Showing posts from December, 2006

Wishing Everyone a...


Ghosts in the Machine

Found this article on The New York Times website. It talks about a Swiss neuorscientist who claims to have the answer to explain away the supernatural. He pretty much states that it may be all in our minds. Here is an excerpt:

So when scientists wrote in a recent issue of the journal Nature that they could induce phantom effects — the sensation of being haunted by a shadowy figure — by stimulating the brain with electricity, it made perfect neurological sense. One could even argue that the existence of such sensations explains away the so-called supernatural. In fact, as The Times reported, the researchers promptly concluded that ghosts are mere “bodily delusions,” electrical misfirings and nothing more.

Click here to read the rest of the article. If you have time, stop by my new renter, YouTube Karaoke.

Volcano Folklore

Allow me to start with the answers to yesterday's questions:

1. Some say that if you take a lava rock as a souvenir, you will have streak of bad luck. Of course, there are different versions of this story.
2. The Hawaiian Goddess Pele is said to live in the volcano Mt. Kilauea.
3. Some believe that the lost city of Atlantis was destroyed and buried due to a volcano eruption.
4. The word 'volcano' comes from the little island of Vulcano in the Mediterranean Sea off Sicily.
5. Earthquakes and volcano eruptions were also considered as giants wandering the earth.

Vulcan, The Roman God of Fire

Vulcan, the Roman God of Fire, was considered the blacksmith of the gods. Volcan was Hephaistos - the Greek god of fire and craftsmanship, named Vulcan by the Romans. He was said to have made weapons and tools for the other gods in his workshop at Olympus. Volcanoes have frequently been identified with Vulcan and other mythological figures. Poets attributed the smoke from volcanoes as to be from…

Pop Quiz!

I'm back! I hope I was missed. Scooter McGavin's time is up and I'm looking for a new renter.

I thought I would test your knowledge on volcano folklore. So, here is a quiz to find out what you know. Answers and more volcano folklore will be posted tomorrow.

1. What is the folklore on taking lava rocks as souvenirs?

2. What is the home of the Hawaiian Goddess Pele?

3. What famous ancient city was said to be completely destroyed by a volcano eruption?

4. Where does the word "Volcano" come from?

5. What mythical creature was associated with earthquakes and volcano eruptions?

Christmas Traditions Part 2

This going to be my last post until after Christmas. If I haven't told you by now, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Stay safe!

I promised you all some more Christmas tradition origins and today I'm going to deliver. How many of you know that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created as a promotional gimmick by Montgomery Wards? In 1939, the Chicago-based company asked one of their copywriters Robert L. May to come up with a Christmas story that they could give away to their shoppers. May used the tale of The Ugly Duckling as well as his own past as inspiration for the character and Rudolph was born.

Many people believe that Halloween is the day to fear the dead but winter solstice was considered a vulnerable time as well. The fabric drawn between our world and the world of malicious spirits becoming rent, allowing the harmful ones to slip through to perhaps claim a victim or two. It became custom to hold a loud, cheery celebration at that time, in hope that …

Scooter McGavin's 9th Green

The position of my new renter has been filled by Scooter McGavin from Scooter McGavin's 9th Green. If you want the latest news about TV, music, politics and sports, check out his site.

Yesterday's post dealt with the Winter TV Schedule. I hate that some of my favorite programs, among others, have decided to split the season up. I'd rather see it in it's entirety rather than watch half of it followed by on going re-runs then the rest of it months later. Some winter programs have their good points. The 3rd season of Beauty and the Geek. I love the concept of this show but I sort of wish they would a switch, you know guys as the "beauties" and the girls as geeks. I wonder how that would work out.

Next on the post train is Hip Hop music and why it may be dead. I've never been a huge fan of hip hop, some songs I like while others I don't. So, I'm not the authoritative figure on why it is dead or not. Scooter's post goes more into detail about the sit…

Looking for a New Renter

The Tom Jackson Online week is over and I'm looking for a new renter. It only costs 30 credits and you usually get at least 20 clicks. Will make my choice tomorrow morning.

Santa's Evil Sidekick

Did you know that Santa Claus has an evil sidekick? Children in Austria did. Every year Austrian children watch warily for "Krampus", Santa's horned and hair sidekick.

Krampus has been known as a devil-like figure that drives away evil spirits during the Christian holiday season. He appears alongside Santa around December 6, the feast of St. Nicholas, and the two are still part of festivities in many parts of central Europe.

Boisterous young men wearing deer horns, masks with battery-powered red eyes, huge fangs, bushy coats of sheep's fur, and brandishing birchwood rods storm down the streets, confronting spectators gathered to watch the medieval spectacle, which is also staged in parts of nearby Hungary, Croatia and Germany's Bavaria state. Anyone who doesn't dodge or run away fast enough might get swatted -- although not hard -- with the rod.

According to an article from Reuters, these traditions didn't come under the spotlight until Santa was banned from…

GS Question of the Week

This week's question:

If a gruesome murder occurred close to where you live/work and you had the opportunity to sneak a souvenir, would you? Why?

My Answer: I never could understand why people have this compulsion to take "souvenirs" from a crime scene. It's like they don't have any compassion for the victims. You take something from the crime scene and possibly mess up the police's investigation. Why would someone do that? I'm sure this has happened quite often but I have heard about this twice: Villisca Axe Murder House and when Bonnie and Clyde's bodies and car was paraded through the middle of town.

I wouldn't do it. Matter of fact, I think it's a bit creepy to do something like that, especially if you intend on proudly displaying it in your home.

Tom Jackson Online

I want to thank everyone who voted in the poll and/or left comments concerning my decision to start a blog at NuTang. I've decided to go ahead and try it and see what happens. At the moment waiting for my invite, if I get one.

This plug post is going to be kind of short and sweet since I'm kind of crunched for time. My apologies to my renter. I would like to introduce to you my new renter for the week from Tom Jackson Online. At TJO, you will find the latest UK news from harvesting gas hydrates to the tragic loss of a ten-month old girl who died from being severely burned by hot water.

If you want to know more about what is going on in the UK, stop by Tom Jackson Online.

Blog Announcements

First, it has been a pleasure having Rav'N here, but the lease is almost up. I'm looking for another renter at the moment. The rent is cheap, 30 credits. You get a plug post, occasional plus throughout the week and the option of a guest post.

I also make sure that the rent blog link is changed to your regular blog link after the week is over. Some have asked me to do that. So, I've made it a regular practice of mine. Special consideration goes to regular readers and past bidders who haven't rented space on Ghost Stories yet.

Next, posts here may be a little scarce this week. I'm going to be backing up posts on disk as well as cleaning up my blog layout a bit. Been meaning to do it for a while. I guess this week is as good as any.

Also, I hit the 200 post mark yesterday. I'm pretty proud of that. I guess I get to reminisce as I'm copying all 20o+ posts to a cd-rom.

Last, I've been thinking about starting another blog, a place to share my writing. I don't…

GS Question of the Week

If you are a horror movie fan like myself, do you prefer movies based on actual events or totally fiction? Why?

My Answer: Even though movies based on true stories are interesting, either one suits me fine as long as it is good overall.

I Can be Weird When I Wanna Be

Piglet tagged me for a "weird" meme. I think this blog is enough portray how weird some people may think I am, but allow me to offer up some personal information.

First, the rules: Each player of this game starts with the "6 Weird Things about You." People who get tagged need to write a blog entry of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says 'you are tagged' in their comments and tell them to read your blog!

6 Weird Things About Me:

1. My room stays pretty messy most of the time and it really doesn't bother me. However, if someone leaves a mess in any other, it drives me nuts to the point I have to clean it. I don't know why.

2. I have to know what time it is for no apparent reason. I'm constantly looking at my watch like every five minutes even if I don't have any plans for the day. I think that has to do w…

Reader Submission - Mahsuri

Rav was kind of enough to share a piece of Malaysian history. Stop by Rav'N's Realm to see what other treasures you may find.

First off, I would like to thank Andrea for putting up with me for a week and allowing me to make a guest post. I was originally going to tell you about one of the more common ghost stories or legends that gets told around campfires and dormitories in Malaysia. But then I remembered the legend of Mahsuri. This is a piece of real Malaysian history that has a somewhat paranormal bent to it. This is how the story goes.

Around 200 years ago, during the time of the powerful Sultanates of the Malay Archipelago there lived a young woman named Mahsuri. Legend says she was the most beautiful woman in all of Langkawi. Mahsuri was the daughter of a local businessman called Padak Maya and the wife of Mat Darus, a brave warrior and son of the chief of Langkawi, Dato Karma Jaya. As was required of him, her husband had to go to war, leaving Mahsuri behind to fend for h…

In Rememberance

Today we remember the 2,403 (including 68 civilians) Americans who died and the 1,178 who were wounded on December 7, 1941 due to a Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor. Much like 9/11, it is a day we will never forget.

Enter Another Realm

Rav'N's Realm is a wonderful place to visit who just happens to be my new renter for the week. Rav is a regular reader here. So, I'm pleased to welcome Rav to my site.

If you're into Comics, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Role-playing, computer games, etc., Rav'N's Realm is the place to go.

Drifting cars seems to be the current topic. Rav posted several pictures from the 2006 WA Drift Round 5 for Wordless Wednesday. I don't know anything about cars. I guess I'm one of those people who will sit and watch it as long as the drivers are cute.

Rav is also a poet. I liked last week's installment for Poetry Thursday. I've never really been much of a poet, but I do get inspired to write one every now and then.

Check out Rav'N's Realm to discover more. I promise, you won't be sorry.

Did He Go Too Far?

I subscribe to Weirdo News, an ezine containing unusual stories from around the world. There is one particular story I would like to share with you all that was in the latest issue. It raises a question about how traumatizing ghost stories can be.

A Taiwanese woman named Mrs. Chen has taken out an injunction against her husband to prevent him from telling her ghost stories, complaining he was giving her nightmares. She first applied for a personal protection order which was approved by a district court in Taichung.

They have been married for 20 years but separated a few years ago. The couple has two daughters, who both told a judge that he frequently traumatized her with macabre tales.

In his defense, Mr. Chen claims he is only relaying tales from his job working in an orchard. However, in Mrs. Chen's complaint, she states that he return home every few months in the dead of night in a drunken stupor to visit his daughters. He would then go on to tell her ghost stories about seeing fi…

GS Question of the Week

In a few hours, my renter from Dead Silence will be leaving and I'll be looking for someone new. If you haven't checked out her blog, you should.

This week's question:

Do you think Lizzie Borden killed her father and step-mother? If not, who do you think did it?

My Answer: I don't know if she did it or not. If she did, she certainly knew how to cover her tracks. Too bad we will never know.

CPRI 2nd Annual Paranormal Conference

The CPRI will host its 2nd annual Paranormal Conference in Richmond, Virginia on May 19th and 20th, 2007. There will be lectures and paranormal activities. Speakers include Troy Taylor, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Spirit Medium Barb Mallon, John Zaffis, L.B. Taylor and many other prominent researchers.

For more information on speakers, location, schedule of events and ticket prices, visit the CPRI Conference website.

Did Ya Know Friday

Since today is the first day of December, I thought why not kick it off with a special Did Ya Know Friday. Ever wonder where your favorite Christmas traditions come from? You'd be surprised at how many are tied to superstitions.

Let's start off with the Yule log. Buying one was considered unlucky. So, you either had to be lucky enough to find one on your own land or get one from a neighbor. First, you fetch the carefully-preserved scrap of the previous year's log from under the homeowner's bed. The new log had to catch fire during the first attempt at lighting it. If it didn't, it was considered a sign of misfortune coming to the family. It also had to be done with clean hands. Lighting a log with dirty hands was a sign of disrespect. Once lit, the log had to be kept burning for twelve hours and could not be tended as long as any scrap of the dinner remained on the table, or while anyone was still eating.

As the log burned, people told ghost stories and tales while d…