“MORMONS, ALIENS, AND HANGER 18” and More True Freaky or Scary Stories! #WeirdDarkness

MORMONS, ALIENS, AND HANGER 18” and More True Freaky or Scary Stories! #WeirdDarkness

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IN THIS EPISODE: A struggling student is suddenly followed around campus by a strange man who has something very unusual to show him. (The Laughter of God) *** Rudolf Diesel is probably best known as the inventor of the engine which bears his name, but his puzzling and seemingly inexplicable disappearance on September 29, 1913 left behind a mystery nearly as enduring as the legacy of his engineering achievements. (Gone in the Night: The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Rudolf Diesel) *** In 1960, the bodies of three women from the Chicago suburbs were discovered in Starved Rock State Park. The manhunt snared a confessed killer – and while he still remains in prison, he says he was framed. (The Starved Rock Murders) *** Author and Weird Darkness fan Patrick Hueller brings us an original story of fiction entitled, “2031: The Toys, They’re Bleeding”. *** Released in 1980, Hangar 18 was arguably Hollywood’s first UFO conspiracy movie. Its plot features many aspects of the real-life UFO enigma, including specific details from allegedly authentic top-secret UFO-related government documentation. But was it also a propaganda film for the Mormon church? (Mormons, Aliens, and Hangar 18) *** A young girl goes for a walk into the woods and suddenly finds she’s not alone. (A Rather Strange Company) *** Though he was born into a Roman Catholic family, Adolfo Constanzo quickly fell into alternative religion, focusing on black magic and the occult…. but then he went even darker than that. (Catholic Boy, Drug Kingpin, Satanic Cult-Leader, and Serial Killer) *** In April 2007, a rash of sightings were reported of a strange creature prowling around the outskirts of Stafford, in the UK. Is it possible that there is finally evidence of werewolves in the 21st century? (Cannock Chase Werewolves) *** Hollywood has used the Greystone Mansion in numerous movies and TV shows… but would the actors be so comfortable filming there if they knew it’s murderous and haunting history? (The Greystone Mansion Murders) *** Records indicate that the man known as the Comte de Saint Germain was born in the late 1600s/early 1700s, but reports by other well-known figures in history have told of a similar man that can be traced back to the time of Christ. This man was known by famous figures such as Casanova, Madame de Pampadour, Voltaire, King Louis XV, Catherine the Great, Anton Mesmer and many more. (The Vampire of New Orleans)
“Mormons, Aliens, and Hangar 18” by Robbie Graham for Mysterious Universe: http://bit.ly/2IYL82C
***** WATCH THE FULL “HANGAR 18” MOVIE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yofp7Rv8vRk
***** BOOK: “The Roswell Incident” by Charles Berlitz and William Moore: https://amzn.to/2R0hHE8
“The Laughter of God” by G. Michael Vasey at MyHauntedLifeToo.,com: http://bit.ly/2LtDqPy
“Gone in the Night: The Disappearance of Rudolf Diesel” by Orrin Grey for The Line Up: http://bit.ly/2LsetUY
“The Starved Rock Murders” by Troy Taylor from his book “Bloody Illinois”: https://amzn.to/3rAboG8
“2031: The Toys, They’re Bleeding” by Patrick Hueller: (link no longer available)
“The Greystone Mansion Murders” by Troy Taylor from his Facebook page: http://bit.ly/2KxpXH5
“A Rather Strange Company” by Sanguirina at YourGhostStories.com: http://bit.ly/2Xw7qRm
“Catholic Boy, Drug Kingpin, Satanic Cult-Leader, and Serial Killer” by Gina Dimuro for All That’s Interesting:http://bit.ly/2IC1nTa
“Cannock Chase Werewolves” posted at Ghost-Story.co.uk: http://bit.ly/2KyL1Ne
“The Vampire of New Orleans” posted at CoolInterestingStuff.com: http://bit.ly/2J8Bw4q
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The year was 1980. The Roswell incident was brought new life with the release of a book from Charles Berlitz and William Moore called “The Roswell Incident”. Around the same time, the UFO community began using new terms like “MJ-Twelve” and “Majestic Twelve”. Supposedly the code name of an alleged secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, formed in 1947 by an executive order by U.S. President Harry S. Truman to facilitate recovery and investigation of alien spacecraft. Then.. came the film… Hangar 18.

Some simply took the film as entertainment. Others saw it as a pseudo-documentary of real life events. And still others, saw it as a surreptitious indoctrination of unsuspecting viewers into the Mormon faith.

I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.

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

Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.

Coming up in this episode…

A struggling student is suddenly followed around campus by a strange man who has something very unusual to show him. (The Laughter of God)

Rudolf Diesel is probably best known as the inventor of the engine which bears his name, but his puzzling and seemingly inexplicable disappearance on September 29, 1913 left behind a mystery nearly as enduring as the legacy of his engineering achievements. (Gone in the Night: The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Rudolf Diesel)

In 1960, the bodies of three women from the Chicago suburbs were discovered in Starved Rock State Park. The manhunt snared a confessed killer – and while he still remains in prison, he says he was framed. (The Starved Rock Murders)

Author and Weird Darkness fan Patrick Hueller brings us an original story of fiction entitled, “2031: The Toys, They’re Bleeding”.

A young girl goes for a walk into the woods and suddenly finds she’s not alone. (A Rather Strange Company)

Though he was born into a Roman Catholic family, Adolfo Constanzo quickly fell into alternative religion, focusing on black magic and the occult…. but then he went even darker than that. (Catholic Boy, Drug Kingpin, Satanic Cult-Leader, and Serial Killer)

In April 2007, a rash of sightings were reported of a strange creature prowling around the outskirts of Stafford, in the UK. Is it possible that there is finally evidence of werewolves in the 21st century? (Cannock Chase Werewolves)

Records indicate that the man known as the Comte de Saint Germain was born in the late 1600s/early 1700s, but reports by other well-known figures in history have told of a similar man that can be traced back to the time of Christ. This man was known by famous figures such as Casanova, Madame de Pampadour, Voltaire, King Louis XV, Catherine the Great, Anton Mesmer and many more. (The Vampire of New Orleans)

Hollywood has used the Greystone Mansion in numerous movies and TV shows… but would the actors be so comfortable filming there if they knew it’s murderous and haunting history? (The Greystone Mansion Murders)

But first… Released in 1980, Hangar 18 was arguably Hollywood’s first UFO conspiracy movie. Its plot features many aspects of the real-life UFO enigma, including specific details from allegedly authentic top-secret UFO-related government documentation. But was it also a propaganda film for the Mormon church? (Mormons, Aliens, and Hangar 18)

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.

And this month we’re celebrating Weird Darkness’ birthday… this month makes seven years of Weird Darkness as a podcast. And to recognize our birthday, every October we ask you to make a donation to our Overcoming The Darkness fundraiser. Every dollar we raise through donations and the Weirdling Woods painting auction will go to organizations that help people who struggle with depression. You can learn more about the fundraiser and what we’re doing with it on the Hope in the Darkness page at WeirdDarkness.com.

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



A quick warning – if you’ve not seen the film “Hangar 18” there will be spoilers ahead. If you want to watch the film first, there is a link to the full movie on YouTube in the show notes. The following is simply the opinion of the author, Robbie Graham, not of myself, Marlar House Productions, Weird Darkness, or any of my sponsors.

Released in 1980, Hangar 18 continues to provoke discussion within the UFO community, in part for the fact that the film was released in 1980. It was in this year that details of the Roswell incident began to filter into the popular consciousness with the publication of Charles Berlitz and William Moore’s The Roswell Incident—the first book on the Roswell subject. Equally significant in 1980, and undoubtedly connected to the Roswell developments, was the quiet insertion into the UFO community of the term “MJ-Twelve.” This term, along with its variant, “Majestic Twelve,” has now assumed permanent residency in popular culture, having featured in films, TV shows, comic books and video games.

Hangar 18 begins in Earth orbit as NASA is preparing to launch a satellite under the watchful eye of the US military. Just as the satellite is launched from the space shuttle, however, it collides with a UFO, killing a NASA astronaut in the launch bay. This is witnessed by the other crew in the shuttle, our heroes Bancroft and Price, (played by Gary Collins and James Hampton). Upon their return to Earth the men seek answers but soon realize their government has instigated a cover-up, and that they too are being kept in the dark.

We learn that, following the collision in orbit, the UFO made a controlled landing in the Arizona desert, where it was captured by the US military. The craft is soon transported to the top secret Hangar 18, where it is studied by NASA scientists (lead by Darren McGavin). Onboard the craft, the scientists make a series of startling discoveries:

• The alien pilots, although dead, are physically undamaged and are almost exactly human in appearance. The scientists conclude that the aliens visited Earth in ancient times, that they were seen as gods, and that they interbred with Earth women and “jump-started” human life as we know it today.
• A human woman is also onboard the craft in stasis. When removed by doctors, the woman awakens in a state of terror. We assume she is an abductee.
• In the ship’s data files, the scientists find glyphs similar to those used by ancient Earth civilizations. The scientists also discover extensive aerial surveillance footage of Earth’s power plants, military bases and major cities. The aliens, it seems, have been taking an active interest in our technological capabilities.

Meanwhile, Bancroft and Price are dogged in their pursuit of the truth and are targeted by the government for assassination. Price is killed, but Bancroft survives and eventually finds his way to Hangar 18 and aboard the alien spacecraft. Around this point, the NASA scientists finally decipher the alien glyphs, which indicate that the beings were planning to return to Earth en masse in the near future.

Before any of this information has a chance to sink-in, government agents fly a remote-controlled jet filled with explosives into Hangar 18, the goal being to kill all involved in the cover-up, thereby permanently burying the secret. However, unbeknownst to the government hit squad, several of the NASA scientists, as well as Bancroft, are inside the alien craft when the hanger explodes. The craft, it turns out, is invincible, and the survivors inside decide to let the truth be known. The film ends with UFO Disclosure.

Hangar 18’s depiction of human-looking extraterrestrials is particularly interesting, as is the idea that these beings jumpstarted the human race—these very same details were to appear three years later in a “secret” Air Force report shown to UFO writer and journalist Linda Moulton Howe as part of her preparation for a documentary on UFOs.

On 9 April 1983, during a meeting at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Air Force Office of Special Investigations Officer Richard Doty presented Howe with a document, the front cover of which read:


Doty told Howe that she was to read the document at the request of his superiors, but stressed that she was forbidden from taking the document with her and from taking notes of any kind.

The weighty document detailed many aspects of the UFO phenomenon and included a list of UFO crash/retrievals. The list included two separate incidents near the Roswell region in 1947, and another in 1949, which resulted in the capture of a live extraterrestrial that was taken to Los Alamos National Laboratories. Apparently, the being was held captive before it died of unknown causes in 1952. Other crashes listed in the document included Aztec New Mexico, Kingman Arizona, and Loredo Texas.

Most shocking to Howe was a paragraph that said the extraterrestrials had manipulated DNA in an evolving primate species to create Homo sapiens. Elsewhere in the document it was noted that the ETs had created a being on Earth whose purpose was to teach humans about love and non-violence. Howe was astonished: “We are talking about Jesus Christ,” she said to Doty, who said nothing in response, but who, she asserts, looked deeply uncomfortable.

The author and researcher Mike Clelland has pointed out that the parallels between the content of Hangar 18 and the report shown to Linda Moulton Howe are so striking that “The document that Howe saw could very well have been written by Darren McGavin’s character from what he learned in the movie.” Clelland observes:

We have a reporter [LMH] being shown a secret document by the Air Force in 1983, the conclusion is that they [officialdom] wanted this information floated out to the public. Three years earlier we have the movie Hangar 18“floating” out the same information in the guise of an action film.

In 1971, Sunn Classic Pictures started to produce and distribute feature films and documentaries about UFOs (with an emphasis on Ancient Astronauts) and other paranormal/psychic phenomena. Titles included the aforementioned Ancient Astronaut-themed The Outer Space Connection (1975), The Amazing World of Psychic Phenomena (1976), The Bermuda Triangle (1979), based on Charles Berlitz’s non-fiction book linking UFOs to the disappearance of ships and aircraft; Beyond Death’s Door (1979), about life after death; and, in 1980, Hangar 18. Sunn Classic Pictures also had a strong focus on religious documentaries, with titles including: In Search of Noah’s Ark (1976), In Search of Historic Jesus(1979), and a TV series that ran from 1978 to 1979 called Greatest Heroes of the Bible.

Sunn Classic Pictures was established in Utah as a Mormon-run company with Raylan Jensen as its first President. Many of the studio’s writers, producers, and directors also were Mormons, including Robert Starling (writer of In Search of Historic Jesus, and who in later life would make an educational documentary about the Mormon Church), and Charles E. Sellier Jr., one of Sunn’s most successful writer/producers and also a co-founder of the studio with Raylan Jensen. As a producer, Sellier would make only family-friendly G-rated films “out of Mormon conviction.” His credits for Sunn notably included The Bermuda Triangle and Hangar 18. In 1997, Sellier wrote UFO, a non-fiction book examining the UFO enigma in the context of a government cover-up.

It makes sense that a Mormon-run film studio should exhibit an interest in UFOs. Mormon cosmology holds that the Earth is not unique, but just one of many inhabited planets, each created by Jesus for the purpose of bringing about immortality and eternal life. Mormon leaders have taught that the inhabitants of these planets are almost identical in appearance to humans – just as the alien beings in Hangar 18 are extremely human-like (a point dwelt upon in the film’s plot).

Also worthy of mention in this discussion is “Kolob,” a heavenly body described in Mormon scripture as a star, but which is generally regarded by Mormons as a planet. It is said to be the closest place in the universe to the throne of God. In the context of science-fiction, the popular Ancient Astronaut-flavoured TV series Battlestar Galactica (1978–1979 and 2004–2009) incorporates many Mormon cosmological beliefs into its overarching narrative. This is because the creator of the show, Glen Larson, was himself a Mormon. In the TV series, the planet Kobol (as opposed to Kolob) is the birth place of the human race where the “Lords of Kobol” are held sacred.

In the Mormon text, Doctrines of Salvation (1:62), tenth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), Joseph Fielding Smith, states:

“We are not the only people that the Lord has created. We have brothers and sisters on other earths. They look like us because they, too, are the children of God and were created in his image, for they are also his offspring.”

Smith began his LDS Presidency in 1970, the year prior to the establishment of Sunn Classic Pictures.

Also relevant is a quote by LDS Apostle Neal A. Maxwell. In his book, A Wonderful Flood of Light (p.25), Maxwell wrote: “We do not know how many inhabited worlds there are, or where they are. But certainly we are not alone.” Between 1970 and 1976, the formative years of Sunn Classic Pictures, Maxwell served as the LDS Commissioner of Church Education, which is responsible for providing religious and secular education for people of all ages, both LDS and non-LDS.

The key question relating to Sunn Classic Pictures (and one that, for now, remains unanswered) is this: was the studio’s alien-themed output simply a reflection of Mormon ideals and beliefs held by the studio’s core writers/producers/directors (as well as an attempt on their part to cash in on the ever-popular subject of UFOs), or, was it a more lofty strategy on the part of Mormon Church itself to subtly educate the public about an aspect of the Mormon faith which, in the century of the UFO, was becoming both increasingly taboo and increasingly relevant (i.e. life on other planets and its possible links to humanity)?

Whatever the truth behind its production, Hangar 18 remains a fascinating and entertaining movie—a must-see for any self-respecting UFO conspiracy buff.



Back when I was a student, I was having troubled time on almost every front – not least of which was the supernatural. I was depressed perhaps suicidal and very confused. Then, I started to notice a man who seemed to be watching me. Everywhere I went, everything I did, he was there. It freaked me out.

One day, as I walked back from class to my accommodation on campus, I realized he was following me.  I grew increasingly nervous of this Asian looking man I kept seeing. As I entered my accommodation block, he followed. As I got in the elevator, he stepped in at last minute. I noticed he didn’t press for a floor. People got out floor by floor and as we arrived at the 19th floor, it was just he and I. I was terrified. I got out and walked to the front door of my room. He followed me out. At that moment I swung around and confronted him.

He told me he had to talk to me. That I needed his help. I was suspicious as anyone would be but he quickly described my situation and I caved in. How could he know? We went to my room and he suggested that perhaps he could show me something. Close your eyes he said and relax. I tried. No – relax, he ordered. Suddenly, I was in a tunnel. It was hewn from stone and it went on as far as you could see and then curved to the right. I began to walk down it realizing that just around that bend was a very bright light that lit the entire tunnel. As I approached the light, I began to hear a low growling laughter. It was’t frightening. Just the opposite in fact – the vibration of it seemed to resonate in my body – in my soul. The laughter was infectious and as it rose in volume and pitch I couldn’t help but laugh too. The more I laughed and vibrated the more I felt uplifted and filled with energy. The laugh filled the Universe – It was the Universe.

And just as suddenly as it began, I found myself sitting in a chair facing an Asian man with a smile on his face.

The laughter of God, he said. It is what sustains everything. You saw His light and you heard his laughter. Now you know. This was what I needed to show you.

With that he got up and left. Leaving me sitting for hours wondering what I had just experienced.

I know this. God is real. He is laughter.



Rudolf Diesel is probably best known as the inventor of the engine which bears his name, but his puzzling and seemingly inexplicable disappearance on September 29, 1913 left behind a mystery nearly as enduring as the legacy of his engineering achievements.

After working as an engineer developing everything from refrigerators to steam engines, Diesel ultimately filed the patent for his groundbreaking engine in 1892. In the years to follow, the diesel engine would become a major backbone of the manufacturing and trucking industries.

Then, one night in 1913, while crossing the English Channel aboard the steamer Dresden, Rudolf Diesel disappeared without a trace.

On September 29, 1913, Diesel boarded a ship bound from Antwerp to London. Witnesses at the time said that he had dinner on board and retired to his cabin at around 10:00 pm, requesting a wake-up call at 6:15 the following morning. However, Diesel’s bed was never slept in, and his nightclothes were found laid out upon the undisturbed blankets of his mattress.

Official accounts concluded that Diesel perished that night. Some say he fell overboard during a midnight stroll on the decks–Diesel was a known insomniac–but there are no reports of rough seas or inclement weather that could have contributed to such a fall. The more common version of events says that the 55-year-old man threw himself into the sea to escape his failing health, his mounting debt, or whatever else may have been plaguing him. However, there are other theories.

Diesel’s eponymous engine was instrumental in the development of the German U-boats, which would play a major role in both the First and Second World Wars. Some believe that German agents snuck aboard Diesel’s boat and killed him in order to prevent him from sharing his inventions with the Brits.

Stories of what happened after Diesel’s disappearance are also varied. Even newspaper accounts of the time couldn’t keep track of the facts of the case, nor the financial security of the Diesel family. The New York Times ran two separate headlines within weeks of each other: one read, “German Inventor Was a Millionaire and His Home Was Happy” while the other announced, “DIESEL FAMILY IN STRAITS: Missing Inventor Said to Have Left Them in Extreme Need”.

Indeed, the Diesel family became quite rich as a result of Rudolf’s patents, Rudolf himself may have been a better engineer than money manager. Reports suggested that he was in considerable debt prior to his disappearance—leading some researchers to suspect that there was more to his vanishing than met the eye.

Adding to the mystery, Diesel’s body was never officially recovered. However, there are two accounts that may shed some light on his body’s whereabouts after his disappearance. Ten days after he vanished, the crew of a Dutch boat fished a man’s body out of the sea near Norway. The remains were too decomposed for identification, but they took the body’s belongings, which were later identified by Diesel’s son as belonging to the deceased inventor. On October 14, 1913, another report of what may have been Diesel’s body surfaced, near the mouth of the Scheldt river, but the person who found it was forced to throw it back overboard due to rough weather.

Besides the lack of a body, other strange circumstances surrounding Diesel’s disappearance have led to speculation as to the nature—and, indeed, facts—of his demise. According to Greg Pahl, author of the book Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy, Diesel gave his wife a bag shortly before he left on his trip, with instructions not to open it until the following week. Inside were financial statements indicating their debt, as well as a substantial sum in German marks.

Perhaps more ominous still, Diesel had drawn a small cross in his diary next to the date he disappeared. Whether this was an indication of his intent to take his own life, knowledge of his impending murder or held some other significance, we may never know.

These strange accounts, along with a few others, have led some to hypothesize that Diesel neither killed himself nor was murdered, but instead faked his own death and went into hiding. In fact, by the spring of 1914, even the New York Timeswas reporting on what turned out to be an unsubstantiated rumor that the inventor was alive and well in Canada.

Rudolf Diesel was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1978, decades after he vanished without a trace. In a case so long cold, the full story will probably never be known, but now that you’ve heard the tale of Rudolf Diesel’s mysterious disappearance, you may never look at a diesel engine the same way again.


Coming up…

In 1960, the bodies of three women from the Chicago suburbs were discovered in Starved Rock State Park. The manhunt snared a confessed killer – and while he still remains in prison, he says he was framed. (The Starved Rock Murders)

Plus… Author and Weird Darkness fan Patrick Hueller brings us an original story of fiction entitled, “2031: The Toys, They’re Bleeding”.

These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns!




On March 14, 1960, the bodies of three women from the Chicago suburbs were discovered in St. Louis Canyon, one of the many natural wonders at Starved Rock State Park, near Utica, Illinois. The crime shocked northern Illinois and led to a manhunt that snared a confessed killer who has been in prison ever since. According to his confession, he bludgeoned to death three women from Riverside, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. Their bodies were found in beautiful St. Louis Canyon, permanently staining the history of the region.

The three women — Mildred Lindquist, Lillian Oetting, and Frances Murphy — had come to Starved Rock for a four-day holiday. The three friends, who all attended the Riverside Presbyterian Church, had been anxious for an outing together. Oetting, who had spent the entire winter nursing her husband after a heart attack, was especially looking forward to several days of hiking, bird watching, and spending time outdoors. Employees at the park’s lodge would later remember the arrival of the three ladies. Frances Murphy had parked her gray station wagon in the inn’s parking area and she and her friends had unloaded their few pieces of luggage. They registered for two rooms, dropped off their bags and then ate lunch in the dining room. Afterward, they remarked to one of the staff members that it was a beautiful day for a hike and they left carrying a camera and a small pair of binoculars.

The women walked away from the lodge wearing rubber galoshes. The path was covered with a light snow and they trudged and slipped along, pausing occasionally to take photographs of one another. Eventually, they came to the dead end of St. Louis Canyon, where steep rocky walls framed a majestic, frozen waterfall. The three women were only one mile from the lodge. Lillian Oetting struggled with the controls of her friend’s camera and snapped several color slides of the canyon. When she was finished, the group turned to leave — and they walked into a horror that stunned the entire nation.

The first sign that something was wrong occurred that evening when George Oetting tried to telephone his wife at the lodge. She had promised to call him but when she had not, Oetting placed his own call. He was told by staff on duty at the desk that his wife was not available. It was surmised that the ladies had gone out somewhere and the staff member suggested that she would call in the morning. Unconcerned, Oetting went to bed.

On Tuesday morning, he called the lodge again and once more, asked to speak to his wife. The employee who answered mistakenly told the worried man that the three women had been seen at breakfast and were simply out of the lodge at that time. Reassured, Oetting ended the call.

That night, a late winter storm hit the Illinois Valley. In St. Louis Canyon, several inches of snow covered up footprints, blood stains, and other vital pieces of information around three cold and still bodies. The near-blizzard conditions continued all night long, making the roads in the park nearly impassable.

George Oetting telephoned the lodge again on Wednesday morning but his wife and her friends could still not be located. At his insistence, employees entered the women’s rooms and found that the beds and bags were untouched. A quick check of the parking lot also showed that the Murphy station wagon had not been moved. Shocked, Oetting realized that his wife and her friends had now been missing for more than 40 hours.

As soon as Oetting broke off the call, he telephoned his longtime friend, Virgil W. Peterson, the operating director of the Chicago Crime Commission. When Peterson learned of the news, he contacted the state police and other law enforcement agencies in the area. Within minutes, word of the missing women had reached the LaSalle County Sheriff’s office and Sheriff Ray Eutsey began organizing search parties to look for the women. He accompanied one of the groups that left immediately for the park.

Bill Danley, a local newspaper reporter, was just finishing his last story for the day’s edition when he got a tip about the disappearances. Grabbing a camera, he braved the snow-packed roads and headed for the park. When Danley reached the park’s west entrance, he noticed a boy running across an icy ravine toward the road. He drove to a small parking area and found several other youths, shouting that bodies had been found on one of the trails. Danley recognized the boys as members of the nearby Illinois Youth Commission Forestry Camp, where he had once led an Explorer Post, and he pulled them aside to a nearby storage garage for some questions. When they told him of the bodies, he called the lodge, where law enforcement officials had gathered, and then called the newspaper to report the discovery. In a matter of minutes, the story was flashing across news wires around the country.

Danley was among those who entered St. Louis Canyon and got the first look at the bodies. The three mutilated women were lying side-by-side, partially covered with snow. They were on their backs, under a small ledge, and their lower clothing had been torn away and their legs spread open. Each of them had been beaten viciously about the head and two of the bodies were tied together with heavy white twine. They were covered with blood and their exposed legs were blackened with bruises.

State Police detectives soon arrived and began a search of the immediate area. Except for the floor of the overhang where the bodies were found, the entire canyon was covered in nearly six inches of snow. The fine, white powder had to be carefully removed and as it was, signs of a violent struggle were revealed. Mrs. Murphy’s camera was found about 10 feet from the victims. Its leather case was smeared with blood and its strap was broken. They also found the women’s bloody binoculars. A short distance away, LaSalle County’s States Attorney Harland Warren stumbled across a frozen tree limb that was streaked with blood. The snow beneath it was covered with blood and it was realized that this was likely the murder weapon. A trail of gore also led them to speculate that the women had been killed deeper in the canyon and then their bodies had been dragged and positioned under the rock ledge. The bodies remained in place for hours, until pathologists and state crime lab officials could arrive. The vigil lasted long into the night and then, aided by lanterns and flashlights, the victims were removed on cloth stretchers.

The bodies were taken to the Hulse Funeral Home in Ottawa, where they were examined and autopsied. The women had obviously been molested, but the cold, and limitations of medical techniques at the time, failed to find any evidence of rape. The doctors were able to determine the time of death, placing it shortly after they had enjoyed lunch at the lodge. No motive was suggested for the murders but robbery was ruled out since the women had left their money and jewelry behind in their rooms when they went for their afternoon hike.

The investigation was cold, almost from the start. There were few clues to follow and theories began to grow wilder and wilder. Things were further confused by all of those who wanted to maintain jurisdiction in the case. State’s Attorney Warren, a hard-working and respected official, was technically in charge but the state police maintained their authority in the case because the murders were committed on park property. The two law enforcement camps clashed but Warren was in a bind. He was forced to deal with the state authorities because the officials in LaSalle County simply had no experience dealing with crimes of this manner.

As the investigation slowly moved forward, fear was gripping the region. Doors that were never locked before were now firmly secured. Hardware stores experienced a run on new dead bolts and sporting goods stores saw guns vanish from their cases at an alarming rate. The number of overnight guests at the Starved Rock Lodge dropped off to almost nothing and some motorists went miles out of their way to avoid driving near the canyon entrance. Newspapers and radio broadcasters around the state widely reported the slow progress of the investigation and elevated the level of panic in the area.

The continued newspaper scrutiny of the case kept pressure on police officials to make progress, especially at Harland Warren’s county office. He was doing everything in his power to move the investigation forward, but he had a hard time coping with the pressure, especially during an election year. Money was becoming a problem as well, since the investigation budget was soaring. Throughout 1960, he was under ever-increasing pressure to solve the murders. Frustrated, he felt that he had taken enough criticism for the investigation. He was an attorney, not a detective, but he decided to take one last desperate run at the case. He asked himself what the killer had left behind at the scene of the crime and the obvious answer was the twine that he had used to bind two of the victims.

Using his own money, Warren purchased a microscope and began intently conducting a study of the twine. Research revealed that there were two kinds of twine used, a 20-ply cord and a 12-ply one. With this information in hand, he sought out help to follow the lead. Instead of choosing someone from his staff, he handpicked two county detectives who would report to him alone. The two men were deputies Bill Dummett and Wayne Hess. They were both trustworthy and intelligent and would not leak the details of what Warren was doing to the newspapers.

The men chose the most logical place to start the search for the source of the twine, which was Starved Rock Lodge. In September 1960, Warren and his deputies met with the manager of the lodge’s kitchen. Within minutes and without much difficulty, Warren found both kinds of twine used in the murder. They were each used for wrapping food and Dummett and Hess, using lodge purchasing records, soon tracked down the twine’s manufacturer. The twine used to bind the murder victims had been taken, without question, from the supply in the lodge’s kitchen. Just as Warren had always suspected, the killer either worked at, or had access to, the park’s lodge.

Faced with the fact that all of the lodge employees had been given polygraph tests, and had passed, Warren now had to wonder if the tests had been accurate. He boldly decided that it was time to run some of his own tests. Hiring a specialist for a prominent Chicago firm, Warren recalled all of the employees who had worked during the week of the murder. One by one, they came to a small cabin located near the lodge and again submitted to an exam. The first dozen or so were quickly cleared and Warren and the deputies wondered if they might be wasting their time. Then Bill Dummett brought in a former dishwasher named Chester Otto Weger and everything changed.

When Weger’s polygraph test was completed, Warren noticed that the examiner’s face had gone pale. As soon as Weger left the cabin, the technician ended months of endless leads and wasted time. He turned to Warren and the two deputies and quietly stated, “That’s your man.”

Weger, 21-years-old, was a slight, small man with a wife and two young children. He had worked at the park until that summer, when he resigned to go into business with his father as a house painter. Dummett remembered the man’s name from an earlier police report, but he had never made much of an impression on the investigators. Warren intensified the investigation of the man and strangely, Weger happily cooperated with him. He surrendered a piece of a buckskin jacket that he owned so that some suspicious “dark stains” on it could be examined. It later turned out to be human blood, but in 1960, it could not be typed and matched to a specific victim. Warren also asked Weger to submit to further polygraph tests and again, Weger agreed. He was given an entire series of tests and he failed all of them.

Once the jacket was determined to be stained with blood, Warren put the former dishwasher under constant surveillance by the state police. Warren, along with Dummett and Weger, began checking into Weger’s past and also into similar crimes in the area, which might have escalated into murder. Dummett came across a reported rape and robbery that took place about a mile from Starved Rock in 1959. With Warren’s approval, he approached the young female victim with a stack of mug shots. As she slowly sorted through them, she began to scream as she came across the face of Chester Weger.

With this positive identification, Warren could have easily have ordered Weger arrested, but he was forced to wait. A new problem had reared its ugly head. With all of time and energy involved in the investigation, Warren had worked very little on his campaign for re-election. If he booked Weger on rape and murder charges before the election, defense attorneys would simply say that he had done so as a stunt to retain his job. He left Weger under surveillance, not wanting to jeopardize the case against him with the election. Confident of his record of cleaning gambling and prostitution out of LaSalle County during his eight years in office, Warren let his past actions speak for themselves. Unfortunately, his opponent let the “bungling” of the Starved Rock murder case speak for him. Out of 60,000 votes case in the election, Warren lost by nearly 3,500.

Disappointed by the election results, Warren still had time in office to pursue the case against Weger. Although his evidence was not as strong as he would have liked, he obtained an arrest warrant against Weger for the 1959 rape and ordered Hess and Dummett to pick him up. He believed that when he saw all of the evidence mounting against him, Weger would confess to the crime – and to the Starved Rock murders.

Warren made careful plans with his two deputies about how to interrogate Weger before confronting him with murder charges. A short time later, Hess and Dummett arrived at the young man’s apartment and explained that they had some more questions for him. They made no mention of the arrest warrants that were waiting at the courthouse. Once they had him in custody, the officers began to question him about the rape and also began to press him about the murders. They kept him in the interrogation room until past midnight and then finally, weary of questions and nearly exhausted, Weger stopped in mid-sentence and asked to see his family. A police car was dispatched to his parents’ home in Oglesby and his mother and father were brought to the courthouse. Dummett and Hess gave them a few minutes alone with their son.

In his official statement, which was taken the next day, Deputy Hess stated, “When Bill stepped out of the back room in the states attorney’s office to show Mr. and Mrs. Weger to the door so they could go home, I could see that something was bothering Chester. I said ‘Chester, why don’t you tell me about it? There are just the two of us here… just tell me about it.’ He said, ‘All right. I did it. I got scared. I tried to grab their pocketbook, they fought and I hit them.’ The pocketbook that Weger claimed that he tried to take was actually Mrs. Murphy’s camera.

Minutes later, the confession was transcribed and signed by Weger. During the confession, when he was asked why he had dragged the bodies under the overhang in St. Louis Canyon, Weger said that he had spotted a small airplane flying low over the park. Weger said that he was afraid that it was a state police plane so he moved the bodies so that they could not be seen from above. A few days later, the flight over the park was confirmed by the pilot’s testimony and log book.

Weger confessed several more times to the murders over the next few days and even reenacted the killings for a crowd of policemen and reporters at the canyon. Then suddenly, after his first meeting with his court-appointed attorney, Weger changed his story and stated that he was innocent of all of the charges. Weger claimed that Dummett and Hess had coerced a confession from him by threatening him with a gun. He had lied in his confession, but had been so scared that he signed the papers anyway. Weger also said that Dummett had fed him the information about the airplane. He claimed to be in Oglesby at the time of the killings.

Weger was brought to trial. Jury selection took almost two weeks and the trial began on January 20, 1961. The new state’s attorney, Robert E. Richardson, was in charge of the prosecution and was assisted by Anthony Raccuglia. The trial, which gained national attention, was presided over by Judge Leonard Hoffman and because the two prosecutors had never tried a murder case before, he suggested that Harland Warren be named as a special prosecutor for this case only. Richardson, who had strongly criticized Warren during the election, dismissed the idea. Richardson and Raccuglia decided to file charges against Weger for only one of the three murders. The reason for this was that in the event of a mistrial or an acquittal, they could still file charges against him for the other killings. They sought the death penalty in the case.

On March 4, almost exactly a year after the murders, the jury brought back a guilty verdict for Chester Weger. On the day of his 22nd birthday, he was sentenced to a term of life imprisonment. After Judge Hoffman dismissed the jurors, reporters asked them if they knew that a life sentence in Illinois meant that Weger would be eligible for parole in a few years. Most of the jurors were shocked -– they had no idea. Some of them even said that if they had known that Weger was not really being sent away for the rest of his life, they would have voted for the electric chair. A lack of knowledge of Illinois law, and the prosecutor’s failure to properly instruct the jury, ended up saving Weger’s life.

Chester Weger was incarcerated at the Statesville Penitentiary in Joliet and remains in prison today at the Illinois River Correctional Center in Canton. Weger has been denied parole two dozen times since 1972 and most feel that he belongs securely behind bars.

However, in the minds of some people, there are questions about the case that remain unanswered. Many feel that the evidence that was used to convict Weger would not stand up in court today. His prosecution largely turned out to be based on his confession, which pre-dated Miranda warnings that are required today. Others question how a small, slight man like Weger could have overpowered the three middle-aged women, and then moved their bodies by himself to leave them hidden under the rock overhang.

Others who believe in Weger’s innocence point to a “deathbed confession” that allegedly occurred in 1982 or 1983. A Chicago police sergeant named Mark Gibson submitted an affidavit in 2006 that recounted the confession. It was being used in court to support a motion for new DNA tests in the Starved Rock murder case. In the affidavit, Gibson stated that he and his partner, now deceased, were called to Rush–St. Luke’s Presbyterian Hospital to see a terminally-ill patient who wanted to “clear her conscience.

The affidavit stated, “The woman was lying in a hospital bed. I went over toward her, and she grabbed hold of my hand. She indicated that when she was younger, she had been with her friends at a state park when something happened.”

The woman then told Gibson that she was at a park in Utica and things “got out of hand,” multiple victims were killed and “they dragged the bodies.”

Gibson said that the woman’s daughters cut the interview short, shouting that their mother was “out of her mind” and ordering the police from the room. In the affidavit, Gibson did not provide the exact date of the interview, or the woman’s name, but said he passed the information along to a detective. The affidavit did not address whether or not there was any follow-up or why the confession was not presented until 2006. The alleged “confession” was not allowed into the court hearings, although new DNA tests were ordered. However, they failed to clear Weger of anything because the samples had been corrupted over the years.

After these attempts for release failed, a clemency petition was sent to Governor Rod Blagojevich, but it was denied in June 2007. Weger has since been denied parole again and is the longest-serving inmate in the Illinois Correctional System.

To this day, Weger continues to maintain that he was framed for the murders by Deputies Dummett and Hess. But both of the deputies, until the day each of them died, insisted that Weger had confessed. They firmly believed that he had committed the murders and had been the perpetrator of one of the most heinous acts in Illinois history.



Red geysers shoot from arm sockets and decapitated necks. Bat-Man® has a weeping wound on his torso. G.I. Joe’s® leg, snapped and dangling, drips and drains.
What had been scratched plastic are now abrasions, scabbing over. What had been nicks are now welts.
“Take that!” the three-year-old boy—his name’s Tom—says. “And that!”
He slams the figurines into each other. They spurt red ooze like they’re ketchup packets.
“I think you should take those toys away,” Jennifer says.
Not this again, Doug thinks. “I’m not taking away his Christmas present on Christmas day.”
They’re in the kitchen, watching Tom play on a seventy-inch monitor. Similar monitors are fastened to a wall in every room. Each of them is connected to a camera in the playroom.
“That’s your son, Doug. Aren’t you even a little worried?”
For God’s sake, why did she think he’d had the monitors installed? Now they could give Tom the illusion of independence while still looking over his shoulder.
They watch Tom on the monitor for a few moments. He whips Bat-Man® across the room.
“He’s going to stain the walls,” Jennifer says.
“No he’s not,” Doug says. “The blood washes right out.”
It’s remarkable stuff, this “blood.” In many ways it looks and even acts like the real deal. Dries and congeals. Crusts over. Even cracks and leaks anew. But unlike real blood, you can remove it with one swipe of a damp paper towel.
“Well then why did you put the plastic on the carpet?”
“Why clean the carpet every time he plays if we don’t have to?”
The plastic had come in the box with the toys.
“It’s just—all that blood . . . ” Jennifer says.
“For the last time, it’s not real blood.”
Earlier, he’d fished the box out of the trash and showed her the ingredients. The blood was more akin to Kool-Aid® than plasma.
Anyway, that’s what he’d told Jennifer a few minutes ago, when Tom started drinking right from an arm socket.
“Does he know it’s not real?” Jennifer says.
“Of course,” Doug says.
“There’s no part of you that thinks this is unhealthy?” Jennifer asks.
He watches Tom make explosion sounds as he hammers Bat-Man® against the plastic-covered floor. Blood splatters the boy’s arms.
“Of course not,” he says.
It wasn’t as though Tom was the only kid in the country slurping up Kool-Aid® blood at this very moment. Doug had had to camp out in line hours before the store even opened. He’d scratched and clawed and wrestled another parent for one of the last boxes.
This morning, Tom had been so excited about the gift that he’d begun hyperventilating. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” he’d said.
“Die! Die! Die!” he says now.
He’s still chanting as he gets up and begins spinning. He whirls around, giggling at his own lightheadedness. He’s holding the decapitated G.I. Joe®, whose blood splashes concentrically around the room.
“Just a phase?” Jennifer says.
“Of course,” Doug says, but there’s uncertainty in his voice, and Jennifer picks up on it.
“Real things bleed to death,” she reminds him, as if he of all people needed to be reminded of this.
“G.I. Joe® isn’t real . . .”
“Does he know that?” Jennifer repeats.
For the first time, Doug turns from the monitor and looks at Jennifer. At her button-looking eyes and her fuzzy body.
“You’re not real, either,” he says.
“Do you think I don’t know that?”
“I didn’t mean to offend you.”
“I’m just a teddy bear. I don’t get offended.”
But Doug can tell that she’s exactly that. “You’re not just a teddy bear,” he says.
Which is true. Jennifer’s a Sleeping Bear®, which means she is blessed with artificial intelligence and carefully calibrated emotionality. Sleeping Bears® were all the rage when Doug’s wife did the Christmas shopping last year.
“Don’t do that, Tom,” Jennifer whispers.
The boy has collected some of the blood in his cupped hands. He sticks his nose in the puddle and blows. The blood bubbles and sloshes, much to Tom’s delight.
“Maybe I should go in there and talk to him,” Jennifer says.
She sounds just like his wife. Always trying to explain everything to a three-year-old. Actions and consequences. Those were the only methods that worked with a little boy. Frankly, they were the only methods that worked with adults, too. It wasn’t until his wife stormed out of the house this morning that she truly got his attention.
“We didn’t get you so you could talk to Tom,” Doug says to Jennifer.
They got her to bond with the boy. And they got her to leave the boy. “No one needs to die,” the Sleeping Bears® ad had said, “to teach your child about death.” So far, he and his wife had followed the instructions on the box exactly. Doug hadn’t even rolled his eyes much. After all, that was one thing he innately trusted: protocol, orders.
Slowly, incrementally, after many soothing talks, Jennifer’s hibernation periods were programmed to get longer and longer. A few years from now, the bear would close her eyes and never open them again. “Teach your child to think of death as a permanent hibernation!” the box said.
Now, as he watches Tom stomping on blood puddles, he wonders if something really is wrong. What if his boy really is messed up, and he’s allowed it to happen simply to try but fail to keep the peace at home?
Actions, consequences. It was the only way.
“What are you doing?” Jennifer says.
“Your job,” Doug says.
It’s the same tone he took a few hours ago with his wife, after Tom opened his present, after she went ballistic; before, in an act of what he now realizes was desertion, she stormed out of the house.
“This isn’t the plan,” Jennifer gasps.
Doug has her fuzzy neck in the crook of his arm.
“He needs to see,” he says.
Doug squeezes, jerks his arm. He looks at the monitor, at his giggling, bloodied boy, and waits for the heaving to stop.
“He’s a normal boy,” Doug says, as though someone might be watching him on a monitor, as though they might want an explanation for his actions. “He’s going to be a normal boy.”


When Weird Darkness returns…

A young girl goes for a walk into the woods and suddenly finds she’s not alone. (A Rather Strange Company)

Plus… Though he was born into a Roman Catholic family, Adolfo Constanzo quickly fell into alternative religion, focusing on black magic and the occult…. but then he went even darker than that. (Catholic Boy, Drug Kingpin, Satanic Cult-Leader, and Serial Killer)

And… In April 2007, a rash of sightings were reported of a strange creature prowling around the outskirts of Stafford, in the UK. Is it possible that there is finally evidence of werewolves in the 21st century? (Cannock Chase Werewolves)

But first… Hollywood has used the Greystone Mansion in numerous movies and TV shows… but would the actors be so comfortable filming there if they knew it’s murderous and haunting history? That story is up next. (The Greystone Mansion Murders)




The sprawling Greystone mansion in Beverly Hills, California was built in 1928 by Edward L. Doheny, an oil tycoon and rival of John D. Rockefeller. The mansion, designed by Gordon Kaufmann, who had also built the Hoover Dam and the iconic Los Angeles Times building, cost over $4 million, which made it the most expensive home in Southern California at the time. Doheny himself never lived there. He’d had the house built as a gift for his son, Edward “Ned” Doheny, Jr.

But Ned didn’t get to enjoy it for long. On February 16, 1929, just five months after he had moved in with his wife, Lucy, and their five children, he was found dead in a guest bedroom in the east wing of the mansion. He was not alone. Also, lying dead in the bedroom was his longtime friend and assistant, Hugh Plunkett.

The events of the night were pieced together from Ned’s wife, Lucy. She said that Plunkett had let himself into the house with his own key, as he always did, and went to the east wing. She had not been alarmed by anything until she heard a single gunshot. Lucy called the family doctor – not the police – E.C. Fishbaugh, and together, they had gone to the east wing. As they approached the bedroom, they saw Plunkett standing in the hallway, holding a gun and looking upset. He immediately rushed back into the bedroom and another shot was fired. When Lucy and Dr. Fishbaugh entered the room, they discovered the bodies of both men.

When the police arrived, veteran detectives became suspicious of the story. The witnesses seemed to have rehearsed their stories and the sequence of events seemed questionable. Why had Lucy called the doctor first, not the police? Why did the bodies appear to have been moved? Why were the police not called until almost 2:00 AM, when the shots had been fired between 11:00 and 11:30 PM? If Plunkett had committed suicide, how had he managed to shoot himself in the back of the head?

But these questions were not asked for long. Within a few days, the official conclusion was that things had occurred just as Lucy had claimed – a murder-suicide – and the case was closed. A few detectives were unhappy about the decision, but the orders had come down from the top and any further investigation was stopped.

Doheny and Plunkett were buried close to each other at Forest Lawn and that should have been the end of the story, but rumors still swirled around town about what really happened on the night of February 16. Some made note of the fact that Doheny was buried at Forest Lawn, a secular cemetery, even though he was a Catholic. His family made large donations to the church every year and the only thing that would have prevented his burial in a Catholic cemetery was if he had committed suicide. So, whose body was actually found first? What really happened that night?

One unfounded rumor claimed that Ned and Hugh were lovers and that their deaths were the result of a fight about their relationship. In the 1920s – even in Hollywood – such relationships would have been kept secret. This story gained a lot of attention, with some alleging that Lucy had walked in on the two men, and shot them both herself. In truth, though, this theory likely had nothing to do with what occurred that night.

Around the time of Ned’s death, his father, Doheny, Sr., was embroiled in the Teapot Dome Scandal. This bribery incident that took place during the administration of President Warren G. Harding and involved Secretary of the Interior Albert Bacon Fall, who leased Navy petroleum reserves at Teapot Dome in Wyoming and two other locations in California to private oil companies at low rates without competitive bidding. One of those companies was owned by Doheny and in 1929, Fall was found guilty of accepting a $100,000 bribe from him.

Both Ned and Hugh Plunkett had been implicated in the case and it’s most likely that the murder-suicide – regardless of who killed whom – was the result of a growing fear about their illegal business practices and the very real threat of prison time they were now facing. One of the men killed the other and then turned the gun on himself. Lucy Doheny and the trusted family physician were left to try and salvage some shred of decency for the family out of the entire mess.

Or at least that’s what may have happened. In truth, we will never know. But whatever happened that night, Greystone remains haunted after all of these years. The lingering spirit is not either of the men, but Ned’s wife, Lucy.

Lucy managed to weather the scandal of her husband’s death and, a few years later, she remarried. She and her new husband, financier Leigh Battson, continued to live in the mansion, raising her children. They couple later built and moved into a new home nearby and Lucy sold the bulk of the Greystone estate in 1954. The mansion itself was sold in 1965 to a Chicago-based developer who never lived there. Instead, he rented it to movie studios. Later, the city of Beverly Hills bought the mansion, leasing it for a time to the American Film Institute, then turning it into a park. The mansion now plays host to private parties and if often featured in television shows and movies, including the critically acclaimed 2007 film about the early oil industry, There Will be Blood.

Lucy spent the rest of her life in her new home near Greystone. Towards the end – she lived to be 100 and died in 1993 – she would get dressed up each day and then sit in a wing-backed chair near the front door with her purse clenched in her hands. She was apparently waiting for something, but she refused to say what it was she was waiting for. She never spoke publicly about what happened that deadly night in what the newspapers called the “Palace of Grief,” and perhaps that is why her ghost refuses to rest.

Over the last two decades, there have been frequent reports of a ghostly woman who wanders the halls of Greystone, leaving traces of lilac perfume in her wake. Perhaps she still has a story to tell about a dark night in 1929, but whether she will ever tell it is a mystery as chilling as the one surrounding the deaths of the two men that occurred that night.


A small, modest, old village right in the heart of Norway, Heidal. That’s where I’m from. As a fourteen year old girl it is safe to say there wasn’t much to do. I’d either watch tv, climb a tree, build a tree house, visit friends whenever I could, or go for a walk. I didn’t have much in the ways of technology so I found my fun in better ways. Like walking. The last of which I did several times a week.

My walks were my favorite thing to do. It got me away from my brothers as I was the only girl, I could have some me-time. I’d walk along the road, carry my discman in my belt and sing along to the only cd I had. I didn’t even have to worry about someone hearing my awful voice because if someone else did turn up, they’d either be in a car, or I’d see them come walking long before we’d be close enough to greet each other, therefore giving me time to shut up.

It was a lovely day in July. The sun was hot, the breeze was mild, the skies were blue and clouds barely existed. I reckon it was the good weather in combination with Shania Twains beautiful voice that made me daydream and suddenly realize how far I’d gone.

Luckily I realized this just before the scarier part of the road began. There were trees on either side, and from that point on the woods were thicker, darker, people would be even rarer, and my great grandfather once encountered a scary animal there. I can’t remember if it was a wolf or some other animal, but the forest is no longer its home.

I never walked alone once I got to that point.

It wasn’t so much the woods as it was what could be hiding in them. I remember standing there with my music turned off, just staring down the road, imagining wolfes and bears. I turned around, picked up my pace and soon found myself on more safer grounds again.

” From this moment, life will go on ” Shania sang in my ears as I drifted into daydreaming, again barely noticing my pace or where I was. Pretty soon I started singing too. I could hear myself through my earphones, and I remember thanking the heavens that there were no people around to hear me.

On repeat I sang that one song to myself. The more I sang it, the better I felt I got, and thereby ofcourse I made an attempt to sound better too, including volume. After a good while of walking, the sun was still hot, the breeze still mild, the day still beautiful, but I began feeling like I wasn’t alone anymore.

The hairs on my neck began standing up, and through all the peace and birdsongs, I started feeling uneasy. So I did what anyone would do. I glanced back, quickly and discreetly looked over my shoulder.

About a good 20 meters behind me, there walked a man, clearly of an older generation. I remember this so vividly because his entire appearance struck me as oldfashioned. Never had I seen him before either. Not in the grocery store, not at the gas station, not at the diner, and I sure as hell had never seen him on that road before. As I walked that same road almost every day, I should’ve met him a long time ago, but I had never seen him.

He was bald on top of the head, yet had a very white, long beard. It reached him almost to his chest. He had a white sweater, suspenders, dark grey and old pants, and black, worn shoes. He walked slightly bent forward with his hands folded behind his back, and from what I could tell he had his eyes on the road, not me.

But this did not make me feel any better. I felt so embarrassed! I had been singing so loudly and really pretended that I was Shania Twain, and I knew that whilst I could hear myself, I could also hear the music, whereas this old man who must have been walking behind me for some time, could only hear… Me. Just me and the birds. This was excactly the kind of thing I never thought would happen, and now it had. The only reassurance I had, was the fact that I could see my driveway now. It wasn’t far ahead.

Without singing another note, I picked up my pace yet I made sure not to look as though I was in a hurry in any way. The last thing I wanted now was to be ‘outed’ as a runner or a chicken by an old man. After having walked for a bit, I couldn’t help myself but to glance back over my shoulder at him, once more to see how much space I had managed to create between us.

Perhaps it was only my imagination, or this guy played a game on me, but I had surely walked faster, and his pace had not changed at all, yet somehow the distance was still the same. I turned around and kept walking until I reached my driveway. A few meters down my driveway, I glanced back up towards the road. I could still see far down each side of it, but what made me stop was the fact that the old man was no longer there.

Somewhat hesitantly, and overly curious as to how this could be, I took a few steps up towards the road again, to see if perhaps he had turned around and walked on the other side of the road, where the trees previously had blocked my view. But no matter the direction I looked, he was nowhere to be seen. I imagined that he must have jumped behind a bush to spy at me, or he was really fast for being so old.

I didn’t wait around to see if he showed up again. Instead I went down the road and back home. I told my grandmother about how I was singing and some old guy had heard me. About how embarressed I was.

I was seated in an old, brown leather chair in my grandmothers livingroom, when I told her about it. Everything from the singing, the uneasy feeling, the man and his appearance and how he was gone all of a sudden.

The more I spoke of this experience, the more she seemed to find it special.

It was as though my grandmother wanted to comfort me, and she tried to do so by telling me that I was not the first to tell her about this man. She had heard a similar story, many, many, many years previously.

I could feel my face twist into a horror expression. Sure, I’d seen spirits and dealt with them before, but this time was so very different! This time I had no way of telling him apart from the living. I truly believed it was one of the elders of our village that I had never met before, and one of the reasons I told my grandmother at all about it, was because I thought she could tell me who it was.

” My father once saw him too. ” She said. I was ofcourse instantly eager to hear more, as always. This was one of her stories that I had not heard before.

When my grandmother was a young girl like myself, they lived up in her old childhood home, which lies beyond the ‘ scarier part of the road’ as I mentioned at the beginning of the story.

Her father often walked when going to the grocey store or had other errands to do, as they did not have cars. ” It was during winter.” She said. Her father was walking home one late evening, about the time it got darker outside. Whilst walking, at some point on the road, just as it had with me, he noticed that he wasn’t alone.

His company however, was infront of him. She said her father saw an old man walking slowly, dragging a slay behind him. ” There were no homes for a good while yet, so this stranger and my father would be sharing the road, and he thought they might as well keep each other company. ” Grandmother told me.

By this point I had nearly forgotten how we got into this subject, I was busy imagining everything she said.

Her father had spoken up, and asked the old the man if they could walk together, but the old man did not turn around, did not answer, he did not stop. So her father had picked up his pace alittle, and spoke louder, repeating his question. Still with no responce.

He didn’t give up, and for each time he spoke up, he picked up his pace, trying to get closer to insure the old man would hear him. It would have been nice with company. But as I had experienced as well, it did not matter how quickly my great grandfather had walked, for the old mans pace remained the same, and so did the distance between them. Eventually great grandfather gave up and walked the rest of his journey home, staring at the old mans back in quiet.

The latter continued along the road past great grandfathers home, and he could see the old man slowly vanishing into the dark the further away he got, until he was completely gone. ” He thought it was strange, but he didn’t think of it or tell any of us about it, until the next morning. ” Grandmother said.

Apparantly, he had gone out the next morning. There had been no snowfall during the night, and when he walked up to the road he could clearly see his own footsteps from the previous night. But it wasn’t so much what was there, as what was not. The tracks of the old mans boots and his slay, were nowhere to be seen.

I have walked that road plenty of times after, and when using a bicycle I have felt brave enough to venture further than where my walks would stop. Into the scarier parts of the road, and all the way up to where my grandmothers childhood home used to be. (Relatives live there now, in new houses and a little higher up the field from where her old torn down home once laid). I’d stop and look, imagine all the stories grandmother has told me about the things she and her family experienced there. It’s hard to believe that something so wicked and strange could occur at places so beautiful and seemingly peaceful.


ADOLPHO CONSTANZO (Catholic Boy, Drug Kingpin, Satanic Cult-Leader, and Serial Killer)

Adolfo Constanzo was born in Miami in 1962. His mother, a widowed immigrant from Cuba, moved to Puerto Rico with her infant son to marry her second husband before the family moved back to Miami in 1972. Little did she know that her infant son would grow up to become a drug lord and cult-leading mass murderer.

Voodoo and Catholicism have always had an interesting relationship and although Adolfo Constanzo was baptized in Roman Catholic tradition, like most other immigrants in the Little Havana neighborhood where he lived, strange rumors started swirling about the young boy and his family.

Local legend claims his mother and grandmother were both priestesses in the Santeria religion, a blend of Afro-Cuban religion and certain elements of Catholicism popular throughout the Caribbean.

When Constanzo was 14, he became the apprentice of a local sorcerer who had made himself rich through his dealings with superstitious local drug dealers. It was supposedly this sorcerer who introduced Constanzo to palo mayombe, the darker side of Santeria. Shortly after that, his neighbors began finding small dead animals on their doorsteps.

After spending his teenage years being schooled in sorcery and arrested several times for shoplifting, Constanzo’s good looks brought him to Mexico City for modeling work. It was there he recruited his first occult “disciples.”

Jorge Montes and Martin Quintana were both his first followers and his lovers, having been lured in by Constanzo’s powerful charisma and a curiosity about the occult. Constanzo would play upon these dual traits and seduce many of his other disciples in Mexico City’s gay neighborhood the “zona rosa,” where he read tarot cards.

Adolfo Constanzo set up shop in Mexico City permanently in 1984 and worked on establishing his reputation as a powerful padrino in the city. Mexican drug dealers presented the perfect combination of superstition and blood-lust upon which Constanzo could prey: for sums of up to $4,500 he would perform ceremonies that involved the sacrifices of animals that he guaranteed would protect the dealers during their illicit activities.

Constanzo’s diary later outlined the exact prices customers paid per animal: from $6 for a simple rooster, all the way up to $3,100 for lion cubs; one prominent dealer racked up a $40,000 bill with Constanzo over a three-year period.

As the sorcerer lured in more and more impressive clientele (including not just powerful cartel leaders, but fashion models, nightclub performers, and a few federal policemen), he needed to put on more impressive spectacles to satisfy them. Constanzo and his followers had been raiding cemeteries for actual human bones for some time, but in time even they would not be enough.

By 1987, Adolfo Constanzo had come a long way from reading tarot cards in the zona rosa — the big money he was getting from rich clients afforded him a new condominium complete with a garage full of luxury cars. The sorcerer had also taken advantage of his police and cartel contacts to start dealing himself for some illicit supplementary income.

Adolfo Constanzo’s most important client was the Calzada family, leaders one of the county’s biggest cartels. The relationship between the padrino and the dealers started out as it usually did, with the Constanzo providing protection spells for large sums of money.

As time went on and the Calzadas became more and more powerful, Constanzo became convinced that their good fortunes were the results of his black magic and insisted upon being given a position of power with the cartel. When the cartel leader refused Constanzo’s demand, he and six other family members suddenly disappeared.

The nganga, or blood cauldron, is an important part of palo mayombe: worshipers believe that by placing bones and blood in an iron cauldron, they can summon spirits to do their bidding.

When Mexican police found the bodies of the missing members of the Calzada family, the mutilated corpses were missing more than a few parts. Constanzo had taken the fingers, toes, hearts, testicles, spines, and brains from his former partners and added them all to his own nganga in hopes of strengthening his dark powers.

To this day, it is unknown how many human victims Adolfo Constanzo and his disciples fed to their nganga; 23 have been officially documented, but police believe that a series of mutilated bodies found in the area and during the time the padrino was active there may also be the handiwork of the cult.

Constanzo’s victims were small-time crooks, transvestites from the zona rosa, or even members of his own circle who disobeyed him; since most of the human sacrifices came from the society’s dark underbelly, the murders flew under the radar, and the full number of homicides may never be known.

Constanzo’s followers worshiped him like a god, they did not hesitate to find victims for him or even mutilate one of their own. When the “Pied Piper of Death” demanded the sacrifice of an “anglo” one night in 1989, they did not hesitate to grab one of the many American college students who had crossed the border from Texas during his spring break.

This time, the padrino had overreached himself. The student they had snatched, Mark Kilroy, was not a lone drifter whose disappearance would go unnoticed. His friends and family alerted both American and Mexican authorities, triggering a massive manhunt that would eventually bring about Constanzo’s downfall.

When the Mexican police busted a small-time marijuana dealer that April, he led them to a small ranch where, as the police had expected, they found a cache of drugs. What the police did not expect was the small windowless shack on the ranch property that one would later describe as “a human slaughterhouse.”

They had accidentally stumbled upon Adolfo Constanzo’s nganga, still filled with bits and pieces of his victims; the horribly mutilated bodies of Kilroy and the others were buried in shallow graves on the grounds. The police burned the shack to the ground and called in a priest to perform a purification rite.

The symbolic destruction of the heart of Adolfo Constanzo’s dark powers preceded the padrino‘s actual downfall. Mexican authorities tracked him down a couple of weeks later and surrounded him in his Mexico City apartment.

The cult leader eluded justice until the very end; ordering one of his faithful companions to shoot him before the police could take them away.



Cannock Chase is a large densely woodland area which has become known as one the UK’s most active paranormal hotspots. In recent times there has been reports of werewolves, UFO’s and ghosts by the local residents.

On April 26, 2007, the local Stafford Post newspaper ran the following story: “A rash of sightings of a ‘werewolf’ type creature prowling around the outskirts of Stafford, have prompted a respected Midlands paranormal group to investigate.

West Midlands Ghost Club says they have been contacted by a number of shocked residents who saw what they claimed to be a `hairy wolf-type creature’ walking on its hind legs around the German War Cemetery, just off Camp Road, in between Stafford and Cannock. Several of the witnesses claim the creature sprang up on its hind legs and ran into the nearby bushes when it was spotted.”

The newspaper continued: “Nick Duffy, of West Midlands Ghost Club, said the stories of werewolf sightings in Chase area were something that he had encountered before. He said: ‘the first person to contact us was a postman, who told us he had seen what he thought was a werewolf on the German War Cemetery site. He said he was over there on a motorbike and saw what he believed was a large dog. When he got closer, the creature got on his hind legs and ran away.”

The Post quoted Duffy as adding that: “I’ve spoke to many witnesses and I know when they are putting it on. But what struck me as strange about this was the way he told it. I’m in no doubt that he was telling the truth.”

The creature was also apparently spotted by a scout leader walking over the forest land earlier in April. The man, who the Post stated did not want to be named, said he saw what he initially believed was a large dog prowling by the bushes. It was only when he got into his car to drive away that he realized something strange about the animal.

He said: “It just looked like a huge dog. But when I slammed the door of my car it reared up on its back legs and ran into the trees. It must have been about six to seven feet tall. I know it sounds absolutely mad, but I know what I saw.”

In recent years there have been a high number of pet disappearances especially in the area around the German War Cemetery, and it’s certainly the case that the area has been the site of animal (particularly deer) mutilations over the past decade.

Also in the news is a mysterious apparition which confronted a local woman on a lonely stretch of road, the apparition has been dubbed ‘The Lady of the Chase’. ‘Linda’, has come forward to tell us her disturbing ghost story.

“I had what I can only describe as a totally surreal experience whilst driving across Cannock Chase last year,” she said. “I had not been able to tell anyone about this apart from my partner. It was him who encouraged me to contact you following some of the reports you have made in your paper.” Linda was returning home after visiting a friend in Pye Green, near Cannock, last November when she was confronted by ‘the lady’.

“It was about 11.30pm and I had decided to take a short cut across the Chase, as I neared Spring Slade Lodge I had to brake hard as a person suddenly stood in the road.” After Linda recovered from the shock of the near collision she turned her attention to the figure in front of her car. “In my headlights the form was of a tall female, pale grey in colour. She appeared to be naked but with no visible breasts or genitalia.

“Immediately, I was drawn to her eyes, large hypnotic eyes that totally transfixed me. I was in dread and unable to move a muscle. I was aware I was being ‘mentally examined’ and there was nothing I could do to prevent this.” After a couple of minutes the figure turned and walked away into nearby woodland.

“It was only when she had disappeared that I could move again,” Linda said. “I accelerated away in panic.” She told us she has not been able to drive across Cannock Chase since the incident and added: “Sometimes, after a dream, I can see a vivid image of the woman’s face with those staring eyes. I’m not a very good artist, but felt compelled to draw the face of this figure. I call her ‘The Lady of the Chase’.

Was Linda’s apparition really a ghost or is it possible that what Linda saw was in actual fact an alien. Linda describes being mentally examined by the entity and being unable to move, these sensations are often reported by abductees. The figure also walked way into the nearby woodland, spirits usually just fade away.

Cannock Chase UFO Sightings

Cannock Chase has long been popular with UFO enthusiasts, just earlier this year the MOD released previously top secret files revealing the skies over Cannock had been the subject of investigations after reports of strange lights hovering above the town.

Between 1988 and the early 90s a raft of sightings led to the period being known as the ‘Staffordshire Flap’. The most significant even during that time happened on May 16 1988. Evidence suggests two UFOs, noticed by Air Traffic Control at Birmingham Airport, descended to a height of 1000-feet. Dozens of witnesses, including police officer, watched in awe as the two shapes moved across the sky. After swooping and climbing maneuvers the objects vanished in the blink of an eye.

The closest encounter for Chase folk however is shrouded in mystery. Older residents remember military cordons and road blocks following the crash landing of a craft on the Chase in 1964. The object, tracked by British, Russian and US intelligence, broke into several pieces with some coming down in the woods outside of Cannock.

Locals travelling across the Chase were told to find other routes while some witnesses reported seeing a craft being loaded onto a transport truck. Even at the time there were accusations of a cover up, the residents were told to forget what they had seen and that it was a matter of national security.


Up next on Weird Darkness..

Records indicate that the man known as the Comte de Saint Germain was born in the late 1600s/early 1700s, but reports by other well-known figures in history have told of a similar man that can be traced back to the time of Christ. This man was known by famous figures such as Casanova, Madame de Pampadour, Voltaire, King Louis XV, Catherine the Great, Anton Mesmer and many more. I’ll bring you the story of the eternal vampire of New Orleans.




Records indicate that the man known as the Comte de Saint Germain was born in the late 1600s/early 1700s, but reports by other well-known figures in history have told of a similar man that can be traced back to the time of Christ. This man was known by famous figures such as Casanova, Madame de Pampadour, Voltaire, King Louis XV, Catherine the Great, Anton Mesmer and many more.

While most accounts can’t agree on how many events in history he haunted – some say he was at the wedding at Cana (Jesus + Water = Wine), others that he was present at the council of Nicaea (325 A.D.) – most will agree that in the 1600s, the Comte was an alchemist and this is where he becomes more well-known. Now, if you are familiar with Harry Potter you might have heard the term called, The Philosopher’s Stone, which was one of the main goals of alchemy. The elusive search for immortality and something it is thought that the Comte achieved.

Saint-Germain was out in high-society Europe in 1742. He was described as vastly knowledgeable in the sciences and history, well-spoken in over six languages, including French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and English along with familiarity in Chinese, Latin, Arabic, ancient Greek and even Sanskrit. The first record of his suspected immortality was at a party at the manor of Madame de Pompadour, then mistress of King Louis XV of France. The year was 1760 and a confused Countess von Gregory approached the man, thinking it was the son of the man she knew in 1710, whom she knew to be the Count de Saint-Germain also. On approach she discovered it was the same man who didn’t seem to have aged a day in the fifty years that had passed. It is noted that the Comte didn’t even deny that it was him, or play himself off as the son. It is even said that he joked with the Countess that he was indeed over 100 years old.

Forty more years, The Count de Saint-Germain was said to travel throughout Europe. Never aging and continuously marveling the elite of Europe with his abilities, like his genius on the violin, or his painting skills, his deep wallets, his knowledge of medicine and the fact that he always dined with his peers, but never ate. It is said that he only drank wine, which of course he was said to be a connoisseur.

The supposed final account of the Comte was when he traveled to Hamburg, German and befriended Prince Charles of Hesse-Cassel. Saint-German became a trusted confidant of the Prince and lived as a guest in the castle at Eckernförde. This is where it was rumored that he finally died. The only thing that accounts for his death though is a local record that states Count de Saint-Germain deceased, February 27, 1784.

The Comtesse d’Adhémar claims that the Count was there to witness the beheading of Marie Antoinette October 16, 1793. He would have been close to 100 years old if Google is correct in their estimated year of birth at 1710.

Yet, even though the records of his death were found, the Count was continued to be seen all over Europe as soon as a year after his supposed death, by none other than Anton Mesmer, the man who pioneered the art of hypnotism (said to be taught to him by Saint-Germain). Then records indicate Saint-German was chosen as a representative for the Freemasons at a convention. Story after story of him appears in written records and never the man looks older than 45.

The Comtesse d’Adhémar even wrote, “I have seen Saint-Germain again, each time to my amazement. I saw him when the queen was murdered, on the 18th of Brumaire, on the day following the death of the Duke d’Enghien, in January, 1815, and on the eve of the murder of the Duke de Berry.” The Comtesse wrote this account in 1820, by all accounts Saint-Germain would.

In the year is 1902 and a man going by Jaques St. Germain moves into the prestigious building at the corner of Ursulines and Royal. It is said that he has immigrated from the south of France and a descendent of the Count Saint-Germain. His first introduction into New Orleans society was a party he threw, where he invited all the elite of New Orleans, dignitaries and politicians. Fed them from a catered menu on the finest china and silverware, yet didn’t himself eat a bite. All he did was drink what guests believed to be red wine.

This supposedly offended New Orleans polite society and Jacques, while immensely rich never seemed to fit in. He was described as charming, highly intelligent and a master of languages and art, but the company he kept and the fact that he was known to party a lot (loved Bourbon Street) kept him from being accepted by the elitists.

Jacques Saint Germaine didn’t come back into attention until the police took notice of him. Jacques had picked up a woman in a local pub and taken her back to his home. The young woman later finds herself at the police station with a tale that sounds right out of a fantasy novel. She said that Saint-Germain came at her with alarming speed and strength when she leaned over to inspect some beautiful items on his mantel. With that speed and strength in full use, he pressed her against the mantel and began biting her viciously on her neck.

As luck would have it, at that exact moment a few of Jacques more rowdy friends began banging at his door to lure him out for a drink. The pounding distracted Jacques enough for the woman to break away, but instead of trying to make it past Jacques she decides to throw herself through the second story window and over the balcony that surrounds the property, to the bricked street below, thus resulting in her legs breaking in a few places. Her desperate screams drew the police and they took her to the hospital and took her statement.

Jacques, when questioned that night, stated only that she was drunk and decided to jump. Police ask if Jacques could come down to the station in the morning to give a formal statement.

Jacques never appears at the police station the next day. When they decide to pay him a visit they find his house is abandoned and most of his things gone. Police take this as invitation to inspect his home and are confused by what they find. For one there are blood stains all over table clothes in the house and from what they can tell they are from different time periods. Then to top it off there was absolutely not one piece of food in the house. Not even utensils or plates, just a large collection of wine glasses and wine bottles filled with what police believed to be red wine, yet upon taste discovered it was a mixture of blood and wine.

Comte de Saint-Germain & Richard Chanfray, the main who claimed to be the Count in the 1970s. Chanfray appeared on television with his claim and supposedly changed lead into gold. Chanfray committed suicide in Saint Tropez in 1983. Picture is taken from Before It’s News and they report that Chanfray faked his suicide and is still alive to this day. (Which would be true if he really is the Count).

There have been numerous reports, even in present day, that a mysterious figure, sometimes known as “Jack” will often harass tourists and locals, displaying amazing speed or strength.

Today New Orleans is known as one of the most violent cities in the U.S., leading the country in “murders per capita”. But, it doesn’t stop there, we are also known for our mysterious disappearances, which are not based in the “low-income” districts of NOLA, but usually focus on tourists and even visiting celebrities. These crimes give the city a dangerous and almost gothic flare and perpetuate the rumors that it might not be drug-dealers that are pushing our crime-stats through the roof, but maybe a few vampires, one in particular that goes by Jack.


Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! And please leave a rating and review of the show in the podcast app you listen from! You can email me anytime with your questions or comments at darren@weirddarkness.com. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find all of my social media, listen to audiobooks I’ve narrated, shop the Weird Darkness store, sign up for monthly contests, find other podcasts that I host, and find the Hope in the Darkness page if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or dark thoughts.

And please consider giving towards our Overcoming The Darkness fundraiser, where every dollar you give will be donated to organizations that help people who struggle with depression. The fundraiser ends Halloween Night after the LIVE SCREAM, so please give today. Visit the Hope in the Darkness page at WeirdDarkness.com for more information.

Also on WeirdDarkness.com, 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.

“Mormons, Aliens, and Hangar 18” by Robbie Graham for Mysterious Universe
“The Laughter of God” by G. Michael Vasey at MyHauntedLifeToo.,com
“Gone in the Night: The Disappearance of Rudolf Diesel” by Orrin Grey for The Line Up
“The Starved Rock Murders” by Troy Taylor from his book “Bloody Illinois”
The fictional story, “2031: The Toys, They’re Bleeding” by Patrick Hueller
“The Greystone Mansion Murders” by Troy Taylor from his Facebook page
“A Rather Strange Company” by Sanguirina at YourGhostStories.com
“Catholic Boy, Drug Kingpin, Satanic Cult-Leader, and Serial Killer” by Gina Dimuro for All That’s Interesting
“Cannock Chase Werewolves” posted at Ghost-Story.co.uk
“The Vampire of New Orleans” posted at CoolInterestingStuff.com

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

WeirdDarkness™ – is a production and trademark of Marlar House Productions. Copyright, Weird Darkness, 2022.

Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” – 1 Corinthians 10:12

And a final thought… “He that returns good for evil obtains the victory.” — Thomas Fuller

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

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