“GRUMBLETHORPE” and 5 More True Creepy Stories! #WeirdDarkness
If you like the podcast, please leave a review in the podcast app you listen from, and share a link to the podcast on Facebook and Twitter to invite others to become Weirdos too!
Listen to ““GRUMBLETHORPE” and 5 More True Creepy Stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.
IN THIS EPISODE: It’s fairly rare to come across a ghost story with a relatively happy ending–where the living are able to accommodate the dead, and even provide them with assistance. But one such story happened in 1957. (The Ashes and Ghost of Elizabeth Bullock) *** Imagine being born without arms or legs. How would you manage? How would you live your life? People have, of course, been born this way – but two very interesting men not only made the best of it they could – but they made the rest of the world take notice! (No Arms, No Legs, Lots of Everything Else) *** The bloodstain remains on the floor to this day—and several witnesses have claimed to see a black mist materialize from the spot and glide through the house. We’ll look at a haunted home in Pennsylvania that goes by the name Grumblethorpe. (Grumblethorpe) *** We’ve all had a trick of the light make it appear something was on the other side of a window, only for us to change angles and the image would disappear – but what if the image doesn’t, and you know it can’t be there? (Creepy Floaty Faced Thing) *** Witnesses say they have seen people vanish into thin air. Drivers and motorists saw a young woman suddenly materialize in front of their vehicles. There are some strange things being seen around Blue Bell Hill in Kent, United Kingdom. (Mysterious Sightings at Blue Bell Hill) *** Murdered in Montana in 1983, Marie Philbrick was killed in the days before DNA analysis. Bernard Pease Jr. was convicted of her murder, but was he really her killer? (The Murder Trial of Bernard Pease, Jr.) *** There was a time where being physically fit wasn’t just good for your heart health and good lungs – but also good for your head. If you could beat the executioner in a foot race, you could avoid the guillotine! (Racing The Executioner)
TRANSCRIPT FOR THIS EPISODE…
(Scroll to bottom of blog post):
STORY AND MUSIC CREDITS/SOURCES…
(Note: Over time links can and may become invalid, disappear, or have different content.)
“Racing The Executioner” by Karl Smallwood for Today I Found Out: https://tinyurl.com/y7fxu9nc
“The Ashes and Ghost of Elizabeth Bullock” is from Strange Company: https://tinyurl.com/yblx8jfm
“Grumblethorpe” by Gary Sweeney for The Line Up: https://tinyurl.com/yc2huonk
“Creepy Floaty Faced Thing” by Bettina Marie for Your Ghost Stories: https://tinyurl.com/yc3knz8c
“Mysterious Sightings at Blue Bell Hill” by Cynthia McKanzie for Message to Eagle: https://tinyurl.com/ya6uyoj6
“No Arms, No Legs, Lots of Everything Else” by Marc Hartzman for Weird Historian: https://tinyurl.com/yd25d8my,https://tinyurl.com/yap32pr4
“The Murder Trial of Bernard Pease, Jr.” by Barney Doyle for Crime Traveller: https://tinyurl.com/ycjwxdmu
Weird Darkness opening and closing theme by Alibi Music Library. Background music, varying by episode, provided by Alibi Music, EpidemicSound and/or AudioBlocks with paid license; Shadows Symphony (http://bit.ly/2W6N1xJ), Midnight Syndicate (http://amzn.to/2BYCoXZ), and/or Nicolas Gasparini/Myuu (https://www.youtube.com/user/myuuji) used with permission.
MY RECORDING TOOLS…
* MICROPHONE (Neumann TLM103): http://amzn.to/2if01CL
* POP FILTER (AW-BM700): http://amzn.to/2zRIIyK
* XLR CABLE (Mogami Gold Studio): http://amzn.to/2yZXJeD
* MICROPHONE PRE-AMP (Icicle): http://amzn.to/2vLqLzg
* SOFTWARE (Adobe Audition): http://amzn.to/2vLqI6E
* HARDWARE (iMac Pro): https://amzn.to/2suZGkA
I always make sure to give authors credit for the material I use. If I somehow overlooked doing that for a story, or if a credit is incorrect, please let me know and I’ll rectify it the show notes as quickly as possible.
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” — John 12:46
Find out how to escape eternal darkness at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IYmodFKDaM
WeirdDarkness™ – is a registered trademark. Copyright ©Weird Darkness 2020.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
While you’re listening, you might want to check out the Weird Darkness website. At WeirdDarkness.com you can find transcripts of the episodes, paranormal and horror audiobooks I’ve narrated, the Weird Darkness store, streaming video of Horror Hosts and old horror movies, plus you can visit the “Hope In The Darkness” page if you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or thoughts of suicide. And if you are an artist and find inspiration through the podcast in any art form, you can submit your work to the Weirdos Art Gallery. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
Coming up in this episode of Weird Darkness…
It’s fairly rare to come across a ghost story with a relatively happy ending–where the living are able to accommodate the dead, and even provide them with assistance. But one such story happened in 1957.
Imagine being born without arms or legs. How would you manage? How would you live your life? People have, of course, been born this way – but two very interesting men not only made the best of it they could – but they made the rest of the world take notice!
The bloodstain remains on the floor to this day—and several witnesses have claimed to see a black mist materialize from the spot and glide through the house. We’ll look at a haunted home in Pennsylvania that goes by the name Grumblethorpe.
We’ve all had a trick of the light make it appear something was on the other side of a window, only for us to change angles and the image would disappear – but what if the image doesn’t, and you know it can’t be there?
Witnesses say they have seen people vanish into thin air. Drivers and motorists saw a young woman suddenly materialize in front of their vehicles. There are some strange things being seen around Blue Bell Hill in Kent, United Kingdom.
Murdered in Montana in 1983, Marie Philbrick was killed in the days before DNA analysis. Bernard Pease Jr. was convicted of her murder, but was he really her killer?
There was a time where being physically fit wasn’t just good for your heart health and good lungs – but also good for your head. If you could beat the executioner in a foot race, you could avoid the guillotine!
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
* * * * * * * * * *
Like many historical nations, the Ottoman Empire was no stranger to doling out deadly justice to criminals and those the rulers disliked. Unlike most, for several decades, starting sometime in the late 18th century, they did offer some of the condemned a chance to avoid being executed. How? They simply had to beat the palace’ head gardener in what amounted to about a 300 meter dash.
In the Ottoman Empire, the method in which people eventually came to be executed was directly related to their standing in society, as well as differing based on their sex. For example, commoners who didn’t necessarily commit a heinous enough crime to warrant one of the more painful forms of execution favored by the Ottomans, like being impaled or being hung by a jagged meat hook until dead, would simply have their heads lopped off. In contrast, higher ranking individuals, such as viziers (high-ranking ministers) and royalty, were often strangled to death either by the executioner’s bare hands, the string of a bow, or even a silk handkerchief. Once dead, the body was often cast into the sea. As for the ladies, for certain condemned high ranking women, their fate tended to be being tied up in weighted sacks and dropped into the sea while still alive.
Although being beheaded would arguably be quicker and (perhaps) a little less emotionally traumatic during the actual event, a bloodless death was seen as being cleaner and more refined, so preferred by the elite.
Numerous executions in the Ottoman Empire, whether they involved commoners or the Sultan’s own family, took place in the Topkapi palace in modern day Istanbul. This opulent residence served as the main home of the Sultan and was reportedly filled with grim reminders of the potential cost of crime or dissent, with severed heads of recently killed criminals being on display at the palace’s front gate along with piles of other severed body parts like noses, ears and tongues.
Criminals to be executed on palace grounds were only made aware of their fate on the day they were meant to be executed via means of a sweetened drink made with sherbet. The accused would customarily be presented with this drink three days after appearing in court. The color of the drink would be indicative of the court’s decision. As Professor Godfrey Goodwin of Bogazici University noted, “If it were white, he sighed with relief, but if it were red, he was in despair, because red was the color of death.”
Despite the vast number of executions that took place in the Sultan’s palace (for reference, during the brief eight year, sixteenth century reign of Sultan Selim I alone, he is estimated to have had over 30,000 people executed there), there was no official “executioner” tasked with this seemingly never-ending job. Instead, the job of carrying out these executions usually fell to one of the palace’s so-called “gardeners”, except when the person was of extremely high standing, in which case the execution would be carried out by the palace’s bostancı basha, which roughly translates to “head gardener”.
While you might think the name for these workers simply came from that they were tasked with pruning off individuals who had been deemed unfit to be members of that society, they also were charged with literal gardening in maintaining the gardens and grounds of the palace. Beyond this, they variously functioned as bodyguards, police, and security for the palace as the need arose, with several thousand “gardeners” on staff at any given time.
Now to the race. While most who were given the red sherbet would simply be killed shortly after by a gardener, particularly high ranking officials, such as Grand Viziers, still had a little hope. The head gardener was honor-bound to challenge these individuals to a foot race through the gardens to the place of execution near the Fish Market Gate on the southern side of the palace- a distance of around 300 meters. If the person was able to finish the dash before the head gardener, their sentence would be reduced from death to simple banishment.
As far as historians can tell from the known documented instances of this, very few people ever managed to defeat the bostancı basha in the race. This is perhaps not surprising as the race was heavily stacked in the executioner’s favor, considering he knew the palace grounds inside out and was more often than not in fantastic shape relative to the victim. All condemned who lost were immediately strangled upon reaching the gate.
For those exceptional few who did manage to defeat the head gardener, sometimes things worked out even better than simply being banished. For instance, the last known condemned individual to win this deadly race was Grand Vizier Hacı Salih Pasha in 1822. Partially due to the respect he gained for his reportedly “impressive” and unexpected victory, he was later pardoned and made governor general in Damascus.
It isn’t clear how this racing tradition got started, though one can speculate it perhaps was inspired by condemned individuals, or maybe even a specific individual, with nothing left to lose anyway attempting such a flight out of the palace once they received the red sherbet.
Whatever the case, the race was first reported in the late eighteenth century with evidence, such as the case of Hacı Salih Pasha, suggesting it lasted at least two decades into the nineteenth century.
* * * * * * * * * *
Standing at 5267 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia is a nondescript building with an otherworldly reputation.
In a city with so many historic landmarks, the oddly-named Grumblethorpe (said to come from a novel about a German family in England) looks like nothing more than another stone colonial structure. But tales of its spectral happenings go back over two and half centuries and continue to this day.
Grumblethorpe was built in 1744 as the summer home of John Wister (originally Wistar, but later anglicized with an e). Wister was a wine merchant in the city, and his family was prominent in Philadelphia. John’s brother, Casper, was a German-born glassmaker and one of the first German colonists in Pennsylvania. The Wisters would also become the namesake of the Wisteria plant.
Indeed, their horticultural interests were great. Grumblethorpe included several acres of plant and flower beds, and a looming Ginkgo tree which still stands. The tree is said to have grown from a seedling brought from England in 1754.
Thirty years after it was completed, Grumblethorpe became the home and headquarters of British Brigadier-General James Agnew, who was still recuperating from wounds sustained in the Battle of Brandywine. A few days after Agnew took up residence, the Battle of Germantown raged on October 4, 1777. Agnew rode into battle without support and was promptly ambushed by over 100 enemy troops. As he turned to escape, he was shot in the back. Agnew’s soldiers and his servant Alexander Andrew carried the mortally wounded leader away; they took him back to Grumblethorpe, where he bled to death on the wooden floor.
James Agnew reportedly haunts the home. The bloodstain of his death still remains on the floor of Grumblethorpe, and several witnesses have claimed to see a black mist rise from the spot and move throughout the house. Others remember standing on the spot and subsequently hearing the sound of moaning—especially on the anniversary of Agnew’s death.
But Agnew isn’t the only ethereal guest of the old house.
There’s another ghost, referred to as Justinia Hemberger. According to legend, Justinia’s father Justin died in the 1793 Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic. She was orphaned, but taken in by the Wisters before she could be displaced. She soon became the house manager. One of Justinia’s favorite pastimes was baking bread; she did so every Friday night for the purpose of distributing it to the poor on Saturday mornings.
Then late one evening in 1820, Justinia appeared to John Wister’s daughters in their bedroom. Believing that Justinia was at their other home on Market Street several miles away, the girls were a bit startled by her sudden presence. The following morning, the Wister family learned that Justinia had passed away the night before.
Ever since her death, people have insisted that her spirit lingers in Grumblethorpe and is most often seen on Friday evenings after sunset, usually accompanied by the smell of freshly baked bread. She is a friendly presence and has also been seen by many children who visit the house with their parents.
Aside from visitors, staff members at Grumblethorpe have had paranormal experiences that defy explanation. Education Director Diana Thompson recalled seeing a “black shape, low to the ground, spinning very quickly from the dining room into the Colonial parlor.” Thompson then said “I’m not in the mood for this,” after which the shape disappeared. Thompson’s son also saw the same black shape. Its description matched the entity seen near James Agnew’s blood spot.
Other staff members have claimed to see figures or eyes in the dining room mirror. Some young volunteers have admitted that their parents are too afraid to pick them up at Grumblethorpe. Volunteer Kelli Alsop recalled a particularly unnerving experience in an upstairs room. Walking through the room with two other staff members during the middle of the day, Kelli noticed their shadows cast on the floor. But she also noticed a fourth shadow that didn’t belong to anyone in the room—one that was clearly wearing a dress when everyone else was in jeans.
Despite the eerie occurrences, those who work at Grumblethorpe do not feel threatened. To the contrary, workers have learned to coexist with their otherworldly guests. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. It now operates as a museum and is open to the public.
* * * * * * * * * *
Imagine being born without arms or legs. Two very interesting men not only made the best of it they could – but they made the rest of the world take notice!
And we’ve all had a trick of the light make it appear something was on the other side of a window, but one girl learned she shouldn’t just dismiss a trick of the light so soon.
These stories and more still to come when Weird Darkness returns.
Most of you Weirdos who’ve been with me for a while know that that every June and December I take a few days to raise funds to help feed starving children and families in Haiti, Guatemala, and other areas of the Caribbean and Latin America through an organization called Food For The Poor. Food For The Poor has been essential in saving lives by providing food and clean water in the poorest areas of our world that need the most help. You’d think it couldn’t get any worse for these people, but then COVID-19 struck. Not only has the coronavirus itself struck people down, but it is also devastating the volunteers and those who were financially helping. The number of volunteers has dwindled because they are stuck in quarantine (or might be sick themselves). Donations have drastically decreased due to businesses and individual donors feeling the financial crunch and no longer being able help as they could previously. This brings Haiti and Guatemala to an emergency level it has not seen in decades. As you could probably guess, there is no government stimulus package or safety nets for these people; the threat of starvation and famine was already real, but now it’s imminent. And even the very very few who were were able to work before the virus hit, they are now forced to remain at home due to the quarantine (and they don’t have work-from-home kind of jobs like many of us do). They are forced to stay at home, with no food for their children, and no hope to earn money in order to buy food. Those who worked as street vendors or day laborers, the only jobs most could find, have no income whatsoever now. Most children received only one meal per day – and that meal was provided by the school they attend. Now those schools have also been forced to close due to the pandemic, so those children now have zero meals per day. While many parts of the modern world are slowly beginning to see some relief, Haiti and Guatemala (who were already worse off before the pandemic than we ever were during it) are now in a crisis situation – and it’s continuing to get worse. Villages could completely disappear from existence due to starvation. We can’t afford to wait until June; the need is too dire. I’m asking YOU, my Weirdo family, to join me NOW to help save lives – and while it’s an insurmountable mountain for the people in Haiti and Guatemala to overcome, it’s a drop in the bucket for most of us. All it takes is a one-time tax-deductible donation of just $37. That’s it. Just $37… given once. That single gift will feed a child in Haiti or Guatemala for a full 6-months. That sounds like science-fiction, but it is reality, thanks to the way Food For The Poor works. It buys food in bulk, uses local organizations to distribute the food, uses local volunteers to help, etc. $37 feeds a child for a full 6-months. If you can give a one-time gift of $74, you feed two children for six months. If you can’t give the full amount right now, what about pledging a small monthly gift? Feed one child for six months with a gift of just over $3/mo, or feed two kids with a gift of $7/mo. A monthly gift, a one-time gift, whatever works best for you. I just upped my giving level to $50 per month because I know how big of an emergency this is – and I’d like to challenge anyone in my Weirdo family to step up and do the same if you possibly can. But honestly, any amount makes a huge difference – so long as you give TODAY. Click the red “Emergency Food Relief” banner at WeirdDarkness.com. You can give online right now, it only takes a moment. Or if you’d rather donate by phone, the number is 855-901-4673. That’s 855-901-4673. The important thing is that you do it as soon as possible – the need is great, and the situation is that dire. We’re currently at just over 38% percent of our goal, so we still need your help greatly. Call 855-901-4673, or click the “Emergency Food Relief” banner at WeirdDarkness.com. 855-901-4673, or click the “Emergency Food Relief” banner at WeirdDarkness.com.
* * * * * * * * * *
Francis Battalia, The Stone-Eater. Charles Domery, The Remarkable Glutton. Barbara Urslerin, The Hairy-Faced Woman. Francis Trovillou, The Horned Man. And Floram Marchand, The Great Water-Spouter. These are just a few of the people James Caulfield and Henry Wilson wrote about in their aptly titled 1869 book, The Book of Wonderful Characters: Memoirs and Anecdotes of Remarkable and Eccentric Persons in All Ages and Countries.
With all due respect to the Great Water-Spouter, the Horned Man, and the others, the most wonderful, remarkable, and eccentric person Caulfield and Wilson profiled was Matthew Buchinger, the Little Man of Nuremburg.
Buchinger was born in 1674 with no limbs, only small stumps. Yet he learned to play numerous instruments, performed magic, created masterful artwork, and fathered eleven children with four wives. At 29 inches high, he was indeed a little man, but he lived large. Here is his tale:
“Of all the imperfect beings brought into the world, few can challenge, for mental and acquired endowments, anything like a comparison to vie with this truly extraordinary little man. Matthew Buchinger was a native of Nuremburg, in Germany, where he was born June 2, 1674, without hands, feet, legs, or thighs; in short, he was little more than the trunk of a man, saving two excrescences growing from the shoulder-blades, more resembling fins of a fish than arms of a man. He was the last of nine children, by one father and mother. eight sons and one daughter. After arriving at the age of maturity, from the singularity of his case, and the extraordinary abilities he possessed, he attracted the notice and attention of all persons, of whatever rank in life, to whom he was occasionally introduced.
It does not appear, by any account extant, that his parents exhibited him at any time for the purpose of emolument, but that the whole of his time must have been employed in study and practice, to attain the wonderful perfection he arrived at in drawing, and his performance on various musical instruments; the manner of general amateurs, but in the style of a finished master. He likewise possessed great mechanical powers, and conceived the design of constructing machines to play on all sorts of musical instruments.
If Nature played the niggard in one respect with him, she amply repaid the deficiency by endowments that those blessed with perfect limbs could seldom achieve. He greatly distinguished himself by beautiful writing, drawing coats of arms, sketches of portraits, history, landscapes, &c, most of which were executed in Indian ink, with pen, emulating in perfection the finest and most finished engraving. He was well skilled in most games of chance, nor could the most experienced gamester or juggler obtain the least advantage at any tricks, or game, with cards or dice.
He used to perform before company, to whom he was exhibited, various tricks with cups and balls, corn, and living birds; and could play at skittles and nine-pins with great dexterity; shave himself with perfect ease, and do many other things equally surprising in a person so deficient, and mutilated by Nature. His writings and sketches of figures, landscapes, &c., were by no means uncommon, though curious; it being customary, with most persons who went to see him, to purchase something or other of his performance; and as he was always employed in writing or drawing, he carried on a very successful trade, which, together, with the money he obtained by exhibiting himself, enabled him to support himself and family in a very genteel manner. Mr. Herbert, of Cheshunt, editor of “Ames’s History of Printing,” had many curious specimens of Buchinger’s writing and drawing, the most extraordinary of which was his own portrait, exquisitely done on vellum, in which he most ingeniously contrived to insert, in the flowing curls of the wig, the 27th, 121st, 128th, 140th, 149th, and 150th Psalms, together with the Lord’s Prayer, most beautifully and fairly written. Mr. Isaac Herbert, son of the former, while carrying on the business of a bookseller in Pall Mall, caused this portrait to be engraved, for which he paid Mr. Harding fifty guineas.
Buchinger was married four times, and had eleven children, viz., one by his first wife, three by his second, six by his third, and one by his last. One of his wives was in the habit of treating him extremely ill, frequently beating and otherwise insulting him, which for a long time he very patiently put up with; but once his anger was so much roused, that he sprang upon her like a fury, got her down, and buffeted her with his stumps within an inch of her life; nor would he suffer her to rise until she promised amendment in future, which it seems she prudently adopted, through fear of another thrashing.
Mr. Buchinger was but twenty-nine inches in height. He died in 1722.”
Imagine being born without arms or legs. How would you manage? How would you live your life? Like the famed Little Man of Nuremburg before him, Nikolai Kobelkoff learned to live just like anyone else by fully compensating with his stumps.
Kobelkoff was born on July 21, 1851 in Wossnessensk, Russia, as the fourteenth child in a family of farmers. As described in an 1888 publication called Artificial limbs, surgical appliances, etc: with illustrations of remarkable cases by James Gillingham, Kobelkoff “has the rudiments of legs—one thigh being six inches long, the other being about two inches longer—but for a right arm he has merely a conical mound, and for a left arm a rounded bone representing the humerus.”
This didn’t stop Kobelkoff from doing “many things that must be seen to be believed.” As Gillingham continued, “he can write letters, cut paper with scissors, pour water from a bottle into a glass, eat with a fork or spoon, take his watch from his pocket, open it and put it back, thread a needle, and fire a pistol!”
Such feats help Kobelkoff gain fame at fairs and on stages across Russia, Europe and America. His audiences included Tsar Alexander III, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.
“The Russian manages to make himself fairly interesting,” Gillingham wrote of his performance.
“He sits at a table, fixes a pen between his cheek and arm, and writes away in a good, clear, commercial hand. And with the same combination of cheek and shoulder he does most of the other things, the most seemingly difficult being that of feeding himself. The way he threads a needle is to take it in his mouth and stick it in his jacket, and then putting the thread in his mouth pass it through the eye. He can draw passably well, and he draws as he writes. The strangest thing is to see him load a pistol, aim it at a light candle, and shoot the light out. He even tries some acrobatic performances, but these are not very striking, consisting merely of jumping off his chair and doing a sort of sack race across the floor.”
Offstage, Kobelkoff found success as well. In 1876, he married an Austrian actress, Anna Wilfert, and fathered six children, all of whom were fully limbed. In 1900 he appeared in a short film. And in 1913 the showman built a toboggan ride at a Viennese amusement park, Wurstelprater.
Kobelkoff died on January 19, 1933 in Vienna. Ownership of the ride remained with the family until the 1970s.
* * * * * * * * * *
When I was 18 I shared a flat in Boise, Idaho’s historic Warm Springs neighborhood with two of my younger brothers. The house we lived in was old for the area, divided into our upstairs apartment and our neighbor’s below. We were smack dab between a hospital, the old Idaho State Penitentiary, and the Old Fort Boise cemetery, a few blocks or so from what is left of historic downtown Boise and the tunnels where Asian immigrants were forced to trade. Plenty of history roaming about.
We all loved that house even though it’s odd division mean that our “living room” was formerly an upstairs porch, complete with a front door and windows which opened into the main house. The porch had been closed off with more windows all along the 3 outer walls. We rallied some milk crates, a boom box, a hideous pink rescue couch, and a posh, velvety, spinning, 1970’s, thrift store rocker/recliner. We tacked up a few yards of gauze as curtains and considered ourselves smartly furnished.
The only way the couch really fit into the narrow room was along a shorter wall, facing the length of the room and three walls of windows. The rocker we put in the middle just even with the door, beneath the front set of windows. It was humble, but homey, in the way only a grubby punk bachelor pad can be.
One warm autumn day, I came home from work to find my brother’s girlfriend K waiting for him. She was sitting on the couch, so I plopped in the rocker and chucked off my shoes. It was sunny and hot and we did not say much. Just listening to music and smoking cigs. We did not know each other real well, either, so we were just kind of both awkwardly waiting for the guys to come back.
Lazy and sweaty from biking home… I was shoving the rocker slowly side to side, back and forth, pushing with my stocking feet on the windowsills. Several times as I came around the “back” side I imagined that I saw a grumpy little wrinkly face staring into the sunny upstairs window. As that is impossible, I assumed it was simply tricks of contrast or reflection and just kept rocking back around.
Then I had to stop and stare out the window. Floating away from the window and turning to my left was a clear or pale, very skinny, small, wizened figure with the face of a grumpy old person. It had like a ruffle nightcap, like Little House on the Prairie. The figure was very small, maybe two feet. It glided with its arms drawn up stiffly, gnarled fists at at chest level. It sort of clouded and trailed off at the waist. I could not even believe what I was seeing. It stared straight ahead, unhappy, so I turned away with a childish hope that it had not “seen” me. I had goosebumps all over, sitting in the sun.
I sort of mentally chastised my wild imagination and just kept sitting there quietly with K. The last thing I wanted was to make things more awkward. Then out of the blue she’s like “did you just now see that banshee behind you in the window?” It had looked sort of like the banshee in Darby O Gill. She had been watching it float outside behind me.
Freaking out, we both described seeing basically the same thing as one another. She was in tears. We went downstairs and sat outside until my brothers came home. K was still very upset, and one of our friends (army medic) treated her for shock. As far as I know, neither of us has “the sight” but she was young and troubled. I did not know then, that that age can be sort of a magnet for weird energy.
Other weird, unrelated things happened at that house. Before and after, my brothers heard footsteps in the empty kitchen on the other end of the house. They did not tell me until years later, or that at our neighbors house one could sometimes hear laughing or a party-the house had been a brothel. I don’t think what K and I saw was an actual banshee, but I cannot say if it was a ghost, or what. It was so small. Wouldn’t a person ghost be person sized? It did not seem like it was trying to get in or be seen.
* * * * * * * * * *
When Weird Darkness returns…
It’s fairly rare to come across a ghost story with a relatively happy ending–where the living are able to accommodate the dead, and even provide them with assistance. But one such story happened in 1957.
Plus, witnesses say they have seen people vanish into thin air. Drivers and motorists saw a young woman suddenly materialize in front of their vehicles. There are some strange things being seen around Blue Bell Hill!
We were really hoping things would be somewhat back to normal this month, but we’re all still social distancing and self-quarantining, so I’m going to extend the fundraiser through the rest of this month. Last month all profits from the Weird Darkness store went to the International Foundation for the Research and Education of Depression – because this COVID-19 pandemic has caused depression to skyrocket both in new cases as well as in those who were already diagnosed but struggling more now being cooped up inside – myself included. So through the rest of this month we’re continuing the fundraiser. If you purchase something from the Weird Darkness store this month, May 2020, whatever portion usually comes to me will be going to the International Foundation for Research and Education of Depression. You can check out the merchandise now by clicking on STORE at WeirdDarkness.com.
* * * * * * * * * *
Published in the “New York Times” on June 26, 1957:
***<ARTICLE BEGINS>Last September, the 125-year-old red brick house at 11 Bank st. just off Waverly Place in Greenwich Village came into the hands or Dr. Harvey Slatin, an engineer, and his wife Yeffe Kimball, an Osage woman known for her Indian paintings.
They heard from neighbors that Willa Cather had lived in the place 40 years ago, but it turned out that she had owned No. 5 Bank. They did establish that a villager who was the Noel of the novel “Marjorie Morningstar” had boarded in their place.
A Mrs. Maccario had run No. 11 as a 19-room boarding establishment for years before she sold to them, but she had not bothered much about its history.
Anyway, the Slatins, anxious to do the house over, came to amicable agreement with the roomers. The house got empty and echoey.
Now, it may seem a little contradictory, but the Slatins are sensible Bohemians. In quiet hours when they were alone or with a few friends, they thought they heard a woman’s footfalls on the steep staircases; sometimes just crossing upper floors. Sometimes there was light hammering.
The sounds were heard more often by day than at night. Dr. Slatin says, “I’d call them rather friendly sounds; a wee bit spooky, maybe, but somehow not frightening.”
When he and his spouse went up to explore, they never saw a soul. They never could work out an explanation, either.
They clocked the ghostly pacing one Sunday morning last January. It started around 11 o’clock and kept up at intervals through 4 in the afternoon.
They made quite a few trips upstairs–they sleep on the first floor–but, as before, no one, nothing in sight.
Arthur Brodie. a Britain-born carpenter, and rather a stout fellow in his own right, heard the footfalls as the Slatins did. He said you do hear odd sounds in old houses.
Sadie, the Slatins’ maid, was uneasy in the beginning, but she’d just cock an ear and listen after a while, without panic.
One morning last February, Brodie started to hammer through the top-floor ceiling for a room-change there. Plaster and lath dust showered down.
There was a loud bump. Mrs. Slatin heard it in her first-floor bedroom. A few minutes later Brodie came down. He knocked at her bedroom door.
He said, “It’s me, ma’am; Brodie. I’m leaving the job. I’ve found the body.”
But when Mrs. Slatin opened the door, he grinned. In his hand was a black-painted metal can about twice the height of a tin of ground coffee. He held it out.
A faded gummed label on the can said, “The last remains of Elizabeth Bullock, deceased. Cremated Jan. 21, 1931.” That was in faded typed lettering.
In heavy print below that: “The United States Crematory Co., Ltd., Middle Village, Boro of Queens, New York City.” Stamped into the top of the can and at the bottom, as with a metal punch, was the number “37251.”
Mrs. Slatin called her husband. He hurried home. He and Brodie put a flashlight through the ceiling break. Nothing there but dusty rafters. There was a puzzler.
Near as the engineer could figure out, the ceiling that hid the container had gone in around 1880, a half-century before Elizabeth Bullock died.
Dr. Slatin called the crematorium. After a record search out there, he was told that Mrs. Bullock was 51 years old when she died, In 1931. She had been hurt by an automobile in Hudson street in Greenwich Village, had collapsed, been carried to a drugstore, and death had taken her.
But–this was rather strange, the Slatins thought–Elizabeth Bullock had never lived at 11 Bank st. Her home address in the Middle Village books was 113 Ferry st. in Greenwich Village.
Dr. Slatin called Charles Dominick, the undertaker in the case. His place had been on W. Eleventh street, not too far from Bank. But he, too, was dead.
All that remains of Elizabeth Bullock–the Slatins lost the trail in search for her kin–stands quietly now, on the grand piano in the great brick living room at 11 Bank st.
Sadie dusts it every day. The Slatins can’t think of what else to do with It. And there’s a chance, they think, that someone, someday, may come for it.
There’s one other strange touch to the story. A few weeks before Brodie broke through to Elizabeth Bullock, a well-dressed young man rang the house doorbell to ask about rooms. Mrs. Slatin told him she couldn’t say exactly when they’d be ready, but she’d take his name.
The young man left a card. Mrs. Slatin said the name on it was something like “E. C. Bullock.”
One last thing the Slatins have no answer for, and they acknowledge no belief in ghosts: There have been no whispering footfalls since Elizabeth Bullock came down to the parlor.***<ARTICLE ENDS>
There was a sequel to our tale. The story I’ve just told caught the eye of famed ghost hunter Hans Holzer. He contacted one Ethel Meyers, a friend of his who was a medium. Without giving any details, he asked her to accompany him to a haunted house in the Village. He arranged with the Slatins to hold a seance at their place on July 17.
When Mrs. Meyers went into her trance, a curious story emerged. The medium said that present was the spirit of a small woman with a heart condition, who was paralyzed on one side. “She’s Betty.”
As she slipped further into her trance state, “Betty” began speaking through her. The spirit murmured in a strong Irish brogue, “He didn’t want me in the family plot–my brother–I wasn’t even married in their eyes…But I was married before God…Edward Bullock…I want a Christian burial in the shades of the Cross–any place where the cross is–but not with them! The last words were said with such anger that Holzer became alarmed and tried to calm her.
“Betty” went on: “I didn’t marry in the faith,” she explained. She added that her brother was named “Eddie,” that they were from Pleasantville, New York, and that her mother’s maiden name was “Elizabeth McCuller.” Now calm again, she said, “I’m at rest now.”
How, she was asked, did her ashes happen to wind up in a house she never even lived in? “I went with Eddie,” “Betty” replied. “There was a family fight…my husband went with Eddie…steal the ashes…pay for no burial…he came back and took them from Eddie…hide ashes..Charles knew it…made a roof over the house…ashes came through the roof…so Eddie can’t find them…”
Holzer asked if she had any children. “Eddie and Gracie,” the spirit said. “Gracie died as a baby, and Eddie now lives in California. Charlie protects me!”
Holzer pointed out that there was no point to her remaining in this house. Why not go off to the “great beyond” like she was supposed to do?
“Betty” was not impressed with his reasoning. “I want a cross over my head…have two lives to live now…and [with a nod to Mrs. Slatin] I like being with you!”
Holzer then made the mistake of asking if “Betty” would like her ashes buried in her family plot. The spirit again went into a rage. “Ma never forgave me. I can never go with her and rest. I don’t care much. When she’s forgiven me, maybe it’ll be all right…only where there’s a green tree cross–and where there’s no more fighting over the bones…I want only to be set free, and there should be peace…I never had anything to do with them…Just because I loved a man out of the faith, and so they took my bones and fought over them, and then they put them up in this place, and let them smoulder up there, so nobody could touch them…foolish me! When they’re mixed up with the Papal State…”
“Betty” went on to explain that her husband was a Presbyterian. He would have put her in his Church, but “I could not offend them all.” He and a friend of his named Peabody stole her ashes from the crematory and hid them.
After Mrs. Meyers had awakened from her trance, Holzer suggested to Mrs. Slatin that she bury the ashes in her garden, but she declined. She had no problem with having the late Mrs. Bullock as a houseguest, and she thought Elizabeth was happy on the piano. Mrs. Slatin–who had psychic abilities herself–felt that she had formed a friendship of sorts with the ghost, whom she described as “brown-haired, plump, and fun-loving.” Why, she reasoned, deprive Mrs. B. of her new family?
And so Elizabeth Bullock became a permanent resident of 11 Bank street. In 1980, Harvey Slatin and his second wife, Anne, told “Washington Post” reporter Joyce Wadler that Elizabeth–whose ashes remained on the piano–liked to show up at their parties. Guests would smell her perfume. “You know,” said Anne, “she really is kind of nifty…she’s a benign ghost, she doesn’t really do anything. Maybe once in a while she’ll act up and Harvey will say, ‘Oh, Elizabeth, go fix yourself a drink.”
The reporter asked Anne if she had ever seen the ghost. “No,” replied Mrs. Slatin, “though of course living with a ghost you don’t pay much attention…I did see the ghost of Harvey’s mother the day she died, the figure of an old woman. But that’s another story.”
Just one big happy family.
A few years ago, parapsychology researcher Stacy Horn did her own research into the story. Thanks to Ancestry.com, she was able to learn that Ethel Meyer’s “trance” information was an intriguing mix of hits and misses. Elizabeth was indeed married to an Edward Bullock. “Charles” was her brother. However, Elizabeth’s death certificate revealed that she died from “chronic myocarditis,” not from being hit by a car. (Although she did die in that very drugstore.) She was of German descent, not Irish, and her mother’s maiden name was “Mary Schwieker.” Horn could not find any evidence Mrs. Bullock had any children. She was also able to find that in 1942, Edward Bullock moved to 11 Bank Street, where he lived until his death in 1949. Why his wife’s ashes wound up in the attic remains a mystery.
And what became of this famed tin of ashes? In 1981, the Slatins received a letter from Thomas Devereaux, a priest in Loleta, California. He offered to have the tin buried in St. Patrick’s Loleta Table Bluff Cemetery. Over the objections of some of their neighbors–who quite liked having a resident ghost–the Slatins agreed. Elizabeth’s peripatetic ashes were given a funeral mass attended by fifty people, and buried beneath a cedar cross.
Finally getting a proper burial apparently did nothing to dampen Elizabeth’s love of a good time. In 1981, Anne Slatin reported that Mrs. Bullock still made regular visits to Greenwich Village. Closets and cupboards at 11 Bank Street would pop open unexpectedly, and her cheap perfume could still be sensed at parties.
“There was a fear among the tenants that Elizabeth wouldn’t be around. But now she is–and there’s a sigh of relief,” she said.
* * * * * * * * * *
Strange sightings in the vicinity of Blue Bell Hill have been reported for decades. Terrified witnesses say they have seen people vanishing into thin air. According to other accounts drivers and motorists were stunned to see a young woman suddenly materialize in front of their vehicles.
There are currently more than 50 reported supernatural sightings in the area, and they seem to be connected to a tragic real story.
Blue Bell Hill in Kent, United Kingdom has a reputation of being one of the most haunted places in the country.
If you are interested in the unexplained and the paranormal, Blue Bell Hill is a great place to investigate.
Due to a series of inexplicable supernatural events, the road through Blue Bell Hill has been classified as a fascinating, but also scary place that in recent years attracted national publicity.
Locals tell the road is haunted and many motorists claim they have seen a young bride waiting by the roadside, but no-one knows where she came from or who she is. This has led to speculations the young woman is the ghost of 22-year-old bride Suzanne Browne.
Suzanne died, together with two other women in a tragic car accident while being on her way to her wedding on November 19, 1965. Suzanne who had a bright and happy future ahead of her was going to be married to RAF technician Brian Wetton. Sadly, she lost control of her car and ended her life.
Shortly after the accident people started reporting sightings of a pale, ghostly-looking woman standing next to the road.
About four years after the tragedy, a man reported witnessing two pedestrians walking towards him. He was stunned when they suddenly disappeared into thin air. Even more peculiar was that he claimed he witnessed the pedestrians again, walking across the road, however this time a car drove straight through them.
Kent Live reports, “in 1971 James Skene was driving home from work when a girl in her early 20s suddenly appeared in front of his car.
He gave her a lift to Chatham, but when she got out he said she disappeared into thin air.
Some years later, in 1992, three drivers reported hitting someone who ran into the road at night, but there was no evidence or a body to be found.”
Yet, one of the most perplexing stories is the one about the vanishing hitchhiker. According to this account, Coach driver Ian Sharpe, 56 observed a ghostly figure along the road. It was just one week before the anniversary of Suzanne Browne’ car crash.
The young woman ran straight in front of his car and Ian was afraid he had killed her. Terrified he got out of the car and rushed to help. He knelt and looked beneath the car, but there was nobody there.
Ian is not the only one who reported this incident. As Kent Live explains, “over the years, huge numbers of unsuspecting motorists have witnessed a woman running out in front of their cars late at night, often locking eyes with them before being hit and vanishing. No evidence of a collision has ever been found, nor has there ever been a victim found either.”
There is definitely something odd about the Blue Bell Hill, and all stories are not related to the young woman witnessed in its vicinity.
A curious incident was reported as far back as 1934, long before Suzanne Browne died in the car crash.
One Autumn evening, a young woman named Renee was riding home on her bicycle. Suddenly she was enveloped by a dark mist and something hard hit her. She fell to the ground and looked, but there were no visible objects anywhere on the road. Why she fell and what hit her remains unexplained.
Still peculiar sightings of unusual objects and people go even further back in time, and they are connected to an old hag with grotesque features. Locals tell there was once an old woman who lived alone in the woods near Blue Bell Hill. Her ghost is sometimes reported by terrified people and she is known for cursing anyone who invades her realm.
Sometimes people say they witness an old woman standing along the road. She appears to be angry and frightened drivers witness how cars fill with an evil black fog.
Whether one believes in ghosts or not, such stories make you think deeper about the nature of space and time.
Many time slips have been reported in the United Kingdom. People say they have witnessed scenes and persons from other time epochs, both the past and the future. An RAF pilot once reported his curious time slip and journey into the future, and he is not the only one who experienced how one can suddenly be in a completely different place without knowing what has transpired.
This raises once again the question if there could be so-called inter-dimensional time portals on Earth. These inter-dimensional doorways would be invisible to the naked eye, but stumbling upon one of them could transport a person to a different time and unknown world.
Those who believe in ghosts think Albert Einstein’s laws of physics, and particularly those on conservation of energy, offer proof that ghosts are real. There is no solid evidence of ghosts, at least not according to most scientists, but as we always say; we still do know very little about the world we live in.
Now suppose parallel worlds do exist. A while back, scientists reported they had discovered the first evidence of parallel universes.
If our reality is surrounded by a number of invisible parallel worlds, isn’t it possible for a person to enter one of those unknown realms simply by mistake? It certainly is, but this doesn’t offer evidence of ghosts, and yet, so many ancient cultures and modern people are convinced ghosts are real. Perhaps death is just an illusion and we continue to live in a parallel world.
Could this explain ghost sightings?
* * * * * * * * * *
Murdered in Montana in 1983, Marie Philbrick was killed in the days before DNA analysis. Bernard Pease Jr. was convicted of her murder, but was he really her killer?
Plus, we’ll step into the Chamber of Comments.
Our next Weirdo Watch Party has been postponed for a week due to Slash getting sick as a dog. Get it? Slash is a werewolf! Sick as a dog! Never mind. Anyway, we’re pushing it back one week – so it is now rescheduled for Saturday, May 30th! Join me, other Weirdo family members, and horror hosts Slash and Foxi Roxi as they present the 1984 B-horror movie, Carnage: the story of Carol and Jonathan, a newlywed couple, who move into their new house which they discover is haunted by the ghosts of newlywed couple who died in the house three years earlier. You can be a part of the Weirdo Watch Party for FREE – just visit the page and click the play button to start watching! The chat room is also there, so during the Weirdo Watch Party we can all join in to chat with each other, comment about the film and the horror hosts, and sometimes the horrors hosts jump into the chatroom with us to get in on the jokes and conversation. It’s FREE, it’s FUN, and it helps to promote different horror hosts and show them that we appreciate what they do. So join us for the 1984 paranormal horror film, “Carnage”! Be sure to update your calendar, smart home device, or phone reminder with the new date! Saturday, May 30th! This time we’re hosting it on the actual Weirdo Watch Party page at WeirdDarkness.com. Saturday May 30th, 9pm Central (10pm Eastern, 7pm Pacific, 8pm Mountain) at WeirdDarkness.com!
* * * * * * * * * *
My favorite thing about the true crime community is how discerning the fans are when it comes to information. Maybe it’s the thousands of hours of Forensic Files and Dateline that we’ve all watched, maybe it’s the natural cynicism we develop from reading volumes about the evils of humanity, but true crime enthusiasts can usually smell B.S. from a mile away. We don’t accept much on faith, and a person’s claims are only as good as the corroboration they can put behind it.
To prove my point, let’s look at the murder of Marie Philbrick. The state of Montana says that Bernard Pease Jr. killed Philbrick and tossed her away with the trash. But we know that just because the police say somebody is guilty doesn’t necessarily make it so. The Montana Innocence Project claims that Pease is an innocent victim of junk science and malicious prosecution. But we also know that just because the Innocence Project says that somebody is innocent doesn’t necessarily make it so. At least one of them is wrong, so let’s review the facts of the case and see if we can figure out who.
Marie Philbrick was a 23 year-old Native American woman living in Billings, Montana, in 1983. She was from South Dakota and had only been in Billings for a couple of months. She was a sex worker who lived with a man named John Salas and a woman named Brenda Cunningham. Salas was referred to as a “roommate” in court records from the time. That may be a polite euphemism, however, because according to the Innocence Project, Salas was Philbrick’s pimp and Cunningham was a fellow sex worker.
Philbrick was last seen by her “roommates” on the morning of November 24, 1983, which was Thanksgiving. Salas saw her walking downtown at about 3:00 a.m., and Cunningham saw her talking to a man in a yellow pickup at about 3:30 am. At trial, defense attorneys introduced two witnesses who claimed to have seen Philbrick as late as November 26. Both were employees at the hotel where Philbrick, Salas and Cunningham lived. On an eventual appeal, the Montana Supreme Court argued that those sightings were by witnesses who did not know Philbrick and were seeing a person they thought was her from a distance. The Supreme Court was ultimately not convinced of the hotel witness sightings.
A week and four hours after Cunningham claimed to have last seen Philbrick, on December 1, 1983, Philbrick’s nude body was discovered by a passerby on his way to work. Philbrick was laying in an alley in the snow beside two garbage cans. Her body was frozen and almost entirely drained of blood. She had suffered multiple stab wounds to the chest and her throat had been slit. The skin was sloughing off her ankle (likely from decomposition) and drag marks in the snow suggested that she had been dragged by the legs to the spot where she was abandoned.
Sorry, that was a brutal paragraph. Why are sex worker murders always so brutal? As if their lives aren’t difficult enough already, they have to suffer the most horrific deaths too? That seems especially unfair.
But I digress. The medical examiner estimated that Philbrick had been dead for approximately 5 to 10 days before she was found. Detectives observed that her left foot was more decomposed than the rest of her body and that there were ridges and dents in the foot. They also discovered a strand of orange yarn in Philbrick’s hair.
A little over a month later, on January 5, 1984, the owner of an auto shop about two blocks from where Philbrick’s body was found discovered a bloody sleeping bag and some carpet backing along a fence behind his shop. Officers collected it and found orange fiber, similar to what was in Philbrick’s hair, along with pieces of brick and a plumb bob, which is a tool commonly used in masonry.
The trash cans where Philbrick’s body was found were outside of an industrial building that housed a couple of different businesses. One of them was Pease Masonry. Detectives went to Pease Masonry on January 5, 1984, and spoke to Bernard Pease Sr., who consented to a search of the building. The search revealed orange shag carpet and a chunk of carpet backing that had been cut in a pattern that seemed to match the section found behind the auto shop. When the officers searched the wash bay area in the rear of the business, they found white cardboard boxes with blood on them, blood on the floor, a bloody paper napkin stuck to part of a box and a used condom with blood on it.
Detectives also noticed heating pipes on the floor of the wash bay. The pipes were dusty, except for a couple of areas where the dust had been rubbed off. The bumps and lines of those clean areas were consistent with the lines that detectives saw on Philbrick’s decomposed foot. The medical examiner also later determined that a hot and dry heat source, such as the heat pipe, could have accounted for why the foot decomposed faster than the rest of the body.
There were only four people who had access to the wash bay, all of them in the Pease family. Police got search warrants for the Pease’s home in Billings. In Bernard Pease Jr.’s bedroom, police found used and unused condoms, bondage pornography and women’s underwear with semen stains. In the business truck that Pease Jr. drove, a yellow and white truck, police found a bedsheet stained with what appeared to be blood.
Pease Jr. was eventually arrested and charged with murder. At trial, prosecutors called an expert who testified that the blood on the sleeping bag, the carpet backing, the bedsheet, the cardboard boxes, the used condom from the wash bay and the floor of the wash bay was all the same type as Philbrick’s blood. That isn’t always very persuasive, but Philbrick had one of the rarer blood types. A town the size of Billings, with 120,000 people, would only be expected to have about 80 to 120 people with Philbrick’s blood type.
Furthermore, the condom from the wash bay had semen in it that matched Pease Jr.’s blood type. None of this should be confused with DNA evidence. This all predated DNA.
Experts for the prosecution and the defense gave conflicting testimony about whether or not various hairs from the crime scenes matched the suspect and the victim. But it’s all kind of moot now that we know how unreliable and unscientific hair comparison actually was as a forensic science.
Pease Jr.’s ex-wife identified the bloody sleeping bag as a wedding gift that they had received and said that Pease Jr. had kept it after the divorce. Pease Jr. denied that he had ever seen the bloody sleeping bag.
Pease Sr. testified that Pease Jr. had gone out on the night of November 23, 1983, and that Pease Jr. did not see him again until about 9:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. A friend of Pease Jr testified that he was with Pease Jr at a bowling alley until about 2:00 a.m. that morning.
Pease Jr. denied that he ever hired sex workers, but prosecutors introduced one witness who claimed to have patronized prostitutes with Pease Jr. before and another witness who claimed that Pease Jr. had talked about hiring a prostitute.
The Innocence Project has argued that the court was wrong to dismiss the witnesses who claimed to have seen Philbrick after November 24. Both witnesses testified that not only had they seen Philbrick on November 25 and November 26, but they had actually seen her with Salas and Cunningham. If the witnesses were correct, then Salas and Cunningham were lying, and to what purpose?
The Innocence Project also pointed out that no witnesses saw Philbrick with Pease Jr., no witnesses saw Pease Jr. near the trash cans on the night before Philbrick was found, and the wash bay was not sufficiently bloody to have been the scene of such a horrific stabbing.
The two hotel employees had no reason to lie. They said that they saw Philbrick on November 25 and November 26 because they undoubtedly believed that they did. If they are correct, then my money would be on Salas for the murderer. It is tragically common for sex workers to be killed by their pimps, and I can think of no other logical reason why Salas and Cunningham would have lied about when they last saw Philbrick other than to cover for a murder.
But I don’t think the hotel employees are correct.
There is so much evidence pointing to Pease Jr. All of that blood was on items linked to Pease Jr. and in places that he had access to. His truck matched the description of the last person Cunningham saw Philbrick talking to. The blood types were a match in both directions, to the victim and to Pease Jr., and the victim’s blood type was pretty unique. The injuries to the victim’s decomposed foot seemed to match the pipes in the wash bay. There are just too many things to dismiss as a series of coincidences.
It seems likely to me that the hotel employees were mistaken about the day they saw Philbrick, especially since such an encounter would be an unremarkable event at the time. That’s an easier explanation than to dismiss the mountain of evidence against Pease Jr.
But buyer beware, I have been wrong before. Frequently. Multiple times today, as a matter of fact, and the day isn’t over yet. So just because I’m telling you that I think Bernard Pease Jr. killed Marie Phibrick, doesn’t necessarily make it so. Of course, being the discerning true crime aficionado that you are, you already knew that.
On the plus side, since the Innocence Project has taken the case up, we may get a definitive answer on this one. Assuming the evidence was preserved (which is a big assumption on a 37-year-old murder) all of those bloody items could potentially be tested for DNA. If any of the blood in the wash bay or Pease’s truck belonged to Philbrick, then I think we have our answer.
* * * * * * * * * *
Here in the Chamber of Comments I answer your emails, comments, podcast reviews, tweets, letters I get in the mail, and more. You can find all of my contact information, postal address, and social media links on the CONTACT page at WeirdDarkness.com. While you’re there, join the Facebook Group, “Weird Darkness Weirdos” and hang out with me and the rest of our Weirdo family! Or drop me an email anytime at: email@example.com.
(YouTube comment from Kyle Winfrey): You have helped so many of us with your own personal stories and experiences with depression. Sometimes it helps to know you’re not alone in this fight. Thank You.
REPLY: You’re welcome, Kyle – and I’m glad I came across your comment, it’s the perfect lead in to this next one.
(YouTube comment from Pamela Raney): I am so alone. The abuse I endured in my childhood. I can’t relate to people. I have no friends. My despair is winning. I know Darren tries to help. The treatments and medication aren’t working.
REPLY: I am really sorry to hear you are hurting, Pamela. I know you feel alone, but there are hundreds of people who would enjoy getting to know you. Please, join the Facebook group – you can reach out there and you’ll receive a flood of people wanting to be your friend! Search for “Weird Darkness Weirdos” on Facebook. You might also want to look for the “7 Cups” app on your mobile device to talk with others who also are in the very same situation you are in – it often helps to talk with someone who is where you are. And as always, our friends at the International Foundation for Research and Education of Depression are always there to help – you can find them at iFred.org. That’s the letter “i”, the name “Fred”, dot org. iFred.org.
(YouTube comment from Arkives TheTurth): “My friend came by she heard Darrens voice playing on my phone. She listened a min and She said. ” Your Listening To Horror Stories While Your In A Horror Show Right Now?? One eye brow raised, lookin at me!” And then she posts ten laughing faces and eight thumbs up, ending with “Much Love Darren” and a bunch of black hearts.
REPLY: I gotta tell ya, trying to relate emojis in audio form is dang-near impossible! Thanks for the laugh, Arkives! And yes, horror is consumed the most during terrible times! Why do you think the original Universal monster films like Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolf Man took place during the Great Depression? And now during the pandemic, so many people are consuming streaming horror like Shudder? (Which by the way you can get a free month of on the sponsors page at WeirdDarkness.com – hint hint!)
I’ll answer more of your emails, comments, and more next time! Again, you can find all of my social media and contact information on the CONTACT page at WeirdDarkness.com.
* * * * * * * * * *
If you made it this far, welcome to the Weirdo Family. If you like the podcast, please tell your friends/family about it however you can and get them to become Weirdos too! And I’d greatly appreciate you leaving a review in the podcast app you listen from, that helps the podcast get noticed!
Do you have a dark tale to tell of your own? Fact or fiction, click on “Tell Your Story” at WeirdDarkness.com 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.
“Racing The Executioner” by Karl Smallwood for Today I Found Out
“The Ashes and Ghost of Elizabeth Bullock” is from Strange Company
“Grumblethorpe” by Gary Sweeney for The Line Up
“Creepy Floaty Faced Thing” by Bettina Marie for Your Ghost Stories
“Mysterious Sightings at Blue Bell Hill” by Cynthia McKanzie for Message to Eagle
“No Arms, No Legs, Lots of Everything Else” by Marc Hartzman for Weird Historian
“The Murder Trial of Bernard Pease, Jr.” by Barney Doyle for Crime Traveller
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music.
WeirdDarkness™ – is a registered trademark. Copyright ©Weird Darkness 2020.
If you’d like a transcript of this episode, you’ll find a link in the show notes.
Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… tonight I want to quote a great evangelist whom we lost Tuesday after a long battle with cancer, Ravi Zacharius. If you’re not a Christian, you might be nodding your head in agreement with what you are about to hear, because Ravi has some serious words against how Christians have been so judgmental towards others. If you are a Christian – here’s your gut punch.
“I have found more people objecting to the Christian than they really do to Jesus Christ… No one ever welcomed the outcasts as He did. He set the law on a higher plane, but His mercy was also in proportion in keeping with it. He knows how to humble us without humiliating us, and how to lift us up without flattering us. He (Jesus) gives you the true essential nature of your worth.” — Ravi Zacharius.
And a final thought… from John Chambers: Deal with the world the way it is, not the way you wish it was.
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.