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This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such hip-shaking stories as:
- Scientists Scramble to Protect Research on Climate Change -
- The Strange World of Haunted TVs -
- Strange Star's Energy May Be Harvested By Aliens -
AND: How to Appease Household Spirits Across the World
All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
~ And Now, On With The Show! ~
A PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT FOR ALL AGES –
CAROL’S FUTURISTIC, FANTASY ART HAS BEEN COMPARED
FAVORABLY TO THAT OF PETER MAX
OUR FIRST ALL COLOR ART BOOK OF ALIENS, MOTHERSHIPS,
THE “THING.” INNER EARTH DWELLERS, DRAGONS,
UNICORNS, TIME TRAVELERS, HORROR AND SCI FI ICONS
FROM THE ARTIST -- As a child I was always interested in the idea of space aliens, far distant worlds, time travel, other dimensions and beings that are dreamed about, but we are told could not possibly exist. To me, the supernatural is very natural. Nothing is too fantastic to be envisaged. I can sometimes close my eyes and "imagine" a vast universe that to most people remains unseen, but to me I am right there among the stars.
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- POLITICAL CENSORSHIP OF SCIENCE DEPARTMENT -
Scientists Scramble to Protect Research on Climate Change
By Rene Marsh and Theodore Schleifer
What ever your personal beliefs concerning climate change, whether it is the result of man-made pollution, or a natural, cyclical phenomena, the scientific research behind it needs to be free of personal, religious and political mind sets.
Unfortunately, science has always been tainted with human frailties, but it remains the main force driving humanity towards a better future. Our modern world, even with all of its imperfections, is a better place because of science.
In a perfect world, scientific research should be encouraged, properly funded and free from personal vendettas and political partisanship. The censorship of science is abhorrent and meant only to serve an elite few who are profiting one way or another off of keeping the truth hidden. The censorship of scientific research into the harmful effects of tobacco is a perfect example of how certain corporations, with the help of political leaders, kept the truth about tobacco censored for decades.
In the long-term, science will always prevail over censorship and the truth will come out on top. However, the process can take years to resolve itself and in that time countless people will suffer and lives will be lost.
Fight censorship and always rally for the truth.
Some scientists and academics are embarking on a frenzied mission to archive reams of scientific data on climate change, energized by a concern that a Trump administration could seek to wipe government websites of hard-earned research.
Environmentalists and researchers encountered a friendly White House over the last eight years that encouraged inquiry into global warming and signed historic agreements meant to lower global carbon emissions. But the surprise victory of Donald Trump last month has ignited a scramble among those minds who are alarmed by the President-elect's comments on climate change and a string of appointments who do not share the Obama administration's views or attention to this type of scientific research.
The chief concern: publicly available climate change data and research found on government websites would be wiped clean or made otherwise inaccessible to the public. Some worry the information could only be retrieved with a taxing Freedom of Information Act request.
"There is a very short window for when the new administration will come in and that's why there's a lot of anxiety," said Robert Paterson at the University of Texas. "There's a lot of information to save."
And so, at schools like the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Toronto, academics are attempting to download and save as much data as possible. The Canadian school on Saturday is set to host a "guerilla archiving event" in collaboration with the Internet Archive's End of Term 2016 project, which will archive the federal online pages and data that are in danger of disappearing during the Trump administration, including climate change, water, air and toxics programs.
Other schools are planning "hackathons," putting out a call to hackers to scrape federal website databases for climate change intel. Schools maintain they are doing nothing illegal since the information is currently available to the public.
The outgoing Obama administration, for its part, is trying to calm any mounting worries. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell professed confidence this week that her successors would not aim to destroy the key data.
"Policies that have been put in place to make sure that science continues to be foundational are not going to be easy to remove," Jewell said at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, ClimateWire reported, "and I don't think there is any reason that a successor administration is going to want to because they are so important to the decisions we make every single day."
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
But Tump has a long history of doubting climate change, ranging back to a claim deeming it to be a "hoax" perpetrated by the Chinese. The President-elect said last weekend that "nobody really knows" if climate change is real.
And some of his recent appointments have dismayed environmentalists, from Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt to secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson, who led oil giant ExxonMobil.
Some scientists are recalling trouble they had during the last Republican administration, under George W. Bush, when climate data was not as accessible. Yet others, like Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and climate commentator, are not concerned about a politically motivated intentional purge of data. What concerns him, he told CNNI's Amara Walker, was budget cuts to government science organizations like NASA that makes certain data sets unavailable.
"This is all information that underlies our knowledge of the climate system," Holthaus said. "And it's a big effort to try to identify, just to identify what's out there and to systematically go and make copies of it and make it secure in a public way that's, in some cases, housed outside of the United States so there's no possibility of a hostile administration taking control."
- GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE DEPARTMENT -
The Strange World of Haunted TVs
By Brent Swancer
Even as we have progressed as a species and our technology has become ever more advanced, stories of hauntings and communications from the dead have always followed us around. The only difference is that they seemed to have evolved along beside us, changing along with our world and seemingly working their way into our technology. Whereas once ghosts leapt out from old decrepit houses and Ouija boards, now they seem to have a whole new world of avenues through which to break through the wall that separates their domain from our own, and these ways can be every bit as creepy, scary, and indeed terrifying as anything that has come before. One of the more interesting incarnations of hauntings to emerge in the past century is the rise of ghosts that seem to be drawn to TVs, allegedly traveling into these devices through unknown means and reaching out through the screen into our living rooms and indeed our nightmares.
Tales of ghosts in television sets have been around almost as long as the medium. Since the technology first became available to the masses there have been claims that spectral forces had a way of speaking through them or even using them as platforms from which to vault into our world. In the beginning such reports were most likely due to the public uncertainty of this new technology and its innate mysteriousness, combined with the tendency for earlier TVs to frequently have ghost or double images, fog, sound distortion, and strange static patterns, all of which served to spook the general public. All of this made the TV ripe for stories of hauntings and spectral images broadcast into people’s living rooms; a bizarre world beyond our own where spirits and ghosts could fly through the airwaves. Indeed in TV’s early days, some superstitious people who were suspicious and anxious about all of this talk of electromagnetic waves and cathode ray tubes saw televisions as almost portals into another dimension altogether, and other paranoid folk saw the new technology as the perfect way for the government or shadowy organizations to carry out covert surveillance on them. People just did not understand how TVs worked, and this made them enigmatic, often spooky machines, with all of the requisite tales of strangeness that comes with that.
One of the earlier publicized accounts of a haunted TV set was one owned by a family in Long Island, New York in 1953. It concerns the Travers family, who claimed at the time that their TV was inhabited by the ghost of a woman who would jump out of the background of television shows or creep out from static. The woman’s voice was also said to echo out from the TV, even when it was turned off or unplugged completely. The story was so well-known that it featured in an issue of the NY Times, but when curious reporters flocked to the residence to try and get evidence of the haunting the spectral woman appeared to be shy and never appeared to anyone except the family.
Another very eerie and widely circulated story occurred in 1968, when a woman in Minnesota claimed that an outstretched hand had reached out from the black murk beyond the screen of her unplugged television and pressed its palm right up against the glass. The startled woman managed to take a photograph of the alleged ghostly hand as it began to fade away, and the picture has made the rounds ever since. According to the woman and her husband, the same hand had appeared on one other occasion as well, about a year before. The photo itself is creepy but rather inconclusive, with theories ranging from an outright hoax, to a burned image or malfunction, to an actual example of a spirit trying to communicate through an electronic device.
Indeed, the whole phenomenon of ghosts trying to communicate with the living through such devices gained much traction in later years, and became known by paranormal researchers as Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC). ITC phenomena is said to occur on devices as varied as television sets, radios, computers, handheld devices such as ipods or iphones, and even fax machines, although the best known form of it is Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) in which the voices of spirits are recorded on audio equipment, often inaudible at the time of the actual occurrence and not noticed until playback. Throughout the 1970s and 80s the ITC phenomenon as it relates to TV really got its roots, becoming quite popular with researchers of the weird, and there were numerous supposed video and audio recordings of these TV bound ghosts at the time. The investigators in these cases claimed that this phenomenon had even been documented with TVs that were turned off or completely unplugged.
One of the pioneers of using televisions to try and pick up signals from the dead was a German ITC researcher named Klaus Schreiber, who used an apparatus that he called the “Vidicomin,” which used a video camera aimed at a TV set that was switched on but not attached to an aerial, and the signal looped the output from the camera back into the TV. This loop was said to produce dramatic results, with various faces apparently blooming out from the white noise on sets, and on one occasion an actress from Austria named Romy Schneider supposedly clearly appeared on a TV in one such session years after her death. In 1986, another ITC researcher and physicist named Ernst Senkowski claimed to have attained a clear, unmistakable image of a spirit from a TV set. In this case, a brief feed of video was picked up depicting the spirit of a dead EVP researcher named Hanna Buschbeck, who had died in 1978. In the video, she allegedly appeared recognizable yet much younger than she had been when she had died.
A similar bizarre story comes from a Swedish film producer who was also one of the early pioneering researchers of the ITC phenomenon, a Friedrich Juergenson, and who died in 1987. In the strange account, Juergenson purportedly sent out a telepathic message to fellow researcher Claude Thorlin as he lie dying, telling him that when he died he intended to try and send out a message through Thorlin’s TV during his funeral. Thorlin apparently then skipped the funeral in order to stay home and try and record the bizarre event. At the exact moments of the funeral, Juergenson’s spirit was said to have appeared on Thorlin’s TV screen just as promised, and was said to be clearly the image of the dead man. Interestingly, when he was alive Juergenson had had a hobby of recording bird songs. He claimed that one day when he had been listening to a playback of one such recording he had heard the unmistakeable voice of his dead mother saying: “Friedrich, you are being watched. Friedel, my little Friedel, can you hear me?” with Friedel being the pet name only his mother had known and called him by.
A weird story also comes from the country of Bhutan, where there supposedly lies a haunted TV long banished to a darkened, remote hillside. In a small, remote village called Tsento, there is an old television set said to be not only possessed by the Devil, but also inhabited by the evil spirit of a dead man and at least one other ghost. The TV was said to make noises and turn itself on even when unplugged, and is said to be responsible for bringing disease and bad luck to all who own it, eventually passing through three separate families tormented by it before it was examined by a psychic who warned that the TV had to be banished. The frightened villagers then took the cursed TV to a remote location and performed a sort of exorcism rite before leaving it where it lie, where it continues to sit over two decades later. The TV is still believed to harbor evil spirits, and indeed has been blamed for infecting the whole area with its dark magic. Visitors are warned to stay away and the old, decrepit set is said to instill madness in those who come too close.
Research into ITC phenomena has gotten so in depth and weird that an actual station was set up by a group called the Transcommunication Study Circle of Luxembourg Lab, in the country of Luxembourg, with the expressed aim of recording and documenting attempts to communicate from the dead through devices such as radios, computers, and TVs. The group reported picking up hundreds of lengthy, very clear messages from an enigmatic group of beings calling themselves “The Timestream,” and who claim to be from an extra-dimensional planet called Marduk. The messages received are allegedly often relayed by a high-pitched, robotic voice from a being that calls itself the “The Technician.” Is any of this real or is it just a bunch of far-out mumbo jumbo? Who knows?
There has been a great amount of debate on whether EVP or ITC in any form carries any basis in fact, or if it is just seeing or hearing what wants to, picking it out out from the noise and imbuing it with our own meaning. However, considering the amount of work and research being done into the realm of ghosts communicating or making themselves known through modern electronic devices, it seems that the dynamic of hauntings has evolved along with the technology. When looking at these cases a very intriguing question begins to present itself, and that is, if they exist, do ghosts and spirits have the means and ability to pervade our modern equipment and reach out through the veil between the real world and the spiritual one; the barrier between life and death? Are our TVs more than just a sum of sophisticated parts to display images, but also a sort of potential portal between these realms? If so, how would it work and what would the other side have to say to us? Or is this all just as the skeptics say; reading too much into things? Whatever idea one subscribes to, it nevertheless easy to read reports such as these and be beset with a certain unease when the TV screen goes to static and white noise. After all, who knows who might be watching through the cacophony?
Source: Mysterious Universe
- A REAL DYSON SPHERE DEPARTMENT -
Strange Star's Energy May Be Harvested By Aliens
Since 2015, a star that can be seen mysteriously brightening and dimming has captured the imagination of scientists and conspiracy theorists alike.
Many explanations have been offered for the mysterious dimming, but a consensus is yet to be reached.
Now a new paper suggests the star gives off jets that could be a source of energy for an alien civilisation.
Tabby's Star, known officially as KIC 8462852, has baffled experts since it was discovered by citizen scientists in 2015.
Observations revealed its light dimmed regularly, which some claim could be evidence of a hypothetical structure which could be used by an advanced alien race to harness the energy of a star.
Many scientists remain sceptical, suggesting that the dimming could be explained by a dust ring around the star or a hail of comets passing in between the star and Earth.
Now a new paper, published by Professor Eduard Heindl from Furtwangen University, Germany, provides a mathematical model to support the involvement of aliens.
'If a super civilisation has used all raw material of its planets, they could found more in their star,' Professor Heindl told MailOnline.
'For example, our sun has at least 6,000 times more metals as the planets.
'To mine this resource, they have to lift the material of their star into an orbit to cool down the stuff and use it.
Professor Heindl's paper said the star could be a source of 'star mining' for extra terrestrial life.
'This is done by start lifting,' he said.
'We don't know exactly how to do that, but a good guess is, heat one spot of the sun beyond the normal temperature (6,000°K) by mirrors and generate a beam of matter by magnetic fields.'
'The light curve is unusually smooth but the very steep edges make it hard to find a simple natural explanation by covering due to comets or other well-known planetary objects,' Professor Heindl wrote in the paper.
'We describe a mathematical approximation to the light curve, which is motivated by a physically meaningful event of a large stellar beam which generates an orbiting cloud.
'The data might fit to the science fiction idea of star lifting, a mining technology that could extract star matter.'
Star lifting is a general name to describe any process by which civilisations could remove material from a star, and use it for themselves.
Many star lifting mechanisms involve harnessing solar wind, for example.
The paper describes a setup in which a stream of matter leaves the star, in a similar way to a solar jet.
This specific kind of stream would potentially allow aliens to harness the energy, the paper suggests.
The paper, which is available online on the preprint server arXiv, has not been through a peer-review process or published in an academic journal.
One suggested method for harnessing the power of an entire star is known as a Dyson sphere.
First proposed by theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson in 1960, this would be a swarm of satellites that surrounds a star.
They could be an enclosed shell, or spacecraft spread out to gather its energy - known as a Dyson swarm.
If such structures do exist, they would emit huge amounts of noticeable infrared radiation back on Earth.
But as of yet, such a structure has not been detected.
'We recommend further exploration of this concept with refined models,' Professor Hiendl said.
Earlier this year, the Breakthrough Listen project said it was going to look into the star.
As part of the Breakthrough Listen project, which will spend $100m (£82m) over the next decade to search for alien signals, a team of astronomers in the US will recruit a huge telescope to study the object more closely.
'Everyone, every SETI [Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence] program telescope, I mean every astronomer that has any kind of telescope in any wavelength that can see Tabby's star has looked at it,' said Andrew Siemion, director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center and co-director of Breakthrough Listen in statement.
'It's been looked at with Hubble, it's been looked at with Keck, it's been looked at in the infrared and radio and high energy, and every possible thing you can imagine, including a whole range of SETI experiments.
'Nothing has been found.'
Source: The Daily Mail
- MY INTEREST IS PEAKED DEPARTMENT -
A Mountain of Mystery
America’s favorite mountain has no shortage of horror stories, tall tales, myths — and even a true legend or two scattered among them.
There are the resident killer rats devouring babies.
There’s the sea monster slithering through a mountain lake; there’s the buried treasure that still awaits discovery. Take your pick. Matt Carpenter, the Manitou Springs runner who’s spent more than his share of time on Pikes Peak, favors the tale of the homicidal rodents for sheer entertainment value. “The whole story is just crazy,” he said. It goes like this:
In 1875, Sgt. John O’Keeffe arrived for duty at a signal station the Army opened on the summit of Pikes Peak in 1873.
The next year, he reported that one night, hundreds of rats attacked the station, consumed a side of beef in less than five minutes, then advanced on O’Keeffe and his wife. They killed the rats but tragically found the worst had happened — the rats had eaten their baby daughter.
Except that O’Keeffe didn’t have a baby, or a wife, for that matter. Nor do rats live on the peak; the biggest rodents on the summit are marmots.
“That’s my all-time favorite,” Carpenter said.
For inspirational Pikes Peak stories, he likes the one about a man named Peter Strudwick who was born without hands or feet. In 1972, he completed the Pikes Peak Marathon, wearing rubber devices fastened to his legs.
“That one’s totally true,” Carpenter said. “It’s my favorite running-related story.”
The members of the AdAmAn Club, who scale the peak every New Year’s Eve to set off fireworks at the summit, have their own story-telling traditions, said member Glenn Law.
Every year, previous climbs become more harrowing and death-defying in the telling.
The winds grow more ferocious, the temperatures colder and the trail icier to the point where climbers recall “crawl- ing from rock to rock over the last three miles,” Law said, chuckling.
Here are other stories about the peak, true and otherwise:
- Sgt. Robert Seyboth was one of the first men assigned to live at the Army’s signal station on the summit after it opened in 1873.
Probably bored with life at 14,115 feet, Seyboth began reporting bizarre sightings, such as a sea monster in a lake on the peak.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reported “Mr. S. describes the creature at about 100 feet in length; its body of a light brown color and covered with large scales. Mr. S. is confident he has not exaggerated the length of the monster.”
- John O’Keeffe apparently wasn’t rattled when his rat story was disproved. He returned to the station in 1880 and got busy again. In an article in The Gazette, O’Keeffe told of a volcanic eruption from a crater near the top of Pikes Peak. He said he got within 200 feet, and “the heat even at this distance was very oppressive and the ground was covered with pulverized ashes and lava.”
The only problem: Pikes Peak is not volcanic.
- The Garden of the Gods’ best-known feature wasn’t always known as Kissing Camels.
William Pabor, a writer and marketing man, first named and publicized the rock formation as “Seal Making Love to a Nun.”
The name prompted more visitors to come and see it, but city founder William Jackson Palmer didn’t care for it. He asked for Pabor’s resignation, and the formation took on the more sedate moniker it bears today.
- Is a fortune in gold hidden somewhere between the town of Deckers and the rock formation called Devil’s Head off Rampart Range Road?
In the early 1870s, robbers stopped the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad in Pike National Forest near Deckers. They robbed the train of $60,000 worth of $10 gold pieces, and when a posse pursuing got too close, they buried the gold near Devil’s Head, marking a tree to remind them of the spot. Decades later, a forest fire swept the area, which was eventually covered with new trees. As far as anyone knows, the gold — worth millions today — is still buried there.
- In January 1988, Green Mountain Falls resident Dan Masias reported a strange banging against his house one night and large footprints in the snow that looked like those of a barefoot human.
He also reported seeing two large, hairy creatures running down the road with their long arms swinging. Other Green Mountain Falls residents then reported a cat scuffle with an unidentified creature and a break-in, in which the intruder left hair on a broken screen door. They dubbed their visitor “Bigfoot.”
An amateur investigator concluded the creature was not a human, bear or any other recognizable animal.
No one’s gotten to the bottom of that mystery.
- Thousands of people once “owned” Pikes Peak, holding deeds conceived in a marketing scheme.
During the 1950s, a man named M.R. Latimer decided to sell a couple of lots he owned in Cascade in an unusual way: at souvenir shops.
The printed deeds for a square foot of Pikes Peak didn’t catch on, and he was left with hundreds of them.
The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce bought them and started giving them to visiting VIPs, military award winners and a few local residents.
During the years, the chamber issued about 3,000 of the deeds to a square foot of a wooded lot near the Pikes Peak Highway. Problems arose when about 130 people took the trouble to record their deeds.
When Latimer died, the new landowner sued to clear title.
Pikes Peak inspires us. It awes us. And sometimes, it allows us to see things in shadows. Things like, maybe, Abraham Lincoln’s profile, beard and all. Local peak-watchers know that twice a year, Abe shows up in shadow.
Springs resident Dwight Wenger first pointed out the phenomenon to The Gazette in 2002. Wenger noticed the shadowy shape years ago and has taken photos of it several times on sunny days.
The shadow isn’t visible from every angle in town, and it only appears at midday, in late October and late February. Readers have pointed out it’s later this year.
Wenger says the best location for viewing or photographing the image is from the mesa off West Fillmore Street or from a vantage point on West Uintah Street. Face the summit, then scan the mountain’s face as you look toward the south.
Source: The Gazette
- SAWING AT THE WORLD TREE DEPARTMENT -
Look Out Christmas...The Killikantzaros Are Coming!
By Dana Matthews
Everyone and their mother knows all about Krampus, the half-goat, half-demon, kid-hating Christmas asshole. He’s been the featured of folklore legends, horror movies, and city-wide festivals, but what if I told you there was another Christmas creature that makes Krampus seem like the perfect babysitter? Meet the Killikantzaros, the armageddon holiday demons.
I don’t mean to be so hard on Krampus, it’s just that the Killikantzaros have their beady little demon eyes on a much bigger prize: the end of the world. The origin of the Killikantzaros comes from Greece, where they’re often described either as gigantic hairy demons with a pair of horse legs and boar tusks, or small black creatures that look an awful lot like tiny Satans. Some descriptions label them as blind, but their disability has never gotten in the way of their favorite hobbies, which include eating frogs and other adorable woodland creatures.
Sure, you might be wondering why the Killikantzaros are a bigger baddasses than Krampus, and here’s why: according to Greek folklore, the Killikantzaros could only make their way to the surface during the twelve days of Christmas, which gave them quite a bit of time to cause trouble in their subterranean habitat. It’s said that the small demons spend their days sawing at the World Tree, a giant tree which connects the terrestrial world with the heavens, keeping them from crashing into the Earth. So in other words, the Killikantzaros spend all year long trying to bring on the apocalypse. Nice guys, they are.
As luck would have it, every time the goblins are just about finished with their destructive work on the World Tree, Christmas dawns and the spell is broken, allowing the holiday goblins to climb to the surface and cause mischief, mayhem, and murder however they see fit. Unfortunately for them, during their twelve day absence from the underworld, the tree manages to heal itself completely, making their entire years-worth of work totally pointless. Still, just like clockwork, as soon as they’re banished back to hell, the Killikantzaros begin their work to destroy the balance all over again.
Much of this legend may have roots in what the Serbian’s called the “unbaptized days”, when nefarious demonic forces were thought to be more enraged and dangerous than the rest of the year. On these days, believers were more careful about their surroundings, not leaving their homes at night for fear of attracting the attention of the demons, referred to as a karakondžula. If one of these creatures discovered a person outside after the sun had set on an unbaptized day, the demon would leap onto the unfortunate persons make, making them it’s slave until the roosters’ crow. Nothing like a Christmas possession to really kick off the advent calendar.
Fortunately there are ways to protect ourselves when the Killikantzaros do come to the surface, they’re just, well, pretty weird.
One method to ward off the holiday goblins involves tossing a pair of old, smelly shoes onto a burning fire. The stink of aged sweat and burning soles is said to repel the creatures, probably because they’re so sick of the stink of the underworld.
Another ingenious Christmas demon repellant tasks you with leaving a colander on your doorstep at night. According to the legends, the Killikantzaros will become so obsessed with counting the holes in the colander, that they’ll totally forget that he was going to murder you.
Unfortunately, if you have a child who was born during the twelve days of Christmas, he or she might be at risk of turning into a Killikantzaros, which is a fate even worse than having a birthday so close to Christmas (you totally get screwed on presents). In order to protect your holiday child you must bind them in a wrap made of straw and garlic, and for extra protection, you would singe the toenails of the child. The smell of burning toenails would apparently send the demons running in the opposite direction.
Thankfully, no matter what kind of trouble the Killikantzaros decide to sow during their twelve days of freedom, they’re destined to become trapped one gain, bound in an eternal loop of hard work and chaos, never actually managing to bring about the apocalypse.. at least so far. Maybe we should stock up on old shoes and colanders, just in case.
Source: Week in Weird
- QUIT PLAYING GAMES WITH MY HEARTH DEPARTMENT -
How to Appease Household Spirits Across the World
By Eric Grundhauser
If you’re lucky, you can live in a home where a hairy little household imp will help keep your kitchen clean, or a domestic god will grant you everlasting good fortune. So long as you keep them happy.
From ancient Greece’s goddess of the hearth, Hestia, to the hobs of Northern England, household spirits have been around for centuries. But most such mythical creatures double as gods of fire and agents of chaos, so failing to tend to their needs can lead to missing items, broken dishes, and calamitous fortune.
As you prepare your home for the holidays this year, here are some tips on how to keep particular household spirits in good standing.
Originating in Slavic mythology, the hairy little imp known as the domovoi is one of the world’s creepier household gods. As the legends go, each house has a personal domovoi, which usually resides somewhere beneath the threshold, under the stove, or in the oven. The creatures are sometimes thought to be the spirit of the original head of the household.
Domovoi take the form of a tiny old man, about the size of a small child, with a long gray beard. Sometimes they mirror aspects of a family ancestor, or even the current head of the household. They can also take on animal form, appearing as a cat, a dog, or even a snake.
To keep the domovoi content, you must keep a tidy household. The home needs to be kept in good condition, with dishes cleaned and put away, food not left out—unless it’s a small table offering to the domovoi.
If the domovoi are happy, they might come out at night and perform small chores around the house and yard. However, if the domovoi becomes upset with the condition of the house or their treatment, they turn into pests, stealing small items, breaking things around the house, and disturbing people’s sleep, among other nuisances.
In Finnish mythology, there is a type of spirit known as a “haltija,” which acts as a protector of someone or something. And among these spirits, the kotihaltia looks after the home. Similar to other European household imps, the kotihaltia is a little elf figure that can act as either a helper or a trickster depending on its temperament.
These house gnomes are said to live in the attic or even the barn, looking out for and protecting the family that lives there. They are closely related to other haltija who hold domain over other parts of an estate, such as the saunatonttu, who specifically protect the sauna.
Originating in the regions of northern Spain, the goblin known as the Trasgu is another imp with a strange love of domestic chores and tendency toward mischief. Possibly related to the more violent and malevolent red cap of European folklore, the trasgu has more of an impish reputation than some of the more divine or ancestral spirits that can inhabit a home.
Trasgu appear as small, spindly elves that wear red cloaks and red caps. Their other notable features include a limp, and a hole in their left hand. Sometimes they are described as having horns.
Trasgu should be provided with small amounts of food and access to a warm place to sleep, such as near a chimney. If they are happy, they will perform small household chores such as washing up, but if they are neglected, they will move and hide items around the house, break dishes, and make a mess.
To get rid of a trasgu, legend has it that you have to assign them an impossible task, like picking up grains, which will fall through the hole in their hand. Eventually they will get discouraged and leave the house.
Northern English folklore
Coming out of the folklore of northern England, the hob is maybe one of the most well-known types of household spirits, having inspired the Harry Potter character, Dobby. According to the folklore, hobs are a more variable type of household spirit which can also inhabit shops and farms, helping with the work there, and being less closely associated with a specific house or family.
Not unlike in the Harry Potter series, hobs traditionally look like stunted elves that mainly come out at night to help with the chores, preferring not to be seen in their work.
Household hobs are often a positive presence, but one thing they really hate is to be rewarded for their work. Traditionally a hob will become offended and leave should the owner of the house try to give them a piece of clothing. However, pretty much any praise could be seen as an affront, and cause them to disappear. Just leave hobs to their work, and everything should be fine.
While some household spirits must be driven out in order to stop any calamity they might be inflicting on the residents, in the case of Japan’s zashiki-warashi, it isn’t until it leaves that you have to really worried.
For the most part, the zashiki-warashi remain invisible, or appear as a plump little kid, but only to children. Zashiki-warashi usually only show up to the adults or owners of a house if they are preparing to leave. Should the ghost vacate the premises, it is a sure sign of impending doom and ruin. Best to just put up with their hijinks, rather than drive them off, and subject yourself to a ruinous fate.
Zashiki-warashi tend to inhabit nicer, older houses. They are fond of playing pranks like making noise in empty rooms, and unmaking the bedcovers. Despite this mischief, they are not seen as evil spirits, and if they take up residence in the home, it is usually a sign of good fortune.
Rising up from the tales of Lithuanian folklore, the figure of Gabija is one of the more potentially destructive household gods. Another goddess of the hearth, Gabija is more akin to the living embodiment of fire than some of the more benevolent hearth gods.
Gabija appears in human form as a woman clad in a red dress, although she can also take the form of a cat or a rooster.
Paying respect to Gabija is as simple as observing proper care of your household flame. If the fire needs to be extinguished completely, it is wise to only do so using pure water, as any other liquid might anger the goddess.
If Gabija becomes displeased, she is said to go wandering. In other words, fire would spread through your house. Keeping her well attended could mean keeping your house from burning down.
Source: Atlas Obscura
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