One of the weirdest unsolved cases in American history happened in 1944 in the town of Mattoon, Illinois. It all started one evening when a man woke up from a deep sleep feeling very ill. So he woke up his wife and he asked her if she had left the gas on as he felt his sickness was the result of some sort of gas exposure. So the wife said that she would go check. But then she realized that she couldn’t move and neither could her husband. Now they were both extremely scared but a couple of hours later they were fine, but they still went to the hospital just to make sure everything was ok. And that very same night the same thing happened to a women that lived down the street, as this women also woke up feeling ill and she too was paralyzed for a short period of time. Then the next evening a young housewife was laying on her bed reading the newspaper when she noticed a sweet odor filling her room and not to long after her and her three year old daughter felt very ill. And when the mother tried to get out of bed she couldn’t move her legs.
Thankfully her sister was staying with them and she ran to the neighbor’s house to ask for help and to call the police. And when the police arrived they couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary. But when the husband returned home at about 12:00 am he saw someone outside the house. So he ran after him, but sadly he couldn’t catch him. Now after these 3 cases the whole town was on full alert and over the next couple of days there were 4 more victims that had come forward complaining about a foul odor that started to fill their homes and this odor made them very sick and they too also said that for a short period of time they couldn’t move. So the police were now on full alert, and everyone believed at that time that there was a mad man running around poisoning people and they called him the mad gasser and everybody within this town was just terrified and they went into a state of hysteria.
Then one night a man and his wife noticed a white cloth lying on their front porch and when they picked it up they smelt a rather strange smell coming from it. So they held it up to their noise. Then they started to feel very nauseous and a couple of minutes later the women lips and face started to swell and her mouth begun to bleed. But about two hours later the symptoms did reside. Now this couple knew all about what was going on in town so they called the police. And the police came to the conclusion that this was the work of the mad gasser and he was trying to break into the house but he failed or he was scared away by the coupling returning home. So the police took this white cloth into evidence. But future investigators would dismiss this as actually evidence of the mad gasser as the effects were just not the same. And if the Mad gasser actually existed he never tried to break into any ones house before, making some believe that this was the work of someone else.
And that very same night there was a women that was attacked by a tall man dressed in all black and she told the police that this person did try to break into her house. But yet again this did not fit the tactics of the mad gasser so it did seem that some shady people were trying to take advantage of this situation making the residents within this community even more nervous. And rumors started to spread that the real mad gasser was from an insane asylum and he had just recently escaped. So everybody was just freaking out, they were looking all over for this person and the police were getting tons of calls and even the FBI got involved. And despite all these people looking for the this person the attacks were increasing. Now some of these attacks did fit the description of the mad gasser and some seemed to be just copy cats. And things were just getting way out of control as farmers, possess and just regular people were walking the streets day and night with loaded weapons. So the government sent in more FBI agents in hopes of finally stopping this person and all the mass hysteria that was taking over the town.
But eventually the attacks did stop and after a very long investigation the police and the FBI came to the conclusion that the mad gasser never existed and this was simply a case of mass hysteria. But some of the people within the town and America just weren’t buying that statement as how could mass hysteria cause people to become sick and paralyzed. But pretty much everybody did agree that it was very odd how nobody could catch this suspect or find any real evidence as everybody within the town and even the surrounding areas were looking for him or her. Now after this incident there were many theory’s such as this was caused by gas leaking from a local factory. But the spokesmen for that company said that this was impossible as even if gas was leaking from their plant it wouldn’t have caused those kind of symptoms. Some believed that this was the work of aliens carrying out some sort of sinister and hidden agenda. Many believed that top secret America was to blame. And even the state department said that this was one of the strangest cases that they had ever encountered. Now there was also a very similar case that happened in Virginia in 1933 and the attacks there were almost identical to what happened here in Mattoon Illinois and they too came to the conclusion that this was nothing more than mass hysteria then fulled by hoaxers. Now whatever the case maybe the mystery of the mad gasser is one of Americas most strangest cases and dozens of people have dedicated their life’s hopping that they would be the one to finally crack this case once and for all but so far this bizarre mystery still remains unsolved.
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