54 True Horror Stories That Will Give You Nightmares
Ghost stories, horror movies, or true-crime TV shows are great for unwinding after a long, stressful day and putting even more stress on your body. In fact, lots of people love to consume horror. It's experiencing the stimulation caused by exposure to terrifying acts that is so compelling. While many of the horror stories portrayed in horror movies are based on works of fiction, the scariest stories and scenarios are the ones that happen in real life. And these are spine-chilling even for the most hardcore adrenaline junkies. While not impossible, it's rare to see true horror stories published in the news. However, once they are, they are recalled and discussed for a long time after they reach the public's ears.
Almost half a century later, the Amityville Horror true story is still surfacing online and sparking debates. While there's no argument about whether the killings were committed as the murderer was charged, whether the true story of the Amityville Horror is actually truthful is very much disputable. Still, many individuals and witnesses believe that the world's most famous "haunted" house, whose story has inspired numerous books and films, indeed is a site of paranormal activity. And while many of the franchise films and the horror movies that are based on a true story of the 108 Ocean Avenue house expand on the actual story to maximize the spectacle, there's no doubt that the Amityville Horror story leaves anyone horror-struck.
However, the Amityville Horror isn't the only true horror story that received both media attention and secured a spot on Netflix. Nevertheless, there are plenty more true scary stories that happened in real life that got media coverage or were turned into films. Below, we've compiled a list of horrifying stories that will make you sigh at the thought of something so evil happening in real life, as well as unbelievable, horrifying accounts shared by people on Reddit. Do you remember a real-life horror story covered in the media that shook you to the core? What was the story? Share it in the comments!
"A few years ago my boss went on holiday for a couple of weeks to Spain. Mid-way through the holiday he got a phone call from the police informing him that his sister had [passed away] in a fire in her flat. So he rushes back home early, deals with the police and the [passing] and everything.
My employers told him to take some time off to grieve, which he duly did. When he came back to work on a Monday morning a few weeks later, we invited him into our coffee room to talk and offer him our sympathies and support. About half an hour later he excuses himself to start work.
He walks into his office, sits down at his desk, turns on his computer, and checks to see if there are any answer phone messages. And the very first message that plays is his sister, screaming down the phone "Help me! Help me! I'm trapped I can't breathe..."
Still sends chills down my spine to think about it. As you can imagine, he was pretty traumatized."
“My grandfather told me this story about how one time he was sitting in a chair in front of the house when he heard his wife repeatedly calling him from inside the house. The thing is, my grandmother passed away a few years before that. But he told me that the voice was so pressing that he actually got up to look inside the house, and as soon as he got inside he heard a loud crash behind him and turned around to see that the chair he has been sitting in moments ago had been crushed by the cast iron gutter that fell on it.
If he didn’t come inside the house he would have probably been seriously injured. Every time I think about it, it sends chills down my spine.”
Car At The Red Light
“Driving home with a buddy from the high school summer job at the local amusement park. It’s about 3 in the morning, and there is no traffic at all. Get stuck at the red light that never ends and while we are waiting, another car pulls up next to us.
A big black hearse, in immaculate condition, with a clown in the driver’s seat, with full makeup and costume on.
He never moved, didn’t look at us, nothing; just stared straight ahead the whole time.”
“I Just Need A Haircut”
“I was an RA in a dorm for two years in college. A girl who had been having stress issues finally snapped. She was found by someone in a dark stairwell (I was in an older dorm, circa 1887, so there were plenty of nooks and crannies). By the time she was found she had already torn out over half of her hair and had eaten it. She just kept on saying, “I just need a haircut,” in a perfectly normal voice. It took 6 of us and the police sedating her to finally get her strapped down to an ambulance gurney.
To this day I can’t forget how powerful she was. She couldn’t have weighed over 120 pounds, yet she had this sort of superhuman ability to rip her arms away to tear out another clump of hair and stuff it into her mouth. All with a perfectly straight face.”
Apocalypse Is Coming
In September 2014, a Utah boy discovered his parents and three brothers deceased after arriving home. The Salt Lake Tribune reported finding a "to-do list" in the house, which included tasks like "feed the pets," and "find someone to watch the house" written on it. The found list gave the impression that the parents were preparing to go on vacation. However, there was no suicide note, no warning that they would do this, and no explanation. After autopsies, it was revealed that the five family members consumed a lethal concoction of drugs that September day.
However, why and how the parents and kids consumed the drugs remained a mystery. Sometime later, police revealed more terrifying information about the case. According to family members' statements, the parents' motivations included believing that the world's end was near and frequently spoke of "leaving this world." Apparently, scared of the apocalypse, the parents poisoned the kids and themselves.
The 'Perfect' Crime
On November 10, 1923, Nathan Leopold committed to travel six hours from Chicago to the University of Michigan. Accompanied by his friend and lover, Richard Loeb, they intended to break into Loeb's former fraternity. But all they had taken was a typewriter, a few watches, some penknives, and around $80 in loose change.
Leopold was agitated on the way back to Chicago because the robbery had been a big effort for a small payoff. When Leopold finally stopped complaining, Loeb began to discuss his idea of committing the 'perfect' crime. While they continued to travel through the country roads toward Chicago, they broke into several homes and started a few fires, but none of their crimes had been published in the media. Loeb desired to commit a crime that would create a huge buzz - abduction and homicide of a child.
After plotting their plan through the winter, in May, they kidnapped a child they knew had a wealthy father who would pay the ransom. Following the abduction, they beat the boy's skull with a chisel, jammed a rag down his throat, and disposed of the body. When the two returned to the city, Leopold dropped the ransom letter into a post box. However, their plan to execute the "perfect" crime failed. The following day, a passerby spotted the child's lifeless body, and soon the police traced Leopold by finding the eyeglasses he dropped near the body.
On May 31, ten days after the homicide, both young men came clean and revealed to the state's attorney how they had slayed Bobby Franks. Nathan Leopold confessed that they had killed Bobby only for the thrill of it. At the time of the murder, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold were 18 and 19 years old. They were sentenced to 99 years in prison.
Between 1978 and 1991, American serial killer and s*x offender Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer, monikered as the Milwaukee Cannibal, slayed and dismembered seventeen men and boys aged 14 to 33. Dahmer dismembered and kept their organs and bones in his home and used them for carnal pleasure.
Sources claim that Dahmer was fascinated with deceased animals from a young age. When he was four years old, Dahmer may have noticed his father removing animal corpses from the house's foundation. This may have sparked his mania with deceased animals. Dahmer referred to animal bones as his "fiddlesticks," and was "oddly pleased" by the sound the bones made.
In 1991, after one of his potential victims escaped, Dahner was captured and admitted to his crimes. Despite being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and psychotic disorder, Dahmer was named to be legally sane at his trial. Three years later, a fellow inmate fatally beat him.
On September 21, 2022, Netflix released a 10-part biographical crime drama series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Soon, Netflix's dramatization of Dahmer's murderous rampage in Milwaukee received a massive backlash from the public and people whose relatives were butchered by Dahmer.
Cell Phone Stalker
In 2007, ABC News reported on a series of ominously precise grave threats made to different families via cell phones. The families claim that the calls, which threatened to slay their children, pets, and grandparents, came in anytime at night. According to one family, the callers seemed to know when the kids left for school and when they were home alone. Families also received voicemails with recordings of their private conversations. According to the victims, the caller was aware of their activities and what they were wearing.
The family of Courtney Kuykendall, 16, said that her cell phone started sending text messages to her friends by itself in February, which is when the family's problems began. The Kuykendall family also reported a caller having a scratchy voice and threatening to slice their throats, which continued for months. Another victim reported receiving a call from an unknown caller saying they preferred lemons when the woman was slicing limes in her kitchen. The police couldn't find the perpetrators.
The late 1800s saw the homicides of at least 36 women by Moroccan shoemaker and trader Hadj Mohammed Mesfewi. Monikered as the “Marrakesh Arch-Killer”, he hosted dinner parties for affluent women at his home, where he would drug them and then decapitate them with a dagger while they were asleep. He robbed them of their possessions and money and buried them. Authorities in Morocco recovered the remains of 20 mutilated people in a deep trench beneath his store, and another 16 were located in the garden outside. Mesfewi admitted that he slayed for money, often very modest sums.
In 1906, Mesfewi was eventually arrested and executed. Mesfewi was initially ordered to be crucified. However, the sentence was then altered to beheading in response to public outrage. Ultimately, it was decided that he should suffer. Every day for four weeks, he was carried from his cell onto the market square and whipped 10 times with a rod made of prickly acacia. On June 11, 1906, Mesfewi was to be walled up alive in the Marrakesh marketplace bazaar. Mesfewi went silent on the third day, and many people in the crowd expressed their rage that he perished too quickly.
‘Haunted’ Elsa Doll
The creepy, old-fashioned porcelain doll with a Victorian appearance, red lips, rosy cheeks, and blue eyes, referring to Annabelle, may come to mind when one thinks of a haunted doll. However, it's unlikely that anyone still keeps one in their house. Unless that house is Warren's Occult Museum in Monroe, Conn. However, those dolls are not the only ones getting possessed.
Disney's Frozen Elsa doll, given as a Christmas 2013 gift in the Houston region, made headlines when it appeared to start acting paranormal. For two years, the doll was working as it was technically supposed to, reciting phrases from the movie and singing Let It Go when a button was pressed. In 2015, it started randomly alternating between English and Spanish languages.
The woman who purchased the doll claimed that, even with its switch off, the doll would start speaking and singing randomly. In December 2019, the family chose to get rid of the Elsa doll. Despite tossing it in the garbage, the family eventually discovered it hidden inside a bench in their living room weeks later. Following the discovery, Elsa started to speak and sing solely in Spanish, soon after which the family made another attempt to scrap the Elsa doll. The doll was double-bagged and put at the bottom of the garbage can, which was soon picked up by waste collectors.
The family left for a trip sometime later, but when they were back, the haunted doll was waiting in their backyard. In their last attempt, the family sent Elsa through the mail to a Minnesotan family friend, who fastened the possessed doll to the front bumper of his truck. According to the woman's most recent update in October 2020, the doll hasn't returned to Houston. Yet.
Around 1980, a single mother of a toddler, Dorothy Jane Scott, started getting threatening phone calls at work. She paid the calls little attention until one night when the ominous voice on the other end of the line instructed her to look outside. On her car's windscreen was a single withered rose. The stalker would alternate between declaring his love for her and making threats of physical harm. The caller's voice sounded familiar, but Dorothy couldn't place who it was. And she never got to find out.
At a staff meeting, Dorothy noticed that one of her coworkers appeared unwell. She and another coworker took the man to a neighboring hospital. Dorothy went outside to the parking lot while her two coworkers waited for the prescription to be filled. She wasn't seen again after that.
According to her coworkers' testimony, they went outside to meet her in the parking lot after she didn't return. They suspected a problem had occurred with her son when they spotted her car rushing away as soon as they left the building.
Neither her son nor anyone else ever saw or heard from Dorothy again. Her burned remains were discovered at a construction site four years later. The discovery of a collection of dog bones next to her remains added even more confusion to the case. No one has ever been found guilty or detained on suspicion. The caller has never been located.
The Monster Killer
Yang Xinhai, dubbed the "Monster Killer" by the Chinese media, is thought to be the worst serial killer in China's modern history. From 1999 to 2003, he was accountable for more than 67 homicides and 23 r*pes.
The homicides committed by Yang occurred between 1999 and 2003. He would break into his victims' homes at night, slaying every person inside - primarily farmers - with axes, hammers, and shovels, often an entire family. He always wore brand-new clothing and oversized shoes. In one horrific homicide case, Xinhai forced the victim's husband and their six-year-old daughter to watch as he r*ped the woman. He slayed them afterward.
At the time of his arrest, various media sources claimed that Yang's motivation for the homicides was revenge against society due to a bad breakup. According to rumors, his girlfriend broke up with him due to his past convictions for r*pe and stealing. On February 14, 2004, Xinhai was executed by firing squad.
Texarkana’s Phantom Killer
In 1946, in Texarkana, four horrifying crimes occurred in less than three months. On the Texas side of the town, three violent incidents targeted young people parked in lovers' lanes. The fourth, on the Arkansas side, was the shooting of an elderly couple in their remote farmstead. After the shooting spree, five individuals were lethally shot, and three suffered critical injuries. The cops received very little information from the distraught survivors.
The homicides shook the community to its grounds. While husbands were away on business trips, women packed up their belongings, took their kids, and checked into the hotel. Others devised security systems in the style of Rube Goldberg by connecting pots and pans to wire laid throughout their property. Normally unarmed citizens placed pallets on the floor so their kids could lie next to them as they slept with loaded pistols. Texarkana Gazette dubbed the assailant the “Phantom Killer”.
Several books about the case have been written, and a highly fictionalized film called "The Town That Dreaded Sundown" was made in 1976. In 2014, a remake of the original movie was released. The Texas Department of Public Safety once referred to Texarkana's serial killings as "the number one unsolved murder case in Texas history."
"I used to work in a hospital (in the IT department) and we did a number of overnight rollouts, as well as on-call work/response when issues occurred overnight. Many weird things happened or appeared to happen.
The thing that struck me as oddest, was when I saw the coroner running at full speed down the corridor, in the opposite direction, towards the morgue. This guy, an older guy in his 50s or so, was going at full speed! I had never seen him above an amble before, but this time he was really going for it. As he got close to me he yelled "Out of the way - I got another live one!".
I am not sure what was more disturbing, the fact that he was dealing with what I could only assume was a [deceased] body that now appeared to be alive or the fact he said 'another.'"
The Butcher Baker
Robert Hansen was a reliable husband, father, and respected part of Anchorage society. The monikered “Butcher Baker”, however, held many sinister secrets. Between 1971 and 1983, he abducted, assaulted, and slayed at least 17 women aged 16 to 41.
Hansen is thought to have commenced homicides around 1972. His modus operandi involved picking up a s*x worker in his car and, while holding her at gunpoint, driving her to his house, where he would r*pe her. He would then take the victim to a remote location where he would "hunt" her like a wild animal before finalizing the demise.
Hansen admitted that he took pleasure in using a knife and a gun to prey on his victims. Additionally, he acknowledged that he had little regard for women or their feelings. Hansen considered them to be just animals, things to be slain and hunted. In 1983, he was arrested, found guilty, and given a 461-year prison term with no chance of parole. He passed away in 2014 at 75 from natural causes due to lingering health conditions.
The Torture Of Sylvia Likens
The homicide of Sylvia Likens was dubbed the worst crime ever perpetrated in Indiana. 50 years later, the title remains.
On October 26, 1965, police discovered Sylvia Likens' malnourished body sprawled on a filthy mattress in the Indianapolis home of 37-year-old Gertrude Baniszewski, mother of seven and the mind behind the girl's horrific demise. The body was covered in more than 150 wounds, including burns and cuts. Reportedly, Likens' body was used as a practice dummy for judo flips and punches, carving words into her stomach with a needle, and many more vicious attacks.
Sylvia and her sister Jenny were housed with Baniszewski for $20 weekly by their carnival-worker parents. However, Baniszewski beat the females, largely Sylvia, when the checks were late. Why neither Jenny nor Sylvia sought assistance before things got out of hand is, in fact, one of the unsolved mysteries surrounding the case. However, Baniszewski wasn't the only one responsible for Sylvia's demise. A large group of local kids watched or participated in the vicious attacks, along with some of Baniszewski's kids, some as young as 10.
Even more astonishing is that all the criminals involved eventually got off on their misdeeds, some following laughably short prison terms.
Donald Henry "Pee Wee" Gaskins Jr.
American serial killer Donald Henry Gaskins boldly proclaimed to have stabbed, shot, drowned, and poisoned hundreds of people. Due to his small frame, his friends and relatives referred to him as "pee wee." He was under 130 pounds and about 5'2" tall.
Despite asserting that he slayed between 100 and 110 people, investigators never discovered concrete proof of the homicides. Ten of the 15 victims Gaskins was verified to have slain during his lifetime were under 25 years old, and five were underage. After attempting self-harm in prison, Gaskins was executed in the electric chair on September 6, 1991.
The Killer Clown
John Wayne Gacy was well known for dressing up as a clown at children's parties, but his clown masks covered a demonic visage. Between 1972 and 1978, he murdered and tortured 33 young men and boys in Cook County, Illinois. Gacy would usually entice a victim to his house and deceive him into donning handcuffs on the pretense of showing him a magic trick. Then, after torturing and r*ping his victim, he would asphyxiate or fatally strangle him with a garrote.
In Gacy's childhood, he was often named "sissy" and "mama's boy" who would "probably grow up gay" since his mother always sought to protect him from his father's abuse. Although Gacy believed he was "never good enough" in his father's eyes, he continued to adore him nonetheless. In 1949, the father of Gacy received word that he and another boy had been observed inappropriately touching a young girl. His father punished him by giving him a razor strop. The same year, Gacy would occasionally be used sexually in a vehicle by a family friend.
The first homicide committed by Gacy was on January 3, 1972, at the age of 29. All of Gacy's slayings were carried out within his ranch-style home close to Norridge, a Chicago suburb. Most of Gacy's victims were buried in the basement of his house. The remains of his final four victims were dumped in Wisconsin's Des Plaines River. In 1994, the "Killer Clown" was apprehended and executed by lethal injection.
The Icebox Murders Case
In 1965, Fred and Edwina Rogers and their adult son Charles were residing in a peaceful area of Houston. The family tended to keep to themselves, especially with Charles's antisocial and reclusive behavior. In fact, many neighbors were unaware that Charles lived at home with his parents as they never saw him around.
A family member inquired that the Houston police check on his elderly aunt and uncle after not hearing from the Rogers for several days. The patrolmen saw food on the dining room table but could not find Fred or Edwina. When they opened the fridge, many meat packages were neatly stacked on top of one another. Two human heads were then discovered in the vegetable bin. When more police officers arrived on the scene, they began to remove the bags of severed body parts from the refrigerator. They were Fred and Edwina Rogers' remains. Autopsies revealed that Fred had sustained a severe head injury from a claw hammer, while Edwina had been severely battered and shot. Fred's genitalia had been cut out, and his eyes had been gouged out. The internal organs of the pair had been flushed down the toilet.
There was no sign of Charles. He is the only suspect in the case as of this writing. Charles was ruled deceased in 1975 because no sign of him could ever be located. The case has never been solved.
America's Unknown Child
In February 1957, in Philadelphia, a college student discovered a young boy's remains in the woods and called the police to report his horrifying find. Visibly severely beaten, the boy was found unresponsive inside an old bassinet box. No one knew who the young victim was.
Numerous people came forward with information about the crime. Still, the police could not verify any of their claims, and many theories were dismissed. However, the media and police have shown much interest in two theories. Each one has been thoroughly examined.
In February 2002, a woman, only known as "Martha," brought forward one of the main case theories. Martha asserted that the boy named Jonathan was bought from his biological parents in the summer of 1954 by her violent mother. She claimed that the boy experienced physical and carnal torture inside the home. Martha knew of information that had not been made public, raising the police's attention to her statement.
The woman claimed that the young boy had baked beans just before being battered to demise, supporting the autopsy findings. She also said that he had been showered just before he passed away, which was consistent with the coroner's discovery of water-pruned fingertips. Although Martha's testimony appeared consistent with the evidence, her extensive history of mental illness rendered her an unreliable witness.
The case stays unsolved and is open to this date. The boy remains unidentified, and his grave in Philadelphia at Ivy Hill Cemetery has a large headstone bearing the words "America's Unknown Child."
The Otaku Murderer
Tsutomu Miyazaki, dubbed the “Otaku Murderer”, is one of the most infamous Japanese serial killers in history. He was convicted of slaying four young girls, aged 4 to 7, in Saitama and Tokyo between August 1988 and June 1989. He kidnapped the girls, slayed them in his car, then mutilated and molested their corpses. He also practiced cannibalism and kept their body parts as trophies. Miyazaki is said to have disassembled one of his victim's bodies, retained her hands, and continued to cannibalize and drink blood from them.
In July 1989, Miyazaki was detained in Hachiji after being accosted while photographing a young girl in her underwear. Despite being diagnosed with one or more personality disorders, he was found to be sane and conscious of his crimes and their repercussions. Miyazaki received the most extreme sentence in 1997 and was hanged in 2008.
The Unicorn's Secret
In his adolescence, Ira Einhorn gave himself the moniker "The Unicorn," his German last name translated into English. When he slayed his ex-girlfriend Holly Maddux, Einhorn was an environmentalist and supporter of the anti-war movement.
After leaving Einhorn's Philadelphia residence in early September 1977 to collect her belongings, Maddux vanished. When authorities questioned Maddux's ex-boyfriend about her whereabouts a few weeks after the disappearance, he said she had disappeared en route to the local co-op. 18 months later, the police discovered Maddux's partially mummified body in a trunk in Einhorn's closet after neighbors complained to the authorities about a foul stench. Einhorn fled to Europe a few days before he was set to go on trial.
As he had previously been arraigned, Einhorn was tried, found guilty, and given a sentence in absentia. Despite this, Einhorn spent 23 years in France and even got married while deftly avoiding extradition. In 2002, the American government was able to repatriate him and re-convict him. Defending himself, he stated that the CIA had slayed his ex-girlfriend and had set him up. Einhorn was convicted and served a life sentence without the chance of parole until he passed away in prison in 2020.
‘Botched’ Exorcism Of Kennedy Ife
In August 2016, Kennedy Ife, 26, of North London, reportedly started acting strangely and aggressively after experiencing throat pain. Before his family restrained him to a bed using cable ties and excessive force, he allegedly bit his father, threatened to cut off his own p****, and spoke of having a python or snake inside of him. According to his brother, Kennedy needed to be restrained because he would hurt either himself or his family members.
After Kennedy had been confined to his bed for three days, his brother called emergency services and explained that he had been complaining of dehydration. When the emergency services arrived, he was pronounced deceased at 10:17 a.m. The court was informed that the family spent those three days trying to "heal" Kennedy through restraint and prayer.
All seven of Kennedy Ife's relatives were charged with manslaughter, false imprisonment, and allowing a vulnerable adult to pass away. Kennedy Ife's body had over 60 wounds, including what seemed to be a bite. On March 14, 2019, following a four-day jury deliberation, all seven family members were found not guilty of manslaughter.
Kidnapping Of Colleen Stan
In 1977, Colleen Stan, 20, was hitchhiking from her home in Eugene, Oregon, to a friend's birthday when her abductor Cameron Hooker and his wife Janice picked her up. The following seven years, Stan would spend a large portion of her time, sometimes up to 23 hours a day, imprisoned in a wooden box without access to light, sound, or fresh air, eating cold food scraps, and using a bedpan. The young woman was also exploited sexually by Cameron using various items.
Throughout those seven years, Stan was occasionally given "freedom." She would have to care for her captor's children, cook and clean for herself, was allowed to go jogging, visit her family on her own, and even get a job. Still, she was always kept in place by brainwashing and threats, including claims that a mysterious and dangerous group known as "the Company" would slay her and her entire family if she tried to flee. But everything changed when Cameron said that Stan should be his second wife. Stan ultimately boarded a bus and escaped to her family. At the same time, Janice cooperated fully and turned in her husband in exchange for immunity.
Stan, only a few months away from turning 28 at the time, wasn't free of her suffering until August of 1984. Even then, the many years of torture and brainwashing had kept her from reporting what had happened to the authorities. When the entire story was revealed to the public, it startled not only the police but the world as a whole, spawning hundreds of films, TV shows, and even songs.
The Sadist Of El Charquito
Daniel Camargo Barbosa, also known as the "Sadist of El Charquito," was a Colombian serial murderer alleged to have r*ped and slayed up to 180 young girls throughout Colombia and Ecuador between the 1970s and 1980s. Camargo's mother passed away as a newborn, and his father was emotionally distant. Later his father wed again. Because of her infertility issues, Daniel's new stepmother started mistreating and humiliating him by clothing him as a girl. Because of this, his classmates at school made fun of him. She would also frequently beat him in front of his friends.
After learning that the woman he planned to marry wasn't a virgin, he made a deal with her that if she helped him find other virgin girls to have s*x with, he would stay with her. This was the beginning of their criminal cooperation. After a number of r*pes and homicides, Camargo was only convicted of r*ping and slaying one victim and then imprisoned in Colombia. In 1977, he was sentenced to 25 years but escaped jail in 1984. At least 54 r*pes and slayings were committed by Camargo in Guayaquil between 1984 and 1986. Because they didn't realize that one person could have slayed so many people, the authorities initially assumed that a gang was responsible for all the fatalities.
He abused and slayed mainly poor, defenseless young women. He went up to them, claiming to be a foreigner looking for a Protestant pastor. He was approached by the police on patrol because they thought Camargo was acting strangely. They discovered that he was carrying a bag containing the bloody clothing and part of the genitalia of his most recent victim, as well as a copy of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. In 1989, Camargo was found guilty and given the maximum sentence possible in Ecuador at the time - 16 years in jail. The nephew of one of Barbosa's numerous victims fatally stabbed him in a prison in 1994 at the age of 64.
The Last Door On The Left
"My grandmother's entire life had a recurring nightmare. In this nightmare, she would be walking down a long dark hallway, turn to the left, open a door, and see something terrible. She'd always wake up before seeing what it was.
In her 40s, she, her husband, my dad, and my aunt were on vacation. They booked the hotel at the last minute, so they ended up having to get 2 rooms with 2 twin beds on opposite sides of the floor.
My dad wakes up around 3 AM and can automatically tell something's not right. He calls out in the darkness "dad?". No response. He turns on the bedside light. "dad?" he says, a little louder this time. Still no response. Getting worried, he slides out of bed and shakes his father. He doesn't wake up.
My dad ran down the hotel hallway to my grandma's room and started banging on the door. My grandma worriedly opens the door, and my dad shouts "something's wrong with dad!"
He leads her down the hallway. A long hallway. To the last door on the left. My grandmother reaches the door, turns to the left, and sees her husband [deceased] in bed. Heart attack.
She never had the dream again."
The Only Passenger
“If you’ve ever been to Portland or you know that our public transportation system is pretty nice and the MAX system has a tram that runs between the Airport and the City Center until fairly late at night. I was coming home from seeing my family at Christmas and my flight came in very late so I was lucky enough to catch the last MAX home. Because it was so late it was just me…and a guy who looked homeless sitting a few seats ahead of me. He was sleeping with his head against the window. I paid little attention to him but noticed his head lolling around and wondered if he was wasted.
Anyway, we get to the city center and there are cops waiting there because apparently the homeless guy sitting in front of me is being escorted off the tram. Airport security had tried to get him off before and thought he was ignoring them and refusing to move. And that’s when both the cops and I find out that the guy had been [deceased] the whole time. He had overdosed at some point before the MAX had even arrived at the airport We had been riding on that dark midnight ride alone together with one of us fairly deceased.”
The Villisca Axe Murder House
For ghost hunters, paranormal activity seekers, and adrenaline junkies, the Villisca Axe Murder House in Villisca, Iowa, is a well-known tourist destination. Paranormal investigators, familiar with the house, declared it among the most haunted locations in America following the summer 1912 mass homicide, right next to 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York, where five people were slayed in the fall of 1974.
The case in which six children and two adults had their skulls completely smashed while asleep in bed was never solved and remains a mystery to this day. The location of a horrifying mass homicide was bought in 1994, restored to its 1912 condition, and turned into a tourist attraction. Paranormal investigators who have toured the house have produced audio, video, and visual evidence of paranormal activity in the place shrouded in mystery. Children's voices, falling lamps, moving ladders, and flying objects have all caused tours to end early.
But the haunting changed into something more sinister in the fall of 2014. On November 7, Robert Steven Laursen Jr., 37, of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, had a routinely scheduled paranormal tour with his friends. Laursen was found with a self-inflicted chest stab wound and was taken to a neighboring hospital. According to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, the self-inflicted wound occurred at approximately 12:45 a.m., roughly when the 1912 axe murders in the home happened. Laursen recovered from his injuries but never spoke publicly about what happened that day.
The Villisca Axe Murder House is still operating today. At the time of writing, the price of the overnight stay is $428, and anyone over the age of 12 can take a tour.
One of China's most notorious serial killers in history is Wang Qiang. Qiang never attended school since his father was an alcoholic and abused him. He was thus troubled, ignorant, and unable to hold a job.
In 1995, Wang slayed his first victim. By the time he was captured in July 2003, Quang had slayed 45 people. According to official records, he was also found guilty of 10 r*pes. In his confessions, he admitted that after slaying young girls, he loved sexually exploiting them. Wang Qiang was 30 when he was executed in 2005.
The Green River Killer
Gary Ridgway, now 73, from Washington, Oregon, is convicted of 49, aged 14 to 38, and suspected of at least 71 homicides, making him one of the deadliest serial killers in America.
Allegedly, most of Ridgway's victims were s*x workers and other women in precarious situations, such as underage runaways. After the first five victims of Ridgway were discovered in the Green River, the press gave him his moniker of the “Green River Killer”. He would often strangle his victims and dump their bodies in forests and overgrown areas in King County. He frequently went back to the bodies to r*pe them.
He was spared the most extreme penalty and given a life sentence without the possibility of parole as part of a plea agreement where he agreed to provide the locations of still-missing women. Ridgway later admitted in his testimony that he had lost count of the number of people he had slain.
Horror Behind The Walls
In 2015, the Bretzuis family in Auburn, Pennsylvania, wanted to insulate their home. While doing so, they soon discovered that their wall cavity had been used to store dozens of deceased animal carcasses, half-used spices, and other items. Other than that, the deceased animals were all wrapped in newspapers from the 1930s and ‘40s.
After discovering all the deceased animals, the family sent the artifacts to a specialist to learn why someone would leave them in the house's walls. The expert claimed that the previous owner was most likely using Dutch magic, often known as "pow-wowing," to treat ailments.
The Bretzuis family still doesn't know by whom or why animal carcasses were stuffed into the house's walls. They also claim that the mold on the decaying corpses in their home made them sick and that the odor just wouldn't go away.
Chicago Tylenol Murders
In September 1982, a 12-year-old girl in Chicago passed away shortly after taking an Extra Strength Tylenol. Another man passed away in the hospital the same day after taking the same medication. Two of his family members came after. During the following few weeks, more seemingly healthy individuals perished. The only thing they had in common was that they had taken Extra Strength Tylenol just before they passed away.
It was found that several of the Extra Strength Tylenol pills had been poisoned with potassium cyanide. The latter can be lethal within 15 minutes of exposure as it interferes with the body's ability to utilize oxygen. After this information became public, Johnson & Johnson ran multiple advertisements urging consumers to bin the product. The company quickly developed a triple-sealed package that would deter tampering. The original poisonings resulted in seven demises, while subsequent copycat acts resulted in several further fatalities.
According to Time's report from 1982, officials from the Food and Drug Administration speculated that the responsible person had purchased Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules from a retailer, added cyanide to the red half of the capsules, sealed the bottles, and then smuggled them back onto the shelves of pharmacies and supermarkets. No one has been charged or found guilty of the poisonings. The incidents prompted changes to over-the-counter drug packaging and the creation of federal anti-tampering regulations.
The Monkey Bars
"Finding a woman who had committed suicide by hanging herself from the monkey bars of a park I used to work at 6:15 on a very foggy morning. When I got to the gate of the park to open it (park maintenance worker) I could see her 100yds away at the playground and thought she was just standing there looking at the ground with her umbrella on the ground beside her, it was only when I got closer did I realize she was hanging from a jump rope 6 inches off the ground. My voice was very shaky during my 911 call. The dispatcher asked me to touch her to see if she was cold (she was very cold and very wet, had been raining all night). The fuc*ed up part is this park is very close to an elementary school and the parking lot is a popular place to drop kids off at...and it was a weekday."
The Butcher Of Rostov
Andrei Chikatilo was arguably the most prolific Soviet serial killer. Chikatilo r*ped, butchered, and mutilated at least 52 women and children between 1978 and 1990, spreading demise and terror all around him. Chikatilo utilized his position as a Russian language and literature teacher to seize his prey. His student was his first casualty.
20 years passed during Chikatilo's spree before he was finally arrested. Medical experts confirmed that he was fit to stand trial despite having borderline personality disorder with sadistic features. He was executed by gunshot in 1994. Because he carried out most of his slayings in the Rostov Oblast of the Russian SFSR, Chikatilo was monikered the “Rostov Ripper” and “Butcher of Rostov.”
In June 2012, Danielle Harkins, a 35-year-old teacher from St. Petersburg, Florida, was arrested on charges of child abuse following an odd ritual of cutting and burning. According to Harkins' next-door neighbor, she was previously acting strangely and showing an interest in demonic practices.
The incident that caught the police's attention happened on Saturday evening when Danielle Harkins gathered seven teenagers, all of Asian ethnicity, around a tiny fire on the St. Petersburg Pier. Harkins instructed them that they needed to purge the demons from their bodies. She allegedly advised the kids to cut their skin to let the evil spirits escape. The wounds had to be burned afterward to prevent those spirits' reemergence. According to the report, Harkins heated a tiny key with a flame to cauterize the wound.
One of the youngsters, a 16-year-old male, texted a friend about the ritual, who then told the boy's parents, who then called the police. The teenagers were hesitant to discuss the practice in depth during interviews with detectives beyond simply stating the obvious that the ritual did take place. The motives behind the ritual remained unknown.
Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders
Three young girl scouts, Lori, Michelle, and Doris, who ranged in age from 8 to 10, were r*ped and then slayed in the summer of 1977 while camping in Oklahoma. Two months before the homicides occurred, a camp counselor discovered a troubling note in her belongings. In the note, the assailant made a promise to slay three campers. The camp counselor brushed off the menacing message as nothing more than a silly joke because she knew that campers love to tell scary stories around the campfire: a judgment she would later come to regret.
The girls' bodies were discovered in their sleeping bags on the trail leading to the camp showers in the early morning on June 13, about 150 yards from their tent. The only things their assassin left behind were a bloody footprint and a red flashlight. The main suspect was the escaped convict Gene Leroy Hart. Hart, raised about a mile from Camp Scott and wanted for burglary, kidnapping, and r*pe, was on the run at the time of the murders.
In March 1979, a local jury cleared Hart of the crime due to a lack of supporting evidence. However, earlier this year, in 2022, it was revealed that despite being officially inconclusive, DNA testing in the case clearly points to Hart's involvement in the crime. Nevertheless, nobody is certain to this day if Gene Leroy Hart was the real slayer or if he got away with it. Regardless, the girl's slayer never received punishment and the Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders case remains unsolved.
The Granny Killer
John Wayne Glover, an English-born Australian serial killer who preyed on elderly women, was notorious for his crimes. Glover attacked and then slayed six elderly women (aged 60 to 93) over 14 months between 1989 and 1990. He attacked his victims with his hands, sometimes using hammers, victims' pantyhose, and other things. Many of his victims were women he passed on the street and struck up a conversation with.
A psychologist testified at Glover's trial that he was sane but suffered from a severe personality disorder, which may or may not has been related to his tumultuous relationships with his mother and mother-in-law. Years after his imprisonment, Glover said that he never gave his victims' identities or motivations any thought. He claimed that he tried to quit but was unable to. He appeared to resume his regular day-to-day activities after each homicide.
Glover ended his life in 2005 after being found guilty and imprisoned. A sketch of a park was given to Glover's final visitor just a few days before he took his own life. In the picture, Glover pointed out two pine trees. The number "nine" was visible in the middle of the right pine tree, hidden by foliage and branches. According to some, the number "nine" meant he committed nine homicides in total or that nine were still left unsolved.
The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel
Elisa Lam was last seen in the lobby of the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on January 31, 2013. She was taking a vacation down the West Coast, blogging about the experience, and informing her parents daily. January 31 marked the end of those calls. Lam went missing. Her parents showed up to aid in the search shortly after the cops became engaged.
No clues about the possible location or details of the disappearance of Lam were found. In February of that year, the LAPD made public footage of Lam on an elevator just moments before she vanished. In the video, Lam is seen acting suspiciously, appearing to converse with individuals who aren't there, peeping around the door's corner, hunching over, and opening and closing the door. Around that time, hotel visitors began to describe strange happenings at the Cecil Hotel concerning the water supply. One of the hotel guests claimed that the water "was coming black first for two seconds and then it was going back to normal."
On the morning of February 19, a hotel employee used a ladder to scale the roof and look into the building's water storage tanks. Elisa Lam's corpse floated within a water tank on the roof of the Cecil Hotel for up to 19 days as visitors used the water for drinking, bathing, and tooth brushing. After an autopsy, her demise was ruled accidental. A Netflix documentary that examined Elisa's tragic case, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, was released in February 2021.
The Kobe Cannibal
In 1974, Issei Sagawa, a 24-year-old student at Wako University, was accused of following a German woman to her flat in Tokyo, Japan, breaking in while she was sleeping, and attempting to chop a chunk of flesh off her body to eat. Reportedly, the woman fought the perpetrator and started screaming before Sagawa could grab a weapon, sending him running into the streets. Sagawa was eventually caught by the police. However, a 2012 Vice documentary looked into Issei's case and revealed some disturbing information. The student was, in fact, falsely convicted of attempted r*pe. It was also revealed that his affluent father offered the victim compensation outside of court to get the accusations dismissed.
However, the court case didn't dissuade Sagawa's cannibalistic disposition. In 1981, in France, 7 years after the first incident occurred, he was accused of shooting and eating a fellow university student, Renée Hartevelt. Attempting to dispose of the body, he carried the luggage containing Hartvelt's remains to a park, where he intended to drown them in the lake. After noticing people nearby, he panicked and left the suitcases behind. The people who found the luggage called the police, and Sagawa was captured in his apartment and confessed his crime.
However, Renee Hartvelt's homicide case never went to trial. Sagawa was declared insane and incapable of standing trial and was deported back to Japan and admitted to a mental hospital. For reasons unknown, his psychologists concluded that Sagawa was sane. Furthermore, his homicide accusations were fully withdrawn due to a legal technicality concerning the French government's refusal to turn over the case's documentation. He soon left the psychiatric hospital and has been freely roaming the streets ever since. To this day, nobody is aware of the reason why France refused to let Japan try him. Today, at the age of 73, Issei Sagawa is still residing in Japan and making a living off his crime.
The Zodiac Killer
2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the homicide of two high school students in Benicia by a psychopath armed with a.22-caliber semiautomatic pistol. The young couple was slain in a hail of gunfire after being shot down as they fled in fear. The homicides of David Faraday, 17, and his date, Betty Lou Jensen, 16, on December 20, 1968, served as the beginning of the bizarre legend of the “Zodiac Killer.” Five more people were shot or stabbed by the Zodiac throughout the Bay Area, three of whom perished and two of whom survived but were scarred for life.
While committing homicides, the “Zodiac Killer” sent letters and cryptograms to The Chronicle and other papers, all beginning with, “This is the Zodiac speaking.” He once promised to massacre a dozen people if The Chronicle didn’t publish his letter. He also claimed to enjoy slaying because “man is the most hazardous game.” Apparently, the Zodiac Killer also threatened to blow off the front tire of a school bus to “pick out the kids as they come crashing out.” The “Zodiac Killer’s” case was never solved.
The Eyeball Killer
In 1991, Charles Frederick Albright from Dallas, Texas, was found guilty of the homicide of one woman and under suspicion for two more fatalities. Albright was adopted from an orphanage and raised by his incredibly protective foster parents. His mother, a schoolteacher, helped him further his education to the point where he could enroll in college as a teenager.
Despite his intelligence, he had a reputation for engaging in illegal activity. At the age of 13, he was initially detained for aggravated assault. His youthful interest was the core of his violent tendencies. Albright used to slay small animals with a shotgun he received as a child. Then, with his mother's help, he would stuff them to practice taxidermy.
After failing to complete pre-med training at both North Texas University and Arkansas State Teachers College, he was jailed for robbery, molestation, and, eventually, the homicide of a s*x worker. Other than this, investigators suspected him of at least two other fatalities, also of s*x workers. All three bodies were dumped on a city street, almost or entirely unclothed. He gained his moniker of the “Eyeball Killer” because all of his alleged victims had their eyes removed after being shot in the head. However, Albright was never found guilty of the other two homicides.
The Rocking Horse
"One night when I was maybe 10-12 I had trouble falling asleep. My bedroom was the entire top floor of our house with my bed and such being on the left side and storage closets and a play area being on the right. I was lying in bed when I heard a noise from the other side of the room and see a rocking horse begin to rock. It was sitting just outside one of the storage closet doors. It proceeded to rock its way halfway across the room and stopped dead under the ceiling light. At this point, I was freaking out and just buried my head under blankets and never peeked out again until morning.
It was all confirmed to not be a dream as the rocking horse was still in the middle of my room when I woke up. Furthermore, I got a stern reprimand from my parents for being up out of bed and playing with my toys well past my bedtime. Their bedroom was directly below the storage closet/play area and had heard the creaking of the rocking horse shuffling across the room.`"
The True Story Of “The Conjuring”
When it was published in 2013, "The Conjuring" received favorable reviews. Most viewers believed that James Wan's all-too-realistic depiction of the demonic haunting of an innocent family was all his vivid imagination. However, "The Conjuring's" inspiration came from American paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren's actual, terrifying real-life experiences.
The first movie, which centers on the Perron family, is where the actual story of "The Conjuring" starts. In January 1971, the Perron family moved into a large farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. Soon after their arrival, Carolyn, Roger, and their five daughters started to witness paranormal activities. It all began modestly. Carolyn would notice the broom disappear or move on its own. When no one was home, she occasionally heard something in the kitchen or discovered little clumps of dirt in the middle of a freshly mopped floor.
According to reports, Carolyn looked into the house's past and learned that eight generations of the same family had lived there, many of whom had passed away in mysterious or terrible circumstances. A handful of the kids had hanged themselves in the attic, one had been slayed, and several had drowned in a nearby creek. Ed Warren, a veteran of WWII and a self-taught demonologist, and his wife, Lorraine, a medium who could communicate with the spirits, visited the Perrons' house numerous times throughout their residence to investigate the paranormal.
Andrea, the oldest of the five girls, claimed that the family stayed in the house for so long because of their poor financial situation. Once they relocated in 1980, the hauntings stopped.
The ‘Charming’ Ted Bundy
To this day, Ted Bundy is one of the most notorious American serial killers. His own victims described Bundy as a charmer. However, he was anything but. In the 1970s and possibly earlier, Bundy kidnapped, r*ped, and slayed many young women and girls. He admitted to 30 homicides between 1974 and 1978 after more than a decade of denials. Although Bundy's actual victim count is unclear, it is allegedly much higher.
Bundy successfully gained the trust of his victims and society because of his charisma and good looks. Typically, he would approach his victims in public settings, pretending to have a physical impediment like an injury or to be an authority figure before bludgeoning them until they were unconscious. He would then transport them to a different location where he would r*pe and strangle them.
Bundy demonstrated strange behavior early on in life. Julia, a relative, remembers waking up from a nap to discover herself encircled by kitchen knives and three-year-old Ted grinning by the bed. Bundy's former next-door neighbor called him a bully and stated, "He liked to terrify people... He liked to be in charge. He liked to inflict pain and suffering and fear."
No one can pinpoint the exact time or location Bundy started slaying women. Even though he confessed in great detail to scores of later homicides in the days leading up to his execution, he gave mixed accounts of his crimes to different people. He would not reveal the facts of his early crimes.
All of Bundy's documented victims were white women, most of whom came from middle-class families. Most were college students between the ages of 15 and 25. He did admit that while choosing his victims, youth and beauty were "absolutely indispensable criteria." After Bundy passed away, Bundy's acquaintance and biographer Ann Rule was astonished to hear from many women who wrote or called her to express their profound sadness over Bundy's passing. He served several years in prison before being executed by the electric chair on January 24, 1989.
A New Jersey family received an unsettling amount of threats after relocating into their $1.3 million dream house from someone posing as "The Watcher." Since moving into the home, the new owners claimed they had received multiple letters from the unknown person. The family swore that the previous owners knew about a man who referred to himself as "The Watcher" but never mentioned anything. In letters, "The Watcher" claimed that the house had "been the subject of my family for decades" and "I have been put in charge of monitoring and waiting for its second coming." Noting that Valerie Castro has several children, other letters questioned, "Have they found out what's in the walls yet," and "I am pleased to know your names now, and the name of the young blood you have brought to me." The threatening letters were sufficient to make the new family leave and flee their new home.
The Gainesville Ripper
The “Gainesville Ripper's” story includes all the elements of a traditional true crime thriller: multiple female victims, a serial killer, and a tranquil university town in Florida.
In 1990, in Gainesville, Florida, five female university students were slain over four days by American serial killer Danny Harold Rolling, also known as the “Gainesville Ripper.” All victims were lethally stabbed; several had also been beaten before their bodies were left in lewd positions. One was found with her head severed.
Along with the homicides in Gainesville, he also committed a triple homicide in Louisiana in 1989 and made an attempt to slay his own father in May 1990. Rolling admitted to slaying eight individuals in total. In 1994, he received the most extreme penalty for the five Gainesville murders, and in 2006, he was executed by lethal injection.
The Baby Monitor
"This isn't something I heard from my kid's room, but it was something creepy heard over a baby monitor. I did at home care for a little while, and there was this one client I had a couple of years ago. The lady I assisted had dementia, and she was just at the point where the good days were fading. We had a baby monitor in her room so we could hear when she was waking up. I'll go ahead and mention that we also had bells pinned to her sheets so that when she was trying to get up on her own (fall risk) we would hear the bells jingle. It was common to hear her down in her room talking to "that man." Asking "who are you?" and "what is it?" to an empty room. One evening she and I were in the living room together by ourselves, and I heard the bells start jingling on their own over the baby monitor. There was no ceiling fan, the AC/heat wasn't running, and no windows were open. I always had bad feelings in her house, with things like cabinets opening and one really creepy time where it sounded like footsteps coming down the hallway which really scared me. I'm honestly glad I will never have to go into that house again."
The Ghost Of William Terriss
Actor William Terriss was well-known for playing heroic characters like Robin Hood and supporting roles in classic dramas, comedies, and Shakespearean plays. Terriss had helped the struggling young actor Richard Archer Prince in finding work in several productions he was involved with. However, over the years, Prince developed alcoholism and mental instability. On December 16, 1897, 50-year-old Terriss was fatally stabbed by Prince as he entered the Adelphi Theatre through the stage door to prepare for the evening's performance. Prince was convicted and committed to the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. Terriss' spirit is said to haunt the theater and Covent Garden station and has supposedly been spotted numerous times.
Ammons Haunting Case
An article about a family frightened by three purportedly demon-possessed kids appeared in the Indianapolis Star (now Indy Star.) in 2014. Concerned mother Latoya Ammons turned to the police and Gary police Capt. Charles Austin took the case. Austin said it was the strangest story he had ever heard. He initially thought that Indianapolis resident Latoya Ammons and her family made up a complicated story to make money.
Austin changed his views after numerous visits to their house and discussions with witnesses. Latoya Ammons and her family's story contains unsettling accounts of kids scaling walls, levitating above their beds unconscious, abruptly passing out, and speaking in demonic voices. Ammons' mother also remembers waking up in the middle of the night and seeing a shadowy figure of a passing man and then finding large, wet bootprints.
Still, the family's bizarre occurrences, either brought on by a pattern of delusions or demon possessions, led to one of the strangest instances the Department of Child Services has ever dealt with. The news site received nearly 800 pages of official papers that provided a detailed account of several of the occurrences, and more than a dozen interviews with police, DCS employees, psychologists, family members, and a Catholic priest.
The house permanently associated with the Amityville Horror phenomena is located in the Long Island town of Amityville, thirty miles west of New York City. The estate was the scene of a massacre that happened on November 13, 1974, when Ronald J. DeFeo Jr., 23, shot his parents, four siblings, and himself with a rifle while they were all asleep.
A year later, the Lutz family bought the house for $80,000, significantly reduced in price due to the mass homicide. However, the Lutzes only lived there for 28 days before they were forced to flee their new home. The Lutz family claimed to experience many strange and terrifying phenomena, such as cold spots in different areas in the house, green slime coming out of the walls and keyholes, and smelling weird odors throughout the home. A voice shouting, "Get out!" is also said to have been heard by the priest who arrived to bless the house.
Their terrifying accounts of supernormal activity gave rise to the mythology of the Amityville Horror and a deluge of books, documentaries, and movies. The house, which became a subject of many horror films, formerly known as 112 Ocean Avenue, is still standing today and has been given a new address to deter tourists from visiting it.
The Axeman Of New Orleans
By August 1918, terror had paralyzed the city of New Orleans. Between May 1918 and October 1919, the unnamed American serial killer known as The Axeman of New Orleans terrorized the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, and took the lives of six people. It's assumed that most of his attacks were racially motivated because all his victims were either Italian immigrants or Italian Americans. The press said that the community of Italian immigrants was particularly terrified, with men in a frenzy, staying up all night to protect their families.
On May 23, 1918, an Italian grocery store owner Joseph Maggio and his wife, Catherine, became the first victims of the Axeman's attacks. The attacker used a sharp blade to sever the couple's necks as they slept in their flat above the Maggio grocery shop before striking their heads with an axe. When law enforcement started their investigation, they discovered the killer's bloodied clothes because it was evident that he had changed into a fresh set of clothes before leaving the crime scene. Money and valuables left in clear view were not taken, ruling out robbery as the cause of the attacks.
Multiple homicides later, a taunting letter promising another attack was delivered to the Times-Picayune newspaper on March 14, 1919. In the letter, purportedly signed by the Axeman himself, he swore to strike again on March 19, 15 minutes after midnight. In the note, he also promised to spare any homes in which a jazz band played. That evening of March 19, all New Orleans homes and dance halls were jam-packed with professional to amateur jazz musicians to divert the Axeman.
The Axeman's identity was never revealed, yet many have made wild assumptions about him. His main distinguishing features were that he was a tall man who only committed his crimes at night and almost always in a frantic manner, leaving blood and body parts all over the place.
The Wineville Chicken Coop Murders
You won't locate Wineville, California, anywhere on the map. Despite "vanishing" on November 1, 1930, and being replaced by Mira Loma, the southern California town was undoubtedly real. After the tragedy, the town's residents could no longer bear to be identified with "Wineville," therefore the name of the town was changed.
Between 1926 and 1928, several young boys (the actual number of victims is still unknown) were kidnapped and slain on a chicken ranch near the Californian cities of Los Angeles and Riverside. Gordon Stewart Northcott, a 19-year-old farmer who had immigrated to California from Canada two years earlier, together with his mother, Sarah Louise Northcott, and his nephew, Sanford Clark, were accountable for the homicides.
The case might have gone unsolved and forgotten if the authorities hadn't received a bizarre phone call from the American consul in Canada, which triggered an extraordinary chain of events. After visiting her brother Sanford Clark in California, Jessie Clark informed the consul about the homicides on the ranch, which she accidentally learned from Sanford, who had been working on the chicken ranch at the time.
When authorities went to the ranch, they discovered three shallow graves exactly where Clark claimed they were. These graves did not contain whole corpses but only parts. According to Clark and his sister Jessie's testimony, a few weeks before Clark was placed in protective custody, Northcott and his mother excavated the bodies and transported them to a desolate location, where they were probably burned overnight. Complete corpses were never discovered.
Based on the evidence discovered in the graves, the authorities could conclude that Walter Collins, two brothers, Lewis and Nelson Winslow, aged 12 and 10, and the unnamed fourth victim had all been slain. Founded on the located body parts and Clark's evidence, Gordon Northcott was given a death sentence. Sarah Louise Northcott received a life sentence before being released on parole in 1940. Due to the firm conviction that the youngster was innocent, assistant district attorney Loyal C. Kelley decided not to prosecute Sanford for murder. He claimed Sanford had been the target of Northcott's sexual abuse and threats, and he had not willingly taken part in the crimes committed at the chicken ranch.
H. H Holmes
Herman Webster Mudgett, also known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes or H. H. Holmes, was an American con man and serial killer who was the target of more than 50 lawsuits in Chicago alone. He pursued committing crimes up to his execution in 1896, which included insurance fraud, swindling, check forgery, three to four illegal bigamous marriages, murder, and horse theft.
While in judicial custody, Holmes confessed to 27 homicides, some of which included victims who were still alive. Despite this, he was only found guilty of and given the death penalty for one homicide: that of his business colleague and collaborator Benjamin Pitezel. Three of Pitezel's missing children are believed to have been slain by Holmes, along with three mistresses, one of their children, and another's sister. Nine days before his 35th birthday, on May 7, 1896, Holmes was executed by hanging.
Holmes remained calm right up until the moment of his demise, displaying hardly any signs of worry, dread, or melancholy. However, he requested that his coffin be covered in cement and buried 10 feet beneath the ground because he was afraid that grave thieves would take his body and use it for dissection. Holmes's neck did not snap; instead, he slowly choked to death, twitching for more than 15 minutes before being pronounced dead 20 minutes after the trap was set.
The Night Stalker
Dubbed Night Stalker, Ricardo “Richard” Leyva Muñoz Ramirez was responsible for taking the lives of at least 13 people in California between 1984 and 1985.
It is strongly believed that Ramirez’s upbringing influenced his criminal behavior. Abused by his father, Ramirez started to gain grisly, macabre hobbies in his early and mid-teens from his elder cousin, Miguel (“Mike”) Ramirez, who is said to have also taught him some of the military skills he would employ later on during his year-long slaying spree. According to reports, when Ramirez was 12, his cousin, a Vietnam War veteran, showed him photos of Vietnamese women he reportedly ra*ed, tortured and slayed. The year after that, Ramirez witnessed his cousin lethally shoot his wife. Soon after that, Ramirez started breaking into houses.
Ramirez’s first victim was a 79-year-old widow whom he ra*ed and stabbed in June 1984. After that, he reportedly waited around eight months before continuing his attacks. Many of Ramirez’s victims were beaten and subjected to ra*e. Satanic symbols were also frequently discovered at crime scenes. Eventually, a fingerprint was found, which helped identify Ramirez.
During his court appearances, Ramirez made several allusions to the devil and even drew a pentagram on his hand. In 1989, in September, he was found guilty of 13 homicides and several other offenses. He was given a death sentence over two months later. The judge said his crimes demonstrated “cruelty, callousness and viciousness beyond any human understanding.” Ramirez never apologized, and after being given his punishment, he said, “Big deal. Death always went with the territory.” Although he was suspected of committing more ra*es and homicides, no new charges were ever brought against him. Ramirez received a cancer diagnosis and passed away of complications in prison in 2013.