Monday, May 30, 2011

Signs of Demonic Possession

This is just a general list of potential symptoms. Many of these things can be caused by psychological issues-if you (or someone you know) are showing any of these symptoms you should speak to a psychologist first. You should also never attempt to perform an exorcism without the help of a religious leader.

  1. Changes in personality. Usually the individual becomes more aggressive and angry or becomes withdrawn from life. They may begin swearing more frequently or act out of character. They may treat friends and family members like their enemy and show little concern for consequences.
  2. An unpleasant sulfur smell (similar to rotten eggs) may appear near the individual.
  3. The individual has strange markings on their skin. Burns or scratches can be in the shape of words or just present. These can be the result of self-mutilation or appear without the person’s knowledge.
  4. Animals may react to the possessed person with fear or aggression. They may also appear to react to unseen things in the room.
  5. The person has an aversion to religious objects or leaders.
  6. Objects may move or levitate when the person is present.
  7. The possessed individual can demonstrate an almost inhuman amount of strength.
  8. Their eye color or other physical traits may change suddenly.
  9. The individual may hear voices when no one is present or attempt to talk to the demon.
  10. Periods of memory loss. The possessed person may black out for long (or short) periods of time.
  11. An interest in the occult. Finding occult relics or satanic material are a clues that the person may have been unknowingly inviting demonic entities into their life.
  12. Changes in temperature in the individual or the room.
  13. The possessed person may growl or attempt to speak in other languages.
  14. The person’s voice and demeanor may change.
  15. They person may have knowledge about the future or demonstrate the ability to read others thoughts.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Creature Feature: The Buru

The Buru is a lizard thought to once live in a small valley in northeast India. It’s believed to have gotten up to twenty feet in length and could be a relative of Komodo dragons or monitor lizards. It’s described as being blue in color with white spots on its back. Some also claim that it has a forked tongue. It’s an aquatic lizard, living in or near the water.

While there’s no physical evidence that the Buru once existed, it was often talked about by the people living in the area. Many researcher believe that the Buru only recently became extinct, possibly killed off by people who were frighten of the large lizard.

People have been reporting seeing similar lizards in other parts of India, referring to them as jhoor. It’s possible that these giant creatures are still hanging out in unexplored waterways, but only time will tell.

Clark, Jerome and Coleman, Loren. Cryptozoology A-Z. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 5/25/11

A hiker in Alaska claims to have caught Bigfoot on film. posted a link. You can see the video and an article here. What do you think?

A group of people in Africa believe that demons have taken over a school. The Swazi Observer has the full article. posted an article about a Yowie sighting. You can read it here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Dark Side of Exorcism

Exorcism is a topic I’ve been thinking about covering for awhile, but I’ve always hesitated because it’s such a sensitive subject. There’s also a ton of information out there about it, so sorting through it all is a bit overwhelming. I’m going to be doing several posts on this, mostly because my posts would be insanely long otherwise.

Most people think of exorcism as a Catholic/Christian practice but the truth is it’s practiced by all sorts of religions and cultures. It’s easy to see how early people who didn’t understand a lot of diseases and disabilities could attribute odd behavior to the presence of supernatural, so it only makes sense that the idea of possession would appear all over the world. The whole concept is so interesting that it’s been picked up by hundred of books and movies, making it more and more popular.

But is there any truth to the idea that a person could be possessed by something, or someone, else? For most people that’s a really personal question that only they can answer for themselves. There’s always going to be examples of possession out there. Ultimately you have decide for yourself if the people involved are being honest and really understand what’s happening. Personally, I do believe that possession is a real phenomenon but I think it’s a lot rarer than most people realize.

One thing I realized while researching this topic is that exorcism has a really dark side that most people don’t even know about-and it has nothing to do with demons.  Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people have been killed during exorcisms. In every case I found, the person who died was killed by some negligent action on the part of the family or friends performing the ritual. An autistic boy in Wisconsin died after being wrapped in sheets during an exorcism. A boy in Russia suffocated after being forced faced down during an exorcism ritual. A Texas man killed his wife in a similar manner. A woman in New Zealand drowned when her family held her underwater during a ritual. Others died having holy water poured into their throats. The cases (many of them recent) seem to be piling up. The deaths always seem to be accidental. Often these deaths result in court trials and sentences for the parties involved. I didn’t find a single case where the death was attributed to the demonic entity. Humans seem to be the ones actually doing the most damage.

I think that people can learn from these cases. If you think someone is possessed, don’t try to handle on your own. Get help from a religious official. And use good judgment if you decide a ritual is a necessity. Don’t do anything that could potentially harm the victim.  

Next week, I’m planning on covering some of the signs of demonic possession. Have you ever met someone who thought they were possessed? I’d love to hear some real-life stories!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Creature Feature: The Sluagh

The Sluagh are part of Celtic mythology.  Lost evils souls who take the form of birds, they fly over the countryside, forbidden from ever touching earth. They appear to fly together, as a flock of black birds. Their souls were rejected by heaven, hell, and the earth itself because they were so evil. They are constantly searching for dead or dying individuals so they may kidnap their souls as well.

Seeing the Sluagh is considered a bad omen. It’s believed that the Sluagh always enter homes through west-facing windows so people would often close the west windows of their home in fear of these creatures.

Many legends and stories associate black birds as omens of evil or misfortune. Perhaps there is just something creepy-looking about them. It’s easy to see how people may have seen large flocks of eerie-looking birds and thought there was more to them then met the eye.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 5/18/11 posted two different articles about dragon sightings this week. You can check them out here and here. I'm not terribly convinced the images are actually of dragons, but it would be pretty cool. posted an article about a mysterious hole that appeared in someones yard in New Jersey. I've taken down the link as it was causing some problems but you should have no trouble finding the article with a bit of searching.

There's an article on BBC News about watermelons exploding in China. No one seems to have a good answer to why it's happening.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back in Business! (I hope.)

So, as many of you know, blogger sort of crashed last week. Posts vanished and comments went missing. Entire blogs disappeared off my blogger account (see illustration.) Things finally seem to be getting back to normal, but I’m still a little leery of posting stuff.

 I figure today I will open the blog up to questions and suggestion. Is there a paranormal topic you would really like to know about? Is there a question you’d like to know about ghosts or other creatures?  No topic is off limits, I just want to know what you want to hear about.

Hopefully your questions and comments stick around long enough for me to read. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This week in paranormal news...

I came across this video of some weird activity in Blockbuster. Do you think it's real?

STV posted an article about the paranormal calls received by the local police in Tayside. You can read it here.

A photo of a strange looking creature in Rochester was posted on a $7 dollar reward is being offered for its capture.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Crop Circles

Crop circles are one of those things that keep popping up in discussions on the paranormal. If you aren’t familiar with them, they’re basically large areas of terrain that have been flattened or rearranged to form some sort of geometric design or drawing. People love to debate their origin and meaning, despite the fact that both pranksters and a small group of artists admit to creating them.

Crop circles started appearing in the 70’s and still occur to this day all around the world. Originally, people believed that aliens or other supernatural creatures had to be responsible because of the beauty and detailed design elements of the circle. Besides, who else would create something that could only be seen from the sky? Then, in 1991, two men came forward and admitted to building them, using nothing more than some rope and a flat board. They started in 1978. Other’s have since started creating them as well, increasing their frequency of their occurrence and the variety of their design. Over the years people have come up with new techniques for building them and there are even contests held to see who can design the most impressive crop circles. They’ve also developed a bit of a bad reputation, as the people creating them often trespass on other’s property and destroy farmer’s crops.

For the most part, the general public has finally started to accept that this phenomenon is probably not paranormal. A small group of people still occasionally argue that some of them are too impressive to be human-created. But until they have strong, real evidence to support their theory, it’s going to be little more than a theory.

What do you think about crop circles? Do you think they are works of art or a weird, rural graffiti?  Or do you think they are the work of something supernatural?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Creature Feature: The Waitoreke

Not all cryptids are giant, monstrous creatures. Some, like the Waitoreke, are simply animals whose existence has yet to be proven by science. The Waitoreke, an otter-like creature believed by some to be living in New Zealand, may not be a monster but that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting.

Its name comes from a Maori phrase that means ‘disappear into water.” The Waitoreke is thought to live in swamps and has a dark brown coat. It’s considered by some to be related to otters, beavers, seals, or even the platypus. If this creature exists, it could be something special because New Zealand’s has no living native land mammals.

Of course there’s always the possibility that the Waitoreke is actually some sort of imported and misidentified animal. Most of the evidence of this animal comes from witness sightings which aren’t always the most accurate source. Butt it’s always possible that the Waitoreke is a real living animal. Maybe someday we will know for sure. Or maybe it will stay hidden in the water and in people’s imaginations.

What do you think? Do you think the Waitoreke could be a real animal?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 5/4/11

A big cat was photographed in a field in Scotland. You can see the photo and read an article about it here. It's thought the cat was a pet that was released into the wild.

People in Africa claim to be seeing some sort of shape-shifting monster. posted the article here.

NWFdailynews.coms posted an article about a man claiming to see the ghost of the pirate Jean Lafitte. You can read it here. posted a series of strange images captured by Google Street View. Some of them are funny, others are actually a little scary. I'm also a little disturbed by the whole Idea of snapping random pictures of people without their knowledge. What do you think?

Monday, May 2, 2011

What is a Poltergeist?

One topic highly debated in the paranormal community is the existence of poltergeists. While the signs of poltergeist activity (loud noises, objects moving, physical harm) are pretty much universally acknowledged, people can’t seem to agree on exactly what causes it.

One theory is that poltergeist activity is simply the manifestation of a ghost or human spirit. The ghost is trying to interact with the world around it and the movement or activity is visible or audible to us.

Another popular theory is that poltergeist activity is actually caused by psychokinesis, the ability to move objects with the mind. In this case, the person responsible doesn’t realize they are causing the poltergeist to happen. It’s also the reason that many poltergeists are linked to young teenagers, because it’s thought that people who are emotional or undergoing major life changes are more likely to have the ability of pyschokinesis.

Others believe a poltergeist is caused by some sort of inhuman spirit, like a demon or elemental creature. Poltergeist activity is one of the common claims associated with demonic possession.

And there are the scientific explanations to objects moving such as shifts in electromagnetic fields, static electricity or people hallucinating due to chemicals in their environment.

So which one of these is it? Perhaps it’s a combination of some of them. We may never know. Do you think poltergeists are real? What do you think is responsible?