Category Archives: History

The Bridgend Suicides

This episode of Strange Matters covers the dark and disturbing series of deaths known as the Bridgend Suicides.  Over the course of several years, dozens of people, mostly young adults and teens, would suddenly and without warning take their own lives.  Almost of all these deaths were caused by hanging.  The story of the Bridgend Suicides spread globally due to the heavy media  involvement, as news spread across the world of the mysterious and deadly trend that was plaguing this small Welsh town.

Continue reading The Bridgend Suicides

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?

The Shugborough Inscription

In this episode of Strange Matters the cryptic and mysterious Shugborough Inscription is discussed.   The basis of the Shugborough Inscription are 10 letters carved onto a structure known as the Shepherd’s Monument, a mystery onto itself.   Though this sequence of letters may not seem all that intriguing at first glance, the Inscription has launched dozens of wild and diverse theories that have been proposed in the hundreds of years since its creation.

The Shepherd’s Monument was commissioned by Thomas Anson and built on his estate in Staffordshire, England.   The exact reason behind his inspiration for creating the monument is unknown, as is the explanation for the inscription carved into the base of this monument.  Over the years, many people have pondered the mysterious nature behind these letters, and have come up with a wide variety of theories.  Are these letters a code, perhaps leading to a hidden treasure? Could they be a secret message that only members of a secret society would understand?  Many believe the letters are meant to spell out a cryptic phrase or saying.  Or is the whole thing simply a joke that a 18th century prankster thought of.  The possibilities are nearly endless as all the popular ideas and explanations for the Shugborough Inscription are covered in this  history-mystery episode!

The Lost Heiress – Dorothy Arnold Mystery

“On a crisp December day in 1910, Dorothy Arnold walked out of the pages of life and left behind her a mystery that outdoes fiction. There have been a thousand theories, a million rumors- but not one shred of real evidence which might explain where she went, how she went, or why.” This newspaper quote perfectly summarizes the unsolved disappearance case of Dorothy Arnold, the heiress of a wealthy New York family, who vanished suddenly and without explanation. 

Dorothy Arnold was a well known and liked socialite of a prestigious family.   The young woman had aspirations of becoming a writer, though all of her submitted works came back rejected.  Dorothy was secretly carrying out a romantic relationship with an older man, against her family’s wishes.  On one fateful day in December of 1910, Dorothy said farewell to her mother and left the house to go shopping.  The distinguished Arnold family would never see her again.

The mystery of this cases revolves around the bizarre question, how does a woman simply vanish while walking along a busy city street in the middle of the day?  There are far more questions than answers in this intriguing mystery: Did Dorothy run away?  Was she abducted, kidnapped, or murdered? Did her secret lover have anything to do with her disappearance?  Was Dorothy’s depression too great to continue living? Almost any theory is as plausible as any other due to the complete lack of evidence and clues following the young lady’s disappearance.

Listen to this episode of Strange Matters and hear all about what was called at the time the most famous Missing Persons case in American History!

 

The Endless Hunger – Tarrare & Charles Domery

In this episode of Strange Matters the unique and interesting lives of Charles Domery and Tarrare are discussed.   Infamously known as the hungriest men who ever lived, these two individuals were cursed with a constant feeling of starvation, and an insatiable desire to eat anything possible to satisfy their endless hunger.   Capable of eating in a single meal what would normally satisfy a dozen men, there is still no answer as to what was the cause for their notorious appetite.

Both Charles Domery and Tarrare lived in Europe, born in the 1770’s.   From an early age they displayed an ability to eat a tremendous amount of food.  Both would go on to serve in the War of the First Coalition, where a shortage of food drove the men to eat anything they could get their hands on, from small living animals to even grazing on grass.   Experiments would be done on both men to test the limits of their appetite, where they performed impossible feats of eating.   Though the exact cause for Charles’ and Tarrare’s endless hunger is unknown, there are several medical explanations that may provide some clues as to what made these two men so special.   Regardless, there is little doubt that these two men stand at the top of history as the two hungriest men who ever lived.

 

 

Special thanks to listener Michael Adams for sending us new Strange Matters Artwork used for this episode!

The Sirrush – Ancient Cryptid

In this Strange Matters Short the legend of the ancient creature known as the Sirrush is discussed.  This dragon-like beast was heavily featured through the great city of Babylon.   The Sirrush was an obscure creature that was nearly lost to time, and widely believed to be merely a myth.  However, after its rediscovery there have been new theories and explanations that would instead claim that the mysterious beast was in reality an actual living animal!

Was the Sirrush a descendant of the dinosaurs, a leftover of an extinct species? Perhaps a rare breed that was brought to Babylon from a distant land? Or are all the new theories a fantasy, and the truth remains that the Sirrush is, and has always been, simply a made up myth or legend created by the ancient people of Mesopotamia.  Check out this Strange Matters Short and hear all about this strange and interesting creature!