Pontianak Haunts Police

06.07.2010 · Posted in Ghosts, Hauntings

pontianak The district police headquarters in Betong, Malaysia, is being haunted by a woman with long hair and a white dress, known as a Pontianak. A Pontianak is believed to be the ghost of a woman who has died in childbirth and who appears as a beautiful woman until she attacks, when she becomes an ugly old woman with sharp teeth used to aid the sucking of blood.

A cleric was brought in to investigate and said the woman’s spirit was not at peace because she was raped and murdered at that location before it became a police station.

The hauntings have been going on since April, when the headquarters moved to the building. Officers reported at least three separate incidents.

– Julie

Sources:
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/6/1/nation/6378565&sec=nation
http://sify.com/news/female-ghost-in-malaysian-police-lock-up-giving-cops-nightmares-news-international-kgbouebaajd.html
http://www.yourdiscovery.com/conspiracies/legends/pontianak/index.shtml

As If Funerals Weren’t Depressing Enough

06.07.2010 · Posted in Weird Criminals

grim eater

There are plenty of traditional ways to get ripped off at a funeral: overpaying for services, paying for services not received, funeral home workers making off with grandma’s jewelry, or home invasions during services thanks to overly detailed obituaries. Not stressful enough? Well, here are some less traditional funeral-related thefts to worry about.

An unidentified man has been attending funerals in New Zealand for the food. He caught the eye of funeral directors because he was becoming a frequent flyer at the services, attending sometimes as many as four funerals in a week. Directors say it was obvious he did not know any of the deceased.

The man, whom the funeral directors dubbed “the Grim Eater,” would eat at the funerals, then take containers out of a backpack and fill them with food to take home.

Other than treating the buffet line like a drive-thru, the man seemed very normal, acting and dressing appropriately for a mourning service. A director confronted the Grim Eater and told him to stop making off with the food, and the man hasn’t been seen at a funeral since.

Is this guy a little nuts, or is he down on his luck and has figured out a clever way to get some food? Maybe attending the funeral of someone you don’t know is a lot less depressing than going to a public aid office.

Stealing from funerals is perhaps becoming a survival trend of sorts this year.  A guy named Park, 59, from South Korea stole 1200 pairs of shoes from funeral services. It’s tradition in Korea to remove outdoor footwear when indoors, and this guy removed his own shoes and put someone else’s nicer shoes on when he left. He took the shoes to resell through his used shoe business and had amassed an inventory worth almost US$2000.

A teen in North Carolina also used funerals for his own gain this year when he stole purses from unlocked mourners’ cars during graveside services.

– Julie

Sources:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/7799544/Grim-eater-banned-from-funerals.html
http://mobile.reuters.com/mobile/m/FullArticle/CODD/noddlyEnoughNews_uUSTRE6524GJ20100603?src=RSS-ODD
http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/weird/fake-mourner-steals-1200-pairs-of-shoes/story-e6frep26-1225831822569
http://charlotte.news14.com/content/top_stories/621146/teen-charged-with-stealing-from-cars-during-funeral

Scary Questions, Part 3

06.06.2010 · Posted in Hauntings, Scary Questions

warning Here we go again:

Scary Question Number 6:

Um. Wow.

Source: http://www.buryorburn.com/1074/has-funeral-homes-haunted-im-doing-an-internship-for-funeral-directing-and-will-be-staying-in-a-fun-home/

Ok, so the next one isn’t a question, but it’s scary anyway.

Scary Statement Number 1:

I want to be so full of God’s power that it makes people afraid. So afraid that they have to believe.

I’m pretty sure God hasn’t been so hot on humans having enough power to make people afraid. If I recall my Sunday School lessons correctly, that job seems to have been taken by the angels already. Anyway, based on her other website, this lady might just want to ease up on the Red Bull.

Sources:
http://www.dangerousbutgood.com/
http://www.homeeverafter.com/about/

Scary Question Number 7:

I am in my 40s and have never lost anyone close to me. Unfortunately, my darling mother-in-law has terminal cancer. I am now preoccupied that people’s spirits are near us after they die.

Please don’t laugh, but it gives me the creeps. I don’t want to think my mother-in-law will watch me making love with my husband, that my father will watch me in the bathroom or that my mother will be critical of my spending more time with my kids than cleaning the house as she did.

Am I crazy to think I might not have any privacy after my loved ones die?

Maybe, maybe not, but who says the dearly deceased would want to pay attention to any of that? Like your mother-in-law wouldn’t have anything better to do? Will they be somehow forced to observe every second of your life? Then there must be a hell after all. This one gets an eleven out of ten on the paranoia scale for sure.

Sources:
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/arizonaliving/articles/2010/06/03/20100603abby0604.html#ixzz0q1xH4vMR
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/dailycols/7034965.html

More to come next week! If you find any to share, let me know!

– Julie

“Nosferatu” Sets Fire To Headstone In East Tennessee

06.05.2010 · Posted in Weird Criminals

setting fire to a headstone Adam Fath, 18, of Townsend, Tennessee, was arrested on May 30, 2010, for setting fire to a headstone in the graveyard of the Tuckaleechee United Methodist Church in Blount County. Police used a K-9 unit to track Fath’s path from the scene of the crime to his camper behind a house. No reports yet on motive, or why he set fire to the headstone rather than smashing it like regular vandals do. What appears to be Fath’s MySpace page, where he calls himself “nosferatu” and makes like a gangster, doesn’t help much.

No doubt shenanigans like this will cause the citizens of neighboring dry counties to feel smug, because (1) clearly this kind of godless behavior is the result of the demon in the bottle, and (2) everyone knows no teens engage in reckless and stupid behavior without alcohol.

Does any of that make sense? Well, there’s a lot in East Tennessee that doesn’t make any sense. In a place where the bankruptcy courts struggle to find ways to handle people still living on the barter system up in the hills, peculiar behavior and attitudes are just a fine hair away from what passes as normal in the suburbs. Finer than a frog hair split four ways and sharpened on both ends, as my old boss in Knoxville used to say.

– Julie

Source: http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20100531/NEWS/305319993

Stolen Bones

06.04.2010 · Posted in Graverobbing, Weird Criminals

Andres Sotelo-Rivera, a 41-year-old man from Tampa, Florida, was arrested for removing multiple bones from a grave dating from the 1930s in Woodlawn Cemetery. He was caught by a cemetery guard and had several bones in a Spider-Man backpack. Soleto-Rivera had an unidentified accomplice and motive is unknown.

Miles away in Uganda, Steven Sebageya,  was arrested after police searched his shrine and found a human skull. Sebageya’s fellow villagers had complained that he was bewitching them.

Good luck ever coming up with a reason for making off with human bones from a graveyard that will satisfy the law. Points for the Spider-Man backpack, though.

– Julie

Sources:
http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/weird/Grave-Robbers-Caught-Stealing-Old-Bones-94278824.html
http://wdbo.com/localnews/2010/05/suspected-grave-robber-busted.html
http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/tampa-police-charge-man-with-bones-in-backpack-with-desecrating-grave/1095988
http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/13/720305

Naughty In Church = Demonic Possession?

06.04.2010 · Posted in Demons

John Andel, of Elyria, Ohio, had an outburst of peculiar physical behavior last winter that ended badly for him.  Andel assaulted a couple seated in front of him at a bible study class at the LaGrange Church of God.

Parishioners freaked out and decided Andel was possessed by a demon. Andel’s mother insists he had a seizure as a result of a medical problem. Police called to the scene noticed the smell of alcohol on Andel.

Andel was found guilty of disorderly conduct after entering a no contest plea.

Sounds like he was possessed by spirits, perhaps, just not the kind his parishioners meant.

– Julie

Source:
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2010/05/21/man-accused-of-demonic-outburst-at-church-sentenced/

The Power Of Christ, Or The Power Of Suggestion?

06.03.2010 · Posted in Medical Mystery

Hermannsburg_NT

Photo by C. Goodwin

An Australian woman says her illness was cured when she drank from a holy tap in Hermannsburg.  The tap is located next to a former Lutheran church, and aboriginal people believe the tap is therefore on holy ground. Lutheran officials are uneasy about the whole thing and hope to avoid a mass influx of people seeking to drink from the tap to cure their ailments. Hundreds of people have already done so, however, so the clergy may be out of luck.

The precinct manager for Hermannsburg, Heidi Williams, says the piping in the area is in need of repair but she is now afraid to make the repairs lest that change the properties of the water (and make the pilgrims and their money go away, I would imagine).

People will do strange things when they’re desperate for healing or desperate for dollars.

There is no word on what the nature of the woman’s illness was, nor are their other accounts of particular ailments being cured. The power of suggestion is strong, though, and perhaps plain old water can have healing power via the placebo effect. Maybe the water is particularly blessed because of its location. Perhaps the deteriorating pipes have allowed in some mineral contamination that helps with certain conditions. Whatever the cause, no harm seems to be coming to anyone, aside from a nuisance to the church next door, and people are feeling like they are getting their needs met.

– Julie

Sources:
http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2010/05/26/150421_ntnews.html
http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/weird/hundreds-flock-to-hermannsburg-to-partake-in-holy-tap-water-from-side-of-lutheran-church/story-e6frep26-1225871838363

Really Wrong Number

06.03.2010 · Posted in Miscellaneous

wrongnumber Be very worried should you ever be assigned the phone number 0888 888 888. Every person who was assigned that number in the past ten years has died, often of premature causes:

Vladimir Grashnov, CEO of Mobitel in Bulgaria, died at age 48 of cancer.

Konstantin Dimitrov, Bulgarian mafia boss, was shot and killed (surprise) at age 31.

Konstantin Dishliev, a cocaine trafficker, was shot and killed (another surprise).

The number is now rumored to be on indefinite suspension, but Mobitel won’t comment.

I fully expect this situation to be made into a much more creepy and terrifying Japanese horror movie, then copied by the American cinema.

– Julie

Source:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/7763578/Mobile-phone-number-suspended-after-three-users-die-in-10-years.html

I Guess Witchcraft IS Dangerous

06.02.2010 · Posted in Weird Criminals, Witchcraft

It’s 2010, right? I ask because people have been getting killed over witchcraft lately, and I just wanted to check to see if we are really in the 21st century or if we had warped way back somehow.

Earlier this month in the Bangiwada village in Naswadi, India, seven people were arrested for killing a woman and her son, who had been called a witch and a sorcerer. The accused said the victims caused the death of one of the accused’s relatves, who had died of tuberculosis. The accused, who beat the victims to death with sticks, said the victims summoned evil spirits and plotted the man’s death. Police noted that several of the accused were related to the victims. Three of the accused were stepsons of the woman they killed. Police also stated that the real motive behind the crime was a land dispute going back many years.  So, if the real motive HAD been the death allegedly caused by witchcraft would that have made the killings ok?

In Gold Bar, Washington, Eric Christensen is on trial for killing his girlfriend, Sherry Harlan. Christensen told police he had made Harlan take a Wiccan blood oath to cut off contact with an ex-boyfriend, but that he found evidence of further contact. In his eyes, Christensen said, that made Harlan a warlock or evil traitor. Christensen added, “In ancient times, people who broke blood oaths were sometimes killed.” Despite all that, and some additional evidence, Christensen denied involvement in Harlan’s death until his lawyer smartly changed strategy and instead took the angle that it may have been murder but not premeditated.  Good idea, because the last time I checked my criminal law textbooks I didn’t see violation of witchcraft code, or infidelity, for that matter, as a valid defense for committing murder.

This past week, the residents of Rajapara, India, held a public meeting to determine the cause of multiple illnesses in a village. A shaman accused Bishnu Rabha, 65, and his wife, 60, of practicing witchcraft. After the meeting, villagers apprehended the couple, took them to the woods, beat them, and burned them alive. Police are investigating the matter. Well, that all sounds fair: some people get sick, so kill the people believed to have caused the illnesses? That’s a little more like a leg for a toenail than an eye for an eye, folks.

I’m not going to discuss the children accused of witchcraft in Nigeria. It’s too awful and makes me too upset.

– Julie

Sources:
http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2010/02/eric_christensen_accused_of_ki.php
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/420628_witchcraft25.html
http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20100526/NEWS01/705269862&news01ad=1
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/7-arrested-for-killing-woman–son/619709
http://momento24.com/en/2009/09/19/india-two-elderly-burned-alive-accused-of-witchcraft/comment-page-1/

Foreign Accent Syndrome. It’s Real.

06.02.2010 · Posted in Medical Mystery

whisperingnurse Robin Vanderlip, of Fairfax County, Virginia, fell down the stairs three years ago, knocking herself out. When she woke up, she spoke with a Russian-like accent and has done so ever since.

Scientists call this Foreign Accent Syndrome (creative!) and postulate that the change in accent is due to brain injury that causes slight changes in pitch, tone, and melody, making the speech sound like particular accents. Listeners think they hear a specific accent because of pareidolia, our brains’ tendency to recognize patterns or familiar images or sounds where there really aren’t any, like seeing faces in tree bark.

In Vanderlip’s case, the head injury also made her tire very easily, and her “accent” gets worse as she becomes more tired.

Foreign Accent Syndrome has been associated with head trauma, stroke, and, in one case, severe migraine. Apparently, no amount of speech therapy seems to correct the damage. Fewer than 60 cases of the syndrome have been reported. The recent case of the Croatian girl waking from a coma speaking fluent German does not fall under this syndrome. It is neat, though.

Boy am I relieved that I didn’t wake up speaking in anything other than my normal voice when I was knocked unconscious by a falling flagpole when I was nine.

– Julie

Sources:
http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/weird/Woman-Falls-Down-Stairs-Wakes-Up-With-Russian-Accent-95159764.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/28/AR2010052801724.html?wprss=rss_metro
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_accent_syndrome