“DISCONCERTING DOPPELGANGER DEEDS” and 5 More Terrifying True Horrors! #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: Violence, mayhem, even rape. Horrifying atrocities committed by the most evil of human beings – but in one case, in Culver City, California, it wasn’t a man who engaged in these obscenities, but specters of the paranormal. (A Famous Case of Frightening Entities) *** We’ll look at a handful of out-of-body experience stories directly from those who lived through them – and they might change your opinion about the afterlife. (Surviving Out of Body Experiences) *** Weirdo family member Daniel Hagan shares how he once explored some woods on his bike and ended up pedaling for his life to escape paranormal beasts that appeared from nowhere. (Demon Dogs) *** Digging in their backyard, two brothers find what appear to be small human heads carved of stone… but the curious find turns creepy once they bring the heads into the house, resurrecting sightings of a wolf-like creature not seen in almost seventy years. (Hexam Heads and the Wolf of Allendale) *** In 1886 Chicago, one of the nation’s very first serial killers would build a sadistic chamber of horrors to live out his most demented fantasies. (Murder Castle of Chicago) *** We’ll look at true encounters from Redditors who claim to have come across doppelgangers – their exact duplicates, or duplicates of those they love – and it’s almost always a disturbing experience. (Creepy Encounters With Real Doppelgangers)
TRANSCRIPT FOR THIS EPISODE…
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STORY AND MUSIC CREDITS/SOURCES…
(Over time links can and may become invalid, disappear, or have different content.)
“Creepy Encounters With Real Doppelgangers” by Nathan Gibson: http://bit.ly/2YkPTwL
“Demon Dogs” by Weirdo family member Daniel Hagan, submitted at WeirdDarkness.com
“Surviving Out of Body Experiences” by Audrey Webster: http://bit.ly/2M3bMKx
“A Famous Case of Frightening Entities” by Brent Swancer: http://bit.ly/2M3YGg3
“Hexam Heads and the Wolf of Allendale” by Neil Boothman: http://bit.ly/2Kut2Fn, http://bit.ly/2Kiufk0
“Murder Castle of Chicago” by Brent Swancer
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Hey, Weirdos! Weird Darkness is in the running to be voted “Best Horror and Crime Podcast” by Podcast Magazine – but I need your votes to make that happen! I have a link below in the show notes to take you to the voting page, and you can vote as often as you’d like, so please come back every day and vote again! And thanks in advance for doing so! Maybe we can make Weird Darkness an award winning podcast in 2020!
Stories and content in Weird Darkness can be disturbing for some listeners and is intended for mature audiences only. Parental discretion is strongly advised.
A doppelganger is someone who looks almost identical to someone else even though they are not related to that person. It’s eerie to come across someone with practically the same features and characteristics as yourself or another person you know, and doppelgangers are often seen as spooky. True doppelganger stories can be truly horrifying and often include interesting details about how people tried to interact with their lookalikes. With over 7.5 billion humans in the world, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are plenty of people who look uncannily similar to each other. But what about someone who is unrelated to you – but is your exact duplicate? Meeting a doppelganger can be a surreal experience – especially if they suddenly disappear without a trace.
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…
Violence, mayhem, even rape. Horrifying atrocities committed by the most evil of human beings – but in one case, in Culver City, California, it wasn’t a man who engaged in these obscenities, but specters of the paranormal.
We’ll look at a handful of out-of-body experience stories directly from those who lived through them – and they might change your opinion about the afterlife.
Weirdo family member Daniel Hagan shares how he once explored some woods on his bike and ended up pedaling for his life to escape paranormal beasts that appeared from nowhere.
Digging in their backyard, two brothers find what appear to be small human heads carved of stone… but the curious find turns creepy once they bring the heads into the house, resurrecting sightings of a wolf-like creature not seen in almost seventy years.
In 1886 Chicago, one of the nation’s very first serial killers would build a sadistic chamber of horrors to live out his most demented fantasies.
We’ll look at true encounters from Redditors who claim to have come across doppelgangers – their exact duplicates, or duplicates of those they love – and it’s almost always a disturbing experience.
While you’re listening, you might want to check out the Weird Darkness website. At WeirdDarkness.com you can sign up for the newsletter, find transcripts of the episodes, paranormal and horror audiobooks I’ve narrated, watch old horror movies, find my other podcast – “The Church of the Undead”, plus you can visit the “Hope In The Darkness” page if you are struggling with depression or dark thoughts. 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!
From Redditor /u/quitevoice4846:
Late at night I usually go to the bathroom multiple times but for the past four days, every time I go to leave I can see myself still standing in the mirror from the corner of my eye. It is like the other me is watching me leave the bathroom, it terrifies me to the point where I almost run out without looking directly at the mirror. I never told my husband about it because I didn’t want to acknowledge it out loud. Earlier today I took a nap in our bed while he sat in the chair next to it watching TV. When I woke up he told me that he had seen me sit up and crawl backwards to the edge of the bed and stand up in front of our bedroom door from the corner of his eye. He thought it was weird I got up like that because I’m in the last month of my pregnancy and I cant really move so well without it hurting. So he tried talking to me. When I didn’t answer, he looked at the door to find me not there and still sleeping in bed. I got really creeped out and I finally told him about what I have been seeing in the bathroom. He thought it was creepy as well, but didn’t want to really talk about it anymore because he thinks it will give whatever it is power or energy. I have no idea what it wants or why we have both seen it.
From Redditor /u/Geobite:
I remember one Sunday morning, my brother and I were watching Cardcaptor Sakura on TV, and someone knocked on the door. We lived in an apartment that was empty, the owner hadn’t rented the second floor, it was a two bedroom apartment, a kitchen and a bathroom by the door. A small apartment but with a big window that faces out to the door.
So when I heard someone knock, I checked the window and I saw my father (so I thought). I was going to the door to open it. When I was going to unlock the door, my mother pulls me away and screams at me to not open the door because I didn’t know who it was. I told her I saw my dad. She freaked out, going to the window and checking and then checking the peephole. She started to get terrified and she said to go to the farthest room in the apartment and to not come out. She went and woke up my dad, my dad got up angry and confused. We told him what we saw and the man was still knocking the door. My dad screamed, “Who is it?”
No answer, he said he will call the cops, the regular threats but nothing. We saw while my dad was busy screaming at him, that he was just standing still [in] front of the door. So my mom took us to the farthest room from the door while my dad got ready to open the door with a metal bat. Once he did, the man was gone. My dad goes out looking everywhere around the apartment.
The apartment door was a heavy metal door and always was heard when someone comes in and out but we heard nothing that morning nor nothing when my dad opened the door. We heard no footsteps either but my brother, my mother, and I saw that man that looked exactly like my father.
From Redditor /u/hyperham51197:
I remember one time I was talking to my dad in a hallway of my house once. I don’t really remember what it was about. We both saw my mom clearly walk past us and into her room, shutting the door. I walked back out into the living room and my mom was still on the couch, albeit asleep. I looked back at my dad and he looked at me, we were both terrified. We both crept over to their bedroom and looked at the closed door. Neither of us went inside, we were freaked. I’m pretty sure my dad slept on the floor that night.
From Redditor /u/g4yf13r1:
When I was 9, I stayed home “sick” from school. I distinctly remember that I wasn’t actually sick, simply playing hooky to avoid [mean kids] as I did that a lot around that age. I awoke from a nap, turned on the TV in our living room, and scrolled through some channels when my “mother” suddenly leaned over the bar and stared at me without saying anything. I had been awake for a few minutes at this point, so I can’t rightly blame sleep paralysis for all of this. Now, whatever this thing was, it was entirely IDENTICAL to my actual mother. It sounds weird to describe, but it’s as if the only difference was that this thing pretending to be my mom had never felt a single emotion in its life. It was unsettling.
It beckoned me, and I attempted to talk to her as I would my mother. She kept beckoning, refused to answer, and that’s when I sensed something horribly wrong. The whole scenario felt disgustingly familiar, but I’ll get into that later. Naturally, I started screaming at this thing to answer me. It just kept beckoning. I bolted, running out of the room and into the yard yelling for help. My mother, the real one, had been working in the yard and came rushing over. I told her what I’d just seen and she soothed me with easy explanations that it must have been a fever dream, but thankfully stayed by my side the rest of the afternoon as I was a nervous wreck.
From Redditor /u/celestial_espirit:
When I was about 16 or 17, I was really heavy into doing the oujia board. Other stuff happened but the doppelgangers were definitely the worst. The first one was my mom. I heard her come in and my best friend was with me. She and I walked down to greet her. She looked like a younger version of my mom and was carrying groceries, so I tried calling out to her but she didn’t respond and walked into my brother’s room. Then I got a sick feeling. I called out to her, but she didn’t respond still, so I followed her up. She was not there. When I walked back down, my real mom had come in and didn’t know what was going on. She was also wearing a different outfit.
The next one was my brother. My mom was talking to him on the phone, and he said he was on his way home. As soon as he hung up, my brother walked in the door. He talked to us for a little (mom wanted him to take out the garbage or something) and then walked to the bathroom. He had been in the bathroom for like 15 minutes and then I got the sick feeling again. I asked if he had fallen in or something. Then, my real brother walked in and was freaked out. My mom checked on him all night to make sure he was okay.
Both times they had darker eyes, and it felt sort of like a dream but I was definitely awake and other people witnessed it.
From Redditor /u/dond0ndon:
Both times that my family experienced doppelgangers, the doppelgangers refused to respond when spoken to.
The first was my sister’s doppelganger who my brother told to go downstairs for lunch. She did not answer. When my brother walked downstairs, he instantly saw my actual sister wearing a different shirt. She couldn’t have passed my brother so quickly because the staircase led directly to our dining area.
The second was my own doppelganger who stood at my door at 12 pm, mute and staring at my sister, who was using the computer. I wasn’t actually home until 4 pm later that day after school. My sister didn’t know that until she asked me why I was just staring at her without emotion earlier around noon.
From Redditor /u/BobRoss0902:
I am so f*cking weirded out right now, what the actual f*ck? I was sitting there on my computer when my brother walks in and sits down on his bed, he doesn’t say anything (he is a quiet person so that is normal) screws with this blue shirt in there, then I go to the bathroom. Walk back in and he’s gone. Look outside and the car that he had left in with my mom a few hours ago still isn’t there. I go outside to see if anyone else is home that I could have mistook for him are here, nope I am still home alone, what the hell?
From Redditor /u/ocauth:
I woke up one morning to my dad going to the kitchen and stopping by to say “Hey, wake up!” and then I took my phone and started watching YouTube. I was awake for sure. Later, my mom was walking to the kitchen and did the same [thing] my dad had done.
Then I get out of my bed and I see that my parents were still in their room. I asked them if they asked me to wake up while walking to the kitchen and they said no.
I don’t know what it was, can somebody please explain? Thanks for reading.
From Redditor /u/ShutterSpook:
We had problems with doppelgangers at a fast food joint that I worked at. I had two separate sightings myself. First: My GM comes by to tell me (in drive-thru) and the register person to clean the lobby, then goes to the restroom. So he and I come up with a plan and wait for her to come out. We see her walk out of the restroom, walk by us, and walk into the lobby. We go to catch her and no one there. We turn around and she is walking out of the bathroom. We tell her what we saw, but she didn’t believe us.
Second: manager and I are in the prep area. One of the girls who is working up front walks back and right into the walk-in cooler. After about five minutes of waiting, the manager asks me to [go] check on her. I open the walk-in door, there is no one in there. As I am trying to explain this to my manager, the girl in question walks into the prep area from the front. Needless to say, the manager believed me, and finally believed what had happened in the first sighting.
From Redditor /u/shubbykins:
The first one was my husband. I turned into the hallway and saw him there, walking away from me and towards the bedroom at the opposite end. I called to him, but he didn’t respond. As soon as he entered the bedroom, he turned to the left (there’s just a wall there, not even any windows). I followed him into the bedroom, but there was no one there. My husband had been upstairs the entire time.
The second time was my dad. He was unloading some things from his truck, and was going to bring them to the back door, which opens into the kitchen. I was in the kitchen and heard a noise at the door. Through the window in the door, I saw my dad bending over, as though he was bending down to untie his shoes. I ran to the door and opened it, but there was no one there. My dad was still at his truck.
Both times it’s been a family member. Both times I haven’t seen their faces. Neither event felt “wrong” in any way, or sinister – the movements that the figures made were exactly the movements my dad or husband would have made.
From Redditor /u/Gentleman_T-Bone:
A similar thing happened when I was living at my sister’s house in college. My room was in the basement and the bathroom was on the second floor. One morning, she saw me in the hallway mirror behind her walking towards the bathroom in the same clothes I was wearing. She said good morning but I didn’t even look like I noticed. I then came upstairs about five minutes later and she seemed puzzled, thinking I was already upstairs. Freaked her out.
From Redditor /u/grillo7:
My wife said she saw me standing in the kitchen doing something while I was actually at work at the time. She initially thought I had come home from work and was worried, and then the figure of me apparently vanished, which was naturally even more upsetting. No other occurrences before or since then.
From Redditor /u/ultrahotlasagna:
When I was in middle school, I was at a friend’s apartment she lived in with her mom. Her mom was cool and let us party there, and she was always at work for long/late hours.
There was a group of us there, maybe six people or so. Everyone was in the living room except for this couple who were in the mom’s bedroom with the door closed and lights off. We had all gotten pretty baked, I had just made myself a snack and was walking to my friend’s bedroom, which was right past the mom’s room where the couple was.
As I walked past the mom’s bedroom door, out of the corner of my eye I saw the door opening from the inside and a partial face/head [that] looked identical to my friend’s mom (who was not at home). I didn’t think anything of it since there were so many people in the small apartment, and kept walking and sat in my friend’s room. A minute later, the girl who had been screwing around in that bedroom came out and yelled at me and asked me why I had kicked the door open. I told her I saw someone come out of there, and she was adamant that I had walked by and kicked the door open.
The more I thought about it the weirder it was. I thought she was messing with me at first, but the person I saw didn’t look like anyone that was there at the time – it looked so much like the mom. If it were her, it would have meant that she had somehow snuck back into the apartment after being gone for hours, hidden in her room in the dark for over an hour while this couple was messing around in her bed, and then she would have to have discreetly left the bedroom and passed the living room full of people to get to the front door.
From Redditor /u/babykitten28:
This is just a little story that’s probably not worth telling, but a couple of friends got a kick out of it. I let my dog out at midnight one night, left the door ajar for him to come back in, then went about making some soup and something to drink. After a couple of minutes, I hear his distinctive too-long toenails trotting back in on the wood flooring.
I lock up the door and return to my meal. I then hear my dog barking from outside. Any dog owner knows that there’s no mistaking those toenails, so I was a little shocked that he was somehow back outside – what had come in? It didn’t really spook me.
From Redditor /u/IamNotHariSeldon:
So I had just gotten real baked at my friend’s apartment, walking home in broad daylight, down the sidewalk ahead of me I see two young girls, instantly recognizable as Mormon missionaries. They get maybe 50 feet away from me and one of them waves and calls me by name.
We meet and one of the girls gives a friendly hello, acts like she knows me. Bear in mind I’m pretty stoned, so I’m trying to figure out if I know her from somewhere but she catches on that I don’t recognize her and acts kind of offended, so she “reminds” me that we had some big long conversation on her friend’s porch on such-and-such street just a few days prior.
Now at this point in my life, I smoked a lot of weed but I never drank or did anything else, and going to random parties and charming pretty young blondes was completely off the menu. I was already half in love from the moment she smiled at me, I don’t think I would have forgotten this long engrossing conversation we apparently had had.
Now her expression I remember, as I stumble through this conversation. At first she thought I was joking, then she thought I was being mean, and then she kind of looked just as confused as I was.
So I suggest: “Maybe it was my brother you met?”
She looks at me skeptically, “Not unless he’s your identical twin.”
Me and my brother look like brothers but you’d never confuse one for the other.
So we awkwardly, confusedly parted ways. I don’t remember the other girl ever saying anything.
Then it dawns on my dumb stoned brain: she knew my name! I turn around, they’re a few hundred feet away. I yell “Wait! How did you know my name?” But they don’t hear me, and I foolishly couldn’t muster the courage to run to catch up with them. That sh*t bugged me for weeks. I wanted to know what we had talked about.
When Weird Darkness returns…
We’ll look at a handful of out-of-body experience stories directly from those who lived through them – and they might change your opinion about the afterlife.
But first: violence, mayhem, even rape. Horrifying atrocities committed by the most evil of human beings – but in one case, in Culver City, California, it wasn’t a man who engaged in these obscenities, but specters of the paranormal. That story is up next.
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The story of one of the most frightening and violent hauntings of all time starts in 1974, with a single mother by the name of Doris Bither, who lived in in Culver City, California, with her four children. The family had moved here from Santa Monica in order to try and start a new life after a string of abusive relationships that Doris had been in, and to try and escape her demon of alcoholism. It was a rough time of things, as Doris had barely enough to raise her four children, all born of different fathers, and they were a broken family living in dirt poor conditions, but things would soon get worse still, when something decidedly dark and paranormal came calling.
It started rather creepily enough, with an elderly woman who came over one day shortly after they had moved in to tell Doris out of the blue that she had once lived in the home and that it was evil, before wandering off to never be seen again. So far, so eerie, but it would prove to be almost prophetic. Not long after this, there would be instances of classic poltergeist activity, such as lights turning on and off, objects moving on their own, and anomalous noises, all of which were witnessed by all of the family members. Then things graduated to the more frightening when apparitions would start appearing.
At first it was just glimpses, a shadow figure moving across the living room here, a movement in the periphery of the vision there, but it got steadily more intense, and even neighbors began seeing these things around the house. The figures that were seen started to take shape, appearing as fog-like humanoid shapes that would move about or merely sit in the corner and simply watch. In an interview with Ghost Theory, Doris’s middle son, Brian Harris, would describe them like this: *****It was never clear. When they would make themselves known, it was always like a fog. Like a human…but not quite. It was like a sculpture. Like a chiseled body. Not a full figure, but at times we could see some of it. At times, it would be annoying. We would be watching television and these things would walk by. Like nothing. We were so used to the poltergeist, that we just got to a point were we wouldn’t even care.*****
It became increasingly clear that there were more than one of the entities as well, either 3 or 4 of them, depending on who you ask, although Harris has said that there were 4. This spooky paranormal activity, although at first scary but mostly harmless, would not stay that way for long, soon becoming increasingly terrifying. Not content to just mill about and cause mischief, the entities began to lash out at the family, pushing, shoving, hitting, and even clawing or biting them, and this would happen at all hours, even in the middle of the daytime. Harris would say: *****We all experienced some form of attack. There was the pushing, biting and scratching being done to us. There were about 4 entities in the home, and they made themselves known by appearing all the time….I think it took a lot of energy for them to do that. It was as if they [the four entities] showed themselves whenever they felt like.*****
Although he said there were four of the specters, Doris herself would later claim that there were only three, but the true number was- too many. Even more terrifying still was that the entities began to actively target Doris the most vehemently, and it went from simple pushes, scratches and bites to full on assault, with the ghosts even allegedly holding her down and raping her with abandon. This would often happen in the next room while the terrified children listened to the bangs, thuds, and their mother’s desperate screaming as they cowered in the shadows, but it also sometimes happened right in front of their eyes, and Harris has described these spectral attacks: *****The whole rape thing was real. My room was right next door to my mother’s. I would hear the attacks happening. Things being thrown, her screaming. Then she would come out of the bedroom and have all these bruises. On her legs, her inner thighs. There were times were we would see it happen in front of us. It was like if a man was standing in front of my mother and would start to beat her. Imagine a woman being beaten. You could see her being picked up and thrown around. Sounds, slaps…but there was no one there to actually do it. We all felt it too. pulling, biting and scratching…we were all attacked.*****
These vicious attacks and sexual assaults went on unabated, with the apparitions appearing without warning practically every day and night, and it got to the point where the family was desperate for anyone to help them. The biggest of the entities even gained a creepy nickname for himself, “Mr. Whose-it.” Doris took it upon herself to approach paranormal investigators and parapsychologists Kerry Gaynor and Dr. Barry Taff, who were intrigued by her harrowing tale to say the least, and went about arranging a full investigation into the claims. They would not be disappointed.
The team moved in for their investigation on August 22, 1974, thinking at first that there would not be much to this all other than a seriously disturbed young woman. The first thing they did was take a look at the myriad bruises, scratches, and scars that she had all over her body, especially along her inner thighs, allegedly inflicted by the entities and which proved to be far more savage and severe than they had expected. She gave them additional information on the attacks by saying that there were 3 of them (despite her son’s claims that there were 4), and that the two smaller ones would hold her down while the bigger one raped her.
Intrigued, but not yet sold, the investigators set up their equipment in an effort to gather any evidence at all of a haunting. When this was done, they had Doris go into one of the rooms where the most activity had been occurring and told her to start yelling and cursing at the unseen entities, trying to draw them out. Almost immediately there was intense orb activity captured on the equipment, with spots of light flitting all over the place like angry bees. After this Doris was seen to be enveloped by a greenish mist, followed by the materialization of what appeared to be the upper torso of a man, which hovered there in the mist and was apparently so terrifying that one of the investigators fainted. This torso could not be captured on the equipment, but there is a photograph of Doris with a strange arc of light appearing over her.
This sort of intense paranormal activity would could continue virtually unabated for the next several months of the investigation, including apparitions, mysterious lights, temperature drops, horrific mystery odors, and moving objects. It was even noticed that the investigators’ presence actually seemed to anger and irritate the entities, and it was also found that playing music by the metal group Black Sabbath also seemed to cause an uptick in activity, making it all stronger, but then it suddenly started winding down and stopping altogether for no discernible reason.
In later years, Doris would move her and her family to other places on several occasions, but according to her each time the entities would follow her wherever she went, although somewhat weaker than they had been. She would even claim at one point that she had been impregnated by one of the spirits. Although her case had become quite well-known at the time, Doris herself would drop off the radar for years before finally succumbing to cardiac arrest in 1995, leaving us no further along as to what happened to her than when these supernatural forces first targeted her.
What exactly happened to this poor woman and her family? What sort of spirits or entities targeted them and why? That would depend a lot on who you ask, but according to Taff himself, it has nothing at all to do with ghosts or spirits as we imagine them. Taff is convinced that the phenomena were caused by the subconscious human mind lashing out to affect the world around it though psychokinesis, the ability to move objects with the mind. In his theory, this is all the result of various factors coming together to cause the mind of a victim to reach out to wreak havoc on the outside world, most often without their awareness that they are even doing so. So insistent is he that this is the case, and that such hauntings are caused by the projections of living beings rather than demons or the ghosts of the dead, that he has expressed disdain for these “paranormal” ideas, saying: *****I don’t, for one second, believe this is the work of dead people throwing living people around. As there are no academic credentials required for anyone to go out and investigate the paranormal. Every new age groupie is out there looking for demons, emulating the garbage they’ve seen on cable TV paranormal shows. To fully comprehend the possibility that a living person’s subconscious mind can involuntarily generate such power as to manifest luminous anomalies, apparitions, and macroscopic psychokinetic events, is for me, far more compelling than if a discarnate intelligence was responsible. The evidence and collected data suggests these effects are the result of what’s called Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK) There’s two types of psychokinesis (moving physical objects around without physical means). There’s microscopic, which works on very small scales, things like affecting random number generators, random event generators, and moving subatomic particles around. It’s usually electrostatic-based, fatigue in the individual is shown, as it’s done on a conscious level. And then there’s macroscopic, what we call ‘poltergeist,’ and that’s a whole different ball of wax. We’re talking about the ability of moving very massive objects, hundreds of pounds easily. It’s done on a subconscious level, as there is no fatigue seen in the person at the core of it. Like the microscopic type, it’s believed that the phenomena are generated by a living human agency.*****
Taff has used this explanation to explain a wide range of what are traditionally considered to be “paranormal phenomena,” which he has compiled into a book called Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown, which takes the approach of trying to explain all of these disparate phenomena with possible real world rational solutions. Others disagree, and say that this was some sort of demonic presence, a trio of ghosts up to no good, or just the delusions of a fractured mind. It has never been solved either way. Whatever the case is remains to be seen, but in the meantime the Doris Bithers story has gone on to become one of the most frightening and controversial accounts of a haunting on record. So famous and noteworthy is this mysterious case that it was made into a 1983 Hollywood film based on these events called The Entity, starring Barbara Hershey and directed by Sidney J. Furie, and which is loosely based on the real events. What was it that terrorized this family so violently? We may never know for sure.
You’ve probably heard of the stories or seen it in movies: People slip out of their bodies for a split second, and their outlook on life is totally changed. From premonitions about death to soaring high above the ground, these experiences shook their beholders to the core, and they’ll have the same effect on you.
After heart surgery 10 years ago, Michael, age 35, specifically remembers floating above his hospital bed. Looking down, he saw the nurses frantically moving around him, calling to “grab the paddles.” Despite the urgency in the room around him, Michael reports feeling exceptionally calm the entire time. He just floated above, watching. Then, suddenly, it ended. He woke up in the hospital bed with his dad and girlfriend sitting beside him. When he relayed the experience to a nurse later, she laughed and said this was a common experience for cardiac patients who flatline. Michael never considered himself a religious man, but after this experience, he knows there’s something in the universe much larger than any of us.
When Margaret, now 38, was a young girl she remembers repeatedly being able to step away from her body and fly away shortly after falling asleep. The first few times it happened, she thought it was a dream. She could move through walls without touching them, and was actually able to watch her parents in real time. It was then she knew this was no dream. The only spooky thing was her dog. A normally calm and quiet animal, her dog would whine whenever Margaret emerged from her body, immediately causing her to return. She stopped having out-of-body experiences after her parents divorced during her freshman year in high school, and it hasn’t happened since.
Jason, now 28, has experienced stepping out of his body more than once, and was able to induce it himself a few times while in deep meditation by visualizing himself as hovering over his body. He describes slipping out of your body like being attached to a spider’s thread, you’re always connected, but aware of a separation. He became interested in meditation because of previous sleep induced out-of-body experiences (OBEs). He wanted to determine if those experiences were real or just something in his head. Over time, he’s become convinced that they are indeed real. He has since tried to understand what exactly an OBE is and why they occur. But after speaking with various meditation teachers, none have offered answers that satisfy him. Maybe it’s just something that we’ll never be able to understand.
36-year-old Eugene’s case is another dealing with mediation. He started the practice to help manage his stress but found more than he was expecting. Once, a man from Nepal came to his meditation center to present a lecture on mindfulness. He seemed aware of the room’s collected skepism in his unconventional ways, so he handed out Post-In notes to five members present and told them to write a number between 1 and 100. They were then instructed to put the paper in their pockets then lay them face-up on the floor after he had entered an out-of-body status and was “gone.” He claimed that when he returned to his body, he would be able to tell them what numbers were on the papers. The room sat in 30 minutes of silence before he eventually sat up and correctly stated all five numbers. To this day, Eugene has no explanation for how this was done. Was it truly an out-of-body experience? Or was it some kind of crafty magic trick?
It was a very quiet day and 25-year-old Sara recalls that she felt particularly relaxed. Her eyes were closed, she was outside and listening to the surrounding noise. As she lay there, she felt like she was slowly moving up as though she was standing or being lifted, though she was confident this was not the case. She was suddenly overwhelmed by the sense of being two places at once: floating in the air and still lying on the ground below. Even stranger, she could see the world around her despite her eyes being closed. It was disorienting so she threw out her arms to try to catch herself and emerged from this strange state. It hasn’t happened again since.
When Anna was 14, she had a dream that she was standing in her grandparents’ kitchen and saw her grandmother telling her grandfather she wasn’t feeling well. He started crying and her grandmother tried to comfort him. Anna woke in tears herself, feeling an enormous sense of grief, but blew off the experience as a really bad dream. A couple days later, her mother got a phone call from her grandfather saying that her grandmother had suffered a massive heart attack in the kitchen and died. Three days after the call, Anna’s family went to the Gulf Coast of Alabama where her grandparents had moved a year earlier. She had never been before, nor seen any pictures, but when she entered the kitchen, it was the exact same as she’d seen in her dream. She didn’t tell her mother about this until she was nearly 30, and her mother wasn’t surprised. She said Anna had always been close with her grandfather and thought she probably went to him because he was sad. Anna believes she somehow ventured into the future to her grandparents’ house the moment her grandmother died. It made her realize that we are truly connected to people we love in a way that is far beyond physical.
Brian, now 30, was seven when he was climbing a tall tree in his backyard and took a fall. He landed flat on his back, hitting his head on a root. However, the next thing he knew, he was getting up off the ground and dusting off his clothes. His mother ran from the house, yelling for his dad. Brian was ready to tell her that he was okay, when he looked down and saw another him still lying unconscious on the ground. From a distance, he watched his mom kneel over his body and gently pat his face. He woke with her leaning over him. To this day, he still isn’t sure what caused this amazingly real experience, but it has made him more open-minded to things where most people would automatically assume disbelief.
Weirdo family member Daniel Hagan shares how he once explored some woods on his bike and ended up pedaling for his life to escape paranormal beasts that appeared from nowhere.
Plus, digging in their backyard, two brothers find what appear to be small human heads carved of stone… but the curious find turns creepy once they bring the heads into the house, resurrecting sightings of a wolf-like creature not seen in almost seventy years.
These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns.
Our next Weirdo Watch Party is this coming 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.” Join me, Mistress Malicious, and the whole Weirdo family for FREE as we watch the film on the website and chat about it at the same time! Again, it’s this Saturday, September 5th! The Weirdo Watch Party begins at 10pm Eastern – that’s 7pm Pacific, 8pm Mountain, 9pm Central on the Weirdo Watch Party page at WeirdDarkness.com!
This next story comes from Weirdo family member Daniel Hagan – here is the story in his own words:
This story took place during the summer of 1981. I was 12 years old. I was camping, with my family, at a place called Canoe River Campground in Mansfield, MA. The location of the campground is right on the edge of the Hockomock Swamp/Bridgewater Triangle. As was the custom on any sunny day, I took my red BMX bike and went looking for something to do. After cruising by the rec room and seeing that it was filled with teenagers, I decided I would explore one of the small brooks that feed into Mill Pond. There was a path that followed the brook part of the way, which I had stopped at last time. This time I decided I wanted to go further up stream and see what was up there. So, I dropped down into the brook and rode deeper into the woods. The brook was shallow and easy to navigate. As I made my way down the brook I stopped and explored any clearing or path I found. I estimate I had ridden for about 30 or 40 minutes when I came upon a path that led away from the brook and into the woods. Without hesitation I rode on to the path and followed it. I was only on the path for maybe 5 minutes when I spilled out into a clearing. And, that is when I came upon the abandon house. It was an old dilapidated farm house with a stone foundation. It was pretty run down and kind of creepy, but it was bright, sunny, summer morning. I jumped off my bike and started to explore the place. I moved through the first floor, old stove, cabinets, I then walked up the rickety old stairs to the second floor and looked in all the bed rooms. I eventually found my way down into the basement, which led to what looked like an old garage. Now, when I tell you the place was abandon, it was in no doubt. The house was an absolute wreck, walls crumbling, windows smashed out, the only living things around were run of the mill wild life. The place was empty. Now, the garage was filled with old bottles of every description. And, being a board 12-year-old, I decided that it would be a good idea to smash bottles off the stone foundation. So, I collected up bottles and proceed to go around the house a smash bottle on every part of the house. Like I said, I was an early summer morning, sun out, insects and birds doing their thing, I was having a blast, when suddenly, everything changed. I did not notice right away, as I was busy smashing bottles. But, when I ran out of bottles and was heading back to get more, I suddenly got a strange feeling. Like I was being watched. I froze. And, that is when I noticed that things had gotten quiet. I then heard the scraping of chains on the ground. A cold chill ran up my spine and I started to feel very scared. I finally got up the courage to move and I turned toward the opening of the garage and that is when I saw two of the meanest, evilest, dogs you ever saw. They were not there 5 minutes ago. Impossible! I just came from there. Well, after looking at these two demon dogs for what seemed liked an hour, I regained some composure and jumped on my bike and got the bleep out of there. I know that it sounds like the wild imagination of 12-year-old boy, but I know what I saw.
“Wolf at Large in Allendale” was the headline of The Hexham Courant on 10th December 1904. The Courant reported that in the last three weeks, farmers around the village of Allendale were stabling their animals at night as loss of livestock had become a serious concern. One farmer had found two of his sheep killed, one with its bowels hanging out. The head and horns were all that remained of another animal. Many of the unfortunate livestock had been bitten around the neck and legs, suggesting an attack by a wolf.
It was suggested that the perpetrator was a grey wolf that had escaped from its owner, Captain Bain of Shotley Bridge. However, Shotley Bridge police station had recorded Captain Bain’s wolf as being only four and a half months old and not much of a danger to men or livestock.
Sightings of the beast began to filter through the community. A report of an imposing looking wolf lurking around behind Allenheads School brought a hunting party of 150 residents to the scene, some armed with guns. A search of the area found only a spot within a large drain where it was thought the beast may have slept. The Hexham Courant reported on the 17th December that on the previous Wednesday, the wolf had committed “great slaughter of a flock of sheep” – the wolf had been tracked by a 100 strong hunting party, but could not be driven towards the guns of the group. The following day, another hunting party 200 strong, half of whom were armed with guns again attempted to track the wolf, but the search proved hopeless.
Further sightings, sometimes conflicting, were reported over the next several days, describing the beast as “black and tan” or “dun” coloured.
The community became unsettled. Lanterns were kept burning overnight in an attempt to ward the wolf away and the Hexham Wolf Committee was founded to organise efforts to track down the beast, offering rewards to prospective wolf trackers.
Throughout the winter, the hunt for the Allendale Wolf continued. Reknowned tracking dogs, the Haydon Hounds were put on the trail but not even the prized bloodhound of the group, Monarch could find its quarry. Charles Fort, who recorded the case in his book, Lo! commented: “The wisedog was put on what was supposed to be the trail of the wolf. But, if there weren’t any wolf, who can blame a celebrated bloodhound for not smelling something that wasn’t?”
The Wolf Committee perservered and hired Mr W. Briddick, a “skilled Indian game hunter”. Mr Briddick was intereviewed by the Newcastle Evening Chronicle stating that he would find the Allendale Wolf “on scientific lines”. Despite his experience and scientific pretensions, Briddick was unable to track down the animal.
Despite the lack of success in tracking down their wolf, the locals adopted the continuing search as part of their folklore. Hunt days soon took on a sense of occasion complete with fancy-dress and sing-songs.
Throughout December and over Christmas, the search continued. The wolf was witnessed jumping over a high wall to escape two men and, the following day it was seen attacking a black faced yew. One afternoon in late December the wolf was encountered by a group of women and children, whose screams startled and scared the wolf away.
In 1905, a corpse of a wolf was found on a railway track in Cumwinton, Cumbria some 30 miles west of Hexham. The Hexham Courant on the 7th January reported that the corpse was not that of the Wolf of Allendale, and the Wolf Committee claimed the beast was still at large. It was suggested that there was perhaps an entire family of predators living in the Allendale woods, which does offer an explanation as to why there had been differing descriptions of the animal.
By the end of January 1905 reports of the wolf began to wane, culminating with a succinct report of a wolf sighted with a snare attached to its leg. Eventually. the sightings and livestock killings ceased altogether.
Little or nothing was heard of the Wolf of Allendale until the 1972. At the Robson family home in Hexham, only ten minutes walk away from where the legendary Wolf of Allendale had roamed the woods, the two young Robson brothers dug up two small, carved stone heads whilst they were tending the garden.
Several nights after the discovery of the stone heads, neighbour Ellen Dodd and her daughter were sitting up late one evening when both of them witnessed a “half-man, half beast” entering the bedroom. The pair screamed in terror but, the creature seemed indifferent to them and simply left the room, heard to be “padding down the stairs as if on its hind legs”. Later on, the front door was found open. It has been thought that the creature had been in search of something, and had left the house to continue searching elsewhere.1
Interest in the local legend of The Wolf of Allendale was rekindled by this event and the stone heads became associated with the possible re-appearance of the wolf.
The two stone heads, each about the size of an orange, were thought to be Celtic in origin and collector Dr Anne Ross took possession of the heads, as she had several other stone heads in her collection and wished to compare them to the Hexham pair. A few nights after taking possession of the heads, Dr Ross awoke at 2am one morning, feeling cold and frightened. Looking up, she saw a strange creature standing in her bedroom doorway:
“It was about six feet high, slightly stooping, and it was black, against the white door, and it was half animal and half man. The upper part, I would have said, was a wolf, and the lower part was human and, I would have again said, that it was covered with a kind of black, very dark fur. It went out and I just saw it clearly, and then it disappeared, and something made me run after it, a thing I wouldn’t normally have done, but I felt compelled to run after it. I got out of bed and I ran, and I could hear it going down the stairs, then it disappeared towards the back of the house.”
Living and working in Southampton, Dr Ross knew nothing of The Wolf of Allendale legend and the association of The Hexham Heads with the possible return of the wolf and, she attributed the experience to a nightmare. Dr Ross came home with her archaeologist husband Richard Feacham one day, only to find their teenage daughter Berenice in a distressed state. Berenice explained that she had used her key to unlock the front door and entered the house that afternoon to witness a large, black shape rushing down the stairs; halfway downstairs the creature vaulted the bannister, landing with a soft, heavy thud like a large animal with padded feet.
Believing the presence of the stone heads to be responsible for these events, Dr Ross passed on her whole collection of stone heads, along with the Hexham pair to other collectors. The Hexham Heads found their way to the British Museum for public display, though were soon removed from display and mothballed, amid reports of unsettling events associated with the heads.
There have been claims that The Hexham Heads were not Celtic in origin and had simply been carved as toys by the previous occupants of the Robson family home only twenty years previously, and had subsequently become lost in the garden. It has also been said that the heads were examined by the Universities of Newcastle and Southampton for dating. For now, the current whereabouts of The Hexham Heads remains unknown. Despite this, the legend of The Hexham Heads and its association with The Wolf of Allendale has become a cornerstone of the local folklore of the area.
When Weird Darkness returns…
In 1886 Chicago, one of the nation’s very first serial killers would build a sadistic chamber of horrors to live out his most demented fantasies.
As a Weirdo Family member I already know you love horror – so you’ll love this. September 4th thru the 18th Weird Darkness is sponsoring the Indie Horror Film Festival online! You’ll be feasting on 45 horror films and 10 terrifying screenplays! All Access Pass holders get unlimited on-demand access for the entire fourteen days where you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want. All Access passes are $25, but we’ve set it up so Weird Darkness listeners can save $10 by using the discount code WEIRDO. Fourteen days of online indie horror for just fifteen bucks by using the discount code WEIRDO! Get your All Access Pass now and learn more about the Indie Horror Film Festival Online by clicking the banner at WeirdDarkness.com.
There are some creepy places in this world that go beyond merely haunted, being not only supposedly infested by ghosts but also imbued with a history of pain, woe, strife, and death, indeed, pure evil. One such place exists in the city of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. It was here that one of the nation’s very first serial killers would build a sadistic chamber of horrors to live out his most demented fantasies, and the “Murder Castle” has remained a dark mark on the city’s history and haunted with both real ghosts and its own horrific past.
In 1886, a man named Henry Howard Holmes came to the city of Chicago, Illinois, and began a humble job working at a corner drugstore owned by an Elizabeth S. Holton, and by all accounts he was an intelligent, hard-working, and very charming man who before long had made quick friends with everyone in the area. He also seemed to be moving up in the world, eventually buying the store and becoming owner. What many people did not know was that the man they knew as H.H. Holmes was not who they thought he was, and that he was to begin a reign of terror that would shock the city, and indeed the nation.
What most people did not know back then was that Holmes had begun life as Herman Webster Mudgett, born in 1861 in New Hampshire. He also had had a rather turbulent past, moving from school to school before finally settling at the University of Michigan’s Department of Medicine and Surgery, during which time he had worked at a medical lab and began his first steps on the road to a criminal career by using cadavers to defraud insurance companies. Also during his university days, he was married, had a son, and got separated, and after graduating he began the first of his many jumps around the country, settling in Mooers Forks, New York, where his history would begin to take on a tint of the sinister.
While living in New York, he was suspected of having something to do with the mysterious disappearance of a boy he had last been seen with, and although he was never charged with any crime and denied any wrongdoing, he rather suspiciously moved on to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he took up work as a pharmacist at a drugstore. Here too there would be suspicions aimed his way, when a young boy overdosed and died from taking medication from the store. Once again, Holmes was not prosecuted, but he once again skipped town right after, this time finding his way to Chicago, where he changed his name and planned to start a new identity.
This is where we come back to Holmes and his new life, where everyone was blissfully unaware of any of his shady past and where he seemed to be successful and well-liked. Yet, it was during this time he would get up to his old manipulative ways, marrying another woman, Myrta Belknap, while still technically married to his previous wife, although they soon separated as well. Despite this, no one had a clue what he was up to, and he was still ever the charming, successful businessman.
He was so successful, in fact, that in 1887, in the years leading up the 1893 Chicago World Fair, he bought a lot across the street from the drugstore and began the construction of a massive 3-story building that he planned to turn into a hotel. The construction would prove to be unorthodox to say the least, with Holmes changing architects, contractors, and workers frequently, but this wasn’t quite strange enough to gather any suspicions at the time. When the hotel was completed in 1891 he began hiring employees, and oddly enough he demanded that they have life insurance and additionally that they make him the beneficiary. Strange, but again not weird enough to arouse any suspicion at the time.
The World Fair would come and go, and unfortunately the hotel portion of the building seems to have never been opened due to various disputes over payment with the various contractors and architects who had worked on it, but the store front section on the first floor proved to be a success. Holmes was still up to his ways, marrying yet another woman, Georgiana Yoke, in the meantime, as well as allegedly having numerous mistresses, mostly employees, but there was no reason yet to think that he was anything other than another rich, charming playboy. No one knew that during the World Fair Holmes had been hard at work completing a string of insurance scams all over the country with an accomplice by the name of Benjamin Pitezel, and there was no particular suspicion raised when he suddenly left Chicago to go off and pull off more scams.
Not all of these schemes were successful, and Holmes once ended up jail for a scam and on another occasion he tried to scam an insurance company by faking his own death, only for it to fail when red flags were raised. Not long after this, Holmes kept at his faked death scam, this time turning to his accomplice Pitezel and having him fake his own death so that they could collect the insurance money, the same plan he had unsuccessfully tried before with himself. It is unclear just what part of the “faked” of a fake death Holmes didn’t understand, but he ended up making Pitezel just plain dead, after which he collected the money and skipped town. Police wanted Holmes for an outstanding warrant for fraud, but also began to suspect Holmes for foul play when they learned of the scam that he had planned, coupled with Pitezel’s disappearance, and they eventually tracked him down in Boston with the help of information provided by a disgruntled former accomplice of Holmes’.
He was arrested on November 17, 1894, and this would be the beginning of the end for Holmes, and the start of a show of horrors the likes of which the country had never seen. As they dug deeper into the case, the investigation discovered that not only had Pitezel been murdered in cold blood, but that three of his five children, who had last been seen with Holmes, had also been killed and buried in the cellar of a house Holmes had been renting. Holmes was now a murder suspect, and he was also increasingly linked to more and more mysterious disappearances, namely a number of women who had worked at his hotel. However, it was when they began searching his hotel’s premises that the real horror show began.
It was immediately found to be a rather odd and unsettling place, with doors and stairways that led to nowhere, doors that opened onto brick walls or only opened one way, a complicated, labyrinthine floor layout that seemed almost designed to confuse people, and various trap doors, secret doors, peepholes, and anomalous holes that would later be found to have been used to insert hoses for pumping poisonous gas. It was also found that several of the rooms were soundproofed, had been rigged with alarms, and held chutes leading to the basement as well. These baffling and hazy clues would all become very clear and draw sharply into focus when police searched the murky depths of the hotel basement.
One of the first things they discovered down there in those dank depths was a pile of animal and human bones, which would later be shown to have come from children. More macabre discoveries followed, such as other bone fragments, an acid vat presumably for dissolving human remains, chemicals for just that purpose, and a large stove for cremation, found to have a pile of ashes containing a women’s gold chain, a watch, and some metal buttons. There was also a dissecting table with bloodied women’s clothing lying atop it, as well as various tools for dissection. According to some accounts it was even claimed that there were various horrific torture devices like something out of a medieval dungeon scattered about. For all appearances this was a veritable murderer’s playground, and police began to suspect what he had been up to.
It was thought that Holmes had rigged the rooms with alarms that sounded in his own room and peepholes so that he could secretly watch guests and keep an eye on their movements, and the secret doors would have allowed him to move about unseen. He could then administer gas into their rooms to knock them out when his victims were least expecting it, after which he would drop them down a chute to the basement, where he would torture them, kill them, chop them up, and then dissolve or burn any remains. He even also seemed to have intentionally designed the hotel to be confusing, along with its non-intuitive layout, one-way doors, and stairways to nowhere, in order to thwart any effort to escape. Although the hotel seems to have never actually opened for business, it was suspected that he still had some guests from time to time, and that he had numerous mistresses stay here as well, although how many he may have killed in this death trap was unknown.
In the end, for all of this there were found no full human bodies, and the bones could have come from anywhere. After all, Holmes had worked with cadavers before, so they may have been from people who were already deceased. Despite all of the gruesome and disturbing evidence on hand there was nothing concrete to prove that Holmes had actually murdered anyone there, and so he was not charged with anything concerning the hotel, which was now widely becoming known as the “Murder Castle” by sensationalized news reports. Additionally, Holmes insisted that he was innocent and had done nothing wrong.
Eventually, after a very highly publicized and bizarre trial, Holmes would only officially be found guilty of the murder of Benjamin Pitezel, but he was highly implicated in the murder of Pitezel’s children as well. In the wake of his murder conviction Holmes underwent a sinister change, going from proclaiming his innocence to a full confession of having carried out 27 additional murders, as well as 6 attempted murders. He also began to make claims that he was under the influence of Satanic forces, and that he was at times even fully possessed by the Devil. One of his most famous quotes while incarcerated was: *****“I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing. I was born with the ‘Evil One’ standing as my sponsor beside the bed where I was ushered into the world, and he has been with me since.”*****
All of this added to the macabre allure of the case, which was splashed everywhere in the news, drawing intense interest from all over. These sensational news stories were often over exaggerated, adding grim details or inflating the death toll, with some pulp tabloid style newspapers claiming that the monstrous Holmes had slaughtered up to 200 people, but no matter what the real number was, he was only convicted of one, the murder of Pitezel. For this murder he would be sentenced to death and executed by hanging on May 7, 1896, in a spectacle that included a botched execution that led to Holmes dangling about on the rope for 20 minutes before finally dying and ending his reign of terror. Oddly, Holmes had requested that his body be encased in a huge slab of concrete in order to prevent grave robbers from stealing it, and this was done in accordance with his wishes.In the aftermath of Holmes’ death there began a string of mysterious accidents and deaths involving people and places who had been associated with him or who had helped put him behind bars. The first strange incident occurred not long after Holmes was dead, when a coroner who had testified against him suddenly developed serious blood poisoning for no reason and died. Next was a mysterious explosion and fire that completely razed the hotel to the ground in 1895. After this, other deaths followed in quick succession, including another coroner and the judge who had sentenced Holmes to death, who both fell down with mysterious illnesses, as well as the prison warden, from suicide. Then there were the deaths of the father of one of Holmes’ alleged victims, a priest who had read him his last rites, and a jury foreman from the trial, who died in a freak accident when electrical wires fell down on him. All of this quickly convinced people that Holmes had left some dark curse behind.
The curse continued when one of the offices of the insurance company that had foiled his fake death plot burned to the ground. There were also more strange deaths in later years. The man who had pointed authorities in Holmes’ direction, who had been pardoned for providing the information, was shot and killed in a violent shootout with police in Chicago in 1909. Then there was the suicide of the former caretaker of the hotel, who killed himself in 1914 after claiming that he had been haunted with constant strange hallucinations. One of the detectives who helped track Holmes down also fell seriously ill, although he survived. Whether any of this had anything to do with a supernatural curse or not is unknown, but it is all very creepy nevertheless.
Other strange mysteries hover about Holmes and his Murder Castle as well. Although the building was destroyed in a fire, people claimed that at night there could be heard ghostly screams and moans coming from the charred plot, and that shadowy figures could be seen stalking about in the darkness. Animals were also said to avoid it like the plague, with dogs refusing to go anywhere near it. Even when a post office was built there in 1938, the hauntings didn’t stop, and the building is said to be incredibly haunted. Postal workers have described all manner of paranormal phenomena occurring here, such as anomalous noises, moving objects, roving cold spots, shadowy apparitions, and even the ghost of Holmes himself, and this is all experienced the most in the basement, which is a surviving remnant of the original hotel.
Besides the “curse” and hauntings there have also been conspiracy theories attracted to the story of Holmes. It was long believed that he had never even died at all, and that the body they buried that day was not his, his final masterpiece of a scam. This conspiracy was so rampant and pervasive that in 2017 his grave was actually exhumed to see if there was any truth to it. Within the immense 2-ton chunk of concrete the remains and even his clothes were found to be remarkably intact and well-preserved, and the body would be conclusively identified as that of Holmes, ending the conspiracy theory.
With the dark and sinister infusing it all, it is understandable why the grotesque story has gained so much attention and has produced so many spooky accounts. The colorful, morbid tale of Henry Howard Holmes has achieved an almost legendary status, but is also so peppered with exaggerations and unknowns that it is hard to know sometimes where the truth of the man ends and the myth begins. Very little is known of the man himself, and even his deeds have been played up for maximum creepiness. We don’t even know how many people he really killed. With all of the stories of hauntings and curses it all gets even further pushed into the murky realm of strange mysteries and the unknown, where it is hard to really know what to make of any of it. Nevertheless, it is certainly a breathtaking tale of horror and serial killers from a time when that wasn’t even a common phrase in America, and it will remain indelibly imprinted upon history as a glimpse into pure evil.
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Be sure to join me for a new sermon every Sunday at my other podcast, “The Church of the Undead”, also found at WeirdDarkness.com. Do you have a dark tale to tell of your own? Fact or fiction, click on “Tell Your Story” on the website 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.
“A Famous Case of Frightening Entities” by Brent Swancer
“Creepy Encounters With Real Doppelgangers” by Nathan Gibson
“Demon Dogs” by Weirdo family member Daniel Hagan
“Surviving Out of Body Experiences” by Audrey Webster
“Hexam Heads and the Wolf of Allendale” by Neil Boothman
“Murder Castle of Chicago” by Brent Swancer
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music.
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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… “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” –Matthew 6:19-21
And a final thought… Let people do what they need to do to make them happy, mind your own business, and do what you need to do to make you happy.
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.