Every now and then, we hear about really off the wall deaths. Some can be easily explained, yet, some cannot. Over the years, it seems that more of the unexplained not only seems to surface but, has many believers as well. With shows like Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, The Dead Files, Destination Truth, and Paranormal Witness, the evidence of other entities among us is pretty damning. I myself have seen a number of Ghost Hunters episodes, and I honestly think they are the real deal. They do not always find paranormal evidence, but when they do, it is pretty substantiated. Maybe it’s the fact that they try hard to debunk claims of paranormal activity? Regardless, let’s face it, not every place is haunted.
Which brings us to the deaths allegedly caused by the paranormal (or supernatural). I by no means am a skeptic because I do enjoy reading about experiences others have had. “Reading” being the key word in that previous sentence. I have no desire to experience any of it on a personal level. I have seen every horror/haunting movie ever, and a real life account is definitely not on my bucket list.
Some of these stories date back pretty far, and some of them are more recent. In any event, they all have just enough of the creep factor to hold an audience’s attention. Do you believe in the paranormal? Or, do you think it is all just a hoax?
15 The Dancing Plague of 1518
Documented in the historical records from the sixteenth century, the dancing plague was the only known plague of its kind.
Rewind to July of 1518 in the city of Strasbourg (part of the Holy Roman empire then), when residents suddenly had an uncontrollable pull to dance. This all began when a woman by the name of Frau Troffea walked into the street and began to silently twist and shake. Frau’s solo act went on for nearly a week before others joined in. By August, the dancing spread to nearly 400 Strasbourgeois. Clearly, this was an unexplainable epidemic, so medical personnel chalked it up to “hot blood”. As it continued, the town decided to hire a band for background music. Soon after, people starting collapsing from exhaustion; some dying from heart attacks and strokes.
This epidemic did not end until September when the dancers were taken to a mountaintop shrine to pray for absolution. Theories range anywhere from religious cults to ingesting a toxic mold.
14 Carl Pruitt
Cheating on a spouse has clearly always been in fashion. This story began in 1938 with Mr. Carl Pruitt, in the city of Pulaski County, Kentucky. After what I can only assume was a long hard day’s work, Carl came home to his wife in their bed with another man. In what I can imagine was a blind range, Carl grabbed a chain and strangled his wife to death, while the other man fled. After he sealed her fate, he killed himself. The wife’s family did not want Pruitt buried next to her; as such, his body landed in a different cemetery in a different town. Visitors to the cemetery began to notice a discoloration in the pattern of a chain around his tombstone.
Then, weird stuff starts happening (well, weirder stuff). Not to worry, I have a couple of examples:
A boy and a group of his friends rode their bikes by the tombstone when one boy threw a rock at the tombstone and chipped it. On his way home, his bike somehow mysteriously ended up around his neck. How did it get there??
This boy’s mother was without a doubt devastated, so she went to the same tombstone to exact her rage. She took an ax to it. The following day mom was hanging laundry when the clothesline somehow made its way around her neck and strangled her.
Some other bizarre incidents were documented, and after a number of other unexplained deaths, the bodies in this cemetery were exhumed and a stripping company removed all markers, including Pruitt’s.
I would venture to say Amityville and its hauntings are probably one of the most recognizable stories on this list. The story has been around since the 1970s. In fact, movies have been made based on the deaths of the DeFeo family (The Amityville Horror , ). At the time, all evidence pointed to their eldest son, Ronald Defeo, who was a mere 23 years old.
The victims were as follows: Ronald Jr.’s parents: Ronald DeFeo, Sr. (44) and Louise DeFeo (42); and four of his siblings: Dawn (18), Allison (13), Marc (12), and John Matthew (9). They were all shot with a .35 caliber lever action Marlin 336C rifle. With the evidence provided, it showed Louise and Allison were both awake at the time of their deaths.
Ronald DeFeo’s attorney pushed for the insanity plea stating that DeFeo claimed he “heard their voices plotting against him”. However, a doctor by the name of Harold Zolan stated that regardless of DeFeo being a heroin and LSD user, he also had antisocial personality disorder and was aware of his actions. DeFeo is currently serving six concurrent sentences of 25 years to life.
12 Ricky McCormick
A body discovered near a cornfield on June 30, 1999, in West Alton, Missouri is how the story begins. Ricky Mccormick was a 41-year-old male who was a high school dropout and had chronic lung and heart issues. He also fathered four children, had a criminal record, and previously served 11 months of a 3-year statutory rape sentence. At the time of his passing, he was unemployed and on disability.
McCormick’s cause of death? A gunshot wound. There was a lot of mystery surrounding his death. It wasn’t until 12 years later that the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) officially ruled his death a homicide. What makes this case even weirder? The surfacing evidence that had been previously withheld. It was said that at the time of McCormick’s death, two pieces of paper were found in his pocket. However, the pieces of paper contained an unknown coding with jumbled letters and words that even the FBI’s Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), along with the American Cryptogram Association, failed to decipher.
In March of 2011, the FBI updated their website and assigned a separate page where the public can offer their theories or comments on the two notes found in his pocket. To this day, the encrypted notes have not been deciphered. Perhaps the key to his death lies in breaking the codes?
11 Robert Steven Laursen, Jr.
Although Laursen did not die, the circumstances surrounding his injury sparked enough curiosity in me to want to add him to the list. Before we get to Laursen’s story, I believe we need the of the original back story.
Villisca, a small quiet town in the state of Iowa. In early June of 1912 at around 12:45 AM, the Moore family, including two guests, were all brutally bludgeoned with an ax. The victims’ names were as follows: Josiah B. (aged 43), Sarah (née Montgomery) (39), Herman Montgomery (11), Mary Katherine (10), Arthur Boyd (7), and Paul Vernon (5), and the two guests: Ina (8) and Lena Stillinger (12). The killer, who was never found, was able to get in and out of the house undetected by anyone because a key was used. Upon leaving, said killer made sure all of the windows and doors were locked. Though there were a number of suspects, no one person was ever convicted of this heinous crime.
Now, back to Laursen. Laursen was a ghost hunter and on November 7, 2014, he and a group of peers went to stay at the “Villisca Axe Murder House” for some paranormal investigating. After being there a while, Laursen was in the northwest bedroom (where the Stillinger girls were murdered), and used their two-way radio to frantically call for help. When his friends found him, he had been stabbed in the chest—and apparently, it was self-inflicted. Even eerier? It happened at around the same time the Moore family was murdered…
10 The Widow Ghost
A small village in Thailand by the name of Tambon Tha Sawang has been the home of at least 10 unexpected male deaths who had reportedly been “healthy”. Some simply dropped dead in the street, whereas others died in their sleep.
A spirit medium was hired to see if these bizarre events had anything to do with what they labeled “the widow ghost”. The spirit medium told the villagers not only to hang red shirts outside of their window to ward off evil spirits, but also families with only one son were at a greater risk of being visited by the spirit. There has been speculation as to what actually caused the death of these 10 men, with some saying it could have been an airborne illness or infectious disease.
9 Debra and Mark Constantino
The couple had been seen on the television show Ghost Adventures, and by some accounts, they seemed like a very together couple. However, both of their lives came to a sudden tragic end. Reports stated that the couple was in the process of a divorce and that they had a history of domestic violence.
It began with Debra’s roommate, James Anderson, found dead in his Reno, NV home, and ended in Sparks, NV in the couple’s daughter’s apartment with a two-hour police standoff. Apparently, Mark had killed Debra and then turned the gun on himself. Was it a case of jealousy or did one of their paranormal cases stay attached to them? As the internet does, reasoning for both sides of this argument is floating around. Sadly, to me, it sounds like a case of domestic abuse gone wrong. However, no one can truly rule out supernatural play. By the time the cops got through the barricade, both Debra and Mark were deceased.
Side note: The National Domestic Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
8 Henry Thomas
73-year-old Henry Thomas met his demise in 1980. The police and forensics had to deduce what could have possibly happened after coming to the crime scene. The theory is that Thomas had been sitting in his easy chair and somehow caught on fire near the top of his body, thus burning to death. All that was left of Thomas’ body were his legs below the knee and his skull. The legs below the knee have no signs of burning and the clothes in this same area were also completely untouched.
Although there was evidence of a recent fire from the fireplace, there was no supporting evidence to prove that the fire made its way to his easy chair, and then only to certain parts of his body. There was a non-SHC (spontaneous human combustion) theory that suggested he had been stoking the fire, did not notice his head caught on fire and sat down in his chair unaware of this very fact. Honestly, guys, even if that were true, no person would continue to sit in a chair after learning their hair is on fire for the sake of laziness. I dare say, “your argument is invalid.”
7 Evelyn Hernandez
Does everyone remember the Laci Peterson case? She was eight months pregnant and went missing on Christmas Eve of 2002? Well, Hernandez’s case is eerily similar, but lacked the attention.
24-year-old Evelyn Hernandez went missing on May 1, 2002. Did I mention she went missing a week before she was supposed to give birth? Did I also forget to mention her five-year-old (Alexis) also vanished along with her? If these are things you do not know or have not heard of, again, it is because it wasn’t given the same attention as Laci Peterson.
Hernandez was dating a man by the name of Herman Aguilera (father of the unborn child). Upon telling him of her pregnancy, he seemed to start pulling away. Wanting answers, Hernandez called Aguilera’s mother. Turns out Aguilera was married to another woman. Fast forward to July 24, 2002; Hernandez’s body was found in the San Francisco Bay near the Bay Bridge. Decomposing legs and a torso in a maternity blouse were all that was found. DNA tests confirmed the remains were that of Hernandez, however, the rest of the body, her fetus, and Alexis were never recovered. Malicious or paranormal? It seems normal enough, but you never truly know. I can tell you that one theory is that of a devil worshipping group taking satanic holy day rituals to a whole other level.
6 Bobby, Sherilyn, and Madyson Jamison
In October of 2009, in the town of Eufaula, Oklahoma, the Jamison family disappeared. Their remains wouldn’t be discovered until more than four years later in November of 2013. Their truck, however, was found a few days after the disappearance. Keys, a GPS, wallets, and a malnourished dog (who survived thank God) were among the items found. The victims were Bobby Jamison (44), Sherilyn Jamison (40), and Madyson Jamison (6). Allegedly, the couple had been looking to buy some land approximately thirty (30) miles away in Red Oak, Oklahoma.
When the bodies were discovered, they had been found side by side and face down. Many theories have floated around, but the most interesting (or creepy for that matter) is this: During the initial investigation (before the bodies were found), the pastor of the family, Gary Brandon, informed police that the Jamison’s had been involved in “spiritual warfare.” Both parents claimed to have seen spirits of a family who died long ago in their home. Then there was the daughter, Madyson, who claimed to speak to the spirit of a child who also died in the house. Bobby allegedly asked his pastor for “special” bullets to shoot the spirits with and consulted a satanic bible to exorcise the property. As exorcisms are fairly well-known, I’m not entirely certain a satanic bible would do the trick. Thoughts?
Oh yes, to this day, the cause of death could never be determined because the bodies had decomposed so badly, as such, no one has ever been charged.
5 Charles Walton
On Valentine’s day in 1945, Charles Walton was found murdered on a farm known as “The Firs” on the slopes of Meon Hill. He was 74 years old. Despite Walton’s age and rheumatism, he still performed lighter farm duties. More of a private man, Walton lived in Lower Quinton, Warwickshire, England with his niece, Edith, whom he’d adopted thirty years prior. On this Valentine’s day, it was like any other for Walton; he brought the tools he needed to work at The Firs, along with his walking stick and set off.
Walton was expected to be home around 4:00PM, however, when Edith returned home at 6:00PM, her uncle wasn’t home. Naturally, she began to worry. Edith went to a neighbor’s house to alert him of their worry, then they set off to alert the owner of The Firs, Alfred Potter. The scene they stumbled upon was gruesome. The killer had beaten Walton over the head with his own walking stick, slashed his neck open with a hook, prongs of the pitchfork were holding him on either side of his neck pinning him to the ground, and a large crucifix had been carved into his chest. Let us pause for a moment. This was a 74-year-old man. Just…like...why?
Although no one was ever formally charged with the murder of Charles Walton, there were speculations around the cause of death. Some say it was witchcraft and that he was part of the occult. In fact, when the home that Walton rented was going to be demolished, they found his pocket watch; one he never left without. Inside the watch, a piece of colored glass was found. The glass was believed to be “witch’s glass” used to deflect evil against its owner, except the day Charles was found, he hadn’t been wearing it.
4 Christopher Case
Have any of you ever seen the hit CW television show, Supernatural? Dean and Sam Winchester? Saving people, hunting things? The family business? Okay, don’t mind me, it’s just one of my favorite shows, ever. The reason I bring this up is because this next case (no pun intended) deals with witchcraft and a curse.
35-year-old Christopher Case lived in Seattle, WA. In April of 1991, he was found dead in his bathtub, sitting up with a frightened look on his face. Some time before these events, Case went to visit San Francisco where he had dinner with a couple of people; one an acquaintance and one the acquaintance invited, a witch—or so she claimed.
Sammy Souder, a psychic, teacher in Fayetteville and longtime friend of Case, received frantic calls from Case claiming the woman he met put a curse on him because he did not express a romantic interest in her. According to Souder: “He said he was very afraid, and he said, “they” (meaning people with the witch) had been attacking him all night (mentally, not physically), and they were cutting him. He said he woke up with little cuts on the ends of his fingers. He asked me to call him back.”
When his body was discovered, authorities found candles, crucifixes, and salt poured along the base of the walls of his apartment (if you know Supernatural, you probably understand now why I find a resemblance). Tony Burtt of King County police stated: “The cause of death is unknown. The initial autopsy showed no type of trauma consistent with foul play. (Detectives) do not believe it is a homicide. It is a death investigation.”
3 Newborn in Talisay, Philippines
Not too much is known in this particular case. From what I’ve read, it happened sometime in December of 2011. John Edison Malacay, a ten-day-old baby had some very odd circumstances surrounding his death. The grandparents reported red marks scattered across the floor of their daughter’s house (which they thought could be from rats), and blood stains in the kitchen.
When the mother of the newborn, Kimberly, received a panicked phone call, she rushed home. Prepared yourself, folks… Her newborn son was oozing blood from his mouth and nose; his naval was punctured as if being drained. The child was pronounced dead at the hospital. The family claims a shapeshifting paranormal creature killed the baby.
People were naturally skeptical and suspected foul play until neighbors noticed blood also on the roof of the crime scene, thus leading them to believe it could possibly be paranormal.
2 Peggy the Doll
So, I knew nothing of this “Peggy the Doll” character, but I will apologize in advance for including her on here. Apparently, Pegs is most likely a disturbed, possessed doll. The previous owners of Pegs sent her to the paranormal investigator, Jayne Harris, who runs an organization called “Haunted Dolls.” Harris and team have deduced that the spirit possessing the doll is a woman from London who was born in 1946, died from a chest condition, and possibly hates clowns, because who doesn’t?
Harris has reportedly received emails from approximately 80 people stating that since they’ve seen the picture or video she’s posted, they have had bouts of extreme fear, computers freezing and the room going cold, heart attacks, and general fear after viewing the picture or video. She may not be all bad, though. Harris explains another instance of Peggy: “We have been told she can affect people’s dreams. She recently visited a lady in her dreams, warning her about one of her cats. The next morning, the lady found her cat very ill and he sadly died that day.” I don’t know… the cat did die.
Hopefully, if you’ve made it this far, you aren’t having any of these attacks. Sorry folks, I’m just trying to bring you entertainment. Peace be with you.
1 Elisa Lam
The case of Elisa Lam was another widely publicized case. Lam was a 21-year-old Canadian student who was staying at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. She disappeared on January 31, 2013; however, her body wasn’t discovered until February 19, 2013, in a water tank on the rooftop of the Cecil Hotel after reports from hotel guests about their water supply being oddly colored, or having a slightly weird smell.
Lam had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression. She was prescribed four drugs—Wellbutrin, Lamictal, Seroquel, and Effexor—to deal with her condition. According to her family (who kept it a secret), she had no history of suicidal ideations or attempts. The day Lam disappeared was the same day she was supposed to check out of the Cecil Hotel. I have seen the famous “elevator video” and it is pretty chilling. At some points, she seems dazed, at others frightened.
Although her cause of death was ruled as an accidental drowning, the how of the situation still remains unsolved. Doors and stairs that access the hotel’s roof are locked, with only staff having the passcodes and keys. Any attempt made to force them open would have supposedly triggered an alarm. With that said, the hotel’s fire escape could have been an explanation as to her bypassing the security measures, if she or someone who may have accompanied her there, had known.
Was it paranormal or someone with a vendetta? I’ve left the elevator video down below in case you haven’t seen and want to form some opinions of your own.