Rachael Rogers was putting her four-year-old son Thomas to bed when he began talking about a ‘man in his room’. Rachael was a single mum – she and Thomas lived alone – and as far as she could see, they were the only two people present, but her son was insistent, pointing at the empty spot beside her. ‘He’s there, standing next to you, look!’
One Sunday morning in April 1943, during the dark days of WW2, four teenage boys made a terrifying discovery that would baffle the police and remain a mystery for over 70 years. The boys were searching for birds nests at Hagley Woods, a private estate near Birmingham in England’s Midlands. Climbing up an ancient old wych elm tree, 15-year-old Bob Farmer saw something truly terrible. Looking down the hollowed out trunk, Farmer noticed a strange object staring back at him from the dark interior. The teenager was horrified when he realized it was a human skull.
Poltergeist activity is probably the most misunderstood form of paranormal activity, at least in conjunction with haunted houses. The word poltergeist actually means “noisy ghost” when translated from German and for many years, researchers believed that noisy ghosts were causing the phenomena reported in these cases. It was assumed that the things which occurred in a house that was “haunted” by a poltergeist were caused by an outside force. While some cases of real-life “poltergeists” have turned out to be both “intelligent” spirits and the work of human agents, some cases exist that lead researchers to believe that they may actually be combination of the two. But then… what if it’s possible that some locations actually attract both kinds of phenomena?
IN THIS EPISODE: A dream home becomes a house of nightmares… A woman living alone hears a raspy man’s voice speak to her in the dark… While exploring a haunted ship, a woman gets burned – literally… A non-believer in the paranormal becomes a believer… in his own house… Howard Carter became the first person to peer inside of the tomb of King Tutankhamen in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. It turned out to be the discovery of a lifetime and the start of an ancient curse. *** The Wendigo… a shapeshifter, a cannibal, and many believe it to be completely real. *** Puzzling loud booms have been heard in many locations this year and despite lots of speculations no-one knows what’s behind this disturbing phenomenon. *** Why would something want to possess a department-store mannequin? *** Samuel Clemens – better known as Mark Twain. There is a part of his life that is all too often ignored by historians and biographers. Most scholars ignore the fact that Twain had a lifelong interest and fascination with the supernatural. *** Plus, if you’re a fan of cryptozoology, you’ll love my last story… a creepypasta called “The Fairies”.
“This is the Zodiac speaking”. With those words, written in a letter to The San Francisco Examiner, a killer was christened and a mystery born that continues to this day. The letter, received by the newspaper on August 4 1969, was claiming credit for 2 sets of recent murders in the Bay Area around San Fransisco. It was the second letter from someone claiming to be the killer, but this time he gave himself his soon to be legendary name — ‘The Zodiac’. More murders would follow, along with more letters to local newspapers and police. The Zodiac’s terrible crimes were being publicly played out in the nation’s newspapers, with each twist and turn holding the American public under a grim spell. And then he stopped. Less than a year after his first murder, the Zodiac killer simply stopped killing. But did the Zodiac killer actually ever exist?
If a person was forced to choose what the greatest ghost story in Wisconsin might be, it would almost undoubtedly be the legend of Summerwind. This haunted mansion has spawned more strange tales and stories that any other location in the state. What dark secrets remain hidden in the ruins of this once grand estate? Were the stories of ghostly encounters and messages from beyond really true… or were they part of an elaborate publicity hoax?
IN THIS EPISODE: A strange encounter in a diner turns terrifying when and old man appears to have black eyes. *** The feeling of being watched and cold spots in the home bring fear to a family in Oklahoma. *** Both a father and a son experience what can only be described as demonic oppression. *** A woman in Utah finds a stranger in her room… directly above her bed. *** Author G. Michael Vasey takes us to a haunted church in the Czech Republic village of Lukova. *** A strange figure appears in a photo – but wasn’t there when the picture was being taken. *** Ohio has its own strange creature roaming the forests… they call it the Dogman. And one man tells of his encounter with it. Ohio’s Silver Creek Dogman – what many consider to be a real life werewolf. *** The first recorded ghost in the United States was reported in Sullivan, Maine, in 1799. And her name, was Nelly Cooper. *** Built in 1839, Highgate Cemetery, in Highgate, London, is now said to be one of the most actively haunted cemeteries in the UK. There were even newspaper stories that there was a vampire at large in there – the so-called “Highgate Vampire”. *** When a woman died, leaving no heirs and no will. A couple were brought in to clear out the property after the estate had been settled. When it came time to clear out the deceased woman’s shed, what they found was more than disturbing… it was horrifying. *** A neighborhood in old Louisville, Kentucky had a large tree that stood in the center of the court – and served at one time as a hanging tree for various lynchings in the 1800s. The hangings may have stopped – but the darkness surrounding it, hasn’t.
If American filmmaker Stanley Kubrick is not the greatest director of all time, as many critics believe, he is certainly one of the most mysterious. Basing himself in London from the 1960s, the reclusive Kubrick turned out a string of classic films; Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut, characterized by their dark humor, dense subtexts, and visual innovation. Kubrick’s work has exerted both an immense influence on other filmmakers and considerable impact on our wider popular culture. But as time went on, the gaps between each film grew longer, as the meticulous Kubrick begun to obsess over ever detail of his work. Each film became the culmination of years of preparation, the ostensible story and plots becoming secondary to Kubrick’s more esoteric concerns. Perhaps more than any other filmmaker, Kubrick’s work is analyzed for its hidden meanings. The director’s classic 1968 science fiction epic 2001: A Space Odyssey often appears on film critics all time best lists. It’s exploration of mankind’s evolution been guided by an alien force revolutionized film special effects. But it was more than just a technical feat, it was a work of art exploring metaphysical concepts using visual metaphors and symbolism. Of all Kubrick’s film, the one that has captured the public imagination more than any other appears to be his simplest. At its release in 1980, many wondered why the great filmmaker had chosen to adapt a straightforward horror novel by Stephen King… The Shining. The film puzzled critics and King himself hated it for making inexplicable changes to his source material. But perhaps there is a reason Kubrick made so many changes… and that is to insert hints to close watchers of the film, of a larger, incredible real-world secret. Could Kubrick have been using “The Shining” to try and expose something the government had covered up?
Bad omens – to most it’s just as silly to believe them as to believe in flying monsters or that a solar eclipse will bring about the end of life as we know it. But when looking at the correlations between odd or strange events, and the Mothman, you might begin to wonder if bad omens may be real after all. Which just might also give you a bit of a hesitation and a few goosebumps when you experience the next solar eclipse.
IN THIS EPISODE: Following the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp, American troops felt an urge to personally punish the camp’s guards. What exactly transpired still isn’t known. (How Dachau Concentration Camp Guards Got Their Comeuppance) *** When someone in her town was ill, Bertha was to first to pick up her medical bag and rush to the scene to try and help the sickly individual. It never failed though – shortly after her visit, Bertha’s patients would pass away. (The Horrible Bertha Gifford) *** The Chicago Water Tower is one of the oldest buildings in the Windy City. Is it also one of the most haunted? (Chicago’s Haunted Water Tower) *** A bell ringing team in England is plagued by phantom footsteps. (The Phantom Footsteps That Haunt Our Church) *** The crate was picked up and delivered to the docks. It was scheduled to leave for New Orleans that afternoon, but inclement weather kept the boat and crew in port for a week. That’s when sailors began complaining of a foul odor coming from the hold. (The Corpse In The Shipping Crate) *** In the already exceedingly odd history of mysterious encounters with unexplained entities, there are sometimes some that stand out as particularly bizarre, to the point of being almost ludicrous. And I’ll share a few. (Absurd Entities) *** Just because you’re working in a busy office in the middle of the day doesn’t mean you can’t be disturbed by the paranormal. (The Haunted Office) A restaurant owner sees a man standing outside in the rain – but none of his employees can see the man. (No Entry!) *** Surrounded by sunny beaches, lush palm trees, and warm sand… and still one man is terrorized by an entity. (I Think My Hotel Room is Haunted) *** If you plan on staying at a strange hotel, be sure it wasn’t built on a sacred burial ground. (The Ancients Walk at Night) *** Just because your family doesn’t know of a death taking place in your house in the past, doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. (A Visitation From The Great Beyond) *** A girl babysits a group of children, but feels she’s not the only one awake in the house. (The Other Babysitters) *** A man is pelted with candy by an unseen entity. (The Poltergeist Who Won’t Leave Us… Ever) *** Can a house be haunted by… a smell? (A Ghostly Smell) *** A man checks in to a hotel he had no idea was haunted – yet the hotel staff knew. (The Crying Ghost of Galveston) *** A girl’s dorm room becomes haunted on her last day at school… but upon arriving home, she discovers the phantom has followed her. (The Voice) *** At the end of the podcast, a full chapter from the audiobook “Into Darkness” by Jason R. Davis!
True, scary stories from Weirdo family members! If you have a true scary, bizarre, or dark story to tell about something that happened to you or someone you know, you can send it to me by visiting the Tell Your Story page at WeirdDarkness.com.