All posts by Strange Matters Podcast

Death in the Depths

Massive tax debt, divorce, the death of your brother, the collapse of your business… its enough to drive anyone mad. Ben McDaniel experienced all these things yet teetered on the edge of his sanity. To regroup he took a long sabbatical at his parents vacation home in Florida. During this period of recovery he rediscovered his lost passion of SCUBA diving. At Vortex Springs he began to log many hours of diving in order to gain an advanced certification. Vortex Springs had a checkered history. In the 90s, it has claimed the lives of many divers who thought themselves skilled enough to explore the deepest depths of the underwater cave. In order to prevent more deaths a gate was put up and a sign was posted at the entrance to ward off individuals who thought to highly of their own capabilities. McDaniel was one of those individuals. On August 18th he dove down into the abyss and never resurfaced. Most people immediately assumed he was simply another life to be claimed by the underwater cave but others suspect a variety of theories including murder and that maybe he even could have framed his own death to escape the burden of his previous life.

The Grinning Man

Around the same time that reports of the Mothman were surfacing, another mysterious creature had been sighted nearby. Encounters with a strange creature now known as Indrid Cold, a humanoid creature with strange features including an unusually large, frozen grin, were spreading around the area. While sightings were not as prevalent as with the Mothman, they were no less unsettling. Sometimes Cold would simply stare at passers-by, other times he would give chase and even engage in conversation. Just about everyone reports feeling at best, uncomfortable, at worst horrified for their life. However it is unclear at this time whether or not Cold actually possessed any nefarious intent or whether he was simply observing humankind. Furthermore no one truly understands Cold’s purpose for visiting our planet or whether or not this was even an alien in the first place. While some witnesses claim that Cold revealed all to them and even took them to their home planet, other simply report being terrified. Could this mysterious “Grinning Man” be an alien from another planet or even a government “Man in Black”? Is he a single entity or a community or species? Or was Point Pleasant West Virginia simply a hot spot for paranormal activity at time?

The Mothman

“It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Wait what is that really? Oh no it’s following us, run for your lives!” This is probably what a young couple was thinking in Point Pleasant, West Virginia back in the sixties when they first encountered what is now well-known around the world as the legendary Mothman. There were practically no reports of similar creatures until 1966, when suddenly there were dozens of sightings of this horrific, flying abomination. Residents of this small town were so petrified they actually held a town hall meeting so that citizens could publicly express their concerns and share tales of their encounters. Since then similar sightings have been reported all over the world; all to often the sightings precede some sort of cataclysmic event, leading some to think that it is an omen of bad things to come. While it is not one of the most popular cryptids of our time, it certainly produces arguably more convincing evidence then others of its kind. Explanations for these sightings range from large cranes or owls all the way to angels, genetic hybrids and flying military machines, however we must accept that mankind may never know the true identity of the Mothman.

Haitian Zombification

In this episode we discuss some of the most convincing, interesting and disturbing reports of real-life zombies. The first story is about a Haitian man named Clairvius Narcisse. At the age of 40, Narcisse died under mysterious circumstances and was buried. 18 years later and much to his sister’s horror, he reappeared and greeted her in a marketplace. Most people believe he was cursed by a witch doctor who used tetrodotoxin to make him appear dead. Once buried, the witch doctor (known as a “bokor”) revived and enslaved Narcisse on his plantation. While far-fetched, this story is likely plausible as there exists a strong cultural belief in zombies in the Haitian culture. This in conjunction with the toxins he was exposed to could possible have created a placebo effect convincing Narcisse that he was a real-life zombie.

Rudy Eugene, also known as the Miami Cannibal is known for pouncing on an innocent, homeless man and gnawing 75% of his face off. Initially thought to be under the influence of some recreational hallucinogens, Eugene was shot and died at the scene of the crime. Later toxicology reports showed only trace amounts of marijuana in his body. This has gone down as one of the most disturbing and violent scenes in Miami as many witnesses report. But if not drugs, what could have caused Eugene to commit this horrific crime?

Villisca Axe Murders

Ross Moore approached the entrance to his brother’s house. He could tell something wasn’t right. The neighbor was used to seeing the Moore family up at an early hour, performing chores and starting their day… but not today. Ross, having a key to the house, slowly opened the door. Nothing could prepare him for what he was about to discover. He mustered up his courage and cautiously walked into the living room to discover a grizzly scene…

The Villisca Axe Murders are one of the most notorious family slayings in the United States. This small town was shaken to its core upon the discovery of the remains of an entire family of well-liked individuals. Accusations flew, crime scenes were tampered with, all chaos broke loose; but one thing was for certain: the Moore family was no more. Over the years numerous leads would be followed only to dead ends while the killer went free. Was this the work of a hitman or a cold-blooded and sadistic serial killer?

Lake Bodom

In Finland, near Helsinki, there exists a body of water over a square mile in size, known as Lake Bodom. Over 50 years ago, a small group of teenagers went out to this area to camp and enjoy a night of drinks and fun. Unfortunately the events that would occur at their campsite would fall short of anyone’s definition of fun. Sometime between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 am, an unknown suspect, standing outside of the tent would slash and bludgeon three of the teens to death. Only one, Nils Gustafsson would survive the violent onslaught. The local police department was not only caught off guard by the gruesomeness of the crime scene, but would go on to conduct a less than thorough investigation. The unique part of this case is not just the violence but also the fact that multiple significant suspects would admit to committing the crime at different times. To this day, no one has officially been convicted of the murder of Maila Björklund, Anja Mäki and Seppo Boisman.