“TERRIFYING TELEPHONE CALLS” and Many More True and Paranormal Horrors! #WeirdDarkness
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Listen to ““TERRIFYING TELEPHONE CALLS” and Many More True and Paranormal Horrors! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.
IN THIS EPISODE: (Dark Archives episode with stories from January 28-29, 2019) *** Reddit users share some of the strangest, creepiest, most terrifying phone calls they’ve ever received – many that left the recipient with no explanation as to what just happened. (Creepy Phone Calls) *** A former schoolhouse has accrued a sinister reputation as one of the most haunted, weirdest places in Japan. (Haunted Schoolhouse In Japan) *** The gold rush brought many to North Carolina – men looking to get rich, and rich men looking to get richer. But the greed also brought cruelty to some mine owners… and that cruelty sometimes brought death… and hauntings. (The Skinflint Mine Entity) *** Was a certain female reporter murdered because she knew too much about the death of John F. Kennedy? (The Dorothy Killgallen Murder) *** Something bizarre and terrifying is living below the streets of London – and there are many theories as to what it might be. (Strange Things Below London) *** Elizabeth Bathory was beautiful – and wanted to stay that way. So determined was her desire for a youthful appearance that she would bathe in the blood of young girls, thinking of it as a macabre fountain of youth. But how much truth is there to this story? And are there ghosts today, haunting their residences thanks to the Blood Countess? (Ghosts of the Blood Countess)
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STORY AND MUSIC CREDITS/SOURCES…
(Note: Over time links can and may become invalid, disappear, or have different content.)
“Creepy Phone Calls” by Aaron Edwards for Graveyard Shift: https://tinyurl.com/spnqq2s
“Ghosts of the Blood Countess” by Amy’s Crypt for Paranormal Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/r4lh7rn
“Strange Things Below London” by Nick Redfern for Mysterious Universe: https://tinyurl.com/ulutgp7
“The Murder of Dorothy Kilgallen” by Jessika M. Thomas for Ranker: https://tinyurl.com/tjzpaz7
“The Skinflint Mine Entity” from North Carolina Ghosts: https://tinyurl.com/w6ofq7g
“Haunted Schoolhouse In Japan” by Brent Swancer for Mysterious Universe: https://tinyurl.com/w4n98c6
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We’ve all had our fair share of wrong numbers. More often than not they’re pretty harmless. You tell the other person they made a mistake and then you go about your day. But some times, you get a phone call that sticks with you the rest of your life. The kind you can’t explain. You know…the ones you can only describe as “phone call creepypasta” (or perhaps even “cell phone creepypasta”).
Well, the good news is you’re not alone. There are tons of people who got creepy phone calls…and chances are, theirs have been just as bad if not worse. Creepy phone calls that have kept people up at night for weeks or even years. Were they real people? Ghosts? Versions of people from a parallel dimension? I’ll let you decide.
…I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
***”A few years ago my brother would get a call on his cellphone around 2:00 – 3:00 A.M. Every night. He would answer and it was this hellish sounding noise. Like static mixed with screams. He changed his cell number after a month of this and it stopped.
Then after a week or so it began again. The exact same noise. Exact same time. Finally one day he decided to back dial the call. It was an old man that had no clue what he was talking about. Still the calls persisted. If he didn’t answer, it would call a few more times. No messages were left.
He decided to say screw it. Ended his contract with his phone company, switched to a new one, and then got another new number. You guessed it, the screaming static calls continued after a short delay. By this time he was terrified every night. Unsure why this was happening. He back dialed the number again and got a different person.
Around this time he lost his job and his phone. The calls stopped of course. His phone was disconnected now. So one day my mom asks me to listen to this weird message she got on our home phone.
It was the static screaming. We showed my brother and he was freaking out. He back dialed the number again and it said the number was disconnected this time. Never heard from it again after that.”
***”When my sister was young, my parents got her a personal ‘phone’ – a landline so that she could feel ‘special.’ Yes, she was extra spoiled.
It was a pre-paid landline though, so basically no one could call in or out if she ran out of credit, much like a mobile phone. Anyway, every night at 3am her phone would ring. She said there was a man on the other line, and she would get really scared and come running to my room. It escalated to the point that I asked her to please disconnect her phone before going to sleep because it was becoming extremely annoying to get woken up every single night by this ‘person’ that called her. Eventually she just got rid of the phone.
A few years ago we were talking about it, and she confessed that her phone continued to ring even after she disconnected it, which is why she said she didn’t want it anymore. She has no recollection of what the person on the other end was saying, or maybe she’s just completely blocked it out.”
*****”About a couple weeks after I was born my dad’s best friend, Jim, died. They were really close, and one of the last things he wanted was to hold little me before he passed. His wish was filled, and some short time after that he was gone.
Fast forward 7 years. I’m now a happy 7-year-old with a 5-year-old brother and recently born sister. One day the phone rings, and with my mom out and dad in the washroom I thought it was going to be ignored as we kids were still too young to answer the phone (no call display, we didn’t know if there would be a stranger). But my brother broke the rules and answered. ‘Hello?’
At this point my dad is out of the washroom and is asking my brother to hand him the phone. He ignores him and keeps listening to whoever is speaking. Before my dad could ask a second time my brother hangs up, looks at him and says, ‘Jim says hi, and he misses SkywingNova,’ then goes back to playing. The look of shock my dad had is what I remember most about this.”
*****”Before my family and I moved to another state, my father visited the area to check on the progress of our new house which was being built. My father was there for a few days and was staying at some crappy Motel 6 in a shady area of town. His room was the last room at the end of the hallway on the top floor.
In the middle of the night on the last night he was in town he was woken by the phone ringing in his room. He groggily answers. It was the front desk and they say something along the lines ‘Sorry to wake you, but we’ve been receiving a couple of reports about rooms being broken into and some stuff being stolen. We are calling to make sure you lock your door and are safe.’ Myfather replies that he is fine and hangs up.
He decides to double check that he locked the door. As he sits up in bed he notices that the door to his room is ajar. Being spooked, he cautiously checks the room and finds that nothing is missing and no one else is in the room. He creeps to the door and peaks out. Sitting right outside his room on the window sill of the hallway window is his shaving kit. Creeped out of his mind, he quickly grabs it and locks the door.
After he calms down a bit he calls down to the front desk and says ‘Hey, you just called me about the break-ins around the hotel, and I just want to report that my room was broken into when I was sleeping, nothing stolen and I am fine. Figured you would like to know.’ The front desk replies, ‘You must be mistaken, we never called your room and we haven’t received any reports of breaks ins.'”
*****”When I was a child we would frequently get calls for a woman named Tanya. Didn’t seem like a big deal, she had the same last name as us, although it’s quite a common one around here.
When we moved across the city and phone books stopped being the go-to for finding somebody’s number, the calls for Tanya gradually stopped. Those days seemed to have ended and we carried on, forgetting about the mysterious Tanya.
It was about 4 years ago that she popped up in our lives again.
I was driving home from work one afternoon and was greeted by a pretty grisly car wreck at the turn to my house – two cars had collided and one had wrapped itself around the signage pole that had house numbers and directions on it, one of which was my house number.
Several days later we get a call from the police. They asked if Tanya was at this residence. Her car was found wrapped around a pole – down the street from my house – and she was nowhere to be found at the accident site.
Haven’t heard anything about her since.”
*****”When I was younger my family was extremely poor and lived in a very old mobile home on some land my grandpa owned. This piece of land was in a very small town out in the middle of nowhere Texas and covered in woods. The town itself was your typical small country town where football was king and there was nothing to do but get drunk or high on the weekend. It was also the type of town, along with it being early 90s, where one didn’t typically have to worry too much about locking their doors or setting an alarm.
Now, our trailer was a two bedroom and my parents, always putting us kids ahead of themselves, slept in the living room on a fold out couch. My room was directly connected to it and my sisters room was down a hallway past the kitchen and bathroom at the other end of the trailer.
One night, after everyone had gone to bed, my dad is woken up by a feeling that there is someone in the room. He looks around a bit and sees a large male figure sitting in the easy chair just feet from the bed. My dad quickly flipped on the light switch next to his bed and saw it was a neighbor from down the road named Carter. Carter was known to be a frequent drug user and was often in trouble with the law because of this.
My dad asked him what the f*ck he was doing here and told him to get out and he responded. ‘I can’t get out. The demons are chasing me and your house is the only safe one.’ My dad, who I should mention is fairly large and terrifying person, responded that if he didn’t get out and get out quickly that the house would be a lot less safe for him. ‘If I leave they’ll get me! They’ve been chasing me all night. If they catch me I’m dead.’ My dad’s response was that there were no demons but that if he didn’t get the f*ck out of his house that he’d be dead. From what I’ve been told, since I was asleep for this part, my mom also hurled a few threats and, while she may not be big, she was equally as terrifying. I believe it was her anger that finally scared him off.
My dad got up and locked the door and watched through the blinds as Carter decided, since he couldn’t outrun the demons he’d steal our old beater Suburban that my dad always left the keys in. He drove around for about an hour. We called the police and it took them about that long to get out to us since the closest police station was about 20 or 30 minutes away. He finally brought it back and was arrested and taken to jail. He was deemed crazy and ended up locked in a mental institution.
The scariest part is that for years after this we’d get phone calls where all we’d here is music that would have lyrics like ‘I’m going to f*cking kill you!’ These calls lasted for years and followed us from house to house even though we always had different numbers and would even be in different states. We always thought it was him sending us a message.
The calls stopped when I was about 12. I later found out that it was around that time that Carter thought the best thing he could do for himself was soak himself in gasoline and set himself on fire.”
*****”My grandmother died of brain cancer about twenty years ago. About two weeks after she died I was hanging out over at my parent’s place and my mom got a call – no number, no unknown number, just blank caller ID.
She answered it, got quiet, hung up and went to her room without saying anything. When I finally got her to talk about it she said it was her mother, saying she was trapped and please come get her because they wouldn’t let her leave, over and over again, and then the phone disconnected.
I asked her about it a few years ago and she denied that it happened for a bit and then admitted that it had happened two more times that year and then stopped, but she didn’t want to discuss it anymore.”
*****”It was my first time staying home alone while my whole family was out at my brother’s ballgame (I was 13 I think). I’m on the phone with a friend of mine feeling so grown up when someone beeps in on the other line. I tell her I’ll be right back, and click over lines. Then the creepiest voice I have ever heard says, ‘Hello, little girl, I’m the man in your basement!’
Honestly, I laughed it off and just hung up thinking it was a prank call. I was a pretty confident little thing, and my neighborhood was pretty safe so I figured someone was just messing with me, knowing it was my first time alone. They beeped in again, so I clicked over and heard, ‘DON’T YOU F-ING HAND UP ON ME YOU LITTLE, B*@#!’ and the lights started flickering and there was banging under my feet. I KNOW it sounds crazy, but my dog started freaking out and my cat ran away, so I assure you I wasn’t imagining a thing. Our basement was actually just an area connected to the garage, it wasn’t finished. I heard what sounded like footsteps coming up the garage steps to get into our kitchen, and I threw stuff in front of the door and heard yelling and what not.
I kept trying to hang up and call the cops, but every time I tried to, he was still on the phone. My friend told her parents what was happening, and they ran to the neighbors’ house to call the police for me. I sat petrified with a broken rifle, a butcher knife, and a baseball bat behind my front door because it’s the only place in the house downstairs that couldn’t be seen from a window, crying. Eventually I clicked over to hear a police dispatcher on the phone and stayed on the line with her until the police got to my house. There was no sign of forced entry, though we had a broken window pane on our outside garage door that had been messed up for months prior and my guess is he used that to get in.
The police assumed I was just a paranoid girl, and they were going to leave me home alone after they gave an all clear. Fortunately a family friend had been driving by and saw the cops there and stopped to see if everything was okay. He gave me a ride to the school where my family was. They were skeptical that anything had happened, but we did get a security system not too much longer after that, and my parents both got cell phones too. This was ’94 I think so cell phones weren’t super popular yet.
After that happened, I swear there was someone stalking me for years. I would leave my apartment locked and bolted and come back to find appliances on (hair dryer, stove), heat on in the middle of the summer. I lived in 4 different places, and would get strange phone calls at every one despite being unlisted. Cars would randomly be parked down the road from a house and speed up and slam on the brakes as I would run inside. I’d hear loud bangs outside when I lived out in the country. Nothing has happened since I’ve been in my current house and married, but I am still super paranoid all the time.”
*****”This one night when I arrived for work my supervisor looked confused and asked me what I was doing there. I said ‘I work tonight.’. And he said ‘But they said you called in a few hours ago saying that you were sick.’. I was a bit confused and said ‘It must have been someone else and they got the message wrong.’. After everyone else showed up for work that night it was a bit more weird, but we carried on as usual and assigned everyone their places for the night; I went to work in the control room where I usually work. The control room is the center of the prison that has direct control over the cameras, doors, phones and everything.
After I relieved the guard on duty and settled in for the night, I looked at the message that said I called in. It said that I had called at 6:50 and said that I had gotten sick while out cleaning up after the storm. There had been a storm the night before and it was a bit bad, but not anything that I had to go out to clean up. It was truly weird.
The supervisor came into the control about that time. He was also a friend of mine outside work and we started talking about it, and how odd it was. I decided to call my wife at home and tell her about it while he was still sitting there. I picked up the phone and dialed. After two rings a man picked up the phone and with a raspy voice said ‘Hello?’. I did not know what to say for a few seconds. I looked at the phone to make sure I dialed the right number, and I had. After a few seconds the person said ‘Hello?’ again in the same raspy voice. I said ‘Hello. who is this?’
‘This is Taylor who is this?’ the person said. My head started spinning because my name is Taylor also. I said in almost a scream ‘Where is Ann?’. He said ‘Ann’s in bed. Who is this?’. I dropped the phone and told my supervisor to ring me out, I had to get home, and I took off towards the door. I could hear Dave pick up the phone behind me and say ‘Hello?’ followed soon after by ‘What the fuck!’ rather loudly. I ran to my car and drove home faster than what was legal, my mind racing the entire time. I busted through the door and my wife was sitting watching TV and was shocked at me being home. I asked her who was there and she said no one has been here. After a rather long talk with my wife, I went to call the prison to tell them what was going on, but the phone was dead.
I went back to work and when I came in Dave was acting weird and asked me ‘How the hell are you doing this?’. He told me that when I left, he picked up the phone and the person on the other end sounded like me. He kinda freaked out and hung up the phone. A minute later as he could see my car leaving the parking lot, I had called back from home and asked what the fuck was going on. He said that I was a bit irate and said I was sick and did not feel like playing these games and was telling him to stop prank calling me and hung up. After convincing him I had no idea what was going on we went back to work.
Later, I find out that the phone line for my area had been knocked down the night before by the storm. This is absolutely the strangest thing that has ever happened to me.”
*****”Around the time I was 19 I was deployed to Iraq. My unit worked with bombs, and honestly, I didn’t know I would make it home intact. About halfway through my tour the red cross notified my unit that my father was terminally ill. Within a week I was on a plane back to the states.
Now my dad being ill was something I had grown used to. He was strong though, and I never expected to actually lose him. I lost my mother when I was 7, and my father’s lungs had collapsed shortly before then. He was on oxygen and needed a wheelchair to go anywhere. Medication by the handfuls were needed every few hours. He gained weight from limited movement, developed diabetes, and had already beaten cancer once. I never expected to lose him and he wasn’t the type to ever give up.
I arrive home, head to the hospital, and he assures me he’s fine and they’re overreacting. I visit him every day I’m there, but he tells me he’ll be fine by the time I get home ‘for good.’
I reluctantly go back overseas. I call his hospital whenever I have a few minutes of free time and we’re near a call center. My deployment finishes, and he kept his promise. He comes home from the hospital, because he says he doesn’t want to die there. He gets worse, and goes back. The family all visits, but we know he isn’t improving.
One day I’m at home and the phone rings. It’s an unknown number, so I don’t answer. It goes to the answering machine, and a very raspy voice mumbles ‘Call the hospital.’ It’s my dad. I grab the phone, but he already hung up.
So I call. They tell me he’s been intubated for the past couple hours and he just started going into cardiac arrest. He’s non-responsive, and we need to come say our goodbyes. I argue that he just called me, and she says that’s not possible. They’ve been working on him for some time now.
I hung up and told my family the news. My sister and I stared at the answering machine. We played the tape again, and again.
That was the last time I heard my father’s voice. I’m a skeptic. I don’t believe in the paranormal or ghosts, and I cannot come up with any logical explanation. I still get watery eyed thinking about it.”
*****”Not my story, but my boyfriend (who for the sake of the story we will call Bob) shared this one with me.
When he was about 8 – 10 years old (he isn’t sure of the age), he would receive calls on the house phone from some mysterious guy. The guy would call when Bob was the only one home (before his brother who was 3 years older than him would come back from school and when his parents were working). This guy would curse Bob out and tell him to ‘Shut up’ and to ‘Do whatever I say.’
The guy told Bob that he knew where he lived, he knew where Bob’s parents worked and he knew that Bob was alone. The guy told Bob that if he told anyone that he was calling Bob’s home he would kill his parents or him (guess whatever was more terrifying that day). Being a young, scared kid at the time, Bob complied and would do things like take off his clothes while on the phone or dance around in the living room. Bob didn’t tell me the full extent of the stranger’s demands, but a part of me really doesn’t want to know.
So Bob entertained this guy for some time (again didn’t specify how long) until one day Bob’s brother comes home and sees Bob on the phone. Bob’s brother asks who it is and after getting off the phone an apprehensive Bob finally explains to his older brother the details about this mysterious caller. When Bob’s older brother found out, the next day he came home early for the call and with a few friends on speaker phone told the guy to f*ck off and that they would find him and with their posse and make his life a living hell (Bob lived in a predominately Italian neighborhood where the mob-life was very real). After they confronted the guy on the phone, the calls stopped and they were never harassed again.”
*****”I was 16, and working at an ice cream store all alone, late at night. It was the beginning of March in Canada, so the ground was covered in a thick layer of snow.
I got a phone call. ‘I can see you,’ a man’s voice said eerily. I looked around, in a panic. The store had huge glass windows on all sides. I couldn’t see anybody in the darkness. I cringed in shock. The man began to vividly describe how he planned to rape me. I was terrified, and as soon as the shock wore off (which seemed like ages, because I heard part of his sickening description) I hung up the phone. It was disgusting. I was hysterical. I rushed to all the doors and locked them. Then, I hid behind a counter with the phone. I was crying.
I immediately called my boss, and told him what happened. I asked him if I should call the police (I know dumb move, I should have just called them). I was shocked by his answer. He said ‘It was a prank. Open the store. That man was probably joking. Go back to work.’ What a dick. He wasn’t even making money, because it was -15 and nobody was coming into the store, but he wanted me to endanger myself by opening up when some creep had been threatening me?
I called my dad, who was furious. He came within 5 minutes. I closed the store, and he took me home. Needless to say, I never went back to work there again, and never spoke to my old boss again. Most terrifying thing ever.”
*****”Way back in 5th grade or so, I discovered a glorious Pokemon themed chat room through the wonders of Yahoo. Within this chat room, there were maybe 15 regulars, generally between the ages of 12 and 16 or so, and we had a great time role playing various anime characters and story lines.
Anyway, I got to know a few people from there well enough to chat with them on AIM or by phone and a few of those friendships lasted a good four or five years. One of these guys was a little eccentric- he LOVED creature/monster models and stories, stuff like Godzilla, Spawn, whatever. He believed in things like chupacabras, which I thought was silly, but didn’t really care, and he lived out in the boonies in some Midwestern state (which all seemed like hick-land to my young west coast mind). After getting to know him pretty well and having a good 100 hours of phone conversations over the years, he finally revealed this lovely story.
He told me that sometimes he would black out and wake up to discover that he had, or was still in the process of, hurting or torturing animals and children. He had quite a few cousins and neighbor kids who lived nearby, and apparently had killed some animals. When he revealed this to me, I felt sick inside- I love animals, and this information chilled me to the bone. It was really hard for him to tell me this and he confided that I was one of the only people he had ever been able to tell. Then, it got weirder.
Someone in his family, or maybe a family friend, decided that he must be possessed by a demon and that they had to perform an exorcism. They did it at night (of course) in a dark room lit by candles, and he was tied to the bed because they didn’t know how the demon would react. He was choking up as he described this part, I could hear his voice quivering because he was so emotional and terrified at this part of the story. He described a pretty creepy process, but the worst part was the end: he said they heard something hit the floor under the bed when the ‘demon’ left his body, and then something scrabbled across the floor and out of the room in the darkness, leaving claw marks in the wood floor.
He was totally and completely serious about this, and how it cured him and he didn’t hurt things any more. I, as any sane person would do, noped right the fuck out of that situation.”
*****”My brother once got a phone call from a man asking ‘how much are the girls going to cost?’, thinking it was a prank joke he said €50 an hour.
BUT then the man followed up with another question, ‘And they’re all under 14 then?’ My brother immediately hung up the phone.
He reported it to the police who said the number was unregistered.”
*****”My brother once got a phone call from a man asking ‘how much are the girls going to cost?’, thinking it was a prank joke he said €50 an hour.
BUT then the man followed up with another question, ‘And they’re all under 14 then?’ My brother immediately hung up the phone.
He reported it to the police who said the number was unregistered.”
*****”12 years ago, my brother died, and for that whole first year, a LOT of super weird shit happened to our family. The only conclusion I can come to (and I do really believe this) was that he was trying to contact us.
A week after his funeral, my mom was home by herself and the phone rang. This was about 2 PM. The caller ID said that it was my brother’s house, so she figured it was my sister-in-law.
Mom answered and when she said ‘Hello?’, there was no sound on the other end and no one answered. She said ‘Hello?’ again, and still no answer. Then the call disconnected.
She waited till about 6 PM when my SIL came home from work, and she called her to ask if she’d come home from work and called her earlier. My SIL said no. She asked if the kids had come home early – my SIL asked my niece and nephew if they had come home to call Gran in the middle of the day, and neither of them had; they were in school the whole time till the end of the day.
The phone was mounted to the kitchen wall, and the receiver was on the hook, so it’s not like the dog knocked it over and accidentally stepped on speed dial. We think it was my brother making contact to let my mom know he was around.”
*****”I was with my girlfriend, Alex, and we were making out when the phone rang. I answered it.
‘What are you doing with my daughter?’
I asked Alex why her father would call me at this hour.
‘What are you talking about? My dad’s dead.’ She gave out a laugh.”
*****”Once, when I was a teenager, I was waiting at an abandoned gas station in downtown Akron to meet a dealer to buy some weed. This was in about 1993 or 1994, so payphones were still functional and in pretty common use.
As I was waiting, the payphone in the parking lot started ringing. Bear in mind, it was at about sunset on the outskirts of downtown and not another single person was around. Out of curiosity, I picked it up. The man on the other line asked, ‘Is this Chad?’ My name isn’t Chad so I said no.
The man ignored me and said, ‘Chad, I want you to do bad things to me.’ I stated again that I wasn’t Chad and asked him what he wanted, if he knew where he was calling, etc. He ignored me again and went into very explicit and specific detail about all the things he wanted Chad to do to him sexually.
I was laughing and told him again that I wasn’t Chad. Finally, he said he knew for sure I was Chad and described to me what Chad looks like. He described me perfectly down to the color of my shirt and what type of shoes I was wearing. I immediately hung up and looked around. There was nobody, I mean not a single person, around. I got into my car and got the fuck out of there.”
The Blood Countess. A fierce and chilling name given to Elizabeth Bathory, a noblewoman who lived in 16th century Slovakia. Claimed to have tortured and murdered hundreds of young, beautiful girls. Why? Because she had cruel, sadistic tendencies. Plus, drinking and bathing in the blood of virgins maintained her beauty and youth.
Stories circulated about the Blood Countess may sound like a sensationalized Hollywood horror script. Yet, these stories do have some historical context. So, what is the real story behind the infamous Blood Countess? Has her supposed cruelty left behind any paranormal stains on the places she committed her heinous crimes?
Elizabeth was born into a prominent, Hungarian family in 1560. Her birth into nobility gained her a high social status, excellent education, wealth and power. Elizabeth was engaged at a young age, likely for political reasons, and was married at 15. She wed Count Ferenc Nádasdy, another noble born, wealthy Hungarian. Interestingly, since Elizabeth was higher born than her husband she retained her famed last name, Bathory.
After the wedding, the new couple received Čachtice Castle as a gift. Soon Elizabeth moved in and engaged in routine torture of her servants. Supposedly, Elizabeth’s new husband supported this habit. To the extent, he even had torture chambers fitted to her specifications in tunnels and rooms running directly below the castle.
It wasn’t until after Nádasdy’s death in 1604 that the rumors of Elizabeth’s torture and murderous behavior truly escalated. Čachtice Castle saw an influx of young peasant girls, lured there with the promise of well-paid work. These young girls wouldn’t survive long after meeting with the Blood Countess though.
The torture methods and death details of these girls were varied. They were burned with heated iron rods, pierced through the lips with needles, had fingernails removed and received beatings. More elaborate stories of the Blood Countess’ depravity also exist. Some say she would bite hunks of flesh from the girls. Furthermore, some victims were left to freeze in harsh weather and others covered in honey to be feasted upon by insects.
The bloodlust and vampire-like behavior of Elizabeth Bathory supposedly developed during these torture sessions. The blood from one of Elizabeth’s victim’s once hit her hand during torture. She noticed her skin had been rejuvenated in the following days, with the skin in that area tightening. Following this, drinking and bathing in her victim’s blood became common practice.
The depraved nature of these crimes and their sheer scale meant it was just a matter of time before they were noticed. In 1610 Čachtice Castle was raided and the Blood Countess was caught red-handed in the act of murder. Elizabeth soon stood trial for her accused crimes. Hundreds testified against her, recounting tales of torture, murder and providing estimated death tolls. Though widely debated, Elizabeth Bathory is rumored to have murdered anywhere between 36 and 650 individuals. Securing her a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the most prolific female serial killer ever documented.
The Blood Countess trial saw Bathory’s accomplices executed, yet Bathory herself spared. Her sentence was one of house arrest, likely chosen to prevent backlash for killing a noblewoman. Elizabeth spent the rest of her years bricked up inside a tower at Čachtice Castle. Fed and provided water through a small opening in the bricks. She was to die within the castle in 1614.
The tales of the notorious Blood Countess are widespread and have been solidified in pop-culture. However, her crimes are probably sensationalized. Stories specific to her vampire-like tendencies didn’t appear for many years after her trial and death.
There are some theories which suggest that envious men may have created the Blood Countess legends. Believed to be in attempts to overthrow such a powerful woman, not common in that day and age. The political inclinations driving Bathory’s arrest seem fitting with the social climate of that era. Elizabeth Bathory having been captured red-handed, also remains an unsubstantiated tale.
In reality, Elizabeth Bathory was likely not a murderous vampire. This hasn’t halted superstitious tales of the paranormal forming around her legacy. There are many ghost stories that exist about the Blood Countess and her past dwellings. Some of which have even become popular destinations for paranormal investigators.
One property in the heart of Vienna is famed for housing ghosts of Elizabeth Bathory’s past. The Countess herself supposedly lived within this property for quite some time. She had traveled to Vienna to be with her husband while he studied.
It is here, that the Blood Countess murder rampage supposedly started. The luring of young women to this property occurred from the local market. Death and torture did not occur in this house on quite the scale it did in contrast to Čachtice Castle. Though, many still believe stains of torment have become ingrained upon the house.
It would make sense that Čachtice Castle is a place with a few ghost stories to tell. After all, it was the place that the majority of the Blood Countess’ torture and murder was carried out. It was also Elizabeth’s prison and place of death. Many people have claimed to experience paranormal activity within this stunning mountaintop ruin. There have been countless sightings of apparitions. These are sometimes formed of black mist or described as transparent humans. Some claim to have witnessed young ladies crying, believed to be torture victims. Many more have encountered a spirit, sometimes described as being faceless, thought to be Elizabeth Bathory.
Whether there is any truth behind these gruesome tales, Elizabeth Bathory has certainly left behind quite a legacy. Her case is an interesting and mysterious one that we may never fully understand. Maybe Elizabeth’s ghost would have something to say about the tales of the Blood Countess?
DOROTHY KILLGALLEN MURDER
Journalism can be a dangerous job, especially investigative journalism. History has documented numerous reporters who were kidnapped or murdered because of knowledge they may have possessed, and some theorists believe one of them is Dorothy Kilgallen, an American journalist and TV game show personality who died of an alleged drug overdose in 1965.
Kilgallen was known for being a panelist on the TV show What’s My Line?, along with the “Voice of Broadway,” a newspaper column she began writing in 1938. At its height, Kilgallen’s column appeared in over 140 newspapers in the United States. Her articles mostly centered around celebrity gossip and show business, but one of her final research projects involved both politics and crime – the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. While investigating the case, however, Kilgallen passed, leaving many to speculate whether there was more to her death.
No one has ever proved anything other than what the autopsy claimed, but one modern lawyer and author, Mark Shaw, has taken it upon himself to investigate her life and death. Was Dorothy Kilgallen slain or was it merely a case of an accidental overdose? Shaw claims there may have been foul play and something more sinister than an OD, and is committed to opening a broader investigation into the mysterious story. Kilgallen may have been the journalist who knew too much – and paid the price for it.
Kilgallen’s last day alive was a typical one. She spent the day and most of the evening working on the panel of the CBS TV show What’s My Line? in New York. After filming, she went to the Regency Hotel bar for a drink before heading home. She returned to the apartment she shared with her husband, and he reported later she had been in good spirits. Kilgallen went to bed shortly after arriving home, but did not sleep in the same room as her husband.
On the morning of November 8, 1965, 52-year-old Killgallen was found dead by her hairdresser and a maid in her townhouse. She was sitting up in bed, still wearing makeup, false eyelashes, and a flower in her hair from the previous night.
Autopsy results claimed Kilgallen died from a fatal combination of alcohol and prescription pills. Many assumed the autopsy results meant Kilgallen had a secret substance abuse problem, which tainted her posthumous reputation. Others believed something else entirely may have happened; after all, Kilgallen was known to take an investigative approach to her journalism, and many posited her research could have ended her life.
Legal analyst and author Mark Shaw published a book about Kilgallen’s death in 2016, The Reporter Who Knew Too Much. Through the use of the Freedom of Information Act, Shaw obtained several previously unreleased documents, including lab results from Kilgallen’s autopsy report.
While the initial report stated Kilgallen had Seconal in her system, a sleeping pill prescribed to her by a doctor, the lab report also claimed she had two additional barbiturates in her system: Tuinal and Nembutal.
Another curious discovery Shaw made was a statement in the autopsy’s lab reports regarding a powdery substance found on the glass beside Kilgallen’s bed. Shaw believes the existence of the powder residue on the glass proves someone drugged Kilgallen’s drink.
Neither the discovery of additional drugs in her system nor the powdered substance near her drink conclusively proves Kilgallen was murdered. But for Shaw, the revelations certainly put her alleged OD in a new light.
In addition to Kilgallen’s complete autopsy paperwork, Mark Shaw obtained an FBI file on her which revealed she was under FBI surveillance at the time of her death. The notes in the file referenced Kilgallen’s trip to Florida to interview Cuban exiles about their negative opinions on Fidel Castro – a controversial move at the time.
Additionally, the FBI had notes covering Kilgallen’s research on John F. Kennedy’s death, as well as her reporting on the trial of Jack Ruby, the Texas nightclub owner who fatally shot Lee Harvey Oswald. In fact, Kilgallen published Ruby’s court testimony before it was made public to anyone and that reportedly upset FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
Kilgallen was perhaps the first known journalist to write about the alleged John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe affair. Her article published August 3, 1962; two days later, Monroe was found dead from an alleged OD. Following Monroe’s death, Kilgallen began publicly questioning the autopsy report, believing there was more to the story.
Coincidentally, Kilgallen passed three years later in the same manner. One of the details of Monroe’s death that Kilgallen questioned was the light left on in Monroe’s bedroom.
Kilgallen wrote, “If she were just trying to get to sleep, and took the overdose of the pills accidentally, why was the light on? Usually, people sleep better in the dark.”
When Kilgallen’s body was discovered in her townhome, the light was also on in her room.
Throughout the late ’40s, Kilgallen and singer Frank Sinatra appeared together in public photographs on several occasions. But in 1956, Kilgallen wrote a multi-part feature story titled “The Real Frank Sinatra Story,” which delved into Sinatra’s private life with a long list of his many romances.
Sinatra took the story very personally and began going out of his way to speak ill of Kilgallen publicly. He attacked her appearance, referring to her as “the chinless wonder” and comparing her to a chipmunk. Sinatra even went so far as to send her a tombstone.
Kilgallen believed Louisiana crime boss Carlos Marcello had something to do with the Kennedy assassination. In fact, right before her death, she mentioned to friends and colleagues that she had a trip planned to New Orleans to speak with an informant and had discovered Marcello was working with Oswald.
If Kilgallen made the connection that Marcello was involved in Kennedy’s death, she was not the only one. The House Select Committee on Assassinations went against the Warren Commission in 1979, reporting Oswald had not acted alone in the murder. Moreover, they expressed that Marcello “had the motive, means, and opportunity to plan and execute a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.”
Investigative author Mark Shaw theorized that Kilgallen’s research and intentions of writing a tell-all book terrified Marcello, and gave him reason to have her killed. Shaw also believes Marcello probably burned Kilgallen’s research file on Kennedy’s death.
One of the last people to allegedly see Kilgallen alive was Katherine Stone. A contestant on What’s My Line?, Stone was at the Regency Hotel bar after work. While at the bar, Stone witnessed Kilgallen having a private conversation with a “mystery man.”
Following his investigation decades after Kilgallen’s death, Mark Shaw later claimed the man was Ron Pataky, a journalist from Ohio who was friends with Kilgallen, and alleged the two were possibly having an affair while Pataky leaked information about John F. Kennedy’s assassination to Kilgallen.
Shaw also thinks Pataky may ultimately have been responsible for Kilgallen’s death, as Pataky wrote somewhat cryptic – but arguably gloating – poems about Kilgallen after her death. One of the poems, titled “Never Trust a Stiff at a Typewriter,” included the line, “Somebody who’s dead could tell no tales.” In another poem, “Vodka Roulette,” there’s a drawing of a bartender making drinks with Pataky’s caption, “Make one of ’em poison.”
When confronted with Shaw’s theory, Pataky stated he never had an affair with Kilgallen and was not at the hotel bar the night before her death. Pataky also claimed he loved Killgallen dearly.
Kilgallen was a woman to be reckoned with during the ’50s. She was a professional businesswoman juggling several successful careers, along with being a wife and mother. She was considered an A-list celebrity and was known for throwing lavish parties at her home with guests including Jayne Mansfield and Beatles member George Harrison.
Kilgallen made the modern equivalent of millions of dollars annually and was well-respected in her line of work. Ernest Hemingway once referred to her as “the greatest woman writer in the world.”
Because of her coverage of the infamous Dr. Sam Sheppard murder trial, some claimed Kilgallen was solely responsible for getting Sheppard’s murder conviction overturned. She revealed the presiding judge had called her into his chambers, asking her for an autograph and telling her that Sheppard was “guilty as hell.”
Kilgallen had her own prestigious career, but she married a prominent man, as well. Richard “Dick” Kollmar worked as a radio personality, television and film actor, and Broadway producer. The couple married on April 6, 1940, and eventually had three children.
Kollmar and Kilgallen even worked together on a radio show they ran from their home, Breakfast with Dorothy and Dick.
Since Kilgallen was a person of many talents, an interviewer once asked her about her favorite career, to which she replied, “My first love is the newspaper, and always will be.” Journalism may have run through her veins, considering her father, James Kilgallen, was a well-known reporter with a career spanning 75 years.
James began working for Chicago newspapers at just 15 years old before moving to New York to work for Hearst Headline Service.
While Mark Shaw was writing his book about Kilgallen and gathering information which he feels points to foul play, he contacted numerous individuals, including the New York District Attorney’s office, the Attorney General, and the governor of New York. Shaw has posted all of his correspondences online, hoping to garner attention and encourage an official investigation into Kilgallen’s death.
In addition to his research, autopsy analysis, book, and speaking engagements, Shaw is bringing rare attention to the case. In a 2016 interview, Shaw stated, “Murder is murder whether it happened five days or 50 years ago… Victims have rights, and Dorothy was denied hers because there was no investigation.”
Kilgallen’s file pertaining to the John F. Kennedy assassination has never been found. Mark Shaw believes it was destroyed: “Whoever decided to silence Dorothy, I believe, took that file and burned it.”
Amateur sleuth Gene Bryant has also done a fair amount of research into Kilgallen’s death. He claims her body contained a high dosage of nicotine, as noted in her autopsy. But this is mysterious, he says, because “she didn’t smoke. We found out nicotine can be injected, which could have caused a heart attack.”
Bryant also claims it was six hours after Kilgallen’s death before any detectives arrived. And Bryant says detective Jack Doyle, who worked the case, didn’t believe the overdose story.
Others who have studied the issue agree that Kilgallen’s death was too strange and coincidentally timed to be anything but intentional.
Up in the cold, northern reaches of Japan is the nation’s second largest island, Hokkaido. Known for its spectacular natural vistas and picturesque scenery, it is perhaps not a place one would at first associate in any way with haunted locales and ghouls and ghosts. Yet here in the rural town of Bibai, nestled among the beautiful vistas and right up against the Lake Miyajima wetland lies the creepy and enigmatic ruins of a former schoolhouse that has accrued a sinister reputation as one of the most haunted, weirdest places in Japan.
The building itself was apparently built back in 1906, and was designed in a distinctive round shape from which it earns its simple nickname “The Round Schoolhouse.” From the 1940s up until the 1970s it was used as an elementary school, after which it was closed for unknown reasons and simply left there where it stood to fall into ruin. Rather creepily, the structure seems to have been left as is, with tables and desks still set up collecting dust in the crumbling structure, all lined up as if expecting students that will never come. This would have once been a place of children playing and laughing, yet now the surrounding grounds have become a thick tangle of overgrown brush that hungrily surround the building, the playground buried in forest growth to poke forth like the skeleton of some half-buried prehistoric beast, and any road that led there was long ago devoured by the forest, making the only way to reach it on foot from the nearest road.
Dark rumors and stories sprang up almost immediately after the closing of the school, beginning with locals claiming that the woods in the vicinity were haunted by bobbing, mysterious lights and half-glimpsed shadowy figures, and the night often pierced by disembodied screams as well as other less discernible anomalous noises. Additionally, there were rumors of several children who had gone out to play in these woods to never come back. It was not long before these phenomena and rumors were linked to the abandoned former school house, and things would get spookier still.
Through the late 70s and 80s the Round Schoolhouse became a popular place to go to try and see ghosts, and by all accounts it was absolutely infested with them. Frightened trespassers to the site would come back with terrifying tales of encountering all manner of supernatural phenomena on the school grounds or within its dilapidated building, and it has steadily become increasingly well-known on into later years as an absolute hotspot for the paranormal. Paranormal investigators who have been there consistently put this location in top ten lists of Japan’s most haunted places, and there have been Japanese spirit mediums who have been so overwhelmed with negative spiritual energy here that they refuse to come back. Japanese videos on YouTube of macabre adventure seekers in the ruins have also become quite popular, whether they show anything paranormal or not, and the legend of the haunted Round Schoolhouse of Bibai has surged.
Even above and beyond talk of hauntings, more sinister rumors tell of people going off to explore the ruins only to disappear without a trace, and stories abound of abandoned cars found on the nearby road, their occupants said to have gone off towards the schoolhouse to never return. Perhaps worse yet are those said to have come back completely stark raving insane, driven over the brink of madness by whatever it was they had seen in that forsaken place. Stories of the missing or of people going mad at the Round Schoolhouse are very persistent on Japanese paranormal sites, with comments of witnesses common.
While much of the information on the Round Schoolhouse is rather ambiguous and murky as to its veracity, there have been a few accounts that I have tracked down that seem particularly interesting. By far one of the oddest reports I have seen was of a group of three curiosity seekers who one day in 1998 went off to the ruins to poke around, and seem to have gotten way more than they bargained for somewhere in the bowels of that old, darkened building. It started innocently enough, when the group of friends decided to make a trip out to the place after hearing some of the many scary stories about the place. They parked their car along the lonely road and began their trek through out the forest and its tangle of trees towards the main building.
Once there, the main witness claims that they were almost immediately overcome by a clinging, unsettling cold, and that they sensed that they were being watched from the shadows by an unseen force that seemed to creep along following them. This was followed by a series of escalating paranormal experiences, such as items being knocked over, doors slammed shut, and most frightening of all the startled shout of one of the friends when he was apparently aggressively shoved by some invisible entity. The longer they stayed, the more the intensity of these phenomena increased, until they got to the point where they had seen enough and made their way back outside. As they did, a black form allegedly congealed out of the shadows and followed them. The witness would say (translated by me):
*****That shadow stalked us all the way out of the building and into the woods. We couldn’t see it much as it was hiding, but we knew it was there. We could catch glimpses of it, and it made us pick up our pace. As we got closer to the car it became more visible, tangible, and more threatening. We finally got into the car and that was when something very black, large, and heavy slammed into us. It was as if a black bear had hit the car, but then it was gone without a trace, and we were alone in the forest again.*****
An even weirder account seems to suggest that there is some sort of vortex or inter-dimensional doorway within the Round Schoolhouse. This apparently happened as recently as 2000, and again involves a couple of amateur paranormal investigators, drawn to this location by all of the mysterious tales and creepy stories. Perhaps it was their mistake to come here in the evening hours, but whatever the reason they certainly came across something rather outlandish in that building.
Even as they made their way through the forest towards the schoolhouse they purportedly heard strange sounds coming from the trees, such as what sounded like someone banging on a tree with a stick, the sounds of someone snapping twigs, and what one of the witnesses swore was the sound of giggling. Things didn’t get any more normal when they reached their destination, and disembodied footsteps seemed to echo out all around them, but it was when they reached one particular room where things would take off into the truly bizarre. Here they came across a faintly glowing opening in the wall, which supposedly shimmered and rippled. The witness would say of what happened next (again my own translation):
*****We stared at this glowing patch upon the wall for several moments, and that was when something seemed to come out of it. It looked like a hunched over figure but it was impossible to see the face. Then there were others, coming out two at a time, until they were looming all around us in that dank confined space. My friend and I looked at each other and ran. He says he looked back and the glowing was gone, but those shapes. They were everywhere.*****
Unsettling to say the least, and it is not apparent what happened after that but they apparently made it out in one piece. One has to wonder just what these people saw. Was this some sort of portal? Was it all an illusion? Who knows? It does seem to fit into the idea floated around that this is a site that harbors some sort of doorway through dimensions, and that all of this is not a haunting, but rather a bleeding over of another realm into our reality. Indeed, the Round Schoolhouse has never had any particular tragedy or violent incident as far as anyone knows, so is this the result of something even stranger than ghosts? Or is this an urban legend orbited by creepy pasta tales and spooky stories? If you are ever in the vicinity of Bibai, Hokkaido, maybe you can go check it out for yourself, if you dare.
SKINFLINTS MINE ENTITY
North Carolina was home to America’s first gold rush. When John Reed discovered gold on his property in 1799, he didn’t first realize what he had. Reed’s son Conrad discovered a large, yellow rock in the creek that ran through the Reed farm. The family used the unusual stone as a doorstop until 1802, when a jeweler from Fayetteville who was passing through recognized the rock as gold and paid Reed $3.50 for it, money which Reed used to buy coffee beans and a calico dress for his wife. Later, Reed discovered that the actual retail value of the rock had been over $3,500. Reed successfully recovered $1,000 of that when the Jeweler returned to buy more rocks from him. Word of the discovery soon spread, and what had until then been a quiet corner of Cabarrus County was soon covered with prospectors from across the world.
North Carolina would remain America’s leading producer of gold until the discovery of the precious metal in California in 1848. Reed’s farm became the center of this gold fever, with the mine expanding from surface panning to shafts dug deep beneath the earth in search of lodes of ore. Labor was imported from all across the world, and expert miners from Cornwall in England were brought in to establish the operations. Apart from the expertise these men brought, the immigration was fueled in part by local labor being still heavily dependent upon slavery. There was a general fear that slaves would pocket the gold and quite sensibly use it to buy their freedom.
The Reed Gold Mine expanded, helping the growth of the nearby city of Charlotte. For nearly forty years, North Carolina supplied the U.S. Mint with a substantial portion of its gold, reaching a staggering, for the time, $11,000 in 1804 alone.
But where there’s gold, there’s greed. And where’s there’s greed, there’s violence. One property near Reed’s where gold was also found was owned by a man named McIntosh, remembered to legend as “Skinflint” McIntosh. McIntosh sough the services of an expert miner named Joe McGee, but McGee was concerned over the tight-fisted mine owner’s lack of concern for miner’s safety. McGee asked McIntosh if he took the job and died in the mine, would McIntosh pay his widow $1,000? McIntosh responded that he would pay her $2,000. And so McGee went to work for Skinflint.
One night, Joe McGee failed to return home. His wife, Jennie, rounded up his friends and formed a search party. Joe’s friends, all experienced miners, searched all of Skinflint’s mine but found nothing. When several weeks passed and with her husband still missing, Jennie McGee approached McIntosh, demanding the promised payment of $2,000. Skinflint told the woman that her husband had run off on her, and slammed the door in the woman’s face.
Soon after, McGee’s friend Shaun heard a knocking on his cabin door late one night. When he opened the door, he was startled to see a ghastly apparition, a specter that spoke to him in the voice of Joe McGee.
The ghost told him that McIntosh had cut costs on building the mine, and had used unsafe green timbers to secure the shaft. McGee’s specter told Shaun exactly where to look in the mine where the timbers had given way and he had died in the cave-in. And then, the ghost asked if McIntosh had paid Jennie the money. When Shaun said no, the ghost wailed and said “I’ll haunt that mine of his forever”, and disappeared into the night.
The next day, Shaun led a party back into the mine and uncovered Joe’s body just where the ghost told him it would be. Shaun and his friends formed a well-armed delegation and confronted McIntosh, who confessed he had known of Joe’s death and concealed it from the miner’s widow. McIntosh paid Jennie the promised $2,000.
After this, McIntosh could not find anyone willing to work for him. Some say it was because of his disregard for the worker’s safety. Others say it was because of the terrifying white figure that would appear, wailing, deep in the mine. Skinflint McIntosh died a poor man, and some say that the ghost of Skinflint’s mine can still be seen to this day.
STRANGE THINGS BELOW LONDON
The U.K.’s famous London Underground serves commuters traveling throughout Greater London, as well as select parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, and Essex. It can also claim the title of the world’s oldest underground system of its type, given that it opened up for business on January 10, 1863. It’s the longest – as well as certainly the oldest – sub-surface railway system on the planet. Moreover, in 2007, one-billion passengers were recorded as having used the Underground since 1863.
According to a number of select souls, however, the London Underground has played host to far more than mere tracks, trains and a near-endless number of travelers. Deep within the winding tunnels of this sub-surface labyrinth, bizarre and terrible things – many of a “wild man” variety – are rumored to seethe and fester, and possibly even feed too. And British authorities are doing all they can to keep the lid on the chaos and carnage that threatens to spread deep below the streets of the nation’s historic capital city. We’re talking about conspiracies of the underground type.
Stories of strange creatures – many of a definitively cryptozoological nature – lurking in the London Underground have circulated for years, and chiefly in fictional, on-screen format. Such examples include (a) the 1967 production of Quatermass and the Pit, in which bizarre, mutated and diminutive ape men – who were the subject of advanced genetic experiments, undertaken millions of years earlier, by visiting Martians – appear in the London Underground of the 1960s in the form of spectral, manifested, inherited memories; (b) The Web of Fear – a Dr. Who adventure that surfaced in the following year, 1968, that sees the doctor and his comrades doing battle with robotic yetis on the Underground; (c) An American Werewolf in London – a 1981 film in which the beast of the title feasts on a doomed, late night rail traveler; and (d) Reign of Fire, a 2002 production starring Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey, that revolves around literal fire-breathing dragons burst forth from the old tunnels of the Underground and decimate Britain, and, eventually, the rest of the planet, too.
Some of the older tales of creature-like entities prowling the tunnels under London were incorporated into a less well known, fictionalized movie. Its name: Death Line. Made in 1972, it starred horror film stalwarts Christopher Lee and Donald Pleasance. Then, there is the matter of a man named Colin Campbell.
Campbell maintains that while traveling home on the London Underground in the mid-1960s, he had a nightmarish encounter with a very strange beast. According to Campbell, it was late at night and, rather surprisingly, he was the only person to get off the train at its scheduled stop on the Northern Line. As the train pulled away from the unusually deserted and deathly and eerily silent platform, and as Campbell made his way towards the exit, he claims to have heard a strange growl coming from behind him. He quickly spun around and was shocked to see a large, hairy ape-like animal lumbering across the platform towards the track, and seemingly mumbling to itself and no-one else as it did so.
Most bizarre of all, however, the beast was definitively spectral, rather than flesh and blood. Around three-quarters of its body were above the platform, while its legs were curiously near-transparent and, incredibly, passed right through the platform. Campbell further asserts that as he stood in awe, too shocked to even try to move, the beast continued to walk through the concrete, right onto the tracks, and then straight through the wall directly behind the tunnel – all the time paying absolutely no attention to Campbell in the slightest.
Are savage, devolved humans really living – in literal cannibalistic-style – deep under London? And are the old tunnels actually home to ghostly ape men of the type encountered by Colin Campbell back in the 1960s? I’m inclined to suspect that Campbell’s saga was his idea of a joke. After all, he admits he’s a big fan of the BBC show, Dr. Who. Enough said? Probably: the Yeti angle is, for me, a clincher. Those who are excited by tales of strange creatures roaming around deep below London, however, might suggest otherwise.
Last week I posted a quick episode simply talking about a problem I was having with prescriptions not being filled. Because of that, my depression was coming back with a vengeance, and my headaches and vertigo had also returned. I wanted to be open with all of you about what was happening to me in order to explain why I was posting archive episodes as opposed to new content. I didn’t really expect people to send me their thoughts and prayers when I posted that – but boy did they. While many people listen to Weird Darkness just for the stories, there are a lot of people who take the label of “Weirdo family member” to heart – and I just wanted to share some of the really nice messages people sent to me over the past few days.
(Email) Hi Darren – Much as I love the spooky stories and strange tales, that pales in comparison with the importance of our good health and wellbeing. Just listened to you explain your overcoming your meds’ challenge. Important that you know there are a lot of people out here whom you will never meet but who value you and what you do. Keep at it and just don’t be afraid to call out to your friends when you need to. – Campbell
(Email) Hi Darren! – Newish listener here who has binged your entire podcast in the last three months. Today’s update from you was by far the best podcast episode. Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story especially about the meds! As both a mental health professional and someone with mental illness, I really appreciate your courage to share your story. Talking about mental health helps to reduce stigma and encourages other people to get help. I wanted to send you lots of love and light during this difficult time. I’ve gone cold turkey off anti depressants and know the crazy brain zaps and other terrible symptoms you must be feeling. Thank you for always talking about recovery and mental health and normalizing it. Take good care of yourself!– Jin from LA
(Email) Hi, Darren – I am glad to see “new” posts. I hope that means you are feeling better. You are not alone in experiencing these dark episodes. Prayers to you and thanks for all the joy you bring me through your work. Your Friend and weirdo family member –Kat
(Email) Darren, I am a little behind and just heard your podcast from Tuesday about running out of meds and stuff. I know exactly how that feels as it has happened before to me. I wish I could help more, but at least please take my number – (REDACTED) – and call me any time you are struggling or need to talk or anything at all. Day or night, I don’t care. If you need me, call. Hang in there. Your podcast is so important to me, but your health takes priority, so don’t worry about anything. Live in the safe place created around you by all of us that understand and are on your side. It’s gonna be ok! – Sincerely, Matthew
(Email) Good morning Mr. Marlar, I just listened to your Podcast. You have offered me support with my attempts to grow as a writer and perhaps become a podcaster so please allow me to offer you support and prayers as you work through this difficult time. Our youngest son, Matthew, is autistic and we truly understand how important medication is to being healthy and happy. Prayers from CT heading up in your name my friend for you and your family. Come back when you are ready and we will ALL be waiting for you! Blue Skies Always! –Roger
(Email) Hi Darren, I just listened to your message on the Weird Darkness podcast regarding the issues you are going through right now with your meds. I don’t really do Facebook much, so I just felt compelled to send you a quick message to let you know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. I suffer from depression too. I’ve never run out of my meds, but I remember what it was like for me before I was diagnosed and started medication, about 16 months ago. I had a hard time concentrating and made lots of mistakes at work (which was not a good thing, as I do accounting and data processing.) The stress over that and my boss being upset with me just made everything worse! I am so glad to hear that you have a supportive boss and that your job isn’t causing you more stress at this difficult time! Anyway, thank you for letting us know about your struggles. Hang in there! It will get better soon. Thank you so much for this podcast! And don’t worry about having to post archive episodes… I like them just as much! Many of them I haven’t heard yet, but I like to listen to them even if I have already heard them. I always seem to hear something I missed before. Take care of yourself, and let your family and loved ones take care of you as well. Wishing you all the best –Tami
(Email) Hi there Darren. Just listened to your latest post regarding your medication issues. Just wanted to let you know (and l know all other ‘weirdo’s’ will agree) that we value you and your health over what you provide us with…meaning that we love your podcast but care about you more. Please don’t pressure yourself to submit stuff if you’re not up to it but we would all value updates on your health. Take care of yourself and best regards from sunny (yeah right!) Scotland! –Barry
(Email) Hey Darren, I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that I am thinking of you. I don’t know how I stumbled across your podcast, but I am so happy I have. My family has a strong history of mental illness. So I get your anxiety and panic about your medicine. Running out or adjustments are terrifying. My oldest son Levi took his life 10/09/17. He battled hard but bullying and depression was too much for him. We are all heartbroken and I don’t want anyone to have to go through it. It was soon after his passing that I found your podcast. I so much appreciate you speaking out about depression and mental health. The stigma really needs to be removed and there needs to be better mental health options. There also needs to be better options for employees to take time for mental health without having to lose a job over it. More employers need to take note from yours. So thank you from the bottom of my heart because it’s people like you who have a voice and can reach out to a greater audience. Thank you, thank you. Take time for you and get better. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that your meds get there asap and that it kicks in quick! –Jill
This next email is the last one I’ll share in this episode – and I saved it for last because it truly hit me when I received it. You’ll understand once I read the email to you.
(Email GIANT) Dear Mr. Marlar, Do you believe in the butterfly effect? Or that there are no coincidences. Do you believe that truly, everything happens for a reason? I believe that all the roads, happy chances, sad incidences, loved and lost moments that you, and I have had to endure in our lives lead us to one deciding moment in time. An immediate realization for me, and until you read this, an unknowing moment for you. Really, to those who don’t experience, and or refuse to understand the horror of mental illness, may think me stupid or that I am exaggerating in the words to follow. However, I assure you Mr. Marlar that even these words will not be enough to express what I truly feel. Or how extremely grateful I am that you exist. Well, about a month ago my depression and BPD had hit an all time low. All the many joys and loved ones I have in life couldn’t keep me grounded or see that I did in fact have reasons to continue to breath. None of my family knew that for years and years daily I make a hard, life altering decision. Everyday I wake I sit up and zone into nothing facing my wall flighting back tears that threaten to flood over my face. And in not so many ways I make a choice.the choice to or not to go on living. To not give in to the weighted brace around my heart that pulls me in deeper onto a path of no return. Some days are easier then others. And I assure you that this is something I cannot control. It’s not like some sick OCD thing I have to ask myself or I can’t start my day. It’s not always a form of a question or whatever. well I’m not exactly sure how to explain what it is. That’s just to the best of my abilities how in this moment, I can describe to you what I deal with. Do you understand? Lol I hope so if not I’m sure I sound crazy. I’m not crazy I promise. There are different ways I deal with this illness. The biggest most comforting and life saving way is I listen to scary stories, creepy pasta, historical true crime stories and all things related non stop on YouTube everyday. I have it on auto play, playing in the background as the theme music of my life. I cannot live in silence Mr Marlar. In the silence I will die left alone in my thoughts. I thankfully can do this because my husband and I own our own business and I do the hr and what not from home. Also I am an artist and writer so I get to enjoy and sell my talent from home. (Side note, I’m listening to one of your videos as I write this lol) Back on topic and I’ll try to make the rest of this shorter. So, about a month ago as I mentioned, all time low, I by chance happened to click on one of your videos. I was thrown off my auto pilot because of it. Why? Well I have YouTube red so no commercials right. So when your video started I heard you talking about my pillow. So wondering why I was hearing an ad of sort I picked my phone up with the intention of figuring out what was wrong. When I gazed upon my screen I seen it was not an ad and part of your video. I then seen the name WEIRD DARKNESS. “what a good name! ” I thought to myself. “Wow that’s a great narrating voice.” Then like some saving rope thrown to a near drowning person, your ad on depression came on. I started crying. I cried like someone just ran over my dog after horribly subbing my toe. I couldn’t believe that there was someone out there who believed so much in helping others with depression. I clicked on another of your videos and heard it again. Another and another, and again and again, there it was. Smack dab right in front of me was the guiding hand that I needed to help me get through this all. I thought to myself, I bet he didn’t know when he posted this video that he would stop a 34 year old woman from ending her life. That he would unknowing give her the tools to find a way out of this darkness. Slowly but surely I will, and I thank you so much for believing in what you do and put out there for everyone to hear. Since that day I’ve watched prob all of your videos more then once because you have the best set up on your videos. They keep the listeners drawn in with the interesting stories and great narrating voice. Well, I know I’ve taken too much of your time so I’ll end it here. I actually have allot of scary and strange experiences with ghost, spirits, demons or whatever you would call it that have happened to me and my family I’d love to share with you sometime. Maybe I’ll send them one day. Thank you again–Aurora …. PS here are some pics. One of myself and my son and husband. If it wasn’t for you, they would have lost a mommy and wife.
*****Here is my reply to Aurora: Wow. Just… wow. I really don’t know what to say in response to such a beautiful email. You have truly hit me with a sledgehammer, and that’s why I’ve waited some time to reply. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that God has somehow used this podcast to bring you hope and life. I’ll be sharing this email on the podcast tonight, but nothing I could say about your words would be enough. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Never did I expect my podcast would have this kind of effect on people – but so so many have reached out to me, thanking me for showing how depression is not something to be ashamed of or keep silent. But you are the first to share that the podcast has given you the strength to keep on living – literally. So I need to thank YOU for being so open about your own struggles. In doing so, you’ve revitalized my purpose on this planet.