“TRUE TALES OF PEOPLE WAKING UP IN THE MORGUE” and More Terrifying Stories! #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: Imagine waking up and all you see is pitch black darkness. You’re cold, and if you’re not mistaken, you’re also naked. You try to get up and immediately bump your head, when you spread your arms your horrible suspicion is confirmed… you are enclosed in some type of box. A refrigerated box. Then you realize it… you’re in a morgue. But wait… aren’t you’re alive? How can this be? Even now in the 21st century, tales like this do happen – and they are just as terrifying as you imagine. I’ll share true stories of people waking up in the morgue. (True Tales of People Waking Up in a Morgue) *** Paranormal creatures that feed on the flesh of humans are known in legends and stories throughout the world. But some of the nastiest of those nighttime feeders dwell in the country and culture of Japan. (The Flesh Eating Revenants of Japan) *** One of our Weirdo family members tells of a childhood incident where a game of hide and seek ends in a game of scream and run! (The Floating Baby Doll) *** Two nursing students rent an apartment together. But then things get strange. Then scary. Then horrifying. Even a skilled paranormal researcher has no explanation as to what happened to them in that apartment. (The Thing That Went Clawing In The Night) *** On May 23rd, 2020 the city of Bryan, Texas had an incredible lightning storm. But what normally would be a fascinating experience, became utterly horrifying when seemingly out of nowhere, straight from the blackened sky, came what sounded like a woman screaming… and screaming… and screaming. I’ll share the story and the terrifying audio. (Screaming in a Texas Lightning Storm) *** You don’t want to get too close to the tomb of Bloody Mackenzie at the Greyfriars Kirkyard – his evil spirit just might grab you by the throat. (The Mackenzie Poltergeist) *** (Originally airedJune 08, 2020)
SOURCES AND REFERENCES FROM THE EPISODE…
BOOK: “Ghosts Over Britain” by Peter Moss: https://amzn.to/3dIulOi
VIDEO: Screaming in the skies over Texas: https://tinyurl.com/y9853kkv
“The Flesh Eating Revenants of Japan” by Brent Swancer for Mysterious Universe: https://tinyurl.com/y8euansf
“True Tales of People Waking Up in a Morgue” by Amy Robleski for Ranker: https://tinyurl.com/yy8dqzey
“The Floating Baby Doll” by Weirdo Kayla Monge, submitted to https://WeirdDarkness.com/submit
“The Thing That Went Clawing In The Night” from Strange Company: https://tinyurl.com/y9uskjnv
“Screaming in a Texas Lightning Storm” by Rob Schwarz for Stranger Dimensions: https://tinyurl.com/yc6p6ndb, with audio footage from the YouTube channel of Daniel Robb: https://tinyurl.com/y9853kkv
“The Mackenzie Poltergeist” by Gary Sweeney for The Line Up: https://tinyurl.com/y98r8ep5
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Paranormality Magazine: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/paranormalitymag
Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/microterrors
Retro Radio – Old Time Radio In The Dark: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/retroradio
Church of the Undead: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/churchoftheundead
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Margorie McCall died of a fever in 1705 and was quickly buried to prevent the sickness from spreading. On the evening of her burial though, body snatchers came and dug up her grave, hoping to steal the expensive ring that was buried with her, as well as to sell Margorie’s body for a nifty profit. As one of the body snatchers tried cutting her swollen finger to retrieve the ring, the corpse of Margorie McCall suddenly came to life and screamed bloody murder. One of the robbers died right there from the shock, while the other fled the scene and never raided another grave ever again. But Margorie wasn’t done. She crawled out of her grave and made her way to her home, where her husband, John, died of fright the very moment he saw her. He was later buried in the very grave originally dug for Margorie – who no longer needed it. You see, Margorie, had been buried alive. Margorie went on to remarry and had more children before dying properly. She was buried in Shankill Cemetery, Ireland, the very cemetery in which she was buried the first time. In 1860, stonemason William Graham carved a gravestone that reads “Margorie McCall. Lived Once, Buried Twice” and placed it over her grave. It remains there to this day. While Margorie’s story is disputed, it does shed light on a very real and frightening phenomenon. Once in a while, people are declared dead – when in reality they are not.
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…
Paranormal creatures that feed on the flesh of humans are known in legends and stories throughout the world. But some of the nastiest of those nighttime feeders dwell in the country and culture of Japan. (The Flesh Eating Revenants of Japan)
One of our Weirdo family members tells of a childhood incident where a game of hide and seek ends in a game of scream and run! (The Floating Baby Doll)
Two nursing students rent an apartment together. But then things get strange. Then scary. Then horrifying. Even a skilled paranormal researcher has no explanation as to what happened to them in that apartment. (The Thing That Went Clawing In The Night)
On May 23rd, 2020 the city of Bryan, Texas had an incredible lightning storm. But what normally would be a fascinating experience, became utterly horrifying when seemingly out of nowhere, straight from the blackened sky, came what sounded like a woman screaming… and screaming… and screaming. I’ll share the story and the terrifying audio. (Screaming in a Texas Lightning Storm)
You don’t want to get too close to the tomb of Bloody Mackenzie at the Greyfriars Kirkyard – his evil spirit just might grab you by the throat. (The Mackenzie Poltergeist)
Imagine waking up and all you see is pitch black darkness. You’re cold, and if you’re not mistaken, you’re also naked. You try to get up and immediately bump your head, when you spread your arms your horrible suspicion is confirmed… you are enclosed in some type of box. A refrigerated box. Then you realize it… you’re in a morgue. But wait… aren’t you’re alive? How can this be? Even now in the 21st century, tales like this do happen – and they are just as terrifying as you imagine. I’ll share true stories of people waking up in the morgue. (True Tales of People Waking Up in a Morgue)
If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, to visit sponsors you hear about during the show, sign up for my newsletter, enter contests, connect with me on social media, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re struggling with depression or dark thoughts. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
STORY: TRUE TALES OF PEOPLE WAKING UP IN A MORGUE=====
Waking up in a morgue – it sounds like something straight out of a horror movie, doesn’t it? Strangely even in this day and age, it’s more common than you might think. Why does this happen? How can doctors not realize a “dead” body is actually a living person? Doctors are people, and they aren’t perfect. When doctors think someone has died, they check the patient’s pupils, breathing, heartbeat, and pulse. Sometimes, patients may have signs of life that are just too faint to be detected. Another explanation is Lazarus Syndrome – when a person who can’t be brought back to life suddenly regains circulation. No one knows why – or how – this rare situation occurs. Hospitals and morgues are creepy places where strange and unexplained things sometimes happen. Patients coming back from the dead is definitely one of the strangest. For the people who were declared dead – and then not – the experience can be confusing and frightening. Morgues aren’t meant for living people. People experiencing this real-life nightmare often wake up surrounded by corpses or locked in their own tiny metal drawers. They may feel as if they’ve been buried alive. The feeling is similar to someone who is conscious but immobile during surgery. You’re lying there helpless at the mercy of medical staff, hoping they’ll realize what’s going on and save you. These unbelievable stories of real people who woke up in the morgue are sure to leave you hoping it never happens to you.
In 2011, retired cook and grandmother Lyudmila Steblitskaya was hospitalized for health problems. When her daughter called to check on her, the hospital said her mother had died. It was a Friday night. Steblitskaya was taken to the morgue, where her body was scheduled to stay until the funeral Monday morning. When her daughter came to get her body on Monday, doctors said her mother was alive and brought her to Steblitskaya’s hospital room. Steblitskaya had survived the whole weekend under morgue refrigeration. “I have a vague recollection of real cold,” Steblitskaya said. Her skin was peeled from her body because of the frigid temperatures. Her daughter and other family members, who had spent the weekend planning for her funeral, were ecstatic to have her back. “It’s a miracle I’m still here,” Steblitskaya said. In October 2012, she apparently died again during another hospital stay. This time, however, doctors were able to bring her back around within a few hours.
In Argentina, a premature infant was declared dead just 20 minutes after her birth. Twelve hours after she was placed in a refrigerated coffin, her parents went to the morgue to hold their child and say their last goodbyes. When her mother held her, the baby let out a little cry. Her mother thought it was her imagination, but doctors soon confirmed her baby was actually still alive. The astonished parents called their daughter Luz Milagros, which means “Miracle Light.” The baby lived up until a few months after her first birthday, when she died of health complications.
On January 7, 2018, employees of a prison in northern Spain found Gonzalo Montoya Jiménez unresponsive in his jail cell. Reportedly, upon the discovery of his body, three forensic doctors examined him and declared him dead. His body was taken away for an autopsy, during which staff prepared his body for the procedure by drawing marks on him. But then Jiménez began snoring – four hours after he had supposedly died. The confusion likely arose from Jiménez’s condition; he had epilepsy, which can sometimes trigger a deep, trance-like state.
In 2016, a 25-year-old Polish man named Kamil was out drinking vodka with friends when he suffered a heart attack. He collapsed outside a pub and was taken to a hospital. Unresponsive, he was pronounced dead. Several hours later, a guard heard noises inside the mortuary refrigerator. The guard thought kids had broken in, but was surprised to find Kamil. The naked “dead man” asked the guard for a blanket. After getting checked out by doctors, Kamil headed back to the pub.
Think being mistaken for dead can’t happen in the United States? Think again. In 2014, Walter Williams, a farmer from Holmes County, MS, was pronounced dead. The next day, morgue workers saw his body bag moving – Williams was kicking it from the inside. The 76-year-old man was taken to a hospital and released to his shocked family a few days later. He lived for two more weeks before actually dying of natural causes. One possible theory for the incident is that William’s defibrillator restarted his heart while he was in the body bag.
In 2015, an unidentified Russian man got so drunk he passed out – and everyone thought he was dead. His friends called an ambulance. First responders also thought he was dead and took him to the morgue where he was placed in the freezer. The man woke up in the middle of the night, shocked to be in a room with dead bodies. He started pounding on the doors and got the attention of a guard. After doctors checked him over, his first stop was back to his friend’s house. There, his buddies were still drinking and mourning him. One of his friends was so shocked at seeing him that he fainted. The mourning party quickly turned into a celebration.
In 2011, Rosa Celestrino de Assis was taken to the hospital for pneumonia. The 60-year-old Brazilian woman had no vital signs, so the doctor pronounced her dead. Medical personnel put her body into a plastic body bag and took it to the morgue refrigerator. Two hours later, her daughter came to identify the body. As she was giving her mother a hug for what she thought was the last time, she realized her mother was breathing. “I screamed out – my mom is alive!” her daughter said. “And they all looked at me like I was crazy.” The doctor that pronounced her dead has resigned, and a nurse working under him was fired.
June Burchell should be quite familiar with the inside of a morgue – she’s woken up there three times. Burchell suffers from a condition called cataplexy, which affects a small percentage of people with narcolepsy. This condition causes her to become paralyzed but conscious. Strong emotions often bring on episodes. The first time this happened to her she was a teenager. She didn’t appear to show any signs of life, and doctors pronounced her dead. They put her in the morgue, surrounding her with dead bodies. She could move and speak again hours later. Burchell said she fears being buried alive more than she fears death. She has one of the world’s worst cases of cataplexy. Burchell shared her story on the documentary television series My Shocking Story.
In 2007, Carlos Camejo was in a severe car accident. The 33-year-old Venezuelan man was declared dead at the scene and then taken to the morgue. He didn’t wake up until a medical examiner started his autopsy by cutting into his face. “I woke up because the pain was unbearable,” Camejo said. His wife came to identify his body and was shocked to find he was still alive. Camejo still bears the scar from his own autopsy.
A Polish woman named Janina Kolkiewicz was declared dead after she was found unresponsive in her home. She was taken to the morgue and family members started planning her funeral. Eleven hours later, a morgue worker was bringing in another body when he saw her body bag start to move. Kolkiewicz was inside, cold, but unharmed. The elderly woman, apparently unfazed, asked him for some hot tea. “I was sure she was dead,” said the doctor who examined her. “I’m stunned.”
In China, a father named Jin Hua Lu took his premature newborn baby to the hospital. The baby showed signs of discoloration. Doctors told the father his son’s heart had stopped and declared the baby dead. Fifteen hours later, morgue staff were preparing to cremate the child. They took him out of refrigeration only to find he was crying and moving. The boy likely only survived the cold because his father had wrapped him in several blankets.
Apparently, 2014 wasn’t Paul Mutora’s time to go. The 24-year-old Kenyan man tried to kill himself by ingesting insecticide, shortly after which he was rushed to the hospital and given anti-poison drugs. Doctors determined that Mutora did not survive and took him to the morgue. He was scheduled to be embalmed. However, morgue workers heard scratching noises coming from the room where his body was kept and decided to investigate. When they found that Mutora was alive, they “took to their heels screaming,” a witness said. Mutora said trying to take his life was a mistake and apologized to his father. Doctors said the anti-poison drugs may have made it seem like he was dead.
An 80-year-old woman named Maria de Jesus Arroyo was brought to the hospital after suffering a heart attack in 2010. Doctors couldn’t help the California resident and declared her dead. They put her in a body bag and into one of the morgue’s freezer compartments. When workers came to get her body to take to the funeral home, they saw that she was face down and the body bag was half open. Her nose was broken and her face was covered in cuts. A doctor later said there was no way she could have gotten the injuries she suffered if she had been dead. Most likely, she woke up, tried to get out or get someone’s attention and, failing that, died of hypothermia. Her family is suing the hospital.
A 50-year-old man from South Africa suffered an asthma attack and was unresponsive. His family thought he was dead, so they called a private mortuary. The man, whose identity has been protected, spent 21 hours in the morgue before waking up. The man “screamed for help and made an almighty din,” a spokesman from the health department said. Morgue workers heard him and ran into the street, thinking he was a ghost and that the building was haunted. They were shocked to find the man alive. He suffered hypothermia from his time in the deep freeze and had to be admitted to the hospital. Otherwise, he was okay and was able to go home the next day. The health department representative urged families to call the police if they think a relative has passed on, which is apparently not standard procedure for South Africans.
At a hospital in Kuwait, an unnamed Saudi woman had a routine Cesarean section. Doctors mistakenly thought she had died and called her husband on his way to the hospital to tell him the news. The woman was sent to the morgue where she awoke surrounded by dead bodies. She said she could have “perished alive of horror” at finding herself in such a place. The woman screamed, and a morgue worker finally heard her and let her out. The family filed a lawsuit against the hospital.
A German woman who lived in a nursing home was found not breathing and without a pulse. The 92-year-old was declared dead and taken to a refrigerated room at a funeral home. Several hours later, funeral home workers heard screaming and found out she was alive. She died of heart disease two days after her miraculous resurrection. Her real death had nothing to do with her time spent in refrigeration. The doctor who declared her dead will have to go to prison if convicted of negligent bodily harm.
Up next… Paranormal creatures that feed on the flesh of humans are known in legends and stories throughout the world. But some of the nastiest of those nighttime feeders dwell in the country and culture of Japan.
And a Weirdo family member tells of a childhood incident where a game of hide and seek ends in a game of scream and run! These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns!
STORY: THE FLOATING BABY DOLL, by Weirdo family member Kayla Monge=====
It all happened on a warm summer night, we lived in California at that time, my sister and I were around the ages of 9 and 10. We decided to play a game of hide and seek in the driveway; there were enough cars parked outside to have great hiding spots. I remember that night very clearly, I remember my sister and I were having a great time that warm California night. As it got darker my sister and I decided we would play one last time before heading back inside. It was my turn to hide. As she was counting I decided to hide behind an old yellow truck that was parked near our garage door. It wasn’t the best hiding place, and she found me fairly fast. “Found you,” she yelled with a big grin on her face. We both laughed and headed back inside. As we were walking past the yellow truck we noticed what appeared to be a floating baby doll that somehow seemed to be sort of jumping up and down laughing. My sister and I looked at each other terrified, and ran inside as fast as we could. Our parents quickly noticed we were shaken-up and asked what was the matter. We explained what we had seen. My parents took a look outside and found nothing. I remember very clearly the baby doll had no hands no legs, it was just the big plastic head and a cloth body type doll just floating in mid-air jumping up and down laughing trying to get our attention. later on that week, my parents found out that a family friend who also lived in the home was playing with a ouija board in our garage. God knows what he invited to our home. I’m 23 now and my sister is 22 we never again experienced anything as insane as our floating doll story. But we often wonder why it was us that got to witness such thing and if it has happened to anyone else out there.
STORY: THE FLESH EATING REVENANTS OF JAPAN=====
A type of entity that is very pervasive across cultures is that of the flesh-eater, the wraiths and ghouls that lurk in the night to skitter about among the shadows and feed off of humans. Nearly every culture in the world has some form of this grim legend, the most instantly recognizable being vampires, but that is only just scratching the surface of how deep the macabre lore goes. The country of Japan, too, has its own creepy and bizarre legends of pale, fanged entities that come forward out of the night to feast on the bodies of the dead.
One very frightening type of carnivorous revenant from Japanese folklore is a type of flesh-eating ghoul known as the Jikininki, or also Shokujinki, which ominously translates to simply “human-eating ghost.” According to the lore, these creatures lurk about old temples, cemeteries, and abandoned ruins near human settlements, where they emerge at night to feast upon the remains of the dead, greedily devouring any remains they find, but never feeling satiated and eternally hungry. They are said to have the power to mesmerize people and to instill a primal fear in those who look upon them, yet mostly avoid human beings, preferring to go abut their grim deeds unseen.
In some ways these foul creatures are depicted in similar ways to the old European legends of vampires, in that they shun daylight and appear as somewhat monstrous looking pale humans with no hair and possessing sharp claws and teeth, although unlike vampires they only feed on the flesh and bones of the already deceased, raiding graves, stealing bodies from funerary rituals in temples, and flocking to the fallen at battlefields, and don’t do the actual killing themselves. In some legends they can even have powers such as invisibility or the ability to shape shift to an extent to make themselves appear more human for short periods of time, allowing them to enter towns undetected and even make shady transactions with or bribe corrupt individuals in order to obtain more corpses to feast upon.
Depending on the area and the local traditions there are different versions for how these eaters of the dead came to be. One legend is that they were once priests, who then gave into corruption and greed, finding themselves unable to pass on after death, instead cursed to skitter about eating the dead. Other lore says that these were people who developed a taste for cannibalism in life, and that this somehow tainted their soul to doom them to crave human flesh in death as well, twisting their visages as well in the process. Still other traditions tell of them being simply people who carried out wicked acts, or those who were cursed by a dark magician. However, one thing that remains consistent throughout the tales is that they are eternally hungry, never satisfied and their nightly meals only a very minor respite from their never ending gnawing hunger and damnation.
Most legends make it a point to stress that these zombie-like revenants don’t even enjoy the human flesh they eat, and often even show remorse about it, but rather are compelled to devour it by some dark force. There are tales of Jikininki approaching priests asking to be freed of the curse or confessing their hatred of their condition, but there is little that can be done for these doomed souls. It is said that one of the only ways to lift the curse is for a completely and perfectly pure and righteous individual, rare enough as it is, to then agree to a long and stringent regiment of ritual and prayer, and even then it is not guaranteed to work, with the horrific curse said to be extremely potent and nearly unbreakable.
While there are numerous stories of people seeing and encountering the Jikininki, perhaps the most well-known story is an alleged encounter with one made by a monk called Musō Soseki, in the 18th century. According to the tale, Soseki was on a journey through the mountains on a pilgrimage when he got hopelessly lost. With the sky darkening and no clear path in site, he stumbled along through the wilderness until he came upon the hovel of a hermit priest out there in the middle of nowhere, who he begged to give him shelter for the night. The rather filthy old hermit refused, but gave directions to a nearby village, which Soseki managed to find his way too in the rapidly darkening forest.
The villagers were very gracious, and the son of the village chief even offered Soseki a place to stay for the night, but there was a caveat. The son told him that his father had died that very same day, and that the villagers would be leaving the town for the night as was custom for them when someone died, and they feared that if they did not they would be cursed or targeted by dark entities that wandered the woods. However, since Soseki was not one of them it was not necessary for him to leave as well, and he was given permission to use the house under the condition that he not mind being there totally alone in the mountain night with these unknown forces roving about. Soseki bravely agreed, and he even offered to perform a funerary ritual for the corpse, for which the villagers thanked him before filing out away into the night to leave the monk all by himself.
When everyone was gone, Soseki went about making his preparations to perform his ritual, and then went into meditation in front of the corpse. At some point the door to the temple creaked open and a wraith-like pale figure crawled in from out of the night to situate itself by the corpse and coldly regard Soseki with glowing eyes like embers in a fire. The monk remained calm, but immediately found himself inexplicably paralyzed and unable to move, stuck there helplessly in a silent scream as the demonic intruder went about devouring the chief’s corpse beore his eyes, after which it grabbed the valuables that had been left out with the body and scampered off back out into the forest. Soeseki suddenly was able to move again, but when he ran outside he could only see the dark forest. The thing was gone.
The following morning the villagers came back, and Soseki told the chief’s son about his father’s corpse and the strange entity he had seen. The son merely nodded his head as if it were not really all that unusual. Soseki offered to enlist the help of the hermit priest out in the forest in order to perhaps arrange some sort of cleansing ritual to banish the evil creature away, but the son seemed puzzled and claimed that there was no such priest anywhere in the area, nor had there been for as long as he could remember. Soseki assured him that there was indeed a hermit priest out there, that he had spoken with him, but the villagers all told him the same thing, that he must be mistaken.
Baffled, Soseki thanked them for their hospitality and continued on his way, trudging out to his destination, but not before taking a detour past the area where the hermit priest lived. Sure enough, the filthy looking, ramshackle hut remained, and a knock at the door produced a voice from the shadows within inviting him to enter. When Soseki went in he found murky squalor, but he was taken aback by a pile of shiny valuables and treasure stashed away in the corner, and amongst this he recognized some of the belongings that had been stolen from the chief’s body by the ghoul he had seen. Shocked and alarmed, he began to back away, but a voice from the dark stopped him. It was the voice of the mysterious priest.
The hermit quickly confessed to what he really was, telling the monk that he had once indeed been a priest in that very village, but that his greed for money and worldly possessions had brought a dark curse down upon him, which had transformed him into a Jikininki and doomed him to seek out corpses to feed on for all eternity. The hermit was calm and non-threatening, and even got down on his knees to bow and deeply apologize for what he had done. He told Soseki that he was tired, and had long waited for one to come along who could release him from his damnation, after which he begged the monk to perform a cleansing ritual upon him to free him for his horrific existence. As Soseki stood there listening, still in puzzled shock and trying to figure out what to do, the hermit and his dwelling began to fade away until there was nothing there but the monk standing upon a lonely patch of grass.
The tale of Musō Soseki is by far the most widely told account of a Jikininki, but it is certainly not the only such dramatic story. Another is the tale of an unnamed samurai, who after a fierce skirmish with a rival clan found himself the last man standing on a bloody battlefield littered with corpses. As the sun went down he vowed to stay with the bodies of his fallen comrades and keep watch until morning so as to ensure their corpses were not defiled or eaten by animals. Sometime in the dead of night there was movement from the surrounding forest, and what looked like a naked bald old man, with pale skin and glinting eyes, crept from the trees to approach one of the fallen warriors. It then squatted down and began to eat the corpses with wild abandon, as someone might a meal after not having eaten in days.
The samurai tried to call out to the mysterious stranger, but found that his voice would not issue forth, trapped within his throat. He then drew his sword and started to approach, his movements mysteriously sluggish but still possible perhaps due to his honed willpower. He slowly made his way towards the creature, which finished one body only to move over and crouch beside another to feed again. It either did not hear the samurai approach or didn’t care, but approach he did, until he was looming over the beast with his sword raised. He then muttered a prayer and brought the steel down through the thing’s neck, lopping its head clean off to fall to the already blood-stained ground.
Much to the surprise of the samurai, the eyes within the severed head trained on him, and the things body felt around wildly until clawed hands settled on it. The body then lifted the disembodied head and placed it upon the shoulders, after which it went back to eating as if nothing had happened. The samurai now found that he could not move a muscle, that he was frozen there and doomed to merely watch the gruesome display before him. According to the story, the beast crept through the wilderness of corpses and one by one ate every single one of them single-handedly before skittering off into the darkness and releasing the samurai from his mysterious paralysis.
Although this may all be pure folklore, it is interesting to note how similar these entities are to other types of flesh-eating ghouls, vampires, and ghosts persistent in myths throughout cultures, and one wonders whether there is any sort of phenomenon or basis in reality to make this so. Many such legends are based on at least a grain of truth or a real event, so what is it that spawned the tales of these ghostly eaters of the dead? What created the myths and legends, or were they perhaps maybe even real to some extent? We will probably never know, but the Jikininki is nevertheless a very creepy and spooky piece of lore, and truly a horrific monster equal to any of the Western world.
When Weird Darkness returns… Two nursing students rent an apartment together. But then things get strange. Then scary. Then horrifying. Even a skilled paranormal researcher has no explanation as to what happened to them in that apartment.
I’ll share the terrifying audio from a Texas lightning storm – but it’s not the thunder that will give you goosebumps, it’s the screaming coming from out of nowhere.
And you don’t want to get too close to the tomb of Bloody Mackenzie, his evil spirit just might grab you by the throat.
STORY: THE THING THAT WENT CRAWLING IN THE NIGHT=====
Accounts of haunted dwellings tend to be pretty bog-standard stuff. Spectral figures drifting over the lawn, mysterious rapping at night. Murder victims unable to find peace, or villains with guilty consciences that won’t allow them to rest. To be honest, when you’ve read enough of them, real-life ghost stories can get pretty dull. For that reason, when you come across one that combines unusually disturbing features with an utterly inexplicable cause, one has to sit up and take notice.
In early 1975, two young nursing students, Shirley Brown and Gail Bruce, became roommates in a flat in an old tenement in Dundee, Scotland. It was a modest place: tiny living room, a bedroom, a small bathroom, and a postage-stamp sized kitchenette. Still, it suited their needs, and as the two women were friends who were enjoying the training for their chosen professions, life seemed pretty good.
For ten months, neither woman saw anything unusual about their residence. Then, in January 1976, things began getting very weird indeed. One morning, Shirley had the afternoon shift, so she stayed in bed while Gail got ready to leave for work. Before Gail left, she noticed that Shirley was sitting up and staring at her in a very peculiar way. When she asked if anything was wrong, Shirley just turned over in bed silently.
Later, as the two had lunch together, Gail told her friend that something very odd had happened the previous night. For whatever reason, she found it impossible to sleep. At about 3:30, the hall light came on, followed by the sound of someone slowly moving around in their bathroom. Naturally, her first thought was of burglars…except she was certain the front door was locked. After a moment, the footsteps stopped and the light went out.
Then Gail saw something even more disturbing. There was an old woman in a blue nightgown standing next to Shirley’s bed. Gail felt an intense aura of evil around her. The intruder and Shirley were talking together intently, but the conversation was too whispered and muttered for her to make out what was being said. Gail closed her eyes for a moment, then opened them. The old woman was gone. The next day, Shirley claimed to have no memory of any of this, but she was just as terrified as Gail. Not knowing what else to do, the women agreed that neither would ever be alone in the flat again.
One night about a week later, Shirley lay in bed reading while Gail was getting ready for bed in the bathroom. Then she heard footsteps in the kitchenette, which was adjacent to the bedroom. Nervously, she rapped on the wall between the two rooms, hoping against hope it was just Gail in there. In response, there was the menacing sound of what she later described as “giant talons” violently clawing at the wall. Shirley screamed, which brought Gail running in from the bathroom. When she entered the room, the frightening sounds stopped. As the two women–now understandably scared for their lives–huddled together on the bed, the uproar began again, with even greater intensity. For some fifteen minutes, they heard the sound of wild tearing and scratching, as if some demonic beast was determined to claw down the wall and tear the frantic women to pieces. The pair quickly threw some clothes on so they could escape, but then they realized their keys were on the kitchen table. In order to retrieve them, they would have to confront whatever clawed nightmare thing had taken over their flat.
Staying where they were, however, seemed even more terrifying. With the courage that can come from desperation, the women flung open the bedroom door and switched on the light. With a blinding flash, the bulb fused. Simultaneously, the hideous clawing noises stopped. The pair raced across the room, grabbed their keys, and ran, not slowing down until they reached the safety of a friend’s apartment.
The following morning, Gail and Shirley only returned to their flat long enough to pack their belongings. Despite the uproar of the previous night, nothing was out of place, and the kitchen wall was unmarked.
The two never entered the tenement again. They briefly considered looking into the flat’s history, to see if it provided any clues regarding the horror they had experienced. However, on second thought, they decided it might be best not to know.
Paranormal researcher Peter Moss, who interviewed Gail and Shirley as part of his book “Ghosts Over Britain,” (which I’ve linked to in the show notes) believed they were entirely truthful. Unfortunately, he could not provide any more explanation for this sudden, brief, and extremely disturbing experience than the women could.
There are just some things that defy anyone’s explanation.
STORY: SCREAMING IN A TEXAS LIGHTNING STORM=====
YouTuber Daniel Robb recently shared footage of unusual screaming sounds emanating from the sky during a lightning storm in Bryan, Texas on May 27, 2020.
“It was so loud it made the hairs on my arms and my neck stand tall,” Robb said. “It filled the entire night sky! I’ve never heard anything like it before.”
Robb began by filming the storm through his apartment window at around 8:30 p.m. Watching the video, the “screams” can be heard at fairly regular intervals. As Robb states in the footage, the noises consisted of a “vibration sound” followed by a loud shriek “like a banshee…a blood-curdling scream.” These screams went on for at least half an hour.
According to Robb, there’s not a railroad yard nearby, nor a factory, or anything else he can think of that might be responsible for the unusual loud noises. Some have speculated that it could have been a siren, or perhaps extremely strong winds (which have been known to cause extreme howling noises). Another claim is that the shrieks were caused by a malfunctioning air vent at a nearby laboratory. This may very well be the case, though some aren’t convinced. I’ll let you decide. What you are about to hear is actual audio from the video that Daniel Robb posted to his YouTube channel….
<<<AUDIO CLIP FROM VIDEO>>>
In what you just heard, I did remove much of the silence between the incidents, as well as several wind gusts and noise from camera-movement, I did some noise reduction, and also added some volume limiting and normalization – all to make it easier to hear what Mr. Robb is referring to here in the podcast. But there is a lot more of the sound and a lot more of his comments in the original video which I have linked to in the show notes. That way you can see and hear the original source.
Later in the video, Robb hopped onto his bike and went out searching for the sound’s origin. He couldn’t find it. According to his description, the sound seemed to originate from a great distance away, and yet was extremely loud.
Other neighbors joined him outside, curious about the strange banshee wailing.
To add to the mystery, earlier that morning, Robb witnessed a “bunch of jets” flying nearby, specifically over the area where the screaming would later occur. This was followed by what he described as very strange weather. And then the screaming sound began. The video also highlights a dark spot among the clouds, revealed during lightning strikes.
Stranger still: One comment mentions the possibility of a Thunderbird. “If it’s there and screaming like that,” the commenter wrote, “I worry something is very, VERY wrong…to me this really marks the end of the world.”
STORY: THE MACKENZIE POLTERGEIST=====
Poltergeists are notoriously malevolent. Often, they are nameless entities bent on filling old homes with wickedness. But in the case of Edinburgh’s Greyfriars Kirkyard, the famed “Mackenzie Poltergeist” may actually be the otherworldly extension of one profoundly evil man from 17th century Scotland.
Sir George Mackenzie was a well-rounded individual. On paper, he defined intelligence—not only as a lawyer and a writer, but as a government official. His education was the sum of time spent at the King’s College, University of Aberdeen, the University of St Andrews, and the University of Bourges in France. He was a member of the Scottish Parliament and a member of the Privy Council of Scotland.
In 1677, Mackenzie became Lord Advocate and served Charles II of England. His primary responsibility was to punish anyone who rejected the Church of England or refused to swear loyalty to Charles. Many of these dissidents were members of Scotland’s Presbyterian Covenanters. Originally, Scotland was to remain a Presbyterian country—as outlined in the National Covenant of 1638, which was adopted during the reign of King Charles I.
But Charles II refused to honor that agreement, and George Mackenzie set out to do the king’s dirty work. On June 22, 1679, Mackenzie rounded up approximately 1,200 Presbyterian Covenanters at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge and took them to Edinburgh. Because there were so many captives and such little space in which to house them, a makeshift prison was assembled in Greyfriars Kirkyard to incarcerate the remaining 400. It became known as Covenanters Prison.
During the winter, prisoners were subjected to inhumane treatment—including starvation, exposure to the harsh elements, and torture. Some prisoners were deported while others were executed and buried in Greyfriars. This state-sanctioned reign of terror was the direct handiwork of Mackenzie, who eventually became known as Bloody MacKenzie.
All told, Mackenzie was responsible for killing nearly 18,000 people during the eight-year period in Scottish history dubbed “The Killing Time.”
Mackenzie died at Westminster on May 8, 1691. He was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard, not far from the site of his atrocities. His tomb, designed by architect James Smith, is known as the Black Mausoleum.
And 300 years after his death, the legend of the Mackenzie Poltergeist was born.
The story began when a homeless man staggered through Greyfriars in 1998, either looking for shelter or something to steal. He came upon Mackenzie’s tomb and burgled his way inside. While trying to pry open a casket, he fell through a hole in the floor to a burial pit, where he found himself among the rancid bones of plague victims from centuries past. The stench of death filled the man’s nose, and he ran off screaming into the night.
Not long after the late-night episode, two visitors to Greyfriars encountered an eerie presence at the tomb. The first claimed that a sudden blast of cold air pushed her back as she neared the mausoleum’s entrance. The second remembered next to nothing—instead, she was found unconscious near the mausoleum with choke-like bruises around her neck. In the 20 years since word of the Mackenzie Poltergeist entered the mainstream, nearly 500 visitors have claimed to suffer mysterious assaults at Greyfriars. Many end up with bruises, burns, lacerations, or gouge marks. Others suffer blackouts or are overwhelmed by nausea. Still more report odd sounds, such as pounding or knocks.
An exorcism at the mausoleum was attempted in 2000 by Colin Grant, the minister of a spiritualist church. Grant said he felt the presence of hundreds of tormented souls—and most certainly the presence of evil. Eventually, he left Greyfriars in distress. A few weeks later, the minister was found dead of a heart attack.
Thanks for listening (and be sure to stick around for the bloopers at the end)! If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! You can email me anytime with your questions or comments at email@example.com. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find information on any of the sponsors you heard about during the show, find all of my social media, listen to audiobooks I’ve narrated, sign up for the email newsletter, find other podcasts that I host including “Church of the Undead”, visit the store for Weird Darkness merchandise, and more. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find the Hope in the Darkness page if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or dark thoughts. Also on the website, if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
All stories on Weird Darkness are purported to be true unless stated otherwise, and you can find links to the stories or the authors in the show notes.
“The Flesh Eating Revenants of Japan” by Brent Swancer for Mysterious Universe
“True Tales of People Waking Up in a Morgue” by Amy Robleski for Ranker
“The Floating Baby Doll” by Weirdo family member Kayla Monge
“The Thing That Went Clawing In The Night” from Strange Company
“Screaming in a Texas Lightning Storm” by Rob Schwarz for Stranger Dimensions, with audio footage from the YouTube channel of Daniel Robb
“The Mackenzie Poltergeist” by Gary Sweeney for The Line Up
WeirdDarkness® is a registered trademark. Copyright, Weird Darkness.
Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:3
And a final thought… “Surround yourself with positive people who will support you when it rains, not just when it shines.” – Author Unknown
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.