Unsolved Mysteries of the World
Unsolved Mysteries Triple Play: Poltergeists, Sickle Weasels and a Ghostly Possession
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Our journey started when we found we were continually getting in trouble with our wives in Sunday School. It seemed that each week one of us would answer a question with a song lyric from Pink Floyd, The Who, Rush, or some other Rock band. This would spur another of us to pick up the strand, and before long the entire class had been sucked into a rabbit hole of Rock lyrics. Clearly we had a problem. While we could have just become more disciplined and acted like adults, we took a different path. Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on.
That second path was to unleash our enjoyment of song lyrics and rock music on the world via the internet. That seemed like a lot more fun than acting our age, so we decided to give it a try. Our goal is to bring you a month and year in rock music each week. We'll highlight an album selection and play some songs from it, discussing the group, the time, and whatever else comes to mind. We'll also pull out some songs that were popular to us around that time. We hope that this will bring back some memories and introduce you to some music you might not have heard. So welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends! We're so glad you could attend.
Unsolved Mysteries Triple Play: Poltergeists, Sickle Weasels and a Ghostly Possession
Here are Three Unsolved Mysteries that are sure to entertain, have you scratching your head or hiding under the covers.
#1 Butler Street Poltergeist
For several weeks in January of 1959, 80 year old Mrs. Charles Papineau and her 13 year old grandson, Wayne, reported a strange occurrence. Several times for no apparent reason their windows in the home would shatter into pieces and smash all over the inside of the home on Butler Street in Springfield, Massachusetts
Both Mrs. Papineau and Wayne claimed to have heard odd thumping sounds just before windows were smashed to pieces. In a week, 39 windows were broken.
The glazier who installed replacement panes told a reporter that the glass had all fallen inside the house, as if a violent force had struck them in the center from the outside of the home. During the times the windows smashed both witnesses are said to be inside the home.
Upon replacing windows with a thicker variety, the glazier was called again to replace them as each window replaced were smashed about again.
Despite a police investigation, no culprits or evidence of a crime were found. None of the neighbors reported any unusual activity.
After the police investigation petered out, John C. Parker, an architect and part-time paranormal investigator took over. He said that he was "pretty sure poltergeists are to blame." and set up a recording thermometer near the bathroom window where three panes had been broken to prove that sudden drops in temperature showed evidence of ghosts.
He also planned to install a strong plastic window in that room to prevent any further breakages.
Apart from frightening the nervous Mrs. Papineau, who suffered windows exploding right in front of her, the most affected victim appeared to be the insurance agent asked to process her claim for $93 in replacement glass. Without a cause other than poltergeist to list on the damage claim form, he had to call his head office for instructions.
The window breakages ended a little less than a week after they began. The responsible party was never positively identified. Speculation continues among students of psychic phenomenon, but it’s worth noting Mrs. Papineau herself didn’t believe in ghosts. John C. Parker tried to convince her that a poltergeist was at work, but Mrs. Papineau would have nothing more to do with investigating this possibility.
She called the police once more to see if they had any solid leads and they agreed to meet her at the house to follow up. In their follow up they interviewed 13 year old Wayne once more and found out that he had been playing with a Christmas gift – a chemistry set. Upon watching Wayne play with the set they concluded it could have only caused the damage if he had taken the entire play set and threw it through the windows.
Then one day the knocking stopped, the glass never broke again and the house according to Mrs. Papinau had a calm about it. The Poltergeist it appears had moved on.
#2 The Sickle Weasel of Japan
In 1894, unreal events began taking place in Japan, mainly in the area of Kamakura, Yamanouchi Ken.
While authorities at the time attempted to explain the phenomenon, local villagers were convinced the cause was due to an ghost monster.
Men walking in fields, at home, or in the open would suddenly feel a strong wind and be knocked over.
When they stood, the victims found wounds in their legs. The injuries were narrow slits approximately 1”-1½” long and about an inch deep, and had no apparent cause. At first painless and bloodless, after about a half hour the wounds began to bleed and the pain intensified and after days and weeks the wounds would not heal. Months would pass and finally, after much care, the wounds slowly healed.
Scientists studying the events theorized the men’s wounds were caused by an inexplicable loss of atmospheric pressure creating a temporary vacuum. However, the stricken men and other locals believed the wounds were the work of a legendary yokai called kamaitachi, or the “sickle weasel”—a supernatural creature with sharp, sickle-like claws who traveled in a whirlwind and attacked humans so quickly, they couldn’t be detected with the naked eye.
The kamaitachi was said to use a medicine on the inflicted wounds to temporarily halt bleeding and pain.
The Kamaitachi are said to travel in threes, striking out at people from thin air. The first kamaitachi slices at its victim’s legs, knocking him to the ground. The second one uses its fore and hind legs to slice up the prone victim with thousands of dreadful cuts. The third one then applies a magical salve which heals up the majority of the wounds instantly, so that none of them proves fatal. It is said that the Kamaitachi strikes with such precision that it can carve out entire chunks of flesh from its victims without causing even a drop of blood to be spilled. The attack and the healing happen so fast that the victim cannot perceive them; from his perspective he merely trips and gets up with a bit of pain and a few scratches here and there.
The rash of attacks eventually ceased that year and authorities had no explanation as to how the phenomenon had occurred or why.
# 3 The Possession of Maria Talarico
On February 13, 1936, the body of local resident Giuseppe “Pepe” Veraldi was found under the Morandi bridge in the city of Catanzaro, Italy.
The body was in mangled and bloody and had obviously fallen from the bridge above and the cause of death was determined to be severe damage to the head. Due to the injuries and the lack of any evidence of foul play, the police decided it was a suicide and stopped any further investigation. Pepe’s family protested that there was no reason for him to have killed himself, but the police did not listen and closed the case.
It wasn’t until three years later that Pepe’s death would be on the tongues of all gossipers.
On January 3 of 1939, Maria Talarico, a teenaged girl, was walking across the same bridge that Pepe was said have jumped over. About halfway across she suddenly stopped, walked over to the side from which Pepe had allegedly jumped, and mysteriously fainted. Several people were nearby and promptly arranged for Maria to be carted home.
Once in her own home, she awakened and initially seemed to be herself until she spoke. Instead of her usual voice, she spoke in a rasping male voice and told those present that she was Pepe Veraldi, and demanded to speak to his mother. After the shock had worn off somewhat, one of the neighbors ran off to fetch Mrs. Veraldi.
During this time, “Pepe” asked for wine and cigarettes and playing cards — proposing that he and some of the men have a game until his mother arrived. Needless to say, this was not in any way similar to Maria’s normal behavior. Maria didn't smoke and did not know card games, but strangely she did both without doubt.
Eventually Pepe’s mother showed up and he quickly told her that he had been murdered but did not name the culprit. As this information began to sink in with those gathered at the Talarico home, Maria quickly got up and ran outside to the exact place under the bridge where Pepe’s corpse had fallen.
Those from Maria’s household followed her, and when Pepe’s mother arrived she ordered her son’s spirit to leave Maria. Apparently it did, as Maria instantly “woke up” but remembered nothing of the past since she had initially fainted on the bridge.
Pepe’s mother went to the police with this information, but without names, there was nothing they could do and they found the story a little hard to believe.
The story would have ended there had it not been for a letter Pepe’s mother received nine years after Maria’s apparent possession. The letter was from one of Pepe’s former friends who was living in Argentina. He confessed to killing Pepe in an argument over a woman. Three other men helped him commit the crime, he said, and he named them in the letter.
Pepe’s mother now had something concrete to prove that her son had not committed suicide and she took the
letter to the police. One of the accomplices had died, but the other two were investigated, arrested and found guilty of the crime.
Maria had no further paranormal encounters and it seems that Pepe's spirit was at peace knowing that justice was served.
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