17 Unsolved Mysteries That Might Make You Sleep With The Lights On

While ghost stories certainly have their place, occasionally reality and its mysteries can be stranger (and more frightening) than fiction.

A recent AskReddit thread prompted Redditors to share their “favorite” (i.e., most disturbing) real-life unsolved mysteries. While some of the responses were somewhat innocuous and lighthearted, most of them were enough to give even the most lion-hearted among us the creeps.

Here are some of the highlights, in case you didn’t really feel like sleeping tonight:

1. This bizarre and unsettling mummy discovery:

Here’s one I learned about recently: in 2000, a mummy was found around Pakistan with an inscription on the sarcophagus claiming her to be the unknown daughter of the Persian king Xerxes, Rhodugune. It caused a big hubbub, since it was the first apparent Persian mummy. It was fascinating because it had been mummified in traditional Egyptian fashion, complete with all the organs extracted including the brain, and I even recall something about golden resin being found inside the body.

But deeper examinations revealed a lot of smaller details that didn’t add up. One archaeologist remembered being contacted by a middleman about a mummy that resembled the photos, and when he’d had a piece of the sarcophagus carbon dated he found it was only 250 years old. The inscription also used a Greek form of the name instead of Persian, the bandages dated to the wrong period, and the stone pad was found to be five years old. And a lot of other experts noticed that the heart had been removed, which Egyptians absolutely did NOT do.

They quickly decided she wasn’t a Persian princess.But here’s the freaky part: further examination on the “mummy” revealed her to be a woman between 21-25 who died around 1996 from some sort of blunt impact, like being hit by a car.

There have been a trail of suspects from it, since it was found in possession of some Pakistani and Irani dealers who were trying to sell it on the black market. But no one knows the victim’s identity, and we probably never will.

Here’s the Wikipedia article on it with a bit more history.

2. This disturbing arrest case:

The disappearance of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos

‘Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos went missing in 2004 and 2003, respectively, under similar circumstances in Naples, Florida. Both men were last seen being arrested by former Collier County Sheriff’s deputy Corporal Steve Calkins for driving without a license. He claims he changed his mind about both arrests and last saw the men after he dropped them at Circle K convenience stores. Actor Tyler Perry offered a $100,000 reward for any information leading to the location of the men or leading to an arrest in the case. Al Sharpton, of the National Action Network, and Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, also joined Perry in raising awareness of the cause.’


Also, a REALLY disturbing one that might be solved now: who killed Katarzyna Zowada? Warning: this is NOT for the faint of heart. I am dead serious, do NOT read this before eating.

She was a Polish college student, and thus most of the information is in Polish. There’s not much information on her available in English, which is honestly a surprise given the details of the case. She went missing in November 1998. Then on January 7, 1999, something got caught in a tugboat’s propeller so the operator stopped it to try to untangle it. He found something he described as pale and nondescript, with a really foul smell, and he couldn’t tell what it was.

Then he noticed an ear.

He didn’t find her body. He found her skin.

It had been neatly cut off from her body around the thighs and neck, missing her arms and face though still including her left ear. Investigators determined it had been in the river for two or three weeks by that point, and that it had been prepared to be worn like a suit. The rest of her body was never found aside from a leg found floating near a dam.

One of the most horrifying and disturbing cases I’ve ever heard.