Friday, September 27, 2013

Ancient Aliens

As anyone who knows me or has read my previous posts knows, I love a good unexplained mystery.  I'm really a "prove to me it doesn't exist"..."prove to me it isn't real" type of girl.  With that being said, there are a few things even I have trouble believing. 

It is a very popular belief that aliens exist, that there is life somewhere that exists in a place other than the Earth that we live on.  I'm not going to say that theory is totally unbelievable.  In fact, I think there must be other life forms somewhere.  Why not?

But there are also a number of structures here on Earth that some people claim have been put here by aliens.  Crop circles are a big one that I'm sure come to a lot of people's minds.  However, I'm going to focus more on the ancient structures of Stonehenge, Easter Island and the Great Pyramids. 


There are some people that believe it is highly unlikely that Stonehenge was built by the people of Earth.  While Stonehenge was being established, Neolithic peoples were roaming the land.  Some believe these early people lacked the knowledge and resources to build such a structure.  They think it is more likely that ancient aliens built Stonehenge. 

Another belief is that Stonehenge was built by the Neolithic people and that they designed it with the image of a UFO in mind.  The design was intended to pay respect to visitors from outer space.


No one knows for sure what the statues on Easter Island are supposed to represent.  It is a belief that ancient aliens helped the people on the island establish their civilization.  In return, the people of Easter Island built the statues to represent the helpful beings.


Historians ponder over how the Great Pyramids may have been built.  Some people believe that ancient aliens observed things about the Earth - such as location and magnetic poles - with their abundant technology and built these giant structures accordingly.

The possibility of the above structures being built to represent aliens and their paraphernalia seems more likely to me than any of the others.  After all, isn't that what sacrifices and idols are used for in various religions?  Or perhaps the ancient peoples responsible for the building of the structures were merely practicing their religions - honoring their gods, not aliens at all?  I don't know.  What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Legend of Sawney Bean

Do you remember the 1977 movie THE HILLS HAVE EYES (remade in 2006)?  It was a film set in America about a cannibalistic clan that terrorized a town.  Did you know the movie was based on the Scottish legend of Alexander "Sawney" Bean?

According to the legend, Sawney Bean was the head of a 15th or 16th century family, executed for their gruesome acts of violence and cannibalism.  He is said to have disliked the manual labor required of daily living in his Scottish village.  Bean left his hometown with a woman and together they started a family.  Their clan is said to have been quite large and they lived together in a cave, ambushing their victims by night.

The disappearances were noted and villagers began to take revenge.  Many people were wrongly accused and put to death.  Local innkeepers were targeted more than other villagers because they would be the last to see the missing people.  Eventually, the Bean family was discovered by a manhunt lead by King James VI of Scotland.  When captured, the Bean family was executed without trial; the men were dismembered and allowed to bleed to death, the women and children - after being subjected to watch the deaths of the men - were burned alive. 

For the most part, historians tend to dismiss the story of Sawney Bean, claiming that it is just a bit of folklore.  What do you think?  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Gypsy Mythology

Long curly hair tied back with a bandanna, flowing skirts, giant hoop earrings, bangle bracelets, palm reading and crystal balls.  These are just some of the things that come to mind when the word Gypsy is uttered.  But who are Gypsies?  

Gypsies - also known as Romanies -are a group of nomadic people.  Their culture originated in India during the Middle Ages.  According to Romani mythology, India was experiencing a period of turmoil and upheaval.  When society began to divide, groups of people were either accepted or not.  Those outcasts tended to be thieves, musicians/actors, and magicians. 

Gypsies tend to adopt the major religion of whichever country they reside.  However, the main religions of the Romanies are Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.  They are also known to participate in Shaktism - a practice that states that a female consort must be represented in order to worship a god.  This practice dates back to the days of India.

Some of the more widely known folklore topics of the Romani people are:
  • Astrology
  • Curses
  • Dhampir - a child of a vampire and a human
  • Divination
  • Dragons
  • Fortune Tellers
  • Palmistry
  • Psychics
  • Spirit Invocation
  • Tarot
  • Vampires
  • Witches
What things come to your mind when you hear of Gypsies?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Please excuse me for a moment while I discuss a topic that is not typical to the horror genre.  But sometimes the everyday stuff is scary on it's own. 

My five year old son is a bit of a science geek.  Natural disasters are his biggest area of interest.  It is very common in our house for National Geographic and Nova documentaries to be on the TV.  Each member of our family knows facts about natural disasters that the average person  may not.  For instance, did you know that floods kill more people than any other natural disaster?  That's some kind of scary!

Being a military family, we've moved around quite a bit.  Right now we call the great state of Colorado home.  Colorado has been in the news an awful lot lately.  The wildfires that spread through the state earlier this summer were devastating in their own right.  As soon as things started to turn back to normal, Colorado was bombarded with flash flooding.  Lives have been lost, homes have been taken and roads were washed away.  Fortunately for my family, we have not been directly affected by the floods that have occurred in the state.  But I, personally, have been a victim of a flood before.

Nearly ten years ago, I was living in Pittsburgh.  Torrential downpours were a daily occurrence.  One evening, flash floods began to wash through some areas.  I worked the night shift at a psychiatric hospital and as I drove down the road that would take me into work, I ended up driving right into a lake that was never there before.  Luckily my supervisor was outside with a police officer at the time.  He watched my car become surrounded by water.  It wasn't long after that when water came rushing into the car from underneath the floorboards.  I knew I didn't have a lot of time, so when my supervisor instructed me to jump out the window - I wasn't able to get the door open as there was too much water pushing against it - I grabbed my bag and jumped.  Needless to say, that car never ran again.  And long story short, things worked out okay.  The next day I had a party to attend.  Nearly everyone there had a story to tell about the flood - this room flooded, that yard took on water - but I was the only one who had a truly frightening experience.

So the next time you watch or read the news and see that someone somewhere was affected by a natural disaster, take a moment to realize that someone's personal horror story happened that day.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th

The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in North Carolina has reported that approximately 17 to 21 million Americans have a fear of Friday the 13th.  This makes Friday the 13th the most feared day in history.

Friggatriskaidekaphobia is the term that describes the fear of Friday the 13th.  There are two root words in this expression.  Frigga is the name of the Norse Goddess for whom Friday took its name.  Triskaidekaphobia refers to the fear of the number thirteen.

There is an extremely popular horror series about the day, and mentioning Friday the 13th can instill frightened looks.  But why is this day so feared?

Here are some theories and superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th:
  • Thirteen is an unlucky number, and Friday is an unlucky day, are two older superstitions that merged together.
  • In numerology, the number twelve is the number of completeness.  The number thirteen is irregular and messes up the completeness of twelve.
  • Having thirteen people sit down to dinner - like in The Last Supper and a lesser known Norse myth - will result in the death of one of the people seated around the table.
  • Jesus Christ was crucified on a Friday.
  • Hundreds of members of the Knights Templar were arrested in France on October 13, 1307.
Here are a few books that have correlations between Friday the 13th and the Knights Templar:
  • FRIDAY, THE THIRTEENTH (Thomas W. Lawson, 1907)
  • THE DA VINCI CODE (Dan Brown, 2003)
So is Friday the 13th an unlucky day?  In the interest of shock value - I'm a big fan - I like to bring it up in conversations whenever I can.  But alas, logic tells me it's just another day.  In fact, fewer accidents are reported on Friday the 13th than any other day.  This is probably because people are more careful, keeping their fears of the day in the front of their minds. 

But just in case I haven't convinced you yet, here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • In Greece and Spanish-speaking countries, Tuesday the 13th is considered an unlucky day.
  • In Italy, Friday the 17th is the day to be most careful.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans

Marie Laveau (September 10, 1794-June 16, 1881) was a practitioner of Voodoo and earned herself the nickname The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans.  She was a woman of color, but she was born free -  she was not a slave.


Laveau had many children but one of her daughters, Marie Laveau II, has often been confused with her.  Some people believe that Marie Laveau II was the woman spotted walking the streets of New Orleans after her mother's death, but it is not certain.

It is still not known how powerful Marie Lauveau was.  Some believe that she was merely very skilled in finding out people's personal information - an accusation held by many disbelievers of anything having to do with psychic powers.

Marie Laveau has been the subject of a lot of popular culture.  Books, movies and television shows have characters based off of her.  Perhaps the mystery surrounding her is what draws people in the most.

Laveau is said to be buried in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1.  This too, however, is up for debate.  The reported tomb is one of the most recognizable in New Orleans though, because of the drawings that mark it.  Many visitors have placed a series of X's on it's side.  It is believed that doing this may earn you a granted wish.  

Happy birthday, Marie Laveau!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Erotic Horror

Okay, let's face it.  People love horror.  People also love sex.  So what could be better than sexy horror?

Erotic horror is the genre term used to describe works where sexuality and horror are intermingled.  Both the erotic and the horrific are topics of controversy.  Put them together, and you're left with such political un-correctness that it's bound to hit a nerve.

Book stores, television and movies are all filled with erotica these days.  It's no secret that the popularity of the 50 Shades Trilogy has had a part in making this happen.  The topic of BDSM is less of a taboo topic now than it was before.  But E.L. James was definitely not the first person to write of such carnal delights.

The French aristocrat Donatien Alphonse Francois (1740-1814) - better know today as simply the Marquis de Sade - published a number of erotica titles, both under his own name and anonymously.  The combination of sexuality and violence written by the Marquis de Sade landed him in prison - a number of times.

During some of the years the Marquis de Sade was in prison, he was actually encouraged to act out some of his works, using fellow inmates as the actors.  Some time after this, a new law placed the Marquis de Sade into solitary confinement and prohibited the use of pens and paper.  Today, we have words like "sadism" and "sadist" to describe people like this.  Where do you think we got those words?

Traditionally, horror discusses issues people don't like to think about.  Sex, on the other hand, is a topic people aren't supposed to think about.  But I think the human mind has no choice but to ponder over such topics.  "What would happen if..." and "it feels so good to..." are very common thoughts.  When these two things are mixed, it brings about a whole new set of possibilities.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Dark

Are you afraid of the dark?  Don't laugh....Many people are!

Professionals agree that it's normal for children, ages 3-6 years, to be afraid of the dark.  This developmental fear is usually outgrown by the time children reach adulthood.  But what about adults?

As we grow older, we learn to rationalize things.  But we also learn to fear what can't be seen.  If we literally can't see what's in front of us, we begin to think about what COULD be there.  Our minds start to play all kinds of tricks on us!  Not to mention, many predators hunt at night!

There are a variety of words to describe fear of the dark:
  • achluophobia - a fear of the dark that reaches pathological severity
  • nyctophobia - a fear of night
  • scotophobia - a fear of darkness
  • lygophobia - a fear of twilight
I'm not sure there would be so many words for it if it wasn't so common.  How about you?  What do you fear might jump out from the dark to grab you?