Saturday, 30 April 2016

Over at Myth or Maxim....

The Myth or Maxim Chronicle Ed.5 is out and accessible through the website - Moon Myths and Cursed Items feature this issue....

Here's the link! LINK :)

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Catacombs and caves for storing the dead.

Many cultures have historically used catacombs to bury their dead, in fact people have been laying their dead to rest in caves since time began, although most are more closely associated with the early Christian church, the most famous being the catacombs of Rome and Paris which are open to the public, are vast and are historically important.

The reasons that people started using catacombs seem to be very practical. Because they are underground, the depth of catacombs usually ensures that the dead will be kept cool and that they won’t be disturbed by future developments or by natural occurrences such as flooding which can sadly affect graves on the surface. On a more practical level, storage deep underground also means that the bodies won’t contaminate the ground or water supply as they decay. Catacombs can also be expanded at that depth to accommodate the dead in the future; in fact many catacombs reveal signs of this with many new chambers and connecting tunnels being added on over the years giving a respectful resting place to important people.

The original Roman catacombs were designed as temporary holding facilities for the bodies of Christian martyrs, people who deserved the highest respect for the actions they took in life for their faith, and many catacombs are located beneath churches showing the significant link to the early Christian culture that promoted their use.

After the practice of using catacombs for religious figureheads, it became more common for them to also be used for generally important citizens, leaders and the wealthy. Many well-off families would have chambers to themselves allowing generations of the same family to be buried together in safety and relative opulence, some catacombs have notes about those buried within which can be very historically valuable today to learn about the practices and rituals used at the time. Undertakers of the age would take the dead to be stored in the chambers in coffins, shrouds, or urns in the case of cremation, depending on the wishes, wealth and family directions, they were also used for memorial ceremonies and funeral services if the person was to be laid to rest there, all of this could take place underground, privately and peacefully.

Today, catacombs are generally not used; surface crypts for family burials became more popular as has the use of cremation. There are rare occurrences however when ancient catacombs have been employed on a temporary based following a natural disaster or epidemic, in fact Exeter city council in the UK considered using their 19th century catacombs to store the bodies of Swine Flu victims as recently as 2009.

Monday, 25 April 2016

The Hairy Hands of Dartmoor Legend.

The ‘Hairy Hands’ are a unique legend to Dartmoor in England, and to quite a specific area at that. Only dating from the 1920’s, the stretch of road between Postbridge and the Two Bridges area has been the scene of a number of unexplainable accidents involving motor vehicles and people of authority in the majority of cases.

The area of the moors that the hairy hands manifest at is very ancient, it was a densely populated spot during prehistoric times and theories have suggested that the legend comes from elemental forces that have lingered at the site since then. Spirits, myths and superstitions are linked to many areas of Dartmoor, but not many are blamed for so many deaths and accidents, especially in such recent, modern day times.

One of the most well-known reports is of a Doctor who was riding his motorcycle with sidecar, the vehicle crashed and he was killed at the scene, however his two sons travelling in the sidecar survived, they gave an account that the vehicle was forced from the road by a pair of hairy hands that took control of the handlebars, resulting in the accident. Shortly afterwards, a similar thing happened to an Army officer, he survived his accident but reported the same thing.

Some less severe, but equally inexplicable events were to follow some years later. A couple were sleeping in their caravan near the stretch of road, the woman awoke to see a hairy hand clawing at the window, shocked, she made the sign of the cross and said it simply disappeared. Also a doctor’s car stopped dead on the road at the same spot with no apparent mechanical problems, he was not hurt, but was puzzled by the legend. Yet another doctor survived an incident in 1979 when his car was forced into a ditch by a ‘powerful force’ that took over control of the vehicle.

Another recent occurrence involved a young man in the early 1960’s. He was travelling from Plymouth to Chagford but did not reach his destination. He was found dead underneath his upturned car on the same stretch of road. The car and his body were both examined and no conclusion could be drawn for the cause of death or the accident.

Many people travelling through the area, either on foot, cycling or in a vehicle have told of a sense of malaise or even fear, even if they did not previously know of the hairy hands legend. This could simply be due to the barren, desolate nature of the moors, especially at certain times of year, or maybe there is more to the eerie history relating to it. A Bronze Age burial kist can still be seen at the site today giving a link back to those who once lived there.

There do not seem to be any very recent accounts of the hairy hands causing more trouble along the road from Postbridge to Two Bridges, maybe they have stopped manifesting, or perhaps people are less keen to report incidents due to the fear of ridicule. Either way, no news is good news, but caution should probably be observed.

Weekly round up of the strange - check this out.

Every weekend on the Myth or Maxim blog there is a post featuring the Myth or Maxim Chronicle which is a round up of the week's tweets, news and stories from around the world, it makes for really good reading with links back to the original poster's page.

This week featured a Paul Walker conspiracy, strange sounds from the skies and UFO stories and is well worth checking out...

Read it HERE along with other issues.