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Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the United States. Across the country, billions of dollars are spent annually on decorations, costumes and candy, and millions of children go trick-or-treating on this eventful day. Originally a Celtic festival used to ward off spirits, the holiday has evolved into mystery, magic and superstition. Today, people don costumes and sit around the fire telling stories about ghosts, hauntings, and supernatural occurrences. For some they are plagued with fear and anxiety over the evil that is believed to be released into the world. What happens when a story rings true, a horrific tragedy that mars this day so many others spend happily enjoying? That’s where today’s story begins.

First, I would like to thank Mary, Pamela’s youngest sister, for speaking with me. Mary was only eight years old when her big sister disappeared, but she recalls that Halloween day like it was yesterday, over fifty years ago. There has been a reignited flame in Pam and Patty’s case and because of this, hopes answers are just around the corner. Although I did not get to speak with anyone from Patty’s family, Mary always wants to make sure Patty is included in the fight for justice.

Pamela Sue "Pam" Hobley was born on May 25, 1954, in Florida to parents Lois and Edwin. Pam was the oldest of four children, her sisters Becky, Bettye and Mary would shortly follow. There was a seven-year age difference between Pam and Mary. Pam was born in Florida and the family eventually moved to Michigan in 1963. Pam’s father, Edwin, was in the Air Force and the family would move around often. In 1968 Pam’s parents split, the divorce hit Pam hard, and she started to struggle. The balancing between family changes with typical teenage life. Pam liked to party and to be a part of the popular crowd. It seemed Pam wanted to grow up a little too fast. She wasn’t interested in her studies and would skip classes or school all together quite often. Pam had just turned fifteen years old in 1969 and was newly engaged to her boyfriend Jim. As a result of the engagement Pam wanted to slow down on her partying ways and to settle down in her relationship with Jim.

Hobley Sister's

Patricia Ann "Patty" Spencer was born on January 10, 1953. Patty was sixteen years old at the time she disappeared. Patty and Pam were not considered close friends, they were more like acquaintances. They had the same social circle but never really hung out together solely as friends.

On October 31, 1969, Pam had plans to attend the high school homecoming game followed by a Halloween party. Jim was meeting Pam at the Halloween party that night. Pam asked her mother over and over for a period of time to be able to attend. Her mother gave in and granted permission. On the morning of October 31, Pam planned to attend school and at the end of the school day would return home to get ready for the night’s festivities. Things did not go as planned as a twist in fate changed the course of everything.

Pam Hobley

It is heavily reported that Oscoda high school had a fire drill or a possible bomb threat that ordered an evacuation of the students. This may be true, but this was not the last time Pam and Patty were last seen. Mary believes one account, and that Pam and Patty were last seen in one of the school’s bathrooms together. This was the point where Pam and Patty planned to leave the school grounds to skip the rest of the day. Later, a third classmate came forward and stated she was supposed to skip with them but because she was caught skipping school prior, she feared of being caught again, so she ultimately backed out.

Later that evening, Pam’s mother, and sisters returned home from Trick or Treating. Pam was not home but it seemed as though she never came home like intended. Louise’s anxiety grew and that night, that led her to make many phone calls to friends of Pam’s to inquire her whereabouts. No one had seen Pam, including Jim that was supposed to meet her at the Halloween party. Lois learned that Patty also had not been seen since earlier that day at school. Putting this together everyone assumed they must be together. Darkness grew that night with no sign of Pam or Patty. Louise called the Oscoda police department to report her daughter missing in the early morning hours of November 1, 1969. As many of these stories are told, police did not take the report seriously and chalked up the girls’ absence as a runaway situation. Police stated the pair may have traveled out of the area. Eventually, their absence could not be ignored any longer and a missing persons investigation was launched. Oscoda police requested information from the community for assistance in recovering information to their whereabouts. Nothing surfaced besides speculation.

Although intentionally both were labeled as runaways the families made it clear they would not have done so. Especially because they were close to their families, but they also did not bring anything with them to do so. Both girls left behind their purses with identification inside. They never took anything that would lead to the belief they ran away. By Christmas of 1969, Pam’s family knew for sure she was never coming back. Pam’s mother for years kept gifts in the basement in hopes of giving them to Pam upon her return. One year she realized that she would never be able to gift these to her oldest daughter and gave them to Goodwill. Lois had a different approach to parenting after Pam vanished. She kept a closer eye and a tighter lease on her children.  

In the early days a witness came forward with information, he stated that he picked Pam and Patty up as they were walking along River Road and dropped them off in downtown Oscoda. Authorities suspected that the girls hitchhiked and were abducted by "two or more" assailants and were eventually murdered, though very few leads were ever uncovered, leading the case to go cold. In 1985, police were tipped off that two were murdered by two local men and buried near a barn, noted to be a popular location for teenage parties. Decades later, the local chief of police directed an investigation of this tip and coordinated a search of the area, with the aid of cadaver dogs. The search turned up no evidence. Over the decades many tips have been received and more searches have been conducted but nothing solid has ever come to light. Today there is a new cold case task force taking a deeper look into the disappearances of Pam and Patty. This new hope with fresh eyes has ignited the flame that was once put out all those decades ago.

There are still one or more suspects listed in the case of Pam and Patty. They are still at the top of the list.

What happened to Pam Hobley and Patty Spencer on October 31, 1969? The last credible sighting was during the school day and that sighting put them inside the high school. When the third girl came forward with her plans to join the pair in skipping school that is when everything shifted, and everyone realized they must have walked out the school doors just like they had done before. It seemed very unlikely they planned to be gone long as both had plans to attend the game followed by the Halloween party that night. This split-second decision has caused an immense amount of heartache and tragic loss. Mary said, “They thought they were invincible, walking down the street, and now they are invisible.”

Jim, Pam’s fiancé at the time looked with the family for the girls and carried the devastation with him of losing the love he once had. He was once considered a person of interest but was later ruled out to have had any involvement in the disappearances. Decades after his Pam vanished Jim gave Mary a ring Pam gave him all those years ago. It was their father’s.

Mary and her husband have returned every summer to the Oscoda area to look for Pam and Patty, hope is not lost to time.

Sister's til the end of time

Hobley Sister's

Please like and follow the Facebook page set up for Pam and Patty

More Links:

If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Pam Hobley and Patty Spencer, you are urged to contact the Oscoda Police department. 989 739-9113

Michigan State Police 517 780-4580

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