SLENDERMAN, CURSED DOLLS, THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, and More Paranormal Stories! #WeirdDarkness
Donate to the OVERCOMING THE DARKNESS fundraiser at https://weirddarkness.com/hope. Find Weird Darkness wherever you listen to podcasts: https://linktr.ee/weirddarkness.
#paranormal #truestories #paranormalstories #ghoststories #horrorstories #truecrime #cryptids
Join the weekly LISTEN & CHAT on Tuesdays 8pm ET / 11pm PT at https://KCORRadio.com!
Listen to “SLENDERMAN, CURSED DOLLS, THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, and More Paranormal Stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.
IN THIS EPISODE: A woman who had never experienced anything paranormal, suddenly has odd things happen around her after visiting a spiritualist. (Has Our Home Been Invaded By A Paranormal Entity Since Visiting a Spiritualist?) *** He’s tall, he takes over your thoughts and movements – removing all free will. He has several arms… and no face. Slenderman came into being around 2009 – so what were people seeing thousands of years ago that has the same description? (Mystery of the Faceless Creature) *** Between 1986 and 1989, at least eight individuals and possibly an additional four more were killed in the Colonial Parkway area of Virginia. The serial killer has never been found and the Colonial Parkway murders remain unsolved. (The Colonial Parkway Killer) *** It is said that if she is hailed by another ship, her crew will often try to send messages to land or to people long since dead. In ocean lore, the sight of this phantom ship is reckoned by seafarers to be a sign of impending doom. Her name is The Flying Dutchman. (The Legend of the Flying Dutchman) *** The body of a young woman is found floating in the Miami River outside of Dayton, Ohio. The coroner found nothing to indicate violence; the police believed otherwise. Even after digging her body out of the grave twice, there are still questions about what happened. (The Bessie Little Mystery) *** Haunted dolls seems to be a dime a dozen, and can even be found on sale, but for all of the strange phenomena surrounding these creations, surely the most frightening of all, are dolls that are not only haunted, but also the residences of hateful, violent forces that seek to harm or destroy us. (Sinister Accounts of Evil Haunted Dolls)
SOURCES AND ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS…
“Sinister Accounts of Evil Haunted Dolls” by Brent Swancer for Mysterious Universe: http://bit.ly/2m5AQor
“Mystery of the Faceless Creature – Ancient and Modern Sightings” by Ellen Lloyd for Ancient Pages: http://bit.ly/2lGveAL
“The Colonial Parkway Killer” by Jim Harper for Historic Mysteries: http://bit.ly/2kboNW8
“The Legend of the Flying Dutchman” posted at Ghost-Story.co.uk: http://bit.ly/2kyNZWD
“The Bessie Little Mystery” by Robert Wilhelm for Murder By Gaslight: http://bit.ly/2k5Ixu3
“Has Our Home Been Invaded By A Paranormal Entity Since Visiting a Spiritualist?” by Jane Lois Collins, posted at MyHauntedLifeToo.com: http://bit.ly/2k5Inmr
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
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.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
(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.)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” — John 12:46
Trademark, Weird Darkness®, 2022. Copyright Weird Darkness©, 2022.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Dolls are certainly creepy enough as it is. With their dead stares as they look off into the distance, and their weird features that seem almost a mockery of the human form, it is no wonder these objects have become a favorite of a plentitude of horror stories and movies. Yet it appears that stories of these dolls becoming even more frightening than their unsettling appearance may suggest, bring accounts of cursed, haunted, or possessed dolls from beyond the realm of mere horror fiction and very much into the real world. There have long been tales and cases of dolls that have managed to be every bit as spooky as they look, propelling themselves from our nightmares and fears into our reality. Coming up, we will look at some of the more notorious tales of dolls that are said to be intensely cursed, haunted, demonically possessed, or all of the above. Are these mere tall tales built up around these admittedly creepy dolls to make them seem like more than they are? Is there anything to any of these accounts, or is this just our seemingly deeply ingrained aversion to these constructs materializing within our imaginations to imprint themselves onto our reality via amazing, spooky stories? Are these dolls more than they seem to be, animated and influenced by powers beyond our comprehension, or are they just what they superficially appear to be; plastic and wire, merely imbued with sinister significance by our feverish nightmares and the power of imagination rather than supernatural forces? Dolls will likely continue to generate such tales as long as their lifeless gazes fall upon all they survey. Whether those black, doll eyes merely stare blankly and lifelessly, or conspire and ponder all they survey, we’ll leave for you to decide.
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode…
A woman who had never experienced anything paranormal, suddenly has odd things happen around her after visiting a spiritualist. (Has Our Home Been Invaded By A Paranormal Entity Since Visiting a Spiritualist?)
He’s tall, he takes over your thoughts and movements – removing all free will. He has several arms… and no face. Slenderman came into being around 2009 – so what were people seeing thousands of years ago that has the same description? (Mystery of the Faceless Creature)
Between 1986 and 1989, at least eight individuals and possibly an additional four more were killed in the Colonial Parkway area of Virginia. The serial killer has never been found and the Colonial Parkway murders remain unsolved. (The Colonial Parkway Killer)
It is said that if she is hailed by another ship, her crew will often try to send messages to land or to people long since dead. In ocean lore, the sight of this phantom ship is reckoned by seafarers to be a sign of impending doom. Her name is The Flying Dutchman. (The Legend of the Flying Dutchman)
The body of a young woman is found floating in the Miami River outside of Dayton, Ohio. The coroner found nothing to indicate violence; the police believed otherwise. Even after digging her body out of the grave twice, there are still questions about what happened. (The Bessie Little Mystery)
But first… Haunted dolls seems to be a dime a dozen, and can even be found on sale, but for all of the strange phenomena surrounding these creations, surely the most frightening of all, are dolls that are not only haunted, but also the residences of hateful, violent forces that seek to harm or destroy us. We begin there. (Sinister Accounts of Evil Haunted Dolls)
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!
With their uncanny, creepy little faces and dead eyes, it is perhaps no wonder that dolls have long inspired unease and creepy tales. For just hunks of porcelain, ceramics, or plastic, they have managed to disturb us on an almost primal level for centuries, and for equally as long they have gathered numerous stories and legends of supernatural forces inhabiting them. Long the in the realm of dark fairy tales and horror films, there have been many real cases of malicious haunted dolls, and they are the spookiest of all.
By far one of the most infamous allegedly cursed dolls is the one called Annabelle. Although appearing as a pretty normal looking Raggedy Anne doll, and not particular creepy, at least as far as dolls go, it is nevertheless steeped in deeply weird phenomena and spooky happenings. The story of Annabelle begins in the 1970s, when it was purchased at an antique shop by a mother as a birthday present for her 28-year old daughter, Donna. At the time, Donna was living away from home as she attended nursing school, and she brought the doll to her humble apartment, which she shared with her roommate, Angie. At first there was nothing particularly strange or menacing about the doll, and it was merely an interesting conversation piece for their home, but things began to get seriously weird rather quickly.
It began when both Donna and Angie began to come home to find the doll had been moved and put into a variety of different positions upon the bed where it had been placed, even though no one had been home to have done such a thing. Both Donna and Angie insisted to each other that they had not been the ones to have moved the doll, and no one else had been to the apartment. While these movements were at first confined to just the bed, in time the doll began to be found in different rooms throughout the apartment, and sometimes even found in rooms where the door had been firmly shut. The doll was also found in a variety of different positions, both standing and sitting, sometimes with its arms folded or legs crossed. In some cases, it was in positions that seemed impossible, such as kneeling or in a standing position without leaning against anything; two positions into which the women could not get the doll to do on their own without it inevitably falling over.
This is certainly unsettling enough already, but things got worse. Donna and Angie began to find mysterious notes in the form of scraps of paper with the words “Help me” childishly scrawled in pencil upon them. The pieces of paper were apparently a type of parchment paper which both of the nursing students did not even own and which was nowhere to be found in the house. The notes on occasion menacingly said “Help Lou,” with Lou being Angie’s fiancee, who had recently moved in with them temporarily. Before the two women had had time to really adjust to the profound bizarreness of the moving doll and handwritten notes, they one day came home to find the doll with what appeared to be blood on it, with a splotch of the red substance on the back of its hand and three drops on its chest.
It was this macabre sight of the blood stained doll that finally prompted the increasingly disturbed Donna and Angie to call a psychic medium for advice. When the medium arrived at the apartment, a séance was held and they were subsequently told that the doll was inhabited by the spirit of a 7-year old girl by the name of Annabelle Higgins, who had apparently died on the land on which the apartment was located years before. According to the medium, Annabelle liked the two women, was not malevolent, and wanted to stay with them. Upon learning of this, both Donna and Angie, rather than freak out as might be expected, rather surprisingly decided to take sympathy on this seemingly harmless spirit and allow it to stay in the doll at the house. This was not a decision endorsed by Lou, who had always had a deep dislike of the doll, and in light of the medium’s story had become convinced that it was an evil thing possessed by a demon. Lou insisted that they get rid of the doll, but Donna and Angie refused.
Perhaps it was Lou’s dislike of and desire to destroy the doll that brought on what happened next. In a decidedly dramatic account, Lou claimed that the doll had come to his room as he lie half awake one night to levitate up onto his bed, over his chest and to fervently strangle him until he passed out. He insisted that it was not simply a nightmare, but the women he lived with did not believe him at the time. This would soon change.
Not long after this sinister incident, Lou and Angie had been planning for a road trip that they were to take the following day when they purportedly suddenly heard the sound of rustling movement coming from Donna’s room. Lou is said to have waited until the sounds stopped and then slowly opened the door to see Annabelle on the floor against the far wall. As Lou entered the room and approached the doll he claimed that he had heard a noise behind him but had turned to see nothing. It was in this instance that he abruptly doubled over in pain, grabbed his chest and fell to the floor writhing in agony, clutching at his midsection. When he got up and his chest was examined, there were found to be a series of seven scratches, 4 of them horizontal and three vertical. Oddly, the scratch marks seemed more like burns than scratches, and they are claimed to have healed faster than usual, totally vanishing within a mere two days.
It was at this point that Donna contacted a priest by the name Father Hegan, hoping for some form of exorcism, who then turned to a Father Cooke, and it was Cooke who would take the case to the well-known demonologists and paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, best known for their investigation of the notorious Amityville Horror house. The two investigators came to the conclusion that the doll was indeed possessed, but not by the spirit of a little girl but rather a malicious and evil demon merely pretending to be one, possibly to get close to the two women and possess one of them.
In response to this rampaging demonic force, Father Cooke was instructed to carry out an exorcism on the house. Donna and Angie, wanting nothing more to do with the sinister doll, gave it to the Warrens, who accepted and took it with them in order to make sure it did not cause any more trouble for anyone. Annabelle was subsequently placed in a display case at the Warren’s occult museum and surrounded by Holy water and religious imagery, with a sign on the outside reading “Warning: Positively Do Not Open.” Annabelle can be seen at Ed and Lorraine Warren’s Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut to this day, and so infamous has its story become that it has become the subject of one modern Hollywood horror movie called Annabelle, which is a dramatized version of the tale.
Even now it is claimed that the doll moves on its own, sometimes appearing in different positions even when no one has opened up the glass case it rests within. According to the Warrens, the doll has even since its arrival at the museum been responsible for at least one death. They claim that one museum visitor who came to see Annabelle began to jokingly berate, taunt, and insult the doll, daring it to scratch or attack him through the glass. Although nothing happened at the time, three hours later the man and his girlfriend, who had arrived by motorcycle, were involved in a terrible crash into a tree that killed the man and sent the woman to the hospital with serious injuries. Ed Warren referred to the incident in a video tour of the museum, in which he stated:
*****Many of the objects in this room here have had dire effects on people. People have been maimed, have been killed. People have wound up in mental institutions because of many of the things that are right in this building here. You have the voodoo dolls, you have the Raggedy Ann Doll, which was responsible for the death of a young man who came in here one time, who challenged the doll to do its worst and it did.*****
Nearly as well-known as Annabelle is the haunted doll simply known as Robert the Doll. The story begins in 1906 in Key West, Florida, where an affluent family, the Ottos, lived on their sprawling estate manned by numerous servants. One of these servants supposedly was a Haitian who was a practitioner of Voodoo and Black Magic, and was allegedly fired when the family found her in a garden performing some dark spell or ritual. Before the servant left, she is said to have given the family’s son, Robert Eugene Otto, a 3-foot high doll made of cloth, wire, and straw, with human-like hair and dressed in a sailor outfit as a parting gift, which is thought to have been imbued with a potent curse to smite the family.
The boy apparently took an instant liking to the doll, going so far as to name it Robert, after which he insisted that this was the doll’s name from then on and that everyone should call him by his middle name, Gene. The boy and the doll were inseparable, and he would often reportedly talk to the doll for hours on end. The spooky part was that servants claimed that they could on occasion hear a ghostly voice that was clearly not the boy’s own responding to him. Gene’s parents dismissed it as the boy just using a disguised voice to converse back and forth with his beloved doll, and didn’t think much of it at the time.
Not long after this, odd things began to happen around the house. Rooms would be found in a state of disarray, with objects smashed and broken upon the floor and furniture toppled over, which young Gene insisted he had had no part in, instead claiming that it had been the doll, Robert. The same went for the rash of objects that would suddenly go missing to be found later far from where they had been placed, dishes falling from tables, lamps toppling to the ground, and clothing found to have been ripped up, shredded, and strewn all about.
Some nights Gene’s parents heard a commotion in their son’s room, only to run there and see that toys and items had been sprawled out everywhere, and which the boy also claimed had been done by the doll Robert. In addition to this, neighbors swore that they had seen Robert the Doll scurrying under its own power from window to window one day when the family had been out. Guests to the house also claimed that sometimes when they were looking at the doll its expression would change or it would even blink. At other times the doll would change positions in the split second it took for someone to look away and look back. Things got more intense when the doll was seen by the family to tilt its head or move on its own, and it was claimed that it would on occasion let out a sound like a giggle.
The frightened family locked the doll in the attic and it was all but forgotten as Gene grew up to pursue a career in art in Paris. When he moved back to the states with his wife, he found his old friend and made a small room for the doll, complete with a tiny chair and furniture for it. From then on the weird phenomena apparently started again, with neighbors seeing the doll move through the windows when no one was there, or to hear disembodied laughter when no one was at home. This went on until Gene died in 1974 and his wife moved away after putting Robert back into the attic. Even after this time, neighbors and utilities workers claimed that they could hear strange laughter and footsteps emanating from the house.
When the house was bought again, the new family’s 10-year-old daughter allegedly found the doll and started keeping it in her room. Not long after this, the girl began to wake her family up in the middle of the night, claiming frantically that the doll had moved on its own. She would later claim that the doll had actually attacked and tried to kill her.
Eventually, Robert the Doll found itself at the East Martello Museum, an art and historical museum located in Key West, where it remains locked in a glass case to this day. Visitors claim that the doll is still up to its old tricks, as it will sometimes move as guests look on or change positions even though the case has not been opened. It is also claimed that if one wants to take a picture of Robert it is imperative that they ask his permission first. It is said that if the doll tilts its head this means permission has been denied. Those who take photos without asking permission, or those who take one anyway after being turned away, are said to be doomed to be befallen with bad luck, and indeed Robert’s display case is surrounded by letters from people outlining their testimonies of the string of misfortune they’ve had since taking such photos, and begging for forgiveness. To this day, Robert the Doll is considered to be one of the most haunted objects in the world.
There are actually quite a few allegedly cursed or haunted dolls kept at various residences and museums and locked away within glass cases, from which they still manage to allegedly cause mysterious mischief. Another such doll is called simply Pupa, which means “doll” in Latin. This doll reportedly has real human hair, and was supposedly given to a young Italian girl in the 1920s. The girl reported that the doll frequently spoke to her and moved around on its own.
In 2005, the owner passed away and Pupa was placed within a sturdy glass display case. From there on family members have reported that the doll will often move within the case, tap or knock on the glass, or rearrange the various decorations in there with her. The doll is also said to have the disconcerting habit of steaming up the glass and writing the words “Pupa hate” in the fogged glass. One particularly chilling account claims that the doll’s owners actually caught it moving around within its case on video, but that it was inexplicably found to be blanked out when they tried to upload it.
Another haunted doll that seems to enjoy terrorizing people from within its glass case is the doll known as Mandy. This incredibly creepy, porcelain doll from Germany is said to date to around 1910, and was donated to the Quesnel Museum in British Columbia in 1991, after its owners complained that it would cry or wail in the middle of the night. As soon as the doll arrived at the museum, strange things began to allegedly happen. Workers claimed that they could hear strange footsteps when no one else was around, and that objects would often inexplicably go missing or be misplaced for no discernible reason.
In addition to this, it is said that Mandy abhors other dolls, and that if she is placed with other dolls they will surely be mangled or strewn about shortly after, which is why she is always housed in her own separate case. Visitors to the museum claim that Mandy’s eyes will follow them around or blink, that she will sometimes move her head, and that photos of her will invariably turn out with white splotches, blobs, or weird shapes on them. At times, guests have reported that their cameras will malfunction and refuse to work at all when trying to photograph the notorious evil doll.
If one is interested in having a cursed or haunted doll of their own, it is amazing just how many are supposedly available for sale on sites such as eBay, and there are several ominous stories originating from such dolls. One woman in Galveston, Texas supposedly purchased just such a doll on eBay, which was an ugly thing fashioned from string and cloth and claimed to be an authentic Voodoo doll from New Orleans. The doll was apparently so cursed that the woman was given strict instructions to never remove it from the silver casing it arrived in. Of course the woman immediately removed the doll from the case, after which it was claimed to move on its own, attack its new owner, and relentlessly terrorize her in her nightmares. When the woman tried to sell the evil doll, the story goes that whoever ordered it would receive an empty box and the doll would inexplicably reappear at its terrified owner’s house. The doll currently supposedly belongs to a paranormal investigator who plans to study it.
This wouldn’t be the first instance of paranormal investigators buying up haunted dolls to study. Indeed one such couple from Pennsylvania have ordered and bought numerous supposedly haunted dolls that they keep under constant video surveillance in the hopes of capturing something weird on tape. The dolls, named Chrystal, True, Monika, Sharla, Isaac, Lilly, Ashley, and Cameron, are all taped 24 hours a day and live streamed. While mostly they just sit around being dolls, in 2009 apparently the video showed what seemed to be the ghostly image of a boy walking amongst them.
One of the most harrowing accounts of a cursed doll purchased on eBay certainly has to be that of the doll called Harold. The doll was put up for sale in 2003 on eBay by a young filmmaker who claimed it was deeply haunted, and there was even video released that purportedly showed the doll’s arm moving as a disembodied voice seems to whisper “Harold.” For some reason, this particular listing became a sensation, inciting a great deal of Internet chatter and becoming the subject of radio shows on the paranormal such as Coast to Coast.
When one woman known as Kathy successfully bid for the doll, she was told by the owner that the whole talk of hauntings was a hoax, but she didn’t really care as she was hoping to capitalize on the insane amount of buzz and debate it had generated. However, despite the fact that she did not believe the doll to be really haunted, strange things began to happen as soon as she received it, and she claimed that it caused the deaths of two people she knew within 6 months of acquiring the doll. Kathy would say in her listing for the item:
*****We had a roommate who was a health nut, climbed mountains, dove, and was a very athletic guy. Harold was stored in the closet in his room. Three months after moving in, Stephen was diagnosed with lung cancer and died a few weeks later. He had to move in with us because Ronnie, the woman who he was living with, asked to see the doll one day when she was at my house the weekend before she went to Amsterdam for a visit. She fell down a flight of stairs while she was there and died instantly. Also, one day I heard a crash coming from the bathroom. I went in there only to find that everything had fallen out of the linen closet….and everything landed perfectly folded and stacked.*****
Kathy eventually sold the doll to an eBay user going by the name Anthony Quinata, who ended up winning the bid with an offer of $720. Quinata was actually in the process of buying up a range of allegedly haunted items on eBay in order to use for a planned book to be titled Haunted eBay – Are You Going to Believe Me, or Your Lying Eyes? Kathy was at first somewhat hesitant to sell, telling Quinata “I’m really worried about you having this doll. I should have just thrown it in the ocean.” Upon receiving the doll, he tied it up into a bag along with some holy water and a crucifix.
Quinata ended up taking Harold to a medium friend of his named April Palmer for a psychic reading. Before commencing, the doll was sprinkled with holy water, after which Palmer did her reading and stopped abruptly, claiming that the doll had threatened to kill her and then caused her to feel faint, and as if something was actively squeezing her heart. When he later listened to the recording of the event, Quinata claims that he could clearly hear a raspy male voice say “I’m going to kill you… you bitch!” followed by an evil laugh, right before Palmer got her chest pains. Since then the doll has allegedly given its owner terrifying nightmares and visions, and caused numerous freak accidents and injuries for those around it. People close to him also complained to Quinata that the doll had a habit of haunting their dreams, with one of his friends proclaiming “Harold is pissed. He told me that he’s angry that you’ve had him for so long and haven’t helped him.” All of this prompted the doll’s owner to have it put away into storage, where it supposedly remains.
One of the oldest and often considered to be the most haunted and evil dolls of all was stumbled upon by chance in the 1970s in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia, by a man named Kerry Walton. At the time he had been picking through the empty ruins of an abandoned house on the street he had grew up on, where he found the strange wooden, glass-eyed marionette doll stashed under some dust frosted floorboards, as if someone had hidden it away there, or locked it in to keep it from getting out. Dislodging the old doll from its resting place, Walton turned it over in his hands and felt his heart lurch a bit when he was confronted with its rather nightmarish looking, frightening face, of which he would say, “I wasn’t quite sure what it was, it was terrifying seeing that face in the dark. He makes Chucky look like a Sunday school student.”
Despite the unsettling and eerie effect of its dead gaze and horrifying visage, Kerry decided to keep the freakish little doll, as he believed it to be quite old and possibly valuable. He tossed it into the trunk of his car and began his drive home and that was when the first of many supernatural phenomena would occur. Kerry claims that as he drove along he could hear something thumping about back in the trunk, as if there were someone in there trying to get out. Even more startling still was when he says he could distinctively hear a voice howl, “Letta me out!” which was enough for Kerry to pull over and see what was going on in the trunk. However, when he opened it up there was just that doll, crumpled up in the dark, motionless, and still with that glazed over, lifeless stare into nothing. Nothing seemed out of place except for that grim face looking on into oblivion.
At this point quite spooked, Kerry nevertheless brought the creepy doll home, and the weirdness would only continue from there. The following evening his two children allegedly began screaming uncontrollably in the middle of the night, and when he rushed to see what had happened they claimed that the doll, which Kerry had dubbed “Letta,” had been heard mumbling and talking to itself, and that it had also moved its arm and head. In the following days other people who saw the doll purportedly saw it move as well, and it generally gave off an inexplicable feeling of thick dread that seemed to cloak it like a cloud that purportedly made people feel nauseous, dizzy, or overcome with an inexplicable panic in its presence. Everyone in the home also experienced some of the worst and most vivid nightmares they had ever had.
In addition, its facial expression would allegedly subtly change each day, and dogs were found to show an unnatural aggressiveness towards Letta, barking at it and even trying to maul it, of which Kerry has said, “Dogs absolutely hate him, they try to attack him and bite him whenever he is around.” Intrigued by all of this, Kerry apparently had the doll examined by an expert and was told that it was likely around 200 years old and fashioned by Eastern European gypsies using real human hair. Psychics who looked at Letta were convinced it was possessed by a restless spirit.
Word got out about the haunted Letta doll, and it appeared in numerous news stories, as well as on TV shows, where one cameraman even claimed to have seen it turn its head to look at him. In recent years, Kerry has on one occasion gone about trying to sell Letta, but he says he was strongly compelled by some nagging presence at the back of his mind not to go through with it. He would say of this strange power:
*****We were really desperate for cash at the time so I drove him to a woman’s home who was going to buy him for $400. I physically couldn’t get him out of the car. I can’t explain it, it was some sort of force stopping me. These days I wouldn’t sell him for a million dollars but to be honest I don’t think I physically can.*****
Letta, which has also come to be known by the macabre nickname “The Doll from Hell,” is still in Kerry’s possession today, and is one of the more notorious haunted dolls out there. It is interesting to note the negative physical effects experienced in this doll’s presence, as if some presence is lashing out at those around it, and there are other “cursed” dolls out there with similar ill-effects on those who would look upon them or get too close. At the Museum of Shadows, in Nebraska, in the United States, resides one such doll that is called “Ayda” by the museums owners, Nate and Kaleigh Raterman.
The doll itself was apparently first crafted in 1889 in Germany, and over the decades was passed down until it ended up in the hands of a family that claimed it to be deeply haunted, moving about the house on its own and sometimes chuckling to itself. They allegedly tried to throw it away in a landfill, but that several days later it had been found sitting upon their porch much to their shocked surprise, dirtied and now missing its eyes. Once more they tied the doll up in a trash bag and threw it away again, but still it inexplicably showed up at their doorstep. Knowing of Nate and Kaleigh’s museum of cursed and haunted items, they donated it to the museum, where it has supposedly not stopped with its weird phenomena. Even as it was being driven to its new home a strange incident occurred, which Nate said of thus:
*****We started our drive towards the private quarantine area l when we heard this deep whisper come from the back of the SUV saying, ‘I want out’ followed by a child crying.*****
Even after being transferred to the museum the doll was often found in random places, even when placed within secure boxes. More insidious are the physical effects Ayda is said to inflict on those who stand too close, causing migraine headaches, dizziness, lethargy, and stomachaches, to the point that the owners have taken to wearing hazmat suits whenever handling it. Nate has explained that even this does little good, saying:
*****When I had to move her I had to wear a hazmat suit and still felt the power from her. I like to call it the paranormal hangover because she made me feel all sick and the worst migraine ever. So she is now in her permanent box and locked in and the keys are off location to protect from the chance of her ever getting out.*****
Anyone curious about Ayda can see her for themselves at the Museum of Shadows, in Plattsmouth Nebraska, where she remains locked up and occasionally exhibited. Other dolls can apparently harm you just by looking at them as well. One Russian doll was according to lore made in 1730 by a mistress of the Tsar who gave birth to a deformed baby which she then had burned. The ashes of this doomed child were them allegedly mixed with porcelain and used to make a doll that was named Katja. The doll in question has long been rumored to carry a potent curse, and one of the most persistent of these tales is that if you stare at its face for over 20 seconds and it blinks then that person will be plagued by misfortune and disaster.
Some dolls do not even have to be in the same room with you to have some sort of sinister supernatural effect. One notorious haunted doll is called Peggy, which is owned by paranormal investigator Jayne Harris and is said to cause nausea, headaches, hallucinations, and even heart attacks. The thing is, it can supposedly have these effects even when simply watched over sites like YouTube. Scores of people who have watched the videos made of Peggy the doll have reported feeling all manner of unsettling symptoms, to the point that most can not even stand to make it to the end of the clips. Is this haunted dolls malevolent force somehow reaching out even through our computer screens to grab at us?
These cases so far are all disturbing and unsettling enough, but perhaps even more frightening are those in which the dolls in question have actually gotten up to physically attack their owners. One such doll was owned by a woman named Debbie Merrick, who bought it at a charity sale along with two others in 2017. She had them placed in their spare room, and not long after this increasingly intense supernatural activity began to happen in the house, culminating in what seemed to be actual attacks on Debbie’s husband. She would say of these strange occurrences:
*****The smoke alarms keep going off, and one night I heard the floorboards creaking and thought it might have been my daughter Holly up, but when I checked on her she was asleep. Then one morning my husband said to me, ‘I’ve got scratches all over my legs.’ It definitely hadn’t happened before. They looked a bit like cat scratches and were sore. My husband is a complete non-believer. He’s still trying to come up with an explanation. The scratches do look like they’ve been done by something small, like little doll hand scratches. Holly keeps telling people that the creepy doll scratched her Dad’s leg. I’ve had a nightmare about a doll dragging itself along the floor towards me.*****
It seemed that only one of the newly purchased dolls seemed to be the culprit, one decked out in what looks like a wedding dress, and Debbie locked it in plastic box and put it away in a shed outside the home. However, this didn’t seem to stop whatever was going on, because when she later went to check on it it was found to be out of the box on the floor and its necklace had gone missing. This was enough to make her put the doll up for sale on eBay, and even then its paranormal power seemed to be conspiring against her. She would explain:
*****I took some pictures of it because I wanted to put it on eBay, then I left it. I even struggled to upload the pictures to eBay, it was really strange, that had never happened before. I don’t want to go back into the shed now. I won’t touch it again, it can get picked up if it’s bought, and if we need to post it my husband can package it up. Some people on social media have told me it has something in it, some said it doesn’t. It’s really just the one doll with the white dress I don’t like. I didn’t particularly even like touching that one when I bought it. The other two I don’t mind as much.*****
Unbelievably, someone actually did buy the doll, a man named Lee Steer, who began to be haunted by the doll himself not long after bringing it and whatever it attached to it home. Since purchasing the haunted doll Steer has claimed that there have been things mysteriously broken around the house, strange noises that no one can explain, and most disturbing of all Lee’s father waking up one evening with tiny scratches all over his arms that were very similar to those incurred by Debbie’s husband, and just as unexplainable. Curious, Lee claims to have tried to communicate with the spirit in the doll using a “random words app,” which basically mixes words together but has been said to be able to be used as a sort of modern version of a Ouija board to talk with spirits. Lee would say of this odd experiment:
*****I’ve used a random words app that some people believe spirits can manipulate, and when I’ve asked it it’s name it’s said ‘Samantha’. When I said I really wanted to piss it off, it said, ‘Strike Lee’. If it’s random words, then it shouldn’t be making sense.*****
In 2015 there was a terrifying case of Ashley Nicole-Fine, 24, from Leeds, Alabama, who purchased two dolls to add to her extensive dolls collection. The difference with these is that that she has claimed they are possessed by the vengeful spirits of women who were murdered by their boyfriends. These unfortunate murders then twisted their minds even in death sot that they have come to hate all men. This has proven to be a problem for Ashley’s own boyfriend, Phillip Baston, 25, as apparently the dolls don’t like him either.
According to Phillip, he has been attacked in his sleep by the creepy dolls on several occasions, waking up with scratches and bruises on his body. He then ordered Debbie to have them removed from the bedroom, which she did. One of the dolls is named Violet, and is supposedly haunted by the spirit of a women who died in the 1500s. It is apparently very mobile, often disappearing from its resting place to turn up in different locations around the house, and is known to start the music box attached to her as well. The dolls in question have since been locked into their own special room, possibly plotting amongst themselves, waiting for their chance to attack their next victim.
Haunted dolls are one things, but are there those out there that go beyond this to be truly evil, and capable of inflicting harm? Here we have seen these possessed dolls that take things a bit further than things that go bump in the night, and which seem by all accounts to harbor powerful, wicked forces that have the potential to do great harm. Is there anything to this all or is it all just spooky urban legend? Whatever the case may be, dolls are certainly scary enough, and certainly seem to be suited to such dark tales indeed.
When Weird Darkness returns…
He’s tall, he takes over your thoughts and movements – removing all free will. He has several arms… and no face. Slenderman came into being around 2009 – so what were people seeing thousands of years ago that has the same description?
Plus… It is said that if she is hailed by another ship, her crew will often try to send messages to land or to people long since dead. In ocean lore, the sight of this phantom ship is reckoned by seafarers to be a sign of impending doom. Her name is The Flying Dutchman.
But first… A woman who had never experienced anything paranormal, suddenly has odd things happen around her after visiting a spiritualist. That story is up next!
We moved into a fairly old house and had absolutely no problem for the first few weeks. We had no unexplained incidents, no sightings, no visitations. Nothing. About a month ago my friend asked if I wanted to go with her to see a spiritualist. I thought it might be interesting and fun. We went to see this gentleman and it was fairly interesting, but nothing spectacular. I didn’t think anything would come of it.
However, ever since I visited that spiritualist we have experienced some interesting incidents in our home.
Two weeks ago, I was lying in bed reading when I started to hear “pattering” downstairs. Almost like someone walking around quietly but very quickly. I got out of bed, went downstairs and turned the light on. There was nothing there. The following morning, I was washing the dishes and felt something touch my back.
Ever since that incident I have never felt alone at home—my husband works nights, so I spend a lot of time by myself. When I first told him, he was skeptical. He isn’t the kind of person who believes in anything he can’t hear or see. But he was involved in an incident a few nights ago and now he believes finally me. He was in the bathroom and started to hear knocking and tapping on the bathroom door. He thought it was me at first. He called out, didn’t get an answer, called out again and opened the door. There was no-one there. He closed the door and the tapping started again. He came downstairs a few minutes later and asked me if I’d been playing a trick on him upstairs—I hadn’t—so he put two and two together and realized it must be something else. The same something else I believe I have been experiencing.
My question would be this. Is it possible to see a spiritualist, or a medium, and allow a spirit of entity into your life or house?
In modern times people all across the world have reported seeing a faceless creature with multiple arms. Being very tall and dangerous, people feel traumatized when they encounter him. He appears to take control over their thoughts, movements and free will.
What appeared to be a modern invention may in fact be based on stories dating thousands of years back. Is an urban myth perhaps much more truthful than we previously thought?
Ancient stories about this evil and elusive creature have been found in many corners of the world. It seems our ancestors knew more about this unusual individual than we do today. But how can we explain modern sightings?
The first time we heard about a strange creature that has been called the Slenderman was in 2009. A man named Eric Knudsen, whose pseudonym was “Victor Surge,” uploaded photos of the Slenderman to the Something Awful website. The being was said to be a thin, unusually tall humanoid with a featureless head and face and wearing a black suit.
The Slenderman was said to be a stalker who either abducted or traumatized people, especially children. It was a fictional character, but it didn’t take long before people all across the world started reporting encounters with the Slenderman.
Many became convinced they had seen this mysterious being in their dreams or running into him in their homes or woods.
It seems rather odd that a fictional character suddenly became visible to so many. Did people seek attention or was something more sinister behind these curious sightings?
Author and researcher Nick Redfern has investigated the Slenderman phenomena and in his book The Slenderman Mysteries, he writes that “since 2009, countless numbers of people claim to have seen, and been attacked, plagued, and terrified by this skeletal, pale giant in black.”
Redfern speculates the sighting may be attributed to a tulpa. According to his article at AncientPages.com, “A tulpa is basically an entity created in the mind. It possesses the ability to act independently of and parallel to your own consciousness. It is able to think, and has its own free will, emotions, and memories. In short, a tulpa is like a sentient person living in your head, separate from you.”
“When enough people believe in something, the theory goes, that same something can stride out of our darkest imaginations and right into the heart of our own reality. By accepting without question the idea that the Slenderman is more than just a piece of Internet fiction are we also giving him some degree of life? Maybe even independent life? If so, can we extinguish that life? If not, does that mean the Slenderman is here to stay? Another theory suggests that the Internet is slowly becoming self-aware. Could the online world into which all of us are hooked be the culprit?” Redfern writes in his book.
Digging deeper in the Slenderman sightings we come across another curiosity. It appears as if stories of the Slenderman date far back in time.
Ancient cave paintings in Brazil depict a tall slender creature that possesses many arms.
Numerous ancient civilizations have a slender race creature embedded in their culture. There are also certain Egyptian hieroglyphs seem to portray what could be multi-armed men. Who or what was this ancient creature?
Ancient Egyptians referred to this being as ‘Thief of Gods’ or ‘Thief of Kek’ Could it have been the Egyptian God Kek (also known as Kuk) who represented primordial darkness and shadows?
God Kek was one of the oldest deities in ancient Egypt and was considered the god of the darkness of chaos before the creation began. Interestingly, God Kek has no gender. God Kek can represent both, a male or female.
The Aztecs and the Maya had also knowledge of a man with multiple arms. In several Aztec artworks, the slender man appears to depict priests removing hearts from sacrified people with three or more arms.
Some Mayan art also depicted Mayan priests as such.
The ya’axche’ wíinik (the Ceiba Man) was a Mayan god who lived in the Ceiba trees who would receive sacrifices by ancient Mayans. The Mayans had similar description of the slender men.
Babylonians, such as the Akkadians and Sumerians, believed in a specific demon called the alû, a “half-man, half-devil” creature without a face. The alû creeps into victims’ bedrooms and terrifies them as they sleep. The alû demon was said to cause loss of consciousness, fixation of the eyes in a stare, and loss of speech.
Europe and The British Isles have numerous tales that refer to the Slenderman that lives in the shadows of humanity. He is said to be a sinister murderer, leaving behind no trace, only chaos.
In Utah, there is an interesting cave painting in Sego Canyon. It was created around 5,000 B.C. The creature depicted inside the cave is and appears to have multiple arms. Some believe this could be one of the earliest encounters with the Slenderman.
In Japanese mythology we find references to a mysterious creature known as Yokai. The Yokai is faceless and dwells in the borderlands and in spaces, which are located “in-between”.
This ancient belief is alive in the Japanese modern society. Yokai can take many different forms and are mostly associated with villages, old abandoned towns, deserted mountain passes.
Yōkai do not belong to anybody. They just exist, appear usually at twilight, when our surroundings look strange and are difficult to recognize. Could the Yokai be our ancestors’ version of the Slenderman?
It’s difficult to say when stories about the Slenderman really started, but if we take into consideration ancient paintings, myths and legends, it would seem our ancestors knew about this curious creature long before Eric Knudsen made his first post on the forum in 2009.
The Flying Dutchman, according to folklore, is a ghost ship that is doomed to sail the oceans forever. There have been numerous sightings of the ship, and it is usually spotted from a distance, glowing with ghostly light.
It is said that if she is hailed by another ship, her crew will often try to send messages to land or to people long since dead. In ocean lore, the sight of this phantom ship is reckoned by seafarers to be a sign of impending doom.
The legend of The Flying Dutchman is said to have started in 1641 when a Dutch ship sank off the coast of the Cape of Good Hope:
The Flying Dutchman was returning home to Holland after a trip to the Far East. As the ship approached the tip of Africa, Captain Van der Decken thought that he should make a suggestion to his employers, the Dutch East India Company, to start a settlement at the Cape on the tip of Africa to provide a welcome respite to ships at sea.
He was so deep in thought that he failed to notice the dark clouds looming and only when he heard the lookout scream out in terror, did he realise that they had sailed straight into a fierce storm. The captain and his crew battled for hours to get out of the storm and at one stage it looked like they would make it. Then they heard a sickening crunch – the ship had hit treacherous rocks and began to sink.
As the ship plunged downwards, Captain Van der Decken knew that death was approaching. He was not ready to die and screamed out a curse: “I WILL round this Cape even if I have to keep sailing until doomsday!”
Many people have claimed to have seen The Flying Dutchman, including the crew of a German submarine boat during World War II, many holiday makers and even a King of the United Kingdom.
On 11 July 1881, the Royal Navy ship, the Bacchante was rounding the tip of Africa, when they were confronted with the sight of The Flying Dutchman. The midshipman, a prince who later became King George V, recorded that the lookout man and the officer of the watch had seen the Flying Dutchman and he used these words to describe the ship:
“A strange red light as of a phantom ship all aglow, in the midst of which light the mast, spars and sails of a brig 200 yards distant stood out in strong relief.”
Soon after on the same trip, the lookout who had spotted The Flying Dutchman accidentally fell from a mast and died. Fortunately for the British Royal Family, the young midshipman survived the curse.
Between 1986 and 1989, at least eight individuals and possibly an additional four more were killed in the Colonial Parkway area of Virginia. The serial killer has never been found and the Colonial Parkway murders remain unsolved.
And… The body of a young woman is found floating in the Miami River outside of Dayton, Ohio. The coroner found nothing to indicate violence; the police believed otherwise. Even after digging her body out of the grave twice, there are still questions about what happened.
These stories are up next on Weird Darkness.
Between 1986 and 1989, at least eight individuals and possibly an additional four more were killed in the Colonial Parkway area of Virginia. The serial killer has never been found and the Colonial Parkway murders remain unsolved.
On October 12, 1986, the bodies of Cathleen Thomas (27) and Rebecca Ann Dowski (21) were found by a jogger in the back seat of their vehicle. The vehicle was pushed down an embankment off the Colonial Parkway in area frequented by gay couples. Their throats were slashed, rope burns were found around their neck and wrists as well as signs of strangulation. There were no signs of struggle or sexual assault and their personal belongings were undisturbed. It also appeared that the killer attempted to set fire to their bodies and the vehicle, but was unsuccessful. The killer then attempted to push the vehicle into the York River.
It was almost one year later when the Colonial Parkway Killer struck again. In September, 1987, David Knobling (20) and Robin Edwards (14) were found murdered on the James River near Smithfield, VA. They were both partially clothed and Edwards was found with her jeans unfastened and her bra around her neck. Knobling’s truck was found earlier with the keys still in the ignition, the radio on and the driver’s door opened. Knboling’s wallet was on the dashboard. Again, there was no signs of struggle. The driver’s side window was partially rolled down, which led investigators to speculate as to why it would be rolled down when it was raining the night they disappeared.
On 9 April 1988, Cassandra Lee Hailey and Richard Keith Call went on their first date. His vehicle was found on the Colonial Parkway the following day. To this day, they have not been found and assumed to be murdered by the Colonial Parkway Killer.
Keith Call’s red Toyota Celica was found the following morning about 3 miles from where Knobling and Edwards were found. The car was parked at a Colonial Parkway overlook.The authorities found it unusual that the driver’s side door was open and Call’s wallet was on the console. The glove box was open. Hailey’s purse, bra, one boot and the couple’s underwear was left in the car.
In October, 1989, the skeletal remains of Annamaria Phelps (18) and Daniel Lauer (21) were found by a hunter in the woods near a rest area off Interstate 64 between Williamsburg and Richmond, VA. The vehicle was found in the rest area with the keys in the ignition along with Ms. Phelps purse on the seat. The couple had been missing for one month before they were found.
Money did not appear to be a motivation in any of these murders, and the victims did not appear to struggle. Law enforcement officials began to theorize that the serial killer was either a law enforcement officer or posed as an authority figure. This may explain why Call’s glove box was opened – in an attempt by Call to obtain his registration that is normally held in the glove box.
In addition to the theory of the Colonial Parkway Killer being a law enforcement officer or posing as one, others suggest that the killer is a rogue CIA operative from the Central Intelligence Agency, which have a training center in nearby Camp Perry in York County. Other experts claim it may be more than one killer working as a team.
Speculation exists that the serial killer’s first victims may have been Michael Margaret (21) and Donna Hall (18) whose bodies were found on August 21, 1984. Their bodies lay in a wooded area near Kings Crossing Apartment Complex in Richmond, Virginia. They were stabbed multiple times and their throats were slashed without an apparent motive.
Brian Craig Pettinger was last seen at a Hampton dance club and his body was found in February, 1987 in a marshy area of the James River in Suffolk, VA.
Laurie Ann Powell (18) was last seen in March 8, 1988 walking down a road in Gloucester County. Her body was found in the James River on April 2, 1988. She had multiple stab wounds to her back.
Recently, crime scene photographs regarding the Colonial Parkway killings where leaked into the public domain by a former photographer who worked for the FBI. Although this caused some embarrassment for the FBI, it did renew interest in the case. The FBI has recently doubled the reward for information leading to the arrest of this serial killer to $20,000.
In December, 2009, FBI Norfolk Field Office Special Agent in Charge Alex J. Turner, stated fingerprints and trace evidence from the crime scenes will be tested using the latest advances in forensic laboratory testing. Turner could not provide a date of when these tests would be completed, but he did state they are expediting the examinations.
A previous profiler on the case stated the killings have obviously stopped and there are two possibilities: “They are either dead or in prison,” he said. “People like this don’t stop.”
The results of these forensic tests may be made public any day now. Perhaps we will soon learn who is responsible for the most gruesome unsolved crimes in the commonwealth of Virginia.
BESSIE LITTLE MYSTERY
A swimmer in the Miami River outside of Dayton, Ohio, discovered the body of a young woman floating in the water on September 3, 1896. The coroner found nothing to indicate violence; the cause of death was believed to be suicide and the unidentified body was hastily buried.
When he heard of the body in the river, Dayton Police Chief Thomas Farrell believed he knew who she was, and he had reason to believe that she had been murdered. Farrell had the woman’s body disinterred and soon after she was identified as 23-year-old Bessie Little by her adopted parents and by her dentist who kept detailed records of his patients’ teeth. The coroner still could not determine the cause of death and the body was reburied.
Her parents said they did not report Bessie missing because she had left home several weeks earlier to look for work; she was living in a Dayton boarding house run by Mrs. Freese. The full story was, the Little’s had kicked Bessie out of their house when they learned she had been intimate with her boyfriend 20-year-old Albert Frantz. They told her not to return unless he agreed to marry her.
Mrs. Freese verified that Bessie had been staying at her boarding house and that Albert Frantz had been paying her weekly rent. She said that the last time she saw Bessie was on August 27, when Bessie told her she was going for a buggy ride with Frantz. The following day Frantz came to the house asking for Bessie and Mrs. Freese told him she never came home from the buggy ride. Frantz said she was mistaken about the buggy ride; he had not seen Bessie the night before. He then paid her Bessie’s next week’s rent in advance.
Bessie Little and Albert Frantz were from different economic backgrounds. As a baby, Bessie had been an orphan at the Miami County Children’s Home; Peter Little and his wife adopted her when she was two-years-old. But the Little’s were poor and as soon as she was old enough they put Bessie to work as a domestic servant. Albert Frantz worked as a stenographer for the Mathias Planing Mill Co. He came from a wealthy family; the youngest of five children he was spoiled by his parents and siblings. Those who knew Frantz well described him as “cruel and cunning” but Bessie was infatuated by him.
Shortly before her death, Bessie consulted a physician and some believed that she had been pregnant or had even undergone an abortion. In any case, her parents knew enough about her relations with Frantz to bar her from the house until she either broke them off or married him. Among her belongings, police found an unmailed letter addressed to the father of Albert Frantz, begging him to force a marriage. It had been easy for Frantz to seduce Bessie but he had no intention of marrying her.
Frantz maintained that he had not been with Bessie on the night of her disappearance but Chief Farrell did not believe him and kept Frantz in custody pending the outcome of the coroner’s investigation. Farrell had been able to identify the body because he knew Bessie Little had been thrown in the river even before the body was found. Frantz, with a relative, had gone to see Rev. Teeter for advice, telling him that Bessie had killed herself and he had thrown her body into the river. He wanted to know how the law would view the situation, so Rev. Teeter referred him to Judge J.W. Kreitzer. They attempted to keep the matter secret, but the story leaked out. Judge Kreitzer, acting as Frantz legal counsel would not confirm or deny the story, but Chief Farrell heard it and when the body was discovered in the Miami River, Farrell knew who it was.
Farrell was convinced that Albert Frantz murdered Bessie Little, but Frantz denied seeing Bessie that night and there was no evidence to directly link him to her death. Then on September 5, someone found a freshly dried pool of blood along with two decorative combs identified as belonging to Bessie, on the Stillwater Bridge about half a mile from the spot where the body was found. There were also buggy tire tracks believed to be connected to the blood.
This was enough to justify digging up the body once more. This time the coroner’s close examination discovered two gunshot wounds in the right ear and although the bullets had been shattered by bone, enough lead was recovered for two 32-caliber bullets. The head was then severed from the body and preserved in a jar; the body was reburied.
Ferrell went to the home of Albert Frantz to try to compare his buggy’s tires to the prints left on the bridge, only to find that the Frantz’s stable had burned down the day after Bessie was last seen. The horse was killed and the buggy completely destroyed.
Frantz now changed his story. He and Bessie had been riding in his buggy and Bessie had been somewhat despondent. When he wasn’t looking, she drew a revolver and shot herself. Panicked and afraid the story would not be believed, he threw Bessie’s body off the bridge. The obvious flaw in this story was that two shots were fired into her head. The post-mortem examination showed two entry wounds and people living near the bridge recalled hearing cries of “Murder!” that night, followed by two gunshots.
The revolver was still missing, and Chief Farrell was determined to find it. Believing that it had been thrown off the bridge along with the body, he mounted an all-out search of the river below. He obtained twelve powerful magnets, weighing three pounds each, and using two rowboats, dragged them along the bottom of the river trying to attract the gun. When this failed he hired Ben Graham, a professional diver who agreed to work for expenses. A.E. Pate, a champion swimmer also volunteered his services.
While the river search proved fruitless, Farrell learned that Frantz had purchased a revolver at Dodd’s gun shop in Dayton three weeks before Bessie disappeared. He also learned that while courting Bessie Frantz was also engaged to another woman. With this possible motive, the prosecutors felt they had enough circumstantial evidence to try Albert Frantz for the murder of Bessie Little.
More than a hundred witnesses testified at the trial which began on December 14, 1896. Frantz still maintained that Bessie had shot herself. The prosecution brought out Bessie’s severed head to show the jurors the two entry wounds. Several physicians testified as to the possibility that Bessie had shot herself twice in the head. The defense’s doctors saying it was possible, the prosecution’s saying it was not. The defense did not claim that Frantz had been temporarily insane, but just in case, the prosecution had six doctors examine Frantz and testify that he was perfectly sane.
Though the evidence was circumstantial it was enough for the jury to convict Albert Frantz of first-degree murder and he was sentenced to death. On November 19, 1897, after all possible appeals failed, Albert Frantz became the fourth man to die in Ohio’s electric chair. He professed his innocence to the end.
SHOW CLOSE, CREDITS, A LITTLE LIGHT, AND A FINAL THOUGHT==========
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
“Sinister Accounts of Evil Haunted Dolls” by Brent Swancer for Mysterious Universe
“Mystery of the Faceless Creature – Ancient and Modern Sightings” by Ellen Lloyd for Ancient Pages
“The Colonial Parkway Killer” by Jim Harper for Historic Mysteries
“The Legend of the Flying Dutchman” posted at Ghost-Story.co.uk
“The Bessie Little Mystery” by Robert Wilhelm for Murder By Gaslight
“Has Our Home Been Invaded By A Paranormal Entity Since Visiting a Spiritualist?” by Jane Lois Collins, posted at MyHauntedLifeToo.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… “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” – 2 Corinthians 4:17
And a final thought… “Wink at small faults; remember thou hast great ones.” – Benjamin Franklin
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.