If you’re the type of person that loves to curl up with a good mystery novel at the end of the day while you enjoy a huge mug of hot tea and maybe some dog snuggles, first of all, you’re our kind of person, and second of all, you’re probably familiar with the name Agatha Christie. Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, is widely known for writing 66 detective novels, 14 short story collections, The Mouse Trap which is the world’s longest-running play, and 6 novels under the pseudonym of ‘Mary Westmacott’, but did you know that Agatha Christie vanished for a brief stint and the whole event is still pretty unexplained? If we have your undivided attention, then please let’s get started.
(image via: agatha christie)
As we’ve already mentioned, Agatha Christie is best-known for writing mysteries, so you can imagine that when someone who notoriously wrote a number of whodunnits disappeared, the press went a little crazy. (How would you not think it was all staged? And what a genius ploy.) The truth of the matter, however, is that it wasn’t staged and it was a very real, very mysterious vanishing. The date was Friday, December 3rd in the year 1926 and Christie disappeared from her home in Berkshire. As the story goes at approximately 9:30 PM Christie got up from her chair, made her way upstairs, and kissed her daughter goodnight. She then left the bedroom, walked out the door, drove off, and wasn’t seen again for 11 days.
The press soon got word and so began a massive manhunt for the author. On December 6th Christie’s car was found near Guildford, the wheels hanging over the edge of a pit, the thick hedge being the only thing keeping it from falling into the depths of the pit. There was no sign of Christie, nor was there any sign this was the result of a vehicle accident.
(image via: the new york times)
On December 8th the search was called off briefly after Christie’s brother allegedly received a letter from Christie stating that she had in fact just gone off to a spa for a little R and R. The police were not convinced that this letter was legit, and decided it would be in their best interest to take Christie’s dog to the scene to see if he could pick up on her scent; the outcome was null. Rumors were running wild at this point; some convinced it was all a game so she would sell more books, others convinced she had been murdered by her husband.
Around December 10th an eerie detail came to light by way of The New York Times; this particular article stated that Christie was terrified of her own home, “It stands in a lonely lane, unlit at night, which has a reputation of being haunted. The lane has been the scene of a murder of a woman and the suicide of a man. … ‘If I do not leave Sunningdale soon, Sunningdale will be the end of me,’ she once said to a friend.” (source)
(image via: agatha christie)
The search continued, the rumors continued, but still, there was no Agatha Christie. Until December 14th when Agatha Christie was found at a hotel in Harrogate. But, unfortunately, not many questions were answered because Christie had little to no recollection regarding her own disappearance, and never spoke of those 11 days nor mentioned them in her autobiography. Her husband believed she suffered from memory loss due to the car accident, while others believe Agatha Christie was in a fugue state brought on by trauma or perhaps depression. We will probably never have answers regarding this mysterious vanishing, but if there’s one person that should leave behind a mysterious legacy and a real-life whodunnit, we know that it’s Agatha Christie.