10 Weird Books That Remain A Mystery

Weird Books
Credit: Michal Jarmoluk / pixabay.com

When it comes to weird books, we’re not talking about Where’s Waldo in which Waldo is missing from the puzzle. We’re talking about books that changed people’s thinking, offered grandiose revelations, or left scholars baffled and dismissive.

WARNING: Some of the books and videos may cover controversial topics. Please continue at your own discretion. If you’re happy to continue, swipe down now:

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10. The Ripley Scroll

the Ripley scroll; weird books that remain a mystery
Credit: Christie’s

The first weird book on our list is The Ripley Scroll, which only has twenty-three copies in existence, all variations on the lost 15th century original. Though the scrolls range in size, color, and detail, but they all still contain the same elusive and confusing text. You may think that George Ripley had written the scrolls, but they were only attributed to him, and there is no evidence that Ripley had any part in the creation.

In terms of the book, the English alchemical text is extremely occultist and obscurantist. It doesn’t help that the book was written during the medieval time period, where any book was riddled with confusing sentences and images. Often referencing occultist symbolism in the poetic lines, we may never truly understand what is happening in this weird book.

9. The Rohonc Codex

The Rohonc Codex was found in a library of a nobleman in the city of Rohonc, now known as the Austrian city of Rechnitz.

The nobleman donated the library to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. They later revealed that the paper used in the book was from the 16th century. To this day, no one has been able to accurately date the book or the name of the author.

The book is written in an unknown language or in code that no one is able to decipher. The illustrations in the book make it appear about various religious and war-related events.

Many believe that the book is just a hoax and does not mean anything.

8. The Satanic Scriptures

the satanic scriptures; weird books that remain a mystery
Credit: Amazon

This next weird book may shock those who practice religion daily. The Satanic Scriptures, written by the current High Priest of the Church of Satan Peter H. Gilmore in 2007, it is a collection of essays and rituals that has been translated into six different languages.

Even though this novel is shocking, it is largely overshadowed by The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey. In the book Gilmore talks about gay marriage, how Satanists should marry, antiquated familial structures, and espousing immorality as a doctrine for life as well as radical individualism. If you have an interest in unorthodox religions or broadening your spiritual horizons, The Satanic Scriptures would make for an interesting read.

7. The Red Book

The Red Book was said to have been hidden for almost 80 years by the family of the author. It was written by Carl Jung, a Swiss psychoanalyst, and contemporary of Freud.

The book became public in 2008, in which Carl narrated his imaginative encounter with several religious figures.

Experts believe that the book explores the unconscious mind of Carl for 15 years, during which he entered a phase known as mythopoetic imagination.

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6. The Chronicles of Portents and Prophecies

the chronicles of portents and prophecies; weird books that remain a mystery
Credit: Australian Museum

In the 1550s, there were several Western prophets going out into the world and preaching their omens, most notable Nostradamus. But, there was another prophet during that time, who eventually created The Chronicle of Portents and Prophecies. His name was Conrad Lycosthenes, and in his weird book he created a comprehensive anthology of the history of terrifying, wonderful, and strange events in the world.

Full of woodcut illustrations of mysterious signs and portents, as well as monsters, Lycosthenes dived deep into a world of weird to fill the pages of his book. These include sightings of Halley’s comet, plagues of locusts, disfigured animals, meteor showers, sea monsters, fires, famines, and floods.

5. Les Propheties

Nostradamus wrote the book Les Propheties in the 16th century. The book is full of prophecies about modern-day events.

Some find these prophecies to be complete fantasy, yet some believe that Nostradamus predicted events like JFK’s murder, 9/11, and the rise of Hitler in hidden passages.

For example, the following passage is said to be referring to the rise of Hitler; ‘A young child will be born of poor people. He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop; His fame will increase towards the realm of East.’

4. Codex Seraphinianus

codex seraphinianus; weird books that remain a mystery
Credit: Luigi Serafini

Compared to the artwork of M.C. Escher or the undeciphered Voynich Manuscript, which appears later on our list, the Codex Seraphinianus is full of hand-drawn illustrations of bizarre flora, fauna, anatomies, fashions, and foods. Published in 1981 by Italian artist, architect, and industrial designer Luigi Serafini, the most interesting thing about this weird book is the text, which is written in an imaginary language.

Back to the illustrations, they are often parodies of things in the real world, such as bleeding fruit, plants that turn chair-shaped, and a copulating couple that metamorphose into an alligator. Some may be maps or human faces, while others are completely unrecognizable but one thing is for certain — they are brightly colored and highly detailed.

3. The Urantia Book

The Urantia Book was written sometime between 1924 and 1955. The book covers a wide range of topics, including God, Jesus, science, men, the meaning of life, and the philosophy of life. The book also included that Jesus was born out of traditional conception and did not perform any miracles.

It was bought to public attention by a couple, William and Lena Sadler, who said one of their neighbors wrote it after receiving messages from an alien or supernatural being.

Allegedly, the identity of the author remains hidden because those who sent the messages did not want anyone to know their identity.

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2. The Voynich Manuscript

the Voynich manuscript; weird books that remain a mystery
Credit: Wikipedia

Unreadable? Absolutely. The Voynich Manuscript is hand-written in an unknown script known simply as ‘Voynichese.’ Dated back to the early 15th century, the stylistic choices indicate the manuscript may have originated from Italy during the Italian Renaissance. 240 pages long, there is evidence that pages are missing, and some of the pages fold out into larger sheets than the cover.

The most interesting thing about The Voynich Manuscript is the content. Written in an undecipherable text, there have been a range of theories about what the book is written about, from a script for a natural language, an unread code or cypher, a hoax, or even a work of fiction. During both WWI and WWII, skilled cryptographers and codebreakers came together to try and figure out the language, but to no avail. This weird book now resides in Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

1. Popol Vuh, a Mayan Text

Popol Vuh meaning ‘The Book of People’ was discovered by a priest in Guatemala. The book was written sometime in mid-1599 B.C. Amazingly, it is written in the Mayan language, ‘K’iche’, and discusses the origin of life.

The writer of the book is unknown, and the content of the book is also quite mysterious and gives a new perspective on the origin of human beings.

According to this book, there was only the sun and sea before the existence of human beings. After this, the creator created animals followed by mud men and later wooden men both of which did not work out so well. Later men were made out of corn and while they slept, the creator made women.

Though many written accounts from the past have been either destroyed or lost, these select books have not been forgotten, rather they are studied extensively for hidden clues or meanings. Whether it’s because the author is unknown, you cannot read the text, or the tome contains controversial subjects, some books can be quite weird, just like the ones presented above.

Alexandria is a News Editor, writer, and reader of all things literature. She graduated from the State University of... More about Alexandria Wyckoff