Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Best youtube true crime, paranormal, horror and scary story channels

(I'll be updating this periodically, remember to check back! Feel free to suggest your favourite channel in the comments!)

I really like Reignbot’s channel, she’s great at analyzing mysteries and conspiracies and the like. Her voice is also really easy to listen to and she often does in depth horror movie reviews and lists too.

Vintage Files
This months favorite.
Unsolved mysteries, strange cases, creepy photos, everything.

Shrouded Hand
Paranormal / creepy / Aliens and UFO's

Rob Dyke 
 specifically his series “seriously strange” / twisted tens and the anatomy of a serial killer.
Rob’s channel has a lot of good quality content and since he’s been around for a while now, he’s got quite a few to binge on. His channel covers everything from unsolved mysteries, serial killers, and twisted top ten lists.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

A haunting love

I don't know why this news story touched me, but it did.
I've re-written it the best I can.

**Please scroll past this post to avoid mentions of suicide**

On the 21st of January 2017 a brokenhearted teenager knelt down in her rented apartment and hanged herself with a bathroom towel.
She had recently broken up with her boyfriend and couldn’t take being without him. 

Before she committed suicide, she wrote three letters; one to her landlord, apologizing for what she had done, one to her family, and finally one to her ex-boyfriend vowing to haunt him if he did not complete a series of requests.

When she was found, she was wearing a white T shirt with a photograph of herself and her boyfriend printed on the front. In a letter to him, she instructed the young man to show up to her funeral, which would be held in her home, and provided the address and the phone number of a family member.

She had left behind a black T-Shirt matching the one she was found in, and told him that he must sleep in her home on at least the first and last day of the mourning period wearing the shirt- if he neglected to do so, she promised to haunt him day and night for the rest of his life.

The letter read (translated to the best of my abilities)
Mai (boyfriend’s name),
I bet you never thought I’d do something like this, right?
If I keep on living I feel like I’m suffering inside, being this way. It didn’t feel this way before. I love you so much; no one could ever take your place.
 I can’t live without you. By the way, I’m already dead. Now you have to do what I want you to do- If you don’t do what I want you to do, I will haunt you day and night. You have to attend my funeral at my home and the first night you have to wear this black T-shirt that I’ve screened for you.
You also have to sleep at my home on the first and last night. Each night you choose to stay, you must wear the shirt.
090XXXXXXX this is my grandmothers number to locate my house. People in my house call me “Sai” not “Bee” I’m so sorry that I’ve done something like this.
But I can’t live like this.
Thanks for the time we spent together; it showed me how much I loved you. I was happy every moment with you. I love you so much…

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The possession of Eleonore Zugun and the devils coins

12 year old Eleonore Zugun was delighted when she discovered coins in the street near her home in Bukovina.

As most children would, she picked them up and purchased some candy at the local store, eating it on her way home.

When she cheerfully told her grandmother about her good fortune, an atmosphere fell over the room. The old woman grimaced and scolded the child, “Those were the devils coins” she said “Now the devil is in you”.

It was at that moment that little Elanore’s life changed forever.

Violent paranormal activity plagued her life, windows smashed when she entered a room, objects shifted around by some unseen force, chairs and tables levitated, scratches and claw marks appeared on her face, arms and back.

The activity was not dampened by her stay in a covenant.
 Not even an exorcism by the local church could yield results.
Eventually she was turned over to an asylum for the mentally ill, where she resided until an upper class paranormal enthusiast (Countess Wassilko ) managed to sign her out under her care. Elaonore performed many acts of mediumship before circles of paranormal enthusiasts, including automatic writing even though she claimed to be illiterate.

She gained international media attention, and as with most paranormal cases throughout the 1920’s, caught the interest of paranormal investigator Harry price, who deducted that the raven haired Romanian girl was producing the activity herself- although not due to any psychokinetic powers or demonic possession. Price discovered that the scratches were more like welts and rashes resembling hives that would appear whenever the girl was upset or agitated. Others who investigated her claimed to see her scratch herself secretly.

He considered the case debunked, and eventually the devil, or “Dracu” as Eleonore called him, took a backseat.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

How to make a shrunken head - The Shuar head hunters

Tucked away in the tropical forests of the Peruvian Amazon lives a sub-tribe of the Jivaro people known as the Shuar. They are mostly known for their practice of head shrinking- a method used on the severed heads of those who are captured during annual head hunting raids in nearby villages.

The heads, which are known as “tsantsa”, were believed to bring good fortune to a warrior; not only because they had succeeded in winning a battle, but also because they had avenged their passed ancestors, who would in return would bless them with fertile land, luck and protection.  
There was also a pressure to attain the heads of rival tribe members, as the neglect to take the head of an enemy would reflect the neglect of a warrior’s deceased relatives, who in anger, would inspire misfortune in the lives of those who finished any raid empty-handed.

So how exactly are shrunken heads made?
-First of all, the skull would be extracted from a large incision made at the back of the head.  It would then be boiled for an hour to shrink it in size and then left out in the sun to dry out.

-When it was dry, it would be reversed and scraped clean.

-Heated rocks and sand would be poured inside, filling the head as if it was a small bag.

-The head would be then emptied, manipulated back into shape, and boiled again over several days until the desired size was achieved.

 -The eyes and mouth would be sewn shut as the Shuar believed that the soul (or “muisak”) of their enemy would be trapped inside the head, so it was imperative that their rival’s life essence could not escape.

(Various shrunken heads, including a sloth. 
Images found at head-hunter.com)

If the soul of a slain enemy was not contained within the trophy it would be free to pass on over to the other side and battle with the ancestors of the warrior who neglected to trap it.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Psychic dogs - Chris the wonder dog

I was taking care of a friend of a friends dog recently, and it inspired me to make a dog related post. 
I remembered reading about a dog named Chris a while back,so I thought I'd share it with you guys. No warnings for this post, it's pretty fluffy. 

Dogs are truly impressive in many ways and their amazing ability to sense natural disaster, illness in their owners and even impending seizures makes them invaluable to their human companions- but could they be in any way psychic?

 When dogs and other animals are tested for ESP and correctly answer questions they could never know (or sense danger to their masters when they are not even present) is this anything other than chance or natural ability?

In a way, our canine friends are sort of psychic. They know of storms and earth quakes before we do, often fleeing or hiding in reaction (even attempting to warn us) but this not a result of mystical powers or ESP, they simply feel or hear it.

Dogs may know it’s walk time before we pick up the leash because they recall the order in which we usually prepare to go out, purely due to the scent of the coat we may pick up to put on while in the other room. Although impressive, these predictions are explainable, but are there seemingly psychic predictions made by animals that simply can’t be explained?

There have been many allegedly psychic animals and wonder dogs throughout the decades, but not many have been as impressive as a dog named Chris.

 Chris, who was a Beagle mix from the USA in the fifties, communicated through a tapping technique that he had apparently displayed of his own accord since being adopted by his owner. Since dogs can remember and identify hundreds of items, and be taught to fetch an individual item by name, it was not a difficult task for Chris to remember five cards by the symbols printed on them. He would then use his paw to tap out the number that corresponded to that symbol, in order to choose the card when asked.

But the fact that he was challenged to identify the symbol on a card while it was sealed within an envelope, and chose correctly each time, was the shocking part.

According to the results of the test, Chris the dog scored so highly that even the possibility of him scoring correctly simply by chance was minute.

He could also solve simple maths problems and tapped letters of the alphabet to spell out words in order to answer questions- skills that looked like mere tricks compared to his previous feat. It's most likely that Chris' owner taught him these tricks, but not for fame or fortune as all the profit from the dogs media appearances was donated to an animal charity.

Chris' final prediction was that of the date of his death.
He was only one day out.

So what do you think? Was Chris the dog a psychic animal? Or was he just impossibly lucky? 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The ant hill kids cult and Roch Thériault

Hello everyone, and happy new year!
Welcome to 2017.

The first post on RLIH for the year is about a cult called "The ant hill kids".
Reader discretion is advised for this one, as the cult leader, Roch Thériault was a real piece of work.

Roch Thériault (aka. “Moses”, “Mosie” and “Papi”) was the leader of a cult called “The anthill kids” which was active in Ontario, Canada in the late 80’s.
He started early, switching his high school text books for a copy of the Old Testament and fervently studied the religious text.

(image source: La presse)

Thériault was naturally skilled in the art of manipulation and control, and his knowledge of the bible was the perfect foundation on which to begin building his own religion. After all, Catholicism had never sat well with him, nor did his stint in Mormonism- so believing that he was a God himself, he began to craft his own set of practices, ethics and rules, a whole new religion that he would preside over. He would be worshiped, powerful and in total control, he would finally be a God.

At first he embodied a sort of new-age spiritual persona, championing a clean lifestyle, as well as freedom, equality and a spirit of unity. But as time went by, as with most cult leaders, he began to tighten the leash on his followers.
The detox sessions and motivational talks that had initially attracted his followers (many of whom were seeking help for addiction or help with self-confidence) were dropped from the agenda and Thériault’s mask began to slip. The friendly community spirit that he had once encouraged was replaced by a grim silence as the ant hill kids members were only permitted to talk with one another when Thériault was present. He relinquished total control of their personal lives- a task made even easier as each member had quit their jobs in the outside world to be with him at all times.
The community generated funds by baking and selling goods they made on the property.
Those under his control lost their freedom and independence and were removed far from their friends and family. It wasn’t unusual for the ant hill kids to be whipped and beaten for general breaking of the rules, no matter how minor their mishaps.

(Image source: Skepticink)

Attempts to escape would result in members having to smash their own knee caps, or being shot by another follower.
All sexual contact between followers was banned  unless permitted by him, and by the late eighties he was believed to have fathered around 26 kids-almost every child in the cult (one child died of exposure after being left outside the compound as a “punishment”)

In classic cult leader style, Theriault moved the group to a more isolated location, breaking off any possibility of contact between members and their family, friends or general outsiders. This is a classic technique used by many cult leaders to ensure total control over their followers; it ensures long term / indefinite control without the chance of members being liberated by relatives or the local authorities.

Just like the speedo wearing, narcissistic, Buddhafiled cult leader Michael Rostand, Thériault sat back and watched as the ant hill kids built an entire town around him on a mountain side in Quebec. They believed that they would see out their final days there in the face of an imminent apocalypse that their leader had predicted to happen in ’79- yet another doomsday cult trope.
The coming of the end of days is often used throughout the control process as the fear of final judgement (and the desperation of the followers to be fully "cleansed of all sin") gives any cult leader the room to amp up the abuse and exploitation. Sadly “the end” never comes, the deadline is reset, and cycle continues.

Although he was generally considered a charismatic, likeable and humorous man by all, Thériault often displayed two very separate sides to those who were trapped in his company- one of a gentle, friendly man and one of a true devil- a vile, sadistic beast of a man who abused his own children and performed drunken surgeries that resulted in agonizing deaths.

(Image source: La fin du monde)

He performed his operations in a grim, cluttered room with dirty kitchen knives on dusty counter tops and tables. He used forced followers as makeshift medical assistants, breathing down their necks with whiskey breath as they sewed up incisions’ under his command.   
It is unclear from reading the reports if Thériault was delusional or not, but testimonies from ex-members describe him actually believing in his healing abilities despite the disastrous outcomes of his botched, DIY surgeries.

Unfortunately, hard labour, isolation and complete control were only the tip of the iceberg when it came to Theriaults exploitation and abuse of the adults and children in his control.
He would torture them in the most brutal ways he could come up with and referred to them as “punishments” or “cleansings” to “remove sin”.

He pulled out teeth, had followers amputate each other’s fingers and toes in what he said were displays of loyalty. He ripped out fistfuls of hair, or plucked them out one by one, he amputated otherwise healthy limbs, burned and branded skin, used his followers as his personal toilet, sexually abused both the children and adults as well as performing enemas on them and gruesome surgeries- once ripping out the intestines of a conscious follower who only complained of a stomach ache. Children were even reportedly nailed to trees and pummeled with rocks by other kids.

Theriault was reported to the authorities when a mutilated member escaped and alerted the police. It was a miracle that she had even survived the torture inflicted on her, and she left the ant hill kids with eight less teeth, only one arm, mutilated genitals and breasts and a fractured skull. 

Roch Theriault was sentenced to life in prison and was shanked in the neck by his cell mate at the age of 63 in 2011. His killer admitted to the crime immediately afterwards, calling Theriault “A piece of shit”.

The cult never had more than 40 followers, and during its final days the followers consisted mostly of his children and wives.