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.