Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Neighbors


I grew up in a bedroom community outside of New York City. It was the 1970's and all the Father's in the neighborhood commuted to work while our Mothers were stay-at-home 'Moms'. All the Moms were busy-bodies and basically had their noses in each other's business. The talk of the neighborhood was the family that lived beside us - the Smiths.

The Smiths were very strange. There was Mr and Mrs. Smith who looked like they were in their 40's and their kids, a son and a daughter. The kids were early teens - and we never knew their names! They didn't go to school so we assumed they were home-schooled. The only time we saw them was when the whole family would walk single file to the garage in the back of their house and drive away in their Rambler station wagon. My Mom talked to Mrs. Smith once right after they moved in, but that was it. They never answered the door and there was no telephone listing.

Mr. Smith never drove to work and Mrs. Smith was never seen shopping or doing any chores. The yard work was taken care of by two men who would drive up in a gray service truck once a week during the spring and summer. They would cut the lawn and trim the hedges. There were no flowers or trees - no lawn furniture - nothing.

One of our neighbors called the Mayor's office about the kids and school - but we never saw anyone ever come to the house. In fact, they never received mail (the postman told us) and there were never any deliveries.

The Smiths lived there for about 4 years. We didn't even know they had left until another (normal) family moved in. They told us that the house had been on the market for several months and that it was purchased through a Government auction - but that seemed strange as well.

Here's another strange neighbor account:

I've got a strange story for you. The people who live across the street are either into something weird or the house is haunted. They moved in a few months ago, a husband and wife. I'll call them Jack and Jill. Every night we hear loud 'hums' coming from the house. There are never any lights on inside or outside. Also my dogs and my neighbor's dog start to howl when the hums begin. I can't get my dog to shut up. It's so bad I have to keep him in the basement at night. The hums go on for about an hour.

I confronted Jack one day about the hums. He looked at me like I was nuts. He then got real nasty and told me to mind my own business. My neighbor got fed up and called the police. The police showed up and told them to stop. The hums continued so the police searched the place and found nothing. The hums continue. Any idea what it is?

NOTE: about a year later I received another email from this witness who said the neighbors moved out and the hums stopped...Lon

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Astral Perceptions Universal...Thanks For Your Support

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Origins of 13 Superstitions

The following is an interesting piece on the origin of several odd and well-known superstitions. British author Harry Oliver has just released in the U.S. "Black Cats & Four-Leaf Clovers", a book that explores the origins of superstitions and old wives' tales from around the world.

1. Don't Walk Under a Ladder: After researching this superstition for a year at the British Library in London, Oliver says the belief's most-cited origin points to "a ladder forming a triangle with the wall and the ground, suggesting the Holy Trinity." Apparently, walking through that triangle would show disrespect to the Trinity and therefore bring bad luck. Another possible (and much simpler) origin: Where there's a ladder, there's usually someone working on top and walking underneath could lead to all sorts of cartoonish accidents, like a hammer falling on someone's head.

2. Black Cats Bring Bad Luck:
Oliver says black cats are notoriously linked to witchcraft, which is why some people think they're unlucky. However, there are two sides to this one. Allegedly, if a cat crosses your path it's considered unlucky, but if a cat walks toward you, it's a good omen. Should the first scenario happen, though, Oliver says the "only way to avert the back luck is to spit."

3. Never Light Three Cigarettes With the Same Match: This superstition originated in military circles and dates back to those long nights in the trenches during World War I. "If three soldiers smoked at once, enemy snipers would easily detect them," says Oliver. "If they used the same match to light all three cigarettes, snipers would notice the match burning after the first one and would have enough time to load guns, aim and fire at the unlucky third smoker."

4. Carrots Are Good for Your Eyesight: Though some studies have shown that the vitamin A in carrots is good for the eyes, the vegetable alone isn't enough to spark 20/20 vision. Oliver says this old wives' tale -- or smart attempt by parents to get their children to eat their veggies -- originated as a myth during World War II. "That's when British pilots where rumored to be eating enormous amounts of carrots to see from high altitudes and in the dark. The rumor was widely spread to throw the public off from the fact that radar had been invented and was being used against the enemy," he says.

5. Cross Your Fingers: If you look hard enough, you can see this superstition has religious roots. Oliver says that crossing your fingers is a type of holy protection because the two overlapping fingers form a "slanted cross." This "good luck" ritual varies around the globe -- in Switzerland, people fold their thumbs in and wrap their other fingers around them instead of the standard index-and-middle-finger combination.

6. Don't Open an Umbrella in The House:
The origins of this belief are simple -- what's designed for the outdoors should remain outside. While today's version of the old umbrella superstition is said to simply bring "bad luck," Oliver says there used to be a much darker cloud hanging over the belief in ancient times. "In earlier versions, opening an umbrella inside was an omen of death," he explains.

7. Always Have Something in the Oven:
This old Jewish superstition could be considered "family friendly." Supposedly, leaving an oven empty will cause one's family to go hungry in the future. To avoid famine, it's enough to leave a baking sheet or a pan in the oven at all times as a precaution. "This belief is linked to ancient rituals in which food was left for household gods in order to ensure protection of the family," Oliver explains.

8. Wear Underwear Inside Out:
When having a bad day, superstition suggests that turning your underwear inside out can make it all better. Oliver isn't quite sure where this odd belief came from, but we wouldn't be surprised if originated on a wild college campus somewhere, perhaps during a post-party "walk of shame."

9. Kiss a Mustachioed Man, End Up a Spinster:
There are more superstitions revolving around marriage than we can count, and that includes "kissing a dark-skinned man at a wedding." If a woman does this, she'll supposedly get a marriage proposal shortly thereafter. But watch who you're smooching, ladies. If a woman kisses a man with a mustache and finds a stray hair on her lip after, she's destined to be a spinster.

10. Don't Praise Babies in China: If you're in China and you come across an adorable newborn baby, do not under any circumstances compliment the little one. In China, it's considered "unlucky" to praise babies because it "attracts the attention of ghosts and demons." Instead, Oliver says it's customary to "talk badly about babies" to keep evil entities away. Rather than getting upset, parents are told to convert those insults into praise quietly in their heads.

11. Don't Chew Gum at Night in Turkey: Even if your breath stinks, popping in a stick of gum after dinner in Turkey is a bad idea. "It's thought that if you're chewing gum at night in Turkey, you're actually chewing the flesh of the dead," says Oliver. Gross.

12. Lucky Four-Leaf Clovers: Because of how scarce four-leaf clovers really are, just finding one in a field is lucky in and of itself. Oliver says the rare leaf represents everything one could possibly desire in life: "wealth, fame, love and health."

Unlucky 13: The number 13 -- and Friday the 13th -- are considered unfortunate in many places, and the reasons go back to the Bible. Remember, Jesus had 13 disciples until one of them -- Judas -- betrayed him. - AOLNews

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