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The Strange Tale of The Campden Wonder

When William Harrison left his house on a calm midsummer evening of 1660, no one expected him to not return for two years, Except maybe William himself… Or maybe not. Equally surprising would have been the confessions that would follow of his murder from a trio of servants, one of whom was an alleged witch and none of whom can possibly have been guilty, given that the victim was very much alive. Later to become known as the Campden Wonder, this is the tale of a tightly bound mystery made up of lies, superstition and sensationalism that after 350 years is as bizarre today as it was in the seventeenth Century.
 
SOURCES
 
Clark, George (1959) The Campden Wonder. Oxford University Press, UK.
 
Lang, Andrew (1904) Historical Mysteries: The Campden Mystery. T. Nelson & Sons, UK
 
Overbury, Thomas (1676) A True and Perfect Account of the Examination, Confession, Trial, Condemnation, and Execution of Joan Perry, and her Two Sons, John and Richard Perry… Rowland Reynolds, London, UK
 
Tyus, Charles (1662) The Power of Witchcraft. The Three Bibles on London Bridge, London, UK
 
Clifford, P., 2020. The Campden Wonder - The Strangest "Murder" Case In English Legal History. [online] Campdenwonder.plus.com. Available at: <http://www.campdenwonder.plus.com/> [Accessed 26 June 2020].
 
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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

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Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

 

 

Photography, Spiritualism & The World of William Mumler

The technological breakthroughs of the 19th century were, to many people, both equal parts exciting and terrifying. Known as the black arts, the newly emerging techniques of commercial photography were often spoken about as though they were a mysterious or even supernatural process. Of course, there was nothing supernatural about the new technology, at least, not for most photographers. When William Mumler picked it up as a hobby, lured in by his attraction to a local studio owner and a propensity to tinker, he decided to lean into the mystery by offering a spyhole into the unseen world of the dead, shooting portraits of clients sitting alongside the spirits of their lost loved ones.

SOURCES

Manseau, Peter (2017) The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost. Houghton Mifflin, MA, USA

Capron, E.W. & Barron, H.D. (1850). Singular Revelations: Explanation and History of the Mysterious Communion with Spirits, Comprehending the Rise and Progress of the Mysterious Noises in Western New York. 2nd ed. Auburn, NY: Capron and Barron.

Nartonis, D. K. (2010, June 1). The Rise of 19th‐Century American Spiritualism, 1854–1873. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2010.01515.x

The London Evening Standard (1869) From Our Own Correspondent.  11th May, 1869

The Banbury Advertiser (1869) Spiritualistic Photography. 29 April, 1869

Elgin Courier (1863) Spirit Photographs. 6 February, 1863

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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

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Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

 

 

Alexander Pearce: A Disturbing Journey Through The New World

This week we go back to the Penal Colonies of Australia to visit a story of grimey adventure, with Alexander Pearce, a convict who escaped into the bush and then, naturally, ate all his friends
 
SOURCES
 
Knopf A., Alfred, (1987) The Fatal Shore: A history of the Transportation of Convicts to Australia 1787-1868, Collins Harvill, UK
 
Collins, Paul, (2004) Hells Gates, Hardie Grant Books, Australia 
 
Boyce, James. “Return to Eden: Van Diemen’s Land and the Early British Settlement of Australia.” Environment and History 14, no. 2, “Australia Revisited” special issue (May, 2008): 289–307.
Convict Life, libraries.tas.gov.au/family-history/Pages/Convict-life.aspx.
 
Pearce, Alexander, talis.ent.sirsidynix.net.au/client/en_AU/names/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fNAME_INDEXES$002f0$002fNAME_INDEXES:1424923/one.
 
“The Land of the 'Free': Criminal Transportation to America.” The History Press, www.thehistorypress.co.uk/articles/the-land-of-the-free-criminal-transportation-to-america/.
 
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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

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Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

 

Christiana Edmunds: The Chocolate Cream Killer

In 1871, the seaside town of Brighton, England saw one of the more bizarre cases of the Victorian age play out when a lady of the town, Miss Christiana Edmunds, found her romantic feelings for a local doctor knocked back. As the pain of the unrequited love affair became too much, Christiana attempted and failed to commit murder and then in a perverse effort to clear her name, decided to carry out a mass poisoning campaign.

SOURCES

Wohl, Anthony S. (1983) Endangered Lives: Public Health in Victorian Britain. Cambridge: Harvard UP

Jones, Kaye (2016) The Case of The Chocolate Cream Killer: The Poisonous Passion of Christiana Edmunds. Pen & Sword History, Barnsley, UK

Brighton Gazette (1871) Borough of Brighton, £20 Reward. 17 Aug, 1871. p.4.

Brighton Gazette (1871) Alleged Wilful Poisoning. 24 Aug, 1871. p.6.

Brighton Gazette (1871) The Alleged Poisoning By Sweets. 29 June, 1871. p.7.

Brighton Gazette (1871) Mysterious Death Of A Child - Suspected Poisoning. 15 June, 1871. p.5.

(1871) Poisonous Sweets. Clerkenwell News, 24 June, 1871. p.3

(1871) Summary Of This Mornings News. Pall Mall Gazette, 23 June, 1871. p.4.

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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

& Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dark_histories/

Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

Benandanti: Anti-Witches & The Inquisition

The witch trials throughout medieval europe have become renowned for their relentless, brutal torture and widespread execution. Whether floated as a form of class warfare, patriarchal dominance or religious persecution, the stories that remain are pitch black with their depictions of callous violence. Likewise, the legacy of The Medieval Inquisition, is too one of severe brutality and overzealous, corrupt authoritarians crushing those with differing beliefs and lifestyles. Despite this, there is one story from history of a group of individuals in Northern Italy that whilst crossing over with both The Inquisition and witch trials, somehow came out the other side with relatively few casualties. So unbelievable were the stories that came from the individuals involved, that The Inquisitors themselves wrote many off as simple fantasists in the face of their sincere admissions. Known as the Benandanti, this was a group of people whose story was truly one of the strangest in the myths, legends and lore of historical Witchcraft.

SOURCES

Ginzburg, Carlo. (1966) The NIght Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. The John Hopkins University Press, MD, USA.

Peters, Edward M. (1989) Inquisition. University of California Press, CA, USA

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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

& Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dark_histories/

Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

The Cardiff Giant & The Great American Humbug

The world of the strange has always held a certain draw. The pull of a mystery, the intrigue of a natural obscurity or the exciting twists of the unexplained. This was a market that was heavily seized upon in typical bombastic fashion in America during the 19th Century when the art of the humbug was refined, polished and displayed on a grande stage by the likes of P. T. Barnham and his museum of magic, conjuring and social, cultural and natural oddities. In 1869, a new chapter in the pantheon of the strange was freshly penned with the discovery of a 10 foot tall petrified human giant on a farm in Cardiff, New York. As one might expect, all was most definitely not, what met the eye and the saga would, if nothing else, slot right in as suitably bizarre.
 
SOURCES
 
Dodge, J. Roy, (2018) Cardiff & its Environs, Lafayette, New York. 
 
Barnham, P. T., (1865) The Great American Humbug, Lapham's Quarterly, Accessed Online: https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/swindle-fraud/great-american-humbug
 
Murphy, J., (2012) The Giant & How He Humbugged America, Scholastic Press, NY, USA.
 
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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

& Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dark_histories/

Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

Conan Doyle & The Case of Oscar Slater

In December of 1909, a few days before Christmas, the murder of a wealthy old woman in Glasgow sparked a cascade of events that would go on to write an incredible story of prejudice, conspiracy and eventual justice. Featuring a starring role by none other than the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, it was then and remains still, one of the most fascinating, perplexing and straight confusing incidents of cause celebre in modern history.
 
SOURCES
 
Doyle, Arthur C. (1912) The Case of Oscar Slater. Leopold Classic Library. London, UK
 
Roughead, William. (1910) The Trial of Oscar Slater. William Hodge & Company, Glasgow, UK
 
Toughill, Thomas (2006) Oscar Slater: The Immortal Case of Sir Conan Doyle. The History Press, London, UK
 
Fox, Margalit. (2019) Conan Doyle for the Defence: A Sensational Murder, the Quest for Justice and the World's Greatest Detective Writer. Profile Books, London, UK.
 
‘Glasgow West End Murder. Slater Trial Opened,’ Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Greenock, 04 May 1909, P. 4.
 
‘Glasgow Flat Tragedy. Slater On Trial,’ Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Greenock, 05 May 1909, P. 4.
 
‘The Slater Trial. Third Days Proceedings,’ Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Greenock, 06 May 1909, P. 4.
 
‘Glasgow West End Murder. Slater Found Guilty,’ Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Greenock, 07 May 1909, P. 4.
 
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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

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Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

The Horror of M.R. James

Something a little different this week, as you may have guessed from the title. All is explained at the start of the episode, but the long and the short of it is that the episode I completed for this week, seemed, in light of the current events, somewhat tasteless to me if I'd have released it right now. So... for now that episode is benched to return at a later date and instead, I put together a very quick episode introducing the genius of M R James and have narrated two of my favourite of his stories for your listening terror!
 
Normal service will be resumed from next episode, I appreciate the patience for bearing with me on this one and I hope you all understand where I was coming from in making this last minute switcheroo. Cheers!

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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

& Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dark_histories/

Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

Chimeras: Ilya Ivanov & The Humanzee

Stories of human-animal hybrids have existed for centuries, from the ancient Greeks, to modern Hollywood cinema, as humans, we have always held a fear and reject the idea of science meddling with genetics in uncomfortable ways. Creating wild stories of half human-half beast monsters, or conspiracy theories of hushed up, top secret laboratories operating on man made mutations, the fundamental fear of the hybrid has persisted. Our mythology, folktales and conspiracies have created fictional accounts which horrify some, and morbidly entertain others, but whilst the story of Stalin's desire to create a half man, half ape, super warrior army may be entirely fictional, the science behind stories such as these is far from made up.

SOURCES:

McNamee, Shane Patrick. (2015) Human-Animal Hybrids and Chimeras: What’s in a Name? European Journal of Bioethics, Vol. 6/1, No. 11.

Rossianov, Kirill. (2002) Beyond Species: Il’ya Ivanov and His Experiments on Cross Breeding Humans with Anthropoid Apes. Science in Context, Vol XV.

Fridman, E. P. & Bowden, D. M. (2009) The Russian Primate Research Center - A Survivor. Laboratory Primate Newsletter, Vol 48, Number 1.

Etkind, Alexander (2008) Beyond Eugenics: The Forgotten Scandal of Hybridizing Humans and Apes. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.

Regal, Brian (2009) Pseudoscience: A Critical Encyclopedia. Greenwood Press Inc. CT, USA.

Sykes, Bryan. (2015) The Nature of the Beast: The first genetic evidence on the survival of apemen, yeti, bigfoot and other mysterious creatures into modern times. Coronet, London, UK.

McNulty, Timothy (1981) Chinese Aim To Implant Human Sperm in Chimps. Chicago Tribune, Feb 12 1981. Accessed Online 5 March 2020: https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=sbdaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=rFgDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6991%2C3347287

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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

& Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dark_histories/

Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

Joseph Vacher: The French Ripper

In 1888, Whitechapel, was gripped by fear of a brutal series of murders perpetrated by a sadistic killer that named himself Jack the Ripper. He would go on to be one of the world's most famous, and elusive serial killers of all time. Jacks escapades took place just a single step ahead of the curve of criminal forensics, an opportune window in time aiding him in his flight from capture. Across The Channel, just a decade later, another, less well known nightmare was stalking the countryside. No less brutal in his killing spree, Vacher the Ripper, was tearing up victims in secluded forest pathways and the deserted barns of isolated, rural communities across France. The march of science, psychology and criminology had not been standing still, however, and what were only the nuclei of ideas during Jack's reign, were emerging as full fledged methodologies, developed to pull a criminal from the shadows or a brutal murder out, from under the shroud of speculation.
 
SOURCES
 
Starr, Douglas. (2011) The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story & The Birth of Forensic Science. Vintage, London, UK.
 
Gibson, Dirk C. (2012) Legends, Monsters, or Serial Murderers? The Real Story Behind an Ancient Crime. Praeger, CA, USA.
 
Renneville, Marc. (2005) La Criminolgie Perdue d’Alexandre Lacassagne (1843-1924) History of Criminology, Volume 1. Accessed online 17 February 2020: http://journals.openedition.org/criminocorpus/112
 
V comme VACHER Joseph : Itinéraire et parcours de vie d’un des premiers Serial Killer Français. Accessed online 16 February 2020: https://mesracinesdu07aujura.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/v-comme-vacher-joseph-itineraire-et-parcours-de-vie-du-premier-serial-killer-francais/
 
Un Tueur en série d’autrefois. Accessed online 18 February 2020: http://collections.bm-lyon.fr/presseXIX/PER0044ae55cdc069a7
 
Smith, B. Timothy. (1999) Assistance and Repression: Rural Exodus, Vagabondage and Social Crisis in France, 1880-1914, Journal of Social History, Vol. 32, No. 4. P. 821-846. Oxford University Press, UK
 
Renneville, Marc. (2010) L’affaire Joseph Vacher: La fin d’un “Brevet d’impinité” pour les criminels? Droit et Cultures, 60 | 2010, p. 129 - 142. Accessed online, 18 February, 2020: https://journals.openedition.org/droitcultures/2323#quotation
 
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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

& Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dark_histories/

Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.