180 episodes

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

Dark Histories Ben Cutmore

    • History
    • 4.8 • 1.4K Ratings

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

    The Druce-Portland Affair: The Duke That Never Was

    The Druce-Portland Affair: The Duke That Never Was

    Cases of stolen, mistaken and fraudulent identity were not an entirely uncommon thing in Victorian Britain. Somewhat more unusual was the bizarre allegation that an English aristocrat, the 5th Duke of Portland, had lived a double life and eventually faked his own death in order to escape the web of lies he had concocted over the years. It all sounded very far-fetched, but when interested parties attempted to bring the case to court, they found themselves cut off by shadowy powers that led to some deciding that the whole affair was akin to a mysterious conspiracy. In truth, it very well may have been, but perhaps not for the reasons the prosecutors originally claimed.
    SOURCES
    Eatwell, Piu Marie (2014) The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife & The Missing Corpse. Head of Zeus Ltd. London, UK.
    Westminster Gazette (1898) An Alleged Bogus Burial. Westminster Gazette, Thur 10 March 1898, p5. Westminster, UK.
    Weekly Dispatch (1898) Mrs Druce & Her Bonds. Weekly Dispatch, Sun 25 Dec 1898, p4. London, UK.
    The Advertiser (1908) The Druce Grave. The Advertiser, Tues 4 Feb 1908, p4. Adelaide, Australia.
    The Advertiser (1908) The Druce Drama. The Advertiser, Wed 1 Jan 1908, p7. Adelaide, Australia.
    Thomason’s Weekly News (1908) Secret Of The Druce Vault Revealed. Thomason’s Weekly News, Sat 4 Jan 1908, p8. London, UK.
    Morning Post (1908) Druce Shareholders To Meet. Morning Post, Tues 7 Jan 1908. London, UK.
    Daily Mirror (1908) End OF Druce Perjury Case. Daily Mirror Tues 7 Jan 1908, London, UK



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    For almost anything, head over to the podcasts hub at 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
    The Dark Histories books are available to buy here: http://author.to/darkhistories
    Dark Histories merch is available here: https://bit.ly/3GChjk9
    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 join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/cmGcBFf
    The Dark Histories Butterfly was drawn by Courtney, who you can find on Instagram @bewildereye
    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 8 min
    Zsuzsanna Fazekas & The Angel Makers of Nagyrév

    Zsuzsanna Fazekas & The Angel Makers of Nagyrév

    Hungary during the first world war was a difficult place to live, especially if you happened to live in one of the many rural villages, far away from the grand city of Budapest, where the harsh conditions imposed on a country losing a war bit the hardest. Even if you managed to survive all the fighting, the riots, the violent occupations, or the Spanish Flu, there was always the possibility that your wife, daughter-in-law, or neighbour might decide that they had had enough of you and pay a visit to “Aunty Suzy,” the friendly local midwife. Outside of her duties as a medical practitioner, veterinary surgeon and fortune teller, Zsusanna Fazekas just so happened to run a booming business turning flypaper into poison, taking the term “pest control” to a whole new level.
    SOURCES
    McCracken, Patti (2023) The Angel Makers: The True Crime Story of the Most Astonishing Murder Ring in History. Mudlark, London, UK.
    Kemény, István (2005) History of Roma in Hungary. Issue 123 of Atlantic studies on society in change. Social Science Monographs, Michigan, USA.
    Valentiny, Pál (2020) Spanish Flu, Budapest, 1918. 
    Hull Daily Mail (1929) Wholesale Exhumations. Hull Daily Mail, Fri 09 Aug 1929, p.7. Hull, UK.
    Evening Chronicle (1929) Arsenic Epidemic. Evening Chronicle, Fri 09 Aug 1929, p.14. USA.
    Omaha Sunday Bee (1929) One Hundred Self-Made Widows In One Jail - Husband Poisoners. Omaha Sunday Bee, Sun 24 Nov 1929, p43. Omaha, USA.
    The Morning Call (1931) Woman Convicted As A Mass Poisoner Is Hanged In Hungary. Wed 14 Jan 1931, p2. Patteson, USA.



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    For almost anything, head over to the podcasts hub at 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
    The Dark Histories books are available to buy here: http://author.to/darkhistories
    Dark Histories merch is available here: https://bit.ly/3GChjk9
    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 join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/cmGcBFf
    The Dark Histories Butterfly was drawn by Courtney, who you can find on Instagram @bewildereye
    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 6 min
    The Saltwood & Hythe Mothman

    The Saltwood & Hythe Mothman

    Sightings of winged creatures flying through the sky have long been a staple of folklore, mythology and legend across the world and across time and cultures. In the ancient world, Gods and monsters were depicted with enormous, scaled and feathered wings, whilst in modern times, sightings have become more and more diverse, from thunderbirds, to the mysterious Mothman. Three years before the one of the most famous sightings of a mysterious flying creature in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, there was a sighting almost 4,000 miles away, across the Atlantic in a quiet market town in the south-east of England that bore a remarkable resemblance and whilst it caused far less of a stir, it certainly drew just as much confusion.SOURCES
    Keel, John (1970) Strange Creatures From Time & Space. London Sphere, London, UK.
    Keel, John (1975) The Mothman Prophecies. Saturday Review Press, USA.
    Bowen, Charles (1974) The Humanoids. Futura Productions, London, UK
    Waters, Thomas (2019) Cursed Britain: A History of Witchcraft and Black Magic in Modern Times. Yale University Press. CT, USA.
    Point Pleasant Register (1966) Couples See Man Sized Bird…Creature…Something! Point Pleasant Register, 16 Nov 1966, p1. VA, USA
    Tombstone Weekly Epitaph (1890) Found On The Desert. Tombstone Weekly Epitaph, 26 April 1890, p.3. Tombstone, AZ, USA.
    The New York Sun (1877) Was It An Angel? The New York Sun, 21 Sep. 1877, p2. NY, USA.
    The New York Times (1880) An Aerial Mystery. The New York Times, 12 Sep. 1880, p6. NY, USA
    The Daily Mirror (1963) Rector Hunts Ghost Of Love Lane. The Daily Mirror, 25 Nov 1963, p25. London, UK.
    The Kentish Express (1963) Rector Hunts Saltwood Ghost. The Kentish Express, 29 Nov 1963, p1. Kent, UK. 
    Maidstone Telegraph (1963) Ghost Scares Teenagers. Maidstone Telegraph, 29 Nov 1963, p3. Kent, UK.
    Maidstone Telegraph (1963) Was Red Ball Of Fire A Flying Saucer? Maidstone Telegraph, 13 Dec 1963, p1. Kent, UK.
    The Kentish Express (1963) Ghost A Flying Saucer? The Kentish Express, 13 Dec 1963, p1. Kent, UK. 
    Nottingham Evening Post (1903) Buried On An Island. Nottingham Evening Post, 27 Aug 1903, p3. Nottingham, UK.
    Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser (1903) Death & Funeral of Mr W. T. Tournay. Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser, 29 Aug 1903, p5. Kent, UK.
    Girvan, Waveney (1963) World Round-Up. Flying Saucer Review, Vol. 9, No. 6. Nov-Dec 1963. London, UK.
    Girvan, Waveney (1964) The Saltwod Mystery. Flying Saucer Review, Vol. 10, No. 2. Mar-Apr 1964. London, UK.
    Clarke, David (2016) A New Demonology: John Keel and The Mothman Prophecies. In: Hunter, Jack, (ed.) Damned Facts : Fortean Essays on Religion, Folklore and the Paranormal. Cyprus, Aporetic Press, 54-68.
    Arnold, Neil (2023) The Hythe Mothman, Monster, Ghost or UFO? Fortean Times, FT439 Christmas 2023. Diamond Publishing LTD, London, UK. 
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    This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp, check out betterhelp.com/darkhistories to get 10% off your first month.
     
    Also sponsored by Factor, America's No.1 Ready to eat meal delivery service. Check out factormeals.com/darkhistories50 for 50% off using code darkhistories50.-------



    For almost anything, head over to the podcasts hub at 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
    The Dark Histories books are available to buy here: http://author.to/darkhistories
    Dark Histories merch is available here: https://bit.ly/3GChjk9
    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 join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/cmGcBFf
    The Dark Histories Butterfly was drawn by Courtney, who you can fin

    • 1 hr
    May Blackburn & The Divine Order of the Royal Arms of the Great Eleven

    May Blackburn & The Divine Order of the Royal Arms of the Great Eleven

    Since the 1960s California has always been a place associated with alternative beliefs, countercultural movements and alternative lifestyles. The hippy movement, with it’s summer of love, fueled by the west coast psychedelic music scene will always be a highlight from the era, but the truth is, the state of California’s links to alternative beliefs go back much further and manifested in much stranger ways than a bunch of long haired students having a good time. Labour movements, civil rights activism and the gold rush era can all be associated with California’s ties to alternative living, as can its long history with cult groups who have thrived in the area throughout history. With the boom of New Thought, Eastern Spirituality and alternative religions, countless groups have emerged to furnish the world with their peculiar beliefs and practices. One group known as The Divine Order of the Royal Arms of the Great Eleven, however, trumps many with its utterly nonsensical story of animal sacrifice, ritual worship, mysterious disappearances and elusive publications.
    SOURCES
    Fort, Samuel (2014) Cult of the Great Eleven. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. South Carolina, USA.
    The Los Angeles Times (1925) Angel Gabriel Girls Quizzed. The Los Angeles Times, Feb 7 1925, p17. LA, USA.
    The Los Angeles Times (1925) Cult Leaders Face Charges. The Los Angeles Times, Oct 4 1929, p8. LA, USA.
    The Los Angeles Times (1925) Police On Search At Venice Cottage For Secret Grave Of Young Cult Priestess. The Los Angeles Times, Oct 6 1929, p2. LA, USA.
    Stark, Rodney. Sims Bainbridge, William & Doyle, Daniel P. (1979) Cults of America: A Reconnaissance in Space and Time. Sociological Analysis, Vol. 40, No. 4, Sects, Cults and Religious Movements (Winter, 1979), pp. 347-359. Oxford University Press. Oxford, UK.
    Gordon Melton, J. (1993) Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America. Routledge, NY, USA.
    Barghusen, J. D. (1998) Cults. Lucent Books, CA, USA.
    ------------------For almost anything, head over to the podcasts hub at 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
    The Dark Histories books are available to buy here: http://author.to/darkhistories
    Dark Histories merch is available here: https://bit.ly/3GChjk9
    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 join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/cmGcBFf
    The Dark Histories Butterfly was drawn by Courtney, who you can find on Instagram @bewildereye
    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 41 min
    Christmas Campfire 2023 (Part 2)

    Christmas Campfire 2023 (Part 2)

    Part two of this years Christmas Campfire is here! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year!

    • 47 min
    Christmas Campfire 2023 (Part 1)

    Christmas Campfire 2023 (Part 1)

    Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you so much for your kind support throughout the year, to wrap us up for Christmas, here is this years campfire stories episode. There were loads of great submissions again this year, certainly enough for two episodes, so here is the first part and the second shall follow on shortly! Cheers and Merry Christmas to you and yours xx

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
1.4K Ratings

1.4K Ratings

CallieEdwards777 ,

A favorite

Was recommended this podcast after clearing out my subscriptions at the start of this year. I used to listen to a LOT of true crime podcasts, but recently learned of some… iffy behavior from multiples hosts from different shows.

I love Dark Histories the same way I love Most Notorious: to the point, minimal silliness (I do love when you crack up laughing while reading), focused on the matter at hand. Keep it up, Ben!!

Rterral ,

Absolutely fantastic!

A huge breadth of topics and each given the same meticulous research makes this show endlessly fascinating. It is delivered with humor and skepticism as well as a very human sensitivity towards the topics and humans involved. I binged years worth of shows so fast that now I’m spoiled and want a new one every day!

Jen Peep ,

Well researched, great stories!

I love the different perspectives and stories shared! Not the mainstream stories other podcasts might cover. I love history and the influences the past has on more recent events- ties it together!

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