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It’s Thursday and of course that means another grand episode of #Carmilla!


Laura and Carmilla are decompressing from the whole, “giant-mushroom exploding dangerous spores” fiasco when Perry and LaF show up with some new info!

You can watch Episode 25 NOW!

The Missing Sodder Children
- Unsolved Mysteries

- At about midnight on Christmas Eve, 1945 in Fayette, West Virginia, Jennie (also ‘Jeanie’) Sodder was awakened by her phone ringing. On answering it a woman asked for a man whose name Jennie did not recognise. The woman at the other end let out a weird laugh and then hung up.

Jennie then noticed that there were lights still on in the house. She had gone to bed soon after her husband that night. She told the younger of her nine children to do the same, but they had pleaded to be allowed to stay up late to play with their toys. Jennie gave in, but told them to make sure all the lights were off and that the house was locked before turning in.

This apparently, had not been done.

Jennie returned to bed, but was soon re-awoken by what sounded like a rubber ball being bounced either on or in the roof. Soon after this, as Jennie attempted to drift off to sleep, she noticed her room filling with smoke.

The house was on fire.

Jennie called for her husband and children to get up and get outside. This was quickly followed by a flurry of movement as the Sodder’s left the house… but five of the children were unaccounted for, the ones who asked to stay up late that night. The Sodder men (George Sodder and his two eldest sons) attempted to re-enter the house, but the lower floor was completely ablaze. George quickly ran to the side of the house to grab his ladder, intending on entering the building at the second level – but it was not there, the ladder was missing.

Several other attempts were made by the Sodder’s to enter their burning house, but all failed. One of the girl’s ran to the neighbours to call the fire department, but they would not arrive until morning was well and truly set in. As it turned out there was no real work for the fire department, as within 45 minutes the entire house had burned to the ground, the remains piling into the basement.

Maurice (14), Martha (12), Louis (10), Jennie (8) and Betty Sodder (6) did not survive the fire… or so it was claimed.

The investigation did not last long. Investigators claimed the fire had begun as the result of an electrical fault, however many claim that if this was the case, why had people seen the Christmas tree lights still illuminated during the fire?

Several fragments of bones and pieces of internal organs were found in the ruin. However the fire was fast and should not have been able to completely obliterate the remains of the five Sodder children. Analysis revealed that the ‘human organs’ were in fact beef liver. Still the coroners called it case closed, the children had died in the fire, a fire which was accidental, and the investigation was finalised.

George Sodder piled soil over the houses remains, and that was that.

But there were still some lingering questions that nagged at the Sodder’s, and the rest of the community. For several days leading up to fire the children had reported seeing a stranger watching them from a parked car. A man was seen going through the Sodder’s garage during the fire itself – he was also fined for cutting the Sodder’s phone lines. The missing ladder was also located, seemingly tossed down the side of an embankment. Finally some witnesses stated what looked like ‘fireballs’ being hurled at the Sodder house shortly before the blaze.

With such reports it is little wonder the cause of fire being due to faulty wiring was not taken too seriously, and soon another possibility began to emerge – the Sodder children had been abducted and the fire was to cover it up.

When George and Jennie Sodder began to ask further questions about the case they were told by the fire chief that the investigation had found more remains, and that they were buried at the site of the fire. In 1949, George Sodder dug up the box containing these remains and four vertebrae and some smaller bones were discovered. Initial analysis (done by a pathologist who had helped in the original investigation) found they came from a child, about 14 years of age, the same age as Maurice Sodder who was thought to have died in the fire.

George still did not believe any of his children had perished, so he sought another analysis. This time the bones were found to come from someone older, an adult and, what’s more, there was no sign of fire damage to the bones…

(Note some versions have it that the bones were the first things found in the investigation and that it was the beef liver that was discovered in the box later)

This, as you can imagine, fuelled further questions. There was now literally no proof that the children had died in the fire.

Six years after the fire, George and Jennie Sodder erected a billboard at the site of their former home. The billboard contained photographs of their missing children, a summation of the events, and a $5000 reward (a lot of money in the early 1950s). the reward increased over time.

In 1968 there was one other baffling piece to this puzzle. The Sodder’s received a letter shortly after a detective magazine ran a piece on the mystery. The letter was from Kentucky and contained a photo of a man and written on the back were the words: “Louis Sodder. I love brother Frankie. Ilil Boys. A90132 or 35”.

The Sodder’s hired a private detective to look into this new lead but after he set out for Kentucky he vanished and was never seen or heard from again.

What happened to the Sodder children… we will likely never know, but there are some very interesting questions that need to be answered.
Who was the mysterious man reported to be watching the children in the days before the fire?
Why did the police only fine a man who cut phone lines at a house fire… why not question him further?
Why was the ladder not found where George Sodder usually left it?
Where did the bones of an adult male come from and why did one of the original investigators get their analysis so wrong?
Finally, what of the photograph delivered to the Sodder’s in 1968 and the missing investigator?

George Sodder passed away in 1969 and Jennie following him in 1989.

One other piece to note. Several months before the fire a insurance salesman tried selling home insurance to the Sodder Family. When George declined the deal the salesman was irate and told the Sodders that their house would burn down and their children would be gone. This same man was on the coroners jury who came to the conclusion the house fire was accidental…

It is quite possible that the Sodder children did die in the house that Christmas Eve, that when the house collapsed, they incinerated in the 8 hours it took for investigators to arrive at the scene. But even so, there are still many questions about the fire itself and the lacklustre investigation.

If you look into this story for yourself you will find a whole lot more pieces of interest and many different theories – some quite wild – this piece only includes the stuff a majority of reference material agrees upon.


Ashley Hall 2014

Main: George and Jennie Sodder in front of the billboard.
Inset: The Sodder Children - Maurice (14), Martha (12), Jennie (8) and Betty Sodder (6), the bottom two photos show Louis Sodder (10) and the 1968 photo believed to be of him.

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Getting in the mood for Halloween.  Time to make a costume!  Every year I fantasize about making a costume for Junior and Snoopy.  Maybe this year I will, most likely not, so we will see.  But, one thing that I’m going to do for sure is “7 days of Spooktober”.  

7 days of Spooktober are paintings inspired by spooky or horror movies that I love (some terrifying, some silly).  Cause this is the week where I LOVE to watch them.  Please join me if you’d like.

These are the rules:
1.  Create a drawing or a painting based on a horror/spooky movie that I selected.  I will post the movie on the day before on tumblr.
2.  B&W or color, in any media — traditional or digital.  but definitely NO PHOTO COLLAGE!!!!!
3.  Add #spooktoberart and/or #7daysofspooktober on your tumblr and/or instagram posting, so we can check out your spooky creation.

The first painting will be on the most terrifying doll of all time, Chucky from Child’s play series.  

Have fun, can’t wait to see your creation tomorrow.

XO,
Griz

It’s that time of year again!  We are about to embark on seven straight days of Sociological Halloween Images.  

As usual, you’re welcome and we’re sorry. Ashley S. is sad already.

In the meantime, enjoy our collection of Halloween posts from years past or visit our Halloween-themed Pinterest page.

Just For Fun

Halloween, Politics, and Culture

Race and Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

Gender

Gender and Kids

The intersection of Race, Class, and Gender

And, for no conceivable reason…

Bedtime

Bedtime is supposed to be a happy event for a tired child; for me it was terrifying. While some children might complain about being put to bed before they have finished watching a film or playing their favourite video game, when I was a child, night time was something to truly fear. Somewhere in the back of my mind it still is.

As someone who is trained in the sciences, I cannot prove that what happened to me was objectively real, but I can swear that what I experienced was genuine horror. A fear which in my life, I’m glad to say, has never been equalled. I will relate it to you all now as best I can, make of it what you will, but I’ll be glad to just get it off of my chest.

Read More

My uncle was petting my dog and asked, completely seriously, if we were trying to “turn him into a homo.” Naturally, I asked why, to which he replied that it was because he has a rhinestone collar, which makes him look like a girl dog.

This is why straight men need to be stopped.

Cloaked Apparition Photographed at an Old Cabin?

In February of 2002, a woman named Jennifer Rainey says she took this photo after participating at an overnight ghost hunt. The picture shows a mysterious cloaked figure standing in the window of an old cabin that was being used as a general store, which was closed at the time.

Most likely, the figure is either a real ghost, or a reflection. Since the cabin is said to be old, a spirit could possible reside there. However, the figure could be something behind the Jennifer that’s reflecting off of the window, like another cabin. Personally, I’m not quite sure what exactly it could be since I think there’s an equal chance of it being one or the other. For now, I’m going to stay in the middle, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this picture. Do you think it shows a real ghost? Or is it just a reflection?

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Thanks for reading and have a great day!

(via The Paranormalistics: Return To Babylon)Filmmaker Alex Monty Canawati made a tribute movie to the silent era called “Return to Babylon”. The dailies and negatives showed strange images that were not man made, but actually occurred on set. The actors reported strange feelings while filming, and some even reported seeing ghosts. The movie was shot in the real-life mansions of the silent film stars.

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