10 Incredibly Strange Disappearances

We like to think that if we're always prepared, travel in groups, and walk with both eyes open, we'll be safe from any potential dangers. But then Stranger Things went and made us all terrified of the possibility that we could disappear into the Upside-Down at any moment. No amount of preparation can keep you safe from being snatched into another dimension. So, to make you even more terrified, here's a list of real-life people who disappeared into another dimension - or at least, it seems very likely that they did.

These are people who disappeared and left no trace. They vanished in an instant, vanished from inside a building, or vanished and appeared to be calling out for help, although no one could find them. Clearly, the most logical explanation is they were taken to the upside-down.

If you don't think that's possible, see if you can come up with another explanation for these mysterious disappearances. Good luck, because these are some truly befuddling cases.

  • Owen Parfitt

    Owen Parfitt lived in the English town of Shepton Mallet and mysteriously disappeared some time in the 1760s. Parfitt was unable to walk on his own due to disease, so he lived with his sister, who took care of him and helped him move around the house.

    One day, Parfitt was sitting outside right by the front door, where he usually sat, and his sister came over to move him. In the chair, she found only the coat that her brother had covered himself with to keep warm. She thought perhaps that a neighbor had moved him inside the house, but when she looked, he was nowhere to be found.

    All the neighbors said they had not moved Parfitt and had not seen anyone else move him. No one ever saw him again. Because he was unable to walk on his own, we can only assume that Owen Parfitt was sucked into another dimension while he was sitting in his chair.

  • Brian Shaffer

    Brian Shaffer
    Photo: findbrianshaffer / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Brian Shaffer was a medical student at Ohio State University who disappeared in April 2006. Shaffer met up with several friends at a bar one night and he was last seen sometime around 2 a.m., when witnesses saw him talking with two women at the bar.

    Some time after that, Shaffer's friends lost track of him. They realized that he was no longer in the bar, and so they left, thinking that their friend had just gone home. But Brian never made it home. In fact, he vanished, never to be seen again.

    The strangest part of this story is that this particular bar had security cameras at the entrance. The police found footage of Shaffer entering the bar, but there was no footage that ever showed him leaving. Investigators found no evidence of foul play.

  • Louis Le Prince

    Louis Le Prince
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Louis Le Prince was the inventor of the motion picture, though Thomas Edison would take credit for this invention after Le Prince disappeared. Was a patent-greedy Edison responsible? Probably not.

    Le Prince mysteriously disappeared in September 1890. Le Prince had been visiting his brother in Dijon, France, and boarded a train to go back to Paris. When the train arrived in Paris, Le Prince did not get off the train.

    The train made no stops between Dijon and Paris, and Le Prince could not have jumped out the window of his compartment since the windows were locked from the inside. The police searched the countryside between Dijon and Paris anyway, but never found any trace of the missing man. It seems he just vanished.

    There is a possibility (which the police never considered) that Le Prince never boarded the train in the first place. Le Prince's brother, Albert, was the one who took Louis to the train station. It is feasible that Albert could have been lying and he actually slew his own brother for his inheritance money. But at this point, we'll likely never know.

  • James E. Tedford

    James E. Tedford
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    James E. Tedford mysteriously vanished in November 1949. Tedford boarded a bus in St. Albans, VT, where he had been visiting family. He was taking the bus to Bennington, VT, where he lived in a retirement home.

    Fourteen passengers saw Tedford on the bus, sleeping in his seat, after the last stop before Bennington. What doesn't make sense is that when the bus arrived in Bennington, Tedford was nowhere to be seen. All his belongings were still on the luggage rack.

    What is even stranger about this case is that Tedford's wife also disappeared some years earlier. Tedford was a WWII veteran and when he returned from combat, he found his wife had vanished and their property had been abandoned. Did Tedford's wife find a way to bring her husband into the next dimension with her? Stranger things have happened...

  • Thelma Pauline Melton

    Thelma Pauline Melton was a 58-year-old woman who disappeared while hiking with two of her friends in September 1981. The three friends were hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains on an easy trail that Melton was very familiar with.

    Melton was walking a bit ahead of her companions, so she was the first to round an upcoming bend. When the friends rounded that same bend, they found that Melton had vanished. Melton suffered from high blood pressure, so the possibility that she could have suddenly sprinted off is unlikely.

    No trace of Melton was ever found.

  • Prabhdeep Srawn

    Prabhdeep Srawn is a Canadian military reservist who disappeared on a hiking trip in Australia in May 2013. Srawn parked his rented camper and set off on the Main Range Walk in Kosciuszko National Park. A staff member called the police when he noticed that the vehicle hadn't moved for almost a week, though it only had a 24-hour parking pass on it.

    The bizarre part of this case is that two park rangers heard a voice that sounded like a cry for help coming from the area Srawn disappeared from. Despite this information, searchers couldn't locate Srawn, and the origin of the voice remains unknown.