Sunday, October 27, 2013

RMS Queen Mary

Author: Catherine Garrett

Said to be one of the most haunted places in America, The Queen Mary floats in Long Beach, California. She originated in Scotland and was first built as a luxury cruiser. She took her maiden voyage in 1934 outfitted with an indoor swimming pool, salon, library, nursery, and first-class dining. She was used by all of high society for travel, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Winston Churchill (Firefox).

Come World War II, The Queen Mary gave up her days as luxury liner and was converted into a military transport. She was camouflaged grey for stealth and given the nickname “The Grey Ghost”, a name that she would later live up to. She was the fastest in her class, outstripping all other ships. Hitler put up a $250,000 reward for anyone who could stop this incredible machine. She could carry up to 15,000 men at a time, allowing for fast and easy transport for the allied efforts. However, she was involved in a few incidents during her war-time service. In October of 1942 she struck her escort ship, HMS Curacoa, killing 338 people aboard (Firefox). Later, in December of 1942, while transporting American GI’s back to America, she was hit by a massive wave. She almost capsized, but made it. Paul Gallico based his novel The Poseidon Adventure on this event. After World War II, The Queen Mary was transformed again into a luxury ship. However, times had changed and she was underequipped. Soon, she was retired from service.

In 1967 she was sold to the city of Long Beach, California. They turned the ship into a floating hotel and museum. Ever since she was docked in Long Beach, rumors of her haunting have been buzzing everywhere. It seems that the paranormal center of the ship is “Door 13”. “Door 13” was a watertight door that closed off the engine room. John Pedder, an 18 year old crewman, was said to have been crushed by this door in 1966 during a routine drill. It is said that you can occasionally see a man in blue overalls lurking around the door. Many people say they feel otherworldly feelings around this door, and some have even reported encounters with John Peddler (Strickland). The first-class pool on board is also a popular ghost hangout. It is reported that women in 1930s attire have been seen lounging around the pool deck. In the second-class pool room, a young girl named Jackie has been spotted wandering around looking for something – or someone (Firefox).  The children’s playroom also seems to be haunted, it has been reported that if you come close to the door you can hear crying on the other side. The hull of the ship, where it wrecked into HMS Curacoa, seems to be haunted as well. It is said that you can hear the sounds of the metal bending in the accident and the screams of the stranded men as they drowned (Firefox). Haunted or not, RMS Queen Mary is quite a mystery with a murky past.

Works Cited:
Morris, Tracy. “The RMS Queen Mary: The Most Haunted Place in America.” Firefox News. 6 June 2008. Web. 13 Oct 2013.
Strickland, Nicole. “An Encounter with John Pedder?” Ghosts and Spirits of the RMS Queen Mary. Nicole Strickland, 9 Feb 2013. Web. 13 Oct 2013.
“The “Queen Mary” On Her Maiden Voyage to the U.S.” Photograph. Temperamental Broad, 8 Oct 2012. Web. 18 Oct 2013.

Links for Further Research:
Ghosts and Spirts of the RMS Queen Mary
This website by Nicole Strickland, a paranormal investigator, contains a lot of information on the ship and paranormal activity she has personally seen and recorded aboard.

The Queen Mary, The Most Haunted Ship That Ever Sailed The Oceans.
This website has many personal accounts by people who experienced paranormal encounters aboard the ship.

Have Ghosts? Will Travel: A Ghostgeek's Guide to the RMS Queen Mary

This article by Jen Brown is about her stay aboard the Queen Mary and her investigation of the ship.

The Chupacabra…fact or fake?

Author: Ashley Sharpe
Image from parazzare.
The chupacabra is a wretched, blood-sucking, vampire like creature who attacks helpless livestock animals in the dead of night. Ok, the chupacabra may not really be that severe, but it is a cryptid. A cryptid is a term used to refer to a creature whose existence is suggested but has never given scientific credit.
The chupacabra legend began sometime in the 1990’s when animals in Puerto Rico were turning up dead. The animals were killed by having their blood drained by what looked like a vampire bite to the neck. The owners of these animals said that the creatures were a grayish color, walked on its hind legs, and had vampire like fangs. Other locals described the creatures as looking like dogs.

Scientists concluded that these chupacabras were mearly coyotes with mites that had burrowed under the skin. This gave them the grayish mange look. So I ask you, do you believe in the chupacabra or do you believe that it is mearly a legend?

Works cited:
Viegas, Jennifer. "Chupacabra Mystery Solved." Discovery Communications, LLC, 22 Oct. 2010. Web. 11 Oct. 2013.

“Definition of Cryptid”. n.p. n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.

Links for further research:
This is a video that gives more information about the chupacabra.

This is an article in which a man claims he has killed a chupacabra.

Alligators in the Sewers

Author: Brittani Gladden

Photo from
New York City is known to be a fun and interesting place to be. It is known for its extravagant landscape with some of the biggest skyscrapers, as well as being an amazing shopping district. But among all the hustle and bustle of this incredible city, there is something mysterious lurking below these busy streets.
In the 1920’s and 30’s, New Yorkers vacationing to Florida would bring back baby alligators, for their children to keep as pets. However, when the alligators grew to uncomfortable sizes and no longer were considered cute, they were flushed down the toilet. When flushed, they ended up in the sewer system, where they would manage to live and breed. Since there is little to no sunlight in the sewer systems, the alligators are said to have become albino, where their hide would fade to white and their eyes would turn red. The story goes that their descendants are there still till this day.
According to a newspaper article from the “New York Times”, in 1935 youth boys assigned to throw snow in the sewers, found an eight-foot alligator lurking in the chilling waters below. The alligator was claimed to have swam from the Harlem River. Several years later according to Robert Daley’s 1959 book, “The World Beneath the City”, a colony of alligators had settled comfortably into the sewers of New York. In 1935 it was proposed to the Superintendent of Sewers, Teddy May that the alligators lived in the sewer. May refused to believe the reports at first. He says that he believed the guys down there when the eight-foot alligator was spotted, was drinking. When Teddy May finally decided go into the pipes to have a look, what he found was very shocking. An excerpt from Daley’s book showed what May said about the situation:
Alligators were serenely paddling around in his sewers. The beam of his own flashlight had spotlighted alligators whose length, on average, was about two feet. Some may have been longer. Avoiding the swift current of the trunk lines under major avenues, the beasts had wormed up the smaller pipes under less important neighborhoods, and there Teddy had found them.  (Daley)
After the sighting May supposedly had a change of heart. Teddy May was known to exaggerate his stories, so no one knows if he actually saw the alligators. 
Many YouTube videos show alligators living in the sewer systems. Although these sewer systems are not necessarily those in New York, it does show that alligators somehow can manage in the sewer. In a documentary video found on YouTube, researchers sent a robot into a sewer system in New York to hunt down the alligators. The robot never found an alligator in the sewer, but it did find enough vegetation for an alligator to survive on if needed. Another discovery pointed out was a salamander living in a New York sewer. Salamanders are much like alligators in the fact that they need warm environments to thrive. Since sewers are usually very cold especially during winter, and alligators require warm environments year-round, there could be no way they could survive in the sewers for long amounts of time. If they do not die from the cold, they would certainly die from the polluted water.
Since there is not much evidence that alligators live in the New York sewer systems, and you decide to go through a New York sewer system, you should not have too much to worry about, other than the occasional smell and bug.

Works Cited
“Are Alligators Living Under New York City” YouTube. Google. 4 Mar. 2009. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.
Clark, Jerome. “Alligators Found in Uptown Sewer.” New York Times. 10 Feb. 1935. Print.
Emery, David. “Alligators in the Sewer.” About. The New York Times. Nd. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.
Indiviglio, Frank. “Fishing for Alligators.” Photograph. The Reptile Blog, Blogspot. 23 Oct. 2009. Web. 18 Oct.2013
Krystek, Lee. “Allegations of Alligators in the Sewers of New York.” Unmuseum. N.P. N.D. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.
Mikkelson, Barbara. “Gatored Community.” Snopes. Np. 12 July 2009. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.
“The World Beneath the City.” Sewergator. N.P. N.D. Web. 18 Oct. 2013

Links for further research:
Live Science
This website discusses the legend of alligators living in the sewers of New York City.

The New York Times
This website talks more about what Teddy May had to say about the findings of the alligators in the sewer system.

This website discusses more about the legend of Alligators living in the sewer systems of New York


Author: Matthew Dennison

Photo by Richard Isheda
The Buddhist temple Taktsang in Bhutan is a very good example of a Buddhist temple. Just the location shows us one of their beliefs. It is located on the side of a mountain totally isolated from everyone and everything. The temple is located here because the Buddhists have a strong sense of isolationism. In the article, “Buddhist Beliefs"  there is an old Buddhist proverb that is rooted deep in their beliefs that says, “If you find a wise man you should travel with him, but if you find a fool you should travel alone.” This is one of the contributing factors to their pursuit of isolation.
In “Buddhist Beliefs" they  also suggests that Buddhist also believe that they cannot kill any animals, they must not steal, they must refrain from any sexual misconduct, they must speak correctly, and they must not drink anything that can get them drunk and must not take anything to get them high so they will not make any bad choices. That also is a very big contributing factor in them wanting to be left alone because in their minds the further they are from sin, the less likely they are to actually sin. They must pray every day and meditate constantly. The temple called Taksang in Bhutan is the perfect Buddhist temple. With it being on the side of a mountain the Buddhists that live there must be in a Buddhists paradise because it is everything a Buddhist would want out of a temple. It is secluded and an extremely peaceful place to be. It also is extremely beautiful because of its location which is unlike any other man made structure around it.
              In "Bhutan Places of Interest" they state that on April 19th, 1998 the temple was destroyed in a fire. The temple was rebuilt to its former glory since then. The original temple was built in 1694, the new temple was built to replicate the old one, which it does. Since the fire the temple has opened up to vacationers looking for a beautiful hike and a tour of the rebuilt monastery. The monastery is 1000m above the Paro Valley. So it is a very long and breathtaking hike up to the monetary. In "Culture of Bhutan." They state that the monastery is open to the public now but is guarded by the nation’s soldiers and all cameras, phones and handbags must be checked at the entrance. It is very important that this landmark is very well taken care of to insure that it won’t be destroyed again or thrown into disarray. Since the government has such a strong presence at the temple. really shows that even though the temple is now open to the public. It is still a very important landmark to the people and is a very important place to all Buddhists as well.

Links to further research:
Fabriuis, Karl. "The Most Beautiful Yet Precariously Placed Monasteries on Earth."Environmental Graffiti. Pixdaus, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2013
This source will help with looking at strangely placed temples.
Aviram Vijh. "Tatshang Gompa (aka Tiger's Nest)." YouTube. YouTube, 24 June 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2013.
This youtube video shows the temple and some of the surroundings.

J├╝rgen. "Taktsang Monastery ‘The Tigers Nest’." Niceartlife Magazine. Magazine, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2013.
This article contains some facts about the monastery.

Greyfriars Kirks Cemetery Mortsafe

Author: Dasia Butler

Towie Mortsafe from the University of Aberdeen
For many centuries’ people fear bodies being rented cause a conflict between the medical and general population. The problem was created when body snatchers began digging up new graves to sell to anatomy schools, or examine and dissected by medical students In 1832 a bill was passed stating , you must have a license from the Home Sectary to practice anatomy. Everyone couldn’t obtain a license so people took matters into their own hands and began body snatching. When it became a big problem there was many methods to prevent it from happening. One solution was compacting the soul and add several layers of branches on top, to make it hard for the robbers to get to the grave. A more effective invention was created to stop the robbers from snatching the bodies, it was called the mortsafe. This was an iron cage placed on top of the coffin in the grave. 

People believed the graves with large iron grates covering them were made to prevent dead bodies from coming back to life. Coming to realization that wasn’t possible people next fear was body snatching. Relatives became worried when they saw graves dug up because there love ones weren’t getting to rest in peace. 
image from
The monuments standing tall in the cemetery have engraved symbols of death and damnation. Greyfriars Kirk is known for having a lot of tours and being haunted.  There were beliefs of ghost phenomena going on around the cemetery. It was reported people would see ghost wondering around, weird smell, strange noises and hot and cold spot throughout the cemetery. Some people claim they are physically attacked by the ghost, and they leave bruises,  scratches and broken bones. This usually takes place by the Black Mausoleum.
The Black Mausoleum
image from Gertie

 In 1816 the first mortsafe was made, they come many different design but the weight of them are similar.  There wasn’t that many mortsafes because they are reusable and they would only stay on top of the coffin for 5 to 6 weeks. They were usually made to be heavy because grave robbers would go to the extreme to retrieve the bodies.  It was reported grave robbers would build tunnels underground leading up to the graves. 

In 1620 the Greyfriars Cemetery was built in Scotland inside a city called Edinburg.  It was named for Franciscan close by.  In 1696 over a 1,000 Convanters was imprisoned here.  In the 18th century it was caught on fire because of a gun powder. 
Greyfriars Kirk
Links for Research
Greyfriars, Kirk Edinburg
It gives small background information about the cemetery.
New Terminology: Mortsafe
Explains what a mortsafe is and describe the origin of it being invented
Introduction to grave robbing in Scotland
Introduces what grave robbing and reasoning on why people did it. 

Taiwan: San Zhi Pod Houses

Author: Alexis Crique

San Zhi Pod Houses by simplyolivia
Have you ever wanted to be a guest at a futuristic looking hotel? How about searching for one occupied with ghosts? Taiwan is the perfect spot! 

Taiwan, or Republic of China, is an island located in eastern Asia. It has Spanish, Dutch and Chinese historical backgrounds because they had all set up forts in sections of Taiwan. New Taipei City, Taiwan would have been the destination to your dream resort. New Taipei is located north of Taiwan. Its subtropical climate makes for a perfect summer vacation. The resort had looked over the northern Pacific Ocean. It was built on Dutch cemetery grounds. Unfortunately,the UFO looking resort was demolished because of apparent bankrupt, curses, and ghosts. There are three strange, different beliefs, this is the story of the San Zhi Pod Homes. 

Built in 1978, San Zhi was targeted for rich natives and military personnel who wanted to have a piece of serenity. Believing to be a good cause, the project was supported financially by the government. Throughout the times of construction, workers mysteriously began dying. Contractors moved a Chinese dragon sculpture that was originally placed in the front gates of the resort because they wanted space for an extra passage. Since there is a large quantity of Chinese culture infused in Taiwan, people believed that the movement of the sculpture brought death upon the workers. By 1980 there was no investment capital and the project was left uncompleted. With no money and a bare minimum of key workers, the buildings were left abandoned. 
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The pod houses had broken windows, village decay,and an alien texture. The houses were very colorful; ranging from yellow to red, to brown and blue. Buildings in the north are white, east are pink, and south are blue. Carrie Kellenberger was personally able to see and tour San Zhi Resort before it was tore down. Disappointingly, she did not experience any ghost or supernatural encounters. Instead she described her emotions while she was there; “ Close your eyes to the destruction . . . you can see how it was intended to look before it was abandoned.” Carrie was shocked about the poor conditions the villages were left in. Roofs were collapsed, the concrete stairs were crumbling and the walls were paper thin.

It doesn’t sound like a perfect get away, but it sure does sound like a memorable vacation spot. Had the UFO houses still been up, would you consider visiting? Take a look at this video. 

Fortunately the people from the Taipei County Government, didn’t abandon the hotel 
location. Instead they turned the area into a commercial seaside resort and water-park. It was demolished in 2009. After all of the past years of kaos, the project ends on a positive note.  

Works Cited:

Hirn, Marcus. “UFO houses, Ruins of the Future, Now Just a Memory.”
Triggerpit, 25 Sept. 2011. Web. 13 Oct. 2013. 
Kellenberger, Carrie. “The Haunted Pod Village of San-zhi.” N.p, 22
May. 2008. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

N.p. “Taiwan”. 2005. Web. 13 Oct. 2013. 

Ralston, Melanie. “San Zhi Resort...Modern Day Silent Hill?” 20 Days of Paranormal. Wings 
of 20 Sept. 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

Wycech, Olivia. “The Abandoned Pod Village of San-Zhi”. 14 Jan. 2008. Web. 19 
Oct. 2013. 

Link for Further Research:

The Haunted Pod Village of San Zhi
 The writer visited the site, therefore she gives more of a personal view on it.

UFO Houses, Ruins of the Future, Now Just a Memory
Explanation of architectural aspects of the UFO houses. 

“San Zhi Resort...Modern Day Silent Hill?” 20  Days of Paranormal. 
Includes a much religion/cultural and summary on the myth. 

Am I Safe From “The Hook Man”?

Author: Eduardo Alarcon

"The Hook"
The Story:
“The Hook Man” is a consequential urban legend for teenagers not to have sex. According to Mr. Emery, the legend says two teenagers were on “Lovers’ Lane” listening to the radio preparing to have sex. All of a sudden, a news reporter interrupts the media saying that a maniac escaped out of the “state insane asylum,” and warns everyone to be on the lookout (Emery). After hearing this, the girl is afraid, hallucinates, and requests to go home. The boy, however, attempts to act masculine, and suggests that their situation is absolutely under his control. The boy locks the doors anyway so that the girl may feel safe. The girl then resists while the boy urges to continue. In his persistence, he foolishly “jerked the car into gear and spun its wheels” (Emery). After being frightened, the boy drives the girl to her home to drop her off. Once they safely arrive at the girl’s house, the girl gets out of the car and screams. When the boy runs to her side to see why she screamed, he notices that her scream was because there was a bloody hook on the car door (Emery).

According to Ms. Brunvand on page 200, “The Hook Man” originated in South Africa. The place known as “Lovers’ Lane” in the legend, originally took place at Naval Hill, Bloemfontein, South Africa (Brunvand 200). As a moral lesson, generations seem to have slowly developed the story to the United States in the 1950s to prevent a labor increase. Of course, the same message gets across to the audience. It’s just the interpretation of the legend that changed (Perry). In this manner, the message is less intimidating because people in the 21
st century expect legends to be scary stories rather than a “believed legend” (Brunvand 95).
The Scary Reality!

The Scary Reality: 
There are several cases where men had been convicted for murdering young couples. For example, Richard Hirschfeld   , Charles Howard Schmid, Jr. , John A. Ber, and Kenneth Barnes are all relative cases. The closest to the legend, however, is Edward Wayne Edwards. In 2009, Edward Wayne Edward was convicted after admitting to a "double homicide" (Falcon). Edwards’s story relates to the legend because he murdered two young couples. One in which Edwards had a sexual intercourse with. 

The Confessions!
The Good News: 
There are no reports of anyone who went by the serial killer name “The Hook Man”. Also, the closest criminal to this legend, Edwards, did not murder any of his victims as the legend portrays “The Hook Man” went about murdering. Edwards actually knew his victims, and killed his victims by gun, not a hook. The legend is nothing more than that, a legend. Even in Mr. Berthold’s review on Matt Clark’s Hook Man Speaks, page 349, does he reveal that Mr. Clark attempts to make the legend to “an imaginative embodiment…and a contemplation of Hook Man’s ‘place’ in American ‘culture and history.”

My point is, there is no reason to be afraid of this urban legend. The closest man to this legend, Edwards, died in 2011. Unless you are one of those people who believe that Edwards’ damned soul will come back from the dead to leave a bloody hook on someone’s car door, you have nothing to worry about. Yes, there are serial killers out there, and you should be cautious of these serial killers. Especially when murderers are capable to camouflage themselves into society such as the ALICE AND GERALD UDEN case. Otherwise, if you cannot scare your grand-kids, son, daughter, niece, or nephew with this legend, safe sex should be strongly advised.
Works Cited
Berthold, Michael. Fictionalizing the Folkloric: Matt Clark's Hook Man Speaks. The Journal of American Culture, 31: 349–360. Print.
Brunvand, Jan. “The Hook”. Harold Encyclopedia of Urban Legends. Ed. Linda Deigh. California: ABC-CLIO, 2001. 199-201. 199-201. Print.
Brunvand, Jan. Too Good to Be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999. 94-95. Print.
Emery, David. "The Hook." Legends., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. <>.
Geauga Maple Leaf, username. “EXCLUSIVE (PART 1): Edward Wayne Edwards on Dannie Boy Edwards murder.” YouTube. 22 April 2013. Video. 17 Oct. 2013. <>.
Geauga Maple Leaf, username. “EXCLUSIVE (PART 2): Edward Wayne Edwards on Dannie Boy Edwards murder.” YouTube. 22 April 2013. Video. 17 Oct. 2013. <>.
Geauga Maple Leaf, username. “EXCLUSIVE (PART 3): Edward Wayne Edwards on Dannie Boy Edwards murder.” YouTube. 22 April 2013. Video. 17 Oct. 2013. <>.
Map. n.d. “BLOEMFONTEIN Search by Map, Free State.” Web. 9 Oct. 2013. <>.
Perry, L. “Hook Man” (Urban Legend). World History & Culture. n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2013. <>.
Real Life Mysteries, username. “Urban Legends: The Hook.” YouTube. 8 Feb. 2011. Video. 18 Oct. 2013. <>.

Links For Further Research:
This site provides more information on the Edward Wayne Edwards case from NBC news.
This site also provides more information on the Edward Wayne Edwards case from CNN news.
This source provides information on the hook man retold by Schlosser.

Legend of the Fiji Mermaid

Author: Malaika

A creature with the upper body of a human and lower body of a fish is heard to have circulated the world’s oceans for many years. With all the glamorized illusions of a beautiful, flowing hair, model-type, half fish, half women is what we think of when we hear the name mermaid. In the article Barnum’s ‘Feejee’ no Disney Mermaid Monstrous wonder on display at Peale,” by Rafael Alvarez, he interviewed a publicist from the Peale Museum, and he said, “We've had a lot of children come here expecting to see the Little Mermaid or the cute mermaid on the tuna can -- and they look at this and cry their eyes out.”

                In 1822, the Turf Coffeehouse in London displayed a strange creature. It was a two-foot tall specimen with a baboon-like head covered in thin hair, and human eyes, chin, breasts and nails.  The face held an expression of fear. It is known as the Fiji mermaid. The mermaid had been brought to London by an American sailor, Captain Samuel Barrett Eades. By the fall of 1822, the mermaid had become one of the biggest showcases in London. Newspapers and articles named it “The Remarkable Stuffed Mermaid.”(Bondeson)

Eades is not the only one to be linked to the Fiji mermaid. P.T. Barnum is usually credited for the origination of the mermaid because he made it known around the world. The Feejee mermaid is one of Barnum’s biggest hoax.  Barnum leased the mermaid from Boston showman Moses Kimball, who intern had bought it from a seaman. The Feejee Mermaid is believed to have been created around 1810 by a Japanese fisherman. Barnum didn’t care that the mermaid was a fake, all that really mattered was that the public was led to believe it was real. So Barnum hired a phony naturalist, Dr. Griffin, to vouch for the creature's authenticity.
Barnum placed pictures of bare-breasted mermaids in the newspapers to manipulate the public into wanting to see it Barnum exhibited the mermaid for a month at his Museum, then he decided to send it on a Southern state tour. A correspondent from the Charleston Post & Courier said, “The Feejee mermaid was a sight that has forever robbed us and we shall never again think of a mermaid as beautiful because the Feejee mermaid is the incarnation of ugliness”.
During the next twenty years the Feejee Mermaid split her time between Kimball's museum in Boston and Barnum's museum in New York. The last known whereabouts of the mermaid was in June, 1859 in Kimball’s museum. One theory is she was destroyed when Barnum's museum burned down in 1865. But this would be unlikely, since she was said to have been at Kimball's Boston museum.

Work Citied:
Bondeson, Jan. “The Feejee Mermaid and Other Essays in Natural and Unnatural History”. Cornell University Press, 1999. Print

>Alvarez, Rafael. “Barnums ‘Feejee’ no Disney Meramaid Monstrous wonder on display at Peale.” The Baltimore Sun. 01 Mar. 1992. Web. 18 Oct. 2013.

Feejee Mermaid “Americas First Mermaid Obsession.” Animal Planet. 29 May. 2013. Animal Planet. Discovery Communications. Web. 18 Oct. 2013

Steampunk. “The Incredible Myth Behind the Feejee Mermaid.” Environmental Graffiti. 2009 Web. 18
Oct. 2013

Brennan Hagood, Catherine. “This Art Show is Full of Freaks.” Post and Courier. 12 May. 2005. Web. 18 Oct. 2013.

Links for further research:
Animal Planet
This video shows recent evidence of mermaids.

The Feejee Mermaid and Other Essays in Natural and Unnatural History by Jan Bondeson
The link above takes you to a google books listing for an excerpt of Jan Bondeson book of a collection of essays on ten fascinating stories of myths and hoaxes.

Barnum, P.T. The Life of P.T. Barnum Written By Himself. Redfield. 18551855.
This link above take you to an excerpt of P.T Barnums 1855 autobiography written by himself.

Edinburgh Vaults

Author: Aaron Wilson

Edinburgh Vaults
from Wikimedia Commons
Edinburgh is the capital city in Scotland. Edinburgh Vaults also know as South Bridge Vaults were made in the late 1700’s.  The Vaults contained cobblers and other tradesmen, and as storage space for illicit material, reportedly including the bodies of people killed by serial killers. According to the article Underground Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh Vaults is a bridge over a huge valley, which has nineteen enormous arches with underground chambers. Bodies of  people killed by serial killers were brought down to the vaults to be examined. The vaults were created in the late 1800th century and abandoned in the 18030’s. They were opened again for the public to tour was 1996. According to Craig Moncrieff’s video The Edinburgh Vaults.
Edinburgh was still growing during the late 1700’s. So Scotland was somewhat a poor struggling country at the time. Scotland had few natural resources. That’s why many people were left homeless and hungry. According to Jim Tates’s article The Transformation of An Early Post-Medieval Town Into a major Modern city.

After the Vaults were abandoned of there cobblers and tradesmen refuges moved in for a home. This has been found true by deceased bodies in the vaults. Adam Fox says this in 

Little Story Books’ And Small Pamphlets’ In Edinburgh.

Map of Vaults
Edinburgh Vaults
Craig Moncrieff

The Legend of Shangri-La

Author: Alex Hurst
Shangri La
From Anna Garg

A utopia is a perfect world.  People living in utopias are immortal, and possess supernatural powers.  They are forever happy, and worry free.  Sickness, suffering, and desire have never been spoken of in utopias.  There are many different known stories of utopias, such as: Shangri-la, Atlantis, and Xanadu. Utopias are said to be myths, but could it be possible they are real?  Could the great legend of Shangri-La be all myth, or could it actually be true?  Over the years many explorers have gathered new information on Shangri-La, justifying that which could in fact; make this fantasy world 100% real!
The legend starts way back in Ancient India, around 4oo BC.   At the time the legend was known as the legend of Mahabharata.  In the legend of Mahabharata there is a place referred to as Northern Kuru (Kalmiya).   In Northern Kuru everything is perfect (Kalmiya).  This place is considered to also be a utopia.  “The people here are happy and free from illness” (Kalmiya).  In Northern Kuru there are fruit trees that give off immortal nectar, so people may live “ten thousand ten hundred years” (Kalmiya).  After many years the legend of Mahabharata was translated into Tibetan, and now this legend is referred to as Shangri-La (Kalmiya).  
Another name for Shangri-La is Shambhala (   Depending on what religion you believe, determines what you call this perfect utopia ( In Shangri-La there is forever youth, and lifelong happiness ( The people in Shangri-La possess perfect bodies, and have supernatural powers ( The people of Shangri-La have perfect qualities, such as love and wisdom, and know nothing of suffering or desire (

People believe Shangri-La to be a barrier between Earth and life after ( is located in the icy mountains of the Himalayas ( It is said to be hidden to keep out any wondering outsiders. Many people have tried to find Shangri-La, but have been unsuccessful.  The only way people can find Shangri-La is if they have pure spirituality (  The King of Shambhala travelled to India and met with Buddha to learn the spiritual teachings of the Kalachakra (  He took these teachings back to the city, where the teachings were preserved (  What if you had the same spirituality that is taught in Shangri-La?  Would it be possible that you could have found the utopia?
There is also a Prophesy of Shangri-la, just as there are prophesies in different religions on Earth.  It is said there will be thirty-two kings to rule in Shangri-la ( Each of the kings will rule for 100 years (  When Shangri-La is on their 32nd king, Earth will start to end (  Barbarians will set out looking for something more to conquer, and will come across the Himalaya Mountains, and try to destroy Shangri-La (  However, Shangri-La will defeat them (
The legend of Shangri-La has many similarities as Earth.  However, they deal more with religion, and spirituality, than anything else.  Since religion is so complex on Earth there is really no way to know 100% if Shangri-La is real. Epically, since they have their own belief in religion and to find the utopia you must believe in their teachings. 

Works cited:                    

"Shangdu China Travel Blogs". August 2000. 10 October 2013. n.d. 9 October 2013.
Feng, Simon. n.d. 2013 29 October.
Garg, Anna. n.d. 13 October 2013.
Kalmiya. "Legend of Shangri-La or Shambhala". n.d. 13 October 2013.
Ross, Charlotte. "Extreme Enviroments Travel Blog". March 2013. 9 October 2013.