The Disappearance Of Agatha Christie In 1926 Is More Mysterious Than All Detective Books She Wrote

Hanima Anand |Jul 29, 2020

Being one of the most famous detective authors of all time, Agatha Christie has written 66 detective novels but none of them remain as mysterious as her 11-day disappearance in 1926. Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle couldn't solve it.

Agatha Christie is recognized as the best-selling fiction writer of all time by Guinness World Records. The Mysterious Affair at Styles was her very first successful novel while And Then There Were None was among the best-seller of all time will nearly 100 million copies sold.

Despite her proficiency in detective books, she couldn’t decipher her own disappearance for 11 days in 1926. No one, even Conan Doyle, could solve the mystery either. Here’s what happened that night.

Agatha Christie 1
Agatha Christie is the best female crime author of all time.

One of the biggest manhunt in British history

On Friday 3rd December 1926, Agatha Christie got up from her armchair at around 9:30 pm then climbed upstairs and kissed her sleeping daughter. She then went downstairs and drove her car into the dark.

The famous writer was announced missing for the next 11 days.

At that time, Agatha Christie was already a renowned author for her detective books. Many people doubted her disappearance was just a publicity stunt to promote her upcoming work while others thought the author wanted to create her own whodunit mystery, just as in her novels to challenge real-life detectives. Some, on the other hand, suspected she had been murdered by her husband who was a former pilot in First World War and also a serial philanderer. He was reportedly seen having a mistress before the incident.

Agatha Christie 4
Agatha Christie and Colonel Christie, her first husband.

An unprecedented manhunt was mounted with more than 1,000 police, hundreds of residents in the neighborhood, and even airplanes. Everyone wanted to be the first to solve this mystery but their efforts went in vain.

William Joynson-Hicks, the Home Secretary of Britain at that time, was so eager about the search that he urged police to use every means to make faster progress as well as involved two famous detective authors in the investigation.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle couldn't find the vanished writer either.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the father of Sherlock Holmes, was drawn into the manhunt. He tried using his paranormal powers and took Christie’s gloves for examination but there was no clue.

Dorothy L. Sayers, the creator of the Lord Peter Wimsey series, also joined the search. The famous author tried another approach, visiting every scene of Agatha Christie’s disappearance but he couldn’t find a single clue either.

Not long after Agatha Christie vanished, police found her car near the house. It was abandoned on a steep slope with nobody inside. There was no sign of Agatha or any evidence of a car accident. Everything was left there, seemingly untouched. Close to the location of her car was the Silent Pool, where two young children died. People started searching for her body in the natural spring for fear of the author drowning herself. They were wrong though.

Agatha Christie 3
Agatha once served in hospital dispensaries where she learnt a lot for her profession later.

Agatha Christie under the name of Theresa Neela

Days after her disappearance, her photos were posted in almost all newspapers in Britain. The New York Times also had an article informing the mysterious incident. Finally, there was someone who saw her.

Agatha Christie 2
Articles informing her disappearance at that time

On December 14th, 1926, a banjo player alerted the police in Harrogate that he saw the vanished writer in the Swan Hydro hotel. The officials quickly informed her husband, Colonel Christie to come to collect her.

When he arrived in the hotel, Agatha Christie kept him waiting to change her evening gown. She was totally safe, acted as nothing strange happened.

However, when being asked about her disappearance, Agatha Christie couldn’t give a clue about it. She remembered nothing other than the fact that she drove her car into the night on December 3rd. She didn’t know why her car was left on the slope nor why she was present at the hotel in Harrogate.

Police concluded that the detective author crashed her car after leaving her house that night. She then got on a train to Harrogate and checked into the Swan Hydro hotel with no luggage.

Old Swan Hotel
The current condition of Old Swan Hotel where Agatha Christie had stayed for 11 days.

Strangely enough, she didn’t use her name at check-in. She said to the hotel receptionist that her name was Theresa Neela, who happened to be her husband’s mistress.

At the hotel, Agatha Christie didn’t do anything suspicious. She joined evening balls, dances, and parties where she was recognized by the banjo player.

Memory loss but full recovery?

Explaining for her bizarre behaviors, her husband put it down to a memory loss after her car accident while a biographer said she had fallen into psychogenic amnesia. This caused her to adopt a new personality without recognizing her own photos in the newspaper.

Whatever the reason was, Agatha Christie soon made a full recovery and immersed in writing new novels. She also divorced her husband two years after the incident. In 1930, she got married to the distinguished archaeologist Max Mallowan.

Agatha Christie And Max Mallowan
Agatha Christie and her second husband, Max Mallowan.

Agatha Christie died in 1976 from natural causes at the age of 85. Till her death, she hardly spoke about her 11-day missing in 1926. No one ever could solve the mystery of her disappearance whether it’s all coincidence or her excellence whodunit mystery.

>>> Related post: Princess Diana, Prince Charles, The Taj Mahal And The Denied Kiss

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