Sunday, 3 May 2015

Supernatural Day: Ghostbusters and things that go Bump in the night?

It’s time for Supernatural!

But before fangirls and fanboys start screaming everywhere I am not referring to the TV show.

I am talking about phenomena and events that we do not quite understand.
So what is it? Most definitions will include the following:

‘(of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.’

When looking at the definition, it is rather vague, for example let me tell you a story.
In the early 1400’s in China, it was common for people to run into the streets and let loose fireworks and bang pots together in a desperate attempt to scare the dragon that was eating the sun.
Then it was a dragon eating the sun, today it is called an eclipse, however during that time period the Chinese were not too educated in the ways of galactic body movements.

But what about today? Normally this word is associated with phenomena and beliefs including the afterlife, lost souls, paranormal beings including Vampires, Lycans and other associated cryptids from cryptozoology, Magic, Deity’s Angels and Demons.

So let’s have a look at the most common entities that people have claimed to encounter and see what we make of them.

The Deceased:

Spirits, Ghosts, Poltergeists, they all have different names but they all have one thing in common, they are the souls of organisms who have died. Regardless of their common denominator, they have small differences:

Ghosts, according to ghost hunters and parapsychologists, are the residual energy of a person or an animal and usually retain no intelligence. Ghosts present as an image or sound and continuously replay over time, for example that bump in the night that happens at 3am every night or the Monk that falls from the church on the 2nd of August.

Spirits and Poltergeists are the soul of a person or an animal which have remained in this world after the death of the body, they normally remain because they feel they have unfinished business in this world, or they feel they need vengeance for a imagined slight upon them or supposedly on occasion the spirit does not realise it is dead.
Hauntings (places where ghosts and spirits reside) have been commonly used in stories around the globe for centuries, parapsychologists claim that places are susceptible to hauntings if they have a particularly association with death (such as battlefields) or if the world’s natural energy is strong (on the site of ancient ley lines).
Here are some examples of famous haunting’s and ghost stories:

The Headless Queen
Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII, began her fateful marriage to the king in January 1533. Three years later, after she failed to produce a son, Boleyn was put on trial for the trumped up charges of adultery and incest. On May 19, 1536, she was beheaded on the Tower Green, a grassy plot within the Tower of London.

Today, her headless figure is said to drift from the Queen's House (built on the Tower grounds four years after Boleyn's death) to the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula, where her remains are buried. In some accounts, her form is intact, but her face is averted as she leads a ghostly procession down the aisle of the chapel to the altar. Tower sentries have reported encounters with the misty figure of a woman wearing a cloak with an empty hood, and some tower visitors have glimpsed her pacing the Tower Green with her head beneath her arm.

The Shining
Stephen King and his wife spent a night at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Co., in late September 1974. Because the resort was to be closed for the winter the very next day, the writer and his wife were the only guests in the sprawling hotel, which King would later describe as the archetypical setting for a ghost story. Legend has it that King stayed in room 217, where he saw the spirit of a young boy in distress, but according to the writer's official Web site, it was a vivid dream of his own 3-year-old son running terrified through the corridors that jolted King awake that night and helped to inspire his classic horror story, "The Shining."
According to some accounts, King and his wife put their suitcases in room 217 after checking in, then left the room for dinner. They returned to find all their belongings neatly put away -- but not by any living member of the hotel staff.

Deities and Entities

This section refers to beings of supreme power such as Gods and the beings who serve under them, angels, demons and the like.
This section could in all honesty cover an entire website, as gods are subjective to whatever belief system you have, do you believe in God, Allah, Shiva and Vishnu or Cthulhu? So I think I will focus more on the Angels and Demons that give us nightmares and closure in equal measure.
Demons are characterised as malevolent supernatural entities that generally want to ruin your day and gain something from it, whether it is your life, your soul or your service. We’ve all heard of the saying dealing with the devil right? Demons have appeared in folklore and religion since the spoken word began. Now there are many named demons in the various world religions (especially anything Abrahamic in origin), such as Abaddon, Astaroth, Azazel (alliteration bonus) but in the examples below, I’ll try to stick to non-religious entities.

So we’ve had nasty, what about nice? If a Demon is a malevolent supernatural entity than an Angel is a benevolent supernatural entity? Yes and no, primarily Angels exist to provide support and comfort to humans but normally throughout direct contact, you have muses, guardian angels, seraphim and cherubim etc. Again it is hard to really explain angels through a non-religious viewpoint but I shall endeavour to do so in the example below.
So for my demon example I present:

The Succubus and Incubus.
These lovely creatures take on the persona of beautiful woman (succubus) or man (incubus), in doing so they aim to seduce us lowly humans and get us all hot and bothered and into the bed, form here as the succubus or incubus start setting out hearts a-flutter, our blood a-pumping and our uglies a-bumping, they are actually stealing the life essence from the unfortunate (yet hopefully) satisfied victim.
Interestingly when looking into modern reports of succubus and incubus, all the victims report not being able to move during the experience and then waking up rather drained, physically and mentally. There is a medical phenomenon called Sleep Paralysis which may explain this.
When it comes to angels, it’s a bit of a hard one as they are so hardwired into peoples religious beliefs, however the most common angel that people experience or talk about, regardless of religion is the idea of the

Guardian Angel
The unseen being who looks after you, whether that be extra step that gets you out of the way of a moving car or the double take that makes you spot the wallet you just dropped, at some point in our lives we have all had those moments where we thank our lucky stars and whatever angel is sitting on our shoulder.

These are animals which have been sighted but have very little or no scientific proof to back up their existence, the study of these animals is known as Crytozoology. I also feel that creatures such as Vampires and Lycans also fall into this category.
The most common cryptids include:

• The Bunyip – Large Cave Dwelling Australian Mammal, possible Shapeshifter.
• Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Yeti – Large Bipedal Apelike creatures, possibly the ‘Missing Link’
• Loch Ness Monster – Lost Plesiosaur currently inhabiting Loch Ness in Scotland
• Beast of Bodmin – Large Feline like creature that inhabits Bodmin Moor, England
• Chupacarbra – 3-4 foot tall bipedal reptile that feasts on livestock, resides in Mexico.
• The Kraken – Gigantic octopus or squid residing in the depths of the ocean
• Mothman – Flying Humanoid Creature that terrorised Point Pleasant, USA

Do a google search on any of these and you will find pages and pages of information on them, I want to show you something a little different, I present to you:

Spring Heeled JackThis sprightly fellow, was sighted multiple times starting in 1837 in London England, there are many theories about the nature and identity of Spring-heeled Jack. This urban legend was very popular in its time, due to the tales of his bizarre appearance and ability to make extraordinary leaps, to the point that he became the topic of several works of fiction.

Spring-heeled Jack was described by people who claimed to have seen him as having a terrifying and frightful appearance, with diabolical physiognomy, clawed hands, and eyes that "resembled red balls of fire". One report claimed that, beneath a black cloak, he wore a helmet and a tight-fitting white garment like an oilskin. Many stories also mention a "Devil-like" aspect. Others said he was tall and thin, with the appearance of a gentleman. Several reports mention that he could breathe out blue and white flames and that he wore sharp metallic claws at his fingertips. At least two people claimed that he was able to speak comprehensible English. This cryptid would accost pedestrians and coach drivers on foggy London nights, interestingly however there have been no deaths associated with this character, mild injuries, frights scares and even a few cases of jewellery theft but no corpses, quite unlike many of his cryptid companions.

Paranormal events have included people showing up continuously in photographs throughout history, defying what we know about human life expectancy. Dopplgangers, the double of yourself that you should never meet and areas in the world where supposedly physics cease to work.

No eyes. Always watching.
All of these examples though are a tad old, what about stuff that has happened recently, well here is an interesting phenomenon, ever heard of Slenderman? You know, the Creepypasta that was turned into a hit game? Well more and more sightings of him are hitting the world wide web, so has the character become so sensationalised that people are starting to believe that he exists? Or did he exist already but we have just got better at documenting him?

So paranormal is all the ghosts, ghoulies and things that go bump in the night? Maybe, maybe not we shall leave that up to you decide!

Also you might want to check your closet and under your bed tonight!

Anyway enough creepiness for now, lets give you some cuddly animal therapy.

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