The British Pet Massacre
Dark Tales
by Dark Tales
1y ago
Following an ill-judged information pamphlet issued in the UK after the outbreak of the Second World War, some 750,000 pets were killed over fears of food shortages and dangerous conditions in cities. The UK declared war on Nazi Germany on 3rd September 1939, two days after Germany began the Second World War by invading Poland. At the time, the British Army was small in comparison to many other European nations, including Germany. The British Expeditionary Force, numbering around 152,000 soldiers, was dispatched to France. The French and British would decisively lose the Battle of France, with ..read more
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The London Beer Flood
Dark Tales
by Dark Tales
1y ago
In October 1814, a huge vat of fermenting beer burst open, releasing as much at 1.5 million litres of beer in a flood that swept through the back wall of the brewery and into an area known as the St Giles rookery. Eight people were killed as the torrent of beer smashed houses and flooded basements. The Horse Shoe Brewery was purchased by Sir Henry Meux, son of the owner of a rival brewery, in 1809. He almost immediately began construction on a fermenting vat on the same scale as the one at his father’s Meux Brewery, itself the largest in London. With a capacity of 18,000 barrels, by 1812 the H ..read more
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The Witchfinder General
Dark Tales
by Dark Tales
2y ago
With the self-appointed title of Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins was responsible for the execution of over 100 alleged witches during a career that lasted just three years. Hopkins and his men carried out more executions of accused witches than had happened in the previous 100 years. There are almost no records of Matthew Hopkins before he began his career at a witchfinder in 1644. Born in Suffolk, Hopkins was the son of a puritan vicar. While historians are unsure of his exact age, they know he was the fourth of his parent’s six children, and must have been born after 1619. In his early ..read more
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The Blood Eagle
Dark Tales
by Dark Tales
2y ago
The Blood Eagle refers to a method of torture and execution mentioned in Skaldic poetry. It has gained notoriety for its incredibly graphic nature, but the lack of verifiable sources means that historians remain largely in the dark in terms of whether it was ever really used, and what the specific method looked like. Typically, the blood eagle is described as a method of ritual execution where the condemned would be staked out, face down, and would then have the flesh of their back opened up with a blade. Their exposed ribs would then be cut away from the spine, springing open to form the ‘win ..read more
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Elizabeth Bathory
Dark Tales
by Dark Tales
2y ago
A member of the Hungarian nobility, Countess Elizabeth Bathory de Ecsed is thought by some to be one of the most prolific serial killers in history, using her wealth and power to allow her to torture and kill hundreds of victims between 1590 and 1610. She was eventually caught and convicted of 80 counts of murder, spending the rest of her life imprisoned in her own castle. Four servants that had assisted her in the murders were executed. Since her death in 1614, some historians have argued that rather than a sadistic serial killer, Elizabeth Bathory was instead the victim of a conspiracy to di ..read more
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The Yuba County Five
Dark Tales
by Dark Tales
2y ago
In February 1978, five young men from Yuba City, California failed to return home after attending a college basketball game. Their car was found four days later, abandoned. Four of them were eventually found dead in strange circumstances, while the fifth has never been found. The mystery surrounding the event has led to many researchers referring to the Yuba County Five disappearance as the ‘American Dylatov Pass‘. All five men played for the same basketball team, the Gateway Gators. All five also had some degree of mental disability. Two, Bill Sterling (29) and Jack Huett (24) had mild intell ..read more
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The Highgate Vampire
Dark Tales
by Dark Tales
2y ago
Rumours of a supernatural being that became known as the Highgate Vampire caused a media storm in London between 1969 and 1970. Two self-proclaimed vampire hunters, and the feud that developed between them, further fueled public interest in the case. Highgate Cemetery is a large burial ground in North London, with around 170,000 people interred there. First established in 1839, Highgate is one of a group of London cemeteries known as the Magnificent Seven. These large cemeteries were opened between 1833 and 1841 in an effort to alleviate the dangerous overcrowding in London’s parish grave ..read more
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The Dog Suicide Bridge
Dark Tales
by Dark Tales
2y ago
For at least 70 years, dogs crossing the Overtoun Bridge in West Dumbartonshire, Scotland have been strangely compelled to jump from the bridge, often to their deaths. Many witnesses have reported that the dogs invariably jump off the bridge at the same spot. Built in 1895, the Overtoun Bridge provided access to Overtoun House. The bridge comprises three arches, with a central arch spanning a deep ravine and the Overtoun Burn that flows beneath it, with two smaller arches on either side. Locals reportedly began referring to Overtoun Bridge as the ‘bridge of death’ or the ‘dog suicide bridge’ i ..read more
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British Monarchs that Met Untimely Deaths
Dark Tales
by Dark Tales
2y ago
Today (Thursday June 2nd) is the start of a four day weekend in the UK to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, celebrating 70 years as the Queen of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. It makes her the longest reigning British monarch, and the longest reigning female monarch in history. She is not yet, however, the longest serving monarch in history. That title is held by King Louis XIV of France, who reigned for 72 years after succeeding his father at the age of four. Of course, a key part of her reaching that milestone is her longevity: Queen Elizabeth is currently 9 ..read more
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The Murder of Dian Fossey
Dark Tales
by Dark Tales
2y ago
A leading primatologist who spent 20 years studying mountain gorillas, American Dian Fossey’s 1983 book Gorillas in the Mist is widely regarded as one of the most important works every written on the subject of our connection to the natural world. Vehemently opposed to poaching, Fossey was ultimately murdered at a remote camp in the Virunga Mountains, Rwanda. While a member of her staff was convicted of the killing in absentia, theories remain that she was killed due to her disruption of profitable industries including tourism, the illicit trade of wild animals and animal parts, or gold mining ..read more
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