5 Real-Life Stories of Twins Creepier Than Any Horror Movie
Twins get a bad reputation from movies: They are shown as either satanic beings or parent-trapping little brats. Well, this reputation may not be completely unfounded. If you feel bad for being so creeped out by twins, let us share with you some true stories that range from merely weird to downright bone-chilling.
Swedish Twins Inexplicably Go Insane at the Same Time
Swedish twins Ursula and Sabina Eriksson had no history of mental illness and lived normal, happy lives with their respective families. Then, one day, Ursula traveled from the U.S. to Ireland to visit her sister ... and what followed was a spree of violence and shared madness that resulted in several traffic accidents, one murder victim, and a whole bunch of baffled cops.
Sabina and Ursula were in Ireland when, for unknown reasons, they hopped on a bus to London without telling anyone. The twins were apparently behaving like hooligans whose team had just lost, so the driver kicked them out in the middle of the highway and told them to walk it off. They did just that: They started walking in the middle of the highway, not giving a shit about the speeding cars.
At this point they ran into a group of officers who were being filmed for a COPS-like show for the BBC. The cameras captured every batshit insane moment that came after that -- the video that follows at times looks staged as hell, but it isn't. There's a real murder conviction to prove it. That's just how British people talk.
As seen in the video, the twins were detained by the cops and appeared calm, until Ursula sprinted onto the highway and ran directly into the wheels of a truck.
The cops hadn't even had time to react when, seconds later, Sabina did the same thing and was struck by a car.
That wasn't the end of it. Despite the whole "car just struck her" thing, Sabina got up and attacked the officers -- it took six people to contain her. Ursula was raging too and probably would have done the same thing if, you know, her legs hadn't been broken and stuff.
Afterward, Sabina calmed down and was behaving so normally that the cops released her the next day. This proved to be a huge mistake: Hours later, she murdered a man who offered her a place to stay and then launched herself from a 40-foot bridge. She survived, somehow, and was sentenced to five years in prison. Why only five years? Because lawyers had no trouble proving that she was crazy as all fuck when all of this happened. But, if Sabina was the crazy one, why did Ursula jump onto the highway, too? Neither of them had traces of drugs or alcohol in their bodies.
According to psychologists, one of the twins suffered from a form of temporary insanity, and the other was "infected" by her twin's madness -- their bond was so strong that when one lost her shit, the other did, too. They have both since been declared sane, but we're guessing they're not so big on family reunions anymore.
Twins Separated at Birth Live Parallel Lives
Twins can be freaky, but we all understand why they're so disturbingly alike: Not only do they share the same DNA, but they also tend to grow up surrounded by the same people, playing with the same toys, and doing the same activities. They were most likely traumatized by the same cartoons and disappointed by the same birthday presents. It's when they don't do any of those things and still turn out exactly the same that you should be freaked out.
Take Ohio resident James Edward Lewis, who married a woman named Linda, but divorced her and married a woman named Betty, with whom he had a son named James Alan. Lewis had been adopted as a baby, and when he was in his late 30s, he tracked down and met for the very first time his twin brother, James Arthur Springer ... who married a woman named Linda, but divorced her and married a woman named Betty, with whom he had a son named James Allan.
After this story was first reported by the press in 1979, James and James were contacted by psychologist Thomas Bouchard, who wanted to study how similar twins can be despite growing up apart. It turns out the twins had even more similarities: They both had dogs named Toy as kids. They both liked math and carpentry in school but hated spelling. They both had jobs in law enforcement -- Springer as a deputy sheriff and Lewis as a security guard. They both got headaches at the same time of day. They both had the weirdest reunion conversation ever after meeting a long-lost brother.
This sounds like complete bullshit, but it isn't the only case of its type. Even when twins are raised under radically different circumstances, they still end up having a lot in common. Case in point: Oskar Stohr and Jack Yufe were also separated as babies, only this was in Europe, and in the 1930s. Stohr grew up in Germany and joined the Hitler Youth. Yufe was raised a Jew and moved to Israel. One drew swastikas in his notebooks; the other wore a yarmulke.
And yet, despite being as different as two human beings can be, when they met in their 50s they found that they spoke alike, liked the same foods, and shared oddly specific habits, like wearing rubber bands on their wrists or flushing the toilet before using it.
Experts think that this isn't so weird: Stohr and Yufe are genetically identical, so it's normal that they should react the same way when exposed to the same everyday experiences (foods, rubber bands, toilets). The fact that one was Jewish and the other a former Hitler fan is irrelevant, genetically speaking.
One Twin Does the Crime, the Other Does the Time
In 1993, police arrested Ronald Anderson for assaulting his estranged wife. The only problem was that Ronald Anderson had already been arrested for the same crime days earlier, and records showed that he was currently serving his six-month sentence in prison. They checked. He was still there.
Before the time-travel division could be called to untangle the apparent paradox, though, a friend of the wife-puncher cleared everything up: Ronald had a twin named Donald who had a habit of going to jail for his brother's crimes.
In total, Donald says he voluntarily served four sentences for Ronald, simply because he loved his brother and believed he wasn't ready for prison life. It all started in the '70s when Ronald signed up for the Army and went through months of training, only to decide at the last minute that he didn't want to be shipped off to Korea to serve as a helicopter mechanic. Ronald said, "What the heck, I'll go for you" -- he'd fixed a few cars in his neighborhood, so how hard could a helicopter be?
Since no one caught them (Donald became a crew chief in Korea), the twins kept pulling the ol' switcheroo every time Ronald got into trouble. Donald had some run-ins with the law himself and insisted that his bro was too soft and delicate to spend time in prison ... despite the fact that Ronald was a violent criminal who repeatedly threatened to murder his wife. When a judge told him to cut that shit out and sentenced Ronald to six months in jail, Donald once again stepped up and turned himself in, pretending to be his brother. Apparently they didn't bother to check his fingerprints because they didn't know he had a twin, never mind one stupid enough to take his place.
Unfortunately for Donald and his prison-loving ass, Ronald got himself arrested five days later for attempted murder, battery, and robbery and was sentenced to 14 years inside, in addition to the six months he tried to skip. Investigators worked on the thesis that the twins had planned everything to give Ronald an airtight alibi to murder his wife, but eventually realized that it was a case of extreme brotherly love. Meanwhile, Donald still maintains that he would love to serve the jail time for his brother if he could.
Twin Brothers Marry Twin Sisters, Produce Twin Babies
Twins love to do everything together, but there's a point where you have to draw the line and give yourself some privacy, otherwise stuff like wedding nights and colonoscopies could get pretty uncomfortable. That line did not exist for identical-twin brothers Craig and Mark Sanders, who got engaged on the same day, got married in the same ceremony, and settled down to live in adjacent houses ... with a pair of identical-twin sisters. One couple then went on to spawn some identical twins of their own.
This sounds like the plot of some terrible sitcom starring the grown-up Olsen twins (they're like 40 now, right?), with Charlie Day and Zach Galifianakis as the husbands, probably, but it's real. It was actually the wives who insisted on doing everything together -- poor Craig and Mark probably hate each other's guts by now.
Mark first met fellow twins Diane and Darlene Nettemeier at the annual Twins Days Festival in (of all places) Twinsburg, Ohio. Striking out and in need of some reinforcements, he rescued the situation by running back to his hotel room to inform his brother Craig that he had two blonde twins waiting for them at the bar. After the obligatory high-fives, the brothers hurried back and immediately hit it off with the ladies, with Craig hooking up with Diane and Mark with Darlene.
The couples started going on dates together and even shared their first kisses at a baseball game (presumably one of the couples just went along with it so it wouldn't be awkward). While on a double date at a casino, the twins won several thousand dollars and, deciding to take that as a sign, they all got engaged right there and then. Since Diane and Darlene had never lived apart, after they got married in a joint ceremony, Craig and Mark agreed to move into adjacent houses with no fences.
Diane and Craig later had twin boys, while Darlene and Mark gave birth to two non-twin girls, with one other kid thrown in there somewhere to ruin the perfect symmetry (great job, kid). Today they enjoy beating everyone else at Twins Days every year and confusing the hell out of neighbors.
"The Silent Twins" Were Creepier Than the Ones in The Shining
Twins Jennifer and June Gibbons became notorious in the '80s when they carried out a two-woman crime spree at age 18 that resulted in both sisters being declared psychopaths and sent to England's most famous high-security hospital for the criminally insane. However, they already had plenty of experience being creepy before that: As kids they were known as "the silent twins" because they refused to speak to anyone but each other, and even then they used their own secret language that no one else could understand.
Born to Barbadian parents and raised in Wales, Jennifer and June refused to read or write in school, but at home it was the opposite: They read voraciously and filled dozens of diaries with writing, including full novels with names like The Pepsi-Cola Addict and Discomania. Like all children, they liked to play games, but rather than settling for Barbies or Monopoly, they had bizarre rituals where they decided which one would wake up in the morning first or which one would breathe first, and the other one wasn't allowed to do anything until the first one did so.
Their relationship was complicated. On one hand, they were best friends, and on the other, they occasionally tried to kill each other -- Jennifer tried to strangle June with the cord of a radio, and June responded by throwing Jennifer off a bridge. Their odd behavior escalated as they grew older and turned to petty theft and arson. It was at this point that their parents realized there might be something wrong with the girls and agreed to have them committed (and if they hadn't, the authorities probably would have insisted).
It was toward the end of their 14-year stay at Broadmoor Hospital that the twins would pull off their magnum opus. One day, they told their only friend, journalist Marjorie Wallace (author of their biography, published years earlier), that one of them wouldn't make it out of the hospital alive. Jennifer just looked at Wallace and said, "I'm going to die. We've decided."
You see, the twins had realized that they could never be free or normal as long as they were both alive, and so, according to Wallace and later interviews by a reformed June, Jennifer agreed to be the one to die. And what do you know, on the day that they were being transferred to a lower security hospital, Jennifer suddenly passed away from a rare heart problem that was never fully explained. As predicted, June became considerably less creepy after she stopped being a twin, and today she lives a quiet life with her family. Which somehow just makes all of the above even weirder.
Jamie can be found at his blog here, and give his Facebook page a "like" here if you want to make him feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
For more creepiness, check out 10 Real Sea Creatures Lifted Directly from Your Nightmares and 6 Popular Monster Myths (That Prove Humanity Is Doomed).
And for more on things that go bump in the night, click here.