Dark Histories

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The Pirate Life of Henry Every

There is no shortage of famous names associated with the Golden Age of Piracy. Captain Kidd, Blackbeard, Henry Morgan or Jack Rackham hold such levels of fame, they have become household names, legends with largely fictional tales still told of their lives at sea. There is, however, one man who managed to outdo them all. His largest, most audacious crime is one of the most successful pirate raids in history and one that nearly brought down one of the richest, most powerful empires the world has ever known. Captain Henry Every, the pirate that shook the colonies from the Red Sea to the Caribbean and then disappeared without a trace.

SOURCES

Farooqi, Naim R. (1988) Moguls, Ottomans, and Pilgrims: Protecting the Routes to Mecca in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. The International history Review, Vol. 10, No. 2 (May 1988), pp 198-220. Taylor & Francis Ltd. Oxfordshire, UK.

Johnson, Captain Charles (1724) A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates. UK

Johnson, Captain Charles (1732) History and Lives of the Most Notorious Pirates and their Crews. UK

Fox, E.T. (2008) King of the Pirates: The Swashbuckling Life of Henry Every. The History Press, UK.

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

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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.

The Murder of Jane Clouson: The Eltham Mystery

In the spring of 1871, a young servant girl was found in the middle of the night, lying on the ground following a brutal attack that would eventually prematurely end her life. Following a series of fantastic police blunders, a suspect was arrested, tried and promptly acquitted. As far as the police were concerned, the murder had been solved, but the culprit had escaped the hand of justice and as such, the case was closed and eventually buried, slipping into eventual obscurity. Almost 140 years later, that is where the case remains, but had the police been right in their suspicions of the suspected attacker? Or did the murderer remain completely anonymous, escaping justice due to the tunnel vision of a ham fisted police department?

SOURCES

Murphy, Paul Thomas (2017) Pretty Jane & The Viper of Kidbrooke Lane. Pegasus, UK
 
Higgs, Edward (1983) Domestic Servants and Households in Victorian England. Social History, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp 201-210. Taylor & Francis Ltd. UK
 
Farrah, Frederick (1871) The Eltham Tragedy Reviewed. F. Farrah, London, UK
 
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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.

The Hairy Hands of Dartmoor: Birth of an Urban Legend

In 1921, a series of accidents on a small, rural road, carving through the heart of the boggy marshes and fields of Dartmoor, in South East England, led to a brief explosion in excitement concerning the ghostly image of a pair of disembodied hands, forcing drivers off the road and into potentially fatal accidents. Following a little dash of press magic, the story took hold and grew for over a hundred years, until today where it has become accepted as a staple in British Urban Legend. But how did it happen? How did a relatively innocuous story take such a hold of the public imagination for so long, preserving, evolving and growing with each passing generation? This is the story of the Hairy Hands of Dartmoor, a story that blurs the lines between fact and fiction and spawned into existence a fully fledged cryptid legend from nowhere.

 

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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.

Albert hicks: The Pirate King of New York

Just before dawn, on the outskirts of New York harbour, a small Sloop sailed listlessly into the bay. The ship had no crew, no lights and a deck covered in blood. It presented a mystery to the local police, who set their detectives on the case which led to a manhunt up the East Coast of the United States in pursuit of a phantom. The police may have had a description, a name, but they had no idea of the monster they would find at the end of the trail. More than a phantom, they were chasing a legend, a man who would later become whispered about in taverns as the last pirate of New York.
 
SOURCES
 
Cohen, R (2019) The Last Pirate of New York: A Ghost Ship, a Killer, and the Birth of a Gangster Nation. Random House, New York, USA.
 
De Angelis, L (1860) The Life, Trial, Confession and Execution of Albert W Hicks, The Pirate and Murderer. DeWitt, New York City, USA
 
Hays, B. (1860) Execution of Hicks, The Pirate: Twelve Thousand People at Beldoes Island. Scenes at the Tombs, in the Bay, and at the Place of Execution. His Confession. New York Times, July 14, 1860. New York, USA.
 
Mysterious and Bloody Tragedy. New York Daily Herald, March 22, 1860. New York, USA.
 
Probable Murder At Sea. New York Times, March 22, 1860, New York, USA.
 
The Murders on the Oyster Sloop. New York Times, March 24, 1860. New York, USA.
 
The Sloop Murders: Albert W Hicks Sentenced to Death. New York Times, June 2, 1860. New York, USA.
 
The recording of "The ROse Tree" was made by two guys over on Youtube who go under the channel The Good Tune: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyDZRIjnkzssNPZWZgIO1lw
 
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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 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

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.

 

 

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

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.

 

 

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

& 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.

 

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.

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