“CAN READING ABOUT THE PARANORMAL BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR SOUL?” and 6 More Creepy True Horror Stories!
Find Weird Darkness wherever you listen to podcasts: https://linktr.ee/weirddarkness. #paranormal #truestories #paranormalstories #ghoststories #horrorstories #truecrime #cryptids
Listen to ““CAN READING ABOUT THE PARANORMAL BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR SOUL?” and 6 More Creepy True Horror Stories!” on Spreaker.
IN THIS EPISODE: As long as there has been talk of evil spirits, ghosts, and demons, there have been tales of ways to bind, subdue, and imprison them. (Bizarre Real Demon Traps) *** Is it possible that reading about the world of the paranormal can somehow expose a person to it? (Can Reading A Book Open a Paranormal Door?) *** A truck driver passes a specter on a night road. (Night Driving In Alabama Left Me Speechless) *** The 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese – killed in front of 38 people, yet no one came to her aid – became an American legend. But how much of the story is true? (The Woman Killed In Front Of 38 Witnesses) *** The skeleton of a young boy was found on the side of a road and eventually a man named Marcellus Bunch was arrested for the crime – yet he seemed completely unconcerned about himself, the trial, or his fate. (A Hidden Skeleton) *** You don’t have to be sleeping with someone to be the victim of a blanket hog. You only need an invisible entity to give you those chills. (The Phantom Blanket Puller) *** Beloved horror author Edgar Allan Poe was a master of terror and mystery – but his greatest mystery may not have been in the pages of his writings, but in the days immediately before his death. (The Last Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe)
SOURCES AND ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS…
“The Last Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe” by Doug MacGowan for Historic Mysteries: http://bit.ly/2lGCHQk
“Can Reading A Book Open a Paranormal Door” by Nick Redfern for Mysterious Universe: http://bit.ly/2m414Yk
“The Woman Killed In Front of 38 Witnesses” by Stephanie Merry for the UK’s Independent: http://bit.ly/2lFt7xe
“A Hidden Skeleton” by Robert Wilhelm for Murder By Gaslight: http://bit.ly/2lHB1pI
“The Phantom Blanket Puller” by Megan Amos for MyHauntedLifeToo.com: http://bit.ly/2k7NfYf
“Night Driving In Alabama Left Me Speechless” by Alan Orr for MyHauntedLifeToo.com: http://bit.ly/2m0IkZI
“Bizarre Real Demon Traps” by Brent Swancer for Mysterious Universe: http://bit.ly/2m9HDNZ
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music Library. Background music provided by Alibi Music Library, EpidemicSound and/or StoryBlocks with paid license. Music from Shadows Symphony (https://tinyurl.com/yyrv987t), Midnight Syndicate (http://amzn.to/2BYCoXZ), Kevin MacLeod (https://tinyurl.com/y2v7fgbu), Tony Longworth (https://tinyurl.com/y2nhnbt7), and Nicolas Gasparini (https://tinyurl.com/lnqpfs8) is used with permission of the artists.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
(Over time links seen above 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 these show notes immediately. Some links included above may benefit me financially through qualifying purchases.)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” — John 12:46
Trademark, Weird Darkness®, 2022. Copyright Weird Darkness©, 2022.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Can reading a book open a paranormal door? That may sound like a strange title for story. A very strange title, even. Is it possible that reading about the world of the paranormal can somehow expose a person to it? To many, it might sound like the stuff of fantasy. It may not be, though. There are more than a few cases on record where people have delved deep into a book on the domain of the supernatural, only to open a door to, well, something.
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode…
As long as there has been talk of evil spirits, ghosts, and demons, there have been tales of ways to bind, subdue, and imprison them. And some of those methods are quite strange.
Is it possible that reading about the world of the paranormal can somehow expose a person to it?
A truck driver passes a specter on a night road.
The 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese – killed in front of 38 people, yet no one came to her aid – became an American legend. But how much of the story is true?
The skeleton of a young boy was found on the side of a road and eventually a man named Marcellus Bunch was arrested for the crime – yet he seemed completely unconcerned about himself, the trial, or his fate.
You don’t have to be sleeping with someone to be the victim of a blanket hog. You only need an invisible entity to give you those chills.
Beloved horror author Edgar Allan Poe was a master of terror and mystery – but his greatest mystery may not have been in the pages of his writings, but in the days immediately before his own death.
If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, my newsletter, enter contests, to connect with me on social media, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re 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!
STORY: THE LAST MYSTERY OF EDGAR ALLAN POE==========
The last mystery of Edgar Allan Poe occurred when he died on October 7, 1849. Edgar Allan Poe left more questions than answers regarding the days leading up to his death.
Arguably the father of the “who done it” genre of mystery fiction, he wrote numerous tales and poems and modern scholars now regard him as one of the finest authors America has produced.
Sadly, he gained most of his fame after his death, as his life was spent in continual financial difficulties, and often what little money he had went to alcohol.
The last days of his life are as mysterious and gothic as many of his tales. He vanished for several days in the autumn of 1849 and died soon after.
His itinerary called for him to leave Richmond on September 27th and arrive in Baltimore the following day to catch a train to Philadelphia, where he had an important appointment. It is certain that he did take the boat to Baltimore and did arrive there on September 28th. From there he was to journey to Philadelphia and then on to New York City to meet Maria Clemm, his mother-in-law.
Poe never made it to Philadelphia.
September 28th to October 3rd of his life is a blank.
He was found incoherent in a tavern in Baltimore on the 3rd. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died on October 7th.
The mystery deepens:
- On his deathbed he called out repeatedly for “Reynolds” although nobody has ever figured out who Reynolds was.
- The clothes he was found in were not the ones he was wearing on his trip to Philadelphia. The clothes he was wearing on October 3rd were described by a witness as “His hat…was a cheap palm-leaf one, without a band, and soiled. His coat, [was] of commonest alpaca, and evidently second-hand, and his pants of gray, mixed, cassimere [was] dingy and badly fitting. His shirt was sadly crumpled and soiled.”
- He had checked some luggage at a hotel in Baltimore. If he was leaving on a Philadelphia train soon after he arrived in Baltimore (i.e. was not spending the night or any significant amount of time there), why did he check luggage there?
Because October 3rd was an election day, some have theorized that Poe may have been a victim of “cooping.” This practice was used to rig elections by having unwilling men go from voting place to voting place and casting their ballots for a candidate who had paid the coopers to tilt the election in their favor. Often the unwilling victims were plied with cheap alcohol until they were virtually incoherent. This may be how Poe met his end, but a Baltimore journalist wrote the following day that the elections “passed off quite harmoniously, and we heard of no disturbances at the polls or elsewhere – the police docket has indicated a dull business.”
Where was Poe for those missing five days?
The mystery lives on.
STORY: CAN READING A BOOK OPEN A PARANORMAL DOOR?==========
Can reading a book open a paranormal door? That may sound like a strange title for story. A very strange title, even. Is it possible that reading about the world of the paranormal can somehow expose a person to it? To many, it might sound like the stuff of fantasy. It may not be, though. There are more than a few cases on record where people have delved deep into a book on the domain of the supernatural, only to open a door to, well, something. David Weatherly shared a couple of examples with the author of the 2016 book, Men in Black. One such story came from a woman named Jane. She emailed David the following:
“Every time I start reading your book, The Black Eyed Children, electronics in my house go wonky. The first night the smoke alarm went off even though there was no smoke. The second evening the timer on my stove went crazy. I never set it and never use it so that was weird; I didn’t even know what it was at first. Then another time my garage door opened itself! That one really freaked me out! Are other people having such weird things happen or is this some strange coincidence? I’m interested in the topic but I honestly don’t want any black eyed kids showing up at my door!”
Then, there is Shannon from Illinois, who also contacted David and who shared her words with me: “For some reason, out of the blue, I suddenly found myself compelled by stories of black eyed kids. A friend told me an encounter that was supposed to have happened on a Marine base in North Carolina. Even after a few days, I couldn’t get the story out of my mind so I decided to do some research. My husband and son had gone to bed, it was about ten o’clock and I wasn’t tired. I started looking up information on the Internet about the BEKs. Just as I was reading the Brian Bethel story, all the power went out. It came back on after a few minutes and I restarted my computer. I looked outside and wondered what had happened since the skies were clear. I went right back to my research and again, right in the middle of reading through a website about the BEKs, the power went off.”
Shannon concluded: “I went through the whole cycle again. The third time when I had started the computer and got to reading, the power flickered and the light bulb in my desk lamp exploded. It scared me so much; I jumped up and went to get in bed with my husband. The next day, I was home alone and decided to try again. Appliances in my house started to malfunction. The microwave started beeping and nothing was in it. I finally had to unplug it. When I did, I still heard a beeping noise and realized that my alarm clock was going off too so I also had to unplug it to get it to stop. Once again, the computer went down as soon as I was on a website reading black eyed kid information. This time though, I was on my husband’s computer so I knew it wasn’t an issue with my computer. Since then, every time I start to research the black eyed kids, strange things like this happen. Part of me wants to leave it alone, but honestly, I can’t seem to help myself. I’ve decided though that I’ll do the rest of my research at the local library. I guess I feel like maybe there’s safety in numbers.”
In the latter part of 2017, a friend of mine, Sally, who like me lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, borrowed my copies of Nicolas Remy’s Demonolatry and Francesco Maria Guazzo’s Compendium Maleficarum. They are both in-depth studies of witchcraft. The very night that Sally began reading Remy’s book, she had a traumatic encounter with one of the creepy Shadow People, who manifested in her bedroom in the early hours – and while she was plunged into a state of sleep paralysis. Sally is convinced that just the act of reading the book somehow “alerted” a supernatural entity to what she was doing. And, as a result, she was visited by a Hat Man-type shadow-figure.
Then there’s the matter of Albert Bender, the man who – in almost single-handed fashion – began the Men in Black controversy, in the early 1950s. Bender was someone who had a deep interest in the occult, one which predated his experiences with the MIB by almost a decade. It’s a little known fact that Bender’s first encounter with the MIB occurred just hours after he finished reading his copy of Kurt Seligmann’s book, The History of Magic. Bender shared the story with a New Zealand-based UFO researcher, Harold Fulton, and – as far as I know – with no-one else.
Of course, some might say that all of the people above simply had bad dreams after having read supernaturally-themed books. Such a thing is not at all impossible. But, I have dozens of such cases on record, all of which suggest that reading about paranormal phenomena seems to cause it to manifest. In light of all that, beware of what you read…
You don’t have to be sleeping with someone to be the victim of a blanket hog. You only need an invisible entity to give you those chills.
Plus… The skeleton of a young boy was found on the side of a road and eventually a man named Marcellus Bunch was arrested for the crime – yet he seemed completely unconcerned about himself, the trial, or his fate.
And… A truck driver passes a specter on a night road.
Also… The 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese – killed in front of 38 people, yet no one came to her aid – became an American legend. But how much of the story is true?
These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns!
STORY: PHANTOM BLANKET PULLER==========
I’ve read a lot of stories about hauntings but the only experience I ever personally had was during a two month stay I had with my mothers family in Texas. They lived in Houston and were always complaining about things happening in that house. When I stayed there I only experienced one thing… but it happened every single night. I would get into bed and try to go to sleep. I would usually feel as though someone was pulling my blanket down the bed. The blanket would start at my neck and would end up slipping down to my chest. I never could work out why the blanket would slip down. This happened every single night I stayed in that house.
My aunt, who owned the house, would complain about cold spots. I never noticed them. I just noticed the blanket that kept slipping as though it were being pulled very, very slowly.
Towards the end of my stay in that house I decided to hold onto the blanket. Sure, enough it was pulled free of my fingers and would slip down my body. Something was pulling on the blanket, I’m sure of it.
STORY: A HIDDEN SKELETON==========
Barton Russell and his wife were digging for ginseng in Deer Lick Hollow, half a mile north of Mooresburg, Tennessee the evening of October 16, 1886, when they made a shocking discovery. The skeleton of a young boy lay hidden under the brushwood off the road. The flesh had been torn away by birds and animals and the arm bones were missing. Near the body lay a shirt, a pair of socks, an old pair of shoes and a tattered hat. A depression in the skull indicated that the boy had been killed by a blow to the head with a club or similar weapon.
In Mooresburg, Mrs. George Armstrong identified the shirt as one she had made for her nephew, sixteen-year-old Charley Young. She said the hat and shoes were not his and said that the missing pants were lined with the same material as the shirt. Young had left her house six weeks earlier to cross Clinch Mountain and visit his uncle and had not been seen since.
Suspicion fell on twenty-year-old Marcellus Bunch who lived five miles from Mooresburg. About five weeks earlier he had been trying to sell a pair of shoes and a coat he claimed to have won in a game of cards. He had also told several people that he and another fellow had done something on the creek which, if known would put them in the penitentiary. When told that he had better keep it to himself he replied, “I don’t care a damn what becomes of me hereafter.”
Bunch remained unconcerned when he was arrested for the murder of Charley Young. Young’s coat and shoes were found in Bunch’s house. The hat he was wearing was identified as Young’s while the hat found with the bones was identified as one formerly worn by Bunch.
Marcellus Bunch pled not-guilty but declined counsel. In his trial, he refused to say anything in his own defense and did not question a single witness. It was generally believed that Bunch and Young had met and played cards. With nothing left to bet, Young wagered his suit; he lost and was killed when Bunch took forcible possession of it. Bunch was found guilty and sentenced to twenty years in the penitentiary.
STORY: NIGHT DRIVING IN ALABAMA LEFT ME SPEECHLESS==========
My brush with, what I STILL believe to be the paranormal, comes from a job I had twenty years ago as a truck driver. I would haul across the country and I never expected to see anything paranormal. One night I was going through Alabama when I saw something white standing on the edge of the road. I didn’t pay too much attention until I drove past and saw the clear shape of a woman, without a face, standing tall and watching my truck pass as she stood on the side of the road. This didn’t take place in a desolate, out of the way place either, it was on the edge of a city. I could almost see straight through her. What did I do? I kept driving into the night. I had been through the state of Alabama many times, but I’d never seen anything before, or for that matter, since.
STORY: THE WOMAN KILLED IN FRONT OF 38 WITNESSES==========
Bill Genovese didn’t realise how many people knew his sister’s name until he joined the Marines in 1966. Two years after 28-year-old Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death in the Queens area of New York while 38 neighbours watched and did nothing – or so the story went – he was in line during boot camp, waiting for a piece of equipment. “Genovese, William,” said the man checking names off a list. “Is your sister Kitty?” “And I looked at him like, what?” Genovese recalls 50 years later.
The Marine knew Kitty’s name from a psychology or sociology class. That’s the way a lot of people in the decades since have come across her. In some 101 US textbooks, her death is evidence of bystander apathy, a cautionary tale about how diffusion of responsibility causes inaction. A single witness alone would be more likely to help than one of 38, the theory goes.
High-profile assassinations aside, Kitty Genovese’s murder is one of the most famous in modern American history. Her nightmarish final half-hour has inspired multiple “Law & Order” story lines, a folk song, novels, a musical and an episode of “Girls.” Psychologists found their life’s work because of Kitty, and she helped inspire the creation of 911 [the US version of 999] as a way to call for help.Her death reverberated. It left an impression. Does it matter, then, that most people have the story wrong?
Starting in 2004, Bill Genovese spent more than a decade trying to understand how and why his sister died and who exactly she was. Now a new documentary called The Witness chronicles the twists and turns of his search. Directed by James Solomon, the movie is as gripping as those podcast true-crime procedurals such as “Serial” and “Making a Murderer,” but with more intimacy and heartache.
Like most people, Genovese’s initial understanding of the murder came from a sensational, now-debunked New York Times story that landed on the front page on 27 March 1964. “37 Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police,” the headline claimed. (The number was later upped to 38.) Genovese and his siblings spent the next 30 years shielding their mother from articles that just kept coming. She never recovered emotionally from losing her eldest child. But after his mother passed away in 1992 and the New York Times admitted inconsistencies in its narrative with a 2004 story, Genovese joined forces with Solomon, who had interviewed him for a television project that never came to fruition.
“For whatever reason, I am drawn to these iconic stories we think we know,” Solomon says. He also wrote the screenplay for The Conspirator, a Robert Redford-directed drama about Mary Surratt, who aided President Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth.
So let’s set the record straight: There weren’t 38 eyewitnesses to the murder, which happened first outside and then in an apartment vestibule, although there could have been many more ear witnesses. Only a handful of people probably saw Winston Moseley attack Kitty, and one yelled, “Let that girl alone.” At least two neighbours claim to have rung the cops, although police logs have no record of those calls. Another neighbour, Sophia Farrar, ran to help Kitty and held her as she died. “All five-foot-nothing of her went flying down the stairs at 3:30 in the morning,” Genovese marvels. “She doesn’t know what she’s going to come upon. She hadn’t given a second thought to whether the guy was still there or not.”
That heroic act, however, didn’t conform with the Times‘s portrait of urban indifference. There’s no mention of her in the 1964 story. Speaking of that article, Genovese also interviewed AM Rosenthal, who was city editor at the New York Times when Kitty was murdered and helped shape the narrative.
“Where did the number 38 come (from)?” Genovese asked him while filming the movie. Rosenthal, who has since died, responded with a sardonic laugh. “I can’t swear to God that there were 38 people. Some people say there were more, some people say there were less,” he said with a casual flip of his hand. “What was true: people all over the world were affected by it. Did it do anything? You bet your eye it did something. And I’m glad it did.”
Even Genovese says the message of that piece – essentially, if you see something, say something – “needed to be said. There were 636 murders in New York that year.” And that a false narrative has embedded itself in the collective consciousness doesn’t really frustrate Genovese or Solomon. “Parables are important – they serve a function,” Solomon says. “Bill’s investigation – and it goes back to this notion of Bill not having an agenda – wasn’t to debunk a story. It was just to follow it and to give voice to those who had been most deeply affected.”
What’s ultimately so fascinating about The Witness isn’t that it gets to the truth. It doesn’t, because it can’t, with so many conflicting reports. It still proves that diffusion of responsibility can affect people, but also gets at another aspect of human nature: the stories we tell ourselves to justify our actions. “I would say it a little less delicately,” Genovese says. “It’s like we unconsciously make up bullshit, then we believe, because we repeat it in our heads many times until it becomes part of our life story.”
Did one of Kitty’s neighbours really call the police? Or is that what she says so she can live with herself? Moseley, who died this year, admitted to the crime in 1964, but he claimed late in life that he was just the getaway driver and some mobster killed Kitty. His son, whom Genovese interviewed during the movie, believed his father killed Kitty because she had yelled racial slurs at him. Residents who heard Kitty screaming that night say they thought it was just a domestic dispute. (She and Moseley were actually strangers.)
For better and worse, such stories deeply shape the people who believe them. The New York Times article led to major research in psychology and sociology, but it also made a group of people living in Queens look like heartless accessories to murder. It supplanted Kitty Genovese’s life with Kitty Genovese’s death. People don’t remember the vivacious bar manager, the prankster, the beloved big sister. They remember a victim.
The story certainly shaped Bill Genovese. After he graduated from high school, he enlisted in the military instead of going to college. His friends were looking for ways to dodge the draft, but that scheme reminded Genovese of all the people who watched his sister die and did nothing. So he went to Vietnam, where he lost his legs.
“Lying in the middle of that paddy, I was completely alone,” he says in the movie. “I thought of Kitty. What was it like for her when she realised no one was going to save her?” It’s the closest he’s ever come to understanding how Kitty must have felt on Austin Street in 1964. His story ended differently, though. Marines came to his rescue and carried him to safety.
“I lived to tell the story,” he says. And he lived to tell his sister’s.
As long as there has been talk of evil spirits, ghosts, and demons, there have been tales of ways to bind, subdue, and imprison them. And some of those methods are quite strange. We’ll look at a few real demon traps, up next on Weird Darkness!
STORY: BIZARRE DEMON TRAPS==========
As long as there has been talk of evil spirits, ghosts, and demons, there have been tales of ways to bind, subdue, and imprison them. It is natural for our kind to lash out at and try to control that which we do not understand, to subjugate and tame it. For many centuries there have been efforts to draw in and entrap demons, evil spirits, and other entities from beyond our understanding, and serve as a sort of a historical predecessor of the Ghostbuster ghost traps.
The idea of trapping and confining malevolent evil forces is not really a new one, and has been going on in some form or other for many centuries. In one notable example, in ancient Babylonia the Chaldeans, Zoroastrians and Jews often utilized terra-cotta bowls inscribed with magical spells from between the 3rd and 6th centuries, which were then buried face down at the four corners of the foundations of buildings. These bowls were said to ward off or ensnare evil in its many forms, casting off devils, demons, and malicious spirits, and were used in areas as varied as houses, official buildings, local meeting spots, farms, and even cemeteries. The mystical bowls themselves typically had etched upon them spells in either Hebrew or Aramaic, which were inscribed into a spiral down the sides towards the bottom. Christians would use these bowls as well, using ancient text in the Syriac alphabet, and they were actually pretty widespread beyond religious boundaries at the time.
Other cultures had similar objects meant to ward away or even imprison demons and evil spirits, such as the the ojos de dios or “God’s eyes” of Central America, the Dreamcatchers of North American Natives, the bottle trees or “haint” trees of the American South with bottles into which demons could not resist entering to become trapped, the demon traps of Tibet crafted from ram’s skulls, and many, many others. Natives of the Pacific Northwest would often employ hollowed out bones to capture evil spirits, after which the bones would be sealed off with consecrated moss or lichen. There have been various other totems, charms, and talismans that have been crafted by numerous far-flung cultures for the purpose of subduing such entities throughout history.
In Europe it was common to use spirit traps known as “witch bottles” to capture spirits. These bottles would be filled with hair, nail clippings, and the other physical traces such as blood or urine of a “decoy” to trick an evil spirit into thinking it had located someone it was after. When it entered the bottle the vessel would be sealed shut, adorned with glass and mirrors to keep the spirit imprisoned, and the whole thing buried and then burned, often at a point of running water. There are various versions of this, with some traditions requiring a binding ritual to be performed before the spirit can be adequately trapped within the vessel. Unfortunately, these same procedures are said to be able to capture human souls as well.
Demon traps were very popular as well in Medieval Europe, where fear and uncertainty made evil spirits and demons a very real thing for much of the populace. Such things were written of in the Old Testament of the Bible, where the legend of King Solomon states that a ring was given to him by the majestic Archangel Michael, inscribed with a magical seal and called the “Seal of Solomon.” This magic ring apparently gave him the power to control demons, and has been depicted in some form or another in Christian, Islamic and Jewish culture. This would all evolve into the belief that roaming demons could be trapped and bound within certain objects, especially capitalizing on the fact that these entities were though to be quite stupid, and would follow bright and shiny things or certain symbols or artifacts to become thoroughly enraptured infinitely to their doom.
In many cases the demon traps of Medieval Europe consisted of symbols that would draw in a demon’s curiosity and then seal it in with a never-ending loop. These symbols would be designed so that any passing demon would be lured in to investigate, after which they would apparently be locked away within the symbol. Such symbols would be used in buildings dating all the way up to the 18th and 19th centuries, becoming almost a formality for any building or residence that did not want the unwanted attention of evil spirits and demons.
With such a long history, demon traps are bound to be unearthed from time to time in the modern era, and just this happened in 2014, when English archeologists pulled up the floorboards of a long abandoned house and found the place to be generously etched with carved intersecting lines and symbols indicative of the demon traps of the day. The finding was made at a stately manor called Knole, in Kent, England, which was acquired by the Archbishops of Canterbury in the 15th century and subsequently given to Henry VIII and remodeled in the 17th century. The manor is quite famous, as it was the birthplace of poet and gardener Vita Sackville-West and was also the setting for Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando, but these demon traps really captured the imagination.
The symbols and markings were unearthed by the Museum of London Archaeology, which was carrying out renovations on the structure, and were reliably dated back to the year 1606. This would have been at right around the same time that dissenters led by Guy Fawkes were planning to use terror tactics against King James I, and this may have been why the demon traps were laid, in order to trap this negative energy and the vile spirits it spawned. It has been speculated that the criss-crossed lines, marks and symbols were created by a craftsman in response to a visit from King James I in order to protect him from evil. They are etched upon the floorboards, beams, and other areas, in particular the bedchamber and around the fireplace, which was seen to be a witch’s weak spot. Whether any of this did any good, it certainly illustrates the belief of the time that these demons and malicious spirits could be captured or warded away with runes and symbols.
For as long as there has been belief in evil spirits and demons there have been legends that these entities can be warded off, controlled, or even captured. Since these myths span cultures and countries, it is worth thinking of whether there is anything to this all. Do these symbols and runes hold some power over creatures from another realm? Do they hold the key to banishing the evil that has plagued mankind and gone on to become a potent force in legend and folklore? What do you think? It is an interesting piece of mystical history that is rather little-known to the world, but which is pervasive nonetheless.
SHOW CLOSE, CREDITS, A LITTLE LIGHT, AND A FINAL THOUGHT==========
Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! And please leave a rating and review of the show in the podcast app you listen from! You can email me anytime with your questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find all of my social media, listen to audiobooks I’ve narrated, shop the Weird Darkness store, sign up for monthly contests, find other podcasts that I host, and find the Hope in the Darkness page if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or dark thoughts. Also on the website, if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
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 Last Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe” by Doug MacGowan for Historic Mysteries
“Can Reading A Book Open a Paranormal Door” by Nick Redfern for Mysterious Universe
“The Woman Killed In Front of 38 Witnesses” by Stephanie Merry for the UK’s Independent
“A Hidden Skeleton” by Robert Wilhelm for Murder By Gaslight
“The Phantom Blanket Puller” by Megan Amos for MyHauntedLifeToo.com
“Night Driving In Alabama Left Me Speechless” by Alan Orr for MyHauntedLifeToo.com
“Bizarre Real Demon Traps” by Brent Swancer for Mysterious Universe
WeirdDarkness™ – is a production and trademark of Marlar House Productions. Copyright, Weird Darkness, 2022.
Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9
And a final thought… “Failure is success in progress.” – Albert Einstein
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.