The Strangest Ways to Die

In this episode of Strange Matters we present a number of particularly weird and bizarre ways that people have died.  Though there are countless ways death can occur, for this discussion the focus is on rare and unusual cases.   With that in mind Sean has collected a handful of some of the strangest ways people have died.

The first strange death covered is Spontaneous Human Combustion.  In these cases, it is reported that a person burst into flames without any obvious source of ignition or fuel.  All that is left of these people are a pile of ashes where their bodies last lay.

Dancing ManiaNext comes the strange case of dancing mania, specifically the Dancing Plague of 1518.  In this bizarre event, hundreds of people suddenly and without any reason began to dance non stop out in the streets for days at a time.  Some of these people literally danced to their own death, grooving until their bodies could not function any longer.

Another case of strange deaths occurred on two separate occasions, when disasters involving food products caused the drowning deaths of numerous people.  The Boston Molasses Disaster and the London Beer Flood are two of the only instances in which groups of unfortunate people were swept up in a spreading wave of something normally edible and ended up drowning.

Franz Reichelt steps up next with his own unique and strange death.  Franz was an inventor at heart and worked hard to create a working parachute suit pilots could wear.  Unfortunately his tests jumps were not successful.  Adamant to prove the worth of his invention, Franz decided to test his own design by jumping off the Eiffel Tower to display the effectiveness of his parachute… Things didn’t quite go as planned however, as Franz would not be remembered by his ingenious invention, but rather for his foolish death.

Click here to watch Franz’s Last Jump!

The last, and perhaps strangest, topic is a rare mental disorder known as Cotard Delusion, also called Walking Corpse Syndrome.  This illness describes an afflicted person who actually believes that they are already dead. Though extremely uncommon, this mental condition has lead several living people to unfortunately meet their own demise as they refuse to take care of their bodies, since in their own mind they are already dead.

Please enjoy hearing all about several of the most unusual and strangest ways to die!


The Chernobyl Disaster – Aftermath, Myths, & Legends

In this episode Sean & Eric of Strange Matters team up with The Eastern Border Podcast, hosted by Kristaps Andrejsons, to delve into all the strange events and urban legends that surround the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster.  The incident at the Chernobyl Power Plant is the worst nuclear disaster in human history so far, as  dozens of workers and emergency helpers died from lethal radiation poisoning and the entire population of Chernobyl and Pripyat were ordered to evacuate. One of the most disturbing facts to come out of this event is that it could have all been avoided if the proper safety measures had been taken, along with the fact the men in charge of the power station were not competent in their duties.

In the first part of this episode we go over the background, causes, and aftermath of the disaster.  Then for the second half of the episode we of course cover our favorite myths and urban legends that have come from Chernobyl.  Ranging from mutated men, government conspiracies, strange creatures, and even alien intervention, we discuss the stranger side of this nuclear disaster.  We hope you enjoy learning and hearing all about the dark history and legends of Chernobyl and its tragic story.

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The Original Night Stalker – Unsolved Serial Criminal

In this Strange Matters Short, Sean presents the case of the Original Night Stalker, one of America’s most infamous and prolific unsolved serial criminals.  The Original Night Stalker (ONS) was a serial killer in Southern California who targeted lone women and couples, breaking into their homes at night and sexually assaulting and killing those inside.  Later DNA evidence proved that the ONS was also the East Area Rapist, a criminal responsible for over 50 rapes in Northern California.  After linking these two series of crimes, police discovered that this one man was responsible for dozens of rapes, attacks, and deaths, making him the worst unsolved criminal in California history.

The Original Night Stalker was one of the most brutal and terrifying killers in recent times.  Hundreds of police investigators and neighborhood watch patrols had no luck in finding or stopping this man, as he continued his attacks at will for several years.  The ONS was cunning and meticulous in his planning, he was known to prowl his target’s neighborhoods for weeks beforehand, and on several times even sneaked into his victims home’s and unloaded any guns, leaving them defenseless against him.


Who the Original Night Stalker was is still unknown, no leads or suspects have ever been found that could be responsible for these crimes. It is not even known if the man behind these attacks is currently alive or not.  Whether the identity of this criminal will ever be found, remains a complete mystery to this day.

The Black-Eyed Children

What could be more terrifying? You are in your home late at night… hoping to be alone. Then suddenly it happens… a knock at the front doorstep. You quietly walk over to the door, peer through the peep hole and see two young children, with jet black eyes.

Stories of these “black eyed children” became popular in the 1990’s. Ever since rumors and stories have been circulating and growing on the internet. These children are usually described as showing up in pairs and asking for permission to enter your home or vehicle. Most people describe their encounters as being consumed with an overwhelming since of fear and impending danger. Little is known about what happens if you invite these children into your home. However it’s likely not good. All you have to do, is turn them away.

What are these “creatures” that pose as children? What is their purpose and what do they want? Tune in for this episode where Eric shares a couple of the creepiest stories of the “black-eyed children” around!

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Apocalyptic Events 2: Gray Goo Theory and The Grain Situation

This follow up to the original “Apocalyptic Events” describes two utterly hopeless situations that involve the end of humanity as we know it. Eric discusses a famous end-of-the-world scenario that has been described in numerous films known as the “Gray Goo Theory:. Nanotechnology is at our  fingertips and as we develop and advance into the realm of science, the possibilities for the application of nanotech become endless. Nanotechnology is currently in use today, especially in the medical field. However the inception of nano-sized robots has led to the concept of these robots being programmed to breakdown matter on a molecular level and use this matter to construct duplicates of itself. These cold, emotionless “assemblers” are unable to differentiate between right and wrong and simply do what the only thing they know: tear apart everything and use it to produce more nanobots that then repeat the sequence. This situation would spiral out of control as more and more nanobots destroy the world and replace it with a gray flowing mass of nanobots held together by its own massive gravity. Is this possible? What can we do to stop this from ever happening?

GE crops

The “Grain Situation” is a much slower process that involves the development of genetically modified or GM crops. These crops are engineered to be resistant to pesticides, insects and extreme temperatures. They require little nutrients to flourish and are capable of growing on almost any surface. In this apocalyptic event masses of genetic crops, whether it be grain or something else, take over the surface of the planet. This could lead to famine, fires and even an ice age as the fires produce massive quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere. But what are the odds of this happening? Has this event already occurred in the world? Check out this episode and find out all about these two theories for yourself!

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The Beast of Gevaudan

In this Strange Matters Short, Sean discusses the man-eating creature known as the Beast of Gevaudan.   This violent animal terrorized a region in France for several years as it killed as many as a hundred men, women, and children.   During this time the local populace was nearly hysterical with fear, forced to venture outside to make a living knowing all along that there was a huge beast roaming the area attacking anyone it can across.   In an attempt to take down this violent creature, a French officer organized large hunting parties of thousands of soldiers to patrol the area.  Professional wolf hunters were hired to track down and kill the Beast.  Despite all this, the Beast of Gevaudan evaded any attempt to kill it and continued its reign of terror.

Gevaudan Statue

After three years of setbacks, embarrassments, and dozens of deaths, the Beast was reportedly finally brought down by a local farmer when he shot and killed a large wolf near his village.  Through the years there have been multiple accounts and theories as to what the Beast of Gevaudan really was.  Most think it was a pack of large and man-hungry wolves, while others believe it could have been an exotic or imported predator introduced into the region.  There has been more outlandish claims of a werewolf or an ancient species still roaming the land. Whatever the true identity of the animal actually was, the Beast of Gevaudan is one of the most unique and unusual cases in history of a creature that specifically enjoyed hunting and slaying humans.

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