Saturday, November 6, 2010

10 Creepy Mysteries You Haven’t Heard Of

September 12, 2010
Crime & Mystery
10 Creepy Mysteries You Haven’t Heard Of
Jamie Frater

We have had numerous mystery lists in the past, but, due to a recent question I asked on the Listverse fanpage on facebook, I decided to put together a new one. This list covers mysteries that are, hopefully, not well known to most of you (but including one previously published item with updated information), and ones that have something creepy about them. I hope you enjoy the list and be sure to mention other creepy mysteries in the comments.

10: Shanti Deva

In 1930, aged 4, Shanti Deva from Delhi, India, told her parents that she had once lived in a place called Muttra (now known as Mathura), that she had been a mother of three, who died in childbirth, and that her previous name was Ludgi. Because the girl continually related the story, her parents investigated. It turned out there was a village called Muttra, and that a woman named Ludgi had recently died there. They took Shanti to the village where she began to speak the local dialect and recognized her previous-life husband and children. She even gave twenty four accurate statements matching confirmed facts about Ludgi’s life. An impressive feat for a four year old.

9: Creepy Gnome

In 2008, a creepy gnome was caught on film in Argentina. Jose Alvarez – who filmed the gnome – told newspaper, El Tribuno, that they caught the creature on film while larking about in their hometown of General Guemes, in the province of Salta, Argentina.

He said: “We were chatting about our last fishing trip. It was one in the morning. I began to film a bit with my mobile phone while the others were chatting and joking. Suddenly we heard something – a weird noise as if someone was throwing stones. We looked to one side and saw that the grass was moving. To begin with we thought it was a dog but when we saw this gnome-like figure begin to emerge we were really afraid.”

Other locals have since come forward to say they have spotted the gnome, and the town has been covered in a pall of fear ever since the first sighting.

8: Freddy Jackson’s Ghost

This creepy photo, taken in 1919, was first published in 1975, by Sir Victor Goddard, a retired R.A.F. officer. The photo is a group portrait of Goddard’s squadron, which had served in World War I, aboard the HMS Daedalus. An extra ghostly face appears in the photo. At the back of the airman positioned on the top row, fourth from the left, can clearly be seen the face of another man. It is said to be the face of Freddy Jackson, an air mechanic who had been accidentally killed by an airplane propeller two days earlier. His funeral had taken place on the day this photograph was snapped. Members of the squadron easily recognized the face as Jackson’s. It has been suggested that Jackson, unaware of his death, decided to show up for the group photo. In case you don’t notice the ghost – look behind the head in the inset on the left of the picture.

7: Overtoun Bridge

The Overtoun Bridge is an arch bridge located near Milton, Dumbarton, Scotland, which was built in 1859. It has become famous for the number of unexplained instances in which dogs have, apparently, committed suicide by leaping off it. The incidents were first recorded around the 1950's or 1960's, when it was noticed that dogs – usually the long-nosed variety, like Collies – would suddenly and unexpectedly leap off the bridge and fall fifty feet, to their deaths. In some cases, however, the dogs would survive, recuperate, and then leap off the bridge again. What makes this tragic mystery even more mysterious is that many of the dogs that jump from Overton Bridge jump from the same side and from almost the same spot: between the final two parapets on the right-hand side of the bridge.

Some believe that the bridge is haunted. In 1994, a man threw his baby son off the bridge, claiming that it was the anti-Christ. Later, the man attempted suicide there as well. Was Overtoun Bridge responsible for this tragic event? Some believe that Overtoun Bridge is a “thin place”, where the barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead meet, and sometimes cross over.

6: James Worson

On September 3, 1873, a man named James Worson had accepted a challenge to race, in record time, from the town of Leamington to the town of Coventry, a 20-mile trek. He had been boasting of his foot skills and then was asked to prove them, so, with sporting good spirits, he set about to do just that. Two friends, Hammerson Burns and Barham Wise, followed behind in a horse-drawn gig. Burns brought along his camera. Worson was never out of their sight, and would often turn around while running to exchange some friendly words with the two riders. Running in the middle of the road, Worson suddenly appeared to stumble and pitch forward, having time enough for only one short, piercing scream. Wise later said, “It was the most ghastly sound ether of us had ever heard.” But as Worson pitched forward with that terrible cry, instead of falling to the ground as he appeared to be about to have done, he completely and totally vanished in mid-fall, before ever striking the ground. The road itself told the story and Wise took the pictures to prove it. There, in the soft dirt, were Worson’s footprints.They led down the middle of the road, looked as if the runner stumbled, and there they disappeared. A search was called and the locals scoured the area for James. The bloodhounds used in the search were strangely reluctant to approach the spot where Worson disappeared. He was never seen or heard from again.

5: Devil’s Footprints

On the night of 8–9 February, 1855, and one or two later nights, after a light snowfall, a series of hoof-like marks appeared in the snow. These footprints, measuring 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide and eight inches apart, continued throughout the countryside for a total of over 100 miles, and, although veering at various points, for the greater part of their course followed straight lines. Houses, rivers, haystacks and other obstacles were traveled straight over, and footprints appeared on the tops of snow-covered roofs and high walls which lay in the footprints’ path, as well as leading up to and exiting various drain pipes of as small as a four inch diameter. There were also attendant rumors about sightings of a “devil-like figure” in the Devon area during the scare. Many townspeople armed themselves and attempted to track down the beast responsible, without success. Recently, on the night of March 12, 2009, more strange marks, corresponding to those left in 1855, were found again in Devon – these new footprints are shown above.

4: Felicia Felix-Mentor

Felicia Felix-Mentor reportedly died in 1907, after a sudden illness of the type that Haitian belief finds to be characteristic of a person marked to be made into a zombie. In 1936, a woman (either nude or in ragged clothing, depending on the source) was found wandering the streets, and made her way to a farm which she claimed belonged to her father. The owners identified the woman as Felicia Felix-Mentor, long thought dead, and Felix-Mentor’s husband also confirmed this. Due to her poor health, she was sent to a government hospital. A doctor who interviewed her described her behavior:

Her occasional outbursts of laughter were devoid of emotion, and very frequently she spoke of herself in either the first or the third person without any sense of discrimination. She had lost all sense of time and was quite indifferent to the world of things around her.

3: Chupas

Chupas are mysterious objects, or UFOs, allegedly seen by night in the eastern forests of (mainly) Brazil. They are described as smaller, metallic-like objects that fly about the treetops, making a humming sound like a refrigerator or a transformer. Since most people in the area are poor, they often go out during the night to hunt food, such as deer. To do this, they climb up in trees to await their prey. It is often during this period of waiting that hunters claim to spot the chupas. When seen, chupas are claimed to emit a bright white light. Instead of being “just unidentified objects” or lights, they are alleged to be lethal. In some cases, people claim to have been hunted by them. It is claimed that this often results in all kinds of pain for days (sometimes years) after their experience. It has also been claimed that some people have even died from the alleged lethal beams emitted by the chupas, and that some hunters have tried to shoot at the chupas, with no effect.

2: SS Ourang Medan

In February, 1948, distress calls were picked up by numerous ships near Indonesia, from the Dutch freighter SS Ourang Medan. The chilling message was, “All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” This message was followed by indecipherable Morse code then one final grisly message… “I die.” When the first rescue vessel arrived on the scene a few hours later, they tried to hail the Ourang Medan but there was no response. A boarding party was sent to the ship and what they found was a frightening sight that has made the Ourang Medan one of the strangest and scariest ghost ship stories of all time.

All the crew and officers of the Ourang Medan were dead, their eyes open, faces looking towards the sun, arms outstretched and a look of terror on their faces. Even the ship’s dog was dead, found snarling at some unseen enemy. When nearing the bodies in the boiler room, the rescue crew felt a chill, though the temperature was near 110°F. The decision was made to tow the ship back to port, but before they could get underway, smoke began rolling up from the hull. The rescue crew left the ship and barely had time to cut the tow lines before the Ourang Medan exploded and sank.

To this day, the exact fate of the Ourang Medan and her crew remains a mystery.

1: Gef

In September, 1931, the Irving family — James, Margaret and daughter Voirrey (13) — claimed to hear persistent scratching and rustling noises behind their farmhouse’s wooden wall panels. At first they thought it was a rat, but then the unseen creature began making different sounds, sometimes spitting like a ferret, or growling like a dog, or gurgling like a baby. The creature soon revealed an ability to speak, and introduced itself as Gef, a mongoose. It claimed to have been born in New Delhi, India, in 1852. According to Voirrey, who was the only person to see him properly, Gef was the size of a small rat, with yellowish fur and a large bushy tail (the Indian mongoose is in reality much larger than a rat and does not have a bushy tail).

Gef variously claimed to be “an extra extra clever mongoose”, an “earthbound spirit” and “a ghost in the form of a weasel”. He once said, “I am a freak. I have hands and I have feet, and if you saw me you’d faint, you’d be petrified, mummified, turned into stone or a pillar of salt!” Voirrey Irving, who took Gef under her wing, died in 2005. In an interview published late in life, she maintained that Gef was not her creation.

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