“REAL CASES OF ROSEMARY’S BABY” and More Terrifying True Horror Stories! #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: The movie, The Sixth Sense, has become a worldwide meme with the phrase “I see dead people”. But for one family in Britain, it’s not a joking matter. (My Children See dead People) *** Barbara and Patricia Grimes were murdered in 1956, but new clues have raised hopes the killer might still be caught. (The Unsolved Murder of the Grimes Sisters) *** “In space, no one can hear you scream” – not just a movie tagline, but reality for astronauts reporting some of the strangest things they’ve encountered while outside our atmosphere. (Space Cases) *** Rosemary’s Baby was a hit novel that became an iconic film, only to bring woe to nearly everyone who made it. We’ll look at the film which many people believe to be cursed. We’ll look at some real-life cases of women who believed they were pregnant with a demon child! And how can you tell if YOU are pregnant with the child of Lucifer? There are a few signs to look for! (Real Cases of Rosemary’s Baby)
SOURCES AND ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS…
Theme from “Rosemary’s Baby”, piano version by vampir: https://youtu.be/n3j1qnCdwvM
“The Cursed Film: Rosemary’s Baby” by Rosemary Counter for Vanity Fair: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/j8b64p4t
“Real Cases of Rosemary’s Baby” by Lisa A Flowers for Ranker’s True Stories: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/p4sxumwn
“Am I Pregnant With a Demon Spawn?” by Jacob Shelton for Graveyard Shift: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/yhk4eetp
“My Children See Dead People” by Kate Jackson for The Sun: (link no longer available)
“The Unsolved Murder of the Grimes Sisters” by Gary Sweeney for TheLineUp.com:https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/mvh4kfz7
“Space Cases” by John Lemelman for Ranker’s The Space Page: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/mzz5tn48
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Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music Library. Background music provided by Alibi Music Library, EpidemicSound and/or StoryBlocks with paid license. Music from Shadows Symphony (https://tinyurl.com/yyrv987t), Midnight Syndicate (http://amzn.to/2BYCoXZ), Kevin MacLeod (https://tinyurl.com/y2v7fgbu), Tony Longworth (https://tinyurl.com/y2nhnbt7), and Nicolas Gasparini (https://tinyurl.com/lnqpfs8) is used with permission of the artists.
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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
Weird Darkness®, Weird Darkness© 2022
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STORY: THE CURSED FILM, ROSEMARY’S BABY==========
In 1967, Ira Levin was already, by most anyone’s standards, a very, very successful writer. At 21, he’d sold two TV scripts to NBC; soon after, a Broadway play garnered a Tony nod and his first novel—in which a ruthless young man murders his pregnant lover—won the 1954 Edgar Award. But with every hit came a flop, and success always seemed to come with a cost—a theme rooted deeply in all his best works, especially Rosemary’s Baby.
A hit novel turned iconic film, Rosemary’s Baby was a massive success that, according to half a century of pop-culture lore, is also cursed. Did Levin’s tale of lapsed-Christian Rosemary, who unknowingly carries and births the devil in return for her actor husband’s stage success, really jinx all those who got near it? And if so, why did Levin himself stay so seemingly unscathed?
Like all good scary stories, this one starts out very ordinary. In 1965, struggling as always for his next big idea, Levin looked no further than his pregnant wife in their New York apartment. He plopped every would-be parent’s feelings of anxiety atop an imminent historical moment: June 1966, or 666—a.k.a. the “number of the beast,” as predicted in the New Testament’s Book of Revelation. Religious counterculture was already swirling: the Church of Satan was soon to be established in San Francisco, and in April 1966 Time magazine had just famously asked on its cover: “Is God Dead?”
Levin went even darker: What if he took the birth of Jesus and turned the whole tale upside down? What if God was not only dead but the devil lived?
A Jewish atheist, Levin nonetheless wrote with mounting reservations. He was “sort of taking notes,” he said, of his wife’s progress alongside Rosemary’s, but flatly refused to let her read the manuscript. His fears were both personal and professional; the book was blasphemy, perhaps, and Levin feared backlash, blacklisting from publishers, or much worse.
Rosemary’s Baby was instead immediately declared perfect, the best horror novel ever crafted, a modern masterpiece. Rave reviews ran in every paper. Truman Capote likened Levin to Henry James. Four million copies flew off store shelves. Levin, not unlike the greedy antagonist in one of his own success-obsessed works, was granted the wildest level of literary success that he might ever had hoped for.
A year later, the success only continued with the movie, directed by Roman Polanski, a European auteur looking for his own big Hollywood break. More impeccable reviews: Roger Ebert wrote Polanski “outdoes Hitchcock”; Liz Smith in Cosmopolitan called it “sheer perfection.” Variety praised just about everyone involved: Polanski had “triumphed”; star Mia Farrow was “outstanding”; composer Krzysztof Komeda’s score was “topnotch”; and producer William Castle had “crossed an artistic Rubicon.”
Soon after, the curse began.
The first unlucky soul was Komeda. Details of his death are still scarce, but Polanski told it this way: in autumn of 1968, then 37-year-old Komeda was roughhousing at a party when he fell off a rocky escarpment and into a four-month coma—the very same affliction Levin’s witches used to kill Rosemary’s suspicious friend in the book. Komeda never regained consciousness and died in Poland the following year.
In April 1969, producer William Castle, sick with worry from the hate mail he received constantly, was suddenly stricken with severe kidney stones. While delirious in the hospital, he hallucinated scenes from the film and was said to have yelled, “Rosemary, for God’s sake, drop the knife!” Castle recovered, just barely, and never made a Hollywood hit again.
Then there’s Polanski’s fate, told and re-told into legend, even by him. Polanski had relocated to California alongside his new girlfriend, actress Sharon Tate, who was fresh off her first movie role as a witch in Eye of the Devil, just before filming began. She had gunned hard for the lead role in Rosemary’s Baby, but Paramount cast Mia Farrow. Tate instead loitered around the set, appearing uncredited like a ghost in the background of Rosemary’s young-people-only party scene and, say some, becoming increasingly obsessed with the occult. Many years later, a friend quoted her in print as having said, “the devil is beautiful. Most people think he’s ugly, but he’s not.”
Polanski last saw Tate, by then his wife and very pregnant, in July 1969, noting in his autobiography a “grotesque thought” he had at the time: “You will never see her again,” he wrote. Tate was brutally murdered on August 8 by the Manson Family, as was their unborn son—all while Rosemary’s Baby still lingered in theaters.
Unable to make sense of such a tragedy, and captivated by the stories of the Manson Family, the public took to Satan and curses as the only explanation. Internet fanatics say, like Guy Woodhouse, Polanski made his young wife a blood sacrifice for his still-untouchable status in Hollywood and beyond. Others maintain the Manson murders were a mere moment in a grand Satanic conspiracy scored by the Beatles. The White Album was written largely at an Indian meditation (with Mia Farrow in attendance). The song title “Helter Skelter,” albeit misspelled, was scrawled in blood at the crime scene. And, a dozen years later, Lennon was assassinated across the street from the Dakota—the gabled landmark where Rosemary’s Baby was filmed.
But if Rosemary’s Baby is actually cursed, how did Ira Levin dodge his fate?
He didn’t, of course. While Levin never fell from a cliff to his dramatic demise, he suffered a more fitting kind of poetic justice. First, his marriage crumbled, with the divorce finalized in 1968. (Notoriously private, Levin never gave details of the breakup, though The Stepford Wives, published four years later, maybe says it all.) He never rode the Rosemary’s Baby wave into Hollywood—perhaps a blessing in disguise—but he certainly got the fame he sought.
Catholics in particular bombarded him with ongoing criticism, as did the Catholic Church, which very publicly slapped a “C” rating (Condemned) onto the film for its “mockery of religious persons and practices.” Levin didn’t believe in witches or curses, he said over and again, yet fear grew in him just the same. On a 1980 episode of The Dick Cavett Show, appearing alongside a gregarious Stephen King, Levin sits quiet, pensive, and insecure. “I don’t recall being scared at all,” he said of his childhood horror inspirations. “Now I’m terrified.”
By 1992, in a rare interview, Levin confessed to having “mixed feelings about Rosemary’s Baby,” including religious guilt. His work had “played a significant part in all this popularization of the occult and belief in witchcraft and Satanism,” he acknowledged, while in the same breath dismissing “all these people who hear backward messages in song lyrics and stuff like that.” Then, in a rare admission of regret, he said, “I really feel a certain degree of guilt about having fostered that kind of irrationality.”
But “his family is adamant that the regret wasn’t in the book, it was in something else,” said novelist David Morrell, co-founder of the International Thriller Writers organization and former University of Iowa professor of English, who wrote a new intro to Rosemary’s Baby for its 50th birthday reissue. After decades of endless copycats and spin-offs and made-for-TV movies that made the book feel like a campy caricature, Levin grew seemingly disdainful of his defining work. He wrote less and to less acclaim, rarely did interviews, and stopped mingling among the New York literary circles he once so desperately wanted to be part of. If Levin ever really experienced or enjoyed his literary fame, he didn’t say so. “I never once heard him comment on his career or what had happened,” said Morrell. “I’m just intuiting that he had to know he was a success, but I’m not sure he did.”
Instead, when Rosemary’s Baby’s last big anniversary rolled around, Levin phoned in a poorly planned sequel, Son of Rosemary, which was widely panned and quickly forgotten. Yet it became a best-seller just the same, funding Levin’s last decade until his death in 2007 and becoming a sort of cruel ongoing joke about the fleeting and arbitrary nature of success. “Of course, I didn’t send back any of the royalty checks,” he deadpanned, poking fun at himself as a sell-out and fraud. It was one of those jokes that’s half true, and it was the last book he ever wrote.
Up next – real cases of women who were convinced they truly were carrying a demon child during their pregnancies. Plus – how do you know if you are carrying a demon spawn in your own pregnancy? These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns.
STORY: REAL CASES OF ROSEMARY’S BABY==========
Researching stories of satanic pregnancy, and locating women who truly believe that they’ve carried Satan’s spawn, is more difficult than it might seem. The world will always welcome kaleidoscope-eyed acolytes in peasant smocks and Manson-following concubines with swastikas carved into their foreheads, it’s true, but bearers of the Antichrist don’t always get so lucky. Some “in real life” Rosemary Woodhouses hail from the colonial era when Satan was basically a household name. Some come from present-day tribes stuck seven centuries back in the time continuum, while others are just Goths in love with the smolderingly tormented glamour of the Dark Lord. But all claim to have, or have had, one thing in common: a womb that’s played host to a cloven, mauling, fanged little bundle of joy.
In the summer of 2009, San Antonio police stumbled in on a scene that “was so gruesome investigators could barely speak.” Physician Patrick McNamara, writing in Spirit Possession and Exorcism: History, Psychology, and Neurobiology, claims that believing that one (or one’s child) is possessed by Satan is “all too common in schizophrenics with religious delusions.” According to official reports: “A 3 1/2-week-old boy lay […] in the bedroom of a single story house, three of his tiny toes chewed off, his face torn away, his head severed, and his brains ripped out… Officers found the boy’s mother, Otty Sanchez, sitting on a couch with a self-inflicted wound to her chest and her throat partially slashed, screaming […] She told officers the devil made her do it, police said.” Psychiatric examiners believed Sanchez suffered from psychosis and was driven to consume her infant, “Scotty,” as part of a Bacchae-like ritual – in which the mother ends and eats her male offspring.
According to a 2012 article in the Daily Mail, one of Satan’s sons is alive and well in Colombia. At a mere 4 weeks old, the demon child (who has apparently not been named) could already “walk by himself and produce fire,” or so his aghast mother, Ana Feria Santos, says. She also attests that her son “frequently hides around the house, cackles in an ‘adult’ way for hours on end, and has an ‘intimidating’ pair of eyes.” The article claims that Santos’s neighbors, in fear of their lives, have begun pelting the residence with stones, but area lawyers, social workers, and psychologists aren’t so sure, and sources say that the mother is being investigated for possible child abuse. (The same thing happened to Naomi Watts in The Ring II when her son got possessed.)
In 2016, a 28-year-old Utah mother, Suzanne Connors, made headlines when she gave birth to a screeching entity, whom she just as promptly made the sign of the cross over and cast out. Connors, who said that her pregnancy felt like “being cut with razors from the inside,” claimed that she’d decided on adoption because she wanted “no part in raising the Antichrist.” Reports state that doctors apparently opted for a C-section and found Connors’s uterus and amniotic sac “completely ripped to shreds.” One may assume that the infant then scuttled off, It’s Alive style, but the babe was then taken to a nearby pediatric hospital for evaluation.
Superstitions and phobias about demons and witches are legion, but some people don’t hesitate to take them to disturbingly literal levels. Such was the case with 21-year-old Rashida Chowdhury, who, in August of 2015, tossed her newborn son out of the fourth story window of her apartment in Queens because she believed he was possessed by an “evil spirit.” Chowdhury’s apparently non-interventionist family confirmed that she’d indeed been actively harboring a belief that her child was possessed. Moreover, four adults and two – presumably demon-free – other children were in the residence at the time, which made the set-up even more suspect. Chowdhury was charged in both the first and second-degree and told the NYPD that she’d had “no other choice” but to hurl her offspring into the symbolic flames below for his own protection.
The realization that one has borne (or is about to bear) a demon child doesn’t always come early. Some evil spawns are late-bloomers, or so one Juanita Gomez appeared to believe. In August of 2016, the 49-year-old Oklahoma mother made headlines when she took the life of her 33-year-old daughter with a crucifix. The Huffington Post reports that: “’Officers arrived and found [the] victim … lying in the home with a large cross/crucifix upon her chest […] Blood was visible, and she had suffered severe trauma around her head and face.’ […] Juanita Gomez said she believed her daughter was ‘possessed by the devil,’ and was attempting to ‘rid Satan’ from her body.’” Specifically, it seems, Gomez forced a crucifix and religious medallion down her daughter’s throat before cleaning her up and posing her body in the shape of a cross. Gomez does not seem to have expressed any particular interest in the crime after the fact; her main preoccupation appears to be with her bowels. She has accused officials of providing her with inadequate toilet paper, allegedly complaining (in court) that she “had to use that plastic from the food they give [her] to… wipe [her] bottom.”
Another progeny of Satan (but can there be more than one divine inheritor at a time?) had the honor of gestating in the womb of a certain Isabella Miroslav of Texas. According to 2014 reports, the encounter came while the avowed Satanist was saying her bedtime chants – all of a sudden the Dark Lord appeared in the room, ordered her to undress, and then “bred her.” Miroslav’s plans to name the child after his father may seem predictable enough, but there are some inconsistencies in her report that are more troubling. She maintains that her son is supposed to become president at age 12 and create “a one world government” to later combat the coming of Jesus Christ.
Horned, taloned, bat-winged, and snarling, the New Jersey Devil is as American as apple pie. However, his mother, Deborah Leeds, was a Brit. According to historical reports, she and her husband, Japhet, lived in the Pine Barrens of NJ in the early to mid-1700s. They had 12 children, and by the time the 13th was conceived in 1735, Deborah Leeds (who by then was past what most people would consider reasonable childbearing age) was in no mood to give birth to it. Some accounts even have her declaring “may it be a devil” when she learned of her unwelcome condition. There are multiple versions of what happened on the night of the birth. Some claim that “Mother Leeds,” as she was called, believed from the outset that her 13th child would be a demon because the number 13 was cursed. Others claim that she invoked the devil during her delivery, thereby dooming the babe. The most popular variation, however, claims that the infant – devil or not – was born deformed and that Mother Leeds cared for it until she passed of old age, whereupon it flew off into the swamps. Whatever the case, in the centuries since the New Jersey Devil’s birth, there have been numerous sightings of the creature all over southern New Jersey.
Born in the French Quarter of New Orleans, legendary “voodoo queen” Marie Laveau was renowned for her powers as a sorceress and a healer. One of her acquaintances was Camille, the daughter of a prominent Creole family, who allegedly angered one of her Creole suitors by “throwing him over” for a Scotsman. The story goes that Camille’s spurned beau approached Laveau and begged her to avenge him by cursing his would-be bride and her child. Shortly thereafter, Camille became pregnant and began having recurring nightmares about her unborn baby being possessed. According to Haunted New Orleans Tours, Camille passed during childbirth, but, just as she’d feared, the infant, “was not a plump and blushing human baby, but a grotesque and lurid imitation, a horror, a curse. Wails filled the room when the thing was exposed, and all could see that where light tufts of hair should be were two lumps – the early roots of horns to come. Where little hands and feet should have been were the claws of some wild animal, like a possum or a raccoon. There were scales upon its body.” What really happened is anyone’s guess, but the babe lives on in infamy as “the devil baby of Bourbon Street,” and some of Marie Laveau’s history was chronicled in American Horror Story’s 2016 “Roanoke” installation.
Mother Superior Jeanne des Anges (AKA Joan of the Angels) is famous for having been seduced and impregnated by a demon masquerading as a priest masquerading as an angel – basically your classic mix up. The infamous drama of des Anges began when a gentleman known as Urbain Grandier became a parish priest in Loudun, France. In addition to being good-looking and charismatic, he was said to have been a rabid womanizer who regularly disregarded his “vows of celibacy.” Jeanne, who had become obsessed with Grandier, alleged that he was a devil who had appeared to her in the guise of a radiant being. She also said that Isacarron (the demon of debauchery) had gotten her with child, and she went through a long psychosomatic pregnancy that was rife with shrieking, convulsions, and babbling in tongues. A group of nuns soon joined her in her accusations, and after a lengthy “investigation,” Father Grandier was summarily tortured and burned at the stake in 1634. Jeanne (who never did bear her demon child) lived more or less piously ever after, and the whole debacle was the subject of two films, Ken Russell’s The Devils (1971) and Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s Mother Joan of the Angels (1961).
Jane Addams was an influential figure in Chicago in the late 1800s and early 1900s. She opened up the historic Hull House, a communal gathering place for impoverished immigrants to embrace their shared community and a place for single working women to stay and find safety from the slums. The story postulates that one day, three working Italian women burst through the doors of Hull House and demanded to see the “Devil Baby.” Apparently, the baby had cloven hooves, pointed ears, and was able to articulate even though it was an infant. It was also apparently fond of profane language and would curse those that came to visit it. According to Addams, the people attributed her infant to the devil because Addams was allegedly sinful in the child’s conception.
STORY: ARE YOU PREGNANT WITH A DEMON SPAWN?==========
It’s cliché to say that no one knows what to expect when they’re expecting, but that applies even more if you’re a woman impregnated by the devil. But how do you know if you’re carrying a demonic spawn? Similar to knowing whether or not you’ve been marked by the devil, there are some absolute signs that you’re carrying the antichrist. Perhaps you were involved in a satanic pregnancy ritual or maybe you’ve been drinking more blood that usual. Whatever the case, there are numerous signs Satan is near and all you need to do to learn which of them are real and which are coincidence. Pledge your eternal allegiance to Ranker and keep reading. Satan is a tricksy lad, as signs of his temptation and meddling are never obvious, and the ones that are will likely have you sent to an insane asylum if you tell anyone. But once you’re carrying the child of Satan, your life isn’t as without options as it may seem. Every child needs a mother, even if its father is an ageless evil who has chosen to spend an eternity cackling in his personal fire pit, so you could always do your best to be the monstrosity’s mother. Or you could give the child up for adoption – there’s no rule saying you have to be the mother of the antichrist. If any of these signs that you’ve been impregnated by Satan apply to you, remember to consult a physician or a trusted coven of witches before you make any rash decisions. Chances are, you’re probably just pregnant with a regular, human child.
A tell-tale sign of fostering Satan’s unborn child in your womb is the appearance of claw marks or deep gouges across your skin when you wake up in the morning. These won’t be your run-of-the-mill scratches that you find the morning after a round of suitably rough intercourse – these scratches will be deeper than the average fingernail marks and they’ll likely be in a more animalistic shape than you’re used to. If the claw marks have left any symbols across your body (pentagrams, pyramids, ominous squiggles), then you definitely have a demon baby hiding in your body.
Odd cravings are natural when you’re pregnant, but one particular craving that you should worry about is the desire to feast upon raw meat. There’s simply something you need to satisfy your cravings, whether you’re noshing on a bloody steak or a tube of raw beef. You may even want to double down on your urges by drinking blood from the still-beating heart of an innocent. If that’s how you feel, then you should start picking out baby names from the book of Revelations.
As soon as you discovered that you were pregnant, did people begin referring to your appearance as “wan” or “hollow”? Do you have a jaundiced look to your eyes where there was once a bright light full of hope? Most women report of a glow that takes over their body once they’re with child. However, those that have been impregnated by a demon, incubus, or Satan himself have been known to take on the look of someone whose very life is being drained from their body.
Was it only a week ago that you had amazing intercourse with a handsome stranger who may or may not have had goat eyes, and now you’ve got a six-month baby bump? It’s never fun to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems like you may be pregnant with a demonic baby. One of the biggest signs that your child is of the nether realm is if it comes to full term quicker than it should. If you enjoy sleeping with sexy, slightly devilish men (either in real life or in dreams), you should keep a personal planner handy just to keep track of any pregnancies that occur.
Upon feeling a super strong kick from a baby in a womb, many people (especially mothers-in-law) will say something innocuous like, “Feels like you’ve got a soccer player in there,” or, “Someone’s keeping up with leg day.” However, a baby with superhuman strength is an obvious sign that you’ve not only been violated by a demon, but that you’re carrying its seed.
Going by ultrasound alone to decipher whether or not your child belongs to Satan is never a safe bet. Ultrasound photos are known to make the inside of your womb look like a funhouse mirror, and while your child may look a bit devilish, it most likely is a regular human baby. If you notice something off about the baby in your ultrasound like devil horns, goblin ears, or a tail, then ask yourself whether or not you’ve experienced any of the other symptoms described here. If the answer is no and you still feel uneasy, visit a priest. If he suffers a severe nosebleed or flees in your presence, then it’s safe to say that your suspicions were correct.
Even if you take birth control pills religiously, you have to remember that Satan’s semen (or the semen of a demon-possessed human man) is not only super-strong, but is from the body of the greatest evil in the universe. Thus, there’s nothing that prescription medication can do to stop it from working. If you find yourself pregnant despite being on the pill, it would be wise to seek help from your closest mystic.
As with some of the other signs on this list, having a sore vagina in the morning isn’t exactly positive proof that you’ve been visited in the night by the King of Lies. If you’ve been having non-demonic sex with someone on a regular basis or if your normal means of transportation is a motorcycle or a horse, you probably have nothing to worry about. But if you experience intense pain and have some of the other symptoms on this list, then you may have a devil baby inside you.
It’s rare that women begin to experience telekinesis without having a member of their family pass the gift down to them. So, if you suddenly have an uncontrollable ability to knock people over with your mind, then you may be with Satan’s child. Your best bet is to take a pregnancy test, and if the the absorbent sampler changes from white to a blood red depiction of the crucifixion of Christ, then you’re 99.9% pregnant with Satan’s child.
What have your dreams been like lately? Just the normal stuff? Or have you been visited by a horrific pig man who makes love to you without the societal hang ups of a normal person, but leaves you feeling ashamed with Sumerian symbols etched into your skin? If you were having a lot of dream sex with a demon and now you’re preggers, it’s probably a sign that you’re carrying the Lord of the Fly’s child.
Having you been experiencing strange losses of time, especially after sex? Loss of time on its own isn’t anything to inspire you to believe that you’re carrying the antichrist, but if its working in tandem with demon dream sex, telekinesis, or cravings for blood, then you may want to begin panicking. Or, you could accept your fate as the mother of Satan’s child and lean into it by buying a lot of black.
Because Satan and demons operate in the dark to avoid the eyes of God (who has a well known 10pm bed time), it makes sense that most demon child conception takes place late at night, specifically in dreams. If you begin having dreams of mothering a nightmare child, that may be your body trying to tell you that you’ve become pregnant with a goat-eyed baby who will tear apart humanity.
If you’ve found yourself to be in the middle of a Satanic ritual (willingly or unwillingly) where you may or may not have had intercourse with Satan, a personification of Satan, a lesser demon, or maybe even a possessed regular guy wearing a cloak, then you’re probably pregnant with a devil baby. How involved you want to be in this baby’s life is up to you, but if you’ve always wanted to be a demonic queen who leads an undead horde of abominations, then you should give mothering your devil baby a shot.
When Weird Darkness returns…
“In space, no one can hear you scream” – not just a movie tagline, but reality for astronauts reporting some of the strangest things they’ve encountered while outside our atmosphere. (Space Cases)
But first… the movie, The Sixth Sense, has become a worldwide meme with the phrase “I see dead people”. But for one family in Britain, it’s not a joking matter. (My Children See dead People)
That story is up next.
STORY: MY CHILDREN SEE DEAD PEOPLE==========
Trembling with fear, ten-year-old Fae Jackson darted out of her bedroom and down the stairs to her mum.
She had just seen the wispy image of a person – who had hissed into her ear: “Can you hear me?”
It was the first of hundreds of ghost sightings that would plague the young girl and lead her to believe she may have psychic powers.
Incredibly, Fae’s younger brother, Ashley, has now started reporting similar eerie sightings – despite not knowing of Fae’s.
Mum Lynn has come to accept her kids have supernatural powers and that, just like the movie The Sixth Sense, her children can “see dead people”.
To Lynn, this is anything but a special gift – she sees it as a curse she would love to break.
The 39-year-old, from Waltham Cross, Herts, says: “It feels like someone is bullying my children and I can’t do anything about it.
“It would have been easier to deal with if they had an illness. At least I would know where to go for treatment.
“Fae has got used to it and now she enjoys having this ability – but Ashley hates it.”
Surveys in the UK show that one in five Brits have seen or felt the presence of a ghost – and that 53 per cent believe in psychic ability. The research coincides with Matt Damon’s new film, Hereafter, about a reluctant medium. Fae, now 13, and Ashley, eight, can relate to that.
Stay-at-home mum Lynn says: “The first sign was when Fae started primary school.
“She used to tell me one of her friends was purple or the teacher was red. So one day I told her, ‘No darling that boy isn’t purple’. She said, ‘Mummy I mean the colour around him’.”
Now they both believe Fae was recognising auras, the glow said to radiate around a person.
Ghostly sightings started when Fae turned ten, and appeared nearly every day. Once Fae reported her bed being shaken by a frustrated female ghost.
Another time she said she could feel the energy of an old woman against her back while showering. She even says that at times she can feel ghosts playing with her hair.
Lynn says: “How do you deal with something like that? She was terrified. I did start off thinking it might be attention-seeking, but you know your own children. She was shy and not a story teller.”
In her skinny jeans and patent Dr Martens, petite Fae today seems at ease with her powers but her huge blue eyes still betray her fear during one of the most terrifying incidents.
She says: “I had walked out of my bedroom and there was a mirror at the other end of the hall. In my reflection I saw a person’s head on my shoulder. It was red. I was so scared. But now I understand that it is my grandad and that he is my spirit guide, who is protecting me.”
Fae matter-of-factly goes on to relate how she encounters these unexpected visitors.
She says: “It’s not like seeing something solid like a chair, it’s like a glimpse of the person.
“Mostly I can sense something or feel the energy there and the picture and details come into my head. Like their name can pop into my head or how they died.
“If I close my eyes I see their picture building up. It happens so quickly. I have all this information in a couple of seconds.
“I used to be really scared, I wouldn’t like the dark and I wouldn’t like looking in the mirror in case I saw something.”
The double blow came when Ashley began to see ghosts too.
He refuses to discuss the idea that he may be psychic. Lynn says: “We had been careful to keep everything that was going on with Fae from Ashley. I didn’t want him to be frightened. Then, about a year ago, he refused to go into our conservatory and wouldn’t go to the toilet alone.
“I asked him what the matter was and he told me, ‘There’s a head following me around’.
“My blood went cold. How do you tell a seven-year-old that some people can see dead people?”
Lynn’s husband, David, 45, is clearly concerned and supportive yet, like Ashley, prefers not to discuss the issue.
But supernatural powers may run in the family. Both David’s dad and Lynn’s gran believed they saw spirits.
Lynn says: “Fae has tried to tell Ashley it’s OK and happens to her but he doesn’t believe her.
“She’s intrigued by it now but he hates it and is terrified.”
Through talking to other mediums, Fae has learned to cope with the sightings but Ashley is very much in denial. Instead, a friend who does distant healing – called Theta Healing – has focused on Ashley, asking that he doesn’t see anything frightening. Lynn believes this has reduced the sightings but says he still has what he calls “bad thoughts”.
Fae, who has learned to channel her ability into learning Reiki healing, says: “I can close down my chakras – points in the body from the head to the feet.
“You do it by thinking of those points as lightbulbs and you shut them off so you are closed to the spirits. I can also ask them to go away and I can imagine a white light around me to protect myself.
“When it first started I was seeing spirits every day but now it isn’t as often.”
Fae adds: “I have only told one friend at school, she was fine about it and accepts it.
“But I wouldn’t tell anyone else because I think they would tease me. I would be the witch girl.”
Lynn and Fae plan to write a book together on their experiences. They have also launched Facebook group Children With Spirit.
Lynn says: “One of my issues is that there’s no real help out there for people like us.
“Talking to other psychic children has really helped Fae, so hopefully it can help others too.”
STORY: SPACE CASES==========
From a smattering of stars to a breathtaking view of Earth, astronauts see so many awe-inspiring things in space. But sometimes what they see is not only unbelievable but unexplainable – there are some truly creepy things astronauts have seen in space. Astronauts have reported seeing weird lights, extraterrestrials, and UFOs. It kind of makes you wonder if they really saw these things or if being in outer space was just messing with their minds. These weird astronaut stories prove space is definitely not for the faint of heart. Some weird things astronauts have seen really make you wonder if alien conspiracy theorists might be right. Maybe the government does know about the existence of extraterrestrials and is covering it up. These weird things astronauts see in space might make you question what you believe.
In 2003, Yang Liwei became the first astronaut sent into space by the Chinese space program. He’s said he heard “someone knocking the body of the spaceship just as knocking an iron bucket with a wooden hammer” on his maiden flight. He looked outside of the ship’s porthole but was unable to find the source of the knocking. Considering space is a vacuum, it was even weirder that he heard a sound from outside the ship. Liwei is not alone in this discovery, either; other Chinese astronauts heard the sound on missions in 2005 and 2008.
During Maj. Gordon Cooper’s solo journey around Earth, he may have encountered more than just some space junk. Nearing the end of his 22-orbit trip around the planet, he suddenly noticed a green, glowing object approaching the Mercury capsule he was flying in. In fact, the rapid approach of the object was even picked up by the closest tracking station in Muchea, Australia. Cooper even went on to describe the incident to the United Nations: “I believe that these extraterrestrial vehicles and their crews are visiting this planet from other planets… Most astronauts were reluctant to discuss UFOs… I did have occasion in 1951 to have two days of observation of many flights of them, of different sizes, flying in fighter formation, generally from east to west over Europe.”
Maj. Gen. Vladimir Kovalyonok was part of a crew manning Salyut VI space station in 1981. “When I was working at the Salyut orbital station, I saw something strange in a porthole one day. The object was the size of a finger. I was surprised to see it was an orbiting object,” said Kovalyonok. He added: “It was hard to determine the size and the speed of an object in space. That is why I can not say exactly, which size it actually was. [My partner Viktor] Savinykh prepared to take a picture of it, but the UFO suddenly exploded. Only clouds of smoke were left. The object split into two interconnected pieces. It was reminiscent of a dumbbell. I reported about it to the Mission Control immediately.” Kovalyonok is one of the few astronauts to see something inexplicable in space and talk openly about it afterward.
Neil Armstrong, besides strolling around the moon and saying some famous words, may have seen some gigantic UFOs in space. According to a source no less dubious than Aliens and Man: A Synopsis of Facts and Beliefs, Armstrong is rumored to have sent a secret message to NASA during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Armstrong allegedly said: “These babies were huge, sir! Enormous! Oh, God! You wouldn’t believe it! … I’m telling you there are other spacecraft out here … lined up on the far side of the crater’s edge! … They’re on the moon watching us!” It’s one of many, many such tales associated with the first lunar landing. Armstrong was notoriously tight-lipped about his experiences in space and never commented on this rumor, likely because there simply wasn’t much factual basis for the claims that he ever saw or said any such things.
NASA astronaut Story Musgrave claims to have seen eel-like tubes swim through space. In an interview, he explains that he saw this creature on two separate occasions. While some immediately dismiss this as space junk – possibly some type of hose that detached from a spaceship – Musgrave is adamant that the white eel had its own propulsion technique.
During a Mir (a Russian space station) mission in 1991, cosmonaut Musa Manarov was watching a visiting space capsule dock nearby. He was filming its approach when he saw an object that looked like it was coming off the spacecraft. But Manarov knew that there was simply nothing that could come loose at that point, and as he continued to watch the object, it floated downward and away from the capsule. Manarov still can’t explain what he saw up there, but he knows for sure that it was not space junk, as some people have claimed.
Leroy Chiao commanded the International Space Station in 2005. While on a spacewalk, Chiao saw white lights aligned in an upside-down check formation whiz right past him. Some people have posited that a string of fishing boats along the South American coast could explain what he saw, but Chiao was 230 miles above Earth when this happened. Those would have to be some seriously strong boat spotlights to be seen from all the way up there. Chiao told HuffPost, “I’m skeptical of claims that we’ve been visited by aliens from another planet or other dimension, but I don’t rule it out 100 percent.”
From 2009 to 2012, astronauts lit things on fire in space. Not because they were all pyromaniacs, but because they wanted to know how fire behaved in the cosmos. They discovered that fire burns at a lower temperature and with less oxygen and can also burn without a flame in microgravity. Forman Williams, the project leader on the experiments, told Space.com: “Thus far, the most surprising thing we’ve observed is continued apparent burning of heptane droplets after flame extinction under certain conditions. Currently, this is entirely unexplained.”
Richard C. Hoagland, a proponent of alternate space theories, believed Alan Bean saw glass domes from a long-extinct alien civilization on the moon. In an interview, Bean described space as looking like “black, patent-leather shoes” from the surface of the moon. Hoagland maintained: “Space should be velvet-black. It should be inky-black. It should be infinity, unending, deep, endless black. It shouldn’t be shiny.” The only explanation for Bean’s description, Hoagland concluded, was that he was seeing space through the reflection of a glass dome.
During the Apollo 11 mission, astronauts reported seeing “light flashes” in their eyes. The crews of Apollo 12 and Apollo 13 were warned about this and reported that they also saw strange bursts of light, even when their eyes were closed. Experiments were conducted on the next four Apollo missions to try and figure out what was causing these weird visions. NASA determined that the astronauts were seeing cosmic rays. We don’t see cosmic rays here on Earth because they are absorbed by our atmosphere, but without that barrier in space, astronauts were seeing something no one had ever seen before.
While on the Gemini 4 mission in 1965, astronaut James McDivitt thought he saw a UFO. In an interview with NASA, McDivitt explained: “I looked outside, just glanced up, and there was something out there. It had a geometrical shape similar to a beer can or a pop can, and with a little thing like maybe like a pencil or something sticking out of it. That relative size, dimensionally. It was all white.” The press got a hold of the story and ran with it, claiming McDivitt had seen a UFO. It wasn’t until years later, after reviewing a photograph he had never seen before, that McDivitt realized what it was: a reflection of some bolts in the window glass.
He said: “I went back and then I saw what the thing was. And really what it was, was a reflection of the bolts in the windows. The windows were made up of about three or four or five panes of glass, so that if one got broken we still had some pressure integrity. And these little things, when the Sun shined on them right, they’d multiply the images off the different panes. And I’m quite sure that that’s what this thing was.” Or maybe that’s just what NASA told him to say.
In 2013, while astronaut Christopher Cassidy was aboard the International Space Station, he saw a mysterious object floating by his window. Cassidy contacted Mission Control to report the sighting. NASA identified it as an antenna cover from Russia’s Zvezda service module, but conspiracy theorists remain convinced that the object was something extraterrestrial.
John Glenn, who flew on the Friendship 7 spacecraft in February 1962, suddenly noticed something strange outside his window while in orbit. He immediately reported to NASA that he was watching what looked like a group of little glowing fireflies dancing outside his window. However, it would take a perplexed Glenn and worried NASA nearly a year to figure out what these little fireflies really were. At first, NASA was concerned that perhaps these glowing dots were flecks of metal coming off a malfunctioning piece of equipment. However, they later realized during another flight that these specks were actually frozen droplets of condensation that were shifting and cracking as the spaceship traveled.
In 2014, European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti was on her way to the International Space Station for the first time when she saw the normally gray ISS was bathed orange light. It was the sun reflecting off the solar panels and onto the space station, something only a handful of astronauts had ever seen. Cristoforetti was taken aback by the beauty of what she was seeing. In a blog post, she wrote, “The enormous solar panels were inundated with a blaze of orange light, vivid, warm, almost alien.” Conspiracy theorists hooked onto the words “almost alien.” They began speculating that the solar panel reflection was a cover story and she had, in fact, seen a UFO.
Barbara and Patricia Grimes were murdered in 1956, but new clues have raised hopes the killer might still be caught. That story is up next on Weird Darkness. (The Unsolved Murder of the Grimes Sisters)
STORY: THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF THE GRIMES SISTERS==========
Like thousands of teenage girls in those days, the Grimes Sisters could not get enough of Elvis Presley. They had seen his latest hit, Love Me Tender, 14 times. On December 17, 1956 they headed to Chicago’s Brighton Theater see it again.
Barbara was 15; Patricia was 13. They left the house at 7:30 p.m. Their mother Loretta Grimes expected the girls might stay for the double feature. But when midnight arrived and her girls hadn’t come home, she got worried. Two of the older Grimes siblings headed to the bus stop to wait for their sisters. By 2:00 a.m. it was clear something had happened.
A search was quickly assembled. Dorothy Weinert, a friend of Patricia’s, had also been in the theater and sat behind the sisters. Though Dorothy left after the first film, she mentioned having seen Barbara and Patricia at the concession stand, seemingly in good spirits.
One of the largest city-wide hunts in Chicago history followed. Police officers and regular civilians combed the streets looking for the sisters. Adjacent towns and counties got involved and offered their resources to the cause. But as the days passed, the search stalled and law enforcement grew desperate to solve the case.
Then, random sightings of the missing sisters flooded media outlets. People from all walks of life claimed to have seen the girls in one state or another, from as far away as Nashville, Tennessee. This led some to believe that Barbara and Patricia had orchestrated their own disappearance and gone to Nashville to meet Elvis. This theory picked up more steam than expected, and Elvis himself took to the radio to publicly address the girls, pleading with them to return home.
Police had no other leads and could only surmise that the sisters had run away. Loretta Grimes vehemently rejected the idea, maintaining that her girls would never do such a thing, and that they certainly would not have left behind the brand new AM radio they received for Christmas.
After an exhausting month of loose threads and dead ends, the search stalled out.
Then, on January 22, 1957, a man named Leonard Prescott spotted what he thought were two mannequins on German Church Road in Willow Springs, Illinois. He did not approach them, but instead ran home to get his wife. Together, the Prescotts inched closer and found the naked bodies of Barbara and Patricia Grimes, positioned awkwardly, with Barbara lying face down and Patricia lying face up on top of her sister. Their faces had been damaged by neighborhood animals.
At 1:30pm, the Willow Springs Police Department learned of the discovery. They immediately deduced that the sisters had probably been on the side of the road since the snowfall two weeks prior.
Flurries of suspects were apprehended, the most publicized of which was Edward Lee Bedwell. He confessed to the murders, though there was never any evidence supporting his claim, and he later recanted it. An autopsy on the girls, which could not be performed until they were thawed, revealed that the last meal they’d eaten was their dinner before leaving for the movie theater. Such findings proved that the Grimes sisters were killed within hours of going missing. Though the official cause of death was listed as “murder,” the only explanation offered was “secondary shock due to exposure to the elements.”
The funeral was held on January 28, 1957 at St. Maurice Church. Loretta Grimes was inconsolable. The girls were in white closed caskets, each topped with their respective photograph. They were laid to rest at Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery.
Later in life, Loretta volunteered at a nearby prison and secured a promise from the police that they would never stop looking for her daughters’ killer. In 1989 at the age of 83, Loretta died without ever getting an answer.
Though the disappearance and murder of the Grimes sisters went cold many years ago, author and former criminal investigator Ray Johnson may have cracked it open. Johnson claims that a similar incident—the murder of Bonnie Leigh Scott—took place in Addison, Illinois about a year after the Grimes case. Bonnie Leigh Scott was killed at the age of 15 and eventually discovered naked.
The man responsible for that crime supposedly made a phone call to Loretta Grimes and bragged about getting away with the murders of both Scott and the Grimes sisters. Johnson asserts that information about this phone call went unpublished by the media back in the 1950s, and also that non-lethal marks on the Grimes sisters’ bodies (around the abdomen) were very similar to marks found on the body of Scott. Lastly, Johnson claims to have spoken to a third girl who was abducted with the Grimes sisters but escaped. She was 14 years old at the time and did not come forward out of fear.
Charles Leroy Melquist was convicted for the murder of Bonnie Leigh Scott and sentenced to 99 years in prison. He served 11 years of his sentence before his release, and later married and had two children. Melquist was never officially implicated in the Grimes killings.
The case of the Grimes sisters remains unsolved. However, a Facebook group administrated by Johnson, called “Help Solve Chicago’s Grimes Sisters’ Murder” today has around 2,000 members.