“THE PARANORMAL OF MOUNT EVEREST” and 5 More Terrifying True Horror Stories! #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: Want to live on the cheap in Tokyo, Japan? It’s easy to do – if you don’t mind living with a ghost or two. (Tokyo Ghosts) *** Cryptozoologists are abuzz right now about recent sightings of a creature seen in the lakes of Connemara in Ireland. The creature is rumored to be up to 30 feet long, with a mane of hair running along its back. Is it a yet undiscovered species of fish? A giant eel? A cousin to the Loch Ness monster in Scotland – or even perhaps a living dinosaur? No one has yet been able to answer the question – but this August, monster hunters from around the globe are coming together in Ireland to try and find answers. (The Giant Eels of Connemara) *** High school teacher Pamela Smart fell in love. Unfortunately, she fell in love with a 15-year-old student… and that is only the beginning of this horrible story. (High School Homicide) *** Weirdo family member, Josh Marinkovic, tells an eerie true experience that would shake anyone to the core. (Oh, He’s Not Home) *** For decades, mountain hikers have been reporting strange things happening on Mount Everest while scaling to the top. Weird events and encounters that could only be described as supernatural. (The Paranormal of Mount Everest)
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“Monster Hunters Invading Ireland” by Allbhe Daly: http://bit.ly/2ZOPmQ5
“The Giant Eel Controversy” by Nick Redfern: http://bit.ly/2NaROyN
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“Tokyo Ghosts” by Brent Swancer: http://bit.ly/2Rx8mPS
“The Paranormal of Mount Everest” by Max Booth III: http://bit.ly/2X3npab
“Oh, He’s Not Home” by Weirdo family member Josh Marinkovic: http://bit.ly/2x8we36
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Mount Everest is plagued with supernatural phenomena, ghost sightings, and other unexplained occurrences. And rescue missions on the mountain are considered suicidal. Stranded hikers are sometimes left exposed to the elements so long that they don’t survive; the mountain is like an open graveyard. Corpses are constantly abandoned or frozen in the snow. So it’s no wonder that ghost sightings on Mount Everest are inevitable. It would almost be weirder if there weren’t any at all.
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.
Coming up in this episode of Weird Darkness…
Want to live on the cheap in Tokyo, Japan? It’s easy to do – if you don’t mind living with a ghost or two.
Cryptozoologists are abuzz about recent sightings of a creature seen in the lakes of Connemara in Ireland. The creature is rumored to be up to 30 feet long, with a mane of hair running along its back. Is it a yet undiscovered species of fish? A giant eel? A cousin to the Loch Ness monster in Scotland – or even perhaps a living dinosaur? No one has yet been able to answer the question – but recently monster hunters from around the globe came together in Ireland to try and find answers.
High school teacher Pamela Smart fell in love. Unfortunately, she fell in love with a 15-year-old student… and that is only the beginning of this horrible story.
Weirdo family member, Josh Marinkovic, tells an eerie true experience that would shake anyone to the core.
For decades, mountain hikers have been reporting strange things happening on Mount Everest while scaling to the top. Weird events and encounters that could only be described as supernatural.
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, 24/7 streaming video of Horror Hosts and classic horror movies, you can find my other podcast, “Church of the Undead”, plus you can visit the “Hope In The Darkness” page if you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or thoughts of suicide. And you can also shop the Weird Darkness store where all profits go to support depression awareness and relief. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
Some of the scary tales about Mount Everest are obviously fake, but some have a ring of truth. At such high altitudes, it’s logical to explain some of these supernatural Mount Everest hauntings as simple hallucinations. A significant decrease in oxygen makes the brain conjure up some peculiar images.
But what if there’s some credence to these scary tales? What if something really is haunting the Himalayan mountain?
Mount Everest is notorious for its corpses. People travel from all around the world to climb the Himalayan mountain, but not all of them survive the harsh conditions. There are avalanches, slippery slopes, and inclement temperatures that prove fatal. Unfortunately, many of the bodies continue to go unidentified. In fact, in 2017, four bodies were discovered in a tent on an Everest base camp. Analysts believed the campers passed away due to altitude sickness. The creepy kicker? None of the local climbing agencies reported any climbers missing.
Pemba Dorje, a Sherpa from Nepal, confessed to spotting “black shadows” during his 2004 ascent of Mount Everest. He noted: “When I paused at a mound of rocks I saw some spirits in the form of black shadows coming towards me, stretching their hands and begging for something to eat.”
Dorje theorized that the shadows were perhaps spirits belonging to mountaineers killed during past climbs. His theory isn’t too far-fetched because it’s sometimes tradition to leave a deceased climber’s body on the mountain as a form of respect.
While Mount Everest hosts hundreds of corpses, there is one corpse, in particular, everybody seems to talk about. The deceased man is known as “Green Boots,” but his real name may be Tsewang Paljor. The body is now a landmark on the main northeast ridge route of the mountain. In death, Green Boots has become a guide for the living.
Mohan Singh, a resident of a Bemni (a local Himalayan village), reportedly encountered a strange man outside his home one day while chopping wood during the winter months of 2009. The sky turned black and the stranger demanded to know why Singh was cutting the trees. Then he reached for Singh’s shirt, but the stranger’s fingers went right through Singh’s body – just like a ghost’s fingers might. Also throughout the altercation, the stranger’s body continuously changed sizes, growing up to nine-feet tall then suddenly shrinking to the height of a chicken.
Baba Harbhajan Singh (no relation to Mohan Singh I just told you about), was an Indian army soldier known as the “Hero of Nathula” – he passed away in 1968 after slipping into a stream while escorting a mule in the Himalayas. His body was eventually recovered by a search party supposedly led by his own ghost. Singh entered soldiers’ dreams and informed them of his death. He would also randomly appear on horseback, guiding the search party to his body.
Some people say that Singh’s ghost still protects India’s border against any impending attacks.
After escaping the strange man, Singh found himself with an intense fever. He believed the only way to resolve the fever was to slaughter a goat during a special exorcism ceremony arranged by a Hindu priest.
In June 1933, Frank Smythe suddenly sensed he wasn’t alone as he descended from one of Mount Everest’s notorious death zones. During a break from the arduous journey, he encountered the presence of a man. Smythe divided his mint cake and attempted to share half of it with a phantom companion. Some time later, Smythe discovered two dark, bulbous objects hovering above him. He described one of the objects as having “squat, underdeveloped wings” while the other possessed a “beak-like protuberance like the spout of a teakettle.” The inexplicable objects remained pulsating over him until eventually disappearing in a passing mist.
Arguably the best evidence of real Yetis actually comes from photographs of numerous large footprints found in snow on Mount Everest. Some of the photos were snapped by Himalayan mountaineer Eric Shipton and he shared:
*****“It was on one of the glaciers of the Menlung basin, at a height of about 19,000 feet, that, late one afternoon, we came across those curious footprints in the snow… We did not follow them further than was convenient, a mile or so, for we were carrying heavy loads at the time, and besides we had reached a particularly interesting stage in the exploration of the basin… These particular ones seemed to be very fresh, probably not more than 24 hours old… [We] had no doubt whatever that the creatures (for there had been at least two) that had made the tracks were ‘Yetis’ or ‘wild men.’”*****
In 1975, Dougal Haston and Doug Scott claimed to sense a “third climber” aiding their survival during one particularly brutal night on Mount Everest. Haston and Scott were members of the first expedition that successfully climbed Mount Everest using an uncharted path. Their hiking method utilized finger holds, edges, and smears, rather than normal crack climbing.
The ghostly mountaineer that the men encountered apparently provided extra company and encouragement. Haston and Scott claimed that the phantom climber helped them make it through the night.
When Weird Darkness returns…
Are there living dinosaurs in the lakes of Connemara in Ireland?
That story is up next.
How would you like to see the very first episode of a horror host’s show? If your answer is YES, then join us for our next Weirdo Watch Party as horror host Professor Will Shivers from the Staying Scared Show brings his kooky concoctions of creepiness with the 1962 horror film, “Carnival of Souls”. “After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.” (Because that’s completely normal!) As always, the Weirdo Watch party is always free, and while you watch the film you can jump into the chatroom with me and other Weirdo family members to trade snarky comments about the film – sometimes the horror hosts get in on the chat too! So again – join me as horror host Professor Willie Shivers presents 1962’s “Carnival of Souls!” Again, the Weirdo Watch Party is Saturday August 8th at 9pm Central Time – that’s 7pm Pacific, 8pm Mountain, 10pm Eastern on the Weirdo Watch Party page at WeirdDarkness.com.
Recently, Conspiracy Journal ran an article: “The Hunt for the Giant Horse-Headed Eel Begins Soon in Ireland.” That’s right: the quest to try and solve the mystery of these massive, Irish beasts will hopefully soon be underway. This is not just an Irish phenomenon, though. It should be noted that a number of witnesses to the Loch Ness Monsters of Scotland said that what they encountered looked like giant eels. We’ll begin with a classic (and a controversial) case from January 1934.
On this occasion, the witness was a man named Arthur Grant, of Glen Urquhart, Scotland. That Grant was a student-veterinarian, added to the weight and credibility of his report. A keen motorcyclist, twenty-one-year-old Grant was on the roads, heading home at around 1:00 a.m. when he very nearly became the first person to ever have a head-on collision with a Nessie! Fortunately, however, neither monster not motorcyclist were injured. That the night sky was dominated by a powerful, eerie moon meant that Grant had a very good view of the beast, as it loomed before him, and caught in the glare of his motorbike’s headlight. It was at a distance of around 120 feet that Grant caught sight of something unusual in front of him. Exactly how unusual it was became immediately apparent.
Grant said of his sighting that he was practically on top of the monster when its tiny head – sat atop an elongated neck – suddenly turned in his direction. Evidently just as shocked as Grant was, the monster made two bounds across the road, headed down to the loch and vanished into its depths with an almighty splash. Grant brought his motorbike to what was literally a screeching halt and, demonstrating his spirited character, gave chase! It was quickly clear to Grant, however, that, as a result of the huge splash, the monster had made good its escape. Nevertheless, in the time between it was first seen and when it fled for the dark waters, Grant was able to get an excellent view of his quarry. He described the monster as having a bulky body, flippers rather than legs, and an approximately six-foot-long, thick tail that looked like it could inflict significant damage. As for its overall size, Grant suggested somewhere close to twenty-feet.
Skeptics claim that Grant fabricated the story; however, it should be noted that he was insistent that he saw a monster and even made a statement to that effect to the Edinburgh-based Veterinary Society. Given that Grant was a student-veterinarian, it seems unlikely that he would have taken the risk of recklessly lying to the Veterinary Society. A prank on the press is one thing. Risking one’s entire future career in front of the society would have been quite another entirely. Grant’s statement is an important one, as it adds some additional, intriguing data to his original report. As he said, given his profession he knew more than a bit about the world of natural history. As a result, he had pondered deeply on the nature of the monster. Interestingly, Grant said that the beast seemed to be a chimera – that’s to say a combination of several creatures. The head of the monster, explained Grant…was eel-like.
Moving on to the 21st century: On May 26, 2007 a man named Gordon Holmes filmed, well, something, in Loch Ness. It was something that turned Holmes into an overnight media sensation – albeit a brief sensation. The day in question was dominated by heavy rain, but which cleared as the evening arrived, allowing Holmes to get clear footage of what looked like some kind of animal moving at a significant rate of knots in the waters of Loch Ness. The specific location from where all the action was captured was a parking area, on the A82 road, just a couple of miles from Drumnadrochit. Not only that, Holmes estimated, as he excitedly watched and filmed, that the creature was around fourteen meters in length – which, if true, effectively ruled out everything known to live in the inland waters of the British Isles. Holmes, a lab technician, caught the attention of not just the British media, but also the likes of NBC News and CNN. He, and his near-priceless film, were quickly big news. Holmes said, when the media descended upon him in absolute droves, that he could scarcely believe what he was seeing. His first thought was: giant eel. Holmes told the media of the eel theory: “They have serpent-like features and they may explain all the sightings in Loch Ness over the years.”
On September 17, 2009, Jon Downes, of the U.K.-based Center for Fortean Zoology, his wife, Corinna, and CFZ colleague Max Blake took a trip to Ireland’s Lough Leane. It was during the course of the expedition that the team encountered something incredible. As Corinna notes, something very strange appeared before them: “I saw a trail left by something as it made its way from the island to the shore to the east of it… I was to be pressed for an answer I would probably suggest a large eel.” Max Blake recorded his thoughts on the encounter, too: “If I had to make a guess, I would say that it was most likely to have been a giant eel.”
In June 2015, a huge fish was spotted by two astonished and terrified anglers on the River Nene, in the Fens, Cambridgeshire, England. One of the fishermen told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire that on the day when all hell broke loose the two friends were boating in the direction of Whittlesey, when their boat juddered – suggesting they had collided with something. But with what? They peered over the side of the boat and encountered something extraordinary: a huge creature, easily six feet in length, and possibly even slightly bigger, was swimming by. While they weren’t sure of the specific type of fish, there is no denying it was a definitive monster and hardly the kind of thing one would normally expect to see in the River Nene – or in any other stretch of English water. The two men speculated that what they had seen was a sturgeon. Not an impossibility, since sturgeon can grow to impressive sizes. But, the catfish was also offered as a potential candidate. Then there was the theory of another witness, namely that the creature was not a catfish but a giant eel.
The witness was Michelle Cooper, who was prompted to come forward by the media publicity given to the June 2015 encounter. Her sighting, however, had occurred somewhere in the region of one year earlier. She said to the Cambridge News that some of her friends poked fun at her when she told them of her encounter with the mysterious leviathan. But, Michelle was sure that she saw something huge and daunting. Notably, while speaking with the media she noted that “when I researched what it could be I found it looked exactly like the giant eels you get in America. I was really shaken up by it.”
Monster hunters are coming to Ireland this summer in search this eel-like creature with a head like a horse. Cryptozoology is a subscience that aims to uncover creatures that are usually confined to folklore, and cryptozoologists from the US are making plans to explore Irish lakes in search of mysterious creatures this August – and make a documentary about their findings.
Ireland has a rich history of these animals, and the documentary makers are planning to search the lakes of Connemara for the horse eel – or peistes as they are known.
The fearsome eel is said to be about 30 feet long, with hair running along its spine.
Richard Freeman is the head of the Fortean Centre of Zoology in Devon in the UK, and said this is the first time since the 1960s that the Horse Eel has been hunted for.
This centre is the only of it’s kind in the world and Richard, who is an ex-zookeeper, has been at the helm since founding it in 1992.
He is providing support for the documentary, Enigma, that Travis Wolfe and Allison Jorlean intend to shoot later this year.
He told The Irish Mirror: “The last proper investigations were carried out by Captain Lionel Leslie and author FW Holliday in the late 1960s.
“Captain Leslie used dynamite to force the creatures to the surface. He reported seeing one thrashing about at the surface after a blast had been set off.
“The creatures reported from the loughs are known locally as horse eels or peistes. They are said to resemble eels with a horse like mane running along the back.
“They range from 10 to 30 feet long and are capable of crawling across the land. The most famous sighting occurred in 1954 at Lough Fadda when Gorgina Carberry, a librarian from Clifden and her friends saw a 30 foot, eel-like beast with jaws like a shark.
“The creature she described as ‘wormy’ terrified her so much she had nightmares for years and would never return to the Lough alone or at night.”
However, Richard said this new study is particularly important because the ‘monsters’ may just be a massive strain of eel.
He said: “The monsters may be a gigantic, mutant strain of the common eel.
“The European eels live in freshwater but when it is ready to breed to swims out into the Sargasso Sea.
“The eels breed and die here and the young swim back the waters inhabited by their ancestors.
“However there is a theory that some eels never sexually develop. These eunuch eels as they are known, remain in freshwater and nobody knows just how long they live or how big they get.
“It is believed that these mutations are, on occasion, within a normal population of eels.”
Enigma aims to uncover what is really in these lakes using state-of-the-art equipment and to document their findings.
Richard said that “if we can understand what causes such growth in eels we may be able to understand animal growth in general much better.”
When asked about the skepticism that surrounds cryptozoology, Richard said that he doesn’t pay any notice to it.
He said: “I stopped caring about what mainstream science thinks along time ago.
“The giant squid, the mountain gorilla, the Komodo dragon and the okapi were all dismissed as myths before they were discovered.
“Large animals are still being discovered today. The great days of zoology are not done.”
For generations the farmers and fishermen of Connemara have spoke of strange creatures that dwelt within the surrounding bog waters. They were addressed by different names and though somewhat elusive, they were quite real. Children were often warned to avoid certain lakes and even peat harvesters knew better than to work near shore during the evening.
On a June day in 1954, Georgina Carberry and three friends biked down to Lough Fadda. They unlocked a boat owned by the Clifden Angling Association and set out upon it with their fishing gear. By late in the afternoon they’d succeeded in securing a number of trout. The group decided to set the boat ashore along a finger of land that almost splits the lake in half.
As they were settling down with their tea one of them pointed out an object moving from “an island” (the island?) which she assumed was a man swimming. Soon it became apparent that it was too big to be human. The mysterious object was approaching them at a very leisurely speed.
When it reached within twenty yards distance Georgina made the first move and jumped back, the others took cue and likewise got some distance from the water. As soon as they’d moved the thing swung right around a rock near the shore and dived. In less than two minutes it had gone practically up to the island again where it reappeared. When the creature came close to the group on shore it opened its “huge great mouth.”
Two big humps were noticed sticking above the water behind its head. Georgina said she spotted a forked tail when it swung around the rock. The interior of its mouth was white and Georgina likened it to a shark’s. Georgina described the animal’s skin as “wormy” or “creepy” as it seemed to have motion throughout its body at all times.
Georgina claimed to have reoccurring nightmares afterwards and avoided the lake for a good six or seven years; even then she wouldn’t go alone. One of the other witnesses, to this day, begs her family not to go near Lough Fadda.
On February 22, 1968, farmer and marble quarry worker Stephen Coyne set off to gather dry peat near Lough Nahooin with his eldest and the family dog. As he approached the peat bed Stephen spotted a black object amongst a patch of reeds within the lake. Assuming it was the dog he whistled for it but the dog appeared running along the shore. While in route it noticed the figure in the water and began barking.
Stephen could see it was some sort of large animal with a black head that was rounded “like a kettle” and fused upon a neck an estimated nine inches to a foot in diameter. The skin was black, hairless and slick-looking very much like an eel’s.
The creature began swimming around the small lough until apparently becoming annoyed at the dog’s continual barking. With an open mouth it began homing in on the canine’s position. However when Stephen arrived at his dog’s side for support it retreated and resumed its aimless swim around the lough. Whenever it would duck its head underwater two humps would come into view. A flat tail was also seen on occasion and in one instance even was extended up towards the head.
Stephen sent his son home to get a camera. Unfortunately there was no film, but when the boy returned with his mother and additional siblings making a total of seven at the scene. Mrs. Coyne proved to be the bravest of the bunch and drew closest to shore. Perhaps because of her vantage point she would later note what appeared to be horns emitting from the animal’s head, a feature unnoticed by Stephen or the children. Stephen thought the closest distance they had between the animal was nine yards whereas Mrs. Coyne felt it was more like five yards.
The creature kept swimming back and forth across the lake for the better part of an hour until finally the Coynes felt they’d seen enough and returned home.
Apparently the horse-eel is not exclusively a water animal as a man named Thomas Connelly reported that one evening in September he noticed a strange animal lingering on the shore of Lough Nahooin. The creature was rolling or crawling towards the water when Thomas first spotted it only about 15 feet from the lake’s edge. It was “bigger than a mare’s foal” and very long with a width estimated at 2-2 1/2 feet.
Connelly said the skin was commented on as being “very black,” and once it entered the water it created spray on both sides and remained a few seconds before sinking.
Whatever happens, perhaps we may finally soon have the answer to an important question: are many of our lake-monsters really gigantic eels?
Want to live on the cheap in Tokyo, Japan? It’s easy to do – if you don’t mind living with a ghost or two.
Plus – high school teacher Pamela Smart fell in love. Unfortunately, she fell in love with a 15-year-old student… which was NOT smart! And that is only the beginning of this horrible story.
These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns.
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The neon drenched, vast urban megapolis of Tokyo, Japan is one of the largest, most advanced, high-tech, and modernized cities on the planet. It is truly a wonder to behold, and offers all of the modern conveniences and razzle-dazzle one would expect from such a bustling metropolis. Yet, if you want to live here you are in for a surprise, as land prices and rent here are through the roof, with Tokyo consistently ranked as one of the most expensive cities to live on earth. Even staying in a hotel in a room the size of your closet back home can set you back hundreds of dollars a night, making living in your dream apartment in the city a rather expensive proposition and likely forever out of reach. However, there is a way, and if you do not mind sharing a place with spirits and ghosts you can get a really good deal.
For such a modern and technologically advanced nation, the Japanese can be extremely superstitious, and this can even be seen in mega cities like Tokyo. One area where this superstition comes to the fore is in choosing a place to live, and one type of residence that is typically shunned are what are known as “stigmatized properties,” or jiko bukken in Japanese, which are places that have some association with death and suffering.
Such apartments or homes come in several levels of stigmatization. For instance, if a place is located next to a cemetery this is seen as mildly stigmatized, or a bit more so if one can actually see the grave stones from the window. Higher up the totem pole are apartments or homes where there has been a death on the premises, such as a suicide, the death of a lone elderly tenant, called “a lonely death,” or worse yet, a violent murder or deadly accident. Such places are incredibly difficult to rent out, and it is difficult for real estate companies to cover up such things, as Japanese law requires that landlords tell potential buyers or renters of any defects, violent incidents, or deaths that have happened there.
Get a house or flat where there has been a violent death and it can be almost impossible to find a taker, as the Japanese believe that the very likely restless and even vengeful ghost will almost certainly linger there. Because of this aversion to these haunted stigmatized locations, landlords are forced to drop the rent or prices of such homes considerably, with cuts of 30% to 50% or even more, depending on the severity of the place’s dark past and the level of violence involved in the deaths. Murders are the worst, and one president of a Tokyo-based real estate company, Sei-ichiro Ishimaru, has said of these locations: *****Japanese people hate jiko bukken. It is a ghost problem. It’s really the murders where the price needs to be cut in half. Those are the spirits that Japan fears the most.*****
So profound is this aversion to living in a place tainted by death and possible ghosts, that tenants at such properties can be stigmatized themselves, with friends or family avoiding them or imploring them to move out. To offset the stigma of death and potential spooks on properties, in addition to deep price cuts there will often be purification ceremonies performed by priests at the property in order to appease any spirits and satisfy a potential buyer that the place is safe, but even then it can be difficult to find a taker, so ingrained is this fear of angry ghosts.
I actually have experienced this in action, when years ago I was shopping around for a place to rent not long after moving to Japan. I was apartment hunting and absolutely shocked by some of the exorbitant rents in Tokyo, when I came across a listing for an anomalously cheap place near Shinjuku. If you don’t know anything about Tokyo, Shinjuku is a bustling economic center and holds some of the most prime real estate in the whole city. It is also one of the most expensive places to live in an already expensive city, so when I found this place I was thinking that I had lucked out.
I contacted the real estate agent who had been advertising the place and went out there to have a look. It was a bit of an older building, but the room looked fine, had obviously been fixed up, and I could not see any defects or particular reason why it should be so cheap. It is interesting to note that up until then there had been absolutely no mention of the apartment’s grim past, but I was soon to find out. After I looked around the place and got all of the specifics of it I was just about sold, it seemed too good to be true, and that was when the guy showing me around sort of cleared his throat and gave me something akin to “by the way, there’s one more thing..”
It turned out that there had been a death in that apartment, indeed in the very room we were standing in. The agent explained to me that there had been an elderly man who had lived there, and that he had fallen into a deep depression and apparently hanged himself there. Since the guy had had no friends or family and had mostly kept to himself, the body had not even been discovered for several days, just dangling about on that cord in the shadows all alone. I can see how such knowledge can have a psychological effect on hauntings, because I immediately felt my hair stand up on end and got a bit of a mild electric feeling that pulsed through me. I suppose the guy saw my ashen face and reaction, because he was quick to explain that the place had been renovated since then, and that there had been a ceremony carried out there to cleanse it. I thanked him and went home, but I have to tell you I still almost took it, as it was in an excellent location and was so cheap. Alas, everyone told me to forget about it and I chickened out, but yeah, I almost lived in a haunted apartment in Tokyo.
This can be all be a real headache for landlords and real estate agents, with the only saving grace being that they are only legally required to tell of these incidents to the first tenant after the death. Unfortunately for them, making it all even worse for them and negating this loophole is the fact that there have been people who have actually compiled maps of the various supposedly haunted apartments and homes in Tokyo for all to see. One realtor named Teru Oshima has taken it upon himself to painstakingly compile information through police and newspaper reports, tip-offs from fellow agents, testimony from former tenants, and his own research into the history of various properties, in order to make a detailed online guide of properties where deaths and misfortune have occurred, which is made into a map that is offered for free online, and which in Wikipedia-style can be edited and expanded by contributors.
For each stigmatized or supposedly haunted property, Oshima uses a system similar to the Michelin star system for restaurants, in this case awarding fire icons based on the gruesomeness of the death or deaths that have happened at the locations and the severity of the potential haunting. The higher the number of fire icons, up to a maximum of three, the more “haunted” and less desirable the property, and thus cheaper. For instance, an apartment where an elderly woman died in her sleep is listed as a 1 icon residence, another where a man killed himself is a 2 icon place, and 3 icon properties include an apartment where the tenant was stabbed to death by a home intruder and another where a young couple was killed in a gas explosion at the home.
Clicking on an icon will bring up specific information on the property, including of course macabre details on who died there and how. The free online map has gone on to become the bane of real estate agents and landlords all over Tokyo, but has been met with open arms for people looking for a bargain on a place to live. The meticulously crafted map is constantly updated, currently holds around 9,000 fire icons, and is extremely popular, with millions of views per day.
Although there has been criticism that some of the information might not be accurate and that it is all rather macabre and in poor taste, Oshima does not plan to stop any time soon, and indeed plans to branch out into other countries and eventually the whole world. He has already made some steps in this direction, with fire icons for some properties in Los Angeles and around 80 fire icons in New York City, such as a hotel overlooking Central Park where a dead body was found in a room on the 19th floor.
It is interesting that there is so much fear of ghosts and the vestiges of death hanging over these places in such an advanced country, and that these locations should be so completely shunned. Despite the lack of religious leanings in many of the inhabitants of Tokyo there is still that old superstition of the taint of death, and the belief in ghosts is very much alive here. Yet it could just work out in your favor if you are ever thinking about getting a place in Tokyo, and if you don’t mind having a potential ghostly roommate you could very well snag yourself a pretty nice pad at a reasonable price.
Nearly 30 years ago, on August 1, 1990, authorities in New Hampshire met with still-grieving widow Pamela Smart to deliver some good news and bad.
“The good news is we’ve solved the murder of your husband. The bad news is, you’re under arrest.”
Just three months earlier, on May 1, 1990, the 22-year-old media coordinator at Winnacunnet High School had come home from work to find her 24-year-old husband, Gregg, brutally murdered in their living room in what appeared to be a botched robbery.
Police determined that Gregg had been killed by a single gunshot wound to the head. Further analysis revealed the bullet was from a .38 caliber gun. But the ransacked state of the Smart home soon revealed itself to be a ruse. Pamela Smart was suspected of seducing one of her students and then convincing the student to murder her husband.
The murder shocked the once-quiet town of Derry, New Hampshire–and the ensuing trial captured headlines across the country. One of the first high-profile trials involving a teacher-student affair, the Smart case also made an impact on pop culture. Joyce Maynard’s popular novel, To Die For, drew upon details from the Pamela Smart story and was later adapted by Gus Van Sant’s into the 1992 film of the same name, starring Nicole Kidman. Maynard’s “seductive page-turner” (The New York Times Book Review) follows a local weather reporter named Suzanne Maretto who yearns for superstardom. When her dreams fail to come true, she decides her unglamorous husband is to blame. So she seduces a fifteen-year-old admirer to permanently take care of her husband.
Gregg Smart was murdered on on May 1, 1990. Pamela reported found the body after coming home from a meeting, and soon reported it to police. Pamela was noticeably chatty about the death of her husband. Five days after the violent death of her husband, she contacted Bill Spencer at WMUR News 9 and offered the station an exclusive interview.
Then, on May 14, police received an anonymous phone call indicating a girl named Cecelia Pierce knew about the plan to murder Gregg. Cecelia was a student intern of Mrs. Smart’s at Winnacunnet High School.
Cecelia first met Pamela when she was assigned to work at the school’s media center. The two developed a close friendship, and Cecelia began to spend the night at the Smart home. There, she discovered her outgoing teacher possessed a very dark secret.
Pamela was in love with a 15-year-old boy named Billy Flynn.
The amorous instructor believed she could successfully keep the affair under wraps. Unfortunately for her (though in no way surprising), Billy was far less tight-lipped.
Billy bragged about his love life to his buddies. Vance Lattime, Jr., Patrick Randall, and Raymond Fowler all knew about the affair.
The gang was known as troublemakers around Derry. When Billy suggested they rob a house, the others went along with it, not realizing who they were going to target:
Gregg Smart – the one man standing in Billy’s way.
On May 1, the gang drove to the Smart’s condo. Vance and Raymond waited in a plaza behind the condo, while Billy and Patrick went inside.
Approximately 90 minutes later, the two returned to the car, visibly shaken.
On the ride home, Billy and Patrick admitted to killing Gregg Smart. Patrick said he held the man down with a knife to his throat, while Billy shot him in the head.
On June 11, fresh off Cecelia’s tip, police arrested Billy, Patrick, and Vance. Billy was charged with first-degree murder; Patrick and Vance were charged with being accomplices to the crime.
It didn’t take long for young Billy Flynn to confess to the killing – though he claimed the deadly act was justified. Gregg had beaten Pamela, and Billy saw the bruises to prove it.
A sensitive and protective boy, Billy merely wanted to save the woman he loved. For her, he was willing to kill.
Bolstered by Billy’s confession, the police zeroed in on Pamela.
First, they tapped her phone line. Then they convinced Cecelia to wear a wire and get Pamela talking about the murder.
On July 13, police obtained a recording between the two friends that implicated Pamela in the murder of her husband. On August 1, she was arrested in her office at Winnacunnet High School – and WMUR News caught the whole thing on tape.
Before the trial even found a jury, the case became a media sensation. The image of the young grieving widow, now on trial for the death of her own husband, captivated the nation.
Beginning March 4, 1991, the trial was televised live every day, the first to air on Court TV.
Facing first-degree murder charges, Pamela would receive life in prison if convicted. All four boys (Raymond had been arrested during the pre-trial hearing) had secured plea bargains before the trial began, and the prosecution used their testimonies to portray Pamela as a woman intent on murder.
Pamela admitted to the affair with Billy, but claimed she was innocent in the murder. She revealed her husband was also sleeping around, and she had wanted to repair the relationship. When she tried to end things with Billy, he flew into a jealous rage.
Cecelia testified to the contrary, claiming that two months before the murder, Pamela confessed she was madly in love with Billy.
The jury sided with the prosecution. Pamela wanted to avoid expensive divorce fees and profit from Gregg’s $140,000 life insurance policy.
On March 22, 1991, Pamela was found guilty of being an accomplice to first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and witness tampering. She was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
All four boys served their sentences, and were released. Billy was the last to be granted parole in March 2015, 25 years after the murder.
In 2014, HBO aired a documentary, Captivated, featuring interviews with Pamela Smart, who maintains her innocence to this day. In May 2019, nearly 30 years after the shocking trial, Pamela Smart was denied a sentence reduction hearing by the New Hampshire Executive Council. Smart’s failed request marked the second time she had asked the state council for a hearing, thus exhausting all of her appeal options. In a jailhouse interview with WBZ’s Paula Ebben, Smart called the decision “completely unfair.”
When Weird Darkness returns…
Weirdo family member, Josh Marinkovic, tells of an eerie true experience that would shake anyone to the core.
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This final story comes from Weirdo family member, Josh Marinkovic.
My whole life, I have been able to see spirits, or feel a presence from time to time. My mom attributes it to the fact that I almost died while she was giving birth to me. I literally had one more minute, a single minute to live or else they couldn’t save me. We all believe that I got some sort of gift, sixth sense, or sometimes I think it’s a curse.
I have had many horrifying experiences in my 31 years, here is the most recent it happened On October 1st, 2018. my buddy, that I grew up with, that had moved a few hours away came home to spend the night at my place and visit. My brother, who this story revolves around, was at work all evening. He came home around 9:30 to shower and get ready because his friend from work, was their birthday, and they were going out for the night. He told me he would be back sometime in the evening the following day. He left. My friend and I stayed up a bit longer, then decided we should hit the hay, because I had to work the next morning and he had a 4 hour drive ahead of him.
The next morning, October 2nd my alarm went off at 5:00 am for work. I got up, and realized that my work clothes were downstairs in the dryer. I went down to get them, and realized I had to use the restroom. My brother’s bedroom is located in the basement as well, and in order to get to the bathroom down stairs, you have to walk through his room. I pulled the curtain over, which separates his room from the rest of the finished basement, and there was Tim, my buddy sleeping on my brothers couch. When you first walk into his room, his head board is right there, to the right. I looked over it, and saw that my brother was in bed, sleeping. Covers pulled up to his neck, fast asleep on his side. I thought, “huh, interesting he must have made it home late last night.” I went to the restroom, and came back out and looked at my little brother sleeping away once more. I got ready and left out the front door. Noting that my car and my moms were the only ones out front of our house, I thought to myself that he must have parked on the side of the house in front of the garage. I got in my car and turn down my alley, and then I saw it… my brothers car wasn’t parked on the side, in front of the garage. I parked my car immediately. Ran back inside, down the stairs, threw open his curtain, and looked in his bed……he… wasn’t…. there. The bed was empty.
Thanks for listening. If you like the podcast, please share a link to this episode and recommend Weird Darkness to your friends, family, and co-workers who love the paranormal, horror stories, or true crime like you do! Every time you share a link to the podcast it helps spread the word about it – growing our Weirdo family, and also helps get the word out about resources available for those who suffer from depression. So please share the podcast with others.
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.
“Monster Hunters Invading Ireland” by Allbhe Daly
“The Giant Eel Controversy” by Nick Redfern
“High School Homicide” by Grace Srinivaisiah
“Tokyo Ghosts” by Brent Swancer
“The Paranormal of Mount Everest” by Max Booth III
“Oh, He’s Not Home” by Weirdo family member Josh Marinkovic
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… Mark 12: 28b-31 = “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
And a final thought… Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. – Plato
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.