The Heartbreaking Case Of The Mauerova Family : Solved (The Most Disturbing Case I Have Ever Covered)
TW: I just want to start off by saying that this case may be disturbing and may contain triggers concerning physical and sexual abuse. It is absolutely okay to ask me for a little bit more information before reading if you have any doubts about reading this post. Additionally this case may be quite confusing to follow, but please bare with me. The case was first realised when the victims and perpetrators were found in May 2007 so we will start here; but then I will take you back to 2005 where the case heartbreakingly began.
7th May 2007 in Kurim, Czech Republic, a man called Mr Eduard T was installing a baby monitor so that he could watch his newborn baby through the night. Interference meant the TV monitor accidentally picked up the signal from a monitor in house nearby; which is when Eduard saw a young boy laying naked with his hands tied, eating from the concrete floor. Eduard immediately alerted the police who searched door to door until they found single mother Klara and sister Katerina Mauerova with three children - Ondrej (8) and Jakub (9) who were Klara’s biological sons and Klara’s fourteen year old adopted daughter, Anicka. Ondrej was the young boy from the monitor laying naked in a small, dirty chamber, surrounded by his own vomit and faeces. Anicka was the only child who had not been abused, however all three children were immediately taken into custody whilst Klara and Katerina were arrested.
Prior to 2007, Klara Mauerova was a single mother who raised her sons to live a very happy life. She was described as a very caring and giving individual which is why sister Katerina came straight to Klara when she found thirteen year old Norwegian Orphan Anicka, who was on the run from a sex trafficking ring. Anicka required a lot of medical attention as she was suffering from leukaemia, kidney failure and was going blind and deaf. Klara completely took her under her wing and promised to love her like her own. To understand how to care for Anicka at home, Klara received text messages from Anicka’s doctor who was the only person who understood how to care for her. Klara never attended any of Anicka’s hospital visits as Katerina insisted on taking her to every single one, however Klara accepted this without any suspicion. To confirm their identity, the doctor agreed to meet with Klara and presented Anicka’s medical files. This was in a car park at night where it was too dark to see the files or the doctor’s face - however Klara was satisfied and trusted the doctor’s orders.
The first treatment was to rub Anicka’s body all over, focusing on the crotch area as the doctor said this makes Anicka “happy”. Klara agreed to do this, as well as various other treatments, over the next year until she decided she would like to officially adopt Anicka. This alarmed the doctor who insisted the authorities would not allow this as Ondrej and Jakub were being mean towards Anicka. The doctor suggested the only option for Klara was to cure her sons from evil spirits. Treatments included hard discipline and physical punishment, including repeatedly beating the boys and locking them in the tiny chamber every night. Klara trusted the doctor’s orders, and did exactly this.
By August 2006 the doctor decided this treatment wasn’t working and that the boys needed “shock therapy”. Growing up Ondrej and Jakub loved attending summer camps; heartbreakingly, this summer was not quite like the others. Klara took the boys to a cottage in the woods in Veverska Bytyska, where they met Jan Turek and Hana Basova (also known as Aunt Nancy) who they knew from the summer camps, Jan Skrlova and Klara’s sister, Katerina. Here the boys were kept in dog cages; constantly knelt over, eating and doing all physical urges in this cage. Communication was strictly forbidden, including between each other and to their mother. Frequently Ondrej and Jakub were drowned in buckets of water, burnt with cigarettes and forced to beat one another. Jan Skrlova and Jan Turek covered the boys’ heads with bags, tied them and burned them with cigarettes once again. Some reports indicate they burnt tissue from Ondrej’s buttock and forced him to eat it. The adults convinced the boys that Anicka was being tortured as well however in reality she was involved herself; drowning the boys in the bucket and constantly making false accusations that the boys were hurting her, knowing that this would exacerbate their “punishments”. Heartbreaking police interviews with the boys indicate that they truly believed they deserved this.
A month later in September 2006 Ondrej and Jakub were freed from this cottage, however moved in with Katerina so that Klara could begin the adoption process living only with Anicka. During the court case, Klara attempted to justify her ease at separating from her sons claiming “I was swallowed by Anna’s custody. I knew though, they were in good hands.” The adoption process required a DNA sample from Anicka which the doctor refused; claiming it would be too risky in case the authorities realised Anicka was suffering from leukaemia. Katerina convinced local actor Viktor Skala’s daughter to present herself at court acting as Anicka. Skala later confirmed they him and his daughter were entirely used by Katerina and never admitted to any participation in this case; nevertheless it worked and the adoption was approved.
January - May 2007
Fast forward to January 2007 and we are back to where I started this case. Ondrej and Jakub moved back in with Klara; however whilst Anicka had a nice room filled with colour and toys, the boys were frequently locked and tied in the chamber. This is when Mr Eduard. T installed his baby monitor - the connection mistake that turned out to be a blessing. After the police found the Mauerova’s, all three children were placed into a children’s home called Klokanek (Little Kangaroo), but that same night Anicka fled and disappeared. Why? Because this case doesn’t stop there…there is an extremely disturbing twist.
Anicka’s childhood was heart breaking and extremely convincing; explicitly describing her horrific experiences of sexual abuse and trauma in Norway. But what Klara didn’t find out until the trial is that “Anicka” never actually existed. Thirteen year old Anicka was actually thirty-one year old Barbora Skrlova, a good friend of Katerina. Jan Skrlova from the cottage was Barbora’s brother. There is extremely limited information about who Barbora actually is, but what we can conclude is that she was a psychopath who took advantage of her young appearance and manipulated Klara into torturing her sons. To maintain this childlike identity Barbora reportedly had breast reduction surgery and liposuction; and despite the explicit accounts of illness and sexual abuse, Barbora had never experienced anything of the sorts in her life. Throughout “Anicka’s hospital visits”, Klara received “heartbreaking” messages about Anicka’s deteriorating health, including heart failure and blindness, and that she had even been kidnapped from the hospital. It was later proved that all messages were from Katerina or Barbora’s mobile phones. Following Barbora’s flee from the children home, she even adopted a new identity in a Norwegian school as a thirteen year old male named Adam.
Following Barbora’s arrest in Norway, police confiscated her diary containing detailed accounts of her various identities and her preparation to pursue such roles. Evidence suggests she did not suffer from schizophrenia or any similar disorders, but consciously adopted multiple identities to manipulate others. Sexologists concluded she had sadomasochistic predispositions with paedophilic orientation; namely she was sexually aroused by children’s torture. All involved were charged with the following sentences: Katerina Maurerova 10 years, Klara Maurerova 9 years, Jan Skrlova and Hana Basova 7 years, Jan Turek 5 years and Barbora/Anicka/Adam - 5 years. Concluding they are all free now.
I really believe these sentences are an absolute injustice to Ondrej and Jakub; especially considering Barbora was charged with the lightest sentence of all. I also found it extremely frustrating that throughout my research, Klara Mauerova was consistently portrayed as a giving and easily manipulated individual whom we should feel sorry for. Perhaps one might sympathise at the very beginning when “Anicka” came into Klara’s life - she may well have been a vulnerable or easy target. However torturing, abusing and wholeheartedly neglecting your own children is something that I simply cannot sympathise with.
Additionally, reports imply that all involved were trialled and sentenced - but who was the doctor initiating these orders? Investigators worked with the assumption that it was Katerina and Barbora giving all instructions; however in my opinion, this case seems too complex to be randomly initiated solely by two individuals. The most popular theory is that Barbora’s father, Josef Skrlova, was involved. Reports suggest Josef Skrlova was in charge of a Grail Movement cult, and that they may have been presenting Barbora/Anicka/Adam as a child messiah. Media reports distort the nature of this cult quite significantly so I am not going to focus too heavily on this theory, however I do believe a cult formation seems probable when explaining how everybody involved was so connected. Robust psychological research, such as Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment, also provides a level of explanation behind how a cult authority could lead to so many people obeying such torturous orders. I am therefore left questioning why Josef Skrlova was not involved in this investigation; but also why Katerina and Barbora were not given longer sentences if investigators were so sure they instigated the instructions.
On a positive note…
However, I do believe it is extremely important to note that fortunately both Ondrej and Jakub have grown up to be confident, happy young men. A journalist found a recent facebook status by Ondrej reading “If you get hurt by someone who took the benefit from you with high hopes, learn to respect him and take him as the biggest teacher of yours, because if your life is going smoothly you become a delicate person, if on the other hand you experience tragic circumstances, you develop inner power and courage to face them.'' ♡
Thank you so much for reading. This is honestly the most disturbing case that I have ever covered but I am so, so thankful Ondrej and Jakub have been able to live a happy life. As usual I would absolutely love to hear what you think - and if you would like to discuss anything more about this case then I am always more than happy to talk. Thank you!
♡ Hello and welcome back to my blog!
I have been away from my blog for a short while however I am now back so decided I would write a little post just to explain where I have been, catch up and get back into things.♡
The Disappearance of coc0chanelblogs: SOLVED
LOL, so excuse the cheesy title but I couldn’t not. If you follow my instagram (coc0chanelblogs) you may have seen a post a while ago explaining that I was going to take a break to focus on my university exams. I am currently a second year Psychology student and I absolutely love the course and am really hoping to do well - so that’s where I have been. My exams have finished now which means I have a nice summer ahead of me with lots of time to focus on my blog!
I realised the posts that I absolutely missed the most over this break were my mystery posts. I love love love researching the cases and talking about so many interesting theories, so I think the main focus will be on unsolved mysteries, true crime and conspiracy theories. I will be posting a few polls on my stories to see which cases you would like the most so keep an eye out for those as I would love to hear what you guys are most interested in.
I also cannot wait to use this time to play around with filming and editing and starting up my youtube channel! My first video will be the disappearance of Madeleine McCann as the blog post that I have written for that case is so incredibly long that I realised I need this to be a chatty sit down video. I could honestly talk about this case for hours so I am so excited for this to finally happen!
And a side note: Talking about Mental Health
Whilst I won’t go into details of my non-blog related plans I have for the summer, something I did want to mention was a little opportunity I have started with The Mix. I am currently a volunteer discussion boards counsellor with The Mix, the UK’s leading support service for young people (you can find them here♡). Very excitingly we have collaborated with vo5 working on a little project to promote talking about mental health. Each week a few of us will be starting discussions around a mental health "theme of the week" to normalise and raise the importance of talking about our feelings, asking for help when we need it and working together to form some of the very best advice. I will be starting new discussions every Wednesday over on the discussion boards; so if you do feel affected by anything raised or simply wish to talk and share some of your advice in general, please do feel free to join in the conversation. It’s good to talk ♡
So that’s all I really wanted to share - just a brief catch up to get back into the blogging life. Thank you so much for reading and if you have any suggestions of cases you’d like me to cover please do feel free to share them in the comments below. I hope you all have a really nice rest of your day and I will see you soon with a new unsolved mysteries post.
What is the The Bermuda Triangle?
The Bermuda Triangle refers to a triangle region in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean where many ships and aircrafts have simply vanished with no real explanation. It’s vertices are said to be between Miami, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Bermuda, covering 500,000 square miles of ocean..a lot of ocean. The Bermuda triangle is one of the most heavily travelled shipping lanes in the world, and yet what happens to anyone and anything that disappears remains unknown. These cases date back to Christopher Columbus times, where in 1492 he first reported strange lights and strange compass readings. Since then, there has been numerous unsolved disappearances.
There are so many conspiracy theories behind the Bermuda Triangle, from science to mythology. Regardless of the cause, I find the Bermuda Triangle extremely fascinating. Therefore, I am going to be discussing some of the most interesting cases from the Bermuda Triangle and some of my favourite theories. Enjoy ♡
1918 - USS Cyclops (AC-4)
One of the most famous ships to disappear into the Bermuda Triangle was the USS Cyclops in 1918. Sometime after March 4th 1918, this extremely large ship (542 ft long) with over 300 passengers on board vanished without a single trace. The USS Cyclops was sailing towards Baltimore; and after departing from a shortstop in the island of Barbados the ship and the 300+ passengers were never seen again. With even no debris left behind, this enormous ship had vanished completely.
1945 - Flight 19
Flight 19 refers to the collective of five TBM Avenger bombers who vanished when flying over the Atlantic on December 5th 1945. According to schedule they were due to go east from Florida Naval for 120 miles, north for 73 miles and finally a 120 mile route to return to the naval base. However, they never came back. Not only were no traces ever discovered; but when two rescue Martin Mariner aircrafts with a 13 man crew went to search for the flights, one of the Martin Mariners itself never returned and also disappeared without a trace.
1967 - Witchcraft
On December 22nd 1967, the Witchcraft cabin cruiser departed from Miami with captain Dan Burack and friend, Father Patrick Horgan. This was a 23-foot luxury yacht, setting off to enjoy the view of Miami’s Christmas lights. Just one mile from offshore the coast guard received a call from Burack; a warning that his ship had been hit and that they needed help towing to the shore, however said there was no substantial damage. The coast guard set off immediately, taking only 19 minutes to arrived. Upon arrival he found absolutely nothing. Not only were Witchcraft and the gentleman not there, but there was absolutely no signs of any ships having ever been present there previously. Of course, we know there was a ship there literally 19 minutes ago. Even more bizarre is that this particular type of cruiser is essentially unsinkable. As for Burack and Horgan, there was substantial life-saving equipment on board...so what happened?
2017 - Mitsubishi MU-2B-40
Finally, I wanted to include a more recent one to highlight unexplained incidents of the Bermuda Triangle are still happening today. On May 15th 2017 a small private aircraft called the Mitsubishi MU-2B-40 was flying from Puerto Rico to South Florida. At around 2:10pm the air traffic control at Miami lost radar with the aircraft for unknown reasons. Despite absolutely no weather warnings or anything out of the ordinary, this plane and the four passengers on board simply vanished...still to this day it has never been found.
I couldn’t possibly discuss Bermuda Triangle conspiracy theories without including one of the most popular theories for any unexplained event- aliens. A very, very popular theory about the Bermuda Triangle is that the disappearances are caused by alien abductions. I personally have no doubt that there are other life forms; so whilst I don’t really believe this theory, I will say it probably isn’t as crazy as it may initially sound. Many people believe that in order to learn more about human life, aliens around the Bermuda Triangle literally abduct people out of thin air. This is said to explain why there is never any evidence, traces or remains. I mentioned earlier that reports of the Bermuda Triangle date back to Christopher Columbus time, and some theorists believe what Columbus saw at this time may have been a UFO. An entry into his log written October 11th, 1492 read ““The land was first seen by a sailor called Rodrigo de Triana, although the Admiral at ten o’clock that evening standing on the quarter-deck saw a light, but so small a body that he could not affirm it to be land; calling to Pero Gutierrez, groom of the King’s wardrobe, he told him he saw a light, and bid him look that way, which he did and saw it.” “The Admiral again perceived it once or twice, appearing like the light of a wax candle moving up and down, which some thought an indication of land. But the Admiral held it for certain that land was not near…”. Explorers believe that this sighting was in fact a UFO. Although I do think this theory may be a little too fantasy, I would absolutely love to believe in an alien explanation. What are your thoughts?
This second theory is another one that I don’t necessarily believe in however I do find it extremely fascinating; and that is the theory of Atlantis. The theory goes that there is a “lost city” known as Atlantis dating back to the Ice Age. It is said that Atlantis disappeared in 8016 BC when the Ice Age ended in Finland and the ice melted away. Atlantis was said to be controlled by crystals; therefore people believe that this city may have sunk to right beneath the Bermuda Triangle, and that spontaneous bursts of energy and the strength from these crystals are causing these unexplainable disappearances. I think this is the most interesting theory as it actually adds to the mystery in that we still don’t know whether Atlantis was ever a real location in the first place. What do you think?
The Gulf Stream
This theory I found particularly interesting because it has been suggested as an explanation of the Witchcraft case I discussed earlier. The Gulf Stream is an ocean current originating in the Gulf of Mexico. It moves through Florida into the North Atlantic and then passes through the Bermuda Triangle. The reason this is a theory for the missing ships/planes/people is that the Gulf Stream is essentially a river with warm water within an ocean which can easily carry floating objects down its flow. Therefore any ships coming into engine troubles, or planes making water landings, can be carried away in an instant. People believe this is what happened to the Witchcraft cruiser after coming into trouble with the hit.
Whilst our knowledge of the ocean is extremely limited, something we do know is that very large waves can appear suddenly at any time, even in the calmest of seas. These waves are said to be up to 30m high and extremely capable of taking ships within moments. They can be so strong that one wave caused the largest offshore platform, the Ocean Ranger, to completely capsize in 1982. However, one flaw I find with this theory is that these waves are extremely rare. It therefore seems too coincidental to me to say that these rare waves are occurring all within the same area...don’t you think?
Finally, the theory I think I believe in the most. Some theorists believe disappearances within the Bermuda Triangle are due to intense micro-bursts. To my understanding, micro-bursts are sudden currents of wind from storm clouds; and these winds can exceed 120mph. These can be observed by weather satellites, and evidence from this suggests the unusual cloud formations observed around the Bermuda Triangle are in fact micro-bursts. Microbursts arguably aren’t as rare as some of the other theories discussed; though still uncommon, micro-bursts have definitely been known to cause planes to crash before. It therefore follows that as the ones around the Bermuda Triangle are significantly stronger, this could cause significantly more planes to disappear. Tying into the rogue wave theory, it is said that these micro-bursts can contribute to waves, forming waves over 40ft high, hence why things appear to simply “vanish”.
Whilst I would love to discover evidence for a lost city or alien abductions, I do personally believe some of the more scientific theories slightly more in this case. However something I find really interesting about the Bermuda Triangle is that there are so many theories that make sense; and yet at the same time we truly have no idea what causes so many disappearances - literally without a trace.
Thank you so much for reading. As usual, I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on what theories you believe, and whether there are any more theories that I didn’t discuss that you are particularly interested in.
Hello! You have found my hidden blog post - recipes for a cosy day. I mentioned in my "self love club" post that one of the things I really like to do when in need of a de-stress is to bake. I decided to compile a short post of some of my favourite recipes that I learnt as a child, which I think are perfect for a cosy, rainy day, or when you just might need some freshly baked goods to bring a little bit of happiness back into your day. Enjoy!
This is the perfect recipe for a Sunday afternoon when your banana's are starting to look a little too ripe. It's easy, smells delicious and tastes even better.
TANYA BURR'S COOKIES
Tanya Burr's cookies are my absolute favourite. Although this isn't my "go-to" recipe as there are quite a few ingredients involved, this is definitely the best recipe for when you just want that little more goodness (or "not-so-goodness" haha!)
PRIMARY SCHOOL SPONGE
This is a recipe that my mum taught me when I was tiny and I will never ever use any other! Whenever people try this cake they always say it takes them back to primary school days, so if that is something you'd like to recreate then this may be the perfect recipe for you.
Thank you so much for reading. I really hope you can enjoy my top 3 recipes for a cosy day. I would absolutely love to be tagged in any photos of your baking, whether it's these recipes or favourites of your own. Thank you again for reading and I hope you have a really lovely day!
♡ The following tips are mostly for when you might just be feeling a little bit overwhelmed, as opposed to feeling affected by mental health difficulties. I completely appreciate how frustrating these sorts of tips may be in a response to mental illness - and whilst these tips may be useful, if you need further support than self care that is completely okay; you really deserve to feel supported ♡
Caring for others is SO important, but do you know what else is? Caring for YOURSELF!
I tell people all the time to take the time to focus on themselves, self love and self care; however I admit I am someone who is not very good at doing that myself. I absolutely love being on it 24/7 so sometimes taking the time to relax doesn’t come naturally to me, and I am finding more and more people who are exactly the same. So I decided to compile a few tips of SIMPLE ways to wind down when things might be getting just a little bit too much for you - and these are things that even us busy bee’s can follow. Be kind to yourself and always remember to be a member of your own self love club - enjoy! ♡
Something that I have very recently gotten into is penpalling, which I can already say I absolutely LOVE. I have always loved writing a good old fashioned letter, yet beyond enjoyment I also believe they can be really, really useful. Penpalling is very therapeutic to me; not only do I love spending the time to handwrite a letter, doodle on the envelope and walk it to a postbox, but it is also really refreshing to understand somebody through exchanges of their own self disclosure as opposed to a collection of assumptions from social media. Alternatively, writing a single letter that you perhaps don’t expect a reply to can be really lovely too. This might be a “thinking of you” letter to somebody you want to catch up with (again, I think this is a much nicer way than just texting them), a letter of encouragement if you can see somebody is going through a tough time, OR you could simply write a letter to yourself as a really great way of understanding your own feelings. There are so many benefits to letter writing and I definitely think people should do it more often; so whether you are needing a little pick me up or not, why not give this a go?
The Power of Now
Reading in general is a really great form of self care - and often you don’t consciously realise the benefits. Not only is it a great way to temporarily switch off from your busy thoughts by stepping into somebody else's world, but I find reading before bed can dramatically improve the quality of my sleep. So of course reading in general is something I would always recommend to anyone. However, if you are perhaps going through a particularly anxious stage, feeling a little lost or just needing a boost of comfort and direction in your life I would thoroughly recommend “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. It is a really inspiring book that teaches you the importance of focusing on the now, and not worrying about things that have already happened or fears about the future. My dad always says “there’s nothing to worry about until there is something to worry about”, and I think this book really embodies that. I’d absolutely love to know your thoughts if you do decide to read this!
Clean Space, Clean Mind
The phrase “clean space, clean mind” seems cliche, however it resonates with me so, so much. Whenever I find myself feeling a little bit stressed, distracted or just not quite right I like to take everything right back to the beginning. I will start off my jumping into the bath and giving myself a complete pamper session - hair washing, exfoliating and using all my absolute favourite products. I will take off any makeup and give my skin some TLC, so that I feel completely fresh. I will then repeat this cleansing process but on my surroundings - I will tidy and clean everything. For me, the process of cleaning itself is extremely therapeutic and the end product is very beneficial for my mood. I will then work on cleaning my mind - this includes writing out absolutely EVERYTHING I need to do (even things as simple as buying more washing up liquid). This is a really useful way of seeing everything jumbled in my mind right in front of my eyes, and then I will allocate tasks to each day. I like to transfer this into my agenda; life tip, if you don’t own an agenda, you need one! I put absolutely everything into mine as a good way of dividing my time and easily spotting when I may be overworking myself. I am very much considering getting a “passion planner” too, so if you are on the lookout for an agenda this may be a good place to start. After this cleanse of everything, I find myself feeling a lot better.
If you are in need of a little pick me up, BAKE. A. CAKE. Even if you can’t bake, bake. I think baking is an extremely relaxing activity. Following the instructions and experiencing all the different smells and textures of the ingredients is such a good way to switch off your mind. And at the end of it, your kitchen smells heavenly and you have some sweet treats (or you have an excuse to run to the shop to buy some replacement sweet treats if yours didn’t quite work out haha!). I have loved baking since I was tiny, so I decided to compile a mini post of some of my favourite, most comforting recipes from growing up. You can read that one here (a blog post hidden inside a blog post, I clearly cannot be TAMED). If you do bake anything from this post, let me know!
Find your happy place
This one maybe isn’t the quickest pick me up, or maybe for some it will be, but something that I think is really important is to find your happy place. A place where you know you will always feel calm, content and most of all free whenever you are there. For me this is by the sea, and in particular Brighton. I absolutely love Brighton, and I know whenever I am there I will feel care free and comforted. Being by the sea in general is when I am at my absolute happiest. I don’t live near the sea, so of course I can’t always be there when I would like to be, however I compromise by listening to sea sounds and imagining myself back in my happy place. This can be such an instant anxiety relief, so I would definitely recommend finding your happy place and knowing that will always be a solution in some shape or form whenever you may need it. Where’s your happy place?
And as a final little point, I wanted to include a link from the Childline website. Although my audience are mostly above the Childline age, I find that some of the advice pages we refer to when speaking to young people are actually invaluable for so many people, regardless of age - one of my favourites is this one here. As well as this, we often speak to young people about podcasts and apps and they seem to be extremely useful. Some good ones are: “Headspace”, “Calm” and Fearne Cotton’s “Happy Place”.
Thank you so much for reading! I really hope some of these tips can help you wind down when you need to. If you have anymore tips that I didn’t mention please feel free to share them below so we can all help each other - I would love that! Hope you have a really nice day,
♡ What's better than Lush bath bombs? Making your OWN Lush bath bombs, of course! ♡
This morning I had a really fun time at Lush (Nottingham) making my very own butterball. Not only is this one of my all time favourites, but I have been interested in the behind the scenes of Lush for a very long time - so this was the perfect opportunity to get involved.
If you are a Lush fan I am sure you will be familiar with the "Butterball" as it is a classic product; however for those who don't know, Lush butterballs are a gorgeous cocoa butter scented bath bomb. They are super moisturising, gentle and just a really nice product for when you or your skin are in need of a little TLC. I was really interested to learn that the butterball is made with ylang ylang oil which is used in aromatherapy to treat anxiety and depression, and can also be used to relax the nervous system. Even before knowing this I definitely found the butterball was one of the products I would always reach for when I needed to relax, so I definitely agree and would recommend this product to anyone.
Now, onto the experience. Making my own bath bomb was really, really fun. I absolutely loved how hands on we were allowed to be; following just a little direction we were given gloves and began mixing the ingredients to create the formula ourselves. It was very relaxing and smelt amazing. The staff walked us through things step by step, supporting us in making, moulding and perfecting our products. By the end of it they looked just like the "real thing". As a really lovely finishing touch we then were given some dusting powder to take away any effects of wearing gloves and to leave our hands feeling silky smooth.
Overall, I absolutely loved this event. However, I must say that a huge part of this positive experience was down to the staff. I have visited Lush stores in many different cities and above all the Nottingham Lush staff are always so, so lovely. I love going into Lush when I have a bit of spare time as their product demonstrations are great - I am forever leaving with one arm feeling baby soft! Nonetheless, if you are in a rush or maybe feel anxious being approached so much, I definitely feel that the Nottingham staff are the best for being considerate, friendly and consistently making your visit a positive experience tailored just for you. 10/10 from me guys!
Thank you so much for reading. I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts - have/would you ever like to make your own Lush bath bomb, and if so which one? Thank you for reading and I hope you have a lovely day,
June and Jennifer Gibbons, later known as “The Silent Twins”, were born 11th April 1963 in Aden, Yemen. Growing up the twins had an inseparable bond. They went through absolutely everything together and were both very late to speaking; their main communication was through noises as they knew only around three or four words by the time they started school. The twins first started school in Devon after moving to the UK, where racism was a huge issue. Due to the twins barbadian background they were severely bullied, and quickly became very isolated because of this. The twins refused to speak to anyone (even their family), make eye contact with anyone, and seemed to create what could only be described as a “secret language”. That is, they would only speak to each other through very high pitched noises or very fast talking that only they could understand. This isolation carried through to the extent the twins refused to learn to read or write at school. Whilst this was concerning for the teachers, June and Jennifer’s parents believed it was nothing to worry about because they would grow out of it - they didn’t. The family moved again to Haverfordwest in Wales, where sadly the racism only worsened. The twins were bullied to such an extent that they were dismissed five minutes early every day from school so that they could get a head start on their journey home, because the bullying was so bad.
As seen in many twins, June and Jennifer were extremely synchronised. If June fell off a horse, Jennifer would fall off a horse and vice versa. This level of synchrony was arguably beyond the “norm” for twins and this was hugely noticeable to John Reed, a man who came to the twins’ school for vaccinations. He described the twins behaviour as almost trance like. When he gave the girls their vaccinations neither of them even flinched; they just stood there, lifeless. The school nurse reported this behaviour as through her increasing interest in the twins she, and the rest of the teachers, had noticed a lot of unusual behaviour from the girls. This resulted in June and Jennifer being taken to Haverfordwest Withybush Hospital in February 1977 for examination, and then transferred to a boarding school called East Gate Special Education Centre. The girls were sent here with purposeful intentions of trying to create two separate identities, therefore whilst Jennifer remained at Eastgate, June was sent to St David’s Adolescent Unit 30 miles away. This decision was extremely detrimental to the twins well being.
June and Jennifer literally became catatonic. They refused to eat, move or essentially do anything until they were reunited. On their sixteenth birthday the girls were finally reunited and were sent home. Here things did not improve at all. Despite being in the same house, June and Jennifer would never see their family. If they wanted to watch the television they would pass a note through the door to their family and then the family would have to leave the door ajar so that they could sit in the hallway and watch the tv through the door. To keep themselves occupied the girls wrote diaries about their lives and crime novels. They were extremely excited about this and decided to go self published, with huge aspirations of making it big. The response was very very limited and this had a huge effect on them. June and Jennifer began leaving their rooms but only ever to commit crimes, do drugs, or hurt each other. They turned to theft and arson because, as June wrote, “No friends. Nothing else to do. Nothing to fill the cold hour.” The girls were arrested for one instance of arson and were sent to a remand centre. They carried on writing their diaries, however the girls could not stand the sight of each other here. Their diary entries quickly escalated into multiple accounts about wanting to kill each other.
The twins hatred for each other kept growing and growing, until eventually they were sent to maximum security. Here, their behaviour became extremely unusual. One day June would starve herself whilst Jennifer would completely over indulge, and then the next day they would swap over. Eerily, even when the girls were at other ends of the hospital and therefore unable to see each other, they would often be found completely frozen in the exact same position as each other. One day when a journalist who visited often came to see the girls, Jennifer completely out of the blue said “I am going to have to die...because we have decided”. The journalist was understandably completely taken aback by this, however her best understanding was that the twins had decided that one of them would have to give up their life so that the other could begin to live a normal and free life. The twins had decided that this day would be the day they were transferred to another clinic.
In March 1993 at the age of 31 June and Jennifer were transferred to the clinic. When they arrived Jennifer was completely unresponsive, and tragically passed away. This was exactly the day that the twins had planned for Jennifer to die, however results of the autopsy showed that Jennifer died from completely natural causes. There was absolutely no intervention from either of the girls; they decided on the date and through natural causes Jennifer actually did give up her life. On Jennifer’s headstone June had written a poem that read “We were once two, we two made one, we no more two, through life be one. Rest in peace”.
What is a Mandela Effect?
The Mandela Effect earned its name from an incredible amount of people holding clear memories of Nelson Mandela passing away whilst incarcerated, to the point many can vividly recall a televised funeral. Why is this odd? Nelson Mandela was released from prison 11th February 1990; he died 5th December 2013. Therefore why do SO many people share memories of his death and funeral twenty three years prior? Every year more and more shared memories of events that never happened, or things that never existed, are being discovered. They call these Mandela Effects.
There are many theories behind the cause of Mandela Effects, with many believing it is the result of a parallel universe or government cover-ups. Regardless of the cause, Mandela Effects can be truly fascinating. Therefore, I am going to be discussing my top 10 mind blowing Mandela Effects. Enjoy♡
10. Looney Toons
90’s babies. If I was to tell you “Looney Toons” was actually spelt “Looney Tunes” would you believe me? I, along with many other people, certainly would not; however it turns out it has always been “Looney Tunes”. Not only do most people have clear memories of “Looney Toons”, but that spelling would make a lot more sense; toons = cartoons. Did we all remember the wrong spelling, or was there actually a change in reality?
9. Forrest Gump
You don’t need to have seen Forrest Gump to know the iconic line “life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you’re gonna get”. However, it turns out none of us really know the line as the script actually says “life was like a box of chocolates”. Honestly, this line doesn’t even make sense to me; and with so many people reciting it so clearly as “is”, is it really possible that we all misheard it?
8. Barbie Girl - Aqua
Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” is the song of many people’s childhoods; I am sure we have all heard it countless of times growing up so we would all know the words - “I’m a barbie girl in a barbie world” right? Wrong. The actual lyrics are “I’m a barbie girl in THE barbie world”. I have an insane memory for lyrics, yet never in my life have I sung, or heard anybody else sing, “THE barbie world” - yet if you listen to the original song you will realise that is the way it’s always been. What in “the’ world?
7. Monopoly Man
I am sure almost everyone has fond (or perhaps not so fond) memories of playing Monopoly. Whilst the game itself truly divides families, the biggest divider is the debate about whether the Monopoly man had a monocle - which he did not. I would say there is no evidence to suggest he ever did, however the sheer amount of people who dressed up as the Monopoly man with a monocle blows my mind and says otherwise. What do you remember?
6. Mirror Mirror on the Wall
This Mandela Effect will always blow my mind as Snow White is one of my all time favourite movies in the world. There is a famous scene in Snow White where the Evil Queen looks into the mirror on the wall and asks “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” Except, she doesn’t say this at all. Instead, the Evil Queen has always said “Magic mirror on the wall”. I have honestly loved this film since I was about three years old and no matter how often I say the “new’ line out loud it just does not sound right to me in the slightest. Watch it here and let me know what you think.
5. Bare Necessities
Again, as a huge Disney lover, I really struggle to accept this Mandela Effect. I want you to fill in the missing lyric from the Jungle Book’s “Bare Necessities” - “wherever I wander, wherever I roam, I couldn’t be ____ of my big home”. Did you say “fonder?” Probably, as does every lyric website or video I can find. However, when you listen back to the song it’s actually just “found”. I think this sounds SO odd and so very incomplete, yet after checking Youtube versions, Spotify versions, the lyric has always been “found”.
4. We are the Champions - Queen
On the topic of “misremembered” lyrics, let’s discuss Queen’s “We are the Champions”. What do we all belt in the final chorus - “No time for losers cause we are the champions, of the world” right? Wrong! The song has never ended with “of the world”. You can listen to original versions, live versions and you will find they have NEVER ended the song with those lyrics. Yet so many of us sing them. In fact, I think it sounds so odd hearing the song without that ending, it ends so...abruptly. I must mention that Queen do in fact sing the words “of the world”, however it is in the middle and not at all where we all seem to sing it. Listen to it again and wait for the ending...it just feels wrong, right?
3. Sex in the City
This is one of the most common mistakes people make, to the point google automatically redirects people searching for the wrong title. The show has never been called “Sex in the City” but in fact has always been “Sex and the City”. This particular Mandela Effect has a lot of “evidence” to suggest we all knew it as Sex in the City before; from merchandise to sitcom references, from award ceremonies to social media posts. I would really recommend watching these two videos as the amount of “Sex in the City” references is insane.
2. “Luke, I am your father”
Even those who aren’t big fans of Star Wars know the iconic line where Darth Vader tells Luke Skywalker that he is his father. “Luke, I am your father” right? An astonishing amount of people recite the line that exact way, however if you watch back the clip here you will realise that line is never, and has never been, said. The actual line is “No, I am your father.” This line is nowhere near as catchy and it does not register right in a lot of people’s minds - including James Earl Jones, the actual actor who played Darth Vader himself!
1. “Woaaah, Mona Lisa”.
(Can anybody else not read the words “Mona Lisa” without bursting into song?).
And finally, The Mona Lisa. This painting by Leonardo da Vinci has been described as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world". An amazing amount of people recall Mona Lisa to be somewhat emotionless; a very very slight smile in the corner of the mouth and nothing more than that. So what if I told you that Mona Lisa is actually smiling in every photo you will ever find of the painting now? The reason this Mandela Effect stands out to me so much is because the Mona Lisa was studied for DECADES for her “enigmatic smile” - the mystery of whether she is smiling or not. However looking at the painting as we see it now there is no doubt that she has a smile. If the Mona Lisa has always been smiling as much as she is in the photos we see today, why would this have been studied so profusely by professionals? Did the Mona Lisa really change right before our eyes?
And that concludes my top 10 favourite Mandela Effects. I really hope you enjoyed this post. Whether these are Mandela Effects or simply mistaken memories, I think we can all agree it is fascinating how many of us share these vivid accounts of things that never really existed.
Thank you so much for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts on Mandela Effects, and if there are any that particularly interest you please feel free to discuss them on the comments.
♡ Happy New Year! ♡
I hope everyone has had a really lovely start to 2019. I decided to take a little step back from blogging/Instagram for the first few days of the new year, however I am back to share my blogging plans and aspirations for 2019...and what better way to discuss plans than over a piece of cake.
Bakerdays very, very kindly sent me the most delicious letterbox cake personalised with my blog name and Mickey Mouse; the most appropriate design for this Disney loving blogger. What they perhaps didn’t know is that I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world, so they were sending their product to a TOUGH critic. However, being 100% honest, it tasted absolutely delicious.
Whilst “bakerdays” also offer small, medium and large cakes, I am most excited about their letterbox cakes which is what they sent to me. Despite being handled by postal services, the cake was perfectly fresh with absolutely no damage to the product. The cake was beautifully designed and arrived in a lovely tin that I will no doubt be re-using. There are endless design options on their website; and if there isn’t one that takes your fancy there is also the option to personalise your cake just the way you like it. I tried the traditional sponge cake however “bakerdays” also offer chocolate chip, lemon drizzle, fruit, gluten wheat free and dairy free options. The cake was light, very tasty and had exactly the right amount of icing. Speaking specifically about the letterbox size, I really think if you are wishing to celebrate somebody’s special day but maybe can’t be with them, sending a “bakerdays” cake would be the loveliest gift. You can get a photo cake at https://www.bakerdays.com/birthday-cakes/photo-cakes, or of course feel free to browse their website to see their complete range of fantastic cakes. And now, as I cut myself my second slice of the evening, I will take you through my blogging plans and aspirations for 2019...
♡ Increasing posts
In 2019 I am committing to posting more frequent blog posts. I aim to post an unsolved mystery fortnightly, with other posts in between cases. I would love to commit to a blogging schedule however due to the sheer amount of research behind my unsolved mystery posts I feel I need to trial this when I am back at university before making any promises..but it is certainly on my mind.
♡ Expanding content
I describe coc0chanelblogs as an “unsolved mysteries & lifestyle” blog and this will not be changing. However my favourite posts to write are unsolved mysteries as I have such a huge interest in them so I will be expanding my content to more of my biggest interests; including conspiracy theories, paranormal activity and general mysterious phenomena. For those who are not as interested in these areas I can assure you lifestyle and creativity will still be very much incorporated into my blog. I hope whoever visits my blog can leave feeling inspired by something in some way.
♡ Social media engagement
I started my blogging Instagram (@coc0chanelblogs) towards the end of 2018 and it was the best decision. I absolutely love connecting with other bloggers and feeling like a part of the blogging community, so in 2019 I am definitely going to be dedicating time to Instagram engagement. I will also dedicate my time to understanding the beauty of Pinterest - this is a very new platform to me so any tips would be really appreciated.
Ultimately, I adore new year and I cannot wait to see where coc0chanelblogs goes in 2019. I am living this year with a kind heart, a fierce mind and a brave spirit...and a tummy filled with cake.
Thank you so much for reading! I would love to hear about your aspirations for 2019 and any thoughts or feedback about the plans I have for my blog. I wish you all a very happy new year.
P.s If anybody has any Instagrams and/or Pinterests that need some loving please do feel free to leave links below! ♡
Christmas lovers, this one's for you. Yesterday I visited Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park for the very first time and it was a Christmas dream come true. It can be a very busy place at a very busy time of year so I decided to compile my top ten tips and tricks to make the most of your visit. I hope this can be of use to anybody who is thinking of going - it is a wonderful place that I would recommend to anybody. Enjoy!♡
1. Pre-book your attractions
You can pre-book most attractions here and I would definitely recommend this. Not only will it save the queues, but it is a really good way to manage your money as you can clearly see what everything will add up to.
2. Set yourself a budget
In keeping with managing money, I would really recommend setting yourself a budget for the day. Although contactless payment is accepted in most places around the festive village, we withdrew cash beforehand so we knew exactly what we wanted to spend. Contrary to popular belief, Winter Wonderland is not actually *that* expensive - if you do it right. Entry is free. The markets are beautiful and there is a great variety of stalls - if you really wanted to save money, you could still have a lovely time walking around the markets with a hot chocolate spending only around £3. Food and drink might seem quite expensive, however it is exactly what you’d expect to spend at something like Winter Wonderland. For example, I had a really delicious waffle with chocolate, cream and banana which cost £6.50 - and it was WORTH it. Winter Wonderland is only really expensive if you visit multiple attractions and fairground rides - so setting a budget and deciding what you REALLY would like to be can make the day a lot cheaper and still really enjoyable.
3. Getting There
Winter Wonderland is held in Hyde Park, accessible by many different routes. The nearest tube stations are Hyde Park Corner, Green Park, Victoria, Marble Arch and Knightsbridge. We opted for Green Park as the walk through Green Park on a crisp winter day is beautiful. I would recommend avoiding Hyde Park Corner as it can be incredibly busy - the alternatives are all just a short walk away.
4. Magical Ice Kingdom
If you are struggling to decide which attractions you should book, I would recommend the Magical Ice Kingdom to anybody. This journey through the spectacular ice sculptures is like nothing I have ever seen before. We were in complete awe at the detail and precision, photographs do not do it justice. Narnia fans would especially love this! We booked our tickets in advance costing £23 for the two of us - and it was worth every single penny. You can select a time slot to ensure it is not too cosy to enjoy the art, which worked really well. There are photo opportunities all around which are really lovely, and quite reasonable prices. There is also an ice slide - I didn’t go on this as I believe it’s for little ones, but it looked SO much fun. This is a great option for all ages - just make sure you bring an extra layer for this attraction as it is icy cold...literally.
5. Festive Treats
One important piece of advice is don’t go to Winter Wonderland on a full stomach. The food stalls are incredible. German sausages, loaded fries and hog roasts for the savoury lovers; and waffles, crepes and churros for anyone with a sweet tooth, there is something for everyone to enjoy. There is also a veggie stall which did look delicious. I could have spent all day trying all of the festive treats so the food stalls are definitely something you do not want to miss.
6. Visit the Christmas Markets
Another thing you certainly won’t want to miss is the christmas market. It is a great size and there is something for everyone to enjoy. It is the perfect place for little gifts and souvenirs. If you’re not feeling festive enough yet, the christmas markets are the place to be.
7, These boots are made for walking...
Although there is a layer of flooring all around the festive village, you will almost certainly get muddy on this day out. As with any day in London, you will likely be walking a lot, so PLEASE listen to your Mumma and wear comfortable walking shoes!
8, School's out for Christmas
If this is an option for you, check the term dates for schools and visit Winter Wonderland before the Christmas holidays begin. We went the day before the schools broke up and it was just perfect. Enough people to feel the buzz of London, however no queues and no standing on each others toes. If it is possible to do so, this could make your experience just that little bit more magical.
9, Posing in a Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland is absolutely beautiful, so be sure to bring your camera. Every stall is festive and magical in its own way - I fell in love with the place and I am so glad I have photographs to look back on.
10. Explore London at Christmas
Whilst you have your camera out, make a day of it and go exploring around London. We went to Covent Garden, of course to see the iconic 55ft Christmas tree, and it looked beautiful. London is magical at Christmas time, so if you are visiting for the day I urge you to make the most of it.
Thank you so much for reading, and please do feel free to leave tips of your own in the comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts and whether you would recommend any other Christmas markets!
Have a very merry christmas,