Forgotten Darkness

Strange things are lost and forgotten in obscure corners of the newspaper.

July 29th, 2019    

44 - Bitten By Phantoms

The cases of the Romanian Eleonore Zugun, the Filipina Clarita Villanueva, and the English Giles children, all of whom were supposedly bitten by invisible phantoms.

Episode 44 Photo Gallery:

Part of the Straight Up Strange Network:

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.

Closing music by Soma.


“13-year-old girl psychic puzzles Europe's scientists,” Kingsport (TN) Times, November 7, 1926.

“A priest battles devils to save girl,” Singapore Free Press, May 23, 1953.

“Dracula nervous fits?” Townsville (Aus.) Daily Bulletin, May 22, 1953.

“Dracula victim can be cured,” Melbourne (Aus.) Argus, May 21, 1953.

“Ghost that bites girl to be exorcised,” Adelaide (Aus.) Advertiser, May 20, 1953.

“Girl faints as spirits bite,” The Straits Times, May 19, 1953.

“Girl in fits tells of handsome man,” Singapore Free Press, May 20, 1953.

“Is there a personal devil? Courts of Munich have been called to decide,” Abilene (TX) Reporter-News, March 27, 1927.

“Maid astounds men of science,” Newport (RI) Mercury, December 25, 1926.

“Manila mayor confirms spook attacks on girl,” Beaver County (PA) Times, May 20, 1953.

“New light on the last days of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,” Psypioneer 2:7 (July 2006).

“Solving the mystery of the amazing 'stigmata girl' who puzzled two nations,” Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, February 24, 1929.

“Witch child's psychic powers baffle Britons – girl's presence makes articles fly about room,” El Paso Herald, January 1, 1927.

Bartholomew, Robert and Hilary Evans. Outbreak! The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior. San Antonio: Anomalist, 2009.

Bilu, Yoram. “The taming of the deviants and beyond: an analysis of dybbuk possession and exorcism in Judaism,” in Matt Goldish, ed., Spirit Possession in Judaism: Cases and Contexts from the Middle Ages to the Present. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2003.

Clarkson, Michael. The Poltergeist Phenomenon: An In-Depth Investigation Into Floating Beds, Smashing Glass, and Other Unexplained Disturbances. Pompton Plains, NJ: New Page, 2011.

Latimer, John. The Annals of Bristol in the Eighteenth Century. London: The Author, 1893.

Malacz, Peter. “Eleonore Zugun – the re-evaluation of an historic RSPK case,” Journal of Parapsychology 63:1, 1999.

Price, Harry. Fifty Years of Psychical Research. London: Longmans, Green, and Company, 1939.

Russell, W. Ritchie. “Major hysteria,” British Medical Journal, April 27, 1935.

Sigerson, George. “A lecture on certain phenomena of hysteria major, delivered at La Salpétrière, November 17th, by Professor Charcot,” British Medical Journal, November 30, 1878.

Somer, Eli. “Trance possession disorder in Judaism: sixteenth century dybbuks in the near east,” Journal of Trauma & Dissociation 5:2, 2004.

Summers, Montague. The Geography of Witchcraft. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978 (repr. of 1927 edition).

–. The Vampire, His Kith and Kin. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1929.

Sumrall, Lester. Bitten By Devils. South Bend, IN: LeSEA Publishing, 1987.






July 22nd, 2019    

43 - The Case of Eliza Armstrong

The case of a missing girl in 1885 London leads to the passage of a law raising the age of consent and more strongly prosecuting sex offenses. But when the girl herself is returned to her mother unharmed, questions arise...

Episode 43 Photo Gallery:

Part of the Straight Up Strange Network:

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.

Closing music by Soma.


“A missing daughter,” Pall Mall Gazette, July 13, 1885.

“Charles Armstrong again.” Pall Mall Gazette, February 25, 1886.

“Eliza Armstrong's brother.” Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, July 11, 1897.

“The maiden tribute of the modern Babylon – I.” Pall Mall Gazette, July 6, 1885.

“News of Eliza Armstrong,” Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, June 9, 1889.

“The abduction of Eliza Armstrong.” Manchester Guardian, September 8. 1885.

“The Armstrong abduction case,” Manchester Weekly Times and Examiner, November 14, 1885.

“The Armstrong case, summing up and verdict.” Birmingham Daily Post, November 9, 1885.

“The case of Eliza Armstrong – the lost child recovered,” Illustrated Police News, September 5, 1885.

“The Eliza Armstrong case,” Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, August 23, 1885.

“The mother and her lost child – further strange disclosures – Mr. Bramwell Booth throws a light on the mystery,” Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, August 16, 1885.

“The return of Eliza Armstrong,” Pall Mall Gazette, August 25, 1885.

“Working the Criminal Law Amendment Act,” Pall Mall Gazette, August 5, 1885.

Butler, Josephine. Rebecca Jarrett. London: Morgan and Scott, 1886.

Gaston, Edward Page, ed. British Supplement to the New Encyclopedia of Social Reform. London and New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1908.

Le Feuvre, Cathy. The Armstrong Girl: A Child for Sale. Oxford: Lion Hudson, 2015.

Plowden, Alison. The Case of Eliza Armstrong: A Child of 13 Bought for £5. London: BBC, 1974.



July 17th, 2019    

42 - First Anniversary Anthology

An anthology of some smaller stories. An attempted resurrection; a case of either auto-hypnosis or insanity, no one is sure which; a ghost in Newark, NJ; the Knickerbocker Ghost of Brooklyn; a headless flying man; a wild woman; and the Witch Rock of Hopkins Hill, RI.

Part of the Straight Up Strange Network:

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.

Closing music by Soma.


“A witch's rock,” Winfield (KS) Daily Courier, September 3, 1885.
“Brooklyn ghost: pshaw!” New York Times, November 23, 1894.
"Bury son to restore life,” Los Angeles Times, November 3, 1924.
“Crowds watch for a ghost,” New York Evening World, May 18, 1894.
“Ghost with a bass voice,” New York Evening World, May 17, 1894.
“Headless man,” Hartford (KY) Republican, May 6, 1904.
“Scared by a wild creature,” New York Times, October 20, 1882.
“Who can release this mental prisoner?” St. Louis (MO) Republic, May 25, 1902.

July 13th, 2019    

41 - Pedro

In the 1930s, two gold prospectors working in the mountains of Wyoming find a mummy of a tiny man only about a foot in height. Does it change everything we know about human evolution in North America? Or is the truth of the matter far more... normal than it appears on the surface?

Episode 41 Photo Gallery:

Part of the Straight Up Strange Network:

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.

Closing music by Soma.


“A race of pygmies,” St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, May 26, 1896.

“About Mammoth Cave,” Moberly (MO) Monitor-Index, November 22, 1912.

“Did a race of pygmies once live in America?” Milwaukee Sentinel, August 17, 1941.

“Glenrock lease sold,” Casper Star-Tribune, October 22, 1917.

“Pygmy skeleton dug up,” Billings (MT) Weekly Gazette, August 30, 1907.

“Woman scribe believes sex equality overdue,” Clovis (NM) News-Journal, October 20, 1966.

Aufderheide, Arthur. The Scientific Study of Mummies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Clark, Ella E. Indian Legends from the Northern Rockies. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1966.

Schneck, Robert Damon. The President's Vampire. San Antonio: Anomalist Books, 2005.

Yule, Henry, trans. The Book of Ser Marco Polo, the Venetian, Concerning the Kingdoms and Marvels of the East (2 vols.). London: John Murray, 1871.‘beartooth-highway-molar’/



July 4th, 2019    

40 - The West Ham Disappearances

Two young girls mysteriously disappear, and a third is found murdered – and all lived in the same road in east London. Also, a number of other disappearances and murders which may, or may not, be connected...

Episode 40 Photo Gallery:

Part of the Straight Up Strange Network:

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.

Closing music by Soma.


London Daily News, May 24, 1881.

“Abduction of children from London,” Pall Mall Gazette, August 5, 1884.

“Disappearance of a child,” Hampshire Telegraph and Naval Chronicle, February 16, 1884.

“Horrible crime at West Ham,” Illustrated Police News, February 22, 1890.

“Horrible discovery at West Ham – a missing girl murdered and outraged,” Royal Cornwall Gazette, February 20, 1890.

“Horrible outrage and murder at West Ham,” Essex County Standard, February 22, 1890.

“Missing,” Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, December 10, 1882.

“Missing,” Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, May 18, 1884.

“Missing girls,” London Daily News, April 3, 1882.

“Missing persons,” Reynolds' Newspaper, July 9, 1882.

“Mysterious disappearances,” Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, March 5, 1882.

“Mysterious disappearance of a girl at Plaistow,” Essex County Standard, May 28, 1881.

“The decoying of English girls,” Nottinghamshire Guardian, June 24, 1881.

“The disappearance of children from West Ham,” London Daily News, August 8, 1884.

“The disappearance of a young girl from West Ham,” London Daily News, February 3, 1882.

“The incorporation of West Ham,” London Times, November 1, 1886.

“The mysterious disappearance of girls at West Ham,” Reynolds' Newspaper, June 5, 1881.

“The West Ham abduction case,” London Standard, February 6, 1882.

“The West Ham murder – supposed discovery of the missing keys,” Illustrated Police News, May 24, 1890.

“West Ham,” London Standard, August 7, 1884.

“West Ham – another girl missing,” London Daily News, July 8, 1882.

Chaumont, Jean-Michel. “The White Slave Trade Affair (1880-1881): A Scandal Specific to Brussels?” Brussels Studies 46:24 (January 2011).

Stead, W.T. “The maiden tribute of modern Babylon III: the report of our Secret Commission,” Pall Mall Gazette, July 8, 1885.




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