William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel The Exorcist and the Warner Brother's film from 1973 have etched the term "exorcism" forever within our everyday vocabulary. For most of us, images of a demented Linda Blair spitting pea soup, her head spinning around, and all kinds of spooky scary stuff.
The novel was based on eye witness testimony and a 26 page diary (once thought to be 16 pages). Eye witness testimony includes first hand accounts from Jesuit priests, various professors, family members, friends, hospital workers, and even construction workers.
Here are the facts that have been confirmed by various investigators, and many details have been clarified and corrected:
>The family involved remains anonymous, so we'll call them the Doe Family and the boy that was allegedly possessed we'll refer to him as Rob Doe. The Doe Family was from Cottage City Maryland, not Mt. Rainer, Maryland as previously believed.
>January1949, strange things began to happen to 13 year-old Rob. He was being scratched and attacked by something unseen. His parents witnessed his blankets flying about on their own, the bed shaking violently.
>Februrary 26, 1949...The Does were Lutheran, so they turned to Rev. Schulze. Rob spent the night in Shulze's room. There, Schulze witnessed paranormal phenomena, such as a rug moving by itself across the room. After taking Rob to the Mental Hygiene Clinic of the University of Maryland, Rev. Schulze recommended the Doe Family consult Father Hughes of St. James Catholic Church in Mount Rainer.
>End of February, 1949...blessed candles would fly across the room, tables moved, and an attempted baptism went wrong. Rob would curse and act violently. They moved him to Georgetown hospital where Father Hughes began an unsuccessful rite of exorcism...it's unclear if it was authorized by the Church.
>Early March...Rob is released from the hospital, and Mrs. Doe decides to go back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. She thought maybe the "hauntings" would stop. As soon as they arrive, family members witness various supernatural occurances surrounding Rob.
>March 9, 1949...One of Mrs. Doe's cousins requests the help of her priest professor at St. Louis University, Father Raymond J. Bishop. He sees the scratches on Rob's body, floating objects, and the mattress vibrating on its own.
>March 11, 1949...Father Bishop calls in Father William Bowdern of of St. Francis Xavier Church (at the corner of Grand and Lindell here in St. Louis, pictured left; Fr. Bowdern is pictured right). These two priests and a Jesuit scholar, Walter Halloran, witness the scratches on Rob's abdomen, the bed shaking, Rob speaking to them in Latin and possibly Aramaic, and the 13 year-old boy's violent and strange behavior.
>March 16, 1949...Archbishop Joseph E. Ritter gives Father Bowdern permission to begin the formal rite of exorcism. That night, accompanied by Father Bishop and Walter Halloran, Father Bowdern begin reciting the ritual prayers of exorcism.
>March through April, 1949...Rob's "seizures" become more violent and often is held down by as many as ten people during the exorcism or prayer sessions. He would tear the sheets and even broke Halloran's nose. During this time, Rob is taken back and forth between his relative's house and Alexian Brother's Hospital. Numerous priests, students, and hospital workers witnessed many of the supernatural occurrences in his hospital room .
It was a stressful and scary time. Father Bowdern was known to have lost 40 pounds during the ordeal.
>April 18, 1949...The Final Exorcism...Fr. Bowdern places various religious medals around Rob, and instructs him to hold a crucifix. Rob starts to become possessed, and screams that the medals were becoming hot...soon, he is in full demonic possession and starts hissing and flicking his tongue like a snake.
The rite continues when suddenly, in a different masculine voice Rob says, "Satan! Satan! I am St. Michael! I command you, Satan, and the other evil spirits to leave this body, in the name of Dominus, immediately! Now! Now! Now!" Rob has one last spasm before falling quiet and witnesses reported hearing a "gunshot sound" throughout the hospital at that moment.
Twelve days later he left Missouri and returned to Maryland.
The story made headlines, and several family members told the story to newsreporters. Rob grew up, had a normal life, had three children, and resided somewhere in Maryland. Rob, if still alive, would be 70 years old today.
Walter Halloran (pictured left) became a priest and often talked about his experience with others. He passed away just this spring.
Fr. Bowdern passed away in 1983. He never publicly talked about his experience. With his report to the Church, he received 41 signatures from those who testified to witnessing paranormal phenomena with this case.
Following the exorcism, the hospital staff at Alexia avoided the room. The smells and cold air still emanated from under the doorway. No one ever used the room again. The entire wing of the hospital eventually was sealed off, and was demolished. Before demolition, the crew found a copy of the exorcist's diary, which was given to hospital administrators. The diary was William Blatty's basis his book.
Whatever you decide, you cannot deny our fascination with demonic possession.
This morning, my little two month-old blog had its 5,000th hit. Thanks so much for those you come here regularly for a chuckle and to those that just stop by out of curiosity. I enjoy writing, and I hope to continue to inform and entertain.
With the recent devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the question has popped up again...Do we have the technology to stop a hurricane?
Scientists have been trying to devise a method of doing just that for the last 50 years, with mostly negative results. So can we stop Mother Nature's wrath? Nope.
Here are the very ingenious attempts or theories of trying to halt a hurricane:
In 1958, The Naval Research Lab tried several experiments that involved seeding storm clouds with soot. The thought here was to "seed" the clouds inside a hurricane in an effort to break up it's structure. Honk, thanks for playing.
In 1973, Hurricane expert William Gray said that maybe you could trigger smaller storms with soot. I'm guessing that these storms would suck all the atmospheric energy and deprive a tropical storm of hurricane energy. Nothing ever came of that theory. Enough with the soot!Maybe kitty litter would work, though...hmm.
Another idea was maybe coating the surface of the ocean with olive oil. The oil would disrupt the energy flow of an incoming hurricane. MIT scientists believe the high winds of a hurricane would pretty much make the oil ineffective - it would just blow the oil all away. But it would prepare the fish for a tasty yet healthy meal.
Just this past spring, Moshe Alamaro of MIT came up with a technique of using a bunch of floating jet engines to create mini-cyclones in the water ahead of an approaching hurricane. This would also deplete the energy in the atmosphere. But alas, critics said that using an array of jet engines wouldn't be enough to even create the smallest of cyclones. Oh well.
In Jacksonville, FL, some crackpot thought that the use of a small nuclear weapon could disrupt a hurricane. Yeah, that's a great idea. Now you could create a radioactive hurricane. Or better yet, kill a bunch of people and marine animals. Who was this person? The Beavis and Butthead of science and meteorology?
So is science hopeless in the battle to tame hurricanes? Not entirely.
Nothing like good 'ol Capitalism to get the creative juices flowing...A company called Dyn-O-Mat might have a solution. Peter Cordani, CEO of the company, believes their invention could work. Dyn-O-Mat manufactures a super absorbent material mostly used for industrial clean up and safety.
The idea here is to load up a large cargo plane with this Dyn-O-Mat stuff, fly towards the storm, release the absorbent material, and thus sucking the moisture from the hurricane and greatly weakening it. Cordani claims to have eradicated a thunderstorm off Palm Beach.
A thunderstorm is one thing, but a hurricane is another.
Still, I think it's worth a shot. Even if it doesn't work, the super absorbent stuff would work well cleaning up barf in the elementary schools.
I don't think the other suggestions given to the International Hurricane Center at Flordia International University are going to be very effective. The other ideas include: towing an iceberg to cool the water temperature, building massive fans to blow the hurricane away (and send it to South America?), and pray hurricanes away.
Actually, if I saw one of these coming towards me, I would do a whole lotta praying.
The term "earworm" was coined by consumer psychologist James Kellaris. An earworm is a phenomena that plagues most people - when a tune gets stuck in your head. Maybe it's the song that comes blaring out of your clock radio in the morning...or perhaps it's the last song you hear on the way to the office. It's as if the song burns into your brain, playing literally all day long.
Is there a cure? You gotta help me...my brain keeps singing that stupid Barney theme song: "I love you, you love me...we're happy family..."
There's no real way to figure out what song will become an earworm. There are a few patterns researches have found concerning potential earworms, however:
>The tune is simple (simple lyrics, melody, rhyme) >The tune is repetitive >Songs with lyrics, for most people...although more musical people can get hooked on melody and scale >Women seem to get more irritated and frustrated by earworms >Neurotic people seem to be more susceptible >People constantly exposed to music have more bouts of earworm attacks
So what's a person to do? Dr. Kellaris recommends the following:
>Listen to the radio (simple replacement) >Distract yourself with another activity >Sing the REST of the song, not just the part your brain is replaying over and over again. Your brain is trying to close the loop, so CLOSE it yourself...go find the lyrics if you have to >Chew cinnamon sticks - not sure if it works, but one test subject swore by it
Another test subject reported having a case of earworm for over 6 months. I think I'd jump off a bridge.
Here are some songs I would think would be common earworms:
It's a Small World After All This is the Song That Never Ends... Mmm Bop Meow Mix Jingle (meow meow meow meow) YMCA Oompa Loompa doopidity doo Chili's Jingle (I want my baby back, baby back, baby back...ribs) I'm a Little Tea Pot Who Let the Dogs Out Don't Worry, Be Happy The Lion Sleeps Tonight We Will Rock You Whoomp There It Is
What song plauges the corner of your brain when you least expect it?
Particle Man, Particle Man Doing the things a particle can. What's he like, it's not important Particle Man...
Is he a dot, or is he a speck When he's underwater, does he get wet... Or does the water get him instead? Nobody knows. Particle Man... Triangle Man, Triangle Man Triangle Man hates Particle Man. They have a fight, Triangle wins Triangle Man...
Universe Man, Universe Man Size of the entire Universe Man. Usually kind to smaller men,Universe Man.
He's got a watch with a minute hand, Millennium hand, and an eon hand And when they meet it's a happy land. Powerful man, Universe Man...
Person Man, Person Man Hit on the head with a frying pan. Lives his life in a garbage can, Person Man...
Is he depressed or is he a mess? Does he feel totally worthless? Who came up with Person Man? Degraded man, Person Man...
Triangle Man, Triangle Man Triangle man hates Person Man They have a fight, Triangle wins. Triangle Man...
Once a week, I will do a spooky post...leading up to Halloween. Do not read the following in the dark, alone.At the bottom of my post are two pictures of a ghost...you can either sneak a peak (which is what most of you will do) or just leave it for the end after reading the story behind the pictures.
The 60,000 square foot Toys R Us store in Sunnyvale, California is known to this day to be haunted. The biggest toy store in town has been featured in numerous books and television shows, including That's Incredible and Ripley's Believe It Or Not. I remember being a scared 9 year old, watching that episode on That's Incredible. It might have been a two part story...but I just remember having to sleep with the lights on for weeks.
World renowed psychic Sylvia Brown even did a seance in the toy store, and they had brought in several cameras to try to capture the ghost that wandered the store.
There have been countless stories from both employees and customers, and it's difficult to discount all of them. Here's a quick run-down of several experiences people have had at this Toys R Us:
>Footsteps coming from behind, but looking around - no one is there. >Many people - employees and patrons alike have heard a man's voice whispering their names.>Talking dolls saying "Mommy" over and over again on their own. >Countless falling merchandise - I'm sure many times they are explainable, but people have actually witnessed toys and boxes falling or flying across the room. >Faucets turning on by themselves (the bathrooms seem to be the most active areas in the store) >People have said they have actually seen this apparition...the apparition of a man.
Here is what we know about the land this Toys R Us is built on...
In the 1840s, Martin Murphy Jr. bought 90,000 acres of land. They Murphys built their home where the Toys R Us currently stands. A young man named Johan Johnson was hired as a farmhand. Apparently, he fell in love with Murphey's daughter, Elizabeth. His love was never reciprocated, and she married William Taaffe from San Francisco in 1863.
What I was unable to confirm was that Elizabeth died in 1875.
Johan was chopping wood, accidentally cut himself pretty badly, and he simply wrapped it up and continued chopping away. He literally bled to death, and died in 1884. Some say he cut his leg and severed an artery.
Psychic Sylvia Brown apparently made contact with this spirit in 1978. This was done BEFORE they were digging through local archives. In fact, Sylvia Brown assumed the spirit was Martin Murphy Jr, Sunnyvale's founding father. The spirit she made contact was NOT Murphy...she called him "Johnny."
She told Johnny to go to God, but he refused. He was waiting for Beth. Johnny then told Sylvia to move her feet or else they'd get wet. The researchers found that a water well DID exist under the store.
The picture below is of the seance, taken with an infrared camera. Another regular camera took a picture of the same spot at the same time, and NOTHING was found on the normal camera. People present at the seance report seeing absolutely nothing there. No person was standing there when this picture was taken. It looks like there's a ghost of man standing there outside the circle of people - in the upper left corner of the picture.
We live in a society that automatically judges others by their looks, and for the many thousands that are disfigured from horrible accidents like facial burns, the painful scars run beyond being skin deep. They might have recovered physically from their trauma, but the emotional and psychological pain continues after the healing.
Here's how the operation proceeds:
1)They receive the face from a cadaver, matching the patient's skin tone, age, sex, and tissue as best as possible. That's right - they get a dead person's face. Ewwwwwwwwww!
2)The new face is surgically placed on the patients - a pair of veins and arteries from both sides are connected, and 20 nerve endings are stitched together. Little sutures then anchor the new face to the patient's scalp, neck, and other openings like eyes, nose, and mouth.
3)Anti-rejection pills must be taken forever, and the patient still risks infections and other complications - including tissue rejection. The face could then begin to rot and fall off (OK, I didn't need to include that detail, but I thought I'd throw that in for 'shock value').
4)Follow up counseling to help the patient with any emotional and psychological issues that could arise. Gee...like having a dead person's face attached to your head?
Those that oppose the face transplant say the risks are too great for a non-life-threatening situation. Also, there's the issue of morality - is taking the face of a deceased person the right thing to do?
Matthew Teffeteller, his face disfigured from an explosion in a car accident, would never get the surgery. "Having somebody else's face ... that wouldn't be right. When I look in the mirror, I might be scarred but I can still tell that it's me," he said.
How about the whole creepiness factor. Could you imagine wearing some other person's face? Experts believe you won't necessarily look like the dead person - that your new face would be a combination of the dead person AND you. WHAT? You'd be like a walking morph-head!
That reminds me, ever see that movie Face Off? John Travolta plays an FBI agent trying to bring down Nicholas Cage's criminal character. Travolta gets Cage's face transplanted in order to go undercover. But all hell breaks loose when Cage (the criminal) gets Travolta's face transplanted on HIM. Clever, huh? It's like a Who's on First Thriller with bullets and kung fu.
So in the future, when you sign the back of your driver's license and consent to donate your organs in the event of your death, are you essentially and possibly giving consent to donate your FACE as well? OK, that thought just gave me the heebie-jeebies.
Imagine the other ramifications if this science is perfected and viable:
>Criminals could get face transplants to escape the authorities.
>It would radically change plastic surgery - forget the rhinoplasty, gimmie Marilyn Monroe's face...literally!
>Bill Clinton could get a new face, take on a new identity, and run for President AGAIN.
>How about if some bereaved person wants to pay homage to his Uncle Robert by wearing his face for the rest of his life? Oh man, that's a great way to give heart attacks to all your relatives at a family reunion.
Michael Jackson could BE the elephant man...or John Lennon.
Face transplants would put the EXTREME in "extreme makeover." So who's dead face would YOU want to wear if you could?
Once upon a time, there lived a great big neighborhood named Lake Chesterfield. There were nice big houses in this subdivision, in the city of Grover, Missouri, and it's people were meticulous with their expensive homes.
The citizens turned to their wise leader, Bruce Colella. The chair of the homeowner's association addressed his people with this decree: "With the name of the subdivision being Lake Chesterfield, we really needed the lake."
After all, it was not Pond Chesterfield...nor Dried Up Smelly Mud Pit Chesterfield either.
So the Eminent Chair Colella and his association went to all of the 700 homes of his beloved subdivision and collected about $1,000.00 from each homeowner. They spent $650,000 to repair the lake. Master craftsmen and engineers came and plugged the sinkhole - and took extra measures to assure the good people of Lake Chesterfield that their new lake would be even more glorious than before!
As the new water was poured into the renewed lake, the people rejoiced. They then replenished the lake with new wonderful fish...and indeed the new lake WAS greater than the original. And the people of Lake Chesterfield lived happily ever after!
Until...several of the citizens noticed something peculiar with their lake sometime in late August of 2005. "What could it be?" they asked. The people once again turned to their wise and powerful leader, Bruce Colella.
He replied in a manner that paid homage to the Great Yogi Berra: "De ja vu all over again" (Associated Press, 9.06.05).
Alas, the water was dropping at a rate of one foot per day. What could be causing the disappearance of Lake Chesterfield? This is indeed, what they call an Unsolved Mystery. Which is basically just a mystery that's naturally unsolved. If it was solved, it wouldn't be a mystery...right? But since it's unsolved, it is a mystery.
Anyway...here are my theories:
It's aliens. They are invading our minds, so why not invade our wealthy St. Louis West Country suburbs? It's a great way to break the human spirit...I know it's driving a bunch of Lake Chesterfielders absolutely NUTS. I used to live in Wildwood, so I speak from experience. If one blade of grass was missed on their carefully manicured lawns, they go crazy. Aliens break them psychologically and their minds are ripe for the picking. Maybe they should read my previous post on the Thought Screen Helmet.
It's Arizonians. I won't blame Canada for this one - they have plenty of water. Arizonians have the most to gain from stealing our Missouri water. From the constant feuding with California over the Colorado River, it makes perfect sense that they would reach the lake via underground caverns, suck the water out, and funnel it back to their desert state.
Are you one of the thousands, perhaps MILLIONS, of individuals being abducted by aliens? Are aliens able to tap into your mind and control your thoughts and actions?
If so, the solution for you is THE THOUGHT SCREEN HELMET.
Michael Menkin's creation, the Thought Screen Helmet, has proven to be the only effective defense from alien mind probes. It is simple to make and relatively inexpensive to purchase all the materials to create one for yourself. The helmet is NOT available in stores or even online. You must custom make one for yourself or loved ones suffering from alien thought invasion and abudction.
Why are aliens controlling our minds? Abducting humans? Simple - world domination. They have been planning on replacing Earth with alien-human hybrids. Part of their strategy is to utilize our own people against us - by mind control. The Thought Screen Helmet is the only KNOWN method of thwarting alien attempts to invade our brains...and it's the first step towards defending our planet from these invaders.
The helmet is simple to make. Materials include: a hat that covers your entire head, strong tape, and 3M Velostat. The Velostat is crucial, and is the material that keeps the alien's mind controlling away from your brain. Do NOT confuse this technique with the AFDB technology - AluminiumFoil Deflector Beanies, as seen in the move Signs. This does not work against alien technology. However, many profess it is effective against simpler mind controlling techniques like those coming from Multi-Level Marketing Pyramid Schemes.
John Locke (pictured left) is just one abudctee that has found the Thought Screen Helmet to be a complete success: "Since trying Michael Menkin's Helmet, I have not been bothered by alien mind control. My life is better than ever before. Thank you Michael for the work you are doing to save all humanity."
How often you wear your Thought Screen Helmet depends on your specific situation. Are aliens abducting you or entering your mind at all times of the day? If so, then you should be wearing your helmet ALL THE TIME. Also, if this is your situation, I recommend creating a hat that is very "everyday" and won't attract attention from others. Maybe you only need to wear it at night. Mr. Menkin reports that no one has been abudcted while wearing the helmet. There is testimony from individuals that had their helmet either taken or tampered with while not being worn. Make sure to guard your Thought Screen Helmet.
PLEASE, if you are under the control of alien thoughts or are being abducted - go to Mr. Menkin's website www.stopabuctions.com right NOW (Mr. Menkin is pictured left wearing his helmet). There, you will find detailed instructions on constructing your own Thought Screen Helmet. It only takes 3-4 hours to put together. Do it right this moment, because even one more day is too much suffering at the hands of these alien intruders.
Human physiology makes three methods of locomotion most effective:
1)Walking 2)Running 3)Speed walking
Interestingly, humans usually either walk or run. We don't see many people doing the speed-walk thing. Why? Other than it makes you look silly, it's not as efficient for it's respectable speed when compared to walking for slow speeds and running for fast speeds. Hopping and skipping were not very efficient at all. The way we walk and run makes us unique in the Animal Kingdom.
Funny how walking is also an indicator of health, mood, personality, social-status, and individual attitude. We all have our own individual ways of walking - some more observable than others. I thought about all the different kinds of walking and came up with a few distinct types:
The Roxbury Jig: You've seen them in the clubs - confident look in their eyes, chest puffed out like a peacock, and upright manly gait. These are the Rico Suaves...the Alpha Males doing their thing. They want the ladies to make sure they know exactly who is THE MAN. Also, these are the morons that refuse to even make the slightest adjustment to move when walking through a crowded aisle...oh no - they are Kings of the Jungle. They also probably still live at home and play really loud bass in their little Fiberglas cars. Hey Vinny Testosteroni, that thumping bass will make you impotent.
The Stealth Side-Step:This one's funny to watch. Just sit down on a bench at any local mall and find some (typically) larger guy with an uncomfortable look on his face. Mr. Sour-Puss has a massive wedgie...and there's no way to overtly remove the sticking underwear that's firmly wedged in his crack. There's only one thing to do...and do it so NOBODY notices...and that's the Stealth Anti-Wedgie Maneuver. With one swift side-step, as though he was doing the doe-si-doe square dance, he's able to pull his leg forward - keep his trunk sideways - and get that dental floss right outta there! Way to go my man! 9.0...9.0 all the way!
The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies:Maybe it's the trendy sun glasses, the new wave hair, or the stylish clothing. It even could be the man-purse that's swinging wildy from the hip. It's probably the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies walk he's doing that's giving it away. You've seen this walk...it's more flamboyant than even Rue Paul. Arms swinging wildly, limp wrist flailing about. This walk is the Anti-Roxbury Walk - as the Roxbury is hyper-masculine, the Sugar Plum Dance is hyper-gay. G-A-Y...gay!
The Lost My Manhood Stroll:Oh man...this one is the saddest to discuss. In front is the assertive, independent, makin'-the-bacon-fry-it-up-in-a-pan- woman of the new Millennium. Following at a distance behind is the slothy, pathetic, eating-the-bacon-but-having-to-carry-my-lady's-purse- man of the New Age. One question: Why? Donde esta tu cahones? Now drop the purse, walk away from the intimate apparel department, and go find your manhood now! Your father would spit on you...or laugh his ass off.
I've Got the Go-Gos:Too much beer? Too much water? Too much soda? Who knows...but this walking style is unmistakable. I believe this is where the speed-walking comes into play for homosapiens. Walking is too slow, and they will end up wetting their pants. Running is too much movement - the jostling will shake their bladders and they will wet their pants. They need to get there fast, but with as little movement as possible - like a Formula One race car. When a child has The Go-Gos, it's not funny. You feel for the kid. When an adult has the Go-Gos...now that's entertainment.
The Ghetto Swang:Think JJ Walker on "Good Times." Imagine him in his polyester suit, wide brim hat, white shoes doin' his thang down the street. He's walking in slow motion, because to him...walking is an art. His arms will swing wildy...one shoulder might take the lead and then pull straight back. It will remind you of Quasimodo on his way back to Notre Dame. If you're behind him and in a hurry, you're annoyed at his snail's pace. If there are others, they are doin' da Ghetto Swang too. So don't bother, just sit back and enjoy their artistic form. If they're old school, you might see one with a giant "Ghetto Blaster." If they're younger, you might see their underwear when their baggy pants begin to fall down with each step.
No matter your style, just keep in mind that how you walk can tell people a lot about you. From your individual gait, others can believe you're a studly wannabe or "Dyno-mite!"
Blogging since 2005.
Medical sales warrior by day, writing ninja by night...
I am the author of The Mechanica Wars series. The first book, Dragonfly Warrior, will be published in January, 2014 by 4 Wing Press.
I love science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, biographies, and chocolate chip cookies.