Saturday, March 28, 2020
I recently came across an article sharing these signs that suggest your home may have visitors from beyond the grave. It first caught my attention because I have a friend who is involved in 'ghost hunter' activities.
1) Mysterious sights and sounds
Clearly we have a fascination with haunted houses in this country as evidenced by the numerous cable television series exploring this topic. There are professional ghost hunters who believe most of the signs indicating a haunting aren't so scary. It's suggested that they are simply trying to send a message, that the entities aren't evil—only misunderstood. It's believed that a lot of the classic signs that people run into are mysterious noises that seem to come from places they can't locate, a lot of bumping and scratching on walls, seeing full-bodied apparitions, and things moving from place to place when no one has touched them. Of course, anyone who has seen a horror movie or a ghost show probably already knows this. What you might not know, however, is that what you call 'a haunting' may not be the real thing. There are 'experts' in the field who have been called to houses where the causes of these phenomena have actually been carbon monoxide poisoning which caused people to hallucinate. Mold, too, can cause the same reaction. For houses with legitimate ghosts, there are more telling signs that your house is haunted.
Fact: Ectoplasm is a substance that still mystifies even the most seasoned paranormal experts. Historically, it has been reported to show up during seances through a spiritual medium. One paranormal investigator experienced the phenomenon in real haunted houses. The family living in the house reported that things moved on their own. While he was at the house he actually had a strange, viscous fluid show up and drip down my arm from out of nowhere. The family living there claimed that happened all the time. It was a very strange kind of off-white, almost like a raw egg kind of fluid. Ectoplasm is not often seen or experienced at your run-of-the-mill haunted house, but paranormal experts see it as a sign of certainty that there is a paranormal presence at work.
Though the sensation of being watched isn't a proven factor, people who live in genuine haunted houses do report it a lot. Many believe in a kind of sixth sense. Basically, you might be in a house with a really bad vibe—cold chills move throughout the room along with the feeling of being watched. Sometimes whispers, or being awoken in the middle of the night because of the feeling that somebody's standing there. Whether there is a normal explanation for this sensation or a paranormal one is hard to know for sure, but it's definitely a contributing factor for nearly any house that is afflicted by spirits.
4) Inexplicable movement
Objects don't move on their own—unless you live in an old drafty house where strong winds make doors open and close. Otherwise, there has to be some kind of force applied to get it to move. That's why when you see things flying around your house without visible cause, you can be pretty sure that there is something—or someone—other than you in your house. Soaring objects are another staple of horror movies, but inexplicable movement can be even more sinister than that.
5) Personality change
When we think about possession, our minds immediately go to demons…demons…demons. More often than not, demonic possession and even a demonic presence is not behind whatever it is you're experiencing. A 'normal' ghost can possess you too. The tip-off is if someone you know is acting extremely strange all of a sudden. If you start to notice someone has taken on a pretty distinct personality change, that can be a sign of possession.
6) Previous homeowners
If you suspect you might have a haunted house on your hands, you should probably dig into the history of your property. If you're experiencing things you can't explain, doing research might help clear it up. Hopefully, once you know what happened or what you're dealing with, you can ease the haunting. However, some places can't be cleared of their histories.
7) Physical and emotional disorientation
A haunting can have a terrible effect on your mood and even your physical condition. It can leave you feeling angry or weak.
Many experts sort hauntings into three categories: intelligent, residual, and intentional. There's the classic haunting which is an intelligent haunting. The spirit seems to interact very intelligently with people. And then the other common one people run into a lot is a residual haunting. With that, it just kind of plays over and over and over. It doesn't ever really acknowledge that people live in the house. It just is. It just happens. Sometimes it's because a traumatizing event happened on a particular date. There's no intelligence there, so there's really nothing you can do about it. Lastly, an intentional haunting is actually more about living, breathing humans than ghosts. It really comes from people who have put so much energy and intention into the belief that their house or object is haunted that they've ended up actually manifesting a haunting. Think of kids who follow urban legends and routinely go visit the place of the supposed haunting. They feed the story so much that they actually open the place up to paranormal activity.
What to do if your house is haunted
Experts say that the best way to deal with a haunting is to make a firm statement. Talk to the presence in your home and let it know what your intentions are. Most people who discover that their house is haunted can live peacefully with whatever spirits are there. If it's something that really, genuinely bothers you, say something as simple as 'You need to leave.' Finally, if you try to use sage, just be cautious and use it the right way. It's so cleansing it almost creates a vacuum. It's like dusting your whole house then leaving your doors and windows open in a sandstorm.
Saturday, March 21, 2020
For the most part, T-shirts seem to have a lot to say. They tell us where their owner went on vacation, what school he or she attended, what kind of car they drive, where they work, what organizations they belong to, what causes they support, and a multitude of other miscellaneous information. Some are serious and others are just fun. I've collected several interesting T-shirt sayings, including some from just a few weeks ago, and I'd like to share them with you.
I thought I saw a spider, but it was just a piece of yarn. It's dead yarn now.
Etc.—End of Thinking Capacity
I thought growing old would take longer
My alone time is for everyone's safety
BOOKS—helping introverts avoid conversation since 1454
You matter. Unless you multiply yourself by the speed of light…then you energy.
I'm not arguing, I'm explaining why I'm right.
In my defense, I was left unsupervised
Interested in time travel? Meet me here last Thursday at 6pm
"To be, or not to be" William Shakespeare
"To be is to do" Jean-Paul Sartre
"To do is to be" Bertrand Russell
"Doo be doo be doo" Frank Sinatra
Hand over the chocolate and no one will get hurt.
At what age am I old enough to know better?
When spelling, it's the letter I before E except after C…weird?
Wine improves with age. I improve with wine.
Everyone has to believe in something. I believe I'll have another glass of wine.
I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even use it in the food.
If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research.
If I'm talking, you should be taking notes.
Why can't I be rich instead of good looking?
To err is human, to arrrrrgh is pirate.
Searching for the meaning of life, but will settle for my car keys.
I'm often confused with my evil twin.
Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill known to man. Landing is the 1st.
I'd be a vegetarian if bacon grew on trees.
Disheveled…not just a look, it's a lifestyle.
I used to care, but I take a pill for that now.
I'm confused…wait, maybe I'm not.
Where's the switch that turns you off?
Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened.
Don't worry about what people think. They don't do it very often.
Everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own opinion.
Ending a sentence with a preposition? That is something up with which I shall not put. (a saying made famous by Winston Churchill)
I'm always late. My ancestors arrived on the Juneflower.
There. Their. They're not the same.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
Old age comes at an inconvenient time.
Irony. The opposite of wrinkly.
Raisin cookies that look like chocolate chip cookies are the main reason I have trust issues.
I'm not weird, I'm a limited edition.
I have CDO—it's like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Sometimes I need to put on my crown just to remind people who they're dealing with.
The past, the present, and the future walk into a bar. It was tense.
I talk to myself whenever I need expert advice.
And that's my list for now. Have any of you come across any fun or interesting T-shirt sayings you'd like to share?
Saturday, March 14, 2020
The oceans are vast and mysterious places. In some ways, we know more about outer space than we do the ocean depths.
Sailors have been spinning tales of amazing and terrifying sea monsters since ancient times. As outlandish as these stories are, the idea behind them, the events that spawned them, were likely inspired by real creatures.
In December, 2016, scientists discovered the strangest creature washed ashore on Mexico's Laguna Ojo de Liebre that they had ever seen. The creature was approximately seven feet long, dark gray in color, had fins on each side, and had two tails. It also appeared to have four eyes. Definitely a sea monster of some type? In reality, it turned out to be a pair of extremely rare newborn conjoined gray whale twins. Since newborn gray whales are about twelve feet long, scientists speculated that the pair was likely the result of a miscarriage.
In the summer of 2008, an unidentified dead animal washed up on the shore at Montauk, New York. Although several people reported seeing it and photographs surfaced, the carcass disappeared before police were able to recover the remains. Newspapers ran the story along with a grotesque image. Locals speculated that it could be a mutant resulting from experiments at nearby Plum Island Animal Disease Center. Others suggested that it was nothing more than a hoax. Many scientists who studied the photographs think it was a known species heavily damaged and decomposed as a result of time spent in the water. Several people claimed it was some type of sea turtle without its shell. The raccoon claim seems to be the closest, but the Montauk Monster's legs are longer than a normal raccoon leaving us without a definitive conclusion.
Oarfish are large, greatly elongated fish that are found in all temperate to tropical oceans yet rarely seen. The giant oarfish is the longest bony fish alive (not longest fish, cartilage fish such as the whale shark are longer), growing up to 36 ft. in length.
The common name oarfish is thought to be in reference either to their highly compressed and elongated bodies or to the now discredited belief that the fish row themselves through the water with their pelvic fins. The occasional beachings of oarfish after storms and their habit of lingering at the surface when sick or dying make oarfish a probable source of many sea serpent tales.
The giant squid remains largely a mystery to scientists despite being the biggest invertebrate on Earth. The largest of these elusive creatures ever found measured 59 feet in length and weighed nearly a ton. Giant squid, along with their cousin, the colossal squid, have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom, measuring some 10 inches in diameter. These massive eyes allow them to see objects in the lightless depths where most other animals would see nothing.
Due to the inhospitable deep-sea habitat where they live, it has been a difficult task to study them. Almost everything scientists know about them is from carcasses that have washed up on beaches or been hauled in by fishermen. However, of late the opportunities for scientists studying these elusive creatures has started to turn. In 2004, researchers in Japan took the first images ever of a live giant squid. And in late 2006, scientists with Japan's National Science Museum caught and brought to the surface a live 24-foot female giant squid.
Saturday, March 7, 2020
I think everyone has some superstition that they relate to, even if it's nothing more than saying "knock on wood" or making it a point to not walk under a ladder just in case. And then there's that moment's pause when they realize it's Friday the 13th.
The office of President of the United States does not make the occupant immune to adhering to the call of a superstition. I recently came across a list of some of the U.S. Presidents and their superstitious beliefs.
On his deathbed in 1799, George Washington expressed his fear of being buried alive. He insisted his body be untouched for two days after his death. Common during the 18th century, this fear came due to the dead being buried very quickly as bodies weren't embalmed.
William Henry Harrison
The Curse of Tippecanoe, also known as the 20-year curse, is attributed to Harrison—elected in 1840 and died in 1841 after serving only 31 days as president. A dispute between President Harrison and Tecumseh, a Shawnee Indian leader, is said to be the reason presidents who were elected or re-elected in years ending in zero died in office—Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, and Kennedy. Reagan, elected in 1980, survived an assassination attempt which seems to have ended the curse.
Abraham Lincoln claimed to have visions of the future and accurately predicted his own death. He dreamed he saw his dead body and a soldier told him he had been assassinated. He also saw two versions of himself in a mirror which he interpreted to mean he would be elected to a second term but would not survive it.
Ulysses S. Grant
President Grant had an unusual superstition that probably served him well as president. Grant is quoted as saying, "Everyone has his superstitions. One of mine has always been when I started to go anywhere, or to do anything, never to turn back or to stop until the thing intended was accomplished."
President McKinley always wore a red carnation on his lapel. He gave away his lucky carnation if he thought someone needed luck and would replace it with a new carnation. He gave away his good luck charm at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. During the event, Leon Czolgosz shot McKinley who died on September 14, 1901.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
President Franklin Roosevelt feared the number 13—an affliction called triskaidekaphobia—and avoided traveling on Fridays and the 13th day of each month. President Herbert Hoover also had the same affliction.
Harry S. Truman
Upon becoming president, Harry Truman put a horseshoe over the door to his office in the White House. He also installed a horseshoe pit on the White House lawn. Horseshoes are a symbol of good luck and typically hung over the entrance to a home.
President Ford believed the election would be won by whichever candidate's wife won the Family Circle baking contest. His wife, Betty Ford, won the contest with her double chocolate chip cookie recipe. Although her husband eventually became president, it wasn't until after Richard Nixon resigned. Rosalyn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush all won the contest and their husbands were elected president.
Nancy Reagan hired astrologer Joan Quigley to plan her husband's schedule following an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. Quigley guided the agenda concerning the president's cancer surgery as well as diplomacy issues and Cold War meetings. When the press revealed Nancy's involvement in astrology, she quickly downplayed it.
James Earl Carter
In 1969, Jimmy Carter saw a red and green orb. He was convinced he saw a UFO and filed a report with the International UFO Bureau in Oklahoma. A decade later, while serving as president, he claimed to see a vicious rabbit on a solo fishing trip but his staff brushed it off.
George W. Bush
As a young boy, George W. Bush supposedly saw ghosts coming out of the walls near the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House. He described the White House as "creepy." During his presidency, the White House's website detailed the historic White House ghosts.
In 2008 Obama said, "We realized that we had played basketball before Iowa and before South Carolina. We didn't play basketball before New Hampshire and Nevada. And so now, we've made a clear rule that on Election Day I have to play basketball."
Donald J. Trump
Donald Trump has been known to throw salt over his left shoulder after a meal and has described himself as a "very superstitious person." The superstition itself originated from the belief that the devil lurked behind you. The salt supposedly distracted the devil from causing harm.