The “Gypsies” versus “civilized society”

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Over a thousand years ago, scores of people left Ancient India and haven’t felt at home since.

They traveled through Asia, the Middle East, Byzantium, the Balkans, and Europe. As George Borrow wrote in his 1841 book The Zincali: An Account of the Gypsies of Spain,

“There is scarcely a place of the habitable world where they are not to be found; their tents are alike pitched on the heaths of Brazil and the ridges of the Himalayan hills, and their language is heard at Moscow and Madrid, in the streets of London and Stamboul.”

And everywhere, they became scapegoats.

The reviled Gypsies


Hitler’s Germans: inhuman demons - or someone more recognizable

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The word “Nazi” has become interchangeable with “evil.” People tend to look back on this time in history with bewilderment (“How could something like this happen?”) and a sense of superiority towards the Germans (“They’re savages. Who could support such atrocities?”).

It’s easy to imagine what side of history you would have fallen on. The good side.

But what did the actual Germans feel and think as they watched Hitler rise to power? Were they all evil? Were they all brainwashed? Were they all so different from us?

Let’s ask Elisabeth

Elisabeth Gebensleben was a woman who was born and raised in the…


Does your employer value you or think they own you?

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Yes, yes. It’s not all about the money. Life should be about passion, and purpose, and accomplishment too. About taking pride in your work, expressing your talents, honing your craft, and discovering what you’re capable of.

But in the late-stage capitalism era, this undeniable truth about human nature has been hijacked.

Your passion should be about someone else’s vision. Your purpose and accomplishments should serve their goals. You take pride in work that ultimately does not belong to you. Your talents, craft, and potential are all something to be utilized, made “useful” by someone else.

When it comes to worker’s…


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Our fascination with unsolved mysteries continues.

Here are the top 5 stories published by our writers in February.

And if you want to make sure you don’t miss any of our March mysteries, follow The Mystery Box on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Lost Girls: The Unsettling Fate of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon

In 2014, Kris and Lisanne embarked on an adventure. They traveled to Panama to sightsee, volunteer, and study Spanish. One day, they went for a hike on the beautiful Pianista Trail — and this is when their trip turned into a nightmare. Rivy Lyon describes the scarce clues left by the girls and the harrowing picture that emerges…


It wasn’t about feeling happy. It was about feeling alive.

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I have an addictive personality. Sometimes I binge on food, sometimes on wine, sometimes on healthy habits. Sometimes on the tiniest things. I’ve given myself headaches from spending hours and hours reading books. I’ve given myself chronic pain from over-exercising. I’ve taken journaling to the extreme, walks in the park, listening to music.

The point is not what I do. It’s why I do it. Why I do every single thing the same way. Why things I touch with desire give me pain.

My binges don’t manifest in traditionally dangerous or controversial ways so they mostly look harmless. To the…


And what they truly mean.

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There are many kinds of hell on earth.

One of them is to be unsure of your reality: to not trust your senses, your perception, your thoughts or feelings.

It’s a paralysis. How can you move with any autonomy if you’re not sure what is real and what is “just in your head”?

You can’t. And this is the point of gaslighting.

People who gaslight others want, fundamentally, one thing. Control. …


Did countless men accidentally drown — or were they murdered?

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In 1997, 23-year old Patrick McNeill — a Fordham College senior — stumbled out of a New York bar and disappeared. A month later, his body was found floating in the river. The death was declared an “undetermined drowning.”

Twelve years later, in Boston, 24-year-old Navy veteran William Hurley called his girlfriend Claire after a long day of work. He was tired and asked Claire to pick him up. She arrived in minutes but he was gone. Six days later, his body was found floating in the Charles River.

The death was declared an “undetermined drowning.”

Two deaths. Twelve years…


A story from the early stages of the Ottoman invasion in Europe

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There is a beautiful narrow headland on the northern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, with steep cliffs, countless caves, and ancient fortresses.

It’s called Cape Kaliakra and has been part of the history of Thracians and then Bulgarians since the early 4th century.

But what has made it truly historic is something that happened one thousand years after people first set foot there — and that, seven centuries later, is still a cherished legend.


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The timeless True Crime genre shaped The Mystery Box during the first month of 2021!

Our writers and readers loved deciphering the mysteries of the human psyche’s dark side.

Here are the top 3 True Crime mysteries that captivated us in January 2021!

The Champion Wrestler Who Committed Murder-Suicide

One of the most chilling cases in history: What made Chris Benoit, a Canadian wrestler, kill his wife and seven-year old son — and then hang himself? Ana Coughlin tackles this question in her great story here.

What We Really Know About the Setagaya Family Murder?

Magda Szymanska shines a light onto one of the darkest — and foggiest — murders in Japan. Who killed this family of four and why? Read Magda’s detailed and fascinating article here.

Stay tuned for more mysteries in February.


Recognizing when a job is not worth your sanity

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Before I quit the 9–5 life, I had a job that looked great on paper.

We were doing media monitoring for big clients and I was pretty high up in the hierarchy, running my own projects and my own team. I had just quit a decade-long career in Hewlett-Packard and was excited to be doing something new.

The first red flag appeared within one week.

A person from another team was asked to change his shift and start coming to work 3 hours earlier. He refused, arguing that his working hours were already defined when he was hired. When my…

Martina Petkova

Storyteller. Observer of human psychology. Veteran of the corporate world. Recovering simultaneously from Communism and Capitalism.

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