“DO INDIGO KIDS HAVE PARANORMAL ABILITIES?” and more true, strange, macabre stories! #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: It is considered by many, Britain’s most well-known disappearing person case. Even now, over three decades later, people in the UK are still fascinated and intrigued by the unexplained vanishing of Suzy Lamplugh. (The Suzy Lamplugh Mystery) *** John List planned the murders of his own family so carefully, he almost got away with it. In fact, it took 18 years to catch him. (The Family Man Who Murdered His Family) *** We’ll look at what it was like to be a woman in the 17th Century… and accused of witchcraft. (Witchly Accusations) *** If you drink whiskey, or even if you don’t, you’re likely familiar with “Jameson Irish Whiskey.” But did you know that cannibalism played a part in its history? (Whiskey and Cannibalism) *** Parents always feel their child is special in some way – something that makes their child better in some way than other children. Parents of indigo children are no different, with some parents thinking their children have psychic abilities. Doctors say that these children have ADD or ADHD, but one parapsychologist says indigo children have something even more special – possibly even paranormal – inside them. (Supernatural Indigo Children) *** A strange phenomenon takes place in Arkansas, and despite the numerous sightings and investigations, there is still no explanation for it. (Unexplained In Arkansas)
SOURCES AND ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS…
“The Suzy Lamplugh Mystery” by Amelia Gentleman for The Guardian: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/2v2z6tp6
“The Family Man Who Murdered His Family” from The Line Up: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/392yt322
“Witchly Accusations” by Jessica Nelson for the UK’s National Archives: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/j7nnd3ax
“Whiskey and Cannibalism” posted at The Scare Chamber: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/9rx24777
“Supernatural Indigo Children” by Gina Dimuro for All That’s Interesting: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/apk85b29
“Unexplained in Arkansas” by Ellen Lloyd for Ancient Pages: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/27zaptdb
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“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.
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STORY: THE SUZY LAMPLUGH MYSTERY==========
In the summer of 1986, London was on the cusp of a boom, with house prices having risen by almost 20% in a year. When Suzy Lamplughapplied for a job as an estate agent, she noted with delight in her diary: “I’m hired on the spot.” In a distressingly prescient later entry, she revealed: “The company puts me in the window desk, as the most attractive female. That’s how it is, the most attractive female on display for any man to see.”
At lunchtime on 28 July, the 25-year-old left her window desk for a 12.45 appointment with a Mr Kipper and was never seen again. The disappearance sparked Britain’s biggest-ever missing person’s inquiry, but detectives were never able to trace her body and failed to gather enough evidence to charge their prime suspect. The Mystery of Suzy Lamplugh, a Sky documentary, unpicks why the murder remains unsolved but it doesn’t fully answer the other mystery: why does Britain remain so obsessed by her disappearance even decades later?
A few days before Lamplugh went missing, Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson. Parts of the Soviet Union were being slowly poisoned by the fallout from Chernobyl. That year, British cows began to show traits of violence and nervousness later attributed to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. Listening to the fascinatingly dated, regally clipped diction of Sue Lawley as she describes the police investigation on the news, the era feels curiously familiar and impossibly distant. The documentary evokes an almost forgotten period of wine bars, pearl lipstick and Princess Diana hairstyles. But despite the passing of decades, online amateur detectives remain engrossed by this case to an obsessive degree.
Nick Ross, the journalist and Crimewatch presenter who covered Lamplugh’s disappearance at the time, finds nothing surprising in this. He attributes it to a British taste for this genre of crime: a morbid fascination with watching happy, affluent, privileged lives being destroyed. The story, he says, prompts an instant intake of breath: “‘Oh my gosh! A nice middle-class family.’”
Ross goes on: “It’s the cliches of crime which fascinate. Suzy Lamplugh was attractive, female, young and middle class. It would have been very different if she hadn’t been good-looking or had come from a tenement somewhere, from a disrupted, dysfunctional background. It’s Midsomer Murders. People tend to be more interested in the murders of people from privileged backgrounds than underprivileged ones.”
Ross is refreshingly blunt about the dark appeal of these programmes. “People say they don’t like crime, but our appetites say something quite different. Look at the crime shelves in bookshops, see what Hitchcock’s films are about. Crime is endlessly fascinating.”
Previously unseen pictures from the family’s album of Lamplugh show her skiing, surfing, laughing with her sisters and brother, and dressing up in an off-the-shoulder ball gown. At the time, people were horrified by the speed with which her untroubled background was fractured. This, says Ross, was why the disappearance featured so prominently on such programmes as his. Its daytime element also alarmed viewers. “The greatest cliche of all in crime is ‘broad daylight’, but most crimes happen in broad daylight, because most of us are asleep at night.
“If you’re a broadcaster, you inevitably get drawn into projecting back what your viewers are prepared to tune in for. What interests us in real life is just what interests us in fiction, and the cliches are hugely self-perpetuating. Women are half as likely to be murdered as men, yet will get twice as much publicity. Nobody’s interested in the people most vulnerable to homicide – those under the age of 12 months.”
Jim Dickie, the detective charged with reopening the case in 1999, says it was the idea of a young woman going to work in the morning and never coming home that troubled people. He and the other detectives interviewed for the documentary look exhausted by the failure of their efforts to secure a conviction, after decades spent trying. But he is valiantly trying to stay positive about the chance that broadcasting these new photographs and witness accounts may encourage more people to come forward with evidence that finally allows them to resolve the case.
“Something might jog someone’s memory,” he says. “There may still be someone out there who hasn’t come to the police before, or whose evidence has been ignored. The family deserve closure.” The investigative failings were partly due to policing systems. “We were in an analogue age,” says Dickie. “Everything was on paper. There were old-fashioned card index systems for evidence-gathering. Now we have all sorts of technology, computer systems, number plate recognition, CCTV. I think we could probably have solved the case a lot quicker now.”
Lamplugh’s younger brother Richard also looks crushed by the weight of what happened to his family, but appears to be forcing himself to revisit it in an effort to pay tribute to his sister and to voice the family’s frustration that police were never able to charge the main suspect, John Cannan, who has denied involvement and who remains in prison for the murder of another young woman. Richard says the family is “back into thinking, ‘Well, maybe we could have a finish, you know, an end.’ We’d love an end.”
There is an optimistic end of sorts – in the creation of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust by her parents. Instead of privately grieving, her mother Diana channelled her energies into campaigning. Her impact on anti-stalking and anti-harassment legislation, as well as the licensing of minicabs, has been considerable.
She appears several times in the film, dressed cheerfully, sometimes wearing a pink beret, calmly addressing the media. The documentary includes footage of Sue Lawley asking her: “Some people say that you have courted publicity, that you have enjoyed the limelight.” But Diana found campaigning to draw attention to her daughter’s disappearance the only logical response to trauma. “If I had a long face and was dressed in black, I wouldn’t get my message across. It certainly wouldn’t bring Suzy back either.”
Diana died in 2011, but the charity continues to do positive work – and the family’s dignity in the face of ghoulish interest in their difficulties shines through. “The trauma that the family has doesn’t bear thinking about,” says Suky Bhaker, CEO of the trust. “Suzy was a colleague, she was a friend, she was a daughter, she was a sister. She was just going about her normal day and I think that’s what struck a chord with so many people. What Diana did just amazingly was turn this tragedy into something that’s had such a positive impact on so many individuals’ lives. That’s a real testament to the family’s vision.”
When Weird Darkness returns… we’ll look at the man who Jameson Irish Whiskey is named after… and how cannibalism was part of his history. (Whiskey and Cannibalism)
But first… John List planned the murders of his own family so carefully, he almost got away with it. In fact, it took 18 years to catch him. (The Family Man Who Murdered His Family)
That story is up next.
STORY: THE FAMILY MAN WHO MURDERED HIS FAMILY==========
John List was a Sunday school teacher and a successful bank executive. He lived in a mansion in New Jersey with his wife and their three children. The Lists were even comfortable enough to provide for John’s mother, including housing her in an in-law apartment.
List was the perfect family man. Until then things went drastically wrong. Despite his seemingly pristine life, List was also known for being an aloof, cold man with few friends. His lack of social skills caused him many problems, even leading to repeated job losses. So John List killed his perfect family and started a new one. And he almost got away with it.
For weeks before he killed his family, List left every day for work, but got only as far as the train station, where he would spend the day reading. His wife, his children and his mother did not know that he had lost his job. But he knew they were going to find out. The mortgage was not being paid; the foreclosure process had begun. He was about to be exposed as a failure. Something had to be done.
On November 9, 1971, after the children left for school, List shot his wife Helen in the back of the head as she was drinking her coffee. He went upstairs and shot his 84-year-old mother. He took a break and made himself lunch. Then, he went to the bank to close his accounts and cash his mother’s savings bonds.
When his daughter Patricia, 16, and son Frederick, 13, came home, List shot them too. Then he went to the High School to watch his 15-year-old son John, Jr. play in a soccer game. After the game, he drove his son home and shot him in the chest and face. He called his children’s schools to say they’d be away for a while.
Being the religious man that he was, List wrote to his pastor after committing the murders. According to List, he was attempting to save his family’s souls because the 1970s had become a sinful time. List believed that his family was succumbing to temptation, especially after his daughter expressed her interest in becoming an actress—he viewed the occupation as corrupt and linked to Satan. However, many criminal profilers concluded that List fabricated this motive in order to ease his mind and lessen his stress in his decision to murder his family.
He put the bodies of his wife and children in sleeping bags and left them on the floor of the mansion’s ballroom. He left his mother’s body in her apartment. The next day, he cut his picture out of all the family portraits so police would not have a photo for the wanted poster they were sure to draw up. He turned down the thermostat and turned on the radio, tuned to a religious station. Then he thoroughly vanished.
Despite the great lengths List went to in order to delay the search, teachers grew suspicious of the prolonged absence of the children. Concerned neighbors alerted law enforcement after noticing that the lights were constantly left on. Neighbors also realized that the lights in the mansion were starting to burn out one by one—unsettling everyone.
It would be nearly a month before police found the bodies. They launched a nationwide manhunt, but the trail had gone cold. It would take another 18 years for police to learn where John List went.
List had left his car at the airport, but that was just a ruse. In fact, he had taken a bus to Denver where he found a job as a hotel cook, using the name Robert Clark. Eventually, he got a better job as an accountant for H&R Block. He joined the Lutheran church and met a widow, Delores Miller. They soon married and moved to Richmond, Virginia.
John List might have lived the rest of his life in freedom if it weren’t for the TV show America’s Most Wanted. The show featured the List family killings in 1989. They had a forensic sculptor create a bust showing what List most likely looked like, 18 years after he killed his family. His old neighbors in Denver recognized him. He was sentenced to five consecutive life terms and died in prison in 2008.
When America’s Most Wanted agreed to feature the John List case, it was the oldest case on the program—List had been missing for 18 years. They brought in forensic artist Frank Bender to create the bust of the aging fugitive. Bender had success in helping capture aging fugitives and identify decomposed bodies through his sculptures.
In order to create a bust of the aging List, Bender consulted a forensic psychologist in order to make a profile of the man. Bender also used family photographs to predict how he would age. The bust depicted List with a receding hairline, sagging jaws, and a pair of glasses. Bender’s theory that List would use glasses to disguise himself as someone more important than he was, would be proven accurate—when List was arrested he was wearing the exact style of glasses Bender had envisioned.
List said he killed his family to spare them the humiliation of losing their home and because he hoped they would go to heaven. Psychiatrists say he never showed remorse for his cold-blooded murder of his family.
Later during the trial, it was confirmed that List suffered from obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and it caused him to consider only two solutions to his predicament: Accept welfare or kill his family. List deemed welfare an unacceptable option because he and his family would be exposed to ridicule; he would be viewed as a failure in his community, and accepting handouts violated his authoritarian father’s teachings. In a 2002 interview with Connie Chung, List was asked why he didn’t commit suicide. He stated that he thought taking his own life would forbid him entrance into heaven, where he hoped to reunite with his family.
The FBI posed another question during List’s disappearance: Was he also D.B. Cooper? The infamous case involved a man, supposedly named Dan Cooper, who bought a one-way ticket to Seattle, Washington on November 24, 1971. While the plane was in motion, Cooper hijacked the plane and made several demands. Afterwards, he jumped out of the plane with a parachute and the ransom money he had demanded.
Investigators drew a link between the two men, since both committed their crimes in November 1971. They also shared physical similarities: Both were white men with the same height and weight who appeared to be in their 40s, and they both wore glasses. Because the crimes occurred so close together in time, investigators believed that List might have committed the crime under the reasoning that he had nothing left to lose.
In 1989, List was captured and confessed to the murders, but fervently denied any involvement in the Cooper hijacking. Eventually, List was removed as a suspect, thus the true identity of Cooper remains a mystery to this day. As of 2016, the FBI suspended active investigation of the Cooper case, citing the need to focus their resources on investigating other issues of higher priority.
List’s tumultuous life soon made its way to the silver screen in 1993. A made-for-TV movie starring Robert Blake and Beverly D’Angelo depicted fictionalized versions of the murders committed by List. Instead of merely providing a dramatic retelling of the murder, director Bobby Roth focused on several other perspectives: those of a hometown chief of police, List’s sister-in-law, and her husband. The movie met with criticism over Roth’s apparent explanation of what drove List to commit the murders—much of the film focuses on the women in List’s life. According to the film, with a controlling, alcoholic wife and domineering mother, there was only so much List could handle before he was driven to murder. List and his crimes also went on to inspire other films such as The Stepfather and The Usual Suspects.
On March 21, 2008, List died of complications from pneumonia at age 82 while in custody at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, New Jersey.
STORY: WHISKEY AND CANNIBALISM==========
John Jameson was born in 1740 in Alloa in Scotland. He began his career as a lawyer, but after he married Margaret Haig in 1753, his future would be forever changed. Margaret just so happened to be the daughter of John Haig, the famous whisky distiller in Scotland. In 1774, John joined the Convivial Lodge No. 202, of the Dublin Freemasons, and by 1780 his Irish whiskey distillation began. He worked for the next 41 years, building up the business, then passed it on to his son, John II in 1851.
John Jameson II married, had children, and continued the family business. By the turn of the 19th century, Jameson Irish Whiskey was the second largest producer in Ireland, and one of the largest in the world, producing 1,000,000 gallons annually.
Meanwhile, in Africa, the Mahdist War was being fought between the Mahdist Sudanese of the religious leader Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah, who had proclaimed himself the “Mahdi” of Islam (the “Guided One”), and the forces of the Khedivate of Egypt, which consisted of the initial and later forces of Britain. In 1885 the Mahdists captured the city of Khartoum, effectively collapsing the administration of Sudan and cutting off Equatoria, the extreme southern province. This posed an issue for Emin Pasha, an Ottoman doctor who had been appointed to the role of Governor of Equatoria. He was still able to send and receive letters, and by February 1886, had been informed that the Egyptian government was going to abandon Equatoria.
In July, 1886, Emin Pasha was encouraged to invite the British government to annex Equatoria itself. Unfortunately, the British government was not interested, but the people were. That’s when Scottish businessman and philanthropist, William Mackinnon, came into the picture.
Mackinnon had been involved in various colonial ventures during his time, and by November 1885, he approached Henry Morton Stanley, a Welsh journalist, explorer, soldier, colonial administrator, author and politician, about leading a relief expedition. Stanley was ready, so Mackinnon approached J.F. Hutton, a business acquaintance, and together they organized the “Emin Pasha Relief Committee.” The Committee raised a total of about £32,000.
Stanley was still in the employment of Leopold II of Belgium, and had to get permission to go on the expedition. Leopold II agreed, with the stipulation that the expedition would take a longer route up the Congo River. To ease widespread public acclaim in London, Stanley declared:
“The expedition is non-military—that is to say, its purpose is not to fight, destroy, or waste; its purpose is to save, to relieve distress, to carry comfort. Emin Pasha may be a good man, a brave officer, a gallant fellow deserving of a strong effort of relief, but I decline to believe, and I have not been able to gather from any one in England an impression, that his life, or the lives of the few hundreds under him, would overbalance the lives of thousands of natives, and the devastation of immense tracts of country which an expedition strictly military would naturally cause. The expedition is a mere powerful caravan, armed with rifles for the purpose of ensuring the safe conduct of the ammunition to Emin Pasha, and for the more certain protection of his people during the retreat home. But it also has means of purchasing the friendship of tribes and chiefs, of buying food and paying its way liberally.”
The Relief Committee received over 400 applications from expedition hopefuls. From these, Stanley made the decision whom he would take. Among the applicants was James Jameson, grandson of John Jameson, and heir to the whiskey empire.
By June 1888, Jameson was in command of the rear column of the expedition at Ribakiba, a trading post deep in the Congo, known for its cannibal population. He began to deal directly with Tippu Tip, a slave trader and local fixer. Ever curious, Jameson expressed his interest in seeing cannibalism first hand, leading Tippu Tip to speak to local chiefs of the village. They produced a 10 year old girl, for whom Jameson paid six handkerchiefs.
There are varying accounts of what happened next, from Jameson’s diary, his wife, and even a translator who had been on the trip with him. According to the translator, Assad Farran, upon presentation of the girl, the chiefs said to their villagers, “This is a present from a white man, who wishes to see her eaten.”
Farran continues, “The girl was tied to a tree. The natives sharpened their knives the while. One of them then stabbed her twice in the belly.”
Jameson recounted in his diary, “Three men then ran forward, and began to cut up the body of the girl; finally her head was cut off, and not a particle remained, each man taking his piece away down the river to wash it.”
Both Jameson and Farran agreed, the girl never screamed. “The most extraordinary thing was that the girl never uttered a sound, nor struggled, until she fell,” wrote Jameson. “When I went home I tried to make some small sketches of the scene while still fresh in my memory.
According to Jameson’s wife and diary, he had only gone along with the proceedings because he believed it to be a joke. He couldn’t believe the villagers would actually kill and eat her.
Jameson was never held accountable for his actions. By the time the story reached Stanley, Jameson had already died from a fever he had contracted. His wealthy family, along with the assistance of the Belgian government, was able to hush any mention of the atrocities committed.
Coming up… a strange phenomenon takes place in Arkansas, and despite the numerous sightings and investigations, there is still no explanation for it. (Unexplained Arkansas)
But first… it’s a beautiful June day. You are a woman at home enjoying a relaxing few moments with your friends or family. Suddenly your front door is burst open and two men barge in and drag you out of your house, into the street – not caring who in the public sees them do this – and take you to another building where they proceed to remove your clothes by force and begin to examine you… every single inch of you, leaving nothing to the men’s imaginations, and leaving you with no modesty to be found. Welcome to the 17th Century, m’ Lady… someone has obviously accused you of being a witch! That story when Weird Darkness returns! (Witchly Accusations)
STORY: WITCHLY ACCUSATIONS==========
On 29 June 1634 the Privy Council wrote to Alexander Baker and William Clowes, both surgeons in royal service, ordering them to gather a group of midwives and ‘inspect and search the bodies of those women that were lately brought up by the sheriff of the County of Lancaster indicted for witchcraft’.
Having received their orders, Clowes gathered a group of surgeons and midwives and carried out the examinations on 2 July. They provided a certificate, place dated at the Surgeons’ Hall in Mugwell Street and signed by themselves, some surgical colleagues, and a number of midwives, which outlined the results of their examination. The certificate stated that they had made ‘diligent searches and inspections on those women … and find as follows: On the bodies of Jenett Hargreaves, Frances Dicconsen and Mary Spencer, nothing unnatural neither in their secrets or any other parts of their bodies… On the body of Margaret Johnson we find two things may be called Teats the one between her cervix and the fundament… the other on the middle of her left buttock. The first is shaped like to the teat of a (female dog) but in our judgement nothing but the skin of the fundament drawn out as it will be after the piles of application of leeches. The second is like the nipple or teat of a woman’s breast but of the same colour with the rest of skin without any hollowness or issue for any blood or juice to come from thence.’
In other words, they had found nothing odd at all on the bodies of three of the women, and on the fourth there were a couple of growths but nothing that the examiners thought sinister. But why were these women being subjected to this examination in the first place? What were the surgeons and midwives looking for? And why was the Privy Council, the elite group of advisors around the king, interested in four women from rural Lancashire? The answers to these questions shine a light on a witchcraft scare that rocked 17th-century England, and tell us much about beliefs in witchcraft and how they affected ordinary people at that time.
The story begins in late 1633, when a small boy, Edmund Robinson, started making accusations of witchcraft against women living in his neighbourhood in Lancashire. Soon, other neighbours started making similar accusations, and within a few months a large group of women, and a few men, were on trial for their lives at Lancaster Assizes. Many of them were found guilty, but the judge who presided over the case was uneasy about the verdict, and referred the case to the Privy Council.
The Privy Council undertook its own investigation, asking the Bishop of Chester to interview some of the accused women and going so far as bringing them, as well as young Edmund Robinson himself, to London for further examination. It’s not clear exactly why the judge was concerned, or why the Privy Council agreed with his concerns.
In 17th-century Europe witchcraft was very much a fact of life; no one would have questioned the existence of witches, or the belief that they could use sorcery to cause harm. The Witchcraft Act of 1563 had established witchcraft as a felony in England and Wales and, as such, suspected witches could be tried in the assize courts. The assizes were by no means swamped with witchcraft cases, but there was a steady stream of trials of accused witches which passed off with no intervention from central government.
It may have been the scale of the witch scare in Lancashire that concerned the authorities. While most cases at the assizes concerned one or two people (usually, although not invariably, women), in this case around 19 people were put on trial. Moreover, there had been another mass witch trial at the Lancaster Assizes 20-odd years before, which had resulted in the hanging of 10 people. Perhaps the Privy Council was thus concerned to find out for itself whether Lancashire really was a hotbed of witchcraft, and we should certainly not assume that it was automatically sceptical about the accusations.
One of the key problems facing anyone involved in witchcraft investigations or trials was the issue of evidence. Allegations of witchcraft frequently blamed the accused for naturally-occurring events – the illness or death of people or livestock, the failure of crops, even sexual dysfunction. But to ‘prove’ that this was the fault of a witch rather than just misfortune was very hard. Elsewhere in Europe, suspected witches could be tortured into confession, but under English law, torture was illegal. Suspected witches were occasionally subjected to ordeals such as ‘swimming’, whereby the accused was dunked into a river in an attempt to prove guilt or innocence. But where this happened it was usually carried out by local communities and was not part of the normal functioning of the justice system.
But there was one element of English witch beliefs that did provide the possibility of physical evidence – the belief in ‘familiars’. These were demons who helped the witch with her sorcery. They were believed to take the form of common animals and feed on the blood of the witch – leaving tell-tale marks which were thus considered physical evidence of witchcraft.
It is these marks that the surgeons and the midwives were looking for in the inspection certificate mentioned above. Indeed, a letter from the Bishop of Chester to the Privy Council recording his conversation with Margaret Johnson, one of the accused women, states that Johnson herself claimed to have familiars. She described how she was visited by the devil ‘sometimes as a brown coloured dog, sometimes as a white cat and at other times like an hare’ and that she had ‘two duggs or papps in her private parts’ where the familiars sucked her blood.
The surgeons and midwives thus knew exactly what they were looking for yet, as we have seen, found nothing that they considered to be sinister or only explicable as a mark of witchcraft. Midwives, of course, were experts in female anatomy. They were also often relatively well-educated and frequently literate (a number of the midwives in this group signed their own names on the certificate). One of the midwives listed, Aurelia Molins, was married to one of the surgeons listed, James Molins. The surgeons named on the certificate were all professional men and members of the Barber-Surgeons company; several of them were in royal service. The accounts of the Barber-Surgeons’ company from the period carefully noted the disbursement of 10s 6d for the examinations of the four women, ‘brought to our hall by the King’s command to be searched’. Yet as with the Privy Council, we should not simply assume that this group was sceptical about witchcraft. Belief in witchcraft was prevalent at all levels of society, even among the most highly-educated (indeed in 1597 James VI of Scotland, later James I of England, had published his own compendium of witchcraft lore).
References in contemporary literature regularly make reference to women giving evidence in court that they have found suspicious marks upon the bodies of accused witches. But certificates such as this one, providing documentary evidence of exactly what was done, what was found, and by whom, are extremely rare. It is stark, disturbing evidence of what was done to ordinary people, by other ordinary people. No matter that in this case nothing sinister was found; for Jenett Hargreaves, Frances Dicconsen, Mary Spencer and Margaret Johnson, the examinations themselves must have been a degrading and traumatic ordeal.
Witchcraft is a subject in which there is enormous interest, but these documents remind us that stories of historical witch scares are not fantasies invented to thrill us, but the histories of real people, accused of terrible crimes and subject to terrible suffering as a result.
STORY: UNEXPLAINED IN ARKANSAS==========
Anyone interested in the unexplained phenomena knows that not everything we see can be easily explained in scientific terms. The human mind is fascinated with unexplained sightings and events because they challenge our knowledge of the world around us. Solving mysteries plays an important part in the development of modern science.
For more than a century resident of Arkansas have witnessed something extraordinary. Modern scientists have debated what is behind this unexplained phenomenon. Many have wondered whether we are dealing with a phenomenon of natural or supernatural origin.
This spectacular phenomenon has been mentioned in myths and legends. Can the answer to this old mystery be found in old tales? Do the mountains or dark forest in the region hold the clues to this unusual mystery? Curiously, in other parts of Arkansas, people have reported similar unusual sightings that still remain unexplained. Is there a connection between these events and the source responsible for the display?
For years, mysterious lights of Dover have fascinated enthusiasts interested in unusual and unexplained phenomena.
People systematically come each night to a remote area located only ten miles north of Dover and not far from Russellville, Arkansas, hoping to see this light phenomenon.
If they are lucky, they can observe the so-called Dover Lights in a variety of colors, such as orange, yellow, red or blue or simply white. Sometimes, the lights are flickering but it also happens they look like lanterns or flashlights and their brightness can lit up the entire valley in the Ozark Mountains.
The lights have been observed since the late 1800s, and many legends are associated with them. The Dover Lights are a phenomenon that even to this day remains a mystery.
One popular legend tells a story about a coal mine, which collapsed one day, trapping and killing many miners. In this case, the lights symbolize lanterns, which belonged to miners who desperately tried to find their way back to their homes.
Another one explains the lights as the spirits of ancient Native American warriors and tribal leaders and yet another tells the story of an elderly and poor couple that had not money to pay for doctor’s help. Instead, the doctor was offered a bag of homemade bullets in payment.
Years later after the old couple had both passed away, the doctor was cleaning up his office and accidentally found the long-forgotten bag of bullets. He realized the bullets were not made of lead but of pure silver and decided to give up his practice and devote his remaining years to a search for that lost silver mine.
The light that occasionally appears, hovering over the valley, is believed to be his lantern that he needs to continue his search from beyond the grave.
The Dover Lights phenomenon has never been solved despite that it has appeared in thick forest of the area since the 1800s.
Some believe the Dover Lights are nothing but a hoax and perhaps they are right. Others suggest the phenomenon is the refraction of lights from distant points. However, many eyewitnesses to the Dover Lights definitely disagree because the area where lights appear is hardly accessible and the lights have been appearing for many years.
Moreover, they cannot be electric lights because there has never been electricity in the area of observations.
The lights may also be of supernatural origin but in that case, it is doubtful that their mysterious origin will be solved.
As we know, ‘supernatural’ is something associated with forces we don’t understand, and science cannot explain them either.
In a wooded area of Gurdon, people report they have witnessed similar lights. The lights are said to be bobbing around and they vary in color. They can be blue, orange, green or white and are visible day and night. The Gurdon lights have been mentioned in folklore.
According to an old tale, a railroad worker died when he fell into the path of a train. The legend states that the man’s head was separated from his body and was never found. Late in the night, the ghost of the killed railroad worker walks the tracks with a lantern searching for his severed head. The Gurdon lights are said to come from his lantern. Another folklore tale states that the Gurdon light is a lantern carried by railway foreman William McClain, who was killed in the vicinity during a confrontation with one of his workers in 1931.
Those who favor a more scientific explanation think the Gurdon phenomenon lights are nothing more than lights from passing cars on the distant highway. However, according to Nicole Plott from the Ouachita Baptist University, “the headlight theory is a straight forward way of looking at the cause of the light. This theory can be disproved though because of the fact that the highway that the car lights would be on was not finished until 1957. For that reason it is not possible for the light to have been from car headlights.”
Some have also suggested that the Gurdon light is a peizoelectrical effect. Certain crystals such as quartz are piezoelectric. That means that when these crystals are squeezed together, they develop an electrical charge giving off sparks, and the area where the unusual lights are visible is located above large amounts of quartz crystals and the New Madrid fault line.
Most likely there is a natural and scientific explanation behind the Dover and Gurdon lights, we simply just haven’t all the answers yet. If you are in the area, you can go and see this spectacular light phenomenon so you can decide what to think about this old mystery.
When Weird Darkness returns… parents always feel their child is special in some way – something that makes their child better in some way than other children. Parents of indigo children are no different, with some parents thinking their children have psychic abilities. Doctors say that these children have ADD or ADHD, but one parapsychologist says indigo children have something even more special – possibly even paranormal – inside them. (Supernatural Indigo Children)
That story is up next.
STORY: SUPERNATURAL INDIGO CHILDREN==========
Parapsychologist Nancy Ann Tappe had always been able to see people’s auras; the colors surrounding an individual would inform her what their particular purpose in life was. In the late 1970s, she suddenly began noticing a “vibrational color” that she had never seen before. The new indigo shade was appearing only around certain children, so she determined that it must indicate that a “new consciousness” was emerging on Earth, and thus the concept of the indigo child was born.
If you’re not familiar with the term “indigo child”, it’s not surprising – unless you are into New Age thoughts. Based on New Age concepts developed in the 1970s, Indigo children are thought to be divine creatures with supernatural powers who were sent here from God… or the universe… or Zuul… or well, whatever/whoever to fulfill the purpose of upgrading our existence. A variety of books, conferences and related materials have been created surrounding belief in the idea of indigo children and their nature and abilities. The interpretations of these beliefs range from their being the next stage in human evolution, in some cases possessing paranormal abilities such as telepathy, to the belief that they are more empathetic and creative than their peers.
Pop culture has always embraced the idea of a group of children secretly harnessing supernatural powers (thinks X-Men and Stranger Things), and while indigo children may not be able to flip cars over with their minds, they have achieved a sort of cult status within New Age circles, where they represent a “leap in human evolution.”
According to Nancy Tappe, there are several types of indigo children, although they all share several common traits, including: a sense of superiority (or acting like royalty), difficulty with authority figures, refusal to do routine things (like wait in line), and non-responsiveness to certain disciplinary actions.
Tappe and her followers believe that the indigo children exhibiting these traits have knowledge that is superior to that of any adult and will help bring hitherto unimaginable technologies into the world. Psychologists and doctors believe that children exhibiting these traits have disorders that need to be treated.
Indigo children all tend to have high IQs and self confidence, that coincides with the “resistance to authority” and “disruptive tendencies,” traits, coincidentally, exhibited in children with A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. For some parents, it is easier to attribute their child’s behavioral problems to a superhuman quality, rather than have them diagnosed with a disorder.
Tappe warns that respect must be earned from Indigo children and that they are not to be talked down to; contradictory advice to most parenting guides. Skeptics caution that letting these children run amok without any discipline (or withdrawing them from schools, as some indigo parents do in an attempt to not restrain their child’s abilities) could ultimately hinder rather than help the kids: denying them the structure or treatment they need will only inhibit their learning and social development.
Tappe also makes the astounding claim that every child she’s encountered who has murdered another child or parent has been an indigo child: since they are “fearless and know who they are,” it is just a survival mechanism for them. While this element of the story may seem more sci-fi than science, it serves as a warning as to the harm an unrestrained childhood could do, creating an adult who is utterly convinced of their own righteousness.
Some psychiatrists, such as Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, have suggested that this sudden rise in popularity of New Age beliefs is actually a response to the over-medication of children. Prescribing a child a light methamphetamine for ADHD will not address his or her underlying issues; just as giving that child completely free reign does not address behavioral problems.
Frustration with being told to simply medicate their unruly children may have pushed some parents to seek answers in the pseudo-science of the New Age. Whether they’re leading the world into a new consciousness or not, it must be remembered that these indigo children are, after all, still children who must be cared for.