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Dark Histories

True Crime

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


United Kingdom


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




The Mount Stewart Farm Murder Mystery

In 1866 a gruesome murder on a rural farm in the centre of Scotland shocked the local community. With little clues to go on outside of a bloody axe, a boiled egg and a missing door key, the police would eventually be left having to rely heavily on a string of unreliable testimony to do their job, a factor that would go some way in creating what would wind up as Scotland’s longest running cold case. SOURCES National Records of Scotland (1861) Perth Census....


Introducing - Cover Up: Ministry of Secrets

Cover Up is a series of investigative stories that take us on a journey into a world of subterfuge and secrecy - a world where the truth is concealed under a blanket of lies. From corrupt individuals to clandestine institutions, Cover Up exposes deceit, deception and the abuse of power. Season one uncovers the story of The Ministry of Secrets, one of the great unsolved mysteries of the Cold War. At its heart is a missing person — a wartime hero and international celebrity. But that’s just...


Hugh & Mary Parsons & The Springfield Witch Trials

Forty years before the infamous witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, Hugh Parsons stepped out of his dirty, disease ridden prison cell in Boston and was carted off towards the courthouse in order to stand trial as a witch. He’d come from a small settlement named Springfield over a hundred miles away and spent the last year cooped up in a concrete prison with his life in the balance. The previous few years had seen the fear of witches spread like a disease throughout New England, with cases...


Dr Buck Ruxton & The Jigsaw Murders

By the 1930s forensic police work had just begun to come into its own. The late 1920s had introduced advancements that had seen investigations using more than simple fingerprint evidence to solve crime and in America the FBI’s technical crime lab would firmly establish itself over the first half of the decade. Both in the UK and the USA experts from outside of the police or detective agencies were routinely drafted in to help on cases and in the UK there were none more qualified than the...


Electricity, Galvanism & The Resurrection of Thomas Weems

In 1818 Mary Shelley published her infamous novel, “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”. More than just a work of gothic fiction, it represented a host of fears and concerns that the public held after viewing experiments by the natural philosophers of the day. In the same year, in a lecture theatre in Glasgow, the dissection and supposed resurrection of an executed criminal took place. As electrodes were placed on the body, it jumped and danced, its fingers moved “nimbly, like those of...


Early Cinematography & The Disappearance of Louis Le Prince

In the 19th century moving images were everywhere. Illusionists cast tricks using mirrors and shadows, whilst flick books, magic lanterns and Zoopraxiscopes unveiled the hidden mysteries of motion to a wide-eyed audience. By the later part of the century, new advancements in photography had made the dream of motion pictures reachable for a few genius inventors, who toiled away in dingy workshops, setting fire to volatile chemicals as they cranked the handles of their machines, hoping to...


The Black Dog of Bungay & Other Spectral Beasts

From ancient origins, to Churchill, who popularised the Victorian phrase “The black dog on your back”, the concept of the spectral black dog as a portent of doom, death and catastrophe is one that has maintained, with a constant slow progression throughout centuries. From musty old tomes maintained in cold damp monasteries, to the pages of Harry Potter, the Black Dog, Old Shuck, the Barghest, the Guytrash and the Skriker have haunted the stories of our rural landscapes and worked their way...


Christmas Campfire 2022 (Part 2)

Hi everyone, I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas or at least a nice bit of time off work... Here's part 2 of the 2022 Campfire episode, which should hopefully be something to help pass the time in these strange limbo days. ---------- 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:...


Introducing: The Last Resort

What if California seceded from the United States? If it did, what would happen? The Last Resort is a new documentary podcast about the rise, fall, and rebirth of CAL-EXIT: the campaign for Californian Independence. Join our host Xiuhtezcatl (pronounced shoo-TEZ-kah) as the story unfolds about dreaming of a new progressive West Coast utopia, fighting for America’s future, and ending up in the middle of a still-unfolding global criminal conspiracy. Binge all episodes of The Last Resort...


Christmas Campfire 2022 (Part 1)

Hi everyone, Christmas Campfire is back for it's 6th year! A big thank you to everyone who wrote in and shared their personal stories. There were tons this year, so I've split it into two episodes and part 2 will be out next week. Until then, I hope you enjoy part 1 and have a wonderful Christmas and holiday period. My very best wishes to you and your loved ones, thanks for listening for another year and all your kind support. Merry Christmas! ---------- For almost anything, head over to...


Introducing The Evaporated: Gone with the Gods

What if someone close to you just … vanished one day? That happens to tens of thousands of families a year in Japan, and it happened to Jake Adelstein, too, back in 2018 — when his accountant disappeared, just before tax day. Adelstein, the author of Tokyo Vice, and co-host Shoko Plambeck go in search of that missing accountant, and take us on a journey into the fascinating and bizarre world of Japan’s johatsu, or “evaporated” people. The Evaporated: Gone With The Gods is a Campside Media &...


Virginia Campbell & The Sauchie Poltergeist

Despite the number of documented cases, the poltergeist has consistently been one of the most difficult forms of paranormal phenomena to define with very little consensus over what they are actually supposed to be. Spirits, invisible, unknown energy or childish hoaxes all form the basis of the most common theories that have been presented. In England, the Enfield case is without doubt the most famous poltergeist case and has, over the decades, had all three theories put forward by those that...


Eliza Grimwood & The Lambeth Ripper

In 1838 a violent murder took place in the Lambeth area of London that set a trend for the stories of the Victorian penny papers for decades to come. Inspiring Charles Dickens, who paid close interest to the case, supplying him with the details he would later adapt to in several of his murder scenes, it was a grim affair that made headlines for months whilst the murderer was blindly chased across London. But was it really an isolated crime or part of something much bigger? Murder, confession...


Amazon Music Presents MrBallen Podcast: Strange, Dark, and Mysterious Stories

A hiker terrorized for days by two unknown figures… A man stalked through the woods while camping, who barely escaped with his life… two cops who quit their job at a local theater because of unexplained encounters with an alleged demon… These are just some of the unbelievable cases you’ll hear on the MrBallen Podcast on Amazon Music. Each week you’ll get new inexplicable encounters, shocking disappearances and other strange, dark and mysterious stories. Hey Prime Members, listen to the...


Amazon Music Presents: I Hear Fear

Nothing is as terrifying as the sounds we hear in the dark. The slow creak of a door opening late at night... or a whisper in a room when you thought you were alone... or a distant scream in the wind. One noise at the wrong time or place can scare us for days. Each episode of I HEAR FEAR plunges the listener into a tale inspired by real events, from a deadly dance party to a cursed film set. Join host and two-time Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan for six immersive stories designed to jangle...


Demonic Possession & Exorcism Through The Ages

According to the late Father Gabrielle Amorth, co-founder of the International Association of Exorcists, Hitler, Stalin, ISIS, Harry Potter and Yoga were all, in one way or another, touched by demonic influence, This does perhaps go some way towards explaining how he managed to rack up over 150,000 exorcisms throughout his long life. Of all of these cases, however, he admitted openly that only a small minority had been true, legitimate cases of demonic possession. Despite this, exorcism...


The Debosnys Ciphers

Whether it be hidden messages transmitted around the world from the hundreds of operating number stations, or the bizarre illustrations on the sheepskin pages of a medieval manuscript, unsolved ciphers and codes have been a compelling source of mystery for centuries. In the annals of true crime, cold cases like the Zodiac killer and the Somerton man have inspired people from around the world to come together and take up the challenge of solving their peculiar riddles. From national...


Madeleine Smith & The Dangerous Game of Dating in the 19th Century

Dating in the 21st century can be a tricky path to manoeuvre, but in reality, the difficulties pale in comparison when compared to the complex etiquette and social pressures that one was doomed to follow in the Victorian period. One couple found this out in a unique way when their romantic love affair took a hard swipe left and turned into a tale of arsenic, scandal and mystery that could probably have been avoided had ghosting been a thing. SOURCES MacGowan, Douglas (2021) The Strange...


The Bizarre History of the Hollow Earth

Far from being a modern, internet crackpot idea, hollow earth theory has walked a long and winding path, many centuries old. From the mythological pits of hell, to the pseudo-scientific theories of the enlightenment, right through to modern science fiction, founding philosophies of utopian cults and even tenuous links with the Nazis, the proponents have been many and the theories varied, though whether or not they were ever anything other than crackpot is a different question altogether....

The Thin Place: Netta Fornario & The Occult

Widely mischaracterized in popular understanding, the early 20th century world of the occult has never failed to serve up a plethora of intriguing tales. From stories of new age magic, otherworldly realms, alchemy and psychic abilities, all practised in shady back rooms of the temples belonging to secretive societies, our imaginations have often run wild, crossing victorian gothic aesthetic with the lure of a shadowy underworld. This common theme has been a driving factor in the continuing...