mild fear. I yell again, “Hello?” This time, a bit more confident and enunciated. This captures the attention of my husband and my aunt. My husband comes downstairs to see why I was yelling outside, as did my aunt. I explain to both of them, kind of frantically, what I had just witnessed. My aunt was spooked and my husband went upstairs to get a flashlight and his air rifle (I am an animal lover and I don’t like the idea of him shooting any animals, even problem animals, with something that can do serious damage like a ‘real gun’ so he uses an air rifle but it can still wound and kill small game, like a raccoon).
My husband and I both go outside into the back yard, him with the rifle and light, we begin scanning a pitch black, overgrown field to no avail at first. Maybe after five minutes of looking, my husband hops on top of his sedan that’s parked outside to get a better view of the field or any movement through the brush and continues looking. His gaze stops in one particular direction though. He hops down and quietly approaches me in the yard and points into the direction of what he was looking at. About 20 yards into the field, in the direction closer toward the back of my neighbors property, there are two glowing orange-red eyes looking right at us through the brush. Somewhat low to the ground. When he gets me to see what he’s seeing, he decides to shoot in the general direction of this thing to maybe startle it a bit, to see how it moves. He did this several times and it didn’t flinch. Then he decided he would try to aim his fire directly at it, to get a reaction, and he’s a damn good shot. He hits it in, what I imagine to be the face, and it sort of jumps up and when it landed, it was a solid sounding thud against the ground. All the while, it did not break its gaze on us. After hitting the ground, it moved further back into the field without ‘running away’ necessarily, it kept eye contact with us the entire time. Almost as if it was walking backward, not once averting its gaze. It eventually moved far enough back that we both had to jump onto the car to still be able to see it. After several minutes of this, it had moved beyond our visual, so we hopped down and went inside.
It’s worth mentioning that there wasn’t any sort of light that would cause reflective eyes, aside from the moon which wasn’t even full and it was very dark. We purposefully kept our lights off and the eyes looked as though they weren’t even reflecting light but more so emitting it.
Do with this what you will but I and my husband both know what we saw and given the frequency and variety of animals we see normally otherwise, this was significantly different than what we see. We have deer, coyotes, foxes, possums, raccoons, skunks and feral cats, all of which we are very familiar with.
We have not seen anything like this prior to or since this time. Although we do hear strange sounds and noises in the field and the woods from time to time at night. My husband has actually woken me up in the middle of the night to listen to some strange moans and whaling, but that hasn’t happened since earlier this year.
I felt it was valuable to share in the sense that not all encounters are ones where whatever it is, is inherently malevolent or predatory, in torturous pursuit of humans. It was just an experience that struck me as particularly odd.
Visiting haunted houses, cursed lands, driving on ghostly roads… they all can be scary. Stepping into a hospital at night is incredibly spooky. But image what kind of stories you’d have to tell if you were a night-shift employee at a cemetery. True stories from workers of graveyards and cemeteries, when Weird Darkness returns.
CREEPY STORIES OF CEMETERY WORKERS
As long as you’re not employed in a cemetery like the one in Pet Sematary, the job can be pretty practical. You earn a decent salary, learn how to maintain plots, and work a somewhat flexible schedule. Plus, they often have a great deal of history, especially if they were built hundreds of years ago.
Indeed, the industry has changed significantly since the days when the world feared cholera and other epidemics. For instance, coffin makers used to take precautions against accidental burials, and safety coffins contained bells people could ring if they woke up underground. If you believe stories from cemetery workers, however, it isn’t always a person stirring beneath the dirt.
True stories from cemetery groundskeepers mention strange objects left on graves, creepy sightings, and unexplained events that still haunt employees. Strange occurrences in cemeteries don’t always lead to reanimated beings and possessed children, but they can be just as frightening.
From Redditor /u/wmichelin:
Many of the men’s stones from quite a few years back have the Freemason symbol. And almost all of those mens’ wives have an upside down star on their stones. I haven’t actually researched what it means but it’s interesting.
From Redditor /u/Nickbotic:
I’ve had a number of odd experiences with our crematorium.
The cremation chamber naturally has an exhaust. I was sleeping one night when [my wife] shook me awake. I got up and went to the window, and saw that from the exhaust there was thick smoke pluming out, as if [someone] were being cremated. Seeing as we’re the ones who operate the crematorium, and neither of us were there, this absolutely should not have been happening.
I had [my wife] call the police while I went over to check on things; a fire of over a thousand degrees was likely burning inside, one way or another it had to be turned off as quickly as possible, at the very least controlled. All the lights were off and the doors were locked, as they were every night. I went inside, and the inside of the retort was bright with flames, but there was nothing inside it. We meticulously clean the cremation chamber after each use, and while the flames alone would likely produce some kind of smoke, the smoke that we saw coming from the exhaust was the kind of thick, gray and black smoke that could only be produced by something actually physically burning.
I shut it off and went around to check the windows and postern doors, which were all intact and locked. There is a ladder that leads to a ceiling exit, but that too was locked from the inside. The police showed up and took a report, but there was really nothing to be done. It was attributed to someone having left the retort on before leaving, even though [my wife] and I both knew the other hadn’t done that. That’s one that I’ll forever ponder.
Another instance was in 2012, following a [service] for a very large man, roughly 375 pounds. I got the retort (cremation chamber) preheated while my wife set up a movie to watch while the [man] was cremated. I used the elevating platform and then slid [him] in, closing the door to the retort afterwards and going to sit down.
About five minutes after I’d shut the door to the retort we heard a thump. Neither of us paid it much mind but a few moments later there was another, and then another. I stood up, worried that the man may have had a pacemaker still [inside him], however unlikely, as he had had his organs removed. The thumping and thudding got more hurried. We looked through the front window of the retort and couldn’t believe what we were seeing.
The [man] inside was flailing about, both of [his] arms and legs were bouncing around like he was in extreme pain. Now, it isn’t odd to see parts move while [someone] is being cremated – as the limbs are broken down, they will often contract as muscles and tendons snap – but this was most decidedly not that. The man’s fingers were balled up in fists and were banging against the windows, and his legs seemed to be kicking downward, as if to get out. The man’s mouth opened and first groans began emanating from within, then screams…
There was no way, absolutely no way whatsoever, that he could still have been alive. But for about 20 seconds after we’d gone to up to the retort, the [man] inside the cremation chamber screamed and flailed his arms and legs about.
My family has owned [a cemetery] for nearly five generations, and I’ve been working there since I was 12… The house that my family built on the property is about 30 yards back from the main office.
One night when they were kids, my grandpa and uncle were up late, my uncle happened to look out their window and swore to my grandpa that he’d seen someone walk behind one of the trees. The lamppost illuminated the very first handful of plots and headstones on the other side of the road, but at that point, they were undisturbed.
My grandpa and uncle stood at their window for a little while, with my grandpa ultimately teasing my uncle for being scared. However, when they woke up the next morning, the police were there. In the hours between when they looked out the window and saw the burial plots undisturbed (about 4 am) and the time they noticed the commotion (about 7 am), seven of the plots had been dug up. The headstones were stacked very deliberately, like a house of cards, and behind them the caskets were atop one another, the first one laying flat, the next one straight up, then flat, straight up, flat, straight up, with the final one flat. With basic casket dimensions taken into account, that’s nearly 30 feet high.
I’m sure you can imagine, even with machinery in the present day, that would take at least a little bit of time to accomplish. But nope, back in the 1950s, this was somehow done in a span of less than 180 minutes, with no one that lived in the house able to hear it going on.
The city wanted to develop [on my family’s cemetery about 100 years ago]. My family [agreed] to sell them the land we had if the city would then also pay for a portion of the land next to it, on which my family could continue the business.
When that happened, my family had to inform all the other families [with buried loved ones] that the remains of their dearly departed were going to be moved into new plots. Work began on that, and as bulldozers and other large shoveling equipment wasn’t yet common, it all had to be done by hand.
The ground was dug up, the caskets were retrieved, and moved along with their headstones, down to the new, freshly dug plots. Back then, caskets were generally made of wood [with] a decorative cloth laid over it. These wooden caskets more often than not weighed roughly equal to or less than the body they contained. In many cases, the weight of the body inside was discernible from the casket itself.
Well, when they got to the final, northernmost third of the land that the city had bought, the caskets became lighter. The sounds of the corpses within – slight sliding, a jerky step making a limb fall to one side, hitting the inside of the box, etc. – began to become fewer and farther between. Eventually, with the last 20 or so caskets, they felt like there was nothing inside at all. With the permission of the families, the cemetery employees opened these caskets they thought were empty, and found just that to be the case. The insides of the caskets were bare, and looked as if there hadn’t ever been anything inside them.
From Redditor /u/mine_that_bird:
Dave is the oldest of the workers and has been here forever. I ask him, “Hey Dave, have you ever experienced anything creepy here” Dave replies:
“Back in the 80s I began working here with Old Frank. One afternoon we had a funeral for a child [whose] last name was kinda odd and sticks with you: Eggleton. We lowered the casket without a hitch, his family was gone, it was just about eight of us. We started lowering the vault cover that his family bought and my rope surprisingly snapped, my side came crashing down and took out the bottom right of the casket… I look down there and there the kid was, all I saw was his leg… Black pants, creamy white shoes. I had to go sit down after that while they fixed the cover. I was sitting literally five feet from the guys on a bench when I felt a hand on my shoulder, I looked over and it was a young man. He had a watering can [and was in] an all blue suit, I figured he was going to water flowers at another grave or something. He calmly chuckles, ‘You’re definitely not the first person to do that, don’t worry about it… We all end up buried.’ I laughed with him and watched him walk over to another grave under a maple tree and started watering the flowers at the stone. I walked over to check on the guys and just making sure – because I do believe in ghosts – [ask], ‘Hey Frank is that guy actually there?’
Frank responds, ‘That’s not funny, of course he’s there.’
I laugh but the next time we look over, he’s gone. I’ve never seen Old Frank so startled in his life. He tells me, ‘That grave is a single, and hasn’t been dug yet, there’s not suppose to be a tombstone.’
[Old Frank] pulls me to the side and tells me to keep it between us. I walk around 10 paces to the [grave site] and my jaw drops. There’s not a thing there. No tombstone, no nothing.”
A few years go by and [Dave passes away]. His burial was in an older section that rarely has burials anymore. We were lowering him and an innocent part-time kid couldn’t bear the weight of the vault cover and dropped it. We finished it and I walked down to talk to [the kid] telling him not to worry, it happens to everyone. I brought a pail of water to fill up next to the bench so I can water the sad lonely flower pot someone brought for [Dave]. I put my hand on [the kid’s] shoulder and joked while filling it up, I started walking up the hill and I noticed a grave with a name I couldn’t forget, “Eggleton.”
I had tunnel vision right to Dave’s grave and up to the maple tree it was under. I’m in shock and I look all over my body while I’m wearing a navy blue suit. I immediately ran to the records cabinet to check to see when this grave site was bought by Dave… I went through pages and pages of years of binders filled with the records of purchases and who’s where.
Dave nor his family never purchased the grave. No one has ever purchased that grave.
From Redditor /u/Sanman79:
It was a quiet day so I pulled my car around the back of the old chapel to take a nap. The chapel was surrounded by 12-foot-high hedges, so I figured it was a good spot to park for an hour and shut my eyes. I fall asleep and wake up to see my car completely surrounded by [decomposing people]. So real, so vivid, so much detail. They were all pressed up against the glass and windshield. They had on the outfits they were buried in, suits, dresses, but all dirty and in different stages of decomposition. No one spoke, no one moved. They all just stared like I was some zoo exhibit.
Then I woke up. I had been asleep and it was a dream. The thing is, it felt so real. I have never had a dream so real, so vivid before or after. I took it as a message. I called my boss and quit as soon as I left at 4 pm.
I was originally hired because the cemetery had a period of time where they experienced some… people [sneaking] in to perform rituals. I was 21 years old, doing this as a side job, with [nothing to protect myself]. I was given a barcode scanner and was told to drive through the entire cemetery every hour or so to patrol, and to scan each of the pre-posted barcodes to prove I was actually doing it. Now this cemetery was massive. Pretty much broken into three parts, the newer part, the historic part and the famous part where celebrities are buried.
I did this routine once and never did it again, going so far as to break the barcode scanner so I didn’t have to do it. While I was driving, it was pitch black. Coming around a long curved road, my headlights picked up what I could’ve sworn were a pair of legs walking across the path, but only up to the knees. Shoes, pants, knees then absolutely nothing! I stopped in the road and just watched this pair of legs… cross 10 feet in front me. I put the car in reverse, did what felt like the longest K turn of my life, and noped it straight back to the parking lot.
Another thing that happened to me…
Normally my then girlfriend, now my wife, would drop by [the cemetery] around 8 PM and bring me dinner, since I couldn’t really leave. I never told her about my [weird] experiences because I didn’t want to freak her out. As I’m walking her back to her car to leave, I see her reach back and touch her ponytail then look around with a look on her face. I ask her what’s wrong and she says, “Nothing, I must’ve got my ponytail caught in a tree branch, I felt something.”
So I pointed out to her that the closest tree was 20 feet away and that’s impossible. Then she gets really pale and says it felt like someone ran their hand through her hair, front to back, and then pulled on the ponytail. We were both pretty freaked out and she left. She never came and brought me dinner again.
Something else… I worked the 4 pm – 12 am shift; the cemetery generally closed at 6 pm, so around 5:30 pm I would lock the main gate, then would start driving through the cemetery to notify any visitors that we’d be closing soon.
So one day, I’m in the middle of my final drive-through and see an old lady slowly walking the sidewalk alongside a mausoleum. The mausoleum was hundreds of feet long, about 20 feet tall, and had no breaks in it; it was one long stretch. The road ran directly alongside the sidewalk of the mausoleum, so I pull up behind the lady (to tell her we’re closing) get out of my car, take my eyes off of her for a split second as I’m getting out of the car and when I shut the door and look up she’s gone. Completely vanished.
I didn’t think anything paranormal at first, I just thought maybe I lost sight of her. But the sidewalk and road were completely empty. I ran all the way around the check the back of the mausoleum, but no one was there. Across from the mausoleum was a whole field of graves, and I eagle-eyed every row. Not a soul in sight. I finish up my round up and sit in my car the rest of the night, in a well-lit area. I saw a fully visible person, I know it. No tricks of light, no hallucination. Plain as day.
From Redditor /u/P…Salad:
I was chatting with an old man in the mausoleum one day and he was rambling on about his wife and how her crypt looks so nice with the marble and such, and he had his hand resting on his niche next to hers. After we part ways I looked at his spot and it had a death date on it – we only sandblast death dates AFTER they have been entombed. Creepy.
We see little children on the outskirts of the cemetery by the tree line. Always dressed in white, always cannot be seen clearly. They are usually in the trees a bit or just look obscured from a distance. We never see one up close, but it has happened about five times since I’ve been there. We nickname them “Tree Children.”
From Redditor /u/DruSparro:
One afternoon, [my coworker] and I were walking the paved roads in there with a trash bag, looking for litter. We came upon a particular area of the cemetery that has a lot of mausoleums and took the next lane around a corner that goes along the side of one mausoleum. As we rounded it, there was an older gentleman (maybe in his late 60s/early 70s) standing with his back against the side of the mausoleum, just looking at a plot of graves nearby.
Two things were kind of weird about him. He was dressed a bit odd. His clothes were a little out of date; corduroy jacket in 80-degree weather and one of those newsboy-type caps, long pants, button-up shirt. But when you think about it, a lot of elderly people kind of dress in out-of-date clothing anyway, so I shrugged that off. The second thing: he had a coffee mug he was drinking out of. Not a thermos, or a Styrofoam cup with a lid – an actual ceramic coffee mug that he was sipping out of right in the middle of the cemetery.
[We waved to each other and kept walking]. We were only a few feet away when the other girl said, “That was a little weird” and we both looked over our shoulders back at him – but he was gone. We stopped, and kind of took a few steps back to see if he’d walked around the mausoleum or something, but we couldn’t see him anymore.
A couple days later, we both showed up for work and found one of the [regular workers] to let him know we were there. We talked to him a few minutes, and I brought up seeing the old man by the mausoleum in the east section. The groundskeeper smiled and asked, “Did he have a coffee mug?” We said yeah. He said, “Yeah, that’s our ghost. He’s not really there.”
We pressed for more explanation, and he said he’s always seen in that spot, looking at a family plot, and always has a coffee mug. He said there is a grave for the wife, two daughters, and the husband. The husband’s grave says that he [passed] in the early ’70s, and the wife and two daughter’s graves say they [passed] a couple of decades before, and the three of them have the exact same [DOD]. They think he was the dad, and that he maybe used to visit his wife and daughter’s graves a lot. He told us people only see him for a few seconds, then he’s gone.
From a former Redditor:
I wasn’t intentionally seeking out cemetery employment – it happened accidentally – but I quickly became smitten. It was pleasantly quiet and I was also able to connect with people, such as those visiting late loved ones and participating in… ceremonies, without becoming overwhelmed.
However, there is a particular statue of a weeping angel in the cemetery that locals, and even out of state visitors, are wary of due to the alleged paranormal activity surrounding it at nightfall (i.e. echoing cries, foggy apparitions, the angel herself moving). Because of this, the cemetery has become one of the top ghost hunting cemeteries, much to my dismay.
I will admit, I sometimes feel nauseous near the statue and tend to only venture near the lot if daylight is out, but I work third shift now, so this is almost always unavoidable. I’m highly skeptical of the paranormal, so I write it off as paranoia from all the stories I’ve heard, but tending to anything near it is not among one of my favorite tasks to perform. I try to switch out with other groundskeepers, but no one wants to do it. I mean, I’ve seen one of my co-workers, who is a grown man in his 50s, intentionally hide from our superintendent to avoid it.
SHOW CLOSE, CREDITS, A LITTLE LIGHT, AND A FINAL THOUGHT==========
Thanks for listening. Feel free to drop me a note anytime with your questions or comments – you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find all of my social media on the CONTACT page of the website. If you want to help the podcast, be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already done so, and leave a review of the show in the podcast app you listen from! But more important than anything, please share the podcast; tell someone about it – someone who loves paranormal stories, true crime, monsters, or mysteries like you do! You can also vote for Weird Darkness in the HOT 50 countdown in Podcast Magazine every day I upload an episode! To vote, follow the link in the show notes, or click on “VOTE” at WeirdDarkness.com.
Do you have a dark tale to tell of your own? Fact or fiction, click on “Tell Your Story” on the website and I might use it in a future episode.
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.
“Alien Captured By Air Force” by Cynthia McKanzie for Message to Eagle
“The Dunham Murder” by Robert Wilhelm for Murder By Gaslight
“The Race Car Angel” by Brett Tingley for Mysterious Universe
“MIB Threaten UFO Hunter” by Laura Rowton for Paranormal Scholar
“The MIB Mythology” heard at the beginning of this episode, by Justin Sablich for History
“Michigan Humanoid” by SG, posted at Phantoms and Monsters
“Creepy Stories of Cemetery Workers” by Bailey Brown for Ranker
WeirdDarkness™ – is a production of Marlar House Productions. Copyright ©Weird Darkness 2021.
Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8
And a final thought… “Giving is better than receiving because giving starts the receiving process.” – Jim Rohn
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.