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Today we're gonna look at three stories that sound totally made up, but they are all actually true. But before we get into those stories, if you're a fan of the strange, dark, and mysterious delivered in story format, then you've come to the right place, because that's all we do. And we upload once a week, so if that's of interest to you, the next time you're over the, like button's house, sneak into their closet and replace all of their shoe insoles with pudding skins. Also, please subscribe to our channel and turn on all notifications so you don't miss any of our weekly uploads. Okay, let's get into today's stories of December 21, 1980.


A woman in her 40s walked into a jail cell in Los Angeles, California. Now, in this jail cell already was another inmate. Her name was Edda Louise Smith. She was 32 years old, and at the time, she was laying on one of the benches inside of this cell. Edda had actually been in jail for four days.


Leading up to this moment, the police were sure Etta. Had something to do with the savage murder of a nurse in the area, but they really didn't understand what role she had played. In fact, virtually everything about Etta. Was very confusing to police. And Etta.


Herself was not really doing herself any favors, because she wasn't really explaining how she had the information that she had. Now, Edda had already gone through a ten hour long interrogation, which led police nowhere. She had undergone a polygraph test, which didn't lead to any new answers, and she had also undergone a thorough strip search. She had been kept without food for 24 hours. At one point, she had been left in this cold jail cell without shoes for four days, but she just wouldn't crack.


She would not confess to playing a role in this murder. And so this was why police on this day had decided to go another route to get information out of Etta. That woman in her 40s who had just walked into Etta's jail cell was pretending to be an inmate, but in reality, she was an undercover cop, and her job was to go into this jail cell, befriend Etta. Win her trust, and see if maybe then Etta. Would begin revealing information about what she had done.


And so after this undercover cop walked into the jail cell, the jailer shut the door behind them, closing in the undercover cop and Edda. And at this point, Etta was woken up by the noise, and she sat up on her bench, and she looked over at the undercover cop and the know. She was immediately struck by Etta's appearance. Edda did not look like a murderer. She was this little, slight, totally unthreatening person who really just looked like a suburban mom who maybe had a white collar job.


But the undercover cop also knew that appearing to be totally harmless was a great cover for being a murderer, and so this could all totally be an act. And also, to this undercover cop, it just seemed like Etta. Was way too calm and collected, given her circumstances. She is effectively wanted for murder, and the police are putting so much pressure on her to get her to speak about it, and she's just laying down, sleeping in her cell, making no big deal about it. But the undercover cop maintained a very neutral persona, and she sat down, and at some point, she asked know, hey, what are you in here?


Etta? You know, she kind of just looked down and smiled for a second, and then when she looked back up at the undercover cop, she said, you know, you're never going to believe me. The undercover cop at this said, oh, come on. How bad could it know? Tell me, tell me what's going on here.


Why are you in here? And it was at this point that Etta. Would say something that nearly caused the cop to break character, because Etta. She would say, well, I'm pretty sure this is going to be a movie. Now, the undercover police officer tried to be as neutral as possible as she's hearing this, but in her mind, she's like, okay, well, I clearly just discovered etta's motive for being involved in this murder.


Edda wants to be famous. She wants this made into a movie where she's the star. At the same time this conversation was happening in an office within the jailhouse, a police captain was listening in on the conversation between Edda and this undercover cop. And when he listened to Etta. Talk about wanting to turn her story into a movie, he just shook his head in disgust, because Edda had just brought police to the location of the body of 31 year old Melanie Uribe, a local nurse who was robbed and savagely beaten to death and then dumped in a canyon behind a bush.


And now here Etta. Was talking about how she could get publicity around this terrible, horrible crime. It just did not sit right with the captain. And so as the captain was sitting there kind of watching this conversation transpire between the undercover cop and Etta. The captain was beginning to form a theory of what actually happened to Melanie Yuribe and how Etta.


Played a role in her murder. His theory went like this. Six days earlier, the victim, Melanie Uribe, had left for her shift at the hospital in Burbank, California, which is a suburb of Los Angeles. But she had never arrived for her shift. And so when her colleagues had noticed her absence, eventually the police were called, and a search was launched to find her.


But after 48 hours, the police had not found Melanie, and there were no signs as to what happened to her. She had just vanished. And it was at that .2 days after Melanie had gone missing, that Etta. Just showed up at the police station and said she knew where Melanie was. And so the detective who was talking to Etta.


At the time when she came in and said this, he brought out a map, and he said, okay, point to where she is. And Etta. Had immediately pointed to this area on the map called Lopez Canyon, which was about 25 miles away from Los Angeles. And she would tell the detective that, yeah, Melanie is somewhere right in there. When the detective asked Edda, how do you know this?


Edda would say, she just knew. And then when the detective followed up and know Etta. This is pretty incriminating that you're telling me, you know, where someone's body know, what's motivating you to come and say this to me? And Edda would say that her conscience was weighing on her terribly, and she just had to go to police. Now, the detective who talked to Etta.


When she first came into the police station really didn't know what to make of Etta. Because she looked so unthreatening. And what she was know, she was saying with a lot of confidence, and it seemed like she was really eager to help the investigation versus just clearing her conscience, which is kind of what she said she was doing. And when the detective looked into who Edda was, he discovered that she had a great job. She worked at an aerospace company in Burbank, California, and she even had governmental clearance.


And so this woman clearly has been vetted by the government and by high level companies, and she's passed the tests. But at the same time, the detective knew there was no good reason for why Etta. Would have this information. The location of a dead body. I mean, either she's just wrong and there is no body there, or if the body's there, the most likely scenario is that Etta.


Was involved in killing this person or disposing of their body, or maybe both. So the detective said to know, hey, come back tomorrow, and we'll take a police helicopter, we'll fly out over that canyon, and we'll see if we can find Melanie's body together. And so etta. Said, okay, sounds good. She turned and she left.


But then just an hour later, etta. Came back into the police station with her two young kids in the car. And she would tell that detective that she actually just drove out with her kids to that canyon and had found Melanie's body. In fact, she told the detective that her seven year old child who was in the car right now had been the one to actually find Melanie's body. The detective could not believe this woman.


One had gone out by herself to do this, but two had brought along her kids as well, like, what's going on with this person? But regardless of how weird this was, the detective immediately rounded up some backup. And with Edda's help, they went out to a particular spot in this canyon. And sure, enough. When they got out there, right in the spot where Etta.


Said it would be, was Melanie's badly beaten body. And so it was at this point that the police captain had grabbed Etta. And said, you're under arrest. I'm putting you in a cell, because there's no way you could have known about this unless you were somehow involved. The captain thought by putting Etta.


In jail for a couple of know, she'd get scared and start talking. But four days had gone by, and Edda had not cracked. She had not given up anything beyond telling the undercover police officer that she thought her story that was kind of still developing would likely be turned into a movie. And so the captain really didn't know what to do, because at this know, EDTA had not actually committed a crime. It was not a crime to find a dead person's body and report it to the police.


And there was no evidence that actually tied Etta. To the murder. All the police had was the fact that Etta. Came to them and told them that she knew where the body was, and then they actually found the body, but that's all they had. But the police captain would catch a break on that fourth day because he would receive a phone call that would totally change everything about this case.


It would turn out on December 17, 1983. So the same day that Etta. Would go into the police station to report that she knew where Melanie Uribe's body was. Well, on that day, Etta was at work listening to the radio and filing some paperwork. And as etta.


Listened to the radio, the local newscaster was talking about Melanie Aribe and how she was missing. And the newscaster talked about how police had found her truck, and it was parked on this dead end street, and that police were searching nearby residences to see if maybe they knew what happened to Melanie. But as of right now, there really was no new leads. They did not know where Melanie was. And it was right around this point that Etta's.


Listening to the news about Melanie, that Etta. Heard a voice in the room she was in. And the voice said very clearly to Etta. She's not in one of those houses. And Etta.


Immediately, when she heard it, she turned around wondering who the heck was in know who's talking to her, but there was nobody else in the room. And then it was like immediately there were these flashes of images in Edda's brain that she had no idea what they meant, but it was a succession of a dirt road and then a bush, and then something white, a nurse's shoe. And Etta. Very clearly saw these three images. And it was right then that Etta thought, oh, my God, I know where Melanie Uribe is.


And so she sat there wondering what to do, and then finally thought, I have to go to police as crazy as this sounds. And so she hopped in the car, and she drove to the police station, and she said, I don't know how, but I do know Melanie Uribe is right there in that canyon. But when the police had said, come back tomorrow, and we'll go out and look for her, edda just couldn't wait. And so she had gone with her kids, driven out to the canyon that she had seen in her mind. And sure enough, when she got out there, she found the dirt road that she had seen.


Then she found the bush that she had seen. And then with the help of her kids, they found the white nurse's shoe, and it was right near Melanie's body, which meant that voice that Etta. Heard and the vision she had had all been real. The phone call that the police captain received on the fourth day that Etta. Was sitting in jail and talking to the undercover cop, you know, the phone call that changed the whole case?


Well, the phone call was from another police officer saying they had just arrested three men who were caught bragging about beating and killing Melanie Aribe, and they had confessed, and they were now being held in jail. And so clearly etta. Did not commit this murder. And so even though it made no sense that she just knew where this body was, the police had to release Etta. The same day.


So she was released, and then ultimately, the three men who confessed to killing Melanie Aribe, they would be found guilty, and they would each be sentenced to life in prison. Six years later, Etta. Would sue the police department, and she would win the lawsuit, because the jury on that case absolutely believed that Etta. Really did have a psychic vision that led to the discovery of Melanie's body. Etta.


Would never go on to make a movie about her story. And in fact, when she was asked later on about why, she said that, during her conversations with that undercover cop, etta. Would clarify that she didn't say that she wanted to make a movie, but rather, she said to the undercover cop something to the effect know, it feels like I'm living out a bad movie. And so that was kind of misconstrued by police into her saying, I want to make a movie about this. She didn't and has never made a movie, and in no way has sought out any fame or recognition for what happened today's.


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The night of November 7, 1860, a 51 year old American politician walked inside of his modest two story home in Springfield, Illinois. This politician was totally exhausted, but he was also really happy because in his hand he had a telegram that confirmed he had won an election that he had worked so hard for and he wasn't sure he was going to get. And so earlier that night, this politician had been out basically partying and celebrating this huge victory. But now he was totally beat and ready for bed. Once the politician was inside his house, he picked up an oil lamp to light the way and he walked through his house to his study, where he put the lamp down on his desk.


He put the telegram saying he had won this election next to the lamp. And then the politician just collapsed into his sofa to fall asleep. But before he closed his eyes, this politician looked over at a mirror on the wall and what he saw in the mirror made him gasp. And he sat upright and looked at it like he couldn't believe what he was seeing in this mirror. This politician was seeing his own face reflected as it should be.


But then next to it was another face, and it was not his. It kind of looked like him, but it actually looked more like a corpse, like a dead person was looking out at him from this mirror. And so the politician, he stood up and began walking over to the mirror to get a closer look. But as he got closer, the dead person's face disappeared, and all was left was his own reflection. And so he's like, okay, I must have been dreaming that.


That can't have been real. And so, feeling very unsettled, this politician just went back over to the couch, and he laid back down, thinking, okay, just forget about that. Go to sleep. But again, he glanced over at the mirror, and now that he was laying down, again, he saw the two faces again his own and this dead person's face. And at this point, he stood up and rushed out of the room into his bedroom where his wife was.


Now, his wife was a very devoted spiritualist, and so the politician thought maybe he could tell her about what he saw in the mirror, and she could interpret it and tell him what it meant. And so he sat down, and he told his wife about what he had just seen. And she would sit there for a minute, pondering what her husband had just said. And then her expression on her face just totally changed. She went from intrigued to very upset.


And in a quivering voice, she would tell her husband that what this meant was he would serve honorably in the office that he had just been elected to for one term. He would get reelected, but he would not survive the second term. Now, when the politician heard this, he immediately rejected it, and he said to his wife, there's no way that's true. I probably didn't even see a face in the mirror. I'm probably just so tired, I imagined what I saw, so let's just forget about it.


But his wife was not consoled, and she fell into his arms, sobbing, as if he had just been diagnosed with some fatal illness. And over the next several days and weeks and months, this politician's wife continued to be so upset about this potential death omen that the politician had apparently had, even though, again, the politician is constantly telling his wife, come on, there's no way that's actually going to happen. And sure enough, over time, the politician's wife did sort of stop being so scared all the time that her husband was going to die. And the politician himself, he just kind of forgot about what he had seen in the mirror that night. And so he would go on to serve his first term in this elected office.


He would be reelected for a second term. And then during his second term, on April 14, 1865, this politician and his wife were out at a play in Washington, DC. And during the last act of the play, a man named John Wilkes Booth famously snuck up behind Abraham Lincoln, who was this elected politician. He was the president of the United States in his second term, and John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln in the back of the head, killing him. And so Abraham Lincoln would indeed not survive his second term.


Just like the mirror death omen had predicted.


On April 1, one eightye year old man named James Sevenier opened his eyes and looked down and saw his whole body was covered in snow. And a lot of that snow had turned red from what looked like blood. James tried to take a breath in, but as soon as he did, his chest exploded in pain. Then James began moving his tongue around in his mouth, and he realized there was this weird substance in his mouth, and there were all these sharp objects in his mouth. And so when he spit, he realized what it was.


It was blood and shattered teeth. James began to panic and tried to lift up one of his arms, but it wouldn't move. And then when he tried to move his other arm, it did move, but that little movement hurt so bad, he began crying in pain. So James is dealing with this blinding full body pain that he has no idea what it came from. He's looking around and he can barely understand where he is or what happened.


But then James looked up kind of right behind him and he saw this enormous snow covered mountain. Now, James had no idea what mountain this was, but in his head he know, I must have attempted to climb that mountain. James was a self described climbing bum, which really just meant he lived out of his car most of the time and traveled all around the world seeking out the most dangerous mountains in the world for him to climb. And so, as James was racking his brain trying to remember what happened, suddenly it all just came flooding back. He remembered he was here in the Canadian Rockies with his best friend Richard Whitmore, and the two of them had attempted to climb this particular mountain.


It was an 11,000 foot tall mountain called Mount Delta Form. And James remembered that as they were making their way up this mountain, they were hit by an avalanche. Now, James didn't really remember what happened once the avalanche hit them, but it would turn out he had fallen along with his friend Richard, about 140 stories as this avalanche carried them down the mountain for reference. That's taller than the Empire State Building. So this is a massive fall.


And so, as James is remembering that avalanche, he began looking around frantically for his friend Richard, hoping that maybe he was okay and nearby and they could work together to get out of this situation. And sure enough, at some point, James looked over and he saw there was a crumpled figure kind of lying in the snow that obviously was another person. And so James instinctively tried to sit up to go over to his friend. But as soon as he attempted to do that, he felt the blinding pain in his body. I mean, he is totally wrecked here and he couldn't stand up.


But James really wanted to go see his friend, so he kind of rolled over and through the pain. Using his one good arm, he crawled his way over to Richard. And for a second, he thought maybe his friend was alive, that he too had survived this epic fall. But as he looked down at Richard, he could see his chest was not moving and his neck was twisted really badly, and so was his back. And so James knew his friend Richard was dead.


And so James just collapsed into the snow, feeling unbelievable anguish and sadness and fear. I mean, this is the only other person out here. They are nowhere near civilization, and it's going to be at least four days before anybody even notices that they aren't back yet, because that was when James and Richard were supposed to be home. And now James is thinking like, I can't even stand up. I can barely breathe, I'm so badly hurt.


What am I going to do? And pretty quickly, James adopted the mindset of, unfortunately, you're going to die here. And this was something James said it was thought would happen to him eventually, that a mountain would end up killing him. And here he was realizing that, yep, that's exactly what's about to happen. I'm going to die out here.


And so James just kind of lay there, resigned to his fate, literally waiting to die. And after about 20 minutes, when his body began to go numb and he was starting to enter into hypothermia, james heard a voice from behind him. It was this woman who walked right up to him, and she said, you can't give up. You have to try. And James, even though he was totally caught off guard, that there was another person out here.


There was something so calming about this woman and the way she was talking to him, that without any hesitation, it was like James'whole mindset about this situation completely changed. Suddenly, he was not ready to give up and die. But now, because of this woman, he was going to fight to survive. And so after kind of moving around and looking back towards this woman, she would say to him, put your coat on. And so James, despite the excruciating pain, used his one arm that still worked and kind of propped himself up.


And then he pulled his coat out of his pack, which was lying near him. And very painfully, he slipped this coat over his broken and damaged arms. And then once the coat was on him, the woman said to James, now take a sip of water. And so James, without any hesitation, he reached over and grabbed his water. He unscrewed the top and took a sip, despite how painful it was to sip, even though the water stung his totally shattered mouth.


And then after James put the water down, the woman very calmly told him, okay, now disconnect yourself from Richard's body and then use the tree right here to pull yourself up. And so he untied from Richard. And then using his one good arm, he grabbed the tree and he managed to hoist himself up onto his totally destroyed legs. And he couldn't believe he was even standing at this point, but here he know up on his feet. And then the woman said, okay, it's time to move.


And so James began walking away from the mountain. And this woman just followed along behind him. And for a long time he trudged through this knee high snow, barely able to take a step without this blinding pain coursing through his body. But every time he began to stumble or slow down or seemed like he was going to give up, the woman would very calmly urge him to keep going, keep going, keep moving. And finally, after about 4 hours of this horribly painful trek James was on, he came upon the camp that he and his friend Richard had built before coming over to this mountain to begin this climb.


And so James quickly began moving towards his tent that was still pitched, that he knew inside had a warm sleeping bag and some water and food. And so as he made his way towards the tent, he stopped himself and he turned around to talk to his guide, to thank her for pushing him onward. But when he turned, there was no one there. And when he looked at the ground, there was only one set of bloody footprints that were his leading all the way back to where he had fallen. This guide, this woman, she didn't exist.


James was totally unsettled by this and really didn't know what to do about it. But he knew right now the priority was just to survive. And so he made his way over to his tent and he attempted to get inside of it, but his hands were so cold and so badly beaten up that he couldn't use the zipper. He couldn't even get it open. And then finally, when he managed to use a tool to get it open, he couldn't open up his sleeping bag.


It was like his body was shutting down. And so we thought, okay, I'll make a fire, and that will be enough to keep me warm. But again, it's like his body was failing him and he couldn't do it. He couldn't start the fire. And so, right as James is realizing know, despite making it to this campsite, he may not be able to survive because he can't use the campsite.


He began to hear voices. Right away, James is worried that the voices he's hearing don't really exist. Like this woman he had seen. But sure enough, just a second later, three skiers came around the corner and they saw James. And amazingly, one of them was a very experienced mountain guide, and another one of them was a nurse.


And so right away, when they saw James, they saw he was dying. The nurse rushed over, she made a fire. For him. She got him comfortable. She put on warm clothes and the mountain guide.


He took off to go get help. And sure enough, a couple hours later, a helicopter arrived and they airlifted James out and he would make a full recovery. However, it would take James years before he finally opened up about this mysterious vanishing woman who literally saved his life. Without her talking to him and urging him to go, he would have laid there next to his friend and died. But James, he was afraid to bring up that he had seen this woman, in fear that people would think he was crazy.


But when he finally brought it up, he would quickly learn that he was far from the first person to experience this phenomenon of having this invisible person help you. In fact, this phenomenon is common enough that it has its own name. It's called the Third Man effect. The Third Man refers to this mysterious vanishing person that steps in and helps people survive who have just undergone some horribly traumatic event. An example of somebody else who has experienced the Third Man Effect was the very last person to escape the Second World Trade Center tower on September 11, 2001 in New York City.


During the terrorist attacks, he was able to get out right before it collapsed because a mysterious vanishing voice told him exactly which direction to go until he escaped. And so whether the Third Man Effect is actually supernatural or just a trick of survivor psychology, we don't know. James, who is both an atheist and a scientist, says he does not believe that this woman who saved him was an angel or connected to religion in any way. Instead, he just said, it was a presence that I needed at the time that saved my life, but that is the extent of my understanding.


There are many totally terrifying stories that have come from Native American folklore, but none are quite as unsettling as the story of the Wendigo. According to the Ojibwe people, the Wendigo is this huge, twelve foot tall, slightly emaciated, gray looking humanoid creature that's constantly roaming the Earth searching for food because it's always hungry. And what does it eat? People. The Wendigo will be featured on the very first episode of our brand new, incredible podcast from Ballin Studios called Run Fool.


Run fool comes directly from the mind of the horror storytelling icon Rodney Barnes. Rodney is an award winning writer and producer who has helped define the horror genre in film, TV, and even in comic books. And now I'm certain he's going to help redefine the horror genre in podcasting. To hear the story of the Wendigo, go run to wherever you get your podcasts. Look up Run Fool and make sure you karate chop that follow button.


Episodes one and two of Run Fool are available right now wherever you get your podcasts. And remember, every week Rodney will drop a brand new scary story, so that's going to do it. If you enjoyed today's stories, be sure to check out our podcast called the Mr Ballin Podcast, which has hundreds more stories just like these available to listen to right now. But many of those stories are only available on the podcast. Again.


It's called the Mr. Ballin Podcast, and it's available on Amazon Music.