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The Sweeney Todd Legend

So, I was flipping through the channels the other night looking to catch a good horror flick. As I’m scrolling down the guide, I see that, Sweeney Todd musical nightmare.  Sorry Ya’ll can’t do it, it’s just wrong! Anyway, I thought I’d tell you about the original Sweeney Todd legend, just to kind of wipe the bad taste out of my mouth. Now I know that a lot of you guys know about this story, but listen anyway, you might just learn something new!

So this dude, Sweeney Todd, was supposed to have been a fictitious character from an old London periodical called, “The Penny Dreadful.” But, some folks believe that the character was based off of a serial killer from old English legends. Ya’ll already know that all legends, are based off of some seed of truth.  Now, Thomas Prest, the dude who supposedly created Sweeney Todd, was known to peruse newspapers, looking for details from horrific crimes that he’d base his “fictional” stories on.

But, recent research is suggesting that Sweeney Todd was more than just a character and he’s being accredited for the murders of over 160 men throughout his 27 year reign of terror.

As a child, Todd grew up in a violent household, both parents were raging alcoholics and often beat or abused each other, and him. In order to avoid the constant brawling between his parents, Todd spent most of his afternoons in a museum in the tower of London. He was partial to the area where various torture devices were on display. Sounds like my kind of joint! Anyway, that all came to an end during the winter of 1768 when both parents disappeared. No one really knows for sure what happened to them but it’s most likely that they froze to death in the streets of London while they were hustling for their next drink.

So now Todd, is 12 years old and alone in the world. He survived by pilfering out on the streets at least until he was arrested at age 14 for petty theft. He spent 5 years in jail mingling with murderers and thieves, he got his ass kicked on a regular basis for stealing from fellow inmates. When he wasn’t being beaten, he worked as an apprentice to the prisons barber until he served his full sentence.

In autumn of 1775, Todd was finally released from prison. He was a changed man indeed, changed, but not rehabilitated. Most men find Jesus while imprisoned, Todd found something way different.

For the next 5 years he worked as a street barber until he saved enough money to open his own shop, it was not long after when Sweeney Todd encountered Mrs. Lovett. A gruesome partnership, and love affair were born! There should be a Hallmark card for that!

Anyway, Lovett owned this popular bakery, not too far from Todd’s barbershop. Together the two of them devised a wretched but profitable agenda. You see, during this time, the economy was shitty, nobody had money and it was tough to keep a business open, folks had to be, well, creative, back in the day. So, Todd “created” a device that mounted under his barber chair, with the pull of a lever the floor would flip over, sending what ever poor unsuspected bastard was in it, tumbling to the cellar floor.

A lot of the times the victims died on impact, if not, Todd would rush down after them and slit their throats with his straight razor. The victims flesh would then be skinned from his bones and delivered to Ms. Lovett’s cellar by way of a maze of old tunnels that ran beneath the streets of London.

Ms. Lovett would grind the flesh down to be used as filling in her highly sought after minced meat pies!

Once Todd had delivered the flesh of his victims, he discarded their bones and other left over pieces parts in a unused family crypt underneath this nearby church called St Dunston’s. I’m sure was all good during the cold months, but seasons do change and flesh doesn’t handle warm weather well. It was, in fact, the smell of rotting bones that would bring the demon barber to his downfall. As a footnote, even though some say that the tale of Sweeney Todd is fictional, a small room filled to the brim with bones, was discovered in 1979 while doing some excavation for a large construction project in the same area where Todd was accused of hiding his evidence.

So anyway, as the story goes, the Police were on to him now. They watched him like a hawk, day in and day out, and then, one day, when he left his shop unattended, the police broke in and searched it with a fine tooth comb. They found clothes and other valuable things which obviously had belonged to some of the numerous missing persons from around the area.

Both Sweeney Todd and Ms. Lovett were arrested. Lovett admitted to her involvement in this gruesome scheme but killed herself by ingesting poison while in police custody. Now there were no living witnesses to testify about Todd’s extracarricular activities, not that anyone would have seen him trudging his way through the tunnels of London anyway. But it was a Doctor that ultimately caused Todd’s conviction. One of the bones found in the cellar of the barber shop was identified as having belonged to a patient of this doctor, He was able to identify the leg bone as he had set it several years prior, after his patient had broken it in several places. The unique fracture lines in the healed bone is what sealed Todd’s fate.

He was later convicted and hanged on January 25, 1802, he was 46 years old.

Alright, I feel better now, I gave the legend its balls back!

 

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The horrors of Unit 731

Typically when we hear war atrocities, we think back to the German concentration camps where hundreds of thousands of folks were tormented, tortured and eventually killed. It’s no big secret now, as to what was going on in these places then. No way you can cover up that much evil, right?!

Though the Nazis and their SS men have certainly left a monstrous footprint in history, they are not the target of discussion here. Did you know that during the same time that the Germans were running freakish, grotesque experiments on their prisoners, that the Japanese were doing the exact same thing at their own concentration camps? Yeah, don’t feel bad, not many people do. In fact the madness that was going on over there has just recently begun seeping it’s way out to the public. Like I said, no way to cover up that much evil. It’s time to talk about unit 731.

Gruesome and unthinkable horrors were performed daily at Unit 731. Hidden under the guise of an epidemic prevention and research facility, experiments for germ warfare and its effects on the human body had been covered up by the Imperial Japanese army for decades. Those responsible for the torture and torment of hundreds of thousands of victims lived out full lives surrounded by the wealth that they acquired during these dark times. Many of these sick bastards were awarded with medals or compensated with prestigious jobs or positions within the Japanese government in return for their keeping the facility a secret. Japanese authorities adamantly denied the atrocities that took place at unit 731, the truth only started coming to light in 1984 when photographic evidence began to surface. Now the site has been excavated and the research has begun. The once tormented souls that had found peace are beginning to stir again since the site has been disturbed. It’s no wonder either, check out what I’ve found.

Up to 10,000 people per day were murdered at this facility, recent research estimates nearly 600,000 lost their lives under unimaginably horrific circumstances. 95% of these victims were Chinese or Korean, many were civilians but some were soldiers, the remainder was mostly represented by prisoners of war taken by Japanese Allies.

Tortures ranged from psychological to all spectrum of physical abuse. The lightest of the experiments took place in the rape room where Fathers were forced to rape daughters and sons were forced to rape their Mothers in hopes that pregnancy would ensue. Those that didn’t become pregnant suffered through some of the most gruesome mutilation of genitalia that could ever be imagined and that was before they were murdered. Those that did become pregnant would be tied down and were forced to watch these ghoulish doctors cut the babies from them all while un-sedated. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Mothers would then be forced to watch as the doctor’s would murder the infants by performing living autopsies.

Other prisoners were infected with deadly diseases like anthrax, cholera and the Bubonic plague. The Japanese were very creative, it’s not like all of these folks were just injected, some of the subjects were staked to the ground and covered with plague infested fleas or contained in small cells to be bitten by infected lab rats. These evil bastards would wait until the disease took effect on the subject, and once their health began to deteriorate, the fiendish doctors would perform vivi-sections on the un-sedated victims. That means that they would cut them open in order to examine the effects of the diseases on the subject’s vital organs, all without any form of sedation.

And then there was the frostbite unit, also part of the complex. Prisoners would be staked to the ground during the coldest part of winter. They’d remain there until nearly frozen solid, when their limbs could be broken from their body they were taken to the frostbite unit in order for the doctors to experiment and better understand the effects of frostbite in hopes of finding better forms of treatment.

Then there was a pressure chamber, yeah it’s probably exactly what you’re thinking. Victims would be crammed into these chambers and the gauges were cranked up, all just to find out how long the human body could maintain under immense pressure. The experiments usually ended once the victims eyeballs popped out.

Oh and then there’s the courtyard, sounds all peaceful and serene right?! Not so much ya’ll. So out in the courtyard, prisoners would be staked to the ground within close proximity to experimental explosives. After the bombs were detonated the subjects remains would be examined in order to discover the effects of the blast. Really! my thoughts, it blew the poor bastards up! How much experimenting did that take and I’m pretty certain that my conclusion, though unscientifically based, is 100% correct!

I even ran across some experiments that put me in the mind of madame Laulaurie. Quite often, limbs would be cut from un-sedated subjects then reattached to other places on their body. Sometimes these twisted doctors would cut the subjects open and rearrange their internal organs just to study the effects. Gangrene was prompted by the doctors as well, in order to closer examine it’s effects on the human body.

Other subjects fell victim to their share of other sordid tortures, some were starved to death, burned to death, injected with animal blood or sea water to study the effects. Some were burned to death or buried alive and some were spun to death on massive centrifuges. All of this in the name of science in order to better establish what is known today as germ warfare.

So now that we all know more about the gruesome activities that took place at unit 731, is it any wonder that this joint is as haunted as hell!? I should say not! The investigators that have been, and are still on site today report that their electrical equipment doesn’t work at all there, any and all research done onsite has to be completed during the day because at night, the lights that are being used are drained by the presence of the spirits that haunt the grounds. There are of course strange noises, sorrowful cries and the screams of those that died such gruesome deaths.

Live tours are ongoing as well as paranormal investigations. Crews are finding it very difficult to investigate the site as their electrical equipment fails quickly upon arrival. Tour guides will only lead groups through certain areas of the site as some areas are far too active to bring civilians. One of those areas is the frost bite ward. Guides state that they frequently see the misty forms of victims moving through the halls, there is the sound of heavy breathing and faces that materialize in reflective surfaces. There are the sounds of trembling voices that beg for mercy as well as the presence of angry entities that want to exact their revenge. Can’t say as that I blame them either! I can’t imagine one happy memory that would tie these spirits to this place. There have literally got to be tens of thousands of pissed off ghosts on these grounds!

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Robert the haunted doll

It’s a little known fact that the “Child’s Play” films were actually based off of a real life haunted doll.  Crazy, right! In fact, you can actually visit this doll today, if you’re brave enough!  Check out this twisted legend!

So Robert was a hand sewn doll that looks to be about 3 feet tall. His eyes are black orbs sewn onto a scantly featured face, and he’s dressed in a cute little sailor suit and even has a hat. The doll was given to the son of Thomas Otto by a fired servant that was known to practice witch craft. The boy named the doll after himself and the two of them became inseparable.

Now it’s normal for small children to have pretend friends, Robert’s just happened to be a doll, or was it? It was said that Robert would stay in his room for hours with the doll, when his mother would come to his room to check on him she could distinctly hear 2 voices, Robert’s and “something” else.

Things then began happening all over the house, odd things would turn up missing and be found in the strangest places. Things would be broken as well, it seemed that Robert, the doll, had a thing for destroying stuffed animals. He was also spotted running up the stairs, and taunting folks, mostly children, from the second story window as they walked by. Plenty of folks heard him walking around and many of them heard him giggling.

Oh and check this out, So this wicked looking little doll creeps up behind a plumber one day, sits on the floor and starts giggling at him. Robert was probably laughing at his ass crack right! Well, That dude hauled ass out of the house in the middle of the job, left his tools and everything!

Anyway, at some point the kid’s parents take the doll away from him and store it in the attic. Well, he didn’t like it up there, he kept popping up in the house and had to be taken back to the attic several times. Eventually things settled somewhat, but there were always the occasional bump in the night or wicked giggling seeping through the walls. But, eventually Robert, the kid, grew up, moved away and married. When his parents died, he inherits the house, and rediscovers the doll.

Well his wife hates the creepy looking little bastard, but Robert, has been sucked back in and has grown reattached to the doll, which at this point he claims needs his own bedroom that faces the street. But the wife eventually wins out, and the doll goes back into the attic. Again, it has to be taken back to the attic several times cause he keeps turning up all over the house. and of course, there was the occasional bumping around and giggling from above.

In 1972 Robert dies and the house is sold to another family, with a 10 year old girl. So, the girl finds the doll and starts the hole shit-storm all over again. These parents were a bit smarter though. When enough misfortune had plagued their home, they donated Robert to the Key West Martello museum.

Today he sits behind a glass case, most of the time, when he’s not tapping on the glass or giggling at those who pass by him. Robert is known to turn the lights on after hours and it’s a well known fact among the staff that he walks around the museum at night. His feet are always covered with fresh dust and require cleaning almost daily.

Many folks have photographed activity around Robert, check out the following photos:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Haunted History – Coon Hill Cemetery

So this little cemetery was established in Jay Florida around 1820. This area, back in the day, was bustling. It was a logging town that had been settled before Florida was a state. There was a post office, a pony express office, a mercantile store, a black smith and a church that fluctuated back and forth between Methodist and Baptist. Many of the settlers were from Irish descent, some had just filtered in from neighboring settlements seeking a better living in this booming little metropolis!

I’ve found great documentation of the folks that are buried there, even today, even thought the cemetery had been vandalized several times. Lots of important folks were buried here, including area founders and Civil War vets.

I like to do research on the ground of a suspected haunted location, just to see what kind of madness went down there in the past. With this little chunk of ground, all I can say is that it’s likely soldiers from the Civil War camped there as well as Native Americans, due to it’s close proximity to water.

There are a lot of other rumors floating around this graveyard. It’s actually been said that 3 separate murders have occurred there. Other than finding 1 that happened in the 1960’s, I was unable to find any other determining information on any of them.

There is also the rumor that Coon Hill is haunted by the spirits of vicious animals. I don’t know about the vicious part, but I do have something to throw in this direction a little further into the blog.

So, not being able to find anything on the history, or the murders was kind of a bummer BUT! The stuff I did find was way more than enough to make up for it!

So I’ll start with the most highly reported incidents. A little over 100 years ago, a concrete wall was poured around the cemetery to prevent fires. See, this little gym is tucked away way back in the woods. Swamp fires, as we call them down here in the south, had burned through the cemetery a couple of times, the problem with that is that many if not most of the headstones weren’t stone, they were wood.

Well, apparently the spirits here approve of the addition and they’re rather proud of it. I’ve seen a lot of reports where folks state that if you try to walk the wall around the cemetery, you won’t even make it half way before “something” pushes you off. From what I’ve noticed in these reports and investigations, that “something” has become much more aggressive in the past couple of decades. At first, you would just be shoved off. More recently, folks are being shoved off with enough force to suffer broken arms, legs and ribs. So, stay the Hell off of the wall!

The next most reported paranormal incident here is the fog. Everyone that has reported an encounter with this mysterious fog, all have the same story. It’s a thin blanket that only rises a couple of inches from the surface of the ground, and when it’s present, it’s reported that you will hear the voice of a child singing. Something in my gut tells me it’s like a nursery rhyme or something along those lines, but that’s just my take.

Ok, so to those animal spirits, I was able to find 2 documented accounts on that, both were interesting. The first account didn’t have a story behind it, but it’s definitely heartwarming. A paranormal investigator snapped a picture of a white dog with dark eyes curled up next to a head stone. It is not the dog in it’s entirety, only it’s face and part of it’s back are visible, and of course, in the next frame, it’s gone. You just gotta know that it was someone’s loyal pet the guarding the grave of its master.

Now, the second account is a little more interesting. These other investigators go out to Coon Hill and immediately report a “pressure” emitting from the cemetery. They said it was almost like a barrier wall, trying to keep them out, so you know they had to go in!

These guys documented the fog, and multiple EVP’s but their brass ring was an encounter with a cat. It was bigger than a domestic pet but smaller than a panther. It was solid black and had the face of a cat but it’s “expressions” mimicked human-like responses. The cat was documented at the foot of a grave, at that same instance, the investigator that photographed the cat became violently ill. This leads in to another common occurrence here at Coon Hill.

There are actually 2 different reports of “becoming ill.” A lot of folks report becoming extremely nauseous, in many of these accounts, these folks later realize that they have a mark on them that wasn’t there before they entered the cemetery. These marks range from scratches to bite marks, and a lot of them have been documented.

The second illness coincides with several separate frequently captured EVP’s that seemed to have recorded the sound of choking. Now this madness has happened a lot but the Two best documented cases were when it happened to two men. Both of them complained of feeling like they were choking, having difficulty breathing along with severe chest pains. The common consensus behind this occurrence is that it’s the spirit of one of the murder victims, attempting to communicate his means of demise.

The next occurrence is not so common, these guys just got lucky! This one team of investigators shows up at the cemetery one night, they first test the “walk the wall” legend only to be proven correct. The dude was shoved off of the wall after only walking a few feet, no broken bones on this round though.

When they actually enter the cemetery they immediately begin documenting light orbs, and some pretty crazy ones at that! Then came the EVP’s, the spirits were ready to talk this night! There was even a brief conversation held between one of the investigators and a male spirit. The spirit asked, quite clearly I might add, “Who are you” and then “Where are you from” There were other clips recorded that night, another male voice clearly states the word “Omaha” and then in another clip you can hear multiple voices saying “Everybody’s saying something”.

So, then these guys had their most relevant occurrence. They were experiencing so much activity that they were scampering around to write notes. They then realized that the notebooks they’d brought along were in one of team members back packs. So the chick turns to go get them out of her bag, it’s a few yards away from where they all are now. As she’s walking up to her bag, she distinctly hears, and records, the sound of the zipper opening on the bag. She’s still got her recorder going for EVP’s, So she stops in her tracks and shines her light on the back pack to see their notebooks being pulled out of the bag. One by one, they were dropped onto the ground in front of her. Looks like to me somebody had something to say that night!

This last interesting documented event was of a whole other nature. This guy and his team had a very productive night at Coon Hill. He has several photos posted on his website of some seriously convincing images. One in particular, no doubt. It’s a man in a fedora wearing a dark pin striped suit. It’s only like from mid chest up, the rest of his body is missing and you can see the tree limbs that are behind him, through him. However, what is visible of him is crystal clear. You can see his crisp tie and tie pin and even make out the lapels on his jacket. There were several other really good shots, but then there was this one that was definitely for real and definitely NOT human in nature. In this photo you can plainly see a face, of sorts, with big gaping dark eyes and what appears to be a veil of flames fluctuating around it. I don’t know what the hell this sucker is, but it don’t look like it’s there to sell girl scout cookies, ya know?

 

For more info on Coon Hill Cemetery Investigations see: Southern Paranormal Investigations

and  Geocities

 

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Three of my favorite haunted asylums!

So the Ridges, which was also known as the Athens Mental Health Center, is in Athens, Ohio. This joint was originally intended to house the “criminally” insane, sounds like a party right!  The Ridges opened its doors on January 9, 1874.  This is a massive, and elaborate institution and the grounds were park-like, with statues and fountains, giving the asylum the look of a classy resort.  At first it kind of was, but later on, it was more like a “last resort”.  This place was supposed to nurse both the mentally and criminally insane folks back to health with care and concern while living in gorgeous surroundings.

Yeah, we already know that all of these places start out just like this, everything is all peachy in the beginning, and then the shit hits the fan. It’s the usual bullshit ya’ll.  First comes the overcrowding, and then they’re under staffed, and then the torture and macabre experiments kick in.  Places like this were usually paid per patient by the federal government, so of course they start snatching up crazies from all over the place.  They even started taking in old folks turned over by their families and rebellious teenagers that were checked in by their parents.  If I had been around back in the day, My mama would’ve kicked me out of the car at the front door and kept going, that’s a fact!

The Ridges had been built to house 200 and now there were almost 2000 in a building that only had 544 rooms. Patient treatment took a turn for the worse. Typical treatments used were Ice water baths, electroshock therapies and lobotomies, along with bleeding, freezing,and kicks to the head which were thought to  “shock” the illness out of the brain.

Now, the least crazy patients were kept near the center of the institution where the admin offices and employee housing was. The violent patients were kept at the ends of the wings and the furthest from exits and everyone else, so they weren’t tended to as often as the other patients. But man when they were, it was like the doctors were trying to make up for lost time! These crazy bastards were the ones that had the pleasure of experiencing these “shock” treatments. They were living breathing guinea pigs.

So with all that being said, It’s important to add that there are over 1700 unmarked “documented” graves on the grounds, God knows how many more are there though. As you can imagine, there’s more than a couple of disgruntled patients still hanging around the asylum and the cemetery today.

But the one that gets the most press here is the ghost of Margaret Schilling. Check this out:

On December 1, 1978, Margaret disappears from one of the wards. Rumor has it that she was playing hide and go seek with a couple of nurses, but the nurses got distracted and forgot to go look for her. On January 12,1979, 42 days later, they found her lifeless body in the abandoned top floor of ward 20. That ward had been vacated for years, it had been last used to house sick and infectious patients.

Maintenance men found her naked body laying on the floor, her clothes were folded neatly beside her. Her bodily fluids had seeped out of her, she basically had to be peeled off of the floor. The official cause of death was supposedly heart failure but the reason behind it remains a mystery. The floor is stained in the shape of a human female figure where she was found. Folks say that her spirit can be seen peering from the window of that room. People have also said they’ve heard disembodied female voices, lights, shadow people and the sound of squeaking gurneys.

 

Next up, Danvers State Mental Hospital

Danvers Lunatic Asylum is probably one of the most notoriously haunted and intriguing places on earth. It’s another massive structure that sits on the top of Hawthorne Hill. This joint is so daunting that it earned the name “witches castle on the hill”. Danvers was built in 1878, and was considered a architectural masterpiece.

Here’ where it gets real yall! This joint is sitting right smack dab in the middle of what used to be Salem Village you know, where the actual witch trials began in 1692. Yeah a lot of folks assume that the witch trial kicked off in Salem but that’s not historically correct. The first actual trial went down at a church on Center street in Salem Village. The trials were later moved to a larger building in Salem when hysteria ran rampant and onlooking spectators swarmed the church. And here’s another kicker, the most fanatic of those witch trial judges, Johnathan Hawthorne, lived in a house that his father built in 1646 tight where the asylum sits today. There’s even a rumor that John Proctor and 4 other accused witches were hung there in 1692. Crazy little backstory there right!

Danvers was the epitome of advancing health care and treatment back in the day, But just like all the rest, yeah you got it, overcrowding, under staffing, budget cuts and then the real madness starts. yeah, we’ve heard this one before right! Yeah, this joint was being referred to as a hell hole, comparable to a German death camp.

Between 1940 and 1950, Danvers housed over 2,600 crazies in a building designed for 600. Due to over crowding it relied on drastic medical treatments, you know where I’m going with this, shock treatment, hydrotherapy, insulin shock therapy, psycho-surgery and lobotomies.

Patients became haggard and grim, A lot of the time they were locked up in solitary confinement in a space no bigger than a small bathroom. They were dressed in rags if they weren’t naked, many of them resorted to lying on the filthy cement floors. It was so bad that the dead patients would go unnoticed for days.

Finally in 1992, Danvers shut its doors. The remaining patients were carted off to other insane asylums and the joint was locked down. Several years go by while the building sat abandoned. In 2005 the property was bought and parts of the hospital were demolished. What remained was renovated and turned into an apartment complex, HA! Seriously!

With such a shit tastic history its no wonder why Danvers was dubbed one of the scariest places on earth. Those people living in the apartments have reported flickering lights, full body apparitions, hearing invisible footsteps and doors opening and closing on their own and the sounds of tormented wailing echoes through the hallways. Peaceful living right!

* Next up, the ByBerry Mental Hospital-

Byberry was a scandalized and horrific institution that was originally created as a mental health facility. They took pretty much every flavor of nut job in here. But from what I can see, there was never any “Everything was all good in the beginning” here. This place immediately started buzzing with rumors of incidents and allegations and more were piled on every year it was open.

There were tales of Murder, rape, child abuse, overcrowding, and naked, shit-covered patients wandering around in the hallways. This madness went on for almost the entire 60 years it was open. And besides that there was an affiliated corporation that funded experiments on patients because they knew they’d never have to answer for it.

One of the last and more horrific rumor to come from Byberry was about a young girl that was admitted in 1987. She was suffering from post traumatic stress, when more counseling was done it was found out that her mental issues originated from her having been raped when she was a child. Well, while institutionalized at Byberry, she was being constantly raped by other patients and staff. Eventually she was raped one last time by an inmate, he then murdered her and hid the body on a overgrown section of the grounds. Well, several of the other patients had stumbled across her rotting corpse and were enjoying playing with it, and other things. Her body came to be discovered when one of the other patients was caught by a staff member showing off her teeth.

When her body was found, so were a few others. But not all of them were rape victims, There were tons of stories about patients that wandered out of the facility and showed up on the grounds, at surrounding neighbors homes or in the middle of the highway, more times than a few, these patients were found dead from either having froze to death or committing suicide.

In 1988 this joint was closed down for good, but by then, it was no more than a human cesspit of despair. Now as we know, a lot of the mental asylums that were around in the early 20th century were deplorable. Most all of them were know for macabre methods and inhumane treatment as well, but Byberry is rumored to be the most horrifying of all of them.

Byberry’s reputation was similar to all the others when it came to the overcrowding and neglect “thang”. Budget cuts caused the asylum to fall into in disrepair and the patients wound up unclothed, starved, and sleeping in hallways filled with human waste. Many patients were forced to live huddled in decrepit, dingy rooms with no socialization or supervision. Every mental institution nightmare you can imagine could be found here. “Padded cells, restraining devices, solitary confinement, beatings by sinister staff, violent inmates, lobotomies and electric shock ” were just some of the maddening treatments they used here. This joint was a “real life house of horrors” murder , suicide, and brutality reigned.

Here’s some of the high points of Byberry’s history:

Patients were often restrained for weeks on end, starved drugged and beaten. Every once in a while one of these poor bastards would manage to break free and tried to make a run for it. Well in 1919 that happened, and when two orderlies chased him down they choked him to death, so brutally that his eyes popped out of their sockets. Well these two dudes were fired but then were rehired a few days later at higher wages.

In fact, in 1987 a patient sued the hospital for holding him in a 4 point restraint for 3 years.

and that corporation I mentioned earlier, the Smith Kline French company, yeah they were testing out Thorazine along with some other mind bending drugs on these folks.

Now a lot of folks died here, some from experiments, some from abuse or neglect, some were murdered by the staff and some committed suicide, but there are a few that were murdered by other inmates, here’s an interesting little example: In 1987 a female patient was murdered by a male patient. He killed the chick then dismembered her body. He then took to scattering her body parts all throughout the property. He was found out after several other patients were caught playing with the victims teeth and mandible after having found them on the grounds.

Oh and you’re gonna love this, At one point the male inmates or patients, were allowed to supervise the children’s ward. Now sit and imagine the absolute worst things that could have come of that, because that’s what happened.

In 1990, state authorities closed the doors. But that didn’t really put an end to things. Some of the worse off of the crazies committed suicide, the remaining 2500 plus nut jobs were set free to roam the streets.
So yeah, as you can imagine, there’s a lot of crazy stuff still going on there today. One freakish legend is about one of those former inmates that was freed. He was a mentally, violent patient who reportedly still lurks around in the catacombs beneath the facility. He’s said to be hiding there just waiting to slice the throat of anyone that should cross his path.

There’s actually a documented case of this happening to a paranormal investigator. He was down in the tunnels with his camera man when he felt something slide across his neck, then he was shoved into the stone wall. After he was able to compose himself enough to get the hell out of there, the camera man shined the light on his neck, documenting a deep, but non lethal cut.

There are also rumors that a gang of satanic occultists have moved in to the dilapidated building. The satanic rituals that are said to take place here have possibly opened up a door to hell within these walls. That would explain the growling sounds and bodily welts and scratches have been reported.

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Let’s Talk Dahmer!

We talk a lot about serial killers, and of course one of the most sadistic of these bastards was Jeffrey Dahmer. This psycho was so deranged that even Satan himself likely finds him offensive. I’m not sure that there’s even a place for this dude in Hell!

Well a couple of weeks back the Oxygen network did an exclusive 2 part documentary on Dahmer, and all kinds of macabre shit came to surface. I watched both segments and actually learned a few things that I didn’t know!

We already know that Dahmer murdered a total of 17 young men, 1 of which he confessed to, but was never convicted of, due to lack of evidence. But that’s ok, in the end he was sentenced to over 930 years in jail, at the time there was no death penalty, in which Dahmer himself said that he deserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As with all serial killers, there were signs early on. But this dude was basically built in a chemical lab.  His biological mother suffered from mental disorders herself, this chick was eating 27 prescription drugs every day while she was pregnant with Jeff.  After he was born, she seldom touched him unless it was to feed him, change a diaper or pose for a picture, and she’d come unglued if anyone else touched him. That my friends laid a solid foundation to create the monster that he became.

Dahmer, as with many other serial killers, appeared from the outside to be a normal kid, at a young age he became obsessed with road kill, again, just like other serial killers. During his teenage years his biological parents were divorced, Jeff’s mother was given custody. Well, this crazy bitch runs off with his younger brother, abandoning Jeffrey in an empty house with nothing more that a gallon of spoiled milk in the fridge. Jeff went to live with his Father and step mother for a while. Now these folks were devout Christians, and did their best to raise him in a loving environment. But again, just like other notorious serial killers Jeff had an extremely high IQ, and he had everyone suckered. No one that knew him could possibly suspect the sick shit that wracked this mad man’s mind. It was around this time when he admitted that he’d attempted his first murder, he was 15.

He was infatuated with a man that jogged through their neighborhood every day. Jeff made his mind up that he was going to kill him, not out of anger or spite, but because he wanted him. He took a baseball bat and hid in the woods, waiting for the man to pass by, that day, the jogger didn’t show. Jeff abandoned acting out his morbid desires for another couple of years after that.

By 1978 he was starting to let his crazy slip out. He was acting up in school and drinking heavily, and openly.  One of the people interviewed was a woman that attended high school and college with him, she stated that he would often show up to class with a drink in his hand and that he hung around his locker a lot drinking. Everyone was aware, no one reacted. Well it got to be too much for his family to handle, and Jeff was 18 by then, they kicked him out of the house.

So know he’s living in his own apartment, unsupervised. And this is when the first murder went down. So he’s driving down the highway and sees this dude, Steven Hicks. Hicks is looking for a ride to a concert, he’d been walking down the road without his shirt, Dahmer liked what he saw. So he tells the dude he’ll give him a ride, after he gets into the car he convinces him to come home with him for a few drinks. Dahmer was enjoying the company but when Hicks said he was ready to leave, something snapped. He didn’t want Hicks to leave, he didn’t really want to murder him either but it was the only way he could keep him there so he smashed Hicks over the head with a nearby dumb bell, then strangled him.

Now there’s some irony with this victim, Dahmer admitted in the interview that he eventually buried Hicks body in a storm drain behind his Dad’s house. Well he started getting apprehensive about it so he digs the body up, puts the pieces in a green trash bag and throws the bag in the back seat of his car. He takes off in his car later that night to get rid of the remains. Well, he was freaking out so bad with the corpse in the back seat that he’s driving all over the road like the crazy man he was. He gets pulled over. So, he tells the officer some sob story about his dad just getting divorced and he was upset so he decided to run the trash to the landfill to clear his mind. The officer actually shined his light on the trash bag then resorted to just writing Dahmer a ticket. Yeah! Well there’s some more irony with this murder, but we’ll get to that later though.

So in the meanwhile Dahmer graduates high school and enrolls in college, but he only managed to keep his crazy under wraps for one semester. by then he was a raging drunk and had only one thing on his mind. It was his father and step mother’s encouragement and support that helped keep him in line, Dahmer took his father’s advice and enlisted into the military, that was December 1978.

Here’s where I learned something else new, 2 men have recently stepped up and publicly admitted that Dahmer raped them. The first one, lost his shit and wound up being discharged. Dahmer destroyed this man. He admitted in the interview that he started drinking and using drugs in attempt of forgetting what happened. He turned indigent, lost his family and his mind for several years before he could seek out psychological help.

The second dude he raped actually took the first man’s spot. He was Dahmer’s bunk mate. This dude said that Dahmer tied him to the bed and raped him nearly every night. At the time this dude was only 17. He was terrified of Dahmer because he was known at that time to be a violent drunk. Plus the fact that he was on a base that was packed down with bad asses, he was scared that these hardened vietnam vets would kick his ass for accusing a fellow soldier of rape. Not long after that Dahmer was discharged because he was drinking so much that he couldn’t function. After that he went to Florida where he just crashed on the beach for a few months before going back to Ohio.

Between 1981 and 1986 he was arrested 3 times, all 3 for being drunk and stupid in public. Well, by now, Dahmer had become a master in manipulation. He always approached the courts apologetically, displaying deep remorse as he’d make his public apologies, and they always bit, he was always released with a slap on the wrist and a small fine here and there.

By 1987 Dahmers crazy was hanging out again, that’s when he murdered Steven Tuomi. This is the one confessed murder that he was never convicted on.
Dahmer claimed that he woke up in bed at a hotel beside Tuomi’s lifeless corpse, he didn’t remember killing him at all. So he goes and buys this huge suitcase, comes back to the hotel room, and crams the body inside. He takes the corpse to his grandmothers house and starts cutting it up over the next few weeks, He had a killer system. He’d be in the basement hacking up the body on Sunday mornings while grandma was at church.  He’d throw the pieces into the trash bin before she got home because the garbage collectors ran early on Monday mornings.

Three months later Dahmer kicks it into a higher gear. January 1988 he convinces this 14 year old boy to come back with him to his grandmother’s house. He offered money for the kid to pose nude for some photographs. So Dahmer makes him a drink, spikes it and when the kid passes out, he strangles him. But he did take photographs. In fact this was just another evolution in his technique. See Dahmer never really liked killing folks, he just wanted to make sure they stayed with him. By taking these pictures of his victims, he was able to save and remember what they looked like before they started decomposing and he had to start hacking them up to get rid of them, and in a way, they did stay with him. This is when he began collecting trophies, he’d save most of their bones, locking them inside a metal filing cabinet at first.

So, three months after that, Dahmer runs across Richard Guerrero, he uses the same “nude Photo” tactic on this guy. Again, after drugging him, Dahmer strangled him. This murder marked an even further evolution in his insanity. He was so desperate for someone to just be there, that at one time he stole a mannequin from a department store to sleep with.

Dahmer wanted his victim to just lie still so he could touch them whenever, wherever and however he wanted, but nut-tastic would come unbolted if he was touched. That mannequin had actually done a pretty good job of sating Dahmer’s twisted desires, at least for a little while. But it wasn’t the real thing.

In September of the same year he encounters this 13 year old boy and offers him 50 bucks to come home with him and pose nude for some photos. So the kid agrees. Dahmer gets him back to the crib, offers him a drink, which of course he’s spiked, and so a little while later, the kids passed out. He of course rapes him like he did all of the others but for some reason he lets this one go, but only under the conditions that he didn’t tell anyone what happened.

In the meanwhile Grandma’s house stinks to high hell but she’s clueless. Jeffrey tells her that he’s taken up taxidermy in the basement and that he had several dead animals down there that he was working on. Granny gets pissed, makes him clean up his mess and tells him to go play with dead things at his own place.

Well right after that, he gets arrested for sexually assaulting the kid. He actually spends a total of 10 months in jail with 5 years probation once he was released in January of 1989. Under the terms of his probation, he had to see a counselor. Jeffrey would attend these one hour session and never say a word, not for any one of them.  He’d just show up and sit there until it was time to leave.

That March he strikes again. Using the same tactics as before, he lures Anthony Sears over to his place and murders him the same way as he had the others. But by now he’d fine tuned his disposal process. Sears body was dumped into a 55 gallon barrel of acid. The acid ate the flesh from his bones, Dahmer, would then select the bones he wanted to keep, first off the skull but sometimes there were others, he’d then grind down the remaining parts of the skeleton and get rid of them.

In 1990 he struck 4 more times, but by September 2nd, he was slipping even further into insanity , if that’s possible. This is when he started saving body parts, to eat. He preferred biceps. Ernest Miller, was the first that he’d had the desire to consume. He first cooked his heart but found that it was too tough to chew. so then he filleted the dudes biceps and cooked them. He sat down at his table and ate the dude while he looked over the grotesque photos that he’d taken of his corpse. He admitted that he rather enjoyed the taste, which he described to be like beef, and in his mind, it was a sure fire way to keep the victim with him always.

Dahmer managed to keep his demons at bay for the next few months, but in 1991, he went ape-shit and his motives shifted. Dahmer said repeatedly that he never enjoyed murdering his victims, he was still trying to find a way just to keep them with him. He began trying to basically zombify them instead. He made several attempts with drugs but nothing seemed to work and he’d always wind up having to kill them any way. Several of the 7 victims murdered in 1991 were the result in Dahmer failing to turn them into zombies. The first attempt was made on Curtis Slaughter in March, Errol Lindsay came in April and then in May, Dahmer meets this 14 year old kid which coincidentally was the brother to the other kid that he set free and wound up doing time over.

You’d think he wouldn’t have fallen for the same bullshit line as his brother, but, he did. Dahmer again offered cash for nude photos and the kid agreed to go home with him. So he offers the kid a spiked drink, the kid accepts and a little while later he’s passed out. Well after Dahmer rapes him he takes a electric drill, and makes a hole in the kids head about 3 inches deep, far enough in to cut into his brain, he then squirts a syringe full of some toxic cocktail into the hole and leaves on a beer run. In the meanwhile the kid wakes up and wanders out of his apartment.

The neighbors call the police because there’s a naked kid wandering around in the street. The police get there, and immediately think he’s and adult and that he’s drunk or strung out cause well, he’s acting like a zombie. Well, Dahmer comes walking up with his fresh 6 pack and sees what’s going on. He walks over to the police and starts telling them that this kid was his consensual lover and that he was drunk and they’d just had a spat. He assures them that everything is ok so they agree to let him take the kid back to his apartment.

So just to make sure everything was ok, the police escorted the pair back to Dahmer’s place. They look around briefly inside and nothing seemed out of place, in fact the joint was spotless from what they could see. So, they left. Here’s the kicker. In this documentary there was an interview with Dahmer where he admitted that had those officers would have just walked into the bedroom they would have seen Guerro’s body laying on the floor next to the bed where he’d been snuggling with him for the past 3 months, yeah. Dahmer admitted that he was absolutely shocked that he wasn’t busted right then. Again, another close call.

Had the officers stepped 10 feet away, they would have seen that body. They were of course reprimanded and the police district paid out some serious money after that, because if Dahmer would have been arrested that night, it would have saved the lives of his last 4 victims.

Tony Hughes in May, Matt Turner in June, Jeremiah Weinberger, Oliver Lacey, and Joeseph Bradehoft in July. Also in July was the attempted murder of Tracey Edwards, this was the guy that brought him down.

Dahmer was trying to convince Edwards to let him cuff him for some bondage photos. Edward let him put the cuff on one of his hands but when Dahmer told him to lay face down and put his hands behind his back, he wasn’t having it. Edwards fled into the street where he found some officers and told them what had happened, he asked them if they could take off the cuffs. Their keys wouldn’t work so they escort Edwards back to Dahmer’s apartment for him to take them off.

When they walk inside everything seemed ok, one of them asked Dahmer where the key was, he told them in the bedroom. Well when the officer walked back there he just happened to walk by a dresser drawer that was opened, he looked down inside and saw what turned out to be over 80 poloroid photos of Dahmers victims, some of which were taken while he was dissecting them. Dahmer was cuffed and taken down town, it took days to remove all of the evidence from his apartment, it took even longer to sort through it.

Through it all Dahmer cooperated, he took full responsibility other than stating that he thought he was evil or sick, or both. Judge didn’t buy that. He was studied, tested, phychologized and all that but he was found to be sane. Yeah, let that shit sink in.

Well, here comes the last of the irony. Think back to victim number 1, he was smashed in the head with a dumb bell before Dahmer strangled him right? So, Dahmer is in the pen on a work detail in the bathrooms, it’s him and two other guys. Well, one of the other guys is a nut job, and this nut job has stolen a dumb bell handle from the from the prison weight room. Well, nut job bludgeons Dahmer and the other dude over the head, both of them died as a result, ironic right, well maybe one more little quirky detail, the day Dahmer was murdered was November 28th, my birthday!

Ok, so Dahmer is dead and gone right, not exactly, in fact Dahmer’s ghost shows up a whole lot, and in several places, to include that jail where he died. We’ve talked about that on a past episodes, so until something else new surfaces on him, I’m going to let that sleeping demon lie, for now!

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