The world is one weird place.
The human mind is a mysterious entity on its own. It fears what is beyond its understanding, and always seeks conclusion or answers in places where it doesn’t exist. When the mind is unable to draw answers, it begins to fear. And, that is where the dark and inviting world of mysteries begin. What follows is 7 such eerie mysteries, which have baffled the smartest and scared the bravest.
1. Death of Elisa Lam
In 2013, 21-year-old Elisa Lam’s naked body was found in the rooftop tank of the Cecil Hotel, in Downtown Los Angeles on 19th February. In a surveillance elevator video found of her the night before she disappeared, she can be seen restlessly pacing in and out of an open elevator, frantically gesturing at some entity outside, one that is not visible. In the disturbing video, she is also seen peering out pf the elevator and then standing in it with a stoic expression, as if she was hiding. Her body was found weeks later, in the water tank on the rooftop, which was locked from outside.
2. Spontaneous Combustion.
On September 15th, 1982, 61-year-old Jeannie Saffin had been sitting in her chair, when her father saw a flash of light out of the corner of his eye and turned to see Jeannie’s body upright and going up in flames. She was not moving or even screaming. There was no sign of burning except for a minimal layer of soot on the walls next to where Jeannie was seated. She succumbed to her injuries later, where the doctors were baffled and struggled to find a cause of death.
3. The Taos Hum.
The Taos Hum is an eerie low buzz hum heard along the horizon of the small town of Taos, New Mexico. The cause or source of this sound has been unknown for as long as it has existed. People compare it to the mellow sound of a far-away diesel engine, but an interesting detail is, that although it is heard by the naked ear, various sound detection devices fail to pick it up. The low-frequency hum has been a subject of research and analysis, but no substantial explanation has been found till date.
4. The Hinterkaifeck Murders.
In 1922, a family of 6 was murdered overnight in Hinterkaifeck, a small farm about 70km north of Munich, Germany. In the days leading up to the attack, one of victims, Andreas Gruber had claimed seeing footsteps in the snow leading up to the edge of the farm and towards the house, but none going back. The family had reportedly also heard footsteps in the attic, but none of this was reported to the police. Their old maid believed the house to be haunted and left, and the new maid arrived on the day of the attack, and was killed along with the whole family. Despite a large scale investigation, the perpetrator was never caught.
5. The Dancing Plague
In July 1518, woman named Frau Troffea frantically began dancing down the street of Strasbourg. She kept up her solo performance up for a week, till dozens of other people seemingly joined in and began to gyrate, twist and shake fervently. The never stopped, and collapsed in exhaustion and heart attacks. The dancing epidemic spread, and by August it has claimed the lives of 400 people. One of the more unbelievable mysteries of the lot, this epidemic spread its way to Switzerland, Germany and Holland. It is usually seen as a case of mass hysteria, but people disagree and agree, and many more theories keep coming up trying to give a better explanation.
6. The Disappearance of the Sodder children.
In 1945, on Christmas Eve, the Sodder household in Fayetteville, West Virginia went up in flames. George Sodder and Jennie Sodder, along with four of their children managed to escape, but the house burnt to the ground, presumably with the rest of the 5 children who were missing. The fire was ruled an accident, attributed to faulty wiring, but an important detail was that one of the younger children had seen that the electricity of the house was still working when the fire started. Moreover, no human remains were found on the site, and there was no stench of burning flesh. The 5 children had just vanished into thin air. But in 1968, the Sodders received a bizarre note along with a photo of a young man, who bore much resemblance to one of their missing children Louis. The note was postmarked in Kentucky, so the Sodders sent a private investigator to look for Louis. Eerily enough, the investigator was never heard from again.
7. The Zodiac Killer.
One of the most infamous serial killers the world has ever seen, The Zodiac Killer’s identity remains a figure clouded with mystery and ambiguity. In the years between 1960’s and 1970’s the killer terrorised the people and the press as he went on a killing spree in the San Francisco Bay area, and subsequently sent taunting letters to the press regarding his plans and ideas. He took credit for each of the crimes he committed in his letters, and referred to himself as “The Zodiac”
With an abrupt stop in his letters, and leaving several victims in his wake, the Zodiac killer disappeared. His letters also consisted of cyphers, out of which only one was solved. The mystery around his identity remains one of the biggest unsolved cases in the history of crime and has been mentioned on numerous occasions in pop culture and media, with David Fincher’s 2007 film, Zodiac being the most accurate depiction of the gruelling manhunt for the most notorious serial killer in the history of crime.
The truth is stranger than fiction, indeed.
By Anumon Banerjee