77 episodes

Bi-weekly narratives on the unsolved and the unexplained, mysteries, historical true crime, touches of the paranormal and cultural peculiarities.

Dark Histories Ben Cutmore

    • History

Bi-weekly narratives on the unsolved and the unexplained, mysteries, historical true crime, touches of the paranormal and cultural peculiarities.

    The Mad Gasser of Mattoon

    The Mad Gasser of Mattoon

    In 1944, residents in the town of Mattoon in Illinois came under a prolonged series of attacks by a man the papers named as “The Mad Gasser” and “The Phantom Anesthetist”. Despite the witness accounts that claimed to see a man stalking around the victims houses on multiple occasions, the authorities and subsequent psychological studies chalked the whole saga up to nothing more than a case of “Mass Hysteria”, but did that diagnosis really answer every question posed by the evidence of events that ran for over two weeks, as summer faded over the small farming community, or was it just a convenient outcome for a police force with no answers to give the troubled population?
    SOURCES:
    Maruna, Scott. Mad Gasser of Mattoon: Dispelling the Hysteria (2003), Swamp Gas Book Co. 
    Evans, Hillary & Bartholomew, Robert E. Outbreak!: The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior (2009) Anomolist Books, TX USA
    Bartholomew, Robert E. Little Green Men, Meowing Nuns and Head-Hunting Panics: A Study of Mass Psychogenic Illness and Social Delusion (2001) McFarland Publishing, 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
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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.

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Scratching Fanny & The Cock Lane Haunting

    Scratching Fanny & The Cock Lane Haunting

    William Kent was what some might have called a rather unlucky man. Twice widowed shortly after marriage to his relatively wealthy wives, his relationships had not been the fairy tales he had longed for. The 19th Century was an age where bumping off an unwanted spouse could be as easy as a trip to the local apothecary, and as such, one might have expected William to harbor fears of a few unsavoury rumours surfacing around him, however, when this inevitably did happen in the spring of 1762, his shock could certainly be forgiven when it became apparent that the accusations levelled against him were from none other than the spirit of his recently deceased second wife.
     


    SOURCES:
     


    Carthew, G.A. The hundred of Launditch and deanery of Brisley :


    in the county of Norfolk : evidences and topographical notes from public records, heralds' visitations, wills, court rolls, old charters, parish registers, town books, and other private sources : digested and arranged as materials for parochial, manorial, and family history collected by G.A. Carthew. Norwich. Vol. 3. (1879) Miller and Leavins, UK.


     


    Goldsmith, Oliver. The mystery revealed; containing a series of transactions and authentic testimonials: respecting the supposed Cock-Lane ghost: which have hitherto been concealed from the public. (1762) W. Bristow, London, UK. Eighteenth Century Collections Online, Text Creation partnership, https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/ecco/004882880.0001.000?rgn=main;view=fulltext, accessed 22 January 2020.
     


    Chambers, Paul. The Cock Lane Ghost: Murder, Sex and Haunting in Dr. Johnson's London. (2006) The History Press Ltd; UK
     


    Leeds intelligencer Tuesday 02 February 1762, p3
     


    The Scots Magazine - Monday 01 March 1762, p37
     


    Various historical Parish records found on https://www.freereg.org.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
    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.

    • 1 hr 32 min
    The Death of George Bodle & The Birth of Forensic Toxicology

    The Death of George Bodle & The Birth of Forensic Toxicology

    In 1833, a small village in Kent, England became the focus of attention when the patriarchal head of a wealthy farming family wound up dead, presumed murdered after an attack on the entire household, presumed to be the work of Arsenic Poisoning. The 1830’s were on the eve of a new era in Forensics, and the previously vague symptoms of poisoning were being slowly unravelled and understood on levels far deeper than ever before, but would these new methods of detection prove to be enough to not only detect the presence of poison, but to finger the culprit and see them locked away for their crimes, or would the poisoner simply slip away into anonymity as so many had done in the decades and centuries before?
    SOURCES:
    Hempel S. (2013) The Inheritor's Powder: A Tale of Arsenic, Murder, and the New Forensic Science. W. W. Norton & Company, London
    Hughes, Michael F, et al. “Arsenic Exposure and Toxicology: a Historical Perspective.” Toxicological Sciences : an Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology, Oxford University Press, Oct. 2011, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3179678/?report=classic.
    N Hughes, Michael F, et al. “Arsenic Exposure and Toxicology: a Historical Perspective.” Toxicological Sciences : an Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology, Oxford University Press, Oct. 2011, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3179678/?report=classic.
    “1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Orfila, Mathieu Joseph Bonaventure.” 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Orfila, Mathieu Joseph Bonaventure - Wikisource, the Free Online Library, https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1911_Encyclopædia_Britannica/Orfila,_Mathieu_Joseph_Bonaventure.
    The Morning Advertiser - Monday 11 November 1833, Murder of Mr. Bodle. p.3
    The Morning Advertiser - Friday 8 November 1833, Murder at Plumstead. p.3
    The Morning Chronicle - Thursday 14 November 1833, The Murder by Poison at Plumstead. p.3
    Public Ledger & Daily Advertiser - Monday 16 December 1833, The Murder at Plumstead. p.3

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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.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Christmas Campfire Episode 2019

    Christmas Campfire Episode 2019

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone! Thank you so much for all your support over the previous year! This years Christmas Campfire is a bumper one, full of diverse and fantastic stories. I thought it was a really great snapshot as to how weird and wonderful the world is and how diverse a range of people listen to the show. Putting it together was an absolute pleasure as always!
     


    I start the whole thing off with a short story from M.R James, titled "A School Story" from his 1911 compendium, "More Ghost Stories from Antiquity". If you enjoyed it, I definitely recommend giving his other work a shot, one of my favourites is a story called "Number 13", but it's considerably longer than the one in this episode. Then we're on to the listener stores. Thank you everyone who sent stuff in to be included, it was a great deal of fun reading them this year!
     


    I wish you all the best for the New Year, health and happiness for you and your loved ones, thank you as always for joining me in making Dark Histories, Ben x

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Season 3 Finale Bonus

    Season 3 Finale Bonus

    Hey everyone, thank you so much for listening this year! This is the season finale which I sort of didn't expect to do, so I'm releasing a bit of an intro that explains whats going to be happening throughout the Dark histories season break in December and what episodes will be coming out and included a patreon bonus episode for this weeks fix! I hope you enojoy it! Remember, if you'd like to get your story in for the Christmas Campfire episode this year, do go ahead and get your story in to me before the 20th December, it's going to be great and I'm really looking forward to reading through them all, it's always a lot of fun, every year! Thanks again for listening, I'll see you all throughout December and will be back to normal scheduling with regular episodes on the first week of January. 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.

    • 37 min
    The Yatton Demoniac: George Lukins

    The Yatton Demoniac: George Lukins

    “Sir, When you can spare room in your Gazette, I think you will not be able to present your readers with an account so extraordinary and surprising, as the following.”
    So began the letter, written to the Printer of the Bristol Gazette, from the Reverend William Robert Wake in the Summer of 1788. The account he wrote of was one of possession and exorcism that would spark a controversy and ignite bitter debate over belief versus non-belief, enlightenment versus superstition and materialism versus spiritual salvation. As the debates raged on, the facts fell by the wayside, leaving readers with a story of demonic possession or absurd playacting, depending on individual outlook. This is Dark HIstories, where the facts are worse than fiction.
    SOURCES:
    Barry J. (2012) Methodism and Mummery: The Case of George Lukins. In: Witchcraft and Demonology in South-West England, 1640–1789. Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic. Palgrave Macmillan, London
    Grose, F. (1790) A Provincial Glossary With A Collection Of Local Proverbs And Popular Superstitions, S. Hooper, London
    Norman, S. (1788) Authentic anecdotes of George Lukins, the Yatton doemoniac; with a view of the controversy, and a full refutation of the imposture, Bristol
    Emory, J (1832) The Journal of the Reverend John Wesley: Sometime Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, Volume 2, J. Emory & B. Waugh, New York.
    Young, F (2018) A History of Anglican Exorcism: Deliverance and Demonology in Church Ritual, I.B Tauris & Co. Ltd., London
    W. R. W. Rev. (1792) A Narrative of the extraordinary case of George Lukins, of Yatton, Somersetshire: who was possessed of evil spirits, for near eighteen years. : Also an account of his remarkable deliverance, in the vestry-room of Temple Church, in the city of Bristol, extracted from the manuscripts of several persons who attended. : To which is prefixed, A letter from the Rev. W.R.W, Bristol.
    Salisbury and Winchester Journal - Monday 23 June 1788, p.3
    Stamford Mercury - Friday 04 July 1788. P.4
    Tyne Mercury; Northumberland and Durham and Cumberland Gazette - Tuesday 19 February 1805 p.2
    “Seizure Clusters.” Epilepsy Foundation, 10 May 2008, https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/professionals/refractory-seizures/potentially-remediable-causes/seizure-clusters.

     
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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.

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

MissMiaJean80 ,

Excellent Job

I’m fairly finicky about my podcasts, and as I’m caught up on all my “regulars”, I’m always searching for new content to fill my growing library. In general I don’t care for single host podcasts, but this is a really fabulous podcast. Good background content, good insight, and good choice in stories. I’m thrilled to bring you into my regular library!

Ld11122 ,

One of my favorites

Very well made podcast about rarely talked about crimes. Also the host’s voice is Very soothing to listen too.

Ghostlight Whisper ,

Well worth your time!

This podcast is well researched and very interesting. The shows are put together in a professional manner, and present information without wandering off topic. Ben’s vocal style is low key and easy to listen to. The extremely creepy background music is a bonus! Thanks for sharing your hard work with us!

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