Forgotten Darkness

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

October 29th, 2019    

Halloween 2019

Second Halloween episode. This year's creepy stories are the tales of the cursed Zoarites of New York State; the black-veiled Reverend Moody of 1700s Maine; Connecticut's Moodus mystery booms, a battle of witches, and a cursed jewel; Detroit's Nain Rouge; a morbid phantom at Holly Tree Cottage, in England; the 1938 urban legend of the New Orleans “devil man"; and bizarre behavior and sightings at the scene of some fires in 1909 Rochester, New York.

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Opening music from "Dark Child" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (
Closing music by Soma.


“Maybe balloon lodged on roof.” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 16, 1909.

“The peddler's curse.” Cincinnati Enquirer, February 13, 1892.

F.V.C. “From Across the Abyss.” The Occult Review, February 1909.

Potter, Gail M. "The Legend of Handkerchief Moody." From Mysterious New England. Camden, ME: Yankee Books, 1971.

Ries, Maurice. “Weird story of the Louisiana Devil Man.” San Bernardino County Sun, December 18, 1938.

Skinner, Charles M. Myths and Legends of Our Own Land. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1896.

October 23rd, 2019    

55 - The Hex Cat of Tumbling Run

In autumn 1911, the Tumbling Run valley in Pennsylvania was afflicted by a curse in the shape of a black cat.  This is a story of misfortune, the supernatural, black cats in cages, and arson. 

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Opening music from "Dark Child" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (

Closing music by Soma.


“After a witchcat.” Indiana Weekly Messenger, May 22, 1912.

“Alleged hex cat captured.” Pottsville Republican, September 30, 1911.

“Another runaway attributed to hex.” Pottsville Republican, October 3, 1911.

“Ask that hex cat be forgotten.” Pottsville Republican, November 2, 1911.

“Bad crops laid to Mary's witch cat.” Adams County Independent, October 21, 1911.

“Called sister witch.” Lancaster Inquirer, September 30, 1911.

“Death by hex, many other calamities.” Pottsville Republican, September 22, 1911.

“Hex cat dodges bullet of gold.” Pottsville Republican and Herald, September 28, 1911.

“Hex cat fails to turn up to be shot with a gold bullet.” New Castle Herald, October 6, 1911.

“Hex cat man is frozen to death.” Mount Carmel Item, January 8, 1918.

“Hex cat worries Schuylkill County.” Allentown Democrat, October 10, 1911.

“Hex cats' victim tries to burn 2 tenements.” Danville Morning News, June 17, 1916.

“Hex doctors congress on bewitched farm.” Greenville Record-Argus, September 30, 1911.

“Hex victim is buried, spirits after daughter.” Pottsville Republican, September 26, 1911.

“Many want to capture hex cat.” Pottsville Republican, September 29, 1911.

“News oddities.” Lancaster Semi-Weekly New Era, June 17, 1916.

“No arson in hex fire.” Harrisburg Telegraph, November 24, 1916.

“Pottsville has a hex of a time.” Pottsville Republican, October 16, 1911.

“Powwow folk fix it all up.” Lebanon Courier and Semi-Weekly Report, October 3, 1911.

“Supposed demon cat is captured with Bible.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 2, 1911.

“That Tumbling Run hex.” Pottsville Republican, September 26, 1911.

“Thomas, hex cat victim, to spend 90 days in jail.” Mount Carmel Item, June 28, 1916.

“Will kill hex cat for $25.” Pottsville Republican, October 11, 1911.

“Witches are blamed for man's ill luck.” San Francisco Examiner, December 3, 1911.,Last_Name+asc&q=thomas&fq%5B%5D=State%3A%22Pennsylvania%22

October 17th, 2019    

54 - Pigheaded Women

Urban legends from the Netherlands, France, Germany, and England, speak of women with the heads of pigs.  Similar tales are still extant in the urban legends of the United States.

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Opening music from "Dark Child" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (
Closing music by Soma.


London Examiner, February 26, 1815.

“Lady Hyde Parker's masqued fete, &c.” London Morning Post, May 31, 1815.

“Summary account of the prophetic origin and history of Joanna Southcott,” The Exeter Flying Post, September 8, 1814.

Bondeson, Jan. The Two-Headed Boy, and Other Medical Marvels. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2000.

— and Arie Molenkamp. “The Countess Margaret of Henneberg and her 365 children.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 89 (December 1996).

Chambers, Robert. “'Modern myths' – the pig-faced lady,” Chambers' Edinburgh Journal, August 17, 1850.

de Rochechouart, Françoise-Athénaïs, Marquise de Montespan. Memoirs of Madame la Marquise de Montespan. Boston: L.C. Page and Company, 1899.

"A Certaine Relation of the Hog-faced Gentlewoman...”;view=fulltext

"A Monstrous Shape, or a Shapelesse Monster.”;view=fulltext

“The Long-Nos'd Lass.”

October 11th, 2019    

53 - The Oklahoma Earless Murders

In the summer of 1907, two bodies turned up in different sections of Oklahoma, shot, presumably robbed – and with their ears cut off.

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Opening music from "Dark Child" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (

Closing music by Soma.


“Another mystery.” McAlester Daily Capital, August 2, 1907.

“Black Hand in Oklahoma.” Drummond Herald, August 15, 1907.

“Brutal murder in box car.” Parsons (KS) Daily Sun, July 29, 1907.

“Bury body held 5 years.” St. Louis (MO) Globe-Democrat, April 29, 1912.

“Charles Gunreth is a victim of murderous organization.” Oklahoma Post, August 2, 1907.

“Crawford is yet alive.” Tuttle Times, August 9, 1907.

“Crime is fixed on Tuttle man.” Lawton Daily News-Republican, August 2, 1907.

“Crimes committed by the same persons?” Chickasha Daily Express, August 7, 1907.

“Ear snipped body again identified.” Wichita Beacon, December 20, 1911.

“Ear snipper up again.” Chickasha Daily Express, March 20, 1908.

“Ear snippers are believed to be in custody of officers.” Oklahoma Post, September 9, 1907.

“Earless body is unidentified.” McAlester Daily Capital, August 3, 1907.

“Ears severed from the heads.” Jasper (IN) Herald, August 9, 1907.

“Earlsboro man is discharged.” Shawnee Daily Herald, September 18, 1907.

“Expect more arrests in Gunreth mystery.” Oklahoma Post, September 14, 1907.

“False arrest suits in murder mystery put off.” Daily Oklahoman, April 22, 1910.

“Find body of murdered man.” Oklahoma News, March 18, 1907.

“Firm under sweating.” Ardmore Morning Democrat, September 11, 1907.

“Five men arrested, two are discharged.” Chickasha Daily Express, July 30, 1907.

“Frantz offers reward.” Daily Ardmoreite, August 12, 1907.

“Fryrear returns.” Tuttle Times, August 16, 1907.

“The Gunreth murder.” Lawton Daily News-Republican, March 25, 1908.

“Identification now complete.” Hobart Daily Republican, April 1, 1907.

“Identity of dead man brought to light.” Hobart Daily Republican, March 22, 1907.

“Indian may have committed the crime.” Oklahoma Post, August 2, 1907.

“Isabel boy not victim.” Wichita Daily Eagle, August 23, 1907.

“Isabel items.” Barber County Index, September 4, 1907.

“Maintain innocence.” Chickasha Daily Express, September 11, 1907.

“Man found in Elk Creek.” Roosevelt Record, March 22, 1907.

“May be murderers of unknown man.” Lawton Daily News-Republican, July 29, 1907.

“May catch ear snippers.” Chickasha Daily Express, December 26, 1907.

“May have been Tuttle man.” Lawton Daily News-Republican, August 1, 1907.

“May have murderer.” Chickasha Journal, July 30, 1907.

“Most brutal murder committed.” Chickasha Daily Express, July 29, 1907.

“Mummy is positively identified.” Chickasha Daily Express, December 21, 1911.

“Murder case still a mystery.” Oklahoma City Weekly Times, August 9, 1907.

“Murder growing mysterious.” Cement Courier, August 9, 1907.

“Murder mystery grows complex!” Hobart Daily Republican, July 20, 1907.

“Murdered in car.” Fort Smith (AR) Times, July 29, 1907.

“Mysterious ear clipping baffle Oklahoma officials.” Greensboro (NC) Daily News, October 27, 1907.

“Mysteriously disappeared.” Tuttle Times, August 2, 1907.

“Not able to solve.” Shawnee Union Gazette, August 3, 1907.

“Officers have right clue in big mystery.” Ardmore Morning Democrat, September 18, 1907.

“One more victim of band of thugs.” Muskogee Daily Phoenix, August 2, 1907.

“Sees his sister among the dead.” Oklahoma Post, September 1, 1907.

“Still unidentified.” Daily Ardmoreite, August 20, 1907.

“Theory of Gunreth murder revives old seduction story.” Oklahoma Post, August 7, 1907.

“Three Tuttle men arrested.” Chickasha Journal, August 1, 1907.

“To call special grand jury.” Chickasha Journal, August 5, 1907.

“Two men found dead with ears clipped off.” Houston Post, September 3, 1912.

“Unknown man murdered in Frisco box car.” Chickasha Journal, July 29, 1907.

“Waters of Big Elk reveal ghastly crime.” Hobart Daily Republican, March 18, 1907.

“Wilbur Gunreth's mother fails to identify body.” Oklahoma Post, August 3, 1907.

“Will offer reward.” Vinita Daily Chieftain, August 5, 1907.


October 3rd, 2019    

52 - Screaming Skulls

There is a tradition in certain homes in England – northern England, mainly – of keeping a skull in a house or else poltergeist phenomena will ensue. Generally these are called “screaming skulls,” although only a small number are reputed to make any sound whatsoever. What are these “screaming skulls”? A remnant of ancestor worship? Several skulls are described.

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Opening music from "Dark Child" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (
Closing music by Soma.


“Northern answers,” Yorkshire Herald, June 13, 1896.

“Wardley Hall and the legend of the skull,” Manchester Weekly Times, September 9, 1892.

Baring-Gould, Sabine. A Book of Folk-Lore. London: Collins, 1913.

Clarke, David. The Head Cult: Tradition and Folklore Surrounding the Symbol of the Severed Human Head in the British Isles. PhD Thesis: University of Sheffield, 1999.

Holland, Richard. A Guide to Welsh Ghostlore. The History Press, 2011.

Jennings, Louis John. Rambles Among the Hills in the Peak of Derbyshire, and the South Downs. London: John Murray, 1880.

Lysons, Daniel and Samuel. Magna Britannia: Being A Concise Topographical Account of the Several Counties of Great Britain, vol. 3. London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1814.

Roberts, Kai. Folklore of Yorkshire. The History Press, 2013.

Sturluson, Snorri. Heimskringla, History of the Kings of Norway (translated by Lee M. Hollander). Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002 (reprint of 1964 edition).

Sussex Archaeological Collections, Relating to the History and Antiquities of the County (vol. XVI). Lewes, Sussex: George P. Bacon, 1864.

October 3rd, 2019    

Pearl Bryan/Bobby Mackey’s w/ Boos and Spirits


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