Netflix just revived ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ for a brand-new run of fresh episodes. Iconic host Robert Stack passed away in 2003, and the producers of the show elected to go hostless rather than replace him. They also decided not to continue the tradition of cheesy reenactments.
Despite the change in format, the shows still honors its spooky roots with a UFO episode. However, the original version has a rich catalog of utterly bonkers, completely terrifying episodes about supernatural phenomena. Here are a few of our favorites.
Do you remember Katie from season three of the show? She was a Florida housewife who claimed to have immense psychic powers. In addition to being able to predict the future and see ghosts, Katie could produce automatic writing in languages she’d never seen. She’s probably most remembered for the alleged ability to produce gold foil from her body and produce gems from her eyes or mouth.
She appeared on the show’s Halloween episode in 1990. Although skeptics strongly questioned her so-called abilities, the show refused to take a side. That’s our job as the viewers, after all. However, it seems likely that Katie was either a skilled con artist or a mentally ill woman with a knack for sleight of hand.
Check out the clip below, which was repeated in Season 8, Episode 13 in additional to her original appearance:
Ah, the Mary Celeste. History’s greatest ghost ship, it disappeared in 1872 with no signs of survivors. To be honest, the segment on this one is a little bit disappointing. Robert Stack seems pretty convinced that the people aboard this ill-fated ship simply evacuated to the lifeboat after the ship’s hold full of alcohol caused noxious vapors. Boring!
This is one instance where the true story is even more fascinating than the ‘Unsolved’ segment. The merchant vessel set sail from New York in November of 1872. Four weeks later, it was discovered off the coast of Portugal with everything seemingly undisturbed aboard. That included plenty of food and water to keep the 10 souls aboard healthy for another six months.
Amazingly, the ship was recovered and used for another 13 years to transport cargo across the Atlantic. I guess you can’t leave an intact vessel just lying around, but who would want to sail on a ghost ship? Although she ran aground at the end of the 18th century, the ship’s legend lives on. The Mary Celeste has inspired everything from a story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to an episode of Doctor Who.
Have we learned nothing as a society? Don’t build things on top of burial grounds!
In this case, developers erected a subdivision over a historical Black cemetery near Houston, Texas. None of the homeowners seemed to know about it until Sam and Judith Haney decided to put in a pool.
Sam Haney claims that, soon after they began construction of their pool, a man arrived unexpectedly at his home to issue a grim warning about what they would uncover. “I followed him around to my backyard and he pointed at the ground and said that there are some graves right here. And he marked a spot on the ground where they were,” Sam said.
He took the man’s warning seriously. As they started digging, the Haneys soon found the bodies. After doing some metaphorical digging into local history, the couple discovered that their home was built on top of a former slave cemetery called Black Hope. Although no one had been buried there since 1939, the remains of up to 60 people were in the subdivision.
The Haneys found out the names of the couple they’d accidentally exhumed and decided to rebury them. After all, Betty and Charlie were there first. But the dead became unquiet. The Haneys experienced supernatural phenomena similar to a poltergeist. Other residents experience disturbances, too, and things began to escalate.
Eventually, the Haneys decided to sue the builders. Initially, they won $142,000 in damages. However, the ruling was then overturned, and the Haneys had to pay $50,000 in court costs. The couple ended up filing for bankruptcy and losing their home.