Horror is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
Time is a damned thing. It circles back around on itself, like a snake eating its own tail. Sometimes, events that have transpired, long ago, seem to repeat themselves, as events realign themselves, and tragedy strikes the same spot, on the same date, maybe even at the same hour. A date in time, a day of the year, could draw to it the same mental vibrations that set certain events in motion, long ago.
We could keep returning, for instance, every April, to the "Black Corridor."
Recently, as I was watching BOTH my grandparents be laid to rest, only a few days after they had passed within seventy-two hours of each other, I realized that I had been in that particular cemetery before. It was about April 5th or 6th, 1994, and we were laying a student teacher to rest. I came home that day and was listening to the "new" Pink Floyd album, The Division Bell. My mother called from the living room, "That guy from Nirvana shot himself!"
That was the same day that Kurt Cobain's body was found in one of his Seattle homes. THAT is how I know the date of that funeral. My grandparents' funeral was twenty-five years, almost TO THE DAY, that I had been in that cemetery before, in April of 1994. Apparently, I had stepped out into the "Black Corridor."
The "Black Corridor" is theoretically, the date between April 20th to April 30th; or Hitler's Birthday to Walpurgisnacht, the "High (un)Holy Day" of Satanists the world over. I think 4/20 is also the day when potheads are supposed to toke up... maybe in defiance of Hitler? (The very haunted Hotel Roberts, which once stood in Muncie, Indiana, was located at 420 High Street. So put that in your theoretical pipe and smoke it).
However, for the sake of fudging it a bit, and demonstrating that April is, indeed, altogether a long, drawn-out, increasingly turbulent "black corridor" of time, one that draws to it the violent and revolutionary, we can go back to April first, "Fools' Day," and go from there. The following is a rough list of the major turbulent anniversaries spread out all around the dreadful month of April.
1. The "Shot Heard 'Round the World" (April 19, 1775)
This was at Concord, Massachusetts, when 700 British soldiers were sent out to find and destroy colonial supplies. The colonials, due to a network of informers lead by the "Sons of Liberty," were able to ferry their supplies elsewhere, and were pursued by the British to Lexington. No one is certain which side fired first, but it was the first shot of the Revolutionary War, a war that decided the fate of the future United States of America, the most powerful country the world has ever seen, and one that will, most likely, decide the eventual fate of humanity.
2. Assassination of Abraham Lincoln (April 14, 1865)
Honest Abe, who was president during the bloodiest conflict in American history, the Civil War, was both loved and adored by some, hated and vilified by others. Immediately ere the war's end, and the South's surrender, an actor, Mr. John Wilkes Booth, in conjunction with other conspirators operating out of Mrs. Surratt's Washington DC rooming house, shot and killed Mr. Lincoln, while he was attending the play Our American Cousins with his wife Thelma, at Ford's Theater in Washington D.C. I've been there, walked the same staircase as Booth, many, many years ago.
3. Birthday of Vladimir Lenin (April 27, 1870)
The Father of the Bolshevik Revolution, and the first Premier of the old Soviet Union, was born along the Black Corridor. The possible death toll of Lenin's regime was in the upper millions, but is probably unknowable. His revolutionary writings and cult of personality still inspire young revolutionaries and communists to this very day.
4. Birthday of Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889)
Undoubtedly the most universally hated and reviled individual of the last one hundred years, Adolf Hitler's name has become a byword for evil, and is today considered a literal (if not somewhat over-employed) insult. The leader of the Nationalsocializtische Deutsche Arbeterpartei, the NSDAP, (or, as it is commonly referred to, the Nazi Party), as well as the author of its major philosophical tenets, Hitler presided over a totalitarian, fascist German government that practiced strict racial laws targeting Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and other groups considered "undesirable." He is credited by historians with starting World War II, the bloodiest and most barbaric conflict in human history. His government likewise presided over the ethnic cleansing, and mass genocide of European Jews and other ethnic minorities, as his armies invaded Russia to the East. They are credited with killing an estimated six million Jews. Adolf Hitler reportedly committed suicide in the bunker beneath the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, on April 30, 1945; in other words, he killed himself on Walpurgisnacht.
5. Birthday of Robert Oppenheimer, Father of the Atom Bomb (April 22, 1904)
Like V.I. Lenin, with whom he shares the April 22 birthdate, Robert Oppenheimer was a revolutionary figure whose birth into this world heralded, quite possibly, the coming of apocalypse. Finito. The End.
"I am become SHIVA, the destroyer of worlds!" quoth Oppenheimer, the director of the U.S. "Manhattan Project" (to develop the atom bomb before the Nazis did), from the Bhagavad Gita, somewhat incorrectly. This was at Trinity Test Range in 1945. Shortly before Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
6. Hiroshima Achieves City Status/Designated a City (April 1, 1889, April 1, 1980)
While we were researching Robert Oppenheimer, the "Father of the Atom Bomb," we came across the strange fact that the city of Hiroshima, the first of the two Japanese cities on which said bomb was eventually dropped, achieved city status (I'm assuming here achieved city status in a census) April 1, 1889. It was "designated a city on April 1, 1980. Hiroshima is one of the most famous cities in world history, for obvious reasons.
7. The Sinking of the Titanic (April 14-15, 1912)
Generally conceded as one of the worst maritime disasters in history, the sinking of HMS Titanic in 1912, in the icy waters of the North Atlantic, the ship having hit an iceberg while en route from Southampton to New York, has been celebrated on stage and screen for over one hundred years. It is simply one of the pivotal points in modern history.
A number of odd occurrences, many of a psychic nature, have become the legendary mythology surrounding the famous disaster. Most famously, perhaps, is a novel called Futility, which features a ship called the "Titan," said to be "unsinkable," and in which said fictional ship strikes an iceberg, and loses over a thousand passengers. And those aren't the only similarities between the fictional ship, and its real-life counterpart.
The novel was written by Morgan Robertson–in 1898.
Less famously, perhaps, social activist and crusading Spiritualist W.T, Stead was warned by a medium to "avoid booking passage on a ship." Out of curiosity, he did so anyway, and died on the Titanic.
The ship struck its fatal iceberg on April 14. By the morning of the 15, the "unsinkable" ship, all realized, was doomed. A class struggle played out, with the poor immigrants in steerage being left to die, while the wealthy took the lion's share of available space aboard the few lifeboats. However, it was largely to no avail: a thousand souls went to a cold, watery grave, drowning or dying of severe shock in the icy Atlantic waters. The resultant outrage lead to new legislation concerning maritime disasters, and the safety of passengers at sea.
8. Raid on Little Bohemia (April 20-22, 1934)
Little Bohemia was a travel lodge in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, wherein infamous bank robbers John Dillinger and Lester "Babyface Nelson" Gillis were holed up with their gang: Homer Van Meter, Billy Frechette, Harry Pierpont, and assorted gun molls. On April 20 they checked in, and the owner, Emil Wanatka, had little idea who his notorious and deadly guests were.
It was during a card game that he was alerted to the fact that Dillinger and Nelson were both armed. Quickly surmising that his guests were wanted men, Wanatka informed his wife, who informed a further man, Harry Voss, when she went to town. By April 22, Melvin Purvis and the other G-Men hunting Dillinger had organized a scatterbrained, impromptu "raid" that degenerated into what could be described as a "comedy of errors," if it were not for the tragic loss of life of one innocent bystander, Eugene Boisneau, and the wounding of two additional men.
Dillinger and Nelson escaped, along with most of the rest of the gang (excepting Nelson's wife Helen and two women). Nelson, having taken hostages, including Emil Wanatka, killed officer Carter Baum, and wounded two other officers. The terminally unlucky Baum was later found to have been killed by Nelson, because he didn't realize the safety was on, on his gun.
The bungling raid by the FBI was accompanied by howls of protest, and calls for the resignation of both Hoover and Purvis.
9. The First LSD trip (April 19, 1943)
Known unofficially as "Bicycle day," it was April 19 of 1943 when Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann first ingested 25 mg. of a substance derived from ergot that he had experimented with before, and shelved. Initially making him feel good, the substance, lysergic acid diathylamide, better known as LSD or "acid," (one might well wonder why we don't refer to it instead as "LAD") caused him to trip-out while he was innocently riding his bicycle home from the lab. The rest, as they say, is history.
10. Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (April 19-May 16, 1943)
The Jewish prisoners of the Warsaw Ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland, in a valiant and doomed effort to "choose the place of their own deaths," lead one of the most famous acts of resistance to oppression and genocide in all of history: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Rather than be forcibly deported to Treblinka and Majdanek, as a quarter of a million ghetto Jews had been before, the remaining internees of the Warsaw Ghetto chose to fight back, using arms smuggled in by the left wing ZOB (Zionist Resistance Organization), and the right wing Jewish Combat Organization. According to Wikipedia, 16,000 Jews were killed, with 150 casualties on the Nazi side. This uprising was sparked, initially, by the plan to burn the ghetto down, block by block, instituted by SS-Brigadfuhrer Jurgen Stroop.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is one of the most famous events in modern Jewish history.
11. Suicide of Adolf Hitler (April 30, 1945)
Not that this is going to sadden most, but the most infamous and hated man in modern history committed suicide, along with his new wife (of about eight hours) Eva Braun, in the "bunker" beneath the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, on April 30, 1945, with the Russians only a few kilometers away; with bombs still dropping, and men fighting and dying, street-to-street, fifty feet above. It is said Hitler didn't want to be taken alive by enemy forces. It is likewise said that he killed himself on April 30 to give himself "back to the forces of darkness." April 30 is, of course, Walpurgisnacht, a high unholy holiday in Satanism.
(But you surely don't believe that, do you?)
10. Birthday of Anton Szandor LaVey/Founding of the Church of Satan (April 11, 1930/ April 30, 1966)
Anton LaVey, the famous black magician, author of the Satanic Bible, calliope player, and all-around lightning rod for the desires and fears of lesser mortals, was born April 11th (4-11, or literally: 11, 11, 11, 11–power combinations of numbers) of 1930, in a world radically different than the one he would grow, eventually, to cast black spells of contempt against. His greatest performance, apart from a truly touching rendition of "Honolulu Baby," was the creation of America's Church of Satan, as a place for alien elitists, iconoclasts, occult philosophers, and all-around good guys, badges notwithstanding. This was on the High Unholy Day of April 30–Walpurgisnacht; or, as Sydney Blackmer exclaimed in Rosemary's Baby, the "Year One!": 1966.
11. L.A. Riots (April 29-May 4, 1992)
When four LAPD police officers were acquitted of the vicious beating of black motorist, Rodney King, in Los Angeles in 1992, despite widespread and shocking video footage, the resultant outrage (admittedly mixed with the opportunity for criminal gangs and thugs to loot) led to the worst racial rioting since the Watts riots decades earlier. Culminating in the small-scale war between Korean shop owners and black residents, who felt the Koreans had been discriminating against them, the LA Riots gave us the horrifying attack upon trucker, Reginald Denny, as well as one BILLION dollars of property damage, and the deaths of at least FIFTY people. In the aftermath, thousands were arrested, often turned in by their neighbors, who were angered by the damage to their community.
12. The Burning of the Branch Davidian Compound at Waco, Texas (April 19, 1993)
The Federal siege of a compound belonging to the Branch Davidians (an offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventists), carried out, specifically, by members of the ATF, US Military, as well as Texas Law Enforcement officials, was, without a doubt, one of the most egregious examples of government tyranny and murder in modern history. The Davidian's leader, the charismatic and somewhat Manson-like David Koresh, was wanted for, allegedly, stockpiling weapons. When the ATF came to raid the compound that February, an intense gun battle lead to the deaths of four ATF agents and six Davidians. What followed was a media circus, as the siege of the compound just outside of Waco, Texas culminated in the fiery apocalypse of the place burning to the ground on live TV, during the government's final assault.
In all, 76 of the Davidians were killed in the fire, many of them shot fleeing, including all of their children. Civil suits against Beast Babylon Moloch were later unsuccessful, as the government investigated itself and, unsurprisingly, found that it was totally innocent of all wrongdoing.
The media, for its part, showed its true colors, portraying Koresh as a pedophile, and the group itself as "white supremacists." Neither of which was ever substantiated (The group, far from being white nationalist, actually had black members, as later video recordings proved).
13. The Oklahoma City Bombing (April 19, 1995)
The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19th, 1995, was a horrific act that sent shock waves through the nation and the world. 165 people were killed, and the national debate about domestic terror and extremism began decades before those issues would become routine for all. Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh, two men influenced by anti-government literature, such as The Turner Diaries (authored by the late Dr. William Pierce, who created the neo-Nazi organization the National Alliance), and increasing fear of creeping government tyranny and gun control, were convicted, along with accomplices Michael and Lori Fortier. McVeigh, who had driven the Ryder truck containing the fertilizer bomb that caused the destruction, was later executed. His final note quoted from the famous poem "Invictus" by Elmer Henley.
The Oklahoma City Bombing has been declared the deadliest act of domestic terrorism ever perpetrated on U.S. soil.
There is some debate, amounting to conspiracy theory, as to what role the government, or factions therein, actually played in the bombing; who knew what, when, and how much of that was going to occur. But all of that is hearsay.
14. The Columbine High School Massacre (April 20, 1999)
I remember the day that two seniors from Columbine, Colorado, Eric Harris and his presumed lover, Dylan Klebold, killed thirteen people at Columbine high school; twelve of their fellow students and one teacher. The two young men then committed suicide in the school library, which was caught on surveillance camera.
The attack, which was the deadliest school shooting in history up until that time, later heated up the debate on gun control, which is still raging, decades later, in the wake of many, many, many more such shootings.
Harris and Klebold were a part of a school clique called the "Trench Coat Mafia," because of their penchant for all affecting the same trench coat- wearing look, and for all being "dorks," or unpopular. Klebold and Harris were, apparently, inspired to kill from being bullied.
15. The Virginia Tech College Massacre (April 16, 2007)
April 19, 2007 saw the single deadliest school massacre, AND, what up until that time was the single deadliest lone gunman attack, in U.S. history: the massacre of the thirty-two students on the campus of Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic and State University, in Blacksburg, Virginia), by psychopathic gunman Seung-Hei Cho, a South Korean immigrant and undergraduate of the school
Cho had been plagued by mental illness his entire life, but his lack of any court commitment allowed him to slip through the cracks in the system, and purchase firearms. The ensuing massacre was largely perpetrated at West Ambler Johnston Hall and Norris Hall. One professor, Liviu Librescu, was later hailed as a fallen hero for barring the door, and disallowing Cho entry; it was later pointed out by some that, as an Israeli, he may have responded in a more experienced manner when first hearing gunfire.
He was shot and killed, nonetheless.
The final death toll, of thirty-two killed and 29 wounded, would later be surpassed by deadlier attacks in Las Vegas and Orlando. Cho's motivation, mailed personally in the form of writings and videos to NBC News, seemed to revolve around class resentment and rejection by women.
16. The Boston Marathon Bombing (April 15, 2013)
I remember (just as I well as I remember so many of these historic April events) coming out of a doctor's appointment on April 15, 2013, and looking up at the news on television. A bomb had gone off in a building near the route of the Boston Marathon, wounding hundreds. At the time, there was no official death toll, and no suspects. The explosive devices used were made from pressure cookers commonly available. The trail lead back to two brothers–the Tsarnaev brothers, from Kyrgyzstan. Dzhokar and his older brother, Tamerlane.
The duo killed an MIT police officer, stole a car with a hostage, and engaged in a gun battle with police. Tamerlane was shot several times, later dying of those injuries, as well as injuries sustained from being run over by Dzhokar while fleeing in the stolen car. A manhunt for the younger Tsarnaev transpired on April 19, with Dzhokar being found hiding on a boat. He was shot by police, but survived.
Dzhokar later admitted that he and his brother were fueled by the propaganda of the Global Jihad, the hatred for the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and, also, that they were also planning on going to New York to bomb Times Square.
Dzhokar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death for his role in the terror attack. He was convicted on April 8, 2015. The final death toll for the bombing was 3, with 263 injured.
Walpurgisnacht, Beltane and May Day
“Walpurgis Night, when, according to the belief of millions of people, the devil was abroad–when the graves were opened and the dead came forth and walked. When all evil things of earth and air and water held revel. This very place the driver had specially shunned. This was the depopulated village of centuries ago. This was where the suicide lay; and this was the place where I was, alone–unmanned, shivering with cold in a shroud of snow with a wild storm gathering again upon me! It took all my philosophy, all the religion I had been taught, all my courage, not to collapse in a paroxysm of fright. –Bram Stoker, "Dracula's Guest”
The rituals of Walpurgisnacht, the German word for "Walpurgis Night," (also called "Hexenacht", or "Witches' Night") probably began in pagan Europe as a celebration of the return of Spring, when bonfires were lit to ward off predators, children trick-or-treated, and it was generally conceived, in the manner of the similar Samhain (or what is in modern times known as "Halloween") that the veil between this world and the next was at its most thin.
Coming half a year apart from Halloween, Walpurgisnacht takes its name from St. Walburga, a nun that came to Heidenheim Abey in Germany to Christianize the pagan Saxons. Her death, celebrated on May 1 (Beltane), gave the pagan holiday its Christian name. May 1 was celebrated as pagan New Year.
Those who have seen the dancing around the May Pole (a convenient, huge phallic representation) on May 1 are witnessing a survival of the ancient pagan ritual brought into modern times, the rebirth of the fertility god. Also, the cult horror film The Wicker Man (1973) has, as its plot, the survival of ancient European May Day rituals of the lighting of a bonfire; and, yes indeed, these ancient rituals often did involve human sacrifice.
Believers in Wicca celebrate May 1, as "Beltane," their May Day celebration. Followers of the Left Hand Path (i.e. Satanism, or black magic) though, hold Walpurgisnacht, the night before, as their high holiday.
Marxists and communists the world over, also, hold "May Day" as THEIR special holiday; or, more accurately, a day of protest, when various political factions of Reds hold marches in cities across the world. This began during the Haymarket riots in Chicago, in 1886.
Starting May 1, the riots (which began as marches) culminated in the deaths of eight policemen and a dozen workers, after just three days. Thus was May Day designated an "'international workers' day," in 1891. It was, and is, a day when workers are to agitate for better conditions, the rights of the proletariat, and an end to economic exploitation and war. Or so it is said.
One final note:
"Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!" is of course, the universal code word for "distress," used most especially by ships and airplanes. According to one online source, it is actually an anglicized corruption of the French word, maidez, meaning, "Help me!" (Which on the whole, is what we all really need, at any rate).
It seems that, in writing this article, we overlooked the horrific Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Ukraine. This was one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in all of history, causing untold damage, and could have potentially destroyed half of Europe if the danger hadn't been minimized by the heroic actions of a trio of brave souls. This Soviet-era reactor meltdown occurred April 26, 1986. It has been estimated to have, long-term, been responsible for tens of thousands of death due to radiation exposure.