Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Evil Things

Evil Things, a series that started up last year, with episode three apparently; The Eye & The Attic. It's as the name suggests, supposed to be tales of people encountering objects with spiritual attachments and curses. Did I ever give this series a try? I can't remember, that's why I'm watching the confusingly listed, episode three, series premiere, right now.

The first half starts with a story about a woman who was in a motorcycle accident and had a cornea transplant, then started seeing things. Either this is not an uncommon claim or they're just blatantly ripping off the movie The Eye (2008), on their first, or third, episode.

It's a distraction making it hard to focus on the second half, in which the husband finds a bunch of cursed video tapes taken by a Peeping Tom. Pretty sure that was a movie too. . .

Blatantly fake paranormal shows seems to be a growing trend. My Haunted House is notorious for this. There's a whole episode about a Sad Sam Clown killing, but if this had happen, there would be a trail. Google it, there is not (mind you, you will find real cases like John Wayne Gacy). But Sad Sam is as real as Pennyland Amusement Park. But to be fair these show both open with 'inspired by' messages to let you know, nothing in them is an actual claim. Still, does this mean there are claims of haunted eye transplants? I rather hear an actual claim.

So many more questions; Are false stories just better TV? Are there just not enough undebunked paranormal claims to go around? Do producers just figure no one will care?

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Something on Your Back?

A weary nighttime traveler heading home hears a mysterious request, “obariyon,” that is, “give me a piggyback ride,” followed by a weight on his shoulders and back. As he continues the weight slowly grows, until he is crushed to death. He has been killed by a mysterious child-sized Yokai (a Japanese paranormal creature), known as Obariyon. In other versions of the legend, the traveler makes it home safely, finding he's been carrying a bag of gold, and it now very rich. Conventional wisdom suggests these tales relate both the overwhelming weight of child rearing and the great rewards of it.

However Obariyon's behavior reminds me of another paranormal creature, a demon from Jewish mythology, called a Dybbuk. Dybbuk are either straight-up demons, or the angry souls of the dead, which ride on people's back, slowly draining the life from them.

(Illustration: “Book of Job” Die Bucher Der Bibel, by Ephraim Moses Lilien - obtained via Wikipedia)

Is it possible Obariyon and Dybbuk are the same paranormal effect with different background mythology attached to them? And what other paranormal creatures are said to ride on people's backs?

Digging deeper revealed a lot of references to Sleep Paralysis and Lucid Nightmares, such as, “witch/hag riding your back” (American/European), “hag ridden” (European), “Night/Old Hag” (Eurpoean), and “the Devil on your back” (African). The idea that witches, hags, ghosts, demons, and/or aliens can cause the effects sleep paralysis and lucid nightmares is global, but the phrasing of “on your back” makes little sense when you consider it rarely happens to anyone not sleeping on their back, and is least likely to happen to those that sleep on their stomachs. Among the folk cures for Sleep Paralysis, such as s tucking silverware under your pillow, getting into bed backwards, praying and reading religious scripture, there is included, sleeping on your side.

This however does not directly relate to Obariyon or Dybbuk as these phenomenon happen during daily activity, as opposed to during a waking dream. In Japan Sleep Paralysis phenomenon is called “Kanashibari” or “to tie with iron rope” and is also believed to be caused by ghosts or evil spirits.

The other results of my initial search came up with very brief Christian commentary about seeing demons riding people's backs in an attempt to turn them from the true way, and signaling the end of days (as a lot of things in Christianity are wont to do). This certainly fits the Dybbuk interpretation, but the accounts I encountered are not very detailed and do not go back very far, suggesting a modern origin (which if it's the end times, make sense). So, once again, this is something I'll be on the lookout for more information on.

Sources/Further Reading:

Dybbuk” Wikipedia
(Last modified 2017-12-15)

Night Hag” Wikipedia
(Last modified 2018-01-10)

Obariyon” Yokai.com
(Last modified 2015)

Rosen, Brenda. The Mythical Creatures Bible. New York: Sterling, 2008.

Symptoms” The Sleep Paralysis Project
(Last modified 2018)

The Diagram Group. Understanding Dreams. Philadephia: Running Press GEM, 1993.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Third Lotus Block Update

The second of four buildings was fully down a couple weeks ago. Sometimes it's kind of eerie thinking about how there was a building there when you see an empty lot like this. Though honestly witnessing the progress on the demolitions has become kind of exciting for me:

And while no progress had been made on the next building a week later (it appear the Lotus herself will be last), the rubble is clearly being sorted:


Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Second Lotus Block Update

For the past few weeks the building that was behind the yellow building has been coming down (I say was because the yellow building is gone of course). It was not a building I ever noticed anyone express interest in, until the demolition made the stain-glass windows of the upper stories more visible:

The following images were taken a week later (Sept 19th). And while it may not look like a lot of progress bringing it down, we should understand there is a lot of crap they're shifting through. Plus, look at the new crane they brought in:


Sunday, August 13, 2017

And the Clock is Ticking for the Lotus Cafe

As of last week, the yellow building on the far end of the block where the Lotus Cafe building sits has been pretty much entirely demolished (Portland, Oregon). You can see in the image below the building between it and the Lotus still stands, but it's days are now visibly limited:
It's a bitter-sweet sight for sure. While the area is being renovated in a way that should boost business in the area, the Lotus' block sat among the shiny office buildings like a pocket of history. Demolitions are always interesting to watch, but it can also feel like memories are being taken away. Though as I stated before, there may be a paranormal investigative value here too, if the new building in fact proves to be haunted.

I'll continue to bring you updates when I can. Hopefully, I can catch when the Lotus is half-down for posterity.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The inconclusive follow-up investigation. . .

So, figuring sooner was better as far as trying to recreate the image if it was an illusion I headed back out to the Vernonia Memorial Cemetery. That way the grass should not have grown too much. Unfortunately, it was apparently due to be mowed, so by the time I got up there, the portion with the downed tree branch had been cleaned-up and mowed.

(It's not exactly the same angle, but it's clear the grass looks very different mowed anyways.)

This also made it a little harder to identify the exact grave, and get an estimate of the size of the pot nearest the figure, obviously. (But if we assume it's 1 ft, that means the figure is only 2.5 to 3 ft tall.)
None of the graves in that immediate area appeared to be children, but given a full list of graves is available online, and we can see that it includes all ages. Children among them include; Scotty (4), Evelyn (10), Terresa (4), Amy (11), and Frederick (7). You can check the full list yourself on Find A Grave (if you're into that kind of thing):

Saturday, June 10, 2017

I'm not saying I took a picture of a ghost. . .

. . .but I think this image is worth examining.

Being in Vernonia, Oregon, I decided to walk up to the Vernonia Memorial Cemetery (basically you walk uphill on Bridge Street until you feel like you can't possibly be on the right road and keep going) and try one of those techniques you don't hear a lot about on all those ghost hunting shows, take daytime pictures of a place with no reported hauntings, but connection to spirituality and/or death. Or simply take pictures because you have a odd feeling, like perhaps you're not alone?

Well, none of those pictures, for some of which I even invited anything present to show itself, captured anything. However, because of recent wind, there were several potted flowers that had tipped over (I righted a few of these, if it makes you feel better about the fact that I might be disturbing the dead), and a large tree branch that had come down across a couple of graves. So I took a picture of that because it was interesting:

(The only thing I've done to this image is re-sized it, since it's somewhat large.)

It too looked perfectly normal, until I expanded it too full size. That's when I saw this:

(This time, all I've done here is cropped the image to fit.)

And incase it you're not quite seeing it, this appears to be the apparition of a child in a hat:
(Clearly I've edited this one. If you'll notice the flowers in front of it as well, it's clearly too small to be an adult.)

But is it an apparition? Well, I can't say. It could just as easily be an illusion. No point in getting too excited or bummed about that. I can see two reasonable future courses of action here; identifying the occupants of the nearby graves to find their age, and seeing if I can recreate the image to prove it's only an illusion.