“THE DISTURBING TRUTH BEHIND VOODOO ZOMBIES” and More True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

“THE DISTURBING TRUTH BEHIND VOODOO ZOMBIES” and More True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

Listen to ““THE DISTURBING TRUTH BEHIND VOODOO ZOMBIES” and More True Stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.

IN THIS EPISODE: Movies like Shaun of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, World War Z, and TV shows like The Walking Dead, have made the subject of zombies a fairly popular topic over recent years. And while we all know these undead creatures are purely make-believe, the idea of the zombie has been around for thousands of years… and in the Voodoo culture, they’ve found a way to make zombies a real, horrifying thing. (The Disturbing Truth Behind Voodoo Zombies) *** In July of 1956, the SS Andrea Doria collided with another ship and quickly sank to the bottom of the ocean. Today it is a tourist destination for brave divers who not only want to see something hauntingly beautiful, but who also dare to investigate a wreck that has been deemed by many to be cursed – and for good reason. (The Cursed Remains of the SS Andrea Doria) *** Paranormal author and researcher G. Michael Vasey tells of a personal incident that took place recently where he saw what could be described as a “peripheral person”. (Peripheral People) *** Sir Clive Sinclair might have been a man ahead of his time. The late inventor created all manner of strange and wonderful gadgets – most of which you’ve likely never heard of. But that doesn’t mean you can say they were failures. (The Inventor of Weird Contraptions) *** If the legends are to believed, you’ll want to avoid driving down Nan Tucks Lane in East Sussex – unless you don’t mind coming into contact with a vengeful ghost. (The Witch of Nan Tucks Lane) *** Where in the bible do we see the story of fallen angels sleeping with women to produce a breed of giants? Most would point to the book of Genesis – but in the unincluded book of Enoch, it tells a more-detailed account, worthy of a horror movie. (The Story of Giants and Fallen Angels) *** Some people collect baseball cards, others coins, and others Pokemon. There’s no telling what someone might find enough of an interest in to begin collecting. And collecting books is one of the most common – but when your collecting becomes a compulsion and you can’t stop yourself, it can get out of hand. Just ask Thomas Phillipps… the man who was addicted to books… to an extreme level. (The Man Who Was Addicted To Books)

SOURCES AND REFERENCES FROM THE EPISODE…
“The Story of Giants and Fallen Angels” from Anomalien: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/akvusfjf
“The Man Who Was Addicted to Books” from Strange Company: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/uysau9d7
“The Cursed Remains of the SS Andrea Doria” by Brent Swancer for Mysterious Universe:https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/y67su94a
“Peripheral People” by G. Michael Vasey: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/py9xu4n4 (RELATED VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxpTsDeH-p0)
“The Disturbing Truth Behind Voodoo Zombies” by Christopher Myers for Graveyard Shift: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/u6vthjn6
“The Inventor of Weird Contraptions” by Mike Reddy for The Conversation: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/4uez883r
“The Witch of Nan Tucks Lane” by Jocelyne LeBlanc: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/t28azc3k
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music Library.

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Originally aired: March 18, 2019

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:

DISCLAIMER: Ads heard during the podcast that are not in my voice are placed by third party agencies outside of my control and should not imply an endorsement by Weird Darkness or myself. *** Stories and content in Weird Darkness can be disturbing for some listeners and intended for mature audiences only. Parental discretion is strongly advised.

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

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…

In July of 1956, the SS Andrea Doria collided with another ship and quickly sank to the bottom of the ocean. Today it is a tourist destination for brave divers who not only want to see something hauntingly beautiful, but who also dare to investigate a wreck that has been deemed by many to be cursed – and for good reason. (The Cursed Remains of the SS Andrea Doria)

Paranormal author and researcher G. Michael Vasey tells of a personal incident that took place recently where he saw what could be described as a “peripheral person”. (Peripheral People)

Movies like Shaun of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, World War Z, and TV shows like The Walking Dead, have made the subject of zombies a fairly popular topic over recent years. And while we all know these undead creatures are purely make-believe, the idea of the zombie has been around for thousands of years… and in the Voodoo culture, they’ve found a way to make zombies a real, horrifying thing. (The Disturbing Truth Behind Voodoo Zombies)

Sir Clive Sinclair might have been a man ahead of his time. The late inventor created all manner of strange and wonderful gadgets – most of which you’ve likely never heard of. But that doesn’t mean you can say they were failures. (The Inventor of Weird Contraptions)

If the legends are to believed, you’ll want to avoid driving down Nan Tucks Lane in East Sussex – unless you don’t mind coming into contact with a vengeful ghost. (The Witch of Nan Tucks Lane)

Where in the bible do we see the story of fallen angels sleeping with women to produce a breed of giants? Most would point to the book of Genesis – but in the unincluded book of Enoch, it tells a more-detailed account, worthy of a horror movie. (The Story of Giants and Fallen Angels)

Some people collect baseball cards, others coins, and others Pokemon. There’s no telling what someone might find enough of an interest in to begin collecting. And collecting books is one of the most common – but when your collecting becomes a compulsion and you can’t stop yourself, it can get out of hand. Just ask Thomas Phillipps… the man who was addicted to books… to an extreme level. (The Man Who Was Addicted To Books)

If you’re new here, welcome to the show! And if you’re already a member of this Weirdo family, please take a moment and invite someone else to listen. Recommending Weird Darkness to others helps make it possible for me to keep doing the show! And while you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com where you can find the show on Facebook and Twitter, and you can also join the Weird Darkness Weirdos Facebook group.

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

 

STORY: THE MAN WHO WAS ADDICTED TO BOOKS=====

Anyone who agrees with the old saying that “you can’t have too much of a good thing” has never heard of Thomas Phillipps.  This gentleman took what is normally a highly admirable pastime–collecting books–and turned it into a nightmare for everyone unfortunate enough to be around him.

I’m not sure he enjoyed it much, either.

Phillipps was born on July 2, 1792.  He was the illegitimate only child between Thomas Phillipps, a well-to-do merchant, and a woman named Hannah Walton.  Although Walton lived until 1851, Thomas Jr. was raised exclusively by his father, and he had little, if any, contact with his mother.

Young Thomas was given a good education–his father was determined that despite the accident of his birth, he should become a proper “gentleman”–and the boy demonstrated his passion for books from an early age.  By the time he went to Oxford, he was a devoted antiquarian, focusing on his own private studies rather than those imposed upon him by the college.  His father–an ominous sign for the future–was already complaining about the remarkable sums his son was spending on books.  By the time Thomas Sr. died in 1818, he had become so concerned about his progeny’s unbridled bibliospending that he left his estate in trust.  Thomas Jr. was able to access only the income–which was, however, a quite generous £6000 a year.

In 1819, Phillipps married Henrietta Molyneux, a charming and pretty girl of good family, but relatively small dowry.  It appears to have been a love match, one that produced three daughters and, for some years at least, was a happy and stable union.  During the first decade of his marriage, Thomas’ intellectual pursuits were successful and pleasantly normal.  He was made a fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1821 became a baronet.  He threw himself into buying books with increasing exuberance.  He also paid to have transcripts made of various historical documents, which he often published with his own small private printing press.  He was equally fanatical about hoarding his own personal history.  He never threw out any scrap of paper.  Household bills, drafts and copies of all his letters, receipts, memos, you name it.  Every bit of documentation of his private life, no matter how trivial, was obsessively saved.  Phillipps had quite possibly the best-documented life in history.

Unfortunately, these pastimes began to control him, rather than the other way around.  His increasingly heedless spending, coupled with his refusal to take any sort of financial advice, soon landed him hopelessly in debt.  Beginning in 1822, he was obligated every few years to spend long periods living on the Continent to avoid his creditors.  This did nothing to dissuade him.  He traveled throughout Europe scooping up every book and old manuscript he could lay his hands on.  No volume was safe from him.  A number of booksellers who were foolish enough to lend Phillipps long lines of credit were, thanks to this generosity, eventually forced into bankruptcy.

It was all too much for Henrietta Phillipps.  Worn out by years of living with a fanatic, she consoled herself by becoming a drug addict, dying at the age of only 37 in 1832.  Thomas almost immediately set out to find her replacement.  Unlike his first marriage, this time he was determined to marry for wealth.  “I am,” he announced grandly, “for sale at  £50,000.”  All of his wife’s money would, of course, be converted into books.

No one–except apparently Phillipps–was surprised that there was not a flock of ladies eager to close this sale.  It took him ten years before he was able to find a woman rich enough and brave enough to take him on.  (One prospective father-in-law accused him of behaving like a “Smithfield cattle dealer.”)  In 1842, he wed Elizabeth Mansel, the daughter of a wealthy clergyman.  Fortunately, she proved to be an amiable, forgiving, and self-sacrificing sort.  Any woman married to Thomas Phillipps would have to be, if she wished to keep some measure of sanity.

One month after his remarriage, another wedding took place that was to have a great effect on Phillipps’ life.  His eldest daughter, Henrietta, eloped with James Orchard Halliwell.  Halliwell was a talented scholar whom Phillipps had hired to help organize his by now massive collection of manuscripts.  Although Phillipps had found the young man useful, he disapproved of him personally–particularly when it came out that Halliwell had stolen manuscripts from Cambridge libraries.  Besides, Halliwell didn’t have a penny, and Phillipps had been determined that all his daughters should marry rich men.  He was not a man accustomed to being thwarted, and being forced to accept this brilliant but unscrupulous and impecunious scamp as a son-in-law sent him into a rage which never quite abated.  From then on, he considered Halliwell–and Henrietta–as his greatest foes.

By this time, Phillipps’ estate of Middle Hill had become little more than a massive storage closet.  His books and manuscripts were kept in large trunks, which soon filled virtually every corner of the mansion.  He owned so many that they were virtually impossible for him to catalog.  (Although he continually press-ganged his wife and daughters into assisting him with this task.)  He himself completely lost track of what he owned, or where anything was kept, which sent visiting scholars practically into fits of frustration.  He was able to keep himself financially afloat only through a rigid miserliness that he also imposed upon his family.  He refused to spend money on anything except books, and if his wife and daughters suffered as a result, well, too bad.

Phillipps simply could not stop buying.  He was, in his own word, a “Vellomaniac,” buying up huge quantities of historical manuscripts whenever he could.  Many of them were highly valuable, many of them were utter rubbish.  It seemed to matter little to him which they were.

In his later years, he became increasingly absorbed in the problem of what should become of his fabulous collection of historic printed treasures after his death.  Although Middle Hill was entailed on his daughter Henrietta, he was determined that his hated son-in-law should not get a single one of his precious manuscripts.  It was for this reason that in 1867 he bought Thirlestaine House, in Cheltenham.  This mansion was dilapidated and uncomfortable, but all Phillipps cared about was that it was large enough to house his collection.  It took two years before all his books and manuscripts could be transported to his new home.  In the meantime, simply out of spite, he deliberately let Middle Hill go to ruin.  The estate’s beautiful trees were cut down and sold for firewood.  The land was allowed to become a dank wilderness.  The house itself was left to rot.  If he could not keep the Halliwells from inheriting the house, he could see to it that it was an inheritance not much worth having.

Phillipps was content with his new home–drafty and vermin-ridden though it was–but his wife, she complained, was left “booked out of one wing and ratted out of the other.” Most of the rooms were so crammed with trunks of books and papers that they were unusable for any other purposes.  The hallways were so jammed with his acquisitions that only one person at a time could snake their way through the corridors.  The bedrooms contained little else than a bed and books.

Elizabeth’s husband scarcely noticed her unhappiness.  All he cared about were his books.  “I wish to have one copy of every book in the world!!!!!” he once wrote, and if he came short of this goal, it certainly was not for lack of trying.  He continued in his same old pattern of running up debts and corresponding with scholars across Europe until his death on February 6, 1872.

Elizabeth Phillipps was left only £100 in her husband’s will.  Most of his lands were settled on various tenants, as well as a grandson.  Thirlestaine House went to his youngest daughter Katherine, with instructions that not one book or a single piece of parchment was to be moved from the home.  The Halliwells–and all their descendants–were barred from even entering the place.  It was not until 1885 that Katherine’s family was able to get legal approval to begin dispersing Phillipps’ life’s work.

Selling such a vast collection was a job that took years to complete.  The last of the estimated 60,000 manuscripts acquired by this greatest of literary hoarders was not sold until 1977.

As for Phillipps’ bête noire, James Halliwell ironically came out quite well from his connection to the old bibliomaniac.  After his father-in-law’s death, Halliwell fixed up Middle Hill and found a buyer.  The money from the sale made him a rich man for the rest of his life.  He became a leading Shakespeare scholar.  He is given much of the credit for launching modern-day Shakespeare idolatry, and his biography of the Bard is still considered one of the best books on the now-legendary dramatist.  He himself became a noted bibliophile (his collection was founded on items he had secretly stolen from Phillipps.)  Halliwell lived long enough to overcome his tawdry early reputation, becoming a respected, even revered figure in literary circles.  As a victory lap of sorts, he eventually took on the grand name, “J.O. Halliwell-Phillipps.”

How old Thomas’ ghost must have hated that.

BREAK=====

Up next on Weird Darkness… The idea of the zombie has been around for thousands of years… but in the Voodoo culture, they’ve found a way to make zombies a real, horrifying thing. (The Disturbing Truth Behind Voodoo Zombies)

But first the wreck of the SS Andrea Doria is a popular spot with divers – but perhaps it shouldn’t be, seeing as it is also cursed. (The Cursed Remains of the SS Andrea Doria) That story is up next.

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STORY: THE CURSED REMAINS OF THE SS ANDREA DORIA=====

Back in its day, the SS Andrea Doria was a source of pride for its native country of Italy. Ported in Genoa and launched in 1951, it was a 697-foot luxury ocean liner that was decked out with all of the frills, including three outdoor swimming pools, and was widely known for its numerous works of art, such as paintings, tapestries, murals, and even a life-sized bronze statue of the ship’s namesake, the 16th-century Genoese admiral Andrea Doria. Such magnificent art was so ubiquitous on the ship that it earned the vessel the nickname “The Floating Art Gallery,” and at a time when Italy was trying to rebuild in the aftermath of World War II the SS Andrea Doria was a source of national pride and symbol of renewal, being the largest, fastest, and most opulent in the entire country, complete with the most state-of-the-art technology and safety features available at the time. However, there were dark days ahead for the venerable vessel, and it would go on to become one of the biggest sea tragedies in the world, as well as a place rumored to hold dark forces and curses about it to this day.

On 25 July 1956, the Andrea Doria was on a routine run towards New York City, along with 572 crew members and 1,134 passengers. By this point, the liner already had an admirable service record, having made 100 successful transatlantic crossings, and was under the command of Captain Piero Calamai, a seasoned veteran of both World War I and World War II, so there wasn’t at the time any reason to think that this voyage would be any different. On this day, at around 10:30 a.m., the Andrea Doria was being approached from the opposite direction by the Swedish liner the Stockholm, and both vessels were traveling a bit too fast and recklessly for the foggy conditions in such a heavily trafficked sea lane, both trying to shave off time from their voyages to reach their destinations on time.

At some point the two vessels became aware of each other on radar, but through some misunderstanding or error, the Andrea Doria steered towards the incoming Stockholm rather than away from it, sending them on a collision course.

By the time they figured out the error, it was too late. The Andrea Doria and the Stockholm collided practically head-on, despite all efforts to evade at the last second. The Stockholm had been fitted with a robust ice-breaker bow that easily shredded right through the other vessel and mortally wounded it to leave a huge gaping gash and mess of twisted metal. The Andrea Doria began to list immediately, leaving half of its lifeboats underwater before the shocked crew and passengers had really even had time to process what had happened, Fortunately, the ship managed to stay afloat for 11 hours, which combined with the high traffic of the area, high-tech safety features, and top-of-the-line communications systems ensured that the rescue went as smoothly as could be expected. Nevertheless, 46 people met their fate aboard the Andrea Doria that day, as well as 5 aboard the Stockholm, mostly killed on the initial collision, and it would go on to became one of the most infamous maritime disasters of all time. The Stockholm would survive the ordeal and go onto be repaired and put into operation, but the Andrea Doria was lost, eventually going into its death throes to slip beneath the waves and come to rest in the murky depths in around 240 feet of water about 60 nautical miles from Nantucket on the border of the continental shelf, practically teetering on the edge of an abyss. No official blame or cause of the collision was ever established, but the Andrea Doria would become well-known for other mysteries as well.

In the years after its sinking, the Andrea Doria became a very popular destination for divers, with its remote location, deep cold waters, strong currents, and the promise of treasures and historical artifacts proving to be an irresistible challenge for many, with anything found able to be kept due to the ship’s location in international waters and the fact that the owner of the shipwreck has never enforced its salvage rights over the wreck. The wreck has often been dubbed “The Mt. Everest of Wreck Diving,” and this seductive allure has drawn in divers from around the world looking to feed their egos and their pocket books, but the wreck has also gone on to be whispered about as a cursed place that swallows up all who would approach it.

The rumors stem from the fact that many who come here to investigate the wreck have been beset with numerous technical issues, freak accidents, or worse. Bad diving conditions and weather have supposedly suddenly descended on the area during dives, and faulty equipment and getting stuck in the deteriorating compartments of the ship itself have managed to cancel many dives, and it has even resulted in death. Indeed, the Andrea Doria has a rather sinister reputation for taking lives, with an estimated 18 people losing their lives here since 1956 while trying to explore the wreck. One some occasions, people have just straight up vanished, such as expert diver Tom Pritchard, who mysteriously disappeared while trying to explore the Andrea Doria in 2015. Such a high rate of deaths have caused speculation that there is some sort of sinister force pervading the wreck, but most experts have explained it as being merely the result of the dangers inherit to such a remote and difficult dive. Diver Steve Bielenda, who has made many excursions out to the wreck, explains of this:

“It’s an inanimate object. It does nothing to you. It’s the diver — the equipment, what they do, and their health. It’s not really any more dangerous than any other wreck. It’s just an inanimate object laying on the bottom of the ocean. But any dive, regardless of its depth or location, can be dangerous. The wreck becomes dangerous because of its depth and the attitude of the diver. And then factor in health issues, and then factor in that you’re dependent upon equipment. You have to work your way in, keeping your buoyancy so you’re not touching the bottom or the walls and everything. The wreck is falling apart. It’s an underwater junk pile. And then take that underwater junk pile and cover it with sea anemones, dirt, and marine growth. So it’s like an underwater garbage pail that you’re diving into. It’s eventually going to be undiveable.”

The depths involved and the cold dark conditions also mean that even expert divers with the best equipment only have a small window within which to operate, with a typical Andrea Doria dive only lasting around 15 minutes. During these forays, they have to utilize strobe lights on the moorings in order to help them find their way out, as well as hook lines fastened to themselves. Many of the divers who have died here did so when their lines got tangled, or when they got lost in the labyrinthine interior of the ship or panicked and lost their mouthpieces. There are a million things that can go wrong at a wreck like this, so it is likely that this is just a dangerous wreck that has attracted stories of curses due to its rather tragic history. Is it cursed? Who knows? It is likely just a largely unreachable wreck attracting a spooky lore around it, but it is still a rather fascinating glimpse into history and a wreck that had become notoriously difficult to safely approach.

STORY: THE DISTURBING TRUTH BEHIND VOODOO ZOMBIES=====

Haitian Voodoo (or Voodou) is a religion unlike any other. And while zombies are not necessarily a mainstay of Haitian Voodoo, many practitioners believe that (like many other Voodoo stories) these tales of zombies are real – and there’s even evidence to suggest that there is some truth to the Haitian zombie mythology.

The history of zombies existing in Haiti began when the first slaves were brought over from Africa by French colonialists. The origins of these zombies began as a manifestation of the anxieties brought on by slavery, and over generations have evolved into something much more.

The process of zombification begins when a bokor selects a victim and administers the zombie powder to them. This administration can vary from ingestion to injection, or even a blow dart. Once the powder takes effect, the victim enters a state of death-like paralysis in which they are still conscious. After being pronounced dead, they then bear witness to their own burial.

To prevent asphyxiation, the bokor must dig up the body within eight hours of the burial. It is at this point that the zombie ritual begins. The bokor starts by capturing the ti bon ange of the victim, which puts the gros bon ange and the body under his control. He then keeps the ti bon ange in a small clay jar or some other container, wraps it in a piece of the person’s clothes, and stores it for safe keeping.

A day or two later, the bokor revives their now-zombie using another powder mixture called “zombie cucumber.” This hallucinogenic concoction is used periodically to keep the victim in a state of submissive confusion. The bokor can then easily control the zombie, and usually puts them to work farming and laboring. Only when the bokor dies (or voluntarily relinquishes control) can the zombie return to their place of burial to rest in peace.

Distinct from the reanimated corpses found in George A. Romero lore (think Night of the Living Dead), the Haitian voodoo zombie is not actively rotting, nor does it feel compelled to consume the flesh of the living. Basically, in the Haitian Voodoo religion, a bokor (or sorcerer) can capture the soul of a recently deceased person and reanimate their body. This mindless, soulless body is usually then given menial tasks to perform for the bokor.

During the zombification ritual, a bokor uses a complex powder referred to as “coup de poudre,” or powder strike, made from a variety of ingredients usually including a species of puffer fish, a marine toad, a hyla tree frog, and human remains. The inclusion of the puffer fish is particularly important because it produces a deadly neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin. This toxin creates paralysis and death, and the victims usually remain conscious until right before the moment of death. Additionally, there have been documented cases where people who have ingested tetrodotoxin appeared dead, but went on to make a full recovery.

The roots of the zombie mythology began with the experiences of African slaves being transported to the French colony of Saint-Domingue in modern Haiti. Life on the sugar plantations there wasn’t good, to say the least, and half of the slaves ended up being worked to death within a few years of their arrival, which created a perpetual need for fresh bodies. So, it isn’t surprising that, within the Voodoo religion, a version of Hell would be created that involved continuing this toil after death into eternity: enter the zombie.

Slaves brought with them the roots of voodoo tradition, the origins of which can be traced back to nearly 6,000 years ago in West Africa. The French then forced them to convert to Christianity, causing the interesting combination of Catholicism and pagan tradition that is associated with Voodoo today. The horrors of slavery and the anxieties held by a group of people under constant threat of death were woven into the Voodoo religion, including the zombie belief itself.

In 1980, a vacant-eyed man approached Angelina Narcisse in a market, claiming to be her brother, Clairvius Narcisse. The strange thing was that Angelina had buried her brother Clairvius in 1962. The man in front of her claimed to have been resurrected by a witch doctor and was enslaved on a sugar plantation for the last 18 years.

In 1962, Clairvius had checked into Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Desjardins, Haiti, complaining of body aches and a fever. His condition rapidly deteriorated and within a few days, he was declared dead by doctors.

According to the Clairvius who reappeared in 1980, he remembered the whole ordeal, including the doctors pulling the sheet over his face – except he was paralyzed, not dead. He was awake as he was nailed into his coffin and buried.

Clairvius was able to answer questions that only he would know, and his identity was confirmed by several family members. The purported reason for his prolonged absence was due to a two-year enslavement as a zombie by a bokor. However, after the bokor died, Clairvius remained in hiding as he believed that his brother had sold him to the bokor over a land dispute. It was only after his brother’s death that he decided to return.

In Voodoo, it is believed that a person’s soul is divided into two basic parts: the ti bon ange (little good angel) and the gros bon ange (big good angel). The gros bon ange is responsible for a person’s life force and their bodily functions, while the ti bon ange is responsible for a person’s consciousness and identity.

It is believed that the ti bon ange remains with the body for nine days after death, at which point it is released to face God and account for its sins. Meanwhile, the gros bon ange remains on earth, where it haunts the places where it’s body lived until a proper burial ritual has been performed.

Allegedly, if you feed a zombie salt it will restore them to their original sensibilities. They will then be compelled to promptly kill the bokor who enslaved them – can you blame them? Once their revenge is complete, they will return to their place of burial to enjoy their “final” death.

One would be wrong to assume that zombies are a common occurrence in the Voodoo religion. On the contrary – many Voodoo practitioners don’t even believe that zombies are literally real. Many believe that they are simply folk tales or metaphors.

However, others remain steadfast in their belief that zombies do exist, and actively fear being turned into one. It is in this way that the zombie mythology is used as a way to maintain social order within the Voodoo religious community. Succinctly put, you really don’t want to get on the wrong side of a bokor.

The term “zombie” is derived from the word “nzambi”. This Kongo word literally means, “spirit of a dead person.” However, others say that the term zombie may instead be derived from the West African word “jumbie,” which means ghost. Maybe it’s a combination of both.

Max Beauvoir, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 79, had long been known as the most powerful and famous Voodoo priest in all of Haiti. He was the head of Haiti’s houngans (Voodoo priests) and is credited with committing several amazing feats.

One of his more concrete accomplishments was talking down angry lynch mobs who blamed houngans for the 2010 cholera outbreak (though many Voodoo priests were lynched before he was able to intercede). He is also credited with stopping an American invasion of Haiti and bewitching former President Bill Clinton, whom met with Beauvoir in 1975.

In the west, however, he is best known for his role in helping Wade Davis conduct the research that would appear in the book and later the movie, The Serpent and the Rainbow.

This book, which was later adapted into a movie, chronicles the experiences of ethnobiologist Wade Davis as he explored the truth behind Haitian zombie mythology. After the strange case of Clairvius Narcisse made global headlines, Davis was sent to investigate. In Haiti, he met with Voodoo priest Max Beavoir, who put him in touch with a bokor who frequently performed zombification rituals.

Davis theorized that it was the use of some kind of chemical that resulted in Narcisse’s apparent resurrection and disoriented state. Davis observed the creation of the zombie powder, which he came to believe was the chief agent responsible for the phenomenon. When combined with the psychological aspects of the ritual, he thought that this could easily be responsible for creating the mental slave, otherwise known as a zombie.

In the Night of the Living Dead, the creatures are never actually referred to as zombies. Instead, they are called ghouls. The reason for this is that the term zombie already referred to something else: the Haitian voodoo zombie. Later, due to the obvious similarities, the term started being applied to Romero’s ghouls.

Since the 1600s, the Voodoo religion has believed in zombies, though a romanticized version was eventually presented to the public in the classic film White Zombie. The key point though is that, unlike modern zombies, voodoo zombies aren’t scary. Instead, people are way more scared of becoming a zombie than of running into one.

 

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Coming up… =The late Sir Clive Sinclair might have been a man ahead of his time, and he left behind a legacy of strange and wonderful gadgets. (The Inventor of Weird Contraptions)

Plus… where the book of Genesis only touches on the story of fallen angels and giants, the book of Enoch tells a deeper story worthy of a horror movie! (The Story of Giants and Fallen Angels) These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns!

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STORY: PERIPHERAL PEOPLE=====

This next story comes from paranormal author and researcher, G. Michael Vasey. Here is his story:

This last weekend I was out dowsing Earth energy lines in and around Brno. A number of very strange things happened to me – synchronicities, coincidences and so on. I made an impromptu video about it (which is linked in the show notes).
But the strangest thing was that I saw some very weird people and I want to see if you may have met these people on the edge of reality as well?
When dowsing, you are engage in working with the subconscious mind. Reality becomes malleable. Synchronicities and strange occurrences become a part of reality – my video should explain.
The first one I encountered was an old lady. She was sitting on a fold up chair by a hedge in a very strange place – basically just outside someone’s back garden but hidden from plain view. She saw me and gave me a weird smile as I was dowsing. She kept putting her hands under the hedge as if looking for something. I walked past her and a couple of minutes later, when I returned, she was gone and there was no trace of her.
A bit later, as I dowsed in a derelict area, I saw an old gentleman. He looked a bit like an off duty Santa. He stared at me and looked shocked when I stared back. Again, he had disappeared in a matter of minutes without a trace.
I mentioned this in the video and got a couple of emails from people who had also experienced seeing strange people when dowsing or involved in some other activity that involves heightened awareness. They told me that these people are often older and have a habit of disappearing without trace.
This has piqued my interest. Have you encountered people like this? If so, I’d like to know.
I would put the black eyed kids, shadow people and that sort of phenomena in this bucket of liminal or peripheral entities. They seem to exist in parallel with us but in an alternate universe that only is accessible to us in times when our consciousness is raised.

STORY: THE INVENTOR OF WEIRD CONTRAPTIONS=====

Sir Clive Sinclair, inventor of the UK’s first mass-market home computer, died at the age of 81. Pioneer of tiny portable devices, truly affordable computers and novel, electric forms of transportation, he leaves behind what some see as a checkered history of hit-and-miss inventions.
But Sir Clive’s contribution to British technology, and by extension the British economy, is beyond dispute. An icon of home computing, he created devices that were enjoyed by millions, the majority of whom would have been unable, in the 1980s when his computers were launched, to purchase the expensive models on the market.
Even Sinclair’s so-called failures reveal an inventor who sought to solve everyday problems rather than amass a personal fortune. And many were prescient. Anticipating electrified personal transportation, Sinclair developed an electric car, then an electric bike – long before the vogue they both enjoy today.
These later inventions may have been a business failure, but they were a triumph of the will and the imagination. Sinclair long ago secured his legacy as the “father of the home computer”, but time is only now vindicating his other creations. Now, at least, we have the chance to catch up.

Sinclair’s earliest contribution to consumer electronics was the Sinclair Executive, the world’s first pocket calculator, which went on sale in 1972. No match for today’s calculators, the Executive nevertheless established Sinclair as a technological pioneer.
He subsequently shifted his attention to develop a string of genuinely affordable home computers, beginning with the launch of the Spectrum ZX80 in 1980. At a time when computers were still regarded as an exclusive technology affordable only to businesses and the wealthy, Sinclair’s targeted the mass market, with a price tag less than £100 – £440 in today’s money.
This period of innovation gave rise to the ZX Spectrum, the iconic home computer on which many people of a certain age shot their first pixelated aliens. That device, with its trademark rainbow sash, is still fondly remembered by millions of early computer users, whose parents may have hoped they’d pursue more explicitly educational experiences on the novel device.
For Sinclair, the Spectrum’s resounding place in history as primarily a games machine must have rankled, given his well-known ambition to get computers to the masses as a means to expose them to technology he knew would come to define the future.
Still, placed in the general public’s hands, the ZX Spectrum did inspire a generation of software designers, including some of the leading lights in today’s UK games and tech industries. The beauty of these computers was in their ability to support all kinds of creativity – including those who wanted to build games.

Later in his career, Sinclair was regarded by many to have gone off the boil. He launched an unsuccessful bid to make the ZX81 the official BBC computer (not the Spectrum, as many believe). It ended up becoming much more successful than the BBC’s choice, the BBC Micro.

The BBC contract was awarded to Acorn, founded by former Sinclair Research employee Chris Curry. The rivalry between Sinclair and Curry was wonderfully – if apocryphally – retold in BBC 4’s Micro Men. The show was described as “mostly true” by those present at the time, though Sinclair himself stated that “it was a travesty of the truth. It just had no bearing on the truth. It was terrible.”
The “mockumentary” style made tongue-in-cheek references to Sinclair’s C5 electric car, launched in 1985 with the promise of delivering a “new power in personal transport”. The C5 recorded abysmal sales, with road users understandably nervy navigating mixed traffic from a seat inches above the road. The show also references Quantum Leap, Sinclair’s abortive attempt to get into business computing, including a parody of Sir Clive’s exaggerated jumping in the QL computer’s TV advert.
Micro Men reflects how some in the media turned on Sinclair after his early computing triumphs, focusing on his subsequent inventions, which they quickly deemed to be failures. But that perspective fails to recognise the hidden influence Sinclair’s work continued to have in the latter part of his career.
The company that won the BBC contact, Acorn Computers Ltd, was itself an offshoot of Sinclair’s vision and innovation. It went on, under the new name Advanced RISC Machines, or ARM, to create the central processing units (CPUs) that drive most of the devices we use today.
Sinclair also possessed startling prescience. Electric vehicles are set to take over our roads in the next decade or two, but Sinclair’s C5, manufactured in Merthyr Tydfil in the mid-1980s, could have started the push towards electric cars decades ago. It wasn’t to be.
Sinclair was soon at it again, this time with the Zike, first released in 1992. An electric bike with a top speed of 12mph, the Zike also failed to excite consumers. Yet this invention also appears to have anticipated future trends in personal transportation, given the proliferation of electric bicycles and scooters on our streets today.
Sinclair’s drive was not necessarily to be the best, but to be the most affordable. That’s a business model that many technology companies still emulate. All his inventions bear the hallmarks of products designed to solve everyday problems. Many sought to place cutting-edge technology into ordinary people’s hands.
Sir Clive’s true legacy is the lasting impact of those central motivations. Millions of people fondly remember Sinclair’s early computers with more then retro nostalgia. They were many people’s first chance to experience computer power, delivered by an inventor who valued access over exclusivity.
Despite criticism and even derision in the media, Sinclair was never disheartened, following instead his own often-quoted, endearingly simple advice: “Don’t give up. Stick at it.”

STORY: THE STORY OF GIANTS AND FALLEN ANGELS=====

The Ethiopian Bible is the oldest and most complete bible in existence. It’s comprised of 88 books, far surpassing the King James version which has only 66. Before being translated into Greek and Aramic, the Ethiopian Bible was written in the extinct Ethiopian dialect known as Ge’ez, attesting it as the oldest holy scripture in the world, 800 years earlier before the King James version had surfaced.

The missing texts of this book are not included in the conventional, modern version of the Bible we know today due to their challenging nature, although their authors have been attested and their work revered by early Christians. One of the missing stories in the modern bible that is found in the Ethiopian bible, is The Book of Enoch.

Corrupted angels, the Nephilim, tremendous lifespans, a great deluge, and ancient and advanced knowledge are but just a few of the topics discussed in The Book of Enoch, comprising various tales narrated by Enoch himself.

Enoch was the great great grandfather of Noah, the seventh generation of humans after Adam. Because of his rightfulness, he was chosen by God to do His bidding and deliver His words, particularly after the Earth became corrupt due to the irresponsible deeds of a superior order of angels with striking human appearance, also referred to as ‘The Watchers’.

Enoch was the messenger of God, and the one to receive his knowledgeable words and spread them across the land. In the end, he was taken by God into His kingdom, thus escaping his earthly demise that would sooner or later be upon him.

“After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: ‘He could not be found, because God had taken him away.’ For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.” – Hebrews 11:5

The Book of Enoch speaks of wicked angels who became fond of mortal women and had mated with them, giving birth to the hybrid race of giant humanoids known throughout secular and Biblical history as the Nephilim.

The book of Genesis also speaks of this, but only briefly. Genesis 6: 1,2,4 reads: “Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were  beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. The  Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”

While that description alone is enough to tell you what happened, the Book of Enoch takes the story further into detail. In the Book of Enoch, Chapter 6 it says: “And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’ And Semjâzâ, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’ Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it.”

And so the angels plunged from the heavens to take wives of their own choosing, defying the Creator’s judgement. They numbered 200 and were led by their leaders. (Samîazâz, their leader, Arâkîba, Râmêêl, Kôkabîêl, Tâmîêl, Râmîêl, Dânêl, Êzêqêêl, Barâqîjâl, Asâêl, Armârôs, Batârêl, Anânêl, Zaqîêl, Samsâpêêl, Satarêl, Tûrêl, Jômjâêl, Sariêl.)

When the angels descended upon the Earth, they started offering gifts of knowledge to both mortal men and women, thus defying the will of the creator of an unaltered race of humans with a will of their own. In exchange, the angels demanded respect and adoration, but unaware they were of the chaos they had instituted.

“And Azâzêl taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all coloring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways.

Semjâzâ taught enchantments, and root-cuttings, ‘Armârôs the resolving of enchantments, Barâqîjâl (taught) astrology, Kôkabêl the constellations, Êzêqêêl the knowledge of the clouds, Araqiêl the signs of the earth, Shamsiêl the signs of the sun, and Sariêl the course of the moon. And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven…”

All living creatures became impended in one way or another by the new order of things. The angels didn’t realize that humans were too unripe and gullible to be taught so much knowledge at once. As a consequence, the Earth became reddened from the blood of her creatures, and all living beings then became prone to divine cleansing.

“And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against lawless ones.“

The conception of the Nephilim was the first ordeal humans had to face, as there was no way to overcome the needs of those supersized humanoids. Intervening into the natural order of things had infuriated The Creator, so ‘The Watchers’ and all that had been corrupted were about to taste retribution.

“And destroy all the spirits of the reprobate and the children of the Watchers, because they have wronged mankind. Destroy all wrong from the face of the earth and let every evil work come to an end: and let the plant of righteousness and truth appear: and it shall prove a blessing; the works of righteousness and truth’ shall be planted in truth and joy for evermore. And cleanse thou the earth from all oppression, and from all unrighteousness, and from all sin, and from all godlessness: and all the uncleanness that is wrought upon the earth destroy from off the earth. And all the children of men shall become righteous, and all nations shall offer adoration and shall praise Me, and all shall worship Me. And the earth shall be cleansed from all defilement, and from all sin, and from all punishment, and from all torment, and I will never again send (them) upon it from generation to generation and for ever.“

Needless to say that the global demise took the form of a great flood, and Noah was informed of this through the ascribed words of his forefather Enoch, and was allowed to perpetuate the human species, as well as preserve countless other wildlife.

“Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spake, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, and said to him: ‘Go to Noah and tell him in my name “Hide thyself!” and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. And now instruct him that he may escape and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.’”

Although some may find it hard to believe, the great flood had been scheduled long before Noah came to be, and it was his great great grandfather that had spread the divine word. The cataclysm was inevitable, as prior to that moment in time inhabitants of the Earth became corrupted and could no longer live in peace.

The Book of Enoch tells many controversial stories of a time in a way similar to what we experience today, but with some major differences. Before the great deluge, humans had tremendous lifespans, fact attested by the Sumerian King List and the Egyptian Pharaoh’s timeline.

Although historians still consider this time frame in human history as unproved and fictional, there are numerous accounts speaking of those days when “gods walked among men,” when mythological creatures were not just a figment of imagination, and 100 years of life marked only the beginning of ones journey.

Today, it seems that our remote history is either not allowed to surface because it would turn the instituted order to bits, or because that cycle of human history was never meant to be known, for some really intriguing reason.

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Up next on Weird Darkness… If the legends are to believed, you’ll want to avoid driving down Nan Tucks Lane in East Sussex, England – unless you’re looking for an encounter with a vengeful ghost. (The Witch of Nan Tucks Lane)

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STORY: THE WITCH OF NAN TUCKS LANE=====

The village of Buxted, East Sussex, England, seems like a nice quiet location but it has one road that is rumored to be haunted by a witch. In fact, stories of a ghostly female haunting Nan Tucks Lane date back almost 300 years.

According to one version of the story, a woman named Nan Tuck lived in the nearby village of Rotherfield sometime during the 18th century. She allegedly killed her husband by poisoning him and she soon left Rotherfield once the villagers began to piece together her awful crime. She remained undetected for several days by hiding in haystacks and moving further away from those who were looking for her. Her plan was to make it to St. Margaret’s Church in Buxted where they could provide a sanctuary for the fugitive; however, she never made it there.

Lawmen and villagers finally found her on the road leading to Buxted and a chase pursued into the woods where they thought she was trapped and unable to escape. But they couldn’t find her and nobody ever saw her again – well, at least not while she was alive.

There are a few alternative versions of the main story which includes the local villagers chasing Nan Tuck, finding her, torturing her, and then killing her. After she was murdered, the mob of people told the rest of the locals that she had simply vanished into the forest and that she was a witch. After death, she came back to haunt those who treated her so horribly.

Another version of the story stated that the woman actually made it to the church but was found and put through trial by water. She was able to escape but her lifeless hanging body was located soon after in the woods. While many were convinced that she had taken her own life, others believed that she was murdered.

Whatever story you tend to believe, the part that does not change is that the woman’s ghost has been seen numerous times along the road where she was last seen alive (it is referred to as Nan Tucks Lane) as well as in the woods. What’s even creepier is that there is a bare patch of land in the woods where nothing grows – interestingly, that’s the spot where she was supposedly last seen alive. And many people, even today, still think that Nan Tuck was a witch.

While nobody truly knows the entire story regarding Nan Tuck’s life and death, those who decide to take a stroll around the area in which she was last seen alive may come face to face with her spirit.

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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! You can email me anytime with your questions or comments at darren@weirddarkness.com – and you can find the show on Facebook and Twitter, including the show’s Weirdos Facebook Group on the CONTACT/SOCIAL page at WeirdDarkness.com. Also on the website, if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, click on TELL YOUR STORY.

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 Story of Giants and Fallen Angels” from Anomalien
“The Man Who Was Addicted to Books” from Strange Company
“The Cursed Remains of the SS Andrea Doria” by Brent Swancer for Mysterious Universe
“Peripheral People” by G. Michael Vasey
“The Disturbing Truth Behind Voodoo Zombies” by Christopher Myers for Graveyard Shift
“The Inventor of Weird Contraptions” by Mike Reddy for The Conversation
“The Witch of Nan Tucks Lane” by Jocelyne LeBlanc

 

Again, you can find link to all of these stories in the show notes.

WeirdDarkness™ – is a production and trademark of Marlar House Productions.

Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!” – Proverbs 16:16

And a final thought… a great quote that we heard earlier that bears repeating… “Don’t give up. Stick at it.” – Sir Clive Sinclair

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

 

 

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