Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Real Stories of Ghost Ships

1. The Carroll A. Deering

When commercial schooner the Carroll A. Deering was found run aground in North Carolina in 1921, the entire crew was mysteriously missing. Just one month earlier, the ship had set sail from Virginia for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to deliver a cargo of coal. The ship reached its destination, but the events that took place after caused great speculation. Reportedly, the captain wasn’t fond of his crew. The first mate made a public threat against the captain’s life, which landed him in jail. He was eventually bailed out, and the men made amends, but it set a negative tone for the trip home. The incident would also lead investigators to blame mutiny for the disappearance. Later that month, a lightship keeper spotted the Deering, reporting that a man on board advised the anchors were lost. Due to a broken radio, the lightship keeper was unable to report the incident — and then the ship reappeared weeks later, sans crew. Rescuers noted that the log, navigation equipment, crew’s personal effects, and two lifeboats were gone. Food was sitting mid-preparation in the galley. Due to the disappearance of several other ships during that time, the government launched an in-depth investigation and came up short. They did note that the Deering was one of the only ships to sail away from an oncoming hurricane, which led people to believe the Deering’s men fell prey to the Bermuda Triangle. Pirates, liquor smugglers, Communists, and supernatural explanations were tossed about. No official ruling was ever made.

2. The Ourang Medan

The story about Dutch cargo ship the S.S. Ourang Medan is widely debated, but it’s too creepy to pass up for our purposes. It’s said that the ghost ship wrecked in Indonesian waters in 1947. When rescuers boarded the vessel, the entire crew was dead with no visible injuries. However, the men were frozen in horror with arms outstretched. A fire quickly broke out in the ship’s cargo hold, which prevented investigators from researching the bizarre incident. Shortly before the rescue attempt, a Morse code message was sent from the Medan: “All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” Another message quickly followed: “I die.” A 1948 newspaper article claimed the sole survivor of the Ourang Medan was located on the Marshall Islands. Just before dying, the man confessed that the ship was smuggling sulfuric acid, and the poisonous fumes killed the crew. Skeptics don’t believe the article is real or even exists — much like the ship itself. Still, chemical smuggling is just one of the popular theories about the Medan, along with carbon monoxide poisoning and UFO attacks.

3.The Mary Celeste

The Mary Celeste is not a frozen pizza. It’s perhaps the most famous ghost ship of all. The great maritime mystery begins in 1872 when the abandoned ship was spotted near Portugal, just one month after leaving port. One lifeboat was missing, the crew was nowhere to be found, and a six-month supply of uncontaminated food and water was sill on board. The crew’s personal belongings were left untouched, and the ship was still under sail. Piracy and mutiny seemed unlikely, and there was no evidence of violence. The last log entry was 11 days prior. TheCeleste’s cargo of 1,701 barrels of alcohol was mostly intact (minus 9 barrels). The crew was never seen or heard from again. Theories about premature abandonment were raised decades later, suggesting that the captain miscalculated location and the level of water in the bilge, leading him to believe that the ship was in distant waters and sinking. In an attempt to escape via lifeboat, the 10-person crew (and passengers) probably sank before reaching shore. The Mary Celestechanged ownership 17 times following the incident and had a history of bad luck. The final owner intentionally destroyed the ship in 1885 hoping to collect on the insurance money.

4. The SS Baychimo

The 1,322-ton cargo steamer the SS Baychimo was abandoned in 1931 when it became trapped in ice on the Arctic Ocean. It remained afloat and dislodged itself after the crew abandoned it to seek shelter. Over the next several decades, various sightings were reported and several crews managed to climb aboard, but the Baychimo has always eluded capture. The last recorded sighting was in 1969 — 38 years after it was first abandoned. The Alaskan government opened an investigation in 2006 to determine if the Baychimo is still afloat or finally sank, but investigators still haven’t located the ship.

5. The SS Valencia

In 1906, nine officers, 56 crew members and 108 passengers set sail on the 1,598-ton Valencia from San Francisco, en route to Seattle. The weather became atrocious, visibility was nearly impossible, and the winds kicked in. After colliding with ac reef near Vancouver Island, hysteria led to the flipping of lifeboats (two eventually capsized and one disappeared). You can read a disturbing account of the scene by one of the survivors over here. All the women and children on board died, and the final death toll was recorded at 136. Twenty-seven years after the accident, one of the Valencia’s lifeboats was found floating near the site of the wreck in surprisingly good condition. There have been countless reports of supernatural sightings since the disaster.

6. The Zebrina

Sailing barge the Zebrina set sail for Saint-Brieuc, France, but was found ashore in 1917 with its cargo of coal and its sails intact. The five-person crew was missing. There was no sign of a struggle, but the common theory is that the men were intercepted by a German U-Boat and brought aboard. It’s then possible that everyone was attacked by Royal Naval ships before the Germans could destroy the Zebrina.

7。The Jenny

Dubbed the “ship of ice” by Australian poet Rosemary Dobson, theJenny was an English schooner that became trapped in ice, preserved by Antarctic temperatures. “May 4, 1823. No food for 71 days. I am the only one left alive,” the captain wrote in the logbook. He was reportedly found frozen, along with the rest of the crew, when a whaling ship spotted the ghostly schooner in 1840, 23 years later. The story comes from an 1862 magazine article, but the tale remains unsubstantiated. Despite the uncertainties, the Jenny has been commemorated on King George Island in the form of a buttress.

8。The MV Joyita

Why did a crew abandon an unsinkable merchant vessel in the South Pacific in 1955 instead of waiting for help? The damaged ship’s hull was sound, but passengers and crew were missing. Some speculate that the captain died, which prompted everyone to panic and flee. Others believe the crew happened upon Japanese fishing boats engaged in illegal acts. (It should be noted that there was a strong anti-Japanese sentiment present at the time.) Mutiny is the most current theory, suggesting that the crew took over when the captain tried to press on after flooding and water pump failure started to overwhelm the vessel. They most likely abandoned ship into the stormy Pacific Ocean. Passengers and crew were never found again.

9。 The Kaz II

The mystery behind the catamaran known as the Kaz II remains unexplained, though investigators have attempted to piece together the events leading up to the ship’s discovery. In 2007, the Kaz was found drifting off the coast of Australia, and the three-man crew (the owner and his neighbors) was nowhere to be found. The table was set with food waiting to be eaten. A laptop was turned on and fully functional. The Kaz’s radio and GPS were operational, and the life jackets were still on board. It was truly a ghostly scene. After an extensive investigation, officials concluded that while fishing, one man fell overboard, and in an attempt to rescue him the others met the same fate — none of them good swimmers and the seas extremely choppy. They were never found.

10。The Octavius

No one knows if the story of English schooner the Octavius is real, but the tale of the trading ship’s discovery is so frightening that we had to share. Found drifting off the coast of Greenland in 1775, the Octaviushad attempted to travel back home to England from the Orient by way of the Northwest Passage. There, the schooner became trapped in ice. That means the Octavius had only completed its passage as a ghost ship. Creepier still is that the entire crew of 28 were found frozen and perfectly preserved, some still curled under blankets in their beds. Legend has it that the captain was still at his desk with pen in hand with the log set on the table before him. Rescuers were too terrified to search the ship, but they took the log. It showed the last entry was from 1762, which meant the ship had been drifting in the Arctic for 13 years.



Endocannibalism is a practice of eating the flesh of a human being from the same community (tribe, social group or society), usually after they have died.

Herodotus (3.38) mentions funerary cannibalism among the Callatiae, a tribe of India.

It is believed that some Native American cultures such as the Mayoruna people practiced endocannibalism in the past. Ya̧nomamö consumed the ground-up bones and ashes of cremated kinsmen in an act of mourning. This is still classified as endocannibalism, although, strictly speaking, "flesh" is not eaten. The Aghoris of northern India consume the flesh of the dead floated in the Ganges in pursuit of immortality and supernatural powers.

Such practices were generally not believed to have been driven by need for protein or other food.

Kuru is a type of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy caused by a prion found in humans. It spread through the Fore people of Papua New Guinea, in which relatives consumed the bodies of the deceased to return the "life force" of the deceased to the hamlet. Kuru was 8 to 9 times more prevalent in women and children than in men at its peak because, while the men of the village took the choice cuts, the women and children would eat the rest of the body, including the brain, where theprion particles were particularly concentrated. The Kuru epidemic, which is recorded to have begun in the 1920s, is believed to have been started by the consumption of a single individual with Kuru, which then spread through the population. Oral history records that cannibalism began within the Fore in the late 19th century.

A team led by Michael Alpers, a lifelong investigator of the Kuru disease, found genes that protect against similar prion diseases were widespread around the world, indicating that such endocannibalism was once common around the world.


The Crying Boy (Cursed Painting)

The Crying Boy is a mass-produced print of a painting by Italian painter Bruno Amadio, also known as Giovanni Bragolin. It was widely distributed from the 1950s onwards. There are numerous alternative versions, all portraits of tearful young boys or girls. In addition to being widely known, certain urban legend attribute a "curse" to the painting.

On September 4, 1985, the British tabloid newspaper The Sun reported that a firefighter from Yorkshire was claiming that undamaged copies of the painting were frequently found amidst the ruins of burned houses. He stated that no firefighter would allow a copy of the painting into his own house. Over the next few months, The Sun and other tabloids ran several articles on house fires suffered by people who had owned the painting.

By the end of November, belief in the painting's curse was widespread enough that The Sun was organising mass bonfires of the paintings, sent in by readers.

Karl Pilkington has made reference to these events on The Ricky Gervais Show. Ricky Gervais dismissed the curse as "bollocks".

Steve Punt, a British writer and comedian, investigated the curse of the crying boy in a BBC radio Four production called Punt PI. Although the programme is comic in nature, Punt researched the history of the Crying Boy painting. The conclusion reached by the programme, following testing at the Building Research Establishment, is that the prints were treated with some varnish containing fire repellent, and that the string holding the painting to the wall would be the first to perish, resulting in the painting landing face down on the floor and thus being protected, although no explanation was given as to why no other paintings were turning up unscathed. The picture was also mentioned in an episode about curses in the TV series Weird or What? in 2012.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Amityville Boy Ghost Photo

The photo above was allegedly taken inside the Amityville house in 1976. It has become one of the most famous paranormal photos of all time. It features what appears to be a young boy with white eyes who is peaking out of a doorway. George Lutz revealed the Amityville ghost boy photo on the Merv Griffin show back in 1979, three years after it was taken. The image was supposedly captured by Gene Campbell, a professional photographer who was part of the team who worked with paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Gene had set up an automatic camera that took infrared pictures to capture the second floor landing during the night. Equipped with black and white film, his camera captured this Amityville ghost boy photo that some have speculated could be the ghost of the murdered child, John Defeo, who had lived in the house with his family prior to the Lutzs.

Others believe that the image is that of Paul Bartz, an investigator working with the Warrens the night that the photo was taken. The white eyes could have been caused by the infrared film. Dozens of websites have set out to prove or disprove the Amityville ghost photo, but most people have yet to be convinced one way or the other; thus allowing the infamous photo to continue to cast its spell.


Shrunken Heads

A shrunken head is a severed and specially prepared human head that is used for trophy, ritual, or trade purposes. Headhunting has occurred in many regions of the world. But the practice of headshrinking has only been documented in the northwestern region of the Amazon rain forest, and the only tribes known to have shrunken human heads are of the Jivaroan tribes. These include the Shuar, Achuar, Huambisa and Aguaruna tribes, found in Ecuador and Peru. The Shuar call a shrunken head a tsantsa, also transliterated tzantza.


The process of creating a shrunken head begins with removing the skull from the head. An incision is made on the back of the neck and all the skin and flesh is removed from the cranium. Red seeds are placed underneath the eyelids and the eyelids are sewn shut. The mouth is held together with three palm pins. Fat from the flesh of the head is removed. It is here that a wooden ball is placed in order to keep the form. The flesh is then boiled in water that has been saturated with a number of herbs containing tannins. The head is then dried with hot rocks and sand, while molding it to retain its human features. The skin is then rubbed down with charcoal ash. Decorative beads may be added to the head.

In the head shrinking tradition, it is believed that coating the skin in ash keeps the muisak, or avenging soul, from seeping out.

Shrunken heads are known for their mandibular prognathism, facial distortion and shrinkage of the lateral sides of the forehead; these are artifacts of the shrinking process.

Among the Shuar and Achuar, the reduction of the heads was followed by a series of feasts centered on important rituals.


The practice of preparing shrunken heads originally had religious significance; shrinking the head of an enemy was believed to harness the spirit of that enemy and compel him to serve the shrinker. It was said to prevent the soul from avenging his death.

Shuar believed in the existence of three fundamental spirits:

  • Wakani - innate to humans thus surviving their death.
  • Arutam - literally "vision" or "power", protects humans from a violent death.
  • Muisak - vengeful spirit, which surfaces when a person carrying an arutam spirit is murdered.
To block a Muisak from using its powers, they severed their enemies' heads and shrank them. The process also served as a way of warning their enemies. Despite these precautions, the owner of the trophy did not keep it for long. Many heads were later used in religious ceremonies and feasts that celebrated the victories of the tribe. Accounts vary as to whether the heads would be discarded or stored.


Diabolical Signature

In demonology, a diabolical signature (from diabolus, the Latin for devil which comes from the Greek diabolos for supernatural being) is the signature of a devil, demon or similar spirit, usually in order to sign a soul away. The most famous of these is in the story of Faust.

Demons' signatures are designed to disguise their actual names. They are usually signed in blood. If there is a mass of signatures, they are usually signed in a circle.

Some books on demonology, like Arbatel de Magia Verum and The Lesser Key of Solomon (or Lemegeton), assert that alldemons have their own signature, collectively called seal of the demons, and sign the acts of diabolical pacts with them. These 'seals' (not seals in the usual sense, as they are handwritten) are lineal drawings, often complicated.

According to The Lesser Key of Solomon and the acts of some witch trials, there are demons that have more than one seal or signature.

It is notable that many of these signatures seem to include the sign of the cross, which is usually believed to scare demons.

There are many instances of supposed demonic signatures. These signs appeared mostly during the Renaissance, in a time in which demonology was a subject of study for many theologians, priests, alchemists, cabalists and other scientists and pseudo-scientists. One of the accusations by which the Inquisition sentenced Urbain Grandier to death was based on several of these signatures.

"Deliver Us From Evil" (2014)
The Devil's Signature is featured in a 2014 Hollywood horror film "Deliver Us From Evil" starring Eric Bana.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Busby's Stoop Chair

In the late 17th century a counterfeiter of currency named Daniel Awety (sometimes Auty) moved to the small town of Kirkby Wiske which is located along the River Wiske a little north west of Thirsk in North Yorkshire, England.

It was a much quieter location for Awety to conduct his illicit trade of faking currency or shortening it. He purchased an old farm which he converted to something more suitable to his needs – he built a large, hidden underground room and installed a very robust locking mechanism so unexpected visitors could not catch him at his work. He renamed the farm Danotty Hall.

Awety had a daughter named Elizabeth and a local man by the name of Thomas Busby fell in love with her. The two were married, a marriage of which Daniel Awety was not too keen on but what was he to do? Soon he and Busby became partners in the counterfeiting game which no doubt proved to be a trying relationship as Busby was a bit of a drunk.  Busby and Elizabeth took up lodgings in the local Inn a little ways down the road from Dannotty Hall which was no doubt a perfect home for the ale swilling Busby but soon (as with all stories of this ilk) things went bad.

For reasons that we shall never know about Daniel Awety, Elizabeths father came to the inn to drag her home and away from Busby for good. She refused to budge till Busby got home from wherever he happened to be at the time. They sat in the inn and waited until a very drunk Busby arrived home. The two men broke into an argument of quite large proportions. Awety did not want his daughter to be married or otherwise associated with a drunkard. Well that's what he was arguing about

The drunken Busby was arguing about something else all together... Awety had been sitting in his favourite chair! Sometime during the argument Awety left back for Danotty Hall (without his daughter) but busby was fuming. Later that night he made the three mile trek to the hall where he bludgeoned Awety to death with one of the counterfeiting hammers. Awety's body was eventually found and Busby was charged, trialled and found guilty of the murder. In 1702 he was hanged. After he was dead he was cut down, dipped in pitch and hanged from a gibbet.

However as he was led to his execution Busby cursed all people to death who would take a seat in his favourite chair. After the execution the inn was renamed the 'Busby Stoop Inn'. The owner of the inn, a known money spinner, told all who visited about the chair, still standing in the place Busby liked to sit. It proved to be quite an attraction as something as morbid as an execution and a cursed chair will have been quite a talked about topic in those days

It is said a great many people who have dared to sit in the chair have inexplicable died very soon after. In more recent times (post WWII) a young builders apprentice died soon after having lunch at the inn. His workmates dared him to sit in the chair, which he did. Later that day he fell through a roof and died.

A delivery man sat in the chair while it was stored away in the cellar (that generations landlord was sick of the deaths it was causing) after enquiring about the legend. He died in a car crash that evening when he lost control of his car and it crashed killing him sometime later. Many airmen from the nearby airfield lost their lives after having sat in the chair. It was said all who did would not return home from the war.

Strangest of all was a chimney sweep who sat in the chair one evening hitting the drink. He left at some hour of the night/morning but did not get far. He was found hanging from a gatepost next to the mock Busby Gibbet located next to the inn.  Even well into the seventies the locals were fearful of the curse. Soon the inn would be free of the chairs terrors but it would take two more deaths. Two young airmen sat in the inn one night daring each other to sit in the chair. Eventually one of them caved in and placed his backside on the chair for just a second. On their way back to the field they both died in a traffic accident.

The publican who had had enough took the chair to the local museum and told them to display it up high and to never allow anyone to sit in it... ever!

To this day the chair is mounted high up on the wall of the Thirsk Museum and no one has been allowed to sit in it, no matter how much they offer for the thrill.

However all of this may turn out to be a little dubious. A test of the chair revealed it is not even close to being as old as it says it is. Maybe it was not the chair so much that Busby cursed, a chair is a chair but the location overlooking the main room of the inn was prime.

I'm not sure I would be game enough to sit in the chair, legend or not. There is something about this story, this legend that makes me not want to take the risk. Who knows what the truth in the matter is but I am not one to tempt bad things to come my way.

Busby himself has been seen about the inn on occasion taking the form of a dark shadow on the upper floor landings.


The Hands Resist Him (Cursed Painting)

"The Hands Resist Him" (1972)
The Hands Resist Him is a painting created by Oakland, California artist Bill Stoneham in 1972. It depicts a young boy and female doll standing in front of a glass paneled door against which many hands are pressed. According to the artist, the boy is based on a photograph of himself at age five, the doorway is a representation of the dividing line between the waking world and the world of fantasy and impossibilities, while the doll is a guide that will escort the boy through it. The titular hands represent alternate lives or possibilities. The painting became the subject of an urban legend and a viral Internet meme in February 2000 when it was posted for sale on eBay along with an elaborate back story implying that it was haunted.

The painting was first displayed at the Feingarten Gallery in Beverly Hills, California, during the early 1970s. A one-man Stoneham show at the gallery, which included the piece, was reviewed by the art critic at the Los Angeles Times. During the show, the painting was purchased by actor John Marley, notable for his role as Jack Woltz in The Godfather. Sometime after Marley's death, the painting was found on the site of an old brewery, by an elderly Californian couple, (as stated in their original eBay listing.) The painting appeared on the auction website eBay in February 2000. According to the seller, the aforementioned couple, the painting carried some form of curse. Their eBay description made a series of claims that the painting was cursed or haunted. Included in those claims were that the characters in the painting moved during the night, and that they would sometimes leave the painting and enter the room in which it was being displayed. Also included with the listing were a series of photographs that were said to be evidence of an incident in which the female doll character threatened the male character with a gun that she was holding, causing him to attempt to leave the painting. A disclaimer was included with the listing absolving the seller from all liability if the painting was purchased.

News of the listing was quickly spread by Internet users who forwarded the link to their friends or wrote their own pages about it Some people claimed that simply viewing the photos of the painting made them feel ill or have unpleasant experiences. Eventually, the auction page was viewed over 30,000 times.

After an initial bid of $199, the painting eventually received 30 bids and sold for $1,025.00. The buyer, Perception Gallery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, eventually contacted Bill Stoneham and related the unusual story of its auction on eBay and their acquisition of it. He reported being quite surprised by all the stories and strange interpretations of the images in the painting. According to the artist, the object presumed by the eBay sellers to be a gun is actually nothing more than a dry cell battery and a tangle of wires.

Stoneham recalls that both the owner of the gallery in which the painting was first displayed, and the art critic who reviewed it, died within one year of coming into contact with the painting.

"Resistance at the Threshold" (2004)                  "Threshold of Revelation" (2012)
An individual who saw the story about the original painting contacted Stoneham about commissioning a sequel to the painting. Stoneham accepted and painted a sequel called Resistance at the Threshold. The sequel depicts the same characters 40+ years later in the same style as the original. A second sequel, Threshold of Revelation, was completed in 2012.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Dybbuk Box קופסאת דיבוק

The dybbuk box, or dibbuk box (Hebrew: קופסאת דיבוק, Kufsat Dibbuk), is a wine cabinet which is said to be haunted by a dybbuk. A dybbuk is a restless, usually malicious, spirit believed to be able to haunt and even possess the living. The box achieved recognition when it was auctioned on eBay.

The term "Dibbuk Box" was first created and used by Kevin Mannis to describe a wine cabinet in the item information for an eBay auction and as the subject of his original story describing paranormal events which he related to the box. Mannis, a writer and creative professional by trade, owned a small antiques and furniture refinishing business in Portland, Oregon at the time. According to Mannis' story, he bought the box at an estate sale in 2003. It had belonged to a Polish Holocaust survivor named Havela, who had escaped to Spain and purchased it there before her immigration to the United States. Havela's granddaughter told Mannis that the box had been bought in Spain after the Holocaust. Upon hearing that the box was a family heirloom, Mannis offered to give the box back to the family but the granddaughter insisted that he take it. "We don't want it." She said. She told him the box had been kept in her grandmother's sewing room and was never opened because a dybbuk was said to live inside it.

Upon opening the box, Mannis wrote that he found that it contained two 1920s pennies, a lock of blonde hair bound with cord, a lock of black/brown hair bound with cord, a small statue engraved with the Hebrew word "Shalom", a small, golden wine goblet, one dried rose bud, and a single candle holder with four octopus-shaped legs.

Numerous owners of the box have reported that strange phenomena accompany it. In his story, Mannis wrote that he experienced a series of horrific nightmares shared with other people while they were in possession of the box or when they stayed at his home while he had it. His mother suffered a stroke on the same day he gave her the box as a birthday present — October 28. Every owner of the box has reported that smells of cat urine or jasmine flowers and nightmares involving an old hag accompany the box. Iosif Neitzke, a Missouri student at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri and the last person to auction the box on eBay, claimed that the box caused lights to burn out in his house and his hair to fall out. Jason Haxton, Director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri, had been following Neitzke's blogs regarding the box and when he was ready to be rid of the box Neitzke sold it to Haxton. Haxton wrote The Dibbuk Box, and claimed that he subsequently developed strange health problems, including hives, coughing up blood, and "head-to-toe welts". Haxton consulted with Rabbis (Jewish religious leaders) to try to figure out a way to seal the dybbuk in the box again. Apparently successful, he took the freshly resealed box and hid it at a secret location, which he will not reveal.

Skeptic Chris French, head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths' College, told an interviewer he believed that the box's owners were "already primed to be looking out for bad stuff. If you believe you have been cursed, then inevitably you explain the bad stuff that happens in terms of what you perceive to be the cause. Put it like this: I would be happy to own this object.

The cabinet has the Shema carved into the back of it. It's dimensions are 12.5" × 7.5" × 16.25

"The Possession" (2012)
The Dybbuk Box is the main inspiration of the movie "The Possession"(2012) produced by Sam Raimi.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Bagua 八卦

The Bagua 八卦 (literally: "eight symbols") are eight trigrams used in Taoist cosmology to represent the fundamental principles of reality, seen as a range of eight interrelated concepts. Each consists of three lines, each line either "broken" or "unbroken," representing yin or yang, respectively. Due to their tripartite structure, they are often referred to as "trigrams" in English.

The trigrams are related to taiji philosophy, taijiquan and the wu xing, or "five elements". The relationships between the trigrams are represented in two arrangements, the Primordial (先天八卦), "Earlier Heaven" or "Fuxi" bagua (伏羲八卦), and the Manifested (後天八卦), "Later Heaven," or "King Wen" bagua. The trigrams have correspondences in astronomy, astrology, geography, geomancy, anatomy, the family, and elsewhere.

The ancient Chinese classic I Ching (Pinyin:Yi Jing) consists of the 64 possible pairs of trigrams (called "hexagrams") and commentary on them.

The Bagua is an essential tool in the majority of Feng Shui 风 水 schools. The Bagua used in Feng shui can appear in two different versions: the Earlier Heaven Bagua, used for burial sites and the Later Heaven Bagua, used for the residences.

Early Heaven Bagua 先天八卦

In Xiantian Bagua 先天八卦, also known as Earlier Heaven Bagua, the Heaven is in the higher part and the Earth is in the lower part. The trigram Qian (Heaven) is at the top, the trigram Kun (Earth) is at the bottom (in the past, the South was located at the top in Chinese maps). The trigram Li (Fire) is located on the left and opposite to it is the trigram Kan (Water). Zhen (Thunder) and Xun (Wind) form another pair, while being one opposite the other, the first on the bottom left next to Li while the second is next to Qian on the top right of the Bagua. Gen (Mountain) and Dui (Lake) form the last pair, one opposite the other, both in balance and harmony. The adjustment of the trigrams is symmetrical by forming exact contrary pairs. They symbolize the opposite forces of Yin and Yang and represent an ideal state, when everything is in balance.

Later Heaven Bagua 后天八卦

The sequence of the trigrams in Houtian Bagua, also known as Later Heaven Bagua, describes the patterns of the environmental changes. Kan is placed downwards and Li at the top, Zhen in the East and Dui in the West. Contrary to the Earlier Heaven Bagua, this one is a dynamic Bagua where energies and the aspects of each trigram flow towards the following. It is the sequence used by the Luo Pan compass which is used in Feng Shui to analyze the movement of the Qi that affects us.

"Feng Shui" (2004)                                      "Feng Shui 二" (2014)

The Bagua is also featured in a Filipino horror film "Feng Shui"(2004) and "Feng Shui 二"(2014) starring Kris Aquino.


Summerwind Mansion (A Haunting S01E02)

Summerwind, formerly known as Lamont Mansion, is a ruined mansion on the shores of West Bay Lake in Vilas County,Wisconsin. Located on private land, its ruins are closed to the public. A number of urban legends and ghost stories inpopular culture have contributed to its reputation as a haunted house.

According to popular accounts, Summerwind was built in the early 20th century as a fishing lodge on the edge of West Bay Lake in Vilas County, in northeastern Wisconsin, and in 1916, purchased by Robert Patterson Lamont. According to some stories circulated, Lamont employed Chicago architects for the remodeling. Some versions of the story name the architects as Tallmadge and Watson. Supposedly the renovations took two years to complete.

Legends include claims that Lamont fired a pistol at a ghost one night and was so frightened that he and his family abandoned the house. Other legends include claims that subsequent owners Arnold and Ginger Hinshaw were so disturbed by hauntings that Arnold suffered a "nervous breakdown" and Ginger attempted suicide.

Although most Land O' Lakes natives refer to the property as Lamont's mansion, supernatural tales first disseminated by Ginger Hinshaw's father Raymond Bober claim the mansion was haunted and refer to it as "Summerwind". Some versions of the story claim that Bober purchased the property only to abandon it because the mansion's rooms had the supernatural power to change shape and dimensions at will. In 1979, Bober (writing under the pen name "Wolfgang Von Bober"), authored a book called The Carver Effect: A Paranormal Experience in which he claimed the mansion was haunted by 18th century explorer Jonathan Carver. According to Bober's narrative, the property was often unoccupied due to alleged supernatural activity and the Hinshaw's could not get workers to enter the home to do remodeling work. However according to one of Bober's neighbors, he did not live in the mansion, never spent the night in it and instead lived in a trailer on the property. At least two previous residents reportedly denied claims that the house was haunted and locals claimed the haunting stories did not begin until Bober's book was published. A Life magazine photo essay including Summerwind among "Terrifying Tales of Nine Haunted Houses" apparently spread the supernatural tales originated in Bober's book. According to author Marv Balousek, locals never believed the home was haunted and they were dismayed when the home became somewhat of a supernatural tourist attraction.

In 1985, officials for the Town of Land O' Lakes made an attempt to demolish the vacant home. The Vilas County Sheriff said it was a staging area for local teens who burglarized or vandalized nearby cottages. This attempt failed, but the abandoned mansion was later destroyed by fire following a lightning strike on June 19, 1988. Later that week, fire officials reported that the fire was not suspicious and arson was not suspected since neighbors reported being awakened when lightning struck the vacant home. However, fire officials also said that teenagers frequently used the location for parties and that they may have left a fire burning.

The Summerwind Mansion is featured in an episode of "A Haunting" titled "The Haunting of Summerwind" aired November 4, 2005.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Famadihana (Dancing with the Dead)

Famadihana is a funerary tradition of the Malagasy people in Madagascar. Known as the turning of the bones, people bring forth the bodies of their ancestors from the family crypts and re wrap them in fresh cloth, then dance with the corpses around the tomb to live music.

The Famadihana custom appears to be a custom of somewhat recent origin, perhaps only since the seventeenth century in its present form, although it may be an adaptation of pre-modern double funeral customs from Southeast Asia. The custom is based upon a belief that the spirits of the dead finally join the world of the ancestors after the body's complete decomposition and appropriate ceremonies, which may take many years. In Madagascar this became a regular ritual usually once every seven years, and the custom brings together extended families in celebrations of kinship.

The practice of Famadihana is on the decline due to the expense of silk shrouds and belief by some Malagasy that the practice is outdated. Early missionaries discouraged the practice and Evangelical Christian Malagasy have abandoned the practice in increasing numbers. The Catholic Church, however, no longer objects to the practice because it regards Famadihana as purely cultural rather than religious. As one Malagasy man explained to the BBC, It's important because it's our way of respecting the dead. It is also a chance for the whole family, from across the country, to come together.


Haunted Dolls

1. Robert the Doll

Robert the Doll is a doll that was once owned by Key West painter and author Robert Eugene Otto. The doll is alleged to be possessed by spirits, and has a terrifying reputation. 

The doll, which is supposedly cursed, has become a fixture of ghost tours in the Key West area since it was inducted into the Fort East Martello Museum. Aesthetically, Robert resembles an early 20th-century American sailor. Contrary to popular belief, however, the doll's hair is not made of human hair, but rather, it consists of a synthetic material resembling wool yarn.
Supposedly, Eugene was given the doll in 1906 by a Bahamian servant who was skilled in black magic and voodoo and was displeased with the family. Soon afterward, the family supposed that there was something eerie about the doll. Eugene's parents often heard him talking to the doll and supposed that the doll spoke back. Although at first they assumed that Eugene was simply answering himself in a changed voice, they claimed to have later realized that the doll was actually speaking.

Neighbors claimed to have seen the doll moving from window to window when the family was out. Sometimes the doll would emit a terrifying giggle, and the Otto family caught glimpses of it running from room to room. In the night Eugene would scream, and when his parents ran to the room, they would find furniture knocked over and Eugene in bed, looking incredibly scared, telling them that "Robert did it!". In addition, guests claim to have seen Robert's expression change before their eyes and he often blinked.

When Eugene died in 1974, the doll was left in the attic until the house was bought again. The new family included a ten-year old girl, who became Robert's new owner. It was not long before the girl began screaming out in the night, claiming that Robert moved about the room and even attempted to attack her on multiple occasions. More than thirty years later, she still tells interviewers that the doll was alive and wanted to kill her.

"Child's Play" (1988)
Robert the Doll was the inspiration of the film "Child's Play"(1988).

2. Mandy the Doll

Mandy is a porcelain baby doll made in England or Germany between 1910 and 1920 and donated to the Quesnel Museum in British Columbia in 1991. Mandy’s donor had said she would hear crying in the middle of the night coming from the basement, and it wasn’t until after she gave Mandy away that the crying ceased.

Though the crying stopped for the donor, strange occurrences continued as Mandy took up her new residency at the museum. Employees say lunches go missing, only to turn up elsewhere in the building. Footsteps are heard when no one is around, and office supplies like pencils and books always appear to be in a different spot from where they were last placed.

It took the museum some time to decide where to place Mandy. They say she couldn’t be encased with other dolls because she had a tendency to harm them. Visitors to the museum say her eyes will blink or follow you wherever you walk. She also likes to mess with camera equipment whenever anyone tries to photograph or film her.

3. Annabelle the Doll

Annabelle is an allegedly haunted doll residing in the Warren Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut. The doll has been compared to Robert the Doll.

The actual doll is a rag doll unlike the films which portray her as a porcelain doll.

The doll was given as a gift in the 1970s to 28-year-old nursing student, Donna. It was purchased at a second-hand Raggedy Ann store. Donna’s roommate, Angie, was the first to notice strange occurrences in the doll. She purported that the doll would move on its own sometimes crossing its arms or legs. Both noticed that sometimes doors which had been left open would close when no one was home. The roommates also found notes with the words "Help Us" written.

A spirit medium was hired and believed the spirit of a seven year old girl named Annabelle Higgins who died on the property possessed the doll. However, Annabelle later became malevolent and attacked a mutual friend named, Lou.

Angie and Donna hired Ed and Lorraine Warren, two established demonologists, to investigate. The Warrens claimed the doll was possessed not by a spirit, but a demon. A priest was hired to exorcise the apartment and the doll was taken by the Warrens and placed in a museum with the sign, "WARNING: Positively Do Not Touch".

"The Conjuring" (2013)                                          "Annabelle" (2014)

Annabelle was featured in the movie "The Conjuring"(2013) and "Annabelle"(2014).

4. Pupa the Doll

Pupa was owned by one owner from the day she was given to the child in the 1920’s until she died in 2005. The child and pupa lived in Trieste, Italy at the time. Pupa is about 14 inches tall. The head arms and legs are made of felt. The hair is reportedly made of real human hair. The owner cherished it through out her life. The doll traveled from Italy to the United States then back to Italy and across Europe and finally ending up back in the USA. Pupa is still in her original clothes, a blue suit made of felt.

The original owner said that Pupa was alive and had a mind of her own. She even told her grand children stories that it was her best friend and most beloved confidant. She told them Pupa talked to her over the years and even saved her life. The photo for this story was taken in 1928 and shows pupa, the owner and her brother.

Since the passing of the original owner in 2005 the family reports that the haunted doll has become very active and seems to want to be released from where she is kept. There are reposts that people discovering the glass of the case steamed white and, inscribed on the steamy glass from the inside of the case by what appears to be a small child's fingertip, the words 'Pupa hate'. Often she is said to push things around in the display case where the family who owns her keep her. Pupa is said to move by herself. Pupa was placed differently than when the family last saw her. More than once, the family have reported hearing a sound like someone tapping on glass as they pass Pupa's display case. When they turn to look, they have seen Pupa's hand pressed against the glass or her legs crossed when they were not before. This activity seems to be something in common
with both Mandy and Robert.

One member of the family reportedly managed to catch the doll rising to its feet and walking within the case on video. However on the three occasions he tried to upload the video onto Youtube, the video was obscured with a mysterious thick white film and the words "Pupa No!" scribbled on the film in a childish handwriting.

We at Nghtwatch have been unable to find out where Pupa is currently located. If anyone happens to know where this little one is located we would like to know. I cannot help but wonder if Pupa wants to get out and be reunited with her beloved owner. It would be nice to have a happy doll story to talk about from time to time.

5. Harold the Doll

This doll was offered on Ebay, the infamous "Haunted Harold" doll seems from the story it moves and voices are heard comming from it. It looks very much like many of my own dolls, it is composition, probably made in the 1930s, and there was a brief film where it does apear to move slightly but it seems to have disappeared off the internet like a ghost. When he was first listed, the claims made by Greg, the seller were so outlandish that Harold was discussed on Art Bell's Coast to Coast radio show, and paranormal websites were discussing this doll around the world.

"Haunted Harold" doll that started it all, from websites and news articles devoted to him. He seems yo be very popular still. Haunted or not his story will gone down in "Haunted Web History". The new owner bought him to do doll restoration on and nothing more. Haunted? well he says so for nothiing has happened to prove it or not.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sky Burial

Sky burial (Tibetan: Wylie: bya gtor, lit. "bird-scattered") is a funeral practice in which a human corpse is placed on a mountaintop to decompose while exposing to the elements or to be eaten by scavenging animals, especially birds of prey. It is a specific type of the general practice of excarnation. It is practiced in Tibet and the Chinese provinces of, Qinghai,Sichuan and Inner Mongolia, and in Mongolia proper. The locations of preparation and sky burial are understood in the Vajrayana Buddhist traditions as charnel grounds. Comparable practices are part of Zoroastrian burial practices where deceased are exposed to the elements and birds of prey on stone structures called Dakhma. Few such places remain operational today due to religious marginalization, urbanization and the decimation of vulture populations.

The majority of Tibetan people and many Mongols adhere to Vajrayana Buddhism, which teaches the transmigration of spirits. There is no need to preserve the body, as it is now an empty vessel. Birds may eat it or nature may cause it to decompose. The function of the sky burial is simply to dispose of the remains in as generous a way as possible (the source of the practice's Tibetan name). In much of Tibet and Qinghai, the ground is too hard and rocky to dig a grave, and, due to the scarcity of fuel and timber, sky burials were typically more practical than the traditional Buddhist practice of cremation. In the past, cremation was limited to high lamas and some other dignitaries, but modern technology and difficulties with sky burial have led to its increasing use by commoners.


For Tibetan Buddhists, sky burial and cremation are templates of instructional teaching on the impermanence of life. Jhator is considered an act of generosity on the part of the deceased, since the deceased and his/her surviving relatives are providing food to sustain living beings. Such generosity and compassion for all beings are important virtues in Buddhism.

Although some observers have suggested that jhator is also meant to unite the deceased person with the sky or sacred realm, this does not seem consistent with most of the knowledgeable commentary and eyewitness reports, which indicate that Tibetans believe that at this point life has completely left the body and the body contains nothing more than simple flesh.

Only people who directly know the deceased usually observe it, when the excarnation happens at night.


  • Participants
Prior to the procedure, monks may chant mantra around the body and burn juniper incense – although ceremonial activities often take place on the preceding day.

The work of disassembling of the body may be done by a monk, or, more commonly, by rogyapas ("body-breakers").

All the eyewitness accounts remarked on the fact that the rogyapas did not perform their task with gravity or ceremony, but rather talked and laughed as during any other type of physical labor. According to Buddhist teaching, this makes it easier for the soul of the deceased to move on from the uncertain plane between life and death onto the next life.

  • Disassembling the Body
According to most accounts, vultures are given the whole body. Then, when only the bones remain, these are broken up with mallets, ground with tsampa (barley flour with tea and yak butter, or milk), and given to the crows and hawks that have waited for the vultures to depart.

In one account, the leading rogyapa cut off the limbs and hacked the body to pieces, handing each part to his assistants, who used rocks to pound the flesh and bones together to a pulp, which they mixed with tsampa before the vultures were summoned to eat.

Sometimes the internal organs were removed and processed separately, but they too were consumed by birds. The hair is removed from the head and may be simply thrown away; at Drigung, it seems, at least some hair is kept in a room of the monastery.

None of the eyewitness accounts specify which kind of knife is used in the jhator. One source states that it is a "ritual flaying knife" or trigu (Sanskrit kartika), but another source expresses scepticism, noting that the trigu is considered a woman's tool (rogyapas seem to be exclusively male).

  • Vultures
The species contributing to the ritual is the "Eurasian Griffon," a species of Old World vulture (order Falconiformes, family Accipitridae, scientific name Gyps fulvus).

In places where there are several jhator offerings each day, the birds sometimes have to be coaxed to eat, which may be accomplished with a ritual dance. It is considered a bad omen if the vultures will not eat, or if even a small portion of the body is left after the birds fly away.

In places where fewer bodies are offered, the vultures are more eager- and sometimes have to be fended off with sticks during the initial preparations.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Krampus ("Christmas Demon")

In German-speaking Alpine folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure. According to traditional narratives around the figure, Krampus punishes children during the Christmas season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. Regions in the Austrian diaspora feature similar figures and, more widely, Krampus is one of a number of Companions of Saint Nicholas in regions of Europe. The origin of the figure is unclear; some folklorists and anthropologists have postulated a pre-Christian origin for the figure (see Germanic paganism).

Traditional parades in which young men dress as Krampus, such as the Krampuslauf (German 'Krampus run'), occur annually in some Alpine towns. Krampus is featured on holiday greeting cards called Krampuskarten.

In the 20th century, Austrian governments discouraged the practice. In the aftermath of the 1934 Austrian Civil War, the Krampus tradition was prohibited by the Dollfuss regime under the Fatherland's Front (Vaterländische Front) and the Christian Social Party. In the 1950s, the government distributed pamphlets titled "Krampus is an Evil Man". Towards the end of the century, a popular resurgence of Krampus celebrations occurred and continues today. There has been public debate in Austria in modern times about whether Krampus is appropriate for children.

Krampus in North American popular culture is part of a "growing movement of anti-Christmas celebrations" there.

Although Krampus appears in many variations, most share some common physical characteristics. He is hairy, usually brown or black, and has the cloven hooves and horns of a goat. His long pointed tongue lolls out.

Krampus carries chains, thought to symbolize the binding of the Devil by the Christian Church. He thrashes the chains for dramatic effect. The chains are sometimes accompanied with bells of various sizes. Of more pagan origins are the ruten, bundles of birch branches that Krampus carries and occasionally swats children with. The ruten have significance in pre-Christian pagan initiation rites. The birch branches are replaced with a whip in some representations. Sometimes Krampus appears with a sack or a washtub strapped to his back; this is to cart off evil children for drowning, eating, or transport to Hell. Some of the older versions make mention of naughty children being put in the bag and being taken. This part of the legend refers to the times that the Moors raided the European coasts, and as far as Iceland, to abduct the local people into slavery. This quality can be found in other Companions of Saint Nicholas such as Zwarte Piet.

Creepy Christmas everyone!


Pazuzu (Demon)

In Assyrian and Babylonian mythology, Pazuzu (sometimes Fazuzu or Pazuza) was the king of the demons of the wind, and son of the god Hanbi. He also represented the southwestern wind, the bearer of storms and drought.
Pazuzu is often depicted as a combination of diverse animal and human parts. He has the body of a man, the head of a lion or dog, talons of an eagle, two pairs of wings, a scorpion's tail, and a serpentine penis. His right hand points upward and his left hand points down.

Pazuzu is the demon of the southwest wind known for bringing famine during dry seasons, and locusts during rainy seasons. Pazuzu was said to be invoked in amulets, which combat the powers of his rival, the malicious goddess Lamashtu, who was believed to cause harm to mother and child during childbirth. Although Pazuzu is, himself, an evil spirit, he drives away other evil spirits, therefore protecting humans against plagues and misfortunes.
The Exorcist (1971, Novel)                                                 The Exorcist (1973, Film)
Pazuzu is also featured in a novel by William Peter Blatty titled "The Exorcist" (1971) and in a film (1973) by William Friedkin of the same title and story.