“THE HORROR BEFORE AMITYVILLE” and More True Scary Stories plus some Horror Fiction! #WeirdDarkness

“THE HORROR BEFORE AMITYVILLE” and More True Scary Stories plus some Horror Fiction! #WeirdDarkness

Listen to ““THE HORROR BEFORE AMITYVILLE” and More True Scary Stories plus some Horror Fiction! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.

IN THIS EPISODE: Was there another gunman in the notorious Amityville House murders? (The Defeo Family Massacre) *** We’ve all heard of the Headless Horseman – but Sleepy Hollow’s lesser-known ghost will terrify you all the more. (The Bronze Lady of Sleepy Hollow) *** Theodore Roosevelt was so tough, that during one of his speeches he was shot in the chest – but still kept going until his speech was over. And then there was Alice, his daughter – who may have been even tougher than Teddy! (A Bullet And a Voodoo Doll) *** An icy cold hand caresses a girl in the middle of the night. (A Comfort) *** For most people, spotting a UFO would be considered extremely unusual, but for two Ohio women, seeing a UFO was the least surprising part of their experience. (UFOs And Time Distortions) *** AND A WHOLE LOT MORE!

“The Defeo Family Massacre” posted at The UnRedacted: https://tinyurl.com/uuc9r6c
“The Bronze Lady of Sleepy Hollow” by Jessica Ferri for The Line Up: http://ow.ly/fmVz30mX4TL
“A Bullet And A Voodoo Doll” by Troy Taylor for American Hauntings Ink: https://tinyurl.com/v8v8q7f
“A Comfort” by Lady Madonna, posted at YourGhostStories.com: https://tinyurl.com/yx4y7xvz
“UFOs and Time Distortions” by Tim Swartz at UFO Review: https://tinyurl.com/w4plgq2
The original horror short story, “I Was Born With Superhuman Abilities” by Alayne Winters – posted at Creepypasta.com: https://tinyurl.com/rlxl9lr
“Leaving the Hospital” by Weirdo family member, Louise Latham – submitted directly to Weird Darkness
“To the Moon and Back” submitted anonymously to Weird Darkness
The fictional story, “Don’t Let This Be You” by Hikari Shimizu – posted at Creepypasta.com:https://tinyurl.com/r42rmmm
“Grandma’s House” by Weirdo family member, Rachel West – submitted directly to Weird Darkness
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music Library.
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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
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Originally aired: November, 2018


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The iconic Dutch Colonial style building at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, is best known today for the extraordinary account of a haunting at the house in 1976. The Amityville Horror, as it was soon known, became one of the most famous incidents of paranormal activity ever recorded. It would inspire a book and a successful series of Hollywood films. The account of the young Lutz family being tormented by demonic pigs, plagues of flies and green slime oozing from the walls terrified readers and moviegoers, all the more so because it was labelled as a true story. One surprisingly little-known fact about the Amityville Horror is that it was an admitted hoax. George Lutz and his wife Kathy invented the haunting with the help of lawyer and literary agent William Weber. But the paranormal version obscures a very real horror, one far more frightening and mysterious than the fanciful tales of poltergeists Hollywood gave the world. Because in the same house, less than 2 years earlier, one of the strangest and most baffling mass murders in recent history occurred. And the true events may not be the story you are familiar with.
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…

We’ve all heard of the Headless Horseman – but Sleepy Hollow’s lesser-known ghost will terrify you all the more. (The Bronze Lady of Sleepy Hollow)

Theodore Roosevelt was so tough, that during one of his speeches he was shot in the chest – but still kept going until his speech was over. And then there was Alice, his daughter – who may have been even tougher than Teddy! (A Bullet And a Voodoo Doll)

An icy cold hand caresses a girl in the middle of the night. (A Comfort)

For most people, spotting a UFO would be considered extremely unusual, but for two Ohio women, seeing a UFO was the least surprising part of their experience. (UFOs And Time Distortions)

These stories and many others in this episode of Weird Darkness!

But first… was there another gunman in the notorious Amityville House murders? We begin with that story. (The Defeo Family Massacre)

If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, my newsletter, enter contests, to connect with me on social media, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re struggling with depression or dark thoughts. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.

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

The first sign that something was terribly wrong in the picturesque Suffolk County coastal village of Amityville came at around 6:30pm, when a frantic local resident named Ronnie ‘Butch’ Defeo Jr, burst into Henry’s Bar with a shocking story — “You got to help me!”, he yelled. “I think my mother and father are shot!”
Several of the bar’s patrons immediately rushed to the house, where they were hit with the stench of death. Defeo’s mother and father were both shot in their beds, worst still, four of their children had been slaughtered as well.
One of the men, Joe Yeswit, called the Suffolk County police with the awful news. On their arrival, a search of the house confirmed the worst — every member of the Defeo family, save for Butch, were dead.
The victims were Ronald DeFeo Sr, 43, Louise DeFeo, 42 and four of their children — Dawn, 18, Allison, 13, Marc, 12 and John Matthew, 9.
Each of them had been shot execution style, at close range as they slept, and all 6 were found laying in their beds face down on their stomachs.
As police trawled the house, the lone survivor, Butch Defeo, cut a forlorn figure outside, refusing to go inside. Defeo mentioned to officers that he felt a mob hit-man was responsible for the killings, a suggestion taken seriously because of the methodical way the family seemed to have been killed.
Defeo was taken into police custody for his own protection but didn’t stick to his mob story for very long. Within 24 hours the surviving Defeo had made a shocking confession — he had murdered his entire family himself.
“Once I started, I just couldn’t stop. It went so fast.” Defeo told stunned detectives. After the murders, he admitted, he took a shower, changed his clothes and disposed of the murder weapon.
With a full confession, the subsequent investigation seemed straight forward. At around 3:15 am on November 13, Butch Defeo had awoken, and for reasons that may forever remain unclear, took a .35 caliber Marlin rifle and systematically shot all 6 members of his family.
But even some of the detectives, keen to quickly wrap up their biggest ever murder case, could see there was something very wrong with this story.
How had Butch shot 6 people in 4 different rooms without any of them waking up? How had no neighbours heard the rifle blasts? If everyone was shot in bed, how had blood splatter got on the floor and a dresser?
Many had begun to feel Butch could not have acted alone. Unburnt gunshot residue on Defeo’s sister Dawn even indicated she might have been involved.
Were there other gunmen in the Defeo family massacre?
At the subsequent trial, Ronald Defeo Jr proved to be a terrible witness. His story constantly changed and his erratic and strange behaviour alienated him to everyone. He even threatened to kill the judge and his own lawyer.
On November 21, 1975, he was found guilty on 6 counts of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 6 concurrent 25-year sentences, although he is unlikely to ever be released. But despite the conviction, it was clear there was a serious problem with the official story.
The court had determined that Defeo had acted alone, killing all 6 members of his family with a .35 gauge Marlin rifle. Defeo had supposedly shot each victim as they slept, and both prosecution and defence agreed he had not used a silencer.
How had Defeo committed the shooting alone without any of his family waking up? Defence experts had conducted an experiment on the Marlin rifle and found its report was so loud that it could be heard almost a mile away.
According to the autopsy and ballistic reports, each victim was shot as they were found, face down in their beds. It seemed none of them had been awoken by the shots, and none had put up any kind of struggle or tried to hide or flee the scene.
Ken Greguski, the former Amityville police chief, was one of the first law enforcement professionals at the scene. To this day he finds it hard to believe Defeo could have committed the shootings without any members of his family waking — “Why someone wasn’t able to get out of that house is beyond belief”, he later said.
What made this particularly inexplicable was the locations of the 6 bodies strongly suggested Defo could not have committed the shootings so rapidly that nobody had time to react.
In fact, Defeo had fired a total of 8 ear-shredding shots, estimated to be 140 decibels each, in 4 different rooms of the sprawling house, across 2 different floors. And yet it seems he had not disturbed anyone.
Nor did any neighbours hear the shots. 112 Ocean Avenue was not an isolated property, it was surrounded quite closely be other homes. When police interviewed the residents, nobody reported hearing anything except the barking of the Defeo family dog.
Dr Howard Adelman, deputy chief medical examiner of Suffolk County, was present at the crime scene and personally conducted the autopsies on the Defeo family. He testified at the trial that he felt it was impossible one person could have committed the crimes.
“Even if they were sleeping the report of the weapon that was used is supposed to be so loud that it would have, so to speak, awakened the dead”, he said. And neither had any of the victims been drugged.
“We did extensive toxicology not only on the blood and urine but on all of the organs that we removed and it turned up zero that there wasn’t anything in their body”, Adelman explained.
The idea that Butch Defeo had committed the crimes on his own was becoming increasingly untenable. Even the man who secured Defeo’s 25-to-life prison sentence for the crimes, prosecutor Gerard Sullivan, long suspected that other shooters were involved.
“I wonder about the questions that were never answered. Did any of the victims wake up? If so, why didn’t any of them defend themselves? Why were all six found face down in death? Why didn’t’ anyone hear the shots?”, he wrote in his book High Hopes in 1981.
If then, as seemed likely, Defeo hadn’t acted alone. Who had helped him commit this horrifying crime?
Several investigators and authors have suggested Butch Defeo’s oldest sister Dawn played some part in the shootings.
The first 5 victims were on the 2nd floor of the Defeo house. Ronald Snr and mother Louise Defeo were both shot twice in the master bedroom. Moving across to the other side of the house, the gunman then shot the 2 boys, Marc and John.
Completing the 2nd floor shootings, 13 year old Alison Defeo was shot once in the head. That’s a total of 7 shots, at 140 decibels each, before the gunman even started to ascend the stairs to Dawn Defeo’s 3rd floor bedroom.
It is, therefore, unthinkable that Dawn, entirely unsedated or drugged, would not already have been alerted to a gunman before they had even arrived on the 3rd floor. Yet as we have seen, she appeared to be peacefully asleep, face down in her bed, having made no attempt to escape, defend herself or hide.
Had Dawn, as some suspected, actually participated in the shooting herself, only to then be shot by her brother and placed in her bed?
Although Butch Defeo is notorious for the sheer number of contradictory stories he has told about the murders over the years, one of his more consistent accounts is, indeed, that Dawn took part in the killings.
In most versions of his story, he has claimed responsibility for the murder of his mother and father and showed little remorse for them. But he has often blamed Dawn for killing the families children — Marc, John and Allison. After discovering what she had done, Defeo says he then killed Dawn after a struggle with the rifle.
Some evidence does exist to tentatively support this scenario. Dawn seems to have been killed somewhere other than her bed and placed there after he death.
Crime scene investigators discovered that Dawn had suffered a huge head wound, and that brain matter and blood was on her pillow, bedclothes and nightgown. Yet her white headboard, just inches from her head, was pristine. The lack of blood splatter was strongly indicative that she had been shot somewhere else.
Blood splatter was also found on a dresser and floorboards in the house, again demonstrating the possibility at least some of the shootings had occurred away from the beds.
Some investigators have speculated that unburnt gunshot residue found on Dawn’s body indicate she may have handled a firearm or ammunition, although the prosecution expert at the trial, Alfred Della Penna, thought this could have occurred as a result of the muzzle flash when Dawn was shot.
Rick Moran, amongst the first group of reports at the scene the night the bodies were discovered, has studied the Defeo murders for more than 30 years. He is sure that Dawn was involved in some way.
Moran cites one of Butch Defeo’s strangest claims amongst his many conflicting statements as evidence. Defeo has said several times that on the night of the shootings he was watching TV in a drug induced haze when a strange black hooded figure came to him and handed him a rifle, and urged him to commit the murders.
Moran thinks this figure could have been Dawn. According to the reporter, Dawn was often spotted by neighbours wearing a black snorkel style coat, which may have led a heavily stoned Butch to mistake her for the sinister figure.
Although clearly highly anecdotal, Moran says one of his contacts at the Drug Enforcement Agency backs up the story. He had told Moran that someone from the DEA actually had the house under surveillance the night of the murders, due to a suspicion that Butch had been smuggling drugs in his speedboat.
This DEA agent had supposedly observed Dawn in her black coat leaving the house with a rifle, getting into a car and driving off in the direction the firearm was subsequently found by the police.
If Dawn and Butch plotted the murders together, could Butch’s incapacity due to heavy drug use have spurred Dawn to commit them herself? And once Butch had come down, had he shot Dawn after the horror of what she had done dawned on him?
On the face of it this scenario seems far-fetched. But it does help explain many of the puzzling and intractable issues with the crime scene. And evidence from the trial indicates Dawn’s mindset may have been disturbed enough to make her taking such extreme actions seem at least plausible.
Dawn’s boyfriend William Davidge stated to the court that Dawn was a habitual user of LSD and mescaline and had recently started to become extremely hostile towards her parents because they had refused to allow her to live with him.
The Defeo family were by all accounts dysfunction and troubled, and Ronald Defeo Snr was reported to be particularly violent, controlling and abusive to both his wife and children, all commonly cited factors in parenticide.
Butch Defeo has given several different versions of the murders in which people other than Dawn Defeo were part of the conspiracy, but with little or no evidence to support them, Dawn remains the most likely candidate for an extra shooter.
In the hours following the shooting, when police interviewed local Amityville residents, many told the detectives they felt Butch Defeo was responsible.
Considering the reputation Defeo had developed in the sleepy community, it was not so surprising that residents immediately felt he had committed the atrocity. Over the years, he was continually in trouble for his thuggish and erratic behaviour, theft and drug abuse.
During the run up to the murders, Defeo’s drug taking had become particularly acute. By his own admission, he was consuming huge amounts of heroin and marijuana and drinking a bottle of scotch every day, despite already been on probation for drug crimes at the time.
His violence was also spiralling out of control. At the trial, much testimony was offered for Defeo’s temper and obsession with guns. One witness recalled how Defeo had held a shotgun up at the head of a young man during a hunting party, and watched stony-faced as the man turned white with fear.
On another occasion, Defeo has held a 12 gauge shotgun up against his father’s head during an argument and even pulled the trigger. The shotgun failed to fire and Defeo Snr reportedly found religion soon afterwards.
Psychologists subsequently diagnosed Butch as having anti-social personality disorder, displaying little or no empathy for other people. Some speculated that Defeo’s many different accounts of the murders were attempts to shift blame for the deaths of his siblings to anyone but himself.
Whilst Defoe showed no feelings for his mother and detested his father, he would always become agitated and upset when talking about the deaths of his brothers and little sister. If he could successfully convince others and perhaps even himself that someone else had killed the children, it may have helped to assuage his own guilt about the murders.
One of the major problems with the multiple gunmen scenario is the testimony of the prosecution’s ballistics experts who stated all of the wounds to the 6 victims were made with the same firearm.
A study of the wounds to the Defoe family, and the expended cartridges found at the crime scene indicated 8 shots had been fired. All 8 shell casing were found and forensically linked to the .35 caliber Marlin rifle found by police thrown in the dock directly behind the house.
Although Herman Race, an experienced criminologist hired by the defence, disputed this ballistic evidence, it seemed quite conclusive. But it did little to reconcile the enduring and seemingly intractable contradictions in the case.
To this day, no truly satisfactory account of what happened has ever been offered. Butch Defeo is no help, seemingly lost in his own miasma of lies and delusions, and everyone else who was there is dead.
All we know for sure is that 6 lives were destroyed, 7 if you count Butch Defeo, who will surely die in prison. Whatever happened that horrible night in Amityville, the truth may forever be lost amidst fictional stories of ghosts and demons.

Up next… We’ve all heard of the Headless Horseman – but Sleepy Hollow’s lesser-known ghost will terrify you all the more. (The Bronze Lady of Sleepy Hollow)
Plus… Theodore Roosevelt was so tough, that during one of his speeches he was shot in the chest – but still kept going until his speech was over. And then there was Alice, his daughter – who may have been even tougher than Teddy! (A Bullet And a Voodoo Doll)
Also… an icy cold hand caresses a girl in the middle of the night. (A Comfort) These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns…

Many travelers come to Sleepy Hollow in search of its best-known spirit—the Headless Horseman, made famous by Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” However, these ghost seekers may not be aware of a second local legend, which has haunted the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery for over 100 years: the Bronze Lady.
Larger than life and cast in bronze, the towering figure watches over the mausoleum of Civil War General Samuel Thomas. Though her rather sleepy visage appears more sad than threatening, legend says that at night she comes to life and wanders the cemetery grounds, terrifying anyone who may have entered on a dare.
According to lore, as you get closer to the Bronze Lady, you’ll hear her weeping. If you knock on the door to the general’s mausoleum (once, or three times, depending on whose instructions you follow), you’ll have bad dreams that night.
Finally, if you dare to approach and sit in the Bronze Lady’s lap, she’ll allegedly cry tears of blood. If you further insult the statue—say, by hitting it in the face—you’ll be cursed for life. Thrill-seeking visitors have been known to run screaming from the cemetery after a supposed encounter with the Bronze Lady.
The statue was commissioned by General Thomas’ widow upon his death in 1903. According to The New York Times, the statue’s name is actually “Recuillment, or Grief.” A prominent sculptor of the time, Andrew O’Connor, Jr., created the Lady. Jesse Phoebe Brown, O’Connor’s muse and mistress, modeled for the statue.
Though the Bronze Lady is one of the more popular monuments in Sleepy Hollow’s Cemetery, the widow who commissioned it was not so happy with the finished product. She told O’Connor she had hoped for something more “gay”—a rather odd request for a statue meant for a mausoleum. So, O’Connor cast another, happier head. But as soon as Mrs. Thomas told him she liked it, he smashed it on the floor, telling her: “I just made this to show you that I could do it. I should never let such a monstrosity out of my studio.’’
As for the Bronze Lady’s supposed supernatural powers, some Sleepy Hollow locals claimed to have tempted fate when they were younger by insulting the statue; they never suffered a curse. But Emily Storms Arminio, a 10th generation Sleepy Hollow native, said her grandmother told her if you touch the Bronze Lady on the face and say a prayer, either something very good or very bad will happen.
“I scoffed at the tale,” Arminio told The New York Times. “But two days after I touched the Bronze Lady’s face, a storm brought down a tree limb that crushed my Camaro.’’
Approach the Bronze Lady yourself at your own peril in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, located in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

On October 14, 1912, former American President – as well as cowboy, adventurer, soldier and NY Police Commissioner – Theodore Roosevelt was shot in the chest while giving a speech in Milwaukee, and just kept right on talking. Angry about the way that America had been run since he left office, he decided to run again for President as the Progressive Party candidate. While campaigning, he was shot by John Shrank, a mentally unbalanced New York saloon-keeper who was opposed to Roosevelt running for a third time (which was allowed, but frowned upon in those days).
Even after being shot, Roosevelt went right along with his speech and even laughed, “It takes more than one bullet to kill a bull moose.” And for that point on, the Progressive Party was nicknamed the “Bull Moose Party” in honor of the former “Rough Rider.” As a side note, T.R. was so tough that he kept the bullet in his chest for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, though, he lost the election.
But one has to wonder if all of his adventures in Africa and the Amazon, his charge up San Juan Hill, and even getting shot in the chest were as terrifying as being the father to his spirited daughter, Alice. She was the one he was talking about when someone told him that he needed to control his daughter, Teddy replied, “Sir, I can run the county or I can control Alice, but I cannot do both!”
Roosevelt had quite the reputation in his day. He’d made a name for himself out west, knocked heads with criminals and politicians in New York, led a bunch of cowboys, misfits, and polo pony riders during a series of crazed battles in Cuba, carved out the Panama Canal, and coined phrases like “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick.” America was at the top of its game, really coming into its own as a world power. Roosevelt was feared by people across the globe, but not by his oldest daughter, Alice.
Alice famously did whatever she wanted during her father’s presidency. She said what she wanted, she smoked in public, she drank, and didn’t care what people thought. And you had better believe that nobody could say or do anything to Alice without incurring the wrath of her father.
She was unafraid of speaking her mind or voicing her opinion – at a time when women were usually considered to be practically a piece of furniture – and she frequently did these things when dignitaries were visiting the White House. And she usually did it just to make them angry. She also shared her father’s love of firearms and it’s noted that she always carried a pistol with her when she went on long train journeys to that she could lean out the window and shoot at telephone poles when she was bored.
And then there was the voodoo doll.
Alice publicly announced that she had buried a voodoo doll in the White House garden at the end of her father’s term so that she could “cast a hex” on the incoming Taft administration – and it worked. Taft only served one term and made the voodoo doll story famous. Woodrow Wilson heard the story and was so unnerved by it that he banned Alice from the White House. He went on to be elected two terms, but he also died after having a stroke during his second term. Maybe there was a little bit of that hoodoo left in the garden after all….

I was 10 years old, some twenty odd years ago and going through what I look back on now as a pretty tough time, though that didn’t occur to me then. It was just life. My parents had recently divorced and I lived alone with my mam (northern colloquialism for Mum). She had to take on extra work after my dad left and I had recently been given my own key as I was due to start secondary school and she wouldn’t be in when I came home. It was a hard time, with never enough money and so much change and turmoil.
I was obviously more anxious about the whole situation than I thought at the time, as my experience starts with a dream. Despite the time that has passed, I remember everything about that night with such clarity, like it was yesterday.
I remember I was dreaming that I’d lost my newly acquired door key at the deep end of the secondary school’s swimming pool, when I was awoken by someone sitting on my bed. I was laid on my side, facing the wall and I had a cabin bed, which is a raised bed a few feet from the floor, which was accessed by a small ladder.
I immediately tensed. My mam never sat on my bed when she tucked me in. She had to stand on her tiptoes to kiss me goodnight. She most certainly wasn’t going to climb a ladder to sit with me and I just knew it wasn’t her. There was no one else in the house, we lived alone.
I could feel the pressure in the small of my back as someone leaned against me and began to run their hands up and down my side on top of the covers, in a comforting way. The way you would when you smooth the covers when you tuck your child in and if you were soothing them off to sleep. It was in no way threatening. Despite that, I was frightened. I laid with my face to the wall and didn’t dare move. I kept thinking “don’t let them know you’re awake” and tried to regulate my breathing.
After what felt like forever, but most likely was minutes, half an hour at most, I heard my mam get up and go to the bathroom. Still facing the wall and not moving, I shouted “Mam, have you been in my room?” She replied, “No, why?” and I asked her to come in. During this, I could still feel the pressure on my back and the weight on my bed, though the movement of hands had stopped. As soon as I asked her to come to me, the pressure eased and disappeared.
She came in and I told her what had happened. As I was explaining, and I was showing her where the pressure was, we realised that despite it being a warm time of year and the rest of the duvet being room temperature, that spot on my body was icy, icy cold. My mam told me not to worry, that it was the living we should be scared of, not the dead. She had no idea who it could be, having not lost any close relatives recently, but we agreed it meant no harm, only comfort.
It never happened again, though I did always get a weird feeling in that room, and never felt wholly comfortable, and in the end I moved into the spare room.
My poor little mam was taken away from me a few years ago after a ridiculously short battle with a very aggressive cancer and I miss her every day still. I wonder why she doesn’t visit me, despite us both believing and me sharing that experience with her, but there are many things I don’t understand about that kind of thing. A couple of things have happened since her death, but nothing conclusive. I’d love to speak to her just one more time, though I’m not sure the mediums in my area are particularly reputable and I don’t want to risk a bad experience on something so important.
I did toy with the idea that the “ghost” which visited me when I was 10 may have been me when I die in the future or even my mam after she died. Surely time has no relevance when you’re dead, and I/she wanted to show me when I was younger, that it would be ok in the end. I don’t know. It now sounds crazy when I say it.

When Weird Darkness returns… For most people, spotting a UFO would be considered extremely unusual, but for two Ohio women, seeing a UFO was the least surprising part of their experience. That story is up next. (UFOs And Time Distortions)

In June 2001, two sisters, Angie Whitmeyer and Deborah Simmons, were returning from a day of shopping in Dayton, Ohio, when a strange light in the sky caught their attention.
“We were heading home to Kingman, Ohio, on State Road 73,” Deborah recalled. “It was a beautiful evening around 8:30 p.m., the air was warm and the sky crystal clear. Angie was driving and I was watching the scenery go by when I noticed a bright light in the western sky.”
Deborah watched in amazement as the light grew in intensity and flew towards the car at an incredible speed.
“Deborah asked me what that weird light was,” said Angie. “But we were close to Caesar Creek Lake and the road was pretty dark so I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to it. But then it flew right in front of us so I couldn’t miss it.”
The bright light soared past the car and hovered over the nearby treetops, casting an eerie glow over the entire area. Whitmeyer pulled the car over onto the side of the road so they could get a better look at the unusual object.
Deborah was shocked by how large and close the UFO was to them: “The light was so bright and white that you couldn’t see any shape behind it. But we could tell it was pretty big, at least as big as a house. The funny thing was that I couldn’t hear any sort of engine like you would normally hear with an airplane or helicopter. It was completely silent.”
Suddenly, another, identical bright light swooped down from the sky and hovered a short distance away. The two sisters decided the situation was becoming too strange and tried to drive away.
“That’s when I discovered that the car had stopped and I couldn’t restart it,” Angie said. “Nothing worked, the lights, the radio, it was completely dead.”
The two women also noticed an odd silence had descended over the area, accompanied by a strange feeling of isolation. Angie remembered that it seemed as if they were the only people in the world.
“I don’t remember seeing another car come by during the entire time we were there, which is really weird because at that time of an evening there’s always traffic on that road. And it was just dead silent outside, no birds, nothing. It was as if we were in another world.”
Uncertain what to do next, Angie and her sister continued to watch the strange pair of lights, when, unexpectedly, both objects shot straight up and disappeared into the night sky. The area was plunged into darkness, and oddly enough, the normal sounds of the night came back almost as if switched on.
“As soon as the lights flew away,” Deborah said, “the car started running again all by itself. The lights and radio were on just as they were before everything happened.”
According to their watches, the strange encounter had lasted more than 20 minutes. However, when they arrived home, Deborah’s husband seemed unconcerned about what they thought was a late arrival. That’s when they discovered that instead of being after 9:00 p.m., as their wristwatches indicated, it was only 8:35 p.m.
“It was as if the entire time we spent looking at those lights had never happened,” Angie said. “But it did happen, our watches both showed we had been stuck out there for over 20 minutes, but somehow we gained that time back with a few minutes to spare. Normally we should have been home at around ten to nine, but somehow, despite what had happened, we got there early.”
One of the strangest aspects of some UFO encounters is the apparent distortion of time when a UFO is nearby. Researchers and writers have tried for years to understand and to interpret what happens before, during, and after a close contact with a UFO. But, many reports of time anomalies have been kept off some UFO databases because such events fall outside of the preconceived notions of what a UFO sighting should entail.
Like the two Ohio sisters, others who have experienced a close contact with a UFO have reported apparent time distortions like the failure of car engines, a strange feeling of isolation (to the point where it is observed that no other vehicles or people are seen during the sighting), unusual silence, spatial changes, altered states of consciousness, and distortions in the flow of time.
Generally, these anomalies disappear along with the UFO. Occasionally, however, the witnesses will suffer from unexpected relapses weeks, even years, after the initial experience.
These anomalous events have created more headaches than answers for researchers who have attempted to find scientific validation for unusual UFO encounters. On the surface, some of the reported anomalies seem to be explainable using modern science. However, upon closer analysis, strange things tend to become even stranger.
The disruption of car motors, machinery, and electronic devices during a UFO event has been commonly reported. Thousands of these inexplicable stories have been duly recorded over the years and many volumes have been written in an attempt to understand the underlying principles involved.
Mark Rodeghier of the Center for UFO Studies analyzed 441 cases in which “the car, truck, or other motor vehicle in which a witness was either riding or in near proximity to, was seemingly affected by the presence of a UFO. Headlights, radios and even flashlights were also affected.”
Of the vehicle failure cases summarized by Rodeghier, ten percent noted an unusual phenomenon called “spontaneous engine restarts” at the end of a sighting. In reality, this figure is probably much higher considering the amount of underreported and underdocumented cases worldwide.
In these cases the car’s engine would mysteriously restart without the driver turning the key. One witness said: “As soon as the UFO flew away, the car, radio, headlights, switched back on by themselves. One second everything was completely dead, and the next, everything was running smoothly as if nothing had ever happened.”
The witness said he was left with the feeling that his car had been stopped between the ticks of a clock: “Like time had completely vanished.”
Another notable feature of many cases is the sudden unusual silence and an overwhelming feeling of isolation in the proximity of a UFO. Many people have noted that normal sounds—birds, insects, traffic—suddenly stop just before and during a close UFO sighting.
A man from Wisconsin reported that he had observed a UFO hovering over the treetops directly over his head once while deer hunting. He stated that the day had been windy and the trees were swaying and creaking pretty loudly in the breeze. What made him look up was the fact that all of a sudden the forest went “completely dead.”
He noted that the trees had stopped moving as if “frozen in place.” That is when he noticed a strange, dark, triangle-shaped object floating over the trees.
“It was a little bigger than a pickup truck and was solid black. I didn’t see any lights or hear any kind of sound from it.”
The hunter reported feeling like he was “looking up through a tunnel with me at the bottom and the UFO at the top. I knew that I was completely alone and that no one could help me.”
As soon as the UFO passed overhead the forest returned to normal.
The experience of such unusual sensations around a UFO has been dubbed “the Oz Effect” by UFO researcher and author Jenny Randles, and may indicate that there could be a field of influence that is being emitted around a UFO. Anyone close enough to a UFO would find himself completely contained within this field. The odd effects noticed by eyewitnesses could give us some kind of indication of the true nature of these energy fields. Unfortunately, anecdotal accounts of UFO experiences have rarely been followed up with rigorous studies of their content.
Scientists brave (or foolhardy) enough to try and conduct proper research on the nature of UFOs have been unable to find satisfactory answers as to why UFOs seem to cause time distortions. Past interpretations of Einstein’s physics leave little room for localized time anomalies, unless influenced by a gravitationally massive object such as a black hole.
However, the new kids on the physics block, quantum and string theories, may show that time and space are easier to influence than was previously thought. Some physicists believe that it is possible to engineer space-time itself and to surround a spaceship with a local space-time in such a way that locally, the light barrier remains intact, while from the outside the ship is moving at faster-than-light velocity. UFOs that seem to rapidly accelerate, change direction, or even disappear are actually operating conservatively from the viewpoint of their own internal time rates.
If someone or something came close enough to a ship that was creating its own space-time, normal time and space, as they know it, would cease to exist for them, and they would come under the influence of the artificial space-time.
This could explain some of the stranger aspects of UFO encounters, such as environmental sounds disappearing, isolation, the freezing of motors and electronic devices, and the feeling of time slowing down, stretching out, and losing all meaning. The UFO is literally creating an alteration in the local state of space-time, thus generating a major distortion effect that is experienced by the witness. Within this time anomaly the perceived forward motion of time could even disappear, allowing for the past, present, and future to intrude upon one another.
In 1981, Linda Taylor and her mother were traveling by car to Chorlton, a district of Manchester, England. The normally busy road became strangely empty and the two women noticed a huge light in the sky that seemed to pace their car.
Linda told investigators that her car “jerked about” and slowed down despite her attempts to accelerate. Suddenly, an “old-fashioned” car appeared in the road ahead and drove straight towards the two women. At the same time the light in the sky turned into a metal disc that hovered over the main road.
As the UFO moved away from Taylor and her mother, the old car vanished instantly. When the women returned home they found that two hours were missing from their trip. As with some others who have had close UFO encounters, Linda later had several odd psychic experiences and further time lapses.
Time distortions may not always occur with a visible UFO nearby. In 1980, Peter Rojcewicz, now a professor of humanities and folklore at New York’s Juilliard School, was in the University of Pennsylvania library reading a UFO book suggested by another professor.
As he read, Rojcewicz noticed that someone was standing in front of him. Looking up, Rojcewicz saw a very gaunt, pale man, about six feet tall and weighing around 140 pounds. The strange man wore a black suit, black shoes, a black string tie, and a bright white shirt. His suit was loose and it looked as though he had slept in it for days.
“He sat down like he had dropped from the ceiling—all in one movement—and folded his hands on top of a stack of books in front of him,” Rojcewicz said. The man asked Rojcewicz what he was doing. Rojcewicz said he was reading about flying saucers.
“Have you seen a flying saucer?” the man asked. Rojcewicz said he hadn’t.
“Do you believe in the reality of flying saucers?” Rojcewicz said he didn’t know much about them and wasn’t sure he was very interested in the phenomena.
The man screamed: “Flying saucers are the most important fact of the century and you are not interested?”
The man then stood up, again, all in a single awkward movement, put his hand on Rojcewicz’s shoulder, and said: “Go well on your purpose.” With that, he left.
Rojcewicz was suddenly overwhelmed by fear: “I had a sense that this man was out of the ordinary and that idea frightened me. I got up and walked around the stacks toward where the reference librarians usually are. The librarians weren’t there. There were no guards there—there was nobody else in the library…I was utterly alone and terrified.”
The professor went back to the table where he had been reading “to get myself together. It took me about an hour. Then I got up and everything was back to normal; the people were all there.”
It would seem that Rojcewicz could have been placed into a separate time-space field in order for his contact to occur. The entire episode may have occurred in the blink of an eye in normal time-space. But for Rojcewicz, an entire hour passed.
One gentleman, who reported his alleged UFO abduction on an Internet forum, said that when he was being returned from an abduction to the motel room where he was staying, he “noticed that there was a person in the parking lot below us (myself and several ‘Grays,’ were ‘floating’ in mid-air so I had a bird’s eye view of the surroundings,) [who] seemed to be frozen in mid-step. Everything was dead quiet and nothing was moving. It was as if time had stopped or frozen for the few moments it took for them to transport me from a UFO back to my room that was located on the second floor of the motel.”
These interesting cases show that there is still a lot we have to learn from UFO reports. Investigators need to be willing to look beyond the traditional “by-the-book” questions and allow the witnesses to relate their entire experience—no matter how unusual it may be. Many researchers and databases fail to mention some of the stranger aspects of UFO encounters because they don’t fit a particular belief system or bias. We can learn much more if researchers put aside their own personal feelings and allow the full information to come forward.
Currently, any theories and conclusions are really little more than speculation. Nevertheless, scientists who are not afraid to look beyond the norm are every day developing new concepts in physics and the true nature of reality.

Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! You can email me anytime with your questions or comments at darren@weirddarkness.com. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find all of my social media, listen to free audiobooks I’ve narrated, visit the store for Weird Darkness t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, phone cases, and more merchandise, sign up for monthly contests, find other podcasts that I host, and find the Hope in the Darkness page if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or dark thoughts. Also on the website, if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.

All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true (unless stated otherwise) and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.

“The Defeo Family Massacre” posted at The UnRedacted
“The Bronze Lady of Sleepy Hollow” by Jessica Ferri for The Line Up
“A Bullet And A Voodoo Doll” by Troy Taylor for American Hauntings Ink
“A Comfort” by Lady Madonna, posted at YourGhostStories.com
“UFOs and Time Distortions” by Tim Swartz at UFO Review
“Leaving the Hospital” by Weirdo family member, Louise Latham – submitted directly to Weird Darkness
“To the Moon and Back” submitted anonymously to Weird Darkness
“Grandma’s House” by Weirdo family member, Rachel West – submitted directly to Weird Darkness

The fictional horror short, “I Was Born With Superhuman Abilities” by Alayne Winters – posted at Creepypasta.com
The fictional story, “Don’t Let This Be You” by Hikari Shimizu – posted at Creepypasta.com

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

Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth — a stranger, not your own lips.” — Proverbs 27:2

And a final thought… “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?” — C. S. Lewis

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

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