History: Poltergeists

A poltergeist is defined as a spirit/entity that is responsible for physical disturbances: knocking/banging, pushing/tripping, loud noises, thrown objects, possibly attacks, scratches, biting, hitting or moving objects. The word “poltergeist” originated from the German word “Poltern”(to make sound or noise/to rumble or knock) and “Geist”(ghost/spirit). Poltergeists have been present all throughout history dating as far back as the 1st century(the phenomena only becoming popular in the 1600s) in what is now the USA and most countries in Europe and Asia. Unlike what movies often imply poltergeists are not “evil”, but are very angry/violent entity that follows people dealing with problems or have negative thing surrounding them. Poltergeists absorb/feed on the emotions of an unhappy person which can help them to interact with the physical world, for the better or worse of the individual. Unlike ghosts, poltergeists are the manifestation of psychic disturbances that is surrounding an unhappy person. This makes their visibility different from a spirit because spirits are often deceased humans unable to leave due to unfinished business with the living and usually can chose to appear to someone; however poltergeists make their presence known by lashing out violently which could easily harm a person.

Random Facts #17

  • In China there is canned fresh air
  • There are more lifeforms living on your skin then there are people on the planet
  • It takes around a little less then 1 month for a person to starve to death
  • In Vietnam everyone celebrates their birthday on the same day(Vietnamese New Year)
  • The worlds largest mall is in Dongguan, China and it contains an indoor rollercoaster
  • On December 24, North Koreans celebrate a Christmas like holiday celebrating Kim Jong II’s mother
  • An interesting custom in India is that the residence only eat using their right hand because the left had is used to clean oneself
  • There are over 50,000 people in Japan that lived past the age of 100
  • There is a man in Turkey that is 8ft 3in tall and a woman in China that is 7ft 8in tall
  • The average American will likely spend 5 months of their life on the phone
  • People often say a continuous series of small accomplishments will feel more fulfilling then a few major accomplishments in ones life
  • Sleep deprivation can shorten you life span
  • The island of Borneo and Sumatra are the only place you can find wild Orangutans
  • The name “India” is said to come from the river Indus
  • The Indus Valley civilization is considered the worlds oldest, largest and continuous civilization
  • The Dragon’s Breath chili pepper is so hot it can cause a type of anaphylactic shock that could lead to potential death
  • The Canary Islands are actually part of Spain. In Spain the island is called “Islas Canarias”coming from the Latin phrase “Canariae Insulae” meaning “Island of dogs”
  • According to a study made by the United Nations the ozone layer that protects the planet and its inhabitance from the sun UV rays will be making a full recovery in 50 years

The Coyote and The Rattlesnake

Once a Coyote invited a Rattlesnake to have supper at his home. When the Rattlesnake entered the Coyotes house the next morning, he moved slowly and cautiously; all the while shaking his rattle. This frightened the Coyote. Not wanting to express his discomfort, he placed a bowl of rabbit stew in front of the Rattlesnake. “Companion, eat.” However, the Rattlesnake did not eat the stew but stared at it confused. “I will not eat your meat,” the Rattlesnake replied. “I do not understand you food.” “What food do you eat?” asked the Coyote. “I eat yellow flowers of corn,” said the Rattlesnake. Upon learning this the Coyote immediately began searching for this flower. After gathering some of the flowers he brought them back to his house for the Rattlesnake to eat. “Please put the flower on top of my head so I may eat,” the Rattlesnake told the Coyote. Standing from a slight distance the Coyote place the flower pollen on the snakes head. The Coyotes fear was still very much present and began to show. “Come closer and put enough on my head so I can find it,” said the Rattlesnake. The Coyote, despite his fear did as he was told and came closer. After the meal the Rattlesnake, in return, invited the Coyote to supper the next day. All through the rest of the day, the Coyote thought about tomorrow and what would happen. He thought on what the snake might do. By the next day he had a plan. He had made a rattle for himself by tying small gourd filled with small pebbles to his tail. On his way to the snakes house he shook the rattle and was pleased with his work. He thought this way the snake would be afraid of him now. When he arrived at the snakes home he did not enter walking but by slithering as a snake does. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to shake the rattle as the snake could, so instead he held it in his had to shake. This had somehow worked as the snake seemed to be afraid. “Companion, I am afraid of you,” the Rattlesnake said bluntly. For supper, the Rattlesnake had made a stew of rats and placed it before the Coyote; however the Coyote repeated what the snake had said to him. “I can not eat this food. I can not eat it because I do not understand it.” Despite the Rattlesnake insisting he eat the stew, the Coyote refused, saying the same thing the snake had said to him. “If you put some flowers of corn on my head I will eat. I understand that food.” Agreeing to the Coyotes wish, the Rattlesnake pretending to be frightened place the flowers on the coyotes head and backed away. “Come nearer to place it on top my head,” said the Coyote. “I am afraid,” the Rattlesnake responded. “Nonsense, I am not bad,” said the Coyote. The snake then came closer to place the pollen on the Coyotes head. The Coyotes tongue, however wasn’t that of a snakes and was to short. He tried over and over to reach the pollen with his tongue but fail every time. The Coyotes failed attempts to reach the pollen made the snake laugh. He hid  his head in his body trying to hide his laughter. At the end of the meal the Coyote shook his rattle once more. “Oh, companion, I am afraid of you,” the Rattlesnake said trying desperately to hide his laughter. As the Coyote was walking home he realized his mistake. “I was such a fool,” the Coyote said.”Rattlesnake had some much food that I would not take and now I am hungry.”

(This story is a Native American legend)

Did You Know #10

Did you know that the word vampire was thought to be originated in Serbia? The word “vampire” is a reanimated corpse that leaves its grave at night to drink the blood of the living by biting their necks with long canine like teeth. There are many encounters with vampire like creatures through out many different mythologies and belief systems but the origin of the name has been a topic for debate. Many theories have been created and the most common theory is that it came from the 1600s Slavic word “vampir”. However many people believe that “vampir” came from the Old Russian word “upir” or “Upir Lichy” meaning Wicked Vampire. In the 19th century(1800s – 1900s), Franz Miklosich(Slovene philologist) stated that “Upir” came from the Turkish word “uber” meaning Witch. On the other hand many believe it had different origins such as: Serbo-Croatian word “pirati”(to below), the Greek word ” vrykolakas”(an undead creature), the Slavic word “pij” (to drink), the Russian word “netopyr” (bat) and the Romanian creature “strigoi”(a troubled spirit). The origin of the word is still unknown but it has been agreed that it is of Slavic origin. (Learn More)

The Axeman of New Orleans

The Axeman of the New Orleans was a serial killer that claimed the lives of 6 people. The Axeman ran rampant through the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, Gretna and many other surrounding communities through out a year(1918-1919). The killer got the name “The Axeman” because he always seemed to use an axe or razor in his killing. The murder weapons also weren’t one the killer brought, but they were the victims. A pattern the killer often fallowed was that at night the panel on the victims door would be removed and placed near the door. After that the killer would enter the house and attack the residents. Criminologists at the time had many theories of who the killer was and the motive for killing in such a brutal fashion. It went from the killer being a sexist to a sadist to even being part of the Mafia. The Axemans attacks were so frequent and random, that people started playing jazz music in their homes to avoid a visit from the killer(On the Axemans request). The Axeman had 12 victims but out of all of them only 6 died from their injury’s, while the rest were left injured. Even though 6 people were fortunate to survive, none of them could give a definite description of their attacker. The night of October 27, 1919 was the last reported case of The Axeman killings. The Axeman has remain to this day a mystery as his identity and motives were never found. (Learn More?) (Video by Unsolved)

Random Facts #16

  • In Oulu, Finland there is an air guitar championship during the Oulu music festival
  • In Poland and the Ukraine they celebrate Easter by blasting each other with water
  • Cape Rain Frogs can inflate their bodies into round balls when they feel threatened
  • It is impossible to buy Coca-Cola in North Korea
  • Superman technically couldn’t officially fly till the 1940’s
  • During New Years, Balinese people spend 24 hours in complete silence(this is called “Nyepi”
  • In the Alps of Switzerland there is a finger pulling competition where the contestants try to pull there opponent across a table only using their finger
  • The unicorn is the official national animal of Scotland
  • Bees have been known to bit and sting other bees
  • Benjamin Franklin’s friend instructed an anatomy school and the bodies used in the classes were found in his basement
  • Most people in the world have an extra bone in their knee called the Fabella
  • There is a cheese chasing competition in Gloucester, England every spring
  • The goblin shark is a rare species of shark that is the only living relative of the Mitsukurinidae family
  • During WW1, the US army would use dogs to send messages back and forth(Rags, a mixed terrier was buried with military honors for his bravery during the war in Maryland)
  • During the Cold War both the USA and Soviet Union studied and trained dolphins to use in wars
  • Many children medicines in the 1800s contained Morphine
  • An officer named Kevin Briggs has saved more then 200 suicidal people by keeping them from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge
  • There is a Wife-Carrying Championship in Finland where the prize is the wife’s weight in beer
  • There is a strange drinking game in Sweden where you tie a pen to your waist and try to get the pen into an empty bottle only using your waist
  • It is good luck in Russia and the Ukraine to sit in one place for a few minutes before leaving for holiday
  • A fox makes a sound that is similar to a high pitched bark or scream

Random Facts #15

  • Around 42 million people celebrate Halloween world wide
  • The people in Latin America, Mexico and Spain celebrate a day similar to Halloween called Día de los Muertos(Day of the Dead) which is on November 2. Following after is a three day celebration that begins on the 31st of October as a way of honoring the departed
  • Halloween isn’t celebrated much in England and has been replaced with Guy Fawkes Day where people set bonfires in celebration of the English traitor, Guy Fawkes, execution
  • In England, children go door to door saying, “A penny for a guy” instead of “trick or treat”
  • In Ireland, children play a game where coins or candy are placed under playing cards and the child will win each coin or candy that was hiding under the cards
  • In Ireland and parts of the UK, ding-dong-ditching is known as “knock-a-dolly” or “knock-knock-ginger”
  • Nickanan Night is a time before the Christian holiday Lent, when children prank their families and neighbours and minor acts of vandalism
  • Halloween originally came from the Irish and Scottish holiday ,Samhain, where they would set bonfires, dress in animal skin costumes, play games and eat
  • Many people go to Vlad the Impaler’s castle in Romania on Halloween, also known as “Count Dracula’s castle”
  • There is a big Costume Halloween parade in Kawasaki, Japan every year on October 31st
  • A tradition in the Philippines, Pangangaluluwa, is a celebration similar to Samhain, where children will go door to door, in costume, and pray for the spirits of loved ones
  • The people of Poland will travel to their families graves in early November during Dzień Zaduszny( All Soul’s Day)
  • In India, during the Hindu celebration, Pitru Paksha, it is believed that when someone dies the god of death with come and guide their soul to Purgatory, where they will be reunited with their ancestors
  • It is a tradition for people in Austria to leave bread, water and a lamp outside their doors as a way of guiding souls back to earth
  • In Czechoslovakia, it was a tradition to place a chair in front of the fireplace. One for each each living member and one for each dead members spirit.
  • In Germany, people hide their knives out of fear of them being used to harm them by spirits
  • Alla Helgons Dag Is a Swedish holiday celebrated during the 31st of October to the sixth of November. Students are given a day off and adults get shorter work days to celebrate.