“They’re going to steal your organs!” screamed Sabina Eriksson, before running toward oncoming traffic on the M6 highway, having already been hit head-on by a Volkswagen. Her twin sister, Ursula, legs crushed by the truck that had just run her over, was spitting and screaming at paramedics on the side of the road. Now, more than a decade after these events, we’re still no closer to understanding the chaos that occurred over two days in 2008 involving psychotic twin sisters on a UK highway.
It’s April 1st, All Fools Day! Rather than doing a prank episode as many other podcasts will likely do today, I thought I’d take a slightly different route and instead tell a story that fits the day and is both dark and comedic. It’s a tale created specifically for this April Fool’s Day episode; written by Mary Eitzenberger. Adapted from an original story by Nicholas Paul Pontoski. It’s called, “Why Are You So Possessed With Me?”
Since time unremembered there have been tales from all over the world of various magical little people. Gnomes, imps, faeries, trolls, goblins, whatever you want to call them they are there, etched into the pages of lore and fairy tales. Yet, what if these creatures are not merely the denizens of myth and legend, and what if they are somehow real? Even more spookily, what if some of them are not so benevolent? There are many reports of encounters with such sinister little people, and I’ll share some of the more frightening.
After Jefferson Walters callously murdered 15-year-old Anna Zinn in southern Fayette County in 1935, the killer disappeared into thin air. More than eighty-five years have elapsed since the murder, and yet, in spite of a massive search effort in several states, Jefferson Walters has never been found.
One slave, terrified of punishment from Delphine, threw himself out of a third-story window, preferring death over torture. The third story window was then cemented shut, and remains so to this day. The other report was regarding a twelve year old slave girl named Lia. Lia was brushing Delphine’s hair, and pulled just a little too hard. Delphine flew into a rage and whipped the girl. To escape further punishment, the girl climbed out and onto the roof, where she leapt to her death. Delphine was witnessed burying Lia’s corpse, and police were forced to fine her $300, and made her sell nine of her slaves. However, mistreatment of slaves by the wealthy and socially connected was not a matter for the police at the time, so they didn’t flinch when she bought her nine slaves back.
Troopers soon learned that a woman named Celia “Beth” van Zanten had gone missing on December 23rd. Just 18 years old, she was on her way to a local convenience store when she disappeared. At the crime scene, they found a woman who seemed to match the description: Young, fair complexion, long blonde hair. Her wrists were tied behind her back with speaker wire. She had been sexually assaulted, and her chest slashed with a knife. Somehow before her death, she had managed to escape her assailant. She literally ran for her life. Her first fall was fifty feet from the presumed location of the murderer’s car. With her hands bound behind her, and in snow three feet deep on a dizzying slope, it would have taken a superhuman effort to regain her feet and continue the descent into what must have seemed a black hole. She got within ten to fifteen feet of the waterfall, but somehow turned away at the last minute. In the days since she’d gone missing, temperatures ranged from a low of minus five to a high of 22. She had frozen to death. What kind of monster could’ve done this?
There is a legend told at Rideau Ferry of murder most foul, of travelers disappearing, of human bones found. In the early 1800s, a Mr. Oliver set up a ferry business at today’s Rideau Ferry. His ferry, a rough hewn raft, linked roads leading from Brockville and Perth. Mr. Oliver had one unusual quirk. He would refuse to take travelers across to the far side after dark, preferring to put them up in his house overnight and send them on their way at first light in the morning. His neighbors seldom saw the travelers in the morning. When asked about them, Mr. Oliver would simply say “They went on their way at first light. You must have been asleep”. One strange thing kept happening though. Many of the travelers who had stayed overnight at Oliver’s house did not arrive at their destination… victims perhaps, the neighbors thought, of murderous highway robbers. Years later, long after Mr. Oliver has passed away, a bridge was to be constructed to replace the ferry service. When the outbuildings on the Oliver property were dismantled to make way for the bridge, human bones were found under the floors and in the walls. The travelers had never left.