Get your amateur Sherlock Holmes feet wet with these unsolved mysteries.
The Reddit link flashed before my eyes:
“What is the creepiest/scariest unsolved mystery you have heard of?”
I clicked innocently, thinking it would be a brief, lunchtime reprieve from work.
But I scrolled for hours, opening Wikipedia tab after Wikipedia tab and delving deeper into the
lives of missing teens, mysterious murders, and theory forums for people hoping to gather their
own evidence and solve these crimes. A coworker pulled me out of my internet K-hole, and I
closed the remaining tabs, thinking I’d discuss it later with my mother, who’s an avid fan of
conspiracy theories and the SyFy channel shows Ghost Hunters, Paranormal Witness, and the
now-defunct Beyond Belief.
Today, I’m still not entirely certain as to what extent my mother really believes in the programs
she watches. For me, indulging in supernatural phenomena has always been exciting, but I trust
the shows and eyewitness accounts as far as I can proverbially throw them.
However, when revisiting the Reddit thread to write this article, I found that I wasn’t so much interested in the big
time mysteries that have famously plagued police departments and the public for
generations—the Roanoke colony, Jonbenet Ramsey, the Zodiac Killer—but, rather, the small
mysteries that happened to people who never thought it would happen to them. I read accounts
of aunts being kidnapped into the Russian mob, of people being nearly murdered by prolific
serial killers but locking their doors just in time, of hitchhikers that were saved by that tingly
feeling that something was off, only to find out later that the driver was, in fact, a wanted man.
Rather than reading urban legends or fake spooky stories (which I find wholly unreadable and
insulting to the genre of the unsolved), these Redditors used names, old newspaper articles,
and a plethora of other info to support their small-time brushes with the unsolved. This
resonated with the thrill-seeking, slightly self-destructive part of me: I shuddered at the
smallness, the normality of these people, which made the crimes all the more real to someone
as small, as normal as me.
While these stories really pulled me in, the ones that kept me awake that night were the mid-
size tales that included Wikipedia articles. Clicking and reading and clicking and reading into
this vortex of the unknown became a new sort of “Unsolved Mysteries”. Without access to a
proper television and cable programs, I trusted the Internet as my new source for spookiness.
Instead of passively watching Robert Stack explain in vague terms what had happened when
the person of interest was last seen at a gas station in Tucson, then lie awake for hours, terrified
of going missing, I could google everything from suspects to video footage, entering the
metaphorical crime scene myself – perhaps to prevent it from happening to me.
So what lies before you is exactly that. Two unsolved mysteries that I’ve researched and
compiled for you here, to check out for yourselves. Both are quite different in nature, and have
terrified me to the core.