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Showing posts from July, 2016

The Canton Church Apparition: A Minnesota Miracle or Hypnotic Hoax?

In 1892, residents of the tiny village of Canton, Minnesota, noticed something strange about one of the windows of the village Catholic church. Believed by the residents to be a genuine religious apparition, the bishop was called in to investigate. What ensued next is still, more than a century later, a topic of conversation in Fillmore County. Was the Canton apparition an authentic miracle? Or, as some believe, was it the result of a charlatan priest's "power of suggestion"?

The following appeared in the Philadelphia Times on October 1, 1892.

An Apparition on the Window

It Startles the Inhabitants of a Minnesota Town

Winona, September 30.-- The peculiar manifestations in a window of the village church of Canton, Minn., which have been creating considerable excitement among the Catholics in that section, are to be scientifically examined by Bishop Cotter, of the diocese of Winona, within whose jurisdiction the so-called miracles exist.
Several weeks ago the inhabitants of …

How to get away with murder (and get rich doing it)

The Strange but True Story of William Darling Shepherd and McClintock's Millions

On Christmas Eve of 1924, while the city of Chicago festooned itself in blue tinsel and silver bells and harried shoppers elbowed their way through department store crowds in search of last minute gifts, an entirely different scene was taking place at Oakwood Cemetery. The workmen, instead of singing Christmas carols and enjoying the warm glow of a fireplace lined with stockings, were busily engaged in cutting through the cement vault containing the heavy bronze casket which held the body of a young man named William Nelson McClintock.

McClintock had died three weeks earlier at the tender age of twenty-one, while his fiancee, a pretty, young school teacher named Isabelle Pope, waited with a marriage license. The "Millionaire Orphan", as McClintock was known, was pronounced dead by Coroner Oscar Wolff, who issued a death certificate stating that the young millionaire died from typhoid fever. H…

A rather strange coincidence

The following comes from the March 10, 1908 edition of Kansas' Independence Daily Reporter:

The Paranormal Experience of Telly Savalas

"Something happened in my life which scared the hell out of me," the late actor of Kojak fame told an Australian television show, The Extraordinary, in 1993. "For something like that to happen to me, is something I can't understand to this day." Less than one year before his death, the famous actor appeared on a paranormal television show to talk about his strange brush with the unexplained.

According to Savalas, the incident took place in Long Island, long before the actor made a name for himself. It was around 2 o'clock in the morning and Savalas was on his way home after a date when his car ran out of gas. Savalas walked to a  White Castle restaurant to ask for directions to the nearest gas station. The restaurant employee told Savalas to cut through a wooded area until he reached a highway, where he would find a service station that was open all night.

The actor began to walk towards the woods when he heard a voice from behind, offering to give him a rid…

Why most battlefield hauntings aren't real

Soldiers fighting in the trenches during WW1 were the first to popularize the idea of haunted battlefields. In France, the region known as "No Man's Land"-- the geographical area between the trenches of opposing armies-- was said to be plagued by ghosts. Soldiers from both sides described the phantoms of No Man's Land similarly; as luminous cloud-like forms that slowly rose from the ground and then hovered and danced above it.

Stories about the ghosts of the battlefield were so common during the war that the United States government actually investigated the claims. One expert who researched the hauntings was Professor Charles E. Munroe, of George Washington University, who was also the government's chief expert on explosives.

Munroe's chemical analysis of the human body revealed that the body of a man of average size contained approximately 55 ounces of phosphorus, seven-eighths of which are in the bones. Munroe concluded that phosphorus was the secret to the…