Strange & Odd Stories from the Past


As Above So Below

Strange Case of a Vanishing Hermit (Newspaper Account)

Here's a weird story that was published in The (Camden, New Jersey) 'Courier-Post' on July 11, 1932. It's an account of a mysterious hermit who shows a dead body to two other men. But then the hermit vanishes.

"A mysterious hermit, with long a flowing beard and a chilling cackle, led two Boy Scout leaders Saturday midnight to the body of a murdered man in a Delaware County, Pa., woods.

Then, as he showed them the remains, the hermit disappeared.

An all-night and all-day search of the vicinity has failed to locate him. The murdered man has not been identified.

The Scout leaders were Wilmer Brown, 31, scoutmaster of the Colwyn Troop, and Walter Hawks, his assistant. They were on their way to the Scout camp on Darby Creek, Delaware township.

When the two were at the edge of the woods, the hermit appeared. Flashlights of the Scouts picked out his weird countenance from among the heavy brush and trees. "Do you want to see something?" the hermit asked in his strange, cackling way.

"Yes," the two replied, although later admitting they were frightened for the moment. Then the hermit led them through thicket and underbrush, over little used by-paths, and through parts of the woods where no paths at all appeared.

He came to a little clearing. Bending over, he parted the underbrush and said one word" "Look."

Brown and Hawks complied. They saw, with startled eyes, the form of a man. A gun lay close at hand. They advanced into the thicket to get a closer view. Then turning to question the hermit, they discovered he had silently vanished.

The Scouts ran to the Springfield Township police headquarters. Sergeant Chandler was on duty. He called Coroner J. Evan Scheehle of Delaware County and a searching party set out.

It took them nearly two hours to again reach the spot where the body of the man lay. At first, it was believed he was a suicide. But no bullet holes were found In his tattered clothing or his decomposed body.

The body was taken to the county morgue and an autopsy was performed. Then it was disclosed that the man had been beaten to death. Two shots had been fired from the gun near at hand, but neither entered the body of the man.

His clothing, though worn and tattered by exposure, told police the man had been well-to-do. Expensive dental work furnished a clue.

Police are checking with all dentists in the Philadelphia area in hopes of identifying the man. Meanwhile, the hunt for the mysterious hermit with the white, flowing whiskers continues."



Hi Nivek, .. Great thread buddy, this one is from the same year as yours [and of course The always talked about Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping] and though the only mystery to it is... why are people so dumb? , but I still reckon is a " strange and odd story from the past".....


Ebenezer McBurney Byers (April 12, 1880 – March 31, 1932) was an American socialite, sportsman, and industrialist. He won the 1906 U.S. Amateur in golf. He died from multiple radiation-induced cancers after consuming Radithor, a patent medicine made from radium dissolved in water.


Cheers Buddy.