50 of the Strangest Unsolved Mysteries from Each State

By Lauren Cahn

Alabama: The Brasher-Dye Disappearance

Car Dashboard 1950s FordKyle J Sharky/Shutterstock

The Dye brothers, Billy Howard and Robert, disappeared in 1956 along with their cousin, Dan Brasher. They were last seen leaving a relative’s house in rural Jefferson County in a 1947 green Ford, but no one even noticed they were missing because they were known to be heavy drinkers and often disappeared for days while sleeping off a binge. When a missing person’s report was filed, investigators’ questions were met with silence or tall tales—for example, of a bulldozer burying a car under a highway. The case remains unsolved. Check out these missing person mysteries that were eventually solved.

Alaska: The Investor murders

Fishing boat in Warnemuende (Germany).ricok/Shutterstock

In 1982, an $850,000 fishing boat named the Investor was seen burning off of the coast of Craig. Inside, eight bodies were found (the owner, his pregnant wife, their two daughters, and four crewmen) They’d been shot to death and left to burn. One possible suspect was tried, but he’s been acquitted due to a lack of hard evidence. Authorities still haven’t determined a motive. The case is Alaska’s biggest and most famous unsolved mystery.

Arizona: Searching for Robert Fisher

Most Wanted Fugitive - 8 Apr 2016Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock

Robert William Fisher (born 1961) is one of the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitives. He’s wanted for the murder of his wife and two kids and for blowing up the house in which they lived in Scottsdale on April 10, 2001. Fisher, the only suspect in the case, disappeared the night of the fire and hasn’t been seen since. It’s possible he committed suicide, but equally possible he’s living under an assumed identity. The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Check out the 45 things police officers want you to know.

Arkansas: The Gurdon Light

Empty Railway track trough woods on cloud dayPaulo M. F. Pires/Shutterstock

Ever since the 1930s, a floating light appears above the railroad tracks near Gurdon sometime in late October. It’s not in dispute whether the light appears because thousands of people have seen it. What remains a mystery is what causes the light. Some believe it’s the ghost of William McClain, a railroad worker murdered in 1931, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Others believe it’s a natural phenomenon caused by swamp gas or rock quartz beneath the land. It was featured on television’s Unsolved Mysteries in 1994 and remains unsolved to this day.

California: Did anyone survive the “Escape From Alcatraz”?

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 17: Interior views of the Alcatraz Island in San Francisco on September 17, 2015. The Alcatraz island was a federal prison from 1933 until 1963.Oscity/Shutterstock

The supposedly escape-proof prison named for Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay claimed the lives of 33 prisoners who attempted to flee. But not necessarily John Anglin, Clarence Anglin, and Frank Morris: In 1962, they escaped from their cells through holes they’d drilled in the wall of their cell. Unfortunately, that’s where the story ends. “What happened next remains a mystery,” reads a portion of an FBI history of the investigation, according to NBC News. The case was closed in 1979, but people (including the families of the escapees) still wonder.

Colorado: The Black Forest haunting

Two lights in a dark North Carolina forest with stars aboveGuy J. Sagi/Shutterstock

Within weeks of moving into their home in the Black Forest area of Colorado Springs, “all hell broke loose” for the Lee family, according to Our Community Now. There were flashing lights, footsteps, orchestra music, strange smells, and even sightings of ghostly faces. The Lee family lives there to this day, still reporting the same phenomena. No one can explain what it is, although a Hopi shaman who was called in to consult claims the house is located on a “rip in the space-time continuum,” where spirits can move freely between worlds.

Connecticut: The shallow graves beneath New Haven Green

skull is between tree rootRoselynne/Shutterstock

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused a tree to fall on New Haven Green. Tangled in the roots was a human skull, dating back around 200 years. An archeological dig followed, yielding more body fragments, as well as coffin nails. It’s suspected more than 5,000 bodies are buried under the Green and that they may have been “dragged out in the middle of the night, wrapped in a sheet, and buried in shallow, unmarked graves.” Some theorize the people died during a terrible epidemic—though no one’s sure of what. Here are the diseases you probably didn’t realize still exist today.

Delaware: The inexplicable murder of Jane Marie Prichard

Spooky light in foggy forestTom Tom/Shutterstock

Jane Marie Prichard was conducting botany experiments in Blackbird State Forest in September 1986 when she was shot to death; campers stumbled across her body later. Many hunters were in the forest that day, but investigators quickly ruled out an accidental shooting, according to Delaware Online. What they couldn’t figure out and still haven’t is why someone wanted Prichard dead, and who might have killed her. The case remains cold to this day.

Florida: The spontaneous combustion of Mary Reeser

Ashes texture, may use as a background512r/Shutterstock

In July of 1951, authorities found the body of 67-year-old Mary Reeser in her St. Petersburg apartment. Or more accurately, the pile of mostly ash that once was Mary Reeser’s body (part of her lower leg and some of her spine remained). Apparently, her body had been almost entirely cremated, which is mind-boggling when you consider that cremation requires three hours of burning in a 3,000-degree fire. Even more bizarre—only Reeser’s body had burned: The rest of her apartment was intact, even a pile of newspapers beside her body.

Georgia: The Bleeding House

blood on floorKsw Photographer/Shutterstock

One night in 1987, Minnie Winston saw blood on the floor of her Atlanta house. Terrified, she ran to find her husband. He was fine, but there was more blood… everywhere. On the walls, oozing from the floor, seeping up from under kitchen appliances. She and her husband called the police, who found no evidence of a break-in. What they were able to surmise was that the blood had come from a living human. No one has ever figured out where or whom the blood came from. Here’s what your fears reveal about your personality.

Hawaii: What happened to Lisa Au

Typical landscape along the Kahekili Highway, North Maui, Hawaiivagabond54/Shutterstock

More than 35 years ago, 19-year-old Lisa Au disappeared without a trace, her car abandoned along a highway in Kailua. Her body turned up ten days later, naked and decomposing. The coroner couldn’t determine the cause of death, but police consider the case a homicide—perhaps Hawaii’s most notorious since the police believe that Lisa may have been abducted by someone posing as a police officer.

Idaho: Strange mutilations

Nelore CattleFernando Branco – AeroCam/Shutterstock

The towns of Jerome and Bliss have been plagued by bizarre mutilations since the 1970s—human, cattle, and deer (genitals removed, the bodies drained entirely of blood, and no discernable footprints or other forensic evidence left at the scene). The official explanation by law enforcement is “cult killings,” but no arrest has ever been made, and no cult has ever been identified.

Illinois: The Mad Gasser of Mattoon

black gas mask on stone backgroundPRESSLAB/Shutterstock

During the 1940s, law enforcement received more than two dozen cases of “gassings,” in which the victims reported paralysis, coughing, nausea, and vomiting after smelling a strange, noxious odor in their homes. No physical evidence was ever found, however, and the victims always survived. Some believe the “attacks” were a case of mass hysteria. Others believe the “Mad Gasser” actually existed or that the “attacks” were really the result of paranormal activity. The truth may or may not be “out there.” Don’t miss these baffling forensic cases that have everyone stumped.

Indiana: The mysterious fire poltergeist

House fire close upRon Frank/Shutterstock

In 1941, a farmer in Odon had breakfast with his family and then headed out to his barn to begin his chores. Then he noticed smoke coming out of an upstairs window in his house. He ran back, and with the help of the volunteer fire department put out the fire in an upstairs bedroom—only to have another fire break out in another room. All day long, as soon as they put out one fire, another would start elsewhere in the house—28 in all. Believing his house to be haunted by poltergeists, the farmer tore it down and built a new one. The cause of the fires has never been determined. Here are some more real-life ghost stories that will make you believe.

Iowa: The boy with no appetite

Empty plates and bowls on blue wooden background. Top view with copy space inxti/Shutterstock

In Cedar Falls, there lives a boy who never gets hungry or thirsty. It all started in 2013, when the boy, Landon Jones, who’d been completely fine up until then, came down with a bacterial infection in his left lung. Ever since then, he’s never felt hunger or thirst. He only eats and drinks because he is reminded to do so. No one knows what caused this affliction.

Kansas: The baffling disappearance of Randy Leach

Close-up view of popcorn, glasses and trash on messy table after party LightField Studios/Shutterstock

In 1988, Randy Leach, a teenager from Leavenworth County, disappeared from a high school party and has never been found. What makes the case stranger is there’d been rumors of satanic cult activity in the county in the days before Randy’s disappearance, and the party site had been cleaned meticulously before investigators arrived; soon after, it burned to the ground. Most people who’ve cooperated in the investigation have turned up dead, and county officials decline to pursue further leads. There are theories about what really happened that night, but we may never know the truth.

Kentucky: The meat shower

A Lappet-faced Vulture in close of face.clayton harrison/Shutterstock

Not a meteor shower—a meat shower. One day in 1876 over a farm in Kentucky, the sky rained down chunks of meat of indeterminate origin (was it bear? mutton? No one knew). The only explanation anyone has ever been able to offer is that the meat was the prey of vultures, who had gorged themselves and then vomited while flying overhead. Check out 16 of the strangest unsolved mysteries.

Louisiana: The Unknowable Marie Laveau

New Orleans, Louisiana / USA - June 24 2017: Museum of the history of the voodoo cult in the French Quarter in New Orleans, USAKonoplytska/Shutterstock

Marie Laveau lived in New Orleans at the turn of the 19th century, and charmed, titillated, and unnerved the community with her practice of voodoo. Laveau told fortunes and created potions and charms on request. She held spiritual ceremonies that led people to become possessed; she also could magically heal the sick. However, stories of her feats have been passed along from one generation of voodoo practitioners to the next, making it impossible to know the truth behind the tales.

Maine: What happened to Sarah Ware?

old hammerkasidach Thongjam/Shutterstock

In 1898, the brutally beaten body of 52-year-old Sarah Ware was discovered in a wooded area of Bucksport. She’d been missing for two weeks. Her killer is believed to have been a neighbor, but when the blood-stained hammer believed to be the murder weapon disappeared, the neighbor was acquitted. The case still haunts the town to this day, not just because the case was never solved, but also because the circumstances of her burial are so strange: her head and body are buried separately, with no gravestone.

Maryland: House of horrors

Cave at Embalse de Pena, Aragon, Spainsiete_vidas/Shutterstock

In 2017, a Bethesda house fire revealed a disturbing find: The body of a man in the basement. Further investigation revealed a mysterious network of tunnels below the foundation of the house that extended all the way to the street. The house owner, Daniel Beckwitt, has since been charged with the death of Askia Khafra (the body in the basement); investigators allege that Beckwitt hired Khafra to dig the tunnels but put him in danger due to the unsafe work environment. But the purpose of the tunnels and Beckwitt’s motives remain a mystery. Find out about these 13 haunted house mysteries no one can explain.

Massachusetts: The Black Flash of Provincetown

Silhouette of an unknown shadow figure on a door through a closed glass door. The silhouette of a human in front of a window at night. Scary scene halloween concept of blurred silhouette of maniac.Ilkin Zeferli/Shutterstock

From 1939 to 1945, the people of Provincetown were terrorized by a being they called the “Black Flash.” The figure first appeared to a group of children—tall, dressed in black, and growling ominously. In 1945, a group of policemen actually reported seeing the figure leap a 10-foot fence. About a month later, a man threw boiling water at the figure, sending it screaming into the night. It was never seen again.

Michigan: What exactly is the Paulding Light?

vintage kerosene oil lantern lamp burning with a soft glow light in an antique rustic country barn with aged wood floorJaroslaw Pawlak/Shutterstock

In 1966, a group of teens reported having seen a mysterious light above a valley in Paulding. Scientific explanations such as swamp gas have been rejected in favor of the more popular paranormal theory that the light is from the lantern belonging to local brakeman who was killed while attempting to stop an oncoming train. Michigan Tech students believe it’s a phenomenon created by headlights from a nearby road, but the mystery remains officially unsolved. These true stories of Lake Superior shipwrecks are guaranteed to give you goosebumps.

Minnesota: The frozen girl, defrosted

Left and right human prints in the snow.maradon 333/Shutterstock

In 1981, Jean Hillard’s car went off the road near Langby, and the next day, her frozen body was discovered, her eyes wide open, her flesh frozen so solid that doctors couldn’t pierce it with a hypodermic needle. Her body temperature was too low to register on a thermometer. But when Hillard thawed, she was very much alive and made a full recovery.

Mississippi: Phantom Barber of Pascagoula

Scissors for cutting hair. For the barber. professional scissors for haircuts on the wooden background.Stas Malyarevsky/Shutterstock

In 1942, Pascagoula was plagued by a series of peculiar home invasions: “The intruder took locks of hair from each of the people whose homes he broke into,” according to Southern Living. Although one man became a suspect, he was never formally charged and passed a lie-detector test; no one has ever figured out who the Phantom Barber really was or why he did what he did.

Missouri: How Robert Rayford contracted AIDS

a red ribbon for the fight against AIDS on a rustic wooden surfacenito/Shutterstock

In 1969, 16-year-old Robert Rayford was hospitalized in St. Louis for extreme, unintended weight loss and a host of infections. The doctors had no answers, and Rayford died. A few years later, HIV, the virus that causes AIDS was discovered in this country; subsequently, medical testing of Rayford’s blood revealed that he had the virus. Somehow, Rayford, who’d never been out of the country and never had a transfusion, had died of AIDS nearly a decade before it was discovered.

Montana: The Vortex and House of Mystery

The Crooked Forest. Oddly-shaped pine trees. "Nowe Czarnowo", West Pomerania, PolandAvillfoto/Shutterstock

Just 13 miles from Glacier National Park you can pass through a portal in which the laws of nature are set aside: A gravitational anomaly forces trees to grow sideways and makes people appear as much as six inches shorter. A shack in the Vortex—called the House of Mystery—is the home to bizarre phenomenon: A marble rolled on an incline will travel upward, and a rope hanging from the ceiling falls in a curve. Don’t miss these other mysteries about planet Earth that scientists haven’t figured out.

Nebraska: The Lucky 15

Rows of church benches. Sunlight reflection on polished wooden pews. Selective focus.Andrii Zhezhera/Shutterstock

On March 1, 1950, the 15 members of the Beatrice’s West Side Baptist Church choir were supposed to meet for practice. All of the 15 were known for their timeliness, but on this day, they were all running late—every single one of them. The reasons varied, but not a single one was present when a natural gas leak caused the complete destruction of the church. Even Snopes can’t discount the mystery here: Why and how were every single one of the 15 spared a grisly death?

Nevada: Who murdered Tupac Shakur?

Poetic Justice - 1993Columbia/Kobal/Shutterstock

In 1996, hip-hop star Tupac Shakur was killed in Las Vegas during a drive-by shooting. “The story…begins with a failed attempt on his life two years earlier,” according to History, which Shakur blamed on producer Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs and rival rapper, Christopher Wallace (“Notorious B.I.G.”). Wallace was murdered six months later in Los Angeles; no arrest has ever been made in either case.

New Hampshire: The disappearance of Rachel Garden

MOSCOW - SEPTEMBER 20,2017: Pack of Marlboro Cigarettes, made by Philip Morris. Marlboro is the largest selling brand of cigarettes in the world.Oleg Golovnev/Shutterstock

In 1980, 15-year-old Rachel Garden bought a pack of cigarettes at a market in Newton and was never seen again. The friend whom Rachel told her family she was going to be spending the night with denied having plans with Rachel that night. A witness claimed to have seen Rachel talking to three young men outside the market, but none of the men were ever charged. In fact, no one has ever been charged, and there are no suspects. Nearly 40 years later, the case appears to be hopelessly cold.

New Jersey: The phantom sniper

Long sniper rifle on tableVAHA9/Shutterstock

In 1927, Camden was terrorized by what’s been described as phantom- or ghost-sniper. Bus and car windows were shattered and even a policeman was struck, but no bullets or casings were ever found and no one ever saw an actual sniper. One witness reported hearing a man’s laughter. But no one else saw or heard a thing. The attacks suddenly stopped in 1928. To this day, no one knows why they began or what they really were. This school actually caught a ghost on camera, and no, it’s not a prank.

New Mexico: What was really going on in Roswell?

Flying saucer UFO over bluff/ cliff side in summer, clear blue sky background, CGI recreationNatural Earth Imagery/Shutterstock

It all started in the summer of 1947 when a Roswell rancher found mysterious debris in his sheep pasture. The Air Force claimed the debris belonged to a crashed weather balloon, but the citizens of Roswell didn’t buy it. They believed it came from a UFO. Fifty years later, the military revealed that the debris came from a top-secret atomic project. So it probably wasn’t a UFO—but what was it? And why has the U.S. government come up with at least two different stories about it? Here are the UFO myths scientists wish you’d stop believing.

New York: Who was the Leatherman?

Older man through the country road in autumn forest in the light of the rising sun.Paul Aniszewski/Shutterstock

During the second half of the 1800s, a leather-clad hermit wandered around Westchester and Putnam Counties, never speaking, and unlike other wanderers of that time period, not looking for work. He was, however, happy to accept a meal and returned once a year—on the same day—to the homes that were generous to him. He was known to sleep in caves; his body was discovered in 1889 in a cave on the Dell family farm in Briarcliff. To this day, no one’s sure who he was or why he wandered.

North Carolina: The shadow of the bear

Shadow of the BearGary Rolband/Shutterstock

Going bear-hunting has its own unique meaning in Cashiers: During the autumn months, when the sun is shining, the shadow of a bear is visible on Whiteside Mountain just before sunset. Romantic Asheville suggests you “shoot” this unexplained phenomenon with your camera. These are the world’s most haunted bodies of water.

North Dakota: Eugene Butler’s crawl space

A John Doe name tag on the foot of a bodysalpics32/Shutterstock

Niagara, about 40 miles west of Grand Forks, was founded in 1882 and has never been a big town. In fact, today, it has less than 100 residents. But back in the early 1900s, there were at least six more people there than anyone knew about at the time. In 1915, the bodies of six people who’d been bludgeoned to death were discovered in the crawl space of a house that had once belonged to the reclusive Eugene Butler. He died in 1911, several years after being committed to a mental hospital. Their identities remain a mystery to this day.

Ohio: The Circleville letters

old postal envelope on wooden backgroundLaborant/Shutterstock

In 1976, residents of Circleville began receiving harassing letters, taunting and threatening them with tidbits about their personal lives. After the murder of one resident and the attempted murder of another, police arrested Paul Freshour, but while he was in prison, the letters continued. Six months after Freshour’s release, television’s Unsolved Mysteries aired a segment—only to receive its own short letter: “Forget Circleville, Ohio… if you come to Ohio, you el sickos will pay. The Circleville Writer.” The identity of the letter writer remains unknown.

Oklahoma: The Jamison Family

Paved road with colorful trees on both sides in the southern part of Oklahoma in autumn.RaksyBH/Shutterstock

In 2014, Bobby and Sherilynn Jamison drove out to look at a property in Red Oak they were interested in purchasing. Their truck was discovered days later, along with their wallets, IDs, phones, $32,000 in cash, and their dog. Their remains, along with their young daughter’s, were discovered by hunters a month later. No cause of death could be determined, and no one knows what happened to them, although theories abound, including that the family faked their deaths and joined the witness protection program, and the family’s supposed involvement with cults and/or witchcraft.

Oregon: The mysterious shrieks of Forest Grove

vintage black steam trainArcansel/Shutterstock

The small town of Forest Grove is generally a quiet town, but in 2016, the quiet was shattered by reports of an otherworldly shrieking sound that seemed to emanate from nowhere and everywhere all at the same time. Some managed to record the screeching sound, which has been described as being like that of a train careening wildly on metal tracks—except there’s no train nearby. The shrieks ceased soon after, and no one has ever been able to figure out what caused them or where they might have been coming from.

Pennsylvania: Boy in the box

Empty open rectangular cardboard box close up.Popov Nikolay/Shutterstock

In 1957, the body of a young boy was discovered in a cardboard box in the woods outside Philadelphia. Authorities failed to identify him, and no one came forward looking for a boy that fit his description. The crime scene yielded no clues, but in 1960, a psychic led the police to a foster home where the boy might have lived. But a definitive connection between the boy and the foster home couldn’t be made, and the case remains cold all these years later. Find out the most notorious criminals in each state.

Rhode Island: Where is Adam Emery?

Newport Bridge Twilight Sunrise / This is a long exposure morning sunrise image of the Newport Bridge from Taylor Point near Jamestown, Rhode Island, USA. This is a horizontal image.JJM Photography/Shutterstock

In 1993, Adam Emery disappeared just hours after being convicted of murdering 20-year-old Jason Bass in a road rage incident. (Emery was out on bail pending formal sentencing.) Police found his car abandoned on Newport Bridge. Less than a year later, his wife’s remains were found in Narragansett Bay. Some believe Adam and his wife jumped to their deaths from that bridge, but the FBI still considers Emery one of America’s most wanted criminals. Check out these 11 facts about the FBI you probably never knew.

South Carolina: The Lizard Man

macro of a fantastic green iguana eyeNagyDodo/Shutterstock

Starting in the summer of 1988, Browntown residents began seeing what’s now referred to as the “Lizard Man,” a seven-foot-tall creature with red eyes and incredible, superhuman strength. The first sighting involved a car being “mauled” by the creature. “To this day, the mystery hasn’t been solved,” reports the Smithsonian, and there have been sightings as recently as 2015.

South Dakota: The strange fate of Tom Keuter

Tire leaksupot phanna/Shutterstock

In 1994, Tina Marcotte called a friend to say she had a flat tire but that her coworker, Tom Kueter, was going to help her out. Tina was never seen or heard from again, and when Tom was questioned by police, he disputed that he’d been in touch with Tina on that day. The next day, Tom was found dead: He had been run over by his own forklift. Was it an accident? Suicide? Homicide? And what happened to Tina Marcotte?

Tennessee: The Craigmiles Mausoleum

Round Mausoleum with Decorative Iron Doors in a CemeteryBarbara MacDonald/Shutterstock

In 1871, Nina Craigmiles was killed at the age of seven when the buggy she was riding in was hit by a train. Her family had a mausoleum built for her (and future deceased members of the Craigmiles family) of fine white Italian marble. Shortly after Nina was placed there, red streaks and splotches began to appear in the marble. Efforts to clean the marble failed, and each time a family member’s body was placed in the mausoleum, more red stains appeared. There’s no scientific explanation for the stains; some believe they are Nina’s tears.

Texas: The girl behind the Amber Alerts

Mercedes Benz sprinter black luxury shuttle bus van parked on the street. June - 12. 2018. Novi Sad, Serbia. Editorial imageSrdjan Randjelovic/Shutterstock

Amber Hagerman was a nine-year-old Arlington Girl Scout when she was kidnapped while riding her bike on January 13, 1996. A witness quickly told the police he’d seen a girl being forced into a black van. Despite a massive search, Amber was never seen alive again. Her body was found five days later about four miles from where she had been taken. Her killer has never been found, but her abduction led to the invention of “Amber Alerts.”

Utah: Jean Baptiste’s great escape

The causeway to Antelope Island, Utah, on the Great Salt Lake.Johnny Adolphson/Shutterstock

Jean Baptiste was a notorious grave robber in Utah. When his grave-pillaging came to light in the late 1800s, Baptiste was banished to a remote island in the Great Salt Lake (the equivalent of solitary confinement). Three weeks later, he was gone. What little evidence authorities could find indicated that he might have built a raft in order to escape. But he was never seen or heard from again. Be wary of the 22 things a funeral director won’t tell you.

Vermont: The Bennington Triangle

A vista displaying the Green Mountains of Vermont on the horizon. Chris Hill/Shutterstock

The Bennington Triangle refers to an area of Vermont surrounding Glastenbury Mountain where several people have disappeared without a trace. These include a trail guide who vanished in 1945 while leading a hunting party, college student Paula Jean Weldon, who disappeared the following year from a hiking trail, and James Tedford, who seemingly vanished from a bus headed for Bennington. Since the disappearances were clustered in the 1940s, there’s speculation of a serial killer. But others believe paranormal forces are at work.

Virginia: The Old House Woods

Rustic Old Maple Syrup Shack In The Woods In Early SpringBlair Gordon Main/Shutterstock

In the quaint seaside town of Diggs, Virginia’s “Old House Woods” was once a popular hiding place for soldiers and pirates, so naturally, it’s become a hotspot for paranormal activity, including sightings of a ghostly woman and accounts of skeletons dressed in armor wandering the woods. People have reported finding themselves filled with dread while walking in the forest. Horses are known to become spooked for no apparent reason. Even paranormal investigators are creeped out, often unable to continue their investigations. Don’t miss these true ghost stories from the world’s most haunted places.

Washington: How Jason Padgett became a math genius

magnetic resonance image, mri scan of the brain.create jobs 51/Shutterstock

In 2002, Jason Padgett, a furniture salesman, jock, and self-described “partier” from Tacoma, was savagely attacked by two men outside a bar, leaving him with a severe concussion. When he recovered, he had acquired the ability to “visualize complex mathematical objects and physics concepts intuitively,” according to Live Science. Padgett is now one of 15 to 25 cases of so-called “acquired savant syndrome”—people who developed abilities after suffering a head injury.

West Virginia: The Octopus mystery

Closeup of a person writing on a documentMinerva Studio/Shutterstock

Danny Casolaro was a freelance writer who came to Martinsburg, West Virginia in 1991 to meet with a source about a story he code-named “the Octopus,” which involved high-ranking government officials and an international cabal. Casolaro was found dead in his hotel room. Authorities labeled it a suicide, but Casolaro’s family believe he was murdered.

Wisconsin: The demon bunkbed in the Tallman house

wooden bunk bedAlexanDior/Shutterstock

In 1987, the Tallman family brought a secondhand bunk bed to their home in Horicon. For the next nine months, the family was haunted by what appeared to be poltergeists—clock radios turning on by themselves, a paintbrush that dipped itself in paint—and worse, including the children becoming ill despite no previous health problems and an unexplained fire. The hauntings ceased only when the Tallman family destroyed the bunk bed. Check out these famous ghost stories with logical explanations.

 

Wyoming: Devil’s Tower

Devils Tower, Wyoming on a summer day.David Harmantas/Shutterstock

Various Native American tribes view the Devil’s Tower National Monument as a sacred site and have their own origination stories about the massive stone structure. And science fiction fans may recall that the mythology of the structure played an important role in the film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Geologically speaking, it’s made of volcanic material and is connected in some way to an existing or previously-existing volcano. But precisely how it came to exist continues to confound scientists. Next, check out the spookiest urban legends from each state.

(Originally Published on Readers Digest)

9 ghost tours to get you into the Halloween spirit

By A McGhee

Ghost Tours

Beer tour, history tour…ghost tour? 👻 With October right around the corner, the AVLtoday team wanted to get a jump-start on Halloween festivities. So, last week, we ditched our normal ride and hopped in a hearse for a ghost tour with Dark Ride Tours. We visited haunted spots in a vintage 1972 haunted Cadillac hearse (named Lenore), as host Virgil Nightshade shared stories of Asheville’s spirits, including the ghost of a student found murdered on the UNC Asheville campus, a mysterious Lady in White that haunts the steps of a local church, and the restless ghosts of the creepy, abandoned Craggy Prison on Riverside Dr.

So with Halloween only a little over a month away, it’s time to book one of the nine local ghost tours that will get you into the spirit of the season. 🎃 We’ve rounded up all the ways to meet Asheville’s dark side, from checking out tribal activity in Pritchard Park and insane asylums in Biltmore Village to measuring spirit activity downtown and laughing at LaZoom’s humorous take on the Pink Lady.Follow us as we lead you into the supernatural.

⚰Walk right into the thick of terror

Downtown Walking Tour | Haunted Asheville | (828) 318-8579 | Thursday-Sunday at 8 p.m., call for other availability | $20 for adults, $15 for kids ages 9-14, free for kids under 8

Learn about the Pink Lady, the haunting at Helen’s Bridge + more. Tour ends with a trip to the Asheville Mystery Museum.

Supernatural Tour | Haunted Asheville | (828) 318-8579 | Fridays at 8 p.m. |  $22.95 for adults, $15 for kids ages 9-14, under 8 free

This 2-hour walking tour highlights vampire activity, tribal rites in Pritchard Park, Native American mysticism, and more local lore. Bonus: The tour ends with a trip to the Asheville Mystery Museum.

Biltmore Village Mystery Tour | Haunted Asheville | (828) 318-8579 |Call for availability | $20 for adults | Call 713-6969 to book

Learn about strange happenings in Biltmore Village, including ghosts, Nazi occultists, insane asylums + serial killers. Tour only runs with at least 10 adults.

Downtown Spirits Tour | Ghost Hunters of Asheville | (828) 424-1089 |  By appointment, call to book | $20 for adults, $13 for kids 6-15, under 6 free

This interactive tour lets you use dowsing rods, ambient temperature thermometers + EMF meters to measure spirit activity. Bring your own digital + 35mm cameras to snap paranormal pictures.

Haunted Montford Stroll | Ghost Hunters of Asheville | (828) 424-1089 |  By appointment, call to book | $20 for adults, $13 for kids 6-15, under 6 free

Discover the sordid history behind Asheville’s historic home district – murders, duels + more, and of course Zelda Fitzgerald.

⚰Take a bus – to the other side

Haunted History + Murder Mystery Tour | Gray Line Tours | (828) 251-8687 | Multiple dates available | $25 for adults, $11 for children 5-11

Hop on an old-fashioned trolley for a fully-narrated tour of Asheville area hauntings. Walk-ups without reservations will be accommodated as space permits.

Haunted Comedy Tour | Lazoom | (828) 225-6932 | Multiple dates available | $26 |

A frightfully funny tour of Asheville’s dark side. Adults 18+ onlyCanned beer + wine welcome on bus with valid I.D.

⚰Take a ride in a vintage hearse

Spirits on the River Ghost Tour | Dark Ride Tours | (828) 747-9280 |  Multiple dates available | $28.50 for all ages

Dark Ride’s vintage hearse (complete with purple velvet) takes you to meet the ghosts of UNC Asheville’s campus, a historic church, and the very creepy Craggy Prison, among others.

Haunted Graveyard Tour | Dark Ride Tours | (828) 747-9280 | Multiple dates available | $28.50 for all ages

Tour the historic graveyard right before sunset and listen to your host spin creepy tales by the crypts. Just don’t get trapped in the graveyard…

Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I’m always ready to start celebrating early.

Dark Ride’s river tour not only introduced me to a lot of new history, it also got me just a little bit freaked out – so it was pretty much the perfect night.

What’s your favorite Asheville ghost story? Let us know by hitting reply, or leave us a comment over on Facebook or Instagram.

We can’t wait to get spooky with you.

– Ali + Stephanie (AVLtoday Intern)

10 Alien Encounter Stories That Will Give Sleepless Nights

By KC Archana

Whether we are alone in this universe or not, is a question that humans have debated in since time immemorial. The existence of aliens is a theory that’s both fascinating and slightly creepy. While we still may not have concrete evidence of their presence, there have been numerous bizarre encounters that might make you think twice. So brace yourself, here are some of the most famous alien encounters and they are bone chilling.

1. Man assaulted by aliens while sleeping

Anyone, even in their wildest dreams, won’t think of aliens invading their living room while they are asleep. But this, according to the ‘alien abductee’ Peter Khoury, is exactly what happened. Khoury was asleep on his couch when he woke to find two strange women in his house. He claims the apparitions conducted strange experiments on him before they disappeared into thin air.

2. The Abduction of Barney and Betty Hill

In September 1961, married couple Barney and Betty Hill of Franconia Notch, New Hampshire saw something that changed their lives forever. As they were driving down a road, they spotted a strange looking UFO and they ended up losing three hours worth of memory. After months of intense of therapy, they started recalling bits of what happened.

Alien Encounters

Betty drew a map of the constellation that the aliens claimed to be from, it first looked nonsensical but scientists spotted a resemblance to the Zeta Reticuli system in the southern constellation of Reticulum — a system largely unknown in the 1960s, REFERENCE (https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/alien-abduction-married-couple-proven-by-star-map-they-drew-claims-statistician-1520469)

3. The Roswell Crash

In July 1947, a rancher named W.W. “Mack” Brazel set out on horseback to see if his sheep were okay after a storm. That’s when he saw wreckage of a crashed flying saucer, along with the bodies of its alien pilots. His encounter turned Roswell, New Mexico, into the most likely places for extraterrestrial contact. Tourists still come in hoards to hear Mack’s story about his experience,

Alien Encounters

4. Russian Politician Abducted

Russian politician Kirsan Ilyumzhinov claimed he was abducted in the ’90s by aliens wearing yellow spacesuits. The incident has still left scientists mystified.

Alien Encounters

5. Sergeant Moody

M. Moody’s account is no less than a sci-fi movie being played out in real life. According to what he says , he witnessed a spaceship land right in front of his car in a deserted area, Just as he tried to make an escape, he saw a ‘humanoid’ figure that came and pinned him down. He lost a good three hours of memory, Moody was however left with a vague memory of aliens performing strange experiments on him.

Alien Encounters

6. The Levelland UFO Case

Back in 1957, two migrant workers called the Levelland sheriff’s office to report an incident when their truck broke down moments before a UFO landed in front of them. While the police initially trashed the story, they were stumped when multiple people spoke about a similar experience in the same area.

Alien Encounters

 

7. The Phoenix Lights

This is probably one of the most concrete evidences of alien life. People living in Phoenix spoke about seeing strange orb-shaped lights slowly moving in the sky in the shape of V. The mystery is unexplained even today.

Alien Encounters

8. The McMinnville UFO Photographs Alien

This is the only photographic evidence of the infamous UFOs. The incident took place when a woman named Evelyn Trent was feeding her rabbit in her field when she happened to notice a flying saucer hovering. . Her husband Paul quickly grabbed his 35-mm camera and was able to snap two black-and-white pictures.

Alien Encounters

 

9. The Marfa Lights

Back in the 1800s, people in Marfa, Texas, saw strange, ghostly apparitions of light dancing across the desert. Called”the Marfa Lights,” these mysterious orbs have baffled researchers till date.

Alien Encounters

 

10. The Broad Haven Visitor Alien

Children from a school named Broad Haven primary school witnessed a cigar-shaped spacecraft land in an open field near their playground. It’s not just kids who saw this bizarre spacecraft, locals from around the area also spoke of the cigar-shaped ship that came from nowhere. The incident took place in 1977.

Alien Encounters

(Article Source – IndiaTimes.com)

Hunt for the Skinwalker Trailer Stares Down the Paranormal

By Tony Sokol

Nobody knows what we’re dealing with in Hunt for the Skinwalker, but the trailer warns not to look away.

Hunt for the Skinwalker

There is probably nothing scarier than global confirmations of unexplained phenomenon, at least to the government agencies which keep the general public blissed out on unawareness. But Hunt for the Skinwalker takes a long deep look at supernatural goings on that have scared the normally staid men in uniforms and suits at the CIA and the Pentagon. It will be available for DIY paranormal investigators to make up their own minds. The documentary comes out on digital September 11 and to stream on demand September 19.

Hunt for the Skinwalker is based on the best-selling book by Emmy winning reporter George Knapp and Dr. Colm Kelleher, a scientist from Bigelow Aerospace, which documented “confidential, most extensive scientific study of a paranormal hotspot in human history,” according to the press statement.

Director Jeremy Corbell (Patient Seventeen) has been fascinated by the mystery surrounding Skinwalker Ranch and the Utah Basin for years. The area is known worldwide for multiple reports of “frightening, seemingly supernatural events” for hundreds of years. Witnesses reported seeing orbs, UFOs, animal mutilations, unknown creatures, poltergeist-type activity, and other inexplicable incidents.

Corbell journeyed to the property to interview eyewitnesses, including the new owner of the ranch, and uncover rare, previously unreleased recordings. Las Vegas billionaire named Robert Bigelow spearheaded an exhaustive, multidisciplinary scientific study of the property in 1996. He put together a team of Ph.D.-level investigators. The team collected evidence interviewed witnesses. They spent over ten years “directly confronting an unknown intelligence,” according to the press statement. The documentary also speaks with pop star Robbie Williams, who is also a self-proclaimed paranormal enthusiast.\

The press statement cites recent headlines revealing an unrelated government-funded but confidential study was initiated by the Defense Intelligence Agency to determine “if the phenomena at the ranch might have national security implications or could point to technological breakthroughs,” according to  the press statement.

The trailer teases that the ranch is the “Area 51 of the paranormal,” pouring through 30 or 40 hours of supernatural material the world has never seen before.

You can watch the trailer here:

Hunt for the Skinwalker will be available to own on digital September 11 and to stream on demand September 19.

‘Slender Man’ and 11 other horror films inspired by disturbing true events

By Hanna Flint

The Slender Man is out in cinemas this Friday (24 August), introducing a new paranormal threat to the horror film genre.

It’s not an original concept though, rather it’s based on the internet meme that first appeared in the Something Awful forums in 2009.

The supernatural child stalker was developed by forum members who were asked to edit the Slender Man into real photos to make them seem paranormal and uploaded them to the site.

The Slender Man movie is not the first to be inspired by the fictional legend; both 2013’sEntity and 2015’s Always Watching featured a similar character.

Here are 12 other horror movies that were inspired by real-life events.

Psycho (1960)

The reality: Shower-stalking mummy’s boy Norman Bates character was based on Ed Gein, who was arrested in 1957 for murdering two women – and digging up the corpses of countless others – who reminded him of his dead mum. A man with issues we suspect. The real Gein is below, accompanied by two US Marshals.

The Exorcist (1973)

The reality: The film took its inspiration from the last known Catholic-sanctioned exorcism in the United States, where priests attended to a 13-year-old boy after his parents complained about his aggressive behaviour. The facts are a little murky, so whilst there may be some truth to reports that the boy spoke in a demonic accent and moved objects with his mind; he almost definitely didn’t spin his head entirely round, levitate or talk gobbledygook.

Even spookier, however, is the so-called Exorcist curse, which afflicted the film’s crew. Depending on who you ask, between four and nine people involved with the movie died either in production or shortly after; whilst filming was repeatedly delayed by a spate of mysterious fires and serious on-set accidents.

A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) 

The reality: Wes Craven based his movie’s marvellous MacGuffin on a real-life condition that became known as Sudden Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS). The affliction was found in Cambodian refugees who suffered recurring nightmares, after which they refused to sleep, fearing death if they did. Some were even proved right as they died shortly after.

The Conjuring (2013)

The reality: The Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson characters are based on real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (she’s with Farmiga, below) of Amityvillefame. The events of the film are based on the 1971 Perron case, which saw the family’s home in Harrisville, Rhode Island haunted by a ‘witch’. The land that the house was built on was apparently cursed by a 19th-century woman called Bathsheba Sherman so that whoever lived there somehow died.

Silent House (2011)

The reality: This indie horror movie from Open Water duo Chris Kentis and Laura Lau is a remake of the 2010 film, La casa muda (The Silent House), which in turn was said to be inspired by a similar incident claimed to have happened in a village in Uruguay in the 1940s, though it’s yet to be verified.

Annabelle (2014)

The reality: This follow-up to The Conjuring focuses on the terrifying evil doll from the first film. Again, we’re sorry to report that Annabelle is REAL. She’s based on the abomination below – a Raggedy Ann doll bought for a woman named Donna by her mother in 1970. Some of the doll’s real-life antics include switching positions and rooms at night and leaving cryptic messages like “Help Us” written on parchment that wasn’t even in the room. Also, one day blood mysteriously appeared all over it.

The Warrens (see The Conjuring) suspected the doll was inhabited by the ghost of a seven-year-old girl called Annabelle Higgins who’d died in a car accident. You can still go and visit it at their museum… if you dare.

Borderland (2007)

The reality: This American-Mexican horror film is loosely based on the true story of Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo, a drug lord and the leader of a religious cult, called the Narco-satanists, who kidnapped and murdered University of Texas junior, Mark J. Kilroy, in 1989.

The Amityville Horror (1979)

The reality:  Haunted house flick Amityville is based on the real-life experiences of the Lutz family, who had only just overcome estate agents, removal men and endless reams of bubble wrap before finding out that the house they’d moved into was haunted.

As in the film a mass murder had once take place in their new pad which perhaps explains how over a period of four weeks they experienced cold spots, inverted crucifixes and walls covered in green slime. That’s if they weren’t just making the whole thing up, which many suspected they were…

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

The reality: Scott Derickson’s 2005 film was based on the life of Anneliese Michel, a devout Catholic woman who had 67 exorcisms performed her between 1975-76 but sadly died on July 1st. Her parents and the priest who performed the exorcisms were charged with criminally negligent homicide. They were eventually sentenced to six months of jail with three years of probation after being found guilty of manslaughter.

Wolf Creek (2005)

The reality: Writer-director Greg McLean wrote the screenplay in 1997 but reworked it after learning more about the murders by Ivan Milat and Bradley John Murdoch. Milat was a sadistic killer who murdered seven people in New South Wales between 1989 and 1993 while Murdoch murdered British tourist Peter Falconio and assaulted his girlfriend Joanne Lees in the Northern Territory, in 2001.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The reality: The movie played heavily on its ‘based on a true story’ schtick. But whilst the events themselves were entirely fictitious, the character of chainsaw-wielding cannibal Leatherface was another character based on Gein (see Psycho) who also skinned his victims in order to make a bodysuit made of human flesh.

(Article Source – ca.sports.yahoo.com)

The Dead Files Comes Back To Life in The Killing Fields

The Travel Channel is visiting lethal destinations as The Dead Files rises to haunt the living on August 31.

The Dead Files

Physical medium Amy Allan sees dead people. She speaks to dead people and they speak to her. She doesn’t always know if what they’re telling her is real. For that she goes to her partner, Steve DiSchiavi. The retired New York City homicide detective knows every person, and every house, has secrets. The pair host the Travel Channel’s series The Dead Files, which probes the paranormal with a different take on ghost hunting shows. Amy and Steve don’t speak to each other during an investigation. And they don’t communicate telepathically, at least as far as the audience can see. They come up with their own conclusions and wait until the very end of the episode before they determine whether to stay or run.

The pair are “on a mission to help beleaguered clients as they uncover paranormal histories and mysteries buried within haunted locations,” according to the synopsis. “As they arrive on scene, DiSchiavi and Allan investigate each case independently of one another to preserve the integrity of their individual findings.”

Allan sees and communicates with the dead, DiSchiavi researches the facts to understand each location’s history. The team avoids all contact with each other until the very end, when they reveal their shocking discoveries to the homeowner in each episode’s intense conclusion.

In the episode “Killing Fields – Springfield, Ohio,” DiSchiavi and Allan help an Ohio man who “believes something on his property is attacking his mother,” according to the synopsis. “Allan discovers the land is suffering under a curse that hinders the lives of the living and encounters a bitter dead man using the curse to his advantage.” The hour-long episode airs Friday, August 31 at 10 p.m. ET.

“Damaged – Winchester, Kentucky,” which premieres on Friday, September 7 at 10 p.m., takes the team to Kentucky investigate a woman’s claims that “something in her house is attacking her kids and changing her husband’s personality. During her walk, Allan discovers a dead cowboy who can cause the living to die of sudden illnesses.”

The Dead Files airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET, on The Travel Channel.

Travel Channel Greenlights “Ghost Hunt Live” (wt) Featuring the Tennessee Wraith Chasers

via press release from Travel Channel

TRAVEL CHANNEL GREENLIGHTS ‘GHOST HUNT LIVE’ (WT) – AN INTERACTIVE PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIVE SERIES FEATURING THE TENNESSEE WRAITH CHASERS

Ghost Hunting

NEW YORK (July 24, 2018) – Travel Channel has greenlit “Ghost Hunt Live” (wt), a weekly live interactive series featuring the paranormal investigative team, the Tennessee Wraith Chasers. Each episode will feature a live and unfiltered paranormal investigation in a secret haunted location, where viewers are invited to join the action and drive the course of the show. Each week, the team will reveal a different haunt where they will utilize their skills, technology and unique experiments to capture evidence of paranormal activity. Through a series of live-streaming social feeds, viewers can monitor the activity and help guide the investigation in real time through Travel Channel’s digital and social media platforms. “Ghost Hunt Live” (wt), comprised of 10 hour-long live episodes, is slated to premiere this fall.

“We’re thrilled to introduce Travel Channel viewers to the Tennessee Wraith Chasers, who will immerse fans and amateur ghost hunters in an intense and suspenseful live event every week,” said Jane Latman, general manager, Travel Channel. “What’s truly unique about this series is that viewer participation will help steer the investigation – keen eyes at home can actually influence the outcome of the show – and we know our ghost-obsessed audience will love their front row seat on an in-the-moment haunted tour with the fearless team.”

“Ghost Hunt Live” (wt) is produced by Tremendous! Entertainment for Travel Channel. For Tremendous! Entertainment, the executive producers are Colleen Needles Steward, Shannon Keenan Demers, Rob Hammersley and Eddie Delbridge. For Travel Channel, the executive producer is Christine Shuler, Jane Latman is general manager and Henry Schleiff is group president of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel and Destination America.

Director of upcoming horror film ‘The Nun’ shares terrifying on-set paranormal experience

Kevin Polowy

The ghost stories on the sets of the Conjuring movies have been well-documented. So it’s no surprise that the upcoming horror film The Nun, a spinoff prequel that follows the evil Valak introduced in The Conjuring 2, came with its own real-life scares.

In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment at San Diego Comic-Con, director Corin Hardy shared his own terrifying paranormal experience from the film’s Romania set.

They were shooting a sequence called the Corridor of Crosses in a fortress in Transylvania, recounted Hardy, who was joined by star Taissa Farmiga. The filmmaker said he had his monitors set up in “this little cell room along the sides of this long corridor.

“As I stepped into the room I saw a couple guys sitting in [the back] of the room,” Hardy said. “I presumed they [were from] the sound department. I said, ‘Hi,’ and I quickly turned around — I had my back to them. And I was watching the monitors, I was watching Taissa, I was watching the camera, and it was quite a difficult scene to coordinate, and it took about half an hour.

“So I was sitting there, there’s only one doorway in and out of this room, and we finally got the shot. I turned around to say, ‘Oh, did you see that? What did you think?’ And there’s no one in the room. And there never had been.”

It’s just more proof: If you want to have a nice and horrifying ghost run-in, just make a Conjuring movie.

The Nun opens Sept. 7. Watch the trailer:

When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest (Demian Bichir) with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows (Taissa Farmiga) are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in “The Conjuring 2,” as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.

(Article Source – Yahoo.com/entertainment)

7 Sinister True Ghost Stories To Read In The Dark

By Occult Museum

“After that day I never heard a single voice again. I do not like to imagine what was waiting downstairs for me that night.”

Ghost Stories

Turn off the lights and prepare to be scared by these 7 terrifying and unsettling true ghost stories. From a little girl in a yellow dress that only appears at night to a policeman who encounters a strange and unexplainable case that’s decades old. And just who is the little boy with no eyes that haunts a terrified family? Settle in for some creepy tales of paranormal encounters.

Ready? Then let us begin…

1. The Figure In Dark Robes

I’ve told this to a select few. And while “creepiest/scariest” is subjective, in the context of my life, it truly is the creepiest and scariest unsolved mystery.

I was a freshmen in high school in my home town of La Crosse, Wisconsin. I was sleeping over at my friend Tom’s house. We were watching a movie in his living room when he suddenly got a phone call. I watched as he listened to what was being said on the other line. I watched as emotion poured over his face as he threw the phone across the room.

After moments of crying, he told me that a boy at my school had committed suicide. Now, I knew this boy only through seeing him in the halls. My friend Tom and I didn’t go to the same high school but Tom had gone to middle school with this boy. Apparently, Tom bullied him during those years. He wasn’t proud of it, and to be honest, I was pretty surprised because he was a great guy.

He had utter remorse.

We decided to sneak out and go for a walk. The year was roughly 1990. Maybe 1991. We were freshmen in high school. Now, sneaking out was nothing new. We always did it. At the time, we weren’t into drugs, alcohol, or partying. We just liked the freedom of walking the streets at night. The discussions were always great.

Normally, we’d go walk through the big cemetery that was near my house. It was behind the train tracks that still run through La Crosse to this day. We loved the danger of the cemetery. The scares. We were kids. It was a rite of passage. As we walked along the train tracks, leading to the cemetery, we stopped. To this day, I can’t explain why. We had walked into that cemetery dozens of times… and on scarier nights.

For whatever reason, we didn’t want to go in there. I don’t know if the thought of death on our minds due to my classmate’s suicide was a factor. Perhaps. Regardless, without really saying anything to each other, we stopped, turned around, and decided to head down a nearby street.

Now, in retrospect, I do have to say that throughout this walk, things seemed off. There wasn’t a car in sight. This was suburbia. Even walking through the town’s main street was odd because there just weren’t any cars. Odd. It was roughly after midnight. It was a weekend night. Where was everybody? Perhaps just a strange coincidence.

Lastly, there was something in the air. Both Tom and I felt it. We even brought it up.

“It feels weird tonight. The air. The lights.”

So we decided to walk down a dead end street. At the end of the street was a ditch with a simple up, down, and up trail that led to the street that I lived on. Simple enough.

Keep in mind, as I get into the horrifying part of this story, that we were in the suburbs. These weren’t old, creepy houses with strange individuals. And the trees were small. It wasn’t a brand new development, but it wasn’t that old either.

So as Tom and I are walking down this street, we’re looking down to the road beneath our feet as we talk. I don’t remember the exact conversation at this particular moment. Perhaps we were talking about the tragedy of that night. But it could just have easily been about Star Wars or Akira.

As we approached the dead end, which was a few houses away… Tom and I suddenly stopped. We did so at the same time without saying one word to each other.

Our heads slowly turned towards each other, both sensing something. The hair on our arms and backs of our necks standing high. Then our gaze slowly moved forward in unison, slightly to the right.

That’s when we saw it.

About two houses away, in a virtually barren front yard of a suburban home, besides some bushes, was a DARK FIGURE. It was someone or something in dark robes.

No face. No features at all. Just the robe.

Now, this figure didn’t acknowledge us. Not yet. It instead walked or moved in a certain way. I can’t articulate it correctly. As if it was walking in circles slowly… without really walking. It held something that was blowing in the wind. And yes, the wind picked up a little bit as well. Another odd element was the light that illuminated it somewhat. There was a street light a few houses up, but it wasn’t strong enough to illuminate this figure as it was.

Tom and I were frozen. In fact, I’m almost frozen as I write this. It’s been awhile since I have thought about this night. So there we stood, frozen in fear, staring at this dark figure moving, yet doing so without moving. And it was holding something. Or perhaps what was blowing in the wind was more of its robe. I’m not sure.

We stared at this… thing… for I don’t know how long… until…

IT STOPPED AND SUDDENLY LOOKED UP AT US, as if finally alarmed by our presence!

That was enough for us. We ran away as fast as we could. We cut through a side street that was to lead us to a parallel street towards my neighborhood. This street lead to a slight hill. As we rounded the corner and started running up the hill in a panic…

We stopped. Because on top of that hill, we saw another dark figure with its arms raised. We turned around and ran away in the direction of Tom’s house, which at this distance was at least five miles away.

We ran. Time stood still.

The next thing I remember, we’re lying in the middle of a courtyard of some other neighborhood that we’d never been in, gasping for breath. We sat up and without saying a word, we walked in silence back to his house. The air felt normal again. Although we felt like we were in a haze of sorts. Albeit out of danger.

We fell asleep in his house. I woke up that morning and went home.

A few days later, I rode my bike to the location. Perhaps it was shadow play? Perhaps there was a certain tree or bush or maybe a For Sale sign or something that made it look like there was something else there?

Nothing. It was an open yard.

Tom and I didn’t speak of that night for a long time. Years later when I brought it up, he replied, “Yeah. What the hell was that?” As if no time had passed.

What was it? I have no idea.

We hadn’t taken any drugs. We hadn’t been drinking any alcohol.

I often wonder if it could have been a haunting, a specter, a ghost, etc. Maybe it was an alien abduction or sighting. We saw no craft but there was that unexplained light. Or maybe it was some other kids messing with us. But how would they have known we were coming? How could they be so prepared?

I just don’t know.

That was roughly 24 years ago, give or take.

And yes, this IS a true story…

Sadly, my best friend Tom passed suddenly a few months ago. I thought of this night during his funeral. I thought of returning to that site. I thought of the odd coincidence of unexpected and surprising death, just like my classmate that night. Is there a connection? Were we seeing some future fate for one of us, which sadly fell upon my best friend Tom? Was this all some dual hallucination (In my mind, no way)?

It haunts me at times.

– Ken Miyamoto