Tag Archives | Superstition

Study Suggests Belief In Ghosts Is Growing

belief in ghostsIs belief in ghosts and psychic phenomena supplanting religion as the public’s refuge from the rational? The Telegraph reports:

A new study suggests belief in ghosts is growing in the UK.

More than half of those taking part (52 per cent) said they believed in the supernatural, a marked increase on the two previous comparable studies, in 2009 and 2005, which both found a level of around 40 per cent. The survey also found that one in five claimed to have had some sort of paranormal experience.

The new study was carried out for the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (Assap), for its annual conference.

Dave Wood, chairman of the group, said: “It could be that in a society which has seen economic uncertainty and is dominated by information and technology, more people are seeking refuge in the paranormal, whereas in the past they might have sought that in religion.”

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Holy Water Revealed To Be Largely Unsanitary And Harmful To Health

holy waterVia ABC News, a warning that participation in Christian blessings, miracles, and ceremonies may be harmful to your health:

Despite its purported cleansing properties, holy water could actually be more harmful than healing, according to a new Austrian study on “holy” springs.

Researchers at the Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna tested water from 21 springs in Austria and 18 fonts in Vienna and found samples contained up to 62 million bacteria per milliliter of water, none of it safe to drink.

Tests indicated 86 percent of the holy water, commonly used in baptism ceremonies and to wet congregants’ lips, was infected with common bacteria found in fecal matter such as E. coli, enterococci and Campylobacter, which can lead to diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.

Public awareness has to be raised to perceive holy springs as potential sources of illness.

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Poll Suggests 48 Percent Of Americans Believe In UFOs


Can we believe in UFOs? Or in polls saying we believe in UFOs? The Huffington Post writes:

Nearly half the population believes UFOs could be a sign of extraterrestrial visitation.

A HuffPost/YouGov poll reveals that 48 percent of adults in the United States are open to the idea that alien spacecraft are observing our planet — and just 35 percent outright reject the idea.

The poll was seen as vindication from the community of UFO researchers who often feel they are laughed off by government officials.

“It’s always been intriguing to me how we act as though only kooks and quacks believe in flying saucers. And it’s never been true,” said former nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman, who was the original civilian investigator of the events surrounding the legendary Roswell, NM, UFO crash of 1947.

In the poll, 1,000 adults were asked if they either believed or didn’t believe that some people have witnessed UFOs that have an extraterrestrial origin.

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Anti-Vax Megachurch Unleashes Measles Outbreak In Texas

Anti-Vax Megachurch

The church is part of the empire of megapastor Kenneth Copeland, who advocates faith healing and a connection between vaccines and autism. The Dallas Morning News reports that the church is relenting and members are receiving vaccinations:

Tarrant County health officials have linked 11 measles cases to a megachurch near Eagle Mountain Lake.

Eagle Mountain International Church officials confirmed Tuesday that a person who was exposed to the infectious disease while on a mission trip to Indonesia had visited their church, about 50 miles northwest of Dallas. “[The man] shook hands,” Robert Hayes, the church’s risk manager, said. “He gave a number of people a big hug.”

Those infected range in age from 4 months to 44 years. It took time to narrow the source because measles symptoms don’t surface right away, officials said.

Though the disease is rare in the U.S., measles is so contagious that it infects 90 percent of those who are not immune and come into contact with an infected person.

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Watch Creationists Argue That Dragons Were Real Animals

Science textbooks throughout Texas and Louisiana are set to get even more exciting as this dragons-are-real paradigm spreads.  Creationist author Darek Isaacs explains: "The Bible speaks about dragons…in the old scriptures, in the New Testament…Satan is compared to a dragon. Throughout history, on every continent, we see dragons portrayed, these lethal predators. In the Bible, God explains (Satan) to us using dragon imagery…people 2,000 years ago understood had dangerous they were. "
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Washington Man Charged With Blowing Up Family Dog He Believed Contained The Devil


Religious devotion as horrifying insanity. Washington’s KOIN reports:

A father with children in the house who was preparing for “the Rapture” blew up his family’s Labrador Retriever because the devil was inside the dog, court documents showed.

Christopher Dillingham, 45, allegedly attached an explosive device to his dog and detonated it Sunday outside their home.

A slew of 911 calls sent deputies to Dillingham’s home. They found the remains of the dog strewn about the yard and arrested Dillingham on the spot. Dillingham told Skamania County deputies “the world is going to end” because and he was preparing.

He said he believed “the souls of demons” were inside the metal objects in the house, the documents said. His ex-girlfriend, he told the deputies, gave him the dog, named Cabella, and “put the devil in it.”

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Has ‘Curse Of The Iceman’ Caused Seven People To Die Within One Year?

curse of the iceman

Call it superstition, but I would refuse to have anything to do with the Iceman at this point. Via Deutsche Welle:

A 63-year-old man dying of natural causes would normally raise few eyebrows. But when that man was a scientist connected to the discovery of a 5,300-year-old frozen corpse known as Oetzi the Iceman — and the seventh such person to die within a year — talk about a curse is inevitable.

US-born molecular archaeologist Tom Loy was found dead in his Brisbane home two weeks ago as he was finalizing a book about Oetzi, according to The Australian newspaper.

The director of the University of Queensland’s archaeological sciences laboratories had suffered from a blood-related condition for about 12 years. The condition was diagnosed shortly after he became involved with the Iceman.

Oetzi was discovered high in the Italian alps near the Austrian border in 1991. The rumor of the curse began a year ago when the German tourist who discovered the mummy, Helmut Simon, 67, fell to his death during a freak blizzard while hiking near the same spot where he saw Oetzi through the ice.

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Miraculous Bleeding Communion Wafer Draws Crowds In Mexico

communion wafer

The obvious question is, if this indeed is Jesus’s blood, would lab testing identify it? Via Brazil Weird News:

In the parish Maria Madre de la Iglesia (city of Guadalajara), the priest José Dolores Castellanos Gudiño revealed a transcendental experience: in prayer, a voice told him: “My dear apostle Dolores, today is a great day…I will pour out blessings for those who will be present.”

In a Eucharistic miracle, when he opened the shrine (where communion wafers are stored), inside the goblet of Consecration, was a communion wafer dipped in a dark red liquid.

The chalice with the communion wafer were removed from public display and duly forwarded for analysis to determine if the red liquid is, in fact, hematic – blood and if is human blood. The case also has been duly registered according local legal proceedings.

After Mass on Thursday, many reporters and onlookers crowded outside the church in search of news about “the communion wafer that bleeds”.

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Elderly In Florida Town Swear By Radioactive “Fountain Of Youth”

fountain of youthEternal life or no, drinking this water daily is bound to have some interesting results. Via National Geographic:

Thanks to the myth of Ponce de Leon’s trip, Florida—known for its large population of retirees—is now awash in “fountains of youth.” Only one, however, is known to be radioactive.

In Punta Gorda, a town on Charlotte Harbor, a blocky, green-tiled fountain abuts an empty lot near the harbor. A spigot juts out near the top to release water from the artesian well below.

On the side facing away from the street, a public health notice warns that the water “exceeds the maximum contaminant level for radioactivity.” The water from the well is also heavy in sulfates, which give it a smell of rotten eggs. This hasn’t stopped the locals from drinking from it regularly. “I drank out of that well every day,” said Gussie Baker, a resident of Punta Gorda for all of her 78 years.

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London To Host Academic Conference On Spirit Possession

possessionCurious for some tips on curing demons? In September the Ethnic Health Initiative will present a conference for social workers, psychiatrists, therapists, and other professionals on allmatters of supernatural possession:

Spirit possession is recognised worldwide across many cultures and by several religions. Spirit possession is often seen as an idiom of distress causing a change in behaviour and mental well being. Spirit possession is also included in the ICD 10 and DSM IV classifications of mental disorders, yet the extent to which it is recognised and discussed in clinical practice is less than we would expect, even in UK cities where there resides a diverse population.

This one day event will consider the critical themes and debates on spirit possession from an anthropological, social, psychological, medical and religious perspective using a range of illustrative case study, clinical practice and research. This conference will be relevant to all professionals in the field of Mental Health and Social Care.

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