“TERRIFYING TRUE CASES OF MUNCHAUSEN BY PROXY” and more! #WeirdDarkness

TERRIFYING TRUE CASES OF MUNCHAUSEN BY PROXY” and more! #WeirdDarkness

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IN THIS EPISODE: We’ll look at the disturbing case of Dee Dee Blanchard who suffered from a horrible mental condition that caused her to torture her daughter – and we’ll look at similar, terrifying cases of other people doing the same to those under their care and supervision. It’s the sinister truth of Munchausen by proxy. *** It was 1909, and Bud and Temple Abernathy rode their horses, just the two of them, from Oklahoma to Santa Fe… and then made the return trip home. A 1,300-mile horseback trip. Big deal you say? That’s what life was like back then, you say? What if I told you that Bud was only 9 years old, and Temple was only five?

STORY SOURCES AND MUSIC CREDITS…
(Over time links may become invalid, disappear, or have different content. I always make sure to give authors credit for the material I use whenever possible. If I somehow overlooked doing so for a story, or if a credit is incorrect, please let me know and I will rectify it in the show notes immediately.)
“The Disturbing Truth Behind ‘Mommy Dead and Dearest’” by Stefanie Hammond for Graveyard Shift: https://tinyurl.com/yxhgf866
“Other True Cases of Munchausen by Proxy” by Carly Carano for Unspeakable Times: https://tinyurl.com/y485ykp5
“The Astounding Adventures of the Abernathy Boys” by M.J. Alexander for 405 Magazine: https://tinyurl.com/y5c8grn9
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TRANSCRIPT:

Imagine pretending to be sick or injured just to receive attention. While it seems strange, there’s actually a psychiatric disorder called Munchausen syndrome that describes people who do just that. And, in some cases, the person with Munchausen inflicts injury or illness on someone else – often a child – for the same reasons.  Munchausen by proxy is a sadistic disorder that causes caregivers to hurt others for their own benefit. Because the perpetrators are frequently mothers, it is usually a long time before doctors or authorities suspect anything at all. Although the motive is generally to elicit emotional sympathy and attention – not murder – there are many true stories of Munchausen by proxy that end in death. Including one of the most famous cases of all, that of Dee Dee Blanchard, whose condition was so extreme that her story was made into a documentary film entitled “Mommy Dead And Dearest”.

I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.

SHOW OPEN==========

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. If you’re new here, welcome to the podcast – and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes! If you’re already a Weirdo, please share the podcast with others – doing so helps make it possible for me to keep doing the podcast! While listening, be sure to check out the Weird Darkness website so you can find me on social media and drop me an email.

If you played “IDENTIFY THE IMPOSTER” in the Weird Darkness Weirdos Facebook Group, the story title that was a hoax and is not part of this episode is: “Paranormal Happenings on the Set of the ‘Hardy Boys’”

Coming up in this episode…

It was 1909, and Bud and Temple Abernathy rode their horses, just the two of them, from Oklahoma to Santa Fe… and then made the return trip home. A 1,300-mile horseback trip. Big deal you say? That’s what life was like back then, you say? What if I told you that Bud was only 9 years old, and Temple was only five? (The Astounding Adventures of the Abernathy Boys)

But first… we’ll look at the disturbing case of Dee Dee Blanchard who suffered from a horrible mental condition that caused her to torture her daughter – and we’ll look at similar, terrifying cases of other people doing the same to those under their care and supervision. It’s the sinister truth of Munchausen by proxy. (The Disturbing Truth Behind ‘Mommy Dead and Dearest’) (Other True Cases of Munchausen by Proxy)

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

STORY: THE DISTURBING TRUTH BEHIND “MOMMY DEAD AND DEAREST”==========

The documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest tells the story of Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard, a seemingly friendly woman, who suffered from Munchausen Syndrome by proxy (MSBP) and manipulated her young daughter into believing that she was terminally ill. Her daughter, Gypsy Rose Blanchard, would ultimately conspire with her online boyfriend to murder Dee Dee in an effort to stop the torture her mother inflicted and live her life as a free young woman.

Dee Dee was not well liked by her family; in fact, her own father flushed her ashes down the toilet and said that she had gotten “what she deserved.” This documentary tells the true story of the atrocities Dee Dee committed, making it one of the most frustrating and sad documentaries ever created.

While never formally diagnosed, the details surrounding the case suggest that Dee Dee suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP). MSBP is when a caregiver, usually to a child or elderly person, makes up, exaggerates, or makes existing health conditions worse for the person receiving care in order to get attention and sympathy from others.

Her daughter, Gypsy Rose Blanchard, was the victim of this condition. It started when she was just a baby, with an alleged sleep apnea issue, and quickly snowballed out of control. The laundry list of what Dee Dee put Gypsy through is enough to make your stomach turn. She shaved Gypsy’s head to make it seem like she had cancer, made her take seizure medication that caused her teeth to rot out, had a feeding tube inserted when it was not needed, and forced her to use a wheelchair from a very early age, even though Gypsy was perfectly capable of walking. Gypsy wasn’t educated past second grade, and Dee Dee often claimed that the young woman had brain damage.

At some point, Gypsy realized that she didn’t need the wheelchair and thought that she might not be sick, but it was easier to avoid Dee Dee’s wrath and just continue the charade than to challenge her mother.

On the morning of June 14, 2015, a post appeared on Dee Dee’s Facebook page stating, “That B*tch is dead!” Friends were extremely worried about the post and tried to contact Dee Dee and Gypsy. A few hours later, another Facebook post appeared, declaring ““I f*cken SLASHED THAT FAT PIG AND RAPED HER SWEET INNOCENT DAUGHTER…HER SCREAM WAS SOOOO F*CKEN LOUD LOL.”

Alarmed friends and neighbors gathered at the home and called the police. Several hours later, after securing a search warrant, the police entered the home to find Dee Dee Blanchard’s bloody body in her bedroom. Gypsy was nowhere to be found, with her wheelchair and a wealth of questions left behind.

Gypsy met Nicholas Godejohn on a Christian dating website two years prior to the murder, and it was a troubled match from the start. Godejohn, who was six years older and living in Wisconsin, was a far cry from an altar boy. In fact, he had been arrested for an incident involving masturbation at a fast food restaurant a few years prior.

While Gypsy’s relationship with Godejohn was transformative – Dee Dee did not let Gypsy socialize, let alone date – it was a match made in toxic heaven. Godejohn took advantage of Gypsy’s vulnerable state and hastily moved their relationship into a sexual realm. The two were quickly involved in cosplaying and creating sexual fantasies, many of them involving BDSM.

Gypsy and Godejohn arranged for him to sneak into the home after Dee Dee had gone to bed. Gypsy let him into the home and hid in the bathroom while he stabbed her mother to death in the next room. Gypsy stayed in the bathroom, listening to her mother scream out for help.

The couple hopped a bus from Gypsy Rose’s Missouri home to Wisconsin. Shortly after, the police located the two based on the IP address of the Facebook posts from Dee Dee’s account.

There were other, more obvious pieces of evidence that linked Gypsy Rose and Godejohn to the murder of Dee Dee… although they tried to hide it. Godejohn mailed the knife he used to stab Dee Dee to his home address in Wisconsin.

Police also recovered letters that Gypsy and Godejohn had written to each other, bloody clothing, over $4,000 cash, and laptops and cellphones containing correspondence between the two.

On a rare outing without Dee Dee in 2011, Gypsy Rose tried to escape from her mother. She had met an older man at a sci-fi convention she had gone to with some family friends, and planned to join the man in Arkansas. She packed up some things, snuck out of her home, and hitchhiked a ride.

Dee Dee was quickly able to track down her daughter and bring her home. As punishment for running away, Dee Dee smashed Gypsy’s phone and computer. She also threatened physical violence, but fortunately stopped short of committing the acts.

Dee Dee was an incredible scam artist. She knew how to make strangers open up their hearts (and wallets) to her and her “sick” child. The family accepted donations, created GoFundMe’s, were given trips to amusement parks, and other forms of charity due to all of Gypsy Rose’s “conditions.” The family was also given a home from Habitat for Humanity.

There seemed to be no end to what Dee Dee could get her hands on.

Where were the doctors in all of this? How could Dee Dee keep up this charade for so long without proof that Gypsy was actually sick? Dee Dee, always two steps ahead of suspicion, claimed that most of Gypsy’s medical record were lost when Hurricane Katrina hit (Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose had lived in Louisiana with Gypsy Rose’s father prior to their divorce.)

Dee Dee also had a vast knowledge of medical terminology, having gone to nursing school and worked in a hospital. She could speak intelligently about a variety of medical conditions, making her web of lies that much more believable.

Rod Blanchard, Dee Dee’s ex-husband and the father of Gypsy, had no idea that his daughter wasn’t sick. He explained that Dee Dee was always the one taking care of Gypsy and he just took her word for it. He was busy working, trying to provide for the family, and trusted Dee Dee had their child’s best interests at heart.

He has since lived to regret that decision and hopes to have a better relationship with Gypsy. Rod Blanchard divorced Dee Dee in 1991 and lives in Louisiana with his current wife.

The documentary suggests that it is Gypsy who is the real victim in this tragedy. While she went through an incredibly horrendous upbringing, could she have picked up the same masterfully manipulative tendencies that flourished within Dee Dee? She lied to the police several times, playing off of her innocence and apparent naivete.

Despite the strong evidence of at least some sociopathy, the doctor in the film, Dr. Marc Feldman, believes that Gypsy is, in fact, a victim of child abuse. Regardless of our feelings, Gypsy pled guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

STORY: OTHER TRUE STORIES OF MUNCHAUSEN BY PROXY==========

Dee Dee Blanchard might have had an extreme case of Munchausen by proxy, but she is by no means the only case. Here are a few more true cases of Munchausen by proxy – some sad, some horrifying, and some that could mess with your head.

***Marybeth Tinning had eight biological children and one adopted son. None of these kids lived past the age of four. Although prosecutors are convinced Tinning murdered several – if not all – of her children, she was only convicted of murdering her youngest daughter, whom she smothered with a pillow on December 20, 1985. In a parole board meeting she said she did not murder the others but that they died from sudden infant death syndrome. The only explanation she provided to the board was that she was so traumatized by the death of her other babies, she was convinced her youngest was dying too, so she killed her instead. Tinning is serving 20 years to life at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.

***Beverley Allitt, better known as the Angel of Death, is one of the most notorious female serial killers of all time. Allitt trained as a nurse in England where her reputation was less than pristine. She was frequently absent as a result of a string of “illnesses,” and was once caught smearing feces on the walls of a nursing home. She later worked in the children’s ward at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital in Lincolnshire. It was during this time Allitt began abusing her patients. Once her killing spree began she took the lives of three patients in only a month, including seven-month-old Liam Taylor and 11-year old Timothy Hardwick, a cerebral palsy patient. Allitt was overlooked until two more children were murdered and another nine abused under her watch. Allitt was found guilty of murder and attempted murder. She is serving 13 life sentences – the most severe sentence ever given to a woman.

***Lisa Hayden-Johnson. Not only did Lisa Hayden-Johnson get the empathy and support that came with having a sick child, she also received monetary benefits. Hayden-Johnson didn’t turn down any of the lavish gifts offered to her for having “the most ill child in Britain.” After her son was born prematurely, Hayden-Johnson began forcing him into a wheelchair for his “cystic fibrosis,” feeding him through a tube in order to avoid triggering his “life-threatening allergies,” and adding glucose to his urine to convince doctors his “diabetes.” Meanwhile, she was invited to meet with royalty at a charity event for critically ill children, collected thousands in disability payments each month, and received free tickets, vacations, and charitable cash donations. That all came crashing down when doctors became suspicious of Hayden-Johnson and demanded her son receive further testing to determine the root of his various illnesses. Hayden-Johnson tried to put off the testing by saying she was sexually assaulted, but eventually it was discovered it was all a big sham. After six years of abuse and lies, Hayden-Johnson was tried and convicted of child abuse and perverting the cause of justice in October 2009. She served 39 months in prison.

***Mommy blogger Lacey Spears went to prison for murdering her five-year-old son with fatal levels of sodium. Spears was giving her son high levels of sodium through a feeding tube that caused him to become very sick. She said her son Garnett had numerous illnesses and documented his medical setbacks and progress on a blog called “Garnett’s Journey.” During this time, he was in and out of 20 different medical facilities, none of which were given information about Garnett’s other hospital visits. Then, in 2014, the sodium reached such a high level, Garnett was placed on a life flight to another hospital. Unfortunately, his brain suffered irreparable swelling and he was pronounced brain dead on January 23, 2014.  Suspicions about Spears arose among the medical personnel. They launched an investigation and searched her home. Police found medicine bottles sitting behind a canister of salt, and later recovered two bags of breast milk that Spears used to feed Garnett through his feeding tube with fatal levels of sodium in them. She was found guilty of depraved-indifference murder of a child and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

***In 2008, Leslie Wilfred called her husband Chris from a Georgia hospital room with news that their twins were stillborn five months into Leslie’s pregnancy. A service was held for the twins with photos of their ultrasounds and two matching teddy bear-shaped urns. Family and friends gathered to mourn and show their support. Leslie and Chris Wilfred had four children from previous relationships, all of whom suffered from a slew of psychological and medical conditions, according to their parents. Their drama-filled history raised suspicions with the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. It all came to a head after the babies’ deaths and resulted in a full-blown investigation. While filing through her computer, police discovered Wilfred had ordered the urns five days before the “death” of her children. Investigators also discovered that Wilfred had her tubes tied before marrying Chris, she was never pregnant with twins, and her other claims made about her actual children’s terminal health issues were not true. Wilfred was sentenced to eight years in prison and 30 years of probation for child abuse.

***Blanca Montano was only 21 when she was arrested for harming her two children. In February 2011, she had both kids admitted into an Arizona hospital. Soon, Montano’s son drastically improved and was released. Her newborn daughter, however, only became sicker over the course of her hospital stay. She was diagnosed with an array of rare conditions that worsened, nurses noticed, after time spent alone with Montano. Police were alerted of the hospitals suspicions, and an investigation revealed that Montano had intentionally poisoned her daughter, causing the infections in order to garner attention and sympathy. Once Montano and her child were separated, the infant’s condition improved drastically. Montano was arrested for child abuse.

***Hope Ybarra, a former chemist, was a mother of three suffering from her third bout with cancer. She blogged about her illness as well as her daughter’s terminal cystic fibrosis. So when Ybarra became pregnant with twins and subsequently lost them 5 months into the pregnancy, the family and their community were absolutely wrought with grief. It wasn’t until the police got involved that the truth began spilling out in massive, sadistic waves: Hope was clear of any and all cancer, her daughter did not suffer from cystic fibrosis, and there was never a pregnancy with twins. Ybarra had poisoned her child with pathogens, tampered with sweat tests to ensure the medical results she wanted, and even periodically drained the child’s blood. This last step caused the most bodily harm and, on one occasion, caused her daughter to go into anaphylactic shock. Hope was tried and convicted of child abuse and sentenced to eight years in prison.

***Nurses at two separate hospitals in England started raising suspicion about an unnamed mother of four after finding two sets of DNA in her daughter’s urine samples. Although the initial test results did not find the child suffered from any kidney issues, each of her urine samples had blood in them. This raised concerns among doctors and eventually resulted in the child undergoing a painful and risky procedure to determine the status of her kidneys. The results found that nothing was wrong. Suspicious, the nurses searched the room and found a cup of blood left behind by the mother and two syringes of blood in the toilet. As it turned out, she was placing her own blood in the samples, contaminating the results – which explained the two sets of related DNA. The mother eventually pled guilty to willfully assaulting, ill-treating, and neglecting a child in a manner likely to cause suffering or injury.

***Jennifer Bush, the daughter of Kathy Bush, endured more than 40 medical procedures and 200-plus hospital visits in the early ’90s between the ages of two and eight. Her mother insisted she was seriously ill and needed to be fed through a tube. Medical personal began suspecting that Bush had tampered with her daughter’s medications and proceeded to launch a full investigation. In 1999, Kathy Bush was found guilty of child abuse and sentenced to five years in prison – three of which she served. Despite having two brothers and a father, Jennifer was placed in foster care, an experience she describes as “traumatic.” Nineteen years later, Jennifer and her family – including her mother – have been reunited. She insists that her mother never abused her.

***Julie Gregory, the daughter of Sandy Gregory-Parocai, wrote the book Sickened: The True Story of a Lost Childhood where she depicts horrible stories of psychological and physical abuse inflicted upon her by her mother. She details memories of digging through her mother’s purse looking for her special “suckers” which turn out to be a pack of matches she is encouraged to eat. Police and psychiatric professionals investigated Gregory’s parents and their adopted children to follow up on claims made in the book. Nothing was proven. Instead, Gregory-Parocai gave her own account of Gregory’s childhood where her daughter claimed child abuse to receive lesser punishment for an offense she committed. Gregory was allegedly investigated and found innocent in that instance as well.

***Alexandria Constantinova Szeman is the child of a Munchausen syndrome sufferer. In her book, M is for Munchers, she describes the horrifying abuse she and her siblings faced. From verbal to sexual assault, Szeman and her siblings were abused until they ran away. Unlike most cases, Szeman actually recognized her mother’s strange behavior at a young age. Instead of finding some affection for her mother, like many other child victims of those suffering from Munchausen syndrome, she attempted to out her every chance she got. Unfortunately for their family, very few people did very little. Although there is no proof that the stories Szeman is telling are false, there is little evidence – like a conviction – that her stories are true either.

BREAK==========

Coming up: It was 1909, and Bud and Temple Abernathy rode their horses, just the two of them, from Oklahoma to Santa Fe… and then made the return trip home. A 1,300-mile horseback trip. Not bad for a couple of boys only 9 years old and 5 years old respectively. That story is up next.

<COMMERCIAL BREAK>

STORY: THE ASTOUNDING ADVENTURES OF THE ABERNATHY BOYS==========

More than a century ago, in the years between statehood and the beginning of World War I, 9-year-old Louis “Bud” Abernathy and his 5-year-old brother, Temple, hankered for adventure. Their dreams were not unusual. What was out of the ordinary was that their father said yes.

After the boys asked to ride their horses by themselves from Oklahoma to Santa Fe to see the new mansion of the governor, Jack Abernathy seriously considered their request. Their mother had died, and they were growing up fast. With every confidence in their horsemanship, he laid down some guidelines, opened a checking account for each with $100 apiece and encouraged them to saddle up.

They set out in June 1909 from Oklahoma to Santa Fe and back in a journey that was covered by not only local newspapers, but The New York Times: “Anxious to emulate the strenuous life and carry out their father’s instructions to ‘toughen up,’ Temple and Louis Abernathy, aged 5 and 8 [sic], respectively, sons of United States Marshal John Abernathy, left late today for a 1,300-mile horseback trip.”

It would be the first of six treks over four years covering more than 10,000 miles that would include meetings with mayors and governors and presidents, an offer to fly with the Wright Brothers and crowds ripping at their clothes to get a piece of them.

The brothers would become two of the best-known children in the world, inspiring an Ohio newspaper to note, “The Abernathy boys are beating all records for juvenile fame. They couldn’t have become better known if they had got themselves kidnapped and ransomed.”

Even among the rough-and-tumble characters of the Wild West, Jack Abernathy stood out. He worked as a saloon pianist in Sweetwater, Texas, at the age of 6, surviving a gun battle that left bullet holes in the piano; was a full-time range rider on the A-K-X ranch at age 9, patrolling the still-fenceless prairie with a .38 pistol because a .45 was too heavy; and, at 15, won a job as a top bronc buster and “first saddle” on the J-A Ranch. At 18, he fell in love with gray-eyed music teacher Jessie Pearl Jordan and devised an elaborate escape plan to elope on March 10, 1894, brandishing his pistol at porters trying to block their path, one step ahead of her angry family.

What would bring him fame, however, was his ability to jump from horseback and wrestle with wild wolves and coyotes, sticking his hand in their jaws to immobilize them, then wiring their muzzles shut and binding their legs. The skill bestowed a nickname that would follow him the rest of his life: Jack “Catch ‘Em Alive” Abernathy.

Stories of his unusual talent made their way to Pres. Teddy Roosevelt, who trekked to Frederick in 1905 to meet the 29-year-old wolf catcher, described as “not more than 5 foot 2 [inches], but he is built like an ox, and his muscles are like steel.” Abernathy’s skill so impressed the president over five days hunting in Oklahoma Territory’s Big Pasture that Roosevelt declared, “This beats anything I have seen in my life, and I have seen a good deal!”

John R. “Jack” Abernathy was born Jan. 28, 1876, in Bosque County, Texas, to Martin Van Buren Abernathy – a veteran of the Confederate Army’s Waco Rifles who fought through the Vicksburg and Atlanta campaigns before being injured and taken prisoner of war – and his wife, Kittie Williams Thompson Abernathy, widow of a Confederate soldier. In addition to caring for the four sons and two daughters from Kittie’s first marriage, the couple had five additional children;  Jack was the baby.

His eldest son, Louis “Bud” Van Abernathy, named for his grandfather, was born in Bosque County on Dec. 17, 1899. Temple Reeves Abernathy, named in honor of Sam Houston’s youngest son, was born March 25, 1904, in Tipton, Oklahoma Territory.

The next year, Roosevelt appointed him U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Oklahoma. The plum job made Abernathy the top federal law enforcement official in the state, granted a salary of $5,000 plus expenses and made him the youngest U.S. Marshal in history.

As their father’s star rose, the Abernathy boys continued with elementary school and dreamt of their next big adventure.

Despite the hoopla surrounding their first trek, the Santa Fe trip had been riddled with near-disasters. Bud’s horse Sam Bass, borrowed from his father, and the Shetland pony mix named Geronimo were sure-footed. But Temple contracted diarrhea by drinking gypsum water and sprained both ankles trying to dismount. Bud was forced to lie awake one night, firing his shotgun into the darkness toward a pack of wolves that circled while his brother slept. The boys ran out of both food and water between stops, and were saved by the kindness of strangers.

The most chilling episode was a note scribbled by the point of a lead-tipped bullet on a brown paper sack, addressed to “The Marshal of Oklahoma” and delivered to the Abernathy home. “I don’t like one hair on your head, but I do like the stuff that is in these kids. We shadowed them through the worst part of New Mexico to see that they were not harmed by sheepherders, mean men, or animals.” It was signed A.Z.Y., the initials of a rustler whose friend had been killed in a shootout with Abernathy.

Jack was tickled by the note: “It just goes to show you there’s good in all men. He’d have killed me at the drop of a hat, but he was honorable to protect my innocent boys.”

As school was about to shut down for summer, the boys asked if they could go to New York City to witness the reception for Roosevelt, which was planned to welcome his return from 15 months abroad on safari in Africa and speaking in the capitals of Europe.

Jack asked how they planned to pay for their train ticket. Temple said it was all settled: Their round-trip tickets were “out in the barn eatin’ hay.” The brothers argued that a trip east, though longer, would likely have better roads and more amenities. Jack agreed and planning was under way.

Almost famous after their Santa Fe trip, by the time they set out for New York in 1910, the Abernathy Boys approached celebrity status. Easterners were fascinated by the brothers’ pluck and by the growing legend of their father. Red carpets were unrolled, bands were assembled, speeches were made. An account noted: “Kids envied them. Women adored them. Grown men pulled hair from their horses’ tails to keep as souvenirs.”

But the boys still had long, lonely stretches by themselves. The pony Geronimo foundered in Hominy, Oklahoma, and Temple was forced to leave him behind and buy a new horse: a red-and-white pinto he named Wylie Haynes. Temple’s Navajo saddle blanket was stolen at a livery in Chicago. Unimpressed kids challenged them to fight. They pressed ahead in driving rain and muddy roads, guided only by directions from one stable to the next. Bud nearly crushed his leg in a fall. Temple suffered a bronchial infection, and a doctor in New Jersey measured his temperature at 103 and ordered him to rest.

Even so, they drove a train in St. Louis, slept in a firehouse in Cincinnati, were made deputies for the day in Dayton and were guests of honor at a Halley’s Comet viewing party in West Virginia. In Washington, the House of Representatives stopped its proceedings so members could hear of their adventures. In New Jersey, they were followed by “local armies of small boys” riding stick horses. In describing the mob scene at the boys’ hotel in Manhattan, New York Times headlines blared:

“ABERNATHY BOYS PUT BAN ON KISSING = Fearless Youngsters, Who Have Ridden Here From Oklahoma, Mobbed by Women. Surrounded by Mounted Police, They Have a Triumphal March to Their Broadway Hotel.”

The brothers – now joined by Jack, who had arrived by train – were among the VIPs allowed on one of the cutters sent out in a flotilla to greet Roosevelt. Bud and Temple rode Sam Bass and Wylie Haynes just behind his carriage and in front of the Rough Riders in the five-mile parade up Broadway and onto Fifth Avenue and 59th Street.

At the end of the route, Roosevelt jumped out of his carriage and strode toward the boys with an oversized teddy bear he’d been given, draped in the flags of the world, and created a perfect ending to a perfect day: “Here, Temple, this is for you.”

Jack shipped the boys’ horses back to Oklahoma and, after a few more days of sightseeing, planned to follow by train. But Bud and Temple had a better idea: Why not buy a horseless carriage?

Jack was skeptical, but told the boys he would consider the request if they could find a small, simple automobile that they could handle themselves. He gave them one day to search.

At their last stop in Manhattan’s new auto showrooms, they discovered a small, red Brush Runabout. It featured a single cylinder, a chain drive, a fuel pump that would help with climbing hills and a price tag of $485. The salesman promised if it broke down on the way, he would pay the freight back and refund their money. Bud spent an afternoon on driving lessons, and Jack was inspired to buy a sturdier Maxwell touring car, and hire a chauffeur to drive him back home.

The boys – mostly Bud, but sometimes Temple – drove themselves. Clad in goggles and dusters, they made good time and stopped along the way to visit Niagara Falls and the Brush factory in Detroit. Their dad’s car caught fire along the way, burning the boys’ souvenirs, including the teddy bear from Roosevelt. The car was salvageable, and they motored into Oklahoma City on July 30, guests of honor at a reception at the fairgrounds sponsored by the new Oklahoma Auto Club. The trip took 23 days to travel 2,512 miles.

Promoters soon realized there was money to be made off the Abernathys’ fame.

The boys starred as themselves in a 1910 silent movie, Abernathy Kids to the Rescue, “a story of the real wild and woolly western type which will arouse your enthusiasm, which will bubble with excitement and interest.”

They were hired as spokesmen for the Brush Company for the 1911 auto show in New York, paid to sit in a booth and talk about their adventures.

Fred Thompson and Skip Dundy, who built the Hippodrome Theater and owned Luna Park on Coney Island, paid Bud and Temple to sit astride their horses on the boardwalk and talk of their adventures.

To keep the boys in the public eye, Thompson and Dundy arranged an elephant-and-donkey race from New York to Washington, ostensibly to predict the winner of the upcoming presidential race. Accompanied by animal trainers, Bud rode the 7,000-pound elephant, and Temple settled for the donkey. The race was called off in Philadelphia when the elephant was too exhausted to continue.

Not to be thwarted, promoters cooked up an even grander scheme: a $10,000 challenge for the boys to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific on horseback in 60 days. Bud, now 11, and 7-year-old Temple, would be allowed to rest on Sundays and to sit out bad weather without counting toward the 60-day total. They would be allowed one change of horses. And finally, in an odd and cruel twist, the boys would not be allowed to eat or sleep under a roof for the duration of the journey.

So it was that on the stroke of midnight Aug. 11, 1911, the boys on their horses emerged from knee-deep water in the Atlantic Ocean, carrying a flask of sea water to dump in the Pacific at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Thousands of vacationers cheered their departure.

The boys did not dawdle for receptions and parades. They slept on the ground in bedrolls and, as summer turned into fall, would burrow into haystacks for the warmth at night. Some sympathetic towns would have a table laden with food and drink set up outside, so the boys could keep their word and never have a meal indoors. Others had never heard of them, nor cared to, and chased them off their property when they tried to set up camp.

They traveled through the Rockies, over the Continental Divide and into the Great Salt Lake Desert, where they woke one morning to find their horses had disappeared. The boys spent three days searching the shadeless desert.

“I think we both suddenly realized that we could die there in the heat,” Temple would say later. “We had little food and almost no water left. Without the horses, survival would be almost impossible.”

But at last they found one of the horses, and caught up with the other in Kelton, Utah, where he had wandered in search of water. Bolstered with food, drink and fresh supplies, they followed the railroad tracks out of town. Soon, a westbound train screeched to a stop. The men aboard offered a ride to the boys and their horses, which would spare them three more days of desert riding.

Bud did not hesitate: “No sir, we can’t do that. It would be breaking our contract.”

“We’ll never tell,” said one of the crew. Another agreed: “That’s right. No one will ever know.”

“We’d know,” Bud said.

The exhausted boys pressed on, making it through Nevada to California, then San Francisco and into Golden Gate Park to dump their flask of Atlantic water into the Pacific. They had covered 3,619 miles in 62 days of traveling, missing the goal by two days but setting a record for crossing the continent on horseback, breaking the old mark of 182 days. Their expenses were $2,800; their payout was zero.

Reports noted that neither seemed disheartened at missing out on the prize. The taciturn Bud had few words to share: “It was too hard. We averaged nearly 60 miles a day when we rode, and it was too far.” Temple said: “Gee, but it’s great to get here. I liked the trip all right, but sometimes it got cold, and then I didn’t like it so well. I want the deepest feather bed I can get in this town.”

The boys’ final ride came in 1913, when the maker of Indian Motocycles (spelled at the time without the r) offered a custom-made, two-seat, twin-engine machine if the boys would travel on it from Oklahoma to New York City. Temple had just turned 9, and Bud was 13. The company sent along a second bike, for a mechanic to ride along.

After teaching themselves to drive the 500-pound cycle, they headed out in June, stopping along the way to give demonstrations and visit dealerships. Roads had improved so much that they were able to hit speeds of up to 70 miles per hour on some paved stretches.

In the book Bud and Me, authored by his wife, Alta Abernathy, Temple talked of their arrival in New York: “We were salesmen now, not celebrities as before, and we didn’t have to deal with reporters and crowds. I missed the excitement, but all in all I liked it better, because we were free to do as we pleased. … Although we didn’t realize it at the time, our cross-country travels as the ‘Abernathy boys’ were at an end.”

A statue commemorating the Abernathy boys was dedicated on the lawn of the Tillman County courthouse on April 22, 2006 – a month after what would have been Temple’s 102nd birthday.

Their bronze figures oversee the town of Frederick’s annual Abernathy Day celebration, held the first Saturday in June. Although instilled with cowboy swagger, the likeness of 9-year-old Bud and 5-year-old Temple appear to be even smaller than their ages would suggest.

After their celebrity childhood wound down with the coming of World War I, the boys enrolled in military school in San Antonio. Jack became a wildcatter, and relocated to Wichita Falls, Texas. Temple joined his father in the oil and gas business. Bud would go on to graduate from University of Oklahoma Law School, becoming a lawyer and, eventually, a judge.

Near the end of his life, Temple Abernathy said: “We’d been royally entertained by some folks, and coldly turned away by others, and we’d always faced the question of whether it was worthwhile to go on. I’m glad we always pressed ahead. That is where the future is.”

Thirty-year-old Jessie Pearl Abernathy died in Guthrie on May 7, 1907, three months after giving birth to a sixth child. She left behind four daughters (Pearlie Mae, Kittie Joe, Vera Golda and Johnnie “Jack” Martin) and the two boys.

Abernathy’s father and sister stepped in to help raise the children. Jack remarried the next July, eloping with Almira Pervaine, the teenaged daughter of a wealthy farmer near Guthrie. The union would last less than two years, as Abernathy filed for divorce in April 1910, weeks after the arrival of the daughter they named for Roosevelt: Theodora Lucile.

In June 1909, The New York Times quoted Jack – whom they called “the cowboy Sheriff of Oklahoma” – saying of his sons: “They got all their good points from their mother, who died about three years ago.” The newspaper noted, “There was a touch of sadness in his voice.”

BREAK==========

Coming up, I’ll look inside the email bag as we enter the Chamber of Comments, when Weird Darkness returns.

<COMMERCIAL BREAK>

CHAMBER OF COMMENTS==========

Here in the Chamber of Comments I answer any questions and reply to any comments you have sent to me via email or by postal delivery. You can email me anytime at darren @ weirddarkness.com, and you can find my mailing address – as well as all my social media – on the CONTACT page of the website. 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!

(Email from Thomas D.): hey there darren how ya doin? it’s me one of ur fellow weirdos. lol I can’t tell you enough how much I love all your shows an story’s an the up lifting messages you leave at the end of all your shows your one of the good ones buddy an I mean that. hope ya dont mind but I have a question about a group of women who was fighter pilots but not just any these was a group of women that terrified every one that was in the sky. I’m trying to find out what the name of their group was. And they didn’t have any serious planes and suits to really speak of an I think the had less than men in that day and age I believe the one thing that definitely stood out was they was awesome flight Warriors and terrified anyone that was in the sky. I think u did a story on them a while back. anyway been listening to you for going on 2 years now an it never gets old keep up the great work ur friend an fellow weirdo thomas god bless.

REPLY: Hi, Thomas! You’re thinking of “The Night Witches”!  I’ll place a link to that episode in the Essential Web Links of the show notes. It’s one of my personal favorites as well. I was mesmerized by the story as I was telling it.  I can’t believe a big budget film hasn’t been made about the Night Witches.  A foreign film was made some time back, and another film many many years ago, but nothing big/blockbuster like those ladies deserve!

(Email from Adam W.): Hello Darren, I hope all is well for you and your bride. I recently just finished reading a story called “Ghosts Have Warm Hands” by Will R. Bird. The story is the personal account of a WW1 Canadian soldier who is haunted by his brother who was killed in battle. While serving on the front his ghost brother help guide him through battles and how to survive. This is a great first hand account story, it would be a good idea for a creepypasta! Thank you for the podcast Darren. I love listening to the show. – Adam W.

REPLY: Thanks, Adam! Looks like there is still a copyright on the story though and it won’t be available in the public domain until 2092 – I could promise to look at it again in 71 years, but I don’t think my memory will last that long!

(Email from Joseph L.): Hi Darren, I love the podcast and appreciate everything you do to raise awareness of depression. I myself suffer with Major Depressive Disorder.  I always knew something was different with me, that I had more “up” days and “down” days than most people, and those days seemed to affect me more as well. An insidious aspect of my depression was how slowly it crept up on me. Every low was replaced with a new normal that was just a little lower than the previous normal. My “up” days became fewer and farther between until “up” simply became “less low”. Worse, instead of being typically “sad” all the time, my default emotion was “anger” – not a great default emotion for someone raising a small child. Only after having my work be impacted by long bouts of zero concentration did I finally seek professional help. Medication turned things around for me, but just as my depression took a long time to become apparent, the treatment took almost as long. I had to try three different medications, and while I tended to feel better and better every few months, it wasn’t until I had been medicated for two years that I finally found a real “normal” again. I cannot believe I let myself go that long suffering that way, not to mention the added stress it put on my family.  I have friends and family that don’t understand depression, and honestly I can’t blame them. It’s difficult to put someone into your shoes when they themselves can’t even imagine feet. So I’ve talked openly about my depression to anyone who will listen. That’s why I think everything you do to raise awareness is so important and vital. In a world of chaos and uncertainty, your message is a literal good. Thank you. – Joe L.

REPLY: Hey, Joe – thanks for the email. I’m glad you got help for your depression. And I think you hit on one of the hardest things about depression too – friends and family who don’t understand depression. I don’t think it’s possible to understand it unless you’ve had to live with it yourself. Even my beautiful bride who has been so supportive and loving the past 26 years of our marriage still doesn’t understand it. To her, it’s hard to get past the idea that it’s not just sadness or “the blues”, like most people think it is. It’s not something she can fix by turning on a comedy TV show or movie, or grabbing a pint of my favorite ice cream (not that I’m going to stop her from doing that one, mind you). There’s just no way to fully express to someone exactly what depression is and how it effects you, so it’s impossible for others to understand even if they truly want to and try to do so. That’s why education and awareness is, in my opinion, so important. We need to take the ignorance out of it and let people see it as what it is – an illness that can be treated. Thanks for the kind words, Joe!

(Email from Laura M.): Greetings, sir! I hope you don’t mind, I thought I would share an interesting idea with you. It’s fascinating and unsettling. My two favorite “-ings.” I have been reading a book called “The Poison Squad.” Have you heard of it? It’s the story of a man trying to fight for some government regulation of food and “medicine” manufacturers. It seems that before there was a Food and Drug Administration” (or least an effective regulatory organization) food manufacturers could put whatever they wanted into their products. Think of the worst possible things you can think of to be put into food. A big one was formaldehyde in milk. This was done regularly to keep it seeming fresh. Plaster of Paris in milk to make it whiter, borax in food products, literally dirt and wood shavings from factory floors. I have been reading the book a bit at a time because it is so unnerving. There’s even the instance of using rotted meat in soldiers’ ration tins- that severely sickened many. It’s hard to believe these things actually happened. But they did and the story is so weird. Thought it might be something for your consideration! Best, Laura M.

REPLY: You gotta admit though, Laura… wood shavings would be a great source of fiber in your diet. And formaldehyde… that keeps things from spoiling, so wouldn’t that mean drinking milk would make you immortal?

(Email from Morris C.): Darren – Thank You!  For what?  Like you, I suffer from depression and anxiety.  However, mine is complicated Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I was a service member for just over 10 years including combat tours and responses to natural and unnatural catastrophic events.  For 30 years since Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Operation Provide Comfort, I have suffered bouts of deep clinical depression, survivor guilt, sleep apnea, flashbacks and nightmares.  Needles to say, my wonderful wife has lost many hours of sleep and been the receiver of my verbal rage.  On top of this, I feel two years ago and suffered a moderate concussion.  The accident caused my PTSD to severely impact my mental health and well being.  Then, she and I found your show.  we have listened nightly to both archive and original episodes.  Your voice is like hearing an old friend’s voice that distracts me from my anxiety.  We listen intently and discuss the subject matter.  Though your horror stories contain nowhere near the violence and horror suffered in my weekly nightmares, the episodes have provided her and I a period of relaxation.  In addition, your episodes aid me in falling asleep and have reduced the insomnia suffered for thirty years.  Last since finding your show and this period of relaxation, my sleeping medications have been reduced.  Thank you for improving my life…..From providing resources for those that suffer, as you and I suffer, from Depression, Anxiety, and other mental health issues that affect both mental and physical wellbeing; to just a friendly, kind, caring, and supportive comments, you are an example of a true Christian. Thank You, Morris C.

REPLY: Wow, Morris.  Thank you so much for sharing your life with me like this.  And thanks for sharing the photos – I love seeing who I’m replying to!  And thank you for your service.  I know I say that often, especially at the beginning of certain episodes with the prerecorded announcement, but I mean it every single time.  As one who has never served I cannot begin to imagine what kind of horrors you must have lived through, or dream of, but to know that my podcast is helping both you AND your marriage, means the world to me.  And to hear that you are using fewer sleeping medications by listening?  Wooooooow!!!!  Dude, that is God, not me!  How awesome is that!

(Email from Rachel L.): Darren, I’ve been listening to your podcast for about the past year and half. I’ve recently became a weirdo member and I’m happy that I have. I read the reviews left on the podcast site, along with listening the emails you read at the end of your shows. I realize everyone is entitled to their opinions which is what makes this country great. However, I don’t understand why people have to leave such negative reviews and comments. 2020 wasn’t just a negative year for everyone but life in general is hard and people are negative. So to hear your podcasts and your Bible verses at the end, are a highlight of my day. Your voice is very soothing and calming which adds extra comfort in listening. I’ve always been taught if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Yet, people always want to put in their negative two cents. I’m a firm believer if you don’t like something, then don’t listen, shop, attend, watch, etc. whatever the case may be. I pretty much can’t stand anything which is trending nowadays and find myself as an old soul. However, I don’t go on social media to blast about anything. I simply sit back and listen, read, or watch what I am interested in and let the naysayers bash each other.  I also want to say thank you for being neutral in your responses and commentary. It’s refreshing to hear just the story and leave it at that. So thank you for what you do and keep up the hard work and keep the podcasts coming. Thank your for bringing to light depression and that is a real thing. Again, proud to be a part of the weirdo family !!! –Rachel L.

REPLY: Thank you for the really nice comments, Rachel! I have to admit, I’m becoming an old soul myself. I used to be all about jumping onto social media, making my opinion known, even ruffling feathers just for the fun of it because when I was younger it was fun to debate (not argue, but debate). Nowadays, when I’m not in the studio doing the podcast, I just want to sit in the recliner binge-watching a brainless TV show or movie just so I can shut my mind off – and I avoid the comments section on YouTube, and if I don’t like a post I see on social media, I just skip it and move on because anything more than that wouldn’t be worth the energy wasted.

(Email from Alice F.): I wanted to reach out regarding the religious undertones of your podcast. I call them undertones because they run just below the surface rather than overshadowing and whitewashing the subjects. I have been listening to your show for about a year and I very much enjoy it. I listen to several mystery podcasts, and you are in the top several that I subscribe to. I hear a lot of people complain about the religious mentionings at the end of your show and I disagree with them wholeheartedly. I am a Muslim sophist, and I am not offended at all by your mentions of bible verses, teachings, or prayers. Even if I were atheist I wouldn’t mind. Perhaps those who are bothered by it are not  atheist but ANTI-Theist…Perhaps rather than just “not Christian” they are ANTI-Christian. If they find themselves in this category, maybe they need to look closely in the mirror and find out why they are so ANTI rather than just “non”. By the way, when I logged onto my computer to send this email my computer said it was 11/11/21.… (instead of 1/11/21) I had to change it manually.

REPLY: Two things, Alice. First – thank you very much for your levelheaded look at the world and the beliefs of others. I may not agree with the religions of others, but I don’t come out and antagonize those with differing beliefs than mine, so why should they do it to me? Just tap the fast-forward button, and if that doesn’t work, the unsubscribe button usually does the trick. Second, the fact that you had to manually change your computer settings because they said you were emailing me on November 11th instead of January 11th isn’t that strange if you think about it. This is Weird Darkness after all, where time slips happen quite often, and it’s very possible you really were emailing me in November. And I don’t know where you live, Alice, but if you live in Russia that lends more credibility to my theory – they celebrate the October Revolution in November – so they apparently have an annual time-dilation issue. Or they are just really bad at using calendars. Oh, wait… I’ve got it… there’s no problem with time or the calendar at all. You’re just using Windows Vista, so problems are to be expected. Yeah, that must be it.

(And speaking of religious undertones… here is an email from Jacob L.): Hey Darren! Started listening to the podcast a few months ago, and man is it riveting! Big fan of your work, and of the immense effort and joy that you pour into it. God has given you a passion in this, and it’s encouraging to hear you do this to the best of your ability. My question is a theological one; I’m genuinely curious about how you tackle and dwell on these topics while living a Christ-centered lifestyle. I’m absolutely NOT knocking your ministry here. I love how you tie in the Gospel message in the podcasts, and I understand that countless individuals are positively impacted through the good work that you are doing, and that I’m certain Christ is doing through you! As a fellow believer and as someone who is quite interested in the topics at hand, I just wanted to gain some insight and wisdom from you. That’s something I’m wresting with now: is it wrong for me to be too interested in these topics (the paranormal, the mysterious, etc..)? Is it wrong for me to dwell too often on the subject matter? Christian friends of mine advise me to flee from subjects like these, and to dwell on things above. I understand that my time spent focusing on Christ should far outweigh anything else, but it often has me trying to draw a line at ‘how much is too much?’. ‘Should I really be listening to a creepypasta every other day?’. Sometimes, after watching a scary movie or listening to a particularly frightening episode of the podcast, I have a weighty feeling in the pit of my stomach. Not necessarily convictions, just a feeling of ‘why did I indulge in that seemingly unwholesome kind of thing?’. I guess my question would then be: how do these topics and a daily walk with Christ mesh?   How does the fascination with the paranormal and the occult impact your relationship with Him? I’m fascinated too, and as a fellow brother in Christ, I’m just wanting to understand some things! I apologize if my question was unclear, I just hope to have articulated my thoughts semi-well enough. Can’t wait for your feedback, sir! In the meantime, praying for you and for your witness on the platform that God has given you! Thanks! – Jacob L.

REPLY: Hey, Jacob – thanks for the email. I didn’t have a migraine before starting the podcast, but now after thinking on your email…. Just kidding, I feel fine. It is a very heady and heavy question you ask though, and there’s no way I could go in-depth here, nor do I think 99% of those listening would want me to go in-depth. Even the Cliffs Notes of the Reader’s Digest version is pretty lengthy. You call this a ministry, and mention that I tie in the gospel message. I’m not sure I would go that far, as I am not preaching the gospel in the regular episodes – I’m just inserting a bible verse at the end. The only exception would be the rare “Church of the Undead” episodes, so maybe you are referring to those? The regular Weird Darkness episodes really aren’t ministry-oriented at all that I can tell. I will give my advice if someone asks in the Chamber of Comments – like I’m doing with your question now – but that’s about it. It’s interesting that you ask that question though, because it wasn’t but a few weeks ago that I told my bride how it feels like Weird Darkness is a ministry. It doesn’t check the boxes for one – I don’t have a not-for-profit status, I don’t pass out the collection plate, and I don’t pass out communion wafers, etc. – but I do feel a responsibility to the podcast, I’m asked for advice and I want to be godly in that advice I give; I pray for my Weirdo family – all of them, not just those who ask; I’m committed to the podcast because I know people rely on it for mental relief; and I offer mental-health resources on the website. So I guess it does kind of feel like a ministry. But your question is how do I immerse myself in this and still keep a Christ-centered life. I’m not going to say I’m consistent with it, but making time for God each day is crucial. I’ve recently started to try and get up earlier each day specifically so I can read my bible and pray. I ask God to be with me throughout the day and to help me make wise decisions that will be beneficial for me and my family, and that will ultimately glorify Him. BUT… and this is a big BUT and I cannot lie, our Christian brothers can’t deny… (sorry, I couldn’t resist). BUT… not everyone can do everything. Just because I can do a podcast on this kind of material does not mean other Christ-followers are automatically given the green light to do the same. We are all wired differently. There are born-again believers in Hollywood in movie roles that I could never bring myself to do no matter how much money is stacked in front of me, because it would cross a boundary in my soul. But perhaps in that Christian actor they can detach themselves from what they are doing onscreen and can use that somehow in their daily life to be a better person, husband, father, Christian, or just to more easily relate to someone who needs to hear about Jesus. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:23, “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.” Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean it’s good for you personally. If you’re getting a check in your spirit every time you listen to a creepypasta, or watch a horror movie, or listen to an episode of Weird Darkness, maybe step back and pray about whether you should continue absorbing that material. I don’t want to lose you as a listener, of course, but if you are feeling convicted about it, maybe it’s God telling you that He has a different path for you, and the darkness, while Darren Marlar might be wired for it and God has chosen to use him in the darkness, it might not be what God wants for Jacob L., because He has something much more magnificent planned for Jacob L. If you are questioning it because you feel guilty, then push that back because that’s not God – that’s the enemy trying to tear you down. God doesn’t use guilt, He uses conviction. If you feel guilty, pray for God to clear your head and heart of the enemy and to give you clarity in what He wants for you. If you are feeling convicted… do the same. And if God says put down the darkness, just know that the temporary loss of something you love now will undoubtedly be replaced by something brilliant and exciting when God reveals it to you. I hope this helps.

SHOW CLOSE, CREDITS, A LITTLE LIGHT, AND A FINAL THOUGHT==========

Thanks for listening. Feel free to email me anytime with your questions or comments at darren@weirddarkness.com. You can also find all of my social media and a link to the Weird Darkness Weirdos Facebook group on the CONTACT page of the website. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already done so, and please leave a review of the show in the podcast app you listen from! And if you’re already a Weirdo, please take a moment today and share the podcast with someone you know who loves paranormal stories, true crime, monsters, or mysteries like you do! You can also vote for Weird Darkness in the HOT 50 countdown in Podcast Magazine every day I upload an episode! To vote, follow the link in the Essential Web Links section of the show notes, or click on “VOTE” 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.

“The Disturbing Truth Behind ‘Mommy Dead and Dearest’” by Stefanie Hammond for Graveyard Shift

“Other True Cases of Munchausen by Proxy” by Carly Carano for Unspeakable Times

“The Astounding Adventures of the Abernathy Boys” by M.J. Alexander for 405 Magazine

WeirdDarkness™ – is a production of Marlar House Productions. Copyright ©Weird Darkness 2021.

Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…” – Isaiah 61:1

And a final thought… “Stop focusing on how stressed you are and remember how blessed you are.” – Unknown

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

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