Season 1: Episode 1

Intro to the show




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Episode Transcript

Mike: 0:29
Hello, and welcome to Stories of Strangeness – your guide to the worldwide weird. I’m Mike.

Zoe: 0:35
And I’m Zoe!

Mike: 0:36
And… that’s us. Thanks for listening. Good night! No. Okay, we’ll probably do a bit more than that.

Zoe: 0:44
I should hope so.

Mike: 0:45
Yeah. So this first episode, what are we doing?

Zoe: 0:48
We are introducing ourselves. We are introducing our podcast and letting you know a little bit about what you should expect in the coming weeks.

Mike: 0:57
Yep. So what are people supposed to expect in the coming weeks?

Zoe: 1:02
Stories of strangeness?

Mike: 1:04
But, what does that mean?

Zoe: 1:06
Well, it’s anything paranormal.

Mike: 1:08

Zoe: 1:09
Anything, so ghosts…

Mike: 1:10

Zoe: 1:11

Mike: 1:12

Zoe: 1:13
Just, you know, things that go bump in the night –

Mike: 1:15

Zoe: 1:15
Things that can’t be explained.

Mike: 1:17
Yeah. So anything kind of unexplained; paranormal; weird; unusual etc, etc.

Zoe: 1:21
I think I just said that!

Mike: 1:23
Yeah. All right. So how did you Zoe, get into weirdness?

Zoe: 1:28
I will say that I didn’t get into weirdness. That I’ve always been weird.

Mike: 1:35
Yeah, I’d agree with that.

Zoe: 1:36
I was, you know, from the get go

Mike: 1:38
I’ve not known you that long.

Zoe: 1:39
You’ve met my parents.

Mike: 1:41
I’ve met you.

Zoe: 1:41
They explain quite a lot.

Mike: 1:43

Zoe: 1:43
And it is their fault because essentially, it was a book –

Mike: 1:48

Zoe: 1:48
A big book called “Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain”,

Mike: 1:52

Zoe: 1:52
by Reader’s Digest.

Mike: 1:53

Zoe: 1:54
Big old brick of a book, and lots of stories from all across the isle.

Mike: 1:59

Zoe: 2:00
Lots of lovely grisly pictures too,

Mike: 2:02

Zoe: 2:03
Very inappropriate for a small child. I was looking at the pictures before I could read. And then reading the stories when I could.

Mike: 2:09

Zoe: 2:09
And I had favourite stories that I would read over and over and over again,

Mike: 2:13
Suddenly so much makes sense.

Zoe: 2:15
Yeah. And they did have a lot of books on the unexplained. And Arthur C. Clarke, which I think was another staple.

Mike: 2:24
Yeah. And yeah, we had both of those.

Zoe: 2:26
Well I think there was more than two, love!

Mike: 2:28
No, we had the “Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain”, and the Arthur C. Clarke one.

Zoe: 2:32
Right. Yeah. Just, there was just so many weird stories in there. And I was just intrigued.

Mike: 2:37
The one with the Crystal Skull on the front was the Arthur C. Clarke one.

Zoe: 2:39
Yeah. I mean,

Mike: 2:40
I think Mysterious World or something

Zoe: 2:41
It was almost a law, in the 80s that you had to have those in your house.

Mike: 2:45
I think they were both Reader’s Digest things. I think Reader’s Digest just went: “Here, have a load of weird books!” and my parents and your parents went, yeah, alright then!

Zoe: 2:52
It was like we just need a generation of really weird people, here you go!

Mike: 2:55
And Gen X was born! Woo!

Zoe: 2:58

Mike: 3:00
Okay, so mine was fairly similar. I had both of those books and another book which – I can’t remember the title of it. And it was it was a hardback. It was about big, well bigger than a4 size. And that had a lot. It was like mysterious world….

Zoe: 3:20
A coffee table book.

Mike: 3:21
Yeah, mysterious world, mysterious universe, something like that. And I had that for years and years and years and I read like, stories in it over and over and over.

Zoe: 3:30

Mike: 3:30
So things like spontaneous human combustion, which I know is a interest of yours.

Zoe: 3:35
Big favourite. Yeah.

Mike: 3:36
Aliens, crop circles. Cryptids, Bigfoot, obviously,

Zoe: 3:42
It’s all the beasties isn’t it?

Mike: 3:43
Wendigos whatever else – Skinwalkers…

Zoe: 3:46
Stop stealing my stuff, dude!

Mike: 3:49
Well, we’ll get to that. So shall we explain what the show’s format’s going to be first.

Zoe: 3:53
So yeah, the episodes going forward.

Mike: 3:55

Zoe: 3:55
One of us will present,

Mike: 3:57

Zoe: 3:57
A researched piece to the other, and then we shall discuss.

Mike: 4:02

Zoe: 4:03

Mike: 4:03
At your leisure.

Zoe: 4:04

Mike: 4:05

Zoe: 4:05
Or yours!

Mike: 4:06
Yes. So what is your first topic going to be? Just to tantalise our listeners a little bit?

Zoe: 4:13
Well, my first subject is something very close to my heart, because it’s a local beastie.

Mike: 4:20

Zoe: 4:20
And I was born in the fens, raised in the fens…

Mike: 4:24
Webbed knees.

Zoe: 4:26
No, toes love.

Mike: 4:27

Zoe: 4:27
And then run away from the fens. But, it has since drawn me and mine now back…

Mike: 4:33
Yeah, here I am too,

Zoe: 4:35
Yeah, so back to the actual point. My first subject is Black Shuck!

Mike: 4:39

Zoe: 4:40
Also known as Old Shuck, just Shuck – Old Shock. Who is of course the demon dog of East Anglia, and sometimes seen further afield but mostly sticks to the sort of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, sometimes Essex region.

Mike: 4:57

Zoe: 4:58
And he can appear in a flash of lightning…

Mike: 5:01

Zoe: 5:02
Or he can creep up on you, because sometimes his paws make no sound. It depends where you come from. So there’s quite a lot of conflicting stories about him depending on where you’re from.

Mike: 5:15

Zoe: 5:16
Some places say that he is a portent for death, that you, or one of your family may die in the next year or so.

Mike: 5:23

Zoe: 5:24
In other regions, he will actually aid lost travellers and guard people.

Mike: 5:31
So he’s a bit capricious, basically.

Zoe: 5:32
I don’t know what that means, but I’ll say yes, because you probably do. And you’re generally right. Mostly.

Mike: 5:40
You heard it here that’s on record. That’s on record!

Zoe: 5:42
I said mostly!

Mike: 5:43
Yeah, alright.

Zoe: 5:44
One feature that is quite obvious is a flaming eye, one, just the one,

Mike: 5:49
Just the one,

Zoe: 5:50
A Cyclops in some stories, so…

Mike: 5:51
Don’t go overboard

Zoe: 5:52
I’m gonna look at the the regional differences of of Black Shuck and pick out some of my favourite stories about him, because he was a firm favourite of mine and my sisters growing up, because as I said, we did live out in the middle of nowhere in a place called Redmere out in the fens and many a story was told as we watched the lonely country roads, of this, this demon dog, but he never showed up. We called him, and called him but he obviously…

Mike: 6:20
He obviously didn’t respond to his name or something.

Zoe: 6:23
No, he was too scared

Mike: 6:24
Maybe he was called Tiddles or something. Or Tinkles.

Zoe: 6:25
No, he just didn’t have the guts to take on… us.

Mike: 6:30
Yeah, that’s what it was. That’s what it was: Two young girls on a farm track in the middle of nowhere and Black Shuck was like, Nah, man, they look they look tasty.

Zoe: 6:38
I’m not going there!

Mike: 6:39
But… but like in the kind of they can handle themselves – tasty.

Zoe: 6:43
Yeah, I’ll go with that.

Mike: 6:45
All right.

Zoe: 6:45
I’m sure my sister will agree.

Mike: 6:46

Zoe: 6:47
So yeah, that’s my first story. So what’s your first story going to be? I don’t – no. Story, not story.

Mike: 6:53
No. Yeah, it’s Stories of Strangeness. So it’s a story.

Zoe: 6:55
I suppose it has to be doesn’t it, okay. What’s your first story gonna be?

Mike: 6:59
My first story, is going to be about Nikola Tesla.

Zoe: 7:03
He’s electric!

Mike: 7:05
He is electric.

Zoe: 7:07

Mike: 7:07
Yeah, he’s the original electric guy. Tesla is somebody I’ve been fascinated for – fascinated by for years. He invented so many things that basically make our modern world possible.

Zoe: 7:21
Mostly computer-y type things as well, which is…

Mike: 7:23
No – Well, no, not really.

Zoe: 7:26
Well, tech… it’s very tech isn’t it?

Mike: 7:26
It’s more electrical stuff really. So he invented for example, AC current. So AC current is the type of electricity we use in the house, that everybody uses every day. And it was way more safe than DC which was Thomas Edison’s version. And you – he was able to transmit electricity over further distances using thinner wires. Edison’s version would have had a power plant every square mile, things like that,

Zoe: 7:57
That would be a little cluttered, for want of a better word.

Mike: 8:01
Yeah. Imagine that a power plant every, every square mile,

Zoe: 8:04
Can you imagine London?

Mike: 8:05
In a city?

Zoe: 8:06
Yeah, that would be great, wouldn’t it?

Mike: 8:07
It would be nuts.

Zoe: 8:08
It would be madness.

Mike: 8:10
But yeah, he also invented things like the modern electric motor, hydroelectric power. He was advocating hydroelectric; wind turbines, and things like that way before it became cool to conserve energy.

Zoe: 8:26
So what makes him strange?

Mike: 8:29
What makes him strange are some of the things about him were very strange. He basically suffered with OCD. If he was alive these days he had been diagnosed with OCD.

Zoe: 8:39
And I suppose back then, that wasn’t understood.

Mike: 8:41
Like, he never shook people’s hands. He often wore gloves. And he was celibate for his entire 86 year life because he didn’t like germs and didn’t like touching people and things like that.

Zoe: 8:52
Wow. That’s a lot of pent up energy.

Mike: 8:54

Zoe: 8:55
powering his own … coil

Mike: 8:56
Powering his own energy. Yeah. Powering his own coil… Oh my god. But yeah, he also…

Zoe: 9:02
I didn’t mean it like that!

Mike: 9:04
Sure, tell it to the listeners. But yeah, he invented lots and lots of things that were way ahead of his time. But also he invented things like an earthquake machine.

Zoe: 9:14
What, that could actually make an earthquake happen?

Mike: 9:17
It nearly destroyed the entire neighbourhood in New York when he turned it on, and he had to beat it to death with a stick, basically.

Zoe: 9:24
I think I might have heard about that, possibly.

Mike: 9:26
Yeah, I’ll go into that in more detail in the actual episode.

Zoe: 9:29

Mike: 9:30
He also invented what is normally called a death ray, which he would have disagreed with. He would have said that it’s not a ray – his is… rays basically can’t maintain power over distance. So they drop off very quickly.

Zoe: 9:45
What, droopy?

Mike: 9:45
So you can’t fire a – no not droopy, they just dissipate – the energy dissipates.

Zoe: 9:50

Mike: 9:50
So if you were to shoot somebody 500 yards away,

Zoe: 9:53
It would fizzle out.

Mike: 9:54
you wouldn’t be able to harm them, basically. Yeah. His was a focused beam of particles that he called Teleforce. And he also envisaged…

Zoe: 10:03
I think I used to watch that on a Sunday morning.

Mike: 10:05
It was pretty good. Yeah, it was straight after Street Hawk and Knightrider.

Zoe: 10:08

Mike: 10:09
(sings) Teleforce-ah! But yeah, he he invented that, which was an odd one. There were loads of other bits and pieces that make him slightly spooky and slightly odd and things like that.

Zoe: 10:21
Okay, cool.

Mike: 10:22
But – one of the main things was when he died, and sadly he died penniless, in a hotel room in New York, but when he died, the US government’s Office of Alien Property confiscated almost all of his work.

Zoe: 10:35

Mike: 10:36

Zoe: 10:37
So there’s obviously something he was doing… right.

Mike: 10:40
Right or…

Zoe: 10:40
Or wrong.

Mike: 10:41

Zoe: 10:42
Depending on how you look at it.

Mike: 10:43
It could have been could have been partly to do with Teleforce, because he also envisaged a system where Teleforce would essentially… envelope a country and any plane flying into it would just explode, any soldiers trying to get in would die.

Zoe: 10:57
Oh my god.

Mike: 10:58
It was kind of like this weird electromagnetic…

Zoe: 11:00
Under The Dome…

Mike: 11:02
Death-beam-ray Yeah, I dunno.

Zoe: 11:03
Wow, that’s like proper evil genius stuff.

Mike: 11:05
Yeah well he saw it as a way for a country to…

Zoe: 11:08
It was protection.

Mike: 11:09
Yeah it was it was defence obviously, it was always defence.

Zoe: 11:11
Always the way isn’t it everything that is made with good intent.

Mike: 11:14
But the work that he did – he was very aware that his inventions could be used for nefarious purposes and some things he kind of kept secret and didn’t show off to the world.

Zoe: 11:25
I wonder what died with him then?

Mike: 11:26
Yeah, well a lot apparently,

Zoe: 11:28

Mike: 11:28
A lot and that’s that’s basically why I’m going to be covering Tesla in my first episode.

Zoe: 11:33
Awesome! Sounds really interesting.

Mike: 11:34
Yeah. What’s your next one going to be?

Zoe: 11:37
So my next one is – and bear with me on this – Mothman and friends.

Mike: 11:44
Which was on straight after Teleforce!

Zoe: 11:46
It – I believe it was yes. And before Spider-man.

Mike: 11:49
Before Spider-man Yeah, it went Knightrider; Street Hawk; Teleforce; Mothman and friends; Spider-man and friends…

Zoe: 11:55
His amazing friends!

Mike: 11:57
And his amazing friends. Sorry, yeah. Don’t downplay the friends!

Zoe: 12:00
No, they were awesome – Firestar was like, my hero!

Mike: 12:03
Firestar was cool. But if you’ll pardon the pun, Iceman was a bit of a drip.

Zoe: 12:10
He was standing too close to Firestar…

Mike: 12:11
Oh… can’t believe I did that. Okay,

Zoe: 12:14
Anyway, so Mothman and friends.

Mike: 12:16

Zoe: 12:16
So, I’m gonna just assume that most people have seen the 2002 movie with Richard Gere, The Mothman Prophecies.

Mike: 12:23
If not, you’ve got about two more episodes before we do Mothman and friends so get watching.

Zoe: 12:28
Yep. But it is not because I have an unhealthy obsession with Richard Gere.

Mike: 12:35
It really isn’t.

Zoe: 12:36
Not at all. After I’d seen the movie, which I did enjoy, I then tried to read the book.

Mike: 12:36

Zoe: 12:36
But that was not great. So I stopped because it just – the format didn’t work.

Mike: 12:42
The book is very different to the, to the film.

Zoe: 12:48
Yeah ok,

Mike: 12:49
It’s more, the book is more a list of… it’s like a journalists list of UFO sightings.

Zoe: 12:54
Of terrible, terrible information. So yeah, I stopped there. And I was I was intrigued by the character , which actually in the movie they insinuate is Indred Cold.

Mike: 13:09
Yeah, kind of.

Zoe: 13:10
They don’t say it, but it’s just…

Mike: 13:12
No, they kind of linked the two very heavily.

Zoe: 13:14
But they… that he’s not he’s nothing to do with Mothman, he’s separate entity.

Mike: 13:16
No, Indred Cold is a completely separate thing.

Zoe: 13:18
Which I might touch upon you never know. But no, my recent obsession with Mothman was brought about by Fallout 76 the game on Xbox and PS4. And let’s not go into the game because it wasn’t as exciting as we had all hoped. I mean, I have given it another go since but

Mike: 13:41
I quit out. I was a huge Fallout three fan. I didn’t play as much Fallout four. I haven’t played very much Fallout four at all, actually, but 76 I got about 5-10 minutes in and I knew it wasn’t for me.

Zoe: 13:53
It’s not a single player game. Obviously it’s not but… anyway!

Mike: 13:57
No, but it wasn’t an MMO either. Anyway, We could do an entire podcast about Fallout and how disappointed we are with 76 let’s be honest,

Zoe: 14:05
We could. So yes, my more recent obsession was brought on by Fallout 76.

Mike: 14:12

Zoe: 14:13
So when I started playing the game,

Mike: 14:15

Zoe: 14:15
I was really impressed by the amount of research they’d done into Appalachian folklore.

Mike: 14:21

Zoe: 14:21
They included Mothman, who I’m going to speak more about – the Wendigo or Wendigo, depending on how you pronounce it.

Mike: 14:28

Zoe: 14:28
And the Flatwood monster, who in the game looks like a giant tooth. So I was kind of intrigued by him…

Mike: 14:33
That’s just… that’s terrifying to me.

Zoe: 14:35
It really is.

Mike: 14:36
A giant tooth.

Zoe: 14:37
Well, like a molar? I don’t know. It’s just a really big lump, and i think it…

Mike: 14:41
I think that’s actually worse if it’s a molar somehow…

Zoe: 14:43
I knew a little bit about him, but not – so I really want to look into him as well because they do really seem to have done their research.

Mike: 14:50
We’re sure it’s a him?

Zoe: 14:51
I assume it’s a him.

Mike: 14:54
Are you assuming the Flatwoods monster’s is gender?

Zoe: 14:56

Mike: 14:58

Zoe: 14:59
I’m going to assume that most of…

Mike: 15:00
We don’t normally assume genders let’s just be honest.

Zoe: 15:02
Well the the Wendigo are generally going to be guys because they apparently came about when miners were trapped underground and turned to cannibalism. They then…

Mike: 15:14
As you do, I mean, you know –

Zoe: 15:15
Get hungry – nibble on a guys leg.

Mike: 15:17
It’s been 10 minutes – I’m gonna chew this guy’s knee off.

Zoe: 15:19
Exactly. And, yeah, they they take on their powers, they gain sort of superhuman strength and speed and the ability to mimic they can sound like a child lost in the woods. So the unassuming walker having a lovely walk in the wilderness goes, “Oh, my goodness. Let’s go help that kid”.

Mike: 15:37

Zoe: 15:38
And meet a grisly end.

Mike: 15:39
Get pounced on by a Wendigo.

Zoe: 15:41
Yes. But yes…

Mike: 15:42
It kind of sounds like an American chain of restaurants though, don’t you think? Come to Wendigos! Get a burger get a taco… get eaten mercilessly. Yeah.

Zoe: 15:45
I’m not sure I’m gonna go there, to be honest.

Mike: 15:55
No, I might avoid it, actually. It sounds a bit… sounds a bit – Yeah.

Zoe: 15:58
Yeah. So well. My main man Mothman…

Mike: 16:02
My Main man Mothman.

Zoe: 16:02
Yeah. He, er…

Mike: 16:03
Wow. I’m amazed I managed to say that!

Zoe: 16:05
I said it first.

Mike: 16:06

Zoe: 16:07
That’s impressive.

Mike: 16:08

Zoe: 16:08
And so in in the game I have spent many an hour roaming the hillside around Point Pleasant looking for him. I have not spotted him, which has actually fueled my obsession even more – it’s angered me so much. And even more so that two of the guys that I’ve previously played with, literally they just walked into the hillside went – “Oh, yeah, look, there’s Mothman.” Yeah, literally straight away both of them separately, I might add. And I… am yet to spot him.

Mike: 16:36
You, you were so mad that your eyes glowed red, and you got mistaken for Mothman.

Zoe: 16:39
Indeed, but in in the game he is depicted and I’m gonna call him him again because he’s called Mothman, not Mothwoman. He is depicted as a giant moth which actually when you get closer looks almost owl-like, which I don’t know if there’s a nod towards people just assuming that actually people had seen a giant owl instead of a cryptid.

Mike: 17:03

Zoe: 17:04
So I’m going to do a bit more research into that as well because there’s there’s many sightings and actually most of them are fairly similar.

Mike: 17:13

Zoe: 17:14
And so that’s, that’s my second topic, which I’m quite excited about because I do love a good creepy cryptid.

Mike: 17:22

Zoe: 17:23
So what about you? What’s number two?

Mike: 17:26
Number two for me is remote viewing.

Zoe: 17:28
So that’s like looking through a toilet roll at people.

Mike: 17:31
It’s very similar. Only there are no toilet rolls and it’s done psychically.

Zoe: 17:36
Psychic toilet rolls.

Mike: 17:37

Zoe: 17:38
Or no!

Mike: 17:38
No, not psychic toilet rolls.

Zoe: 17:43
Okay, but anyway…

Mike: 17:44
There’s one for the merch. Anyway, so this guy called Russell Targ, who was a physicist who helped pioneer the laser.

Zoe: 17:52

Mike: 17:53
Got involved. He was at the Stanford Research Institute and he got involved with psychics,

Zoe: 18:01
Is it like on Ghostbusters, where they’re doing the card thing?

Mike: 18:05
It’s- yeah, well, part of it is similar to that – those, those cards are –

Zoe: 18:08
Yeah. With the shocks.

Mike: 18:09
Are the kind of general – Yeah, I don’t think they use the shocks so much.

Mike: 18:11
Okay. That’s not fun.

Mike: 18:12
Well, I don’t know, maybe they did. No, but basically what happened was – there was an experiment done in psychic abilities. And the psychic actually revealed classified information about an NSA site.

Zoe: 18:25
Oh my goodness!

Mike: 18:26
that they couldn’t… no – So generally what they do is they give a set of coordinates.

Zoe: 18:30

Mike: 18:31
And they say, okay, draw what you see at that site.

Zoe: 18:34
Well, they shouldn’t have give them a set of coordinates that was a secret site should they!

Mike: 18:38
Well, I think it was a random set of coordinates that was supposed to be.

Zoe: 18:42
Was that a coincidence?

Mike: 18:43
Well, I don’t know. I can’t remember. If I’m honest.

Zoe: 18:46

Mike: 18:46
I need to watch the documentary again, so that I’m prepared, but I will be for the actual episode.

Zoe: 18:50

Mike: 18:51
But basically, he got involved with that.

Zoe: 18:52

Mike: 18:52
And Russell Targ asserts that the evidence for extrasensory perception is overwhelming.

Zoe: 18:58

Mike: 18:59
So this stuff is real as far as this world renowned physicist is concerned…

Zoe: 19:03
So science says it’s true.

Mike: 19:05
Yeah, basically.

Zoe: 19:06

Mike: 19:07
And he changed my mind on it. I didn’t believe in ESP and psychic phenomena, partly due to, kind of following the career of people like James Randi, who originally was a stage magician and performer.

Zoe: 19:20

Mike: 19:20
And he got into debunking psychic claims, and things like that,

Zoe: 19:23
Yeah, we are talking about that the other day, weren’t we?

Mike: 19:24
So he debunked a lot of psychic claims, he actually put up a reward, which I can’t remember what it started out at, but it ended up as a million dollars for anybody that could prove psychic ability in front of him in lab conditions,

Zoe: 19:35
That it was real, and nobody…

Mike: 19:36
Nobody managed it. Nobody claimed the money.

Zoe: 19:39

Mike: 19:40
But I was all kind of like, yeah, it’s not true. It’s just people being charlatans and fakes and whatever.

Zoe: 19:45

Mike: 19:46
But Russell Targ has changed my mind.

Zoe: 19:48

Mike: 19:48
This guy is very forthright, very down to earth, and he’s like:

Zoe: 19:51
And that takes a lot!

Mike: 19:51
“This stuff is real!” They claim that it was about 85% hit rate they had – like, and they show stuff on the documentary where they show the drawings that people have done and then a photograph of the actual site. And it is spooky how similar a lot of them are –

Zoe: 20:05
That’s madness.

Mike: 20:06
Like to the point where there was an L shaped building for one of them and somebody drew an L shaped building with the same rows of windows along the side and things like that.

Zoe: 20:14
So stuff that’s like, that’s too much of a coincidence,

Mike: 20:17

Zoe: 20:17
– to just be guesswork.

Mike: 20:19
Absolutely. And interestingly, Russell Targ has his own website.

Zoe: 20:23

Mike: 20:24
And he’s put out an app, a psychic training app. So you can download this app on your phone.

Zoe: 20:29
Oh, is this the one you showed me the other day?

Mike: 20:30

Zoe: 20:30
Oh, that was…

Mike: 20:30
So this is the one where there’s four squares on the screen and you’ve got to pick the right square that has a picture behind it.

Zoe: 20:36
Can you do it? Did you do it?

Mike: 20:37
I got I got seven out of 20 – I think it’s about 23-24 I think… and that basically, six is like – it’s a good start.

Zoe: 20:47

Mike: 20:47
Seven, it said some ESP ability present, but apparently if you…

Zoe: 20:48
So you’ve got a one in four chance of getting it, haven’t you, so…

Mike: 20:55
Yeah, exactly, so

Zoe: 20:56

Mike: 20:57
If there are any statisticians out there, that can figure out, you know, that kind of thing – but yeah, if you’re getting apparently more than 12 regularly – call him.

Zoe: 21:06

Mike: 21:06

Zoe: 21:09
I’m totally doing that.

Mike: 21:10
Yeah, go for it. It’s interesting. So what’s your third one gonna be?

Zoe: 21:14
So my third subject is going to be spontaneous human combustion, which we’ve mentioned already.

Mike: 21:21

Zoe: 21:21
And something I was quite obsessed with as a child to the point where I stopped sitting too close to the television, because my parents told me that people who burst into flames were commonly sitting quite close to their television sets.

Mike: 21:39
Right. And this is the back back in the day of cathode ray sets that actually did give out some form of radiation.

Zoe: 21:45
I’m sure, there were like pictures, like silhouettes on the wall of us all. Not quite that bad, but no, I did – I was the designated channel hopper. So it made sense for me to be a little bit closer so I could jump up and turn the dial to change the one of, four channels that we had.

Mike: 22:03
That’s how old we are, folks!

Zoe: 22:04

Mike: 22:05
Four channels,

Zoe: 22:06
A dial.

Mike: 22:07
Dials on the telly…

Zoe: 22:08

Mike: 22:08
Not even buttons – dials!

Zoe: 22:10
Dials, and oh, that was – yeah all those little scratched marks… Anyway – so in 1995 a book came out called “Ablaze”.

Mike: 22:17

Zoe: 22:18
I think it kind of set everybody off for…Yeah, not – that’s not how it…

Mike: 22:23
Good phrasing, yeah!

Zoe: 22:24
Yeah. And it just, it was in the forefront of the kind of paranormal, kind of

Mike: 22:29

Zoe: 22:30

Mike: 22:31
It was, it was in the forefront of the mindset of the kind of…yeah

Zoe: 22:33
Exactly. So everyone was a little bit interested in it. So if you picked up a magazine with anything paranormal in, it was bound to be in there.

Mike: 22:40

Zoe: 22:41
And I know that we had several books that included it. I don’t think we actually got “Ablaze” though.

Mike: 22:47
No, I’ve never read Ablaze. It was in the, in the book that I can’t remember, that got me into it all.

Zoe: 22:52
Yeah, just “The Unknown”.

Mike: 22:53
Because I remember the photo of the old lady’s leg sitting next to the bath with the burnt out floor, but then her walker’s like, hardly damaged…

Zoe: 23:00

Mike: 23:01
Because that’s the weird thing about SHC isn’t it, is that is the fact that it burns so hot it can melt people…

Zoe: 23:05

Mike: 23:06
To, to just, ash…

Zoe: 23:06
That it doesn’t damage the room

Mike: 23:08
Which, you know, ask any cremationist, or funeral director, as I think they prefer to be known.

Zoe: 23:14
They have since kind of looked into it and they do think that rather than it being something paranormal, there’s there may be outside influences, but it’s still very interesting this wick effect,

Mike: 23:28

Zoe: 23:29
and that basically is the clothing acting as the wick, and the, essentially the fat of the body acting as the wax, and it all very much burning inward, and it burns very, very hot very, very quickly.

Mike: 23:44

Zoe: 23:44
and very intensely and and yet, you often find that literally the only parts that are left are the extremities often legs, sometimes hands, sometimes head – but even the head I guess being at the top and flames going upwards,

Mike: 23:59
Yeah, yeah – makes sense – will be completely consumed by the fire, yeah.

Zoe: 24:01
That’s it. It’s a bit of a weird one because I was completely convinced by it. But the few little bits of research I’ve done, I’m now finding that actually, it’s not so common anymore.

Mike: 24:03

Zoe: 24:05
At one point, it was averaging two every three years, which, yeah, not a huge amount considering how many people there are in the world, but it’s still enough to take notice.

Mike: 24:26

Zoe: 24:26
But looking at the cases, they’re predominantly old people living alone. And, and we’re looking at the time where people were using open fires, lamps, candles,

Mike: 24:37
Smoking in bed, that kind of thing.

Zoe: 24:40
Yeah. That kind of thing. So and since the invention of central heating, I don’t I don’t think there’s been as many cases.

Mike: 24:49

Zoe: 24:49
There have been…

Mike: 24:50
Central heating has killed spontaneous human combustion.

Zoe: 24:54
Yeah. But yeah, the most recent one I found in my research was 2010. But it was little old man in Wales and yes, he was found near an open fire. But they never really state if the fires were lit, or had been lit recently, it just says open fire present, so that’s something else I want to look into.

Mike: 25:15
And I guess you naturally assume that that’s the case but it might not be.

Zoe: 25:18
Yeah, I mean a lot of the scientists seem to think that in the original investigations, things like fireplaces and lamps, weren’t taken into account because if they’d gone out by the time people got there they just

Mike: 25:33
Didn’t assume…

Zoe: 25:33
Didn’t assume they’d been on.

Mike: 25:33
…they’d been lit anyway.

Zoe: 25:35
And it’s…

Mike: 25:36
Yeah I mean even then you can, you can generally tell when a fire has been smouldering or not, but… an open fire.

Zoe: 25:41
Well, yeah, but if you’re not – if the bodies across the room you’re not going to go over to the fire and go, “Well, the fire’s still warm…”

Mike: 25:47
Plus, I mean, not being funny, but like fire retardant materials weren’t a thing back then either.

Zoe: 25:52
Oh goodness, no.

Mike: 25:52
Clothing, like you were saying clothing most clothing these days is fire retardant in some way. But back then all it took was a stray spark. I mean, there were, I remember adverts on TV saying don’t smoke in bed and things like that.

Zoe: 26:06
So yes, that’s my third subject. So what about you? What’s your third?

Mike: 26:12
So for my third one, I’m going to do Skinwalker Ranch.

Zoe: 26:15
Hold on.

Mike: 26:16

Zoe: 26:17
Did you hear it?

Mike: 26:17
I did.

Zoe: 26:18
That little whoop.

Mike: 26:19
Yeah. So one of our listeners is quite keen for us to, a friend of ours, is quite keen for us to do Skinwalker Ranch so I’m going to be covering Skinwalker Ranch. It’s got something for everyone.

Zoe: 26:30
It really has, hasn’t it?

Mike: 26:32
Yeah, there’s UFO sightings. There’s floating orbs. There are giant wolves…

Zoe: 26:38
Yeah, Werewolf-y type…

Mike: 26:39
…that don’t die when you shoot them.

Zoe: 26:40

Mike: 26:41
Not Werewolf-y. It was definitely a, like, more like a direwolf. So it was actual proper wolf but like, huge. That actually went up to the members of the family that used to own the ranch and let them pet it, and stroke it, and touch it, and all the rest of it. And it was only when it decided to try and, basically pull one of the calves out of the pen by its head,

Zoe: 27:02

Mike: 27:03
That they started shooting at it, and this thing didn’t flinch whenever it was shot, to the point where, the father got the son to go back into the ranch to get his rifle.

Zoe: 27:13

Mike: 27:13
Which was a higher calibre… Bigger bullet – more damage.

Zoe: 27:16

Mike: 27:17
Shot it with the rifle, saw a clump of flesh and fur fall off this thing,

Zoe: 27:22

Mike: 27:22
and it still didn’t flinch, but just kind of turn around and slowly walked away.

Zoe: 27:27
All right, then I get the pictu… I get the message.

Mike: 27:29
They followed it and eventually the tracks just stop. Mid – like there was nothing around. Like, it just stops.

Zoe: 27:37

Mike: 27:37
But this Yeah. Skinwalker Ranch has, UFO sightings; cattle mutilations; giant wolves; orbs, some kind of trickster.

Zoe: 27:48
Oh, I like a good Trickster!

Mike: 27:49
Yeah, some kind of… Yeah. So basically, the… because there had been a huge scientific study – it is the most studied paranormal event in human history –

Zoe: 27:50

Mike: 27:53
– Skinwalker Ranch.

Zoe: 28:01
That might have to be like, maybe two episodes, or an extra long episode then.

Mike: 28:04
Oh, who knows? Who knows? I could ramble on for hours,

Zoe: 28:07
Yes, you can!

Mike: 28:07
Which unfortunately for all you guys, you’ll have to put up with! No, you don’t. You can just stop I guess, can’t you?

Zoe: 28:13
YOU can turn him off – you can.

Mike: 28:14
Yeah, she can’t. But no, the the scientists were convinced that there was some kind of consciousness that they were interacting with.

Zoe: 28:25

Mike: 28:26
Some kind of entity that had a very kind of tricksterish… And again, you go back to a lot of like, Native American folklore and things like that – There were a lot of tricksters. Trickster spirits and things like that.

Zoe: 28:35
Well, they’ve got a lot of lore in the area, haven’t they? There’s… it is – it is essentially…

Mike: 28:39
I mean, the Skinwalker is a Native American thing.

Zoe: 28:42
It is essentially, their story.

Mike: 28:44
Yeah, absolutely. But yeah, there is literally something for everyone in the Skinwalker Ranch story, it’s amazing.

Zoe: 28:50
Brilliant. I’ll look forward to that.

Mike: 28:51
Yeah, so that’s going to be our first six episodes, which might comprise the entirety of the first season.

Zoe: 28:59
We’ll see.

Mike: 29:00
We might do more, we’ll see how, how, you know, what sort of feedback we get and that kind of thing.

Zoe: 29:04
We do want feedback if there’s any stories that you’d like us to cover.

Mike: 29:08

Zoe: 29:09
And also, if you’ve got any stories of your own, we would love to hear them.

Mike: 29:11
Yeah, we’d love to hear them. Yeah, absolutely.

Zoe: 29:12
So any little ghost stories from personal experience or just from where you’re from, or…

Mike: 29:18
Yeah. Something. Yeah, just something…

Zoe: 29:20
Something that interests you?

Mike: 29:21
…from your area of the world, wherever you are. Speaking of which, do you have any weird personal experiences?

Zoe: 29:28
I think my whole life has been a weird personal experience.

Mike: 29:31
Especially the last sort of, 10 or so years, yeah.

Zoe: 29:33
Yeah, it did get significantly weirder.

Mike: 29:36
Hee hee hee hee hee…

Mike: 29:37
Thanks! I am a Slider.

Mike: 29:41

Mike: 29:42
We’ve got to do an episode on Sliders then, if you’re one?

Zoe: 29:42

Zoe: 29:45
Well, we are both…

Mike: 29:46
And I’m one. Probably.

Zoe: 29:47
I think we both are. So anyway, a Slider is someone who has a little bit too much electricity, or they conduct electricity in a little bit of a different way to most people.

Mike: 29:57

Zoe: 29:57
I’m not – I don’t think I’m a fully fledged, because electrical products don’t generally like, break when I’m close. There are some people who just can’t use technology because it just does not work for them.

Mike: 30:09

Zoe: 30:10
But, I have given people electric shocks at about two inches, and seen…

Mike: 30:15
The spark, yeah.

Zoe: 30:16
…the spark. I have called a lift, without touching the button, and watched the little spark jump from my finger to the button, and the only person who was with me was our two year old daughter. Well, she’s nine now but she was two years old at the time, in her buggy, and I just turned to her and said, finally my superpowers are coming in.

Mike: 30:37

Zoe: 30:37
And like, woohoo! So yeah, that happens. Also, electric doors, like automatic doors, sometimes don’t work for me.

Mike: 30:46

Zoe: 30:46
And is a bit of a Bart Simpson, sold his soul to the devil moment.

Mike: 30:50

Zoe: 30:50
And also streetlights, which is where the term comes from – go out. They just go out as I walk along the street, and then they’ll ping back on again when I’m further down. And I had an incident where I was walking in an underground carpark.

Mike: 31:03

Zoe: 31:04
And walking along the lights were pinging off as I walked to the car.

Mike: 31:08

Zoe: 31:09
…and pinging back on again.

Mike: 31:10
Do they always go completely out, or do they kind of glow, or?

Zoe: 31:12
It depends on the type of light, like the streetlights tend to go completely out, but strip lights, they do that thing where they kind of… like the power’s been cut a little bit and because they kind of fizzle backwards and forwards. And as I go past they come back on again.

Mike: 31:24

Zoe: 31:24
And so it’s almost like the wattage has been reduced. And then it comes back.

Mike: 31:28

Zoe: 31:29
I do that, which is a whole lot of fun when you’re literally just shocking people constantly because it can be anywhere. I gave a poor lady as I was shopping, just an electric shock. I wasn’t touching her, I just walked past her, and she leapt away from me like I’d stabbed her. And I was like, I grabbed my arm and looked at her. And she looked at me like – daggers.

Mike: 31:51

Zoe: 31:51
and I was like, “Oh my goodness. I’m so sorry!” But I was thinking – it takes two to tango, love, you know, you obviously conduct pretty well as well. But she was not happy with that.

Mike: 32:00
Yeah, so, I mean, some people might just go well that’s just static electricity that happens to everyone but with with us it happens way too often.

Zoe: 32:09
All the time. On things that should not.

Mike: 32:11
Like, if I open my back door, I generally press the top of my arm to the handle, because the plastic of the handle or the metal of the little lock piece…

Zoe: 32:20
Yeah, you’re always getting shocks from that

Mike: 32:22
Will always shock me.

Mike: 32:24
I managed to have a spark jump from my, visibly jump from my finger onto the metal of my computer the other day.

Zoe: 32:31

Mike: 32:31
And yeah, so if people say, “oh, well, it’s just static”, – Yeah, some of it probably is just static,

Zoe: 32:35
But it’s painful!

Mike: 32:36
But it’s the streetlight thing – because I have that happened to me as well. I remember once, probably in my early 20s, walking from one pub to another with a group of friends.

Zoe: 32:45

Mike: 32:46
And literally every streetlight we passed went out as I went underneath it.

Zoe: 32:50

Mike: 32:50
And then came back on after I passed, to the point where they were like, we’re going to hang back and see…

Zoe: 32:56
Yeah, the first couple of times they go haha it’s really funny and then they and then it’s… oh.

Mike: 32:59
And I went, “Oh, this is me – this is something that just happens to me,” and they were like, “Whatever.”

Zoe: 33:04
It’s not all the time…

Mike: 33:04
And I carried on walking, and the streetlights went out as I went under them, and back on…

Zoe: 33:09

Mike: 33:09
And they followed behind me and nothing else happened. So it’s definitely an odd one and I think, you know, we are electromagnetic beings –

Zoe: 33:16
We are – we are energy aren’t we?

Mike: 33:18
We do have an electromagnetic field, so what’s to say that some people don’t conduct it differently?

Zoe: 33:21
I feel sorry for our daughter, she’s probably just gonna be like…

Mike: 33:24
She is gonna be Electro.

Zoe: 33:25
So yeah, that’s an, another generation of a super Slider right there waiting to unleash on the world.

Mike: 33:34
Super slider is gonna be her name. Yeah, we’re gonna have a suit made up and everything.

Zoe: 33:40

Mike: 33:41
Well, alright. You’re gonna make the suit.

Zoe: 33:42

Mike: 33:42
I’ll design the logo.

Zoe: 33:44
Okay, that works.

Mike: 33:45

Zoe: 33:47
Yeah, so that’s, that’s us. That’s a little insight into our daily life.

Mike: 33:53

Zoe: 33:53
And that’s what you can expect in the next few weeks from us.

Mike: 33:57

Zoe: 33:58
Okay. So if you want to contact us, you can find us on Facebook. We have a group and a page. You can find us at Stories of Strangeness, and you can leave us a message there and tell us what you think. Or if you’d like to be featured on the show and send us a story.

Mike: 34:19
Yeah, you can do that. If you want to remain anonymous, you can just email us the story and ask us not to use your name. We can do that. And the email is

Zoe: 34:31
Yeah, then we can maybe do a listeners special.

Mike: 34:34

Zoe: 34:35
Featuring stories from, well, hopefully all over the world!

Mike: 34:39
Who knows. We can also be found on Instagram @storiesofstrangeness. We are on the web at, where you should be able to find all of our episodes and show notes included. The show notes will include various links and further reading recommendations or further watching recommendations if we’ve watched documentary, or read a book or whatever, for you to follow on with.

Zoe: 35:02
Maybe some photos too.

Mike: 35:04
Yep, we’ll include some photos here and there and bits and pieces for your enjoyment.

Zoe: 35:08
I think we can’t finish without saying a couple of thank you’s.

Mike: 35:12
Yeah, definitely.

Zoe: 35:13
Because even though this is the first…

Mike: 35:16
The inaugral episode

Zoe: 35:17
…episode, we have already made two sales.

Mike: 35:20

Zoe: 35:20
From our Redbubble account.

Mike: 35:21

Zoe: 35:22
But so first of all, I’d like to say thank you to Gavin and Jason for having faith in us,

Mike: 35:27

Zoe: 35:27
that we’d actually do this.

Mike: 35:29

Zoe: 35:29
Because we have to do now.

Mike: 35:30
Yeah, we’re kind of stuck with this now, aren’t we?

Zoe: 35:32
Yeah. So thank you guys so much. And if anybody else would like to buy any of our merch, they can find us on Redbubble.

Mike: 35:42
I think we’re under Mike and Zoe, but there will be a link in the show notes for this episode. And probably every episode after.

Zoe: 35:48

Mike: 35:48
So you should be able to find it fairly easily. And we’ll update it – with new stuff.

Zoe: 35:53
We will hopefully have new pictures,

Mike: 35:56
New designs.

Zoe: 35:56
New designs, that’s it.

Mike: 35:57

Zoe: 35:58
So hopefully we’ll have new designs for every episode. If not – tough!

Mike: 36:02

Zoe: 36:04
I’m not quite sure you know, I want to draw a picture of spontaneous human combustion to be honest.

Mike: 36:08
It’s not that difficult though. You just draw a person on fire.

Zoe: 36:11
Yeah I know, but that’s not very nice. Yeah, I think that we have said everything we want to say this episode.

Mike: 36:17
Yep. So just a little intro episode. Next episode is going to be Black Shuck by Zoe.

Zoe: 36:23

Mike: 36:26
So we will speak to you then.

Zoe: 36:28
And thank you for listening this far.

Mike: 36:30
And try not to have nightmares.

Zoe: 36:32
Hee hee! Sweet dreams!

Mike: 36:34

Zoe: 36:34


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