Mister Mystery responds

Monday, February 18, 2019


Judging by the experiences that Jackie Cassel relates in her monograph "Paranormal Waters" (published in 1867 when the passion for the spa resorts was at its peak), the thermal establishments are not only sources of health but also of paranormal phenomena. Mrs. Cassel, a middle-aged and unmarried Frenchwoman resident in Clermont, suffered from cerebral lumbalgia and the doctor prescribed her some purple pills, but as she did not like that color, she preferred to prescribe herself a stay in the spa of Carlsbad in Czechoslovakia. Even with reluctance, her doctor agreed to pay for her stay at the Grand Hotel in that spa city, and that is how Mrs. Cassel began his career as an expert in spas.
In that first stay in a thermal establishment, she realized that unusual things happened there. For example, the towels disappeared. You left the towel on a lounger and, when you returned, it was conspicuous by its absence. The jars of aromatic salts also disappeared and, on one occasion, the hotel manager disappeared too along with the last year's collection. But disappearances were not the most surprising.
Once, Mrs. Cassel was submerged in spring water up to her neck in one of the pools of the thermal establishment, when suddenly the telephone rang. This would not have been anything special if there had been a phone or at least if the phones had already been invented. But its inventor had not been born yet in those years, so it is not strange that Mrs. Cassel was surprised. Anyway, she left the pool and picked up the phone: "Say", she said, and then she heard a female voice reciting verses by Emily Dickinson. This surprised her even more since Emily Dickinson still did not exist and, logically, she had not yet composed any verse. What kind of paranormal phenomenon was that? Clairvoyance? Fortune telling? Prestidigitation? That did not fit into any of the known categories of paranormal phenomena.
The next day she commented the incident with a veteran user of spas, who downplayed the phenomenon by saying that sort of thing was common in the thermal establishments of that category. In cheaper establishments, that did not happen. And just at that moment the man received a phone call by means of which an unknown voice began to recite to him verses by Pablo Neruda. But the man hung up because he did not understand Spanish. That seemed funny to Mrs. Cassel: The man could hang up a non-existent telephone, he could hear non-existent verses… but he could not understand Spanish! The laughter of Mrs. Cassel made the man uncomfortable and he walked away cursing under his breath. That same afternoon, during the usual big early evening meal, she found him again on the phone. When, after listening a few minutes, the man hung up, Mrs. Cassel hurried to ask him who it was. "Well, how should I know?", he blurted out, "It was an unknown poet!" In fact, it was impossible for the man to know because it was Robert Frost, who had not been born yet.
Disconcerted, Mrs. Cassel requested an audience with the hotel manager to clarify these strange phenomena. But it turned out that the hotel manager was not born either. On the way to her room, the phone rang again. This time, she refused to take it. But the phone kept ringing as if it were an important call. Mrs. Cassel was doubting whether to pick up the non-existent phone or not when she woke up in anguish in her Clermont bed and, after recovering from the anguish, remembered that she had an appointment with the doctor about the lumbalgia matter.


It is known that the famous gangster Al Capone flirted with the paranormal and that, in his luxurious apartment in Chicago, he used to perform mysterious rituals with Parmesan cheese during which he recited spells in an obscure Italian dialect. That's why one of the worst threats you could receive from him was to find on your doorstep a big piece of cheese. It is also suspected that he possessed clairvoyance skills, which would explain why Elliot Ness founded so difficult to hunt him down. To fight him with his same methods, Ness had in his office a rag doll named “Capona” to which he used to nail pins while performing a voodoo dance. That explains why, at the time of his arrest, Capone appeared before the press with endless pins stuck all over his body. (By the way, Ness was such an honest man that, when Capone tried to bribe him, not only did he not accept the money but gave his failed briber a monthly wage from his own salary, which was also paid out of his own pocket.) 
Another famous gangster who flirted with the paranormal was Lucky Luciano, whose incredible luck he attributed to a gift of supernatural kind. Luciano's luck was such that, being once completely surrounded by the police, he managed to escape through a trapdoor that did not even exist. However, over the years it was discovered that his luck was not as supernatural as he claimed. Indeed, his fame of lucky was due in large part to the fact that every time he was machine-gunned (which happened several times a day), he came out of the shooting completely unscathed. Well, at his death it was discovered that he always carried in his pocket a huge magnet that deflected and trapped the bullets like a lightning rod the lightning.
For years, gang wars were a veritable plague in New York. There were five large families all at war with each other. But in each of these large families there were a lot of small families also at war with each other as well as with the small families of the other large families, while within each small family there were countless tiny families within which husband and wife were also at war with each other. And finally, all the families, large, small and tiny, were at war with one Seymour Talbot, no one knows for sure why (although everything points to his strange sense of humor). In short, family gatherings used to start and end with a shooting spree and the dead could numbered into dozens. For a gangster, living people had little value. Instead, they had the utmost respect for the dead. After each one of these bloody family gatherings, the survivors used to organize a heartfelt vigil in which the murderers sobbed inconsolably and tore their clothes and shouted for vengeance. Sometimes the vigil was followed by a séance, in the course of which the murderers requested the forgiveness of their victims. If the victims resisted giving it to them, then the murderers tried to bribe them. If the victims kept resisting, the murderers tried to compel the victims to forcibly pardon them. The medium Prosapia Giovo left one of these seances scandalized claiming that she had never witnessed a shooting between ghosts and living beings.


Sunday, February 17, 2019


When profane people hear about paranormal phenomena, they tend to imagine great wonders, such as teleporting a cow to the moon, or going to bed one night without even knowing how to spell the word "zoo" and get up in the morning speaking seven languages ​​with their dialects. However, such phenomena are as paranormal as the simple half-inch displacement of a pen left on the table ... unless, of course, you live next to an elevated railroad.
Since I’ve just mentioned the “els”, I remember a famous paranormal case that happened in New York at the beginning of the 20th century. The “Third Avenue El” that was designed to run, without leaving Manhattan, from South Ferry to 129th Street, ended sometimes in Flashing Meadows, on the other side of the East River, without anyone having clarified the phenomenon to this day. The rails were checked inch by inch and they were found to have the proper orientation. The reason why the train ended sometimes in Flushing Meadows remains a mystery that paranormal investigators do not hesitate to attribute to occult powers. The famous theosophist Alice Bailey lived near Flushing Meadows and it is known that following her visits to the Theosophical Society headquarters located in Manhattan, she used to take the “Third Avenue El”, which could shed some light on the enigma. Obviously this paranormal phenomenon caused a lot of uncertainty in the travelers, who could never be sure where they would end up. Something similar happened to George Cardiff, a Brooklyn merchant who many afternoons took the car to go to Manhattan but ended up in Rhode Island. Although this case is not so strange if you take into account that the car did not move on rails, as well as the circumstance that the man had a mistress living in Rhode Island.
The paranormal was so in vogue at the time that often the excuses that husbands gave their wives to explain certain inappropriate behaviors had to do with phenomena of this type. It is known the anecdote by the famous radio speaker Harold Quan who, having been caught by his wife in bed with another woman, he denied any responsibility in the matter, claiming that he didn’t know her at all and that she had simply appeared suddenly in his bed without him having part in it. In those Prohibition years, the paranormal also became a overused excuse during police raids to explain the presence of alcoholic beverages in lemonade glasses.

This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to raise funds for children in need. So if you want to make a donation in exchange for this story, click on this link to UNICEF. I really appreciate it!


Saturday, February 16, 2019


Another of the psychic abilities used by the secret services that operated during the Cold War, was the folding of spoons from a distance. It is known that the KGB had a whole department composed of more than five hundred psychics spoon benders. There were many Americans who, when preparing to take a spoonful of soup to the mouth, suffered the sudden folding of the spoon, with the consequent spilling of its contents. Determined to counterattack, President Kennedy hired a famous Dutch psychic, who after many unsuccessful attempts, managed to generate chaos during a gala dinner in the Kremlin by causing that the guests failed to introduce the food in the mouth nailing the fork all over the face. That night the guests did not taste a bite and left indignant the dining room without waiting for the desserts and with their faces full of punctures and pieces of food attached. This incident triggered the so-called “Cuban Missile Crisis”.
The experiments with teleportation also had a stellar moment when the KGB psychics managed to teleport President Nixon from the White House oval office to an auction of the Sotheby's house, where the president was forced, in order to dissimulate his perplexity, to bid for a painting by Salvador Dalí. This moved so much the Surrealist painter that he donated to the White House a giant egg, more than six meters high, to be placed on its top instead of The Stars and Stripes flag. This incident triggered the so-called “Salvador Dalí Crisis”.
Finally, we have to refer to the successful attempt, by psychics in the service of the NATO, to provoke, through telekinesis, the concealment of all the underwear of the members of the KGB, which unleashed a military plot in order to overthrow the Soviet regime. However, the plot was quickly disarticulated and its leaders deported to Siberia, where, in a show of magnanimity of the Kremlin, they were provided with the underwear they needed and whose concealment they had erroneously attributed to the Politburo chaired by Brezhnev, who in anticipation of future attacks ordered the acquisition of two million English cotton underpants. This extraordinary and (in the eyes of the soviet citizens) absurd waste emptied the state’s coffers, which triggered a popular revolt known as the “Underpants Crisis".


On the occasion of a question that I am asked, I am going to tell a little-known anecdote whose historical scenario was the Cold War that the two superpowers of the time fought during the second half of the 20th century. The question that I am asked is: "Are there people who have the psychic ability to understand the language of animals?".
Well, the answer is yes, although this skill is very scarce. In fact, those few people were very sought-after by both the Western intelligence services and their Soviet Union counterparts. Nixon and Brezhnev, the leaders of both superpowers, were very interested in knowing what was being said in their rival's office. However (as Nixon would discover very soon), it was not easy to place microphones, which were bulkier than today, or spies, which were also bulkier than today (Vladimir Kozlov, the famous Russian spy, weighed 374 pounds, and Paul Blake, in whom the character of agent 007 was inspired, weighed more than 400 and needed two other agents to hold him up.)
Both the CIA and the KGB had begun to use paranormal means to infiltrate the enemy country. And, for a time, the method most used by both sides was precisely the ability to understand the language of animals. The CIA recruited Frankie Mogliaro, an Italian-American gangster who had eliminated all his rivals from the black market of beans thanks to his ability to communicate with turkeys. The CIA taught to Mogliaro the Russian language and he in turn taught it to a turkey. When the turkey had been conveniently instructed through Mogliaro, it was parachuted into Moscow.
Strutting before the gates of the Kremlin, the bird let itself be captured by the soldiers on duty, who intended to roast it. But the turkey escaped from their hands and landed on the head of Leonid Brezhnev without him noticing, whereupon the soldiers abandoned the pursuit. For more than ten days, the turkey remained on the head of the Soviet leader without anyone dared to comment, in the belief that it was the new hat of their leader. In this way the turkey had access to the most secret meetings of the Politburo, gathering sensitive information that later transmitted to the CIA through Frankie Mogliaro.
For its part, the KGB was not so lucky when it came to recruiting someone with the ability to communicate with animals. (I have already said that such skill is very scarce.) After long inquiries, they discovered that the carer of the giraffes of the Leningrad Zoo had long conversations with those animals. They made preparations for a giraffe to infiltrate the White House, but the operation failed due to logistical issues.

This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to raise funds for children in need. So if you want to make a donation in exchange for this story, click on this link to UNICEF. I really appreciate it!


Friday, February 15, 2019


Seemingly, Donald Dandish (aka Dandish The Scoundrel, aka Mole Don, aka Abe Sogrevevitch, aka Aka) was a determined activist in favor of ecumenism, since, even being of Jewish religion, for a month he had not stopped going regularly to the Church of Saint Mark, of Catholic confession. Only the Shabbat stopped attending the church to make an appearance in the synagogue. Every other day he attended the church with an unusual regularity: fifteen or sixteen times a day.
He always occupied the same place, at the end of a side bench near the wall. He spent an hour there kneeling and with his head bowed, as if doing penance, then he got up, went out into the street, took a breath of fresh air and rushed back inside the Church. His neighbors considered him either a very pious man or someone who fled from justice and did not want to be seen in the streets. But even if that was the case, it was evident that he was deeply repentant. Because not only did he not dare raise his head towards the Highest while kneeling, but at the end of the day, he always left the Church carrying a heavy sand bag, no doubt by way of penance.
Well, it turns out that carved on the wall, just above the place where Mr. Dandish used to kneel, there was an alcove that housed a majestic statue of the Archangel Michael, patron saint of the police, armed with a gigantic sword pointing down.
Since Mr. Dandish never raised his head, he did not notice the growing interest shown towards him by the Archangel. If he had paid attention, he would have noticed that every day the sword was a little more lifted. The day came when the sword was upright, ready to strike a blow. It was what happened on September 29, just the day dedicated to the Archangel Michael.
It was dusk. It was time for the church to close. Mr. Dandish got up while carrying on his back the heavy sack of his self-imposed penance. At that precise moment, the armed arm of the Archangel dealt Mr. Dandish a blow with such force that it knocked him down leaving him unconscious.
When the sacristan returned from closing the door of the church, he saw the bundle lying on the ground, hurried and discovered the unconscious body of the pious Dandish. While trying to revive him, he noticed that the tiled floor was loose. He lifted the floor and then, suddenly, the mystery that lately had surrounded the figure of Mr. Dandish was clarified. The sack was full of the dirt extracted that day from the tunnel that Mr. Dandish (aka Dandish The Scoundrel, aka Mole Don, aka Abe Sogrevevitch, aka Aka) had been digging to access a rich landowner's house adjacent to the sacred building.

Thursday, February 14, 2019


When the company I worked for named me manager in our branch office in Memphis, Tennessee, where Elvis Presley lived most of his life, I wasn't very happy about that. Personally I do not like rock and roll, and for me Elvis was the embodiment of that kind of music. After a morning touring the city looking for a house to rent, I was captivated by a small house in the suburbs. When I rushed to rent it, however, I made the mistake of proclaiming to the agent of the real estate agency that I preferred the suburbs because I did not like the omnipresence of Elvis' living memory that I found in the center. I tried to escape from that cult to a dead singer whose music I did not even like. As a good salesman he was, he hid me then that Elvis had resided briefly in that same house when he was still a young unknown musician.
At first, everything went well. But one night I was awakened by what I thought was a recording of an Elvis song. I got up angry against the neighbor who at that time of night was listening to rock and roll. The song could be heard throughout the house. I hurried to get dressed and went to knock on the neighbor's door. I had to insist because the whole family was asleep. Indeed, I had made another mistake: the song did not come from the neighboring house. After enduring a rain of deserved insults for waking up a family at that late hour, I returned home pondering where the devil could come from that song. But that night it did not let itself be heard again.
It was the next night when I was awakened again by that song that pierced my ears. I got up agitated and picked up the pistol that I kept on the bedside table. I thought there was an intruder in the house. And indeed, there was: when I entered the living room I saw, outlined by the light of the moon, the silhouette of a young man singing and playing the guitar like a madman. "Silence! Hands up! "I shouted as I turned on the light. Then I almost collapsed because of the impression. It was Elvis himself! I screamed in horror. What the hell did that mean? The legend that Elvis had not died was true? I dropped into a chair and stared at him while my brain tried to assimilate what was happening. When the performance finished, Elvis gave a hip blow and vanished into thin air. “Aha!”, I said, because then I understood everything. Elvis was as dead as a doornail! What I had just witnessed was a performance of his ghost!
The enigma was solved. But not the problem. And it was a serious problem! If Elvis appeared to you every night singing the same song, would not you get sick of it? And you surely like rock and roll, but I don't! One night I couldn't take it anymore. Without reasoning, I took the gun and shot him. You can imagine my surprise when I saw him fall to the ground, as if I really had killed him! There I was, with Elvis's corpse in my living room! However, there was not a drop of blood. That reassured me a little, and then I hurried to get rid of the corpse: I hid it in the attic. "At least the nightly serenades are over", I thought. But how wrong I was! The next night he appeared again! I killed him again and hid his body in the attic. And the same happened the next night. And the next. And the next ... I made up an excuse to rescind the rental contract, but they told me that I had to wait until the end of the month. When I finally left the house, the attic was packed: there was no room for one more Elvis!
More than six months have passed. But I still read every day the newspaper in a state of panic, afraid to find the news of the surprising discovery of a lot of Elvis' corpses in an old attic of the suburbs of Memphis.