Unsolved Mysteries of the World

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The Bald Mountain Lysa Hora, Ukraine

Season 6, Ep. 1

Welcome to Unsolved Mysteries of the World, Season 6 Episode 1, The Bald Mountain


The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture, with the powerful state of Kievan Rus' forming the basis of Ukrainian identity.


Following its fragmentation in the 13th century, the territory was contested, ruled and divided by a variety of powers, including Lithuania, Poland, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Russia. A Cossack republic emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries, but its territory was eventually split between Poland and the Russian Empire, and finally merged fully into the Russian-dominated Soviet Union in the late 1940s as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.


In 1991, Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its dissolution at the end of the Cold War.


Today, Ukraine is a developing country trying to emerge out of years of corruption and war, but history always seems to stranglehold the land. Today, the Crimean Crisis is still bringing the past horrors into a new era.


But this is nothing new to Ukraine. The past always seems to come forward, especially around old castles, cursed lands, dark forests and strange mountains.


The Bald Mountain, is a very mystical place known not only in Kiev but across Ukraine. Currently recognized as a park, in ancient times it was a place where pagans and magicians performed their rituals. Many locals still prefer to bypass this terrain for a couple of reasons.


First of all, in different historical periods, it featured a fortification system, a garrison prison and a military headquarters and the site of many battles.


Secondly, it was the place of execution of state criminals with one of the mountain glades still showing signs where the gallows had been.


Thirdly, people say that area negatively affects the human psyche and people often feel ill and many suicides have taken place within the park.


All of this has caused many to believe that the park is haunted by the past – from knights, soldiers, to the criminally insane to the more modern suicide victims. There have been several witnesses to seeing apparitions within the forest late at night and hearing the cries of those wrongfully convicted.


There are three main parts in the park – The first one is called Rusalka ravine, since it is located by the lake where mermaids are said to have lived. The second one is the ravine of the Witches, where ancient sabbaths took place. The third and the biggest part of the mountain is called the Dead Men grove, where many ancient burial grounds were discovered.


Prior to the introduction of Christianity the pagan religion was popular in this area, and the Bald Mountain was the place of worship for the followers. Pagan priests carved out dungeons in the mountain, where they stored books, sacred artifacts, and treasures. After paganism was officially banned, the priests moved into those dungeons, in hopes to create a new gospel, which would combine the old Slavic and Christian beliefs to accommodate the populace who were believers in both religions. Their gospel was passed down by word of mouth, and is reflected in many Slavic myths and fairy tales. Even now, stone plates with inscriptions are still being discovered around the place.


Over the centuries, the writers left the dungeons and sealed the underground passages. After them, the Christian monks started visiting the mount to perform penance and prayer, and to build their own underground monastery.


During the time of Peter I, it was decided that a defensive fort was best build on top of the mountain to protect the city. A fortress was construction with underground reservoirs to store water from the river as well as many secret underground passages and dungeons. In case of defeat, the fortress could be flooded with the help of the reservoirs trapping those inside.


Besides that, the reservoirs were also the place to drown the disobeying peasants – about 3000 human remains were found there.


In the first half of the 19th century, the area was populated by monks, who peacefully cultivated fruit, vegetables, and engaged in bee-keeping. In 1897 the fortress on top of the mount became a warehouse, where gun-cotton, a highly flammable explosive, was stored.


In 1918, the gun cotton storage area exploded leaving the warehouses and area destroyed. The government at this time decided to seal up any underground entrances to prevent injury.


In the beginning of the 20th century, the fortress served as a prison, and the area around it as the execution grounds. More than 200 criminals were executed by hanging on the large mount.


During WW2 the mount was by German forces and a staging area for an armoured division of Tiger Tanks. Tank Crew, including commanders noted in their reports several phenomena that they described as paranormal. Special Nazi investigators even went to the forest to document the cases.


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Today, the area around Bald Mountain still attracts paranormal enthusiasts with anunderground world still unexplored and artifacts to be discovered. During excavations archaeologists found a pit with burned books, decapitated chicken skeletons, plaques with inscriptions and human remains. They also noted a strange feeling about the place that they attribute to the magical past of the lands.


You can visit the park both in the day and at night. You will note several cave entrances, tunnels and underground structures. There are also several pagan symbols still visible throughout the area and if you do visit in May you may come face to face with a ritual as Pagan's, satanists and self-proclaimed warlocks converge on the location to celebrate a holiday in which sacrifices are made to an ancient god.


Ironically, shortly after this celebration is when police are notified of suicide victims hanging from the trees.


Locals will warn you, however, that perhaps it is best to avoid this area altogether, no matter the month, or hour.


To see photos and videos about this fantastic place please visit our facebook page.









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10/7/2019

The Haunted Old Idaho State Penitentiary Part Three

Season 6, Ep. 15
Welcome to Unsolved Mysteries of the World Season 6 Episode 15, The Old Idaho Penitentiary Part IIIIn the 1940s and 1950s the Idaho Penitentiary again was suffering from overcrowding and a new cell house was constructed. Cell Block #5 held the worst of the worst with maximum security cells, a death row, its very own indoor gallows and drop house.This housing unit is rumoured to be the most haunted of all the buildings on the property, even though, only one official hanging took place within. It was also that last State sanctioned execution in Idaho taking the life of Prisoner # 9509 Raymond Allen Snowden in the most unethical way.On the evening of September 23rd, 1956 Cora Lucille Dean drove to the Hi-Ho Club in Garden City, where she intended to have a few drinks and play the slot machines. Here she met a young man named Raymond Snowden who she found no only attractive, but fun to be around. When the two had a few drinks, Snowden wanted to take things a bit further and pressured Cora. When his advances were denied he threatened Cora in a frightening manner asking her to choose between rape and death. Cora obviously taken aback chose neither and that made Snowden angry who produced a pocket knife and stabbed Cora 29 times.The body, which was found the next morning by a paper boy, was viciously and sadistically cut and mutilated. An autopsy surgeon testified the voice box had been cut, and that this would have prevented the victim from making any intelligible outcry. There were other wounds inflicted while she was still alive — one in her neck, one in her abdomen, two in the face, and two on the back of the neck. The second neck wound severed the spinal cord and caused death. There were other wounds all over her body, and her clothing had been cut away. The nipple of the right breast was missing. There was no evidence of a sexual attack on the victim; however, some of the lacerations were around the breasts and vagina of the deceased.Snowden took the dead woman's wallet hailed a passing motorist and rode back to Boise. There he went to a bowling alley and changed clothes. He dropped his knife into a sewer at a Cigar Shop and threw the wallet away. Then he went to his hotel and cleaned up again. He put the clothes he had worn that evening into a trash barrel outside the hotel.Police narrowed in on Snowden almost immediately as eye-witnesses pointed out that Snowden had left with Cora that evening from the Hi-Ho Club. Police also, remember Snowden from a previous encounter as to which he boasted he was going to sever the spinal cord of his then girlfriend because she was irritating him.They found the weapon, the same one they remember him previously threatening with, still covered in blood in a sewer grate near Hannifin's Cigar Shop. Another eye-witness placed Snowden there and that was enough for an arrest to be made.During the trial it was brought to the attention of the media that Snowden had boasted of two other murders, but they were never confirmed. A detective magazine at the time dubbed Snowden, "Idaho's Jack the Ripper" in view of the viciousness of the crime.Snowden was found guilty and sentenced to death. He took up residence in Death Row with his door in view of the indoor gallows to which he would make his way to on October 18th, 1957.At 12:05 he was brought into the gallows room and met with the Chaplain. The noose was placed around his neck and the witnesses in the viewing room got their first look at Snowden. The door sprung just 45 seconds later. Down went Snowden and the crowd gasped. It seems the Warden and those responsible for carrying out the deed did not measure Snowden's height or weight, and s such the counter-weight was not calculated correctly. Snowden fell, but he did not break his neck instantly. Instead, in the catch room, he struggled and swung about for 15 minutes until he finally died. Some say it was an oversight, while others believed the authorities did this on purpose to make Snowden's death one of suffering.Snowden's hanging was the last of a total of ten men to occur at the prison and his body was buried in an unmarked grave on prison property. Some believe that Snowden haunts his Cell, Cell Block #5 and the hanging room. But Snowden may not be the only soul still doing time at the Pen. There are a total of 129 recorded deaths within the walls.Due to overcrowding and the treatment of prisoners serious riots occurred in 1952 and again in 1971. The 1973 riots proved to be the end of the Old Idaho Penitentiary as riots burned down several buildings and damaged others beyond repair. The 416 resident inmates were moved to the new Idaho State Correctional Institution south of Boise and the Old Idaho Penitentiary was closed on December 3, 1973, never to see another living soul imprisoned behind its stone walls.If you are interested in the Old Idaho State Penitentiary you can visit them daily where tours are conducted by volunteer staff. Special events around Halloween turn the prison into one goulish haunted attraction. More recently, the Pen has been giving Paranormal Investigation Tours.Special thanks to all those volunteering to keep such a historic gem alive. Thank you to the Idaho State Historical Society for their excellent resources and dedication. We will attach a bonus episode that was produced by the staff of the Idaho State Pen with funding from the Idaho State Historical Society.It focuses in on the prison's only double hanging. If you like what you hear, head over to their youtube page to see additional videos.We will leave you now with the words and memories of prisoners and staff from the Old Idaho State Penitentiary.Until Next Time.....Be good.