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Arts & Culture

Criminal: Unexpected Guests

This week's year-end episode of Criminal shares some listener stories about spooky visitors.
Julienne Alexander
This week's year-end episode of Criminal shares some listener stories about spooky visitors.

The Criminal podcast often examines the back story of infamous crimes. But one popular story remained a mystery, and made some of your skin crawl. This week's year-end episode of Criminal shares some listener stories about spooky visitors.  The latest Criminal podcast was inspired by Episode 71, which you call "A Bump In The Night."

Judge recounts Amber Dawn's story about living in a top-floor apartment in Washington. She had no roommates, but she frequently heard strange noises in the apartment, as though someone else was there. When Dawn returned home from work, she would sometimes find that items had been moved.

One day, Dawn stayed home sick all day. She heard a bump then, too.

"And I just dismissed it, because I have animals and they make noise. And I just dismissed it and kept on watching television," Dawn recalled. "That evening around 11 or so I turned off all the lights, I drew a bath, I got undressed and I got into the bathtub. And so I'm in the bathtub, I got a candle lit, and that crawlspace door was open. And everything just slowed way down."

Amber Dawn realized someone had been climbing into her apartment from her attic.

It was a creepy episode that came with a lot of feedback from Criminal fans. Judge said many shared their own spooky experiences with mysterious visitors.

One listener named Erin Peters shared a story about a trip she took in the late 1990s. She and her boyfriend took a weekend away to a little town in California. They checked into a bed-and-breakfast, with an owner who seemed friendly. Peters said she and her boyfriend took a nap before strolling through town and then taking a hike. Peters said she took photos on her film camera, and took the film to be developed when she got home.

"Every time I would take photos you'd flip through the print immediately, usually, like, sitting in your car. I was flipping through them. Partway in and there was a picture of my boyfriend and I. I looked at it and we were both very clearly asleep. And you could just tell by our eyes and the way our bodies were that we were totally out. I kind of freaked out... And I was like, 'Well how'd the picture get taken?'"

This week's Criminal podcast has more about Peters' story. There's also one about some college roommates who wake to find all their cupboards have been left open, and a woman who found that the driver's seat in her car curiously changed positions every time it rained.

That's it for Criminal in 2017, but Judge says her team will be out with a new show early next year.

Criminal is recorded in the studios of WUNC.


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