Freemasons

There are those who claim that the Freemasons constitute a powerful secret brotherhood of darkness that is planning to take over the world. According to some scholars of the occult, the Masons’ “Supreme Architect of the Universe” is none other than Lucifer, who cloaks himself in Masonic literature under such names as Zoraster, Shiva, Abaddon, and other pagan-god disguises. The so-called “holy writings” of Freemasonry, as well as their secret rites, passwords, initiations, and handshakes have their origins in the Roman mystery religions, Egyptian rituals, and Babylonian paganism. Often linked to the Illuminati, Freemasonry is said to have exerted its influence on every aspect of American society— including its currency. Of all of the above alarmist concerns, only the part about the currency may have some credence.

On the front of a one-dollar bill, there is a portrait of George Washington (1732–1799), an avowed Mason, who donned his Masonic apron and presided over the de
dication of the United States Capitol. The flip side of the bill displays the Great Seal of the United States. The front side of the seal depicts the spread eagle, arrows in one claw, olive branch in the other, and a banner proclaiming E Pluribus Unum in its beak. Opposite the spread eagle, the backside of the seal, is an incomplete pyramid with an eye floating in a glowing triangle where the capstone should be. Above the eye is the caption Annuit Coeptis, commonly translated as “He has favored our undertaking,” and in a scroll beneath is the slogan Novus Ordo Seclorum, “a new order of the ages.”

Congress first authorized the creation of a Great Seal of the United States in 1792, but no real effort was made to have anyone design one. Nearly 100 years later, in 1884, Congress once again authorized the task of designing a Great Seal for the nation. In 1892, funds were allocated in the hope that an appropriate seal would be finished in time for the Chicago’s World Fair. At last both sides of the seal were finally completed, but at its premiere showing, the side that featured the pyramid with the all-seeing eye was turned to the wall because some viewers were offended by the symbol’s Masonic associations. The backside of the Great Seal, first authorized by Congress in 1792, was not seen by the American public until 1935 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945), a 32nd-degree Mason, put it on the back of the one-dollar bill. Most scholars agree that the pyramid represented on the bill is the Great Pyramid of Cheops at Giza, which, to a Mason, is emblematic of the continuity of the craft of Freemasonry from the dawn of civilization in Egypt.

Freemasons Initiation

For Freemasons it is also a reminder of the legend that Egyptian civilization was founded by survivors from Atlantis and that the United States is the New Atlantis foretold by the great master Mason Sir Francis Bacon (1561–1626). The pyramid with the all-seeing eye represents the Great Architect of the Universe that guided the Founding Fathers of the United States to establish a nation that might one day reveal itself as the heir of the ancient mysteries of Atlantis and restore all humankind to the earthly paradise that existed in that Golden Age of old. The central mythos of Freemasonry centers around the building of the great temple of King Solomon (tenth century B.C.E.) and Solomon’s securing the services of the most accomplished architect in the world, Hiram Abiff, who was said to have designed the magnificent temple according to the precepts of the Great Architect of the Universe. Although Hiram is mentioned in biblical accounts as a master of the arts of construction, the rites of Freemasonry extend beyond the Bible and fashion a parallel myth, portraying Hiram as a primary figure in the creation of the temple.

Freemasons Structure Symbol

According to Masonic tradition, the ancient builders of Solomon’s Temple created the rites still practiced in modern lodges, with the various degrees of initiation and their secret symbols and handshakes. While the Free and Accepted Order of Freemasons is the oldest fraternity in the world, it doesn’t really extend back to the stone masons working on Solomon’s Temple— nor does it date even farther back to those who labored on the Egyptian pyramids, as some Masons have claimed. Freemasonry did evolve from the guilds of the stonemasons who traveled from city to city in Europe of the fourteenth century looking for work on the great cathedrals being constructed at that time.

The secret passwords and handshakes were unique ways by which a newcomer to a city might prove that he really was a true member of the guild. While there are references to Freemasonry as early as 1390, the fraternity did not come into being until 1717 when four London lodges united. From its actual beginnings in the early 1700s, Freemasonry exerted a great deal of influence upon society. For one thing, in the midst of seemingly incessant quarreling over religion throughout the European nations, the Freemasons were nondenominational, asking only that its members recognized a Supreme Being and sought somehow to better humanity through the course of their own lives. Because men of low rank could become members and no religious philosophy was deemed superior to another, the lodges of Freemasonry became champions of the emerging concepts of democracy that were suffusing the Enlightenment. Such freedoms of thought and spirituality did not endear the Freemasons to many facets of established society, particularly the Roman Catholic Church, who condemned the fraternity as anti-Christian.

By the mid-1700s, Freemasonry had established its lodges throughout Europe and had been carried across the ocean to the New World by numerous immigrants. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin (1706– 1790), John Hancock (1737–1793), Paul Revere (1735–1818), and many other of the Founding Fathers of the United States were openly proud of being Masons. A freed slave, Prince Hall, who was initiated into Masonry by a British soldier in Boston, later founded an African lodge, which became the still-extant Prince Hall Masons. After the Revolution (1775–83), American Freemasonry became extremely powerful in the United States. Lodges were constructed in the smallest of villages, and it became an undeniable sign of prestige in any community to be a member of the Masons.

For businessmen who wished to succeed, it was almost a requirement to join the Freemasons. At the same time, however, those individuals who were not privy to its secrets had begun to spread rumors about the bizarre rites and grim pledges that the members of the fraternity were sworn to uphold. Curiosity and concern that satanic rites might be held by supposedly upstanding businessmen who had sold their souls to the devil began to spread doubts about what was really going on behind the closed doors of its lodges.

While the various oaths and rituals of the Masons would quite likely be judged as a bit overly dramatic and flamboyant by some, they were largely symbolic and representative of an earlier age—and far less dangerous to their initiates than many contemporary college fraternities or sororities. It was the abducted and assumed tragic death of one of its members in 1826 that led to the near-annihilation of the Masons in the United States. William Morgan, a disillusioned Mason from Batavia, New York, let it be known that he was writing a book that would reveal all the secrets of Freemasonry to the world. The printer’s shop that was going to publish his manuscript was torched, and a few days later, Morgan was arrested on charges that he was in arrears on a two-dollar debt. That night, a stranger arrived to pay Morgan’s bail, and the dissident Mason was then seized by a group of his fellow lodge members and forced into a carriage. Neither Morgan nor his remains were ever found.

One of the cornerstones of Masonry was its loyalty to its members, but the entire nation was offended by the manner in which the juries were stacked in favor of those Masons who were accused of having murdered William Morgan. The general population demanded justice, and they were shocked by the power of a secret society that could stonewall three special prosecutors. After 20 trials for murder and kidnapping, the local sheriff, who was a Mason, and who was obviously an integral element in Morgan’s abduction and disappearance, received the most severe judgment of all the defendants when he was sentenced to 30 months in jail. Not only did an anti-Mason sentiment swell within the country, but the Anti-Mason Party was founded that elected governors in Pennsylvania and Vermont and won seven electoral votes in the 1832 election. It was no longer prestigious to be a Mason. In state after state, lodges closed.

Overall, the fraternity lost more than half of its members. By 1845, Freemasonry began to revive in the United States, but it never again achieved the social status that it had once enjoyed. In 1872, two Masons formed a kind of parody of the Masons and named it the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, aka, The Shriners. By 1897, the Masons had about 750,000 members, and numerous other fraternal organizations such as the Knights of Columbus, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Odd Fellows, and the Loyal Order of Moose sprang into being. In the 1950s, the Masons reached their numerical peak in America with more than four million members.

In 2001, there were about two million Masons in the United States and their average age was well over 60. Younger men, it seems, are no longer attracted to an organization whose members receive such grandiose titles as Master of the Royal Secret, Knight of the Brazen Serpent, or Worshipful Master. As for being a secret society, Masonic Lodge telephone numbers are in the directory, and the texts of many of their oaths have been made public, i.e., “You agree to be a good man and true; you agree to conform to the laws of the country in which you reside; you promise not to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against the government.”

(Source : Encyclopedia of Unusual and Unexplained Things)
(Pics source : 1st n 2nd from wikipedia, 3rd from http://glmelchisedech.org/)
17:05 | 6 komentar

Nebra Sky Disc

The Nebra Sky Disc is one of the most fascinating, and some would say controversial, archaeological finds of recent years. Dated to 1600 B.C., this bronze disc has a diameter of 32 cm and weighs around 4 pounds. It is patinated blue-green and embossed with gold leaf symbols, which appear to represent a crescent moon, the sun (or perhaps a full moon), stars, a curved gold band on the edge of the disc (which probably represent one of the horizons) These are interpreted generally as a sun or full moon, a lunar crescent, and stars (including a cluster interpreted as the Pleiades). Two golden arcs along the sides, marking the angle between the solstices, were added later. A final addition was another arc at the bottom surrounded with multiple strokes (of uncertain meaning, variously interpreted as a Solar Barge with numerous oars, as the Milky Way or as a rainbow). Another gold band on the opposite side is missing.

The disk is attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt in Germany. It has been associated with the Bronze Age Unetice culture. The disk is unlike any known artistic style from the period, and had initially been suspected of being a forgery, but is now widely accepted as authentic.


Other Associated Finds : Chisel, Axeheads and Bracelets


The Swords Found With The Disc

The disc was found in a cache of bronze goods, including axes and daggers, in a Bronze Age site at the top of a mountain, the Mittelberg. It is thought that the site would originally have had a good view of the skies and the horizon all around, and might have been used as an observatory. The astronomical information on the disc is particular to the latitude of the location where it was found, so it is likely that the disc was made for and used in the site where it was finally hidden.


Description and Interpretation of the Symbols on the Disc

At one edge of the disc is an arc which looks like a boat sailing on the sea. The tiny indentations along each side of the arc may represent the oars of the ship.

Many ancient peoples imagined the sun as travelling from Western to Eastern horizon after it set in a special ship. This may be a depiction of the Ship of the Sun. If so, it means that the disc should be held in a vertical plane, with this 'boat' at the bottom. In this orientation, the rest of the symbols in the centre of the disc fall into place as a picture of the heavens. On the left and right sides are two long arcs. These span about 80 degrees each. The difference between sunrise on the summer solstice and on the winter solstice is 82.7 degrees at this latitude, as is the difference between the sunsets on the two solstices.

The two arcs are said to represent the portions of the horizon where the sun rises during the year. (The gold coating on the left arc, representing sunset, has fallen off and is lost). Between the two arcs are a full circle and a crescent. The crescent obviously represents a crescent moon, while the large circle may be the sun or a full moon. (The gold on the sun/full moon circle is damaged). In the background are 23 stars dotted in an apparently random pattern, and one group of seven stars which is said to represent the Pleiades star cluster (the Seven Sisters or M45). X-Rays indicate that under the gold of the right arc are two more stars, so it is likely that the two arcs were added some time after the other features.

Intrigued by the possibility of the Nebra Disc as an astronomical device, Professor Wolfhard Schloesser of the University of Bochum measured the angle between the pair of arcs on either side of the disc, and found that it was 82 degrees. Fascinatingly, at Mittelberg hill, between the high mid-summer sunset and the lo mid-summer sunset, the sun appears to travel around 82 degrees along the horizon. This angle would vary from place to place. Schloesser concluded that the pair of arcs along the circumference of the Nebra Disc did indeed depict the sun solstices accurately for its location. This would suggest that the Bronze Age agricultural societies of central Europe made sophisticated celestial measurements far earlier than has been suspected.

It is an astronomical fact that when the crescent moon appears in a particular orientation to the Pleiades, there is an eclipse seven days later. Is the picture on the disc intended to portray this? We'll never know for sure, as there is not enough detail in the picture. Around the outside of the disc is a ring of crude holes punched through the metal. It is thought that these are for attaching the disc to something, rather than forming part of the astronomical diagram. Perhaps the disc was stitched to a piece of heavy cloth?

What was the Purpose of the Disc?
If the disc was intended as an astronomical tool, the only thing on it that is accurate is the pair of arcs. With the disc in a horizontal plane, these could be used to examine the position of sunrise and sunset; the cache site was on the top of a hill, a good place for looking at the sun. The site was surrounded by an artificial low bank, which could be used for measuring the position of the sun on the horizon. The position of the sun at sunrise and sunset is a good indication of the time of year and can be used to predict times for planting and harvesting crops; the Bronze Age people were an agricultural society. Alternatively, the disc might have been a teaching tool, explaining the mysteries of the night sky to students.

In late 2004, the Nebra Disc became enmeshed in controversy. German archaeologist Professor Peter Schauer, of Regensbury University, claimed that the disc was a modern fake, and any idea that it was a Bronze Age map of the heavens was “a piece of fantasy.” Professor Schauer stated that the supposedly Bronze Age patina on the artefact had been artificially created in a workshop “using acid, urine, and a blowtorch” and was not ancient at all. The holes around the edge of the disc, he insisted, were too perfect to be ancient, and must have been made by a relatively modern machine.

His own conclusion was that the object was a 19th century Siberian Shaman’s drum. However, it later emerged that Schauer had never studied the artefact himself prior to making his claim, nor did he publish any of his theories in a peer-reviewed journal. But Shcauer’s objections still shocked the German archaeological community and raised some important questions about the authenticity of the disc. The first was that, because of the circumstances of its discovery, the Nebra Disc had no secure archaeological context. Thus, it was extremely difficult to date accurately, especially as there was nothing similar with which to compare it.

The dating was done on the object depended upon the typological dating of the Bronze Age weapons that had been offerd for sale with it, and were supposed to be from the same site. These axes and swords were dated to the middle of the second millennium B.C. Solid evidence for the antiquity of the disc was provided by the Halle institute for Archaeological research in Germany. The Institute submitted the artifact to an exhaustive series of tests that confirm its authenticity. For example, the copper used on the disc has been traced to a Bronze Age mine in the Austrian Alps.

Tests also discovered that a practically unique mixture of hard crystal malachite covers the artifact. In addition to this, microphotography of the corrosion on the disc has also produced images that proved that it was a genuinely ancient artifact, and could not be have been produced as a fake.

The latest examinations of the disc, by a group of German scholars in early 2006, came to the conclusion that it was indeed genuine, and had functioned as a complex astronomical clock for the synchronization of solar and lunar calendars. The Nebra Sky Disc is thus the earliest known guide to the heavens, and certainly, along with the site, the first examples of the detailed astronomical knowledge in Europe. But perhaps that is not the end of the stories. Wolfhard Schlosser believes intriguingly, that the disc (currently valued at $11.2 million) was one of a pair, and that the other is still out there waiting to be found.

(Taken from many sources)
16:05 | 2 komentar

Deja Vu

Déjà vu a feeling that one has seen or heard something before or "already seen"; also called paramnesia, from Greek παρα "para," "near" + μνήμη "mnēmē," "memory") or promnesia, is the experience of feeling sure that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously (an individual feels as though an event has already happened or has happened in the near past). The term was coined by a French psychic researcher, Émile Boirac (1851–1917) in his book "L'Avenir des sciences psychiques" ("The Future of Psychic Sciences"), which expanded upon an essay he wrote while an undergraduate. The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of "eeriness," "strangeness," or "weirdness," The "previous" experience is most frequently attributed to real life, although in some cases there is a firm sense that the experience "genuinely happened" in the past.

Charles Dickens explains déjà vu in his own words stating, “We have all some experience of a feeling, that comes over us occasionally, of what we are saying and doing having been before, in a remote time -of our having been surrounded, dim ages ago, by the same faces, objects and circumstances- of our knowing perfectly what will be said next, as if we suddenly remember it.”

Some speculate that the phenomenon of past lives can answer troubling questions in the present and explain déjà vu. A woman might walk into a building, for example, in a foreign country she'd never visited, and sense that the setting is eerily and intimately familiar. Many people report that they have walked down a street in a strange city and been overwhelmed with the sudden familiarity of its shop windows, sidewalks, and store fronts.

The experience of déjà vu seems to be quite common among adults and children alike; in formal studies, 70% of people report having experienced it at least once. References to the experience of déjà vu are also found in literature of the past, indicating it is not a new phenomenon. Early researchers tried to establish a link between déjà vu and serious psychopathology such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and dissociative identity disorder, with hopes of finding the experience of some diagnostic value.

Alternative explanations

Parapsychology
Déjà vu is associated with precognition, clairvoyance or extra-sensory perceptions, and it is frequently cited as evidence for "psychic" abilities in the general population. Non-scientific explanations attribute the experience to prophecy, visions (such as received in dreams) or past-life memories.

Dreams
Some believe déjà vu is the memory of dreams. Though the majority of dreams are never remembered, a dreaming person can display activity in the areas of the brain that process long-term memory. It has been speculated that dreams read directly into long-term memory, bypassing short-term memory entirely. In this case, déjà vu might be a memory of a forgotten dream with elements in common with the current waking experience. This may be similar to another phenomenon known as déjà rêvé, or "already dreamed." However, later studies on mice indicate that long-term memories must be first established as short-term memories. Kevin Heady suggested that a feeling of remembering occurs in a sense that he might realize that what he had dreamed is now a relevant present action that is taking place right here right now. "I was once sitting down in the kitchen noticing that my plate seemed well too familiar, it seemed as if my head motions were foreseen, and that every move would trigger a continuation to happen or so, I had many déjà vus as a child but this was extraordinary, I knew from the bottom of my heart that I had dreamed this situation years ago, as a little boy, that amazingly an entire piece of memory was regained and I finally understood when and where I was dreaming and how long this dream was, and most importantly how many years ago did I dream."

Reincarnation
Those believing in reincarnation theorize that déjà vu is caused by fragments of past-life memories being jarred to the surface of the mind by familiar surroundings or people. Others theorize that the phenomenon is caused by astral projection, or out-of-body experiences (OBEs), where it is possible that individuals have visited places while in their astral bodies during sleep. The sensation may also be interpreted as connected to the fulfillment of a condition as seen or felt in a premonition. For further cases of remembering information from past lives.

However, there does not seem to be any special association between déjà vu and schizophrenia or other psychiatric conditions. The strongest pathological association of déjà vu is with temporal lobe epilepsy. This correlation has led some researchers to speculate that the experience of déjà vu is possibly a neurological anomaly related to improper electrical discharge in the brain. As most people suffer a mild (i.e. non-pathological) epileptic episode regularly (e.g. the sudden "jolt," a hypnagogic jerk, that frequently occurs just prior to falling asleep), it is conjectured that a similar (mild) neurological aberration occurs in the experience of déjà vu, resulting in an erroneous sensation of memory.

There are several other theories that try to explain this phenomena, but none can be one hundred percent proven and with déjà vu arises way too many unanswered questions that the human mind can measure. As with intuition, research into, human psychology can offer more naturalistic explanations, but ultimately the cause and nature of the phenomenon itself remains a mystery.

(Taken from many sources)
14:51 | 2 komentar

13 : Lucky or Unlucky Number?

The number 13 is associated with bad luck in some countries, and even has a specifically recognized phobia, Triskaidekaphobia, a word which was coined in 1911. Friday the 13th has been considered an unlucky day since the 1800s, as a combination between an unlucky day, Friday, and the number 13. Triskaidekaphobia (from Greek tris=three, kai=and, theka=ten) is an irrational fear of the number 13; it is a superstition and related to a specific fear of Friday the 13th, called paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia. The Egyptians were the first to develop a superstition for the number thirteen, but for them the number brought good luck. They believed that there were twelve steps on the ladder to eternal life and knowledge and to take the thirteenth step meant going through death into everlasting life. Thirteen, for the Egyptians, was associated with immortality. The Mesopotamian Code of Hammurabi (1760 BC) omits 13 in its numbered list. This seems to indicate a superstition existed long before the Christian era.

We are told that 13 is an unlucky number. The date Friday the 13th is taboo because the Knights Templar were arrested and condemned by the seneschals of Philippe IV, King of France, in a "pre-dawn raid" on Friday, October 13th, 1307. The number 13 has been shunned for centuries. Some Christian traditions have it that at the Last Supper, Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th to sit at the table, and that for this reason 13 is considered to carry a curse of sorts. Still to this day it is considered very bad luck for thirteen people to sit down for dinner together. It is believed that one of the dinner guests will die within the year.

However, the number 13 is not uniformly bad in the Judeo-Christian tradition. For example, the 13 attributes of God (also called the thirteen attributes of mercy) are enumerated in the Torah (Exodus 34: 6-7). Some modern Christian churches also use 13 attributes of God in sermons. Triskaidekaphobia may have also affected the Vikings—it is believed that Loki in the Norse pantheon was the 13th god More specifically, Loki was believed to have engineered the murder of Baldr, and was the 13th guest to arrive at the funeral. This is perhaps related to the superstition that if thirteen people gather, one of them will die in the following year. This was later Christianized in some traditions into saying that Satan was the 13th angel. Another Norse tradition involves the myth of Norna-Gest: when the uninvited norns showed up at his birthday celebration—thus increasing the number of guests from ten to thirteen—the norns cursed the infant by magically binding his lifespan to that of a mystic candle they presented to him.

Ancient Persians believed the twelve constellations in the Zodiac controlled the months of the year, and each ruled the earth for a thousand years at the end of which the sky and earth collapsed in chaos. Therefore, the thirteenth is identified with chaos and the reason Persian leave their houses to avoid bad luck on the thirteenth day of the Persian Calendar (a tradition called Sizdah Bedar).

13 was a number central to certain traditions of sacred geometry, because it reflected a pattern which could be seen to exist in man, nature, and the heavens. For instance, there are 13 major joints in your body. There are 13 lunar cycles in a solar year, and the moon travels 13 degrees across the sky every day.

Is it possible that the folklore associated with the number 13 is absolutely apocryphal? Or that it has become a demonized numeral precisely because it was sacred in pre-Christian times?

Some peoples believe it is an emblem of a secret knowledge, a knowledge which does indeed confer power upon those conversant with it. It is a knowledge that religious orthodoxies have long feared and tried to suppress. Perhaps this is why the number 13 has always been associated with magic and the occult, and why it is a number perceived to possess some mysterious yet tangible power. 13 may be perceived as unlucky to those who fear the secret gnosis (Gnosis from one of the Greek words for knowledge, γνώσις is the spiritual knowledge of a saint or mystically enlightened human being) it represents, but for adherents of that gnosis it is (as it always was), a sacred number.

Most hotel chains have no room number thirteen and many skyscrapers are without a thirteenth floor. Some architects omit the 13th floor from office buildings to this very day.

Still, to this day, the superstition lives on.

(Taken from many source)
16:28 | 8 komentar

Jailangkung

Like in many other countries, in Indonesia also have a medium to communicate with the spirits of the dead. If you know a game called Ouija Board, it has a similar rules though the way the communication is done may be somewhat different. Jailangkung, such name given to this game, which was quite popular among the Javanese people of the past. In one secluded room, a group of about 3 - 5 people sits encircling two men holding a doll (A bamboo cross clothed with a child's shirt is tied to the upper part of the handle of the basket). On top of the bamboo cross, a coconut shell is so placed that the whole thing looks just like a doll. A pencil or chalk, to be used for writing, attached to the lower side of the doll. The burning of the incense starts, and smoke begins to billow, transmitting, as it spreads across the room, a certain aroma. There is complete silence in the room now and everyone looks solemn, as if they are attending a funeral. All eyes are focused on the basket, which is now being held higher up by the two persons to ensure that it will have all the agility it needs when the time comes for it to write.The leader of the group, whose role is more like a shaman, sits right in front of the doll, which they called "jailangkung." He then starts murmuring the mantra :

In Javanese language :
"Jailangkung, jalangseng...
ning kene ana pesta...
jane mung pesta elek...

Teko rak dipetuk, balik rak diterke"
(Datang tak dijemput, pulang tak diantar)
Jailangkung, jailangseng ayo teka..
 
In English :
"Jailangkung, jailangseng...
there is a party here...
just a small party...

Arrive here by yourself, go home by yourself"
Jailangkung, jailangseng, come to me...."



The shaman keep repeat it until the doll turns heavy, a sign that someone's spirit is entering it. Thus, as soon as the two persons holding the doll give him a nod to signal that they are being visited by a spirit, which happens to pass by, the leader immediately asks the Jailangkung, "What's your name ?" Though slowly, yet surely, the Jailangkung moves the pencil to write his name on a piece of paper that has intentionally been prepared earlier. Incredible ! How is it possible that only a doll with a pencil attached to it can write so clearly ? Now, just imagine that you are at the moment holding the doll, by yourself, trying to move it so as to write something. Difficult, isn't it ? And yet you are doing it alone. So just imagine how frustrating it can be for any two persons working under natural condition to do such writing, because each will be pushing and pulling the doll in different directions.

The shaman then asks another question : "Where are you from ?" This second question is also answered in writing. The Jailangkung writes down his address, slowly yet clearly. And the questioning and answering goes on and on. Astonishing indeed ! All the questions are answered correctly. In fact, the Jailangkung can even tell the secrets of everyone present in that room.

But, this game could be really dangerous, if the players, especially the shaman could not remove and getting back the spirit from it belongs. If this happen, and the spirit getting angry, it can possess the players one by one. And it will be very difficult to remove the spirit that possess the player's body. Yet, the question remains : What is the Jailangkung actually ? Is it a spirit ? Is the Jailangkung just a lingering, inquisitive spirit that happens to come by ? Or is there any other power that is logically and rationally comprehensible ?How could it be that the Jailangkung can have the answers to all of the questions set forth by the participants of the game?

(Source : Taken from many sources)
18:32 | 8 komentar

Thunderbird

The Thunderbird figures prominently in the traditions of many Native American tribes. For some, it is the flapping of the Thunderbird’s wings that one hears during rainstorms rumbling in the skies and it is the Thunderbird’s eyes and beak that flash the lightning. To the Lakota of the prairie, the Thunderbird is an embodiment of the Great Mystery, the Supreme Being, which created all things on Earth. For the tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy of the northeast, Hino, the Thunderbird, guardian of the skies and the spirit of thunder, could assume the form of a human when it suited its purpose. The cosmology of many of the western tribes establish a Thunderbird in each of the four corners of the world as guardians and protectors, fighting always to keep away evil spirits. Many scholars over the centuries have attributed the Native American myths of the Thunderbird to their reverence for the eagle, the largest of indigenous birds in North America.

Interestingly, however, many people have claimed to have seen for themselves a great bird, far larger than the eagle, flying overhead. In fact, even in the nineteenth century, some witnesses were claiming to have seen flying monsters that resembled pterodactyls, the winged reptiles that should have been extinct 60 million years ago. On April 9, 1948, a farm family outside of Caledonia, Illinois, saw a monster bird that they all said was bigger than an airplane. In different parts of the state on the same day, a Freeport truck driver said that he, too, had seen the creature.
A former army colonel admitted that he had seen a bird of tremendous size while he stood talking with the head of Western Military Academy and a farmer near Alton. On April 10, several witnesses saw the gigantic bird. One man said that he had at first believed it to be a type of plane that he had never before seen. On April 24, back at Alton, a man described it as an enormous, incredible thing, flying at about 500 feet and casting a shadow the same size as that of a Piper Cub at the same height. Two policemen said that the monster bird was as big as a small airplane. Giant Thunderbird-type creatures have continued to be sighted in various parts of the United States, from the northeast to the northwest and many points in between.

It show hunters from the 1800s, early 1900s, with a large "thunderbird" they have shot.

On September 25, 2001, a witness sighted a giant bird flying over South Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Researchers soon found other witnesses who claimed to have had sightings of Thunderbirds in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. On November 5, a resident of Bristol, Connecticut, who was out walking his dog at dawn, said that he had sighted a giant birdlike creature the size of an ultralight plane flying over a community center. In addition to the ancient Native American legends of the Thunderbird, there are certain old pioneer records that support the existence of giant birdlike creatures in the skies of North America. From the mouth of the Illinois River at Grafton to Alton (Illinois), a distance of 20 miles, the Mississippi River runs from west to east, and its north bank (the Illinois side) is a high bluff. When the first white men explored the area, they found that some unknown muralist from some forgotten tribal culture had engraved and painted hideous depictions of two gigantic, winged monsters.

Numerous sightings of birds the size of small airplanes were reported in southwest Pennsylvania in the summer and early fall of 2001. On June 13, a resident in Greensville, who said that he was familiar with the wildlife in the area, at first mistook the huge bird for an ultralight aircraft. He estimated the wingspan to be about 15 feet and the body to be nearly five feet in length. In July, a witness in Erie County claimed to have seen a large, blackcolored bird with a wingspan of about 17 feet. On September 25, a witness who said that he had a strong interest in ornithology, encountered a massive bird with a head about three feet long and a wingspan of 10 to 15 feet.

In October 2002, Alaskan villagers in Togiak and Manokotak reported seeing a huge bird larger than anything they had seen before. Pilot John Bouker, owner of Bristol Bay Air Service, said that while flying to Manokotak he and his passengers sighted a large “raptorlike” bird with a wingspan that matched the length of his Cessna 207, about 14 feet. When Moses Coupchiak, a heavy equipment operator from Togiak, spotted the monster bird flying toward him, he said that he thought it was a small airplane until it banked to the left and flew away.

Biologists in the region said that they believed the witnesses sighted a bird known as the Steller’s sea eagle, a species native to northeast Asia, that occasionally shows up on the Aleutian islands and on Kodiak, Alaska. The Steller’s sea eagle can have a wingspan of eight feet and is about three times as large as a bald eagle. Some cryptozoologists have theorized the ancient Thunderbird myth to be based on sightings of a real animal with a mistaken assessment of its apparent size Some skeptics have claimed such a large bird could never have flown, but several flying creatures with huge wingspans are indeed known.

The prehistoric vulture-like Argentavis magnificens had a wingspan of around 7 m (21 feet) and was capable of flight. The massive Cretaceous-era pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus northropi was the largest known flying creature in history, with a wingspan of at least 25 but perhaps as much as 60 feet. Cryptozoologists also posit that the Thunderbird was associated with storms because they followed the drafts to stay in flight, not unlike the way a modern eagle rides mountain up currents. Noted cryptozoologist John Keel claims to have mapped several Thunderbird sightings and found that they corresponded chronologically and geographically with storms moving across the United States.

Angelo P. Capparella, an ornithologist at Illinois State University, argues that the existence of such undiscovered large birds is highly unlikely, especially in North America. There is not enough food, Capparella says, in many areas where abnormally large birds are reported. Perhaps more important, according to Capparella, is the lack of sightings by "the legions of competent birdwatchers ... scanning the skies of the U.S. and Canada" who sometimes make "surprising observations" with cameras at the ready. Were there breeding populations of large, unknown birds, Capparella contends they could not remain unknown very long. No one has ever produced a copy of the "thunderbird" photograph, though numerous people, Ivan T. Sanderson being one of the better known, have made claims to its existence. Sanderson claimed to have once owned a copy of the photo, which vanished after he loaned it to an acquaintance in the 1960s.

Sources:
100 Most Strangest Mysteries by Matt Lamy;

The Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained by Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger

Pic Source:
http://mysteriousuniverse.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/thunderbird-1.jpg
15:29 | 5 komentar

The Mystery of Okiku's Well

In Japanese culture, ghosts take on many different forms. Yuurei are ghosts whose deaths came about so suddenly that they did not have time to make their peace, either because they were murdered or committed suicide rashly (defeated warriors in Japan were often forced to commit suicide). This is the tale of a woman who was so deeply wronged in life that, after more than four hundred years, her soul remains hostage to the agony of the betrayal that killed her. Himeji Castle is an imposing wooden structure, extremely well preserved despite its age. It stands on an elevated position in the center of town of Himeji, thirty miles west of Kobe. The castle's earliest origins are in the early fourteenth century, but it is in the seventeenth century, at a time when the local Shogun government commissioned the tower to be built to its five-story height, that this story is set.

At the foot of the tower, known as the Donjon, and located next to the Hara-kiri Maru (the Suicide Gate), where people were forced to commit ritual disembowelment stands the castle well. Its proximity to the gate is no mere coincidence; it was not a source of drinking water, but a means of washing away the blood of a hara-kiri suicide. Today it is known as Okiku's Well.

There are different versions of the ghost story of Okiku. What they all have in common is the description of her ghost coming out of the well and counting from one to nine and then breaking out into a heart-rendering sobbing.

Himeji Castle

The story of Okiku is an old one, whose true origins are unknown; however, it first appeared under the title Bancho Sarayashiki in July 1741 at the Toyotakeza theatre. In the kabuki play Bancho Sarayashiki, Okiku is a maid at the mansion of the Japanese samurai Tessan Aoyama. The samurai wants to seduce the cute girl but she rejects his advances. Aoyama uses a trick. He hides one of ten valuable Dutch plates and threatens Okiku to make public that she had stolen the plate unless she agrees to become his mistress. In her desperation Okiku throws herself into the well and drowns. Okiku's ghost comes out every night, counting from one to nine and then breaks out into a terrible howling and sobbing. Finally Aoyama goes insane by the daily apparitions at night.

Ningyō Jōruri Version

Hosokawa Katsumoto, the lord of Himeji Castle, has fallen seriously ill. Katsumoto's heir, Tomonosuke, plans to give a set of 10 precious plates to the Shogun to ensure his succession. However, chief retainer Asayama Tetsuzan plots to take over. Tomonosuke's retainer, Funase Sampei Taketsune is engaged to marry a lady in waiting, Okiku. Tetsuzan plans to force Okiku to help him murder Tomonosuke. Tetsuzan, through the help of a spy, steals one of the 10 plates, and plans to accuse Okiku of stealing the plate if she does not assist in the crime. Tetsuzan summons Okiku to bring the box containing the plates to his chamber.

There, he attempts to seduce Okiku, although she refuses due to her love for Takatsune. Rejected, he then has Okiku count the plates, and finds only nine. He blames her for the theft, and swears to lie for her if she will be his mistress. Okiku again refuses, and Tetsuzan has her beaten with a wooden sword. Tetsuzan then has her suspended over a well and, erotically enjoying her torture, has her lowered into the well several times, beating her himself when she is raised. He demands that she become his lover, and assist in the murder of Tomonosuke.

She refuses again, and Tetsuzan slashes her with his sword, sending her body into the well. While wiping clean his sword, the sound of a voice counting plates comes from the well. Tetsuzan realizes that it is the ghost of Okiku, but is entirely unmoved. The play ends with the ghost of Okiku rising from the well, and Tetsuzan staring at her contemptuously.

Okamoto Kido Version

In 1655, in Edo, a vassal of the Shogun Aoyama Harima has fallen in love with a young servant girl Okiku. Aoyama has promised to marry her, but has recently received an auspicious marriage proposal from an Aunt. Aoyama promises Okiku that he will honor their love, and refuse the proposal. Okiku doubts, and tests him by breaking one of the 10 heirloom plates that are the treasure of the Aoyama household. The traditional punishment for breaking one of the plates is death, which is demanded by Aoyama's family.

At first, Aoyama is convinced that Okiku broke the plate by accident, and pardons her, but when Okiku reveals that she broke the plate as a love-test, Aoyama is enraged and kills her. He then throws her body down a well. From then after, Okiku’s ghost is seen to enter the house and count the plates, one through nine. Encountering her in the garden, Aoyama sees that her ghostly face is not one of vengeance, but beautiful and calm. Taking strength from this, he commits seppuku and joins her in death.

Haunted Well at Himeji Castle (Okiku's Well)

The story of Okiku's Well is a key story in Japanese culture, where it is now known as Banshu Sarayashiki and has been the subject of many variations in theater and literature. But at Himeji Castle, there are still those who say they have heard Okiku's howls in the still quiet hours of the early morning. The brutality of her murder and the profound sense of betrayal she felt are still so strong that she remains imprisoned by her own earthly emotions, her soul unable to find peace until now.

(Taken from many sources)
12:59 | 1 komentar

The Comte de Saint Germain

The mysterious figure we now know as the Comte de Saint-Germain was first witnessed in 1710 under the name the Marquis de Montferrat. He has been variously described as a courtier, adventurer, charlatan, inventor, alchemist, pianist, violinist and amateur composer, but is best known as a recurring figure in the stories of several strands of occultism – particularly those connected to Theosophy, where he is also referred to as the Master Rakoczi or the Master R and credited with near god-like powers and longevity. Some sources write that his name is not familial, but was invented by him as a French version of the Latin Sanctus Germanus, meaning "Holy Herman", or " Holy Brother Herman."

St. Germanus was a lay brother of the Benedictine order. Seen in Venice by a musician named Rameau and a Parisian socialite called Madam de Gergy, he had the appearance of a man between 40 and 50 years of age. It was an appearance he would hold all his life, and he would only officially die in 1784. However, many people believe he never actually passed away. To them, this enigmatic character has become known as ‘Saint-Germain the Deathless’. Saint-Germain’s provenance was never revealed, not even by those he had taken into his confidence.

For his entire life he looked like a middle-aged, strongly built man of average height. He was an amazing raconteur with incredible stories, and had some impressive talents. He could create fantastic jewels, had a complete understanding of music and art, and was able to provide people with potions which he claimed were the elixir of youth. He was never seen to eat or drink, but he enjoyed the company of women and mixed with the aristocracy.

He never seemed to age. His great period of celebrity was in Paris between 1750 and 1760. His main role was that of spy for King Louis XV. However, his friendship with the king created many enemies within the French government and he was forced to flee to England. He resurfaced in Russia under the name General Soltikov and played a major role in the 1762 revolution. At the start of Louis XVI’s reign he reappeared in Paris and, through an old friend, the Countesse d’Adhemar, he issued a warning to Queen Marie Antoinette of the dangers that were building for the French monarchy. Saint-Germain tried to see the king personally, but the police were ordered to capture the Comte by the king’s minister. Again, Saint-Germain simply disappeared. He apparently sought refuge at the castle of Count Charles of Hesse Cassel in the Duchy of Schlesing, Austria.

It was said that he revealed many of his secrets to the count, but by 1784 Saint-Germain had simply grown bored of life and died. However, there is no official record of his death, and no tombstone bearing his name. He left all his papers, many of which concerned freemasonry, to the count, but like Louis XV, Charles never revealed anything about Saint-Germain’s real history. Indeed, even though he claimed to be sad that Saint-Germain had died, many commentators have suggested he did not appear so upset, and there is a theory that he may have been privy to a staged death. Certainly, further reports of Saint-Germain have been recorded. In 1786 he met the Empress of Russia, and in 1788 he was apparently the official French representative at the World Convention of Freemasons.

The Countess of d’Adhemar said she had met her old friend in 1789, 1815 and 1821, and that each time he looked no older than her memory of him. It is said that he continued to have an influence on secret societies and may even have been a guiding light of the Rosicrucians. So who was the strange character? Parisians who disliked him said he was the son of a Portuguese Jew named Aymar, or an Alsatian Jew called Wolff. However, the general feeling at the time was that he was the natural son of Spain’s Charles II’s widow, Marie de Neubourg. A more recent study has suggested that he may actually have been one of the sons of Prince Francis Racoczi II of Transylvania. The prince gave his children to the Emperor of Austria to bring up, but one of them was said to have died at a young age. It is now considered that this child may have, in fact, been raised by a family in the little village of San Germano in Italy. This would account for how he assumed the name the Comte de Saint-Germain.

Myths, legends and speculations about St. Germain began to be widespread in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and continue today. They include beliefs that he is immortal, the Wandering Jew, an alchemist with the "Elixir of Life", a Rosicrucian, and that he prophesied the French Revolution. He is said to have met the forger Giuseppe Balsamo (alias Cagliostro) in London However, some people, particularly those involved with the Theosophy movement, believe Saint-Germain may have been one of the ‘great masters’, sent to show developed men the errors of their ways. They believe he may be still wandering the Earth, waiting for the right time to reappear and counsel Man through troubled waters. Until then, however, the enigmatic figure known as the Comte de Saint-Germain will remain a mystery.

(Taken from many sources)
17:56 | 8 komentar

U.S.S. Cyclops

Perhaps the disappearance of the USS Cyclops, a collier attached to the U.S. Navy during World War I, ranks as one of the best-known maritime mysteries in the history of American shipping. (Clark, the Cyclops investigator, unintentionally introduces an even greater mystery in his account of this incident: he has this ship disappear in April 1918, although he says it was not built until 1919 and “launched in May of the following year”; for the sake of some sort of credibility the Cyclops is now assumed to have been built in 1916, since it is clear from the rest of Clark’s account that the ship did go missing in 1918.) The Cyclops was a large vessel for its time, being some 20,000 tons deadweight and widely touted as unsinkable; but on her maiden voyage she was found to roll and pitch badly, a criticism also leveled at the Waratah by experienced seamen. Her captain was a German, Georg Wichmann, who— probably as a result of anti-German feeling then common—had changed his name to George Worley.

Clark tells that Worley’s indifferent ship handling often resulted in minor damage to the vessel and that he was less than inspiring in his navigation: the Cyclops was often seen approaching an intermediate port of call from the very direction of her ultimate destination. He was also apparently eccentric, often wandering around his ship clad only in his underwear and a bowler hat.

Clearly, these are not idiosyncrasies guaranteed to sink a ship, but when she did disappear, these aspects of his character, along with suspected design faults in the ship, possible inefficient loading, and bad weather, did not give George Worley a glowing posthumous reputation as a competent mariner. In January 1918 the Cyclops left Norfolk, Virginia, and steamed to Bahia (presumably to Salvador, in fact, at that time the port for the Brazilian state of Bahia) with coal for the USS Raleigh. At Rio she loaded manganese ore and then returned to Bahia, where she took on passengers and then left for Baltimore, Maryland, on February 21, with an unscheduled stop in Barbados.

The day after she left Barbados she was seen in midocean by the passenger liner Vestris, and that was the last contact the Cyclops and all aboard her had with the world. She had disappeared without a trace, with—as they say in these cases— all hands. Ten days after the due date for the ship to arrive at Norfolk, the U.S. Navy set a search in motion, but nothing remotely identifiable with this large ship was ever found. Because the Cyclops had disappeared in Caribbean waters, the Bermuda Triangle was enthusiastically invoked by those who saw an ineluctable connection between this incident and that area, not to mention the maritime periodical that opined that the Cyclops had been dragged to a watery grave by a giant squid. There were other theories, of course: Captain Worley sailed the Cyclops to Germany or the crew mutinied and seized the ship (at the time of this incident, some of them were in the ship’s brig for serious misdemeanors) and so on.

All of these “explanations” ignore the inescapable probability that somewhere at sometime at least one of the 304 people on board the “seized” vessel when she disappeared would have spoken up about desertion or mutiny. It is far more likely that the Cyclops, like many another ship in the history of seafaring, ran into bad weather, and through an unhappy combination of poor design, careless distribution of cargo, indifferent seamanship, and a murmuring and unhappy crew, broke up and sank immediately. That there was no trace of this catastrophe is, like the Mary Celeste incident.

(Source : Seafaring, Lore, and Legends by Peter D. Jeans)
17:41 | 5 komentar

Bell Witch's Cave

According to most accounts, the disturbances began one night in 1817 with mysterious rappings on the windows of the Bells’ cabin near Clarksville, Tennessee. Twelve-year-old Elizabeth “Betsy” Bell began to complain of an invisible rat gnawing on her bedpost at night, and the entire family, including the parents, John and Luce, experienced the midnight confusion of having their covers pulled off their beds. When the Bell family arose one morning, stones littered the floor of their front room and the furniture had been overturned. The children, Betsy, John, Drewry, Joel, and Richard, were goggle-eyed and spoke of ghosts and goblins. John Bell lectured his family severely. They would keep the problem to themselves. They didn’t want their family to become the subject for common and unsavory gossip. That night, Richard was awakened by something pulling his hair, raising his head right off the pillow. Joel began screaming at his brother’s plight, and from her room, Betsy began howling that the gnawing rat had begun to pull her hair, too.

Most of the family awakened the next day with sore scalps, and John Bell reversed his decision. It was obvious that they needed help. That day he would confide in James Johnson, their nearest neighbor and closest friend. Johnson accompanied his friend to the cabin that evening.

The tale that Bell told was an incredible one, but Johnson knew that his neighbor was not given to flights of fancy. While he watched at Betsy’s bedside that night, Johnson saw the young girl receive several blows on the cheeks from an invisible antagonist. He adjured the spirit to stop in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and there was no activity from the ghost for several minutes, but then Betsy’s hair received a yank that brought a cry of pain from her lips. Again Johnson adjured the evil spirit, and it released the girl’s hair. Johnson concluded that the spirit understood the human language and that Betsy was the center of the haunting. He met with other neighbors, and they decided to help the Bell family as best they could. A committee kept watch at the Bell house all night to try to placate the spirit, but all this accomplished was to bring about an especially vicious attack on the unfortunate Betsy. A number of neighbors volunteered their own daughters to sleep with Betsy, but this only managed to terrorize the other girls as well. Nor did it accomplish any useful purpose to take Betsy out of the cabin into the home of neighbors—the trouble simply followed her there and upset the entire house.

Bell's House

By now the haunting had achieved wide notoriety, and the disturbances were thought to be the work of a witch, who had set her evil spirits upon the Bell family. Each night the house was filled with those who sat up trying to get the “witch” to talk or to communicate with them by rapping on the walls. The disturbances soon became powerful enough to move outside the cabin and away from Betsy. Neighbors reported seeing lights “like candles or lamps” flitting through the fields, and farmers began to suffer stone-throwing attacks from the Bell Witch. These particular peltings seemed to have been more in the nature of fun than some of the other manifestations of the spirit. Young boys in the area would often play catch with the witch if she happened to throw something at them on their way home from school. Once an observer witnessed several boys get suddenly pelted with sticks that flew from a nearby thicket. The sticks did not strike the boys with much force, and, with a great deal of laughter, the boys scooped the sticks up and hurled them back into the thicket. Once again, the sticks came flying back out. The observer cut notches in several of the sticks with his knife before the boys once again returned the witch’s volley. He was able to identify his markings when the playful entity once again flung the sticks from the thicket.

The witch was not so gentle with the scoffers who came to the Bell home to expose the manifestations as trickery. Those who stayed the night invariably had their covers jerked from their beds. If they resisted the witch’s yanking, they were slapped soundly on the face. Spiritists, clergymen, reporters, and curiosity seekers had waged a ceaseless campaign to urge the witch to talk and declare herself and her intentions. At last their efforts were rewarded. At first the voice was only a whistling kind of indistinct babble, then it became bolder—a husky whisper speaking from darkened corners. At last, it became a full-toned voice that spoke not only in darkness but also in lighted rooms and, finally, during the day as well as the night. Immediately the charge of ventriloquism was heard from the skeptical. To put a halt to the accusations of trickery, John Jr. brought in a doctor, who placed his hand over Betsy’s mouth and listened at her throat while the witch’s voice chatted amicably from a far corner of the room. The doctor decreed that the girl was in no way connected with the sounds. From the beginning of the witch’s visitation, it had minced no words in its dislike of John Bell, Betsy’s father.

The spirit often swore to visitors in the Bell home that she would keep after him until the end of his days. To a visitor’s question concerning its identity, the witch once answered that it was a spirit who had once been very happy, but it had been disturbed and made unhappy. Later, the witch declared itself to be the spirit of an Indian and sent the family on a wild bone chase to gather up all of its skeletal remains. If her bones were all put back together, she would be able to rest in peace, the entity lied to them. Later, the witch told the family with a merry cackle that she was the ghost of old Kate Batts, a woman who had been an eccentric recluse and who had earned the appellation of “witch” from the citizens of Clarksville. When the word spread that it was the ghost of old Kate who was haunting the Bells, the entire mystery became much more believable to several doubting neighbors. The Bell home became crowded, indeed, when the witch’s “family” moved in with her. Four hell-raisers named Blackdog, Mathematics, Cypocryphy, and Jerusalem, each speaking in distinct voices of their own, made every night party time during their stay with their “mother.”

The sounds of raucous laughter rattled the shingles of the Bell home, and witnesses noted the strong scent of whiskey that permeated every room in the house. When two local preachers arrived to investigate the disturbances, the witch delivered each of their Sunday sermons word for word and in a perfect imitation of their own voices. The Bell Witch was adept at producing odd objects apparently from thin air. Once, at one of Mrs. Bell’s Bible study groups, the ladies were showered with fresh fruits. Betsy’s friends were treated to bananas at one of her birthday parties. Although the father, John Bell, was the butt of malicious pranks and cruel blows, the witch looked after Mrs. Bell solicitously. Once when she was ill, the witch was heard to tell her to hold out her hands. When Luce Bell did so, a large quantity of hazelnuts dropped into her palms. When Mrs. Bell weakly complained that she could not crack them, family members and neighbors watched in wide-eyed fascination as the nuts cracked open and the meats were sorted from the shells.

Next to the materialization of fruits and nuts, the witch was especially fond of producing pins and needles. Mrs. Bell was provided with enough pins to supply the entire county, but sometimes the witch would impishly hide them in the bedclothes or in chair cushions— points out. John Jr., Betsy’s favorite brother, was the only member of the family besides the mother who received decent treatment from the witch. The invisible force often whipped Joel and Richard soundly, and Drewry was so frightened of the witch that he never married, fearing that the entity might someday return and single out his own family for particular attention. John Jr. was the only one of Betsy’s brothers who could “sass back” at the witch and get away with it. The witch even went to special pains to get John Jr. to like it, and the mysterious entity often performed demonstrations of ability solely for his benefit.

The cruelest act perpetrated on Betsy was the breaking of her engagement to Joshua Gardner (or Gardiner). Friends and family acclaimed the two young people to be ideally suited for one another, but the witch protested violently when the engagement was announced. The witch screamed at Joshua whenever he entered the Bell home and embarrassed both young people by shouting obscenities about them in front of their friends. A friend of the family, Frank Miles, learned of the witch’s objection to Betsy’s engagement and resolved to stand up to the evil spirit on her behalf.

He challenged the entity to take any form it wished, and he would soon send her packing. Suddenly his head jerked backwards as if a solid slap had stung his cheeks. He put up his forearms to block a series of facial blows, and then dropped his guard as he received a vicious punch in the stomach. Miles slumped against a wall, desperately shaking his head to recover his senses. Frank Miles looked helplessly at Betsy Bell, who watched the one-sided boxing match. Reluctantly, he picked up his hat and coat. A man couldn’t fight an enemy he couldn’t see. General Andrew Jackson (1767–1845), Old Hickory himself, decided to have his try at defeating the witch. An old friend of John Bell, Jackson set out from The Hermitage accompanied by a professional “witch-layer” and several servants. As his party approached the Bell place, Jackson was startled when the wheels of his coach suddenly froze and the full strength of the horses could not make them budge an inch.

A voice from the bushes cackled a greeting to Jackson and uttered a command that “unfroze” the wheels. The general and his men realized that the element of surprise was lost. The witch knew they were coming. That night the witch-layer fled in terror when the witch attacked him, and General Jackson’s men followed him out the door. According to the old stories, Jackson told John Bell that fighting the witch was worse than having faced the British at the battle of New Orleans. Old Hickory wanted to stay for a week and face down the spirit, but his committee of ghost chasers had had enough, so he left with his men. With the decisive defeat of her champions, Miles and Jackson, Betsy had no choice but to give in to the witch’s demands and break her engagement with Joshua Gardner.

On the night on which Betsy returned the ring, the witch’s laughter could be heard ringing victoriously from every room in the house. Shortly after the entity had accomplished the severing of Betsy’s marriage agreement with her fiancé, it once more began to concentrate its energy on the destruction of John Bell. Richard was walking with his father on that day in December of 1820 when John Bell collapsed into a spasmodically convulsing heap. John Bell was brought home to his bed where he lay for several days in a weakened condition. Even during the man’s illness, the witch would not leave him in peace, but continued to torment him by slapping his face and throwing his legs into the air.

On the morning of December 19, 1820, John Bell lapsed into a stupor from which he would never be aroused. The witch sang bawdy songs all during John Bell’s funeral and annoyed the assembled mourners with sounds of its crude celebration throughout the man’s last rites. After the death of her father, the witch behaved much better toward Betsy. It never again inflicted pain upon her and actually addressed her in terms of endearment. During the rest of the winter and on into the spring months, the manifestations decreased steadily. Then, one night after the evening meal, a large smoke ball seemed to roll down from the chimney of the fireplace out into the room. As it burst, a voice told the family: “I’m going now, and I will be gone for seven years.” True to its word, the witch returned to the homestead in 1828.

Betsy had entered into a successful marriage with another man; John Jr. had married and now farmed land of his own. Only Mrs. Bell, Joel, and Richard remained on the home place. The disturbances primarily consisted of the witch’s most elementary pranks—rappings, scratchings, pulling the covers off the bed—and the family agreed to ignore the unwanted guest. Their plan worked, and the witch left them after two weeks of pestering them for attention. The entity sought out John Jr. and told him in a fit of pique that it would return to one of his descendants in “one hundred years and seven.” Dr. Charles Bailey Bell should have been the recipient of the Bell Witch’s unwelcome return visit, but Bell and his family survived the year 1935 without hearing the slightest unexplained scratch or undetermined rapping.

Bell Witch's Cave

Charles Bell has written the official record of the mysterious disturbances endured by his ancestors in The Bell Witch: A Mysterious Spirit, or Our Family Troubles (reprint of pamphlet, 1985). Today, the abandoned homestead of the Bell family is owned by a private trust, and no visitors are allowed to explore the property. The only site connected with the legends of the Bell Witch and open to the public is the Bell Witch Cave, which continues to produce accounts of unusual lights and eerie images on photographs.

(Source : Encyclopedia of The Unusual and Unexplained Things)
17:18 | 6 komentar

Ouija Board

A Ouija board is used by some spirit mediums for purposes of contacting the other side. The instrument has two parts: a large smooth board, approximately 22 by 15 inches, and a three-legged triangular or heart-shaped pointer called a planchette, which slides easily across the face of the board. On the board the letters of the alphabet are arrayed in large, easily read characters in two curved lines; above to the right and left, respectively, are the words “yes” and “no.” At the bottom are the words “Good Bye” (on some boards the word “Maybe” is added). During a seance, spirit mediums who use a Ouija board will place their fingers lightly on the planchette, and the spirits will provide the energy to move it to answer yes or no questions or to spell out names and more detailed information.

On certain occasions, mediums may invite one or more sitters to place their own hands on the planchette so that they may feel the spiritual force controlling its movements and determine that the medium is not responsible for its actions.

Spirit mediums and certain psychical researchers maintain that the Ouija board has been instrumental in producing volumes of impressive communications from the other side and has also helped to develop hundreds of psychic-sensitives who have become adept at spirit contact. The Ouija board was first available for the American public in 1890 and was marketed as a parlor game. According to its creators, E. C. Reiche, Elijah Bond, and Charles Kennard, the name of the board was derived from the ancient Egyptian word for good luck. Egyptologists flatly stated that “ouija” was not an ancient blessing, and William Fuld, a foreman at Kennard’s company, agreed, protesting that he was the one who had really invented the board, fashioning its name by splicing together the German (ja) and the French (oui) words for “yes.”

In 1892, Kennard lost his company, and the selling of the Ouija boards was taken over by Fuld. It seems likely that the Ouija board was inspired by the planchette that has been used by spirit mediums for centuries as they received automatic writing from their control. This planchette is a roughly triangular or heartshaped object about four inches long and three inches wide, approximately one-eighth on an inch thick, and is mounted on two small legs which are generally padded with felt or equipped with small wheels or casters.


At the tip of the planchette is a hole through which a soft pencil or ballpoint pen can be inserted point downward to serve as a third leg. When the planchette is placed on a plain sheet of paper and the medium places his or her fingers lightly on its surface, the planchette will move across the paper and write messages for those sitters in attendance at the seance. The idea of the Ouija board may also be a modern adaptation of glass writing, a method still favored by some spirit mediums. In glass writing, a fairly large sheet of paper on which the letters of the alphabet are printed in a wide circle is placed on a table. On it, upside down, is placed a thin wine glass or a light water tumbler. Then the sitters, usually two and never more than four, place their fingertips on the bottom of the upturned glass. After a while, spirit energy is believed to enter the glass. As the glass moves, it will come to rest over certain letters which, when written out on a separate sheet of paper, will spell out intelligent messages.

Most people see them as a toy, something to play with. The fact that they were even mass-produced by games companies only adds to the ‘harmless fun’ factor. However, many expert mediums believe they should not be approached with such a nonchalant attitude. They say that countless people end up in dire straits simply from fooling around with Ouija boards; some experience mental breakdowns or relationships disintegrating, some end up possessed by spirits and some are even driven to suicide.

Skeptics believe that those mediums who use such devices as a Ouija board are not summoning spirits to provide the answers to questions put to the board, but are either consciously or unconsciously moving the planchette to spell out the desired answers. The same thing is true of those persons who use the Ouija board as a kind of parlor game and who may receive “spirit communications” that appear on first examination to be baffling and indicative of unseen intelligences hovering nearby. These people may have permitted themselves to become suggestible by the mood provoked by seeking spirit contact and may have allowed the answers provided by the planchette to reflect their unconscious thoughts, fears, or wishes. The people using the board all gently touch a pointer which slides around the board, forming words that answer the questions asked by the sitters. Officially, manufacturers of the boards say they works by tapping into the collective sub-conscious, but the item is generally regarded as a way to talk to spirits. Indeed, during the Second World War sales of the board peaked as people tried to contact loved ones lost in battle.

The Ouija board then had a resurgence in the 1960s during the days of heightened spiritual interest. It was overtly marketed as a game, but media stories questioning the effect of the board on people’s emotional, spiritual and psychological equilibrium led to the items being removed from high-street shops. The dangers people face when using the board are obvious. If the sitters are trying to contact the spirit world, then they are probably dealing with something about which they know nothing. Just from a common sense point of view, there are dangers involved similar to modern forms of communication; you never know exactly who you are talking with, no matter what they tell you. It is claimed that especially mischievous or evil spirits try to contact people who are using Ouija boards without any clear idea of what they are doing. But, like modern technology, viewed and operated in the correct, careful way, people can have a lot of enjoyment. Experts are particularly keen to warn people of nervous dispositions, who may be susceptible to unhealthy suggestion, to stay away from Ouija boards.

There have been reports of extreme activity during sessions, with inanimate objects moving independently and lights flicking on and off. There is also no scientific proof to say exactly what is causing the words to be spelt out. If people really want to try contacting the spirit world it is probably advisable to visit a reputable medium who can guide and control sessions. However, there are some Ouija board experiences that actually prove to be lifechanging successes. Many of the established mediums began their careers using Ouija boards, and there is a strong argument that the boards help you become more sensitive and appreciative of the spirit world. One such case happened in 1913 to Pearl Curran, a housewife from St Louis. Curran was dabbling with a friend’s board when a spirit supposedly called Patience Worth contacted her. Curran and this entity progressed and she started to practise automatic writing, resulting in the production of over a million words of poetry, drama and fiction.

Of course there was always the possibility that Curran was a naturally gifted writer and just pretended a spirit had initiated the writing. She may even have been the unwitting reincarnation of Patience Worth. In either case, the prose was of a good enough quality to be published and receive substantial acclaim from readers. However, not all experiences have this result. Both psychical researchers and skeptical investigators agree that impressionable children should not use the Ouija board as a game to be played late at night during slumber parties or sleep-overs. Often the messages relayed by the planchette—whether by spirits or the human unconscious—are of a profane and vile nature, revealing psychological weaknesses and primal fears. Whatever intellect is being harnessed, the fact is that with Ouija boards, like life in general, it is best to be careful with things you know little about.

(Taken from many sources)
15:54 | 3 komentar

Recent Post

Recent Posts Widget

Chapters

Popular Posts