“DO YOU DREAM OF THIS MAN?” and More Chilling True Stories! #WeirdDarkness
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Listen to ““DO YOU DREAM OF THIS MAN?” and More Chilling True Stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.
IN THIS EPISODE: On a warm July night in 1919, the body of young Bella Wright was found with a bullet hole in her head. Now, exactly 100 years later, the mystery of her murder is still unsolved. (The Man With The Green Bicycle) *** Weirdo family member Darren shares a story about one of his co-workers. (More Than Just Books In The Library) *** The bloodstain remains on the floor to this day—and several witnesses have claimed to see a black mist materialize from the spot and glide through the house. We’ll look at what could be the most haunted home in Philadelphia. (The Haunting of Grumblethorpe) *** The legendary paranormal researcher, Harry Price was the first to go ghost hunting in the infamous Borley Rectory. But some think there is more mystery to the man himself than to anything he chose to investigate. (The Mysterious Ghost Hunter, Harry Price) *** Demons are notorious for possessing innocent human beings – but it doesn’t always need to be a person. Sometimes a demon can simply take up residence in your house. We’ll look at some signs to determine if that is happening in your home. (When Your Home Has a Demon) *** In a small town in Russia, numerous voodoo dolls suddenly appeared on pillars, fences, and bus stops. Where did they come from, and what is their purpose? (The Terrifying Dolls That Appeared From Nowhere) *** In a small Seattle apartment, Cleveland Tony Harmon’s past has finally caught up with him. Now he’s ready to tell his terrifying story. (Haunted By His Paranormal Past) *** Weirdo family member Julia Harrison describes the endless horrors she experienced when she bought a new home. (It Began When They Gave Me The House Key) *** Strange and spooky things have been happening in a small town in Ohio. But then, you should probably expect the abnormal when you live in a place named “Helltown”. (Hijinks in Helltown) *** People around the world are dreaming about the very same man, a stranger they do not know. Who is this man? How is he invading the dreams of thousands of people? (Are You Dreaming This Man)
SOURCES AND ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS…
PHOTO: Do You Dream of This Man: https://weirddarkness.com/?s=do+you+dream+of+this+man
“Are You Dreaming This Man” from Beyond Science: (link no longer available)
“When Your Home Has a Demon” by Rob Schwarz: http://bit.ly/2XxJdLt
“The Man With The Green Bicycle” by Elisabeth Tilstra: http://bit.ly/2FVP0PY
“The Haunting of Grumblethorpe” by Gary Sweeney: http://bit.ly/2L4AY2L
“The Mysterious Ghost Hunter, Harry Price”: Orrin Grey: http://bit.ly/2Jh81yw, Stephanie Almazan: http://bit.ly/2JnWwEg
“More Than Just Books In The Library” by Weirdo family member, Darren (no last name given – and no, it’s not Darren Marlar)
“The Terrifying Dolls That Appeared From Nowhere” by Paul Seaburn: http://bit.ly/2NVuxRV
“Haunted By His Paranormal Past” by Erik Lacitis: (link no longer available)
“Hijinks in Helltown” by Brent Swancer: http://bit.ly/2XT0hGO
“It Began When They Gave Me The House Key” by Weirdo family member Julia Harrison
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Take a look at the cover photo for this episode. Have you ever dreamed about “This Man”? If you did, did he comfort or befriend you in your dreams? Or was he a malevolent entity that attempted to harm you in your nightmares? If you have dreamed of him, then you are one of the thousands across that world who believe to have encountered “This Man” in their dreams at one point or several instances of their lives. This phenomenon suddenly began several years ago, and now numerous websites are dedicated to describing people’s personal experiences of dreaming of “This Man.”
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode…
On a warm July night in 1919, the body of young Bella Wright was found with a bullet hole in her head. Now, more than 100 years later, the mystery of her murder is still unsolved. (The Man With The Green Bicycle)
Weirdo family member Darren shares a story about one of his co-workers. (More Than Just Books In The Library)
The bloodstain remains on the floor to this day—and several witnesses have claimed to see a black mist materialize from the spot and glide through the house. We’ll look at what could be the most haunted home in Philadelphia. (The Haunting of Grumblethorpe)
The legendary paranormal researcher, Harry Price was the first to go ghost hunting in the infamous Borley Rectory. But some think there is more mystery to the man himself than to anything he chose to investigate. (The Mysterious Ghost Hunter, Harry Price)
Demons are notorious for possessing innocent human beings – but it doesn’t always need to be a person. Sometimes a demon can simply take up residence in your house. We’ll look at some signs to determine if that is happening in your home. (When Your Home Has a Demon)
In a small town in Russia, numerous voodoo dolls suddenly appeared on pillars, fences, and bus stops. Where did they come from, and what is their purpose? (The Terrifying Dolls That Appeared From Nowhere)
In a small Seattle apartment, Cleveland Tony Harmon’s past has finally caught up with him. Now he’s ready to tell his terrifying story. (Haunted By His Paranormal Past)
Weirdo family member Julia Harrison describes the endless horrors she experienced when she bought a new home. (It Began When They Gave Me The House Key)
Strange and spooky things have been happening in a small town in Ohio. But then, you should probably expect the abnormal when you live in a place named “Helltown”. (Hijinks in Helltown)
People around the world are dreaming about the very same man, a stranger they do not know. Who is this man? How is he invading the dreams of thousands of people? (Are You Dreaming This Man)
If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, my newsletter, to connect with me on social media, and more!
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
STORY: DREAMING THIS MAN=====
According to the “This Man” website allegedly set up by those who have dreamed about the strange man, every night throughout the world, hundreds of people dream about this man’s face. This dream-related phenomenon supposedly dates back in January 2006 in New York. As the story goes, the patient of a well-known psychiatrist drew the face of a man repeatedly appearing in her dreams. On more than one occasion, the man had provided her some advice concerning her private life, but the woman swears that she never met the man in real life.
The portrait of the man was set aside on the psychiatrist’s desk for a few days until one day another patient pointed out the portrait. He recognized the face in the drawing, saying that the man had often visited him in his dreams. Similar to the claims of the female patient of the psychiatrist, he claims that he has never seen the man in his waking life.
Finding it odd for two people to dream the same stranger, the psychiatrist decided to send the portrait of the man to some of his colleagues who had patients with recurrent dreams. Within just a few months, four patients turned up, claiming to recognize the man as a frequent presence in their own dreams. All the patients referred to the man appearing their dream as “This Man.”
Since the first reported appearance of “This Man” in people’s dreams in 2006, at least 2000 people have reportedly claimed to have all seen the same man in their dreams. The man has allegedly appeared in the dreams of many people in many cities all over the world, including Los Angeles, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Tehran, Beijing, Rome, Barcelona, Stockholm, Paris, New Delhi and Moscow.
According to the “This Man” website, there are currently no ascertained relation or common trait among the people that have dreamed of the strange man. What’s even stranger is that supposedly no real man in the waking world has ever been recognized as resembling the man drawn on the portrait by those who have seen him in their dreams.
Because of this mystery, it has become the ultimate objective of some people to find out the real identity of “This Man” and figure out the reason why he randomly appears in the dreams of a diverse set of human subjects in a variety of unrelated situations.
The website dedicated to the “This Man” phenomenon has also enumerated and discussed several theories which have supposedly been developed to explain the mysteriously recurring presence of the man in the dreams of a wide variety of people who are not related with each other in any way. Some of these theories are said to have elicited great interest among those who have dreamed of the strange man.
Based on Carl Jung’s psychoanalytic theory, “This Man” is speculated to be an archetypal image belonging to humanity’s collective unconscious. This archetype appears in times of a person’s hardship, emotional development, dramatic changes in life and stressful circumstances. And because it is part of the collective unconscious of all people, it makes sense that the man shows up in the dreams of several individuals over the course of several years though they not-at-all related with each other.
There is also another theory about the phenomenon that is founded on religious beliefs. According to this theory, “This Man” is the image of the Creator himself, and that this particular form is one of the many faces in which God manifests himself before mortal beings. And because the appearance of this man is God’s way of revealing himself to people, it is also believed that whatever he utters during the dreams he appears in should be decidedly followed by the dreamers.
The “Dream Surfer” theory is probably the most interesting theory involving the appearance of the same man in the dreams of many people. But while it promises the greatest and most amazing implications, it is also a theory with the lowest scientific credibility. According to this theory, “This Man” is a real person who happens to have the ability to enter the dreams of other people using specific yet unknown psychological skills. There are those who supposedly believe that the man who appears in their dreams looks exactly the same in real life. However, others, on the other hand, think that the man in the dreams looks entirely different from his real-life counterpart. There are also speculations that the man is part of an elaborate mental conditioning plan developed by a powerful corporation.
There is also a scientific psycho-sociological theory which claims that the phenomenon arose casually but has since progressively spread among members of the public by imitation. This means that people who have read or heard about this phenomenon online or through other people who claim to have personally dreamt of the man have become so fascinated and involved with the phenomenon that they started seeing this man in their dreams as well.
Another theory states that apparitions of “This Man” in dreams of people are purely casual. Ordinarily, people do not recall the exact appearance and faces of people they see in their dreams. And so, the image of “This Man” is supposedly an instrument which facilitates the recognition of an undefined image that has appeared during people’s dream states.
For years, the mysterious story about the same man visiting the dreams of people has spread across various online blogs, discussion forums and even social media communities, where lengthy conversations about the alleged phenomenon’s validity and debunking have ensued.
And so, this leads us to ask a one simple and very important question: Is there really a strange man appearing in the dreams of unrelated people? As it turns out, we never really needed a special theory to explain the “This Man” phenomenon after all, because the whole thing was just one big hoax.
The website – ThisMan.org – is actually the creation of Italian sociologist and marketing strategist Andrea Natella. It was also revealed that Natella runs a company called Guerrilla Marketing, which stages “subversive hoaxes” and creates weird art projects that are mostly about pornography, politics, and advertising. The site was also briefly acquired by horror movie production company Ghost House Pictures as part of the promotion for a planned film titled “This Man,” which was supposed to be directed by Bryan Bertino based on a screenplay he also penned.
Regardless of the validity or falsity of this phenomenon, it cannot be ignored that the most-likely real reason “This Man” has gone viral as an internet story is that this fictional entity actually represents the image of “Every Man.” The Face of “This Man” is an amalgamation of many common facial features, which were probably added to the fake portrait showing the man’s face to rouse a sense of familiarity among the public. This myriad of common features may have been the reason why many people from all over the world thought “This Man” looked very familiar as if they had seen him before. And it is this familiarity in this fictional person’s face that has probably perpetuated the viral nature of “This Man.”
Although the “This Man” phenomenon turned out to be just one of many false stories and urban myths that are found online and have gone viral among members of the global internet community, the way that it has piqued the people’s interest and the extent of its impact as a sensationalized, fabricated internet legend cannot be easily dismissed. Neither are the rest of us allowed to be so quick in putting down and ridiculing those who still continue to insist that “This Man” actually exists and that he has actually appeared in people’s dreams. Who knows? Maybe we just don’t have enough evidence to prove that “This Man” is real after all.
STORY: TERRIFYING DOLLS=====
When it comes to Russian dolls, those “matryoshka” nesting dolls get all of the publicity because they’re decorative and harmless (although the last one may be a choking hazard). They often look like older ladies (the name “matryoshka” means “little matron”) but the real-life little matrons living in one Russian town are terrified and suffering from physical ailments after their neighborhoods were overrun overnight by large, scary, needle-marked voodoo dolls. Is this payback for trolling us on Facebook?
As reported in one newspaper: “Creepy dolls are nailed to the pillars, fences and bus stops in Zavetny on the outskirts of Armavir in Krasnodar region.”
As you can tell by one witness’s account, these voodoo “mannequins” aren’t your normal small cloth dolls pierced with pins and bearing the facial image (or a reasonable facsimile) of the person who the owner hopes will feel the pain. (Interesting side note: while voodoo dolls are most often linked to Haiti or New Orleans, their origin actually dates back to medieval England when folk magic practitioners known as the “cunning folk” are believed to have come up with the idea of inflicting pain via pins stuck in dolls made with cloth or hair or some other possession of the victim). The hole-filled dolls found in Zavetny, a town near Krasnodar in far southwestern Russia, were the size of store mannequins and dressed in girl’s clothes or school uniforms. (Plenty of photos here.)
It gets worse. “The little girl mannequins are pierced with needles and tied with black threads.”
Police report that dozens of the dolls were found in random locations in the village – a park, bus stops, leaning against fences. While it’s not a crime to leave dolls around, they were concerned because the dolls were “spiked with needles” (although it’s hard to tell from the photos) and some were missing eyes and various body parts. In addition to studying security videos, the police had to calm down the matryoshkas and old men who claimed the scary dolls gave them high blood pressure.
Were these really some Russian version of voodoo dolls? One source claimed the dolls were once used in a puppet theater and were later given to a local museum which threw them out. A security officer found them and gave the dolls to her daughter to use while teaching school. However, the dolls creeped-out the kids so she tossed them again. No one admitted to taking them out of the trash again and dropping them off around town.
That’s an interesting theory but it doesn’t explain the needles and pin holes reported in the dolls. For now, the matryoshkas will just have to take their medications and wait to see which ones start feeling sharp, stabbing pains different than their normal sharp, stabbing pains.
Russian nesting dolls are so much easier to deal with.
STORY: PARANORMAL PAST=====
Fifty-six years ago, Cleveland Tony Harmon says he was unknowingly swept up in a poltergeist phenomena — a boy living in a Portsmouth house that became the center of some inexplicable events straight out of a horror movie: Flying books, a levitating mattress, cups and saucers sailing by to crash and shatter.
And, yes, you can discount it all, as stories about the paranormal often are.
But the thing is, there were some credible witnesses and media accounts. Over several days in September 1962 in Portsmouth, what happened to Harmon and his family was covered by The Virginian-Pilot, The Associated Press and other publications. A Pilot reporter who covered the events declared he was reassessing his disbelief in the supernatural.
Harmon now is 70, and he’s had a rough-and-tumble life that that brought him some two decades ago to the Pacific Northwest. He was homeless for a time before finding a place at a low-income housing facility for seniors in Seattle.
What finally has Harmon talking about his past is a woman named Mary Brett, 73, of Dade City, Florida. She also grew up in Portsmouth, and was a teen when the inexplicable events took place in her hometown.
Now retired from a job as a health-care recruiter for hospitals and agencies, Brett decided to dig into the events from her childhood and track down Harmon. “I had so many questions,” she says. It became a passion that took up the past four years.
She found relatives of Harmon, looked up his school records, looked up newspaper stories on microfiche, ads in newspapers, researched in libraries and even paid for a background search.
Brett finally got lucky when she posted on a Facebook page about Portsmouth history asking if anybody knew of Harmon’s whereabouts. Someone on that Facebook page told her that Harmon himself was on Facebook.
On July 2017, Harmon posted on his Facebook page, “I will always carry around with me until the day that I die the true story…”
Brett and Harmon (who now lives in Seattle) began talking by phone and mailing to each other. She thinks his story should be told beyond his 12 Facebook friends.
And so here we are.
In September 1962, when he was 13, Harmon was living with his great-great-grandparents, Annie and Charlie Daughtery, in a single-story rental home. He remembers the first incident.
“I was coming home from school. Some guys were chasing me, probably because I had girls hanging around me all the time,” says Harmon. “I ran up the stairs on the porch. The screen door was open and I dropped my books on the floor. I could smell grandma cooking in the back, fresh apple pie.”
“The books flew over the top of my head. My grandma said, ‘What are you doin’, throwing books all over!’ I said, ‘I didn’t throw them!’ She thought I was fibbing and sat me in the corner.”
Then, the next afternoon.
“I was sitting on the floor in the living room, and grandfather and grandma had their pipes. They both smoked those corncob pipes.
“They had the tobacco can sitting up on the mantel to keep me from getting after it. I was sitting there, wondering where I can get tobacco, when the can flipped over, rolled on the floor. My grandma was stunned. There was no explanation. I didn’t know what I had done. It excited me, made my heart pound.”
The events continued and became talked about in the neighborhood.
Helen V. Davis, 91, lived across the street from the Daughterys. She still lives in Portsmouth.
She and another neighbor were walking home from the church.
“Something needs to be done,” Davis, who was interviewed by The Seattle Times, remembers the neighbor telling her. “Things are being thrown out into the street. We walked over. The grandfather was so glad we came over. He had not slept in two nights.”
Davis says she saw, “Salt and pepper shakers and some glass, jumped up and dropped on the floor. The rocking chair in one of the rooms started rocking while we were standing there.”
Joseph V. Phillips was The Virginian-Pilot reporter who went to check out the reports.
His front-page article the next day began, “I didn’t believe in ghosts — until Saturday. I went to a house at 949 Florida Ave. and got goose pimples while dodging flying household objects that crashed to bits on the floor … I didn’t believe this nonsense until Saturday. Now, I’m not so sure. I saw weird things happen, but I don’t know what caused them.”
Phillips has died, but the photographer on the story, William Abourjilie, 83, of Virginia Beach, also clearly remembers that day.
“Basically, we were inside the house, walking down the hall, and stuff hit the wall and broke. A dish, a glass,” he recently told The Times.
He and Phillips looked into the room where the stuff was coming from.
“There wasn’t anyone in there. There was one window and it was closed,” Abourjilie remembers. “We couldn’t find any explanation.”
The story that Sunday further spread the publicity, and on that day, Portsmouth police cordoned off the street.
“Police estimated that as many as 10,000 people went to Florida Avenue Sunday to take a look at the Daughtery house. In the afternoon, cars were arriving in the suburb at a rate of 600 an hour,” The Virginian-Pilot reported.
Harmon and his great-great-grandparents moved in with relatives. They never returned to the rental home.
Harmon still believes he was responsible for the flying objects, although he doesn’t understand how — or why. After the events of that September, while staying with relatives, Harmon says, he decided to move a pencil that was on a table. “I put it right at the edge,” he says.
He says about these powers he had, “I stopped it. I knew right then and there I was doing no more.”
Harmon was interviewed by William G. Roll, a well-known parapsychologist with Duke University’s Parapsychology Labs.
Roll spent a few days on his investigation and concluded, “The only thing that can be said with assurance is that there is nothing in the house itself to cause the phenomena,” the newspaper reported. “The things only happened when the house was occupied.”
Roll believed that a poltergeist — literally translated from German as a “knocking spirit” — was caused by psychokinesis, an unproven psychic ability that allows individuals to move objects by the mind.
Harmon remembers that sometime later, “I remember sitting at a table and across was three guys wearing suits. I was looking at a card, ink cards with drawings with, asking what do these look like? They was waving something in my face, like a gold chain, back and forth.”
Brett believes that Harmon was being tested for causing the poltergeist activity.
She says that Harmon exhibited one explanation for a poltergeist — that of an adolescent who had experienced profound trauma.
Although there is no corroboration other than Harmon’s statements, he tells of being beaten and sexually abused by his stepdad, which is why his mother took him to stay with his great-great grandparents. He tells of the stepdad beating his mom.
The background and newspaper clips from The Virginian-Pilot were forwarded by The Times to Neil Dagnall, a “reader” at Manchester Metropolitan University in England (the equivalent of an associate professor), whose expertise is in the psychology of paranormal beliefs.
Explanations for poltergeist reports range from a kind of mass hallucination to hoaxes, he says. And then there are the few cases that get looked at and looked at, and there is no explanation, Dagnall says.
He says the poltergeist report in Portsmouth may be another such case.
After the events of 1962, Harmon’s life was one troubled step after another: juvenile correctional facility. Foster care. A stint in prison for forgery and use of stolen credit cards. Several moves around the West Coast before ending up addicted to crack and living in a homeless camp in Woodinville. In March 2009, Harmon was charged with a felony domestic violence and spent eight months in jail.
Harmon says he’s been clean and sober for seven years.
What to make of his story?
He says, “I did everything that was done in that house. I didn’t know about poltergeist at the time. I believe my life was destined to do that stuff.”
When Weird Darkness returns… Weirdo family member Julia Harrison describes the endless horrors she experienced when she bought a new home.
Strange and spooky things have been happening in a small town in Ohio. But then, you should probably expect the abnormal when you live in a place named “Helltown”. These stories are up next.
STORY: HIJINKS IN HELLTOWN=====
What is it about certain locations that causes certain strangeness to gravitate around them? What quality do they possess that should make them such magnets for tales of the weird and the paranormal? The world is littered with anomalous locations that pull around themselves tales of the paranormal like a shroud, concealing them in an impenetrable cloak of mysteries and odd tales. One such place lies in the U.S. state of Ohio, and has for many years accrued a reputation as a very spooky and haunted domain of high strangeness.
Out in the wilds of Summit County, Ohio, in the United States, is a place that was once known as Boston Mills. Wandering around this place in recent years all one could see were derelict buildings, weed-choked lots, and crumbling roads that lead to nowhere, an unkept, feral landscape full of the remnants of what once was and inhabited only by the ghosts of the past. Go back a few centuries and it was altogether something different. Once a French trading post in the 17th century, the town itself was founded in 1806, and was a rather pleasant place to be, going on to become a thriving community, for while.
In 1974, the U.S. government began a fierce campaign in the region to acquire all of the land in order to establish a park with the National Park Service. The park was to be called the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and the government began buying up property, claiming eminent domain, and more or less kicking people out left and right. Under the onslaught of the land hungry and very determined National Park Service no one would remain, sending disgruntled private land owners scattering off to other locations to leave their beloved village an abandoned husk, the boarded up houses like fossils from some other time.
And this was how it would remain for decades, a mere shell of its former self. The park never came to fruition, abandoned by the Park Service just as the homes and buildings here were left abandoned by the town folk, and Boston Mills became a forgotten place left to be reclaimed by nature. Lurking out there in the trees and with its spooky empty buildings and desolate landscape, it is perhaps not surprising that such a place should draw to it creepy stories, but the former Boston Mills would truly become a wellspring for tales of the bizarre and sinister in the years following its closure, to the point where it would eventually earn its new unofficial name, Helltown.
It is hard to tell exactly where to begin with the odyssey of strangeness at Helltown, Ohio. Not long after its abandonment it was said to have become the haunt of mysterious cultists and Satanists, who moved in to perform sacrifices and to leave their arcane graffiti all over the place. Indeed there were often reports of the carcasses of animals being found here that showed evidence of being ritualistically slaughtered. Adding to this macabre reputation as a place of sinister cultists going about their grim work are the rumors of human bodies that have been found out in the woods here in various states of dismemberment. A lot of this supposedly gravitated towards the old shell of the former church, which was said to have upside down crosses scrawled across it and is often seen to have a strange red light flickering within it. There have also been numerous claims that black masses were held at the old church, and there are persitent stories of a strange hermit who lives in the basement who will chase away trespassers.
Other rumors are related to the Satanists as well. There are supposedly several roads that pass through the area that have been mysteriously blocked off or posted with “road closed signs,” allegedly by these nefarious parties. Another legend is a supposedly haunted school bus, which once sat out rusting away on one of the unused roads. The story behind the bus is that it had once been filled with a full contingent of children, who were, depending on the version of the tale, all massacred by either a deranged serial killer or a group of the cultists said to lurk here. One commenter on the site Weird Ohio said of the bus thus:
*****There is an abandoned house in the woods there, and for years an abandoned school bus sat next to this house. The story of how the bus got back there still gives me chills every time I think of it. The bus was carrying a group of high school students who were going to one of the ski resorts near Boston. An elderly woman flagged down the bus and, in a panic, explained that there was a young boy in her house who was seriously hurt. The bus driver, attemping to help, turned down her driveway and drove into the woods, hoping to revive the boy. When the bus approached the house, Satan worshippers swarmed it and sacrificially murdered all of those aboard. The bus sat back there for over thirty years, standing as a warning to all who decided to venture into Helltown. I saw this bus many times before they removed it, and if was very real and very frightening. It is not coincidence that numerous bodies have been found dumped in the woods of Helltown. This place is truly evil, as I have seen with my own eyes.*****
The vicinity of this bus was said to be plagued by all manner of strange phenomena, like the voices of children screaming or crying, and apparitions seen of child-sized figures prowling about in the brush, or even spookier the wraith of a man holding a cigarette, said to be the spirit of the murderer himself. This rusted out hulk sat out there for decades accruing these stories and hordes of curiosity seekers looking to see the “cursed bus,” but as of the present it has apparently since been removed.
Adding to tales of murder and mayhem in the area is the old abandoned slaughterhouse said to have once existed here. The lore has it that this place was once used by a psychopathic killer who butchered his victims, and it is said that if one were to look into the windows they would see the tormented souls of the victims. In later years it has been claimed that this slaughterhouse never even existed at all, but it is a potent enough image to make it easy enough to see how it would become part of the whole, larger than life lore of this place.
Another very prevalent story orbiting Helltown is that it was once the site of a chemical spill called the the Krejci Dump spill. It was apparently caused by a crashed truck carrying toxic materials in the 1980s, and which was allegedly investigated and cleaned up by the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the tales, the spill has had a lasting impact, causing mutations in animal life, and even humans, throughout the area, which went on to be known as “Mutant Town.” The most notable of these is what is purportedly called the “Peninsula Python,” which is said to be a type of outsized snake said to roam the area to this day. Unfortunately, there is little evidence that any such chemical spill actually ever happened, but it is spooky to be sure.
There are numerous other legends about this mysterious place. Supposedly there is an abandoned house out in the woods that always has a light on in its window and is intensely haunted, by some accounts inhabited by an actual witch. Drive along one of the roads past the signs warning you away and you will apparently be trailed by a ghostly black hearse that in some accounts has only one headlight. Speaking of roads, there is another called Stanford Road, or more ominously “The End of the World,” that is said to be cursed, with an unseen force taking over your vehicle should you try to ride down it, and if you do make it to the end it is said you will be greeted by a robed group of Satanists waiting for you. Another road charmingly called “The Highway to Hell” supposedly has a demented, axe-wielding maniac that prowls its expanse looking for new victims, jumping out of the shadows to viciously kill the unwary. There is also a haunted tunnel here supposedly patrolled by the apparition of a long dead man who died in an accident here.
The cemetery of the town is of course also said to be a hotbed of activity. The graves are said to be prowled by shadowy figures and even the trees are said to move by themselves. One apparition in particular is said to sit upon a bench here and merely stare vacantly at his domain. There are also numerous reports of strange dancing lights moving about in the darkness here. Not far away is what has come to be known as “Crybaby Bridge,” which crosses the Cuyahoga river and where a baby was according to legend thrown off to its death. If you stop your car there will purportedly be a layer of dust that forms with tiny footprints etched within it. Haunted forests and houses, secret tunnels winding under it all, you name it, Helltown has it.
Thus are some of the many, many legends that have sprung up around this very odd and spooky place, but for many they are just that- legends. One very skeptical article by none other than ghost hunters sums it up nicely, with an article by James Willis on the site Ghosts of Ohio, which goes point for point shedding light on the origins for some of these tales. Yet, the stories go on, undeterred, and Helltown, Ohio has gone on to be a treasure trove of strange tales and ghostly sightings. Unfortunately, in recent times it has all mostly been demolished or rennovated in the wake of the renewed efforts to build up the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area starting from the year 2000, and the area has lost that creepy, gritty luster that once made it so remote and mysterious, wiping away most of what made these sinister legends so popular. Go there now, and there is very little to see, the past buried along with its ghosts.
Although the are is now crisscrossed by hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, there still seems to be a special allure to this spot, and it still holds about it many incredibly spooky and surreal tales. Perhaps it is all fabrication and the grip of urban legends that latched onto this once desolate and abandoned place. Perhaps it is all just crazy stories of the weird born out of our innate sense of unease when dealing with such places. Yet, whatever the case may be, the legends and stories of Helltown, Ohio, have managed to seep into the realm of the paranormal, and remain talked and discussed about to this day.
This next story comes from Weirdo family member, Julia Harrison…
I got the keys to my home in Chickenley, dewsbury which is west yorkshire December 2013. upon moving in I noticed a strange feeling that something was here. not thinking anything of it me and my son started to settle in. within a couple of months things started to get a little strange. lights would turn on and off cooker hood turn on and off by itself the stuff on top also once it turned on melting some of my clothes which I had on the top from the washing which I folded that morning. I have had voices shouting over my music which wasn’t connected to the radio it was just a CD playing in my CD player then the music stopped and a man had shouted several occasions this happened. I have had phones break laptops break TVs break all due to the LCD screen inside either just turning blank white or completely smashed without even having a mark on a scratch on the outer surface. I have had plugs charges just stopped working anything electrical just nearly all my stuff just stops working I suffered severe anxiety upon moving in this house depression to a really bad state to be honest. I’ve had really horrible nightmares so bad I wouldn’t even repeating to therapist never mind reading publicly they just absolutely horrendous which some of them have involved the devil himself. I have had my TV turn over turn off turn on music just stop playing by itself on any devices that have had in the house I had 2 sets of fingerprints left on the windowsill the next morning I’ve had things that which have caught on audio voices. A bad mood swings bad mood swings one minute I’m alright next minute I could smash the house to bits things are just gone missing I get headaches bad headaches for no reason I feel so I’ve been sick when I’ve actually walked in the house before today feeling absolutely fine before offset foot over the threshold soon as I’ve walked in ready for me some pyjamas on Chillout can’t do that because I’m upstairs toilet throwing up. I not a daft person and have managed to debunk things that still go on. But it’s trick now is scratting in a shelf of the open front cabinet in my kitchen and for where I sit is straight in front of this cabinet which has a solid back there’s never anything there. There is something seriously wrong with this whole place, chickenley i mean not just my home. I also heard that story not so long back about that guy in ossett who murdered his wife and dog after being treated by the priesthood for possession. Knowing that I’m protected by our heavenly father, there’s only one time I was extremely frightened and that was after a nightmare when my son was staying out for the night at my mums. The feeling that something or satan himself was going to come out from the depths and torture me was in every room, i honestly thought that night was my last and couldnt believe when i awoke the next morning. this house has made me ill and yes I am looking to be moving out very very soon. These horrid creatures from down there are very real and take pleasure in making life of good people very miserable.
Coming up… on a warm July night in 1919, the body of young Bella Wright was found with a bullet hole in her head. Now, more than 100 years later, the mystery of her murder is still unsolved.
Demons are notorious for possessing innocent human beings – but it doesn’t always need to be a person. Sometimes a demon can simply take up residence in your house. We’ll look at some signs to determine if that is happening in your home. These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns.
STORY: WHEN YOUR HOME HAS A DEMON=====
Ghosts might be one thing, but demons are something else entirely.
A demon is a fallen angel. A supernatural and malevolent entity that exists in many religions around the world, under different names. In the Bible, they’re described as angels who were hurled down to Earth along with Satan, whose sole purpose now is to revolt against “God’s plan” and his people.
In the New Testament, Jesus was said to have driven out many demons.
“‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’” – Matthew 8:29
Demons are mostly known to possess individuals, but there have also been many claims of demons infesting homes.
That is to say, there are stories of such events. As with most things of this nature, there are no concrete answers. Here are some of the reported causes for demonic infestation I’ve come across:
- Dealing with the occult or practicing black magic
- Using a Ouija board (read: Zozo). Some believe Ouija boards may “invite” negative entities into our world. This is the reason many warn against using them at all.
- Summoning a demon. Yes, people attempt this sometimes, and it does what it says on the box, if stories are to be believed. Probably not something you should try at home.
- Negative energy. Overwhelming stress, anger, and other negative human emotions may catch the attention of a demon and perhaps allow it an easy route into your life.
Those might be reasons why a demon would decide to bunk with you, but let’s take a look at some of the common symptoms of a demonic infestation. The things you should, perhaps, look out for.
Strange Noises: They aren’t like the clanging chains and soft whispers in horror movies. The sound of a demon is said to be guttural, a harsh growling unlike anything an ordinary animal would produce. This may occur in specific spots, such as closets or hallways. You may even hear strained words over your shoulder, asking you questions, or threatening you in some way. Other sounds may occur, as well, including banging, or stomping, and scratching on walls.
Scared Animals: Many believe animals can see ghosts, your pets included. When a dog starts barking at empty air, he or she may have witnessed a passing spirit. But you also have those cases when the animal is afraid – terrified, even – growling at an unseen force hidden from human eyes. Your pet may begin acting aggressively for no apparent reason, and there are even some cases in which a pet has reportedly fallen ill during a demonic attack. In his book True Tales of the Ouija Board, Stephen Wagner relates one such incident, during which a group of girls were “playing” with a Ouija board. All was well, until they contacted a spirit that unexpectedly mentioned their dogs. When they asked the spirit what it meant, it simply replied, “You’ll see.” Not long after, the girls heard their dogs screaming outside. They later found a mysterious burn mark on one of them.
Mysterious Shadows: The presence of “shadow people” may be a sign that a demon lurks nearby. In some cases, the shadows take humanoid forms, but they’ve also appeared as animals, or even simple amorphous blobs that don’t resemble anything at all. One case of a potential demon involving a shadow person was reported by a Reddit user several months ago. While sleeping one night at her grandparents’ house, during a sleepover when she was very young, the witness was shocked awake, only to glimpse a dark silhouette in a chair on the other side of the room. It was awkwardly positioned, sideways, with its arms holding its legs up to its chest. Having been taught a little about Christianity by her parents, at first she thought it could be Jesus, or some other positive entity. But just as she thought that name, the shadowy figure lurched up out of the chair – faster than anything humanly could – and approached her. The figure watched her, and then began doing something very odd, indeed: It started scratching at its own calves, tearing at its own flesh. If it even had any. The witness tried to calm down, and eventually fell asleep, if that’s what it was. It was like time had warped in some way. She woke up the next morning, but not before she felt a strange breath upon her ear…
Demonic Nightmares: Dreams are interesting things. They can tell us a lot about who we are, and what our subconscious minds are really thinking. They can also, perhaps, act as windows into a world just beyond our own. But that’s not always a world we want to enter. Many have reported having strange and terrible dreams that accompany the unexplained activity in their homes during a haunting, particularly those involving demons. About a year ago, for example, another Reddit userposted his experience with what he believed was such a demon. It was in early October, and he’d just gone to sleep after a very tiring day. That’s when he had what he described as “the worst dream [he] would ever experience in [his] life.” It involved something indiscernible but horrifying. It hovered over his bed, glaring down at him with a “disgusted look,” whispering something he couldn’t quite make out. The dream ended with him waking up hours later, exhausted and sweating. He went out for a walk to clear his head. But when he returned, he found his door wide open – and that was only the beginning of his demonic experience. He’d go on to witness many of the signs on this list: the loud bangs, the shadows, and even two red eyes staring at him in the darkness.
Damage to Religious Symbols: Demons don’t take kindly to holy symbols. They may attempt to destroy crucifixes, Bibles, rosaries, or other religious artifacts. Anything that could act as a threat against their presence.
A Foul Stench: One of the most common signs of a demon infestation is a terrible, putrid smell. The scent of decomposition, or rotting eggs (sulfur). The scent of death. One idea I’ve come upon is that the sulfur smell is actually a reaction demons, or other negative entities, have to divinity. This smell occurs, some say, when the demon is upset, or when the area they are inhabiting has been blessed or cleansed.
A Streak of Bad Luck: Parasitic, or negative entities, may latch onto people, draining them of their energy. They’re said to cause all sorts of unexplained symptoms, including drained emotions, mood swings…and bad luck. Accidents may occur frequently, but there may be more to this seeming pattern of bad luck than meets the eye. A demonic attachment may be at fault.
Friendly Visitations: Demons are deceptive. One of the main reasons people warn others against the use of a Ouija board is that oftentimes, they believe, any spirits that appear “friendly,” or are claiming to be deceased family members, are very likely demons lying to you. They’re telling you what you want to hear, making it easier to take control. This can be seen in reports of the demon Zozo, a fiend that seemingly enjoys pretending to be familiar spirits contacting users of the Ouija board. But sooner or later, the Ouija Demon reveals itself as the malevolent force it is, causing havoc in the lives of anyone who dares test it.
Physical and Psychological Disturbances: Have you ever been scratched by an otherworldly force? A spiritual attack is said to occur when the victim experiences scratches, bite marks, and other wounds without any ordinary explanation. They may happen anywhere on the body, or even on objects around the house – tiny, mysterious scratches that seem to defy all rationality. In the case of a demon, like the aforementioned knocking, three scratch or claw marks are said toserve as a mockery of the Holy Trinity. But scratches aren’t the only sign of a demon: A person may feel odd sensations, like he or she is being watched. Feelings of unease, or even outright nausea and other forms of illness, have also been reported. The goal, it would seem, is to wear a person down to make possession easier.
Demonic Possession: Demonic possession is a topic in and of itself, but suffice it to say, a demon’s presence in a home, or attachment to an object, may very well be a precursor to the full-on possession of a human. That may in fact be the entire purpose, what the demon wanted from the very beginning. A vessel. In the famous (or infamous) story of Annabelle, when Ed and Lorraine Warren first visited the two women and their curious Raggedy Ann doll, they say they knew immediately what they were dealing with: a demonic attachment. The demon was only pretending to be the spirit of a young girl attached to the doll, but in reality it was attempting to be welcomed and accepted into their lives, after which it planned to possess one of them. The Warrens refer to this process as “Invitation, Obsession, Infestation, Oppression, and Possession.”
STORY: GREEN BICYCLE=====
On the warm summer night of July 5, 1919, the body of 21-year old Bella Wright was found on a little-traveled road in Little Stretton, England, a small township near Leicester. Her bike was nearby, and there was a bullet wound in her head. She had last been seen by her uncle earlier that evening, with a “man with a green bicycle.” This man would later be identified as Ronald Light, a 34-year old World War I veteran.
Bella was a young woman of the working class, the first of seven children of an illiterate farmhand and his wife. She went to school until she was 12, and then transitioned to working in order to help her family, first as a domestic servant, and then as a factory worker. She typically stayed close, riding her bicycle the five miles between work and home.
On the night of her murder, the young woman had been traveling to see her uncle, George Measure, when her front bicycle tire came loose. A passing stranger—now known to be Light—stopped to help her and, when he did not have the necessary tools for the job, offered to accompany her on her way. They arrived together at Measure’s house; the uncle would later describe Light as “unnerving.” But, once the bike was fixed, his niece and the seemingly helpful stranger rode off together. The time was approximately 8:50 P.M.
Just half an hour later, at 9:20 P.M., local farmer named Joseph Cowell happened upon Bella’s overturned bike—and her motionless body—on the quiet country lane. He immediately called for help, summoning both the local doctor and police constable Alfred Hall. It was, of course, too late for the doctor’s services, and his candle-lit “autopsy” of the body pronounced her dead from a bicycle accident. Police constable Hall, however, wasn’t so sure.
In the morning, he returned to the nearby church, where Bella’s body had been moved, to more closely examine the results of her “accident.” Wiping blood and matted hair away from her face, he saw the clear mark of a bullet wound and knew, suddenly, that her death had been a murder. A trip back to the site where her body was found revealed a .45 caliber bullet, confirming his suspicions.
The story quickly spread, as did George Measure’s description of the mysterious man and his bicycle with unusually shaped handlebars. A poster was made, and all were told to be on the lookout for either the described man or, notably, his green bicycle.
It wasn’t until February of the following year that any progress was made on the matter. It was at this point that, in a serendipitous accident, the tow-rope of a coal barge snagged an important piece of debris from the bottom of the River Soar. It was the frame of the green bicycle. The remaining bits were hauled up as well, and investigators were able to identify the bicycle—despite it being dismantled, with many of the serial numbers shaved off—as belonging to one Ronald Light. Later, a laborer by the name of Samuel Holland would come forward, stating that he saw Light dismantle the bike and toss it into the river, piece by piece, from the Upperton Road Bridge in Leicester.
Also pulled from the same river? An Army-issued pistol holster, and .45 caliber bullets, matching the bullet at the scene of the crime.
Light was arrested on March 4, 1920. He claimed he was innocent of Bella’s murder. He admitted he had been with her on the night of her death, but that he had split ways with her upon leaving her uncle’s home. He cited his ailing mother as the reason that he had not come forward as being “the man with the green bicycle,” and for having attempted to dispose of that evidence. He even admitted to being the owner of the found holster, as well as having owned a revolver.
In short, he admitted to everything: except for the actual murder.
At his trial that summer, Light appeared to be quite the gentleman; the facts presented against him, however, painted a different story. Along with all of the evidence to which he had admitted, it was found that Light had also had several “incidences” in the past, including run-ins with the law. He had been fired from a number of positions; had a seemingly unhealthy fascination with fire, having attempted to light offices and a row of hay stacks; and had been accused of “inappropriate” conduct towards girls and young women over a number of years and in a variety of settings. In every incident, no charges were brought against Light.
Despite this damning information, Light’s strategic lawyer, Sir Edward Marshall-Hall—who, coincidentally, would earn the nickname “the great defender” from his successful representation of people accused of horrendous murders—presented his client as a trustworthy teacher, army man, and community member. He also offered the court a story which excluded Light from having any murderous motive. The young woman, so Sir Edward suggested, had likely been shot accidentally from at a great distance, not close-range as Light was accused.
It seemed like an obvious conviction, but Light’s professional and calm demeanor, combined with the theory that a close-range shot would have more grotesquely disfigured the victim’s face, provided the jury with enough reason to acquit the man. Light walked free, and Bella’s family and community were left wondering what happened during the last half hour of her life.
Almost 100 years later, the case remains unsolved. After his acquittal, Light moved away, changed his name, and married. He lived a quiet life, dying in 1975 at the age of 89.
When Weird Darkness returns… the bloodstain remains on the floor to this day—and several witnesses have claimed to see a black mist materialize from the spot and glide through the house. We’ll look at what could be the most haunted home in Philadelphia.
The legendary paranormal researcher, Harry Price was the first to go ghost hunting in the infamous Borley Rectory. But some think there is more mystery to the man himself than to anything he chose to investigate.
These stories are up next.
Standing at 5267 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia is a nondescript building with an otherworldly reputation.
In a city with so many historic landmarks, the oddly-named Grumblethorpe (said to come from a novel about a German family in England) looks like nothing more than another stone colonial structure. But tales of its spectral happenings go back over two and half centuries and continue to this day.
Grumblethorpe was built in 1744 as the summer home of John Wister (originally Wistar, but later anglicized with an e). Wister was a wine merchant in the city, and his family was prominent in Philadelphia. John’s brother, Casper, was a German-born glassmaker and one of the first German colonists in Pennsylvania. The Wisters would also become the namesake of the Wisteria plant.
Indeed, their horticultural interests were great. Grumblethorpe included several acres of plant and flower beds, and a looming Ginkgo tree which still stands. The tree is said to have grown from a seedling brought from England in 1754.
Thirty years after it was completed, Grumblethorpe became the home and headquarters of British Brigadier-General James Agnew, who was still recuperating from wounds sustained in the Battle of Brandywine. A few days after Agnew took up residence, the Battle of Germantown raged on October 4, 1777. Agnew rode into battle without support and was promptly ambushed by over 100 enemy troops. As he turned to escape, he was shot in the back. Agnew’s soldiers and his servant Alexander Andrew carried the mortally wounded leader away; they took him back to Grumblethorpe, where he bled to death on the wooden floor.
James Agnew reportedly haunts the home. The bloodstain of his death still remains on the floor of Grumblethorpe, and several witnesses have claimed to see a black mist rise from the spot and move throughout the house. Others remember standing on the spot and subsequently hearing the sound of moaning—especially on the anniversary of Agnew’s death.
But Agnew isn’t the only ethereal guest of the old house.
There’s another ghost, referred to as Justinia Hemberger. According to legend, Justinia’s father Justin died in the 1793 Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic. She was orphaned, but taken in by the Wisters before she could be displaced. She soon became the house manager. One of Justinia’s favorite pastimes was baking bread; she did so every Friday night for the purpose of distributing it to the poor on Saturday mornings.
Then late one evening in 1820, Justinia appeared to John Wister’s daughters in their bedroom. Believing that Justinia was at their other home on Market Street several miles away, the girls were a bit startled by her sudden presence. The following morning, the Wister family learned that Justinia had passed away the night before.
Ever since her death, people have insisted that her spirit lingers in Grumblethorpe and is most often seen on Friday evenings after sunset, usually accompanied by the smell of freshly baked bread. She is a friendly presence and has also been seen by many children who visit the house with their parents.
Aside from visitors, staff members at Grumblethorpe have had paranormal experiences that defy explanation. Education Director Diana Thompson recalled seeing a “black shape, low to the ground, spinning very quickly from the dining room into the Colonial parlor.” Thompson then said “I’m not in the mood for this,” after which the shape disappeared. Thompson’s son also saw the same black shape. Its description matched the entity seen near James Agnew’s blood spot.
Other staff members have claimed to see figures or eyes in the dining room mirror. Some young volunteers have admitted that their parents are too afraid to pick them up at Grumblethorpe. Volunteer Kelli Alsop recalled a particularly unnerving experience in an upstairs room. Walking through the room with two other staff members during the middle of the day, Kelli noticed their shadows cast on the floor. But she also noticed a fourth shadow that didn’t belong to anyone in the room—one that was clearly wearing a dress when everyone else was in jeans.
Despite the eerie occurrences, those who work at Grumblethorpe do not feel threatened. To the contrary, workers have learned to coexist with their otherworldly guests. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. It now operates as a museum and is open to the public.
STORY: HARRY PRICE=====
They called it “the most haunted house in England.” The Borley Rectory was a dark, Victorian manse in the sleepy Essex parish of Borley. Built in 1862 by Reverend Henry Bull, the estate was beset by reports of the supernatural until its demise in 1944. Borley Rectory’s paranormal activity frequently made headlines thanks to famed paranormal investigator Harry Price.
There is as much that’s a mystery about Harry Price, perhaps England’s most famous—or infamous—ghost hunter, as there is quantifiable fact. Some of this confusion is due to Price’s own dissembling. For instance, though Price claimed that he was born in Shropshire in 1881, he was actually born in London of that year.
Whatever the truth of his origins, Price left behind a legacy that will be familiar even to many who have never heard his name. Fans of films of the paranormal or readers of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy have likely encountered fictionalized accounts of several of Price’s cases.
An amateur magician and psychic researcher, Price dedicated most of his life to studying paranormal phenomena and debunking Spiritualists. The latter practice made him none-too-popular with many of the believers of that movement, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. After Price debunked “spirit photographer” William Hope, Doyle led a mass resignation of 84 members of the Society for Psychical Research and continued to hound Price for years.
Unlike many magicians, however, Price was actually open to the possibilities of the paranormal and believed that some spirit mediums were genuinely legitimate. This, among other things, put him at odds with some other members of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), which he joined in 1920. Price was also a member of the Magic Circle, an organization of stage magicians, The Ghost Club, arguably the oldest paranormal research organization in the world, and the founder of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research, which he founded as a rival to the SPR.
Some of Price’s most famous cases include his investigation of the medium Helen Duncan and a “black magic” experiment atop Mount Brocken in Germany in which an attempt was made to transform a goat into a young man. Price claimed that he participated in the experiment, known as the “Bloksberg Tryst,” “only to prove the fallacy of transcendental magic.”
Price also investigated Gef the Talking Mongoose in the 1930s. Gef supposedly inhabited the farmhouse of the Irving family on the Isle of Man, though Price’s investigations alleged that the hair and paw prints of the mongoose were actually from a dog, and that the talking was produced by hollow walls in the house, which “makes the whole house one great speaking-tube, with walls like sounding boards.”
In 1927, Price claimed that he had come into possession of a box left behind by self-styled religious prophetess Joanna Southcott, which she had left behind after her death in 1814. Along with the box, Southcott had left instructions that it should be opened “at a time of national crisis,” and only in the presence of every bishop of the Church of England. Price opened the box—in the presence of only the reluctant Bishop of Grantham—and found that it contained only a few odds and ends, including a lottery ticket and a horse-pistol.
Followers of Southcott—known as Southcottians—maintain that the box Price opened was a fraud. As recently as the 1970s, a Southcottian group called the Panacea Society claimed to be in possession of the actual box and placed advertising campaigns that pushed to have the box opened under the conditions set forth by Joanna Southcott.
Price’s most famous case was his study of Borley Rectory, which he called “the most haunted house in England.”
The first ghostly sighting associated with the Borley Rectory, which was erected on top of an old monastery, occurred in 1863. Townsfolk attributed it to a nun from a nearby town who had fallen in love with a monk. Local lore had it that they were caught trying to elope and the monk was executed, while the nun was boarded up in the cellar to die.
On July 28, 1900 four of Reverend Bull’s daughters reported seeing the ghost of the nun gliding across the estate—the first of several encounters. Sightings grew stranger for the Bull family, and included a coach driven by headless horsemen racing down the property.
When Reverend Henry Bull died in 1892, his son Harry, also a Reverend, took over the rectory until his own death on June 9, 1928.
A new man of the cloth moved in a few months later. Reverend Eric Smith and his wife experienced ghostly lights and bells, spectral footsteps, and Mrs. Smith even found a skull wrapped in a paper bag while cleaning out the kitchen. All this prompted the couple to contact the Daily Mirror in an attempt to reach the Society for Psychical Research. The “Tales of Headless Coachmen and a Lonely Nun” made the paper on June 10, 1929 and two days later a soon-to-be famous paranormal researcher named Harry Price visited the home to investigate.
At the same time, other researchers began to investigate the claims made by Price and Marianne. Some speculated that the reports were falsified to cover up Marianne’s infidelity, and it later came to light that the reverend’s wife was having an affair with a boarder named Frank Pearless. The Foyster family’s tenure at Borley Rectory lasted until 1935.
With the mansion unoccupied, Price decided to rent the home for one year so that he could continue his investigations uninterrupted. Through an ad in the Times he found nearly 50 willing participants who would live in the dwelling and document their findings.
Price’s studies at Borley Rectory advanced his career and solidified his reputation as a preeminent researcher in the paranormal community. He came up with the idea of a ghost hunter’s kit, which included tape measures to gage the thickness of walls, cameras to capture proof, portable phones to facilitate communication between multiple researchers, and remote controlled equipment so he could record activity from a distance.
Out of this year-long research, séances were performed and two ghosts were discovered by the team. The first was a French nun who was identified as Marie. It was she who was buried alive and who pleaded for help through messages on the wall. The second ghost had a foreboding message. Sunex Amures warned that he would set fire to the rectory on March 27, 1938 and that the remains of a murdered individual would be revealed.
Price concluded his research and left the mansion shortly thereafter.
In 1939, the rectory’s new owner knocked over an oil lamp while unpacking boxes, resulting in a fire that gutted the building. The insurance company would later conclude that the fire was deliberately set. During the blaze, a woman who lived nearby said she saw the figure of a ghostly nun in an upstairs window (and demanded money from Harry Price for her story).
Price returned to Borley to sort through the wreckage. In 1943 he announced that he had unearthed the bones of a young woman.
Price held up the bones as conclusive proof of the ghostly nun. By this time, however, locals and the paranormal research community had grown skeptical of Price.
The bones were eventually given proper burial, though not in the parish of Borley, where local opinion held that they were the bones of a pig. Instead, Price went to a nearby town to do the deed.
After Price’s death in 1948, the SPR conducted their own study investigating Price’s claims about Borley Rectory. In what came to be called the “Borley Report,” the SPR concluded that Price had faked many of the phenomena or that they were due to natural causes. Meanwhile, psychic researcher John L. Randall claimed that “dirty tricks” had been played on Price by members of the SPR during his residence at Borley.
Whatever the truth of Price’s life and cases, perhaps the greatest legacy he left to the world of paranormal research was his extensive collection of writings on magic and psychic phenomena, which make up the Harry Price Archives at the University of London as well as the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature, housed at the Senate House Library.
Our final story is a short one from Weirdo family member Darren – here is his story…
Many years back I worked security work in Sydney Australia. As often happens you do a lot night work, along with the late hours and strange people at that time, comes the other worldly. I worked with a fellow guard and we got to discussing the buildings resident. After explaining that story to him, he then opened up about his time at the State Library of New South Wales. He told me of the night New Years Eve 2000, when sitting in the control room, he and another guard noticed a rather attractive young woman in period dress. Crossing the main yard. Which was gated and closed to the public. So they radioed the guard on patrol and dispatched him to the area to escort her out and to check the main gates were secured. As they watched the guard came in to view on the left monitor while the young woman was still moving across the other monitor as they followed her camera to camera. As the patrol guard approached he radioed in asking where the woman was and were they playing games, as he couldn’t see her. The control room radioed back stating that she was right in front of him and counted down the distance, t meters, 4 meters, 3 and so on. Then the guard says “you are kidding me, there’s no one……” then goes holly that got cold what in the.. as the my partner reiterated that he and the other guard with him watched the two walk right.through each other. Well that guard ran back to the office and dropped his radio and keys off and quit that night.
Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! And please leave a rating and review of the show in the podcast app you listen from – doing so helps the show to get noticed! You can also email me anytime with your questions or comments through the website at WeirdDarkness.com. That’s also where you can find all of my social media, listen to free audiobooks, shop the Weird Darkness store, sign up for the newsletter to win monthly prizes, find my other podcast “Church of the Undead”, and more. Plus if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY at WeirdDarkness.com.
All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true (unless stated otherwise) and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.
“The Man With The Green Bicycle” by Elisabeth Tilstra:
“The Haunting of Grumblethorpe” by Gary Sweeney
“The Mysterious Ghost Hunter, Harry Price”: Orrin Grey and Stephanie Almazan
“More Than Just Books In The Library” by Weirdo family member, Darren (no last name given)
“Are You Dreaming This Man” from Beyond Science
“The Terrifying Dolls That Appeared From Nowhere” by Paul Seaburn
“Haunted By His Paranormal Past” by Erik Lacitis
“Hijinks in Helltown” by Brent Swancer
“It Began When They Gave Me The House Key” by Weirdo family member Julia Harrison
“When Your Home Has a Demon” by Rob Schwarz
Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?” — Proverbs 17:16
And a final thought… “Don’t Judge. Everyone has their challenges in life that you know nothing about.” – Unknown
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.