“THE HUMPTY-DOO POLTERGEIST” and More True Tales and Urban Legends! #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: You may think that a ghost referred to as ‘Humpty Doo’ might be fun-loving and perhaps even a little goofy. However, Humpty Doo is an Australian slang term that means everything is being turned upside down…and, fittingly, it is also the name of the town where some bizarre poltergeist events took place. (The Humpty-Doo Poltergeist) *** We are all familiar with humans’ desire to fly. There are many legends about flying horses in various parts of the world, and they all have common characteristics that make them difficult to dismiss as only aviation dreams of the ancient people. Do some myths and legends reveal ancient people had sufficient technical knowledge to produce sophisticated flying machines? (Ancient Mechanical Flying Horses) *** A man in China claims to have been abducted by aliens not just once… not just twice… but three times. But will you believe his story after hearing the details? (Flying on an Alien’s Back) *** There’s an odd grave marker at Riverside Cemetery in Wahpeton, North Dakota – and an odd story that goes along with it. I’ll tell you about the strange obelisk draped in rope and chains. (The Wahpeton Circus Grave) *** Those who walk along the wooded Hinds Road in Gadsden, Alabama should be wary, for there is a legend that residing there is a witch who sold her soul to the devil. (The Gadsden Witch of Alabama)
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“The Gadsden Witch of Alabama” by Christina Skelton: https://tinyurl.com/y22u3adk
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Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode of Weird Darkness…
We are all familiar with humans’ desire to fly. There are many legends about flying horses in various parts of the world, and they all have common characteristics that make them difficult to dismiss as only aviation dreams of the ancient people. Do some myths and legends reveal ancient people had sufficient technical knowledge to produce sophisticated flying machines?
A man in China claims to have been abducted by aliens not just once… not just twice… but three times. But will you believe his story after hearing the details?
There’s an odd grave marker at Riverside Cemetery in Wahpeton, North Dakota – and an odd story that goes along with it. I’ll tell you about the strange obelisk draped in rope and chains.
Those who walk along the wooded Hinds Road in Gadsden, Alabama should be wary, for there is a legend that residing there is a witch who sold her soul to the devil.
You may think that a ghost referred to as ‘Humpty Doo’ might be fun-loving and perhaps even a little goofy. However, Humpty Doo is an Australian slang term that means everything is being turned upside down…and, fittingly, it is also the name of the town where some bizarre poltergeist events took place.
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Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
It’s August of 1997 in Australia, when Jill Summerville and her partner Dave Clark moved to a new rental property at 90 McMinns Drive in Humpty Doo, a town located near Darwin, Australia. For months the couple enjoyed their new home in relative peace and normalcy. However, this changed when, in January 1998, a new family moved in with them. Andrew and Kristy Agius, along with their nearly one-year-old daughter Jasmine, moved into the home on McMinns Drive in January 1998.
Shortly after they moved in, activity began. Objects like glass, bottles, and even knives would fly through the air with an unseen force. Those in the home felt that these objects were directed at them and that they were under attack. In an oddly unique poltergeist moment, the couples witness “gravel and sea shells raining down from the ceiling.” As time wore on, they believed the entity behind the attacks attempted to communicate with them by using Scrabble tiles to spell out words.
The activity increased and scratches could be heard from inside the walls, appliances were destroyed, and stones and gravel seemed to rain from the ceiling or show up in piles, with no known source. Jill said, “It completely freaked us out; it was like something was actually inside the walls right next to us. We couldn’t sleep; we were crying. We would have left the house but we had nowhere else to go.”
Soon, the media began to hear about the strange going-ons at the house and rumors began to swirl. The couples decided to call a local priest, Father Stephen de Souza, for help. According to de Souza, “As I walked away, one of the residents called ‘Father!’” When he turned to respond, he saw a knife that had been on the kitchen counter flying straight for him and he felt he didn’t have time to react. However, when it was just a few feet from him, the knife “stopped just as though it had hit something,” and fell at his feet.
But, this was not enough to calm the poltergeist. So, Father Tom English, the parish priest, was called upon four times. He noted that the behavior of the poltergeist seemed not to “follow the laws of physics.” He had no experience dealing with a poltergeist, so he blessed the home and spread holy water all around. On his last visit, the activity was overwhelming and he left a crucifix, bible, and some vials of holy water for the residents. This offering seemed only to drive anger to the poltergeist – the crucifix was thrown throughout the house and a container of holy water was thrown against the wall. The poltergeist kept the entire household up all night with incessant noises.
Several other religious figures came to the home, but they only seemed to further aggravate the Humpty Doo poltergeist.
As mentioned before, words began to be spelled out in gravel or with scrabble pieces. These words grew strange and even terrifying: fire, skin, help, and troy were among them. The couple believed this to be a reference to their good friend Troy Raddatz, who had died in a fire caused by a car accident just a few miles from their property in January 1998.
Remember, this was a rental house and as the media began to cover the story, especially after the visit from the clergy, their landlord reached out. He was shocked by the amount of damage and decided to take the couples to court to have them evicted. Oddly enough, the Judge deemed that they could not be evicted as the damage to the property was caused by the poltergeist…which, seemingly, the judge believed in.
Despite the stay of eviction, the couples decided to move away from the home.
Cropster, behind the Fortean blog, got the chance to attend the home and experience the madness for himself. Cropster writes, “A few of my experiences at the house still puzzle me 20 years later. The first occurred as I was sitting at a table facing two of the female residents as they washed up at the kitchen sink only a few feet away. They were still talking when I heard two sounds; the first a handful of gravel stones (from their driveway) hitting the corrugated tin roof of the house and then the kitchen floor where they scattered. Two loud, distinct and separate sounds. Neither of the women had thrown anything and the stones had fallen between me and where the girls were standing. It appeared that the stones had come through the both the roof and the plaster ceiling.” He also mentions his favorite story, “One small segment I did record in the house is a personal favourite. Kirsty, Andrew, Tony Healy and I are in the main room talking and you can hear Kirsty in the background saying “… you don’t know what its going to do, its just does what it wants to do…”.BANG. A knife ricochets off a wall, and everyone talks excitedly. Nobody in the room threw anything.”
Once cleared, the landlord had the home repaired and renovated. Accordingly to the local inquiry, no activity has occurred in the home since.
One thing I think I find particularly interesting about this poltergeist tale is the lack of adolescence. In many cases, for example, the Black Monk of Pontefract, there are adolescent or teenage children in the home. It is believed that sometimes the energy created by these changing children can cause and/or attract poltergeist activity. Additionally, these children are usually the focus of the attacks and are largely the focus of the poltergeist’s attention. However, in this case, there were 4 mid-20s adults and a baby. It seems the baby, Jasmine, was never a pointed target. So, is this activity an exception to the rule? Or, is this a kind of non-adolescence poltergeist activity something that deserves its own investigation. Perhaps the energy of the couples’ friend’s untimely death created the elements necessary?
Coming up next…
There are numerous legends about mechanical flying horses in various parts of the world. Could there be any truth to the stories?
Plus, there’s an odd grave marker at Riverside Cemetery in Wahpeton, North Dakota – and it’s very special to circus folk.
These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns!
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Since we were not there, we cannot say what our ancestors created, witnessed or fantasized about. When we study myths and legends of ancient people, we can read those stories as entertaining fables or search for clues that are sometimes hidden between the lines.
Now suppose that in thousands of years from now, someone encounters a science fiction book written by one of our authors along with an article describing the launch of a space probe to Mars. How will the person be able to determine which events were real or our dreams about exploring space?
This is what we are facing when we look for clues in ancient sources. Do some events offer proof of advanced ancient technology or are we merely exploring the dreams of our ancestors? We’re about to explore some unusual ancient flying animals. Were they mechanical creatures or the product of ancients imagination?
There is a famous Greek legend that tells about a beautiful, heavenly flying horse called Pegasus. The horse used to fly across the skies as free and easy as a bird.
When he was on the ground, this amazing animal did not let any living soul come near him. This behavior changed when the young hero Bellerophon with the help of the goddess Athena succeeded in calming the horse down. As Pegasus became more trustful, Bellerophon began flying on the back of the horse. Together the two of them conquered many deadly enemies.
Then one day, it all came to an end. Bellerophon decided that he had enough of wars. He wanted to reach the heavens and join the gods who resided there. However, it turned out to be easier said than done. First, Bellerophon had an argument with the great god Zeus, and then he hurt Pegasus. Bellerophon’s flying experiences were not long-lived after that. The flying Pegasus threw him off his back. The young Bellerophon fell down to the ground and was badly hurt for the rest of his life.
Pegasus continued his flight as if nothing had ever happened, but without a rider. According to the legend, Pegasus, the flying beauty served later for Zeus, who honored the horse with a constellation.
There is also a Persian story about a fantastic “flying horse” that reminds of the Greek horse Pegasus.
According to the ancient legend, one day a wise man visited sheik Sabur, the ruler of Persia and brought him a valuable gift, a black wooden horse.
At first, the sheik did not know what to think of his surprising and strange present, but then he learned of the horse’s unusual abilities. The wise man explained to him that this wooden horse will take the sheik further in one day than a real horse can do in one year. The sheik was told that the reason why the animal can move so fast and far, is because it flies in the air. No ocean is too big, no mountain is too high. The beautiful horse can go anywhere at any time.
In order to demonstrate the animal’s ability, the wise man got up on the back of the horse and touched a screw on the horse’s neck. And then something extraordinary happened. Everyone looked amazed at the horse and its rider as they started to ascend higher and higher in the air. In the beginning, these two were the size of an eagle in the sky, then a pigeon, later a small fly, and then finally they vanished out of sight. After a while, the wise man returned riding on the flying horse and it was the sheik’s turn to fly high. He set up on the horse-back and waited, but nothing happened. The horse simply did not move.
The wise man explained the flying mechanism of the horse, and only thereafter did the sheik succeed in getting it to move. The horse began ascending high up in the air with the sheik on its back. The sheik remained in the air for a very long time, because he was unable to get the horse back to the Earth.
Apparently, due to his excitement, he either forgot that he needed the special screw in order to perform a landing, or he used it incorrectly. Then he suddenly noticed how the horse flew slower and began descending down to the ground. The legend says that the horse carried the sheik to a distant country. A couple of years later the sheik even traveled as far as China. In China, he showed the exceptional black flying horse to the ruler, who was unable to clearly observe its flight because of the huge and dusty cloud that it left behind.
The legend says, this fantastic history of the horse, ended with that it was placed in one of the king’s chambers, where it stands until today and waits for somebody to open the doors and find it.
In most myths and legends, the horse always has a certain device that enables it to fly, in the case of the Persian horse it was a screw. The rider of the horse or the pilot of the flying machine, if you prefer, must know how to operate the device in order to make it work properly. No flight is possible until the pilot is acquainted with the horse’s technical functionality.
The technical equipment enables the horse to start, land, and travel very long distances. The flight is mostly very calm and comfortable. When the “horse” starts it creates a huge cloud of dust. The mythological flying horses certainly do sound like advanced flying machines.
A good example is the Chinese legend of the mechanical flying horse. It tells about how a certain man manufactured a very unusual wooden horse. But what was so strange about this particular horse? It was the fact that it moved around with the help of 26 screws and could fly. The legend goes on revealing how a young prince could fly on the back of this beautiful horse and visit many countries far away.
As it often is with young men and beautiful women, the prince met a lovely princess with whom he fell in love. However, there were some problems.
First of all, the princess was held captive by her overprotective father in an “air castle” hanging high up among the clouds. Secondly, her father also had a flying horse, which was used to guard the “air castle”. Luckily for the prince, the guards on duty used to fall asleep and he managed to slip through and rescue the princess. At the end of the story, they travel across the sky until they find a safe place.
At first glance, this Chinese legend seems like an ordinary love story. But after taking a closer look at it, we are able to discover certain characteristics that make the legend rather special.
The wooden horse was equipped with screws enabling it to move and fly. This clearly implies that the “horse” was mechanical.
We are also told about an “air castle” protected by another flying horse and guards, who constantly neglected their duties because they had a need to sleep.
Those who favor the ancient alien theory will undoubtedly say the air castle was an orbiting mothership, a space station protected by a flying machine loaded with weapons. Solving this puzzle, we only have to find out the truth about the sleeping guards.
It is known that insufficient training or equipment can make a person who spends time aboard a space station extremely tired and sleepy. That is also exactly what happened with the guards whose duty was to protect the princess.
Those who oppose the ancient alien theory can say the air castle was a highly advanced building suspended high up in the air, or simply dismiss the curious story as a fantasy of our ancestors.
Our myths and legends often leave us with many unanswered questions. We can attempt to find answers between the lines or read these ancient tales as entertaining stories. But think about it. One day in the future someone will read our science fiction stories and real rocket manuals and the person may have a hard time telling what really happened and what didn’t.
At Riverside Cemetery in the North Dakota city of Wahpeton, one grave marker towers above the others. At first glance, the strange monument appears to be a crooked, misshapen obelisk, but as you walk closer it becomes evident that it is something else entirely– a splintered pole, draped in rope and chains.
The names carved into the stone are those of two young men, Charles Walters and Charles Smith, who died on the same day in 1897. It now becomes clear this grave marker memorializes some awful tragedy. Up close, the monument resembles the shattered mast of a ship, but what are the chances of a shipwreck on the North Dakota prairie? If you ask one of the locals, they’ll tell you that the monument is a granite replica of a circus tent pole, and the men buried here were two unfortunate laborers with the Ringling Brothers Circus.
On the morning of June 10, the canvas crew of the Ringling Brothers Circus had just begun erecting the main tent when the skies darkened over Wahpeton. One of the laborers was Eddie Williams, a 12-year-old local boy who was helping to hoist the main tent in exchange for a free ticket. Rain began to pour as Eddie and the boys struggled with the heavy canvas. To lighten the weight, foreman Charles Walters ordered the workers to cut holes out of the canvas.
“I was pulling on the rope when one fellow pushed me aside and said, ‘This is a man’s work’,” related Williams in 1960. A moment later, a bolt of lightning sizzled across the sky, striking the tent pole and knocking a dozen workers to the ground. The man who had pushed Eddie aside and took his place was a roustabout named Charles Smith. Smith, along with foreman Charles Walters, were killed instantly when the lightning shattered the pole. A third canvasman would die later of his injuries. Relatives claimed the body of the third victim, Charles Miller, but no one could find anyone who was related to Walters and Smith, so they were buried later that afternoon in the tiny graveyard in Wahpeton, which at the time was known as the Bohemian Graveyard.
As the saying goes, “the show must go on”, and the circus performed just hours after the tragedy. Though every clown and acrobat’s heart was filled with sorrow, they put on a good show, but the June 10 performance came with an added bonus– a double funeral, the likes of which Wahpeton had never seen.
Since circusfolk are a tight-knit group, no expense was spared for the funeral; the Knights of Pythias fraternal order attended in full regalia while seven thousand guests looked on, and the circus workers took up a collection for a monument, raising $400. The monument which stands today was copied from a black and white photograph that had been taken immediately after the tragedy, and is astonishingly accurate in detail. Every rope, chain and pulley has been carved in painstaking detail, and one can even trace the path of the deadly bolt in the splintered granite pole.
The circus has always played a big part in the history of Wahpeton, which was an early railroad hub on the edge of the western frontier. Over the years, virtually every major circus stopped at Wahpeton. Sometimes rival circuses would stop in the city at the same time, leading to the occasional fracas. In 1894, for instance, advance men posting bills for the Forepaugh Circus ran into bill posters from the Lehman Brothers’ Circus. A lively melee ensued, and one of the local newspapers reported that “several of the men were so badly hurt that they can’t leave town, and it was found necessary to draft a large force of extra police to preserve order”.
Rival circuses weren’t averse to brawling with each other, but, overall, carnies and circusfolk stick together like one big (albeit dysfunctional) family. Over the years, the “circus grave” at Riverside Cemetery became a shrine, visited by performers whenever a carnival or circus train pulled into Wahpeton, and it remains so to this day.
When Weird Darkness returns…
Those who walk along the wooded Hinds Road in Gadsden, Alabama should be wary, for there is a legend that residing there is a witch who sold her soul to the devil.
And a man in China claims to have been abducted by aliens three times – and his story gets more and more ridiculous with each abduction!
These stories are up next!
Our next Weirdo Watch Party is gonna be a great one! Coming up Saturday night, September 5th – we’ll be watching 1941’s “The Invisible Ghost” starring Bela Lugosi and Polly Ann Young, presented by horror hostess, Mistress Malicious! In the film, “The town’s most upright citizen suddenly becomes a homicidal maniac after his wife leaves him.” If that’s not an argument for marriage counseling, I don’t know what is! Please, join me, Mistress Malicious, and the whole Weirdo family for FREE as we watch the film and chat about it at the same time! We’ll provide the murder, you provide the munchies! The Weirdo Watch Party begins at 10pm Eastern – that’s 7pm Pacific, 8pm Mountain, 9pm Central. That’s Saturday, September 5th on the Weirdo Watch Party page at WeirdDarkness.com!
Discounting ancient stories that modern enthusiasts have reclassified as alien encounters, China was relatively late to the UFO craze. There was no Chinese equivalent of Kenneth Arnold, and I’ve never heard of Beijingers riding around with benevolent Space Brothers in the ’50s, or being pursued by shady men in black during the ’60s. The birth of Chinese interest in UFOs might well be dated to the late 1970s, as China ditched Maoism and opened itself up to American influences. Paranormal researcher Paul Dong identified the years 1977 to 1980 as the beginning of China’s “UFO fever,” as the country set up research groups, studied sightings, and followed UFO cases in major newspapers.
The case of Huang Yanqiu, a farmer in a village in Hebei Province, is possibly the first abduction story to come out of contemporary China. On the night of July 27, 1977, Huang- a 21-year-old man about to be married- vanished from his village. In the morning, another village next door got a telegram that Huang was being held by the authorities in Shanghai. For a man with no car or private jet, this was an astonishing distance. Huang had somehow gotten 700 miles away, even though the nearest express train was in Handan, a city that was over 27 miles away from his village.
Baffled, the folks over in Huang’s village had to wait three days before they got confirmation from Shanghai that it was, indeed, their missing man being held in custody. After his cousin and neighbor came to retrieve him, Huang’s explanation for his bizarre disappearance and trek was a bit of a head-scratcher. On the night he vanished, Huang claimed that he fell asleep in his room. When a loud noise woke him up, Huang found himself lying in a big, flashy city. Passersby told the bewildered farmer that he was in Nanjing, more than 500 miles away from home.
How would he get back to Hebei? Huang was so confused and worried that he started to cry. In his hour of need, two traffic cops approached Huang and gave him a train ticket for Shanghai. They made him board the train immediately, and after arriving in Shanghai a few hours later, Huang was shocked to see the two traffic cops at the train station’s police station. The pair then escorted Huang through the city, dropping him off at a deportation center. He had no idea who these Good Samaritans were, and was equally mystified on how he ended up in Nanjing.
Huang’s tale was the talk of the village. A month later, just as things began to settle down, the young husband-to-be disappeared again. On the night of September 8th, Huang drifted off to sleep at home, but woke up at a train station in Shanghai. As a violent storm pounded rain over his head, Huang’s first thought was to find a soldier he met in the city last time. Never mind that Huang didn’t know the man’s address. Another pair of Good Samaritans, calling themselves soldiers, took Huang to the necessary barracks. When they finished their duty, the men stepped out, unseen by any troops at the camp.
Disappearing under mysterious circumstances just once is all fine and dandy, but Huang’s village was more concerned the second time around. When Huang returned on September 11th, some suggested that he was being haunted by ghosts. His fiancée, admirably patient up until this point, begged local officials for a divorce. Yet his earlier adventures would prove to be tame when, on September 20th, Huang fainted and materialized in a hotel. Once again, there were two men inside the room, who informed Huang that he was now hundreds of miles away, in the city of Lanzhou.
The men revealed to Huang that they were responsible for his disappearances, and had disguised themselves as the traffic cops and soldiers Huang encountered earlier. They wanted to take their sleepy abductee on a nine-day trip around the country, starting with Beijing. Their method of travel was unorthodox, but highly efficient. Huang hopped on one of the stranger’s backs, and the man flew him into the air, crossing hundreds of miles in only an hour. There was no wind involved in their flight, and Huang described their pace as being like running.
His magical hosts took Huang to Tiananmen Square, hotels, restaurants, and even a movie theater, where they were allowed to enter without tickets. They ate three meals a day, could speak a number of Chinese dialects, and always had a letter of introduction for whatever and whoever they wanted to see. Unfortunately, the trip of a lifetime came to an end on September 28th, when Huang woke up under a jujube tree at home. Local reception to his third and final adventure was cold. His fiancée’s family cancelled the wedding, and the authorities at one point launched an investigation into Huang, accusing him of hurting village production and spreading superstition.
The flight of Huang Yanqiu has since entered the holy annals of Chinese ufology. His flying companions have been deemed aliens, and the far distances he traveled have been attributed to UFO rides. Non-believers argue that Huang was lying or delusional, while one CCTV program offered the imaginative solution that Huang was sleepwalking. An online poster has suggested that Huang’s trips were perfectly doable by train at the time. Even if it took 22 hours to get from Handan to Shanghai in 1977, Huang was always gone long enough to take the ride, and nobody ever confirmed seeing his gifted friends.
On the cynical side of things, should we also really ignore the fact that Huang was a young groom who just happened to get involved in this when he was about to be married? I’d venture that disappearing and hanging out with extraordinary flying men is a fool-proof way to cancel a wedding that you don’t want to go through with.
Those who walk along the wooded Hinds Road in Gadsden are likely to run across a woman who is said to have “sold her soul to the devil.” Legend says that supposedly in Gadsden, Alabama, a woman sold her soul to the devil, and now she’s a witch who lives in a shack, steals souls, and has fun scaring the crap out of people.
Legend says she lived in a tiny shack back in the woods off Hinds Road (Hinds is very hard to get to, but when you do you feel like your in a different world) and it’s been told that she was an old mystic that went by the name Torbit that sold her soul to the devil.
Around the turn of the 19th century was her rein and what a rein it was. For 20 years she terrorized the citizens of Gadsden and especially their children, mainly those foolish enough to venture up to Hinds in search of her. It is said that she would kill them and drink and bathe in their blood to keep her young and decorate the outside of her shack with their bones.
For years children went missing and for years the adults were far too afraid to venture up to Hinds to call out the witch.
Until about 1939 when the current mayor supposedly said enough was enough and sent a mob up to get her. What they found turned their hair white and drained all blood from their faces. They first found a pond or what would have been a pond had it not been completely filled with blood, body parts and some still whole bodies of children of all ages. When they were able to get their bearings and their stomachs back, they ventured further up the winding dirt road, and on the side of the road they saw a cave with foulest of stenches coming forth, one brave soul went in and let out a spine shattering scream and came out stark white. The man never spoke of what he saw, as a matter of fact he never spoke again after that. No one else was brave enough to go in.
Even though some nerves had faltered a smaller band went on to the cabin, where they found her at her front door, and they were amazed to see a young beautiful woman with long black hair and emerald eyes, naked and covered in blood. They asked the woman, are you the one they call the witch Torbit? It is said she replied yes and without hesitation they threw their flames on her and her den of death. They watched as she burned and the cabin turned to ash. As this all went on its said that those down in the city could hear her cackling laughter and see the white hot flames and smoke rising from the mountain.
The claims now are that….
You can still see her ghostly cabin in the woods when the moon is full and the light shines down on the abandoned lot that to this day nothing will grow. And some have even seen her dancing, still young and beautiful, covered in blood and laughing, casting her spells on any child that is brave enough to come up there.
The pond is now full of water and looks quite beautiful, it is said that you can see orbs of light dancing across the water, which is said to be the spirits of the children that were never put to rest on hollowed ground – lost between this world and the next. And sometimes Torbit herself will make an appearance in the woods across the pond at the waters edge dipping her hands down in the pond water and pouring it over herself, as if it was still her blood fountain of youth.
The cave still has a foul stench coming from it, no one will go too far into it. And those who do, will not tell of what they see. There has been one exception to this, supposedly a young woman went back far enough to see a still live and standing, skinned dog, smelling of rotting flesh and growling at her.
Coming up next on Weird Darkness, we’ll step into the Chamber of Comments.
Today’s bonus audio for patrons is: “True Sleep Paralysis Demon Stories”. I’ve placed a link to it in the show notes. Here’s a short snippet from that bonus audio for patrons:
<If you’ve ever woken up and have been unable to move or see some kind of dark figure in your room you’ve probably consulted Dr. Google and learned about sleep paralysis and “witch hag syndrome.” Although, if there really was a demon that attacks you in your sleep, a really great cover would be to convince the general public that it’s all in their heads. Here are a few true stories from people who posted on Ask Reddit. Decide for yourself if you believe. I’ve never had any visual encounters but when it happened the first time I was laying on my left side and started to feel that pressure on my chest. When I realized I was paralyzed and started panicking, something whispered in my ear “Just coming in to say goodnight.” That’s when I felt like something was pushing me towards the edge of my bed. Terrifying stuff. I have a few different “sleep paralysis demons” and one sort of “sleep paralysis guardian angel”. The demon ones are the usual shadowy figure standing over me or by my bedroom door. The worst one was while I was lying on my side with my back to the door and it felt like someone got into bed behind me. Under the covers and put their arm round my waist. Then it felt like they were cuddling into me and I could feel breath on my neck. It felt like they cuddled me for about half an hour. All this time I’m trying not to show that I’m panicking because it feels like I’m getting cuddled by a skeleton with claws. It was only about the second, maybe third time I’d had sleep paralysis, so I nearly had a heart attack when this thing feels like its moving in closer to kiss me behind the ear. Worst of all it whispered “Not yet. You’re not ready yet. I’ll come back when you are.” To me it sounded disappointed and excited. It felt like it was silently telling me it meant that it was coming back when I was about to die. Scared the crap out of me. My “sleep paralysis guardian angel” was a weird experience. I’d been getting sleep paralysis on and off for about 18 months by this point so I could usually tell straight away when it was happening. At first I thought it was the usual demon things beside my bed, but when I looked properly I realized I could clearly see a man kneeling next to my bed smiling at me. It wasn’t a creepy smile. More like a parent coming in to check on their kid. He looked like he was dressed in a 50s style suit and hat. He didn’t say anything. Although I got the sense he was letting me know everything was alright and he’d look after me.>
You can hear the rest of this bonus audio episode for patrons titled, “True Sleep Paralysis Demon Stories” by becoming a patron, starting at just $5 per month. As a patron you get commercial-free episodes of Weird Darkness every day, bonus audio like what you just heard, and chapters of horror and science fiction audiobooks as I narrate them – even before the authors and publishers do! But more than that – by helping me pay for expenses, you are also helping to reach people who are desperately hurting with depression and anxiety. Get the benefits of being a patron, and benefit others who are hurting at the same time. Become a patron at WeirdDarkness.com.
Here in the Chamber of Comments I answer your emails, comments, podcast reviews, letters I get in the mail, and more. You can find all of my contact information, postal address, and social media links on the CONTACT page at WeirdDarkness.com. While you’re there, you can join the very active “Weird Darkness Weirdos” Facebook Group, and hang out with me and the rest of our Weirdo family! And you can drop me an email anytime at: darren @ weirddarkness.com.
(Email from Jamie about a sleep paralysis episode she heard): I play podcasts when I sleep and for some reason woke completely up just in time to hear this one, one thing it did for me was make me aware of why depression seems to have such a hold on my mind even though I love Jesus. Now I can finish fighting back! But what I really set out to tell you is another way if fighting them off, especially the ‘old Hag” who inhabit nightmares and visit during sleep paralysis episodes – get a cat! I was plagued by these persistently all my life and could never manage to fight back, no matter how hard I tried to speak Jesus’ name. Then I rescued a timid, abandoned cat. When he learned to trust me, he began to sleep at my feet. The very first night I had a particularly terrifying episode. I was aware of the cat threatening the hag figure and I was finally able to gasp out “I belong to Jesus Christ and you cannot touch me!’ The thing abruptly disappeared. That was 14 years ago and I have not experienced a visitation since. I know in my heart that my sweet cat chased the evil spirits away. He is gone now but I have the kittens he adopted to keep me safe. Sorry if I’m rambling. I think I am actually still asleep. Just needed to share about cats and spirits. –Jamie
REPLY: Well, they do say that animals can often sense things we can’t, so if there is an actual spiritual component to sleep paralysis and the old hag syndrome, which after experiencing it I do believe there is, then you might be on to something here. I have Miss Mocha here now – so we’ll have to see if she’s a fraidy-cat or not… but hopefully we’ll never have to find out!
(Email from Bridget): Hey Darren. Just wanted to say hello and thank you for an awesome podcast. I’ve been listening about a month and I have not been disappointed. You are great a story telling and keep me intrigued. I also love the Hope in the Darkness. My daughter is a cutter and has depression and anxiety. That’s tough for us both. I love the light and give it so well. Again, thank you! A devoted fan, Bridget
REPLY: Hello, Bridget. Thank you for reaching out. I’m really glad to hear that the Hope in the Darkness page of the website has been helpful for you and your daughter. While I spend a lot of time talking about depression, because that’s what I have personal experience with, I’m glad to know that it can help in other areas as well – like anxiety and even cutting, which has to be terrifying for a parent to learn their child is engaging in. My heart sank when reading your email. I don’t know anyone that has gone through that – not outwardly, at least. As hidden as depression seems to be, with people ashamed of admitting they deal with it, cutting must be a hundred times deeper in the shadows.
(Email from Susi Su): Hey Darren, Just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I love Weird Darkness. I found the podcast not long after we, in England, locked down in March and have been listening daily ever since. I’m gradually working my way back through the earlier episodes too, one of which made me gasp in astonishment. The story was about a mothman sighting in the 1960s in Saltwood nr Hythe, the village where I went to school in the 80s. The man who saw the creature (John Flaxton) was a work colleague of mine about 15yrs ago. Neither I nor any of my other colleagues knew that he’d had this experience. He passed away a couple of years ago so we cannot ask him about it. Anyway, loving the show so much. I am totally hooked.
REPLY: Interesting tidbit about your former coworker, John and the Mothman story! You’re probably itching to ask him about it, and now he’s no longer around to do so. I’d actually be somewhat perturbed at him for that! How thoughtless! Just kidding of course, but wow, that would drive me crazy to find out a friend of mine had an experience with a cryptid and I only found out about it after he had passed away.
(Email from Kelin): Hey Darren. The more and more I listen to you, the more I love your PODCAST, and the more I like you. I can tell you’re truly a kind, genuine soul. I’ve come to realize that you, or your podcast are the “NOTHING” when people ask me what I am thinking about. Here’s a few compliments, my Oma has always told me to express my feelings, as it could very well be the exact thing that someone needed to hear that day. I really like your style. Your laugh is great! When you share your bloopers and whatnot. I really appreciate you. Your perspective on things is so refreshing and intriguing. I’m truly grateful that I am getting to know you. I’m inspired by you. I strongly believe you’re the type of person that brings out the best in people. You seem really honest, and I admire this. You are such a beautiful person. You are making a difference in many people’s lives, I respect this. Thank you for being there for me! Oh also, your voice is so soothing, even when hearing creepy stories! Thank you for being you Darren, you’re awesome. I feel that we would really get along if we ever met in person. P.S.= I got another weirdo family member! Aneta, my coworker now listens to your cast on Spotify, and she is HOOKED! Have a great day!
REPLY: Hey, Kelin – thank you, you are too sweet. You mention in your email “as you get to know me” – and to let everyone else know, Kelin and I have been in email contact for a while now for a particular reason that I’m not yet ready to reveal, but it is pretty fun and exciting and when I can make the announcement you’ll understand what I mean by the words “fun and exciting”. But yes, Kelin – I’m grateful to be getting to know you too – perhaps we can get together sometime and I can adopt you as the daughter I never had – assuming your parents are willing to give you up! Ha ha! I doubt that though, you’re just too stinkin’ cute for anyone to let you go. Thanks for sharing the podcast with your coworkers too – if you’re listening, Aneta – HELLO! I really hope we can bring back the Weird@Work promotion soon – I’d love to begin rewarding people again for listening while on the job. If only we could kick this pandemic in the butt and get back to a normal life!
(Email from Frank): Hey there Darren love your podcast, my wife got me hooked on them one day heading to Disney world. At first I was like ok this is going to be one boring road trip cause it was going to be a 9 hour drive to get there. But two podcast in I was HOOKED on the weird darkness and did not want to stop driving. Fast forward am at work one day listening to you and the next thing I know 3 hours pass I have done nothing at all, good thing I have a cool boss. Keep up the awesome work and thank you for want you do with helping people with depression. Your biggest Weirdos from Fayettenam (aka Fayetteville NC), Frank and Lara Davis.
REPLY: Thanks for the email, Frank, from the People’s Republic of Illinois! Please apologize to your boss for me, and if it helps, you can bribe him with a free Weird Darkness coffee mug – just tell me where to send it! I wouldn’t want you losing your job over lil’ old me! Ha ha! I love that your wife got you hooked – please give your wife a big hug and a sloppy wet kiss from me. Just don’t tell her it’s from me, because that would be inappropriate. Tell her the kiss is from you. The hug is from me. I don’t need you losing your marriage over lil old me either!
I’ll answer more of your emails, comments, and letters next time! Again, you can find all of my social media and contact information on the CONTACT page of the website, or drop me an email at darren @ weirddarkness.com.
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 the show, growing our Weirdo family in the process – plus, it helps get the word out about resources that are available for those who suffer from depression. So please share the podcast with others.
Be sure to join me this Sunday for church at the Church of the Undead – and all Weirdos are welcome!
This Sunday’s message is titled: “Demon Possession 101 (or, Lose Unwanted Devils With Exorcize)”.
You can listen to previous messages anytime by clicking on the Church of the Undead link in the show notes, you can find it at WeirdDarkness.com, or search for “Church of the Undead” wherever you listen to podcasts! Hopefully I’ll see YOU in the Weirdo congregation this weekend!
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.
“Ancient Mechanical Flying Horses” by Ellen Lloyd for Ancient Pages
“The Humpty-Doo Poltergeist” from Astonishing Legends
“Flying on an Alien’s Back” by Tristan for Bizarre and Grotesque
“The Wahpeton Circus Grave” from Journal of the Bizarre
“The Gadsden Witch of Alabama” by Christina Skelton
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… “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” – Psalm 42:11
And a final thought… “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.