Real World Horror

Real World Horror: Bobby Dunbar

Bobby Dunbar

Today I am writing to you to talk about the Disappearance of Bobby Dunbar.

You may be familiar with this story, especially if you’ve seen the Clint Eastwood film changeling, which was inspired by these events.

Four-year-old Bobby Dunbar went missing in 1912, during a trip to Swayze Lake. The disappearance was big news and the police went to extreme means to find the lost boy, including but not limited to blowing up the lake (aka throwing dynamite into the lake).

Eight months after Bobby vanished everyone was losing hope of ever knowing what happened to him and the police were at risk of looking like failures. But an arrest was made, a man named William Cantwell was taken into custody as he had a young boy with him who matched Bobby’s description.

The boy claimed to be Bruce Anderson, son of Julia Anderson. Despite this the police took him to Bobby’s home where Bobby’s parents confirmed this was not their son. Bruce did not recognise Bobby’s parents or his brother.

Photo by Pixabay on

However, after meeting Bruce a second time and bathing him Bobby’s mother changed her mind, and claimed this was Bobby, that she recognised him now.

Julia Anderson travelled to claim her son but was put under an undue amount of stress and pressure which caused her to fail to pick Bruce out of a line up of similar boys.

And so Bruce effectively became Bobby.

In 1999 the truth was revealed, when a descendant, Margaret Dunbar Cutwright carried out research and had her father and his cousin (Bobby’s brother’s son) undergo DNA tests which revealed that the two were not blood related. Bruce Anderson was not Bobby Dunbar.

This is a very sad story, two mothers lost their children and the authorities seemed more interested in keeping their record looking good than getting to the truth. While this is not as dramatic as a lot of film/TV/Book horror, it is deeply unsettling due to the truth of the matter.

True Crime

Real World Horror: Alexander the Great

Buried Alive?

Today I wanted to talk to you about Alexander the Great, or more specifically his death.  Alexander the Great died suddenly at age 32. That in itself is pretty suspicious but it gets worse.

When Alexander stopped moving or speaking, those around him thought that he was dead. But when his body failed to decompose after six days people went a bit nuts. His loyal followers went so far as to proclaim him a God. But there is a darker theory knocking around the scientific community.

Alexander wasn’t dead.  

He had suffered a sudden onslaught of paralysis.

It is said that after a drinking spree, Alexander felt unwell (shock). He also felt a sudden pain in his back, as though he had been hit by a spear. Shortly after he became unable to move and then unable to speak. He was pronounced dead.

Dr. Katherine Hall of the University of Otago in New Zealand said in 2019 that she suspected he suffered from Guillain-Barré Syndrome. This is a very rare and serious condition that affects the nerves. Mainly the feet, hands and limbs, and can cause problems such as numbness, weakness and pain. It affects people of all ages but it is more common in adults and males.

But how could he be pronounced dead when he was paralysed? Surely his heart was still beating? Well, in the fourth century B.C., doctors didn’t use a patient’s pulse to diagnose death — they used breath. When paralysed you don’t breathe very much at all. So it could be easy to think he wasn’t breathing and was unresponsive.

Dr Hall thinks Alexander was pronounced dead a full six days before he actually died. Hence his body being so well preserved.

Thus Alexander the Great could have well witnessed his own funeral and could have been buried alive.

I say could because there’s no way to actually prove this, his body has never been found, and the main account of his death (Plutarch) was penned centuries after his actual death etc, but it’s a bloody horrendous thing to contemplate.

Haunted Items

Real World Horror: The Woman from Lemb

Dangerous Statue

Today I am writing to talk to you about a statue.

The woman from Lemb is a statue that is said to have caused the death of all of it owners, to the point where it has been nicknamed the ‘Goddess of Death’.

The statue itself is made from limestone and is relatively small and dates back to 3,500BC. It is believed to be a fertility statue.

It was discovered in Lemb (Cyprus) in 1878 and was owned by Lord Elphont. Within six years of gaining the statue, seven members of the Elphont family had died in mysterious circumstances. The following owners Mr Manucci and Lord Thompson-Noel died along with their families after gaining ownership of the statue.

The next owner, owner number four was Sie Biverbrook who, along with his wife and two daughters also died. His surviving sons were extremely freaked own and donated the statue to the Royal Scottish Museum which is in Edinburgh. The statue remains there to this day. You can go see it, if you dare.

However, the statue did not stop its work when it came into the museum’s care, the chief of the section where the statue sits died very suddenly. Since then no one has touched the statue.

Haunted Items

Real World Horror: Tallman Bunk Beds

Spooky bed!

Today I want to talk to you about the Tallman Bunk Beds.

Yup haunted bunk beds.

Ghosts, these days will haunt just about anything. You’d think they’d leave little kiddies alone. Asshole ghosts be assholes.

The Tallman haunting was covered by Unsolved Mysteries back in the 1980’s and is said to be so freaky that it rarely airs today. I don’t know if that is the case but I certainly can’t recall ever seeing that episode.

The story revolves around  Debbie and Allen Tallman who purchased the supposedly haunted set of bunk beds. Almost as soon as they had them in the house they started experiencing paranormal visions (the kids saw a ghostly woman), doors opening and closing without intervention, a chair wandered about the house seemingly of its own volition, and disembodied voices started speaking. Naturally the Tallman’s regrated their purchase as their home was terrorised.

Things got worse when the haunting targeted the youngest son, Danny, but Allen gave it a firm word or two and it started targeting him instead.

There have been numerous witnesses to the haunting, which in itself is a rarity. In particular a babysitter who saw a vision of fog and flames.

The Tallman’s ultimately destroyed the bunk beds. I must admit that had I been in their position I would have been hesitant to do so, destroying a supposedly haunted object doesn’t necessarily stop the haunting, sometimes it makes things a whole lot worse.  

Fortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Though the family moved away for good measure.

Haunted Items

Real World Horror: Valentino’s Cursed Ring

Spooky Jewlery

Today I am writing to talk to you about Valentino’s cursed ring.

Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor based in the United States, he was born on 6 May 1895 in Italy died on 23 August 1926 in the USA. Starred in various sites and films.

During his career Rudolph purchased a ring, the story goes that the shopkeeper did not want to sell the ring claiming it was cursed and called it The Destiny Ring. Once Valentino had purchased the ring things started to go wrong for him, several of his movies flopped and then he became sick. He underwent surgery for bleeding ulcers, suffered an infection and passed away.

The ring was then passed to Pola Negri, who immediately became ill. Whilst she was ill her Hollywood career suffered a significant downturn to the point where it was considered over. Pola passed the ring to her younger sibling, Russ who she claimed reminded her of Valentino. Ross then died in a shooting accident.

The ring made its way to Joe Casino, who had the ring placed under glass but eventually decided to wear it and suffered a fatal accident a week later. By this point, people were connecting the ring with fatally bad luck and when Casino’s brother inherited the ring locked away.

The ring was later stolen by James Willis, during the theft the police arrived and shot him. The ring was recovered and placed back inside the safe. The ring was retrieved when director Edward Small wanted to make a movie regarding Valentino, he hired Jack Dunn to portray Valentino and asked him to wear the ring, two weeks later Dunn died of a blood disease.

The ring currently sits in a vault in a Los Angeles bank.

What do you think? Do you think the ring is cursed? Or do you think this is a series of bizarre coincidences?

Haunted Items

Real World Horror: Myrtles Plantation Mirror

Mirror, Mirror

Today I am writing to talk about a mirror. This mirror is claimed to contain the spirits of a woman and her children.

The mirror is in Myrtles Bed and Breakfast Plantation, which is claimed to be one of the most haunted homes in America. The plantation was built in 1796, on an apparent native burial ground (is that where that cliché comes from?) and has been the scene for at least ten murders.

The mirror in question was added in the 1980’s and guests have reported seeing figures of Sara Woodruff and her children in the mirror. There have also been children’s handprints on the glass (kids touch mirrors, it’s kind of what they do). Sara Woodruff and her children were poisoned and after their death custom was ignored and the mirrors were not covered during the funeral thus the souls of the dearly departed were trapped inside the mirror.

Real World Horror

Real World Horror: The Conjuring Really Happened

Well, it kind of did.

Have you seen The Conjuring?

It’s a movie based on the real actions of Ed and Lorraine Warren when they helped the Perrons in 1971.

The Perron family, mum, dad and five daughters, moved into the Rhode Island farmhouse in 1970 and continued to live there for ten years, give or take.

The witch, Bathsheba Sherman was born in 1812 and had at least one son with her husband, but possibly four children altogether. She lived until 1885 and was 73 years old when she passed away. There’s no real evidence that she was a witch, only stories, mostly due to the death of an infant in Bathsheba’s care. The child died when a sewing needle was inserted into its skull. Bathsheba was never convicted of the child’s murder but that did not stop stores from sprouting.

There are a lot of stories about Bathsheba’s death, including turning to stone. But I was not able to find the actual cause of her death beyond illness.

It was the Warrens who made the connection between the haunting of the farmhouse with Bathsheba, mostly due to an injury suffered in the house resembling that of a stab wound by sewing needle.

To learn more Read House of Darkness House of Light by daughter Andrea Perron.

Real World Horror

Real World Horror: Haunted Objects Robert the Doll

Creepy doll time

Today I am writing to you to talk about the original haunted doll.

Robert the doll is a popular haunted object, with many articles, blogs, podcasts and YouTube videos discussing him. The doll initially belonged to Robert Otto, an artist. It was made in Germany and given to Robert as a young boy by his grandfather.

After Robert and his wife passed away, the doll remained with the property until 1994 when it was sold East Martello Museum, although it also spends time at the Old Post Office in October.

By all accounts the doll moves independently and can change its facial expressions, it has been heard to laugh at times, typical creepy doll stories.

But there is more to it than that, local legend claims that the doll has caused car accidents, loss of employment, injuries, divorces etc Apparently the doll does these things because people are disrespectful to it in the museum or Post office, taking pictures without asking is a big no-no. However, it has never been explained how the doll causes these mishaps.

What do you think, superstitious people blaming misfortune on a creepy doll? Or unexplained paranormal stuff at work?

Real World Horror

Real World Horror: Black Agnes

Hag time!

Today I am writing to you about Black Agnes.

Black Agnes, also known as Black Annis, is effectively a witch or a hag. She is said to roam the lands around Leicestershire and eat kiddies. She apparently lives in a cave with a large oak tree at the entrance (so if you see one avoid it).

The stories say she ventures out at night eating kiddies and little lambs. Once she has eaten the child or lamb she’ll turn the skin to leather and wear it.

Many accounts talk about her having iron claws which she would use to snatch children (although sometimes she was known to snack on an adult). She used these claws to make her cave (that must have taken ages).

There are a few odd traditions around Black Agnes, including building small windows to keep her out, hanging herbs to keep her out and dragging a dead cat covered in aniseed around Leicester followed by dogs. That last one was particularly odd.

Black Agnes has appeared in various modern stories, sometimes as a witch, occasionally as a fairy or a hag. But ultimately she isn’t seen much in stories these days, which is a pity she was a traditionally scary monster, out for blood which seems to be something we see less of these days.