Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mayan Prophecy: The End Is Here

Author: Jacob Robertson

It is our last year on Earth! Don’t worry about what you eat, skip that day at the gym, go buy that dream car you have always wanted! The world is going to end December 21, 2012! Well... at least according the Mayans “Long Count” Calendar it is. This calendar is a cyclic calendar, which means the calendar starts a new cycle when one has ended. For the long count calendar, this cycle was named the “Grand Cycle.” This cycle is believed to last approximately 2,880,000 days long. With the start date being on August 11, 3114 BC, that would make the final day of the cycle land on December 21, 2012. Making many believe that the end of the cycle means the end of the world as we know it (“How Does the Mayan Calendar Work?.”) 

Ancient Mayan Long Count Calendar
There are many different theories of what will happen on this date. Some believe the world would end with a terrible natural disaster. Such as a worldwide earthquake, tidal wave, or a huge volcanic eruption. Others believe that the earth will collide with a “Planet X” causing magnetic poles to shift, reverse of gravitational pulls, or our entire solar system getting sucked into a giant black hole (December 21,2012). Since the “Grand Cycle” on the long count calendar ends on December 21,2012. This is the cause of many people believing that the Mayans predicted the end of the world.

According to Dr. John Carlson, Director of the Center for Archeoastronomy at NASA, the whole entire “Prophecy” is a misconception. The Mayan calendar does not end on December 21,2012, and there were no prophecies made by the Mayans about the end of the world. The Mayans were a flourishing civilization. They mastered astrology and created their own written language. Most impressive to Carlson was their expansive sense of time. To keep track of such long intervals of time the Mayans created the “Long Count” calendar, which is the most complex calendar system ever developed. The Mayan theologist believed the world was created August 11, 3114 BC. Making the start of the calendar look like “130000.” On December 21, 2012 the Mayan calendar would read the exact same way. By Mayan scholar terminology this time period passed is 13 “Bak’tuns.” Which is significant interval in Mayan theology, but not a destructive one. He says no artifacts found of the ancient Mayan civilization have anything leading to a prophecy of the end of the world (NASA).

Some believe that this year, the world will end in horrible fashion. Others say the world will not end, that it is all a misconception of information. Which side do you believe? Will the world really end on December 21, 2012? I guess we will all have to wait until the day comes to see for ourselves. 

Work Cited: 

“Beyond 2012: Why the World Didn’t End.”, 22 Dec. 2012. 

Coulter, Martin. APOCALYPSE: Weinland claims the world will end next summer, 24 June 2018.,

 “December, 21 2012.”, 21 Aug. 2011.

"How Does the Mayan Calendar Work?.” Accessed on 26 March 2019.

“Doomsday 12-21-12 Preparing for “End of The World”!!!-Mayan Calendar 2012.” YouTube, posted by Mass Tea Party-Wake Up America!, 20 Dec. 2012.
Mayans. Long Count Calendar, 11 Aug. 3114 BC. National Anthropology Museum, Mexico DF, Mayan Calendar,

Links for further research: 

Cartwright, Mark “Maya Architecture.”, 20 Sep. 2015. This web article written by history writer, Mark Cartwright, he explains the many different structures that the Mayans built, also their influences and materials they used to build. The Maya were aware of the mysterious Olmec civilization, and observed their ways especially at Teotihuacan, which was the largest, most influential, most revered city in the New World. The Mayans took this information and started creating their own unique structures. The Mayans used readily available materials to build such as limestone, sandstone, and volcanic tuff. The Mayans are most well known for their huge pyramids they built, such as Temple IV which was 65 meters high. 

“Mayan Scientific Achievements.”, 17 May. 2010. This article written by the editors of, provides information about the Mayans accomplishments. The Mayans were far ahead of their time with the elaborate cities they constructed out of metals and their advanced use of the wheel. They made up a rainbow selection of glittery paints they made out of mica, a mineral that is still used to this day. They had a great understanding of astrology so much that one of their pyramids “Chichen Itza,” was oriented to the suns locations in the spring and fall equinoxes.

Oliveira, Ivo “The 2012 phenomenon: The End of The World?.”, 24 Feb. 2012. In this web article written by Ivo Oliveira, she states all of the worldwide panic going on and the explanations of what will happen on the unavoidable date of December 21, 2012. There are some new age movements which believe the end of the Mayan long count calendar to be start of new human spiritual enlightenment, leaving behind what they call “Age of Decline.” Others have the doomsday theory. These people are sure that the winter solstice happening on that day will do something devastating to the world.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mysterious Moving Rocks of Death Valley

Author: Christina Saylor
Many people believe that science has everything about earth all figured out, but this isn't true. There are thousands of phenomena all around the world that can't be explained by science. One of these takes place in Racetrack Playa, Death Valley, California, where rocks move about the playa without the assistance of humans or animals. This mysterious event has been named “The Sailing Stones of Death Valley” and despite much scientific research, it has not been fully solved.
            Since no one has actually witnessed the rocks moving, the only proof of their movement is the paths they leave behind, which are anywhere from 3 to 12 inches wide, tens to hundreds of feet long, and less than an inch deep. These stones vary in size, shape, smoothness, and type and move in seemingly indiscernible directions and patterns. A rock can start off moving in one direction, then suddenly change and go a new direction, sometimes even  turning completely back the way they came or looping around other stationary rocks. Two rocks can start off moving parallel to each other, then, out of nowhere, split off and go their separate ways.
            Many people have their own explanations for this occurrence: claiming that people are going out at night and moving them, supernatural entities are moving them, some people even claim that average humans are moving the rocks with their minds without even knowing it. The best explanation scientists have found for this phenomenon is the snow-melt from the surrounding mountains that occasionally covers the lake bed. This wet ground combined with the high winds that can reach up to 90mph at ground level create the perfect environment for rocks to slide easily across the ground. But how can this explain the patterns left by the rocks? If it was truly the wind moving these rocks, wouldn't parallel rocks be influenced to move the same direction and to switch direction at the same time as each other as the wind changes. Why are only some of the rocks moving throughout the valley while others remain stationary? Has science truly found the cause of these “sailing stones”, or is there still a great deal of mystery surrounding this occurrence?  

Works Cited:
Cahill, Tim. “Raising Heaven – Where Rocks Go Wandering.” National Geographic, Nov. 2007. Web. 25 Oct. 2012.
            Mason, Andrew. "The Sliding Rock Phenomenon.", 22 Jan. 2005. Web. 25 Oct. 2012.
Messina, Paula. "The Sliding Rocks of Racetrack Playa." San Jose State University, n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012.
Mohl, Eric. "Blogs We Like." Lonely Planet, 26 Apr. 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. 
Schewe, Philip. "Why Are Death Valley's Rocks Moving Themselves?" FOX News Network, 18 Feb. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2012.

Links for further research:
National Geographic
Contains articles on the sailing stones and other geologic phenomena.

Videos about the sailing stones can be watched here.

National Park Service
Information on Death Valley is available here.

The Marfa Lights

Author: Bryce Saunders

Every small town in America has its local legends and folklore. However, none are quite as concrete and easy to spot as the mysterious Marfa Lights. The town of Marfa, Texas is located not far from the Mitchell Flat.  Looking out onto the flat from Marfa on most clear nights, you can see strange floating, blinking, and moving lights.  The source of these lights has been controversial ever since they were first reported. 

Marfa Light on the Mitchell Flat by J. Bunnell, 2007.
 Most critics believe the lights come from some type of reflection through the desert from headlights on nearby roads.  However, there are reports that date back to the late 1800s which would refute this idea altogether. Cars did become prominent in America until the 1900s. Many frontiersmen would search for these lights through the desert thinking they were actually Native Americans who intended to hurt or kill them, their families, or their livestock.
 However, cow herders and ranchers are not the only ones who have gone searching for the source of these lights though.  One local war veteran tried to chase the lights down with his plane, however could not find anything.  A group of scientists conducted experiments to find a scientific solution to the lights. They discovered that the lights matched up very precisely with cars passing on the near by highway. 

Video of the Marfa Lights in Marfa, Texas. 

However, this still does not explain how the lights were seen before cars came into existence.  Neither can scientists explain the high pitched noises many hear while observing the lights or the playful nature that the lights seem to have as people chase them (Kelley). Because the lights playfulness, there are also many ghost stories about the ghost lights, mainly by Native Americans.  Many believe the lights are lost lovers forever searching for each other.  Many others believe they are fallen warriors who will wander the Earth forever.  As much as people search and hypothesize theories for their existence, it is likely we will ever know for sure and that we should enjoy their sight rather than question their existence. 

Works Cited:

 Kelley. “The Marfa Lights”. Dave Republic. N.p. n.d. Web. 24 Oct, 2012.

J. Bunnell. “Marfa Lights View Park”. Photograph. “Mystery Lights”. Marfa Lights Research. Marfa Lights Research, 23 July 2007. Web. 25 Oct, 2012.

PJNARS. “Marfa Lights up close”. Youtube. 18 Feb 2007. Web. 25 Oct, 2012.

Links for Further Research:

Gives more information about the Marfa Lights and their existence.

Night Orbs
Gives general information about what the Marfa Lights are.

Gives a scientific explanation towards what the Marfa Lights are.

The Shroud of Turin

Author: Rachel Proctor 

 Jesus of Nazareth was a man who some believed to be the son of God, and others believed to be a fraud. Because proclaiming to be the son of God was extremely unacceptable, he was crucified and buried in a tomb. Three days after his burial the body had vanished leaving only the linen cloth. Some believe that perhaps the body was stolen. Others who believe he was the Son of God hold to the belief of him being raised from the dead. No matter where someone stand on this argument one item seems to puzzles both sides and has for some time; the Shroud of Turin.
The Shroud of Turin

The Shroud is an ancient linen cloth that conveys the image of a crucified man. Many believe that the man pictured is Jesus of Nazareth, and that the cloth is actually the piece of linen that wrapped his body in his burial tomb. Many questions have come up concerning it through the years. Is it really the cloth that wrapped his crucified body, or is it simply a medieval forgery by some con artist? Modern science has completed many hours of detailed study and intense research on the Shroud. It is the most studied artifact in human history. And yet, the controversy of the story behind this centuries-old cloth still rages.

Some don’t believe that the Shroud was the actual burial cloth of Jesus because of its ornate material. Instead, they believe it was the table cloth used at the last supper. Some studies show that some of the stains on one side of the Shroud may be wine stains, which leads them to believe it wasn’t a burial cloth at all. Though this theory is possible, historians reveal that most food back in that time was eaten from a bare table with no table cloths even on special occasions.  
Another argument brought up by doubting specters is found in John 19:38-42 of the Bible. This verse explains that Jesus’ body was wrapped in linen cloths (plural). The Shroud is only one piece of cloth and no other cloths have been found that are like it. Researchers who truly believe in the authenticity of the Shroud argue that in the original Greek translations of this verse the plural isn’t necessarily stressed as much as it is in English. Some words in Greek are translated into English by making the words a different tense then they were in the original manuscripts.

One of the most commonly asked questions about the Shroud of Turin is if DNA testing has ever been done on the piece of cloth. Several years ago DNA testing was done on the cloth but no real answers have ever been officially recognized because of the questionable samples and methods that were used to carry out this process. Though the results are not official, the results showed that the blood came from an adult male body. DNA was hard to retrieve, however, because of the age and fragility of the cloth. Questions continue to be asked about this interesting artifact and have been for some time. With so much evidence for and against its authenticity, I’m sure many questions will always go unanswered.

Works Cited:
Carroll, Robert T. "shroud of Turin -" The Skeptic's Dictionary. N.p., 26 May 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. <>.

Links for Further Research:

“shroud of Turin –”
This website provides detailed information about The Shroud of Turin starting from its history and ending with recent studies.

This online encyclopedia gives in depth information on who Jesus and how he impacted history.

This website is the official page for the Shroud of Turin and answers some of the questions many people ask about the artifact.


The Haunted Railroad Crossing of San Antonio

Author: Hunter Norris

The world has many legends. One legend in particular takes place in San Antonio, Texas. The legend in question is about a haunted railroad track. According to Stephen Wagner on, in the 1930s or 1940s a bus driver was doing what he does best: driving a bus. Needless to say, there were kids riding on the bus. Unfortunately, the bus stalled as it was crossing a railroad track, and they became stuck on the tracks. As it was a railroad track, a train came by and smashed straight into the bus, killing ten kids and the driver.
            In the present day, the legend is if you drive your car to the train tracks at the corner of Shane and Villamain, says, set it to neutral, and let go of the steering wheel, your car will ominously start rolling forward. Sure, cars roll forward on a downhill, but the tracks are on top of a hill. It is physically impossible for a car to roll uphill by its own accord. Word goes around that the ghosts of the kids and the driver are pushing your car across the tracks to the other side to protect us from suffering the same fate.
            This is not just a case of one or two isolated incidents, either. On, you can read countless personal stories from different tourists who have tried it out for themselves. Some people claim to have even seen the ghost. One tourist, although not on the aforementioned website, claims to have taken a picture of the ghost.

 “Picture of one of the ‘ghost children.’”

            A group of paranormal investigators called Long Island Paranormal Investigators decided to do their thing and investigate the area with all of their professional equipment and experience. They did not pick up a single thing on any of their devices. On, experts have determined the explanation of the haunting. Although it may look like the car rolls uphill, it’s just an optical illusion. It is actually a 2 degree inclination going downhill. This may explain how the car rolls forward, but what about the picture? It may be a hoax, but you never know. There are a lot of things in this world, and not everything is as it seems.

Works Cited:
"Haunted Railroad Crossing - Ghost Tracks." N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. 
“Railroad Tracks, San Antonio." Long Island Paranormal Investigators, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. 
"San Antonio, Texas: Ghostly Gravity Hill." N.p., 12 Mar. 2011. Web. 24 Oct. 2012.
Wagner, Stephen. "The Haunted Railroad Crossing." N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012.
Weiser, Kathy. “Ghost Children Upon San Antonio’s Railroad Tracks.” N.p., January 2010. Web. 24 Oct. 2012.

Links For Further Research: Paranormal phenomena 
This site contains anything about the paranormal.

Legends of America
This site has information and articles about many of America’s legends.

Welcome to San Antonio
This site, you guessed it, has plenty of info on San Antonio.

The Maco Light

Author: Solomon Monroe

This haunted horror story takes place on the Atlantic Coast line railroad at a station which was known as Farmers Turnout. The station was later renamed and is now known as the Maco Station, a few miles west of Wilmington North Carolina. The Maco Light is one of North Carolina's great ghost stories. For over a century, spooky and mysterious lights were observed and even photographed appearing up and down along the railroad tracks. Like any other mysterious light, the light would disappear whenever anyone approached it.
 Headless Joe Baldwin searching for his head
The story took place in late 1867. Joe Baldwin was sleeping in the last train cart, which is known as the caboose. Then he was awakened by a loud and rough jerk. He jumped up quickly knowing that the cart had detached from the train. He also knew that the train which he was on was not the only train schedule to be on the tracks at the time.
            Joe rushed and grabbed a warning light. He ran to the back of the detached cart and waved it back in forth hoping that the oncoming train would see it and stop. It was too late. The speeding locomotive ran full speed into the cart and Joe Baldwin was decapitated. During the accident, his head was thrown into a nearby swamp by the force. It was never found and Joe was buried a week later headless.
            After that night, lights have been seen moving up and down the track around the Maco Station area. Most of the time it was one light, but there were even reports of two. People say that it's the ghost of Joe Baldwin, still searching for his missing head. Later on, the tracks along the route were pulled up in 1977.  Ever since they were pulled up, the lights have never been seen again.
            Stories from the coast stated, “The Maco Light is too well documented and has been too often seen to be dismissed as mere superstition. But I think that what was seen around Maco was a natural, not supernatural, phenomenon.” It is believed that the lights were simply a tremendous electrical charge from earthquakes that give off globular balls of light. I guess the world will never know.

Works Cited:
"The Maco Light| North Carolina Ghost Stories and Legends." The Maco Light| North Carolina Ghost Stories and Legends. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <>.

Further information.
Display video of the accident.

Essay of the Joe Baldwin legend.

North Carolina horror stories. 

The Truth behind the Nazca Lines?

Author: Erin McLaughlin

Monkey image of the Nazca lines
The Nazca lines are very large geoglyphs, pictures drawn in the earth by moving rocks and other objects, located in the Nazca desert in southern Peru. The drawings in the sands depict a killer whale, a spider, an "astronaut", a monkey, and a heron as well as lines and geometric figures ("The Nazca Lines--Alien Landing Strips?"). Since their initial discovery in the 1920's by Alfred Kroeber and Toribio Mejia much controversy has surrounded the geoglyphs. The fact the full figures of the Nazca Lines are only visible from very high in the sky (in aircraft) has sparked many theories as to the purpose and meaning of the lines themselves (Aron 52). Who were the pictures intended for and what inspired the ancient Nazca to create the images?
            In his book Unsolved Mysteries of History Paul Aron describes the discovery of the Nazca Lines and some studies that have been conducted on the geoglyphs. Aron states when Kroeber and Mejia first stumbled upon the Nazca Lines in 1926 they were at ground level and therefore thought the lines were nothing more than an ancient irrigation system; both archeologists were content with ending their investigation there. The lines finally gained more recognition in the 1930's when commercial flights began to fly over Peru. It was then that people finally saw that the lines in the desert actually formed pictures in the sand. Consequently, archeologists became very interested in the lines. Upon investigation of the lines themselves and the area around them, scientists found remains of pottery that were over two thousand years old; they estimated the lines had to have been equally aged.  The arid and virtually windless environment in which the lines lie allowed them to be preserved for many generations. The first in depth study of the lines was performed in 1941 by Paul Kosok, an American historian. Kosok noticed that as the sun was setting on the Nazca lines, the position of the sun and the lines were actually in alignment. Kosok hypothesized that the lines must be a sort of large-scale astronomical calendar. Upon further investigation, however, he and his colleges found that more lines did not match up with astronomical bodies than those that did. Therefore, the theory could not be proved correct (52-55).
            There are many more theories surrounding the Nazca lines, however. The subterranean water  theory, proposed by  researcher David Johnson, suggests that the Nazca lines actually marked underground water systems ("The Nazca Lines--Alien Landing Strips?"). A popular theory among archeologists proposes that the lines and images were a form of religious art made for sky-dwelling deities (Oliveto). The most well-known and controversial theory first proposed by Erich Von Daniken in his book Chariot of the Gods? says that the lines and the images were the Nazca's way of communicating with extraterrestrials (Aron 53).
            Däniken and other ancient alien theorists believe that beings from other planets visited earth in the past and lent some of their culture and technology to ancient cultures, thus helping the world become what it is today. When it comes to the Nazca lines, these theorists suggest that the full pictures were a way of directing the aliens to their civilization while the individual lines served as runways for the aliens to land their spacecrafts (Click here to find out more!"Evidence of Ancient Aliens?").

Do they look like runways to you?
The image of a strange-looking human or "astronaut" depicted in the Nazca lines perpetuates the theory even further as some supporters of the ancient alien theory say the Nazca modeled it after their space-traveling acquaintances. In addition to those that believe the lines were created for aliens, some are convinced that aliens made the Nazca lines all on their own with no interaction with humans (Oliveto).

"Astronaut" image carved into a plateau
            No theory pertaining to the Nazca lines has yet to be entirely proved or entirely disproved. Were they irrigation systems, spiritual art, an astronomical map, a map to much-needed water sources, communication to or from aliens, or simply pretty pictures in the sand? Without direct scientific proof these theories will continue to be debated, and perhaps more theories will continue to form for many decades to come. What do you think the Nazca lines truly mean?

Works Cited:
Alien or Astronaut. Photograph. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.
Aron, Paul. Unsolved Mysteries of History. New York. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2000. Print.
"Evidence of Ancient Aliens?" A&E Television Networks, LLC. 2012. Web. 23       Oct. 2012.

Nazca Lines Monkey. Photograph. Paradise in the World. 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.

"The Nasca Lines -Aliens Landing Strips?" Truth Behind the Scenes, 2012. Web. 22 Oct. 2012.

Oliveto, Joseph. "The Mystery of the Nazca Lines." Weirdworm. 2 Oct. 2010.   Web. 24 Oct. 2012

Pallete, G. Nazca Lines Trapezium figures. Photograph. COMELTUR. 2000.         Web. 26 Oct. 2012. 

Links for Further Research:
Ancient Aliens Blog
A blog dedicated to ancient alien theories. This entry talks about the Nazca lines.

Between The Nazca Lines: Evidence Vs. “I Wanna Believe”
A person's article on a website discussing her opinion on the ancient alien theory. She disagrees.

National Geographic
Firsthand account by a researcher visiting the Nazca lines. The article contains information about ancient Nazca culture.

The Nazca Lines and the "Eye in the Sky"
Author of the web page discusses the alien theory and religious theory behind the Nazca lines. This person believes that the Nazca created the lines for non-alien deities.

Lizard Man of Scape Ore

Author: Nnamdi Ihenacho

Scape Ore Swamp is a small swamp near Sumter, SC. It is one of the most mysterious swamps in South Carolina, Scape Ore Swamp is where the Lizard Man lives, watching in the mist, waiting for its next prey. The swamp started to gain attention worldwide in 1988 after multiple reports of Lizard Man being seen. The Lizard Man is not confined to the Scape Ore Swamp in South Carolina; there have been report of him in Lee County as well all over South Carolina. Even though there have been different sighting of the Lizard Man, the damages that the Lizard Man did and the encounters all were similar in certain ways.
According to the family that owned this car, the Lizard Man attacked their car trying to get a cat that was running from him. The Lizard Man began to rip off the hood in a desperate pursuit to get the car. Later that morning the family found the cat still under the hood of the car. (“Has the Lizard Man Resurfaced?”)

Finding Lizard Man

This video informs its viewers about Lizard Man and some of his behavior that the showed with people and objects.  From this video you can conclude that Lizard Man is a violent creature that you would not want to harm in anyway. Lizard Man is a unique creature that is with us wondering around leaving its trace.

Works Cited:
Arpin, Jennie. "The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp." N.p., Nov. 2007. Web. 16 Oct. 2012.
Livingston, Mike. "LIZARD MAN APPEARS AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME." The State 21 Aug. 1988. Web. 21 Oct. 2012.
Lttle, Steve. "HAS THE LIZARD MAN RESURFACED?" The State 16 June 2011. Web. 21 Oct. 2012.
"Scape Ore Monster." N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012.
Tutan, Jan. "FLORENCE MAN SAYS HE WOUNDED ' LIZARD MAN. '" The State 6 Aug. 1888. Web. 16 Oct. 2012.

Links for further information:

The Bell Witch

Author: Deanna Haywood

In Adams, Tennessee, in 1817, John Bell and his family had been tormented by a poltergeist, known as the Bell Witch. She had a mean reputation for physically abusing some of the family members, close friends, and neighbors, who dared to step foot in the Bell’s resident. Many people who study the Bell Witch’s legend have speculated that the poltergeist had harassed the Bell family out of jealousy or spite.
In 1804, John Bell and his Family moved from Halifax County, North Carolina to Robertson County, Tennessee and built a house and started a farm on 328 acres.  John Bell was married to Lucy Bell and they had nine children named Jesse, John Junior, Drewry, Benjamin, Esther, Zadok, Elizabeth (Betsy), Richard Williams, and Joel Egbert. John and his family made a living through farming. Soon after settling into their new home, unusual disturbances began to surface around the family.
One day when John was tending to the crops in the cornfield, he encountered a bizarre creature sitting in the middle of the corn row, which had the body of a dog and the head of a rabbit. John shot several times until it vanished. Soon after, Betsey and Drewry began to see strange creatures near the property. At night, the children were awaken by noises sounding like a rat gnawing on the bedpost and “beating” sounds on the outside walls of their log house. Things got stranger as the ghost start to become physical with the family.
One could only imagine the sleepless night and suffering the Bell family had been through daily with the harassment of the Bell Witch. At night bedcovers were yanked off, pillows were thrown, they were slapped, and strange voices tormented them. Betsey, the Bell’s youngest daughter, was physically abused the most by the witch to the point where welts and hand prints were left on her body from being slapped relentlessly.
Those who slept in the Bell’s house did not sleep alone.

Works Cited:
Fitzhugh, Pat. “The Bell Witch Haunting.” The Bell Witch Web Site, 27 Aug. 2011. Web. 24 Oct. 2012.
Hudson, Arthur Palmer, and McCarter, Kyle Pete. “ The Bell Witch of Tennessee and Mississpi: A Folk Legend.” Journal of American Folk-Lore 47.183 (1934):45-63. Print.
Marshall, Lea. “Tales From the Dark Side.” Dance Magazine. Macfadden Performing Arts Media, LLC, Oct 2007. Web. 24 Oct. 2012.
Roberts, Nancy. "Return of the Bell Witch." Ghosts of the Southern Mountains and Appalachia. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, 1988. 12-26. Print.
"Tennessee Myths and Legends: Bell Witch." Tennessee State Library and Archives, n.d. Web.

Links for Further Research:

The Bell Witch
A video discusses the haunting of the Bell Witch.

Paranormal Phenomena
A site that goes in depth about the bell witch

An American Haunting
The official home of the historic Bell Witch Cave, provides great pictures.

The Ultimate Fan Site for the Bell Witch
This site provides fans’ opinion on of the Bell Witch.

The Bell Witch
A site dedicated to the Bell Witch.

Sedlec Ossuary: Church of Bones

Author: Loring Girardeau

Photo by Sony of the view outside of the Sedlec Ossuary.

The Sedlec Ossuary is a chapel that is beneath a Catholic church called the Cemetery Church of All Saints and is located in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic. It is not just an ordinary chapel, though; it is a chapel decorated in human bones. Sedlec became famous in the 13th century when an abbot came from the holy city of Jerusalem and sprinkled some of its holy soil in the graveyard of what was, at the time, a monastery that existed before the church (“The Cemetery”). As a result, many wealthy people from around Central Europe desired to be buried in this cemetery. When the plague struck Europe, demanding many graves, the bones of the deceased began to overload the graveyard (“The Cemetery”). When the church and chapel were built in the 1400s, many of the bones were moved to the chapel beneath the church, becoming an ossuary for the town. When a noble family, known as the Schwarzenbergs, purchased the church in 1870, they hired a woodcarver, Frantisek Rint, to do something with the abandoned bones (Dunford, et al).  He then used the 40,000 bones in the chapel to create the masterpiece of the Sedlec Ossuary that sits in Kutna Hora today.
Photo from flickr of inside the Sedlec Ossuary.

Also referred to as the Church of Bones, the Sedlec Ossuary has many pieces of art made from the human bones.  There is a chandelier located in the center of the church that contains at least one of every bone in the human body (Lawson and Rufus). There are also pyramids of bones located in each corner of the chapel, made of leg bones and skulls, and there is a Schwarzenberg coat of arms, in honor of the Schwarzenberg family, that is made of pelvises, finger bones, skulls, and arm bones. Other decorations include “long streamers and festoons of ribs, vertebrae and tibias…a “fountain” of ribs gushing from a hole in the top of a cranium, or a “bird” made of a scapula and a hand” (Lawson and Rufus).

 Schwarzenberg coat of arms and the chandelier
containing every bone in the human body (Zimmer).

 According to Kevin Orlin Johnson’s Why Do Catholics Do That?, relics (parts of the body of a saint) are used to decorate sections of the church, such as the altar, as a way to honor the martyrs and keep them in the prayers of the people (204). In fact, altars of all Catholic churches must be decorated with some relics in order for the church to be considered holy (Johnson 205). In 1870 Frantisek Rint went far beyond the minimum in decorating this chapel with bones, and it has turned the chapel into one of the most spectacular ossuaries in the world.
Frantisek Rint’s signature signed in bones inside Sedlec Ossuary with pyramid of bones in background (Necromancer).

Works Cited:
Dunford, Lisa, Brett Atkinson and Neil Wilson. “Sedlec Ossuary.” Czech & Slovak Republics. Lonely Planet, 1 Apr. 2007. Web. 16 Oct. 2012.
Johnson, Kevin Orlin. “Relics.” Why Do Catholics Do That? New York: Ballantine Books, 1994. 203-207. Print.
Lawson, Kristan and Anneli Rufus. “Sedlec.” Weird Europe: A Guide to Bizarre, Macabre, and Just Plain Weird Sights. Macmillan, 12 Jun. 1999. Web. 16 Oct. 2012.
mr. nightshade. “Sedlec Ossuary (Kostnice) in Kutna Hora.” Photograph. flickr. Yahoo! Inc., 12 July 2010. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.
Necromancer. “Sedlec Ossuary, chapel of the skeletons.” Photograph. Socialphy. 25 June 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.
Sony. “9. Sedlec Ossuary.” Photograph. Sony Pngst. 6 Nov. 2010. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.
“The Cemetery Church of All Saints with the Ossuary.” Kutna Hora Sedlec. 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.
Zimmer, Lori. “Sedlec Ossuary.” Photograph. Inhabitat., 29 Oct. 2011. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.

For further research:

“7 Wonders of the (Un)Dead World: Global Ossuaries”
Describes seven ossuaries, including the Sedlec Ossuary, located throughout Europe.

“Articulating Bones: An Epilogue”
Describes the bone art in different ossuaries and how they portray death and its meaning.

A Walk in the Ossuary in Sedlec
Contains videos and photos involving the Sedlec Ossuary.