“THE QUESTION OF GREMLINS” and More Creepy True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

THE QUESTION OF GREMLINS” and More Creepy True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

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Listen to ““THE QUESTION OF GREMLINS” and More Creepy True Stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.

IN THIS EPISODE: 
Like an episode of the Twilight Zone, a Qantas flight had to make an emergency landing when a hole appeared seemingly out of nowhere, puncturing in the fuselage and causing the cabin to suddenly lose pressure. Could it truly be possible that gremlins are to blame? (Gremlins On The Attack) *** We’ll also hear from a former member of the Royal Air Force with his own thoughts and research about gremlins. (The Gremlin Question) *** On December 13, 1932, Edna Murray made her escape from the Women’s state penitentiary at Jefferson City, Missouri. The “Kissing Bandit” had escaped again… for the third time. (Escape of the Kissing Bandit) *** A college student reads about how his college is haunted – which might explain the strange goings-on in his dorm room. (Invisible Stalker) *** They worked in great secrecy. Their goal was to create a society without a King and Church. They were the Illuminati… but do they still exist? (Secret Society of the Illuminati) *** Greensboro student Maddie thought her apartment might be haunted when clothes vanished and noises came out of nowhere. The truth was even more terrifying. (Closet Criminal) *** Is it possible that OJ Simpson’s son Jason was the true killer of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown? (O.J. Simpson: A Killer In The Family) *** After murdering his wife and attempting to kill his children, then unsuccessfully trying to kill himself, Henry Rathbone claimed it was all due to a curse he believed he brought onto himself – which began at the death of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. (The Assassination Curse) *** Is a modern-day wolf-man prowling the woods of central England? (Something Sinister at a Cemetery) *** What compelled young priests in training to commit suicide in Room 2 of Ireland’s national seminary? (The Ghost Room of Maynooth) *** An Oxford University professor claims aliens are already breeding with humans on earth – could he be right? (Are Aliens Breeding With Humans?) *** Is it possible that the Early Middle Ages, years 614-911 A.D. never existed? That’s the claim of an extremely controversial theory. (The Phantom Time Hypothesis) *** A man is convinced his Swedish grandmother continues to look in on him, even years after her death. (The Seventh Daughter of the Seventh Daughter)

 

TRANSCRIPT FOR THIS EPISODE…
Find a full or partial transcript at the bottom of this blog post.

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STORY AND MUSIC CREDITS/SOURCES…
(Over time links can and may become invalid, disappear, or have different content.)
Author of the gremlin poem used at the beginning of this episode is unknown, provided by the Royal Air Force Squadron 100. http://bit.ly/2LmlEiV
“The Gremlin Question” by Hubert Griffith: http://bit.ly/2LmlEiV
“Gremlins On The Attack” by Pastor Swope: http://bit.ly/2LnGs9G
“Escape of the Kissing Bandit” by Troy Taylor: http://bit.ly/2LkGPSk
“Invisible Stalker” by Gian Naoco: http://bit.ly/2Lg8Avo
“Secret Society of the Illuminati” by Ellen Lloyd: http://bit.ly/2LlbIpY
“Closet Criminal” by Marco Margaritoff: http://bit.ly/2LkIabO
“O.J. Simpson: A Killer In The Family” from The Unredacted: http://bit.ly/2VBQdVO
“Something Sinister at a Cemetery” by Nick Redfern: http://bit.ly/2PS3Rif
“The Ghost Room of Maynooth” by Charlie Hintz: http://bit.ly/2JlTYIg
“Are Aliens Breeding With Humans?” by Jon Rogers: http://bit.ly/2VQbJX0
“The Phantom Time Hypothesis” by Ellen Lloyd: http://bit.ly/2DSqfDb
“The Assassination Curse” by Troy Taylor: http://bit.ly/2VOzUVJ
“The Seventh Daughter of the Seventh Daughter” by Roy from Your Ghost Stories: http://bit.ly/2H1s0Pi
Weird Darkness 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.

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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.
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TRANSCRIPT:

When you’re seven miles up in the heavens,
(That’s a hell of a lonely spot)
And it’s fifty degrees below zero
Which isn’t exactly hot.
When you’re frozen blue like your Spitfire
And you’re scared a Mosquito pink,
When you’re thousands of miles from nowhere
And there’s nothing below but the drink
It’s then you will see the Gremlins,
Green and gamboge and gold,
Male and female and neuter
Gremlins both young and old.
It’s no good trying to dodge them,
The lessons you learned on the Link
Won’t help you evade a Gremlin,
Though you boost and you dive and you fink.
White ones will wiggle your wingtips,
Male ones will muddle your maps,
Green ones will guzzle your Glycol,
Females will flutter your flaps.
Pink ones will perch on your perspex,
And dance pirouettes on your prop;
There’s a spherical, middle-aged Gremlin
who’ll spin on your stick like a top.
They’ll freeze up your camera shutters,
They’ll bite through your aileron wires,
They’ll bend and they’ll break and they’ll batter,
They’ll insert toasting forks in your tyres.
That is the tale of the Gremlins,
Told by the P.R.U.,
(P)retty (R)uddy (U)nlikely to many
But fact, none the less, to the few.”

I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.

Welcome, Weirdos – this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.

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, 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. You can also shop the Weird Darkness Store for podcast merchandise, and 100% of all profits I make from the store are donated to the International Foundation for Research and Education of Depression. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.

Coming up in this episode of Weird Darkness…

Like an episode of the Twilight Zone, a Qantas flight had to make an emergency landing when a hole appeared seemingly out of nowhere, puncturing in the fuselage and causing the cabin to suddenly lose pressure. Could it truly be possible that gremlins are to blame?

We’ll also hear from a former member of the Royal Air Force with his own thoughts and research about gremlins.

On December 13, 1932, Edna Murray made her escape from the Women’s state penitentiary at Jefferson City, Missouri. The “Kissing Bandit” had escaped again… for the third time.

A college student reads about how his college is haunted – which might explain the strange goings-on in his dorm room.

They worked in great secrecy. Their goal was to create a society without a King and Church. They were the Illuminati… but do they still exist?

Greensboro student Maddie thought her apartment might be haunted when clothes vanished and noises came out of nowhere. The truth was even more terrifying.

Is it possible that OJ Simpson’s son Jason was the true killer of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown?

After murdering his wife and attempting to kill his children, then unsuccessfully trying to kill himself, Henry Rathbone claimed it was all due to a curse he believed he brought onto himself – which began at the death of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

Is a modern-day wolf-man prowling the woods of central England?

What compelled young priests in training to commit suicide in Room 2 of Ireland’s national seminary?

An Oxford University professor claims aliens are already breeding with humans on earth – could he be right?

Is it possible that the Early Middle Ages, years 614-911 A.D. never existed? That’s the claim of an extremely controversial theory.

A man is convinced his Swedish grandmother continues to look in on him, even years after her death.

Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!

A Qantas flight from Hong Kong to Melbourne made an emergency landing in the Philippines in July of 2008 after a hole appeared in the fuselage and the cabin lost pressure suddenly. One passenger was quoted, “There was an almighty crack, We dropped a bit in the air.” According to the Associated Press the plane was at 29,000 feet when the incident happened and then the plane quickly descended to 10,000 feet. As of yet there is no explanation as to what exactly caused the hole to suddenly rip open at 29,000 feet but one report said that there might have been rust on the fuselage in a previous inspection.
This brought to mind an old story that the late Charles Berlitz wrote about in his book “Charles Berlitz’s World of Strange Phenomena” on page 209 in the short article “A Massacre in Flight” Mr. Berlitz describes a story with an eerie similarity.
“Something terrifying happened in the air one day in the late summer of 1939-and to this day the incident is shrouded in secrecy.
All that is known is that a military transport plane left the Marine naval Air Force Base in San Diego at 3:30 one afternoon. It and its thirteen man crew were making a routine flight to Honolulu. Three hours later, as the plane was over the Pacific Ocean, a frantic distress signal was sounded. Then the radio signal died.
A little later the plane limped back to base and made an emergency landing. Ground crew members rushed to the craft and when they boarded, they were horrified to see twelve dead men. The only survivor was the copilot, who, though badly injured, had stayed alive long enough to bring the plane back. A few minutes he was dead, too.
All of the bodies had large, gaping wounds. Even weirder, the pilot and copilot had emptied their .45 Colt automatic pistols at something. The empty shells were found lying on the floor of the cockpit. A foul, sulfuric odor pervaded the interior of the craft.
The exterior of the airplane was badly damaged, looking as it had been struck by missiles…The incident was successfully hushed up and did not come to light for fifteen years, when investigator Robert Coe Gardner learned of it from someone who was there. They mystery of what the crew encountered in midair that afternoon in 1939 has never been solved.”
What is the connection?
Gremlins.
No, not the fuzzy creatures you do not feed after midnight or throw water on.
Or the funky often maligned car from the 70’s.
Since World War 1 pilots have claimed to have seen strange creatures tinkering with their aircraft in mid flight. However the existence of such creatures never became widely known until British pilots in World War 2 began to make such experiences public record. The first published report of these creatures appeared in the April 18th 1942 edition 13 of The Royal Air Force Journal.
The knowledge of these creatures was popularized by author Robert Dahl in his children’s book “The Gremlins”. However Dahl’s creatures while annoying and destructive were cute little cartoon characters who were seeking revenge for the destruction of their home forest in order to build an airplane factory.
However, WW2 pilot’s descriptions of real encounters with Gremlins lack Dahl’s cute characterization. Many of them witnessed demonic creatures causing havoc with their airplane equipment. Many swore they saw these creatures maliciously tearing apart wiring or instruments before crashes during combat missions over Germany.
Famed folklorist John W. Hazen gave a personal experience with a Gremlin in the 1972 edition of Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend where he writes that upon inspecting a malfunctioning airplane, he witnessed “a parted cable which bore obvious tooth marks in spite of the fact that the break occurred in a most inaccessible part of the plane.” Then he heard an unearthly inhuman voice that seemed to be rebuffing an associate which said , “How many times must you be told to obey orders and not tackle jobs you aren’t qualified for? — This is how it should be done.” Immdiately Mr. Hazen heard a sound that reminded him of a “musical twang” and before his very eyes another cable snapped apart with the teeth marks clearly visible.
But most of us know of Gremlins by the Twilight Zone story “Nightmare at 20,000 feet” where a man sees a Gremlin tearing apart the commercial flight he is on and everyone thinks he is insane.
Ever since this episode hit the airwaves in 1963 there have been very few pilots who have come forth with eye witness activity of these creatures. Mostly for fear of ridicule, but many for fear that they will be grounded for a mental evaluation. But these demonic entities still have a fascination with dismantling aircraft in mid-air to this day.
I helped out in a Christian Bookstore owned by one of the members of my congregation for a few months a couple of years ago. His wife had passed away suddenly and he was overwhelmed. One night we began to talk about the paranormal. As an ex-naval officer during the first Gulf War he told me he had seen things he could not talk about. His quote was “I’ve seen things that come straight out of the X-Files.” while working on a certain Aircraft Carrier in the Gulf. I prodded and prodded but he refused to tell me any details about UFOs or what exactly he meant by the comment in connection with the Government conspiracy theme that ran through that Television program. But he did tell me that he and a few fellow servicemen onboard did have encounters with little creatures of amazing power who have a fascination with airplanes. He had never fully seen them himself, but one time he witnessed a little shadowy creature tear a hole in aircraft like it was made out of aluminum foil to get at inside components. The creature dashed over the nose of the plane and disappeared. A pilot friend of his swore that he saw a small impish creature trying to rip off a flap of a F/A 18 Hornet of his wingman on their way to a sortie over Iraq in the late light of the setting sun. One minute it was there and as he turned to double check what he had just seen the creature had vanished. Within a few minutes the co-pilot had to return to the carrier because his plane was becoming unresponsive.
He also told a me a few years ago that he had a few friends who had investigated the fatal crash of Senator Paul Wellstone in 2002 who noticed some very strange markings on the exterior of the craft. It was as if something with claws had torn open the plane in mid flight. Search as I might I can find nothing to back this claim up. But there are many on the web who see conspiracies of varying orders surrounding the Senator’s plane crash.
So what happened as this plane flew from London to Melbourne? Shotty workmanship and maintenance on Qantas’ part?
Or something else?
Oh for the good old days when the only thing we had to worry about when we flew was the poor quality of the food being served in-flight.

The following was written by former Royal Air Force member, Hubert Griffith…

It is extraordinary to me to think that I had lived so long in the world without realizing the existence of a whole section of its inhabitants – the Gremlins.

I am no longer operational aircrew, but I did three hundred hours war flying in the last war, and never heard the creatures mentioned. I was with a Coastal Command squadron for the first six months of the present war – then in France on an odd sort of racket – then in various RAF training stations, for almost a year on end. Still I never heard a hint of that strange word or of those strange little people.

Quite by chance, I found myself in Northern Russia with an RAF fighter wing. Gremlins suddenly became an accepted fact of life. They were discussed quite freely on every hand. Their merits and de-merits were argued about – just as though they were actual people, sent to try us.

It was late at night in our room of the gaunt officers’ barrack-block that we called the “Kremlin”- (fitting rhyme to Gremlin) that I first heard the Gremlins mentioned. The two fighter-boys who shared the room with me were deep in discussion about them. In my capacity as Wing-Adjutant it seemed to me that I ought to know everything that was going on, and I asked about the Gremlins.

They explained them to me as one explains something to a half-witted child – as one explains something that is already perfectly well known to everybody else, without wishing to hurt the half-witted child’s feelings.

One of the pilots said: ” Oh, they get out of clouds and run up your wing-tip – the wrong wing-tip.” The other added: “If you’re taxiing, they run down the nose of the machine and tip you up and you prang a prop, if nothing worse.”

That was about as far as I got that night. A new subject was opened up for me. The “they” was significant. They run out of clouds. They tip you up on your nose, etc. Obviously they were a sort of collective unity. They operated in droves or swarms. Was it hundreds of them, or at least scores, that ” ran out of clouds” or in landing, upset the balance of the aircraft? One imagined them about the size of mice, or at biggest, the procession of rats led by the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Next night I heard from Mickey Rook, in casual conversation in the Mess, about a new type of Gremlin – the Spandule or Ice-Gremlin. “He takes over at 10,000 feet. Gremlins proper only operate lower down. They can’t get the height.” Further, of the Spandule, from all the pilots in the Wing, “He’s a pig; he’s the one you’ve got to watch. He’ll do you down if he can.” But still it seemed a collective type, quite small, operating in mass rather than individually.

Since those days, a mountain of documentary evidence seems to have accumulated. Apparently there are Mediterranean Gremlins as well as East Fifeshire Gremlins. Pilots of every branch and Command of the Service seem to be on nodding terms with them. Their habits are a matter of day-to-day discussion. There has grown up a mass of Gremlin-lore, and even of Gremlin literature. The R.A.F., always by far the most inventive of the Services, seems to have taken the Gremlin – if not to its heart – at least into its inner consciousness. (Nor are Gremlins, it appears, by any means always malevolent. “They can be playful. They have a sense of humour even if a distorted sense of humour.” My authority is again Mickey Rook.) There have been Gremlins known to come to one’s aid in moments of emergency, though this latter type seems to be in an extremely small minority.

It will be noted that even with the evidence now to be tendered, very few members of air-crews claim to have actually seen a Gremlin. The outward and apparent shape still remains a mystery. The tribe of air gunners said to he in the habit of actually inviting a gremlin into their rear-turret, must obviously envisage him as something fairly big, say, knee-high to an air-gunner for the presence of a single Gremlin to provide companionship and warmth. On the other hand, those alleged to be airborne, cross-legged between the knees of a seagull, must be almost flyweights, for the payload of a seagull is comparatively small.

(A further thought here comes in. Who could actually draw the outline of a Gremlin? Is he a “presence” rather than a personality, a spirit than an embodiment? Are there any volunteers for the task? The Editor, [of the RAF Journal] as I have his word for it, would welcome anything that sheds further light on the matter.)

A correspondent recently wrote to the Editor of the Journal: “Gremlins, the mischief-makers of the air, are encountered in the flying history of nearly every R.A.F. pilot. Their pranks are responsible f6r a large number of accidents which would otherwise be inexplicable except as lapses on the part of the pilots.

Gremlins are believed to have originated in the Middle East where, long before the war, they made themselves something of a pest to many pilots, especially those of flying boats. They were reported on wingtips, on floats, on propellers, and in the aircraft. One particularly virulent species of Gremlin, apparently living in the clouds, had a habit of entering aircraft in bad visibility. When the pilot had been flying for some time in cloud, without being able to catch a glimpse of the ground, the Gremlin would skip on to his shoulder and whisper in his ear: ‘You silly fathead – you’re upside down!

Of course the pilot wasn’t, but it unnerved him and made him jumpy.”

Now fresh evidence is available on the Gremlin mystery, which is one of the most fruitful subjects for discussion in any R.A.F. Mess.

Coastal Command squadrons have gone into the matter with some care, and a contribution was published in a Royal Air Force document from a squadron specializing in photographic reconnaissance. They put their testimony into verse, thus:

From Gibraltar, pilots of another Coastal Command squadron send the following report:

It is believed that the Gremlin found in the neighbourhood of the Rock is, generally speaking, of the hairy-footed variety with extremely large, rudimentary ears fastened to the head (in the case of the male) by a peculiar scaffolding of gristle about eight feet long. The abdomen is pierced with triangular holes through which the wind whistles when in flight.”

The report adds that it is very important to ensure that no one enters an aircraft in a Gremlined condition, i.e., he must not be seeing Gremlins before he is airborne.

The most recent evidence, gathered in the last few weeks, comes from a small and hard-working body of eminent Fife Gremlinologists.

“In our opinion,” they write, “the creatures observed in the Gibraltar area can scarcely be called true Gremlins. The are probably to be regarded as belonging to a distantly related species peculiar to the warmer conditions obtaining in the Mediterranean zone.

Some, but not all Gremlins, possess the faculty of sitting motionless on the wings of an aircraft until it is close to the British coast. They then slide down the wireless directional beam, reach the aerodrome ahead of the aircraft, and jerk the runway from under its wheels, the pilot being unable to tell whether he is on his course 6r his elbow.

The second point is even more serious. It has come to our notice that Gremlins are in the habit of creeping in beside air-gunners in a confiding and ingratiating manner which the simple-minded air-gunner finds hard to resist. Air-gunners have even been known to invite Gremlins into the turret for’ the sake of extra warmth. Air-gunners – is it worth it?

No sooner does the pilot adjust his elevators to counter the increased load in the tail than the cunning Gremlins rush forward into the nose of the aircraft with the obvious intention of causing it to dive into the sea. Gremlins have also been known to incite seagulls to attack aircraft. In this form of indirect attack, the Gremlin sits cross-legged between the seagull’s wings until a collision becomes inevitable, when he abandons the seagull, gains cloud cover, and, chuckling throatily, sets course for base. All aircrews are advised to keep a sharp look-out for seagulls suspected of harbouring Gremlins. The attitude of Gremlins has recently changed from hostile neutral to hostile non-participant, verging at times to one of hostile-non-belligerency. The moment is approaching when the Gremlins should ask themselves-Are they for us or against us? Or what?

Perhaps, after all, the curious subject of Gremlins is one for Mr. H. G. Wells. He should have invented them. He should have written stories about them. His very titles seem to fit in with the curious and evocative word,- ” Mr. Gremlin Sees it Through,” Gremlin and Peter,” “An Outline of Gremlin Historv,” ” Tono-Gremlin,” and, most sinister of’ all, ” The Shape of Gremlins to Come ”

Or perhaps again there is a simpler solution. As Mark Sheldon, an Australian fighter-pilot, opined that night in the snow-bound Kremlin in North Russia-with a wealth of philosophy not usual with him:

“The whole thing is, they more or less reflect your mood: -if you fly carefully and well, they treat you good-if you fly badly, they act badly by you.” One may let the matter rest there for the present.

Up next…

On December 13, 1932, Edna Murray made her escape from the Women’s state penitentiary at Jefferson City, Missouri. The “Kissing Bandit” had escaped again… for the third time.

A college student reads about how his college is haunted – which might explain the strange goings-on in his dorm room.

They worked in great secrecy. Their goal was to create a society without a King and Church. They were Illuminati… but do they still exist?

These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns.

<BREAK>

As a Weirdo family member I know you’re already a fan of all things dark and scary, so I was thrilled when I found out that AMC’s SHUDDER channel wanted to work with me and give Weird Darkness listeners a special deal. If you don’t know about Shudder, it’s awesome – it is all things dark. Horror, thrillers, even documentaries – and all bloody great! I’ve been watching Shudder on my Roku during the day, and then once in a while I’ll lay in bed at night and watch it through the Shudder mobile app. You can get it just about everywhere you consume content. Aside from classic horror films on the channel like “The Changeling”, “Halloween”, “The Exorcist”, “Night of the Living Dead” and so on, they have a ton of exclusive content you won’t find anywhere else other than Shudder that I’ve really been enjoying. They have a documentary series called “Cursed Films” which is exactly what it sounds like – they take a deep dive into films that have been surrounded by tragedy either during filming or afterward, and it is fascinating. It very much something I would’ve done on Weird Darkness for a story – but they do it SO much better than I ever could! I would also highly recommend Eli Roth’s “History of Horror” series – it was not only entertaining, but informative; I learned a LOT about films I thought I knew everything about. Shudder also has the original series “Creepshow” based on the film, and I have to say, the writing on those episodes is some of the best horror fiction writing for the screen I’ve ever watched. And if you like our Weirdo Watch Parties, you’ll love Shudder’s “The Last Drive-in WithJoe Bob Briggs”. A lot of people know that name – well, he’s brought his show to Shudder! Or if you don’t know what to watch, you can just click on “Shudder TV” and you’ll get a constant stream of killer content that plays non-stop 24/7! Shudder already gives anyone who visits their site a 7-day free trial, which is very generous – but Weird Darkness listeners get a special deal. Shudder loves us, so they are giving you a full month for free. A full 30 days of Shudder absolutely free! All you have to do is go to Shudder.com, that’s S-H-U-D-D-E-R dotcom, Shudder.com, and then use the promo code “weirddarkness” all one word, no spaces. That’s Shudder.com, and promo code “weirddarkness” all one word. Horror comedies, slasher films, anthologies, zombie flicks, even the classic horror that inspired it all, Shudder has it. Get a full 30 days to try it out absolutely free. Go to Shudder.com S-H-U-D-D-E-R dotcom and use the promo code “weirddarkness” all one word to get this special deal just for Weirdo family members! Shudder.com, promo code “weirddarkness”!

Nothing says “holiday season” like a prison break…

On December 13, 1932, Edna “The Kissing Bandit” Murray made her third escape from the Women’s state penitentiary at Jefferson City, Missouri, where she had been serving a 25-year sentence for armed robbery. Edna had already been mixed up in many crimes, including robberies with her boyfriend, Barker-Karpis gang outlaw, Volney Davis. She would later be part of the mystery surrounding the death of Dillinger gang member John “Red” Hamilton, which I detailed in my book, ONE NIGHT AT THE BIOGRAPH.

She was born Martha Edna Stanley in Marion, Kansas in 1898. She moved with her father, Nicholas Stanley, to Oklahoma at a young age and was married for the first time to a man named Paden as a teenager in 1917. She and Paden soon separated and she married again to Walter Price. That marriage also failed. She was still destined, she believed, to meet the love of her life.

She met him in 1918. His name was Volney Davis and he was a bank robber. They weren’t together of long. Davis was arrested, tried, and sentenced to life in prison a few months later. Edna moved to Kansas City, where she moved in with her sister, Doris, who was living with a minor low-life named Emory Connell. Edna soon met – and married – Connell’s partner, a jewel thief named “Diamond Joe” Sullivan. In 1924, though, Sullivan was convicted of murder and executed.

Edna couldn’t stop getting married. Weeks after Sullivan was put to death, she met and married another criminal, Jack Murray. On October 1, 1925, Edna and Murray were sentenced to 25 years in prison for a Kansas City holdup. It was for this crime that she earned the nickname “The Kissing Bandit” after she supposedly kissed victim H.H. Southward. But she soon earned another nickname – “Rabbit” – after she escaped from her Missouri State Penitentiary cell and remained on the lam until September 1931. A month and a half later, she escaped again, but the law caught up with her after only one day. Then on December 13, 1932, Edna “rabbited” again, this time with help from another prisoner, Irene McCann.

By this time, Volney Davis had also escaped from prison and the two lovers were reunited. They robbed banks, stores, and gas stations together before finally settling down in Aurora, Illinois. The couple then joined up with the Barker brothers and Alvin Karpis, who planned elaborate bank jobs and kidnappings across the Midwest. Thanks to this gangland connection, Edna’s sister Doris found her own outlaw, Jess Doyle.

In late April 1934, John Dillinger, Homer Van Meter, and John Hamilton and arrived at Edna and Volney’s home after the failed ambush at the Little Bohemia Lodge in Wisconsin. Hamilton had been wounded during the shootout and the trio fled to the house in Aurora, trying to stay out of the city. That much we know. After that, things get a little murky. Stories vary according to the teller after that. The stories say that Hamilton died a few days after arriving and that Edna was present at his funeral. Other stories claim that Davis sent Edna away and she never saw what happened to Hamilton after that – namely that he didn’t die and vanished into history. You can see all of the theories and mysteries that surround this part of the story in my book.

On January 22, 1935, Edna was indicted along with several members of the Barker gang for a conspiracy to kidnap wealthy Minnesota banker Edward Bremer and ransom him for $200,000 in January 1934. Edna fled but was arrested in Pittsburg, Kansas, on February 7. Edna was found not guilty in the kidnapping conspiracy but was returned to the Women’s prison in Jefferson City to finish serving her armed robbery sentence.

Meanwhile, Volney Davis was captured by federal agents in St. Louis on February 6, but escaped from custody the next day. He evaded capture for four months before being traced to Chicago by the FBI and arrested again. He cooperated with the government and provided testimony against other members of the gang, but still ended up on Alcatraz, where he spent the next several decades. He was released in the late 1950s and died in July 1979.

Edna also did her share of talking while in prison, giving evidence against not only Barker-Karpis gang members, but about corrupt police officers and lawyers, too. While behind bars, she marketed her persona as a gangster girlfriend, penning articles with titles like “I Was a Karpis-Barker Moll.” She was paroled from the Women’s prison on December 20, 1940 and passed away in 1966.

She never saw Volney Davis again.

This is my first year up in Marquette and I always like to know if the town I’m living in is haunted or has haunted places to visit. I did my research and found a couple places that are haunted. One of those places is the NMU college that I’m currently attending. I read about the stories and got a little spooked since I was in my dorm room by myself.

While I was reading the stories my roommates bookshelf fell over. This normally happens so I thought nothing of it and picked up everything (remember this).

I decided to go to my friend’s house which is about two miles away from campus. It was cold out so I figured I would drive there. As I’m walking to my car, I hear footsteps coming from behind me. My first thought was that it was another student walking to their car. But these steps got closer and closer and closer until I got nervous and turned around, no one was there. I freaked, ran to my car, locked the doors, and drove off. Everything was fine during the drive to my friends house and during the time I was there. I didn’t tell them what I experienced since I didn’t want to make it a big deal.

After spending some time with them, I decided to leave since it was a school night (this is where it gets creepy). Instead of walking to my car this time, I immediately ran to my car and locked the doors. Across from where I parked was a gas station. At that gas station there was a person sitting by the doors that go into the gas station. The person was wearing all black with their head down. Warning bells were ringing in my head and the little voice in my head was also saying “Go go go! Start your damn car!” I listened to those instincts and drove off.

For the first mile there was no cars and no one walking around. Then, out of nowhere a person pops up in front of me, also. Wearing. All. Black. I act normal and keep driving towards the person until I’m roughly 40 feet away and they decide to cross the street! I slam on my breaks as they take their time crossing. At this point I wasn’t even thinking about paranormal stuff. I was just pissed off that someone decided at the last minute to cross the street.

I finally arrive at campus and go to every parking lot near my dorm, then farther parking lots, and eventually realize there’s no parking spots; like usual… I park on a side street and start walking to campus. It was roughly a seven minute walk to my hall, so I picked up the pace, walking a little bit faster. I’m about halfway to the dorms when I hear someone say “hello”. I immediately do a 360 to see where that “hello” came from. In my head I was thinking it was coming from a person in their house or from a car parked in the lot I was walking pass. Nope, neither. With everything that had already happened, I clutched my pepper spray and ran to my dorm.

As I’m closing in on my hall I check to make sure no one was behind me just in case I was being stalked. Praying that I won’t see anything, I end up seeing a dark figure coming right at me closing the gap between us. I struggle to open the door and feel as if I’m paralyzed in fear. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I feel heavy breathing. I don’t bother looking back again and open the door to my hall. As soon as I step inside I feel safe. I make it to my dorm and drop all my stuff on the floor and lay on my futon. I go to pick up my phone and out of the corner of my eye, I see the bookshelf knocked over. But this time only the books were off the shelfs… The shelf was still standing upright.

To this day only the books fall of the shelf at random and I constantly feel like I’m being watched. I have never truly believed in ghosts. I was only interested in reading stories and never thought I would be writing my own experience. I want to believe that it was all a dream, but it was very much real.

They worked in great secrecy. Their goal was to create a society without a King and Church.

Their ideas were controversial and their members were considered so dangerous that the society was quickly banned. Some think members of the Illuminati are still active, working in secrecy trying to create a New World Order.

The Illuminati Order still fascinates and frightens people, but who were these people really and what were the goals of one of the most dangerous secret societies that ever existed?

To understand why the Illuminati society was established, one must first understand how politics and religion influenced Europe in the 16th and 17th century.

Our journey takes us back hundreds of years in time to Regensburg in Germany where the secret society was born.

The Illuminati society was created on May 1, 1176 by Johann Adam Weishaupt, who was only 26 years at the time, but already a Professor.

He adopted the name of “Brother Spartacus” within the order. Weishaupt was fascinated with the current Renaissance ideals and scientific discoveries, such as Isaac Newton’s breakthroughs in physics and Galileo Galilei’s astronomical discoveries based in Copernicus previous theories and studies. People now knew that Earth was not the center of the Universe and our planet orbited the Sun and not the other way round.

There were many secret societies in existence during this period and many felt there was a need to give people power to decide in important matters. The power and role of the authorities and Church were questioned.  There was a need for a radical change in the society and Weishaupt thought he had the “perfect” solution.

Weishaupt lectured at the Ingolstadt University in Bayern and he was the only professor who was not a member of the Jesuit order.

In 1773, Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Jesuits (also known as the Society of Jesus). This gave Weishaupt the opportunity to become a professor in canon law. The position had exclusively been held by a Jesuit up until that point.

In his free time, Weishaupt spent hours discussing new ideas with member of other secret societies.

The Illuminati wanted to make fundamental changes in the society. Their goals were:

Abolition of all ordered governments

Abolition of private property

Abolition of inheritance

Abolition of patriotism

Abolition of the family (children should be raised by the society)

Abolition of religion

Creation of a world government

The greatest enemy of all, was religion that, according to Weishaupt prevented progresses in the society.  The aim was to combat religion and foster rationalism in its place.

Needless to say, that the Illuminati’s ideas and goals were so controversial that the entire order and its members were soon considered a dangerous threat to the society.

Order were given to put an end to the Illuminati. Authorities sent agents to infiltrate the society and collect sensitive information that could be used against the Order of the Illuminati.

This was a challenging task because Illuminati’s members were very cautious, secretive and never undertook unnecessary risks.

When they wrote to each other they never mentioned the society’s name – Illuminati. Instead they used a special sign that serves as a symbol of their society – a circle with a dot in the middle, a sign for the Shining Sun.

All member used ancient Greek and Romans names as to hide their identity.

Ironically, Weishaupt’s agenda promoted free thinking and freedom, but his society certainly did not reflect these thoughts and the order was anything but democratic in nature. Weishaupt believed constant surveillance of the members created several advantages such as loyalty and eliminated the risks of traitors.

The actual workings of the order involved spies and counter-spies. Each isolated cell of initiates answered to a supervisor, that none of the initiates knew. Weishaupt also set specific books and materials that all members had to read. Although Weishaupt’s goal was “enlightenment” for its members and society as a whole, by its own rules and regulations it prevented free thought by its members.

The Church and authorities started to become impatient. The Illuminati became more and more popular and the secret society gained many followers.

Weishaupt wanted to create a large organization, but he had to work hard. He had to prevent that members of the Freemasons joined the Rosicrucian Order.

Weishaupt had no respect for and disapproved of the Rosicrucian Order that engaged in worship of the occult and alchemy.

“The thought that young men are trying to create gold and other nonsense is unacceptable to me,” Weishaupt said.

The Order of Illuminati existed for almost a decade before it was banned and eradicated by the authorities.

In 1784, writings from the Order were intercepted in Bavaria and the group was declared seditious banned.

Weishaupt lost his position at the university and fled Bavaria. Once Weishaupt left Bavaria the Order collapsed the Illuminati came to an end.

In 1777, Weishaupt tried a second time to promote his ideologies. He joined the Masonic lodge “Theodor zum guten Rath” in Munich, but his Illuminati reforms were not welcome and rejected by the Freemasons.

Knowing this, Weishaupt created a quasi-masonic society and recruited members from inside the fraternity. Weishaupt claimed that his system was “pure” masonry.

Weishaupt wrote four books on the Illuminati over a three-year period while in exile. They were A Complete History of the Persecutions of the Illuminati in Bavaria (1785), A Picture of Illuminism (1786), An Apology for the Illuminati (1786), and An Improved System of Illuminism (1787).

Weishaupt died in Gotha, Germany on November 18th, 1830. The society’s influence is still felt today partly because of the profound association it formed with Freemasons.

When Weird Darkness returns…

Greensboro student Maddie thought her apartment might be haunted when clothes vanished and noises came out of nowhere. The truth was even more terrifying.

Is it possible that OJ Simpson’s son Jason was the true killer of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown?

These stories are up next.

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A student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro was troubled by how often she heard strange noises in her apartment and how some of her shirts had miraculously vanished. What the student brushed off as a ghost turned out to be a 30-year-old man with a criminal record living in her closet.

Identified only as Maddie, the student would come home to her campus-adjacent apartment and often hear strange noises which she and her friends would joke were merely ghosts.

The paranormal may certainly have been a welcome alternative to Maddie’s actual situation. When Maddie came home on Saturday, Feb. 2 she heard the familiar rattling coming from her closet and the student, thinking it may be a raccoon, held the closet door shut and asked, “who’s there?” To her chagrin, somebody actually answered.

“I just hear rattling in my closet,” Maddie reported. “It sounded like a raccoon in my closet. I’m like ‘who’s there?’ And somebody answers me. He’s like ‘oh my name is Drew.’ I open the door and he’s in there, wearing all of my clothes. My socks. My shoes. And he has a book bag full of my clothes.”

Fortunately, Swofford was neither violent nor aggressive with the college junior who immediately called her boyfriend and maintained a conversation with the stranger to distract him from a potential confrontation.

“He tries on my hat. He goes in the bathroom and looks in the mirror and then is like, ‘you’re really pretty, can I give you a hug?” Maddie recalled. “But he never touched me.”

When Maddie’s boyfriend arrived, the 30-year-old fled, WFMY-TV reported. It didn’t take long, though, for police to find and arrest him at a local gas station.

Identified as Andrew Swofford, the man was charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering. He was also previously jailed in Guilford County and held under a $26,000 bond on 14 felony charges which included identity theft and larceny.

Indeed, the closet-squatter is facing a host of additional charges from previous incidents, including failure to appear, felony breaking and entering, resist, delaying or obstructing a police officer, and possession of stolen goods, according to the Greensboro News and Record.

Naturally, the bizarre incident has left both Maddie and her roommate alarmed about the safety levels of their living quarters — particularly because this wasn’t the first time unfamiliar men have made themselves at home in their apartment.

“There was two guys in the living room,” said Maddie, referring to a December incident. The leasing office in charge didn’t file a police report but made sure to change the locks once the two men vacated Maddie’s university home.

With two of these incidents occurring in fairly rapid procession, and arguably getting more unnerving, Maddie and her roommate are increasingly hesitant to continue living in their home. The two students are confounded as to how people keep managing to enter their apartment, especially because both women maintain that they lock the door and there are no visible break-in damages.

“Last night I did not feel safe. I slept with my roommate in her bed,” said Maddie. “I can’t stay here. My closet, it stinks. Every time I go in (my room) there’s a bad vibe. I’m just ready to leave.”

Unsurprisingly, the student has decided to move into an entirely new apartment building in an undisclosed part of town.

“I’m leaving tonight, yeah,” she said. “Just signed a lease for a new apartment.”

In October 1995, OJ Simpson was acquitted in one of the most sensational murder trials of the 20th century.

As millions of stunned viewers watched on, the former American football star was declared not guilty of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown  and her friend Ron Goldman.

The trial had become a global media circus and despite much evidence indicating Simpson’s guilt, his lawyers’ accusations of evidence tampering and racism amongst the Los Angeles Police convinced the jury to acquit.

The general consensus regarded the verdict as a miscarriage of justice; Simpson had obviously killed his ex-wife and then bought his acquittal with an expensive all-star team of lawyers.

The media strongly focused on Simpson’s guilt. One notorious Time magazine cover was deliberately darkened, allegedly to show Simpson in a more sinister light. Few countenanced the idea that Simpson might be innocent.

A high profile American TV show dramatized the OJ Simpson case in 2016, with actor Cuba Gooding Jr. playing OJ. It followed much the same de-facto narrative about the crime as has been featured in the press since 1994.

In recent years, however, some investigators have challenged this widespread belief that Simpson was guilty of the murders and begun to focus on his son Jason.

Jason Simpson, the theory goes, was a deeply troubled and violent young man who did not have an alibi for the night and carried knives on his person.

Could Jason be the true murderer of Nicole and Ron?

Private investigator Bill Dear has spent several years pursuing his theory that Jason Simpson was the real murderer, going as far as sifting through his trash in search of evidence. In his book ‘O.J. is Innocent and I Can Prove it’, Dear cites Jason’s history of violent outbursts as proof for his theory.

Dear says he found evidence Jason was diagnosed with IED – ‘Intermittent Explosive Disorder’, a syndrome characterized by extreme outbursts of anger and rage over often trivial matters.

According to Dear, at the time of the murders Jason was on probation after being arrested for attacking a former employer with a knife. Two months earlier he violently assaulted Jennifer Green, his then girlfriend. On another occasion, he attacked a former girlfriend and sliced off her hair with a knife.

Dear also found what he says are Jason’s personal diaries. They appear to reveal a man tormented by obsessive feelings of violence. One entry reads — ”It’s the year of the knife for me. I cut away my problems with a knife. Anybody touches my friends — I will kill them. I’m also tired of being Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

Jason apparently became so terrified by what he might do during these violent rages that on one occasion he checked himself into a mental hospital. In Dear’s book he suggests Jason had been prescribed antipsychotic drugs for his IED but had stopped taking them shortly before the murders.

The murders of Nicole and Ron Goldman were particularly savage, Nicole Brown was stabbed multiple times in the head and neck, one cut so deep it almost decapitated her. Ron Goldman suffered dozens of stab wounds to his head, neck and body in a prolonged fight with the murderer.

Police described the brutal murders as ‘rage killings’. Could Jason have attacked Nicole and Ron Goldman in a violent fit? He certainly had the means, a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality and, as a chef, he was known to routinely carry knives about with him.

Dear claims Jason also had a motive; on the night of the murders Nicole was reportedly due to bring the family to Jason’s restaurant where he was going to cook for them, an event he was looking forward to. However, Nicole canceled the engagement at the last minute which greatly upset him.

As the sufferer of a mental illness that made him prone to exaggerate minor incidents, could this perceived slight have pushed Jason to murder?

Jason was never considered a suspect by the police, who immediately fixated on his father. He wasn’t even questioned and it was always thought he was working at Jackson’s restaurant in Beverly Hills at the time the murders occurred.

But Dear found Jason’s time card for that night and discovered an odd irregularity. Where all the other entries were printed, the time Jason clocked off on the night of the murders had been written in afterwards by hand.

Dear also interviewed workers at the restaurant and discovered Jason had actually closed the kitchen early that night because business was slow.

If Dear’s claims are correct, Jason not only lied about his alibi but his whereabouts at the time of the murders are unknown.

The murder of Ron Goldman followed a prolonged struggle with his attacker. Goldman, a strongly built man more than 20 years OJ’s junior was a karate black belt and there was evidence he put up a fierce defense of his life.

Goldman’s body and fists were covered in dozens of bruises, scratches and cuts, even his shoes had cuts on them, indicating he had kicked his murderer. His battered knuckles showed he had repeatedly made contact not just with the assailant’s flesh but his bones.

Forensic pathologist Michael Baden estimated Goldman may have struggled with his attacker for up to 15 minutes. Yet when OJ’s body was examined and photographed by the police the next day, aside from a small cut on his finger, he was entirely free of any mark or injury.

Even this cut did not appear to be evident when OJ stopped to sign autographs on his way to catch a plane just an hour or so after the murders were supposed to have occurred. This cut, much trumpeted by the prosecution, also did not match any corresponding cut in the bloody glove the attacker was thought to have worn.

How could OJ have brutally murdered two people with a knife and been in such a prolonged violent struggle with Goldman and not have sustained any injuries?

Whilst much of the convincing forensic evidence against Simpson was undermined by allegations of sloppy handling and tampering, some evidence also exists that point to his innocence.

Blood and skin found under Nicole’s fingernails, as well as blood splatter on her back, matched neither her, Ron Goldman or OJ Simpson and are unidentified to this day. Jason was never interviewed by the police and never gave a DNA sample, was the blood his?

The navy blue knit cap found at the scene matched a knit cap Jason was known to wear before the murders. Hair from an Afro-American male, as well as dog hairs, were found in the cap. One picture showing Jason wearing an identical cap has him reclined on his bed with his dog.

No knife matching the murder weapon was ever found amongst OJ’s belongings. However, a knife found amongst Jason’s belongings is consistent with the wound thought to have been inflicted with the butt of a knife on Nicole’s head.

All of the forensic pathologists who testified at the trial agreed the murderer must have been covered in blood after such a violent attack, yet only a small drop of it was found in the white Bronco Simpson was alleged to have fled the scene in.

The accused was then said to have rushed back to his home to clean up, yet the white carpet that covered the ground floor of Simpson’s Brentwood house was inexplicably free of any trace of blood.

When it became apparent Simpson was going to be arrested for the murders he left what appeared to be a suicide note with the media and took off in his white Ford Bronco.

Driven by his old friend Al Cowlings, OJ was on the back seat of the vehicle with a gun up to his head. In bizarre scenes broadcast live on TV, the Bronco could be seen in a slow speed chased followed by 20 police cars.

After more than an hour of pleading Simpson was finally persuaded to put the gun down and he handed himself in to the authorities.

In the Bronco the police found $8,000 in cash, a change of clothing, a loaded .357 Magnum, a passport, family pictures, and a fake goatee and moustache.

Simpson’s extraordinary behaviour was clearly indicative of some kind of guilt and many took it almost as a confession. Would OJ really have tried to commit suicide if he was, in fact, innocent of the crimes? Or did he realise he was going to take the rap for his son Jason and panic?

Bloody footprints found at the scene matched OJ’s rare size 12 Bruno Magli shoes. Simpson denied ever owning the footwear but investigators subsequently uncovered multiple photographs showing him wearing the same shoes.

It seems at the very least OJ was present at the crime scene, but was he the murderer? Or was his presence there an attempt to cover up for Jason?

Multiple witnesses report seeing Simpson near the vicinity of the crime scene around the time of the murders, but none reported seeing Jason.

Local resident Jill Shively nearly collided with OJ’s speeding Bronco when it ran a red light close to the murder scene just minutes after the attacks were thought to have occurred.

“O.J. was inches away from me,” she said. “His eyes were like a madman’s. He waved his arms and screamed: ‘Move! Get out of my way!’”

Nicole’s neighbour Robert Heidstra also testified seeing a white vehicle similar to Simpson’s Bronco rapidly leaving the murder scene.

These witnesses look bad for OJ. But they are not evidence that he killed Brown and Goldman, only that he may have been present at the crime scene.

Unlike OJ, Jason was never examined and photographed by police doctors. But that aside, he can be seen in TV reports amongst the police, family and employees circulating around Simpson’s Rockingham home in the aftermath of the crime.

There has never been any suggestion, not even anecdote or rumour, that Jason showed any sign of injury during this time. If he had just violently murdered two people, involving the aforementioned fight with Ron Goldman, he would surely have had visible cuts and bruises that would have aroused the suspicion of those around him.

On the night of April 14, 1865, President Lincoln and his wife, Mary, were scheduled to attend a showing of a play called “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater in Washington. It was supposed to be a night of celebration. The Civil War was finally ending, Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered just days before, and everyone was in high spirits.

President Lincoln sent an invitation to General Ulysses S. Grant, along with his wife, Julia, to join him at the theater that night, but Grant was unable to attend. So, Lincoln sent a second invitation to Major Henry Reed Rathbone, a U.S. military officer and diplomat, and his fiancée, Clara Harris, to join the Lincolns in their private box. Rathbone gladly accepted.

The Lincoln party arrived late — the play had already begun—but upon seeing the president and his guests making their way to the box, the audience began to cheer. President Lincoln gave a modest bow, then the couples took their seats.

It was shortly after 10:00 PM when John Wilkes Booth, armed with a revolver and knife, entered the box and shot Lincoln in the back of his head. Rathbone sprang to his feet and attempted to prevent Booth from fleeing. The two men struggled, and Booth tried to stab Henry in the chest with a large knife he was carrying, but Henry was able to deflect the blade by pushing Booth’s arm upwards. The knife plunged into Henry’s arm, slashing a deep gash between his elbow and shoulder.

Despite the injury, Henry continued fighting with Booth, but the assassin was able to escape by dropping to the stage, some 12 feet below. His leg was broken but he fled the theater.

It was then that Henry turned to President Lincoln, who was slumped over in his chair. When he realized how serious his condition was, he hurried to get help.

Audience member, Dr. Charles Leale, a surgeon, was the first to reach the scene. After discovering a bullet hole in the back of Lincoln’s head, he suggested moving the injured man to a nearby boarding house for further examination.

Henry and Clara took care of the First Lady as Lincoln was being examined, but then, quite unexpectedly, Henry fainted from a loss of blood. When he recovered, he was taken to his fiancée’s home so that his wound could be treated. He didn’t respond well to the doctor’s efforts. Henry became delirious, talking about the shooting and his failure to apprehend Booth.

Unlike President Lincoln, Henry recovered his wounds – his physical ones, anyway. He and Clara would both have a very difficult time dealing with the memories of the tragedy in the years to come.

For instance, Clara made the peculiar decision to pose for photographer Matthew Brady while wearing the dress that she had on the night of the assassination. It was still crusted with Henry’s dried blood. Afterward, she placed the dress in the back of her closet and later, had it entombed behind a brick wall at her parent’s home.

In 1867, Henry and Clara were married, and he retired from the army a few years later. The marriage turned out to be a volatile one – largely due to the post-traumatic stress that Henry suffered from. As the years passed, he became increasingly unstable, plagued by health problems, including chronic heart palpitations.

After Henry’s retirement, he moved his family to Germany. If they were hoping that a fresh start would help their marriage – or Henry’s precarious mental health – they were tragically mistaken.

Two days before Christmas, in 1883, Henry went into a rage and, gripping a revolver and knife in his hands, made his way to the bedroom of his children. He had become convinced that they needed to die. Clara tried to stop him, but he shot her, and then stabbed her to death. When he saw what he had done, Henry stabbed himself in the chest five times. The wounds did not prove fatal.

The broken man never stood trial for his wife’s murder. He was declared insane and was sent to the Provincial Insane Asylum, where he died in 1911, at age 74.

But that was not quite the end of the story.

In 1910, the year before his father’s death, Henry Riggs Rathbone, the oldest of Henry and Clara’s children, reportedly broke down the brick wall at his grandparent’s cottage that his mother had built decades before to shut out the past. He recovered the blood-stained dress that she had left there and burned it in the yard.

It was an end, he hoped, to the Rathbone family curse.

Up next…

Is a modern-day wolf-man prowling the woods of central England?

What compelled young priests in training to commit suicide in Room 2 of Ireland’s national seminary?

An Oxford University professor claims aliens are already breeding with humans on earth – could he be right?

These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns.

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Wolf-men prowling around the woods of central England? The saga began in March 2007, when a paranormal investigations group, the West Midlands Ghost Club found itself on the receiving end of something extremely weird and surely unanticipated: a stash of reports of werewolf-like beasts seen lurking among the old gravestones of the Cannock Chase’s German Military Cemetery. It is a large cemetery where the remains of almost 5,000 German soldiers and airmen are held. During both the First and Second World Wars, numerous German military personnel were captured and transferred to prisoner of war camps across the U.K. Many of those same military personnel died during the hostilities and were buried in cemeteries and graveyards closest to where they were previously imprisoned. In 1959, however, the governments of the U.K. and Germany reached an agreement which resulted in the remains of the 4,929 Germans who died on British soil all being transferred to one, specific location: the then newly constructed Cannock Chase German Military Cemetery.

Such was the interest that the wolf-man-like reports provoked, Mike Lockley, the then-editor of the local – and now defunct – newspaper, the Chase Post, gave the story a great deal of page-space. To the extent that the publicity brought in even more reports. For around three months, the good folk of the Cannock Chase found themselves plunged into a controversy that had at its heart sinister shape-shifting monsters that lurked among the long dead. It was a controversy that very soon was destined to become filled with terror and hysteria. The morphing monsters of the Cannock Chase were not typical of the old legends, however. In other words, this was most assuredly not a case of witnesses reporting people changing into werewolves (or vice-versa). No, they were wolf-like creatures that had the ability to alter their body structure, thus allowing them to walk on both four legs and two.

One of the earliest reports – referenced in the Stafford Post newspaper on April 26, 2007, in an article titled “Werewolf spotted in Stafford” – came from a local postman who, while riding his motorbike past the cemetery on one particular, sunny morning, caught sight of what at first he thought was a large dog walking around the cemetery. It was not a dog at all: it was a walking nightmare. The man was amazed, and more than a little concerned, by what he could soon see was a wolf. But, it was a wolf of extraordinary size. That wild wolves have reportedly been extinct in the United Kingdom since 1680 made matters even more amazing. That was the year in which one Sir Ewen Cameron killed a wild wolf in Perthshire, Scotland; quite possibly the very last wild wolf in the entire U.K. Granted, there have been sporadic reports of wolves still inhabiting some of the less travelled, and even less inhabited parts, of the country. Nothing, however, has even surfaced conclusively to demonstrate that wolves have lived in the wilds of the U.K. since the 17th century. But, try telling that to the beasts of a certain cemetery. And good luck telling that to the witnesses, too.

As the man slowed his bike down to a complete stop, he stared in awe and fear as the bulky animal prowled around the gravestones, and making it abundantly clear to the man that this was no husky dog or something similar. The stone-cold facts hit the man suddenly and hard: there was a wolf on the Cannock Chase. As the witness watched, entranced and with his heart practically pounding out of his chest, something terrifying and unearthly happened. The wolf caught sight of the man, froze, and stared intently in his direction; its eyes firmly locked on him for a few terrifying seconds. It was then that the body of the four-legged animal began to change, to mutate. The postman could only sit and watch – near-paralyzed to the spot – as the hind legs of the wolf started to grow in length. Oddly, and for a second or several, the creature became blurry to the eye as its form began to change. Then, with its legs now very much resembling those of a human in shape, the beast reared up on its morphed limbs and took on a bipedal stance. Not surprisingly, all that the man could think of was: werewolf. Fortunately for the witness, the creature raced into the heart of the woods and, within seconds, was gone. It was soon destined to return, however.

Only weeks later, yet another encounter in the cemetery: this time the witness was the leader of a local Scouts group. He, too, had the distinct misfortune to cross paths with the monster. And, also as was the case with the postman’s experience, the witness at first assumed that what he was seeing was a wolf – perhaps one which had escaped from a private zoo, he initially thought. That theory went completely out of the window when the animal shape-shifted into a hairy, humanoid form, rose up onto its back legs – and to a height of around seven feet – and charged off into the darkened depths of the surrounding trees.

In another case, a woman from the nearby town of Rugeley described seeing such a monster barely a two minute drive from the cemetery, late one night in July 2007. On this occasion, the creature was in its upright werewolf form, and was stood near the edge of a tree-shrouded small lane as she approached it. She brought her car to a complete halt and, gripping the steering wheel, watched as it was enveloped in a blue haze, took on that blurry appearance described by the postman of just a couple of months earlier, altered its body shape and dropped down onto all-fours. In seconds it was gone. And so was the woman, who quickly drove home in a state of ice cold terror.

As is so often the situation in cases like this one, the mystery came to a sudden halt: the beast was gone and never returned.

“Almost every Irish person has been told some form of ghost story from their granny or grandad,” the Irish Mirror wrotein a recent roundup of the most haunted places in Ireland, “or even witnessed one themselves.”

In Ireland, imposing castle walls and ivy-covered manors loom like gray ghosts in the warm glow of the modern world. It is a culture where folklore from the country’s ancient pagan roots is interwoven with centuries of Roman Catholic superstition to create a unique culture in which fairies may swap your wife or child for a changeling—an evil look-alike—and it is common knowledge that the devil lurks in Loftus Hall.

Even within the hallowed walls of St. Patrick’s College, Ireland’s national seminary in Maynooth where priests have been trained for over 200 years, a malicious spirit seems to have taken up residence.

The story of the Ghost Room was related to me by Padraig Lawlor, a scholar of theology and Irish history who studied at Maynooth University. During his time there, he gleaned the ghastly details of the legend from his professors, as well as in the environment where the story really came to life—in the pubs, where it was retold by locals “who had a few too many pints of Guinness.”

The History Department, where Padraig spent a considerable amount of time, is headquartered in a building known as Rhetoric House. Today, the university and the seminary share a campus, but when Rhetoric House was built in 1834, it served as a residence for priests in training. The Ghost Room, officially designated Room 2, is located on the same floor as the history professors’ offices. It is a predominantly empty room with a small altar covering the only window. A statue of St. Joseph, the Patron Saint of Peaceful Death, occupies the altar.

“You can still see what appears to be bloodstains on the wooden floor,” Padraig told me.

The first suicide happened in the early 1840s.

The gruesome scene was discovered after the resident of Room 2 missed the day’s lectures. When his friends went looking for him, they found him in his room soaking in a pool of his own blood from a self-inflicted gash across his throat.

Room 2 was vacant for the rest of the year.

The following year the room was assigned to a new, unwitting young man who, shockingly, was found dead under the exact same circumstances…throat slashed and razor in hand.

Sometime after that another resident of Room 2 was found lying on the ground outside Rhetoric House after he jumped from the third floor window. He was still alive, though barely.

Before succumbing to his injuries, the student told college authorities that he had seen a demonic face in the mirror that morning. He then became compelled by a powerful urge to end his life, and grabbed his razor uncontrollably. Struggling against what he believed was a demonic force manipulating him to cut his own throat, he threw himself through the window to make it stop.

After this incident a priest spent a night in the room hoping to determine what was causing young men to kill themselves. According to the legend, he was so horrified by whatever he experienced that when he emerged the following morning his hair had gone completely white.

He was never able to speak about what he encountered that night.

“At the time, suicide was regarded as a horrifying sin,” Padraig said. “The matter was covered up by the college and the students were buried in an unconsecrated part of the college cemetery, away from the other graves.”

Room 2 was closed and eventually converted into the oratory it is today. It is also used as the History Department’s work room, so if you need to make copies or pick up your graded history exam, you’ll have to contend with whatever evil may still be lurking.

But don’t bring any mirrors into the Ghost Room hoping to see the demonic presence because, according to rumor, that is strictly forbidden.

When paranormal researcher Hans Holzer investigated the room with psychic Sybil Leek, they felt fear and the desire to run, as well as a strong presence around the statue of St. Joseph.

Sybil also received the impression of a four-legged creature.

AN Oxford University professor has claimed aliens are already breeding with humans to create a new hybrid species that will save the planet.

Dr Young-hae Chi, an instructor in Korean at Oxford’s Oriental Institute, part of the prestigious university, thinks this new species will save Earth from annihilation from climate change.

Dr Chi first said the hybrids may already exist in a lecture in 2012 but has now written a book on the subject.

He believes there is a strong correlation between climate change and alien abductions, the Oxford Student newspaper has reported.

His book, written in Korean, is called Alien Visitations and the End of Humanity.

He says he has identified four types of aliens – small, tall and bold, scaly with snake eyes, and insect-like.

Dr Chi believes the insect aliens may be in charge and give orders to the other types.

The aliens exist in their own bio-system that humans cannot experience because our perception is limited by our organs, the professor has claimed.

As the aliens are said to be highly intelligent, so Dr Chi believes they could solve the problems on Earth in the future, such as climate change.

He said: “So, they come not for the sake of us, but for the sake of them, their survival, but their survival is actually our survival as well — the survival of the entire biosphere.”

Dr Chi said he was “still looking for more evidence to support my view”.

His initial lecture, Alien Abduction and the Environmental Crisis, outlined his theory.

He cited an “abduction researcher” in the US, who argued that aliens’ primary purpose is to colonise the planet by interbreeding with humans to produce a new hybrid species.

Dr Chi believes aliens appear on Earth when the planet is facing significant problems, such as climate change or nuclear war, and he concluded: “It may be more or less assumed that the hybrid project is a response to this impending demise of human civilization.”

When Weird Darkness returns…

Is it possible that the Early Middle Ages, years 614-911 A.D. never existed? That’s the claim of an extremely controversial theory.

A man is convinced his Swedish grandmother continues to look in on him, even years after her death.

These stories are up next!

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One of the most intriguing and highly controversial theories dealing with ancient history is without doubt the “Phantom Time Hypothesis”.

According to this unconventional and thought-provoking theory the Early Middle Ages (614-911 A.D) never existed because the Western calendar was misdated.

The Phantom Time Hypothesis was developed by German scientist Heribert Illig. Another German researcher Hans-Ulrich Niemitz expanded on this theory after he accidentally learned about the problem of faked documents in the Middle Ages.

In his science paper “Did the Early Middle Ages Really Exist?” Dr. Hans-Ulrich Niemitz points out that we can find medieval falsifications in every kind of documents. There are literally thousands of recognized forgeries from the Middle Ages. People forged wills, history texts, land deed and more. The Church falsified documents and relics on regular basis too.

It should be added that since people didn’t own any clocks, they couldn’t track days like we do today.

To find out what day it was, they simply asked a priest.

These are facts that speak in favor for the Phantom Time Hypothesis.

“The easiest way to understand doubts about the accepted chronology and ‘well-known’ history is to seriously systematize the problems of medieval research.
This will lead us to detect a pattern which proves my thesis and gives reason to assume that a phantom period of approximately 300 years has been inserted between 600 AD to 900 AD, either by accident, by misinterpretation of documents or by deliberate falsification.

This period and all events that are supposed to have happened therein never existed. Buildings and artifacts ascribed to this period really belong to other periods, “Dr. Hans-Ulrich Niemitz says.
The reason why the Western calendar was misdated was because Holy Roman Emperor, Otto III, in collusion with Pope Sylvester II wanted to celebrate the end of the first millennium 297 years earlier.

By examining several curious historical gaps the scientists were able to elaborate further on the Phantom Time Hypothesis.

“We looked for ‘gaps’ in special reports and publications, also for periods of stagnation or strange events repeated in similar manner after approximately 300 years. I only refer to some of a great number of puzzles: a gap in the history of building in Constantinople (558 AD – 908 AD); a gap in the doctrine of faith, especially the gap in the evolution of theory and meaning of purgatory (600 AD until ca. 1100), a 300-year-long reluctant introduction of farming techniques (three-acre-system, horse with cummet) and of war techniques (stirrup), a gap in the mosaic art (565 AD – 1018 AD), a repeated beginning of the German orthography etc. etc. The puzzles of historiography led the way, pointing out again and again the ‘gap’ which we soon termed ‘phantom time’.”

One of the most startling proposals is that Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great and widely recognized as the Father of Europe was a fictional character who lived in an imaginary time.

According to Dr. Hans-Ulrich Niemitz there are two reasons why the ‘fakers’ needed a phantom time of 297 years.

Hypothesis 1 states that “Otto III didn’t live accidentally around the year 1000 AD; he himself had defined this date! He wanted to reign in this year, because this suited his understanding of Christian milleniarism. He defined this date with the help of his famous and well-versed friend Gerbert de Aurillac, later Pope Sylvester II.

In reality they lived approximately seven hundred years after the birth of Jesus Christ, but never until then had the years been reckoned ‘after Christ’. Perhaps unaware of their error and without intending to falsify they defined one special year as ‘1000 AD’ (Illig 1991). Consequently chroniclers had to invent 300 years of history. To fill up empty periods – what a great occasion for dynasties and kings!”

Hypothesis 2 states that” Constantine VII of Byzantium (905 – 959 AD) organized a complete rewriting of the whole Byzantine history.”

So, is the Phantom Time Hypothesis really true? We do not know that.

It is impossible to tell at this time because this theory requires much more research. What I can tell you is that if the Phantom Time Hypothesis is correct then our calendar year was increased by 297 years without the corresponding passage of time. This means that our current year is not 2019 but 1722.

My Grannie Nicholas was an amazing woman, who had fought in the Dutch resistance during the Second World War and had met my Grandad during the liberation of Holland. They had got married and settled in England after the war and brought up their family in my home town of Boston. She played a big part in helping to bring me up when my parents’ marriage broke up. My sister and I would often stay at her bungalow and sleep in a big double bed. When it was our bedtime, she would come into the room and say our prayers and buff up our pillows and say ‘snug as a bug in a rug.’ As we grew up she would tell us all sorts of strange ghost stories related to her own experiences. She always claimed to have a sixth sense to see ghosts as she was the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter.

In 1993, I moved to the Doncaster area and taught history a local school in Mexborough. I met a local girl and settled down in Bessacarr and had my own family. My grandmother always loved children and my mum would often bring her to our house to visit. Unfortunately, she suffered from dementia, but as soon as I put my baby daughter Rebecca into her arms she would awaken and come back into herself. It was a strange and beautiful thing to see.

On the night of her death, my mum rang to let me know that she was close to passing away. I had popped down a few days before to hold her hand and say goodbye. As I lay in bed at about 10. 45 I felt a presence come into our house. It first went into my young son’s room, who woke up, briefly cried and then as quickly stopped. It then went to my baby daughter’s room and she also woke up, briefly cried and then as quickly stopped and then it came into my room. I felt the presence of my gran and kiss against my cheek and in my mind I heard her say ‘as snug as a bug in a rug.’ The phone then went; it was my mum letting me know that my Gran had just passed away.

It can be very easy to dismiss these sorts of experiences as wishful thinking, but several years later both my Grannie Kay and my sister who lived in Seattle reported similar experiences. My Grannie Kay was pretty much chair bound and often could only sleep sat up because her breathing problems At night her carers would make her comfortable and would turn off the TV at the socket as she was always worried about an electrical fire. Shortly before my Grannie Kay died she told me several strange things which had happened to her, but she told that on the night of my Grannie Nicholas’ death her TV had turned on and my Gran appeared on the TV outside of my mum’s house, where she had died, waving goodbye. I then told her about my own experience. Spine-tinglingly, my sister told me exactly the same story, but in her case she was doing some housework at the time in her home, thousands of miles away in Seattle in the USA.

Occasionally, our new house is still occasionally visited by a presence, which I liked to think is my Gran popping into to check on me.

If you made it this far, welcome to the Weirdo Family. If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media or tell a friend/family member about the podcast and maybe they’ll become a Weirdo family member 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.

Author of the gremlin poem is unknown, provided by the Royal Air Force Squadron 100.

“The Gremlin Question” by Hubert Griffith

“Gremlins On The Attack” by Pastor Swope

“Escape of the Kissing Bandit” by Troy Taylor

“Invisible Stalker” by Gian Naoco

“Secret Society of the Illuminati” by Ellen Lloyd

“Closet Criminal” by Marco Margaritoff

“O.J. Simpson: A Killer In The Family” posted at The Unredacted

“Something Sinister at a Cemetery” by Nick Redfern

“The Ghost Room of Maynooth” by Charlie Hintz

“Are Aliens Breeding With Humans?” by Jon Rogers

“The Phantom Time Hypothesis” by Ellen Lloyd

“The Assassination Curse” by Troy Taylor

“The Seventh Daughter of the Seventh Daughter” by Roy – posted at Your Ghost Stories

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 can find a link in the show notes.

Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… Matthew 6:14 = For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

And a final thought… Life is beautiful, one day, one hour and one minute will not come again in your life. Avoid fights, anger, hatred, be kind to everyone and thank God for everything.

I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.

 

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