Horror aficionados, supernatural fanatics, and riddle enthusiasts all love unsolved mysteries. If you’re one of them, this list of unsolved mysteries is for you.
In a mix of dread, excitement, repulsion, terror and piqued interest, the public has had a huge interest in some of these stories that they went down in history as the most dreadful unsolved mysteries of our time.
Here are 32 cases of the most chilling incidents, crimes, and puzzles that no one could solve in the past. Turn off the lights and read on!
32.) The Case of Yves Bert
Unsolved mysteries involving children are some of the hardest to hear or read about.
Yves Bert was in first grade when he was kidnapped at the gate of his school. On July 4, 1978, his parents received a letter stating: “I am writing to you because I have very good news about your son. Since we cannot have a child, we felt that we had to resort to kidnapping, but now we are tortured by remorse and have decided to return your child to you.”
The family received three other letters in the following months, but they never saw any sign of their son. The case was opened again in 2009 to look for new evidence using DNA technology, but this unsolved mystery still has too many questions.
31.) The Reincarnation Case of the Pollock Sisters
The story starts when two English sisters, Joanna and Jacqueline Pollock, died in a tragic car incident. Their mother gave birth to twin sisters one year later, and things started getting weird.
The twins requested their deceased sisters’ toys, pointed to details only the sisters could know and panicked when they saw cars saying, “That car is coming to get us.”
The incidents subsidized when the twins turned five, and over time the incidents stopped. However, the incident is still vivid in the memory of many as they believe it is a case of resurrection.
30.) Scotland’s Big Grey Man
Beware of the Big Grey Man if you are visiting Scotland. This hauntingly inhuman creature is believed to live in the summit of Ben Macdui. Eyewitnesses describe it as an extremely tall human-like creature with long arms, broad shoulders, and short hair. They also have heard gravel being crunched as the creature was moving.
While scientists couldn’t find a logical explanation to the sightings, they attributed them to the exhaustion and isolation the eyewitnesses must have been feeling at the time.
29.) The Hinterkaifeck Murders
The horrifying slaughter of Hinterkaifeck remains one of today’s most unsettling crimes and one of the big unsolved mysteries.
On the evening of March 31, 1922, five family members and a family maid were slaughtered in their property. Prior to this incident, strange things kept on happening. The previous family maid quit after saying the house was haunted, a strange newspaper from Munich was found on the property and mysterious footprints coming from the forest were discovered.
28.) The Voynich Manuscript
A 250-page manuscript surfaced in 1912 and has since been one of the world’s unsolved mysteries.
The book is written in an unknown language, has a different writing system and the illustrations show plants and objects we are not familiar with today.
To this day, no one can decrypt its contents.
27.) The Murder of Dorothy Jane Scott
After receiving many calls from an unknown stalker claiming that he will “cut [her] up into bits so no one will ever find [her],” Jane Scott went missing on May 28, 1980, in Anaheim, California.
After she went to the hospital with two of her co-workers to treat the an injury one of the co-workers had, she disappeared on the way to get her car. Her car did indeed approach her co-workers, but it sped away instead of stopping and has never been seen since then.
26.) The Tunguska Event
In 1908 in Siberia, Russia, one alarmingly strange event happened. Almost 770 squares of forest were completely flattened, as if being wiped after a collision. Except, there was no crater anywhere in sight.
Scientists venture that it might have been an after-effect of an asteroid that exploded over the earth, and not with it, thus wiping out the area. They couldn’t prove for sure that this was really what happened though.
25.) The Alcatraz Fugitives
Unsolved mysteries involving jailbreak are particularly striking. How can someone escape a closed heavily guarded institution? And how is it possible when it is an isolated prison-like Alcatraz, which is on an island in San Francisco Bay?
Three inmates — Frank Morris, and brothers John and Clarence Anglin — masterminded the operation. They made dummy heads with soap and concrete to trick the guards, pulled out the entire ventilation shaft under their cells’ sinks and used the plumbing to climb up.
The escapees then inflated a raft made with raincoats and a concertina. No one saw them again.
24.) The Strange Noises
In 2016, three CIA officers came to the American Embassy’s health office in Havana to report their medical condition. They were suffering from nausea, dizziness, and headache. No one knew the reason behind it.
By the end of 2018, the number grew to reach 26 Americans and 13 Canadians. The victims claimed these symptoms started after they heard some strange noise at their hotel rooms. No medical expert could explain the reason for these symptoms. Many people suspected it could be the work of the Cuban government, but the latter strongly denied any involvement. We still don’t know the origin of that noise to this day.
23.) The Keddie Murders
Unsolved mysteries that receive wild media coverage become case studies. This 1981 quadruple homicide happened in Keddie, California, after mother Susan Sharp, daughter Tina Sharp, son John Sharp and John’s friend Dala Wingate were all found killed in Keddie Resort.
The murders have been covered in People magazine, a documentary series and the independent documentary Cabin 28.
22.) The Mary Celeste Ship
The Mary Celeste, a British-American ship, was found empty in 1872.
The ship shows no signs of burglary, attack or disaster. The cargo was intact and only the lifeboat was missing. No one knows what happened to the passengers and crew of the ship, as no one heard anything from them.
21.) The Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
This one is fairly new and many of us have followed its events in real-time on TV and social media.
On March 8, 204, a Boeing 777 flying from Malaysia to China vanished into thin air, alongside its 239 passengers and crew members. Despite the massive investigation that took place by both countries, only 20 pieces of aircraft debris have turned up.
Since no lead could be found, speculations fused from all over the world. Some ventured that it was the place was hijacked, burnt in a fire, captured by the US, voluntarily crashed by the crew, and even abducted by aliens.
20.) The Disappearance of Laureen Rahn
Laureen Rahn, a regular 14-year-old teen, had last been seen in her apartment in Manchester, New Hampshire, on April 26th, 1980.
After a night of drinking with two of her friends while her mother was at a tennis tournament, Laureen mysteriously vanished into the night.
Strange things happened. First, all the lightbulbs had been unscrewed that night. Calls from Laureen’s phone had been registered going to a teen sexual assistance hotline. The mother received many phone calls at around 3:45 AM where the caller remained silent.
Two other women who resembled Laureen physically also disappeared within a six-week time period in the area.
19.) Bennington Triangle
Many are familiar with Vermont’s Bennington Triangle. Whether people believe in the paranormal or not, the mystery remains.
A string of disappearances started in the area between 1945 and 1950. The first to disappear was Middie Rivers, a 47-year-old local hunting guide. Then Paula Weldon, an 18-year-old college student, 68-year-old James E. Tedfort, 8-year-old Paul Jepson and finally 53-year-old Frieda Langer went missing. OnlyFrieda’s body was found later on.
18.) The Murder of Mark Kilroy
Warning: the following paragraph contains an unsettling description of the horrific murder of Mark Kilroy.
On March 14, 1989, Mark Kilroy, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, was vacationing in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. He was abducted to a ranch where his kidnappers murdered him in a human sacrifice ritual. They tortured and sodomized him, then killed him with a machete blow. His brain was boiled in a pot and legs chopped off. His body was found buried along with 14 others in the ranch.
The reason why this happened is one of the most tragic unsolved mysteries.
17.) Cynthia Anderson’s Disappearance
Cynthia was a fairly normal 20-year-old woman who worked as a legal secretary in Toledo, Ohio. When she wasn’t working, she was reading suspense or romance novels.
In 1980, she told her mother that she had been a fairly strange nightmare where she would allow someone who meant to harm her into her house. She was also receiving so many harassing phone calls that her employers installed an emergency button at her
On August 4, 1981, the young woman vanished, leaving only a book open on a passage describing a violent abduction. A month later, the police received a mysterious phone call claiming that the woman was kept hostage in a basement and that the house was occupied. They didn’t give any other information.
To this day, no one knows what happened to Anderson.
16.) The Dyatlov Pass Incident
Nine ski-hikers met an atrocious fate in February 1959. They died in mysterious circumstances even though their behavior was absolutely normal before the incident.
Their tent had been ripped from the inside, and some of the hikers were found in their underwear. The medical examinations showed that one body had been subjected to a brutal assault, another had been vomiting blood, another had third-degree burns and some of their clothes were radioactive (!).
15.) The Circleville Letter Writer
The once-quiet 1976 town of Circleville, Ohio, saw its calm shaken to the core with the Circleville Letter Writer.
The anonymous author threatened many residents of the town with serious personal details. The most dangerous ones were written to the local bus driver Mary Gillispie. The writer accused her of having an affair with the superintendent of schools and asked her to admit the truth to the school board.
Her husband, Ron, received a phone after a year and went out infuriated. He was later found dead in his car. After many other unnerving signs, Mary’s former brother-in-law, Paul Freshour, was arrested for Mary’s attempted murder. However, he began receiving threats from the Circleville Letter Writer when he was in prison!
The letters ceased by the time Paul was out of jail in 1994, and he maintained his innocence until his death.
14.) The Overtoun Bridge
That was is as mysterious as it could get. There is a bridge near Dumbarton, Overtoun Bridge, that seems to entice dogs to leap to their death.
More than 50 dogs have jumped over the bridge and passed away, while hundreds have survived. Some of the latter even returned to the spot a second time to jump again. If you are in the area, remember to keep your canine on a tight leash. Literally.
13.) The Sodder Children Disappearance
When a fire broke at the Sodder family household on Christmas Eve of 1945, the family’s life changed forever.
The house was burned down, but the parents and four of their children were able to escape. The five others, however, vanished without any trace. Their bodies were never found, and the parents believed they were still alive. The parents pointed out that it might have been a crime of the Sicilian mafia after the father openly criticized Mussolini’s government.
Coming from somewhere in Russia, UVB-76, or “The Buzzer,” has been baffling decades of conspiracy theories fanatics and paranormal activity enthusiasts.
This Russian radio software station broadcasts on the frequency 4625 kHz. It only a monotonous buzz tone 24 hours/day. The most curious cases happen when the buzzing stops and a short voice transmission replaces it. Everyone is speculating about the meaning of this signal, but no one could solve this riddle.
11.) The Odessa Catacombs
Catacombs are sinister on their own; no one can deny that. Especially not internet users who are familiar with Odessa’s Catacombs’ case.
It all began when Masha, a young woman who went out to the Odessa Catacombs in Ukraine to celebrate the New Year of 2005. All her friends turned up from the tunnels, but she didn’t appear. Her body was never found, and only Ukrainian cave explorers claim to know the details of this curious case. Some people think this story is a lie, but no one knows for sure.
10.) The Mystery of Isles Lighthouse
It all started in 1900 when the Flannan Isles Lighthouse was manned by three individuals: Thomas Marshall, James Ducat, and Donald MacArthur.
When the relief team came by, they couldn’t find anyone of the keepers. Apart from that, there was nothing out of the ordinary, except an overturned chair. Speculations include a group of spies who drowned the keepers, a sea monster who unleashed its rage upon them, and even a ghost ship. Which theory do you think would be more plausible?
9.) The Murder of Woodlawn Jane Doe
You’re probably already familiar with the case of Woodlawn Jane Doe.
The murder of the young woman in 1976 sparked various investigations throughout the years. She had been beaten, severely raped and strangled. Two bandanas and a bag of grass seeds were found over her face.
The victim’s face had been reconstructed multiple times to provide us with a picture of what she may have looked like, but her real identity had never been determined.
8.) The Case of D.B. Cooper
One man once hijacked a plane bound for Seattle and calmly demanded a ransom of $200,000 in cash when the plane landed.
D.B. Cooper (his alias) then managed to jump out of the aircraft with a parachute. No one could trace Cooper or find out what caused him to engage in this behavior.
7.) The Sleeping Sickness
Ever felt the horror of sleep paralysis? Sleeping sickness is kind of the same, except it plagues people for life, and can even kill.
Over half a million people were afflicted with a weird condition from 1917 to 1928. They would find themselves unable to move any part of their bodies despite being fully aware of their environment. One theory ventured that this would be the cause of brain inflammation triggered by a unique strain of streptococcus. This calamity resurfaced on two occasions, once in the 1950s and later in 2004.
6.) The Crimes of Serial Killer Samuel Little
Samuel Little confessed to killing 93 people over 35 years since 1970.
Police and federal law enforcement started scouring all documents available in an effort to find connections between some unsolved crimes and Little’s murders, but this case is still surrounded in mystery.
Little considered himself an accomplished artist and promised he would draw his victims from memory. He drew 16 portraits of the women he killed using a mix of chalk, pastel pencils and watercolors.
5.) Brazil’s Ruins
Robert Marx is a professional treasure hunter who unearthed what must have been the biggest treasure in his career. In 1982, he found 200 Roman ceramic jars, some fully intact, 15 miles from the shore of Brazil’s Guanabara Bay.
What’s the most mysterious about them is that the Europeans didn’t reach Brazil until the 1500s while these jars were clearly way older than that. How could such a big number of jars end up in one place with no way in or out of the area?
4.) The Golden State Killer
While there are many serial killers in this list, a lot of which are from the past decades, there are some that the public remembers vividly. The East Area Rapist, the Original Nightstalker and the Golden State Killer all likely refer to the same person.
This serial killer and rapist had raped at least 50 women in Northern California in the 70s, although he’d never been identified.
He sent letters and drawings to newspapers to show them his targeted area. He would call his victims to taunt them. It was even believed that he did attend a town meeting discussing his crimes. The photo above is a hand-drawn map the killer used to represent his ideal setting.
However, this unsolved mystery might not be a mystery for much longer. A man named Joseph DeAngelo was arrested on April 24, 2018, as the suspected killer after using DNA evidence to track him down.
3.) The Kecksburg UFO Incident
This seems like it comes straight out of a Steven Spielberg script! On December 9, 1965, thousands of eyewitnesses from six different U.S. states and Canada reported seeing a strange light.
They could see it over Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Canada. It seemed like a fireball crashed on the site. Speculations ranged from it being an alien craft, space debris and a Russian satellite.
2.) Christine and Walter Collins
When single mom Christine Collins reported her nine-year-old son, Walter, missing, she expected everything but what happened next.
Five months after the original report in 1928, the police came back to Christine with a new body, saying it was Walter. Except, it wasn’t. Christine shouted and cried but the police were adamant and even accused her of being a bad mother. The issue went as far as the police admitting her to a mental hospital.
Walter Collins’ real body was never found and no one knows why the police were so keen on covering up for the matter.
1.) Area 51
The public has been speculating about Area 51 for a very long time. In 2013, the CIA was forced to respond to a Freedom of the Information Act request and reveal that it is a U.S. military base.
Satellite images don’t show the area (you can even check on Google Maps), and no planes go over it. Rumors say that it is a base to develop and test experimental aircraft and weapons or UFO-related activities.
What do you think of these unsolved mysteries? Which one is your favorite? If you are a fanatic of horror movies and want a guaranteed scare, watch our top 5 horror movies in the next article!