Tag Archives | Superstition

Friday the 13th: What’s the history behind the superstition?

Peter Hellberg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Peter Hellberg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Rose Troup Buchanan writes at The Independent:

Today is the first of three Fridays this year that will fall on the 13 day of the month, but where does our superstition surrounding Friday the 13, known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, originate from?

Friday 13 in history and fiction

Folklorist claim there is no written evidence for the superstition before the nineteenth century however; the date has long been connected to notorious events in history and religion.

According to Catholic belief the crucifixion of Jesus Christ took place on a Friday the 13, the day after the Last Supper – involving thirteen participants – on Thursday.

Geoffrey Chaucer made reference to the apparent unluckiness of the day, recording in his Canterbury Tales that it was bad luck to start a journey or a project on a Friday.

One of the most popularised myths attempting to explain the origin of the Friday 13 superstition stems from events on Friday 13 October 1307, when hundreds of Knights Templar were arrested and burnt across France.

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‘My Baby Turned into a Python’, says Killer Mom

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Roberto Verzo (CC BY 2.0)

I’m guessing that this isn’t a tale of shapeshifting as much as a tragic case of mental illness…

via Cryptozoology News:

SOUTH AFRICA– A woman who killed her baby states that the infant had previously turned into a large snake and attempted to eat her.

The unnamed 27-year-old Kwamhlanga resident told the court on Monday that her 5-month-old baby had “repeatedly turned into a python” and that she was forced to kill the girl in order to avoid “being eaten alive”.

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La Isla de las Muñecas (The Island of the Dolls)

Esparta Palma (CC by 2.0)

Esparta Palma (CC by 2.0)

La Isla de las Muñecas is an island located south of Mexico City. It has become a rather unique tourist attraction as the island is adorned with various dolls and doll parts. It is said that these dolls, hung by a man named Don Julian Santana Barrera, are haunted by the spirit of a girl who mysteriously drowned in the canals surrounding the island. Julian discovered the girl’s body, but was unable to save her. Haunted by the situation, he hung a doll (presumably the girl’s) on a tree to honor her spirit.

Julian believed that this doll was possessed by the girl’s spirit and began to hang more dolls throughout the island.

In 2001, Julian drowned in the same spot where he claimed to have found the girl’s body.

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For Sale: Poveglia, The Haunted Italian Island With A Chilling History

PovegliaI would not accept a free vacation at the luxury hotel the Italy hopes will be built on this spot. Via the Telegraph:

Dubbed one of the most haunted places in the world, Poveglia, which was sealed off after it was hit by the plague, is to be auctioned off to raise money for Italy.

The 17-acre island became a quarantine station for ships arriving at Venice in the 18th century. After a plague was discovered on two ships, the island was sealed off and used to host people with infectious diseases, leading to legends of terminally ill Venetians waiting to die before their ghosts returned to haunt the island.

A hospital for the elderly which opened in 1922 and operated until 1968 is rumoured to have hosted experiments on the mentally ill, including crude lobotomies, carried out by a director who was driven mad by ghosts before throwing himself from the hospital’s tower.

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Cross Miraculously Appears Inside Sliced Potato In Albuquerque

New Mexico’s KOAT has your daily dose of irrefutable evidence of the divine hand at work on Earth:

An anonymous Action 7 News viewer sent in a photo of a sliced potato divided by what he calls Lenten crosses. The viewer wishes to remain anonymous. The potato sighting is far from the first time viewers have claimed to see the divine in everyday objects and things.

potato

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Dead Indian Guru Cryogenically Frozen By Followers

guruIf only modern refrigeration technology had existed in the biblical era. Via the BBC:

Devotees of a dead guru in India have told the BBC they put his body in a freezer to preserve him as they believe he will return to life to lead them.

Thought to have been in his seventies, Ashutosh Maharaj was declared dead by authorities in Punjab on January 29. But, confident that he was merely in a state of deep meditation, his followers froze his corpse.

He led the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan (Divine Light Awakening Mission) which claims more than 30 million followers.

His spokesman Swami Vishalanand told the BBC that although doctors had declared Maharaj “clinically dead”, he was actually alive and in a state of samadhi, which is the highest plane of meditation.

The website of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan says it was established in 1983 and aims to “achieve world peace”.

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Indian Farmer With Human Tail Worshipped As A God

human tailToday’s accidental religious savior via the Huffington Post:

A 35-year-old tea picker in Alipurduar, India, is getting tailed by followers every day — mainly because the 14.5-inch tail growing out of his back makes them think he’s a living god. Chandre Oraon has had his tail since birth and some Hindus believe it’s a sign he’s an incarnation of a monkey god known as “Hanuman,” Barcroft TV reported.

Worshippers from all over India travel to his home in hopes of touching his tail and getting blessings. One woman, Monika Lakda, said she travelled overnight to see Oraon at his small makeshift shrine, hoping he would be able to cure her nephew’s fever.

About 40 cases of human tails have been reported according to a study by the People’s Journal of Scientifc Research.

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New Mexico Woman Says Jesus Appeared On Her Bruised Toe

toeDoes the Lord manifest Himself in the form of bodily bruising? Albuquerque's KRQE reports:
A couple says holy dirt from the northern New Mexico town has left a holy and healing mark. Just last weekend, Paula Osuna says she fell down the stairs at her home causing painful bruises all over her foot. Eventually she asked her fiancé to rub some of the holy Chimayo dirt he had saved from a pilgrimage there a couple years back. After putting the holy dirt on her foot and then bandaging it, she says the next day the bruise formed in the shape of Jesus on her second toe. Osuna says her family members first noticed the bruise. The bruise has since changed shape, but Osuna says she’s convinced of the holy sighting.
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Traditional Exorcists Lambast Skype Exorcisms As A Sham

scary computerIs a war brewing between old-guard exorcists and the new breed offering cheap and easy demonic removal over the internet? Vocativ writes:

“They just can’t be done that way,” says Reverend Isaac Kramer, director of the International Catholic Association of Exorcists. “If a person is fully possessed, the demon will not let them sit in front of the computer screen to be exorcised. They’re going to throw the computer screen across the room.”

Larson isn’t the first to champion the Skype exorcism. In 2010, famous Israeli Kabaalist Rabbi HaRav David Batzri attempted to exorcise a Brazilian man possessed by a “dybbuk,” a demon, over Skype.

The Internet-ization of exorcisms has made the ritual one that scam artists and “self-identified” exorcists have used to make fast cash. Websites such as ExorcismTraining.net offer online exorcisms to demon-ridden customers. Want to self-treat? They have a beginners’ training pack for $29.95 so you can teach yourself to exorcise in just four weeks.

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Indiana Police Confirm Claim That Woman’s Children Levitate And Are “Possessed By Demons”

hammondTime to request emergency assistance from the Vatican? Via the BBC:

A US police captain says he believed a story about a woman who claimed her children were possessed by demons. Latoya Ammons, from Indiana, said her three children walked up walls, levitated and spoke in voices.

Official reports filed in 2012 backed up her claims, with psychologists stating that they saw the nine-year-old child speak in “different deep voices” and walk “up the wall backwards”.

Gary Police Captain Charles Austin described himself as a “believer” after visiting the house and interviewing Ms Ammons and her family. Official Indiana state documents detail more events, apparently witnessed by medical experts and those outside the family.

The report also detailed the time when the seven-year-old “walked up the wall” in front of a number of medical professionals: “He flipped over and landed on his feet in front of the grandmother and sat down in the chair.”

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