“THE OKLAHOMA OCTOPUS” and Other (True?) Creepy Stories! #WeirdDarkness

THE OKLAHOMA OCTOPUS” and Other (True?) Creepy Stories! #WeirdDarkness

Listen to ““THE OKLAHOMA OCTOPUS” and Other (True?) Creepy Stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.

IN THIS EPISODE: Tales of sea monsters go back millennia, tales of giant squids and octopus are particularly prevalent. But where is the last place on earth you’d expect to find such a creature? How about the desert landscape of Oklahoma? (The Oklahoma Octopus) *** Parental hostility drove a girl out of her home and into the arms of her cousin. As I’m sure you can guess, that was not a wise decision. (Kissing Cousins) *** I’ll read a short passage from G. Michael Vasey’s book, “Chasing the Goddess”, a chapter called “Strange Things Happen To Me”.

SOURCES AND REFERENCES FROM THE EPISODE…
“The Oklahoma Octopus” by Bex Shea: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/uscmrhuk, https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/y6nv5ad5
“Kissing Cousins” by Robert Wilhelm for MurderByGaslight.com: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/ytcedcxv
“Strange Things Happen To Me” by G. Michael Vasey for MyHauntedLifeToo.com, from his book “Chasing the Goddess”: https://amzn.to/3hmH6lS
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music Library.
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(Over time links seen above may become invalid, disappear, or have different content. I always make sure to give authors credit for the material I use whenever possible. If I somehow overlooked doing so for a story, or if a credit is incorrect, please let me know and I will rectify it in these show notes immediately. Some links included above may benefit me financially through qualifying purchases.)

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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: July 07, 2021

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:

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

SHOW OPEN=====

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

Coming up in this episode…

Parental hostility drove a girl out of her home and into the arms of her cousin. As I’m sure you can guess, that was not a wise decision. (Kissing Cousins)

I’ll read a short passage from G. Michael Vasey’s book, “Chasing the Goddess”, a chapter called “Strange Things Happen To Me”.

But first… Tales of sea monsters go back millennia, tales of giant squids and octopus are particularly prevalent. But where is the last place on earth you’d expect to find such a creature? How about the desert landscape of Oklahoma? We begin there! (The Oklahoma Octopus)

If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, to visit sponsors you hear about during the show, sign up for my newsletter, enter contests, connect with me on social media, listen to my other podcasts like “Retro Radio: Old Time Radio In The Dark”, “Church of the Undead” and a classic 1950’s sci-fi style podcast called “Auditory Anthology,” 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!

STORY: THE OKLAHOMA OCTOPUS=====

I adore octopuses. Octopie? Whatever. Anyway, they are so strange, so unlike us, that they are one of the few known lifeforms that can make an honest go at being called “alien.” Add a healthy dose of Lovecraft, a dash of Verne, and, hey, maybe you’ve even seen enough hentai to know where this is going — but our cephalopod buddies have inspired some of the creepiest crawlies to grace our collective nightmares.

Get used to seeing them on here, is what I’m saying.

One of the most recent — and outlandish — stories of a monstrous octopus comes from Oklahoma. This makes sense because of Oklahoma’s prominence as a great shipping region. Yes, the Oklahoma coast is among the best in America. The wharfs! The boardwalks! The surf! Not a night goes by that I don’t drift off to sweet dreams of an Oklahoma beach vacation.

Uh, wait, what now? Oh, California.

So Oklahoma is landlocked. But no self-respecting cephalopod would let that stop them from dishing out a hearty dose of terror.

Back in 2008, Animal Planet aired an episode of Lost Tapes — a fictionalized mockumentary series inspired by urban legends — that highlighted rumors of a monster terrorizing three Oklahoma lakes. The story goes that, after an increase in drownings, locals began to talk about a monster in the lake. Combine that with rumors about feeling something grab at people in the water, and they made the leap to tentacles.

Their lake monster was an octopus.

Not just any octopus — a big one. The size of a horse.

Like most urban legends, there are a few holes in the story. The skeptic will note that the lakes in question, Lake Thunderbird, Lake Oologah, and Lake Tenkiller, are each a two to three hour drive away from each other. Unless there’s a sea monster epidemic in Oklahoma, our poor lake monster would be too busy commuting to attack anybody.

More importantly, they are freshwater lakes. Octopuses are saltwater creatures. In fact, there has not been a single recorded instance of a cephalopod surviving in freshwater for more than a quick jaunt.

But wait, you might be thinking. What about that adaptation thing?

Sure, Oklahoma might be plains now, but rewind a couple dozen million years and the Joad homestead was indeed at the bottom of a shallow, salty sea. Octopuses could have lived there happily. So, what happened to the little guys who got trapped behind in lakes when the water receded? Who’s to say they didn’t just adapt to freshwater over the years?

It’s a neat idea, but Scientific American’s not having it. There’s no evidence to suggest that a cephalopod could adapt in that way. And if you’re not up on your biology, the history doesn’t add up — these lakes were all man-made within the last century.

Certainly newer than the oft-cited centuries-old Native American legends of a monster in the depths.

Oh, I didn’t mention that?

That’s where the description comes from. Supposedly, legends told of “a demon the size of a horse with long tentacles and leathery, reddish-brown skin.” These are the only physical details I’ve been able to find about the monster, because there have been no documented sightings.

Of course, the supposedly Native American legend is undocumented, too. What descriptions I have seen fail to name the creature or even specify what tribe these legends are meant to be attributed to. It’s almost like someone just made up a legend.

Hm.

You may ask why I even bother to debunk a myth like this. After all, the Oklahoma Octopus is a particularly easy target.

Well, as I searched articles for stories about this creature, I noticed a pattern: comments from Oklahoma natives who had never heard of the legend. I know — comment sections, the pinnacle of reliable sources! And no matter how popular an urban legend gets, there will always be somebody who’s out of the loop.

But all this got me wondering — what is the origin of this story?

I couldn’t trace the octopus story back to any single incident. All of the discussion and articles I found online were dated after the 2008 episode of the Lost Tapes aired. When I searched pre-2008 — nothing. The closest thing I could find to a citation traced back to a 1973 incident at a different lake where two brothers claimed to have seen a monster that they likened to a lizard, a frog, even a cow — but definitely not an octopus.

Now, maybe I didn’t look hard enough. Maybe it’s just the way of urban legends that they are passed through word of mouth and not clear, documented sources. But all of this got me wondering…

Did the Lost Tapes popularize the story — or originate it?

Of course, it makes sense that the discussion around an urban legend will spread after a TV show airs an episode about it. But, just for the sake of argument, what if there were only a handful of people who knew about this story? Does that count as an urban legend?

Where is the line between popularizing someone else’s legend and making your own?

Think about music. I’ll bet you can think of a cover that you liked better than the original recording. Now, there are issues of attribution and creative integrity that I don’t want to minimize — but when our collective cultural consciousness points to the cover instead of the original, doesn’t that give it a new life of its own?

Sometimes, when you tell a story, you become a part of it.

And that can be pretty cool. It can also be an opportunity wasted.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, why an octopus?

Why did anyone involved in telling this story — from the Lost Tapes producers to witnesses who claim to have seen or felt evidence of a lake monster — decide that it was an octopus?

Let’s talk for a moment about why we consider cephalopods creepy.

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The kraken may be the most iconic sea monster in all of human legend. So-called sightings of this tentacled terror have been on record for nearly eight hundred years. In the big screen swashbucklers, a ship that wanders too far into unknown waters is just as likely to fall to the kraken as it is to stormy weather.

Today we are scientific; we are skeptics. We know now that the giant squid is a real animal that lives far too deep beneath the waves to pose any threat to human seafarers, and it is about as interested in us as a rhinoceros is in a penguin. The only kraken that’s going to knock you on your ass comes out of a bottle.

I’m a skeptic, too. But I don’t think this monster is going anywhere.

Sure, the legend probably grew out of rare giant squid sightings, but it was a lot more than that. Those murky glimpses through the waves were only the tip of the iceberg. The relatively harmless squid—hundreds of meters out of its depth—is not half as scary as the monster our minds invent to fill in the blanks.

The kraken is scary because it is ill-defined. A jumpy sailor can project its entire terrifying mythos onto any passing shadow. And any passing shadow can be scary, kraken or not, because we don’t know what’s down there. Really—as a species, our knowledge is literally a drop in the… well, ocean. Ninety-five percent of the Earth’s oceans remain unexplored.

That’s the real terror. The unknown.

The unknown is the original fear. Why are children afraid of the dark? They don’t know what’s in there. And that’s where our minds turn against us. With no knowledge of what we’re faced with, we’re free to fill that space with the most terrifying thing we can imagine.

This is why the best horror keeps the monster out of sight as long as possible.

It’s the Room 101 principle: remember 1984? The part with the torture chambers tailored to each person’s worst fear? Well, horror writers can’t create a personalized version of their story for every single reader. Sure, some cool interactive fiction or tabletop games could work towards achieving that effect—but for the most part, the horror flick you’re going to see in the theater just doesn’t have access to Room 101. So, instead of filling it in for you, they leave it blank and let your subconscious do the rest.

How do they know you’re going to buy in?

Human nature.

We’re not just afraid of the unknown, we’re also drawn to it. Your brain just loves latching onto those blank spaces and trying to fill them in. The homo sapiens who didn’t fill that spooky cave with imaginary monsters were caught off-guard when it turned out to be full of bears. We got the paranoid genes because those were the ones who lived. The ones who make their own monsters. We can’t help but look at the unknown, even when we think it’s going to eat us.

There’s an obvious upside to that, which is that sometimes exploring the unknown is rewarding. The old neanderthals who found food sources also passed on those genes.

But that thrill of discovery, of filling in the edges of the maps, does have a downside. It means no more space for “Here Be Dragons.” That means no more monsters, but it also means no more swashbucklers. The horror of the unknown comes paired with the romanticism of it. That’s why it’s so compelling.

The kraken survived so long as a monster because its horror is so inextricably tied to the allure of the open sea. They’re two sides of the same coin, the same way that an adrenaline rush could mean the time of your life or the last few seconds of it.

That’s all the philosophical stuff. But I’d be remiss if I wrote a blog about kraken and didn’t talk about tentacles.

Moist. Slithering. Tentacles.

Yeah, okay, you get it. They’re gross. Tentacles have become shorthand for “creepy.” I’d argue that’s not only because of popular Lovecraftian tropes, but because of the Uncanny Valley phenomenon.

Uncanny Valley comes up a lot in robotics. It’s when something becomes too similar to us without actually being human—the similarities really repulse us because they’re close but not quite right. We understand what tentacles are supposed to do. They’re analogous to our arms and legs, and for the most part, they perform very similar functions. But their movement is off. We see an arm-thing and we expect it to bend at the elbow joint. Tentacles have no bones. Their floppy motions are repulsive because if that were to happen in a vertebrate, something would be seriously wrong. That gets a visceral response out of us.

Tentacles are also scary because the grip on those things is ridiculously strong, even for the smallest of cephalopods, so a kraken-sized one would have some serious squidpower behind it. Get caught by one of those and there’s no escape—so the tentacles feed into a fear of imprisonment, as well.

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One believer has even made the bizarre implication that the Oklahoma Octopus inspired Lovecraft to create Cthulhu. There’s certainly precedent to make the jump from “aquatic monster” to “cephalopod.”

But in this case, that leap undermines the monster’s terror. It’s weirdly specific for a myth that has no physical evidence behind it and not even any detailed descriptions. Through that specificity, it loses its teeth — the unknown and unseen are some of the most powerful tools of horror. When we’re left the freedom to fill in the blanks, our imagination is happy to serve up our personal worst nightmares.

I don’t know about you, but “killer octopus” doesn’t scare me nearly as much as “mysterious, unseen beast with tentacles.”

Maybe the octopus connection was an attempt to square the rumors with reality — after all, that’s a real animal that exists somewhere, so it’s not as unbelievable as an unspecified sea monster.

Except that it is.

That’s the other big place this story loses its potential to instill fear — it’s a step too far away from reality. I know, I know, it’s a little ridiculous to complain about plausibility when we’re already on the subject of urban legend, but we’re talking about the difference between Sharknado and Jaws.

The shark in Jaws is not at all a scientifically accurate representation of a great white, but we buy into it for the duration of the movie because it’s similar enough to scare us. Sharknado, on the other hand, is so far past the point of ridiculous that it could only be comedy. Freshwater might not be quite as bad a home for an octopus as a tornado is for a shark, but it’s absurd enough to gut this sea monster myth.

Final verdict? The Oklahoma Octopus loses points for being too specific. It’s just not as scary as a sea monster could be. Don’t try to tie your monster to reality by comparing it to known animals if the science doesn’t back it up — it’ll end up making it weaker.

And that’s a real shame. I love a good octopus story.

 

BREAK=====
Up next… I’ll read a short passage from G. Michael Vasey’s book, “Chasing the Goddess”, a chapter called “Strange Things Happen To Me”.

But first, parental hostility drove a girl out of her home and into the arms of her cousin. As I’m sure you can guess, that was not a wise decision. We’ll look at a couple of “Kissing Cousins” when Weird Darkness returns…

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STORY: KISSING COUSINS=====

Lillian Madison’s relations with her immediate family in the 1880s were strained if not outright hostile. Her parents disapproved of her social life and kept her from the education she desired and as soon as she could, Lillian left their home in King William County, Virginia. She found comfort and support among her mother’s relatives but she also began a romantic relationship with her cousin, Thomas Cluverius, that would end in her ruin. When Lillian’s body, eight months pregnant, was found floating in Richmond’s Old Reservoir, Cousin Thomas was the prime suspect.

The morning of March 14, 1885, Lysander Rose, keeper of Richmond Virginia’s Old Reservoir was making his round and found furrows in the path and beside them saw a shoestring and a red glove. Looking out over the reservoir he saw something strange floating in the water and with the help of his workmen, he pulled ashore what turned out to be the body of a young woman. The coroner examined the body and though he found some minor signs of assault, it appeared that she had drowned. He also determined that she was eight months pregnant. His initial assessment was suicide.

She had not been in the water long and there had been no decomposition. The body was placed in the almshouse chapel and thousands of people passed by trying to identify the girl. Twice during the two days, she laid in the chapel someone identified the body as a missing relative, but in each case the supposed victim was found alive and well. On March 17 a young Richmond woman identified the body as that of her cousin, Fanny Lillian Madison and this time the identification proved true. Over the next two days, the coroner changed his assessment to murder and a suspect was arrested – Thomas Cluverious, another of Miss Madison’s cousins.

Fanny Lillian Madison—who went by Lillian—was an unmarried 23-year-old teacher and governess who worked in the western part of Virginia. The oldest of eight children of Charles and Lucy Madison, Lillian was born while her father was fighting in the Confederate army. The family-owned a small farm but they were too poor to send Lillian to school for as long as she wanted, causing animosity on both sides. The trouble between Lillian and her parents was part of a larger conflict between the Madisons and her mother’s family, the Tunstalls, Walkers, and Cluveriuses.

Lillian stayed at the house of her great aunt, Jane Tunstall, while she was going to public school. Then her great aunt paid Lillian’s tuition for one year at Dr. Garlick’s Burlington Academy, but when she offered to pay for a second year, Lillian’s parents refused, deepening the rift between the Madisons and the Tunstalls and further alienated Lillian from her parents. They forbad any contact between Lillian and the Turnstalls and burned all correspondence between them.

When Lillian turned twenty-one, she left home for good. She lived for a while at the home of an uncle, John Walker, then moved to Bath, Virginia to work as a teacher. Charles Madison was against the move and in a letter to John Walker he blamed his wife’s family for ruining their daughter: “Several years ago some people who ought to have been myself and Lucy’s best friends became our bitter enemies. They took our eldest child for a tool to carry out their Hell Blushing schemes and from that day to this our oldest child banded with them they have done all the human brain could devise to accomplish our ruin and what has been the result!”

Charles Madison believed that Lillian had been intimate with Thomas Cluverius, who had also lived at Walker’s house.

Thomas Cluverius’s background was similar to his cousin Lillian’s. He grew up on a small farm but with only three siblings, his life was not so hard. His family was less reluctant than the Madisons to take help from Jane Tunstall. Thomas and his older brother William went to live with Jane Tunstall and she financed their education. In September 1880 he began attending Richmond College (now the University of Richmond) and in 1882 graduated with a bachelor of law degree.

Cluverius returned to King and Queen County where he was well known and highly regarded. He began a successful law practice. At the time of his arrest, he was assistant superintendent of Sunday school at Olivet Baptist Church. He was known as a man of temperate habits. One of his associates summed up his character at his trial: “I look upon him, gentlemen of the jury, as one of the most correct, straightforward, and Christian young men in my whole acquaintance.”

Several times in July and August 1884 Cluverius stayed overnight at the home of Thomas Walker where Lillian Madison was living. At the Walkers’ home Thomas and Lillian “seemed right smartly attached to each other,” even though at the time, Thomas Cluverius was engaged to a woman named Nolie Bray. On January 5, 1885, Lillian Madison and Thomas Cluverious both stayed at a hotel in Richmond and a hotel maid remembered that Lillian did not sleep in her own bed that night. In March 1885, the week of Lillian’s death, they were both in Richmond again.

After the body in the reservoir was identified as Lillian Madison, suicide seemed the most likely cause. Being an unwed mother in 1880s Virginia would have been a terrible disgrace. Lillian was also well known for expressing negative, almost suicidal emotions. But after a coroner’s inquest that lasted weeks, the case was declared a murder and Thomas J. Cluverius was charged.

Thomas Cluverius was arrested at a jewelry store where he had gone to get a replacement for a lost watch key. The missing key had allegedly been found near the murder scene and would become a crucial piece of evidence at the trial. Among the Richmond police officers waiting in the store was R.D. Chesterman. His brother, Edward Bruce Chesterman, a Richmond newspaperman, also testified at the trial regarding the missing key.

The indictment against Thomas Cluverius was based entirely on circumstantial evidence and in the period between the murder and the beginning of the trial the city of Richmond became bitterly divided between those who believed Cluverius was guilty of murder and those who believed Lillian Madison had committed suicide. Finding a jury of twelve men who had not already decided the matter was a major hurdle.

The evidence in the case included a watch key found near a hole in the fence between a graveyard and the reservoir. Cluverius was missing his watch key, normally attached to his watch-chain, and it was claimed it was torn off when he squeezed through the hole. The hole was well known to students of Richmond College who used it when they wanted to swim in the reservoir.

There was also a note written by Lillian Madison, dated March 14, the day after the murder. It was asserted that Cluverius had her write this to provide him an alibi—he was back at his home in Centreville on the 14th.

The relatives of Thomas Cluverius paid for the best attorneys available. They focused on their client’s character and on the likelihood that Lillian had committed suicide. Though much testimony focused on the time that Thomas and Lillian were both sleeping at the Walkers’ house, very little was said in court about Lillian’s behavior or her association with other men. It was as if the attorneys and press of Richmond had an unspoken agreement not to tarnish the reputation of a young woman.

The trial lasted for a month and Thomas Cluverius was found guilty of first-degree murder.

The case was appealed but the Virginia Supreme Court upheld the verdict.

The verdict did nothing to settle the matter in the minds of the citizens of Richmond; doubt about Cluverius’s guilt remained. Though most thought him guilty, 2,713 citizens of Virginia—299 of them from Richmond—petitioned the governor for clemency. William Hatcher, Cluverius’s spiritual advisor summed up the ambivalence: “At one moment I fear that he is guilty and will die with a lie on his lips; the next I think that ne may be innocent and I fear that it will be judicial murder.”

Police, clergymen, and reporters all tried to convince Cluverius to confess but he maintained his innocence to the end. As his hanging approached Cluverius stated that he had been with another woman the night of the murder, but honor forbade him from identifying her and forcing her into publicity and shame to save his life.

The hanging took place on January 14, 1887. By Virginia law, it was to be private, but thousands of people surrounded the jail yard where the execution would take place. The judge had allowed only 12 spectators but more than three hundred had entered the jail yard and rather than risk a riot, police allowed them to stay. A book written by Thomas Cluverius entitled Cluverius; My Life, Trial and Conviction was sold at the execution for fifty cents a copy to help defray legal expenses. To the disappointment of the crowd, it was not a confession but continued to assert that Lillian committed suicide.

A rope made of red and white silk was used to hang Cluverius. The intention was to cut it into pieces to sell as souvenirs after the hanging. They had also intended to sound and electric signal the moment the trap was sprung. Both plans were stopped by a special order from Virginia Governor Lee. Herbert Tobias Ezekiel who witnessed the hanging, wrote that the Sheriff had oiled the rope with sweet oil rather than cold grease which would have facilitated the slipping of the noose and broken Cluverius’s neck. When the trap was sprung at 1:09 PM, the silk rope stretched until Cluverius’s feet were just inches from the ground. The loop extended nearly eighteen inches above his head and it took ten minutes for him to slowly strangle to death.

Thomas Cluverius was buried in the Tunstall burying ground behind the house where he was arrested. A piece of white marble marks the grave of Lillian Madison in Richmond’s Oakwood Cemetery. The body of her unborn son was buried in the coffin with her.

STORY: STRANGE THINGS HAPPEN TO ME=====

Strange things happen to me. They always did. It is what got me writing and collecting stories in the first place.
But imagine, meeting a Slavic Shaman engaged in some ritual just outside of your house? And finding signs of his activities everywhere in the local area – as if he were speaking just to you?
And before you know it, you are on a magical journey. Exploring stone circles, Templar churches, Slavic Hill forts. Talking to Slavic gods and goddesses. Visiting the gates to hell?
I call this The Magic of Connecting with the Land and I just put out the third installment of this magical adventure called Chasing the Goddess. No, its not ghost stories… it is a magical journey of self discovery and you are welcome to join me on it.

As I entered the triangular space, my eyes caught sight of a rucksack. At first I thought someone must have left it there by mistake and so I started towards it. As I got closer though I realized it was open and filled with what appeared to be stones and sticks, and bones. I recoiled a bit and that is when I saw what I thought was a skeletal figure laid down by the bag. Made of stones, sticks and bones, the skeletal figure shocked me and sent a chill down my neck. Even Rocky, my cocky and well spoiled, small, Prague Ratter, jumped. I looked around to see who was the author of this skeletal arrangement but saw nothing or no one. Yet my interest was aroused. What was it? What was its purpose? I sensed that magic was afoot. I also felt like an intruder and with respect for the practitioner, I stepped back and examined the arrangement from afar while ensuring Rocky didn’t pee in the vicinity of the skeleton.
At some point, my interest was overcome by a sense of fear. What was this? Had I stumbled onto something dark and nefarious? I immediately took a few small steps to protect myself and, surrounded now in my mind by some nice glowing and hopefully protective light, I pulled on the dog leash to leave. Rocky also seemed to have taken steps to protect himself and was also keen to leave pulling me off into the pathway. It was then that I saw a dark figure jogging towards us. Where he come from I could not tell but he didn’t give me a feeling of wishing me well. So much so that I grasped the keys in my pocket pushing one through my fingers just in case self-defense was required.  Instead, he jogged past me as if I and Rocky were not there and as he passed I heard his mumblings almost as if he were talking to himself. Being alone in the dark with a madman who was talking to himself after finding what looked like a symbolic skeleton was enough for me and I pulled Rocky and set off apace. 
Despite that, as I put distance between me and the man, I started to feel the curiosity come back. What was he doing? So, I took a different route to that planned and within a couple of minutes I was passing along my street a couple of meters above his position with a partial view through the trees. I stood, in awe watching the man. He had a little drum thingy in one hand which he held close to his head while thumping a beat on it and was chanting to it. I could not make out what he was saying but noted he was engaged in a little dance as well. A shaman! I had stumbled on a shaman and was now watching something of a ritual. I wanted to watch more but he looked up and straight at me without missing a beat or a word. Somehow the fact he knew I was there made me feel afraid. I had no idea what he was up to. A skeleton? Was he raising the dead? Was one thought that raced through my mind. Once again, I tugged on the dog leash and started for home. Once home, I immediately regretted that once again fear had overwhelmed curiosity. Yet, the fear was still with me. He had seen me. Might he be angry? Did who know who I was? All of these and other questions raced through my mind and I ended up sleeping fitfully and with many deep and dark dreams. 
The next day, I re-visited the spot I had seen the man the night before. Me and Rocky together. The skeleton was gone along with the rucksack and I felt a surge of disappointment. But an inspection of the broader area revealed several clues. First of all, there was a large gray rock in the grass and on it was the end of a cigar. By the rock was a burned patch of grass and the burned remains of some flowers – stalks one end and petals the other. They were dark red roses and these and some other flowers remained. To me, they looked as if they came from a cemetery. Close to that was a shiny small black pebble. I had kicked it accidentally as I walked but there could be no doubt that it had been placed in a deliberately hammered location so that it wouldn’t move. I carefully returned it with my foot. Rocky and I set off on the rest of our walk. I had lots to think about. What was he doing? Why had he burned flowers? And a host of similar questions. 
Another thing I noticed right away were the Crows. There were tens, if not hundreds, of Crows around the spot. I had never seen so many of these big black birds around the Castle. The Crows remained through the following weeks. For several days, I had a strange feeling that I had stumbled on something best not seen. But what had I actually seen?

BREAK=====
We’re not quite done! Up next on Weird Darkness I have one more story – and it comes from one of our Weirdo family members.

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STORY: WEIRDO=====

A story sent to us by Weirdo family member, Shelly Ryden…

This story as crazy as it sounds is absolutely true. We moved into a beautiful Victorian home in 2009. Some weeks after we moved in odd things or noises were happening. One night at about 3 in the morning we heard what sounded like furniture being dragged around in the attic. The attic did not have anything up there at the time to be dragged around. There was no way either of us were going up there to look. The next morning our daughter asked us if we heard what was happening in the attic. We decided to check the attic out. After looking around in the attic, we saw nothing that would have made the noise we heard in the middle of the night. Another happening a few weeks later was hair raising scary. My husband travels for business. He was packed up and left so I thought. I heard a voice that sound like my husband asking me to open the door. I went to the back door first because I was nearest to it and didn’t see him. I ran to the front door but he was not there either. I called his phone and he answered. I asked him why he was asking me to open the door when I can’t find him. My husband said he was already in the next town from ours and was not any where near our house! The last big thing that happened was my daughter had a friend overnight. It’s the middle of the night and he blanket starts slipping off her. She looks at her friend who is asleep in her sleeping bag. Then she thought her mother was pulling a prank till she looked up and there was nothing holding the blanket up and she grabbed it throwing it over her head. When my daughter told me that it gave me chills. There are odd things that still happen in our home but we are used to them now! (I have a doll story that is crazy too!)

SHOW CLOSE=====

Thanks for listening (and be sure to stick around for the bloopers at the end)! 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 information on any of the sponsors you heard about during the show, find all of my social media, listen to audiobooks I’ve narrated, sign up for the email newsletter, find other podcasts that I host including “Retro Radio: Old Time Radio In The Dark”, “Church of the Undead” and a classic 1950’s sci-fi style podcast called “Auditory Anthology”. Also on the site you can visit the store for Weird Darkness tee-shirts, mugs, and other merchandise… plus, it’s where you can find the Hope in the Darkness page if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or dark thoughts. And 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 on Weird Darkness are purported to be true unless stated otherwise, and you can find links to the stories or the authors in the show notes.

“The Oklahoma Octopus” by Bex Shea
“Kissing Cousins” by Robert Wilhelm for MurderByGaslight.com
“Strange Things Happen To Me” by G. Michael Vasey for MyHauntedLifeToo.com, from his book “Chasing the Goddess”

WeirdDarkness® is a registered trademark. Copyright, Weird Darkness.

Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” — 2 Corinthians 9:8

And a final thought… “Sometimes waiting is a sign of true love and patience. Anyone can say I love you, but not everyone can wait and prove it is true.” – Unknown

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

 

 

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