Weird History

The Chilling True Story Of The Flannan Isles Disappearance, The Inspiration For 'The Vanishing'

Off the northwest coast of Scotland is a small chain of islands called the Hebrides. At its outer edges is a cluster of islands, the Flannan Isles, which is home to the Flannan Isles mystery.

The surface details of the mystery are deceptively simple. According to the Northern Lighthouse Board, in December 1900, three lighthouse keepers - Donald McArthur, James Ducat, and Thomas Marshall - seemingly disappeared from the Earth. Their bodies were never found, and an official investigation conducted by a superintendent named Robert Muirhead determined the sea had "washed away" the men. It's the strange and unsettling details, however, that have made this story a favorite among paranormal investigators, conspiracy theorists, and even filmmakers.

Despite all of the attention the story has attracted, the mystery remains unsolved: why would the keepers venture into the storm without their coats? What was the meaning of their strange, final log entry? What does this have in common with tales of other mysterious lighthouses?

After all these years, this strange disappearance still has the power to provoke and terrify.