Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Illuminati: Is it really a secret?

Author: Jorden Johnson


The Illuminati is a secret society that thrives off of the constant mystery of its existence. The secret society is thought to still be thriving today and some of our favorite celebrities such as Beyoncé and Madonna are said to be active members. This group origins date back to the late 1700s, when the idea of “enlightenment” began to thrive and flourish. Throughout the years,theories and ideas of the societies’ goals and morals have evolved and been questioned leaving everyone with different theories and beliefs of the group. What is the Illuminati to you?

The Beginnings 

The Illuminati is a secret society that was founded in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt who at the time was a German law professor. Weishaupt found great interest in the study of enlightenment, reason, and philanthropy because he felt that all these values could control and influence political decisions and ideas on a large scale. He grew up in Bavaria, which was heavily catholic at the time where the king and church didn’t allow enlightenment ideas or thoughts to be taught or passed around. The original group included five of his students that shared similar beliefs as Weishaupt. They held their first meeting in secret and created rules and requirements of anyone wanting to gain membership.

Beliefs and Morals 

This secret society was said not to believe in the way religion was practiced and taught because it didn’t give a sense of freedom to each individual to interpret the messages differently. The Illuminati believed that he brought that sense of freedom to the Illuminati group. Weishupt believed that this group steered away from religious prejudices and promoted the ideas of universal happiness and social virtues. There were also a set of strict things that it took to gain membership to the society. These included strong reputations in well-known families, connections in the community and the most important general wealth.



Evolution 

From 1776 to around 1785, the secret society continued to spread and gained from 650 members to around 3,000 members. Throughout the nine years that had elapsed, the Illuminati had spread even to high level government and public officials. Once the king became aware of the existence of the secret society, he banned all secret societies in Bavaria including the Illuminati. Once the ban went into effect, members of the society stopped practicing the ideas created throughout the decade. This started a time period where the illuminati disappeared. During this time, people began to theorize and conspire all the former group’s ideals and beliefs.

Conspiracy Theories 
The conspiracy theories began in 1797, when authors John Robison and Augustin Barruel wrote publications stating how the Illuminati lived on and had been the responsible force behind the French Revolution. Since then the theories have gone from the formation of a New World Order to satanic worshipping. However, none of the theories have been confirmed or denied, and can all be traced back to the documents written in the late 1700s. The Illuminati did not become such a known and popular theory until the internet made it easier to spread these ideas.

Present Day Beliefs 

Today popular culture is full of references of the Illuminati. Our favorite celebrities including athletes, musicians, actors, etc. are said to be active members of the group. Theories are created through observation of behavior and interactions such as things that can be labeled as satanic worship and sacrificing. Celebrities such as Beyoncé, Prince, Kayne West, Madonna, and Katy Perry are some of the biggest names that continuously come up in the loop of the society that practice these things. Do they use this to their advantage or is a secret society really being exposed?

If the Illuminati isn’t a mysterious and complex society, what is? The little knowledge that we possess,that has been confirmed throughout history,makes you more anxious and eager to theorize. But how far will the knowledge that is unconfirmed take us to finding the truth? What began as a group that supposedly promoted free thinking turned into the world’s biggest conspiracy theory over time? There are tons of ideas surrounding the Illuminati,how do you choose what is a reasonable theory and what is not? When Weishupt created this group what did he believe would become of it? Regardless of if you choose to believe or not, you have to admit that this the Illuminati has become a worldwide fascination.

Works Cited:

Baggini Julian. “Does the Illuminati control the world? Maybe it’s not such a mad idea.” The Guardian.

Encyclopedia Britannica. The Secret Society of the Illuminati. Youtube. 2016. 

“The Illuminati: who are they and what do they control?” The Week. 2018. The Week

Vickery, Matthew. “The birthplace of the Illuminati.” Travel. Nov 2017. BBC.

Does the Illuminati Control the World?https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/14/illuminati-running-world-not-mad-idea-questioning-hidden-power-elites-sane&psig=aovvaw0giexvdkei5eg55rf5vr06&ust=1553916959279438
This is a web source, from The Guardian. This article questions that power of the world’s elites and provides insights on the origin of the Illuminati. Baggini enlightens readers on the confirmed facts known about the secret society.

The Birthplace of the Illuminati
http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20171127-the-birthplace-of-the-illuminati
This article is a web source from BBC. It talks about how the Illuminati was founded on the principles of freedom from religious holds and thinking. Vickey talks about how the group has become one of the biggest conspiracies in the world.

The Illuminati: Who are they and what do they control?
https://www.theweek.co.uk/62399/what-is-the-illuminati-and-what-does-it-control&psig=aovvaw08yxkvzv25dttzu3s29us2&ust=1553917021919192
This article is a web source found on The Week. The article dives in what the group is said to have controlled during its success years in the late 1700s. The article also talks about how celebrities use the society to create theories about themselves.

South Carolina’s Own Loch Ness Monster!

Author: Danny Herrera


It seems like everywhere you go there tends to be a myth that monsters are roaming the lakes. People make up the stories and they often get a lot of attention from others. Those who do not believe nor want to believe have no solid evidence to prove that the monsters are fake. Lake monsters can be considered to be large snakes down to a prehistoric creature. Since it is difficult to spot the actual creature, unless it is seen face to face, it can be mistaken as a mythical monster instead of an animal that is already known.

Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, is a well-known lake monster who has been around for many decades. It’s been said that Nessie has been around since 565 A.D., but Nessie wasn’t considered a monster until May 2nd, 1933. It just proves we don’t actually know what other mysterious creatures have been around for so long.

There are many rumours about the Loch Ness Monster, but a lot of people in the U.S. do not care for a monster that they would probably never get a chance to see. Luckily for us, people have their own monster similar to Nessie and almost have identical names. This monster is located in South Carolina in Lake Murray near Irmo. Messie was first spotted in 1933 and ever since then, there has been more sightings. It makes people question the reality of Messie. It’s a coincidence that Nessie was considered a monster in 1933 and then it just so happens that Messie is also discovered in the same year.  It seems like people got paranoid and started to believe they were seeing things in the lakes from where they would fish.

Lake Murray is a manmade lake that was impounded in the late 1920s to provide hydroelectric power to South Carolina. Lake Murray is 41 miles long and 14 miles wide. At the time of the lake being finished, it was considered the world’s largest manmade reservoir. Once the lake became a recreational attraction, this allured a lot of fishers and people with boats to cruise around in the lake. This lake is a good size to fit a big creature, but it’s strange to have a creature in a manmade lake, which caused it to have it’s doubts of having a monster in the lake.

For example, “Buddy Browning, his wife Shirley and their friend Kord Brazell were enjoying themselves fishing on the lake back in one of the coves when the monster charged them. They denied a South Carolina Wildlife Department claim that it could have been an alligator or a large fish, like a sturgeon. (Alligators are not native to the lake.) (Byers, Thomas).” As those three witnesses stated, they believe they saw something in Lake Murray that was out of the ordinary. Without any actual evidence, people find it hard to believe.

 This leaves people wondering, “do these monsters actually exist?” The only way of getting answers to figure out if they are real,  is if you decide to go visit the lake yourself. That may not be the best option for people because if they do end up seeing the monster, it might end up attacking them.

Works Cited

Byers, Thomas. “Lake Murray Lake Monster Appears Again.” Lake Murray Lake Monster Appears Again, 1 Jan. 1970, paranormalforyou.blogspot.com/2013/12/lake-murray-lake-monster-appears-again.html#.XJ2VRihKjD6.

“Lake Murray (South Carolina).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 1 July 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Murray_(South_Carolina).

“Loch Ness Monster.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 Mar. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loch_Ness_Monster.

Offutt, Jason, et al. “Exploring American Monsters: South Carolina.” Mysterious Universe, 10 Aug. 2016, mysteriousuniverse.org/2016/08/exploring-american-monsters-south-carolina/.

 Warren, Amanda. “Can of Mystery.” Search Results for Lake+Murray+Monster, 1 Jan. 1970, canofmystery.blogspot.com/search?q=lake%2Bmurray%2Bmonster.

Links for further research:

PBS NOVA http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/legend-loch-ness.html
The article gives a brief history of the Loch Ness legend.

http://cryptozoo-oscity.blogspot.com/2009/09/two-lake-murray-monsters.html
Gives more details about Messie. Combines information on the Lake and also Messie.

http://www.irmo-sc.com/irmo019.html
Has the latest sighting seen on Messie and more detailed.

The Mystery of the Wendigo

Author: Jaliyah Collins


In the 20th Century the Algonquian folklore believed the wendigo is a man-eating mythical man-eating creature native to the northern forests of the Atlantic Coast and Great Lakes Region of the Unite States and Canada.  A monster with human like features. They also believe it to be a spirit that has possessed a human’s body. As stated in the “Spirit Beings ... Boreal Forest, 1774 to 1935” article the Algonquian people called the Windigo’s many different names, such as Wendigo, Whitiko, Chenoo, or Atoosh. They also believed that all windigo’s start of as human, but become more and more windigo the more they eat.


As described by the All that’s Interesting in “The Native American Legend of The Wendigo,” the wendigo is a carnivore, but his skin is stretched tight across his bones that they are visible. He is said to stand at almost 15 feet tall and is all was looking for new victims. It is also said for him to have eyes like an owl and razor sharp large claws. Some think he is a relative of BIGFOOT. He was mostly spotted in the 1800s through 1920s, but never seen much after that.Psychiatrists believe it to be a medical syndrome with symptoms such as an increase of eating human flesh and fear of becoming a cannibal. A wendigo was allegedly made a number of appearances near a town Rosesu in northern Minnesota from 1800s to 1920s, each time someone coming up dead.

Word Cited: 

“The Native American Legend of The Wendigo.” All that’s Interesting, 26 February 2018.This article was written by the All that’s Interesting. https://allthatsinteresting.com/wendigo

“TheWendigo Gameplay/New Horror Game”Youtube, posted by ShadesOfNate , 8 Mar. 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywvfXMBRrTQ

Smallman, Shawn “Spirit Beings, Mental Illness, and Murder: Fur Tradersand the Windigo in Canada&; Boreal Forest, 1774 to 1935” Ethno history. Fall 2010, Vol. 57 Issue 4, p571-596. 26 p.

For even more information than what this article provides, visit:

The Wendigo: The North Woods of Minnesota
https://www.prairieghosts.com/wendigo.html
This  wed  source,  gives  us  more  in  site  to  when, where, or how the Wendigo moved around and survived.

The Wendigo: A terrifying beast with an insatiable hunger for human flesh
https://www.ancient-origins.net/unexplained-phenomena/be-wary-wendigo-terrifying-beast-native-american-legend-insatiable-hunger
This source, shows us how the wendigo came to be in the very first appearance he makes.

Crystal Skulls

Author: Neil Hamilton

Crystal skulls are a hardstone carving of a human skull made up of quartz. They began being made around the 19 century and are claimed to be pre-columbian mesoamerican artifacts. Although where crystal skulls actually originated from has been refuted by scientist for years. Crystal skulls should not be considered uncommon or terribly mysterious because thousands are produced every year in China, Brazil, and Germany.

Crystal Skulls Mystery
Crystals aren't always meant to represent something or mean something. A Lot of times they are simply just a hardstone carving of a skull. They are made with alot of detail and the quartz can be very translucent or transparent. Some people admire them for nothing more than the great craftsmanship behind them. Whether you see them as spooky or fascinating they are still extremely interesting artifacts either way. Although according to certain cultures, crystal skulls represent more that just a hardstone carving. In an article written by Shanna Freeman she states “crystal skulls are sometimes meant to represent doom and destruction and sometimes hope and healing.” She goes on to say how some cultures use them as crystal balls to see into the past, present, and future claiming that the skull emitted psychic energy. Shanna pointed these beliefs toward the Mayan culture. There is a creation myth in their culture that 13 crystal skulls were scattered by the mayans thousands of years ago to be discovered and reunited in modern times. This is only one of the many mysteries that come along with crystal skulls

The most thought upon questions that come up on crystal skulls is their history. Researchers, scientist, and archeologist are all dragged into discovering more on the history of these interesting artifacts. Some believe that crystal skulls date back hundreds of thousands of years ago and may be a relic of lost civilizations. Such as the ones that you can see in the British Museum.

The british museum along with smithsonian institution had done recent electron microscope analysis on crystal skulls. These analysis revealed markings that could only been made with

modern marking tools. Clearly researchers struggle to come up with where, how, and when crystal skulls actually came from. An article found on National Geographic offer a chance for readers to better understand what history scientist and researchers have happened to found and been able to back up. In the article it states that the crystal skulls in the british and smithsonian museum date back to the mid and late 1800s. In the article author Richard A. Lovett describes these times as “a time when public interest in ancient cultures was high and museums were eager for pieces to display.” The rumor is that the british museum displayed skulls with crystal said to be “found in Brazil or Madagascar and thus inaccessible to pre-columbian indigenous civilizations.” No one knows who made these crystal skulls and when because there was no way for scientist or archeologist to accurately determine the age of an inorganic object like the skulls.



Behind the crystal skulls are some mysteries that some cultures tend to believe in. The main one is of the Mayan spreading 13 crystal skulls to be found in modern times. There was actually someone who claimed to have found one in a lost Mayan city during a search for Atlantis. In a book written by Garvin, Richard M he tells of the story of the crystal skull found in the mayan city. The book is called The Crystal skull: the story of the mystery, myth, and magic of the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull Discovered in a lost Mayan city during a search for Atlantis. his book is the story of the mystery, myth, and magic of the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull discovered in a lost Mayan city during a search for atlantis. The purpose of this book is to inform readers of the mysterious things that come along with crystal skulls. This source is unique because it provides a lot of useful information about crystal skulls. He also links crystal skulls with different cultures. This source is relevant because it shows me where crystal skulls can be found and how there is some sort of a mystery behind them. This book is written for an audience looking for a mythical story along with some geographical facts regarding crystal skulls.

Work Cited:

1)Richard A. Lovett. “Crystal Skulls”. National Geographic, 2015, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/archaeology-and-history/archaeology/crystal-skulls/

2)Garvin, Richard M. The Crystal Skull: The Story of the Mystery,Myth and Magic of the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull Discovered in a Lost Mayan City During a Search for Atlantis. , 1973.

3)Shanna Freeman. “How crystal skulls work”. Science.howstuffworks.com, 2019, https://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/unexplained-phenomena/crystal-skull.htm.

Links for further research:

“Crystal skulls”. World-mysteries.com
https://www.world-mysteries.com/strange-artifacts/out-of-place-artifacts/crystal-skulls/.
This source mainly covers the mysteries behind crystal skull. The author talks on how fascinating they are and how they had an impact on archaeology in the 20th century. This article is meant to inform us about the how they are created and mystical stories that come along with them. This source is unique because it links the crystal skulls with aztec and mayan culture and allows people to respond on the subject themselves, giving me different views from the subject. This article is drawing attention to more of an audience who has something to say on the topic themselves and are interested in mysteries.

“How crystal skulls work”. Science.howstuffworks.com
https://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/unexplained-phenomena/crystal-skull.htm.
In short this article explains what all crystal skulls are exactly made of. They describe where the materials to make these skulls come from and how they are made. This article is informing us readers how crystal skulls work and what they are made up of. The fact that this website provides information on what crystal skulls are made up of makes it unique. They describe what exactly
kind of crystal is used for the skulls which will be very beneficial information to my paper. This article is aimed towards a more scientific audience. People who care for the science behind things.

Are We In Danger?

Author: Airyhana Brown

Chemtrails in the sky

Imagine you’re walking around with a loved one when they suddenly ask you to look up into the sky, there you see a skywriting of your name. You’re amazed but you’re also wondering how it was possible. While planes naturally release a trail of condensed water while at high altitudes, people rather believe that those trails are altering the temperature of the environment or poisoning the planet. While the government does have the means to make this happen, the process is actually quite natural and referred to as a contrail. The word chemtrail is directly related to the conspiracy. Chemtrail was actually a name given to the conspiracy by the government. Suzanne Maher believes that the term ‘conspiracy theory’ was created by the CIA to discredit those who question the government, so she never uses the term.(Bell)  It all began in the 1990s when “investigative journalists” like William Thomas began describing purported plots by the government to inject poisons into the atmosphere via the exhaust trails of jet planes.(CSI) Nearly twenty years later and Chemtrails are still a hot topic. Global warming has increased which makes Chemtrails seem more and more realistic. We understand that we could treat the environment better, but with the drastic weather changes, people are looking for a more realistic cause.

Suzanne Maher on the right
“Chemtrails” have been described as either a means of carrying out biological warfare upon the citizenry of the United States or as a method of weather modification, perhaps related to mitigation of global warming. (CSI) Since the 1990s global warming has become a rising issue in America and we as a nation suffer from the effects every year. People who believe in chemtrails are apart of a massive mind control effect. It’s believed that lithium was sprayed 30,000 feet or so, in an attempt to control global warming, and still others say chemtrails are there to make the global warming “hoax” more convincing. Atmospheric scientists, environmental groups working on air quality issues, and engineers familiar with aircraft mechanics, since then have completely dismissed chemtrail notions.(Clarke) While as Americans we look for the shortcut to all of our situations, we also look for validation in our work. If someone had found a way to validate the idea of chemtrails it would’ve been proven by now. So far there is only one peer-reviewed paper on the topic and a study. Chemtrail advocates point out that persistent contrails are much more prevalent than they once were, which is true. That’s easily explained by dramatic increases in air traffic, as well as by changes in the fuel efficiency of jet engines leading to cooler exhaust, and increased water vapor in the atmosphere due to global warming(Clarke)

Links For Further Research:

“The 'Chemtrail Conspiracy'.” CSI, www.csicop.org/sb/show/chemtrail_conspiracy.

CSI gives their research and scientific response concerning Chemtrails.

Clarke, Chris. “Why Do People Believe in Chemtrails?” KCET, 25 May 2017, www.kcet.org/shows/earth-focus/why-do-people-believe-in-chemtrails.

KCET is a broadcast channel that covers a variety of national news. They cover chemtrails and the mindset of those who believe in Chemtrails. Their goal is to engage, educate and activate viewers to become involved in the world. They let readers experience the story from both the scientific and nonscientific sides of the story.

Bell, Chris. “Chemtrail' Conspiracy Theorists: The People Who Think Governments Control the     Weather.” BBC News, 31 Jan. 2018,    www.geoengineeringwatch.org/geoengineering-watch-global-alert-news-january-27-2018-129/.  

BBC news is covering a protest about chemtrails. A group of people who conspire against the government naturally were in charge of the protest. Local activists were calling the protest ByeByeBlueSky


Scotland’s Edinburgh Vaults

Author: MaKayla Sims

Caption: Picture of Edinburgh Vaults Constuction 
The Edinburgh Vaults are a series of underground chambers located in the South Bridge in Edinburgh, Scotland. The vaults were constructed in 1788. A mysterious rumor lies that paranormal activity takes place beneath the streets of Edinburgh known as the underground city. It is said to be curse because the judge’s wife during this time was supposed to be the first to cross the bridge when it was first constructed because she was the oldest citizen, however, the woman died the day before its opening and the first person to cross the bridge was in a casket!  “The majority of the townsfolk refused point blank to cross the bridge for many years, preferring instead the awkward and impractical route through the deep valley of the Cowgate” (Palmer). After this happen, suspicion began to come about leaving fear in the minds of the residents of Edinburgh

Hidden Tour by Isabelle Vlogs 

Today, many people take tours through the underground vaults of Edinburgh. It is said that you can hear the voices of the dead in the rooms of the vaults. Tour guides often tell stories about the history of Edinburgh and the paranormal activity that is said to take place in these vaults. Many people that were in poverty or homeless found the underground city of Edinburgh to become their homes. However, due to the conditions of these homes, many died. There is a well-known story about a little 10-year-old girl named Annie that was killed in the underground city. It is said that she roams around looking for her lost doll as she wears a ‘dirty white dress and boots (Hotson). In Hotson’s article, she explains how a Japanese psychic, Aiko, encountered a moment with the spirit Annie in which she expressed being upset about her lost doll, so Aiko went and bought her another one.

Photo of William Burke and William Hare , Houlton Archive, Getty Images
In the early 1800’s, Edinburgh was the home of the infamous serial killers known as Burke and Hare. William Burke and William Hare found each other when they realized that they had interest in the medical field. However, their thoughts were extremely twisted. The two had the idea that if they could dissect the bodies of humans, they would get ahead of the medical team in Edinburgh. They began to grave-rob, which means that they dug up graves and took the bodies from caskets. When found that it was difficult to get great research from these decaying bodies, the two relied on “fresh bodies.” The two went on a killing spree, first targeting a young couple walking down the darkness beneath these streets. The two continued to “gain research” by going on a killing spree and killed 17 people in order to dissect their bodies (Top 10 Crime Duos). However, William Hare was never found guilty because there was no evidence pointing him to these vicious crimes, and he had to testify against his dear friend William Burke. Burke was found guilty and hanged in from of the town of Edinburgh. Here’s how the irony applies; Burke was publicly dissected in front of the Edinburgh Medical Center where his skeleton remains on display (Top 10 Crime Duos). 

References: 

Hotson, Elizabeth. “Exploring the Lure of Edinburgh’s Dark Tourism.” BBC News, 31 Oct. 2014. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-29832743.

Palmer, Claire. “Edinburgh Vaults.” HistoricUK, Accessed on March 23 2019. https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/Edinburgh-Vaults/

StrangeRemains. “The Skeleton of William Burke, Body on Display.” Strange Remains, 4 Sept. 2013. https://strangeremains.com/2013/09/04/body-snatcher-on-display-william-burke/

“Top 10 Crime Duos.” Time, Accessed on March 27 2019. http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1900368_1900369_1900364,00.html


UFO? Ghost lights? The Marfa Lights of Marfa, Texas

Author: Courtney Hicks


The Marfa Lights are a phenomenon that occurs very often in Marfa, Texas that baffles locals and lures in tourists from all over the nation. These are lights that appear during the evening and night, specks of lights that litter the desert skies varying from blue to red to yellow and often dart around the sky or split into various other lights. The locals have grown used to these lights, however many still speculate what they are. There are many theories, from the classic extraterrestrial related UFO, ghost lights, Native American spirits, and many other supernatural explanations. For example, Deborah Byrd explains in this article a popular theory- will-o-the-wisps. A “will-o-the-wisps,” otherwise referred to as ghost lights, derived from English folklore and are mostly seen in the English bogs, however that the term is related to these phantom lights that are unexplained. These lights were believed to have been a lantern or torch being held by a fairy or spirit, to lure travelers into foreign territory deeper into the bogs (Byrd). Byrd even goes as far as to mention the Marfa lights, explaining the darting of the lights and the fact that these lights appeared far before any cars were created, negating skeptics of the supernatural.

A photo drawn on DeviantArt by user Robjenx detailing the history of will-o-the-wisps.
With the supernatural, comes scientific counter explanation, Marc Lallanila explains in THIS (https://www.livescience.com/37579-what-are-marfa-lights-texas.html) article the scientific side that may shed light, elaborating that it could be the highway to headlight superior mirage. This theory claims that the desert heat causes visible gases that may reflect the headlights of cars traveling on the highways to and through Marfa. It could also be the theory of glowing gasses that appear in the desert heat. Regardless of these explanations, it doesn’t stop tour guides from profiting of the national attention it brings, being the highlight of Marfa (Lallanila).

These scientific perspectives, however, counteract the history of the lights, dating back all the way to the early 1800’s as the first documented sighting, and Native Americans believing the lights were the presence of spirits of fellow tribe members. Michael Hall points out in his Texas Monthly article that there are two versions of the lights: the real version, or the unexplained version that many locals can attest to, and the fake version, the hoaxes possibly created by locals to continue tourist revenue. He states that real version may be references in World War 2 Air force sightings as well as the Native Americans lore involving the spirits of the deceased that is related to these sightings (Hall).

Either way, the lights have been a mystery that can be seen often in Marfa, locals love talking, and tourists love venturing out to witness these lights and make their own judgement on what may be behind them. So much culture derived from this phenomenon that there is an annual festival in Marfa involving music, food, and activities all leading up to a mass viewing of the lights, waiting for there appearance! Many will continue to speculate the supernatural, many will continue to attempt debunking with scientific theory, however no one knows for certain what these lights are, and the mystery of it all keeps locals and tourists excited for the next sighting!


Works Cited:

Byrd, Deborah. “Ghost Lights: Believe If You Dare.” EarthSky: An Update on Your Cosmos
And World.  29 October 2016.

Hall, Michael. “The Truth is Out There.” Texas Monthly. June 2006. https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/the-truth-is-out-there/.

Lallanila, Marc. “What Are The Marfa Lights? Live Science; Strange News. 13 June,
2013. https://www.livescience.com/37579-what-are-marfa-lights-texas.html.

Su, Alisa. “Top 10 Secrets of the Marfa Mystery Lights and the Marfa Lights Theories” Mysterious Monsters. 10 December 2016. http://www.science-rumors.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Top-10-Secrets-of-the-Marfa-Mystery-Lights-and-the-Marfa-Lights-Theories-388x220.jp

Robjenx. “SDJ; Will- O- The-Wisps” DeviantArt. 16 September 2012 http://img04.deviantart.net/1c28/i/2012/260/2/7/sdj___will_o___the_wisp_by_robjenx-d5ezr0w.jpg

For more information on The Marfa Lights, visit these websites:

https://mythology.net/mythical-creatures/will-o-the-wisp/. Professor Geller goes into detail on the story behind “will-o-the-wisps,” being inspired by blacksmith named Will whose mischievous soul was sent back onto earth by Saint Peter. That soul, which was condemned on Earth forever, impressed the devil into gifting Will coal on Winter nights which he then used as a lantern to deter and lure travelers during their journeys. The purpose of this article is to go into depth of the lore behind what a will-o-the-wisps is and why it is seemingly a malevolent spirit.

https://www.ufoinsight.com/the-far-reaching-mystery-of-the-marfa-lights/ Marcus Lowth briefs on the existence, history and firsthand account of the Marfa Lights as many of the other articles, however, goes in depth in a particular crossing of U.S. and Mexican military in the Chihuahuan Desert Incident. This report claims of a UFO colliding with a small plane in El Paso and the small plane is referred to as a possible Marfa Light. The entire exchange resulted in the rumor of a captured UFO/ disk. The purpose of the article is to elaborate on the Marfa Lights, particular accounts, and the extraterrestrial side of the phenomenon.

https://earthsky.org/human-world/ghost-lights-believe-in-them-if-you-dare. Deborah Byrd goes into explicit detail in “Ghost Lights in History” on what a Ghost Light is by referring to English folklore and its second name of will-o-the-wisps. She explains that the spirits that some thought the lights were, would retract upon approach, and that they were also looked at as a torch or light carried by a fairy. The purpose of this article is to elaborate on what a Ghost Light is, its history and many popular modern sights for these lights, such as Marfa, Texas and the Brown Mountains of North Carolina.


Alice of the Hermitage

Author: Harry Caldwell

Alice Flagg’s alleged grave marker
Since the 1950’s there have been tales of a young woman named Alice Flagg searching a hermitage for her lost engagement ring. The strange this is that Alice Flagg died in 1949. The Hermitage, located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, does not seem like a place a ghost would be found. It is a quiet peaceful place where Alice spent her early years life living with her wealthy older brother and mother. There is simply nothing haunting about the home where Alice grew up, or so it seems.


Alice’s family expected her to fall in love and marry a wealthy man equal to her status. They did not know she had already fallen in love with a poor lumberman and recently became engaged to him. When her brother found out, he was overly vexed. Alice was sent off to boarding school, but soon after she fell extremely ill. When she returned home, she was bedridden, but her brother noticed the ring hanging around her neck. As Virginia Lamkin explains in her article called  “The Hermitage's Alice Flagg” , the ring was tossed into the nearby marsh never to be seen again. Shortly after Alice died. Some people may say she died of her sickness known as malaria, but many also think she died from heartbreak. Alice was buried on the plantation because a decision could not be made on where to bury her. She was buried in a glass casket wearing her favorite white dress that she wore when she met her lover.

Shortly after her death, a woman and her son came to visit the Flagg family. During their stay, the boy asked his mother who the pretty girl in the white dress was in his room. A resident overheard the boy and his mother, and she recognized  the girl he described as Alice Flagg. A couple weeks pass, and Alice appears in the garden to a family.

Alice has been appearing to people over the past sixty five years. Sometimes she is seen wandering through the garden in the light of the moon, presumably looking for her lost engagement ring, and other times she is seen sitting on the windowsill of her old room. People to this day are intrigued by the beauty, kindness, and grace of this ghost when she appears at the hermitage she cared so much for. Like many ghost stories, the story of Alice Flagg is rooted by heartbreak and forbidden love.

Works Cited:

Lamkin, Virginia. “The Hermitage's Alice Flagg.” Seeks Ghosts, 1 Jan. 1970, seeksghosts.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-hermitages-alice-flagg.html.

Roberts, Nancy & Roberts, Bruce. “Ghosts of the Carolinas.” Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2013. Project MUSE, https://muse.jhu.edu/chapter/850529.

For even more information than this article provides visit:

 Roberts, Nancy. “South Carolina Ghosts: From the Coast to the Mountains.” Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2013. Project MUSE. https://muse.jhu.edu/chapter/850541. This essay by Nancy Roberts explains a time when she and her husband went to the hermitage in search of Alice Flagg’s grave.

“The Hermitage - Murrells Inlet, South Carolina.” South Carolina Picture Project, www.scpictureproject.org/georgetown-county/the-hermitage.html. This essay, written by an unknown author, describes the story of Alice Flagg as a folklore and historical legend.

Evelyn, Jamilah. “This Ghost Story Has a Certain Ring.” Community College Week, vol. 15, no. 24, June 1998, p. 18. EBSCOhost, http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=786675&site=ehost-live&scope=site. This essay, written by Jamilah Evelyn, is written as documentation of a ghost story. Evelyn wrote this story to inform readers about the supernatural encounter she had with the ghost of Alice Flagg.


Murders of the Bog

Author: Shaila Adia

Paint Me Like One of Your Irish Bog Bodies
In the area of northern Europe, there has been a series of murders… two-thousand year old murders that is. Since about 700 B.C. there has been multiple accounts of people being thrown into peat bogs and being found around the 18th century. Originally people thought these bodies were recently killed until an in-depth evaluation and one murder confession later anthropologist find out these bodies aren’t from our time (“Were the Mysterious Bog People Human Sacrifices”).

These people are now called bog bodies. Bog Bodies are bodies that have been cast into or who fell into bogs while alive\(“What are Bog Bodies”). Throwing these people into bodies of water was believed to be a human sacrifice or just plain murder that turned into mummification of a body. Mummification is a method of embalming or treating a dead body used in ancient Egypt (“Egyptian Mummies”). When pulled out of the peat bog, these people had their skin still intact, but very burnt, facial features prominent, clothes and hair still on their body, the only thing that disintegrated was their bones. This was able to happen because of a moss called sphagnum found in peat bogs, that produces a substance that keeps out or kills bacteria and small bugs that could eat or ruin the flesh on the body and the material of the clothing they (“Bless This Boggy Book: How Do Bogs Keep Things Fresh?”). Bog bodies are akin to getting tanned because the bog cures the body in a way that it preserves skin but eats away at bones leaving no trace of DNA and them being shrunken (“Were the Mysterious Bog People Human Sacrifices”).

A Peaceful Death
One of the most well-known bog body is Tollund Man, found in Aarhus, Denmark 1950. He is known for his peaceful like resting face being the most recognizable and intact. His death was ruled as a murder because of the noose that was found tied around his neck with the fact that he was placed into the bog. Being laid in a sleeping position with eyes and mouth shut, this led archeologist to believe he was a human sacrifice.

Other bog bodies that have been found include Cashel Man (2011), Old Croghan Man (2003), Lindow Man (1984), Yde Girl (1897), Grouballe Man (1952), Windeby Girl (1952). Yde Girl was believe to be murdered with half of her hair cut off because of her having a disfigurement. Windeby Girl was about 13/14 and was believed to be murdered for being an adulteress with a man found five yards away from her body. Lindow man still had his facial hair intact with good teeth and well-manicured nails. He had a violent and brutal death, with it obviously being a murder. Grouballe Man was analyzed and x-rayed the most and it was found that his last meal with a hallucinogenic fungus (“Bog Bodies of the Iron Age”).

Poem "The Tollund Man" by Seamus Heaney

Works Cited:

Clark, Robert. Grauballe Man was found in 1952 in Nebelgard Mose, a small bog in Jutland, Denmark. Forhistorisk Museum, Højbjerg, Denmark. “Bodies of the Bogs.” Archaeology, 10 Dec. 1997. https://archive.archaeology.org/online/features/bog/images/GrauballeBog.gif.

Tollund Man. “Tollund Man,” Atlas Obscura, contributed by Ronin. https://assets.atlasobscura.com/media/W1siZiIsInVwbG9hZHMvcGxhY2VfaW1hZ2VzLzk0ZDgwYmY0MGRkZmJlYzU4MjU1Yjk3ODE0MjIxZjc1YjI3MzBjZmEuanBnIl0sWyJwIiwiY29udmVydCIsIi1hdXRvLW9yaWVudCAiXSxbInAiLCJ0aHVtYiIsIjYwMHg0MDArMTUrMTIiXSxbInAiLCJjb252ZXJ0IiwiLXF1YWxpdHkgODEgLWF1dG8tb3JpZW50Il0sWyJwIiwidGh1bWIiLCI3ODB4NTIwIyJdXQ/94d80bf40ddfbec58255b97814221f75b2730cfa.jpg . Accessed on 27 March 2019.

“Egyptian Mummies.” Smithsonian, https://www.si.edu/spotlight/ancient-egypt/mummies. Access Day March 24, 2019.

Engber, Daniel. “Bless This Boggy Book: Ho Do Bogs Keep Things Fresh?” Slate, 28 July 2006, https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2006/07/how-do-bogs-keep-things-fresh.html.

FirstscienceTV, “The Tollund Man: Denmark’s remarkable bog mummy.” YouTube, 19 Oct. 2007, https://youtu.be/5CQE4c8UJkM

Gazur, Ben. “10 Ancient Bog Bodies That Will Amaze You.” Listverse, 28 Jan. 2017, https://listverse.com/2017/01/28/10-ancient-bog-bodies-that-will-amaze-you/.

Heany, Seamux. “The Tollund Men” pbs.org, Nova, Jan. 2006, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bog/toll-heaney.html.

Lewis, Susan K. “The perfect Corpse: Bog Bodies of the Iron Age.” pbs.org, Nova, 2006, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bog/iron-nf.html#fea_top

Mikanowski, Jacob. “Where the Mysterious Bog People Human Sacrifices?” The Atlantic, 11 March 2016, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/03/were-europes-mysterious-bog-people-human-sacrifices/472839/.

For further reading:

Mystery of the Bog Bodies https://scienceworld.scholastic.com/issues/2017-18/103017/mystery-of-the-bog-bodies.html#1120L This source explains not only the science of bogs but specifics on one of the cases for bog bodies. This source breaks down the mystery of bog bodies in a kid friendly way along with diagrams.

Bog Bodies Uncovered: Solving Europe's Ancient Mystery https://www.amazon.com/Bog-Bodies-Uncovered-Solving-Europes/dp/0500051828 This book explains in depth about who the bog bodies were, more bog bodies mentioned, and how or why they died.

Man-Eating Peat Bogs? 10 Top Tips For Crossing Treacherous UK Bogs https://www.tripsavvy.com/stay-safe-on-a-uk-bog-1661537 This source gives readers who are into wilderness and become more interested in bogs, a safe way to travel and how to become more conscious and not end up like the bog bodies discovered.

The Hurricane Harbinger: The Gray Man of Pawley’s Island

Author: Petra Van Houtte

Pawley’s Island, located just off the coast of South Carolina, has been plagued by hurricanes for centuries. These storms tear apart whatever their winds can pick up, ranging from beach umbrellas on the strand to houses belonging to the island’s residents. If the storm is believed to be
strong enough to do the latter,islanders are told to leave by their local weatherman. That might not seem unusual, until you hear the weatherman is a ghost.

Pawleys Island Pier, Foggy Morning. Photo by Mark Hillard.
The ghost in question, called the Gray Man,is said to appear as a stranger clad in all gray to one or more lucky people before a big storm hits. He has been described as standing far away and waving his arms in warning as well as speaking to people. Though he keeps his distance from large groups and tends only to speak to those alone, all accounts report a strange foreboding at his appearance as well as the need to heed his warning to leave, which is always understood, regardless of how the spirit communicates his warning. Those to whom the Gray Man shows himself often return to their houses after the storm to find them untouched, even when the rest of the island’s buildings have been blown away. A few notable Gray Man sightings, noted by Christie Gordon in her article titled “The Gray Man of Pawleys Island”,include a young couple who saw him on their honeymoon in 1954, just days before Hurricane Hazel.Another older couple saw him on the beach several years later and left the island just before Hurricane Hugo hit Pawley’s Island. They returned after the storm to find their house was one of few intact. There have been several less well-known sightings  of the Gray Man that date back over 200 years. Many believe the latest sighting of the Gray Man was on a livestream recorded by Jim and Billy McClency during Hurricane Florence, as shown below.

Gray Man caught on livestream during Hurricane Florence

The Gray Man’s origin story has several variations. These include the idea that Gray Man was originally George Pawley the original owner of Pawley’s Island,who lived in the eighteenth century. Another story claims the ghost was a sailor who himself was a victim to a storm, and him being a man who drowned himself after finding out the woman he loved had married his best friend while he had been away at sea. The most commonly known origin story for this legendary ghost is written out in detail by Ashley Hall in their article The Gray Man of Pawleys Island. In this tale, the Gray Man was returning to his lover to ask her to marry him when both he and his horse drowned in the island’s marshes. Several months later, his lover saw a strangely familiar man on the beach who warned her that a storm was coming and that she needed to get off the island, which she did after convincing her family to come with her. After the storm, they returned to find their house untouched while the rest of the island lay in devastation.

Regardless of whether the legend of the Gray Man of Pawley’s Island is real or not, his story enthralls tourists and locals alike as he continues to protect his fellow islanders from storms.


Sources used:
“Pawleys Island Ghost –The Gray Man.” Real paranormal experiences, 24 March. 2018https://realparanormalexperiences.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/1125034-e1521898525467.jpg. Accessed 24 March. 2019.

“The Gray Man Ghost of Pawleys Island Real Footage During Hurricane Florence.” Jim McClency and Billy McClency, YouTube, posted by ghost guys go, 16 Sep. 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl7oZEuYb8M. accessed 24 March. 2019.

Fleming, Tyler. “Who was the Hurricane-Predicting Ghost of Pawleys Island?” TheSun News, 11 Sept.2018, https://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/local/article215990455.html. Accessed 25 March. 2019

Gordon, Christie “The Gray Man of Pawleys Island,” Mysterious Universe, 27June, 2013https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2013/06/the-gray-man-of-pawleys-island/. Accessed 25 March. 2019.

Hall, Ashley. “The Gray Man of Pawleys Island” theparanormalguide.com, 21 Apr. 2015, http://www.theparanormalguide.com/blog/the-gray-man-of-pawleys-island. Accessed 25 March. 2019.

Hillard, Mark. Pawleys Island Pier, Foggy Morning. X-E2 with 10 stops of ND, 30 seconds. https://markhilliardatelier.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/x-e2-30s-pi-pier-in-the-fog-0186-2013.jpg. Accessed 26 March. 2019.

Links for further research:
Myrtle Beach Online
https://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/local/article215990455.html.
Tyler Fleming compiles a list of possible origin stories for the Gray Man of Pawleys Island. Stories claim he is either the victim of a hurricane himself, a scorned lover or the original owner of the island.

Southern Living
https://www.southernliving.com/news/the-gray-man-hurricane-florence-pawleys-island.
This article delves into how South Carolina residents experience the island ghost and how he has been integrated into the culture. It includes stories depictions of several tweets of local eyewitness accounts as well as an informational video.

The Paranormal Guide
http://www.theparanormalguide.com/blog/the-gray-man-of-pawleys-island.
In her article, Ashley Hall tells a version of the most well-known origin story of the Gray Man wherein he is depicted as a young man drowned with his horse in the marshes before he could make it home to his lover, who he later tells to get off the island right before a storm hits. Hall also explains the nature of Gray Man sightings, wherein he is dressed in gray and often waves in warning, and his storm-predicting abilities.

Weathertrends360
https://www.weathertrends360.com/Blog/Post/The-Legend-of-the-Hurricane-Forecasting-Ghost-The-Gray-Man-4262.
This article uses these features to link hurricanes with Gray Man appearances from as far back as 1893. It uses maps showing hurricane paths and its analytical approach to the link between Gray Man sightings and hurricanes.