Saturday, 13. February 2010
The Origins Of Myths And Superstitions
TimelessMyths was formed to offer a unique reference point on old urban myths, legends & tales.

Ancient gods, elusive monsters, bad luck and roach eggs in envelope glue; what do all of these things have in common? All of them have a basis in stories that are part myth, part legend, and in some cases part truth. Another thing they have in common is that they are all covered on this site, appropriately named TimelessMyths.

Each article on TimelessMyths takes a topic under the heading of God & Goddesses, Myths, Old Wives Tales, Superstitions or Urban Legends, and covers it in detail. The topic's explanation (what it is people believe about it or what history tells us about it), the origin behind it and, in some cases like the Urban Legends, discusses whether or not there is any truth to it.


Why is a black cat crossing your path considered bad luck - or is it? (Hint: it depends on what country you are in!) Who were the Titans, and why were the Greek Gods such a pain in their side? Was King Arthur a real person? Is there anything to the stories of tourists in South America waking up in a bathtub full of ice, minus one kidney? All of these topics and many, many more are here for your delight.

Take a quick tour down ancient mythical streets on your tea break, or spend an afternoon collecting stories for the next time you need an icebreaker at a party.

Old Urban Myths, Legends & Tales at Timeless Myths

Thursday, 07. January 2010
The Real El Dorado?
Satellite technology detects giant mounds over 155 miles, pointing to sophisticated pre-Columbian culture.

It is the legend that drew legions of explorers and adventurers to their deaths: an ancient empire of citadels and treasure hidden deep in the Amazon jungle.

Spanish conquistadores ventured into the rainforest seeking fortune, followed over the centuries by others convinced they would find a lost civilisation to rival the Aztecs and Incas.

Some seekers called it El Dorado, others the City of Z. But the jungle swallowed them and nothing was found, prompting the rest of the world to call it a myth. The Amazon was too inhospitable, said 20th century scholars, to permit large human settlements.

Now, however, the doomed dreamers have been proved right: there was a great civilisation. New satellite imagery and fly-overs have revealed more than 200 huge geometric earthworks carved in the upper Amazon basin near Brazil's border with Bolivia.


An aerial picture of traces of earthworks built by a lost Amazonian civilisation dating to 200AD. Photograph: National Geographic

Spanning 155 miles, the circles, squares and other geometric shapes form a network of avenues, ditches and enclosures built long before Christopher Columbus set foot in the new world. Some date to as early as 200 AD, others to 1283.

Scientists who have mapped the earthworks believe there may be another 2,000 structures beneath the jungle canopy, vestiges of vanished societies.

The structures, many of which have been revealed by the clearance of forest for agriculture, point to a "sophisticated pre-Columbian monument-building society", says the journal Antiquity, which has published the research.
(Direct Link to the pdf. It has photos of different sites, and a number of maps and diagrams.)

The article adds: "This hitherto unknown people constructed earthworks of precise geometric plan connected by straight orthogonal roads. The 'geoglyph culture' stretches over a region more than 250km across, and exploits both the floodplains and the uplands … we have so far seen no more than a tenth of it."

The structures were created by a network of trenches about 36ft (nearly 11 metres) wide and several feet deep, lined by banks up to 3ft high. Some were ringed by low mounds containing ceramics, charcoal and stone tools. It is thought they were used for fortifications, homes and ceremonies, and could have maintained a population of 60,000 – more people than in many medieval European cities.

The discoveries have demolished ideas that soils in the upper Amazon were too poor to support extensive agriculture, says Denise Schaan, a co-author of the study and anthropologist at the Federal University of Pará, in Belém, Brazil. She told National Geographic: "We found this picture is wrong. And there is a lot more to discover in these places, it's never-ending. Every week we find new structures."

Many of the mounds were symmetrical and slanted to the north, prompting theories that they had astronomical significance.


Aerial photograph and plan of the Fazenda Colorada site.
Photograph by Sanna Saunaluoma.

Researchers were especially surprised that earthworks in floodplains and uplands were of a similar style, suggesting they were all built by the same culture.

"In Amazonian archaeology you always have this idea that you find different peoples in different ecosystems," said Schaan. "So it was odd to have a culture that would take advantage of different ecosystems and expand over such a large region." The first geometric shapes were spotted in 1999 but it is only now, as satellite imagery and felling reveal sites, that the scale of the settlements is becoming clear. Some anthropologists say the feat, requiring sophisticated engineering, canals and roads, rivals Egypt's pyramids.

The findings follow separate discoveries further south, in the Xingu region, of interconnected villages known as "garden cities". Dating between 800 and 1600, they included houses, moats and palisades.

"These revelations are exploding our perceptions of what the Americas really looked liked before the arrival of Christopher Columbus," said David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z, a book about an attempt in the 1920s to find signs of Amazonian civilizations. "The discoveries are challenging long-held assumptions about the Amazon as a Hobbesian place where only small primitive tribes could ever have existed, and about the limits the environment placed on the rise of early civilisations."

They are also vindicating, said Grann, Percy Fawcett, the explorer who partly inspired Conan Doyle's book The Lost World. Fawcett led an expedition to find the City of Z but the party vanished, bequeathing a mystery.

Many scientists saw the jungle as too harsh to sustain anything but small nomadic tribes. Now it seems the conquistadores who spoke of "cities that glistened in white" were telling the truth. They, however, probably also introduced the diseases that wiped out the native people, leaving the jungle to claim – and hide – all trace of their civilisation.

• This article was amended on Wednesday 6 January 2010. Percy Fawcett's experiences in the Amazon were said to have partly inspired Arthur Conan Doyle's book The Lost World, but Fawcett's disappearance did not, contrary to a suggestion in the original article - he vanished after the book was published. This has been corrected.

Source: Amazon explorers uncover signs of a real El Dorado by The Guardian


The scene depicted in this ancient artwork, on display at the Gold Museum in Bogota, Colombia, shows the origin of the El Dorado myth. Legend tells of a Muisca king who would cover himself in gold dust during festivals, then dive from a raft into Lake Guatavita. Tales of El Dorado, or the "Golden Man," reached Spanish conquistadors around 1530. As attempts to locate him came up short, the legend blossomed into myths of an entire city made of gold.

Photograph by Mauricio Duenas/AFP/Getty Images

See also:
Precolumbian Golden Boat - Famous golden figure based on El Dorado rite (housed in the Gold Museum at Bogotá, Colombia)
El Dorado Legend Snared Sir Walter Raleigh by National Geographic
The Legend of 'El Dorado' by Tairona Heritage Trust
Category: Myths & Sagas Category: News & Stories

Tuesday, 11. November 2008
Inner & Outer Harmony
Beautiful nature scenes from around the world, accompanied by quotes from spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007) on peace, harmony and meditation. Jump into the sea of tranquility, experience your inner wealth and enjoy Mother Nature! Narration by Kaivalya Torpy from England. Produced by kedarvideo, Switzerland. Length: 17:30 min.

Category: Meditation & Mind

UFO Disclosure: Million Fax on Washington

Obama's election as U.S. President heralds change for many Americans, but will this include changing the veil of secrecy and disinformation on UFOs and extraterrestrial visitation with transparency?

Purpose for the Million Fax on Washington:
Formal acknowledgement of an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race - Disclosure - is close at hand and already under consideration by elements within the United States Government. But it is not a fait accompli. It could be withheld due to events or loss of political will. It is critical the American people act in concert now to help close the deal. There has never been a more profound opportunity for you to make a difference and change the course of history.

How You Can Do It:
Between November 5, 2008 and January 20, 2009 - seventy-seven days - send a letter, fax and/or email to the senatorial office and transition headquarters of the President Elect Barack Obama calling for the next administration to end the Truth Embargo regarding an extraterrestrial presence and release as much relevant information to the American people as possible within reasonable constraints of national security. You won't be alone. The goal is one million.

Letters are best (all are opened, all are read), Faxes are next best ( but there is only so much fax receiving capacity), Emails are better than nothing.

Million Fax on Washington

It's the initiative of the Paradigm Research Group, established in 1996 by political activist and consultant Stephen Bassett.

Important: Please notify Paradigm Research Group (PRG at paradigmresearchgroup dot org) when you send a letter/fax/email to the President Elect. This will help PRG to generate media interest in this effort.
Category: Ufo's & Aliens

Bill Homann - Journeys with the Crystal Skull
There are a number of known crystal skulls in existence, but of these the Mitchell-Hedges skull is unique in its extraordinary craftsmanship. It has been studied by both scientists and psychics with no conclusive proof as to how old it is or even how it could possibly have been crafted from a single large crystal. Many, including Bill Homann, believe it to be a relic from Atlantean times, and the story he tells of what occurred when it was reunited with the Crystal Orb (recovered from a cavity in an undersea pyramid in 1970) is highly intriguing.

Bill Homann - Journeys with the Crystal Skull, 22 minutes

Related entries:
Anna Mitchell-Hedges and her enigmatic Crystal Skull
Free E-book on Crystal Skulls
Category: Movies & TV Category: Mysteries & Enigmas Category: New Legends & Claims

Crop Circles Greetings
Have a look at this exclusive footage of a flying saucer creating a crop circle.


Google Maps greeting site MapMsg has a cool feature - custom crop circles! You can draw your circle anywhere on the globe that you like.
Category: Games & Humor

Friday, 31. October 2008
Did Aliens Build the Pyramids?
Jason Martell on the Discovery Channel discussing if the aliens and ET built the pyramid and other ancient structures, for which there is no scientific explanation. You know those big stone structures out in Egypt? The ones which were supposedly built to house the remains of dead pharaohs??? The ones you thought were built by the Egyptians? Well, you are probably wrong ...

There are a few nagging questions, like why do they seem to appear out of the blue around the same time? How did the Giza Pyramids attain alignment with true North with an accuracy within 1/10 of a degree?

Journey deep into the ancient world of Egyptian Pyramids, Stonehenge, Balbek in Lebanon and the giant heads of Easter Island. Was extraterrestrial technology handed down to primitive man thousands of years ago to build these massive structures? If you are a strong sceptic, it might put a small doubt in your mind.

From the 'World's Strangest UFO Stories' series:
Did Aliens Build the Pyramids? by Discovery Channel, 2006
Duration: 43 minutes

Category: Movies & TV Category: Ufo's & Aliens

Astrology For Dummies
Learn how to get your precise horoscope, decipher astrological symbols, and benefit from the phases of the moon with Astrology for Dummies, Second Edition.

You’ll learn how to construct your birth chart, interpret its component parts, and use that information to gain insight into yourself and others. With easy-to-follow, hands-on guidance, you’ll discover how to:

  • Identify the signs of the zodiac
  • Understand the Sun, the Moon, the planets, the rising sign, and the 12 houses
  • Discover the rulers of the signs
  • Map your own horoscope (or a friend’s)
  • Use astrology in daily life
  • Capture the heart of each sign of the zodiac, and more!


Astrology for Dummies, Second Edition demystifies astrological charts and uses plain English to show you how you can take advantage of the wisdom of the stars. Whether you’re looking to assess relationships, examine your potential, or make some basic decisions — like, when to go on a first date — Astrology for Dummies, Second Edition helps you discover how understanding your position in the cosmos illuminates the secret corners of the self, provides a key to understanding others, and even offers a glimpse into the future.

Modern Magick: Astrology For Dummies, 2nd Edition by By Rae Orion
For Dummies, 2007 | 408 Pages | PDF | 5 MB

Category: Astrology & Astronomy Category: Books & Magazines

Supernatural Cleaning Methods
A New York Times story today - getting in on the Halloween theme - discussed "Supernatural Cleaning Methods", a tongue-in-cheek look at how to get rid of ghosts in your house.


The chill of autumn has arrived, and it’s time to make your home cozy and snug. Replace those broken shingles, seal the window frames, start the water boiling and throw in some scented nutmegy things, or a rabbit if you’ve been disappointed in love.

But what to do about that ghost that has been making such a racket, scaring the guests and making it impossible to sleep? Sure, you can kid yourself that it’s a squirrel on the roof or a rattling pipe or a fog that comes up from time to time. (On Narragansett Bay? Sure, pal, that’s credible.) But eventually, when guests and family members become truly frightened, something must be done.

Such was the case with Kathleen Whitehurst, an artist in Arnaudville, La., who scoured the countryside to salvage materials with which to build her home and guest house, the picturesque l’Esprit des Chenes. Visitors complained of creaking stairs, sounds in the night. Some fled in terror. Finally, Ms. Whitehurst called in a specialist.

“She came all the way from Arkansas,” Ms. Whitehurst said in a telephone conversation. “She sat on my couch, and within 30 minutes she says, ‘Yes, you do have a ghost in your house.’ She goes into a trance, she came back to her body, and said, ‘He’s a Baptist minister, wearing a white robe, and he’s roaming the house.’ ”

The reason for this problem, incredible as it may seem, was recycling. Ms. Whitehurst had found three Gothic windows in a junk pile at a demolished church, and the ghost had come along with them. The specialist did what is often recommended in these cases, asking Ms. Whitehurst and two friends to make a circle with her around the lost spirit, and tell it, sympathetically but firmly, that it was timeto move along.

“All of a sudden, you could feel the electrical energy moving — it was so intense that all the hair on the back of my neck and hands was standing up,” Ms. Whitehurst said. “And when she said the final words” — Go, go! — “we got that zapped feeling. And he went up, and he’s never been back since.”

You don’t believe in ghosts? Then you are either tragically out of step with the times or possibly a slovenly spiritual housekeeper looking for an excuse to avoid tidying up. A recent Google Internet search for getting rid of ghosts yielded nearly two million hits. By comparison, a search for cleaning rain gutters yielded 191,000.

In a Harris poll last year of 2,000 adults, 41 percent said that they believed in ghosts. Although the National Association of Realtors says that it is not the legal obligation of a real estate agent to tell a prospective buyer about alleged haunting, many agents, like Diane Ragan of Keller Williams Realty in New Orleans, feel that if they hear of something that may distress a buyer, they have the duty to pass it on.

“Just last week I got a call from a past client who was calling for a friend who’d leased a place and wasn’t happy because it was haunted,” she said. “He wanted his deposit back. I told him the best thing his friend could do was plead his case.”

Can These Stubborn Spiritual Stainbuckets Never Be Removed?

Before attempting to cleanse a household of ghostlike sounds and scents, the homeowner must first determine whether such sounds and scents are actually of the other world. Happily, there is no shortage of instruction manuals on the subject. One, an e-book called “Is My House Haunted? A Practical Guide,” was written by Bonnie Vent, the medium who founded the San Diego Paranormal Research Project. Those who dismiss the paranormal may wish to check out her Web site,, and read the transcript of her conversation with the comic George Carlin, which occurred after his death. (Few were as skeptical of the afterlife as he.)

Ms. Vent’s guide, which costs $7.97, contains a paranormal activity log in which to record such things as electrical devices going on and off, unexplained noises and cold and hot spots. It lists common misconceptions, including the notion that “paying someone to spread lotions and potion all over the house” will make the spirits go away.

“What does work? Communication!!!” writes Ms. Vent, who is one of those people who is paid; her cleansing services cost $125 an hour. “This does not necessarily mean that they will leave, but you should be able to work out a livable situation.”

She also offered a word of warning: “There are people who will take advantage of others by using holy water, burning sage and spreading salt around the perimeter of the house. Spirit people are people — these things have no effect in the long term. You really have to get to the root cause.”


Also, as His Intimates Knew, Uncle Fred Never Flushed

With ghosts so plentiful, it is reassuring to note that most haunting sites, even those with logos dripping blood, take their responsibilities seriously, reminding homeowners concerned about paranormal activity that they should first seek more mundane reasons for strange activity. The tools may include tape recorders, video equipment and infrared photography.

Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, the stars of the “Ghost Hunters” program on the Sci Fi Channel, have been helped by their expertise as plumbers.

“We had one case, somebody’s dead uncle Fred was a plumber and they thought that he was giving them a sign because every morning at 2 a.m. their toilet would flush,” Mr. Hawes said. “Come to find out, they would go to bed at about 11 at night and they had a leaky flapper in their toilet. Eventually, after two or three hours, the toilet would drain down enough that the fill valve would kick on, so it would sound like the toilet would flush.”

Any other examples?

“We dealt with a case where a guy was actually seeing apparitions in his house,” Mr. Hawes said. “It was happening only to him, nobody else was having problems. We found out he was on two medications, including an older one his new doctor didn’t know about, and they were making him see things.”

Mr. Wilson added: “Another reason we knew it wasn’t paranormal was the things he was seeing made no sense. There were grotesque things: flowers wandering across the room, faces turning inside out. Paranormal activity isn’t like that. Seeing flowers turning inside out indicates medical or drug problems, not a person without a body walking around your home.”

For Minor Hauntings, Do It Yourself

Problems began with the restoration of the former master bedroom. Ms. Burkey spoke of bad odors and lights going on and off. Her husband recalled “a definite presence.”

“When we started ripping stuff out, it was like the house was saying what are you doing, and would get really persnickety,” Mr. Burkey said. “When we started to take up the carpet and put down a wood floor, all sorts of things went crazy.”

Incredible! How could anyone have anything against a wood floor?

“What we heard was she had a white carpet in that bedroom that she was very much in love with,” he said.

White carpet — the decorating equivalent of falling in love with a married man, an enterprise doomed to failure and heartbreak.

The couple’s solution, which proved effective, was to cleanse the home with sage they bought at Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo in the French Quarter.

“The salesperson suggested you burn it and carry it through the house, especially through the doors and windows, and make your own incantations telling the spirits they were free to leave,” Ms. Burkey said. “A friend of mine in Connecticut got the idea she should do it in the shape of a pentagram, but that was too black magic for me.”


The Shock of a Mao Jacket Might Have Killed Him

Guy Clark is an interior designer who restores and sells old properties. Spirits do not trouble him. His current home is a stone house in Bullville, N.Y., which was once owned by the makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin, who died in 2002. As he was lying in bed shortly after he took possession, Mr. Clark had a vision.

“I opened my eyes for a second and someone passed over my head through the window in a blue cabana suit, blue shorts and a shirt, like what people wore in the ’60s,” Mr. Clark said. “You can’t make these things up. I didn’t know the man, but I think it was probably Kevyn. He was airlifted out of his front yard and passed away from a brain tumor.”

How did Mr. Clark deal with the spirit?

“I said: ‘O.K., this is my house. If you need anything, I’m here, but you don’t live here anymore, move on.’ ”

However contradictory the message, the ghost apparently understood, for Mr. Clark never again had a problem.

Enough! Now, Let a Hardened Realtor Set the Record Straight

“I’ve had two properties that fall into that category,” said Judy Moore, a broker with 23 years of experience who works with ReMax Landmark Realtor in Lexington, Mass.

“The first one was the former parish house where the priest stayed, and it came up at the closing. The home’s owner said, ‘I just want you to know that there is a priest who haunts this house,’ and went on to tell the story that she grew up in the house, and one time her sister had makeup on top of the dresser and he swiped them off. I was horrified. The buyer could have just said, ‘That’s it, I couldn’t live there’ — but he was a creative type; he was fine with it.

“The other time was really freaky. This is a house that never did sell. It was built in the 1600s, nobody was living there. The first thing that happened when I walked in, my electronic tape stopped working, and I had the funny feeling that there were spirits in the house, and I don’t imagine these sorts of things. I was staging it, there were things that would move, but the worst thing — the really freaky thing — I was putting some dried flowers on the end of this old table and I saw something on the table that was bright red but watery. It looked like blood, but it was too thin, everything on the table was dry. That was the creepiest thing that has ever happened to me in this business.”

Suddenly, a Reporter Is Aware of Her Psychic Gifts

It should be noted that when the New England real estate agent mentioned above was reached on her cellphone, it was about 6 in the evening.

“So, are you driving down the Mass Turnpike in pitch-blackness?” she was asked in an attempt to set the mood.

“Oh my God — how did you know?” Ms. Moore said.


October After October, Reporters Trudge to His Door

Joe Nickell, the ghost hunter for the magazine Skeptical Inquirer, has a doctorate in English literature from the University of Kentucky and was once a professional magician. He has, he says, been investigating stories of ghosts for decades.

Ever catch one?

“I have not.”

One common reason that people believe they see ghosts is that they are experiencing lifelike dreams, Mr. Nickell said. This is why such visions often occur at bedtime. Also, many people enjoy the notion of being haunted.

“Unfortunately, most people are looking to have their beliefs confirmed, so they bring in ghost hunter types who believe they can get an electromagnetic field meter from RadioShack,” he said. “They go into a place and the meter starts going off, whereupon they think they are detecting a ghost. First of all, there is no evidence ghosts exist. Second, there is no evidence that if ghosts exist, they are electromagnetic. These people have no knowledge of microwave towers or faulty wiring in the house or other sources of electromagnetism. It’s just too silly for words and it oughtn’t be featured on major television shows. It’s an embarrassment.”

Give us an example of someone who was tricked.

“A young mother called me once very concerned about the possibility of ghosts,” he said. “She was getting strange photographs — a sort of curvy stripe, very white and bright. They have since begun calling those ectoplasmic strands. I looked at her camera. Her wrist strap was dangling. The flash was reflecting back the wrist strap, and it produced a great number of these.”

Frankly, the Believers Tell a Much Better Story

Brenda is a social worker with a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She lives with her husband, two young children and four ghosts (two adults, two children) in a 99-year-old house in Altoona, Pa. (After receiving death threats when she went public about her home, she prefers that only her first name be used.)

The odd happenings in her household began when her daughter, Anna, 6, was a toddler. Anna sometimes laughed and giggled when nobody was around. “I figured it was an imaginary playmate,” she said. “I was not really thinking paranormal.”

About this time the name Katie would just pop into her head for no particular reason, she added. “I was potty training Anna, she was sitting with her book. I stepped away for five minutes and I hear her fighting with somebody, saying, ‘It’s mine, it’s mine!’ I turned to go back, the book was levitating above her head like it was being held up by somebody a little bit taller.”

“That book was huge, a big Christmas flip book,” she continued. “She said, ‘Mommy, mommy, I’m sharing! I’m sharing with Katie!’ Then it clicked. I’m trying to remain calm because we’re potty training and anything can throw that off. I said, ‘Anna, who’s Katie?’ She said just a little girl who lives here.”

A month or so later, on a Saturday morning when Brenda was doing some dishes, she heard giggling and footsteps around her and saw the girl ghost.

“She had blond hair parted down the middle, the first piece tucked behind her ear like Marcia Brady,” Brenda said. “She was neat as a pin, in a little calico print dress that had a pinafore, off-white, all starched, kind of like Laura Ingalls. She had some kind of stockings, boots — that’s how long I had to notice what this girl had on. And a Peter Pan collar.”

Brenda said she had been doing the dishes, but could she have fallen asleep? There is this dream state an expert mentioned.

“No, no, absolutely not,” Brenda said. “The skeptics will pull out every little piddling thing they can. There is no gas leak, we are not sipping gas methane, our furnace is cleaned faithfully.”

Brenda now feels it is time for her spirits to be on their way. She has dutifully told them to go to the light. She has tried burning white candles for purity. She even had the people from “Ghost Hunters” in, appearing on their first season. How about sage? Did she try sage?

“I actually have a friend who is a Reiki master who said she would do a house cleansing,” Brenda said. “I would rather have somebody come in to guide them.”


Ever Notice a Spirit Never Washes A Dish or Takes Out the Garbage?

The meticulous housekeeper has by now noted that as with so much else, the world of the paranormal is specialized. Ghost hunters often call in others to rid a home of ghosts: so-called house cleaners, perhaps, or, in some cases, demonologists.

Patty A. Wilson, 43, the author with Mark Nesbitt of “The Big Book of Pennsylvania Ghost Stories” and a founder of the Ghost Research Foundation, is both. Ms. Wilson, who says she has been sensitive to the paranormal since childhood, kept quiet about her gifts for much of her life.

“I didn’t want to be the crazy lady in the caftan,” she said.

The time for homeowners to call for professional intervention, said Ms. Wilson, who does not charge for her services and is suspicious of those who do, is when they feel frightened or threatened.

One such case she had, she said, involved a Penn State student who had written an article about Ms. Wilson for the college newspaper. The girl called her about five or six years ago in an agitated state, saying that the house she was renting with several other girls was haunted by an “obese, overweight black shadow figure,” she said.

“He was kind of aggressive, stepping out into the hallways in front of them so they would have to walk through him,” Ms. Wilson added. “He physically touched two of the girls. One was sitting on her bed in her underwear. She jumped up screaming, so he let her alone. He also seemed to be around them when they were unclothed.”

Talk about your unnatural acts! Are black shadow ghosts considered to be particularly dangerous?

“Some are very aggressive,” Ms. Wilson said.

She advised the young woman to do some research on the house, and it was discovered that it had once been owned by two spinsters. They had taken in a neighbor who died of obesity at age 23.

“I thought that kind of fit the bill,” Ms. Wilson said.

The house never did get cleaned. The college student’s mother moved her out of the house, and that was that.

Does Ms. Wilson recall her name?

“Marianne,” she said, adding that she was unable to remember her last name.

Where might she be now?

“She joined Barnum & Bailey, in publicity.”

“Ghost stories are not neat and clean,” she added. “Everything doesn’t always get pigeonholed properly. They’re real stories about real people.”

After intense corporeal, electronic and audio investigation, Marianne, whose last name is Ways and who did local publicity for the circus as a college intern, is tracked down. Now 28, she works as an associate booker at the Comix comedy club in Lower Manhattan.

She tells a story that confirms much of Ms. Wilson’s. Her roommate did see the shadow of an obese man, and he did pop up as the roommate was coming out of the shower.

Ms. Ways never saw the dark shadows herself, but she sometimes heard weird noises and footsteps, and felt as if someone had broken into the house when no one was there, and it frightened her. One day when she was feeling especially anxious, she asked the person who lived in the adjoining apartment if anything weird had ever happened there.

“You mean, like, is it haunted?” the woman said.

Did Ms. Ways ever try to get rid of the ghosts?

“No,” she said. “I just left.”


Do Not Be Fooled by Cheap Imitations

THE concerned homeowner will know by now that there is dispute about how best to rid the home of spirits. Some tools that the uninitiated might feel would be effective are not. The Ouija board, for example, is considered by many to be a magnet for spirits, the equivalent of spreading a trail of crumbs if you are plagued by ants.

Megan Hoolihan, 28, manager of Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo, has studied the occult for 18 years and seems to take her calling seriously. She says many people in the South believe sage has cleansing properties.

“I recommend making a mixture of powdered sage, holy water and cedar oil, some water from a church or that has been blessed by someone.”

What if you’re an atheist?

There may be something to this occult stuff, because suddenly the reporter feels a deep chill.

“Cedar oil has cleansing properties,” Ms. Hoolihan continued, ignoring the question. “You can also use lavender oil or violet oil. The smells are soothing; it’s a comfort.”

A bunch of sage costs about $9 at Marie Laveau’s. Couldn’t you use the stuff from the supermarket instead?

“You can use it; I don’t recommend it. It’s the same family, but not the same plant. The sage we carry is white sage or gray sage, and is grown organically.”

Source: Supernatural Cleaning Methods by NYTimes
Pictures: Gary Hovland
Category: Ghosts & Spirits Category: News & Stories

Saturday, 25. October 2008
The Haunted History of Halloween
The History Channel has always put out some great programs and I think this one is an interesting and informative documentary that gets you in the spirit of Halloween.

On October 31, when pint-sized ghouls and goblins knock on doors, they're actually carrying on a tradition that goes back thousands of years to the Celtic tribes of northern Europe. For centuries this night has celebrated mystery and chaos, a time between summer and winter, a time between life and death.

Host Harry Smith leads this 3,000 year tour through the history of the quintessentially pagan holiday. Discover how trick or treat originated in ancient Ireland's harvest festivals, when food and sweets were offered to entice the dead to stay in the spirit world. See how Christianity tried to co-opt the celebration by turning it into All Saints Day, but how the underlying dark elements have survived, inspiring debate to the present day. From ghoulies and ghosties to the origins of the Jack-O-Lantern, this film is a delicious journey into the enchanting past of the spookiest night of the year.

'The Haunted History of Halloween' by History Channel, 2005
Duration: 45 minutes

See also:
The official website: The Haunted History of Halloween by History Channel

Related Entry:
Samhain, Halloween, Diwali, Tihar and Day of the Dead
Category: Incarnation & Death Category: Movies & TV Category: Myths & Sagas Category: Time & Calendar

Click the picture for a larger view

"The grandeur of Borobudur is something immense, sphinx-like, incomprehensible and yet so fascinating. It overpowers with a sense of our own incapacity to give a description. Its enigmas are too many and too great for us to solve, and yet it exercises such a powerful charm, lays such a hold on the mind that we are irresistibly compelled to use all our powers to discover something of its mysterious being." -- Nicholas J. Krom


In order to understand the reasons why the Javanese constructed Borobudur we must gain some knowledge about the Buddhist faith that provided their motivation.

Borobudur's foundation is far more than just the stone base upon which the monument rests. At its most fundamental level, this sacred Buddhist site rests upon a spiritual foundation that is based on the noble doctrine of one of the world's great spiritual teachers.

Modern scholars believe that the historical Buddha was born about 560 BCE into the royal Sakya clan of a small kingdom located near the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in what is today the country of Nepal. At the age of 29, Siddhartha renounced his royal lineage to become a wandering monk. Six years later, he attained enlightenment under the canopy of the bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya, which is located in the modern Indian State of Bihar.

A cyber reconstruction of the world's largest Buddhist shrine

Category: Buildings & Places

Obama’s Hidden Hypnosis Techniques

THE EVIDENCE IS HERE: This document contains over 60 pages of evidence and analysis proving Barack Obama’s use of a little-known and highly deceptive and manipulative form of “hack” hypnosis on millions of unaware Americans, and reveals what only a few psychologists and hypnosis/NLP experts know.

Barack Obama’s speeches contain the hypnosis techniques of Dr. Milton Erickson, M.D. who developed a form of “conversational” hypnosis that could be hidden in seemingly normal speech and used on patients without their knowledge for therapy purposes.

Obama’s speeches intentionally contain:

  • Trance Inductions
  • Hypnotic Anchoring
  • Pacing and Leading
  • Pacing, Distraction and Utilization
  • Critical Factor Bypass
  • Stacking Language Patterns
  • Preprogrammed Response Adaptation
  • Linking Statements/ Causality Bridges
  • Secondary Hidden Meanings/Imbedded Suggestions
  • Emotion Transfer
  • Non-Dominant Hemisphere Programming

Obama’s Use of Hidden Hypnosis Techniques in His Speeches
You decide!
Category: New Legends & Claims

The Apologetics Index

The Apologetics Index provides 31,800+ pages of research resources on religious cults, sects, new religious movements, alternative religions, apologetics-, anticult-, and countercult organizations, doctrines, religious practices and world views. These resources reflect a variety of theological and/or sociological perspectives.


AI's publishers, Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson, and their team members support freedom of religion in thought and expression, as well as the freedom to present research information that helps people make informed decisions about various movements, belief systems and world views.

The publishers operate from an evangelical, Christian point of view. However, Apologetics Index evaluates cults both theologically and sociologically.

This website documents significant doctrinal differences between the essential teachings and practices of historical Christianity and those of other religions, including religious movements that claim to be compatible with Christianity.

Apologetics Index also addresses abusive churches and movements, as well as a variety of other cult research issues and controversies. In the process, we look at controversial movements and issues within the Christian community - discussing anything from aberrant teachings to full-blow heretical sects.

You'll notice that we're not neutral. However, we do our best to balance our personal opinions with links to pro-, contra-, and neutral perspectives.

Category: New Age & New Religion Category: People & Organisations

Be Rich in any Climate

The secret to being rich lies in remembering that
friendships are priceless, time is invaluable,
health is wealth, and love is a treasure.

Create a nest egg of beautiful memories
that you can dip into from time to time
to ease any sorrows.

Have the kind of remembrances
that raise you up with their worth
and keep you there with their wonder.

Always have a supply of hopes on hand
to help you plan your tomorrows.

Remember that when you invest in your dreams,
it is impossible to overpay.

Give away smiles,
and watch them come back to you
a hundred times over.

Stuff your pockets with kindness and optimism;
there is nothing more precious in the world.

I'm sharing this advice with you today
because you are a treasured piece
in the puzzle of my life.

~ Author Unknown
Category: Poetry & Inspirations

Saturday, 18. October 2008
Flower Mandalas

My personal motivation in creating this work, however, was to heal from a decade of both physical and emotional trauma. Subconsciously, I arrived at the mandala form with the hexagram -- the Star of David -- as its organizing shape. I believe my choice of the hexagram was no accident. In many traditions, this star, composed of two overlapping triangles, represents the reconciliation of opposites -- male/female, fire/water, and so on. Their combination symbolizes unity and harmony.


In the Jewish tradition, the six points of the Star of David are also said to stand for God's rule over the universe in all six directions: north, south, east, west, up and down. Working with these forms by painting with light -- the literal definition of the term "photography" -- helped bring me back from the darkness into the light.

Carl Jung, one of the fathers of modern psychology, believed mandalas are a pathway to the essential Self and used them in his own personal transformation. In a small way, as both mandala artist and psychotherapist, I carry on Jung's tradition. I hope these images will further the process of harnessing the power of the mandala to heal.


Making these images feels, to me, like I am in wordless conversation with natural elements far more profound than anything I could create myself. The experience of photographing and of editing is reminiscent of meditation.

Flower Mandalas by David J. Bookbinder
Category: Art & Visions Category: Meditation & Mind

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